My parents are trying to ruin my vegetarianism

Recently I became a sort-of vegetarian.  Or, as I called it when I "officially" announced it (read: posted it as my facebook status so that people would know not to cook me meat if I come over to their houses), a quasi-vegetarian.  What I really am is a humane eater or ethical-tarian or whatever other douchey sounding name you want to put on it.  Basically, I got tricked into reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer and realized that as a human being with a conscience, I could not justify eating animals that had been cultivated in such ridiculously inhumane ways.  I mean really, it's terrible for the animals, the environment, the workers, and for the people eating them.  I won't go into all the details now, read the book if you don't believe me.  Just beware that you will experience a LOT of cognitive dissonance if you are a meat-eater and have a conscience.  Seriously.  A lot.

So now, for all intensive purposes, I am a vegetarian.  I'll eat meat if the animals were happy and healthy, the workers were treated fairly, and the farm is ecologically friendly, which basically means that I don't eat meat ever.  Except that my parents have tracked down a shop in Abbotsford that they claim is all Andrea-friendly meat.  And every time I go out for a visit they load me up with meat from this shop.  I end up cooking and eating this meat because I feel guilty that my parents went to all this extra effort for me to get it and I don't want it to be wasted.

This all adds up to mean that now that I'm a "vegetarian" I cook and eat more meat at home than I ever did in the past.  It's weird and confusing.  It forces me to experience a whole separate realm of cognitive dissonance.

Also, it appears that after kaiboshing my intake of meat (at least for a little while before my parents discovered their happy meat palace), I don't really like the taste of it as much.  Especially the darker meats.  Yuck.  Unfortunately, this adds just one more layer to my fun with cognitive dissonance.

Oh, world!  What do you want from me?

Ladies: Get Your Boobs Measured!

Last week I went for the first time in my life to be properly fitted for a quality bra.  It has, no lie, changed my life.  And by changed my life I mean that my boobs look better and are more comfortable, which, you know, could be considered life-changing, depending how important you think boobs are to life.  Probably pretty important.

Seriously though, friends told me for years that I should do it and I always thought "yeah, sure, maybe someday when I feel like spending way too much on underwear."  Don't be fooled friends, this is not just underwear.  This is unmentionables.  This is lingerie.  This is brassieres.  That means it is classy, sexy stuff.  Even the practical beige one I got.  It makes me feel classy and sexy and it's beige - the least sexy colour in the history of life.  It is so worth it I can't even explain.

Also, it's not even that expensive.  I spent $110 on three bras - pretty similar in price to the crappy ones you buy at The Bay.

The place to get it done is Change if you have one near you.  If you're in Vancouver head down to the Cambie and 7th location - the ladies there are amazing.  Especially the cute redhead who fitted me (didn't catch a name).  She makes it feel totally natural to stand in front of a stranger in a bra.

Their sizes are European, which means they are smaller, which means that if you are a small-busted lady and always resented your A-cup, your boobs are going to feel HUGE.

Best Holiday Invitation Ever

This is jacked directly from Margaret and Helen, a blog where two elderly women who have been friends since childhood converse.  My understanding is that the blog was set up by one of the women's sons so that they could write each other more easily and keep in touch.  Luckily, they are opinionated and awesome.  They also appear to have gotten more into the spirit of blogging and not just using the blog as a means to write each other letters.  Here is Helen's letter to her family, inviting them all to fake Thanksgiving (oops, I mean American Thanksgiving - just a little joke kids!)  I love my family dearly, but dang!  Can she be my bonus Grandma?

Dear Family,

In a year when we almost lost your Grandpa Harold, I would expect each and every one of you to make the effort to be here this year. If only for a few minutes. I’ll make an exception for anyone who lives more than three hours away. Now that is what I expect, but clearly not what I will get. So be warned. At Christmas time what you expect to find under the tree is clearly not what you will get. I love you. Really I do. I don’t expect you to visit often, but I do expect the holidays. And I don’t think that is too much to expect.

For those of you who are coming – from this point forward known as my favorite family members – here are the house rules. Your following them will make for an unforgettable meal filled with laughter and bacon.

