This morning I have no memory of what it was that was on my mind. Perhaps another coffee will jog my memory, but for the nonce I suppose it will have to be a subject that I shall shelve for some future time when it will occur to that I need to post about it. Note to future self: take notes and set a reminder.
I sometimes worry about the amount of time that I spend on Reddit, but it pays off when I learn useful tips like this one. The page is very short, but I will recap it here to save you having to follow the link.
If you are a Canadian travelling in the US, and you like to pay for gas at self-serve gas stations, there is a formula that both Visa and Mastercard will accept which allows you to enter your postal code as a ZIP code at gas stations which won't take your card without it. Take the three digits from your postal code and append 00 to the end. For example, if your postal code is R3B1M6 then your "ZIP" code would be 31600.
atara and I have run into this frustration a few times when travelling in the US. In fact, the last time we were visiting Ohio, we had to rely on her uncle to pay for our gas because we had no cash on us, and the station we were at (part of a national chain) could not accept any other form of payment from us. atara has expressed frustration more than once about how archaic and backward her former homeland can be at times, given how advanced it is in most other ways.
My cynicism this morning is reserved for blogger who they were interviewing on the CBC morning show today. She had blogged about how much her life had improved after she gave up drinking and smoking. I was with her up to that point, I mean, who would not root for somebody who saw a goal and took steps to improve their life? When they delved into how much she had been smoking and drinking, she said that she had been smoking about half a pack a day, and went out almost every evening to have a couple of glasses of wine with the girls.
She talked about the late nights, and the smoking and drinking, and how they were taking their toll. She was feeling far older than somebody should in her early 20s. She mentioned how she would wake up in the morning and feel guilty about the fact that she had gone out with the girls to have some wine the night before, so she decided to give up the smoking and drinking and had never felt better. As an added bonus, she was saving oodles of money. You go girl.
This was when the hostess added the inevitable, sensationalist twist that let me wanting to reach through the radio and slap them both.
"So," said the hostess in a serious, Oprah-like cant, "were you an alcoholic?"
"Oh ya," gushed the blogger girl. "I was totally an alcoholic."
No - no you weren't unless we are really lowering the bar on alcoholism. Comparing your drinking to being an alcoholic is like claiming you had SARS because you once suffered from some sniffles. It felt like they were treating this interview like an opportunity to play, "Pimp My Vice."
I felt vicariously insulted on behalf of alcoholics everywhere as she hijacked their disorder to describe her feelings of mild guilt in the morning over how much she was spending on social drinking. Maybe she was an alcoholic in her mind because she has such a low threshold. Perhaps she's the kind of person for whom a bus arriving five minutes late is a total Fuck My Life moment.
Maybe I am being unfair. If she considered herself to be an alcoholic then maybe that is the sole governing criteria over what constitutes being such, though I should point out that many alcoholics do not consider themselves to be, even in the face of objective, empirical evidence.
To my mind, she is somebody who made some positive changes in her life, and deserves praise for that. I just hate hearing her dilute a legitimate disorder by trying to lay claim to it. Climbing a mole hill is not the same as scaling Everest, milady.