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.

 

 

 

Adventures in Wine Country



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The Love Boat (aka Star Princess) docked at Ogden Point in Victoria

We had bid the Star Princess adieu. Nine women with a piece of luggage in tow navigated the streets of San Francisco…well, only two blocks of them. A colourful train we certainly made.

Five were dressed in identical deep pink golf shirts while the remainder of us were in equally brilliant attire. Napa Valley Wine Tours had agreed to pick us up and show us their magic kingdom. It is a cloudless day in San Francisco.  A cool breeze filters off the ocean.

The van that will be our transport comes into view as does Paul, who will be our host. He is dressed for Wall Street and as the persona of a college professor and in appearance looks as though he has stepped out from the set for the movie ‘Goodfellas’. Cruise May 9, 2014 685

Paul…taking care of the girls

Upon meeting Paul, his charm is immediately present, and what unfolds next as we make our way onto the Bay Bridge is his profound knowledge of the area. The history lesson begins. The Bay Bridge is five miles in length. Cruise May 9, 2014 507

The Bay Bridge taken from the van

I can’t imagine running over it. It is a double decker and back in 1989 during the World Series part of the bridge collapsed due an earthquake. I am transported to the basement suite I was living in on 2nd Avenue.

I was making dinner that evening and I’ve got the baseball game on. The screen begins to shake and then transmission is lost.  Voices can be heard speculating ‘Was that an earthquake just now?” They continue to talk not certain that they are on the air.

I have no doubt that there must be a certain amount of confusion that occurs in the first few moments of such an event.

Having gone through a couple of tremblers here in Vancouver, I understand the cognitive function that it takes a moment to comprehend and digest that a potentially dangerous situation is unfolding.

Back in 2000 I was working at an engineering office. My chair, which had wheels on it, began to shake back and forth violently and I reached out and grabbed my desk to steady myself. James and John simultaneously jumped up and braced themselves in their respective doorways.

A big grin on both faces and John declared the obvious.  “Earthquake!” It must be an aphrodisiac for structural engineers.

In any case, as we moved further along the bridge, Paul pointed out San Quentin Prison to our left. It is much bigger than Alcatraz. Cruise May 9, 2014 515

Alcatraz

And Johnny Cash came to mind.  Then I pondered why as Johnny had sung about Folsom Prison, yes? I don’t dwell too long on this vague memory. As we leave the city, we are treated to lush green hills that are never ending. Cruise May 9, 2014 706 Paul points out a mountain range, whose name I can’t recall, but it was so named as the range looks like an Indian princess lying on her back, arms folded over her chest with hair trailing out about her head.

I followed the imagery he provided with his words. I’ll have to look up the story but there was an odd sadness in the tale. I was sitting with Dale, a woman I’d gone to school with and have not seen in close to forty years.

So during this history lesson, we were catching up.  In an odd way, it was reminiscent of some of our classes.

And so the hills continued to roll past and then they turned into vineyards. Once they start, they never seem to end.  I never saw anyone in them…just these endless vines in perfect rows. I wondered when they check the vineyards and how often. All of us were giddy  at the prospect of this part of our adventure. We pulled up to Domaine Carneros, our first stop in this wine tasting dealio. Cruise May 9, 2014 614

Domaine Carneros

I’m not going to pretend that I know all that much about the process of wine making.  I did, however, learn a great deal, at least at the start of this venture. While the education continued throughout, the mind became inebriated and just wanted to play.

The first estate dealt mainly with sparkling wines and pinot noirs. Cheryl and I opted to sample their reds.  They got progressively better. I purchased a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir to cozy up to one of these nights. My daughter had requested a bottle of Pinot Gris, so I would have to stray from the red sector at some point.

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We nibbled on cheese as Nick, our sommelier, briefed us on what it was we were drinking. Ninety degree heat made us feel rather happy after this first tasting. Photos were in order. I had begun my before and after composite.

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We were sinking delightfully fast. Playfully we had Paul take our picture just prior to hopping back on the van to proceed to our second destination.

We pulled up to Luna Winery.  It held the appearance of a setting in Tuscany  And I’ve never been to Tuscany. It is quaint and elegantly rustic.

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Luna Winery

The ‘Holly Golightly’ in me felt the desire to don a light dress with my head wrapped loosely in a scarf with sunglasses that covered half my face as I tossed myself across the barrels of wine in the courtyard. This was a fleeting fantasy.

The charm and ambience of the place was immediate. Lemon and Olive trees offered an intoxicatingly fragrance as Chris spoke of the wines we’d be sampling. Two reds, two whites in this tasting. The Pinot Gris was divine.  I had found my daughter’s prize!

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Arlene fell in love with the table as Paul pulled out the makings for our lunch. We were having and ‘illegal’ picnic. Weddings and picnics are not permitted at the wineries in the Napa Valley. Today were on the sly.  I loved the decadence of the moment.

We ordered a red and a white wine to accent out meal.

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As we said our ‘good-byes’ to this fine little winery I was definitely feeling loosey-goosey. How do I know this?

I was talking quite openly about my boobs and my need to try and restrain the darlings and the methods by which I attempted such feats. I’m not vulgar.  Perhaps a little crass at times.

