All posts filed under: Commentary

This is my Crone Voice

On one of my recent ‘wanderings’ I came across the word ‘Crone’ or more specifically, the Crone Archetype. Initially, I had a not so pleasant vision of a ‘Crone’, but further reading made me realize that some might say I AM a Crone! Perhaps you are too. (If you are a man, then your corresponding Archetype would be Sage.) If you are a woman of a certain mature age, have abandoned the need for ‘properness’, are up front, and don’t mince your words – you might be a Crone. If you are seen as a being a straight talking mentor, occasionally a trifle crabby  and perhaps even  a bit flirtatious and sassy – you might be a Crone. If you have found an inner peace and accept who you are; if you are realistic and have practical expectations – you might be a crone. I ticked off a lot of the ‘You might be a Crone’ boxes. When I reviewed the content of my blog, my ‘Crone Voice’ was evident in so many of the …

The Upside to Absent-mindedness

For some reason there is a malfunction, some disconnect, between my imaginary hello and, well, my actual hello… Just know this: if you have ever passed me in the hall and I appeared to ignore you, it actually wasn’t like that at all… – Stuart McLean, The Vinyl Cafe Notebooks – An imaginary hello. Yes, that describes the greeting I sometimes don’t give. It’s caused (they say) by a condition called absent-mindedness (also spelled  absentmindedness or absent mindedness.) Often, I don’t even know that I’m being absent-minded. On other occasions, it is quite apparent: I search for my glasses and find them on the top of my head or I walk into a room but forget what I came there to do. I don’t think it is something to be stressed about. On the whole, my memory usually runs fairly smoothly and  I’m fairly adept at focusing when I need to. I see the shift into absent-mindedness as something that sets me free to think in abstract or creative ways – (that’s my story, and …

The Quippery

Increase Your Chances of Being Right

In “post-fact culture”, where rationality seems to vanish in the storms of lies and conspiracy theories, beliefs about the future are crucial. – Gapminder Data System – Are you smarter than a chimp? Watch this funny, entertaining and encouraging video to see how your knowledge compares to the chimps at the zoo. How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant. – TED Talk by the Gapminder Founders – What facts surprised you or made you think more positively about the future of the world?

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When Do You ‘Put Your Affairs in Order’?

Unless your Doctor has given you notice that your ‘Best Before Date’ is rapidly closing in on your ‘Expiry Date’, you might not have thought about the most important thing you can do for yourself now AND leave for your loved ones when you depart this world. This important thing costs no more than a sheet or two of paper, but it is priceless. It is a List of All the Things you know now – but might not remember later. It is a list of things the Executor of your Estate won’t know until they have rifled through your desk, file cabinet and all sorts of places obvious and obscure – so that they can wrap up your estate and deliver it to your rightful heirs. Think about this: Do you keep your documents in obvious locations like your desk, file cabinet or a shoe box under the bed? Does your family know you also stash important papers in a fake cabbage (or lettuce) in the fridge, a former box for fish cakes in …

Do You Love the Skin You’re In?

Did you see the unretouched photo of actress Jamie Lee Curtis in 2002?  It was taken when she was 43 years old. Jamie insisted the photographer, Andrew Eccles,  shoot her with no makeup, no manicure, no hair styling – wearing only an exercise bra and underwear. She did not want the photo altered in any way. She said this was her contribution to stopping the Hollywood Myth of what women are supposed to look like. Of course, it isn’t just Hollywood that contributes to the myth. There is a Beauty Industry  with products and advertising to tell us how to make our hair, skin, teeth and clothes conform to some standard of beauty;  a Weight Loss Industry that tells us we are too fat; a Cosmetic Surgery Industry to turn back the hands of time, and an Exercise Industry that is often advertised as a way to improve our looks. How big is the  ‘Myth of Perfection’ Industry? The Global Beauty Market (hair care, skin care, cosmetics, fragrances) is expected to reach $265 billion in …

He said, “I Don’t Want the Chicken”

