Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Orlando Blue is spiffy once again

I am in a very good mood. I took my car in to get the oil changed, and I also got a complete wash and interior detail.


I love having a clean car!

Yeah, it was expensive, but soooo worth it. It would take me all day to get that car clean myself. My spare time's too valuable to waste it vacuuming cat hair off seats and cleaning ice cream out of the cupholders.

And it was absolutely filthy. They defs earned their money today.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daylight savings time again?

Good grief. I was hoping that when I moved back home from Alberta, I would never have to hear about this again, and yet, here it is.

Apparently, in the 2011 election, Saskatchewanians will not only be voting for a new government, but we will also be voting on whether or not Saskatchewan should adopt daylight savings time.

I just don't understand. Who is asking for this?? IMHO, this is one of the things that Saskatchewan has gotten right. I lived in a province with daylight savings for two years, and it sucked. It was annoying to have to remember to change your clocks twice a year. I hated how it got dark at 4:30 in the winter. I hated how you had to wait FOREVER for it to get dark in the summer. How can you go star watching or play hide and go seek in the dark, when it doesn't get dark??

On a less personal note, daylight savings still does not have any real benefits. If you don't believe me, go read the wikipedia article, but I'll summarize it for you. Basically, there is no great benefit to health, safety, or energy savings. While it might benefit some businesses economically to have more daylight in the summer (golf courses for example) it harms others (theatres for example). It disrupts the circadian rhythm of people, and this can be especially difficult for young children. Go talk to parents who just got their 6 month old on a stable sleep schedule, and then ask them if they like daylight savings time.

And yes, Saskatchewan stands apart from most of North America and Europe by not having DST, but in reality, the majority of the world does not observe daylight saving time. China and India don't, most of Africa doesn't, and Arizona doesn't either. So don't give me any crap about how we're hurting our economic relationships with other countries and provinces by not joining in their semi-annual insanity with them. Awwww. Are we confusing their poor widdle brains by NOT changing the time willy nilly throughout the year?? They are the confusing ones!

I hope Saskatchewan votes No in 2011, and I hope that we can be an example to other western provinces and nations. Stop being twits! If you want to enjoy more daylight in the summer, than set an alarm and get up earlier, and leave me and my clocks in peace.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beware the Jabberwock

One of my neighbours (it's hard to tell if it's coming from above or below) has taken to listening to loud disco on Friday afternoons. And don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who absolutely detest the entire music genre, but I would sometimes like to listen to something other than the Bee Gees on my day off. Thank goodness for ear plugs.

I went and saw Alice in Wonderland tonight. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I actually quite enjoyed it. Yes, yes, predictable plot, etc. but my goodness, that is the plot of every fantasy story ever made isn't it? Bad guy loses, good guy wins, saves the world, etc. It's the journey, not the destination, that's important in these types of stories. And I liked Alice's journey.

My friend L who went with me kept saying how it wasn't a good kids show (a fair number of scary or gruesome parts) but I think it depends on the kid. I personally think I would have enjoyed it even as a young child. Which got me thinking about the first Alice in Wonderland I saw. It was a TV special, and judging by the release date, I would have been about 5 when I saw it. The jabberwocky in that show made a huge impression on me and I still remember it to this day. But even though the jabberwocky scared the crap out of me, I kept watching, because that's the kind of kid I was. Anyone else remember this?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I am sick of annoying patrons, sick of inflexible, passive-aggressive co-workers, and just, in general, really sick of my job right now. I can't get enthusiastic about anything. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd be gone in a heartbeat. So, here's hoping, huh?

I watched Brokeback Mountain the other day, finally, and I have to say, I really liked it. It was sexy, romantic, and heartbreaking. I thought Heath Ledger was amazing. Too bad he's dead because I think he would have made many more excellent movies.

Anyway, now I'm off to try and cleanse my mind of negativity cuz, let's face it, odds are I'm not going to win the lottery, so I'll just have to make the best of it. But seriously, seriously, the temptation to hit someone in the back of the head with a shovel is dangerously high right now.

Friday, March 05, 2010

CFL bulbs - saving the environment or not?

CFL bulbs are more energy efficient than the traditional incandescent, but they also contain mercury, and are not always recycled. These unrecycled bulbs then release their mercury into the environment where it can get into drinking water and poison lakes and streams. So, are CFL bulbs saving the environment, or is this cure actually worse than the disease?

So, the moral of the story is CFL bulbs are still worth it if you live in an area that uses coal to produce electricity. And I would say they're still worth it even if you live in an area that produces clean electricity, as long as you are responsible and recycle your bulbs (damn you Regina Boardwalk properties!). And for the locals: over 55% of Saskatchewan's electricity still comes from coal-fired power plants. Only 3% of electricity is produced through wind, and solar power production is negligible. A very sad thing for a province with an abundance of both sunshine and wind.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

In all thy sons command

Well the Olympics are over, and now that the shiny distractions have been put away out of sight, the government can finally get back to work. And what fresh, innovative ideas have our fearless leaders, the Theocons, come up with? Why, they're going to change the lyrics to our National Anthem.

First of all, I agree with JJ. This is just the Conservatives' pathetic attempt to appear to be a champion of women's rights. This is Harper saying, "See? I'm hip to the ladies. I'm a modern man. I think women are equal." But it's an empty gesture. Cuz, guess what? Changing the lyrics to a song is NOT going to magically make gender inequality disappear. They're attempting to paint a veneer over top of Harper's actual record on this topic. Hmm, let's see now... Killed the national daycare program and instead decided to send every mother in Canada a few hundred bucks a year... Gee thanks Harper you sexist pig, it's good to know how much you think women are really worth. And then the Status of Women Canada dropped the word "equality" from its mandate under the Harper government. Can it get more obvious?

