I live with all my fault zones

Heyyyyy Alaska had a 7.9/8.2 (depends who you ask) magnitude earthquake earlier this week and it set off my anxiety because GUESS WHAT? I LIVE IN A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE ZONE AND WE’RE OVERDUE FOR A MASSIVE SHAKEDOWN.

I have emergency bags at home, and I used to be pretty smug about that and thought I was ready! I’m adorable, in case you didn’t know. I knew the food probably needed to be replaced and I needed provisions for my cats, but when I opened the bag I got a major dose of reality: I am nowhere near ready for this. Aside from camping cutlery, some rudimentary first aid supplies, and four years already expired food, there was not much else in that bag that was going to save us.

My poor brain went into overdrive and I started doing what I do best: making lists and meal planning for the apocalypse. Look, I don’t know where I’m going to be when all of this goes down, but I don’t want to have to rely on what will already be an overburdened system. I’d prefer to be self-sufficient so that people who actually need help, such as the elderly, are getting it instead of assholes who couldn’t be bothered to put together an emergency kit. I don’t want to be an asshole if I can avoid it. Okay, I’m an asshole on a regular basis, but I don’t want to be one during a crisis.

I decided that there should be an emergency bag in each of our cars and two at home, each with enough supplies to sustain two people for three days. The bags at home will also have provisions for our cats, because I never, ever want to be in a position where I can’t care for them.

So lists were made.

Whatever is in italics I’ve already taken care of.

Cats:

  • Reflective collars and ID tags 
  • Harnesses and leashes
  • Small cans of cat food that can be opened without a can opener
  • Dry cat food
  • Collapsible food and water dishes
  • Cat treats
  • A few toys

Food, three meals plus snacks and beverages:

  • Dehydrated soups with beans and lentils
  • Vacuum sealed, ready to eat pastas
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Dried fruit
  • Trail mix
  • Chocolate bars
  • Cliff bars
  • Instant coffee because having a caffeine headache during a crisis would definitely turn me into an asshole
  • Vodka
  • Pot, although it is technically not food
  • 4 litre jugs of water
  • Electrolyte tablets

First Aid:

  • Latex gloves
  • Dust masks
  • Bandages of various sizes
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Pain relievers (maybe pot should go in the first aid kit, too)
  • Ativan
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ointment
  • And then I just said fuck it and bought four small first aid kits in addition to what I have above

Gear:

  • Backpacks
  • Single burner camping stoves and fuel
  • Lighters
  • Solar blankets
  • Whistles
  • Candles
  • Wind up flashlights
  • Radios with extra batteries
  • Fleece blankets
  • Nesting cups
  • Nesting bowls
  • Sporks
  • Small kettles/pots with lids
  • Dish soap
  • Bleach
  • Dish cloths
  • Note books
  • Sharpie markers
  • Folding knives
  • Extra large ziploc bags
  • Toilet paper

Clothes:

  • Base layers
  • Wool socks
  • Toque
  • Gloves
  • Runners
  • Underwear
  • Rain ponchos

To do:

  • Decide on rendez-vous points both from home and from work
  • Find the emergency shelters near home and work, just in case
  • Plan routes to those points that account for disaster response routes which will be closed to peasants like you and me
  • Make maps for those points and include emergency contacts and have them laminated
  • If at home, close the natural gas line
  • Make copies of ID’s and medical cards and medical insurance

So I’m about halfway there. I really hope I never have to experience a major earthquake that would make these kits necessary, and I’d be lying if I didn’t consider hunting down cyanide tablets to put in my kits so I don’t have to witness the collapse of humanity in the lower mainland.

This is your responsibility, too. You need to do this. Yes you do. LOOTING IS NOT AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS STRATEGY. Not sure how do to this shit? Here’s a good resource https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/yprprdnssgd/yprprdnssgd-eng.pdf 

Alright. If something should happen, please know that I loved you all along and you were right. Doesn’t matter what it was, you were right and you can have that as a victory. Peace be with you.

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New year, same me, who dis?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hate thinking of life in one year blocks that expire on December 31. My life is fluid and I’ve allowed myself the space to do things in my own time, but I feel a lot of peer pressure to set New Years Resolutions and Intentions. I’ve literally had to remind myself every day for the past week that I am doing just fine and that I don’t need to declare all the things I want to change about myself just because everyone else is doing it.

Rather than say I’M GOING TO DO THIS THING STARTING ON JANUARY 1, I enact changes as I am inspired by them. October 11th? That’s a perfect time to start eating more vegetables. July 2? Heck yeah I’m going to open a savings account. Change is so personal, and I dislike NY resolutions because there’s a lot of pressure and the failure that comes from the inability to change your lifestyle and habits overnight is overwhelming.

If you did set some resolutions/goals/intentions and you’re not ready to work on them right now, THAT IS OKAY! Or, if you are working on them and you fall off the bandwagon, THAT’S OKAY, TOO! You always have the ability to hit reset on your goals and intentions. I truly believe there is just as much to be learned about yourself in failure as there is in success.

