These days

Some days you’re on top of the world.

Some days there isn’t anything that could possibly touch you, disrupt you or stop you in your path.

Some days everything you do is pure gold.

Other days, none of that is true.

And that’s okay.

We have to accept the bad days in order to appreciate the good days when we have them. I just hope they come around again soon.

I’ve not had much to say lately. Life has been busy. It hasn’t be the most fun. I’m trying to keep my mind occupied, I guess. I feel as though I shouldn’t even be writing this right now. It’s vague as hell and I don’t know how to finish this, or why I even started it the way that I did. Now would be an awfully good time to have a dog or cat, or something to make me smile. I wonder if my neighbour would let me borrow their dog. Is that a weird thing to ask for? That’s a weird thing to ask for.

Maybe I’ll go online and buy a giant stuffed-animal. What are those hype things the kids are buying these days – squish mallows?

Do not read this.

I think that every man should have to, in their lifetime, wear a bra.

What? What a bizarre thing for me to say, I know.

They should have to walk into a store and blindly guess as to what size would ‘fit them’ (and I use that term loosely because, if you’re a woman you know most/all bras don’t really fit anyway) and they should have to wear it.

You know, if they wanted to go above and beyond and go to someone to get measured for said bra, I wouldn’t be against that.

It’s a learning experience, one that I think even if just tested for a day, could allow men valuable insights into a struggle us women know all too well. There are certain experiences we go through in life as women at that men pretend they know about that they really have no idea. Maybe having to spend a day wandering around in an uncomfortable bra could show them 1/100th of who we are.

Influencer in my neighbourhood :(

To preface this story, there’s a young woman I often see wandering around my neighbourhood talking to her phone. I just assumed that she liked to chat on facetime. I do that. I’ll call my brother’s on facetime versus a regular call, just because I can. It was a natural assumption for me to make.

Well…

My friends are all aware of how I feel about influencers. In case you’re new here, I think it’s a vapid industry that relies on influencers taking advantage of people. This weekend my friend Lucy send me a video with a caption that said ‘Influencers are taking over your city. Looks like you’re going to have to move’.

This woman who I’ve seen wandering around my neighbourhood talking to her phone, she’s been filming videos and uploading them to YouTube.

This is hard for me. Our neighbourhood, is uniquely designed. This is a very recognizable neighbourhood. The homes are uniquely shaped and uniquely coloured. I mean, I’ve talked a little bit about it on this blog, but I’ve never discussed or shown any features of it because internet security is important to me. She clearly doesn’t give a fuck about internet security.

I’m torn. On the one hand, she’s a fucking idiot. She’s essentially giving away her location to anyone on the internet who wants it. Our homes are so unique on the outside that it really wouldn’t take long to find them on google at all. On the other hand, if she wants to bait stalkers, that’s her problem?

I’m just annoyed that someone is showcasing our neighbourhood all willy-nilly on YouTube. Initially, I contemplated talking to her about it. But, part of me knows that stupid is as stupid does and changing her mind probably won’t happen. Another part of me just thinks I should ignore it because she hasn’t actually shown my specific house. (She lives on the other side of the block)

Stupid people.

I hate them.

I watched a couple of her videos after my friend sent me the one. Her videos are annoying and stupid. She’s just the type of person to either live in oblivion for the rest of her life, or magically catch the YouTube algorithm one day and skyrocket into a world of vapid consumerism.

Word to the wise… whether you have 10 people who see your content or 1,000,000… don’t show where you live. Just don’t do it. You don’t know if the people viewing your content are normal folk who wouldn’t care, or a creepy stalker who’s capable of showing up at your front door. Don’t be an idiot.

International Women’s Day

On this day, and every day, I celebrate the accomplishments of those who came before me that opened doors for my generation and reminded us that we deserve a seat at the table. I also celebrate the accomplishments of those women who are right here and now breaking down barriers and shattering glass ceilings just through their existence. Real change has been happening in my lifetime and I am so damn proud of that. I’m also hopeful for the next generation of women, that they’ll grow up into a world where they don’t have to fight so hard for things like freedom of choice, the right to their own bodies, the right to vote, the right to drive (because that’s still illegal for women in many countries), the right to be treated as an equal. Progress has happened, yes. But we can’t get stagnant now, there is still so much more to be accomplished.

I want my nieces to grow up in a world where they don’t have to question their value because people of authority, men and women, have long since treated males as superior.

Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we raise them, may we be them.

Fun things to do during a Polar Vortex

The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. It ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in summer and strengthens in winter. The term “vortex” refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air near the Poles.

Translation: Canada is very, very cold. Very cold. Cold. Cold. Cold. I cannot type cold enough to explain how cold it’s been lately.

