Rant, rant, rant

A physician was on the news tonight to say that the time to act for a circuit breaker lockdown as a measure to slow the spread of corona virus is now. He went on to say that we cannot expect, nor even hope for, people to do the right thing for the greater good. He said that if the past few months have taught us anything, people aren’t going to do what’s right for everyone, they’re going to live for themselves.

I agree with him.

We’ve had more than 700 cases a day for weeks now, lately earning 900 – 1,100 a day.

It’s clear that people don’t give a rats ass about this pandemic.

Point proven if you watch YouTube. People are using positive tests for COVID as clickbait to get views. One family, known on YouTube as 8 Passengers, celebrated the father getting COVID by having him purposefully infect all of their children. Not only that but they sent their children to school after the father was diagnosed, before they were, forcing an unknown number of children from their kid’s schools into isolation and laughing about having done that in their video.

People are inherently selfish.

They don’t seem to care about anyone but themselves.

Can you imagine being a health care worker right now? Working your ass off every single day to try and keep people alive to hear that people are bragging on YouTube about how many people they exposed themselves too? Watching the government say that restrictions infringe on people’s rights to live freely? More like restrictions infringe on people’s rights to infect others freely.

More than 400 health care workers signed a single letter to our provincial government asking him for some restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. The government’s response was to make last call for alcohol in bars at 11 o clock, make sure places of worship can only operate at 1/3 capacity. Meanwhile, the premier himself happens to be in isolation because he couldn’t even follow his own guidelines and social distance.

But people will do better.

People will do better, right? Right?

Stupid vacuum

The Dyson Vacuum in this house has stopped working. The Dyson Vacuum that belongs to the landlord, I feel the need to add.

I’m sitting here worried that I’ve broken an $800 vacuum.

I’ve read the support center of the Dyson website. I’ve watched at least a dozen YouTube videos of people explaining how to fix it. I’ve taken it apart and put it back together. It’s still not working.

I feel so defeated when it comes to things like this. I just cannot fix it. I don’t know how. Despite trying to tell myself that I can do anything I put my mind to, I really cannot.

I’m aware this is a first world problem. I guess life is good if all I’m worried about is a stupid vacuum.

Well… shit

Yesterday, in this province, we broke the record for positive cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Today we broke yesterday’s record.

I would like it stated, for the record, that I am NOT for this ‘well if we all catch it then we’ll be good’ mentality. As someone who lives with an autoimmune condition, I really would prefer to not ‘risk it’ and hope for the best. Maybe that’s just me, though…

Healthy people need to realize that they’re harming everyone if they have a nonchalant attitude about this. Cancer patients are being told they can’t have their treatments because it’s too much of a risk. Surgeries, necessary surgeries are being postponed because it’s not safe. People who need to rely on the health care system are being told that they can’t because selfish people need to throw wedding receptions and retirement parties.

Enough, I say. Enough.

Why is bedding so ugly? (a rant)

Warning: the following post is my ranting about a problem that comes from a place of privilege. A ‘first world problem’ as the masses would call it. I know I’m a very lucky soul that these seemingly simple problems are problems of mine.

I just want a comforter. Just a warm comforter in a plain colour. Something that will keep me warm through the winter.

I don’t want a duvet because taking the cover off to wash is too annoying for me to tolerate, so I refuse to spend m money on it.

I don’t want a white comforter because I’m a human being and that comforter would not stay white very long.

I don’t want a thin blanket. I need a real comforter. It’s been snowing here for the past week and we’ve had a drop in average daily temperatures by probably 15 degrees. Thin blankets aren’t going to cut it.

I don’t need a ‘bed in a bag’. I’ve already got sheets. I’ve already got pillow cases. I’m a millennial so top sheets are completely lost on someone like me. I don’t want to spend 30 minutes making my bed every morning. These sets available aren’t worth it to me. I don’t need 5 or 9 piece sets… I need one piece. One comforter, that’s it.

I just want a basic, one coloured comforter that will keep me warm through the winter.

Is this too much to ask?

Apparently.

I’ve scoured Amazon, Wal Mart, Superstore, Bed Bath & Beyond, and even Wayfair (even though I have a strong dislike for Wayfair and do not wish to give them my money). I’ve found green and black plaid, red and white plaid, yellow with daisies, city skyline printed, navy with various shades of pink poppies scattered all over it. I found a pink and gold marble pattern, neon green strips, black and red checkers. What ever happened to just… simple?