We hopped back onto the Van and made our way to Trefethern. Paul had chosen each winery to showcase the various character. And they were all very unique. Adam welcomed us at Trefethern and we sat in an expansive room shrouded in dark wood. Barrels of wine were mounted along one wall, photographs of the family adorned the other portion of the wall.

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Trefethern

Their signature wine HaLo so named after their children. A bar ran along another wall adjacent to our table. I would note the spittoons on the table for the first time. Dappled sunlight filtered in through the lemon trees that crowded the windows.

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Adam gave the history, it seems, of every grape they’d ever grown. He did it in a manner that gave a certain intimacy to the experience of drinking the wine.

Upon seeing someone pour their wine into a spittoon, I reacted with horror! I thrust my now empty glass forward. I would make the sacrifice and lovingly consume any unwanted wine. Red wine is an acquired taste, a progression.

But once you give yourself over to the way these wines seduce your taste buds there is no going back. I think we had a Bordeaux here.

I love Bordeaux’s and Adam proclaimed their victory over a French offering. We cursed the French enthusiastically. My quota of two bottles to bring back to Canada had been met so I asked about purchasing opportunities down the road.

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A barrel of fresh lemons stood at the front and we were encouraged to take one. My friends warned I could not hope to bring this back with me.  I decided I would try. Then we boarded the van after Cheryl hugged it out with Cork Oak tree. I confess, at this point I was feeling the effects.

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The lot of us were now a giggling and boisterous crew. It was off to our final destination which was Goosecross. It is a very small winery. I chatted amiably with ‘Ryan or Cal’ about the process of purification.

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My brain cells morphed into Teflon as the information, for the most part, wasn’t sticking.  I enjoyed our conversation none the less. I then ran into the winery so as not to miss or be late for the tasting.

The moment I entered I felt as though I’d entered a saloon from a time long since passed. Instead of slamming a whiskey glass down and demanding ‘Barkeep, gimmee another shot!” which I really wanted to do, I practiced the art of compromise on this one. I placed my glass firmly on the bar, hitched my foot up on the stoop and said, “I’m ready for another sample, Kim.”

And I did this with pinky firmly extended, thank you…thank you very much. Every wine that Cheryl now tasted elicited a delightful, “This is lovely, just lovely.”

Somewhere in the mayhem I recall a glass breaking. And in that moment I played out a fight at a wine bar. It was an odd little fantasy of strange and diluted proportions that saw my attention wane fast enough as I decided that shit happens. We managed to convince Paul to take us to Inglenook.

There would be no tasting but we did want to see it.  It is one of the oldest wineries first established in 1881. It is now owned by Frances Ford Coppola of ‘The Godfather’ fame among many others. Paul told us we would never see the owners of these establishments, just the worker bees.

That’s cool  I’m a worker bee along with the rest of them.  I don’t just feed off the proceeds, I help to sweeten the pot. Winnie the Pooh would be proud. Inglenook is beautiful, rustic and aged.  There is a certain elegance to the Grande dame. I slipped tipsily through several arched doorways comprised of brick. Inglenook,

I would discover was the most costly of the bunch. I ordered a glass of wine, red.  I was not too certain what the choices were or if there were choices. I gleefully took the glass which cost $21.00 American and sauntered back up to the gift shop taking in the ambiance of the place.

I engaged in a lovely conversation with an elderly fellow whose name regrettably got lost in the dissolution of too much wine in 90 degree heat. He had worked at Inglenook for twelve years. “What do you like the most about your job?” I asked. “This isn’t a job, it’s a complete joy.” he replied with a smile. I looped my arm through his and asked for the grand tour.

Leaning forward I advised rather conspiratorially that I only had half an hour. Somehow in that brief span of time I managed to spend $100.  Go figure!

We were now herded back onto the van.  We had a plane to catch. This whirlwind of an adventure was coming to a close. And I was trying to absorb so much. As we made our way back to San Francisco attempts were made to have a sing-a-long.

Oddly enough, as a collective we seemed to forget the words at precisely the same time. And as I sat back and just let the memories and magic commit themselves I smiled. “Damn, I’m blessed!” How’s that for an oxymoron? Good-byes were made as we parted ways. Finding our check-in point in the airport we through open our suitcases proceeding to pack all our purchases inside.

I slipped the two bottles of wine, a lemon, a wine glass that I inadvertently removed from Inglenook and a couple of other trinkets into my bag. Sleepily we boarded the plane that would take us home.

All I can say is thank you.  It truly was magical. The lemon made it through customs and as sweetened my drinking water as of late.  The glass from Inglenook survived the trip as well.

This was epic.

Gravity


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Many preponderances have been dancing through this head of mine as of late.

I’m on fire. Focus, now.

I have been devouring my fellow blogger’s articles

Helen has had success with her Lymph Node Transfer and I couldn’t be happier for her.  Cristian is trying to raise funds for a medical procedure that he needs.

People are chatting about anything and everything these days.  I can dig it..

There have been several articles regarding health and body image offered up.

Women cry out vehemently about the state of the ‘Barbie Syndrome’ and how it is affecting our culture, sub-culture, confidence, health, relationships, etc.

There is a whole hell of a lot more going on here, folks.

