Friday, April 30, 2010

The Closet Project

I am currently undergoing a closet project.  About a month ago (unfortunately I did not make note of the actual date I started, thus kind of defeating the overall purpose of The Closet Project) I decided to only wear each item of clothing I own once and see how long I could go doing this.  Obvious things like jeans, sweaters, and layering shirts are excepted as they are the staples to many other items of clothing, and being unable to wear THESE items of clothing more than once would have rendered half my wardrobe useless.

The whole point of the project was to see how long I could go without having to re-wear something.  It would have been brilliant if I had kept track of when I started, which I honestly have no idea of.  I seriously can't even pinpoint an approximate week.  I'm at a loss.  The secondary whole point was for me to see what clothes were the duds of my closet, the ones I would avoid wearing at all costs, so that I could get rid of them.  I have sort of failed on that account too, as I'm pretty much out of clothes now and only have two things that I really don't want to wear.

I considered taking a picture of each outfit so I could actually see all my clothes, but that seemed narcissistic in a silly way (as opposed to the fun narcissism that is so popular on the internets), so I didn't.

Getting down to the end does make getting dressed a little trickier though.  Now that I've got maybe three or four possible outfits left, I have to think about what I'll be doing over the next few days and what clothes will be the most optimal when.  Do I want to save my cute tank top that I got for $10 even though it should have cost $40 for the end as a reward, or wear it today?  (I'm wearing it today.)  Will I be forced to wear a dress on a dress-inconvenient day?

The BIG question, however, is what to do with the drawer of summer clothes.  I set it aside in fall to make room for sweaters and whatnot, but it's getting into the warm weather now and I would probably start integrating these clothes into my regularly-scheduled-programming any day/week/month now anyways.  So should these be included in the project?  If so, I have significantly extended The Closet Project.  I will basically start Wardrobe Number Two: The Doubling, because summer clothes don't take up much space and a full drawer of summer clothes is pretty much the equivalent of three shelves of winter clothes.

Either way, I have been pretty lax with this entire project, so it probably doesn't matter very much what I do.  The only thing I have really learned is that I do, indeed, own a lot of clothes, and that they almost all make me happy when I wear them.

I am confused now!  Did The Closet Project fail?  Should I keep it going???  I NEED GUIDANCE!!!

My Grammatical Foundations Have Been Slapped

I am UPSET.  I was taught, as I'm sure most of you were, that TWO SPACES after a period is the way to go with proper grammar.  Thus have have been perplexed in years to come when typing and "publishing" things on the internets and the two spaces are automatically reduced to one.  Why?  I asked myself.  Why would they take my immaculate grammar and make it horrible?  It drove me nuts!  I would go through emails and blog posts and facebook thingies and insert the second space, only to find that upon "publishing", the space was GONE!

Now, I find, after reading this post on the hilarious Hyperbole and a Half, that someone actually effing changed the rule.  WELL EFF YOU EFFERS I'M NOT GOING TO FOLLOW YOUR STUPID NEW EFFING RULE I WILL USE TWO SPACES UNTIL I DIE!!!

But I will probably stop going through things and trying to force the second space in there now.  Maybe instead I should learn computer programming and fix all the computers in the world so that they keep the double space, thus shoving it in the FACE of those douche-faces at MLA who just decided it would be fun to change the rule.  You can't just CHANGE grammar!  It's not RIGHT!  Next they're going to be all like "you know what?  A sentence can be comprised of all single letters and numbers that aren't words but are meant to represent other words.  That's cool by us."  y r u SO STUPID?

Note: I say "publishing" in judgmental quotation marks because it just feels wrong to call a blog comment, facebook status update, or tweet a publication.  Technically I guess it is because publishing can be defined as making your words available to the general public for consumption, but I guess I am just an elitist.  In fact, I balk every time I post something here and have to click the button that says "Publish Post."


Note Pt. II: I realize that these blog posts (I think) actually retain my double-spacing upon "publication", thus hindering my argument a little.  All I know is that many times I have typed things into little web "publishing" forms and then been horrified to see the butchered, single-spaced results.  Seriously, it doesn't make any sense.  The double space makes for a much more aesthetically pleasing and more organized-looking paragraph.  Don't you think?


Note Pt. III: Does anyone else who lives in BC feel weird about the fact that MLA both refers to the committee that chooses rules for grammar and citation (but only in certain fields of study) and to the massive jerks who run our province?