As a Canadian, cold weather isn’t something that shocks me. We’re basically groomed to grow up tolerating cold when we live in this country. It comes with the territory… literally. The polar vortex, though… it’s a different kind of cold. This special weather occasion only happens every few years and my, my, my is it ever cold.

Presently, at my house, it’s -39 degrees Celsius(translates to -38 degrees Fahrenheit). Overnight we’re supposed to drop down to -49 degrees Celsius (translates to -56 degrees Fahrenheit). In case I haven’t said it enough yet, it’s really fucking cold right now.

We’ve been dealing with this weather about a week now. Temperatures aren’t supposed to warm until Sunday/Monday of next week, so we have at least four more days until we get tolerable cold (-15 degrees Celsius/5 degrees Fahrenheit). Being well used to this weather at this point, I’ve compiled a list of fun things to do during a polar vortex…

  1. Play a rousing game of ‘will my car start today?’
  2. Play a rousing game of ‘why is my garage door frozen shut?’
  3. Play a rousing game of ‘why is my front door frozen shut?’
  4. Stay inside.
  5. Seriously, going outside is painful. The air… it hurts your face. You get this overwhelming urge to keep your eyes closed because it’s so damn cold, it hurts your eyes.
  6. If you do go outside, watch your eyelashes freeze together and become icicles. Pretend you’re a Yeti and start grunting a lot. Partially out of grumpiness for the cold, partially because it’s hard to do anything but grunt when you’re so cold and struggling to breathe.
  7. Put on your best parka, go outside and flash your hands towards frozen objects whilst singing ‘Let it Go’ at the top of your lungs. If anyone bothers you, tell them you’re practicing for your future as Queen Elsa.
  8. Move to Bermuda.
  9. If moving to Bermuda isn’t an option for you, going for a ride on a polar bear is always fun. Though you’ll have to ensure it’s quick ride as if you’re outside for more than five minutes in this weather, you could very well wind up with frost bite
  10. Drive to Starbucks and get a Frappucino (provided the answer to #1 was yes) because what sounds better than a frozen drink when it’s -39 outside?

If all else fails, complain to the internet about the cold. Because they’ll feel for you.

In the words of the Mighty, Might Covers… “I said BRRRRRR, it’s cold in here”.

Life Lessons from Me

It is not appropriate, acceptable, okay, or EVER warranted to tell a woman she’s beautiful in a professional setting. It’s not now, it never was and it won’t ever be. That’s not a compliment.

Women do not go to work to be eye candy. They don’t want comments about their appearance made in the workplace.

Women work long and hard to reach the levels they reach in their professional careers. When a man is willing to interrupt a meeting to refer to a woman as beautiful, what he’s doing in that moment is telling her that no matter her education, no matter her work experience, no matter her skills, her intelligence, her professionalism and her ability to change the very face of the company, workforce and world, he will never see her as an equal. He won’t ever see her as anything more than a shell.

A woman’s appearance has not a single fucking thing to do with how well she can do her job.

Just don’t do it. Just don’t comment on a woman’s appearance in the workplace. Please don’t. EVER.

GameStop in layman’s terms

If you’re confused about what’s been going on with stock-market news lately, especially that tied to GameStop, I tried to explain it as simple as possible.

IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

Hedge Fund – A hedge fund is an investment fund that trades in relatively liquid assets and is able to make extensive use of more complex trading, portfolio-construction and risk management techniques to improve performance, such as short selling, leverage, and derivatives.

Hedge fund manager put A LOT of eggs into one basket that has the possibility of being dropped and all eggs being smashed and ruined

Short Selling – Short selling is an investment or trading strategy that speculates on the decline in a stock or other securities price. In short selling, a position is opened by borrowing shares of a stock or other asset that the investor believes will decrease in value by a set future date—the expiration date.

If I bet stock ‘Vee Co.’ will decrease in value, I can borrow it at a price of $10. When I borrow said stock, I immediately sell it, hold onto the $10 and wait for Vee Co. to decrease. When Vee Co. stock does decrease, it’s new value is $5 so I immediately buy back the stock I borrowed. I sold it last week for $10, but I bought it today for $5. So, when I give the stock back to whom I borrowed it from and I’ve put $5 in my pocket. Multiply this by tens of millions and this is what happens on Wall Street.

Basically, short selling is betting on stocks losing. If you bet a stock loses and it does, you get rich, rich, rich!

On the flip side, if I borrow the stock and immediately sell it for $10 and the price of that stock rises to $15 then I have to buy back said stock for more than I’ve sold it for. I sold it for $10, but I have to give it back, so I have to buy it back at that $15 price, and I’ve now lost $5. This is why short selling is so risky. If you bet on a stock losing and it increases, you could be out a lot of money.

