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the pomegranate tiger



Scribblings of an inquisitive mind.



Last Build Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 11:29:55 +0000

 



I've been away so long that ...

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 21:04:00 +0000

I wasn't even sure this blog still existed. When I googled Pomegranate Tiger, the only results I saw were about the heavy metal rock band by the same name that I talked about a few years back in my post here.  They've obviously done a good job of social media branding!It's been so long that I have no idea who might read this. Perhaps this will become my dear diary, confessions and musings of a late life life. Maybe it doesn't matter.My reasons for being away aren't that interesting. In brief: I fell out with writing. I thought about it, but didn't do it. I don't regret it.Instead, I've done and experienced other things: renovated a kitchen, rediscovered a love of Shakespeare and crochet (in that order), discovered Doctor Who (new and classic), begun receiving government pensions (CPP and OAS), visited London (and didn't want to leave), saw a live RSC production of Richard II with David Tennant, visited Paris and had croissants at a sidewalk cafe, stayed in Venice and rode a gondola (though the water buses are more fun), had some great family trips with sons and significant others, and come to terms with the gut (as opposed to intellectual) acceptance that most of my years are behind me and that it's okay.Looking back, I've had fun. It hasn't all been fun, of course, but the not-fun parts I'll save for another day. I've often thought about making a bucket list -- and it might be fine for some people --but I'm not sure I'd want to look back on it one day and regret not checking everything off.  I'd rather just keep on doing and seeing what I enjoy for as long as I'm able. No regrets left on the table, so to speak. More Ramblings:Things I've come to accept, but not necessarily like:The Canucks probably won't win a Stanley Cup in my lifetime Cuts, bruises, and minor injuries take weeks instead of days to heal Some aches and pains may never go away completely (I keep a good supply of ibuprofen on hand at all times) My 3 to 5 mile runs have become walks There will always be stupid people and no amount of logic or reasonable debate will change them. Adult-child role reversal; whereby your adult children think they need to check up on you and make sure you made it home okay, landed safely, know how to get to xyz. etc.   [...]




Mon, 21 Mar 2016 19:14:00 +0000

Just because ...

The Pillar Box

A stranger garbed outlandishly
Came to our town beside the sea
“In mine own city” thus he said—
“There stands a little man in red
Who in the steep street standeth still
And morn and even eats his fill
Of tales untold, wild truths and lies
Small wars and secret chivalries
You may walk round him as may be
He guards his secrets soldierly—
A quaint red tower not three feet wide
And chased the liar with a crowd
And thousands of men's souls inside.”

Some, hearing mocked the tale aloud
Some smote and scattered cruelly
His blood upon the stones, but he
Still wore his happy sunset smile
Till after rambling many a mile
He met a man beside the sea
Who answered very quietly
“A common pillar-box: accord
I ready credence” at that word
The gentle stranger frail of limb
In still scorn laid a hand on him
With eyes that blazed like magic stones
And shook him like a bag of bones.


. . . I found a snippet of this poem while reading a post here and had to track down the entire poem.  I love the lyrical cadence and flow, the imagery, and simple classical style. It's a refreshing change to the in-your-face, blunt, stark, dystopia that I seem to be reading these days (not to mention the dire state of political discourse of our neighbours to the south, but I digress).- EL  



Maragaret Atwood and Social Networking?