Note: Pt. IV: The use of the term "slapped" as opposed to "shaken" or "rocked" or any other commonly used term in relation to the harming of a foundational belief is in direct reference to the worst play I ever saw, a play I got the horrifying pleasure of seeing just a week ago.  In the playwright/director's notes in the program she specifies that the play "will slap your foundations."  That is a good indication of the quality of writing in the rest of the play.  Maybe I will write more about how terrible it was later.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Mystery of the Missing Glasses

This morning my roommate commented on the emptiness of our glasses cupboard and inquired as to whether or not I knew of their whereabouts...


I do know where the glasses are, but I think I will wait until she's sleeping, secretly replace them, and tell her that I heard mice scuttling around in the night and then the glasses mysteriously re-appeared.  She will have no choice but to be amazed at the magical glass-returning mice and will question this ongoing phenomenon no further.

PS: It's like a Where's Waldo of glasses!  There are 7 glasses and 1 mug on my desk.  Can you spot them all?

Public Shaming!

How embarrassing.  That last post posted at 11:35am and I said it was 11:34am.  I hang my head in shame.

Still not dressed!!!!!

I am excited to report that it is 11:34am on a weekday and I am still not dressed.  This is going to be a great day.

The Definitive Clearing Up of Basic Psychology Terminology I

As a person with a BA in psychology, I have just the right level of expertise to get really annoyed and self-righteous about the use of psych-related terminology in the general public.  There are a few terms that are almost always misused, and I've decided to take it upon myself to clear the air once and for all.  That's right, I am about to present to you Part One in the Definitive Clearing Up of Basic Psychology Terminology!

Today's term: placebo effect.

This word gets thrown around like chicken in a fast food restaurant kitchen, mostly due to its prevalence in both psychological and medical research.  It's like everyone sort of knows what the placebo effect is, but no one seems to know or care to find out if they're using the word correctly.  Well, HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY (mighty mouse!)

A placebo effect is quite simply what happens when a treatment's efficacy is increased based solely on the person's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment, above and beyond the actual effectiveness of the treatment.  The most obvious example is the infamous sugar pill.  You give someone a sugar pill (the placebo) and tell them that it is a powerful medication to treat [X].  They take the sugar pill, and, believing that it will help [X], it does.

The placebo effect can occur in such ways with medications or other medical treatments, as well as psychological treatments.  Basically anything where a person thinks that something (a pill, procedure, or therapy) is going to have a positive impact on their health or well-being.

Where the placebo effect does NOT apply is to external events.  So, believing that something is going to happen and then seeing it happen is not the placebo effect.  It might be coincidence, self-fulfilling prophecy, or the fact that you actually made this thing happen.  It might be nothing.  For example, apparently a lot of the buttons you press at cross walks are actually not hooked up to anything - everything's just on timers and pressing the button does nothing.  So when you press the button and then watch the lights change, you didn't actually make that happen.  Now pay attention, because this is very important: your belief that you made the lights change by pressing the crosswalk button is NOT an example of the placebo effect!  It is simply an example of a false sense of control or something else lame like that.

So now you know: a placebo effect only concerns how your beliefs in the efficacy of something directly interacting with you impacts its actual efficacy, regardless of how effective it actually was to begin with. It has no bearing on people, places, or things outside of yourself and your mental or physical health.

Got it?

(I'm pretty sure the third-to-last sentence here was incredibly confusing.  Sorry.)

Drag Queen Bingo!

Tonight I experienced the full-blown awesomeness that is Drag Queen Bingo at Celebrities!  I've actually been before, about a year ago, but I arrived late and somehow didn't realize just how amazing this event is. Thank goodness I went again, this time with my good friend Allie and a bunch of Yelpers.


It's quite possible that my enthusiasm for the evening has something to do with the fact that I WON!  Not the big-fancy prize, but I won a free Marble Slab sundae that you know I'll be saving for that perfect summer day, a free haircut at a fancy-schmancy salon, a compilation CD (meh), and free tickets to the Lady Gaga drag queen contest tomorrow night, also at Celebrities.  I have a huge heart-on for the Gaga, so I'm REALLY sad that I can't go tomorrow night, but I already have tickets for The Wedding Singer.  So I guess... let me know if you want my tickets?

