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.

Vancouver_skyline4 average home price 1.27 million

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’.

War 1 war 3

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.

 

 

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So…You Think You’re Beautiful?


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There have been a few stories as of late involving so called ‘beautiful women’ (i.e. those who are esthetically pleasing to the eye according to societal  trends and beliefs) that are behaving…now how shall I put this?  Well, quite frankly their behavior has been appalling.

Such was the case recently of one Britt McHenry who apparently works for ESPN who had her vehicle towed and launched a personal attack on the female employee who was collecting the fine that had been administered.

Oh, I know it’s aggravating to have your car towed.  Take a moment to consider your responsibility in this.  I had to run into the Safeway store last night.  Ten minutes tops I was gone.  I didn’t want to have to plug the meter $2.00 for one hour of parking.  I came back out and had a ticket.  I will fight it but still I’m not going to freak out at the clerk.  I made a choice.

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We see this happen far too often where a woman is put down because of her appearance.  I find it even sadder when another woman is doling out the insults.

I hope that someday Britt (a.k.a. Barbie) McHenry will find out what beauty really is, as all the cosmetic surgery in the world won’t enlighten her to its true meaning.

Over the last twenty years or so a rather odd and rather narrow definition of what a beautiful woman is, physically speaking, has in emerged in North America.

I still find the idea of size zero to be rather telling and it is my opinion that technology has certainly played a role in our demise.

An online article caught my attention recently.  A female artist created the ‘selfie arm’.  It was a direct jab at this sub-culture that has melted into this narcissistic mindset.  The ‘selfie arm’ looks like someone has their arm  around you and they are taking the photo of you.

Why then this obsession with what we look like at any given time the need to record it?

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Hell, I really don’t change all that much between bathroom breaks and there are far more interesting things that I would like to photograph. Sure, when I went to the Fleetwood Mac concert recently I took a photo of my daughter and I.  We were at an event though and seeing our happy faces is reminder of what an awesome concert it was.  The other thing too, is that I didn’t post this photograph.  It’s for my personal enjoyment.

And there really is much more to me than what I look like.

I am reminded of a writing workshop I took last year.  One of the attendees was older woman who looked like anyone’s dear grandmother.  She was a sweet dear.

Elderly 1

When she shared what she wrote that day I would never have guessed that back in the 1960’s she was one of two white women at the Apollo Theatre taking in a James Brown concert.  It was a beautiful heartfelt piece that reflected her love of music, particularly that genre.  I love chatting with people from all walks of life.  The more I do this, the more I see how it is that we are all connected.

I’ve been told I was pretty in my youth.  I never saw it, didn’t want it and considered it a liability.  I wanted to be swallowed by the walls that surrounded me and disappear.  But I had this body and these boobs and this blonde hair…and was for time I was very awkward with these accruements.  I curled up not letting anyone in.  I can assure you it was a lonely place to be.

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Still I was fortunate enough to meet people who encouraged me to change my way of thinking and it was with their love and friendship that I grew to be the woman I am today.

I love who I am becoming and I can assure that there is not a camera around that could capture the image of who I truly am.  So remember that the façade we see mirrored each day is only one aspect to who we truly are.

And while you might look good your true beauty is reflected on how you interact with everyone else on this planet.

Peace.

 

 

A Fond Farewell Lois…R.I.P.


 

lois 2

As I read the news thread that Lois Liliensten had passed away the sound of my daughter’s voice singing ‘Skinamirinkydink’ washed over over me. I sang it with her…often.

My daughter loved that song. She loved Sharon, Lois & Bram.

I purchased the album for her, the vinyl version which I still have. It got a lot of play, a lot of wear.

I leaned back in my chair at work to let the emotions, the memories pass through me and oddly enough I found tears sting my eyes.

I was surprised by this.

I then considered this trio and how they had entertained children. My daughter’s eyes would shine listening to them and that smile of hers?

Well, it could light up the night sky it was that brilliant.

And if three people could bring that kind of simple pleasure and joy to the world of a child then they are superstars to me.

So it was with a quiet dignity after a having suffered from a cancer that Lois Liliensten left this earthly plain.

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I do hope she didn’t suffer.

There are those in this world who do what they love and are driven by their passion. They are fortunate as well that it sustains them. They can live their life by it.

And all that I do, I love.

Always challenges will be presented. Such is life. And I will always rise to each new hurdle and stumble across. That I accept each challenge and attempt to remedy the problems with honesty and integrity convinces me that to honour all that I do is one of the most important aspects to living.

Even if it something appears mundane, ordinary…it is often in these that we think are so easily attainable that we find are the most difficult to master.

Good-bye Lois.

We loved you…we loved you in the morning and in the afternoon….we loved you in the evening underneath the moon.

lois 1

Hope you are off dancing with elephants across universe. Thanks for the beautiful memories and a smile that just wouldn’t quite.

The Pain and Agony of Discontent


April 24, 2015

Extreme disappointment. Disgust. Anger. Defeated. Enraged. Belligerent. Fucking depressed!