Tue, 05 Feb 2013 21:51:00 +0000

(Edited from original post of Oct 7, 2012)The older I get, the more I find my inner musings mirrored in Margaret Atwood's writing. Here's an excerpt from her essay, "Deeper Into the Twungle" which echoes many of my own thoughts about the ever-expanding trend towards social networking: Not long ago, I found myself having a Twitter conversation with a rotating skull. Its picture shows a skull turning around and around against a black background. Its handle is simply @rotatingskull. Its self-description is cryptic: “I am a skull that rotates.” When I asked it how I might make my own head rotate in this attractive manner—something I have always longed to do, as it would be a visual description of my state of mind in the mornings before caffeine—it told me I should view The Exorcist backwards while sprinkling holy water. Then it sent me a YouTube of itself in younger days, when it still had a skeleton, featuring as the prima ballerina—or ballerino—in the 1929 Disney Silly Symphony, The Skeleton Dance.“Impressively nimble,” I replied. Then I hesitated. Wait a minute, I thought. You’re losing all perspective. You’re talking with a skull. You have no idea who this is. Would you let a skull pick you up at a bus stop? Definitely not. But on Twitter you find yourself doing all sorts of things you wouldn’t otherwise do. And once you’ve entered the Enchanted E-Forest, lured in there by cute bunnies and playful kittens, you can find yourself wandering around in it for quite some time. You might even find yourself climbing the odd tree—the very odd tree—or taking refuge in the odd hollow log—the very odd hollow log—because cute bunnies and playful kittens are not the only things alive in the mirkwoods of the Web. Or the webs of the mirkwoods. Paths can get tangled there. Plots can get thickened. Games are afoot. Read the entire essay: Deeper into the Twungle, posted in the New York Review of Books It's not that I don't like social media and networking.  Over the years, I've joined various sites which are now canopied under the all-inclusive term of social media.  In the early days of the web in the 90s, I participated in the free-for-all world of the bulletin board (or BB as it was called) where it was a no-holds-barred environment that often ended up nasty and bloody.  The back and forth banter of lively discussion devolving into slash, slice and slaughter of the innocents. Since then, I've tried to be selective about what I join.  Even so, I've managed to rack up a fair number of memberships. Current site memberships: - Blogger (two accounts)- Classmates - Facebook (two accounts)- Flick'r - Goodreads- Google + - Library Thing- Photobucket- Tumbl'r - Twitter - Tripadvisor- Wordpress  - Hotmail (2 accounts)- Google mail (2 accounts) --> Plus numerous discussion forums - I suppose the equivalent of the oldtime BBs - where my participation varies widely from lurking to posting regularly.    From time to time, I try and take a break from the above, only to find myself dragged back  sometimes out of curiousity, but oftimes out of necessity.  Because, guess what?  It's how people communicate these days.  If I want to stay in touch with my sons who may be halfway across the globe, then I need to text, Twitter, email, chat or post online.  Now that I think about it, even blogging is becoming passe, giving way to quicker means of communication.  I've learned the quickest way to get a response from my sons is to text because they let their phones go to voicemail, then don't answer for hours and even email messages tend to sit unanswered - sometimes for days.  And they certainly don't use conventional mail.  for them, snail mail is used under duress (e.g. for thank-you notes to elderly aunts) and much prefer texting to calling if they're in a hurry. Well, I digress. The point is - and as the other Ellen always says - I do have one, is that all this social media stuff[...]



Tumblr

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 21:28:00 +0000

So, younger son says, "Mom, you should check this out."

"This" happens to be Tumblr.  Being a dutiful mom, I check it out.  

At first, I thought Tumblr was just another blog site. I quickly found out otherwise. The easiest way to describe Tumblr is that it's a sharing site. It's not about words - at least, not so much - but rather about images and the sharing of images. Not that people don't post words, it's just that a large number of posters seem to be, shall we say, young(ish) and words are not their primary means of communication. And yes, there are some pretty juvenile and silly posts, but if you look a little deeper, there are beautiful and thought-provoking images being shared.

If by chance you haven't taken a look at the site yet, check it out. At the rate trendy becomes old-hat these days, it may be gone before you know it.


I signed up to give it a real test. Here's my brief foray into the world of Tumblr:

--> The Pomegranate Tiger on Tumblr



Progressive/metal/rock band

Thu, 10 Jun 2010 19:14:00 +0000

Sometimes, when I want to access my blog and I'm on a computer that doesn't have it bookmarked, I'll just do a Google search.

The other day, I Googled pomegranate tiger and found another Pomegranate Tiger:

Pomegranate Tiger, a progressive/metal/rock band

It made me laugh because I wondered how many of their fans go Googling for them and end up at my blog?

I'm also wondering how they came up with the name. They look like a fairly new band and I've had this blog for quite a few years, so did one of the members stumble upon my blog and think, "Hmm. Cool. Hey, guys. Whaddya think? I found this site by an elderblogger with this really cool name."

Nah.



