Posted in Autism, Blogs, Canada, Cats, Doctor Who, Internet, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized

Blog Your Way

1blog47Seeing is believing,
or is it believing is seeing?
Or not seeing is believing?
I’m confused.
There are things we can’t see that we believe in, and things we can’t see we don’t believe in. How do we choose? I can’t see atoms, air, sunshine, germs, Wi-Fi, magic, ghosts, hope, despair, Santa, love, hate, vampires, cancer, pain, mental illness, God, aliens, pain, good, evil, a cat’s purr, microwaves, pollution, carbon monoxide, autism, a baby’s breath…
Should we assume none of these are real?

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I can feel the sunshine on my skin, hear a cat’s purr, use the internet, witness the horror of cancer…Geez, at this point, I’m held together with the duct tape of atoms and hope.
If those things are real without being seen, why not the others?
It’s not the same in blogging, we have to be seen. But how?

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1. You know those little bubbles in carbonated drinks, all fizzy, tickling the nose, and expanding the stomach? That’s blogging. It can be effervescent, pleasing, irritating, confounding, overwhelming, addictive. And while most of us don’t want to expand our stomachs, we do want to expand our readership. If you’re just doing it for yourself, that’s great, but then why do it online, why not in a journal or diary?

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2. Don’t fixate on number of views. Blog as often as you and your readers enjoy. Do it for the fun of it, for money (stupid question, money is a necessary evil), fame, a book deal, movie deal (I just had an image of who might portray me in the movie of my life, Helena Bonham Carter? No, probably Mindy Cohn).

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3. The internet is a giant virtual haystack and yes, in this analogy, you are the needle, I am the needle, more specifically, our blogs are the needles. Shift around the haystack – you can’t expect to just ‘be found’, or find others.
Look for blog parties/linky parties/blog shares…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Janice – http://mostlyblogging.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Elena – http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
April – https://diapersandtutus.wordpress.com/
And more.
Read, share, like, comment. And blog engagement groups/boards are rampant on Facebook and Pinterest. Twitter is overflowing with hashtag days (Suzie https://suzie81speaks.com/ gets us trending every Sunday with #SundayBlogSharethe lovely ladies at http://honeyquill.com/ give us #LinkYourLife – there’s also #MondayBlogs #TuesdayShares #wwwblogs #BeWoW #bluskyfriday #ArchiveDay #WeekendBlogShare).
Don’t just attend, participate.

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4. Spread your blogging wings! Search out other bloggers, not just on their blogs, but follow them into the depths of the social media catacombs…
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Where I’m baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The dark hole where I lose hours of my life: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google (seriously, not nearly as fun as it sounds): https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
Yet another place to bloglove: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/donnaparker10-6312637

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5. Your readers won’t always ‘get’ what you’re blogging about or agree. Some will be disinterested, some downright rude…Keep wandering through the blogging desert (or dessert) and you’ll find the awesome ones, astounding ones, generous ones, hopeful ones, ones that inspire, ignite, and make you overjoyed you ever heard the term, blogging.

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6. Blogging is about being part of something, otherwise you’d just sit alone typing…and we’ve seen the movies – that can either lead to a bestseller…or murder.

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7. Pay no attention to all blogging advice behind the curtain…Blog your way today. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/12/i-cant-make-you-love-me/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/

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As a young child I believed many things, if I watched a movie again the ending might change, or the money I put in the bank would be the exact same money I’d get out…my Mom, who worked at the credit union at the time had the delightful task of teaching me this life lesson when I wanted my ‘lucky’ quarter from my account. Oops.

Now, older, wiser, I may not believe what I used to believe, or have to see to believe; I may not always know what to believe, but I still want to believe. What about you?