Winnings aside, the night as a whole was fab.  The other ladies at my table were fun people, and the classiest dame around, Joan-E was the host.  She's quite the natural with the witty repartee and friendly jabs at participants, making for a very entertaining night.  The DJ kept things awesome as well, playing some of my favourite sing-along numbers (The Sign, Love Shack, Bad Romance...) which was only slightly distracting whilst I was trying to win at bingo.  My only complaint: it was freaking hot in there, and not just because of all the sexy trannies.

All in all, a wonderful night supporting a wonderful cause, Friends for Life.  GO TO DRAG QUEEN BINGO, YOU SEXY BITCHES.

PS: After all that I actually read the website and see that it's officially called Bingo for Life, aka Gay Bingo.  I've always known it as Drag Queen Bingo, so I don't know if they changed the name or if I'm just confused.  I like saying Drag Queen Bingo better, so I'm sticking to it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Transportation Wars

This month I've been conducting an experiment. Translink raised the cost of a monthly pass from $73 to $81. A shift of only $8, but for someone living of a part-time theatre worker's salary, this makes a significant budget-al impact. Sad, I know. As I am lucky to have free-ish part-time access to a vehicle, I decided to find out once and for all if driving could be cheaper than bussing.

The experiment failed miserably because instead of staying away all month like I had somehow imagined she would, my sister (who I share the car with) came home from a tour mid-month and suddenly needed to use the car as if she had a fair share in it. So it was mid-month and I was carless and there was clearly zero point in actually buying a bus pass anymore. Experiment fail.

Based on my expenditures to that point, however, I did figure out that it is cheaper to drive a car, but only if a) you don't have to pay insurance and b) you don't give too many people rides around town and never pay for parking. If you're a home/work type of person and don't go out much, then I betcha you'll save a buck driving. If you go out a lot, then you'll probably save money taking the bus.

Lucky for me, money is not the only factor in the decision making process! There are many other pros and cons to weigh in on when it comes to choosing a method of transportation. And so begins... the TRANSPORTATION WARS! (Insert big echoey important-sounding voice here!)

Traditionally one might say that buses, cars, and bikes are the primary methods of getting around town. I keep intending to bike and never do, but will often choose walking everywhere/taking transit I can get onto for free when particularly pressed for cash.(Disclaimer: Yes, I do realize that getting on the back doors of a B-Line is unethical and probably just plain wrong. I do not do it lightly. I do not take pride in effing over Translink or in playing the system. I feel pretty bad about it. I only do it when totally necessary.) So I will compare bussing, driving, and walk/free-bussing in relevant, non-financial categories.

Time

Bussing: So long as everything's running on time it takes about 30-45 minutes to get pretty much anywhere in Vancouver from my corner of town. If it's running late then I am completely effed.

Driving: Always the fastest, unless I have to drive around forever trying to find parking. Especially since I refuse to pay for parking unless I'm downtown where it's unavoidable.

Walk/Free-bussing: Takes the longest, but surprisingly not too much longer. It takes about 45 minutes to get to work instead of 30.

WINNER: DRIVING!

Fun Factor

Bussing: I actually enjoy taking the bus quite a bit most of the time. I get on, I get a seat, and I read my book until it's time to get off. This is great. I have a really busy schedule, so this is generally the only time I have to read

Driving: I don't really like driving that much in and of itself. Where driving wins is that I get to listen to music and sing as much and as loud as I want. Also, spazztic car-dancing is an awesome occurrence that always brightens my mood.

Walk/Free-bussing: I love walking. I get to look at windows, look at people, and get a little exercise. In terms of the bonus activities of reading or singing, it comes in shoddy second on both accounts. If/when I hop a bus, I get to read, but it's a much shorter trip and I spend a lot of time looking up to check and see if Transit Cops are going to get on and beat me down. When I'm walking I only get to sing to myself quietly and only if I feel like other pedestrians are far enough away not to notice. Spazztic dancing only occurs in the middle of the night on completely empty streets.

WINNER: WALK/FREE-BUSSING!

Stress

Bussing: Only stressful when the bus is running late. Then stress levels are through the roof and entering crazy town as I anxiously check the time over and over, curse stop lights under my breath, and try to stop myself from sniping fellow passengers who insist on getting off at EVERY SINGLE STOP as if it's their right to get off wherever they want (I mean, how selfish can you get?!??!!) and then have to power walk like a maniac to get wherever I'm going once I get off the bus on time. If the bus is on time, stress levels are zero as I calmly read my book.

