Note: This is a political post. I have tried to make this post as non-partisan as possible. Full disclosure: I volunteer with the Liberal Party of Canada.
Are you sick of this federal election yet?
It’s finally here: Election Day! The campaign was officially 78 days. To put it in perspective: I was wearing t-shirts and sandals in the sun when this started, and I wore a winter coat today.
This election felt more important than past ones to me. Maybe because I’m older, I pay more taxes, and I decided to make Canada my home for the long-term. But I think it’s more than that.
I don’t come from a political background or family, but I’m participating in the upcoming Canadian election like never before. I’m volunteering for a political party (full disclosure: Liberals), I’m obsessively researching MPs and their records, and I’m even reading books about the state of Canadian politics.
Once in a while products come along that challenge preconceptions. Two things that seem totally unrelated have recently done that for me: a Nepresso coffee machine and Windows 8 (specifically the Metro UI). What do they have to do with each other?
I’m not a dancer. I don’t have rhythm, I feel awkward, and it’s challenging for me. However, I decided to take this challenge head on and learn a new dance: Flamenco. I not only learned steps, routines and different styles of flamenco, but I also learned a lot about myself in the process.
Do you consider yourself extremely rich or wealthy? How about just rich?
I bet you answered it the same way I did last week: no, not really. Or, at least not yet!
However, did you know you are probably in the top 1-2% of the richest people to ever walk on this earth. Think about that – the top 2% to have ever lived.
Recently I tried to read The Road by Cormac McCarthy… and it was my second attempt. I started it with a determination to actually finish it this time, but I just couldn’t do it. I really really wanted to see what all the fuss is about as so many people really seem to like it – everyone from Oprah to the Pulitzer Prize and in between.
But me…I just couldn’t do it. I got to about page 10 and could not for the life of me concentrate on the book. My mind wanders as I read the paragraphs, I have this buring desire to skip ahead and see if the entire book is like this, and just all in all AVOID the current page in front of me. I have been thinking about whether it was a result of being tired before I go to bed (which is usually the time I read fiction), or if it was the writing style, the pace, or what.
It was probably a combination of a few things that prevented me from finishing the book, but one thing I have to comment on is the writing style of dialogue. Lately, I have noticed that authors omit quotes around dialogue, or just have no dialogue in the story. I grew up writing, and still write, with character dialogue in single (‘ ‘) or double (” “) quotes. I’m not sure which is actually right, I guess there are many ways to do it depending if you want to be ‘modern’ (single quotes) or post-modern (no quotes). It definitely does seem to be the trend to disregard quotes though, and let the reader assume the dialogue through the tone or slang. Quote-free dialogue was also a part of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which I really liked, but still took a few pages to get used to.
Anyway, I know it’s not only the quotes that bothered me about The Road – part of it is that you have to be ready to read certain books, and not force it! One day I’ll try it again, it’ll be third time lucky I think…
I love baking soda – besides using it for baking my favourite banana bread, it is the best cleaner! In the past few weeks I have used it for a variety of cleaning purposes, and it’s my new miracle cleaner I think. Here’s some examples of what worked for me:
- Use a paste of baking soda and vinegar on the ‘ring around the collar’ on shirts, then put the shirt in the washing machine.
- Sprinkle baking powder on a dirty stainless steel sink, let it sit for a minute, then rub it with a wet cloth. Rinse away the baking soda, and just like that all your sink stains are gone.
- If you have coffee/tea stains in your mug, mix baking soda and hot water in the mug and let it sit over night. Then clean it with a sponge and soap.
- I burned milk in a pot the other day, and there was some really stuck-on, nasty burnt crud at the bottom of my steel pot. I tried soap and scrubbing it, but it wasn’t working. Then I soaked a baking soda & hot water paste over the burnt stuff, let it sit, then tried soap & water again. Worked like a charm!
I love using baking soda for cleaning things…I don’t need to breathe in chemicals, and I don’t need to use as much elbow grease. It’s absolutely magic!