  1. If it jiggles, slap a girdle on it or leave it at home. I am not kidding Cloe. One step inside my door with anything made from Jello and it will be your last step. I have about 50 pounds on you so don’t test me.
  2. Rhonda. My house. Your pets. Never the twain shall meet.
  3. Mary. My sofa. Your kid’s feet. Never the twain shall meet.
  4. I have banned cans of soda. Two liter bottles of soda only. I am tired of throwing away half full cans of soda. If you are two young to lift a 2 liter bottle of soda to fill a glass, you are too young to be drinking soda un-supervised.
  5. At age 84 and 11 months, I have had my picture taken more than enough times to fill any memory photo album. The digital era has made it too easy to take way too many useless pictures. Point one camera in my direction this year and I can promise you that your camera will be used to stuff something other than the turkey. When I am gone, feel free to remember me with pictures from my best year – 1962.
  6. Texting and driving is just plain stupid. Texting and eating Thanksgiving dinner, however, is a crime punishable by no dessert.
  7. Vegetarians really should consider Thanksgiving as a holiday from vegetarianism.
  8. Any grandchild showing up dressed like a Palin girl, will leave the house dressed like a Philpot girl. I don’t need to see all that and neither does the rest of the family.
  9. The Longhorns are having a difficult year. Your grandfather is aware of that. No need to remind him. Trust me on this one.
  10. My Democrats are having a difficult year. I am aware of that. Feel free to remind me and I will, in turn, remind you of what I think of the current Republican Party. Trust me on this one.
  11. Sarah Palin having a new book is proof positive that there is something wrong with the world. I can’t fix that, but I promise that my stuffing made with bacon will make you not give a damn. So if any of you get the urge to talk about that woman, stuff your mouth full of food until the urge passes.

This year, I am thankful for my family and for borrowed time. Make the most of what life gives you. I mean it. Really.

Eco Tips and Anger

I had to take Blisstree off my google reader because they just updated too dang much and it was bogging me down.  This always makes me kind of sad when I have to filter out quality content due to quantity overload.  Now I just try to check back on the site whenever I remember, which is of course, almost never. I did come across this interesting tidbit though: the top 20 things we throw in the garbage and some tips on how to avoid them.

1. Water bottles. Avoid the risk of water bottles ending up in the trash by buying reusable ones.

This one actually drives me bonkers - there is really absolutely no need for one-time use water bottles. Okay, the one exception is when you're out and about for a day and forgot one of your many reusable bottles at home and you're really thirsty and the coffee shop people are jerks and won't just give you a cup of water. Other than that - use a freaking reusable bottle already you lazyface!

2. Tissue boxes. Instead of buying a whole new box every time you run out, save the box and just buy tissue refills. Or do it up old-school and use a handkerchief. Just launder often, please.

3. Paper napkins. Cloth napkins don’t create waste. Plus, they’re prettier.

I am actually super stoked on the idea of cloth napkins. I want to make some pretty ones so I can be all classy when I have dinner parties. Which, you know, I will do at some point in my life. If I have any happiness at all, anyways.

4. Paper towels. Kitchen towels are just as absorbent as their more wasteful relatives. And don’t worry — washing cloth towels every so often is much more eco-friendly than tossing paper ones in the trash.

5. Razor blades. Just sharpen your blades rather than throwing the blade (or the entire razor) away.

6. Counter wipes. Toxic wipes in a plastic container don’t stand a chance against the tried-and-true sponge.

I know, I know, sponges are full of bacteria, yada yada. Argument a) we've been using sponges and washcloths since they were invented and the death rate has not dropped since counter wipes became famous. Argument b) just freaking well clean it regularly and don't leave it festering in a pile of gross in the sink.

7. Paper coffee cups. Bring your own mug or travel cup to the coffee shop from now on.

8. Cotton balls. Save money and Ma Nature — use a washcloth.

9. Plastic utensils. Keep a set of real silverware at work for all your culinary needs.

10. Paper plates. Just suck it up and wash real plates after that dinner party.

11. Plastic shopping bags. You know the answer to this one: Reusable shopping bags. Liberal slogan optional.

I'm talking to you, roomie who never bothers to take the cloth bags with you even though there are 10 of them right beside the door. JUST TAKE THE FREAKING CLOTH BAGS!!!!

12. Dryer sheets. Never buy Bounce again — make your own reusable dryer sheet.

13. Printer cartridges. Just get them refilled at Walgreens or CVS.

14. Coffee filters. Think of all the coffee filters you toss in the trash every year. Buy a reusable one, or at least biodegradable filters.

15. Ziploc bags. You know that twinge of guilt you feel every time you use a Ziploc? Fix that by reusing large, clean yogurt containers to store leftovers.

16. Swiffer pads. We bet the floor will be cleaner after you use an old-fashioned mop and bucket.

The folks at swiffer are way too good at their marketing campaign. Them and Febreeze. It's creepy.

17. Baby wipes. Bite the bullet and use washcloths. We feel your pain.

18. Paper lunch bags. This one’s a no-brainer: Use a reusable sack to store your lunch.

19. Plastic soap dispensers. A refillable soap dispenser will make your bathroom much fancier (and greener).

20. Disposable contacts. Take the plunge and invest in a non-disposable pair. They can last an entire year.

Pretty thing

I love this.

Got the image off of Elephantine, a beautiful blog about beautiful things.  I'm not much for rings in general, the only one I wore on a regular basis was a birthstone ring my parents got me-one that I was forced to stop wearing because my friend's cat Action Jackson did something to it and now it is gone forever.  I think he might have eaten it.  Or worked some cat-voodoo on it.