Driving: Mid-moderate stress levels always. I am becoming a more and more nervous driver every day.

Walk/Free-bussing: Always moderate-high when free-bussing as I am sure that I will get caught any day now. I really don't do well with the "dangerous excitement" of flouting the law. Hence why when my friends wanted to sneak into a movie, I managed instead to talk us into getting free passes.

WINNER: BUSSING!

Potential for awkward social situations (includes but is not limited to: being asked for money, crazy people talking to you, and running into random acquaintances you don't know well enough to sustain 15-minutes of we're-on-the-same-bus conversation.)

Bussing: Always possible.

Driving: Never possible.

Walk/Free-bussing: Always possible.

WINNER: DRIVING!

Potential for running into people I know and like, thus feeling like I am a well-connected person with lots of friends

Bussing: High.

Driving: Very low.

Walk/Free-bussing: High.

WINNERS: BUSSING AND WALK/FREE-BUSSING!

Potential for admiring attractive people

Bussing: Medium-High.

Driving: Low.

Walk/Free-bussing: High. (I don't know why but I feel like I notice more attractive people walking than on the bus.)

WINNER: WALK/FREE-BUSSING!

Guilt Factor

Bussing: Low. The only guilt really comes from wishing I would walk places more often for the exercise. Environmental guilt is virtually non-existent.

Driving: High environmental and laziness guilt.

Walk/Free-bussing: Environmental guilt virtually non-existent. Laziness guilt virtually non-existent (hard to feel lazy when you're walking at least 40 minutes a day!) Fare jumping guilt is high. Two virtually non-existent guilt factors and one high guilt factor balance to moderate-low guilt.

WINNER: BUSSING!

Score:

Bussing: 3
Driving: 2
Walk/Free-bussing: 3

Results indecisive. War was pointless.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Art of Advertising

I can't decide if I think this ad is an awesome and hilarious interpretation of a lady taking care of her bush-like areas, or kind of offensive. It's probably just stupid.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Relationship with Bugs

After my harrowing bee adventure the other day I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with bugs in general. I have always been really really really scared of them. Completely and irrationally scared of them. Flies excepted, any other varietal of insect or arachnid will probably have me running away and squealing like a proverbial "little girl."

When I was younger I would do pretty mean things to bugs that dared enter my home. Not because I was a budding psychopath delighting in the torture of young creatures, but because I was terrified of them. So terrified I could not simply walk away and abide the presence of these creatures of darkness in my home, and yet so terrified that I could not bring myself to get close enough to them to administer a swift and humane death blow. I distinctly remember once, finding a spider on the wall beside my bed late one night that resulted in my perching, petrified, on the edge of my bed for a good 20 minutes before I got the gumption together to smack the living daylights out of that spider with whatever oversized killing object I had acquired.

Often, however I would find other methods of killing to avoid getting so close. I would do things like find an aerosol hairspray can and spray them continually until they stopped moving, or if not aerosol hairspray was to be found, any other poisonous cleaning product would suffice. I recognize now that this was not kind and I that I was not treating God's littlest creatures with the respect and love they deserved. As a pacifist, I am truly horrified with myself (well, not really, but I should be). Lucky for me, I have a scientifically sound argument to back up my behaviour: the cold hard fact that fear will turn a regular person into a monster. Can't argue with science.

Unfortunately, my fear of bugs was severely complicated by a horror novel I read as a child. As an imaginative and overly empathetic youngster, I should not have taken in any unit of culture with "horror" as a descriptor. I knew this, as did almost everyone who knew me, all the same, I made the poor choice to read a horror novel about a little boy who liked to collect moths. He, like me, made a poor choice. His poor choice was to collect one particularly beautiful moth, despite an old man's warning that this moth was some kind of special King of the Moths and should be left alone. Then the rest of the moths rose up to avenge the death of their King Moth and the story ends with the overwhelming sound of beating wings and left me imagining the horror of those fragile little wings beating the life out of the little boy.

So now, not only am I deathly afraid of bugs, but I am deathly afraid that I will kill the wrong one and an army of bugs will rise up to avenge the death of their King. This is especially likely in light of the ridiculous size and gumption of the giant killer bee I disposed of just the other day, in a fashion rather reminiscent of my younger psychopath-similar days.