These are just some of the emotions I am feeling right now.

Eight weeks ago a red sludge poured from my hot water taps as it did in several of my neighbors. Later our darling property manager Donna Kloc ensured us this was safe to consume, but rendered the hot water unusable and unavailable for 12 of the 47 units in our building.

We knew our building required re-piping and had set up a special assessment to raise funds to have this project done. We ran out time.

C & C Electrical Mechanical is the company that our strata had been using recently. After the first two weeks of this debacle we found ourselves in a meeting with our backs against the wall.

If we held off and got quotes from other companies the process would be further delayed. In desperation we opted to go with C & C.

They’ve had the contract for six weeks now. I have hot water in my bathroom basin only now for 2 weeks. Doesn’t get very hot and still has the red epoxy is in it.

I cannot shower. My ceiling has been ripped out. There is no hot water in the shower or the kitchen.

A lighting fixture dangles above my bathtub. The fan is not working. They’ve cut the power.

The bathroom floor and front hall have been covered in cardboard which has been taped down.

It feels dirty and gritty to walk on it now.

I am fortunate that my office has shower facilities. So these days I roll out of bed and jump in my car and drive to work to prepare for work.

Last weekend my back was giving me major grief. I was rear-ended at high speed three months ago.

Filling up some forty plastic basins of water to dump into the tub so I could bathe was just not an option so I sat depressed and feeling incredibly unclean last Sunday.

I’ve ensured myself that there are those who don’t have access to water at all. I’ve tried to tame the extreme rage that has at times threatened to over take me.

And now we are almost two months into this. I pay taxes….high taxes, dammit! I checked out New Westminster’s by-laws regarding water service and well, they were quick to say they weren’t responsible for fuck all.

No water service is guaranteed.

My local Starbucks knows of this saga. They look at me hopefully each morning when I go into get my coffee fix.

My local Boston Pizza is well aware of my dilemma as are a few other establishments in my community.

At my work place it has become a running joke that the shower room is fast becoming my home.

How fucking pathetic is this?

I’m trying to keep my humour about this, trying to remain…

And I want to hurt someone. And I hate feeling like this.

At this point I wish we’d taken the time to get quotes. The service we’ve had to date has been incompetent at best.

Home isn’t feeling all that homey these days.

I was heading out to the store about a week ago and found the hallways being prowled by the local fire department. I enquired as to why they were there.

All the smoke alarms have been rendered useless. Ziploc bags covered them as they dangled from the cut out ceiling. They are not working. The City of New Westminster deemed it necessary to have a security guard posted 24 hours a day.

And Circle Construction and C&C Electrical Mechanical are the professional organizations that have done this work to date.

I can ensure that is doesn’t appear all that professional at all. Even the fucking signs they put up with their information on them keep falling off.

I didn’t particularly like them at our emergency meeting six weeks ago and my opinion of them has deteriorated exponentially.

I work in the industry and I’ve watched eyes drop from sockets when I tell them I am still unable to bathe in my own home.

And I know the prick weeds (a.k.a. C & C Electrical Mechanical) will come up with some pathetic excuse about unforeseen obstacles regarding the delay in getting full service back to all twelve units.

This is how you learn about companies though and work ethic. I have a personal policy that I will always honour the job…not the fucking dollar.

These guys that are working on our building really don’t give a rats ass. This scares me. This is my investment as it is my neighbors.

I want quality work done to protect my investment. I want people who care about what they do working there. Not some assholes who’ve treated all of us like 2nd class citizens in there.

I’ll be lodging service complaints.   Big time to the BBB.

At the emergency meeting C & C was defending our property management company. How dare they!

There are so many things now that I wish I’d not felt so desperate about, but hell, you make your choices and you have to live with them.

But I won’t be quiet about it.

The people above me have two young children. They don’t have the option of showering at work. There are those who’ve retired that have health issues. Hell, I’ve got health issues.

And does our property management company or these so called professionals give a rat’s ass

I’m mad as hell and I really don’t know what to do about it.

The Body Temple


images[3]

 

As I drove in to work today at 6:00 AM to have my morning shower the radio station spoke of 12 senior students at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in Surrey who have been charged with ‘sexting’.

It is a new thing regarding youth who take pictures or have photos taken of them in sexually provocative and/or naked postures then post them on to the internet.

The 12 students were in fact circulating these images through online social media; some of the images from 13 year old students having just entered the 8th Grade.

What happened here? What did we forget to pass along to our youth in this insanity?

From the Eaton's Room in the old bldg on Hastings

We have men and women on shows such at The Bachelor & The Bachelorette who are becoming ‘celebrities’?  Am I missing something here?

These days I see toddlers with mini iPads in hand playing ‘games’?  Is this a good thing?

Apparently these games will make them smart? Can’t say that I can really comment on this but what I do know is that because of technology, because of computers they are no longer teaching cursive writing in schools.

