Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time to Change Habits?

Actually, that's not a question, that's a no-brainer.

But let's talk about WHY.

Inspired by this article on the Mother Nature Network, a site I've been crawling over the past few weeks - great articles... ... I don't actually have a problem with any of these things, myself, personally. Not one of these things is a habit of mine. (Hmmmm.... )  But I sure as hell know a lot of people that do have them. Let's do them one at a time, shall we? My take on them is just a little different... check out what they say, come on back.

1. Compulsively using hand sanitizer.
Seems to me I have spoken on that one already. Oh yeah - triclosan is bad. People who do this make me despondent. You've got the whole germ thing on top of the stupid plastic thing. Double whammy. Don't go away mad. Just go away. I don't do this and I am rarely ever sick. But, thanks to you and your ways, we ALL have to face bigger badder worser deadlier bacteria in the future. MRSA? Thanks for that.

2. Experimenting with skincare products.
I shudder to think of the people (women) who buy something and then don't like it and then just throw it away and try something else. Or just have a cupboard/cabinet full of plastic bottles. And chemicals. Just... don't. Find something good and natural and use it. 

3. Wearing flip-flops.
The only problem I have with this one is people buying cheap flip-flops that break after a month and then get tossed and a new cheap pair comes along. Buy a fricking good pair that costs a little more and has support, for crying out loud. My pair has lasted for I think 7 years now. Flip-flops don't have to be at the height of style. You don't need a new gaddam pair every season. Quit treating them like they are disposable. Treat them like a real pair of shoes. 

4. Brushing your teeth after every meal.
I know, you'd think I'd be all about this one with my teeth. Nope - I'm a twice-a-dayer. I'm gonna go out on a limb to say I bet these compulsive brushers are the kind that replace their plastic toothbrush ever month or so. Look, if you feel the need to change out your brush more frequently than really needed, please at least get a good eco-friendly brand? Please?

5. Doing only cardio when you work out.
First World Problem. I got nuthin'.

6. Skipping meals to "save up" for later.
People are dumb. I got nuthin'.

7. Drinking only bottled water.
Do I even need to go there. No, that wasn't a question. Of course, their reason kind of boggles my mind. Flouride? For real? That's what you got? How about the CRAP that's in bottled water, how about the PLASTIC... oh never mind. Ad nauseum. That this is even still an issue - and it is, huge one - blows too many circuits in my brain. 

8. Cleaning with disinfecting products.
Another ad nauseum. I saw a commercial for Dow Scrubbing Bubbles by SC Johnson, A Family Company, with the commercial protagonist gleefully coating all surfaces with that shit. I have no chemical cleaners in our home. My home doesn't stink and we are not constantly sick. It's a little dustier (and cat-hairier right before the vacuum) than some homes, but we are not germier. Oh - dish detergent. I have that. For now. Can't lie. 

9. Loading up on nutritional supplements.
Eat better. Period. You're just peeing this stuff out. Along with your Prozac and your Lexapro and your other medications that wouldn't be half as necessary if you just ate right. And let's not forget to mention the bajillions of plastic bottles, once again, you are putting out there with your habit. Because that's actually a big thing to consider. That shit ain't gettin' recycled, much as you want to tell yourself it is.

Habits. Break them. Don't look at me, I don't have kids. I actually should be gleefully trashing the planet without a care. Whoa, but look, I'M NOT.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crock Pots are Messy

Not sure if slow cookers are making a resurgence or not... I see a lot of recipes around for them. I don't really use mine much because I just end up using my enameled cast iron on a very low flame, which seems to do the trick. I'm generally home, so I don't need the whole cooking-while-away thing. But I love slow cookers, I do. They are awesome. I never really thought about the mess, because, well, that's part of cooking and cleaning up afterwards. The crock pot can be a little unwieldy, but whatever. You soak it, you scrub it, life goes on.