Cristan posted a sketch the other day depicting what ‘real women’ looked like.

This was interesting considering he is a young man who lives in Romania and is now disillusioned by the truth of the female anatomy.  Of course, I say this with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  I’ve never met Cristian.

It got me thinking though.  What I pondered briefly is what would I look like with a boob job?

I’ve got big enough ones, by the way.  Size isn’t the issue here, stamina is quite another.  Trying to prop these babies up is a lesson in futility.  They fight me every step of the way.

When the bra comes off I swear the ladies heave an enormous sigh of relief.

Now if I were successful in getting them to be the perky little darlings they once were, what picture would that paint?

The beauty of aging is that everything begins to sag in unison.

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I would look rather foolish with boobs that were army ready when the rest of me began to succumb to the laws of gravity a few years back.

And if these lethal weapons of mine were plumped up like an Oscar Mayer wiener all the time, then the massage I had tonight would have been incredibly uncomfortable.

I was laying face down and lifted myself briefly to sweep my boobage into their respective armpit.

I’ve never liked Barbie, by the way.  She’s always kind of pissed me off, though I don’t know why.  She is a doll after all.

I can’t tell you how proud I felt when my daughter and her friend at the age of eleven years laid their dolls out on the road in front of our house to watch them get run over.  Ken was included by the way.  He and the gal both went down without a fight.

I might well have strutted about like an abstract peacock, albeit quietly.   After all throwing someone, even a doll, under the bus isn’t a good way to teach problem resolution.

The other thing though is just how reliant we’ve become on what is on the shelves in our grocery stores.  It’s changing us, messing us up.  Processed foods are killing us, slowly.

I picked up a can of Lobster Bisque soup.  It had 46% sodium content.  My arteries began to harden at that point.  I never made it to the sugar and saturated fat percentages as I returned the can to the shelf.

Soup is one of the easiest and least expensive dishes one can make.  Perhaps not Lobster Bisque, mind you, but chowders, bean soups, etc.  Good stuff.

I don’t buy into the ‘stick woman’ ideal.  I never have.  A healthy weight for me is in the 145 to 155 lb. range.  I’ve got to drop about 50 lbs. to reach that goal.

The effects of the Cancer treatments threw me into a tailspin of sorts.  But hey, I’m turning it around.  I’ll get my health back.  I’m easing back into my fitness regiment now and will step it up gradually.

We all want to be beautiful, I suppose.  We chase it, covet it…but what is it?

Like art, beauty if very subjective.  What I may find incredibly beautiful another might well scoff at.  In turn, I might shudder in horror at someone elses choice of ‘beauty defined’.

A while back I was at a friend’s house watching the Rolling Stone’s 50th Anniversary special.

Scary, eh?

In any case, Rose and Kathy gushed about Mick.  They would have sex with him in a heartbeat.  Rosey’s hubby seemed to be in agreement that should the occasion present itself, then yes, his wife should do the nasty with Mick.

I shuddered as if a thousand creepy crawlers were on me at that moment.

As the show progressed, The Boss…the one and only Bruce Springsteen came out to do a number.  I felt the juices begin to flow.

“Now there’s a real man!” I proclaimed

My friends both shuddered in horror emitting an exaggerated ‘Ewwww!”

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I’ve stood in art galleries spell-bound by the piece before me.  Emotions that are elicited are at times incredibly deep.  I’ll glance around to see if others are having a similar response and at times want to scream incoherently ‘Don’t you see it?  Don’t you get it?’

Of course what I see and feel is mine alone to experience and appreciate. That is the beauty of it. Pun intended.

What message then does it send when men tell us they like women with a ‘little extra meat on them’.  Later you catch the guy jerking off with a picture of some emaciated model gazing back at him from a magazine.  Her breast implants seemingly a workout just to maintain her balance on a daily basis.  No wonder the poor girl is so thin!

Hmmm!

The idea of beauty is definitely being marketed big time.  Packaged up and offered for a hefty price.  Women are not the only ones buying into this.

The boobs will cost you $5,000 to $10,000.  A tummy tuck…facelift…Botox…skin resurfacing…

It will add up quickly.

Now as you stand before the mirror having gone into debt to buy the perfect ‘beauty package’ designed to give you the life you thought you wanted, that you thought you deserved…I have just one question.

Was it worth it?

Jason (the true story!)


Yesterday I perused several successful blogs.  I will have to look at them in greater depth.  I also need to get caught up with those of you that do follow my blog as well.  I have been abysmal in this department.  I likely had drugs in my system when I began this blog.  I had a ‘Field of Dreams’ moment that said

‘If you write it, they will come’.

In my delirium I cried out ‘Write what?’

This didn’t really happen of course.  I am simply being typically odd.  Now due to the fact that I touched on Jason yesterday, I thought it may be useful to provide a little back story here.

For those of you who didn’t read yesterday’s post, Jason is an eight inch stuffed toy, red in colour designed to look like a chameleon.  (See image below)

About eleven years ago the engineer I worked for received this in the mail from communications giant Telus.  It was a ‘thank you‘ for our loyalty.