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Posted in Blogs, Canada, Cats, Chocolate, Doctor Who, Movies, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized

Take it Easy

1blog84Well I’m a-runnin’
(ok, walking quickly)
down the road,
tryin’ to loosen
my load
I’ve got seven
million things
on my mind
Four million that want to own me, two that want to stone me, one that could be a friend of mine.
Take it easy, take it easy.
Don’t let the sound of your own words drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy…

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Whether in blogging, work, love, parenting, friendship…The Eagles (goodbye Glenn Fry) had it right – take it easy.
The sound of your own wheels (the ones turning in your brain) aka the sound of your own words – spoken, written, or even in your head can drive you crazy.
Instead, I want to Take It Easy, to celebrate – despite the war and strife, the Canadian dollar sinking faster than the Titanic (the ship, not the movie)…

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rising food prices (wait, how many were going to eat cauliflower in January anyway? Eat in season, or frozen), Star Wars mania, lack of affordable housing and healthcare, loss, illness…but at least there’s no zombies, and I still have all of you – my readers and other bloggers!

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You make me happy when skies are grey, you’ll never know, dears, how much I love you  – thank you, thank you, thank you for being here!

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Friday January 29th we’re going to beat the January blahs, the winter ennui, the snow woes with a knockout blog party!

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I was trying to get it together for this week, but seriously, The X-Files is returning, my hold of Season 3 of Orphan Black came in at the library, my son has a Pokemon thingie, schoolwork, housework, workwork, lifework, adulting, decisions, snow, cold, snow, cold (repeat)…I think I’m catching a cold, oh, and did I mention The X-Files is returning?

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And some of you may have noticed I’ve been trying out new themes. Turns out choices are limited for mobile-friendly themes in the ‘Free’ category on WordPress, but I will choose in time to expose it (oh my!) for the celebration!!!

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Come back Friday January 29th and join in the fun! It’s easy, leave your blog link or a link to an old post, new post, red post, blue post in the comment box (one link per comment, but come back as often as you like).
Introduce yourself, wander around, eat some cake, be astonished at the size of my archives (oh my!), and mingle with the other bloggers. There will be virtual cake, blogging advice, and who knows what else! It may take awhile, but I promise I’ll read, visit, and reply to everyone!

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One thing I’ve yet to regret (but the day is young) is blogging. I’ve virtually met some words-cannot-express-how-awesome people here who’ve welcomed me with open arms into their blogging family.

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And I get swag! Really, my mail carrier randomly hands me treats! Like books (my drug of choice), or chocolates from Chicago I won from the enchanting Cher https://thechicagofiles.wordpress.com/ a delightful friend, blogger, and ex-pat Canadian. Yes, I got a box of chocolates delivered to my door just for reading a blog post! I love blogging! Those poor chocolates didn’t make it through the night – next of kin was notified…then eaten.

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It may seem like the internet is a giant virtual haystack and we’re just tiny needles, but we can find each other with blogging parties and thanks to the tireless efforts of amazing and generous bloggers like:

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Suzie, creator and hostess of the trending #SundayBlogShare on Twitter speaks at http://suzie81speaks.com/
Jason/OM shares and helps us share at http://aopinionatedman.com/
Danny is a blog dream-maker at http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Vicky let’s us Weekend Blog Share every weekend
http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
Elena throws weekly off-the-hook linky shares #BlogShareLearn http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Janice offers us a place to pause at Blogger’s Pit Stop http://mostlyblogging.com/
Angie helps food addicts (I prefer devotee or aficionado) at Fiesta Friday http://fiestafriday.net/2016/01/08/best-fiesta-friday-100/

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And so, so many more!

Please come back on Friday January 29th, 2016, in this case, size matters, the more the merrier!

Let’s be that lovely bit of blue sky in each others day!

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Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Doctor Who, Family, Fibromyalgia, Food, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Stand By Me

Posted in Cats, Christmas, Doctor Who, Family, Holidays, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

The Christmas Carol Awakens

christmas159I had too much to dream last night.
I feel like I have a dream hangover.
I woke from my confusing, at times,
exhilarating Dickens’
A Christmas Carol-like dream
(unfortunately no Muppets), but
filled with revelations.

First, I was visited by Donald Trump who told me 3 others would visit that night. It was terrifying, he wore the chains of greed, intolerance, and suffering he’d forged link by link…it seemed like there was more of the hairspray than grave about him.