I think that's a lot for one person to be deathly afraid of.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Attack of the Giant Killer Bee

Today I had a harrowing adventure that has inspired me to start blogging again. Probably mostly because I'm a little narcissistic and just telling every single person I see about what happened isn't enough to make me feel like I'm getting the attention I deserve for having undergone such trauma as I did today, and if I write a blog post about it I can pretend that the world is reading it even though no one is. Except maybe my cousin who has a really boring job.

So, the story is that I got attacked by a giant, killer bee in my own bathroom.

The scenario: I am taking a shower. A hair-washing shower, so that means a pretty significant time investment. As I'm showering I hear some buzzing and I assume that it's my gardening-crazy neighbours weed whacking or something and refuse to allow myself to admit that the buzz sounds much closer than that. When the shower is over I pull back the shower curtain only to see that my tiny tiny bathroom has been taken over by the biggest, scariest looking bumble bee on the planet! It is going to KILL ME!!! This thing is big. Like I make an a-okay sign with my hand where my index finger and thumb are joined and THAT's how big this freaking bee is.

Naturally the first thing I do is panic and close the shower curtain again. Then I try to formulate a plan. My bathroom is way too small for me to just walk past the bee and leave the bathroom. It will kill me. Especially since it's starting to fly around a little more erratically now, and I can see through the clear spots in my shower curtain that it's closer to me than it was before.

I initiate the first step of my plan: I panic and turn the shower back on so that I can spray the bee if it tries to get inside. Then I contemplate whether or not I should just spray water randomly around the bathroom, hoping to hit the bee and disable its flying abilities so I can escape. It would be sort of like cleaning the bathroom really thoroughly, right?

But the thing is, I can't do this. I can't bring myself to open that shower curtain again and risk the bee flying RIGHT INTO MY FACE. Also, if I just spray it with water and run out that means it's still alive in my bathroom, and that it's angry. So instead I stand there petrified with the water running for like five extra minutes (on Earth Day no less - sorry planet! Maybe I won't shower tomorrow to make it up to you) trying to figure out what to do. I am sure that my sweet-smelling shampoo will attract the bee straight to my head. I peak out again and the bee is in the sink. THIS IS MY CHANCE! I quickly hit it with the shower water (it's a detachable shower head, by the by) so it can't fly away. I turn on the sink taps full blast and expect to see this monster bee swirl down the drain and out of my life forever.

Unfortunately, I have neglected to remember that it is a SUPER BEE and that it wants me to be dead. It's in the drain, but keeps trying to crawl out despite the water coming down on it. So then I up the ante and turn the shower head back on it as well, so that the sink pretty much fills up with water. This has to do it. No. The bee is still trying to get out of the drain. I fill the sink again. The bee is out of sight.

Or is it? I CAN HEAR IT BUZZING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE DRAIN!!!! I turn the taps back on and leave them running for several more minutes (again, sorry earth) to no avail. I can still hear it buzzing around in the pipes. Now I am envisioning a really pissed off and wet giant killer bee crawling out of the pipes like Arnold Schwartzeneger ready to make me dead. Or (worse?) now it is in the pipes and can come out of ANY drain in my home to get me! The kitchen is no longer safe either! What have I done?

Clearly I am panicking. Water goes back on full blast and then I dump bleach down the drain too, thinking that maybe this is kind because now the bee will just die quickly instead of slowly drowning in a waterboard-torture style death environment. I know I am being cruel but I cannot help myself. I am terrified, and THIS IS WHAT FEAR DOES TO PEOPLE! Finally, after chemical poisoning and multiple drownings, the bee is silent. I think it must be dead. I stare at the sink for a good five more minutes waiting for the dramatic slow drumming to begin as it painfully yet urgently climbs its way back up the pipe. It does not.

Unfortunately, now I am plagued with fear that the bee is not really dead (since it was clearly super human) and that it will, someday come back and get me. Or an army of its brethren will come after me to avenge its death. The army of insect brethren is actually a fear I have held onto since I was a child, and there is an explanation for that which is either hilarious or pathetic. Either way, this is long enough right now, so I will save that for later.

Suffice it to say, that I am still scared of the bee. Especially when, after telling my roommate the story, she suggested that I had just created a pissed-off, albino, ZOMBIE BEE, and entirely plausible scenario. Also, there is clearly a serious security breach going on as the bee got into my bathroom while I was in the shower and it was HUGE.