An Abundance of Caution

Welp, it looks like we finally got the fallout of cancel culture: everything is now cancelled. Ya happy? All this cancel him, cancel her bullshit going out into the ether, and now nothing is playing, no one is meeting up, all the toilet paper is gone and we’re all holed up working from home, praying to high heaven we don’t get so much as a cough. Yeah. Thoughts and prayers that.

Because panic buying is the latest thing to do and I’m reading about people running around like chickens with their heads cut off, prioritizing the stupidest things (really, toilet paper?), here is a list of other things I would get (everyone knows cans, jars and anything with a long shelf life is essential) in the mad scramble of panic buying:

Twinkies. I’d hoard Twinkies like the Gulf states hoard oil. Every post-apocalyptic work states unequivocally that Twinkies will never go bad, and the currency of the future post fall-out could very well be Twinkies and toilet paper.

Machetes. If this is really going to all go down and we’re headed to the wilderness to fend for ourselves like extras in The Walking Dead, a few machetes would come in mighty handy. A little chopping for firewood, a little slicing for meat, a bit of hacking through the underbrush, a good machete goes a long way.

Aquatabs. Or, really, anything that has to do with potable drinking water. For obvious reasons. I stopped drinking from the tap years ago, because I couldn’t trust it, and once again, if we are pushed to the brink and forced to source water from rivers, lakes and waterfalls we aren’t supposed to be chasing, dying from dysentery is just as bad as dying from COVID-19.

Ibuprofen. Let’s see, you’re on the run (or you’re locked down for an inordinate amount of time). Your hygiene is shit. There are no willowbark trees anywhere in the vicinity, and you wouldn’t know a willowbark tree if you saw one anyway, so what’s the point? You develop the worst migraines because your body is crying out for food and water. Hoard the painkillers. Guard them with your life.

UPDATE: not sure how accurate the reports are re ibuprofen as a possible aggravator for COVID-19, so… grain of salt and all that.

Duct Tape. I don’t know about you, but duct tape is this magical stuff that is supposed to fix anything and everything, with the exception of a broken marriage, so yes, maybe a few rolls of that stuff might come in handy in my new life as a vagabond.

Clearly, I am a red shirt and these things aren’t going to be worth shit and my survival skills are all from the school of pop culture, which means I’ll be the one who thinks survival is curling up in the body of a dead tauntaun. That said, to be honest it’s kind of hard to make light of these things, when you’re facing the reality of empty shelves and fruit bins. I went for apples yesterday, and it looked like a plague of locusts had swept through our local No Frills:

I have NEVER seen these shelves be empty before. Ever. It is weird, and not a little eerie.

Also this, at the local Canadian Tire:


The future is here, and it is bleak.

Online Travel Tools for Obsessively Compulsive, Anally-Retentive You

Online Travel Tools for Obsessively Compulsive, Anally-Retentive You

I am chronically incapable of being footloose and fancy free without doing any due diligence, of visiting a place I’ve never been to and just seeing where the wind will take me.  If the good lord wanted me to go where the wind blows, he would’ve made me a dandelion instead of an obsessive, anally-retentive girl scout. I know, I know. I sound like a pill. I’m only a pill in the beginning, though.  I promise. *hand on heart* Once I’ve gotten everything under control and can tell myself I’ve done all I need to do to be prepared, I can be as cool as a cucumber.

But first, I need control. I need a sense of knowing. I need security. I need to know what I’m going to do, where I’m going to go, what I’m going to eat, and how I’m going to get to where I want to go before I do it, especially when it comes to travel. (You can take a girl out of a travel agency, but you really can’t take a travel agency out of a girl!) 

Google has a suite of travel tools that I use a lot.  Flights is great when you’re shopping for airfare, and I particularly love their “flexible dates” option and the way prices and locations change automatically depending on where in the world you happen to be hovering over. Hotels is a very well thought out, intuitive way to look for possible places to stay -it’s easy to read reviews, check out photos and compare prices. Maps is one of my favourite and most trusted travel tools. It gives a sense of security in an otherwise alien place, because you’ll always know where you are and how to get where you want to go, especially if you’ve downloaded a map of the area in advance.

I don’t feel constrained to book travel directly on Google’s website though. Neither should you – if you can get points booking travel on a certain site or with a certain type of credit card, by all means do so. I like to book directly with the airline when it comes to airfare, but with hotels I can be a little more flexible. I tend to go with Expedia for sentimental reasons, and also because they have very competitive prices and an excellent points program. 

The following sites are what I use when I go in-depth. Other than the usual go-tos like Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor, I’ve found some really interesting information off of these sites, and you may already know some if not all of them. I hope they help you as you prepare for your own trips too! 

Wiki Voyage
WikiVoyage provides a condensed, Lonely Planet-esque overview of your destination. I use it particularly when I want information about districts and modes of transportation but don’t want to feel overwhelmed or pressured to book anything. Like Wikipedia, it’s less about the bells and whistles and more about the actual information but don’t let the wall of text intimidate ya. There’s a lot more information to digest than just districts and transportation, although that is primarily what I use WikiVoyage for.

Atlas Obscura
Yes, attractions are famous for a reason, and they should definitely be seen, it’s just that sometimes being able to enjoy what you see becomes impossible when there are too many people also wanting to do the same thing. If, like me you like to avoid touristic mosh pits, Atlas Obscura is great for the weird, the quirky, the secret little things that not a lot of people may be into. It also welcomes suggestions from fellow travelers, and is filled with unusual, off-the-beaten-path suggestions (hence the name!).

Taste Atlas
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and sampling the local cuisine is the best way to feel like a local. I like to try and not eat anything other than local staples wherever I get to go, to get a really well-rounded experience of what living in a certain country must feel like, and Taste Atlas is an invaluable resource. Is food a big part of how you travel? It should be! 

Lastly (but not leastly), never underestimate the power of Reddit. There’s no better advertising than word of mouth, and Reddit is invaluable for checking out what the locals say. Think about it as a place to go for insider information, because locals can (and do) say a lot!

Do you have any travel sites that you’d recommend? Feel free to share, and happy travels!


Image from Jumpic

Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go

Toronto’s flagship HMV closed its doors today with the fire sale to end all fire sales. I went, I saw, I learned so much.

One – they can mark down all the DVDs and Blu-rays in the world,  6 for $9 still isn’t enough incentive to make people want to buy all the Twilight movies that miraculously escaped the incinerator that should’ve been set up to rid the world of that infamy. It did make me stop and think maybe my Dad… nope. I already wasted enough time and energy reading the books (cringe) and watching the first two movies (cringe) in theatres (cringe). Enabling my father will not be another sin I need to take with me to confession.

Two – the same can be said about Glee. The combined allure of singing adolescents and bargain basement pricing just isn’t  good enough.

Three – I am apparently unable to ignore a 90% discount on Star Wars bobbleheads, even if it’s a two-fer on characters I didn’t and still don’t give a crap about, but hey it’s $3.49, Christmas is inevitable, maybe I can fob Finn and Kylo Ren off on someone who isn’t my husband  – who is likely to  judge me thirty ways to Sunday for giving in to the Force of this discount.

Four – the last Funko Pop! figures to go at a fire sale wil be: Castiel from Supernatural, Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones and Killer Croc from Suicide Squad. In other words, “Um, who?”, “Oh alright, fine”, and “I already have a Chewbacca bathrobe from HMV that the hubs is never going to wear, let me walk away with what’s left of my dignity.”

Five – does anyone want a Chewbacca bathrobe? Never used. Let’s talk.