This little red stuff toy sat on top of my computer monitor.  At times I had in depth conversations with him, to which one of the engineers cajoled and teased me about relentlessly!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne day I came to work to find that Jason was missing!  I looked everywhere for him.  It soon became apparent that Jason had been kidnapped!  I began to receive photocopies of the poor little guy in various stages of duress.  Sure enough I discovered that John, one of the engineer’s I worked with, had taken him and was doing unspeakable things to him!

Well, I went in to John’s office and demanded that Jason be returned immediately….and in my most authoritative and dastardly voice I hissed at John ‘I know where you live!’

Working with engineers can be very entertaining.  John is a particularly warped one.  I still go in and look after the bookkeeping at this office all these years later and we still get up to some of our hijinks from time to time, but I digress.

Poor Jason! John was merciless.  Things would be fine for a time then he would go missing from my monitor.  Lance, our draftsman, became John’s sidekick.  Jason could not take it anymore!

He sat on my monitor after about the eighth abduction and asked if he could look at the Canadian Tire online flyer.  From this he bought a chainsaw and an axe.  Then he asked to look at hockey masks.  But he wanted an original.  He begged and pleaded for the Ken Dryden mask and so I acquiesced.

Hence a serial killer was born!  (Cue the music)

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Whenever he saw that I was not happy with certain things in the office, I would find him perched on the offending party’s computer monitor wearing his hockey mask and touting his chainsaw and axe. A menacing and frightening sight, let assure you!

John, Lance or both would be cowering in fear begging me to talk to him!  Of course I took this opportunity to discuss their treatment of Jason and how the trauma they had subjected him to had pushed a mild mannered stuffed animal over the edge into crazed criminal behaviour.

Fearing for their lives they assured me they would never do it again.  (Of course, they lied to me!)

After being rejected in the radio contest, things got ugly! I had thought that entering this contest would be fun and uplifting.  Unfortunately Jason’s self-esteem was far too fragile and he just shattered.  Poor guy!

So I removed Jason from the workplace.  He was still convinced that he was a special kind of chameleon that could turn into anything he wanted to become. Of course I encouraged this line of thinking.  He is now a GPS unit in my car.  He tells me when to turn right and when to turn left, though sometimes we get into a heated debate on directions.  The fault, he assures me, is with the satellites.  They are not regulated to upload to such a sophisticated piece of intelligence as him.

I am in agreement.

He is quite dismayed on how he is portrayed in film.  The character is just plain foolish, Jason assures me.  And he’s never actually killed anyone, just commandeered a very frightening persona.

So now you know the true story of Jason.  And for the record, during today’s photo shoot for this article Jason thought it would be poor taste to don his choice of weapons (i.e. chainsaw and axe) as he gave them to a logger years ago).  He wants everyone who reads this to know that he is a zen loving being now.

The mask?  Well, Halloween is just around the corner…

Enjoy your day!

The Business of Blogging…the Next Level


After writing the ‘Marketing 101‘ post I decided to focus on sourcing out this platform of blogging.  I can say the one thing I have done correctly is write consistently.  What I’ve neglected is my fellow bloggers.

For this I do apologize.

Having researched this element and what I am finding is successful blogs have one thing in common.  They generate commentary and they interact with their community.  And you cannot generate commentary unless you read and comment on fellow blogs.

Patrick gave me some very sage advise about social networking to which I am very grateful.

When I began this blog, in all fairness, I really didn’t know what to expect.  For me it was simply a tool to write on a consistent basis and hopefully become better at it.  I had not finished the book at that point.  I was still experiencing growing pains with it as it and the format had not fully taken shape. I don’t believe I had even started up with the two writing groups I now belong to.

There was this notion, an immediacy to focus on writing and photography.  Two things that I always loved and for whatever reason put on the back burner as the rest of my so call life seems to dictate.

Somewhere in the mix of the past few years I adopted the ‘no excuses’ rule.  Meaning simply that when I say things like ‘I love to do (blank)’, and I ask myself why I’m not then doing (blank), if it starts with ‘because‘ then it’s an excuse.

For example I love to run.  Right now I cannot run.  My feet are numb as a result of the chemotherapy and until they are back to normal (which will hopefully be in a few more weeks) it is not advisable as I could do permanent nerve damage.

An excuse would sound like this, ‘I love to run but I just can’t find the time right now.’

The most common excuse we use is that we don’t have the time.  Our lives are so busy that we just don’t make the time for the things we love.  Sad really.

This shift in thinking has been pivotal to where I am now.  But I digress, as I often do.

I am now going to embark on a marketing plan that I’ve put together and we’ll see if it works.  Again, it is about the journey and I do hope to learn a thing or two along the way and will share them with you (the good, the bad and ugly!)

I will be calling this segment of my blog ‘The Marketing Files’. I will follow it with a catch phrase of what I am researching, discovering or so completely in the dark about.  The point of these will be to attempt to learn how to market a blog.  This is where it starts.

One thing I need to be careful of is my sense of humour.  It can be very strange and not everyone ‘gets me’ as a certain child o’ mine as pointed out a time or two.

For example, several years ago the giant phone, internet and optik TV provider, Telus, sent out small stuffed red chameleons about six to eight inches in length.  This was a very poor marketing campaign.

