Saturday, October 31, 2009

Making a Real Difference

I’m just sitting here innocently, cruising through my Google Reader (product placement) and listening to Mr. Rose shout incomprehensible football language at the TV, when all of a sudden Tim Horton's launches a attack on my soul.

It was a commercial telling me all about the wonderful work Tim Horton's is doing with South American coffee growers. Training these hard working young men so that they can one day be successful business men. These men assured us that they were working as hard as they could so that they could one day be successful coffee growers.

I’m sorry, but has Tim Horton's started buying fair trade coffee? At $1.50 a cup I don’t think so. (admission: I don’t know how much coffee at Timmy’s costs as I don’t drink it, but I do get the feeling from others that it’s more than 7-11 and less than Starbucks)

I looked into Timmy’s “Coffee Partnership” and what it appears to be is teaching poor Colombian farmers how to grow higher quality crops. Of course, unless I am mistaken, these small farmers have to turn their product over to a market that is no more motivated to pay those farmers any more for their higher quality crops.

Of course, this is the system. Those producing the raw natural resources are at the bottom of the food chain. They do the most amount of heavy, difficult labour and reap the smallest amount of the products. Bloated corporations reap the majority off the fat, privileged citizens of Western society. We can’t grow coffee here but we must have exactly what we want, when we want and we have the means to make that happen. Never mind that 80% of the population is scraping by to find the basic necessities for life, we want a piping hot double double and we want it now!

Do you want to talk about actually making a difference Tim Horton's? Let’s have a chat about paying a ‘fair’ price for your coffee. Let’s talk about how a corporation can create partnerships that actually benefit other human beings. If you’re not going to actually sell fair trade coffee the least you can do is not push your bullshit Coffee Partnership on us as if you’re doing anything to actually make a difference.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Slutty (insert anything here)

I'm not the biggest fan of the word slut but I just can't think of a better word to describe the costumes we'll be surrounded with in the coming week. I'm not saying that these girls are engaging with multiple sexual partners, nor that their number of sex partners is too high...I'm not commenting on their sex lives at all.

But daaaaamn, the slut comes out for Halloween.

So far (and we're still a full week away) I have seen the slutty bar wench, the slutty devil (real original), the slutty bunny, the slutty viking, the slutty princess (not Disney approved), and what can only be described as a slutty slut.

I know it's been said before but when did all women's Halloween costumes standardize at the slut setting?

I know that it's an opportunity for women to bust out of their shells and break free from the shackles of the form-hiding business suit. I know that costumes allow people a measure of freedom (it's not me, it's my crazy costume!).

But is that really what all of our inner selves want to bust out into? Slut? Oh, how I long for the creative costumes of yore. Pregnant zombie bride...where are you now? Cutesy literary you not wish to show your booky nerdery any longer?

Frankly, even a fairy princess with concealed nipples would satisfy me now. And that's just a sad, sad statement.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Standing Ovation

Have I ranted to you yet about how much I despise standing ovations? I hate that every travelling Broadway performance at the Jubilee gets one. I have that opening nights apparently have a mandatory ovation. But most of all, I hate the expectation that once 51% percent of the crowd is on their feet everyone else will follow.

I stand for great theatre. Now, I won't lie, I have stood for those travelling big box shows because otherwise I'm sitting down all alone and can't even see the people on stage I'm clapping for. But I do not stand for anything else unless it actually compels me to leap to my feet once the show is done. Which means that I've given about 5 genuine standing ovations in my life.

We went to see I, Claudia at ATP last week and it was a good little show. It's been travelling already for three years so it was polished. It was also a one-woman show, with mask work (high ovation potential). It was good, maybe even great, but it wasn't fantastic. I enjoyed it, I would recommend it, I did not stand for it. About half the audience got to their feet sluggishly and patchily at the end (a sure sign of an obligation ovation).

As we were walking out, the chatty Cathys who have subscription ticket seats behind ours were commenting about how Mr. Rose and I obviously didn't like the show very much. In a slightly disparaging way. I almost, ALMOST, turned around to inform them of my standing ovation philosophy and the ask them why they have ruined the power of the ovation for the rest of us(and ask them to, for the love of god, please be quiet during the play. yes, even when there is a scene transition. I do not care how many schools Sarah is applying to this year. Intermissions are for your chatting!! (shut up, shut up, shut up).

Is this really the place we have come to? If you don't stand, you don't like it? And why are you taking away the thing that says not just 'I liked it' but 'I loved it'.

So, I'm looking for suggestions. The sheep have taken away my ovation so I need to replace it with something else. I was thinking of bringing back that Aresenio Hall 'woof, woof' arm movement. I'm not sure how that will go over at some of the classier joints in town though. Any thoughts?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


eeps! I have been very remiss in my blogging. The weight of the world is upon this month. My usual November grumps have been bumped up by this endless gloomy weather we've been having. Global warming, you are messing with my seasons!

But I did the great clothing swap this week. Putting away all those cute summer sandals and tee's. Pulling out the cozy sweaters and winter boots. So while I was at it, I pulled out all my purses and did a little photo shoot. I know that I need to reduce my collection as I don't carry some of these anymore but I struggle more with cleansing purses than anything. Whether I bought it for 500 baht or 50 euros I have a peculiar attachment to my purses.

But I need to upgrade my collection. I need a truly grown-up lady, leather handbag. And when a bag like that finally gets added, some of my younger days cloth bags will have to go. But not my new flannel, plaid bag. Because I love it. A little too much.

It's a little hard to see in detail on this picture but my personal favorites are the plaid bag (right), the little maroon velvet bag (in front of plaid bag), the woven beach bag with bow (hanging in middle), and the black bag with adorable red ribbon (left).

Also, I just realized that this is 16 bags! I can see 4 that I can lose which should free up enough room on my shelves for that grown-up lady purse. Now if only I hadn't already spent my clothing allowance for October and November.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Gloomy Fall Days

This morning I awoke and threw open my curtains with that special Saturday morning glee. I was greeted by heavy gray skies and a weather forecast that's calling for snow.

Outwardly I'm grumpy as all heck about this. Secretly, on the inside, I'm as satisfied as a napping cat. By 3:30 today I will have finished all my weekend commitments and can spend the rest of my time lounging and shopping.

And there is nothing I like more than lounging with gray skies outside. I go to a lot of effort in the winter to make sure that I'm still getting out and doing things. I hate the way people hibernate so completely as soon as the snow falls. We live in an arctic desert here people. If you hibernate all winter, you're giving up a third of your year!!

But I do understand. Bundling up inside is somehow more acceptable in winter than summer. In the summer you're always trying to get outside and enjoy the weather while you can! Suddenly it's not okay to just sit and read a book for 4 hours, even if you do it outside. You need to be hiking and gardening and home reno-ing. There's very little acceptable sitting time when you have 15 hours of sun.

Fall hibernating is where it's at. It still feels novel and luxurious after all that forced outdoorsyness of the summer. Fleecy pants and warm blankets, long baths and hot cocoa, thick books and movie marathons, I love it all!

Now all I have to remember to do is to poke my head out come November so I don't fall into a winter rut. But for this afternoon/tonight it's World Without End, Sense and Sensibility (the movie) and a warm vanilla sugar scented bath. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.