And that is just wrong!  You have now idea how much this saddens me.

images552IE2Y3

Youth today are being robbed in oh so many ways. Flashed with images of what some obscene bastard thinks we all should look like.

They pile into a restaurant booth then pull out their iPhones and begin to ‘chat’ without uttering a word.

Lost in translation.

Kids these days seem to go from toddler to highly sexualized being in the blink of an eye.

What happened to the growing up part? The life unfolding part? The mystery part?

Now is seems youth are obsessed with appearance, with gadgets, with sex?

And where, pray tell, did the little darlings get these ideas from? Hmmm.

I also heard on the news today that a town in Montana wants to pass a law that any women wearing ‘leggings and/or Yoga pants’ in public 3 times in a row be confined to prison for 5 years.

This was a total ‘WTF’ moment for me.

paranoid

We have our babies taking selfies of their selfies and then some and posting on the internet for the world to digest never considering the consequence of their actions.

Let me ask parents this. Did you sit with your child and tell them how beautiful it is to discover their sexual self on their own terms?  To explore the body temple, revere in its mysteries and hold sacred to their sexuality as it is revealed to them.

I’m guessing that you didn’t.

Does an image of a vagina or a penis define your sexual self?  No.

And sex isn’t just about having an orgasm either.

fit 2

But if you are 13 years old and taking selfies of your ‘private’ parts…what may I ask are you actually trying to convey in your photographic essay?  Or weren’t you told to consider this aspect.

As females, we all have vaginas and a clitoris and we all have breasts.  How these parts of being operate really is determined by each of us and our individual preferences.

A little overwhelming, yes?  Not really.  Listen to the body temple.  It will guide you.

Boys all have penis’. They are expected to be quite proud of them.

The mystery of your body though is your own journey. It will define and carry you into adulthood and help shape who you are.

Respect not just the body but the unique aspects of it that make you…you.

Now ‘Game of Thrones’ may have us all believe that everyone shaved their nether regions and their chests, and their legs, and their pits….

It’s just a show people. A good one…but just a show.

The hairless phenomenon, the beauty debacle and of course the skinny business.

We’ve convinced our children that to get anywhere in this world they have to look good.

Then through the most fucked up ad campaigns, we’ve convinced them that if extreme measures are necessary…then do it.

Boob jobs, nips, tucks…

Bleached out hair, botox and collegen shots.

Size Zero.

puzzle

Diet supplements dominate the market; this obsession with appearance on one side of the coin and on the other side is the indulgence that youth today are being assured they deserve.

Just where do think this will take you?

Beauty fades. All the plastic/cosmetic surgery in the world will not change this fact.

But keep in mind that beauty is subjective. It’s mysterious, evocative and it really is in the eye of the beholder.

I’m 57 years of age, gorgeous and fat as hell at the moment.

Would I undergo a tummy tuck to rid myself of the pot belly I currently have?

HELL NO!

depression

Surgery is no laughing matter. I just want to get well enough to start kicking it at the gym again, to run again. These days the restrictions of my physical body as a result of the car accident and the accumulation of all the other shit I’ve endured over the last few years (i.e. cancer) has me feeling rather frail.  And I appreciate the

Ah but youth…it teases you into believing that you’ll always be just as you are.

Sorry kids.

And to the parents out there, teach your children…teach them well.

Some life lessons are tough but in my mind…no preschooler should be playing with a technology that has unfortunately been so corrupted.

If seeing boobs and cocks rocks your world…then I must say I have sympathy for you. Not empathy…just a pause of why you’re not looking past the 2 dimensional world you find yourself in.

And kiddies…if you think photos of boobies, vaginas and cocks and their hosts is the epitome of sexuality then you are sadly mistaken.  Respect yourself first and foremost.

Put down the iPhones and talk to one another.

 

 

 

 

 

Can You See Me Yet? The Great Marketing Campaign!?


mm 1

Three weeks into publication and I’ve sold ELEVEN books!

Pretty damn good considering the majority of this world doesn’t know that I exist nor do they know I wrote a book!

My daughter kindly did some research and sent me information on how to market a book.  It would seem I should have been exciting the masses at least a year ago.

It would seem I forgot about the foreplay.  Oops!  Also, I have to sell myself to some degree, get the public interested in me.

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And I’ve never done that before.  In fact I’ve deflected attention more often than not.  I’ll downplay compliments…that sort of thing.  In truth, I really am trying to get better with accepting love and feeling worthy.  I know this sounds rather absurd but there is truth in this.

Am I a remarkable woman?  There are those that will tell you I am.

I will tell you we all are.

That odd little spot light that at times I shine in but more often than not will find me slipping off into the shadows once the awareness of its presence is known.

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If I want to sell my books, as well as sell and represent others, I will have to develop a sense of self that is comfortable in the public forum.

I will use my passion that fuels what I do!

I am growing and really am looking forward this new challenge.   I’ll be criticized from time to time no doubt.  I do expect this.  There is this odd little thing with how I receive criticism or praise.