I had a lot of minor personal achievements in 2017, and I’d like to share them here:

  • I adopted a regular skin care routine sometime in July,
  • I started flossing more frequently a couple of weeks ago
  • I started a regular practice of yoga in August
  • I meal planned the heck out of 2017 from February onward and I think this one has been the most consistent change from last year
  • I read six books in a six-week span and then nothing for months
  • I started bullet journaling intermittently, often forgetting to update it for weeks at a time but I’m still trying to adopt this as a regular practice, I just pick up where I left off

Actually, I pick up where I left off on the regular. I often abandon whatever goal I’ve set for myself but I usually go back to it, sometimes I have to go back to it four, five, or six times. I’m not a spontaneous person by nature, except when I want to make a change. Now is a good time to change something or do something, whenever now happens to be, but it’s rarely inspired by a date on the calendar.

Go forth and be you, and don’t worry about January. It’s kind of a shitty month anyway.

An important message: Consent still applies to pregnant ladies

The following is from my dear friend affectionately known as Nurse Nathalie, or @howetolove on the Twittersphere:

This maternity shirt was lovingly given to me by an amazing coworker as a jest to my disdain for people touching my belly since being pregnant, but it brings forward the important concept of consent. A wise nurse once modelled to me the importance of obtaining consent from a patient before ever touching her breasts, abdomen, or private areas before an exam, and since then, I’ve always tried to model this for newer staff. It may seem like the abdomen is a normal place to touch or rub a pregnant woman, but truthfully, would you do that to anyone else? I believe that usually it is an area reserved for a consensual intimate relationship, and that fact doesn’t change in pregnancy just because a baby is kicking away. It’s not that you CAN’T touch a pregnant belly, but more that you should gain consent before doing so, even if already implied to close friends, immediate family, and your partner. Imagine for a second, a woman who had been sexually assaulted at some point in her life; a point where consent was taken away from her. Imagine bringing those feelings back, even if your touch was well-intentioned. This is why you have to ask, and respect the answer immediately. This is not a hormone fueled rant, but more a peaceful, thought provoking piece on consent, based on my observations and feelings so far as a pregnant woman.

I know many, many times over how amazing it is to share in the life being created by a woman during pregnancy, but if you weren’t invited to do so, all you have to do is ask. 🙂 ❤

can't touch this

An open letter to Jian Ghomeshi, written by Ro

Jian Ghomeshi is raging through my mind this morning.

Maybe it’s because my family is embroiled in its own baseless legal battle where innocent and good people are being dragged through the mud, but Jian Ghomeshi is the scum of the earth.

Dear Jian,

What you did was WRONG and you tried to cover your tracks by puffing out your chest and intimidating people into silence. You hired a big PR firm because once again, you believed that if you beat people down hard enough, they would slither away, like so many of the women that you preyed upon. You used your pseudo-celebrity status to dazzle young women, and then you hurt them and shamed them into silence. You are a predator.

You should have to pay the CBC back for the legal expenses you incurred, but I feel like you owe the CBC far more than $18,000. Your claims were baseless, and while you were being an asshole, you continued to further victimize the women you abused and led your fan base to believe that you were innocent. The damage that you have incurred is priceless, and no amount of money is going to make any of those women feel safe and whole again.

So many of your fans stood up for you and cried for your innocence. You made a mockery of thousands of Canadians. You used your dead father to garner sympathy. You victim shamed innocent women and you called them jilted exes. You attempted to manipulate the situation, and for once, it backfired tremendously.

Everyday people like you walk away from situations like this, unscathed. In your wake you were willing to leave honest and truthful people to rot in the web of lies you’ve created to keep yourself elevated. You disgust me to the core.

Enjoy the legal process, you coward. Enjoy having your words used against you and having holes poked into everything you’ve ever said. Privacy is no longer yours, and you too, can enjoy what it’s like to feel little and helpless like so many of the people you’ve silenced over the years.

Fuck you.

From Rochele, on behalf of Canadians everywhere

I’m angry

I am angry that dress codes exist.

I’m angry that someone’s religion trumps a woman’s right to decide how she uses her body and what she does or does not put in it.

I’m angry that I get a sick feeling when I have to walk past a group of men.

I’m angry that little girls are told to be modest and that taking pride in their body and displaying it will be too tempting to a man. Girls, you are not the problem and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are.

I’m angry that most men will never, ever understand how degrading it is to be cat-called or leered at.

I’m angry that a woman is a slut if she sleeps with a man/men outside of a relationship.

I’m angry about slut-shaming in general; why are you forcing your insecurity on others?

I’m angry that Hobby Lobby was taken seriously at all. I’m furious that it passed.

I’m angry that women get asked, “What were you wearing?” after they were raped.

I’m angry that someone I know was touched without her permission on public transit.

I’m angry that someone I know was raped by a friend of a friend on the way home from a party. I’m angry that she didn’t report it.