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Then Colin Firth showed up as my Ghost of Christmas Past in the white shirt from Pride and Prejudice (you know the one ladies). This dream just got a whole lot better. He reminded me that all things past are actually always still with us…

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1. Christmas songs are playing everywhere yet I rarely hear Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsman. It’s my all-time fav, it’s about peace on Earth, goodwill, and about how even the worst of enemies can put aside their differences, if only for a little while…we sure need more of that.

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2. Dean Cain and many others we haven’t seen in a while do still have careers, kinda, hey, I like Christmas movies.

3. And even on a crummy morning a gingerbread man still makes his bed with cookie sheets.

Then Taylor Kinney (without fiancée, Lady Gaga…hey, it’s my dream) floated in as my Ghost of Christmas Present (subconscious you’re so good to me) dressed as Fireman and reminded me that despite the season, it’s getting hot in here. Whether it was just a hot flash or I’m watching too much Chicago Fire (is that possible?), I woke up in a sweat. Back to my dream, rescue me.

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4. Christmas is about giving. Though I’m broke and obscure I still believe in giving to others and weirdly, sometimes you get stuff back. For example, by donating, I won a month gym membership and a few other goodies. So now I can be buff like Arnold, though I’m saying this in Schwarzeneggar accent, the buff part seems unlikely.

5. I’ve noticed my Mom (a senior) and my son (a teen with Autism) have a much fuller social life than I do, I need to work on that. And the only action I’m getting is from my latest mammogram.

6. I don’t have to wait in line for some guy in a red suit to make me promises, I’ll make some to myself.

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My Ghost of Christmas Future was Norman Reedus, well, actually Daryl Dixon (my dream, so he’s holding a cat reminding us to Shop Cruelty Free https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/I’d like to add, that goes for people as well), who showed me that…

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7. Christmas could be a little late this year, instead of making toys, Santa and the elves are already lined up to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

8.  The Christmas feeling could be there, even without the gifts, the lights, the decorations, chocolate (this one is iffy), turkey and toys, even without the Christmas.

9. Ordinary rules of time and space don’t apply to Santa or The Doctor (Hello Sweetie, Doctor Who Christmas Special on almost Boxing Day – Christmas but late, can’t wait, but it’s times like these I miss David Tennant), but they do apply to us, we only have so much time in this world.

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Can happiness or success be measured by what we have instead of the joy and comfort we bring to others? Do we really think in the end, we’ll care about how much we shopped, what car we drove, how big our home was, if we had the latest iPhone, or what we were wearing? Or will we remember the good times, the fun times, the laughter, the kindness, the little moments.

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This season, remember a date on a calendar is just that, but life, life is for living, every day.

Oh yes, and if you don’t see me around here for a bit, I’ve checked myself into Clementine rehab.

I can quit anytime I want.

Just…one…more.

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Posted in Blogs, Canada, Cats, Chocolate, Christmas, Doctor Who, Family, Fibromyalgia, Holidays, Monty Python, Movies, Music, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Can You Feel The Blog Love Tonight?

1blog52Turns out, being an adult is hard work.

Adding blogging to that and anxiety, well, it could be the proverbial straw.
When it’s quiet here on my blog, I have time to think.
Why am I really doing this?
Should I be doing this?
I have so much else to do, is this a distraction?
Or is blogging just another version of chocolate, sappy movies, wanting to cry, desperately wishing a time machine would materialize in my living room to whisk me back to a time when the biggest decisions I had to make were: what to wear to school, who to hang out with, what to listen to…Probably shouldn’t go back, I might scream at myself to quit wishing to grow up and just enjoy growing up.

