If you haven’t caught Jian Ghomeshi’s CBC interview with Billy Bob Thorton and his band The Boxmasters you should definitely check this out. At first I thought Billy Bob was high but it looks like he’s just an ass.
(h/t to Flacklife)
Billy Bob’s band was booed (say that 3 times fast) in Toronto this week. The Boxmasters are on tour with Willie Nelson as one of the opening acts but apparently canceled their performances in Montreal and London at the last minute. According to the Willie Nelson website his Canadian tour dates will go on without The Boxmasters.
As kids many of us were afraid of the dark. These days kids are learning to be afraid of the light. CFL light bulbs to be exact.
CFLs (compact florescent light bulbs) are those spiral shaped light bulbs we see David Suzuki handing out to unsuspecting suburbanites. Environmental experts/spokespeople (like Natalie freaking Portman??) have been telling us to switch to these new bulbs because they consume less energy than traditional bulbs.
The dark side of this so called environmental saviour has been in the news recently… these light bulbs contain mercury. For those who are unaware mercury is extremely toxic. In one news story a single broken light bulb in a child’s bedroom resulted in sealing the room off from the rest of the house to protect the family from mercury poisoning while they saved up the $2000 for the clean up. I obviously can’t confirm the validity of this and to be honest the quote of $2000 sounds more like gouging than a fair price. On the other hand the recommended clean up steps I have found online definitely leave me with some concerns about my ability to thoroughly clean up if one of these breaks in my home.
Not only does there appear to be an immediate hazard to our individual well being and that of our families (ventilate and evacuate the room before cleaning up? ventilate when vaccuming in the near future?) but there is also the matter of disposal. If these light bulbs go into the landfills they will leech mercury into the ground. One light bulb will obviously not impact our landfill but a large number will. I don’t know about you but I was not well educated on the care and disposal of these light bulbs. There are companies who recycle CFLs and soon a Home Depot near you will also provide a recycling depot for these bulbs.
I’m also not the most graceful person some days. In fact I broke two of the regular light bulbs at work just a couple of weeks ago. I can’t imagine the chaos (and paperwork) that would have ensued had those been CFLs.
These new light bulbs have definitely brought some issues to light. The mindset of environmental protection that has people purchasing these bulbs is definitely a step in the right direction. Unfortunately when stories like the one above hit the news we take two giant steps back. I don’t think our environment can handle setbacks like these.
I for one would like to hear from Mr. Suzuki on this issue. He has been a respected environmentalist for a long time and his voice on this subject could repair some of the damage. Still, I cannot see how reduced electricity consumption can out weigh the risks these bulbs may pose. Maybe I’m missing something?? What do you think? Do you have any science to back up your opinion? I’m not talking about internet sources anymore but cold hard facts. And if you see David Suzuki walking down the street ask him what he thinks!
I’ve had a hard time finding my Christmas spirit this year. Normally I’m on the ball and most of my decorating and holiday prep is done in mid-November. This year I didn’t finish my shopping until December 21st. I had to go out into the insanity and it wore down my very last nerve. I honestly didn’t think I would ever feel that special warmth Christmas used to bring.
It is out there though… as elusive as it has been this year I caught a glimpse of it yesterday and I’m holding onto that for dear life.
While shopping in a trendy part of town I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of the elderly woman sitting on her walker at the side of the street. She wasn’t waiting for a bus… she was waiting for people to put some change in her hat. She could have been my mother… she probably was someone’s mother or sister.
I knew I needed to give her something but I have a no-money policy when it comes to handouts. I’ll give food or items or gift certificates but I don’t like giving actual cash. When I came back to this woman she was staring down at a penny the well dressed business man had tossed in with his nickels. I handed her a gift card for a local health food bakery/grocery shop and she was totally speechless. She was stunned… when she calmed down she said something that startled me in its simplicity: “I can buy food with this? Real food I can eat?”. I cried the whole way home. The fact that this woman was unable for whatever reason to turn to family or friends for help just tore at my heart.
No matter how bad my life gets I hope I will always have family and friends to turn to. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves how easily we could have ended up in her position. One bad choice, or a simple case of bad luck at a crucial point in our lives could put us in her shoes. We have to remember that. We have to smile at them and look them in the eye when they ask for our generosity. Even if it is just to say “sorry, not today”. Seeing a person begging for money should bother you. It should make you feel a little ill. But ignoring them should make you feel worse, not better. I’m going to stop before I start getting preachier.
