Posted in Books, Doctor Who, Televison, Uncategorized

What Would You Do With Forever?

1forever18What would you do with forever? My answer now is a lot different than it would have been when I was young. Then, I alternated between thinking I would live forever and thinking maybe I wasn’t here for a long time but at least a good time.  Now, for me, I guess a lot would depend on how I received my immortality, how I was able to live with it, and maybe attitude?

The idea of living forever or being immortal haunts humans. It has been relentlessly explored in art, literature, TV, movies, religion, philosophy…

Would you like to live forever? Or do you think you’d start to tire of it? Or you’d feel lonely and sad as those you grew to love died.

In history’s elongation, humans are really just no more than fruit flies as life span goes. We are born, we live, we die. Whether it’s hours or years or decades or even over a century, in the end, no one, as far as we know gets out alive.

Clearly, some immortals use their ability to be long-lasting better than others.

In the Twilight books and movies Edward Cullen uses his immortality as a vampire to go to high school over and over again and get a teenage girl pregnant.

1forever12The Doctor in Doctor Who travels through time and space helping others, mostly.

In the comedy Death Becomes Her Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn learn just how long forever can be.1forever19

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Dorian Gray, uses his time to party and commit crimes.

Kenny from South Park, yeah, um, nevermind.

Methuselah, spent a lot of it procreating and waiting.

Captain Jack Harkness, Doctor Who /Torchwood uses his time to try to help and find romance.

Highlander – looking for a way to die.

Tithonus – begs for death, eventually becomes a cicada? Or The X-Files episode of the same name a photographer stalks Death while it stalks others.

ABC’s Forever is about a N1forever17YC medical examiner who can’t stay dead; sort of a crime solving version of Groundhog Day. As a doctor in the slave trade, Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) dies and gets cursed with immortality, maybe to teach him a lesson? Seems like an anemic premise for a series, but who knows. His body disappears after death, returns some time later in a nearby body of water, memory intact, same age, no clothes – this seems like a transparent plot device for having Gruffudd (Mr. Fantastic, Fantastic Four) in varying degrees of nakedness; not complaining, just commenting. The interaction between Gruffudd and his ‘son’, Judd Hirsch, whom he and his wife at the time adopted after he was found in a German concentration camp in WWII, is the best part of the show.

We too often see immortal protagonists waste a lot of time. Why not cure cancer, solve world hunger problems, bring about a lasting peace…sorry, forgot, only they’re immortal.

From Star Wars to Harry Potter to Pirates of the Caribbean to Peter Pan to mythology…humans can’t get enough of immortality, but would we know what to do with it?

The stories are most often a cautionary tale, what we don’t know is more important than what we do know. Be very careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

What would you do with forever?1forever15

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Posted in Books, Environment, Political, Uncategorized

Every Breath You Take

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   I can’t believe the news today.
I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.
~U2

We’ve all heard the terms global warming and climate change. I’m sure you’ve also heard people during heavy snowfalls say, see, how can we be having global warming. Sigh. This kind of ignoring, willfully misunderstanding, mocking, or twisting of facts may get a few Likes or giggles on Facebook, but it doesn’t change the facts.
The Industrial Revolution has been a boon and a curse for humanity. We made more faster. The problem was, we made more, faster, but it’s all an illusion. None of it means anything if you can’t breathe the air, drink the water, eat the food…

The UN Climate Summit 2014 is happening in New York, right now. For days around the world people who care have been taking to streets, letting their voices be heard. Activists, parents, children, celebrities, all essentially saying we have to care.  http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/   #climate2014
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor and long-time activist has been appointed UN Messenger of Peace, a sort of Climate Change Ambassador and one his first duties was a speech to the UN Climate Summit,

“As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.

I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.”

Please check out the rest of the speech, it was wonderful.

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We need to admit we made mistakes, now let’s fix them, before it’s too late. We don’t have to keep believing rich men, governments, and corporations who are lying to us for money and power. We really can change.

Have you ever read the book There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly ? The latest version of this book (North South Books) was illustrated by Rashin, making this cautionary tale more up-to-date and accessible. Also an excellent book to help struggling readers. This was one of the books my cousin who taught special needs children suggested for my son who had a reading disorder.