Aren't the two kissing birds (turtledoves?) just the sweetest thing though?  I would love to see someone make a variation of this for an engagement ring so that I can ogle it or be jealous of it or be really happy to have it on my hand and not even notice the person who I've just agreed to marry.

Kissing is Weird

For the first time in my life, I have to do a stage kiss.  This is kind of bizarre, as I have been acting in one way or another since high school, and most people get at least one or two stage kisses in there when they're young, but I didn't.  I pretty consistently get cast as a matronly older lady, and I have stopped asking myself why for fear of what it will do to my fragile ego.  At any rate, this time around I'm doing some kissing.  

Let me tell you, if you've never done it, kissing someone who you have no feelings for whatsoever and aren't even really attracted to is super weird.  The presence of a director telling you precisely what to do while you're lip-locked actually makes things slightly less weird, but it's still weird.  It's got me thinking about how weird the activity of kissing is in the first place.  I mean, the pure mechanical activity is to smoosh your lips against someone else's for an indeterminate amount of time.  Then sometimes you say "you know what, this lip-smooshing isn't enough for me.  I'm going to shove my tongue in this mouth and smoosh our tongues together!"  I mean, really.  Weird.  When we get invaded by aliens, you try explaining it to them, because I've given up.

Santy Claws?

Christmas is approaching and it got me thinking... about Santa.  I never believed in Santa ever.  My parents didn't stoop to the depths of purposefully lying to their children for no result whatsoever except eventual heartbreak when they inevitably discover the truth.  There were no presents under the tree from Santa, they were from my Mom and Dad.  The people who actually bought them.  They were also under that tree a week or two before Christmas, giving me lots of time to poke, prod, and rattle the gifts trying to figure out what they were.  Also, giving me lots of time to arrange the gifts by their recipient and see which child in the family had received more presents (a direct translation of how much we were loved, of course).

I actually felt sorry for other people who believed in Santa, mostly because I was a little snotty know-it-all, but also because I knew they were deluding themselves.  A babysitter once tried to convince me Santa was real, and I just thought that it was so sad that someone that old still believed in Santa.  Hadn't she learned the truth yet?

And so, I offer, the top three reasons why Santa is effed up.

Reason ONE:

I learned in youth group that if you re-arrange the letters in his name it spells "Satan" which is obviously not a coincidence because the English language is supreme and rife with secret meanings.  The question is, does this mean that Santa is satanic or that Satan is santa-riffic?

Reason TWO:

He is CREEPY.  I am not the first to make this observation, nor will I be the last, but anyone who sneaks into peoples' houses at night, leaves presents and takes milk and cookies has issues.  First of all, some of these people are loaded and have way better things to take than milk and cookies, so where are  your priorities, man?  Second, that's way too many milk and cookies in one night and probably indicates some kind of emotion-based eating disorder.  Third, watching children, making lists of their names, checking it twice, rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad?  Sounds like a pedophilic, OCD, megalomaniac if you ask me.  What a great person to introduce my hypothetical children to.

Reason THREE:

He clearly has the power to manipulate time and space in order to travel the globe and deliver presents in one night to the children in countries that believe in him.  This is an awesome ability, a rare power, and as I learned from Peter Parker's grandpa, with great power comes great responsibility.  So couldn't he use this power for good on the 364 days of the year he is not working?  I mean, seriously.  It's pretty much the most powerful super power anyone could ever have, and he uses it to deliver PRESENTS?  I shake my head.

For the record, if I ever produce or procure children, I will follow in my dear parents' footsteps and raise them to be honest citizens of the world who know that Satan sometimes disguises himself as a gift-giver, that breaking into peoples' homes is reserved for instances of necessary larceny or crime-solving, and that if they ever gain the power to manipulate time and space, dag-nab-it, they will find a more productive way to use that skill!  Maybe like Hermione with her time-turner, they will use it to take a few extra classes in high school and eventually save an ostrich/dragon-type animal from being slaughtered.

Veggies: the saddest and most bulimic fruit around

The other day I was packing my lunch for a 14 hour day at work/rehearsal. In this lunch I made a conscious choice to include vegetables because, dang it, once and a while I remember that health is important, and that dying of gout (or whatever people who don't eat their veggies get, is not as romantic as it sounds. It just so happened that the boyfriend was present while I was doing this, and that I am extremely lucky to be dating someone who doesn't make me feel guilty about my normal and abysmal eating habits. This is evidenced in the fact that instead of encouraging me to eat the veggies, he pointed out, with the truth firmly on his side, that veggies are lame. His exact words in fact, were: "vegetables are just fruit on a diet."

I would like to amend that statement to say that veggies are just fruit on a diet that really isn't working very well.

And that was the entire point of this post.