These were sent to business customers as a way to thank them for their loyalty.  I still have Jason.  That is what I named him and the reason why is another story altogether.

Anyway, several years ago a certain radio station was having a contest with a top prize of $25,000.  The idea was for the listening audience to come up with a creative way to visually show they listen to the radio station.  A brilliant marketing campaign!

I took a picture of Jason (the stuffed chameleon), mocked up a headset on him and gave him a boom box to rock out with and added the catch phrase

WHY IS THIS IGUANA SMILING?  HE’S LISTENING TO (RADIO STATION)’

I put the posters up around the City.  One of the delivery people for the printing company that we used put it in her car window.

Now the first thing you may note is that I called it an ‘Iguana’ when clearly it was not.  My clever thinking was that a chameleon can change and this one changed species.

In any case, people had to call in if they saw signs, take pictures and email them to the radio station.  It was brilliant and when I saw the contenders I knew that my efforts were amateurish at best.  Still, it was fun.

The winner would be determined by having generated the largest audience.  The guy that took the top prize?  He was at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.  He held up a sign in a massive crowd toward a camera that read ‘I LISTEN TO (RADIO STATION)’.  I think it was Matt Lauer of the Today Show or some such personality who saw the sign, tracked down the guy and had him on the show the next day.  Can’t get more publicity than that, can you!  And he won hands down.

What did I learn from this little endeavour?  Don’t be weird!  That’s what I learned.  Most people looked at this poster and the first thing out of there mouth was that it wasn’t an iguana.  I lost them right there.

Because of this colossal error on my part,  Jason later turned into a serial killer.  Being the empathic personality that I am, however,  I cured him of this irrational behaviour and he now sits on the rear-view mirror of my car happily directing me in my travels.

So once again I took the long way around and have given several examples of why my humour should not be brought into the mix.

At this point you are likely asking yourself ‘what the hell does any of this have to do with the business of blogging?!’

That, my darlings, is my point.  I need to focus, focus, focus.  Not lead you down several back alleys and causeways to the point that you can’t even recall what I began discussing in the first place, which was marketing a blog.

And I’ve just given an example likely of how NOT to market one.

I’m looking forward to this little venture and I do look forward to your feedback as well.

Stay tuned.

Peace.

 

 

Searching for Funny


This week I decided that my next post on here had to be genuinely humorous in nature. I have been rather absent this week, yes?

Each post that I began may have begun with that intent in mind, but somehow the fog in my head extended to the words being written as seemingly being pulled from the depths of hell.  Funny soon became macabre and so I would then abandon said post and search once more for funny.

Now I should know that you can’t force funny…it has to be organic and spontaneous, doesn’t it?

I had a great long weekend with two turkey dinners amongst fabulous company.  I worked on the new book, went and snapped a few photos trying to capture the essence of Autumn.  Sounds like a perfume, doen’t it?.  Hmmm.  Whatever shall I call it?

Still, I am a erratic with making it to the gym.  Energy levels are a little wonky and I am joyfully fighting a cold.

If I didn’t feel like I was entering into the zombie apocalypse before, I certainly do now.  I can’t afford to take time off work as I have already amassed a great deal of time off.  Besides the majority of people here at the office have the same cold that I am battling and this is likely this where I contracted it.  ‘Tis the season, don’t you know.

It was extremely foggy driving in this morning.  Kind of mirrored the grey matter in my head.  Seems I have these poor thoughts that are aimlessly moving about up there but just can’t seem to make it to the surface or connect.  Oye!

Fatigue is an odd thing.  I was told I could sleep for 24 hours and still be tired.  And not just tired but drunkenly tired.  It’s the waking up part these days that is the challenge.  I typically bounce out of bed.  Okay, okay…I don’t really bounce…I eject myself forcibly…well, that’s not right either.  I get up sleepily, okay?

These mornings though I feel like I am having to swim up through a long, dark tunnel.  I can see the wakened state from a distance but have to fight to get there.  Sometimes I don’t feel like fighting.

A co-worker told me a joke yesterday and I am usually on it.  It took me several seconds to realize that she’d told a joke let alone respond to it!  And this is what the past few weeks have been like.  Searching for funny has turned into a bitch-fest on my part.

I remember reading that memory could be effected with chemo. Admittedly I haven’t been as sharp as I usually am but I am progressing each day.  In a couple of weeks time I should be almost back to normal.  At least that is the hope. Yet, I do know how fortunate I am.  A friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy and has had to endure 24 rounds of chemo to date.

I have read some of my fellow bloggers posts regarding their battle with cancer.  Some have endured years of painful after effects as a result of their treatments.

And even though I know I technically have the right to complain, I don’t want to.  When I do it is usually in the silly fashion that I am displaying in this post.

But again, I digress.  I was searching for funny.  I know I left it laying around here somewhere. I will toddle off and see if I can’t get funny to come out and play with me.  I miss it.

When I find it you’ll be the first to know and if you should come across funny, please tell it I want it to come back.  Thanks.

Peace out, everyone.

 

Quirks


An interesting observation yesterday.  The past few days I’ve been something of an old grump.  I really don’t like being this way.  It’s the chemo, man!  Yes, as stated this time out there was a bit more of a punch to the effects.