Fair

Thu, 10 Jun 2010 16:55:00 +0000

I'm lazy,so I'm posting something I've done elsewhere. The following is a piece I wrote for an online forum group that was given the prompt, "Fair? You want fair?" It started out as a dialogue between characters having an argument about the fairness of life, but it sounded so full of cliches that I scrapped it. Then I read a piece by Margaret Atwood that got me thinking of trying it as an assertion rather than a question. This eventually led me to try writing it in the second person. I almost never write in the second person. But here it is.Fair. You want fair? Of course you do. Everyone does.All your life you’ve been told to be fair, play fair, act fair, and you expect fairness in return. You build your life around being fair. You speckle your speech with statements like “to be fair,” it’s only fair,” “in all fairness”.You build a fairness cocoon around yourself. It envelops you and all those around you.The cocoon is layered with all the fairness you’ve spun in careful, cobwebby threads over the course of a lifetime. It’s a glowing, shimmery fuzz ball of goodness and light. It must be good because in your mind, fair equals good.Using an invisible scale, you balance how much love, goodwill, and self to allocate to friends, family, charities, causes good and maybe not so good. You take your cue from a friend who donates to charities that support all the major body organs – heart, lung, kidneys, liver, brain (it’s only fair).You do your best - giving equal time to your children and spouse - but, in all fairness, the children do require more attention when they’re young and time can always be made up to your spouse later on. You tell yourself it balances out in the end. You give similar Christmas gifts to your friends, so none will feel slighted. But wait. They don’t want the same things. So you do the next best thing. Buy gifts of equal dollar value. But then, Sally thinks Jane’s gift is nicer and Jane wonders if you could please give her the receipt for the scarf so she can exchange it for a different colour. And of course, you tell her you’re happy with the souvenir T-shirt from Las Vegas. Who wouldn’t be? To say anything less would be rude, and it wouldn’t be fair to hurt her feelings.You mete out fairness to the best of your ability. But like Halloween candy, you notice that a little extra always goes to your best friend’s son or the cute little boy next door. You find out Auntie Nina really didn’t want the same amount of turkey dressing as Uncle Joe, and Val will never be happy with what she gets because nothing is ever good enough.There are times when people tell you that you’re unfair. This, you know, is incorrect. You know you are fair because you have rules that govern your fairness. You abide by the Golden Rule. Do unto others, et cetera. Nothing could be more fair.You await fairness in return.But fairness doesn’t always come your way. You wait patiently in line for your turn, but get shoved out of the way by a shouting complainer. You work hard and sacrifice time away from your family, but get laid off to make way for the boss’s son. You treat women with respect and kindness, but they go for the douche-bag who treats them with disdain.You start to think that maybe life isn’t fair. At least, that’s what others tell you. Life isn’t fair. Get used to it. But maybe it’s not that life isn’t fair. It’s just that everyone plays by different rules. They don’t play by your golden rule. They have their own fairness rules. An eye for an eye, whoever wields the biggest stick wins, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, all’s fair in love and war – these are fairness rules too.You don’t believe their rules. You can’t believe them. So you continue following your own rules; you continue wrapping yourself and those around you in your fairness cocoon because it makes you feel good. You bask, warm and cozy in your fairness cocoon.[...]



Blogger is currently unavailable

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 00:15:00 +0000

After more than seven months away from blogging, I decided to post something yesterday (Monday) and was greeted by the above, followed by:

Blogger is unavailable right now. We apologize for this interruption in service.

I ruefully mentioned the irony of this on a forum I frequent and an online friend noted how Catch-22 it sounded. It was a rather Zen-like experience. I mean, the blogger me had been unavailable, but now was available, yet apparently currently unavailable. It makes one think.

In reality, I should have posted the above disclaimer in my banner these last seven months.




Microfiction Monday

Tue, 08 Jun 2010 23:27:00 +0000

I've found a new-to-me site for playing with words. Susan from Stony River says:

Welcome to Microfiction Monday,
where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer.


For Microfiction Monday #34

(image)

"What's the matter?"

"You always go first."

"No, I don't."

"Yes, you do. You’re doing it now."

"Then you go first."

"No."

"Why not?"

"I don’t know the way."





Wed, 28 Oct 2009 16:36:00 +0000


Last night, Lydia dreamed she was a robot. Not a mechanical, metallic, C3PO robot, but a sentient, humanoid robot that thought she was human. She, along with others of her kind had been rejected by society and their human families. They were being switched off. The robot Lydia made a tearful and eloquent plea about love and yearning to the blank stares of human faces . . .

Lydia hadn't written anything in over two months. Correction. Other than grocery lists, calendar appointments and a point-form chronology of her vacation, she hadn't written anything in over two months. In a funk, not in the mood, too busy, preoccupied with real life; all of the above, none of the above. What did it matter? No thoughts had gotten onto paper.

Yet lately, her dreams had been getting more vivid, more surreal. Just at the point of waking, she would control them, manipulate them. Lucid dreaming. That's the term. She wondered if the not writing had anything to do with the dreams. Or had the dreams taken the place of her writing.

