It’s Election Day, Canada.

Go out and vote.

I worked the 2019 Election, checking voter registrations, and the BUSIEST hour of the day was the end of the day before polls were about to close.

If you are in line when polls close, they will let you vote. But you have to be in line.

Don’t show up five minutes late!

Get there before polls close.

Make your vote count.

Take Note

Take note of who shows up for you, and who doesn’t.

Take note of who is there for you, and who isn’t.

Take note of who makes you feel as though you matter, and who doesn’t.

Take note of who steps up when you need them, and who has excuses.

Take note of who answers your calls when you phone them, even it’s 2:00 am. It really doesn’t matter the time, if talking to you is important to them, they will answer.

Take note of who wants you around. Not out of any sense of obligation, but rather, just because they realize it’s better to have you around then it is to be without you.

Take note of who celebrates your victories as though they’re their own. If you’re important to them then they’ll be happy for you, never jealous. They’ll also never try to make it about themselves.

Take note of who asks how you are and genuinely wants to hear the truth, good or bad.

Take note of who remembers. Whether it’s the little details, or the big, they’re going to remember because it’s as important to them as it is to you.

Take note of who makes the effort. Whether it’s for the littlest of moments, or the biggest, they will treat them all with the same importance, because it involves you, and that’s what matters to them, making the effort for you.

Take note of who is proud of you, and proud to be with you. They damn well better be proud to be with you.

Despite what some might say, it’s not a lot to expect people to treat you properly. Take note of who treats you properly. And, if you read anything on this list and take issue with it, perhaps you ought to be treating some people better. No one is perfect. But, if someone truly cares, they’ll show it. Not with grand gestures or sweeping displays of affection/admiration or praise, but in being there, in whatever way they can – through all of life’s moments.

I need ideas for birthday presents

My mother’s birthday is coming up.

If you have any suggestions for birthday presents for mom’s, I’d love to hear them.

My mom is a very casual person. She’s a jeans and a t-shirt type of lady. So like… nothing that’s fancy, because she’s too casual for that.

Thank you.

Edited after the fact because people pointed out how petty I was being and I heard them. Removed the pettiness. Thank you for being honest with me.

Pictures of a dirty cup.

To those of you who wanted a picture of my blender cup, the cup that I whined about not being able to get the lid off this morning, here it is.

It’s now been a couple of days. Thankfully the lid has the spout on it so I could get soap into the cup to try and stop it from getting moldy. But, as you can see from the the part where the lid meets the bottle, it is looking pretty grimey. If I can’t get this off soon, I’m not sure what to do.

The part that’s difficult is that the lid twists in inside of the bottle, whereas tradition bottles see the lid twist around the outside of the bottle. It works great to stop leaks. But, apparently I got it twisted on too tight. I’m just not physically strong enough to get this lid off.

I doused it in boiling water today and left it to sit for a half hour. Sadly, that didn’t work.

I also tried throwing it in the freezer (though I know that was stupid because the soap expanded, essentially tightening the lid, and I knew that would happen but did it anyway) for three hours.

I can’t get it off.

Such a stupid problem to have. But hey, here I am.

Letters to Anyone

Good Morning,

It’s been a while. Truth be told, I hadn’t realized how long. The past few posts that I made on this blog were written a while back and scheduled. The last time I actually sat down to write was on July 21st. That’s an uncharacteristically long break for me to take from this blog.

What’s been happening? Well, I got away for the long weekend. Remember when I said I was Thinkin’ about Vancouver and escaping for the long weekend? I did it. I got away. I walked myself into the airport and onto the plane and I left for the long weekend. It sounds like such a small thing in theory, but it was a really big moment for me. It took a lot for me to get on that plane. My anxiety was in overdrive, and where I would normally avoid situations that make me that uncomfortable, I did it anyway, and I’m really glad that I did. I had an amazing long weekend away from Alberta. For the first time in over a year, I just left the whole world behind. I didn’t pay attention to the news, I didn’t even phone my mom. (She was angry about that) I just enjoyed spending time with my friend.

Would I fly again any time soon? I don’t know. It made me really uncomfortable that we were in a sky-tin with recycled air and so many people just took their masks off because they really didn’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.

In other news, I’m presently in negotiations for getting a new car. It’s a pretty long story. Perhaps I’ll get there to share at some point, but not now. I’m looking forward to the prospect of some new wheels. BTW, when I say new car, I mean new to me. I am purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.

I’m also getting a new set of glasses this week. It’s the first time since 2015 that I have gotten a new pair, so I am hoping new spectacles with an updated prescription will help with my headaches. They were very expensive, so let’s also hope they last a couple of years at least.

Not much else is new around here.