Knock me down?  Hell, I’ll be back on my feet in no time.

Shower praise on me and I’ll become awkward and so completely out of my element.

And yet I do understand this reaction.  And I just need to work through it.

So back to the topic at hand.

Ellen

I’ve written Ellen DeGeneres and asked if she would review my book.   She has yet to respond.

I’ve called a few radio stations and was given names of the people who do book reviews.  I’m formatting letters of introduction to try and ‘entice’ the person to want to know me better?

Yikes!

I’m trying to be to some degree mysterious…HA! HA! HA! HA!

I’m trying to be to some degree mischievous, interesting, curious…?

And I’m really trying to just be me and not try too hard.

Selling a book is a business.  And in truth, I really am good at ‘business’.

I’ve just never partaken in this form of it before and well, I am excited.

Like a child with their first bike…no doubt I’ll fall a few times.  But the thing about me is I always get back up and I just get better.

Can you see me now?

WTIM Cover

 

The Responsible Writer…


forgiveness

I got together with my writing group tonight.  The topic for tonight’s discussion was a provocative one.  It had in fact sparked a weird conversation on the Meet-up site. I had found the conversation rather amusing in that obscure and animated manner that we at times come across.

The topic for tonight’s discussion was the role of the ‘responsible’ writer.

An interesting notion regarding the ethics of what we write and how they impact the reading public.

Certain things were declared to keep us in the realm of respectability regarding our writing.

One was to not take a real person and fictionalize their life in a derogatory manner.

The second was not to be deceitful. Michael Moore’s ‘Bowling for Columbine’ was used as an excuse as apparently not all the things in that movie / documentary? were factual.

Still, sometimes you have to stand back and look at the message….yes?

Drive the point home by whatever means but some felt he’d been rather deceitful in the execution of telling the tale.

A lot of questions sprang to mind as I listened to the views expressed.  We all agreed that journalism is held to a very different standard than your run of mill book.

And it should be.

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The term ‘literal truth’ was a raised a few times and I sat considering what meaning this held.

It is a factual term that cannot be disputed. For example the Moon circles the Earth every twenty-eight days.  It is a literal truth that is a proven fact and cannot be altered.  Now that I had reconciled it’s meaning in my head then came the ’50 Shades of Truth.’

And I say this with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  This particular book was mentioned a time or two as well tonight.

While almost everyone and their dog that I have spoken with will tell you how poorly written it is, I ask you this?  What then was the appeal?

To say that a lot of bored housewives were out there smacks of a certain duplicity and insults women in general.

I read the first book.  Didn’t like it.  It was billed as erotica and in truth it was a poorly written romance.  Nothing more.

But I will take my hat off (if I wore one) to E.L James.  She sold this book through brilliant marketing.  Sex and controversy!  Hell, now that is combination that is irresistible.  Get the public curious and they will take note.  She also used social media much to her advantage as well.

I can recall when Michael Jackson wrote ‘Moonwalk’.  The lead up to the release was hyped to the max and ‘promised’ to give us the skinny on the ‘gloved one’ in his own words.

Personally it was a disappointment for me.

Michael was trying to sell a story he’d been parroting for years and in many ways it read as though he was trying to convince himself as well. I didn’t buy it.  And it made me sad.

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The responsible writer…provocative.

What if a woman writes about her love and adoration for her husband who happens to be extremely abusive and controlling to the outside world?  Does this set a poor example for our youth?

If a woman is raped in book and confesses to ‘liking it’ what message does this convey?

At the age of 12 or 13 I slipped beneath the covers with flashlight in hand and read my father’s copy of ‘The Happy Hooker” unbeknownst to him until I was caught.  Back in 1970 I wasn’t too certain what much of what I was reading meant, but I can assure you I was not inspired to go out and fuck a German Shepard.

We need to respect that our children are not mindless sheep who will believe everything that they read.  Also we must infuse a sense of kindness and love in them and teach them by example.

Mark Chapman read “Catcher in the Rye”  It triggered something in him and he killed John Lennon.

Is the book at fault?

No.

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Mark Chapman was mentally ill and unfortunately the object he fixated upon was a brilliant musician.  I love John Lennon’s music. His gift of song spoke to me on such a personal level.

There are many who condemn him for being and an abusive asshole.

I do not condone this type of behavior.  What  I saw was a man trying to change, wanting to be a different man, wanting to be better.

I have not always been the lovely woman I am today either.

John was not afforded certain opportunities as his life was cut short.

In high school we read two books back to back in social studies.

“Mein Kampf” and “The Diary of Ann Frank”

Quite simply the lesson was ’cause and effect’ intimately woven together and it was an incredibly powerful lesson.

One was the progression of an intelligent and extremely impotent and insecure man who was falling into the obscene and frightening belief of his own myth that he had created becoming the epitome of evil.

The other was the beautiful innocence of a girl hiding in an attic with her family experiencing the tender chutes and passions of youth only to be discovered and effectively killed.