I’m helping my Dad downsize. He will probably be moving to smaller living quarters in the not too distant future. The ‘weeding’ process isn’t easy for him. He has a strong attachment to just about everything old in his apartment. His bonds to the distant past grow stronger, as the memories of the near past fade. If he is willing to let me remove anything, it is only because he is very certain that a family member will take ownership of the item and treasure it as much as he does. Everything I have carted off so far is now safely stored in The Car Guys Garage, pending resettlement somewhere. The pile is fluid. Some of the things I put there last week must now go back to Dad’s place – a change of heart and mind. As I was getting ready to haul another load down to my car yesterday, he suddenly said, “Take the chicken. I really don’t want that chicken.” That surprised me. The chicken, (more accurately a Portuguese Good Luck Rooster, …

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Hawaii – Over the Top Writing Makes me do Just the Opposite

You’ve probably seen some of these ‘over the top’ words in Post Titles on the internet. They are supposed to be so enticing that you will click through to read the story. Here are some of the most common superlatives: Utterly Strangest Outrageous Amazing Groundbreaking Truth Astonishing Incredible Bombshell Awesomely Stunning Unbelievable (or You Won’t Believe Your Eyes) Insanely Gorgeous Impossible Absolutely Unbeatable You’ll Never Guess Ridiculous or Jaw Dropping for stories, that will Blow you away Be to Die For Take Your Breath Away Change Your World Freak You Out because well, OMG – This is Genius!!! This style of writing has just the opposite effect on me – I simply refuse to click through to read it. Just this once, though, I’m going to use words from the list above to describe my photos for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge (which is Opposites.) These photos were taken on a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. OMG! The scenery was to die for! My jaw dropped as I watched the waves crash onto the rocks. …

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Life Is Many Things – What is it to You?

How old where you when you thought you were grown up? How old were you when you started to think about what Life Is? Did you think it was possible to explain what ‘Life Is’ in just one sentence? Age lets you be the person you would have been, if you hadn’t been so busy being the person you were earlier in life. – Margie – Life is short… ask directions. – Unknown – The rest of the quotations about Life are at Life and What it is.

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Why I’m Tired Of so Many Things

I recently discovered a blog called A Bear’s Rant. Written by a Canadian, the site is “committed to being an island of common sense in a world with too little of it.” I stumbled onto this blog when I was looking for information that substantiated and refuted the claims being made by the ‘Idle No More’ Protest. (I like to look at both sides of things before I jump off the fence. Who knows what kind of crap you might land in…) I was particularly curious as to why this grassroots movement did not support eight Canadian Federal Bills that provide a practical approach to making it easier for First Nations to develop an economy. At ‘A Bear’s Rant’ I found a post called The Misconceptions In Bill C45 That Sparked ‘Idle No More’ – Part One: Reserve Lands. Part Two discusses Bill C45 further, and Part Three concerns Attawapiskat Band Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike. I’ll leave my conclusions about ‘Idle No More’ to another day. I would, however like to join ‘A Bear’s …

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Distorted Perceptions of Beauty

At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all. – Ann Landers (1918-2002) – Why do you think women worry about how they look? Do women tend to judge other women by how they look? Are women bombarded by companies who want them to think that they don’t measure up? Do women judge themselves by what is negative, not what is positive? Do women pressure other women to conform to an idealized image of what is beautiful? Do women equate aging to loss of beauty? Do women believe beauty gives them a competitive edge in all facets of their lives? Do women fear that men won’t like/love them if they are not beautiful? Do women believe that beauty is of more value than intelligence? Are women surrounded by media role models who are air brushed, photo shopped beauties? An example of an Air Brushed and Photo Shopped Model: Here …

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Simply Eggcellent – Don’t be a Stupid Girl

I Believe Women will achieve the Equality they deserve when they can defy all the industries that make them feel unworthy. I Believe Women will achieve the Happiness they deserve when they quit worrying about their age, and how they look. I Believe the Media does a better job at Instilling Fear in people than it does in empowering them. Many women, I’ve discovered, don’t share my beliefs. They are willing to support the industries that tell them they are not good enough – not pretty enough, not thin enough, not sexy enough. Fortunately, there are women who do share a few of my beliefs and one of these is the writer of the blog Hippie Cahier.  She recently wrote an ‘eggcellent post’ “I don’t wanna be a stupid girl”. Also, be very sure to watch the video by P!nk called Stupid Girls.   Another blogger who writes about women, both historically and in the present, is Barb at Before Morning Breaks. In this post she tells of a new fashion hell: Before Morning Breaks Considers …

Give Me the Good Old Parking Meter, Please!