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Some days I feel like blogging is more Hotline Blog (I’m assured Drake will drop this as a follow-up to his famous Hotline Bling)
You used to like me on my blog post
Late or early when I needed blog love
And I know when that hotline pinged
It could only mean one thing…
But these days, you’ve become a ghost
Wonder if you’re out there forgettin’ about my blog post
Doing other things, maybe making cinnamon toast

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But blogging isn’t all about Likes, it’s about enjoying each other…

Learning. Teaching. Laughing. Crying. Smiling.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/12/i-cant-make-you-love-me/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/

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I try to imagine what my blog would have been if I blogged as a child, you know, before I knew:

1. I’d have a computer, in my home.

2. I’d use this computer to tell perfect strangers (well, maybe not perfect) stuff about my life.

3. My worst recurring nightmare wasn’t fear, it was the fear of fear.

4. Bacon would become both hero and villain.

5.  Everyone lied to me about stuff, including but not limited to: Santa, this won’t hurt (it did), The Tooth Fairy, being “almost there” (we weren’t), there was no more chocolate (there was), and that I’d use math in real life…

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6. Life is less Game of Life and more Monopoly.

7. Power is a commodity, not necessarily the one that lights up your home.

8. What skin tags are, let alone having them.

9. The world is crawling with serial killers, if TV is to be believed.

10. Some people will still be mean, even as adults.

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11. I’d use numbers from a fortune cookie for lottery tickets.

12. My body would be my worst enemy.

13. I’d look more like Jessica Fletcher than Jessica Alba.

14. I’d still be watching Doctor Who, Monty Python, and so would my teen son.

15. I’d lose hours of my life to a mysterious world that delivers weird yet amusing things to me right at home (yes, including pizza and Amazon).

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16. I’d ever tire of Christmas (well, the commercialism of Christmas).

17. I’d try figgy pudding…get out there – try, visit, read, comment, share, take part in something different.

18. I’d let zombies into my home at least once a week…and love it.

19. You can’t eat all the cake, you have to share it, same goes for blogging.

20. I’d have many families – the one I was born into, the ones I found and found me, the ones I’ve made, and this amazing blogging community.

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So get out there, hakuna matata – visit some blogs, enjoy each other, and never forget, you’re not alone.

 

Posted in Blogs, Books, Cats, Chocolate, Doctor Who, Food, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

1age44Dear readers, I admit to being in a bit of a pickle.
In youth, life seemed limitless, infinite.
Writing was the same, I just wrote, not a lot of stopping to think.
Such is the power and joy of youth.

And as we age limitations don’t just come from the outside, but from your own body:

  • Sagging (oh no, those should still be much higher).

  • Weird spots randomly attach themselves to your skin (“Out, Damned Spot!” doesn’t work, believe me, I’ve tried).

  • Eating cake may seem more exciting and less work than other, er, strenuous activities…

  • But if you’re not aging, you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth (good for you, care to share?), or you’re dead and you just don’t know it yet.

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Sigh, so many things I wish I’d done or not done.
Sweet dreams lost, given up, given away, or stolen…
Sweet dreams fulfilled, waiting in the wings, and yet to come…

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There’s also a certain grace, a wisdom, a knowing that comes with age, even for books. Remember how those new and shiny ebooks were going to destroy the book industry? Make books into relics only viewed in museums? Those dire predictions may have been premature. The texture and weight of a book in your hands tells you so much about the content; ebooks all feel the same.

Deep in our DNA, we’re storytellers, not just those who write, but those who read. We don’t just want to experience the stories, we want to share the stories. It’s about connection.

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Many of those stories are by independent authors, not backed by a marketing budget larger than most of us will earn in a lifetime. Does that make them somehow less? Personally, I never cease to be amazed at the talent, the passion, the wonder never appreciated, just because it isn’t a bestseller.

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1teagan1I’ve reviewed books on and off for 30 years, yet ironically, I’m not always a fan of book reviews. I don’t enjoy a book report disguised as a review (we got it, you read the book, now, why should I?) and being told I should like or dislike a book. That’s silly, no one can tell you if you’ll like or dislike something, just why they liked or disliked it.

I love a story that transports me, takes me with the characters on their journey. I want to be there, a part of the story, which happened when I called upon Atonement, Tennessee…and never wanted to leave.

Teagan Riordain Geneviene kindly and brilliantly invites us to visit a small Southern town where things are not as they seem, but instead, is full of mystery, intrigue, murder, dashes of magic, romance…even a cat naturally more attuned and intelligent than her human counterparts (guess that goes without saying).