And if you're really being paranoid, you could see how this might also be an attempt for Harper to get Canadians riled up and angry at "them damn feminists who're always whining about something, leave our beautiful anthem alone!" And then we won't concentrate on things like... oh, the fact that the government is running a huge deficit, has no plan to get out of it, and still won't hand over the documents about torture in Afghanistan.

Some brainless twits have already fallen for Harper's ploy and are already breathing fire about the horrible feminists. Naomi you fuckwit, it doesn't matter whether the word is "sons", "son's" or "sons'", it still says SONS as opposed to just people. And yes, it is sexist to refer to an entire nation as "sons". Just as saying "mankind" to refer to all of humanity is sexist. Yes, it's just a word, but words don't exist in a vacuum. They have connotations and historical context. And no Naomi, I wouldn't think that men do get jealous because things like countries and boats are referred to as "she". Because these are objects, property that belongs to other people, and is a leftover remnant of the time when women were also considered property.

Let me be clear. I am a feminist. And yes, I do believe that "sons" should be changed to something more inclusive. (I also think they should remove the reference to God, but that's another discussion altogether). HOWEVER. On my list of priorities of all the things that need to change in this country, that is pretty close to the bottom. I am content to leave the anthem alone for now, and work on more important issues.

Do you hear that Harper? I am not fooled. Your record on women's rights is appalling, and this will do nothing to change it.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Give Menstrual Cups a Try

So I was looking over one of my new juvenile non-fiction purchases today. I always do that when the books come in, just to familiarize myself with the collection, remind myself what I ordered, and to check for cataloguing errors. The book in question was a puberty book for girls. I was leafing through the section on menstruation, and I realized that there was a glaring omission. The book talked about pads and tampons, but no mention was made of another option: menstrual cups.

This really upset me, although I guess maybe I shouldn't be too hard on the author/publishers of the book as there are probably lots of people out there who haven't heard of a menstrual cup. But the job of those puberty books is to let girls know what options are available, to inform them so they can make a decision. And the book left out the best option out there. So now, thanks to that book, you're going to hear all about menstrual cups.

What is a menstrual cup? Well, this blog gives a good description and has lots of pics so you'll see what I am talking about. But basically, it's a latex or silicone cup that's worn inside the vagina like a tampon during your period to catch the flow. But, it's sooo much better than a tampon. Here's why:

  1. It's healthier. It's made of a material that is resistant to bacteria, and has much less actual surface area, so unlike tampons, there is no risk of toxic shock syndrome.

  2. It's reusable. Oh, that's right, you heard me. After your period's done, you give it a thorough washing, let it dry, and put it away until next time. That's HUGE in terms of:

    1. Cost. Think about how much you spend on pads or tampons in a year. How often do you go through a box of those? The menstrual cup can cost quite a bit when you first get it (I don't quite remember how much it was exactly, but $50.00 or more is not out of the question), but then you can reuse it over and over again for years. And yes, it's perfectly safe to do so. Another nice thing about the menstrual cup is that you'll never run out of supplies. No more emergency midnight trips to Shoppers. Going on a long vacation when you expect to get your period? Don't worry about packing boxes of pads or tampons. Just pop your little cup in your bag.

    2. Saving the Environment. Think about all the pads in the garbage, the tampons flushed down the toilet. Thousands of plastic tampon applicators wash up on beaches around the world every day. Your cup you just reuse, month after month, year after year. This is actually the primary reason I switched. I was trying to be better about recycling and cutting down on waste, and I couldn't stand how much waste one woman could produce every month just from dealing with her period.

So, how does it work exactly? You fold it into quarters, making the top part small enough to slide in, then basically insert it like you would a tampon without an applicator. Once you've gotten the top part inside, you can let it pop back into shape. The top part will unfold, pressing against the walls of the vagina so it will catch everything. You empty a couple or few times a day, depending on your flow. To get it out, you can use the little loop or stick at the bottom, or for the ones that don't have them, just use your muscles to push out the bottom, then pinch the bottom to release suction, pull out, empty, reinsert. No messier than dealing with a tampon and you can do any activity with it in, swim, exercise, whatever.

I started using a cup about a year ago, mostly for the environmental reasons cited above. My personal brand is The Keeper. I have the rubber latex one, size B. Now I will confess that it took a little bit of getting used to. I tried it one month, and didn't like it. I couldn't get it to feel right, and the stupid stick kept poking me in the wrong spot. But I decided to try it again. So I cut the stick off completely (you're actually supposed to trim it to the size you want), and now I'm used to it, and like it very much. Once it's inside, you pretty much forget it's there.

So if it's so great, why don't we hear about it more? Where are all the tv ads, etc.? Well, the thing is, the companies that make the cups are usually very small operations, and they don't make a lot of money. Why? Because, once you buy a cup, you don't buy another one for years. Sometimes never. So it's not a great way to make money in our consumption driven economy. And those big brands, like playtex, tampax, and always, they really, really don't want you to find out about menstrual cups. They'd much rather you continue to purchase their disposable products which are an environmental disaster.

So, spread the word, tell your friends, and if you know anyone who's writing a puberty book for girls, don't let them leave this out! At least give it a try. You may not like it, and that's fine. Periods are annoying enough without having to use a product you're not happy with. But seriously, the environment, your wallet, and even your vagina will thank you.

Edit: Looking at the Keeper website, I realize that they don't ship to Canada. I got my Keeper through my sister, so I'm not sure how she got a hold of it. Possibly some sort of shady, backroom deal... ;) Anyway, never fear, because for all of us Canucks, there is an alternative. I give you, the Diva Cup.