More likely, it was her struggle with what she should or shouldn't (wouldn't?) write about. Should she write about her health concerns? Should she worry out loud? Some part of her wanted to share – to slit open and spill out. But no, that was self-indulgent clap-trap -- martyrdom disguised as self-revelation.

This morning is the start of a new day. She turns on her computer. She enters her password. It takes forever to load. The innards chug while an automated update downloads and the work light flashes furiously. She opens her Word program. The fan kicks on - more like a wheeze than a whir these days. It's getting old – in computer years – and doesn't work as efficiently as it once did. But it still works. Ha! Life imitates computer.

Her fingers rest tentatively on "a s d f j k l ;" - the home keys.

She waits.




Yippee, Gray Is In!

Sun, 19 Jul 2009 22:52:00 +0000


While doing my Sunday surfing, I found a link to an article titled, Do Blondes Have More Fun? The answer, much to my delight, was, "No. Silvers do!"

As some of you may remember from my post a couple of years ago on Time Goes By (The (Not So) Greying of America), it's one of my missions in life to liberate women from the scourge of colouring their hair just to cover up those inevitable pesky gray and white strands.

The Do Blondes Have More Fun? article is one in a series by Teresa Morisco of Wardrobe911 who, after writing an article about how a woman made the decision to stop dyeing her hair, took the plunge herself and did the same.

She looks fabulous - as do the others in this --> Groupshot taken at a luncheon in NYC with Diana Jewell of Going Gray Looking Great and others. It's great to see so many white-haired women of different ages and stages and shows that being gray/white/silver is nothing to be afraid of.

All I can say is, "Finally!"




S is for

Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:40:00 +0000

"Stubborn."

He: Who's stubborn?

She: You are.

He: No, I'm not!

She: Yes, you are.

He: You're just as stubborn as I am.

She: I admit I don't give up easily. I have to solve things. I'd say that's being determined.

He: You always have to be right.

She: Not always. Besides, I'll change my mind if you give me an intelligent and logical reason. You don't even want to discuss things.

He: That's not true.

She: Yes, it is. You just walk away.

He: I don't like to fight.

She: It's not fighting, it's called discussing.

He: It's more than discussing. More like arguing.

She:
More like debating. There's a difference. Besides, that's not what I was talking about. I was saying you're stubborn because you refuse to try and do things differently.

He: Well, if it ain't broke . . .

She: That is being stubborn.





Serendipity or luck?

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 20:29:00 +0000


As you might expect - because of my self-imposed walkabout – my visitor stats have steadily declined and plateaued out. This morning, I saw the weekly Sitemeter report that's been sitting in my inbox since Sunday and, for no particular reason, clicked on through to the live (current) stats. I was shocked. I had more than double the number of visitors in one day than I'd had for an entire week!

I needed to get to the bottom of this aberration, so looked at the visitor details. Well, to my surprise, most of the visits were coming from Times Goes By, Ronni Bennet's site. So, I clicked onto TGB and found that Ronni has started something called "Featured Elderblogs" - a special sidebar area with links to five blogs from her blogroll, each group of five posted and featured for one week.

I have no idea how Ronni is choosing the weekly group of blogs, but guess what? My blog is in the first group of five for the week of June 29, 2009.

I don't know if it's serendipity or pure blind luck, but there it is. It comes at a time that I've been questioning my priorities about blogging versus other things in my life -- hence, the walkabout.

Ever since I started blogging, Time Goes By and Ronni have been an inspiration to me. I'm sure she doesn't remember, but she helped me in my early days with blogrolls and other small, but significant things, just as I'm sure she's helped countless others in the same, kind way. Though likely unintentional, by including my blog in her featured links this week, she's put a boot to my derriere and made me make some choices.

Sometimes I waffle between being the type of person who thinks everything in life is connected and happens for a reason to one who is pragmatic and thinks that things happen – period. Today, I'm leaning toward the former.

I guess it also means I've finished my walkabout.





Gone Walkabout

Wed, 17 Jun 2009 02:29:00 +0000


The term Walkabout comes from the Australian Aboriginal. The idea is that a person can get so caught up in one's work, obligations and duties that the truly important parts of one's self become lost. From there it is a downward spiral as one gets farther and farther from the true self. A crisis situation usually develops that awakens the wayward to the absent true self. It is at this time that one must go on walkabout. All possessions are left behind (except for essential items) and one starts walking.

Metaphorically speaking, the journey goes on until you meet yourself. Once you find yourself, you sit down and have a long talk about what one has learned, felt and done in each other's absence. One talks until there is nothing left to say -- the truly important things cannot be said. If one is lucky, after everything has been said and unsaid, one looks up and sees only one person instead of the previous two.