Long story short, I can’t find a simple, plain comforter. I find stuff like this:

I mean no offense to anyone who finds these examples cute, or they are your style. To me they just look like they’d be a bit of an eye sore in my bedroom. And, for several hundred dollars, it should at least be something that fits my style.

If anyone has any suggestions of where to look for bedding please let me know. I’d prefer online at this point. I am quite sick and I don’t want to go out and about shopping.

Thanks for listening to me rant.

Posting pictures of people you don’t know

Marla (MarlaOnTheMove) and I have been chatting today about the idea of posting photos online that include people you don’t know and also, about posting photos of people you do know that you haven’t asked permission to share. I’ve briefly talked about this subject on my blog in the past and I got a lot crap for my opinions. What I never did, however, was share the story that largely shaped why my opinions are the way that they are.

In 2014 whilst working PR for large event, two coworkers and myself stopped off for a breather in the media scrum room. For anyone who’s not aware, at large events that have groups of journalists come to them, the hosts will often have private rooms for the journalists to meet, talk, eat and relax between speeches or games or whatever is happening that day.

The food in this room on this day was a hot dog, pasta and potato bar. We grabbed some food, sat down in the far corner of the room and I secretly took off the world’s most uncomfortable heels for a few minutes. (I wear heels once in a blue moon, and when I do, I very much regret doing so)

While in the corner, minding our own business at our own table, a journalist that was sitting at a table about forty feet away from us, took a photo of my coworkers and I eating. He was far enough away that we didn’t know this photo was being taken. Not until after the fact.

We were eating hot dogs. It was a gourmet hot dog bar, with different types of meat and probably forty different items for toppings. I don’t make it a regular occurrence to eat hot dogs, but I mean… when in Rome… or when there’s a gourmet hot dog bar, why not right?

So, this journalist took a photo of us eating hot dogs without our knowing about it. This journalist proceeded to post this photo of us eating hot dogs to his Twitter account and make a lewd comment that compared the hot dogs we were eating to a penis.

He took a photo of three women who were minding their own business, eating their lunch in the middle of a busy work day, posted the photo to the internet and made a lewd comment as the caption.

We didn’t find out about the photo until probably close to midnight that night. It was actually our boss who showed us the photo. This journalist, not thinking about the reach that he had with his social media platforms, thought that it was completely appropriate to take our photo without our knowing about it and share it as a means to turn us into a joke.

That is why I don’t eat hot dogs anymore.

But also, this is largely why I have a firm, hard stance on people posting photos of someone they don’t know.

People deserve privacy.

In a world where there’s a camera on every phone (and likely to be a camera on every watch soon enough) finding privacy seems to be a harder feat with each passing day.

I’m of the firm belief that just because you can take a picture of someone doesn’t mean that you should. And, if for some reason someone has ended up in a photograph of yours on accident, you do not have permission to share that photo online without asking them first. If you want to blur them out, or crop them out, then go ahead and post the picture. But, if you can clearly identify someone in your photograph and they haven’t provided you permission to post said photo online, then you shouldn’t be posting it.

This counts for people you know, this counts for people you don’t know. This very much counts for EVERYONE under the age of 18. In my personal opinion it’s especially important if someone is under the age of 18 to either not share photographs, or seek permission from them (if they’re old enough to provide it) or their parents if they’re too young to provide permission.

If you don’t have permission to post a photo of the person in your photo then don’t post it. It’s as simple as that.

Do I think that everyone in this world is seeking to go out and take photos of people at vulnerable moments to post them online and turn them into a joke and humiliate them? No.

But, that doesn’t change my stance that people deserve privacy. They deserve the right to wander the bookstore without you taking their photo. They deserve the right to drop their kids off at school without you taking their photo. They deserve the right to privacy, no matter the circumstance or reason that saw them wind up in your photograph. They deserve the right to privacy no matter what you plan on doing with the photo. Even if your account only has ten followers.

I also believe this applies to everyone. Public figure or random nobody. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the guests of honour and speakers for a public event, go ahead and take their photo on stage while they’re speaking. They know what happens at these events and they sign up for them, likely signing a contract that agrees to their photo being taken. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are out for a walk with their son on a quiet trail on a Sunday afternoon and they can’t see you, or even if they can, don’t take their photo. It’s rude. It’s uncalled for.

People deserve the right to privacy in their lives. Walking out of your front door each morning is not a free pass for the world to use or share your likeness anywhere you go. Whether they’re Joe Schmoe from Timbuktu or the most famous person on earth. Whether you know someone or you don’t. Whether they’re in the photo purposefully (on your part or theirs) or they’re in the photo accidentally, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have the right to share it.