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This book always fascinated me, I don’t know why.
I never knew why an old lady would swallow a fly.
I thought perhaps she had some sort of disorder,
That most certainly made her life shorter.
But it always seemed callous and cruel
To make those animals turn into stool.

Why?
Why did the old lady swallow the fly, or all the other creatures?
The old lady’s behaviour was not only self-destructive and lead to her demise, but it was counter-productive. We’re the old lady. We know climate change is being exacerbated by manufacturing, yet we are buying more and more stuff.
We know that the fossil fuel industry, coal, fracking, etc. are destroying the planet we live on, yet we consume more and more.
So the theory of our time, even for those who profess to love their children is, eat, drink and be merry, who cares about their tomorrows?

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We keep swallowing the lies, but why? Why does it have to be economy versus environment? We can have both.
If we admit it’s true we would have to accept the recommendations, that means changing our lifestyles, possibly even make some sacrifices.

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At times the green movement is its own worst enemy.
Too many people lying, or exaggerating for shock value, to make points, or make money. Some just too self-righteous or really flaky.
The facts should speak for themselves, but we become so easily distracted and big business uses that.The rich will do anything to hold onto to their money and power, have no doubt about that. But they are a tiny percent of the population. There are more of us than there are of them.
People have stood together and overthrown tyranny before.Instead of standing in line for iPhones, toys, TVs, airline tickets, stand in line to vote, stand up to those who will kill our future, our children’s future for profit.

How angry would you be if you came home tonight and someone had destroyed your home? Planet Earth is our home.

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Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

The True Cost of Advertising

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What
is
the
true
cost
of
advertising?

 

 

 

For starters, we pay a lot more for products and services to pay for advertising. So you pay to hear about something then you pay more to buy it. Brilliant.

Product placement and advertising have been around since the dawn of entertainment…I’m not swayed by either and I know people have to pay the bills, but it’s sometimes annoying; distracting from the TV show, books, movie; and can diminish the entertainment value.
For me advertisements are a perfect time for household chores, checking my email, reading, writing, exercising, visiting the privy, turning to another channel and forgetting what I was watching, etc. I don’t believe advertisers, so if I watch ads it’s only for entertainment.

Since the surge in streaming, DVDs, PVRs, etc. the TV industry has gone a little over-the-top with product placement to in-series advertising.1brand19

No matter your economic or social standing, you have Apple products, or you should have them, or at least that’s what they want you to believe.

In-series advertising is intrusive. A show stopper. It seems out of character for Temperance Brennan (Bones) to go into a spiel about how the car she’s driving can parallel park itself.

I tried to watch the first episode of The Mysteries of Laura which was actually a giant advertisement for Target and creepily over-focused on the children after a bath in Underoos of Batman and Superman.

Considering they’re Under the Dome there’s a lot of product placement, and they get the internet just long enough to do full-blown ads for the Surface Pro…At least it’s good for a laugh, my son was joking that they’ll be advertising for CLR next season – Dome getting stained, smudged, and covered in bloody handprints? New CLR for Domes will clean your Dome, no muss, no fuss, no streaks. Available at stores, inside and outside the Dome.

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When I watch TV I want to be entertained…I want to try to solve the crime, see who wins the battle, travel in time, watch love, loss, redemption, hope…I want to see the stories unfold.

It’s fine to see Rick, Michonne, and Carl driving in a Hyundai, another for them to discuss how fast it can drive over zombies and the traction it can get despite the ooze. Maybe a new Hyundai shows that South Korea wasn’t hit by the zombie virus.

1brand1It’s one thing to see Bates using shoe polish on Downton Abbey, another for him to start peddling the product.1brand24Red using a smartphone, sure; explaining how he can upload The Blacklist to The Cloud, no.1brand25

Placing a product in a TV show, book, or movie if done subtly is a necessary evil, but when someone starts selling those items during the program that’s intrusive.

There’s a time and a place for everything. If it you can’t work it seamlessly into the story, don’t do it.
If I wanted to watch advertising I could, it’s literally everywhere. On the internet, phones, TV, books, songs, movies, clothes, charity events, public transit, billboards, amusement parks, sports events, concerts, in stores, everywhere, some day I expect to swim to the bottom of the local pool and see a Bounty ad painted on the bottom explaining how absorbent they are.