- Source unknown (from Gone Walkabout)


Ell's gone walkabout . . . metaphorically speaking.



Facebook and privacy

Sun, 29 Mar 2009 20:32:00 +0000

The other day, I left a comment on Kay's post (They Can Do Without My Face) about her concerns over privacy issues on Facebook. Apart from the pros and cons of FB as a social networking site or whether you think it's a waste of time, Kay is not alone in her concerns. As indicated in the video link on her blog, Facebook (and I imagine many similar sites) can pass on the information you disclose to third parties. While this is a legitimate concern, particularly if you're worried about copyright and use of your pictures, I'm not sure I buy the whole CIA/internet/control/conspiracy aspect that the video implies - and I can be pretty paranoid. Other than a name and verifiable email address, the amount and extent of other information you provide on your profile is up to you. My point being that you control what goes into your account and just how private or not private you keep that profile information. It helps to remember that Facebook is in the money-making business. They sell ads and information for profit. As one of my sons pointed out, they are a giant demographics mine. They want statistics: your age, where you're from, your political and religious affiliations, your likes and dislikes. They really aren't interested if you post a couple of lines about visiting Aunt Millie on Saturday. They'd much rather you take all those quizzes and polls that tell the third-party stat gurus about your favourite books, movies, music, foods, etc. – in order to sell and target ads. So, for the most part, I don't care if they know my age, or that my hometown is Vancouver, or that I might be happy living in London. I may get targeted ads pertaining to Vancouver real estate on my sidebar or travel ads about London, but it's not like an invisible hand is going to reach through the monitor and snatch me off to London (although it might be kind of fun). It also helps to exercise some common sense about what you post and who has access to your postings. If you're silly enough to post semi-nude drunken pictures of yourself from cousin Sal's wedding, and you happen to be a supervisor at a conservative, high-profile company, and somebody shows the picture to your boss, who then passes it onto the president of the company, who decides that you're not the type of person they want to represent the company; then there's no one to blame except yourself. And just as it's not necessary to provide all the minute details of your life in your profile, neither is it necessary to befriend everyone who asks. Yet many people do. I've never understood how people can end up with several hundreds or thousands of so-called "friends" on FB. According to the same son, some people enter their entire email address book; then the address books of their friends. So not only do they have their own friends listed, but friends of friends and friends of friends of friends. Personally, I can't understand why anyone would want people on their friend list that they don't know (except maybe as some sort of popularity index). It seems pretty stupid, but what do I know? It seems to me that individuals need to take more responsibility for protecting their own information. Facebook has a function that gives a fair bit of control over who can see your stuff. It's explained in their Privacy Policy (that even warns people not to share addresses and phone numbers) and can be accessed via user Privacy Settings. Apparently, not everyone is aware of it, or if they are, don't bother to use it. Privacy settings range from the default that allows virtually everyone on FB to see your profile to the most private setting that allows "only friends" to see your profile and what you post. This is why it pays to be aware[...]



More ways to procrastinate

Sun, 22 Mar 2009 23:08:00 +0000


I really have a lot of things to do, but . . .

Joy took this Blogthings quiz at Babble On and since she asked, of course I had to try it.




You Are the Philosopher

(image)


You love thinking things over and developing theories. Learning is very important to you, and you pursue knowledge relentlessly.

You love to talk about the things you know, often in more detail than people would like to hear.And you know a lot! You're always taking on new subjects, interests, and hobbies.

You are at your best when you are left alone to ponder your newest ideas and experiments.You tend to withdraw from environments that are loud, contentious, or passionate.



and this one:




You Belong in London

(image)


A little old fashioned, and a little modern. A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock. A unique soul like you needs a city that offers everything.No wonder you and London will get along so well.



and this one:




You Are Mind

(image)


If you dream it, then you can do it. You are very mentally sharp and strong. You enjoy challenging yourself both at work and with studies. You love mastering difficult tasks.

You thrive in new environments, even stressful ones. You are able to study everything objectively. You have a upbeat attitude, and won't be deterred easily. You are open minded and optimistic about the future.




Blogthings, like memes, are a procrastinator's dream.



Taking my own advice

Sat, 21 Mar 2009 16:37:00 +0000


While on my tedious (self-imposed) job of re-publishing and re-reading my old posts, I came across this one (Don't Go Away) I wrote just over two years ago. It's too bad I didn't read it before my little hissy-fit of deleting.