I do not make for a good patient.  I am well aware of this fact.  Hell, I get sick and I’m just this irritable child that sulks about with an air of petulance.  Give me an ice cream and I’m all better…for a while.

Okay, maybe I’m not that bad.  In any case the weird thing has been the numbness.  It is beginning to improve.  Here it is Sunday morning and the coffee taste reasonable.  Yesterday, I could not finish my morning cup.

Another interesting thing occurred yesterday.  As I put my wig on I became extremely annoyed that it looked ‘perfect’.  Not a damn hair out of place!  I can’t change the look either.  It’s just there.  Pull it on, take a comb to it to get all the pieces that are stuck underneath the cap out…and there I be.  Perfect!

1000992_10151802186398900_205249902_nThe Head2013-09-16 06.53.46

Here is the lineup.  My school picture at 13 years of age.  My shaved head at age 55.  Me in the wig at age 55. 

Then I stopped and considered this reaction.  Was part of my being tied up with this weird relationship that I’ve had with my hair?  Was I feeling bereft at not having any hair to bitch about?  A totally pointless pursuit but one I opted to explore in any case.

I have a friend who had a short haircut that was for her ‘horrific’ at the age of 13 and she has had long hair in the same style ever since.  She is 55 years of age, the same as I am, and we’ve talked about this a few times.  She assures me she will never get her hair cut short ever again.  She is quite confident that she was traumatized at that point in her life and will never try to undo the trauma.

Weird.

Everyone loves the wig, by the way.  So for that brief moment yesterday, I hated it.  I despised its perfection.  Maybe because I was just feeling out of sorts I wanted to ‘take it out’ on something.  Lay blame, assign blame…I don’t know.

Weird.

The coffee isn’t tasting so much like metal and cardboard today.  Not the full richness that I am familiar with though.  I am done sulking.

I went for walk with a friend yesterday who asked about the comfort of the wig.  It is fine for the most part.  Sometimes if I have a ‘hot flash’ it gets a little itchy.  But as I explained, it feels like wearing a hat.  It doesn’t give me the sensation I have with my own hair.  So when I come home I hang it up.  I tried a few scarves and well, I look like some whacked out gypsy who lost her crystal ball.  I also don’t know how to arranged such things as I don’t wear them.

Now some people totally rock scarves.  And some people totally rock no hair at all.  I may have mentioned the girl I saw at the Cancer Agency who had just the most beautifully shaped shaved head.  Man, she looked awesome!

So again I have these strange little quirks that have reared up to perhaps give me a little more insight into this conglomerate known as ‘Nancy’.  And you know, I do understand the issue with my hair.  From as far back as I can remember my hair was trying to be sculpted into something it could never be.

Perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye.  I now sport a wig because it just wouldn’t ‘feel right’ to venture out into the public bald.  Oh, going swimming or exercising without the wig is necessary.  Still I have a certain look to maintain at the office.  I don’t know that I would feel comfortable bare-headed.  Strange.

I am working through these little quirks of mine though and trying to understand their origins a little better.  At the end of the day the hair thing is just this weird little hangup of mine.

It is a beautiful Sunday here.  I am going to finish up my domestic duties and get back out and have a walk about.  Maybe take a few pics of the fall foliage.

Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by.

Peace.

Hair…a tribute?


Now that I am currently bald, I found myself reflecting on the relationship that I’ve had with my hair.  It has been a tumultuous union at best.  At birth I had hair much like corn silk.  It was practically white as a child and for the first ten years of my life I sported a bowl cut.  Yes, my mother put a bowl on my head then cut whatever protruded past the lip of it.

I could well have lived with that but mom then sat me down every night before bed and put pin curls in my hair.  I slept with a head full of bobby pins for years.  And the kicker was within 1/2 hour of having them removed in the morning my hair was bone straight once again.

When I hit my late teens ‘Charlie’s Angels’ graced the television screen for the first time and like many young girls the desire to have Farrah’s hairstyle became something of an obsessive mission.  And it was a futile mission, one with all the banality of a root canal and often a hell of lot more painful.  Curling irons, teasing combs and a can of AquaNet Hairspray were my weapons of choice to try and achieve said look.  As my daughter as pointed several times, I often looked like I had wings and was trying to ‘take off’.

(Insert sigh…as any good drama queen would).

At nineteen years of age ‘Derek of London’ set up shop in Vancouver.  It was one of those mythical places that I had heard about that could make a woman look AMAZING! The word ‘perm’ was bandied about, and while my mother had given me home perms known as ‘Tonys’, they never had any staying power. A salon of this caliber, in my mind, must have magical abilities.  I fantasized about walking out of the place looking stunningly gorgeous?  Dare I dream it?  It was expensive.  $80 back in 1979 was a lot of cash to cough up for a hair-do but I did it and well, not so successful.

They burnt my hair then still wanted to charge the fee of $80. And I just stood there and cried.  The dream of having glorious hair once again slipping out of my reach.

The 1980’s came along and BIG hair was the order of the day.  The Gods sent us new products like Joico’s Ice Mist.  I praised all higher beings that day.  This hairspray was the mother of all helmet head products.  Once applied your hair stayed in whatever arrangement that had been concocted.  Now there in lay the task to simply mold it into an arrangement that was presentable.

