Monday, October 25, 2010

The grain of rice that started it all

Melanie Lee Lockhart was kind enough to choose my PR proposal as one to be forwarded on to Winnipeg Harvest. What comes next, I'm not sure. Maybe WH will like it, and maybe they won't. I'm excited either way, because I liked my ideas too.

One of my ideas was to have a Twitter contest where, for every guess made in the contest, one dollar would be donated to Harvest by a very kind sponsor, in lieu of that sponsor quietly handing over a lump sum. The contest, I thought, would be exciting for everyone, the donor included, and the contest participants would have chances to win prizes too!

The idea originally came from a site where, for every correct guess, a certain number of rice grains are donated to a charity that feeds hungry people around the world.

Come play now at! How much of a difference can you make, today, with just a small donation of your time?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hurt or Inert?

I bought myself a blue exercise ball years ago, fully intending to take up Pilates and stop shelling out excessive amounts of money on gym membership fees. The ball itself cost only $40 and came with a Pilates DVD, plus there are all sorts of Pilates demonstration videos on the Internet. I thought this was perfect.

My exercise ball has since served two purposes: to gather dust, and to seat the occasional guest to my apartment when I run out of actual chairs. My gym membership has been cancelled, but only so that I can become a desk chair potato, one who spends her time doing homework and such, but gets nowhere near enough exercise.

So how's this for a post-birthday resolution: I will make sure that the exercise ball is not a waste of money. I will push aside the living room furniture so that I have enough space to do Pilates, or exercise ball sit-ups, or whatever the latest exercise ball fad happens to be.

Just as soon as I figure out where I've stowed all my gym gear.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What do you mean, this isn't what you ordered?

A lot of little "traffic calming" circles have appeared in my area of the city lately. They don't panic me - I've spent time driving in Europe, where five-lane roundabouts that require traffic lights are quickly becoming the norm. But I've heard distressing stories about people that have almost been in collisions, and then roll down their windows to frantically scream "Where do I go? I'm sorry, just tell me what I'm supposed to do with this thing!"

They always say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - meaning, of course, that pre-planning is always cheaper, in the short and the long run. Yet the city's spending of economic stimulus money has gone in the opposite direction. Widespread public outrage and, in some cases, proof of the absolute uselessness of the changes, has prompted lots of what's been done to be undone. And in the case of Omands' Creek, a lot of what had been planned for, and budgeted for, never took place because it wasn't the right thing for the neighbourhood, and the neighbourhood found out just in time.

What really worries me here, is that the residents of my neighbourhood didn't order traffic calming circles, and weren't told. Not many people know what to do with these things, and this will lead to collisions and injuries. Couldn't some of the stimulus money have gone into informing residents that the circles would arrive, and telling them how to behave when driving through one?

Of course not. That would just be a waste of money, right?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spend the least - look the most!

I love playing hostess. Tonight and tomorrow I will be making my new home spotless for weekend visitors, and decorating excitedly in preparation. I have borrowed most of what I don't have from my parents, including extra folding chairs. I'll be wearing a second-hand little black dress. All so I can pay for what really matters...

A $65 bottle of champagne to celebrate my champagne birthday.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, October 4, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want (without paying for it)

Since moving not that long ago, I've discovered exactly how many small things it takes to maintain one's indoor environment. I owned a vacuum, but it's also necessary to own a broom and dustpan (who knew?), not to mention that if you want to have guests, you need to have more than two seats available, since not everyone is THAT comfortable with sharing.

Of course, being the thrifty person that I am, I tried to get as much of this as I could without spending a lot of money. "My friend has an old picture he doesn't want that's PERFECT for the living room!" and "My parents have a bunch of old brooms in their shed," and "I think my cousin has an old leather couch that doesn't suit her repainted living room..."

My roommate has more sense than this, thankfully. He went out and purchased a brand-new broom and dustpan, without missing bristles or cracks in the plastic. He has also discovered an inexpensive black loveseat that will be perfect for the living room, and produced from somewhere a collection of really great movie posters that will suit much better than a sedate picture of different-coloured leaves.

I also heard a horror story about a friend who accepted a neighbour's old couch only to find that while sitting in that neighbour's garage, the couch had acquired a sizeable bug population that was NOT welcome in said friend's house. So while I might have to shell out some money (in addition to the rent), I will have a happier, more comfortable home in the end.

Not to mention a happier roommate.