It actually contains some decent advice and also my friend, Joy, in the comments.



Did I just say that out loud?

Fri, 20 Mar 2009 17:20:00 +0000

As long as I can remember, I’ve had an active inner voice. By that, I mean there is rarely a time in the day that I’m not thinking about something -- debating with myself (I really should take that class/no, not enough time), making mental lists (go to the bank, drop off library books, pick up some milk, . . .), making plans (when should we go to Hawaii?), commenting on the passing parade (what IS she wearing?), pondering both the big and little pictures of life (what am I doing here/it’s a beautiful day), and allowing a few curses to enter staccato-like into my musings (mostly shit, but occasionally the F-word).

Even when I’m relaxed and not doing anything, there is commentary going on inside my head. The only time it’s quiet is if and when I try relaxation and meditation. Even then, it’s more like a litany of omm (relax), omm (relax neck), ommm (relax arms), ommmm (neck is still tense), ommm (arms are tense again), ommm (relax arms), ommmm, ommm (how long have been doing this), ommmm. Clearly, I have not mastered the technique.

I wonder. Do others have the same trouble?

The older I get, the more these inner musings end up spoken aloud. Not just the occasional word, but entire sentences - paragraphs, even. More so if I’m watching a hockey game, network news, or a dumb TV show. For example, “Give me a break, how can anyone be that stupid? Everyone knows she's had work done!” or "Did we need another research study to tell us what we've known for years. Common sense, people!" I'm sort of like the person you might see at a movie who talks back to the screen. Other times, I'll say things out loud just to clarify my thinking, as if the proof to my logic is in the hearing of it in concrete words.

Sometimes, my husband or one of my sons will ask, “Who are you talking to?” or De Niro-like, “Are you talking to me?”, noticing, I suppose, that there isn’t any animate object within my immediate vicinity. I usually reply chirpily that I’m just talking to myself. The rationale being that there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself as long as you don’t answer – or so I’ve been told.

For the most part, I think it’s normal – except for the wee part of me that thinks, perhaps, just perhaps, I’m going a bit dotty.

I have visions of a white-haired octogenarian in a house full of cats, dusty plants on every windowsill, every available flat surface piled to overflowing with books, magazines and unopened junk mail, shuffling around and muttering to herself; "must remember to feed Daisy, don’t forget to phone Jay, where is that telephone bill?, better set the timer for the Canucks game, . . . ."

The last few days, I’ve been trying to keep my mouth zipped when no one else is around -- just to see if I can do it. It’s been harder than I expected. More than a few times, I’ve had to cup my hands over my mouth to stop words from spewing forth when there was no one to hear them except me and the dust bunnies.

Maybe dotty isn’t the right word for this. I like eccentric better. Eccentric conjures visions of a creative soul -- hoopy earrings and flowing, caftan robes in purples and reds (or is that a fortune-teller?). Well, the creative soul part is good.

Now, if only I can be assured that no one will call the mental health authorities to have me taken away, I’ll feel free to mutter and mumble away in my eccentricity.



Re-posting

Thu, 26 Feb 2009 07:47:00 +0000


I've spent the last few days trying to re-populate my blog archives.

I could have just hit the 'Publish All' button, but decided that this was a good opportunity to do some organizing and tagging of over three years worth of posts.

I began by grouping all the posts that were already tagged as responses to writing prompts. Thus, the "My Scribblings" on the left-hand sidebar. The next step was to quickly review each post and attach appropriate tags before re-publishing.

Seems like a plan, but not so easy. I've had a few hiccups along the way. At first, I started with the really old stuff in 2005, then somehow lost track of 2006 and a good chunk of 2007. They were still there. I just kept missing the page they were on. Then, I'd forgotten what some of the posts were about, so had to re-read them in order to properly tag them. (I'm resisting the urge to edit the individual posts, though some of them are in dire need of a thick red pen!).

With close to three hundred posts, this is taking longer than I thought it would. However, I will persevere and, hopefully, everything will be back online by the weekend.

The moral of my little story is that one shouldn't be too hasty when in a snarky mood.

Next time, I'll just unplug the computer.




Grey Skies

Mon, 23 Feb 2009 00:42:00 +0000

(This is another piece resurrected from the now defunct First Drafts. It was first posted in January 2006.)


Lydia peered out the kitchen window, trying to get a glimpse of the sky and see what it might portend. Only the usual grey clouds – no sky to speak of. The same grey clouds for the last month. No, that's not exactly true. They were clouds alright and they were grey – but they were always different variations of grey. The light grey of a cool, maybe misty day; the darker grey of impending rain; the clumpy, lumpy grey of possible snow. Today, it looked like rain. Heavy rain.