Calgary is still smokey. The provincial government is still being idiotic about basically everything. BC is still burning. People are still denying climate change is real. An actual quote I heard in the grocery story was ‘Lightning didn’t start that fire, lightning is in the sky and it doesn’t touch the ground’. Speaking of grocery stories, food prices are on the rise and no one around here seems to be able to comprehend why. Droughts don’t make for ideal conditions to grow food, or feed cattle to ensure there’s food on the shelves of the grocery story. If it’s harder to produce the food, due to climate change, then the food is going to be more expensive on grocery store shelves, and we will continue to pay bigger bucks each trip to hear people who clearly can’t grasp the basic concepts of weather. Whew. That was a tangent.

Be kind people. Care about others. It shouldn’t have to happen to you for it to matter to you. And always remember, you cannot do all the good that this world needs, but this world does need all of the good that you can do.

It’s expensive to have crappy vision

I have extremely poor vision. I always have. I was that baby who was wearing glasses with the elastic around the back of her head so that I wouldn’t pull them off.

So to frame my perspective (no pun intended), I’ve had glasses since I was a baby, and I’ve had contact lenses since I was thirteen years old.

Eye doctor exams in Canada run between $135 and $210, depending on where you go. To wear contact lenses, you’re required to get an eye doctor exam every year. So, if I were to low-ball an estimate of what I’ve spent on eye-exams from the time I was thirteen to now, my eye exams have cost $2,565

Every major benefit provider in this country will pay $100 for a Canadian to get their eyes checked every second year. So, I will subtract $600, as that would have been paid for by benefits.

Out of my pocket, I’ve paid $1,965 to sit in an exam chair and have a doctor tell me that I have shitty vision.

That, in of itself, doesn’t include the special treatments and tests I’ve required over the years because of my vision being so poor. I can’t even fathom how much that’s gone on to cost. Special requirements aren’t often covered by benefits providers, because apparently I just messed up and should’ve come out of the womb with good eye sight? Let’s low ball my treatments over the years to roughly $5,000.

I have a special prescription for my eyes that makes glasses between $800-$1,200 per pair when I get them. ($800 if I choose the cheapest frames, $1,200 if I try to get something a little more sturdy)

Now keep in mind here, I have no choice. I need to wear some sort of a corrective lens in my eye, or in front of my eye, in order to be able to see. Otherwise I walk into large objects, I would’ve never been able to drive, and would likely fall down stairs. I say that “I’m blind” when people ask. Whilst I’m not legally blind, the world is 50 different shades of fuzzy without some sort of vision correction.

Because I’ve prioritized contact lenses over glasses (they work better for me, my lifestyle, my mood in general), I typically get myself a new pair only once every four years. The reason for this is because I only wear my glasses at night after I’ve taken out my contacts.

If we do the math of when I started paying for my glasses at 13, to now, I’ve owned 5 pair of glasses. Let’s say, I chose the cheapest frames every single time I went (I didn’t but I don’t remember what all of the costs were). $800 x 5 pair of glasses is $4,000 spent on glasses.

To recount, I’ve spent roughly $1,965 on eye exams, $5,000 on special treatments for my eyes and $4,000 on glasses. Right now, we’re sitting at $10,965 spent just to care for my eyes and correct my vision.

Now, I have made the choice, since I was thirteen, to wear contact lenses. This has been a choice that I realize makes things more expensive, but it’s overall suited my life better and has been attainable to me, so I have willingly chosen to do it. I understand that life would be cheaper if I just wore glasses every day of my life. So this isn’t a mandatory expense, but a chosen expense to make my life easier.

The contacts that I wear cost $725 per year. The one thing that I’ve always appreciate about contact lenses is that the fee is always the same. It’s been the same since I was 13 and the price has never gone up, even when my vision has gotten worse.

$725 x 19 years is $13,775.

All major benefits providers in Canada will pay for $100 every two years. Since I wear glasses less frequently then contacts, I’ve always elected to have that $100 go towards my contact lenses. So, if we subtract an estimate of $100×10 years (to be on the fair side), I can take one thousand dollars from the total of my contact lenses. So I have paid $12,775 for contact lenses.

Since I’ve started paying for my own vision care at 13, I’ve spent $23,740.

It is extremely expensive to have shitty vision. And, it’s really a luxury that I’ve been able to afford correcting my vision all of these years. Listen, I’m lucky that for the majority of the past 19 years, I’ve had some form of benefit in some sort of way to help with that fee. But, it’s still fucking expensive with those vision benefits.

With or without benefits, these fees aren’t attainable by a lot of people. I think this is something that a lot of people don’t realize. Vision care is a bit of luxury. Granted I choose to wear contact lenses so my total is more expensive, if I wore glasses every day of my life, I’d likely need to replace them more often, so the total wouldn’t be that far off.

Now, I’ve been very lucky in my life that I’ve been able to afford this luxury.

And sadly, it is still a luxury to be able to see properly in this world.

I can’t even begin to imagine what these eye doctor visits and treatments and whatnot would cost in the United States. Probably more?

As much as I wish all kids could be born with perfect vision, that’s just not reality. There are a lot of kids in this world who just have shitty vision, for no other reason than just because. It can be really hard for their parents to afford eye doctor examinations and glasses, especially if their vision continues to change/get worse.

And for adults, you know, I’m exceptionally blessed to be in a situation where this is a feasible expense for me. I can completely understand, though, this tough for a lot of people. People who really don’t have extra money, people who live pay cheque to pay cheque, people who were laid off in the past year due to COVID, it’s hard to fathom spending vast amounts of money on this.

This is why so many people will go without.

Or, they’ll get glasses of some sort, or contacts of some sort, and just stick with that because it corrects their vision ‘enough’, despite their vision worsening.

A lot of people will just get by with what they have because it’s too damn expensive to get a new pair of glasses, or a new order of contact lenses. Can you imagine? Can you imagine having to get your driver’s license renewed and knowing you’d then have to go get your new glasses in order to get your driver’s license renewed, otherwise you can be denied? It’s an expense, on an expense.

This is something that I care very much about because I’ve always had bad vision and it’s gotten considerably worse with each passing year. It’s expensive to be blind. It’s expensive to have shitty vision. No one chooses shitty vision. Vision care needs to be made more accessible to the masses. The truth is, if your vision isn’t corrected properly, it could be made worse because of that. You could also be subject to frequent headaches, dizziness, increased lethargy, all because your eyes are working so damn hard to just see the world in front of you.

With it estimated that as much as 70% of Canadians needing corrective lenses in order to properly see (I can’t even imagine how high that stat would be around the world!), why isn’t more being done to make vision care and corrective lenses more accessible to people.

You need to see to drive. You need to see to read. You need to see to judge distances, or understand depths, or avoid hazards. Corrective vision should be way more accessible than it is, in Canada and around the world.

A YouTube channel where he slices shoes in half

On my lunch break today I found a YouTube channel in which a leatherworker slices shoes in half to teach people what their shoes are actually made of and the quality, or lackthereof, of the shoes people buy.

I don’t know why, but it’s one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever seen.

Slicing Adidas Superstars in half
Slicing real Birkenstocks and fake Birkenstocks in half to showcase the difference in quality
Slicing Timberland boots in half
Slicing Nike Jordans in half
Slicing Carhartt boots in half

Before you tell me that I’m weird, I would like to point out that you should already know that. I’ve had these videos playing, one after another, on my second screen, all afternoon. Why is it so satisfying to watch shoes be cut in half? I really don’t know. But, it makes me happy. It fills my heart with glee.

English is hard. Part two.

My office hired a consultant back in June to help with a few projects as we look to expand to Australia and New Zealand in the latter half of this year and (more so) into 2022. This consultant is from the good old state of Georgia and he REAAAAALLY likes to speak versus type. So, I wind up with a lot more voicemails than I would like.

Georgia, as we’ll refer to him as, says “Whenever” in place of the word “When”, pronounces the word ‘Niche’ as ‘Nitch’ instead of ‘Neesh’. He says ‘Y’a’ll’ when making reference to me and only me, and I’m pretty sure when he writes me emails he doesn’t even spell ‘Y’all’ correctly. I should be ‘Y’all’ not ‘Ya’ll’, right?

Anyways, in honour of my good-friend Georgia, and in honour of the South speaking a completely different language than everyone else in North America, I’ve decided to share some common words people disagree about.

  • When “Picture” becomes “Pitcher”. You know you’ve heard someone say it before.
  • When “Espresso” becomes “Expresso”. There’s actually no ‘X’ in the word, despite what half the world seems to believe. People also do this with “Especially” by pronouncing it “Expecially”.
  • When people say “Supposably” in place of “Supposedly”. Not the same words.
  • When people say “Decompose” instead of “Decompress”. Shockingly, this is one I hear a lot… largely during times when people are speaking of self-care. Can you imagine talking about relaxing and wanting to decompose?
  • When people pronounce “Nuclear” as “Nuk-you-lar”. There definitely isn’t two ‘u’s’ in there.

How do you, personally, pronounce school? How do, personally, you pronounce schedule? Do you choose the “k” or the “ch” sound for one or both? Why or why not?

How do you pronounce Acai? I definitely pronounced it “Ack-eye” until about a year ago.

Do you pronounce it “tiss-ue” or “tish-ue”?

Random things are running through my head this morning.