Wednesday, 19 December 2007

I just called HR to try and figure out what to do with my physio reimbursement forms.  The HR benefits person for my faculty has gone on holidays already, but her voicemail directed me to call another HR person, who happened to be the benefits person for [info]melted_snowball's faculty. 

She answered all my questions; when I mentioned "my partner" she assumed I meant my male partner, though she apologized for assuming without asking. She said she remembered my name from when d. and I signed up for health insurance in Fall of '01, and in fact remembered a few things about us. 

So I got to briefly tell her that one of my favourite stories of moving to Canada was in her office, when one of our first official interactions after arriving was checking the "common-law" box on her benefits form, and it was all so very anti-climactic.

I'm struck that I had expected this interaction to be banal at best and soul-crushingly bureaucratic at worst, and matter-of-fact decency just feels that much more poignant.
This is partly a post for me to link to in my todo list for next spring, because I want to think about longer days (wah, it's so dark at 4:20...)

Via [profile] speedyima:

One Straw Revolution, written by a guy who's doing permaculture in his subdivision.  (He wisely got himself elected president of the neighborhood assn first!)  He also has a basic essay on "Ecological 'Yardening'", covering the basics of lawn maintenance/eradication, vegetable gardening, etc.

His tips on how to get started reducing grass lawn appear sound and reasonably simple.  Though I think the title "yardening" is too twee. Perhaps re-reading this in the spring will inspire me after I never did get started on replacing any of the yard with attractive perennials last year.  Though- I did encourage the ivy to come out from the house into the yard, with careful mowing.  And I'll revisit this in April.

Also: the Eat Well Guide is a database of local farms, stores, and restaurants, from Canada and the US. It's an interesting find, and I'm curious if their overall coverage is better than for our area- it completely lacks most of the local sources I know of; but it would be neat to see this grow up to be a proper international guide.  I'm going to point them at the "Eat Local Eat Fresh" "Buy Local Buy Fresh" database, which is slightly less user-friendly but much more complete for locals.  The Eat Well Guide is from the folks who did the "meatrix" movie(s), which means I have mixed feelings about it- the movies are histronic and a bit misleading, but... it's not like there needs to be a monopoly on media messages about organic cruelty-free meat farms.

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