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Now they’ve found a new way to trick people, Native Advertising, just another term for sneaky. Companies purchase ad space and news outlets pay someone to write a content piece that looks, for all intents and purposes like a real editorial piece, but it’s not, it’s ad space in disguise. A majority of people can’t tell if they’re reading a real weight loss article or an ad for Weight Watchers and that’s exactly what they want. A story about how smartphones help your children learn or an ad for a smartphone. It’s a brand new way to lie to the public.

Personally, I find myself disliking products that intrude on my entertainment, books, TV, movies. It should be my choice.

The true cost of advertising? No escape.1brand6

Posted in Books, Monty Python, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

All Brontosauruses Are Thin On One End

1bronto3I don’t know why I thought of this Brontosaurus Monty Python skit today, maybe because I have a sore throat and John Cleese spends a good deal of the time clearing his throat, and it’s better to laugh and think of John Cleese being hilariously annoying than think of Ebola? No clue. Yet somehow my mind went there. If you’ve ever seen this skit (see skit included) you’ll know that it takes Cleese’s character Anne Elk a very, very long time to eventually tell the audience and terribly patient interviewer played by the late and beyond great Graham Chapman (Us Yellowbeards are never more dangerous than when we’re dead!) her point.

1bronto5Maybe the book I was reading, A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink), the 2nd book in the A Downward Dog Mystery series, the first was Murder Strikes A Pose, made me think of the Monty Python skit as well because it was soooo slow and it seemed to take a looooong time to get through it.

It was a decent mystery. Cool that the author incorporated yoga, dogs, and vegans into the story, but wow, it was too long. And I didn’t particularly like the main character, she just seemed all whiny-First-World-Problems-poor-me. Mostly everything that went wrong was her own fault, but she seemed oblivious. She didn’t treat people well. The odd part was, I liked the other characters in the book, especially Bella the German Shepherd, I think I even liked the killer (no spoilers) more that Kate (no offence to any real-world Kates). I noticed this in the first book as well. It’s always a strange experience to read a book where you don’t like the protagonist, but you like the book.

I know a lot of purists of the murder mystery genre dislike these cottage industry murder mysteries centered around cooking, shopping, interior design, sewing, B&Bs, inns, Christmas, Halloween, yoga, etc. The nicheness of these domestic mysteries irks the diehard murder mystery buffs, but I often find them entertaining and quirky.1bronto10I enjoy yoga and it’s helped so much with my Fibromyalgia, I highly recommend it and Tai Chi, although I sincerely hope that murder and yoga never go together except in books, or Tai Chi and murder either, in fact, let’s leave any sort of murder to books, movies, TV, and maybe a Murder Mystery Party, wait, is that even still a thing?

I always assumed the gang at Monty Python were trying to make a point about people not getting to the point quickly enough and when they did, their point had already been said or done. 1bronto8

I’m off to drink some warm lemon water and I will leave you with these words of wisdom, Speak less, listen more, speak the truth and do no harm, also, all Brontosauruses are thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end. Namaste.

Posted in Books, Doctor Who, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

Dear Luke, We Need To Talk. Darth

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 Icebergs, henchmen, Fight Club, The Walking Dead, Friends, Twilight, Dora The Explorer, Jurassic Park, The Superbowl, Beastie Boys, Star Trek, Disney, The Grinch, Seinfeld, X-Files, B-52’s, Twilight Zone, Elton John, NASA, Harry Potter, Kurt Cobain, War Horse – no one is safe from John Moe’s satirical pop culture whimsical correspondence, and I’m so glad.

1darth18This book Dear Luke, We need to Talk. Dad Darth and other Pop Culture correspondences by John Moe (Three Rivers Press/Penguin) is hilarious, a remarkable, one might even say, noteworthy poke at pop culture. I love to laugh and when I saw the title on http://www.bloggingforbooks.org I knew I was going to have fun.

Some of my favs include, Bruce: A Shark’s Journal, which had me in giggles, especially the June 14 entry where Bruce fell off the wagon. Some of you may remember the eating issues Bruce had in Finding Nemo, now have that go Jaws.