Save yourself from messy cleanup by using these disposable liners, which fit models up to 6.5 quarts. Liners can go from refrigerator to slow cooker. Each liner measures 11" X 20". Package of 8 liners.
Let us put aside, for a moment, the horrific image of sea turtles and other sea creatures mistaking these bags floating in their environment as jellyfish, their natural food, and then them choking on it and dying a slow horrible death. Let's just put that aside. Let's ignore that, so that you can have a nice easy clean-up. How about instead we just think of all the plastic-y goodness and chemical soup you are adding to your food that you are feeding to your precious children. Because how are you NOT leaching chemicals into your food which is in direct contact with slowly heated plastic? Do you even know that NO ONE but the plastic manufacturers even knows what is actually IN the plastic? Remember BPA? Remember before BPA? I do. Do you honestly think that if there is no BPA in your plastic, that there is nothing else harmful in there? You are stirring that ALL INTO your food and right into your kids it goes. And we wonder why kids have cancer and other health issues.

I found this image particularly *amusing* when I noticed the page from whence it came. I was amused for quite a few reasons. Let's share, shall we? The page was a blog that was all about a full year of slow-cooking recipes, no repeats. I'm sure she's a lovely woman. She got media appearances and wrote a cookbook out of the whole experience, bless her lil' heart! Here's what tickles me to no end: If she used liners, that is 365 more bags in the trash (not recyclable) and 365 times all the people that took her word for using them also in the oceans. Isn't that hysterical? Also, the cute pictures of what I'm guessing are her kids on the Crock Pot. So she can see their shiny happy faces every time she stirs, right before she spoon-feeds petrochemicals into their sweet gullets. Amusing? Ironic? Meh. Was she using Styrofoam plates and bowls and plastic forks and spoons, too?

We're going to "lazy" and "convenience" ourselves right out of existence. I'd say mark my words, but we won't be here anymore so...

Carry on.

Define Your Terms

Material Content (outer shell): 70% acrylic, 30% polyester
Material Content (lining):  100% polyester
Country of Origin: China

Look at this person... caring about the animals, not wanting them to suffer... We have to wear fur because it's fun, but fur is bad, so we'll make faux-fur and be just as cute and trendy, but AWARE. This cute vest says, "Look at me. I want the look, but I'm of a higher consciousness, so I would never wear the skin of a poor tortured animal. I'm above that. I'm enlightened."


Now let's re-visit the other information up there. All material in this enlightened piece of clothing is made from chemicals. Water-intensive processes. Stuff and crap that will never biodegrade, because you have to be bio to biodegrade. Nothing there is bio. So, while no animals were killed directly in the making of this item, let's think about the eco-suffering that may commence as the result of the pollution caused by making this product. Let's think about the cancer from introducing unnecessary chemicals into the world, because you are too enlightened to wear the hide of an animal. And how about where it is made? China. There are awesome factories in China, and then there are others that might not be quite so ideal. From which is this? The clean, fun to work in, great factory? Or the horrible condition, slave wages, foul dirty disgusting polluting one? Don't know? Shouldn't you? I mean, if you care so much about the animals that real fur would come from, shouldn't you care about the people that are making this product? No? Not your problem? I see. Caring about animals doesn't extend to humans. Humans have free will, after all.

Here's my argument: purchasing leather or even fur at a thrift store is the most eco-friendly thing you could buy. Anti-fur people would never do that, even though that product has already been made and used and is not a new resource-consuming  thing that has to be manufactured. No new processes or chemicals are getting introduced into the world so that you can be warm. "But it's fur!!!" Yes it is. And it is already there. Your not buying it in favor of some chemical product vs. natural will not change that. You aren't killing animals. You may be saving some, actually. You are actually promoting awareness. Afraid someone just like you will come up and throw red paint blood on you before you have a chance to explain yourself? Hmm... maybe we should think about that.

Do I wear fur? No. Do I want to wear fur? No. Do I condone wearing fur? No - although go ahead and tell me that farm-raised chinchillas have a bad life. I do wear leather. It's better than pleather and that crap, though I realize it is also a very water- and chemical-intensive process. I limit it. Most clothes I buy these days are in second-hand stores and all cotton. It's not organic cotton, yet, because that's not really going to be found second-hand, yet, but it's a fuck of a lot better than buying something new. 

