I love my cat.

That's all.  I just love her and felt like writing a blog post so I thought I'd write about that.
I just went to my iGoogle reader to get an inspiration for a blog post, and this was the first thing I read:

Di Natale keeps Udinese one point behind Juventus

What the HECK does that mean?  I mean, I know writing headlines is a difficult art, but aren't they supposed to draw a person in to read the article out of a reason other than sheer confusion?

PS: I opened the article and it's a sports story, which provides an excellent level of context for understanding the headline even though most of the words still don't make sense to me.

Halloween, sexy?

I've never been one to rock the sexy Halloween costume.  I mean, sometimes my costumes may wind up being sexy but only because I ooze so much raw sex* that it can't be helped.  I am actually super uncomfortable and awkward about the idea of trying to intentionally be sexy, because it almost always means that you have to show at least part of your boobs and that's not fun at all**.

I've always thought the "Halloween as an excuse for girls to dress slutty" was more of a cultural joke than a true reality.  Sure, the girls who go to club nights on Halloween will dress like a "Slutty ____" for Halloween, but that's just because they dress kind of like a "Slutty Girl" in real life, so they don't really count***.

Then I started hearing girls who I am friends with talk about this phenomenon in a "take it seriously" kind of way.  Almost as if they feel obligated to dress like a slutty (or sexy to sound less judgey) version of something this weekend.  Some talked about how they don't really like dressing straight-up sexy, because of the cliche, so they do something that's sexy with a bit of a twist to make it also creepy.

Well, if that's you, I just found the perfect Sexy-But-Really-Not-Sexy-Because-Oh-My-Goodness-That's-Just-Wrong costume:

I don't know if this is serious or a joke, but I love it either way.  Somehow the bottom of those boobs look incredibly manly, don't they?

*I do not ooze raw sex.

**It's really not fun for me, if any part of my boobs are showing (which does happen occasionally because my ladies are just large enough that wearing a v-neck or a scoop-neck shirt is mildly revealing and sometimes I'll like the shirt so much for its other merits I will wear it anyways) then I feel instantly like there is a spotlight on my chest and beacon lights shining around me, telling everyone to LOOK RIGHT HERE BECAUSE THERE ARE BOOBIES and that makes me feel strange.  This might be a good explanation for why I do not ooze raw sex.

***Not that girls who dress slutty don't count in life or as human beings.  THEY DO COUNT, IT IS UNFAIR TO SAY SOMEONE DOESN'T COUNT AS A HUMAN BEING JUST BECAUSE THEY LIKE TO SHOW THEIR BOOBIES EVEN THOUGH I'M UNCOMFORTABLE WITH IT - that kind of thinking just contributes to objectification of women and people like Robert Pickton killing prostitutes.  I meant that the normally slutty-dressing girls don't count towards the numbers of girls dressing slutty for Halloween specifically.

A problem for the environment is a problem for my heart

Here's a scenario for the environmentally-minded folks of the world: I get thirsty a lot, but I don't want to use icky plastic, disposable water bottles.  Solution: obtain a nice, metal water bottle.  Everybody wins, right?  I remain hydrated at will and don't have to kill the earth.  I do wind up having to carry around a bottle with me all the time which is annoying, but a sacrifice I'm willing to make (I know, I know, I'm a martyr.  They should write plays about me.)

Then, of course, reality struck: I lost the cap to the water bottle, rendering it not-completely-but-pretty-much-useless.

DILEMMA: what do I do with it?  If I throw it out that's probably even worse than just using a plastic bottle a few times and then recycling it.  I don't think these things can be recycled though, can they?

It's occurred to me to keep it for use as a vase, but with such a small opening it's a pretty impractical vase, and unless my imaginary suitors start stepping up their game, I'm not really in the business of receiving a lot of flowers anyways.

Are there other creative uses for a defunct metal water bottle?  What do I do with it?  INTERNET, PLEASE SAVE ME AND THE ENVIRONMENT!