She didn't mind the rain. Other people complained about it all the time. But she found comfort in it. She loved torrential rains best. She loved the sound of the rapid, staccato on the roof and the sound of overflowing gutters plop, plop, plopping outside her bedroom window. Bundled and warm inside, there wasn't a more secure feeling.

As a child, she loved walking in the rain. She'd have on her red rubber slicker, a pair of black knee-high gumboots and carry her favourite floral umbrella. She'd methodically walk through every puddle she could find. The deeper, the better. She liked playing a little game where she'd wade into a deep puddle and see how far she could get without the water coming up over the edge of her boots.

It was a wonderful feeling – the cold water on the outside of her boots, the pressure pushing the rubber against her bare legs. So wet and mucky outside, but dry and clean inside. That's what she liked. The contrast. A few times, the water did get inside her boots, but the game was still worth it.

Sometimes, she'd stop and stand very still, listening to the rain pelting on her umbrella. If it was raining hard enough she could feel the slight spray that managed to get through the umbrella and onto her upturned face. A cool mist.

Lydia doesn't walk through puddles or stop, face-upturned under her umbrella anymore. It would be unseemly for a woman her age. But she still looks forward to the grey skies that predict rain.

The other day, while sitting at her front window, she watched a young girl walk home from school in the rain. She was wearing a yellow slicker with matching gumboots and a floral umbrella. She stopped at every puddle and slowly waded through. When she thought no one was looking she tipped her face upwards under her umbrella and grinned a big Cheshire cat grin.

Lydia grinned too.



I was lost, but now I'm . . .

Sat, 21 Feb 2009 17:38:00 +0000


. . . not necessarily found.

In a fit of frustration, angst and self-pity, I deleted my blog about a week ago.

Real life was getting in the way of my blogging. Or maybe blogging was getting in the way of real life. Or maybe it's just the time of year. My ability to compartmentalize seems to be waning (although I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing at my age) and deadline stressors that didn't bother me all that much before are causing, well, stress.

At any rate, I decided to shut it down, rethink, reevaluate and just go hide for awhile. Obviously, since I'm here now, I've had second thoughts.

The interesting thing is that I have a choice of re-posting all my old stuff (I have it backed up) or starting anew from this point on -- sort of like writing on the first page of a brand new book.

I haven't completely decided what to do, but in the meanwhile have some links and gadgets I need to fix.







Don't Divorce Me

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 19:02:00 +0000


I saw the following video at The Boomer Chronicle's blog today, Same Sex Couples in California Say, "Don't Divorce Me" about Prop 8 amd Ken Starr's attempt to nullify the 18,000 same-sex marriages in California.

In response, the Courage Campaign has prepared a video and letter-writing campaign to the Supreme Court asking Americans to support the fight against what amounts to forcibly divorcing 18,000 couples.

Please watch this video. It is wonderful, heart-warming and touching. It puts real faces of real people to that 18,000 number.


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"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.


As a Canadian, my signature doesn't count, but if this means something to you, please go to the Courage Campaign site and sign their letter to the Supreme Court. Time is of the essence as the opening oral arguments will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 5, 2009.

You may ask why this Canadian should care about what happens in California. It's simple. We're all human beings and as fellow-human beings we should all care.



A question of art

Fri, 06 Feb 2009 22:26:00 +0000


This week's prompt for, Sunday Scribblings is Art. They pose the question: What do you make of art?


ugly
beautiful
meaningful
incomprehensible
It's junk!
It's amazing!

Art begs a response

The progeny of creativity,
it speaks to the soul

If the soul begets creativity
and creativity begets art

Does that mean without a soul there is no art?
And if a creation provokes no response, is it still art?





Regrets, I've had a few . . .

Wed, 04 Feb 2009 02:41:00 +0000


(This is another Debra story. I started writing about her as a lark last June 2008 for a writing prompt. If you want to start at the beginning, click --> here. They read in reverse order, so start from June 20, 2008. I have no idea where it will end, but will continue when and if the mood strikes.)



“Where is HERE?” Debra demanded.

“Looks like a beach.”

Trust Charles to state the obvious. Deb was getting annoyed. No. More than annoyed. Pissed off. No. More than pissed off.

