Monday, February 14, 2011

So easy, even a man can do it

I like this ad for Canada's Economic Action Plan skills development (the one called Better Jobs).  It's about government assistance for career development but what I like the best about it is that it shows people in non-gender-stereotypical careers, like women in construction and working on heavy duty equipment and a man becoming a nurse (or a doctor, but I'm going to say he's a nurse because he's not wearing a white coat to signify that he's a doctor).

Kudos to the agency that created and produced this commercial.  In a world where most TV commercials still have women doing all the cooking and cleaning and men not knowing how to change a roll of toilet paper or use a washing maching (Purex detergent sheets - "It's so easy my husband even helps with the laundry!" VOMIT yes, because when he had to measure liquid into a cup before this product came along it was WAY too hard for him to handle on his own), I am actually so happy to see an ad that finally breaks those barriers.  I also like the current Philadelphia cream cheese commercial that has a father doing the cooking for family dinner, and not reheating something frozen or tacked onto a message like "this product is so easy to use that even a MAN can use it!"

The thing is, I have met a lot of men and I can say that every single one of them is perfectly capable of a) getting some soap and a sponge and cleaning the bathroom b) following a recipe or at LEAST making a sandwich c) turning on a washing machine d) giving a spoonful of Robitussin to a kid who is coughing.  And I don't mean that to sound condescending at all - we are ALL capable of carrying out simple tasks such as cooking and cleaning, so can TV please give guys some credit here?  Why in the year 2011 when the internet is there to teach us to do everything we ever would possibly want to know how to do, including cleaning a toilet, are television ads still perpetuating the stereotype that only women know how to properly carry out domestic chores?  Frankly I find it insulting, to both sexes.

Seriously, the day I see a TV ad that depicts a man cleaning something indoors, I will be so happy.  TV ads depict women having any career they want AND taking care of sick kids AND being excellent at chores, why can't it equalize men to this status as well?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Real Donuts

I have mentioned before that I grew up in Humboldt, which mostly sucks except for the fact that it has the best bakery I've ever been to that makes the best donuts I've ever tasted.  This bakery is called The Danish Oven and if you are ever passing through Humboldt, it is downtown on Main Street next to the museum (the old, tall building with the clock tower).  You MUST go there.

I grew up eating Danish Oven donuts and didn't even realize that other donuts paled in comparison until I tried a grocery store donut when I was probably 10 or 11 and it didn't taste like I was expecting it to.  Tim Hortons cannot hold a candle to these donuts.  They are fresh made every morning and 100% fried; not fried, frozen, thawed, and baked to finish the process.  They are not greasy but not dry either.  They are so light and fresh that you could easily squish the whole thing into your mouth at once if you really wanted to, but treats like these need to be savored.  The icing, often accompanied by sprinkles, is exactly sweet enough to complement the donut, not sickly sweet at all.

They are clearly unhealthy (hello, they are donuts) but you can definitely tell that they are freshly made with normal ingredients that one can pronounce and probably has at home in their own pantry.  They taste... real, is the best way I can describe them.  I once had a bunch with me in Saskatoon and asked people if they wanted to try a "real donut" and upon tasting them someone remarked "I see what you mean about this being a 'real' donut".

I have never found anywhere that makes donuts that even come close.  I think if they ever closed down or stopped making donuts I would actually cry.  I once bought a donut from Nutana Bakery in Saskatoon, and it was also what I'd categorize as a "real donut", way better than Tim Hortons, but still not near as amazing as The Danish Oven.

Unless you've had a Danish Oven donut, you haven't tasted the best donuts in the world yet.  This should be on your bucket lists, people.  So start planning your donut road trips to Humboldt, and bring me back a bismark and a maple long john.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Eyeless Michael's

Oh yeah.  This is what I actually meant to post about today, before I got sidetracked watching Parks and Recreation and needed to share my love of it with all (one? two?) of you.

My friend Dani is teaching me how to crochet so we can make these guys:

Crochet Star Wars characters!  Hooray!  I bought the patterns off Etsy and we started working on the Storm Trooper today.

Anyway before I went over to her house I went to Michael's to pick up some of the eyes.  I found an aisle called "Dollmaking/Plush" where I assumed such pieces would probably be.  However the aisle was full of paint, paintbrushes, and wooden models.  I looked through every aisle in the store (also following around a sales associate who kept getting flagged down by other people every time I almost started to ask for help) and finally just went to the register to ask where I might find the eyes.

"Actually, we don't carry eyes anymore" the girl informed me.