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said ‘Parking Fine.’ – Tommy Cooper – I’ve become the family chauffeur since The Car Guy had his motorcycle accident.  I don’t mind driving, though it would be much more pleasant if all those drivers who never do a shoulder check would stop trying to occupy my car’s geographic location. Arriving safely at our destination, and finding a parking spot is always a relief. The true challenge comes when it is time to pay for the parking. Gone are the days when I handed my ticket and money to a kindly attendant in a little booth at the exit or plugged my coins into a friendly machine that looked like it could dispense jelly beans. No, today I am faced with the pure evil of electronic ticket machines. They are the silent but efficient guardians of the place where I will abandon my vehicle in order to sit in a Doctor’s office for eternity plus a 3 …

How to Clone Yourself – Unfocused

I was going to use this photo for a post about how I wish I could clone myself.  I even have it figured out how the process would happen. I will simply stand outside the house in front of a dual pane window (the cleaner the better so that there isn’t dirt blobs or bird poop on my clone.) I will hold up a box like apparatus (think Calvin and Hobbes and ‘The Transmogrifier’ box, only much smaller), focus until two distinct people appear in the viewfinder, and click the shutter.  Then I will take one large step back, leaving my clone standing right in front of me. I tried it several times with my Canon camera, but the process didn’t work. I think I have to practice  making the two images less unfocused, and perhaps the camera is much too sophisticated for the job. I think an empty kleenex box with a cardboard toilet paper tube stuck in it would be a better starting point. If I perfect this technology, one of us will …

A 3 Dressed Up As a 9

I don’t think people should be judged by their looks, do you? There is a catchy song by Trooper that confirms the stereotype that men are only interested in women’s looks, and that women will do what it takes to meet a man’s expectations: You looked a whole lot better to me From twenty feet away You’re just a 3 dressed up as a 9 …. – Trooper – The Fashion and Beauty Industry have certainly capitalized on the desire of women to be younger, thinner, firmer, smoother…. and if the product can’t actually do what it claims, then the Advertising Industry will find a graphic artist who will make sure that expectations and reality appear to be one and the same. (If you Google ‘Airbrushing Celebrity Before and After’ you’ll see  some excellent examples.) Let me demonstrate how simple it is to alter a photo to make a model ‘more beautiful’. In the photo above, Sondra the Snow Goddess is modelling the latest in scarf wear. Here is Sondra after a session in Photoshop. …

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Good News for Seniors – Not Everything about Aging is Bad

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. – Will Rogers – The Crabby Lady from the Complaints Department was in my office when I arrived this morning. “It’s a conspiracy!” she cried. “They are trying to kill us all by scaring us to death! Look at this headline in today’s news!” I looked at the paper she had shoved under my nose (The Paranoid Times). The headline read, “The Dangers of Breathing for Seniors“. “It’s part of their series called “A Danger a Day”, and I tell you, they want to scare us to death so that the Government doesn’t have to pay out Seniors Benefits. Yes, the Government and the Media are in this together…” Before I could duck, she had slapped another yellow stickie on my forehead, and stomped off. I peeled off her note and read: “Give me some good news about aging. I’m tired of all the negative crap.” This jolted me out of my happy world of Sunshine, Daffodils, Paddling …

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A Skinny-Obsessed World – Is ‘Fat’ Really the Worst Thing We Can Be?

Paige, at ‘Mastering the Art of Life’ recently wrote a post called ‘My Life as a Number’. She talks frankly about women’s obsession with their weight and dress size, and how those two numbers, if they don’t fall within the criteria dictated by society, can overshadow all the other characteristics that truly describe a person. Paige ends her piece with a quote by J.K. Rowling from the J.K. Rowling Official Site. In a post called ‘For Girls Only, Probably’  J.K. says in part: “Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.” “I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them …

Do You Like You? Being Comfortable in Your Skin

‘Try’ by Colbie Caillat : “It’s this song I’ve had in my head my entire life about personal insecurities, imperfections, self-confidence issue. I thought I was the only person who felt that way and now I release this song that so many people around the world are relating too, so many different age ranges, men and women.” Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can’t put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you’re doing it from a position of correction. – Kevyn Aucoin – If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably realize I am not a big fan of the Beauty Industry. It is not that I am against many of the products. I’m just against the entire multi-billion dollar machine that tells women they aren’t good enough unless they use these products. I’m against women being told they must color their hair or hide their …