Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Unusual Incident

I had an interesting/annoying experience the other evening. I got accosted by one of those kids selling stuff to raise funds for his school. I'm used to this, and I have to turn them down. Mostly because I don't have the kind of budget to spend ten bucks on one roll of wrapping paper, but also because I know that only a dollar or two of that goes to the school. I'd rather just make a ten dollar donation to the school. But anyway, this experience was unique. I'm used to having them knock on my door a few times a year, and to having my coworkers bring catalogs and such to work. But this kid came up to me at the gas station, of all places! And it wasn't even a normal street side station, this was the members only station of my warehouse store! Have they gotten that desperate to sell this stuff or what? The last thing I want is someone coming up to me at the gas pump for anything, much less to try and sell me something. I was polite to the child of course, but I was also completely shocked.

In other news, I'm having a garage sale in a couple of weeks to try and unload all my clutter. Yay! Goodbye clutter.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


I haven’t written this week. I haven’t done much either, unfortunately. This sinus infection really got to me, and I finally broke down and went to the doctor. Most of the week when I wasn’t doing something required (work, school, etc) I was sleeping. Today is the first day I have really felt like doing anything, and I intend to take it easy. I have beans slow cooking and clothes in the washer. I’m going to hang the clothes out to dry and bring them in later, and that’s the extent of my planned activities. Other than that I’ll see how I feel.

One thing I have done is started going through my wardrobe. If I’m going to declutter, I’m going to declutter everything, clothing included. That’s not easy for a clotheshorse like me. But like everyone, I have clothes that don’t fit or that I just plain don’t like anymore, so I started with those and now have a stack of clothing to donate to goodwill along with the rest of it.

There are a couple of comments I want to make though. Last weekend after church I went to see a movie with one of my best friends. I quit watching the tv months ago, except for the occasional movie from my stack or rented. And I got a rude reminder as to one of the reasons why. We were twenty minutes early for the show, so we got treated to twenty minutes worth of commercials. Then the show began –which meant we got to sit through twenty minutes of previews –otherwise known as commercials for movies. I hate commercials. I find them damned annoying. Not to mention the ethical problems I have with them. Since when does anyone need a razor with six blades, or a new car every other year? I know that’s not the point; but still –I mean, my god, do they really think this kind of thing is sustainable? And since when do they show FORTY minutes of commercials/previews before they start a movie? I know it hasn’t been that long since I last went to the movies.

Another thing. I went to the warehouse store the other day. I joined last summer when gas prices were so high. I noticed that the price of gas wholesale is generally 5-20 cents a gallon cheaper than retail. I calculated that at that difference, it would only take me a few months to recoup the cost of the membership, and anything after that would be savings. Even after gas prices went down, I still kept the savings. And since it’s only a block from where I work, I’m not exactly going out of my way to get gas there. But when I joined I didn’t think there was much else I could get there. After all, I’m single; I don’t need a 20 pound package of oranges! But over time I’ve discovered there are lots of things I can get there. They sell bread there in packages of two loaves for a dollar less than the cheapest grocery store; I buy it on payday and freeze one loaf. Organic milk is cheaper there. Peanut butter comes in two 96 oz jars for seven bucks, and last me three months. That kind of thing. And, since I began shopping for a charity program for impoverished kids, I’ve even taken advantage of the 20 pound bags of oranges for five bucks a time or two. Anyway, I stopped in the other night to grab a few things, such as the aforementioned peanut butter. I was cruising the aisles, and came upon the big aisle and a half of paper products. The half aisle was about six feet wide, 150 feet long, and stacked to the roof. The aisle was 12 feet wide, 150 feet long, and stacked halfway to the roof. What was there? A small section was toilet paper, but the rest: several different kinds each of paper towels and napkins, paper plates, paper cups, Dixie cups, and on and on and on. Now, I don’t use these things except for toilet paper and a few paper towels. And I’m a tree hugger, so I was standing there looking at this and was suddenly horrified. Maybe it was the meds, but suddenly I could see in my head all the trees that had to die to make that aisle-full of paper. None of it was recycled; it was all virgin paper. And I know that this store isn’t isolated; there’s more than one of them here, and others across the whole country. Not to mention other chains and supermarkets and so forth. What’s wrong with us? Do we really need that much paper? It was mindboggling. An entire forest had to die to fill those aisles across the country with that much paper. Do we really think we can keep doing that? Dear God, at that rate what are we going to breathe in twenty years?