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I have always been fascinated by the human condition and what we choose to accept or reject.  We can alter our memories particularly those that are extraordinarily painful. We can press them back and deny them simply because they are too raw and savage.

Human kind has a dark history in this regard.  Through the ages the manner by which we’ve killed our own is truly disturbing.

And it continues.  Atrocities still exist.  I see the intolerance that hate has blossomed into and the false bravado these  men try to wear.  Very sad.

Young people are taken at such a young age and fed a litany of propaganda that they later act upon.

Think about this.

cirillo w dog

We tell our children there is a man named Santa that comes every year and flies about the world in a sleigh pulled by eight magical reindeer and delivers a gift to each and every child.  Mall Santas’ sit listening to each child’s wish list and Canada Post will even send a child a letter back if they’ve written to the North Pole.

This is of course isn’t harmful to them, is it?  There is a sweetness to it.  Oh they will eventually grow up and know that it’s not true and when they have children of their own they too will carry on the myth of Santa.

I am simply using a very base example of how myth can affect the mind of a child as I can well recall laying in bed on Christmas Eve wondering if Santa would come.  For a time I believed.

Now think of how they take young boys in the middle east and feed them fear, conditioning them to close their minds and only accept a ‘truth’ bound in darkness.  Because to raise a child up believing that by forfeiting their life serves their ‘god’ and a higher purpose is truly tragic.

What I took from the meeting this night was more in keeping with free thought, free speech and the responsibility to ensure we always have it.

 

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Birth of a Dream


 

 

http://www.amazon.com/This-Mind-Memoir-Nancy-Pilling/dp/0993846025/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424326821&sr=8-1&keywords=With+this+in+Mind

(Above is the link to Amazon.com)

Here I am on the edge about to plunge into the world of publishing.

I’ve crossed over from dreaming about it, to making it real.  The book has now been published.

(See above)

And there is this part of me that still doesn’t quite believe it…pinch me!

There was for a moment that insecure part of me that insisted ‘It’s not good enough.’  These are the demons that have bound me in ‘If only…’ for the majority of my life.

I am past ‘If only…’

I am past ‘I wish I could…’

I am at ‘I can and I will.’

I’ve been thinking about some of the past conversations I’ve had with members of my writing groups.  We’ve discussed success and what it means to each of us.

I can tell you this.  Any one who writes a book and wants to publish it really does want to see their work do well.

We want to reach out to the masses and emote, entertain, touch and inspire.

We want our voice heard, understood in whatever genre we’ve chosen to express our creative self.  We look for acknowledgement.  In all the words we writers’ pen, they hold a part of our soul.

I’ve read obscure books that were brilliant.  I’ve read books so poorly written that were best sellers.

And the difference comes down to marketing.

A  few years back a fellow who attended a couple meetings of our writing group had published a book on Amazon.  Excitedly I asked several questions and then he told us that he’d taken it down after a week as there had been no sales.  I pressed for more information wanting to know what his marketing strategy had been.

There in lay the problem…he didn’t have one.

You can write the best book ever but you still have to market it and let the masses know its there.

Books do not and never will sell themselves.

Nothing will for that matter.

Vince appears on our TV screen and slices and dices his way into our homes convincing us that our lives will be so much better with this little gadget he’s selling.  How we’ve managed to get by without this item in our lives is really quite extraordinary.

I’ve watched infomercials and purchased items believing that I will benefit.

When the Dermawand was being marketed I had just entered into my 50’s.  With the promise of aging skin being tightened I had to at least give it a try, didn’t I?

And I did.

We’ve been inundated with products that will make our lives that much better.

Kitchen, beauty, diet and fitness items top the list.

Take this pill  and lose all the weight you want.  Workout just 15 minutes a day on this machine and you’ll have that six pack you’ve always wanted…guaranteed.

Hmmm  Really?

And now I’m thinking how to market this book…honestly.

Will it change your life?

I don’t know but it changed mine.

I hope that my book will bring some insight into the issue of abuse.  I hope that it will offer comfort on some level to those who’ve experienced this.  I hope they’ll know they have choices and they are not alone.

I want to work toward a day where we move past judgments, move past negative energy and move past living as victims.

And while I’ve mentioned those demons that still haunt, still taunt, I do know that they will never take away what I’ve found.  They are simply echoes from another time.

I hope you’ll read my book and that you’ll take something from the words I’ve written and the memories I’ve shared.

I can’t ask for anything more than that.

Peace.

 

The Big Game


January 10, 2015

The man

There was a hush as I entered the pub today. All eyes were focused intensely on the football game that is unfolding on the multitude of TV screens that surround me. Five are within my gaze.

Navy blue and lime green beat a familiar pattern across this place. We’ve got a few Seattle fans up here in B.C.

Seattle Seahawks are blazing a path toward their second Superbowl championship in as many years.