If your intentions are innocent and you just think it’s a cool photo that you’d like to share, get permission from the people you do know and crop out the people you don’t. It’s not that hard to figure out.

And, to the people in this world who argue there’s no such thing as privacy in 2020, there can be. If you choose to be a decent human being, there definitely can be. It’s all a matter of choice. Who do you want to be? What kind of legacy do you want to lead?

I’m sure I’ll get harsh critique of these opinions, but that’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and I get that not everyone thinks the same way as I do. That journalist seemed to think it was a completely okay thing to do to take a photo of us eating hot dogs and post it to Twitter with a lewd comment. Myself, my coworkers, my boss, we all did not.

Let’s talk about Twitter’s ‘Report Tweet’ Function

Through my blogging, personal life and work responsibilities, I have a social media profile on virtually every platform. What I’ve found over the years is that Twitter is largely the platform/home for racists to spew their racism and to recruit people into their racist circles.

I have a few theories as to why. Firstly, I believe racists aren’t going to be as vocally racist on Instagram because they don’t want to put a face to their racism through their photos. Secondly, I think that Donald Trump has given racists more of a voice on Twitter over the past three and somewhat years. Please don’t misunderstand that statement, because I am not saying that the racism started when he became president. I am merely stating that racists got a lot more vocal and a lot more prominent when he became president.

Racism has always been a part of our society. It has just, in recent years, become a lot more prevalent than any other time I can remember in my 31 years of life. I do believe that Donald Trump has played a role in that. I do believe he has emboldened racists to believe that their behaviour is moral, just, acceptable and completely okay.

Why am I talking about this today?

I spent a decent amount of time over the past week reporting tweets for racism and hate speech on Twitter.

This past Monday a horrifying incident happened in a nearby city where a Doctor was bludgeoned to death in an examination room in his own clinic. Within just a few hours of the attack, video footage of the suspect being put into the back of a police car was circulating Twitter. The only characteristic that racist Twitter could take from the video was that the suspect had dark skin.

Racist Twitter went off. I mean they unloaded.

They didn’t know a single fucking thing about the suspect other than he had dark skin and they took that and they ran with that. Reading the comments from racist Twitter made me angry, upset and frustrated that I have to call myself the same species as these people. I don’t really want to repeat too much of what was said because it was so disgusting but it included comments (on the least awful end of the spectrum) like ‘this city has gone to hell since the blacks invaded’ and ‘Trudeau lets in these druggie, criminal gangsters and they murder our doctors. End immigration now.”

Hundreds, if not thousands, of comments directed towards insulting, demeaning and devaluing people of colour in our country circulated to the point that it was trending nationally. It was racist and a lot of it was hate speech.

I’ve been in a lot of discussions, arguments and full blown fights with racist twitter over the years. What I’ve learned is that, if someone is being racist on Twitter, you’re not going to change their mind no matter how much logic, kindness and reasoning you provide.

So, seeing these comments and feeling bad for this doctor and his family, I decided to take a different route.

I reported the tweets.

If I saw it and it was racism or direct hate speech against people of colour I reported the tweet. I did so because, and I cannot stress this enough, SOMEONE’S SKIN COLOUR HAS NOT A SINGLE FUCKING THING TO DO WITH WHETHER OR NOT THEY WILL COMMIT A CRIME.

Whew, sorry for yelling. I just needed to get that out.

The day following the attack, after next of kin had been notified, the identity of the Doctor was released to the public. And again, racist twitter went off. This time it wasn’t so much in the form of hate speech, but more in the form of proving themselves to be complete fucking idiots.

The Doctor was a Caucasian man who had immigrated to Canada from South Africa. Racist Twitter, doing what racist twitter does, began making comments like ‘Naw, he’s not from Africa, he’s white’. There was a lot of confusion from racist twitter about how someone from Africa could be white. I’ve long been of the belief that racism stems from lack of intelligence, lack of awareness, lack of education. Feel free to disagree with that belief if you would like, but, hearing people confused because about the fact that all people from Africa aren’t black really hammers that point home for me.

On this day I again took to reporting tweets that were racist and contained hate speech. Why? I know I’m not going to change the opinion of someone who is a racist by reporting their tweets. I just think that perhaps if enough of us reported tweets containing racism and hate speech to Twitter, they’d realize the platform of racism and hate speech they’re cultivating and do something about it.

I know I’m only one person and I know people will disagree with my reporting the tweets or tell me I’m wasting my time, but I have to try.

Well, anyways, fast forward to today. I was given notification from twitter for every single tweet, every single fucking tweet that I reported, that Twitter did not deem them to be racist, harmful or believe that these tweets were promoting hate speech.