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Also, a letter from the Pea1darth17nuts gang teacher regarding the lack of adults in Charlie Brown and his friends’ lives; also, how grateful she is to have a job considering her speech issues.

An explanation of what happened to Agents 001 through 006.

All of Jay Z’s 99 Problems.

Concerns about the overall direction the Doctor Who franchise is taking.

A letter to the island on Lost on how to promote tourism there.

1darth27Saul Hudson (Slash from Guns’N’Roses) as a Heavy Metal Editor, explaining to Axl Rose why Sweet Child O’Mine isn’t going to be a hit.

CIA 1darth111report from Agent Gilligan from the Island ProjectGilligan’s Island goes to a dark place on April 21, 1973 when they ate The Howells (It was time)…

A Welp! review of Cheers, Rick’s Café, Bronto Burgers, Overlook Hotel, Bates Motel, etc. A funnier version of Yelp!, not just people whining about the their First World Problems with restaurants, here’s a hint, you can afford to go to restaurants.

Correspondence between Batman’s producer and Neal Hefti the writer of the 1966 Batman theme; this money man versus artist exchange pits artistic integrity against commercialism which explains why the theme ended up being, you know, Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batman! and so on.

1bat20 Muppet Studios Casting Office where we find out some of the reasons certain Muppets could not be included…

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An Oral History of Pac-Man Ghosts (I think Inky had it the toughest). Wocka wocka wocka.

And some dysfunctionally tasty drink recipes from Mad Men:

Drapertini

4 ounces gin
1 ounce vermouth
3 olives
5 tears that I never shed as a boy

Shake, stir, then pour down the sink because those days can never return.

1darth19Draper Manhattan

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce vermouth
2 ounces of aromatic bitters
3 dashes of bitterness about my own need to hurt everyone who loves me
2 scrapes of the grime from that apartment I had after Betty and I split
1 maraschino cherry
Pour contents over ice into a glass, catch a distorted reflection in the ice for a moment, and wonder who you are or who anyone is really, sit in chair.

There, it’ll all be ok now.

1darth20

Posted in Autism, Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Been There. Done That. Try This!

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There are so many things we want to teach our children.
Love. Hope. Caring. Compassion. Empathy. Life skills. Listening. Learning. Reciprocity. Understanding. Manners.

With a child with Asperger’s Syndrome you have a few others life lessons to the list, the strangest one is lying. I’ve tried to teach my son to lie, with really no success.  Why would I teach my child to lie? Because society demands it. I’m sure we can all think of hundreds of examples of social lying. I’m sure you’ve lied today, probably multiple times. Imagine your life if you didn’t know how to lie. You boss asks if you like your job. Someone asks if their dress makes them look fat. Society is a hotbed of lies. Some lies are harmless and others are horrible. But what if you couldn’t lie? What if you told the truth no matter how detrimental it was to you?

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“You can’t handle the truth!”~Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men (screenplay by Aaron Sorkin)

People say they want the truth, but that’s the biggest lie of all. They would rather lies than uncomfortable truths.
So how do you teach someone social lying while telling them it’s wrong to lie? A confusing message, to say the least.

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I think the human race is evolving, and I believe a time is coming when there will less or no distinction between those who are neurotypical and those who allegedly ‘not’.
Asperger’s or High-Functioning Autism are now on our regular viewing schedules, in our books, in our workplaces, as friends, family members, bosses, employees, etc.
Once known as Nerd Syndrome, or for much of the 20th century diagnosed as Childhood Schizophrenia, before that insanity or demonic possession is now seen as essentially benign.
We’re just starting to realize having Autism isn’t necessarily terrible, or catastrophic, it’s a neurological difference. We need to understand and offer proper resources.

1aspie10The book, Been There. Done That. Try This! An Aspie’s Guide To Life On Earth (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) is a unique, comprehensive, effective, fascinating treasure trove of Aspie knowledge, mined by Tony Attwood (Editor, doctor, author, and Aussie Aspie expert), Craig R. Evans (Editor, doctor, author, and Aspie expert), Anita Lesko (Aspie, author, BSN,RN,MS,CRNA). This book may be written for those with Asperger’s by those with Asperger’s, but I think some of the advice can help neurotypicals as well.