WHERE GAME STOP / REDDIT COME INTO PLAY

Wallstreetbets on Reddit is a platform for regular folk who try to help each other predict trends in the stock market for their individual trading. These people are what Wall Street refers to as ‘Dumb Money’. It’s possibly someone’s savings. Maybe someone else’s retirement funds. Maybe it’s someone’s inheritance. It’s just regular folk, there’s no hedge funds, these aren’t millions or billions of dollars worth of trades. It’s hundreds, or thousands.

Back in December some members of Wallstreetbets recognized that two prominent hedge funds were short selling millions upon millions in GameStop stock. These hedgfunds were betting on GameStop to fail in 2021. Which, in theory, is not a bad assumption to make, since video games can all be downloaded these days, brick and mortar stores selling hard copies are to 2021 what blockbuster was to 2010.

These Redditors said ‘No way, this is not happening on our watch’. They banded together like a small army knowing that if enough of them purchased GameStop stock, it would drive up the popularity of the stock and drive up the price. Initially the price increases were small. These hedge funds weren’t in hot water yet, because the increase in value of the stock wasn’t anything they couldn’t cover. But, this army of Redditors expanded, both with people hearing about what Redditors were doing, but also with people just noticing that GameStop had had a slight, promising rise and that could be good for them to get in on the ground floor with.

Over the past few weeks, the price per GameStop stock has gone up from $19 per stock to over $400 per stock at one point. Presently it’s hovering around $289 per stock, from what I can see.

So, doing the math with the present value of the stock… if someone borrowed the stock when it was valued at $19 and immediately sold it, they now have to purchase it back for $289. They are out $270 for that single stock in order to purchase it back, to return it to who they borrowed from. Why this is making Wall Street quake is because they don’t trade in hundreds or thousands, they trade in millions, tens of millions and hundreds of millions.

Let’s say, one of these two hedge funds that bet on GameStop losing value borrowed 10 million stocks at $19 each. Their short sale earned them $190,000,000 in December. Now that the GameStop stock is $289, they have to buy back that stock for $2,890,000,000. These Wall Street Hedge Funds are BILLIONS of dollars in to the negatives and they don’t have that money stored away in a shoe box to cover themselves.

One hedge fund has already liquidated assets and begun filing for bankruptcy.

Those hedge funds that weren’t even involved in this particular short-sale fiasco are quaking because they’ve now realized if Redditors have the power to do this one stock, they can do it to any stock. No stock is safe. No short sale is safe. Redditors can do it with any company that Wall Street undervalues. Essentially, Wall Street is Goliath and Redditors are they underdog, and the underdog has just let Goliath know they’re watching every move and they have the power and propensity to knock all of them down like dominoes, if they so choose.

THE ROBINHOOD (AND A SLEW OF OTHERS) ISSUE

There’ve been a few different companies doing this, but RobinHood has gotten the most notoriety, so I’ll share it from the perspective of RobinHood.

RobinHood is an app where individual regular folk like you and I take part in commission free stock trading and investing.

As GameStop stock continued to rise, regular folk like you and I flocked to ‘RobinHood’ to their already existing accounts, or went so far as to make brand new accounts, to get in on this amazing increase in value. Millions of people continued purchasing GameStop in the hundreds or thousands of dollar values. RobinHood, a stock trading application that prides itself on catering to regular folk, something that Wall Street refers to as ‘Dumb Money’, realized that purchasing GameStop was causing Wall Street to bleed. So, RobinHood stopped allowing people to purchase GameStop. You could only sell GameStop on their application, you couldnt’ purchase it.

If RobinHood and others stopped allowing people to purchase GameStop then no one could have access to it. If no one had access to GameStop, the price won’t continue rising, essentially trying to soften the landing for Wall Street. So, RobinHood, that caters to regular folk, blocked regular folk from making money in an effort to protect Wall Street.

CONCLUSIONS

Wall Street is crying foul. They’re crying market manipulation and that what happened should be illegal.

Legally speaking, what Redditors did is not against the law. It is a grey area. Regular folk have realized they can take on the 1% and win.

Why this matters?

  • Millennials and are a hell of a lot fucking smarter than people give them/us credit for
  • The one-percenters are not ‘untouchable’ like they’ve perceived themselves to be
  • No short sales are safe, ever again…
  • A small group of people have the power to vastly effect and change the world which we live, the Redditors have proved that
  • If Redditors could take down Wall-Street so easily, seemingly without them realizing until it was too late, are any industries safe?
  • Your reach is farther than you could imagine. One day you’re a regular joe reading reddit and the next, the stock market is in tears directly because of your forethought

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

If anyone else has tidbits that I missed, please let me know.