Just sayin'... be AWARE. THINK about your actions. THINK about the consequences. REALIZE what is behind and underneath. Define your terms. You say you are being eco-friendly and Earth-conscious and enlightened. Define that, tell me how. Prove it. Show is you put thought into it. We'll wait. 

The Spoon's Included.

I'm sure they're delicious. I'm sure they're wonderful. I'm SO glad we get to experience a fruit that is otherwise a pain in the ass to eat. Completely inconvenient. You know, if it weren't for this wonderful new product, some people would never even get to experience a pomegranate! And that's surely a crime!

Maybe some people just are not meant to eat pomegranates. Yeah, those little messy seeds are really special and tasty and good for you, but maybe if you aren't into dealing with the mess of the fresh fruit, maybe you don't deserve to eat them. But wait... Pom Wonderful has stepped in, so never fear! Pom Poms Fresh Arils are here for you! Their pricey drinks must not have been making quite enough for them, so now for a limited time you can buy your mess in plastic, and then since you are hooked, you can buy their beverages the rest of the year. So healthy! And you know, that company cares lots about you and your health, so they have made it easy and clean and CONVENIENT for you to get your pom on.

Small or large, nice lid so you don't have to eat them all at once (and it's shaped like a real pomegranate! So clever! Cute!), and the SPOON is INCLUDED! Because, you know, grabbing a spoon and having to wash it might render you incapable of eating this product. Here's a great review from their site: "So glad I found these! I have always loved eating pomegranates, but hate the hassle and the stain that the inner skin leaves on your hands is annoying. I found these in my local HEB store and bought them. I am RUNNING back to get more. They are a perfect snack while working at the office and they won't break your calorie goals for the day!" 

Well, THANK GOODNESS you don't have to stain your poor little hands anymore. And THANK YOU for running out and buying more of these so that YOU can put more plastic into our oceans. Thank you so much for being so clueless that you have to put more trash into the place that we all share.

I knew a person, saw her every day. She never read my blog. I could tell, because every silly product I wrote about inevitable showed up in her house when she discovered them on her own. I would bet my first-born's life she has these in her fridge. (Hahah, I don't have any kids. But still. This product IS in her fridge. I just know it.)

Bottom line: Don't freakin' eat these. If you can't deal with the "mess" of the real fruit, do the rest of us and the planet and all the life in the sea a favor and Just. Skip. It. I'm sure you'll survive. But we won't. And that cancer and whatever else is going to happen to us because of all the chemicals leached into the world from the plastic from the spoon that isn't getting recycled because you just had to have your stupid seeds... won't matter you ate pomegranates for your health. You're screwed and thank you for bringing the rest of us down with you. Thank you. I'm so appreciative of your selfish lifestyle and your need to put this garbage in my world. I can only hope they are too pricey and they won't sell well enough to come back next year, but then realize all the product that doesn't sell, just expires... where does that go?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Back to our regularly scheduled inanity.

Gum. I chews it.

Yes, I do. I chew it daily. I have $20,000 worth of dental work in my mouth, and it gets gnarly all up in there, so yes I chew gum. I WILL come up with a substitute - Altoids have sugar, and mints put me at risk to bite them (I have no control) and sprays come in plastic. Mint drops, hand-made by me, naturally? Yes, that's my next plan. But for now, I chew gum, OK? Get over it. As far as bad habits go, I think I'm good.

I digress. Stride came out with a just plain funtastical new gum product called iD gum. All trendy and artsy and downright cool. Gum is so cool. Especially when people chew it like cows and cud. SO hip. The company - Kraft - even calls it a "lifestyle choice." Wow.

Here's the most funnest part: the packaging has a magnetic flap. So your gum stays secure! And fresh! Did you catch that? It KEEPS GUM FRESH. Now, they didn't just stick magnets on it, they actually have a method to integrate the magnetic part into the packaging, which seems pretty cool. In fact, it's so revolutionary that the intend to use it on other things in the future, like cigarette packs! Yay! Cereal boxes! Woo hoo! Talk about taking something like a cereal box which is perfectly recyclable or compostable, and turning into something... that is NOT.