Ah, the memories!  I left for work one morning quite pleased with my efforts.  We lived in a basement suite at the time and a hedge ran along the perimeter.  Morning Glory ran through it as well, an attractive weed for pollinators.

As I walked toward my car that morning a bee flew into my hair! Screaming, I  tossed my head upside down and proceeded to beat the hell out of it.  The bee disappeared at some point and whether it lived to tell the tale, I can’t say.  It was too late in the morning to go back in and try to salvage something of my hair. I soldiered on and went to work looking like the wild woman of Borneo.  Now I’m not 100% sure what that would look like but it sounds frightening and I was.

Walking into the courthouse that morning my co-workers tried valiantly not to laugh.  I ducked into the bathroom and tried to correct the damage that had been incurred to no avail.

The last perm I tried was a spiral perm.  Oh yes, having my hair burnt the first time out of the gate was not the deterrent it should have been. And yes, it takes me a while to learn certain lessons from time to time.  So I went through body waves, and various other attempts to have life breathed into my hair.  The spiral perm looked awesome for one day before falling out on the next day.

I then found a stylist who told me that I should never try to perm my hair.  It would never hold she explained.  For a time I kept it all one length at her bequest.  Looking back, my hair was healthy and looked pretty good but then I think I have been conditioned to never be satisfied with it.

And also as I aged having long straight hair made me look older.  When I hit 50 years of age I had my crisis.  I got up one morning and my boobs and butt dropped.  They were giving into gravity and all the working out since then hasn’t resurrected them and I am okay with this aspect of aging now.

Looking back through the years at the many hairstyles that somehow always ended up looking eerily similar I will admit that I protested far too much and yes, I was far too dramatic about the whole thing.

What I have realized as well is just how that shaped me to some degree.  An odd relationship with this entity, also known as hair, that I somehow viewed as a bane to my existence.  A curse of sorts.

And now that it is temporarily gone I can smile at my foolish behavior. I will keep my locks short when it does grow back in.  The stocks on hairspray have likely taken an economic hit now that I am no longer purchasing these products.

Will I complain about my hair once it does grow back in?  Oh, most likely I will.  I won’t be too dramatic though.  The lesson has been learned.  I’ve just gotta work with what I’ve got.

Not such a bad thing really.

It is a rainy Saturday morning.  We have a storm brewing outside so I’ll head off to Yoga then lunch with a friend.

Enjoy your day.

Peace out.

Plugged In


Happy Monday everyone!  I am at work, going through my email and setting up the day ahead.  Fruit salad and coffee work to stimulate the brain matter. I noticed that my ‘spam’ folder had exceeded 100 and opened it to begin the task of deleting everything. I open it simply to check because sometimes a legitimate email ends up amongst the ruins.

The usual array of junk sits unopened.  Several Russian women want to ‘meet’ me.  There are several emails from people somewhere in Africa who’ve apparently got 10 million dollars that they just can’t get to and need my help to move out of the country and of course all the ads for an enlarged penis or for men to have an extended hard-on.

As I marked them for the trash bin I considered who actually responds to these ads. Someone must otherwise they would not exist, would they?  It is hard to say.

I would never give out my personal banking information to anyone, let alone someone who was apparently left millions of dollars but due to unseen circumstances they are unable to attain it legally.  Help them move it and they will reward you handsomely.

Well, as you might imagine, those who have participated in these scams find their bank account empty and at times their identity now partaking in fraudulent activities that would curl your toes. Of course, they simply wanted to help out another poor soul and the idea of having a cool million or more for their trouble had nothing to do with the decision to offer up their financial information.

The dealio with the women has been going on for sometime. I think they call them ‘bots.  They have had some odd tags over the years.  Being a woman who has no interest in women on a sexual level I suppose they are simply covering their basis.  The tags are often weird saying things like ‘Russian beauty wants you’  or ‘Sexual married woman wants you’ and the more vulgar ‘Bored housewife wants to fuck’.

It denotes that there are just boat loads of sexually frustrated women out there who simply was to have sex.  Curious.

Then we have the penis enlargement ads. I look at the tag ‘Do you wish you were bigger?”Do you want her to beg for more?’   Personally, no, I don’t as I don’t have that particular appendage being that I am a woman.

And again I wonder who responds to these ads.  Men have been saturated with the belief that all that matters to a woman in this area is size.  Apparently we want some foot long pistol banging into us. Not so.

If I see some guy with a foot long wanger coming at me I am heading for the hills, baby!  I prefer the average 5-8 inches variety and more than anything a man who knows how to use it.  Penetration is the grand finale so to speak. Do I want the guy to pop a few pills and have a hard-on for hours?  Nah.  Think I’ll pass.

There is a host of other things that should occur during sexual relations with someone.  The biggest turn on for me is my fertile imagination as it wades through a variety of scenarios and sensations that build to the point of orgasm.

And yes, I can certainly have an orgasm without a man’s physical presence.  I can do so just by looking and imagining.  And just intercourse isn’t particularly exciting.  I like to have something of a story unfold, a discovery, a journey during the process.