I don't know how to write this without sounding kind of really conceited, so I'm just going to say it and let you judge me as you see fit: today I was walking down the street, enjoying the wonderful, sunny afternoon, while a human being of the male persuasion walked towards me from the other direction.  I noticed him in the way you notice the only other person walking down the street, and mentally decided against the standard Vancouver-style "avert your eyes and keep walking"*, in favour of a smile-and-nod greeting.  Then as we passed he said "You're very pretty!" and I, taken aback, responded with what basically amounts to a "gee, thanks!", my already bright day effectively brightened.

Then it hit me: this is what we're all missing in life.  Not smile and nod greetings, although those are nice, but compliments paid without agenda.  I know there was no agenda here because this gentleman (and I think he truly deserves that title because not only was he kindly but he was wearing a dapper hat) didn't break his stride as he paid the compliment.  It was equivalent to the way people in old English movies said "Top of the morning to you!" as they rode past on their horses.  There was no slow down, no attempt to get me to stop and engage me in conversation, and thus no agenda.  He wasn't trying to get anything out of me.  It was a drive-by (or rather, walk-by) compliment, and it felt great.

So I am issuing a challenge to myself and everyone else in the world: if you see someone and appreciate something about them, be it their looks, wardrobe, sidewalk dance moves, or whatever, give them a drive-by (or walk-by) compliment.  In fact, let's just make a point of trying to find something to appreciate in every single person we encounter, whether or not we tell them about it.  Then, one good thought/compliment at a time, we will bring about world peace.

Think about it: if, before a drive-by shooting, the shooters took a moment to observe their shootees and pay some drive-by compliments like, "dang, that guy's got great style, do you see the way he's pulling off that brightly coloured jacket?  Not everyone can do that.  And that girl, she just looks so happy and at peace with the world, plus her hair is really pretty.  Good for her!", they might be less inclined to shoot.

If the Wall Streeters looked at their Occupants and said, "You are clearly full of spunk, dedication, and resourcefulness, and also have very nice hands - all qualities that I admire", while the Occupants looked at the Wall Streeters and said "And you, co-human, have great hair and killer style - you obviously know have a lot of attention to detail and are good at tying together disparate elements into a cohesive whole", they might then be able to listen to each other a little more and yell at each other a little less.

Just sayin'.

*Vancouver gets accused of this kind of thing all the time, and while it's sort of true, I also think it's really not.  I both smile at and am smiled at by strangers on the street all the time.  It might be because my default facial expression is kind of smiley**, but still.

**When I was young I realized that when my face is just totally neutral I look really angry/stoned/dead and I think I purposefully cultivated a habit of having a touch of a smile on my lips at all times to avoid that less-than-flattering look.

This is how I know I am a different person now than I used to be

Okay, so I'm totally an anti-establishment West Coast hippie, right?  Well, depending on what sets of data you look at anyways:

Pro-Hippie Data:
-I go to protests when I believe in the cause
-I have several personal boycotts against large corporations that I refuse to budge on
-I regularly shop thrift (not consignment/fancy second hand, but thrift)
-I make my own stuff including jam and clothing
-I live in a crappy basement street on Main Street
-I live/work in the arts
-I teach yoga, (not in the big, fancy studios)
-I like to have long philosophical conversations about life, spirituality, politics, and feminism
-For deodorant I use a crystal thing that only kind of works but I don't really care
-I don't shave my legs

Anti-Hippie Data:
-Today I was driving my car up Main, saw a sign that a Shopper's Drug Mart is coming to my neighbourhood, and literally cheered and clapped my hands.

There are several strikes against my hippie nature in that one point.

A part of me is ashamed of what I've become, and a part of me is just really happy to have a Shopper's Drug Mart in my neighbourhood.

Ada Lovelace - do you love yourself a little lovelace?

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Today's the day that women get to say "yeehaw!  We have a token member of our kind who was a significant figure in the development of technology!  Take THAT world where women still work harder to make less money than men!"

Cynicism aside, however (and that is a hefty sack to set aside), HOORAY FOR ADA LOVELACE!  For the uninitiated, here are some fun facts about the dear lady, starting with a picture (because all reporting on women has to include their appearance):

  1. Ms. Lovelace was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the poet who you probably had to learn about in high school.
  2. Her success is not due to her father's influence: he died when she was nine.  I imagine that she became a Pippy Longstocking-style inventive orphan.  Except that she had a Mom and was technically not an orphan and also her Mom was awesome - leaving the cheating, douchey Byron and taking her daughter to raise her alone when the law at the time gave full custody of children to the father.  So maybe they had a more mathematically-oriented version of the Gilmore household?
  3. She made a huge punch in the wall of computer programming by creating the first algorithm designed to be processed by a machine - thus the first ever computer program.
  4. Like a true lady, she saw the possibilities beyond the obvious in everything (or at least in computers) and was among the first to foresee that the would be used for more than just number-crunching.  (Imagine if her and Steve Jobs had lived in the same time!  CRAZY!  They would have probably been serious frenemies, spurring each other on with competitive angst.)
  5. She was dubbed "The Enchantress of Numbers" by Charles Babbage, which is a pretty awesome title, if you ask me.

and the award for creepiest vegetable of all time goes to...


Seriously.  It is like a firm but empty sponge.  Holding a piece of cut off eggplant is like what I imagine it must be like to hold a piece of bone that has gone soft.  Gross.  Who thought it was a good idea to start eating this thing?

lessons learned from the crucible

This past weekend I went to Studio 58's production of The Crucible (thanks Alison!).  In high school this was one of my favourite plays and I was pretty sure that I was born to play the role of Abigail.  Something about the single minded passion and ferocity.

Watching this play now, through my adult eyes, it is the most infuriating thing I have ever watched.  Rarely do I want to jump on stage and shake the actors into reason, but there were a few occasions where it was hard for me to stay in my seat - and that means Arthur Miller's writing did it's job.  There are, however, a few important lessons that I think we could all learn from this play:

  1. The importance of the separation of church and state.  It was really discomforting to watch people's Christianity put on trial.
  2. Leaders should never be above scrutiny - questioning the priest or the judge was treated as on par with blasphemy (probably because they thought they were all buddy-buddy with God and thus could do no wrong) and anyone who did it ended up in jail.
  3. If you are trying to determine how good of a Christian a woman is, it's probably a smarter idea to ask HER the ten commandments, not her husband.
  4. When you tell someone that a confession will save their life you're going to get a whole lot of false confessions.

another problem with cat poo

At the risk of being a person who mentions their cat-baby and her digestive tract twice in a row: I have a problem.  This problem stems from me being a good, environmentally conscious person.

I avoid plastic shopping bags wherever possible.  I use my giant purse and cloth bags to carry as much as I can and if ever forced to use a plastic bag it feels all gross in my hand and I want to yell out to everyone on the street that I am not a plastic bag person, I swear it!  I just didn't plan ahead well enough and bought too many groceries!

Now, this dedication to the well-being of our planet aside, my home has always been rich in plastic bags because of a mixture of my occasional forgetfulness and roommates who are much worse human beings than I am and use plastic bags all the time.  These plastic bags do come in handy for things like cleaning out my cat's litter box, so while I judged my roommates for their horrible use of plastic, I was also benefitting off of it.

My current roomie seems to also be a good person.  While we both slip from time to time, our supply of plastic bags has dwindled down to one or two, and mostly comes from things like the plastic bag my bread came in or the occasional produce bag.

At first I was overjoyed at finally having a roommate whose soul is as pure as mine, but now I realize that there is a new problem: I am running out of bags to use to empty the litter box.  Every few days I scrounge around for something - anything - plastic that I can scoop my cat's poo into.  Because of the added necessity that there not be holes in the bag I use for this important cause, supplies are even more sparse than you might expect.

So now I'm trying to think of plastic-free alternatives for litter box scooping.  What do I do?  I imagine it's possible to scoop the litter onto a big newspaper sheet and throw it out, but we don't get a newspaper. I could get flushable litter, but flushing anything besides human waste makes me nervous for our ancient plumbing.  Tell me, internet, what do I do???

Sure, it's cute now...

My roommate and I were chatting the other day about how dangerous it can be to indulge in destructive cuteness.  We were, of course, speaking directly in relation to our cat-baby and how she may have allowed her to do something kind of less than safe because it was cute without realizing the potential consequences.  Don't worry, no maiming or death occurred, just the ingestion of a foreign object that will eventually make for a very uncomfortable litter box experience.

I likened this to when I got my first cat-baby, Percy.  We got him as a 7-week old little nugget of golden cuteness, so he could do no wrong.  He would attack, bite, scratch, and claw at us and it was just so dang adorable we would coo and reinforce the behaviour with lots of snuggles (because cats love snuggles, right?)  Then all of a sudden he was big and strong and his teeth and claws were sharp and he attacked my Dad's face and trying to kill us in our sleep and there was little to be done about it because we had reinforced the behaviour so much in his adorable infancy.  It was made worse by the fact that he went through a really ugly teenager phase, and so was not cute at all.

Now, because I like to compare relationships with felines to those with humans, I "couldn't help but wonder" (as Carrie Bradshaw used to say) if all dysfunctional relationships start with bad behaviour disguised as cuteness.  I'm thinking specifically about the stalker vs. romantic situation here.  When you're super into another person and they seem all sexy and awesome, then things like them calling and texting you to see where you are, showing up at your house late at night because they just want to see you, coming by your workplace around when you usually get off shift, or commenting on everything you've ever posted online might seem kind of adorable and make you feel like cooing and snuggling.  That is because this person is in the baby kitten phase where their teeth and claws are weak and tickly and you can easily tell yourself that they are giving you a "love bite" and not practicing for when they grow large enough to eat you alive.  BEWARE!  If/when your relationship grows into an ugly teenager phase, this person could lapse very easily into stalking, maybe without realizing it at all, because you have coo- and snuggle-reinforced them into such behaviour.

So the only reasonable thing to do, the next time someone goes out of their way to be romantic for you, is to yell at them to BACK OFF! and GET THEIR OWN SANDWICH! and then run away while they are confused.  Then call them in a couple of days to hang out again, because you don't want to break up with them, you just want to train them to be ambivalent.

There, aren't you glad you read my blog?  Now I've saved your relationship.

it's getting cold in here

For me, Fall is a time of death and mourning because fall is when I have to start wearing warmer clothes.  Most ladies I know love the turn to crisper, cooler weather because there are more fun styling opportunities: sweaters and other long-sleeved layers, tights, etc.  It seems all ladies love the death of summer.  Not this chipmunk.  Planning for cold weather, whether it's putting on a sweater first thing in the morning, or bringing a heavier coat because you know it will be pretty cold later in the evening, makes me sad in the same way fibre makes that guy in that commercial sad.

So to mourn the passing of summer to fall* and the subsequent re-incorporation of jackets, sweaters, tights, and (the worst) socks to my wardrobe, here is a song, see if you can figure out the tune:

I was like, good gracious summer was bodacious
It was tenacious, tryin to show patience
Lookin for the right time to hit the beach
Waitin for the right time to eat an Okanagan peach
Then suddenly it's leavin, and I'm grievin
Oh, while the rest of you heathens
Check it, forgot it already at the store for sweater weavin
Sweaters, jackets, wool - I'm perceivin
No deceivin, don't want no sleeves and, no teasin
I need you to help me if I gotta wear some more
Give that weather what it's askin for (oh)
Cuz I feel like bustin loose and I don't feel like touchin wool (ah, ah)
And cant nobody stop the cold so baby tell me why you scold

(I said)
Its gettin cool in here (so cold)
Let's add one piece of clothing

I am gettin so cold, I wanna put more clothes on

*I have recently spoken of first world problems, and this has GOT to be one.  Whining that I have to start wearing the warm clothes I have stashed away in my closet already?  Yeah, privileged.  Dang it!  Privilege keeps taking away my right to complain.

how to tell the difference between a stalker and a romantic

1) There is no difference.

2) You are attracted to the stalker and thus interpret their actions as romantic.