Disappointing Humans & Uplifting Alternatives

Rather than spend another weekend disappointed in the state of the world, let’s just be aware of the garbage humans thriving in misogyny and racism, and look to something more positive. Here’s a list of the folks who are letting us down and some uplifting alternatives.

Disappointing Human: Nev Schulman

I’m BEYOND disappointed. I effing love watching Catfish. But it’s hard to watch a show when you’ve lost all respect for its host. Apparently he also has a history of assaulting a woman…so, that’s more than enough strikes in my book.

Garbage Human Nev Schulman

Proud to Support: Liz Plank

I’m a huge fan of fellow Canadian Liz Plank who has jumped into the US critical media scene bringing with her an amazing sense of humour. You can follow her on Twitter or Vox but if you’re looking for a new fix that covers relevant issues in a fun and captivating format, I highly recommend the Divided States of Women.

Winning Human Liz Plank.JPG

Disappointing Human: Kaitlin Bennett

This woman is a) promoting gun violence and b) refusing to acknowledge her white privilege. I’ll admit that, as a Canadian from a non-hunting family, I had zero exposure to gun culture. Still, surely, SURELY, there is no reason to carry that huge-ass gun around your college campus.

As for privilege, we as white women MUST listen to what our POC sisters are telling us. When we’re called out on our privilege and we ignore them, then we’re choosing the side of our oppressors. Remember, intersectionality is key.

Garbage Human Kaitlin Bennett

Proud to Support: Michelle Wolf

If you can scroll past the ridiculous GOP criticisms of Michelle Wolf’s comedy from White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and listen to her jokes, you’ll hear a biting and hilarious comedian, worthy of our attention (in all her other works as well). This bit on how women can “have it all” was so on-point it actually choked me up. Definitely listen. (Bit starts at 2:00)

Disappointing Human: Kim Kardashian

The vanity promoted by this family is abhorrent. But, because they are rich and conventionally attractive (after a lot of plastic surgery and ongoing maintenance, I might add), we give them our attention and, much worse, our reverence. Rather than using that power for positive change or to influence their young, female fans for the better, they promote products like this appetite suppressant.

Beautiful, precious young women, hear my words: if you are hungry, PLEASE EAT.

This is not okay.

Garbage Human Kim Kardashian

Proud to Support: Megan Crabbe aka bodyposipanda

This incredible woman is one of my favourite folks to follow on Instagram. She posts about body positivity in the most fun ways, including using her platform to highlight other women spreading the “love yourself” message. She’s truly a magical unicorn of a human being. Go follow her. Do it now.

Winning Human Megan Crabbe

 

Stay hopeful, my feminist friends.

Design

READ MORE BOOKS

My first and longest-lasting addiction was, and continues to be, books. I can’t get enough of them. Just take all those YA novels and comedy memoirs and hand them over, thank you very much.

Sure, you could go to a library. Libraries are awesome. I love libraries. (I miss this particular library immensely.) And, yah, maybe there’s a library just down the street from you…but maybe one time when you walked past the library a man dropped trou in front of you to pee on the side of said library so maybe you’re not super keen to head back there for all your book-reading needs.

Luckily, my pal Peady sent me this message where in she yelled at me (in all caps, no less) to “GO TO THE BOOK THING!!!!”Book Thing

And so I did.

And it was good.

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The Book Thing is a place unlike any other. At The Book Thing you can enter with an empty heart and leave with armloads of free books. Unlike the library (I do love libraries, I swear!), you get to keep these books forever if you’d like!

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The space itself is shockingly clean and well-organized. I’ve got to admit though, one of the charms of a used bookstore for me are the piles and piles of books to sort through.

My favourite bookstore The Owl’s Nest in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is a veritable maze of previously enjoyed reading material. That sort of labyrinthine setup is what I was expecting at The Book Thing but it seems that their team of dedicated volunteers keep everything in ship shape for its loyal patrons.

Perhaps it’s because a fire put the shop out of commission for a while…

 

It was great to see so many happy readers loading up their tote bags with new-to-them books.

They only ask that you don’t return previously read books back to The Book Thing. Instead, pass them on to a neighbour or friend!