Richard Sherman

The egomantics of this prize are inflated far beyond that of Good Year Blimp, of this I am certain, and for that reason I find myself contemplating sport in general. It makes me wonder about entertainment and our demand to be fed this litany of sport, movies, gossip, celebrity, etc.

Oh, I like my hockey. If the playoffs are on you can bet I’ll be curled up with a brew or two cheering on the home team.

I’ve never been much for football, however, or UFC, or golf, or tennis, or….

Several years ago my daughter I went to see the movie ‘Friday Night Lights’.

It was based on a high school football team in a run down Texas town that had seen better days. The opening shots of that movie had and still do have an impact.

The camera pans through a ghost town of run down shops sadly in need of repair. It is something of ghost town it would seem and then you see the signs.

‘Closed. At the Game.’

Then the camera leads you just outside of this ugly little town to this state of art football arena that looks so glaringly out of place. All of the townsfolk have conjoined to cheer on their team.

stadium

Young men who can’t read are hoping for a college scholarship. Those not as talented are just hoping to get laid more than a few times by more than a few women.

(News Flash: Sherman is having a hissy fit about what, I cannot say at 6:08 PM in the 2nd quarter of the game. Seattle is up 7-0 with 11:03 left in the 2nd quarter)

Remember, you heard it here first folks!

They have seismology equipment on site as last weekend out at the University the roar of the crowd was recorded at 1.3 on the Richter scale. Again there is that desire in the States to pay homage to these demi-gods of theirs (a.k.a. football players).

We put so many people on a pedestal, don’t we?

My daughter and I chatted about this today. It is a human thing I suppose. I’ve had my crushes, my sweet desires. We all do.

jh

I’ve driven the streets of Vancouver with my daughter hanging from the passenger’s window waving a white flag to honour the Canucks in their run for the Stanley Cup.

(News Flash: The game is now all tied up at 7-7 at 6:16 PM)

This is not a new behaviour in the human equation. We have a certain blood lust born to us I believe. Think of the gladiators back in Roman times. No doubt there have been any and all manners of ‘sport’ over the years to entertain the masses.

We look for those heroes who will suffer mightily for the benefit of those (us) who adore and hold them and their suffrage to the highest esteem and in the efforts that have been made.

They seek to be our champions and we make them our legends.

Until the next best thing comes along.

light bulb

(News Flash: Seattle just scored another touchdown so with under 5 minutes in the 2nd half, they are up 14-7).

I guess these days I find we ever more caught up by these stallions, by these showdowns, by these events that are marketed to the max.

Hell, it brings in millions upon millions of dollars in revenue to local economies. Restaurants, pubs, sport shops, etc., well they live for this stuff.

A story on the news last night noted that the Seattle Seahawks were outselling the Vancouver Canucks in paraphernalia.

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Big news?

And 12 people were gunned down in Paris, France along with 4 hostages on the following day all in the name in Allah?

Why?

A satirical magazine published a less than favourable depiction of Mohammed moving what…I don’t know.

charlie_hebdo_shooting_cologne_rally_january_2015

And I felt so deeply saddened by this. What is happening to us?

That these ‘terrorists’, ‘religious zealots’ or whatever it is we are calling them these days are so entrapped in their fear and hate that they so firmly believe that ‘their’ God endorses their actions is not only sad and devastating, but it’s heartbreaking.

Gunmen-Kill-12-in-Paris-Shooting-at-satirical-newspaper-office-in-Paris

Tell those in the U.S.A. that carrying guns (which is written into their constitution) doesn’t make them safer and if fact causes more harm than good and well…you’ll find your self on list of sorts. But I ask my southern neighbors this? Did the architects of your country have an AK-47 in mind when they signed said document?

Did the idea that a gun could blow the whole of person apart enter their mindset?

Shooting-Illustrated-January-2015

This little Canadian gal thinks not.

I believe those who fought to lay out the foundations of your country had something far simpler in mind.

Don’t give me the crap that guns don’t kill people…people kill people. Guns were created for one purpose and that is to kill.

If you can live with some little child finding a parent’s gun and killing another and justifying this, or a child who is bullied and harassed walking into a school room and blowing everyone to bits, all the power to you.

Last year I wrote a blog about a murder here in Canada. It was the 4th murder of the year or some such thing but I was devastated. One of my American counterparts commented that we were making an awful fuss up here about just the 4th murder.

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I replied the day that I was indifferent to such things would hopefully find me having passed from this life.

It’s never okay and it is never justified.

I am watching all this violence escalating, then watching movie trailers for a film about Martin Luther King Jr.

Did we miss something here?

Ghandi fasted for peace. Mother Theresa took a vow of poverty. God apparently gave his only begotten son and what have we taken from all of this?

We’ve gotten really fucking good at killing each other.

Firefighters carry a victim on a stretcher at the scene after a shooting at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper,

Now we have drones.

Hell, it won’t even affect us as it won’t really seem real. Just send a little ‘bot out there to eradicate the sons o’ bitches! Kind of like playing ‘Slaughterhouse’ or whatever video games we’ve developed to keep us ‘entertained.’