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I admit being a tad miffed Atonement, Tennessee didn’t come with a warning label, something like: Don’t start reading if you have anything else you need to do for the next couple of days. Of course, obsessively reading this book also helped me cast the movie and/or TV series, let’s see, how about Ian Somerhalder, Richard Armitage, and David Tennant? Look how cute and cuddly they are…oh, and there’s cats too!

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This is fantasy at its finest, but still left me wanting more…more…more…

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And thanks to technology, we can have more on Teagan’s wonderful blog, including her online serial, and even hints of a sequel, Atonement in Bloom (waiting with bated breath): https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene

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 Maybe I could 100% honest review your books too, just contact me, see, over there to your right – ‘Sending Me Stuff’.

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Age can sure make you restless, even more so than in the bloom of youth, for we have the knowledge of what has been, what never was, and what could be. I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter what your age, and the only real limits are those of your courage and your convictions.

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Posted in Books, Chocolate, Doctor Who, Family, Movies, Music, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

If I Had A Million Dollars

1funny1041So let me get this straight –
you take the good
you take the bad
you take the both
and there you have
The Facts of Life?
That can’t be right.
Can it?
Am I getting this whole thing facts of life and happiness stuff all wrong?
Maybe chocolate was the answer all along.
Could it really be that easy?
Could that be what the universe is trying to tell me as my happiness project carries on?

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Here are the first 14 weeks, then more, you decide:
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/15/rock-me-amadeus/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/25/in-my-life-i-loved-them-all/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/07/03/how-to-be-good-to-one-another/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/05/ive-had-the-time-of-my-life/

Week 15

1. My brain, which doubles as an MP3 player, awakes to music, a foggy playlist scampering to Jack Johnson crooning, Upside Down then Blind Melon, David Bowie, and Tears For Fears all melodically reminisced about Change…
2. The pages of The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig, came to life as I read, making me want more. Then I thought of Jennifer Aniston in Cake, amazing, but tissues at the ready. With cake, like life we gradually add one thing after another, hopefully in the right order, until there’s something delightful.

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3. Luke Bryan wanted me to Kick the Dust Up (point me to a cornfield, cause, damn, that’s catchy).
4. I think my happy place may have vandals…maybe I didn’t lock up after the last time I left.

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5.  Never forget.
6. The basic insultiness of the TV adaptation of Pamela Redmond Satran’s Younger – all young people are flibbertigibbits/all older people are past their sell-by-date. Like Sex and the City you have to suspend belief, your hold on reality, even your dignity to buy what they’re selling. Begs the questions, could I pass for younger and if so, why? I would like the naturally elastic skin back.
7. Lisa Whelchel + Kim Fields + farm from Smallville, here’s a fact of life, yup, all in the same movie, For Better or Worse…ok, definitely worse.

1funny1045Week 16

1. Barenaked Ladies felt they needed to remind me of good times and that I don’t have a million dollars, but what I could do if I did.

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2. Let’s Make A Deal is still on? What year is this?
3. Wilson Phillips begged me to Hold On (thanks, I got this).
4. Took a delicious and mind-etching bite of Wes Anderson’s droll, absurd The Grand Budapest Hotel. Can a movie be too amazing? If so, this is.

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5.  Tim McGraw told me to live like I was dyin’, well, duh.
6. Watched season première of Doctor Who…remembered why I love it. Let’s forget last season.
7. New series, Mr. Robot where Christian Slater seems to be reviving his Pump Up The Volume role, just older, but still angry. As a hacker, now instead of Talking Hard, he’s Typing Hard.

1funny1031Week 17

1.  The clock ticks, my birthday looms, another season falls away…I  guess even when you feel stuck, or trapped and there seems to be no escape, no way out (like in The Maze Runner, oh great, now I’m going to have Wild Boys by Duran Duran in my head), you can turn another corner and wow, you’re out…or maybe just borrow a ladder and climb out.
2.  Really want to watch The Fault In Our Stars, not sure I’m ready for ugly crying, especially when I have a cold https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/06/the-fault-in-our-stars/
3. Writing, like everything else doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes it’s perfect to just unfocus and be.