There is something so completely erotic about a man gently drawing circles in the palm of my hand, first with his fingers and then with his tongue.  Sometimes its great having that slow build and other times the idea of it being fast and furious has an appeal as well.  It all depends on a variety of factors.

But size wise, for many women, a man with a huge penis could be very uncomfortable to accommodate.  More importantly is having a partner who is just as responsive to her as she is to him.  It is, after all, a shared experience and should be appreciated and enjoyed by each participant.

Of course, now that we are in this electronic age where apparently image is everything,  men have gotten into the habit of taking pictures of their penis and posting it online thinking that this will somehow entice women?  Strange.

I don’t shop online for my clothes nor would I want to find a penis online.  I would ideally like to get to know the man possessing the penis before I am actually introduced the appendage itself.

Last night the Emmy’s were on.  I love how everyone slams the award shows the next day.  They aren’t really all that exciting to begin with. They are designed to promote and celebrate film and TV, a very obvious pat on their own backs. Now it has become something to watch and rip apart as it unfolds.  I found it rather annoying that as soon as an award winner opens their mouth, the music it seemed was cued to play them out.

Award shows are by design a rather curious animal.  The women have the pressure of looking phenomenal.  They need to have the designer gown and be blinged out to the max.  And the styles that they show up in….interesting choices at times.

We never prattle on about how the men look.  Does the suite fit or doesn’t it?  I actually liked that Will Farrell showed up in  shorts and a T-Shirt with kids in tow.  In any case, we are an image driven bunch, aren’t we?

Time to get back to the workday at hand.  Earn my daily bread and all that good stuff.  The ‘spam’ folder is empty.  In a week from now it will once again house the now familiar crap that it always does and I will once again clear it out.

I was thinking of when I got my first computer and the excitement of email and being immediately plugged into the world around me.  That I could talk to someone in real-time that was halfway around the world.  That I could correspond with relatives long distance without additional cost was something of a marvel at the time.

Technology has since exploded and engulfed us and our quest to have the world at our fingertips.  We want it faster and want to be plugged into our homes, our work space, our friends, our family.  No longer is it acceptable it seems to not be able to contact someone immediately.  And if they don’t answer, if we don’t hear back immediately…anxiety kicks in.

And somewhere in a dingy little apartment, some guy with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth who hasn’t showered in two or three days is sending out emails to lists that he has purchased describing himself as a ‘hot and horny Russian beauty who wants you’ waits for some lonely guy who forgot how to hold a conversation to respond.

Happy Monday everyone.

 

 

Numb


It is another beautiful morning.  I drove in at 5:15 AM with my daughter.  She went to do her workout and I headed off to mine.  By the time I found myself perched upon the stationary bike I was beginning to experience a few ‘side effects’ as a result of the chemo.  I am just a little queasy and my mouth is beginning to feel numb as is the rest of me.

My workout kind of stalled then.  I tried to do some lighter exercises on the mat but my body just wasn’t digging it.  So I laid on my back staring up at the sky and wondered for the millionth time when they were going to clean the windows.

These sensations will pass soon enough.  My feet are once more a bit more numb than they were yesterday.  Tuesday’s session is starting to kick in.  At least I know what to expect and can manage it.

At the moment I am at my office doing some deep breathing to work this through and yes, just the breathing is assisting in alleviating the current symptoms.

Oddly enough I am thinking of an old movie called ‘The Fantastic Voyage.’  It was made in the late 1960’s I believe.  They shrank a team of doctors and their ship in a Petri dish.  They were then injected into their patient’s blood stream.  I can’t recall what was the matter with the dude but the team, described as ‘four men and a beautiful girl’ enter into the body and actually have diving gear as they leave the ship and swim around inside this guy.

Again I am not too certain why they are doing this.  I think it was part exploratory and part saving the guys life.

Raquel Welch was the beautiful girl by the way.  At one point she is attacked by anti-bodies looking at eradicating the intrusion of these ‘aliens’ on the body.  It was a very weird movie. Basically the trials and tribulations as they traversed the bloodstream. I watched them getting caught up in the lining of the lungs and being sucked into the powerful rhythm of the heart beat.

Seems like an awfully expensive thing to do in order to operate on someone.  Not at all efficient and as we discovered in the movie, very dangerous…not just for the patient, but for the team of doctors as well.

They were successful in their mission and again I really cannot recall what was wrong with the fellow.  There was a room full of guys at ‘mission control’ headquarters.  For sure, inflation had not yet hit and the cost of medicine was obviously affordable.

The queasiness has now passed, however, I’m still numb.

My sense of smell has been kicked up a notch or two.  One of the women we share our office with came to discuss a carton of cream in the fridge.  I went back to the kitchen with her and she held the carton open.

‘Do you think it’s turning?’ she asked me.

I was easily two feet away and yes, it most definitely was turning bad.

Managing an office is tough work I tell you.  Making sure that people have fresh cream for their coffee is of the utmost importance.  Hell, do you know what its like if everyone comes in and they’re not caffeinated?  Let me assure you, it could get ugly.

Of course, I am having a little fun with this analogy but its time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Ha! Ha! Not wearing any!

Have a great day.  I am thinking that I may have a few brain cells that are numb right about now too.

Cheerio!