The lost art of conversation, the lost ability of human interaction?

We claim to adhere to love and forgiveness then trash the next set of misguided beings that are out to avenge their God.

High School kids sit in a booth in a diner texting each other. Look up. See the person…and try talking to them.

Emptiness-depression-33252846-479-494

And I’m feeling this odd disillusionment in what surrounds me.  In my mind it doesn’t seem that hard or all that difficult.

Just love.

A boy places flowers outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket near Porte de Vincennes

And at halftime the Seahawks are up 14 to 10 against Carolina. It is 6:57 PM.

A Thing Called Trust…Scandalous!


October 31, 2014

6.  They're out for blood

 

It is Halloween in these parts and I have just safely made my way back to the homestead despite the streets crawling with ghostly goblins and ghoulish devils. Of course there were the tiny superheroes and dinosaurs traipsing about as well.

The adult variety began to hit the streets as the little ones slipped off to inspect their haul.

Well dressed leopards and debonair tigers walked hand in hand to local pubs and restaurants to celebrate some playful events that were underway. We have a Paddlewheeler boat that offers cruises up and down the Fraser River.

I went for a walk along the boardwalk and saw the boat decked out in webbing with an eerily lit backdrop. Catwoman, a cowgirl and a witch were having a debate of sorts.

I will be donning ghoulish attire tomorrow as I am attending a costume party.

It’s been a busy week at the office and I am convinced that the dot matrix printer they have is indestructible. Those things never seem to quit, do they? I’m looking forward to saying a fond fair well to the thing.

They never agreed with me and so you can understand my reticence at using them and yes, I admit that I am somewhat intimidated by the thing as well.

Make a mistake and there is no stopping them. They grind through paper horrifically sounding much like a buzz saw.

In any case, tomorrow is another day and I will have to summon up the courage to once again attempt to dominate the damn thing or at least get it to play along.

During dinner I listened to the news of the day.

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A scandal is brewing. A CBC personality, Jian Ghomeshi was fired a week ago. Apparently it has something to do with his sexual preferences, sexual play, etc., and the roughness of it?  Seems he gets off on choking and smacking women in the face.

In any case, Ghomeshi filed a $50 million dollar law suit against the CBC for the firing and wants his job back.  He also posted a 1,000 word defensive on his Facebook page. Hmmm.

He went on his Facebook page and stated that all his sexual encounters were consensual, and so on, and so on.

Jian states that he has been exploring BDSM. And that’s cool. I’ve no problem with that. Whatever two people (or three, or four, or…) choose to do is totally up to them, as long as it’s consensual.

Well, here we are five days later and nine women have come forward to claim they were subjected to demeaning and violent behavior that was not consensual. Some of these events occurred as far back as ten years.

Yet none of them filed charges.

Now personally I don’t fully understand the dominate and submissive relationship but in all fairness I will not judge anyone based on what rocks their world. And who am I to say what should or should not occur intimately between two consenting adults?

jian

 

I am currently writing my second book, a fiction, that is in fact exploring these very issues. I am actually quite curious about how we arrive at our sexual preferences. It is the ultimate human mystery, is it not?  I guess what intrigues me the most is the wide spectrum of avenues that encompass the sexual experience.

imagesDFB30D2VimagesCR8LNXNQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are all looking for the ulitmate Big-O. How we achieve this sexual peak is as varied as the mythological component of what it should in fact be.

Orgasms vary as much as our sexual appetites and they are never the same.   Sometimes they are amazingly intense and then they can be slow and subtle in their release.

Back in the 1990’s during a year long depression that engulfed me, I read over 200 romance novels. In truth, I don’t know why as I am not all that fond of romance novels.  In the course of that year, however, I gained a knowledge of this writing formula and began to recognize the pattern very clearly and came to understand why some stories didn’t work and why others were quite enjoyable.

Still what drove me a little nuts were the ‘love’ scenes.

Every fucking virgin in those books was impaled by the man she really hated but secretly wanted and had orgasms that were incredibly explosive. Oh, they saw stars and understood the secret to life in that moment and were inexplicitly tied forever to this man and he was in kind tied to her.

Did they live happily ever after? Well, first you have to ask your self does that indeed exist?

In my world, not bloody likely.

But we can debate that. To me happiness is a state of mind that comes in varying degrees. I do know that if you’ve experienced sadness and pain, you’ll appreciate happiness that much more. In fact, you’ll hold it so close to you that at times you’ll want to covet it.

happy 1

 

Happiness is and always has been what we all seek, yes?

And like everything in this life how that looks to each of us varies incredibly so.

So if you like your sex rough, enjoy the sting of a spanking then good on you.

More extreme?  That’s fine too.

In the interviews I’ve conducted in order to develop characters that are honest in their sexuality, what I’ve found is that the most important aspect in these relationships is trust.