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4. Should I read A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld, or would I just gave up?
5. Does it weird anyone else out that if you remove an ‘s’, the French word for fish looks like poison?

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6. I need to invent a way to eliminate dusting, perhaps by eliminating dust.
7. What if life is like a bowl of cherries and we’re the pits?

Maybe I just need some sleep…without The Cure burbling in on all 8 legs of Lullaby.
                         If they’re The Cure, what was the disease again?

Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Doctor Who, Fibromyalgia, Internet, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

To Blog or Not To Blog

1funny452I have always been me and despite many attempts to make me not me, I still seem to manage to be me.

That’s not always a good thing.

Read some of my stuff, comment, critique, praise, ignore, puzzle, or just do whatever you want.

That’s my blog bio…everything else you’ll learn in my posts or you don’t care.

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Every time I think I understand, even vaguely, how the world works, it tilts on its axis, spinning me right round, baby right round, like a record. Turns out, the blogging world is no different. Like everyone else on the planet (that might be a slight exaggeration, overstatement was never my strong suit), I have a blog. If I had a cat it would have a blog about sleeping, eating, and occasionally chasing a mouse lurking around the property. The mouse would have a blog about his adventures trying to escape the cat that bothers him while he’s trying to lurk around the property. And so on.

August 2013,  I started this blog to relax, to practice writing, and to be more concise, with varying degrees of success. My Very Me-ness doesn’t always translate well, but no need to worry (hear that brain, no need to worry…forget it, it’s not listening), I’ve been embraced by readers, bloggers, etc. and I feel snug as a bug in a virtual rug.

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Blogging has been difficult in many ways, but has made me fall in love with writing again, which guided me to start a year-long project to add even more happiness (Or contentment? Peace of mind?) to my life.

I more or less doubled my 7 goals in my first week https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/, even giving up 4 TV shows, but then I added 2, drum roll please, ok, I really only gave up 2 (math rules!).

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This week’s goals:
1. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and play a game with my son (I want chess, he wants Pokémon, maybe we need a Pokémon chess set).
2. Remove 100 calories per day (No cheating, it can’t be veggies…Step away from the cookies).
3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and just write, doesn’t matter what.
4. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with Yoga and Tai Chi).
5. Spend 15 minutes or more per day submitting articles and manuscripts, especially knowing they might be rejected.
6. Change 15 minutes of internet time to relaxation and rest.
7. Give away, use, or get rid of 1 or more items a day.

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1funny433Blogging myths busted and wisdom learned:

1. Blogging is solitary. Wrong. Blogging, my friends, is social and addictive, like sugar, and as the song by Maroon 5 says (I’ve tried to get it out of my head, believe me), I need a little sweetness in my life, your sugar, yes, please!

2.You need to have something to say to have a blog. How snotty and daft was that assumption? Everyone has something to say.

3. Blogging is simple. Wrong again, complicated, yet worth it, despite the intricacies that sometimes make you feel like your head might explode. Mistakes have been made and more shall be made; it’s all part of learning.

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4. Success! I thought I needed to be a world-famous writer, then I saw comments that said I’d made people laugh, smile, and think. Anything else that comes along would be the icing on this delicious, chocolatey cake of a blog experience thanks to you, dear readers.

5. Blogging is constant. Wrong. As with life, the only thing you can count on in blogging is change.
For example, I believe the WordPress motto is: If it ain’t broke, fix it a few times a day.
Twitter seems to have a midlife crisis every few weeks and I don’t know what happened to Facebook.
There are: trolls, traffic, topics, taboos, privacy issues, time, concentration…what was I saying? Oh yes, so the question today is, to blog or not to blog?
For now, the answer is…why not?

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Posted in Autism, Canada, Chocolate, Doctor Who, Holidays, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized

Now You’re Just Some Bunny That I Used To Know

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What motivates us?
I’m sure the answer is different for everyone.
Praise. Power. People. Passion. Puzzles.
Possessions. Prestige. Punishment.
Pleasure. Position. Politics. Possibilities.