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On my first visit I walked away with two poetry books, a book about antiques from 1944 (!) and a couple of new novels.

I can’t wait to go back but, in the meantime, I’ve got some reading to do!

 

Design

How to Ditch the Phone & Write Some Snail Mail

Today’s post is written by the incredibly talented illustrator and designer Tara Joy Andrews. Tara is the creator of the BlogJam Atlantic logo, as well as numerous other whimsical and wonderful designs. Read on to hear her thoughts on the return of hand written letters and to enter a very special giveaway!

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I fell in love with mail in elementary school when I was about seven years old. Our class did a letter-writing project and all of my classmates were randomly given each other’s addresses. We were given some writing prompts to write a letter and the teacher gathered the letters in their sealed and addressed envelopes, put stamps on them and mailed them for us. I lived outside of town so was disappointed that my letter took an extra day to arrive but I remember the feeling of getting something in the mailbox addressed to me from someone that a stranger had taken the time to deliver right to my house. At such a young age it seemed like magic.

Why Mail When We Have Texts, Tweets, and Email?

We have more ways than ever to connect with people. We can text, tweet, email, Skype, or FaceTime with our smartphones but there is nothing quite like getting a handwritten letter in the mail. You can’t touch a tweet like you can hold a letter from someone. Snail mail connects people more, feels extraordinary and because it takes time and effort to get pen and paper together to write a letter, the sentiment feels genuine and somehow more meaningful than a text or email.

The added benefit of mail is that you can also include extras like photos, artwork, postcards, craft supplies, washi tape (a favourite of mine), stickers, recipes, tea, flower seeds and a million other small flat items that fit in an envelope. Googling what to send to a pen pal will give you many ideas!

Snail mail is also a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures and reconnect with friends and family. There are many snail mail swaps that happen hosted online or through email by snail mail enthusiasts. Some of my favourite mail swap sites are Pretty Postal in Toronto and Reading Residence’s Bring Back Paper in the UK. In June, I will host my first mail swap, you’ll find out how to be involved later in this post.

Snail-Mail-Post-Tara-Joy-Andrews

Time for You to Send a Letter!

Inspired yet? I was hoping you would be.

Decide whose address is going on that envelope. Think of someone that you haven’t connected with in a while or someone you see often but would appreciate a surprise from you in the mail.

Ask them for their address or you can be a secret detective and use canada411.ca to look up their street address and if you know their civic address, canadapost.ca can get you their postal code.

There are many local artists (like me) that create adorable cards and stationery items that can further inspire you to get started. Your local bookstore or gift shop will be full of them, or just pull out a piece of printer paper, it doesn’t have to be fancy.

Not sure what to write? Here are a few prompts for you:

  • Write about something you have recently accomplished
  • Discuss the crazy weather we’ve been having or not having
  • Share what you love about the current season
  • Tell them about recent goals you have set for yourself
  • Recommend a book, magazine, podcast or Netflix show you are enjoying
  • Talk about a mutual friend you ran into and how much you liked catching up with them
  • Talk about the best meal you’ve had and where was it, even better if you made it yourself

Once you start writing it feels like you are having a visit with the person you are writing to and the words flow easier.

Join My June Mail Swap

How do mail swaps work? You’ll send me your mailing address and it will be shared with one other person who also wants to send some mail. You’ll have a deadline to send your mail by and I will provide some prompts if you run into writers block or are not sure what to send. Also, if you both agree you can continue to be pen pals.

You’ll also get a coupon code to save 10% off anything in my Etsy shop when you join my
mailing list and throughout May I am also offering free shipping throughout Canada.
Happy snail mailing, I hope you get lots of letters in your mailbox!

Click here to join Tara’s mailing list!

Win a Snail Mail Starter Pack

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To kick start your letter writing and snail mailing adventures, Tara has generously provided this awesome starter pack of 5 notecards and 5 postcards for one lucky reader!

To be entered in this giveaway, leave a comment and let us know who you would send one of these adorable cards to. Is it your sister? Your old roommate? A penpal? Let us know in the comments below!

CONTEST IS CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO LAURIE!