Saturday, April 28, 2007

bring your own bag!

I was super stoked to happen up on this article about how San Francisco has banned the use of plastic shopping bags, as has a small town in Manitoba where failure to comply with the new regulations will result in a $1000 per day fine. In San Francisco, grocery stores will have 6 months to comply with the new regulations. The city legislator who introduced the bill, Ross Mirkarimi, said that up to 200 million plastic bags are used each year in the city of roughly 740,000 people. By cutting 100 million plastic bags a year the city will save 1.5 million litres of oil, and eliminate 4.2 million kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Awesome. I ALWAYS take my own bags grocery shopping. The checkout people groan when they see me coming when I do my big once a month grocery shop, cause my bags are harder to pack than the disposable ones which fit in their bag holders. I usually help them out with packing my own bags in order to speed things along.

I have three gigantic sturdy bags I made by sewing some nylon webbing to a cheap rag rug, and then sewing the sides of the rug together. I also have a bunch of canvas bags my dad bought me from Lee Valley, and I think they were $3 each. Safeway has reusable bags which are made from recycled plastic bags. They sell them at the customer service desk (but you can also ask for them at the checkout) two for $1. These won't last quite as long as the canvas ones, but they say they should last you at least 50 shopping trips. You can also buy more expensive but funky bags from BYOB, a Vancouver company that makes funky shopping bags out of organic cotton. They have cool designs and awesome slogans on them. I might be a sucker and pick one up for myself - I especially like their 'cheeky' bag. Which is now in the picture up a the top of the post, which I can't move or make go away.

So do your part, get yourself some reusable bags, and remember to take them with you shopping. Keep a couple in your car or backpack for those impromptu trips to the grocery store. I have a rule for myself where if I forget one, I either have to carry all of my stuff out with no bag, or I have to buy a reusable one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ice bath

Yes, those are ice cubes floating in a bathtub of freezing cold water, and yes, that is my sweet fella sitting in there like a crazy man for 15 minutes, no more, no less. And no, his naughty bits didn't make it into the picture, so quit looking so closely, you pervs.

The ice bath became a regular thing during this build for the Busselton Half Ironman, near Perth, Australia. Paul says the ice baths made the difference between doing a crazy six hour bike ride with repeats up and down to the lookout on Cypress Mountain, and being able to train the next day or not. I've always said he was cute, I've never EVER said he was sane.

Term 2 (Jan - May) is normally a rough term for us a couple, with me seriously feeling the burnout from the work/school combo, and Paul working on his PhD project equally hard, an extra course, and of course, building up to the start of his race season. The result is usually two very tired, very cranky, and very snappy people who are apt to take out their stress on the closest person - namely each other. I'm happy to report that this year term 2 followed more along the lines of the open-communication-giving-each-other-space-to-be-cranky-and-being-supportive-where-we-can-all-the-while-recognizing-this-is-simply-stress-and-not-taking-it-personally turn our relationship has taken over the last six months or so. It only took us 3 1/2 years to get to this point. I feel like we should get a certificate of achievement or something.

So Paul is off to the land down under on Friday evening, where he will compete in this third triathlon of the race season, and this the first really prestigious one. After he races he'll meander to the other side of the country for a conference on paper physics on the Gold Coast. Lucky boy presents on the first day, so will be able to relax and enjoy being in Oz after that. When the engineering physics geeks wrap up their gig, he heads north to the Great Barrier Reef for some r&r, before returning home, hopefully in one piece (although this I have my doubts about since he JUST found out the drive on the other side of the road . . .) and hopefully with Tim Tam's and red wine a-plenty.

I will be staying home, holding down the fort, bringing home the bacon, and starting my summer semester in which I will tackle the last calculus class I'll ever be required to take. Hopefully. Famous last words.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

something to blog about

I'm coming up for air in the midst of a calculus studying bonanza to share some exciting news . . . I got in to UBC!!!

Several people, upon hearing that news, have looked blankly at me and said, "you don't already go to UBC?" No! You tools, I've been taking classes at Langara for the last three years. Pay attention! I had to upgrade a bunch of crap I either never took or failed in highschool, and I've also been plugging away slowly at relevant courses since they're soooo much cheaper there.

Anyhoo, I have applied to UBC three times, and been rejected twice. I applied into arts out of highschool, and was turned down (went to UVic, which had been my first choice anyways, instead). I applied to arts again about four years ago, and was turned down again. Boo. But totally understandable, since my grades in highschool sucked, and I totally fucked around my third year at UVic, didn't even bother finishing some final assignments, so transferring those courses over didn't seem so appealing to the nice folks at UBC.

Third time's a charm, as it would seem. I've been working hard, busting my ass at science and math classes I swore over a decade ago I'd never ever take again, and finally there is some pay off. I didn't tell anyone I'd applied, because I didn't want to have to tell people if I got turned down again. I got home today and saw the package in the mail with the huge YES! splattered across the front of the envelope, and immediately burst into tears. As I opened the envelope and read the letter congratulating me on my acceptance (acceptance resulting from my "outstanding academic performance", no less!), the tears turned into this shaking/laughing/crying combo which continued for the better part of an hour. I managed to get ahold of both of my parents, and my mom started with the leaky tear ducts when I told her, which sent me off again.

So, starting in September, I will be an undergraduate student working towards a Bachelor of Science in Food Nutrition and Health. It'll be another couple of years before I'm ready to apply to the Dietetics program, but getting into the faculty is the first step. It's a big step, and for me a huge personal accomplishment, the scale of which I can't possibly describe. I am excited, and terrified.

Watch out UBC . . . I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey!