On a Lighter Note…Problem Solving 101


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So much strife exists these days.  And me?  Well I get on my blog and rant about the state of this world.

Then the latest incident hit regarding Apple vs. FBI.

Now I could go on a rant here as well but I will simply say that I’m on Apple’s side in all this and I don’t even own an iPhone.

I’ve got a Smartphone Android that likes to show me just how incompetent I am on a daily basis.

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Technology is moving at an unbelievably fast pace.  A documentary I viewed the other evening spoke of computer chips being injected into us humans and correcting all of our ailments.  This is to happen by 2030 which really is the not so distant future.

During my drive to work the other morning I witnessed a beautiful sunrise. Frost had kissed blades of grass and trees during the midnight hours.

And while I was pondering the fate of this world and taking in the beauty of a new day, I glanced in the rear-view mirror.

Horrified at my image with this hair…

'I can never do anything with my hair phobia.'

Now I’ve not complained about my hair in a good long while.  Indeed, after chemo left me bald I swore I would never complain again.  Even when my hair threatened to come in as curly do giving me the appearance of a cherub that scared me more than you’ll ever know.

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And as I thought about the FBI wanting technology to unlock a terrorist’s phone and Donald Trump wanting to build higher walls to keep out the ‘bad guys’ along the border should he become President, I also pondered concerns about global warming and how the price of everything is crazy.

What would make me really happy at the moment I considered?

Well, all I want is wash and wear hair.  Just to look lovely from sun up to sundown.

Oh, I’ve met those tortuous beauties so kind and gentle with locks that bounce and glisten in the sun.

Even when the rains have come, their hair defies the dampness and takes on a life of its own.

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And here I am, so petty in my wanting, that I covet the hair of my betters while this world sinks even further into despair.

How sad.  It would seem I am not the prolific and profound suffragette that I thought I was.

Then it struck me!

I phoned and made the appointment with my hairdresser at the end of March!

If I can find solace and peace with my hair, a truce perhaps, just maybe there will be hope for the rest of this world!

I believe! I believe! I believe!

 

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Back Story


JS & elmo

 

I had a good day.   It was a laid back one with no pressure.

Got out and about and went down to the Quay in New West to visit some friends who had set up for a flea market.

I grabbed a nibble then came home.  I watched the remainder of the hockey game and happily Montreal won.

CBC was paying homage to ‘Just for Laughs’ and celebrating 30 years on T.V.  I enjoyed it. Clips were shown from 1985 and onward.

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A young and oh so beautiful Jon Stewart reminded me why I love his humour as did many other comedians that I don’t see much of these days.  And the political landscape from Regan to Obama…from Mulroney to Harper.  What I appreciated about how this special was put together was the categories.

The following clips are from both Jon Stewart and David Letterman after the 9-11.

They covered everything and it was being hosted by my boy George Strombopolous also known as Canada’s boyfriend.

  • Racism
  • Gay marriage
  • War
  • Politics
  • Global warming
  • Healthcare
  • Law, etc.

Several of the comics were from the U.S. and many from other parts of the globe.

Funny how it still seemed so relevant today something that was performed some 30 years ago.

There is this hysteria over global warming. Yet no one really has done anything. And while we get up in arms about this and drive our six cylinder luxury vehicle to the protest to show our support, is there any of us who will freely admit to our hypocrisy in this matter?

I’m now into week 12 without the beneft of hot water in my suite…well, that is not entirely true. I now have it in my bathroom sink only.

Today’s bath required 28 basins of water to fill it enough for a decent scrub down.

There are certain things we just expect these days. The memory of developing the technology and infrastructure to accommodate these simple pleasures has been forgotten or ignored.

Last week I watched the news and a piece was done on the desirability of purchasing waterfront properties in the Victoria, BC area by the Chinese.  A Chinese realtor stood before the camera and stated that Chinese expected the best and wanted safe communities that were quiet.

This bothered me.

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One of Vancouver’s most expensive neighborhoods

Don’t we all want the best for our dollar? Don’t we all want to live in beautiful homes that are in safe and quiet communities?

The thing is that the property values are something I would never even begin to consider. Not even remotely as I could never afford them. In Vancouver the Chinese would pay $6-$8 million for such a property. In Victoria they get it at the bargain price of $3-$4 million.

house sold on 2 27 2015 for 1.9 million

This home sold in the 2700 block of King Edward for $1,900,000.00 on Feb 27, 2015

Sounds a bit elitist does it not?  And it creates a sense of animosity when foreigners are coming over and buying up our properties and forcing those who live and work here further out into the suburbs.  This fault, however, lies with the government and their ridiculous lust for tax dollars to feed their ever increasing pensions.

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The average price to purchase a detached home on the East side of Vancouver is now $1.27 million

I do know in China you can make a ridiculous amount of money. .

I do the accounting for an engineer who I’ve known for the last 15 years of so. He is Chinese and has told me on several occasions how much money could be made by moving there. He has family there. He has been offered jobs starting at a paltry $300,000 per year.

His small company that he runs here averages $500,000 per year.

I asked him once why he didn’t take the offers. He smiled thoughtfully then told me that ‘…in China you must live to work. It will consume you. Over here I can just live.”

And as the comedians weighed in on racism I could not help but smile. Yes, it is a serious subject matter, but Russell Peters explanation as to why black men have bigger penis’ than Indian people was stellar.

We have so many things that we’ve just ignore. We play these vicious war games then just change the players.

Politicians it would seem have short term memories in this regard.

War happens and the why’s and wherefores are often rather diluted these days.

Some of the comedians stepped up and offered their take on the infamous ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

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I looked at my toenails then and realized that soon if I don’t get them manicured they could well cause serious damage and be classified as lethal weapons.

All kidding aside, convincing the world that Sadam was sitting on an arsenal that could blow us all to smithereens was actually quite brilliant considering George W’s quest to wipe out Sadam was a vendetta to appease the fact that Sadam had tried to kill his daddy when he was President.

Oh…the plot thickens, doesn’t it?

Look a little deeper and you’ll find out who put Sadam in power. It was a U.S. initiative to remove Khomeini as he wasn’t playing nice any longer. And the U.S. had assisted him back in the day to gain power after throwing out the Shah of Iran.

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Destroying a Dictator

It’s a game of smoke and mirrors really.

Of course we here in Canada have our moments. The jokes were fast and furious.

Canada’s war offering had us giving out Tim Horton donuts and telling everyone to have a good day and then apologizing.

When the financial crisis of 2008 happened Steven Harper looked into the camera and advised Canadians to buy stocks stating how ideal the conditions were. Curious.

Wanda Sykes spoke of Viagra and how the quest to find a remedy for a limp biscuit had helped find cures for oh so many other illnesses.

One comic spoke of HIV and the search for a cure.

“We built a sheep from another sheep. We can duplicate a species. We can shoot botox into our faces and have no wrinkles….but cure AIDS?   No. Not yet.”

And as they parlayed throught their routines I was reminded once again of the duplicity of human kind.

The misunderstanding and misue of power.

The most frightening thing to me is the mind that is closed. Not open to any type of linear thinking.

Having ideas and with no allowance for failure. No compromise…nuthin!  That is frightening to me.

Life isn’t a series of headlines. While there may well be markers on this journey we call life, there is always a back story. And if you don’t feel it important to look beyond the headlines, then know you do yourself a disservice my not absorbing the full measure of the knowledge that has been offered.

And the sense of assessing what truly is important may well be lost to you.

the once and

Read ‘The Once and Future King’. It is the Arthurian tale at its finest.

I love that story and all that is stands for. The gifts we are given at birth…unique to each of us. Will we find our calling or will it find us?  Or will we waste it?

It’s all back story, baby.

Here is a link to a write up regarding the aforementioned book.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/jun/03/featuresreviews.guardianreview4

Peace.

 

 

Gassed up & Ready to Go!


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I don’t know why, but I want wail “I coulda been a contender!” And now that I’ve got that out of my system…

After my first week of entering back into the training ring I can say that I’ve learned a few things.

And really, I should know this. I should know better!  I am going to take myself out back and work myself over!

First up.  Don’t drink the evening shake in the morning before going to the gym.  I should stick with having a fruit smoothie or just a piece of fruit.

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Let’s just say the evening shake can cause an effect that is undesirable in a public setting. Typically I don’t bounce around in the evening after I’ve had one.  I found out this morning the repercussions of bouncing around after consuming the shake on the drive in.

It is that delicate condition known as flatulence.

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I would start to kick it up a notch then suddenly feel that ominous gurgle.  Like a deer caught in headlights, I would pause briefly to assess the situation.  Was I safe?  Should I continue?

A moment later I was sprinting to the bathroom.

This occurred a few times much to my chagrin.

Kale is notorious and spinach….(insert sigh)

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Now when I first started running I used to have a salad before hand.  I don’t need to tell you the effect that this had.  When I discussed this with Lara, our run leader, the slow smile as she broke it to me ever so gently that consuming such foods prior to a run isn’t advisable for reasons that I was now aware of.

So why did I think that by blending everything into a liquid would make it okay to consume prior to working out?

I’ve got to tell you though, it is soooooooo good!  But I shall refrain from consuming this at 5:00 AM.

It’s terrible as well when someone you haven’t seen in a while comes over to chat.  One of the women who is a regular came over to say ‘hello’ and talk for a bit.  I put on my best poker face and prayed I wouldn’t laugh.

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I had that visual in my head of laughing uproariously and in that moment when all control over bodily functions was lost, after the cloud of gas had cleared, everyone was passed out on the floor!

Let’s talk about something really dismal so that you’ll think that’s why I am wearing this pained expression.

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Still, despite the sprinting intervals, I had a decent workout.

I’m getting a lot of comments on my hair now. How fast it’s grown!  How great the colour is!

(Of course, I quite smugly add ‘No grey, man!’)

I had best stop this behaviour. Not good karma to gloat or boast or whatever it is I am doing.

I will get my second run in tomorrow morning.  Then I’m thinking of doing a fitness class on Sunday morning.  I haven’t gone to these classes for a while and I did enjoy them.

Next week I will start the two-week Liver Reset program.  This week has been preparatory for this.  I’ve been chowing down on a salads, baby!

I will be experimenting with a carrot soup recipe this weekend.  Yum!

Of course, I am having the early morning battles with my bed.  I went out and purchased a new down filled comforter with microfiber sheets and a couple of down filled pillows.

I must have a masochistic streak in me.  It is now painful to get out of my bed as I am so ridiculously comfortable!

In any case, I shall share my pleasures with you just as I share my pain.  This was the pleasure that caused the pain this morning.

The recipe for my night-time shake as follows.

2  stalks of Kale

1 big handful of Spinach

6-8 Strawberries (frozen or fresh)

1 Peach (frozen or fresh)

1 Banana (peeled)

Chia Seeds

2 cups of Coconut Milk

Blend until you have a thick and smooth consistency throughout.

Now you’ll have this glorious green shake!  It is delicious!  Enjoy!

Peace.

 

 

 

Characters


 

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She struts into the room with an air of confidence that cannot be beat.  Her smile rivals the sun and some might say her mannerisms are at times somewhat exaggerated. 

She can’t help it. It’s just her way.

The other day an elderly woman struggled with the door to a cafe.  Our heroine bound up from her seat in a mad dash to offer her assistance.  In the course of her efforts, however, she managed to upset another patron’s drink and knock a plant over.  

Ah, yes, the eccentric blonde.  Always so willing, not always so able.  

Of course she purchased a drink for the person whose drink she had maligned.  He turned out to be quite fetching in appearance, so she offered her phone number as well.  Never know, there just might be a stain on those pants that she would be happy to remove.  

He was of course enraptured by her golly gee good nature and assured her that he would indeed take his pants off for her should the need arise.  

And the plant?  Amazing what a little duct tape will do.’

The eccentric blonde is a character I created about twenty-five years ago, if not longer.  I took a creative writing class and one of the assignments was to come up with a character that could be used in a variety of scenes and settings.

And this was the birth of a character who has indeed endured the test of time.  I have written some really silly scenes such as the one noted above. The premise of the character is her well meaning and somewhat clueless personality. No matter how much she screws up, no one ever gets angry or upset with her.

The creation of this character also allowed me to try my hand writing light, comedic sketches.

I’ve been thinking about the confidence lately and oddly enough the eccentric blonde character popped into my head.  Confidence is an attribute she always possessed.  There is no ‘wrong’ in her world.  Everything always works out for her and she expects nothing less.

I wonder if the characters I create hold some ideals that I would like to exhibit?  Perhaps its just a way to emote various expressions.  I enjoy how characters come to life in my mind’s eye.  Quite often it occurs from simply seeing someone on the street.  They may come across as being removed from their surroundings.  They may be someone of high energy.  It could just be the way they walk, the fluidity of it or even an awkward gait.

Once cataloged, when I have an idea that flashes in my head for a story, this bank of characters and their mannerisms that is tucked away in my grey matter is accessed and one of them is brought to life.  Sometimes it evolves into a first chapter with the basic story line posted in point form to come back to at a later date.  More often though, the character is shelved as the idea doesn’t merit further development at the time.

When I think of guys like Steven King and the genre that he writes in, I wonder how he develops his characters and where they come from.  I don’t think I could ever write horror novels on a consistent basis. It would be a very dark a place to have go to and ‘create’ on a daily basis.  I can see the interest in wanting to explore the depths of human depravity and our ill-begotten ways.  There is s an odd fascination with the dark side to humanity.

I do have disturbing characters tucked away that shall otherwise remain nameless but will likely turn up as a foil or the end to a tragic means in a book waiting to be written.

Writing gives us license to do just that.  We create stories and explore the outcome for our characters.  Impossible odds are meted out in circumstances that are nothing less than extraordinary.

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We flock to movie theatres to watch Godzilla trample a City such as San Francisco.  I’ve been watching these movies since I was a kid and I’ve forgotten why he is so pissed off and for reasons I can’t explain, I have always felt sorry for the big guy.

Then again if you’ve been blown up, set on fire, shot at, etc. as many times as he has then you’d probably have a chip on your shoulder as well.

We have the action hero movies where one guy saves the world and always quite selflessly.  And sometimes I’ll think, what if they changed the ending and our hero didn’t save the day or what if he died in order to be successful?  I do get tired of cliched endings that have a happily-ever-after tone to them.  

Then we have superheros.  Would we really embrace a guy in tights and a cape who could fly?  Somehow I think if I saw a guy spinning a web from his arms and swinging down main street I may just call the authorities.

These movies always have the ultimate evil to offset the ultimate good.  Of course ultimate good wins out every time.

I have a few characters that I’ve created over the years.  Some are timeless such as the Eccentric Blonde.  I can take that character and put her into anything and make it work.  Other characters are on the shelf waiting to be dusted off and featured in a story at some point.

I would love to hear how other writer’s develop their characters.  What’s your inspiration?  Also, I would love to hear from everyone on what some of your favourite characters are and why?

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For example, now that “Lord of the Rings” has been made into a movie will we always think of Frodo as he was cast by Peter Jackson?

The movie is one man’s vision of the book.  When I read the book years before the characters spun in my mind’s eye were very different from Peter’s.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Brief Analogy…Sex and Chocolate


 

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It is that time of year again.  Valentines Day has rolled around once more sending men into a panic as to what they should pony up and purchase for their beloved.  I am not too sure if women are equally stressed as to what to get for their counterpart.

Considering that I’ve been single for the better part of a lifetime this day is a wee bit of a mystery to me though I do recall many moons ago receiving a heart shaped box of chocolates from my beau.

Sex and chocolate.  What a combination!  Now I’ve also heard it said that many women prefer chocolate to sex.

This too, as always confounded me.  I love chocolate just as much as every other woman on this planet but never in all the years of consumption has it ever produced or initiated an orgasm for me.

I can see the use of chocolate during sex.  Messy, but delightfully fun if you are with someone.  The chocolate fondue set that you received for Christmas last year that you thought you’d never use could be very useful in this endeavour.

From experience with food during sex, I would suggest you invest in a rubber sheet to protect the mattress if you plan on using the bed.  Other areas are equally fun such as the kitchen table, the floor, the closet…you get the idea…anywhere your little heart desires.  I would say the beach but its a little cold this time of year for a romp on the surf.  If you are so blessed to live in tropical climates then have at ‘er.

Keep in mind if you are going to use chocolate that you shouldn’t smear it all over your body as the residue can be quite sticky.  Still if you were on beach you could pop in the surf and clean up quick.  Hell, even if you were at home you could take it into the shower and progress from there…so please, go ahead and smear away!

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Some foods I wouldn’t advise using would be honey.  Peanut butter has kind of a pungent scent…but you could mix it with the chocolate.  Give Reese’s Pieces a run for their money, dammit!.  And remember…sex is not just intercourse.  Intercourse can be the main course, but damn…foreplay is should tickle the senses and entice every nerve in the body and let’s not forget about dessert!

If you are single, pull out your favorite toy.  I am not a fan of vibrators, but that’s just me. If they made one that sings like Barry White I may be persuaded, however, the times when I have invested in one they end up sounding like a lawn mower with a Yamaha engine under the hood.

I’m too sexy for my vibrator…too sexy!

There are some really fun little toys out there. Pick yourself up a bottle of Merlot or a Malbec.  Some strawberries to dip in that chocolate fondue set you got for Christmas that you thought you’d never use…and go ahead and plug in that Barry White CD.  I dare you!

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And have fun!  May all of you get a boat load of sex and chocolate for Valentines!

Have a very Happy Valentines Day where ever you may be!

PS Gotta run!  A co-worker just brought in chocolate…strawberries covered in the stuff….petits…I am halfway there.  Cheers!

 

Hi Ho, Hi Ho…It’s off to work I go!


Ah yes!  Back to the corporate grind of earning my daily bread.  I am about as un-corporate as they come though.  No power suits for this gal.  No stilettos to make me look sexy and intimidating.  Not my style.  I am trying to rock the Chic Bohemian look and in all fairness, I really don’t know what that means, however, it sounds awesome so I’ll run with it.

I’ve run this term by my daughter a few times and she just gives me THAT LOOK then rolls her eyes toward the heavens.  With a bit of petulant attitude I toss my nose in the air and saunter off.

Seriously, I am fun to work with.  I need to be organized and try to will everyone over to my way of thinking.  This seldom works but can make for interesting dynamics in the workplace.  How many executives do you know that would tell those that they work with that resistance was futile and that they will be assimilated?  My co-workers look at me strangely as I stand there smiling maniacally at them.  “Do you like Jello?”

Confused they tell me yes.

“Do you love Jello?” I ask with devilish delight.

Of course they do.  “I am Strawberry Jello…you will love me and do my bidding!”

They shake their heads and smile sympathetically at me, then disperse. Now I am beginning to think that the Jello thing is a little too old to be effective anymore, a little to passe.  I will have to conjure some other manner to take over the world, starting with my workplace.

And you should have fun while working.  God knows we spend enough time out of our day there.  Wouldn’t you love to work with a woman who fancies taking over the world?

Of course I do understand how the economy stands today.  I know how it works and all that good stuff.  I also know that the economy as it stands today is NOT sustainable.  We need to change how we do business.  Yes, I have prattled on about this topic before and likely will again.  I won’t get into it today other than this honourable mention.

It’s good to be back at work.  Good to get back to challenging myself on any given day to get this place running smoothly.  It can be done!

I am feeling stronger everyday.  My energy is increasing and the shock the body has endured from losing the reproductive organs is slowly righting itself.  On Sunday I did a Kundalini meditation that was very powerful.

Sleep is beginning to balance out.  It’ll be great when I am past all of this.  These days too, I am researching clean foods to assist through chemo and radiation that is to come.  I have been drinking a shake / smoothie daily designed to detox and provide tons of nutrients.  I’ve heard it said that chemo can wreak havoc on the digestive system and nausea is a side effect.

I want to ensure what I consume will provide a ton of nourishment.  The thing with shakes/smoothies is that they are absorbed very quickly into the system.

Well, time to get to work.  Enjoy your day!

Peace.

 

Suspended….


I am feeling rather animated in an odd way these days.  By this, I mean that everything feels exaggerated to some degree.  I suppose this is a rather normal reaction, all things considered.  I don’t know.  There have been some tears this weekend.  My emotions are somewhat out of whack in that I am finding myself not quite as patient as I typically am.  Again, it makes sense on some level.  Still, I continue to make every effort to keep my composure.

My daughter and I were discussing a few things regarding the surgery yesterday.  She had read through all the handouts I had been supplied with and began a diatribe commenting on the contents.  This was rather amusing at times.  She told me to be nice to the nurses, that they are just doing their job.

I smiled at this.  Apparently I may have some emotional upheaval after the surgery.  I assured her that I would not kill, maim or assault any nurses.  A guarantee her that I would be on my best behaviour.

My daughter can be a bit of a ‘mother hen’ at times.  Quite often I find myself saying ‘Yes, mom’ to her.  Really very sweet.

Being that I am for the most part very balanced, I began to wonder just what I would feel directly after the operation. I personally think I will be tired and feel like crap. Yes, if I am in pain or discomfort I will let the nurses know…politely, with my usual congeniality.

She suggested that a ‘Thank you’ card be sent after the surgery.  I concur with this.  Showing your appreciation, particularly in matters such as this I believe is always welcomed.  I have a really strange sense of humour at times as you may know, so in the spirit of this I thought I would write a mock ‘Thank you’ note.  Enjoy!

Dear VGH Nursing Staff,

I would just like to thank you for your patience and understanding during my stay last week.  The drugs given had an odd effect on me.  That I kept stealing the rubbers gloves and blowing them up into balloons and playing air guitar with the heart monitor was simply out of the need to keep myself preoccupied and not think about the excruciating pain I was in.  I thought the cathedral that I built out of the tongue depressors that I took during my hourly walk about showed my attention to detail and ability to focus on the creative process rather exemplary.  It is regrettable that Nurse Ratchett found it necessary to destroy this exceptional piece of art work. 

I do apologize for my outburst after this event occurred.  Again, I am not typically as emotional or extreme as my one night stay indicated I may be.  I do appreciated that you let me play with my Jello and that many of you found it amusing. 

In any case, thank you for the care given.  My uterus and I were very close for 55 years so please understand the grief I felt at bidding adieu to these organs of mine.  Their sacrifice in taking on the cancer will always be remembered. 

So thank you all once again.  Oh, and if you’re still looking for the box of catheters that you were in a tizzy about….third shelf over behind the box of booties. 

Sincerely, Nancy

One thing I do know, humour will help you get through anything, no matter how dark.  That I would even be capable of performing any of the above….but thinking on it…the box of tongue depressors could be fun to play with.

Enjoy your day!  Happy Monday!