Verbally what a dominant and submissive agree upon is really sacred between them. In fact, it is the key to their relationship.

If you stand back and take a general look at all relationships they are or should be based upon this principle.  It is key.

happy 2

Sometimes though when it goes sideways, we want so much for things to snap back to that beautiful beginning, that enticing moment that briefly had us believing that this was the real deal.  In fact we may well have hungered for it.  As a result we consequently stick our heads proverbially in the sand refusing to see that what began to blossom has now been lost.

Perhaps some of these women thought they’d like to explore this side of their sexuality.  It has that taboo to it.  It’s mysterious and to some degree, incredibly provocative.

We hear things and develop a curiosity. There is that wonder if we are in fact missing out on making the Big-O even better.  If we’re not experiencing these dynamic orgasms several times during our sexual play then surely we are missing something, aren’t we?

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Cosmopolitan magazine has been recycling the same information in their articles for years on how to pleasure a man and have the ultimate orgasm.

During my youth I read these articles and tried desperately to build the mystery of sexual prowess based upon such initiatives.

Sex education really didn’t exist in my youth and sadly many of us along with the younger generation are still very much  ill informed.

What I have come to understand is that through the intimate exploration of yourself will you begin to divine the truth of your own sexuality.

As my daughter began to move through the pains of adolescence to that of a young woman, copies of Cosmo began to litter the kitchen table. I would peruse the pages and yes, much of what I’d read at her age was still contained within the confines of the magazine though the words had been tossed about to make the ideas seem new and fresh.

Sadly, I found the deal for women even more challenging.

imagesU3GHB6IFimagesRDG5WCKZimagesXS9YUBGD

The standard to be sexually desirable had risen to exacting standards.

What was happening to us?

And as the chains of sexual preferences began to loosen and we began to accept and even ponder more extreme sexual behaviours, many of us thought to explore this realm.

I can recall dating a fellow a few times in Edmonton. I was about 21 years old at the time. I didn’t have a clue about the dominant / submissive thing as this was still very much in the closet and personally, I’d never heard of such things.

So things were getting hot and heavy by the third date or so. A lot of kissing and heavy petting began to take place. We directed it into his bedroom.

The room was dark as we fell onto the bed.  He stopped then and rose to turn on the light.  The red glow of the bulb caused a shiver to run up my spine as I took in my surroundings.

Rubber sheets adorned the bed and one wall painted a dark brown was adorned with whips, cuffs, ropes, etc.

He asked if I’d like to explore this. I was rather horrified and offered up a flat out ‘No’ and I collected my belongings to take my leave. I didn’t have a predilection for this.

He was gracious and at no time did he try to force anything on me.

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The idea of someone hurting me for pleasure was not something I understood, nor did I want to explore these merits.

Now I come back to this Jian Ghomeshi thing.  Nine women have come out, not to the police, but through social media claiming abuse.

The police have launched an investigation asking these women to provide them with information.  No charges have been laid at this time.

And I’m pissed off.

Jian, get it together. If you have a preference…lay it out. Make it clear what floats your boat.  Is what you’re into really sexual exploration or are you just a sick fuck that likes to hurt and scare the shit out of women?

To the women, yes, I know he is a celebrity and he’s attractive. If you were curious about this experience and it went sideways then guess what?  You are like so many of us.

Then there is the shame factor. You know, I get it. I’ve put myself into positions that were frightening and hate to admit my gullability.

What I am trying to say is that we make mistakes. We find ourselves in the midst of something that was not anticipated and we don’t know how to respond.

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I must ask Jian this question.   You claim to be  ’50 Shades’ but much softer.

For the record in my opinion, ’50 Shades’ is a badly written romance, nothing more.

If this really is your preference then you really need to conduct yourself accordingly and show some respect for your partners.  And for the record, it’s not just about your pleasure.  As stated, if you get off on smacking women around, then you might well have a sadistic side to you that borders onto sociopathic behaviours and has nothing to do with sexual preference.

Those individuals that I’ve come to know who involve themselves in these activities are highly intelligent and loving.  They hold themselves to a very high standard

What I’m pissed off about is that Jian Ghomeshi  seemingly thinks he can have his way in every instance…and I’m pissed off that one of these women didn’t come forward sooner.

It strikes a bad cord with me. Are we, as women, still just fucking victims?

Is this when we feel empowered when some schmuck is spiraling downward? Do we now feel vindicated?

That Jian left so many women with this feeling of remorse and shame over their encounter speaks only to our disconnect and shows that we are no further ahead than we were 25, 35 or 50 years ago.

And for any woman or man for that matter, that finds themselves in a sexual encounter of sorts that becomes abusive and that they did not consent to, then leave and go to your nearest medical facility to be checked over and then file charges.

You just may save someone’s life.

 

**NOTE:  I’ve taken several of the images for this piece from the internet.  I Googled ‘images sexuality’ and was amazed by the number of book covers I found there.  It also struck me on how much of a mystery our sexuality still it.