Edit: Sorry for all of the spelling mistakes. I’m fixing them. Slowly.

Letters to Anyone

Never underestimate your power, your potential and your ability to change this world for the better. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the one’s who end up doing so. The people who talk themselves out of it will spend their lives wondering ‘what if’.

If you want to make a difference, do it. If you want to have an impact, do it. So many people believe their circumstance limits them to nothing more than being average or chasing mediocrity, when in reality that mindset alone is their biggest roadblock to leaving a meaningful legacy.

Make a change.

Chase your passions, dreams and desires. Stop underestimating yourself.

Yeah, you heard me, stop underestimating yourself.

Cutting down on food waste

For 2021 one of my goals is to waste less food.

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You purchase something from the grocery store and you just don’t get around to eating it on time. It goes stale, or it goes bad and inevitably winds up in the trash.

When I throw out food I feel like I’m throwing cash directly into the garbage. To be quite honest, I’m not a huge fan of doing such. So, one of my main goals for 2021 is to waste less food. I want to eat what I buy and I want to minimize trash made.

Here are some steps I am taking to help combat my own personal food waste:

Only buying what I eat. It sounds more simple then it is. When things are on sale, when things are a good deal, or when I tell myself that I’m boring and I need to ‘change it up’, I often wind up with things in my cart that I don’t want and won’t eat. If it’s not something i eat regularly, I’m not going to buy it on a whim. Odds are, it’ll go bad while I’m deciding whether or not to make it.

Utilizing my freezer. Things like vegetables can be frozen when they’re reaching close to their expiry date. If I don’t make it to those carrots in time, I’m going to freeze them. If I don’t make it to that cole-slaw mixture in time, I’m going to freeze it. If I don’t eat that spinach in time, it’s going in the freezer to. All of these things can then be baked, cooked into fried rice, or put in smoothies.

Using scraps to make broth. Utilizing broth is actually incredibly healthy for you. And, when you have the power to control what goes into it and what doesn’t, you can make it healthier than that you’d find on a store shelf. When I cut the ends off my veggies or take the bones out of my meat, it’s being turned into a broth. Broths can be used for soups and stews, or you can use them as a replacement for water when making rice.

Composting. Composting is something I think everyone should take part in. That’s my own personal bias, but it’s just so easy. If you have a yard, you can compost in your yard. If you live in the city like I do, check google for local composting options. Even if you don’t have a yard, or a composting option, if you have indoor plants, doing something so small as adding your egg-shells to the soil of any potted plants you might have. There’s so much calcium in egg-shells that the shells can help your plants thrive. The neighbourhood that I live has a composting program where we provide all of our compost and they use it ground up in the soil they use for the flowerbeds each year.

Utilizing stale food. This sounds silly at first glance. Truthfully though, there are a lot of ways to utilize something that might be a little too stale for you to just grab and eat as is. For me, if a cereal is stale, I’ll put it in my yogurt. It doesn’t taste stale when you put it in yogurt like you would granola. I have a bad habit of eating half of a protein bar and then leaving the other half until it’s stale. In that case, I’ve realized that I can blend it into little bits and mix it into the muffins I make for myself. Stale chips and pretzels make great coating for chicken.

Speaking of blenders… if you have an immersion blender… like a Vitamix or a Ninja blender… you can actually blend the peels of fruits directly into smoothies. Banana peel or apple peel… the blender is powerful enough to just blend it into the smoothie so that you don’t even know it’s there. Not all blenders are powerful enough to blend in the peels. But, if you have one that is, the added nutrients you’ll get from those peels is worth testing. If you can get past how weird it is to think you’re consuming a banana peel.

Air Fryers make great leftovers. I got an air fryer for a Christmas present last month. One thing I’ve noticed about the air fryer is that it heats leftovers evenly and doesn’t make them rubbery like a microwave can often do. I use my air fryer for a lot of leftovers, and I highly recommend it to anyone who owns an air fryer.,

Not buying single serve food containers from the grocery store. This one isn’t really to do with food waste, more to do with packaging waste. I don’t like those individually wrapped sandwiches or single use packages of side dishes at the grocery store. They’re usually 2-4 times more expensive then if you were to just buy the item individually and make it, and there’s so much packaging. Packaging that, because it’s been holding messy food, likely will never get recycled. I’d rather get bread and ham and lettuce/spinach for $4.00 and make twelve sandwiches than buy one pre-made sandwich that’s $4.99 or more with clunky packaging that goes right into the trash after ten minutes.

I know there are many more ways to cut down on food waste and I know that I’m definitely not perfect. What are some ways that you cook/eat to ensure you use as much of the food as you buy as possible? How do you minimize food waste? And if you don’t already do any steps towards minimizing food waste, do you think it might be something you consider in the future?