It offers advice from true experts, Aspies sharing their knowledge on how to manage anxiety, depressions, meltdowns, sensory issues, bullying, careers, dating, sex, marriage, friendships, transitions, and so much more.  Mentors include: Temple Grandin, Liane Holliday Willey, Bob Castleman, Anita Lesko, Dr. Patrick Suglia, Debbie Denenburg, Lisa Morgan, Mitch Christian, Gary Burge, James Buzon, Charli Devnet, and more.

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The more I read about modern life being so challenging for people with Asperger’s the more I thought, is it perhaps too challenging for everyone? Is that why anxiety rates are so high, use of prescription drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, sleep disorders, eating disorders, bullying, fighting, so much more prevalent? Maybe people with Asperger’s are just more obvious because their brains are always honest and don’t try to hide the problems.

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If we could all just accept Neurodiversity we’d see that we all need help in different ways and can be amazing, in different ways.
This book is wonderful for Aspies so they know they’re not alone and it gets better; for parents to remember there’s hope; and for others to understand that different isn’t less.

Posted in Books, Televison, Uncategorized

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

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I have a new addiction and how!
It’s Australian.
It’s sassy.
Capricious.
Stylish.
Witty.
Sexy.
Murderous.
The Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has a hit in the fearless and funny Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  This Whodunit from Down Under is a beaut.

I love a good murder mystery and if you think the private detective genre had seen it all, it’s never seen anything like Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis). Independent, open-minded, of a certain age, caring, compassionate, rollin’ in the dough, swanky, and a private detective to boot!

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I have to praise the costume designer, Marion Boyce. This won’t happen often, you may notice a lack of fashion in my writings, but I practically drool over the Roaring Twenties costumes in this series; they’re exquisite, almost like a character unto themselves. If I ever became rich, I would probably dress as if I was in the 1920s all the time.

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If you’re a fan of murder mysteries this show is the real McCoy. I don’t want to be spoon-fed killers or their motives; I want to get there myself. Thankfully Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger using Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher novels as a guide let their audience be clever and find out who did what to whom.

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1fisher8Miss Fisher collects people as she collects adventure and clothes.
Her long-suffering and invaluable companion Dorothy “Dot” Williams (Ashleigh Cummings).
The handsome, intrigued and exasperated Detective Inspector John “Jack” Robinson (Nathan Page).
The boyishly eager Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt).
The always handy and never ask too many questions Bert and Cec (Travis McMahon and Anthony Sharpe).
The prudish heart-of-gold Aunt Prudence (Miriam Margoyles).
The sharp as a tack and streetwise ward Jane (Ruby Rees-Wemyss).
The spirited and always drinking spirits doctor Dr. Elizabeth “Mac” Macmillan (Tammy MacIntosh).
The enigmatic and undaunted Mr. Butler (Richard Bligh) – he’s delightful.
Plus a host of amazing guest stars.
Together they roam the jazz clubs, mansions, and back alleys of Melbourne, finding adventure and trouble.

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Series 1 & 2 were the bee’s knees, now we just have to wait for Series 3.

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I went through a phase in my teens and early 20s when I was Australia crazy. I’m clearly still continuing my love affair with Australia; I hope they like me back at least a little so it’s not too stalkery. There were times I may have lapsed into an Australian accent, when I wasn’t belting out Men At Work songs, er, again, most likely in an Australian accent. Books, TV, movies, I just couldn’t get enough of Australia. Seriously, my The Man from Snowy River addiction almost required an intervention. Even typing the words Phar Lap makes me want to cry. Muriel’s Wedding https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/16/muriels-wedding/, don’t even get me started.

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I had this cerulean blue (insert X-Files Pusher reference here) Australia sweatshirt that I wore so much it eventually turned to rags. The only picture I could find of it is in black and white and for some reason I’m leaning against a big dirty hoe. I’m sure there’s a story to that if I could remember it; I’m guessing it was a fun weekend. When I wore that shirt I was inevitably asked, Have you ever been to Australia? I would answer, Someday. Someday has yet to arrive, but it’s on my rather rusty bucket list.

I got through the whole post without saying G’day…D’oh!