The pressure of a can’t take it any more, screeching at the sky, gut-wrenching primal scream was building from somewhere in her core. Clenching her fists, she screamed silently inside her head. Not that it was silent inside her head, but Charles couldn’t hear it. Inside her head, it was a long AAAAAAAAAAAAAAArrrrGh!!! with full glottal stop.

She turned and with steely determination smiled at Charles through gritted teeth. “Yes, I know it’s a beach. But what beach? Why? And you didn’t answer me. What are you doing here?”

Charles rubbed his stubbly beard with the tips of his fingers. “Good question. Last I remember I was heading out for a day of ballooning. Hot air ballooning, you know? With propane tanks, floating around . . .”

“Yes, I know what hot air ballooning is,” Debra cut him off. “I’ve been. Now, I’m stuck.”

“What do you mean by ‘stuck’?”

“Stuck. As in can’t move. As in stuck in the same place. Stuck! One minute I’m on the beach, looking at a dead horse and thinking about my shitty life; next, I’m in a hot air balloon hearing songs and thinking about my crazy mother; and now I’m back on this fucking beach again – with you!”

“Sounds like your classic nightmare, if you ask me. Though it seems pretty nice here. Blue water. Nice breeze.”

“Yeah? So lick me.”

“Classic Deb. Mary Sunshine, you’re not.”

Debra rolled her eyes. “Here we go again. Think positive thoughts. Blah, blah, blah. Life is what you make of it. The glass is half full. . . .. Don’t you ever get tired of that crap?”

“By crap, I take it you mean being happy?”

“No. ‘Crap’, as in there’s no such thing as willing yourself into happiness. There is no such thing as happy. Just a lot of people pretending to be happy.”

“You think I’m pretending?”

“No. Yes. I don’t know.”

“I think you’re pretending to be unhappy.”

Debra collapsed back into the sand. That was the thing with Charles, she thought, for all his positive guru-think, he could always see through her.

As a matter of fact, she WAS rather enjoying herself. She had missed him over these last few years. He had been her counter-balance, the light to her dark, the yin to her yang. Of all her ill-fated relationships and the men she’d known and dated, Charles still held a special place in her heart.

She felt, not regret exactly, but something . . ..


Another Sunday Scribblings #148 prompt - "Regrets")




Sunday Scribblings #148

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 04:18:00 +0000


regrets

a retrospective wish list litany of
could haves and would haves
and if only I had knowns

of service only to melancholy
and late-night insomnia
not the light of day

ole blues eyes had it right







Idle Ramblings on Super Bowl Sunday

Sun, 01 Feb 2009 20:14:00 +0000


It's cold, wet and rainy -- and it's Super Bowl Sunday.

For those of you on the other side of the pond(s) who have never heard of the Super Bowl, it is a BIG DEAL championship football (the one with pads and helmets) game in the U.S. It's estimated that 100 million TV viewers will tune in to watch all or a portion of the game or half-time show.

For non-football fans, the biggest draw is the half-time show and the half-time commercials. These commercials cost advertisers some 3 million dollars for a 30 second ad. We can't see the ads in Canada (unless on a satellite direct feed) so I'll have to wait for them to be released later. Still, I may tune into the half-time show just to watch Bruce Springsteen do his twelve minute set. Otherwise, I'll give it a pass.

My Ramblings

  • New blog to check out: A Literary Cocktail

    You won't be sorry. It's well-written, witty and about -- well -- you'll see.

  • A year ago today, I blogged F is for Family or Faking It.

    It's interesting to look back and see what I was thinking/writing about in the past. This is something I've seen Tamarika of Mining Nuggets do. I may do it more often. (Oh where, oh where is a good editor when you need one? No matter how carefully I think I've edited, I always notice the mistakes after I hit the publish button.)

  • While checking my stats yesterday, I saw that a few people ended up at my little rant about Suzanne Somers and anti-aging by Googling, "FaceMaster, best prices". I think it's pretty funny, but I'm sure they weren't amused.

  • As suggested by Kay, I'm awarding a Van Gogh's Ear to some bloggers I feel are deserving:

    - Imelda at Greenish Lady
    - Joy at Babble On
    - Charlie at Berry Blog

    (image)

    Who knew it was so easy to give awards to people! Feel free to pass it on.

  • A belated Gung Hay Fat Choy! - It's the Year of the Ox
    I was sick and in bed on Chinese New Year, so didn't go out and celebrate. If my grandmother were alive, she would have told me this was not an auspicious start to the year. I was just as wont to have ignored it altogether, but thought it a tad rude not to wish others good fortune. We shall see how the rest of the year unfolds.



That's all for now.