Friday, January 29, 2010

No More Whining

Ok, I apologize for the grumpy befuddled "I hate big trucks" rant. Today is just a fun catch up posting, about where I'm at, what I'm doing, and how it all applies to *you guessed it* my life as a burgeoning Human Ecologist.

Today is a new day, and I am POSITIVE POSITIVE POSITIVE.
"I have had about three Red B.ulls in the last fifteen minutes."
(Not really, I think Red B.ull tastes like cough syrup, which makes me throw up a little, but I am caffeinated, and I slept through my first class this morning so I'm a little more peppy than usual... thus the run on sentences. My energy drink of choice [or my caffination process when all nighters with energy are required] is a Canadian brand called Beaver Buzz [weird I know, right?] which tastes pretty good, but then I mix it with Powerade and pineapple juice. Pineapple juice prevents your tummy from getting super acidy, which is always a problem when I pull all nighters, and Powerade keeps me hydrated, which is the worst part of energy drinks, aside from all the caffeine, weird colours and crazy ingredients they pretend are good for me but actually aren't. That's my trade secret, so keep it on the down low, but feel free to use it amongst yourselves and your loved ones.)

What am I up to? Well, I have been working a lot, and getting paid, which is fun! I am definitely feeling the pressure of less time than before, but it's not the same as when I worked on the other end of the city and had to drive there for 8 hours after my school, usually short shifts with some really fabulous girls who respect me, and I in turn reciprocate. I am totally trying to study or work on school junk at least a bit each night when I get home. I also have been working on my personal work project- finding a non profit organization willing to accept the 'damaged' goods from our store. Otherwise they just cut them to pieces so no one can pull them out of the trash and try to return them for store credit, and this whole theory makes me sad like a small emo-child in the corner. I came into the back room one day and I felt this huge ball in my stomach as the manager explained that we could prevent the slaughtering of all these relatively perfect goods if only we had someone with the time to make a few phone calls.


I started my mission by thinking about people I know who work with kids etc who would be willing to use the goods. One of my buddies is working with at risk youth teaching them to sew. Her organization doesn't have the storage capacity to take the goods right now, and since her program just started, the kids don't have the skills to rework the goods yet, so my search continues. My next choice was a shelter that has halfway houses which helps youth get into their own stable living situations, because they may need clothes for interviews or special events and they are just the kids who couldn't afford them. Often the items can't be sold because they have been worn and were returned by persnickety customers who were upset with a tiny problem. So they are SUPER nice clothes, but they have been worn. I still haven't heard back from them yet, so I will be moving on to some other groups soon if that doesn't pan out. Who knew it would take so much work to find people who want to take free stuff? WEIRD. But I will DO it.

(and yes, I am typing this all really fast, and feel like I'm talking at a million miles a second. Feel free to speed read to get the full on Alex P. on coffee experience.)

My Gluten Free World has benefited me as I am no longer covered in leprous splotches. This is a vast improvement. I have discovered that usually the only thing I can order at most restaurants is salad or nachos, and if its a pub or cheaper restaurant the nachos are usually the better choice because no one ever orders salad in those places, so its usually brown and gross. Nicer restaurants often have lots of neat options, but I am finding it way better if I just eat at home. This is good for my pocket book, and just my personal understanding of my body. I also use it as justification to have coffee from the green demon more often, because mocha syrup non fat americano mistos are practically the only yummy thing I can still have without a tonne of work. (Except for the gluten free chocolate covered donuts I found in the freezer aisle at the market down the street. I don't really like donuts normally, but these little bundles of joy were the only thing that kept me from having a melt down a few weeks ago when chocolate was an absolute necessity. And PROPS to my DH who went out and picked up a box this week 'just in case' I want more soon. Because he's Awesome. [capitalized for effect])

I am working on a group project related to hollow fiber sports wear, and this of course involves a lot of petroleum and unnatural based fiber usage. This usually makes me upset, because it's hard to think of all the stuff we are creating which doesn't break down and is just thrown away or not used to it's full capable extent. The other side of the argument is that this clothing is technical, and increases a persons comfort and is very appealing for many reasons, its wicking and durable, it makes exercise a more enjoyable experience. Awesome because health and body awareness are important. This particular Literature review has made me a bit happier. On the downside, I'm having trouble finding the exact papers I need, specifically about hollow fibers in sports wear. Since Human Ecology is such a small portion of the University, a lot of the textiles periodicals which may be useful are ones we have to request on Inter Library Loan, instead of having direct digital access. This is so frustrating since they have to ship the papers from whatever library in our network actually subscribes, which takes more time than we have, since we present on Wednesday of next week (EEEK). Wow. I digress. The good side of being really particular about my search parameters is that I am finding a lot of research about specialty fabrics which are being designed to have these technical aspects, but also to provide additional benefits to the environment like being recyclable (WOW) or even biodegradable (double WOW). The research itself is inspiring, because the textiles industry has long been a little behind in being socially responsible in pretty much every way shape and form (ethical labour practices, environmental procedures in development of textiles and garments, etc. .)
It is so good to see that not only does the industry understand that these items will help the world in the long run, but also that they need to be tested and shown to be just as effective as the articles we are using at this time. Because the research will lead to the production value.

OK. So that's where I am. Onward, Upward.


  1. H&M got in a lot of shit for dumping metric buttloads of perfect good clothes that would otherwise go to good homes as it would 'cheapen' their brand if given to the homeless. Blecch.

    I am in total agreement with you and believe that some sort of organization or helpful society should be able to come through. What about Goodwill? or would the donation effect not be as impactful? Just a thought.

  2. Because Goodwill and VV etc are stores, they do have a profit margin. It has to be a charitable organization which will put the clothes in the hands of the needy for free.

  3. I was frustrated with the same thing when I worked for the Nike shop and Athletes world. Only we did have a charity that the returned clothes were donated to. Until.... some on from the charity came into the store with a black felt marker putting marks on the clothes so that we couldn't sell them.

    Then we to adopted the chop cut and throw technique. Watching a perfectly good pair of $250 shoes be torn apart and thrown out is very sad... Not to mention all the clothing...

    good Luck to you!! I hope you find a place and are successful in this matter! =)