To me, this 100% proves my point that Twitter is a platform for racists to be racists, for it to be okay. Racist twitter isn’t just the people making racist tweets, it’s the people who read reported tweets and deem them okay and appropriate and say they do not violate Twitter’s community guidelines.

If racism, hate speech, threats of violence against people of colour don’t violate Twitter’s community guidelines, what does? How bad does something have to get before they actually do something about it? Because whether you’re a keyboard warrior in middle of nowhere Canada raging on people of colour because of one man committing a horrendous and heinous crime, or you’re the President of the United States, I don’t fucking care. You should be held accountable for the things you say. And, it says a lot about the beliefs Twitter stands for when they believe it’s more important to promote hate speech then to denounce hate speech.

I’m so angry as I right this. I can’t even come up with a conclusion to this other than saying that the ‘Report Tweet’ button on Twitter doesn’t do a damn thing. Twitter is a place for racists to be celebrated, apparently.

A man lost his life. Kids lost their father. A woman lost her husband. That’s what matters. Anyone who thinks the colour of the suspect’s skin is important or the birth place of the doctor is important is absolutely in the wrong.

In my opinion

I’m so livid right now.

If you think the small, simple act of wearing a mask in public is infringing upon your rights, or doesn’t do anything, then next time you or someone you love needs to have surgery (which could very well happen soon if you/they contract COVID) then please feel free to go ahead and tell the doctors, nurses and surgical aids they need not wear masks to protect the sterility of the operating room. Because if you truly don’t think masks do anything, why should anyone wear them for your sugery?

Also, if someone knowingly has a COVID 19 diagnosis and willingly and purposefully goes out into public whilst sick, they should be charged with public endangerment. (Yeah I’m talking about the COVIDIOT case from Fire Island) At that point you’re purposefully releasing a biological contagion onto innocent people that could potentially cause them lengthy hospital stays/death. Yeah… that should be a crime.

Dyson vacuum wall mount

If you’r reading this and you have Dyson, how the heck do the wall mounts work? My new rental has a vacuum mounted to the wall and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get it off. I’d really like to vacuum. And before anyone says ‘Google It’, I have. Google explains how to install a wall mount or remove a wall mount but no one has yet to explain how to get the vacuum off the wall mount. Guess I’m the only idiot on earth who cannot figure this out…

Thanks for any tips/help!

Grocery store math

I had to buy razor blades. I’ve needed razor blades for a while but I have been putting it off because I find them to be so dang expensive that I hate buying them.

Anyone else think that razor blades cost way more than they should? Just me?

So, tonight I made a run for the grocery store just ten minutes before it was to close in hopes that would make for less people in the store. (Totally viable strategy by the way)

The hygiene aisle. Oh, the hygiene aisle is a bad place to be.

This is going to sound very whiny of me, but I’ll just put it out there… shit marketed towards women is ALWAYS more expensive than the counterpart marketing towards women. It just is. That’s actually another reason why I hate buying razor blades.

You can buy a totally bomb razor from the men’s side of the aisle for $10. Four refill cartridges cost between $10-15. You can buy an average razor on the women’s side of the aisle for anywhere from $16-22. If you want a good razor, it’s likely going to cost $25 or more. And cartridges for those… oh the cartridges…

I went to the grocery store to buy refill cartridges for my razor. I already have the razor. I don’t need a new razor. How many more times can I say razor in the same paragraph? Stop me, please… I’m in a sarcastic asshole kind of mood and I could probably go all night.

Four refill cartridges for my razor at the grocery store were priced at $25.99 (and that is on sale, they are regular $28.99… three dollars off… whoop-dee-do). Five refill cartridges plus the razor, the value pack, was priced at $22.99. (three dollars less… whoop-dee-do)

Wait a minute.

I can buy four cartridges for $25.99, or I can buy five cartridges and the razor for $22.99?

I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. Buy the one with five cartridges. Five cartridges is three dollars less so the obvious move is to throw out my current razor and let it sit in the landfill for the next 400 years. Yeah, that’s overdramatic, I know. But it’s the truth.

Truth is men’s razors are often better anyway.

Truth: most products geared towards men are cheaper. It’s actually a practice that’s been coined in economics as the pink tax. Example:

Women’s 74g deodorant for $5.97 at Walmart
Men’s 85g deodorant for $5.27 at Walmart

The price difference is small. So small that people don’t often notice it. But the truth is, over a year… hell, even over a lifetime these differences add up.