Ummmmm... I am confused.  You don't carry eyes anymore?  Some executive at Michael's decided one day "Hey guys, I think maybe we should stop carrying eyes" and someone else was like "I second that" and someone else was like "Yes!  Because we are clearly losing millions per year on eyes"??????????

Make a note of it, fellow crafters:  Michael's is no longer carrying eyes.  You will have to look elsewhere for all of your eye needs. 

Except googly eyes.  It still has an aisle full of those.

Shows You Need to be Watching

Recently I watched through all of the back episodes of Cougar Town, because I heard that it had turned into something that wasn't about Courtney Cox having sex with 22 year olds anymore.  It's AWESOME.  It's done by Bill Lawrence who did Scrubs, and it does remind me a lot of Scrubs.  I must stress, if you've heard it was good but are turned off by the title, don't be.  A few episodes into Season 1 the show went in a totally different direction and became more about a group of 40-something neighbours who hang out and drink wine and play stupid games and learn life lessons (basically Scrubs but not about doctors and the characters are about 15 years older).  Some are recently divorced, some are happily married, etc. etc. but seriously, it is hilarious and awesome and you should watch it!  AND as a bonus for Scrubs fans, there are fun things like cameos by Zach Braff, Coffee Bucks, and shots of Scrubs being shown on the TV!  As well as Christa Miller playing the exact same character as Jordan from Scrubs haha.

Another interesting note about Cougar Town is that the producers have been trying to change the title in the 2nd season, because it isn't what the show is about (other than one woman who is in each episode for about 30 seconds to make disgusting sexual comments, sort of like a cougar version of The Todd).  So above the words "Cougar Town" in the opening credits this season they write things like "100% Cougar Free" or "Regretfully we give you [Cougar Town]". 


The BEST show on TV, which I already posted about last year, is Parks and Recreation.  Better than The Office, better than 30 Rock (which I feel is struggling this season), better than Modern Family, better than the above mentioned Cougar Town (all my other current favourite comedies on TV).  Words cannot describe my love for this show.  All I can say is that I just watched the 4th episode of the season and I don't think I've ever laughed out loud that much at a sitcom when I haven't been watching with another person.  Seriously, if you aren't watching this show, you are majorly missing out.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Phone Plan Switch

I am extremely proud of myself right now.  I just figured out how to switch my cell phone plan for my Blackberry on SaskTel to get the same features I already have PLUS unlimited North American long distance calling for only $2 more than I have currently been paying!

If you don't use SaskTel you probably won't care about this post but if you ARE on SaskTel, take note of these tips because sometimes they hide these service plans and don't tell you about them so you end up paying way more for your phone plan!

What plans I was subscribing to before today:

Unlimited Talk (300 daytime minutes) - $20/month
Blackberry Unlimited Internet and Email and IM with Features - $40/month
Long Distance Cellular Add-On (300 minutes) - $10/month

For such a long time I figured that this was the best deal for my money, because it gave me enough daytime minutes (who makes calls during weekdays anyway), unlimited weekends and evenings, unlimited texting, voicemail, call display, and unlimited data.  I recently added on the long distance package since I don't work in Saskatoon and Brahm moved to Montreal, although only 5 hours of long distance in a month is somewhat limiting and expensive if you go over.

A while ago my friend Derrick told me that he was on the data plan that gave him a GB of data for $25/month.  I looked at it, and also saw that there was a 250 MB plan for $15/month, but for whatever reason couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I was only using about 20 MB/month and if I did happen to go over it would only cost $0.03/MB.  Plus, my data plan came with features like texting and voicemail so I just figured that $40 was the cheapest way to get all that.

Then today I did a bit more digging and realized that I could get everything I already have, plus way more, for only $2/month more.  SaskTel users - if you are paying something similar to me for a similar combo of plans ($70/month before fees), take note!

I switched to:

Unlimited Talk North America (300 daytime minutes) - $40/month - this gives me unlimited weekend and evening long distance calling if I am in Saskatchewan and 300 minutes of long distance if I am a) anywhere in North America that is not Saskatchewan or b) calling during the day.  And like I said, I rarely, if ever, use my daytime minutes.
Blackberry 250MB Service Plan - $15/month (go to the Pricing Options tab) - I will NEVER go over 250 MB at the rate I use data but even if I do, as long as I'm in Canada it's only an extra 3 cents/MB!
Wireless Feature Pack -  $17/month (bottom of the page) for unlimited texting, voicemail, and call display (and unfortunately voice to text, must figure out how to disable that one)

There you have it - a grand total of $72/month (before fees) for everything I had before, plus unlimited long distance!  No worries about going over my minutes and the freedom to call wherever I want for only $2 more per month!

I am the smartest consumer!