I don't know the science behind it. I don't really care. I just know that now there are resources and chemicals and *stuffs* put into something somewhere they don't really need to be. A pack of gum hangs around for - what - a week at the most? Not even? How effing fresh do we need our gum to remain? And now what happens to the packaging that has magnetic crap in it? It's not longer just plain paper to recycle, now, it has to go somewhere else. I don't even know where. The landfill. Wherever. People probably don't even pay attention to where they throw their gum packs. Because people are known to spit out their gum anywhere. Stick it to stuff. Maybe gum is that bad. Maybe we just suck as a species too much.

Look, I don't really care that much about this gum. Kudos to the man who invented the crap that keeps gum closed and fresh. He's making a lot of money now, so yay for his invention. Woo hoo. It just gets to me that THIS is what we see as important innovation. THIS is what we do, what we celebrate, what companies like Kraft have to do to keep up buying buying buying. Fresh gum. It boggles my mind. Is this the best we can do? Is this progress?

I have never once in my life reached for gum and said, "Oh, man, this gum is totally stale. What a bummer. I can't go on. Life has no meaning for me now." But apparently there are people out there who have because... VOILA!!! Super wonderful product! Resource-sucking, un-recyclable, bound-for-the-landfill wonderful invention. Go for it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

We Moved, Shit Happened.

So, it's been forever since I wrote an entry. On my birthday back in December, we packed up a 16-foot Budget truck, and climbed into the cab the next day with our two cats to head across the country. It took 4 days. The cats have recovered. There was some piss and excrement with which to deal, and over-energetic times, but we all made it. My Mom had been in various hospitals and institutions for 3 months. 2 weeks after we got there to help, to be there for her and my Dad, she died. Not exactly the way I planned to be back here, and I know all the flowery poetic crap of her being in a better place, and she is, she really is, those last few months really really sucked for her, but generally I do not do well with Death. It's a passage, it's wonderful for those who made the passage, and I am happy for her knowing she is not suffering here, but generally it's hard to get up in the morning. I know without my husband, I wouldn't have done half as well, and should he go before me, I might just never get off my couch again, so hopefully we go together.

Anyway. It's been really tough to write. I have things about which to write, and I have things I want to say, but staring at the blank screen was a little too much to manage. It just wouldn't happen. I couldn't make it come. So, I'm brain-puking right now. Hoping we will be back to our regularly-scheduled rants after this. I suspect, from my gentle pattering on Facebook, that any new posts will be quite a bit snarkier than in the past. I did not honestly think that was possible, but turns out it is.

I've been told we have to be gentle with people if we want to change their minds, that they listen better if we tell them nicely instead of barking at them. I'm sure that works for some people. And you know what? YOU go ahead and be gentle with them. They got you for that. I'll be over here. I'll be the voice for the rest of us, who know that time is short and shit's going down and we don't have time to coddle and purr. Because when you are gone, that's it. You are gone. People need to wake up. I'll do that. People don't want to listen? Fine. Let them go over there and get their hands held. That's just not me, no matter how hard I try.

I went to a doctor once upon a time. A plastic surgeon. He was the kind of doctor that was all-business, very matter-of-fact, told it like it was. I liked that. No-nonsense. To the point. I didn't need to be fluffed. I saw an online review of that same doctor where someone said, "He's too cold, not friendly enough." That was over 10 years ago, and I still remember how insipid I found that to be. I felt those were the same kind of *ladies* that thought they needed to wear make-up into surgery, so they could be pretty when they awoke. It's fine to need your doctor to be all happy and fluffy and hand-holdy for you, but damn I am glad the other kind exist for the rest of us. Cuz shit goes down. And when shit goes down, the fluffy people cannot get it done. They'll be zombie-food.

I guess I am saying... or hoping to say... I'm back. I think. Yeah, no, I know. Yes. I can do this. Because I am not one of the fluffy ones and I fucking never will be.