I’m angry that ANYONE feels entitled to a woman’s body in any way, shape, or form. She is not yours to tell how to dress, how to smile, what shape her body should be, what she can and cannot put in her body, how to use it or not use it.

I’m angry that I feel the need to change my outfit because it’s a bit too sexy or that I’m showing a lot of skin.

I’m angry that when I am mad or upset it’s akin to being crazy or hysterical. Dramatic, sure. Crazy I am not.

I’m angry that women are taught to be uncomfortable in their skin.

I’m angry that I don’t feel safe taking transit at night time because I’m a woman.

I’m angry that if I assert myself and say no that I’m a bitch.

I’m mostly angry because I don’t know how to change any of it. Be the change you want to see in the world, but how? I’m angry because I feel helpless.

 

Give out my social media passwords for a job interview? Never.

Full disclosure: this has absolutely nothing to do with my current place of work. I’m speaking out because young people and those re-entering the workforce need to know their rights in regards to privacy.

Why would you ever consent to giving someone your Facebook/Twitter/Google +/??Social Media Site passwords during a job interview? Unless you need a security clearance for something ie building a government facility, or entering the police force, DON’T DO IT.

Here is why:

In Canada and the USA there are certain things that a potential employer is NEVER allowed to ask you. They are not entitled to know information such as your marital status, your age (with the exception of determining if you are of legal working age,) your religion, if you have children etc. By asking for your social media passwords you are effectively allowing them to access that information, and that is illegal. Don’t think for one moment that it is okay for them to ‘Friend Request’ you, either. Do yourself a favour and lock up your Facebook account to the maximum privacy settings – Only Friends for everything. Otherwise they won’t even have to ask for the information, it’s there for the taking.

What business do potential employers have peering into the way you interact with your friends and family? The last time I checked it was just an applicant applying for a job, not their dumbass friends and family applying as a group package. Would you allow a potential employer to have access to your personal email? Text messages? The way you talk to your spouse/partner in a private message or the way you interact with your buddies should have absolutely no standing when applying for a job. Sometimes I’m a fucking hooligan on the weekends, and yet on Monday morning I’m in dress clothes, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to kick off that meeting BECAUSE I AM A PROFESSIONAL. Monday-Friday, 9-5 I am a professional and I get it done, and I do it well. If you looked at my Facebook profile or my Twitter feed you might not get the same picture because professional Ro and the rest of the time Ro are two different people. Should your boss care what you do in your free time? Not unless it has an impact at work, and then only things pertaining to work need to be discussed.

Let’s face it, when you’re at the office you’re probably not cracking brewskis or bangin babes in the coat closet. If you are, well, you deserve to be fired (unless it’s office-sanctioned Beer Club Fridays, then you’re fine, but sexual harassment is still sexual harassment.) I think you can say no in a firm, but professional way. Let them know that your accounts contain personal information regarding marital status, your age, and your religion that you don’t need to disclose. Assure them that your personal life has absolutely no bearing on your professional life, and your qualifications, references and demeanour speak for themselves.  You need to practice saying these things now and be confident about saying them. It is illegal for a potential employer to turn you down for not surrendering your passwords, that would be discrimination because what they are asking for is illegal in it’s nature.

Key points:

1. Lock that shit up!

2. Just say no.

3. Don’t be intimidated, respect yourself and stand your ground.

4. You are a professional, so act like one.

In the end, would you really want to work for a company who needed to pry into your personal life? I wouldn’t.

Gender Equality- or not

Yesterday a (male) co-worker called me ‘woman’ out of anger. Never before in my life have I been reduced to my gender in place of my name.

The situation was not meant to be confrontational. I asked him to clean up after himself and he retorted with, “Jesus woman! It’s just a few dishes. How hard is it to put them away?’ MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY. Just because I am a woman does not mean that I am automatically there to clean up after you. You are more than capable of putting your dishes into the dishwasher, especially since I unload it every morning when I get in. I did not resort to name calling or degrading you in any manner. I didn’t send you an email or act in a passive way because I am an adult and if the roles were reversed, I’d want to know. I’d apologize and take responsibility. I am fair to a fault, even if it meant my own undoing. I admit when I’m wrong, I’ll admit when I was snarky, because two wrongs don’t make a right. But I wasn’t either of those in this circumstance and you lashed out and called me woman and tried to put me in my place which apparently is doing your dishes.

And today I got a phone call from another man asking for the principal of the firm. Being unavailable I asked the caller if I could take a message. Then the caller said, “I’d prefer to speak with a gentleman.” I said, “Excuse me?” and the caller said, “I’d rather deal with a man.”  I told the caller never to phone this office ever again. They could have asked for another discipline and I would have been 100% okay with that, but they had to ask for someone not female. Seriously? What century do you live in? I happen to be the principal’s executive assistant, and chances are he’d pass whatever matter to me anyway.

I am balancing being livid and trying not to cry. There is no crying in the executive world, only on the phone when you need the airline to credit your non-refundable flights.