Talking to that woman brought me back to reality. Her presence reminded me that Christmas Spirit isn’t about having the perfect holiday; decorated by Martha or catered by the Naked Chef. It isn’t about buying the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. It is about generosity of spirit and love of humankind. We would do well to remember that and cling to it all year round.
Horrid news. We lost the baby.
I was planning on deleting my previous two pregnancy related posts but have decided to leave them up here. I can’t erase the fact that I was pregnant and I don’t want to erase the evidence.
Over the last few weeks I had been writing a blog entry that was very raw and emotional. I had a large amount of anger to release and I felt that unleashing this rage upon the people in my life was not necessarily the best thing to do (those who know me can thank me with an alcoholic beverage of your choice). I chose instead to victimize my computer keyboard. I pounded out a lot of rage and so far the salty tears have not affected my computer.
I find writing to be a great outlet and even slightly therapeutic so I thought maybe posting my thoughts up here would be an opportunity to release the rage. I have since had second thoughts. After rereading my potential post I decided that if I choose to allow this bit of writing to be examined it might serve me better in the hands of a therapist rather than floating around on the internet.
Thankfully the healing process is under way and the overwhelming emotions have begun to dissipate.
My husband, friends, and family have surrounded me through every heart wrenching step of this physical and mental horror. Without these incredible people I would be lost. I love them all.
(Readers Discretion is Advised. This story is not for those who are going to the dentist in the near future.)
My face was numb, the left half. From the tip of my nose to the little piece of cartilage by my ear I couldn’t feel a thing. Something is very wrong when you can touch the tip of your nose and only feel half of the pressure being applied by your finger.
I spent 2 hours in a very uncomfortable chair in the dental office. My head was tipped back slightly so that all of the blood would rush to the top of my skull. I might be able to endure these appointments better if I was able to curl up into the fetal position.
I had 3 cavities to fill which is not an uncommon occurrence for me. You can imagine the thrill each of my dentists has had when he examines my teeth for the first time, “This patient is going to pay for my new sail boat!”. I have had at least 4 dentists in my 32 years of life… I like to spread the wealth around.
To have 3 cavities filled at once is not the hazy drug trip you would imagine. The freezing needle spreads a cold pinching sensation radiating from the needle insertion point along your gums and through the tongue on that side of the mouth. Just to be sure you will be numb for the next year or so they insert the needle in multiple places. The vibrations from the drill manage to find what little feeling I have left in my nerves and while it is not actually painful it is a constant buzzing sensation that causes me discomfort. Don’t even get me started on the “wedges” that they cram between my teeth. I don’t know how they get all of that stuff in there when I can barely get a piece of floss through. I do know that it pushes my teeth apart a few extra millimeters and causes sharp pains that I feel right up to my eyeballs.
There is a belief that if we can just go to our happy place in times of stress we will be able to relax enough that the discomfort will not be so bad. So today, lying in the chair I took a deep breath and tried to go to my happy place… focus… focus……. foooocussss….. Where the F*%$ is my happy place??
My face was numb for about 5 hours. Very slowly the numbness in the extremities, such as the tip of my nose, wore off. I was relieved. Then the numbness in my upper lip started to abate. I was able to drink liquids without drooling profusely and the speech impediment was gone. Finally, things were returning to normal. The numbness in my cheek, chin and jaw finally started to fade after lunch. I was not as relieved.
My face hurts.
I am one of the lucky ones. I’ve got a good boss, I am satisfied with my pay, and in comparison to my male counterparts I make the same if not more money. This is not a common occurrence.
Violence against women continues. The Picton trial is just another example of the horrors women worry about in the world today.
To make matters worse the Canadian government has decided that “equality” has been achieved and has cut funding to the Status of Women Canada by 40%! I guess I missed the memo. Last time I checked the status of women, particularly minorities and single moms, was not in good shape.
All of this pisses me off and apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way. The Women Are Angry and Status Report are Canadian organizations who are trying to spread the word regarding women’s issues and the lack of government support.
Check out their websites. Get Angry. Support the cause in any way you can.
As Ani diFranco says “…why can’t all decent men and women call themselves feminists? Out of respect for those who fought for this?”