These deodorants are priced at Walmart in the nearest town. They’re made by the same brand, likely in the same manufacturing plant (though that’s just speculation) and one is marketing towards Women and one is marketed towards men. The difference in prices varies more when you look at differing brands. As a whole, men’s deodorant is much cheaper.

Why does the women’s deodorant cost more? These products serve one purpose and it’s the same purpose for men and women.

I’m just ranting right now. The moral of this whole story is that razors are expensive and if you want to go to the store when it’s emptiest, pick ten minutes before closing.

Okay, bye.

Quarantine Day 5,000

Dear Patrice,

I know that it feels like just yesterday that I was writing we were on day 3,000 and something. What can I say? When you’re in the middle of an International Health Pandemic, you really lose all sense of time.

My mom has this ‘schtick’ that she does where she pretends she doesn’t know how to use technology. Part of me thinks she does it because she thinks it’s charming to be the grandma who doesn’t know how to use technology, but mostly, I think she just does it as an excuse to not have to do things for herself.

Thinking I was being smart, I bought her a tablet of her own. Reasons for this were many, but most importantly because she could keep all of her accounts logged into, so all she had to do was open an App.

Today, I was informed that she broke her tablet.

Her response to not being able to check her bank balance? Not to use the computer, no. She’s just going to get in her car and go to the bank. Because… there’s no Pandemic ongoing. She’s not less than a year in remission. Who gives a fuck?

I told her that she needs to use the computer and not go out unless she has to. She told me that she has to because she doesn’t know how to use the computer. This started a twenty minute argument about how poorly I treat her and try to force technology on her that she just doesn’t understand and that she’s a grown woman and if she wants to go to the bank, she can go to the bank.

Yeah, you bat-shit crazy old woman, on any normal day feel free and go to the bank, I wouldn’t give a fuck. But today there’s a deadly disease sweeping the globe. I think you can handle logging in a computer rather than your tablet.

I got the computer out.

I opened up the website.

I said ‘Input your card number where it says card number, then input your password where it says password’.

All she had to do was input her information.

‘I don’t know how to do that!’ She yelled at me.

Feeling like she was just fucking with me to purposefully to make me angry at this point, I said: ‘You don’t know how to use a fucking keyboard?’

‘I don’t need your abuse’, she said, knowing that she was swinging low when she said that.

I took her card, I typed the card number into the computer. Then she proclaims she doesn’t have a password.

You literally cannot have online banking services without a password, but OHHHHHHHHHKAY.

This started another argument about how I always think I know more than her about things and that she genuinely doesn’t have a password. OOOOOOOHKAY. I left. I went downstairs to cool off.

10 minutes later she comes downstairs to:

  1. Tell me that she could have been to the bank and back already by now.
  2. Tell me that she now remembers her password so I need to log in for her.

Knowing she was trying to bait me to start another argument, I didn’t bite. I silently followed her up the stairs, sat down in front of the computer and waited for her to tell me the password.

She tells me that her password is her first and last name.

I told her that’s not possible, banks require at least one number to be used.

She told me that it’s her first and last name and that I need to type that in.

I typed it in.

It obviously didn’t work

Then she yelled at me because, and I quote, ‘Your attitude is appalling’.

You’re right. Stupid me, the stupid little Millennial trying to teach her mother how to sign into online banking on a computer so that she doesn’t go out, unnecessarily, in the middle of a health pandemic. You being less than a year in remission, you’re right, my attitude is awful.

She walks away, presumably to go stick pins in my voodoo doll. Upon returning she’s had an epiphany. She now knows what her password is and it’s not her first and last name.

She also now knows how to use the keyboard because she reaches overtop of me and types it into the computer herself.

MIRACULOUS!

She even knows how to hit the ‘Sign In’ button. When did that happen?

Being now signed in, after the longest twenty minutes of my life, she tells me to leave because she doesn’t want me to see her banking information.

No arguments from me. I left and came back downstairs.

Less than five minutes later she comes back downstairs to bring my my computer. Instead of saying thank you, or I am sorry, or even just saying ‘Here’s your computer!’ she opens the door and sticks the computer in the doorway and says ‘Come get it. And next time you want to force technology on me that I don’t understand, just mind your own business’.

This…

This is why we don’t get along.

This is why I don’t like being around her.

I love her. She’s my mother and that will always be the case, but we’re cut from a different cloth. The two of us in the same room is like mixing mixing vinegar into the jar of baking soda.

I’m the stupid spoiled millennial who abuses her and has a horrible attitude and she is the world’s smartest grandma who can do no wrong.

Quarantine day 5,000 has been a long one. And it’s only 2:30 pm.