I know what my motivation is to eat Benedict Cumberbatch, that is, the life-size chocolate statute of Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously, there’s now a 40kg Belgian chocolate replica of most everyone’s favourite Aspergian detective, because he was chosen as #1 dishiest UK actor in a survey. David Tennant was the runner-up. Oh I don’t know, that would be a tough call. Can I have both? Er, in chocolate?

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 Today is Autism Awareness Day worldwide, and those on the Autism Spectrum have often been called, differently motivated. Too many people don’t (or choose not to) understand this. Their theory seems to be if you aren’t motivated by something they can understand then you must be: stupid, lazy, defective, foolish, or a loser.  Intolerance shows itself in varied ugly forms.

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We’re still in the beginning stages of a long journey to try to get people to understand Autism. It’s a neurological difference. Things changed, doesn’t mean it’s terrible or catastrophic.

Some things we used to believe:

  • Some thought the Earth was flat (those are called pancakes).

  • If an elevator is falling, jump up (you’ll just hit the ceiling).

  • Putting sugar in a gas tank ruins the car (still not a good idea).

  • Spontaneous generation from inanimate objects (er, no, just no).

  • The human body is made up of four humors – black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood (some days I wonder).

  • A duck’s quack doesn’t echo (it does, it does, it does).

  • Dropping a penny off a high building could kill someone (how about a quarter?).

  • Quicksand sucks you under (only in the movies).

  • Earth revolves around the Sun (you’re not our only friend, Sun).

  • we’re the center of the Universe (actually, a lot of people still believe that they’re the center of the Universe).

My son, who is the center of my Universe has Asperger’s. He’s differently motivated, but that’s not always a bad thing.  He doesn’t succumb to peer pressure. He doesn’t believe everything he reads or sees – he questions. He doesn’t worship at the altar of consumerism. He thinks outside the box, actually, I’m not even sure he knows there is a box.1funny127

1choc36We should stop measuring everyone by one standard and enjoy the differences.

So whether you celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, and/or Easter – all the best!

Viva la difference!

Posted in Autism, Blogs, Doctor Who, Family, Parenting, Political, Uncategorized

Take your time, hurry up

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Last night, as I checked on my beautiful boy, now so grown up, I noted again that time has raced by yet he still looks like my baby when he’s asleep.

Having a child with Autism, those sleep times give you some much-needed downtime and perhaps, a curious understanding of time and dimension, hmm, or maybe that’s too many years of Doctor Who.

In this frenzied world, we need more compassion, appreciation, and hope; less rushing, lies, and bullying. Maybe we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but I hope we can at least notice the roses are there.

  • The best time to take a deep breath is when there’s no time. At the end of your life, I doubt you’ll look back and think, thank goodness I spent my life like a hamster on a wheel, that was sooo fulfilling.

  •  Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. They happen. Learn from them. So you write or say the wrong thing. Fall in love with the wrong person. Press the wrong button and start a nuclear war, ok, that example is pretty much the worst mistake ever, try not to do that one. Time moves forward for a reason, so should you.

  • 1me10I think you can be happy with or without money. Money just makes life easier, not always better. Stop trying to buy your way to happiness or keep up with the Kardashians. If you’re coveting someone else’s stuff, you’re not focusing on you and those you love. You can’t be happy doing that.

  • Don’t get into friendships or relationships (or stay in them) for the wrong reasons. Do you really loathe your own company that much?1me11

  • Don’t reject someone because you’ve had a bad experience either. That experience taught you something, it had a purpose.

  • Fall apart once in a while. You’re not always “fine”. Sometimes it’s fine not to be fine.

  • Worry is passive and self-indulgent; you’re not enjoying that moment and not letting others enjoy it either.marxbros5

  • Trying to be someone you’re not is like trying to hide a dinosaur in your bedroom, it’s too big, smelly, messy, and extinct. Why be someone else, they’re already doing it.

  • Holding grudges or hating people is a toxic waste of time and energy. Forgiveness isn’t agreeing, you’re just not going to let it poison you or those around you. That includes forgiving yourself too!1me13

  • If we have time to shop, play games, check the internet, go on vacation, go out to dinner, we can spare 5 minutes to vote. An hour to volunteer or help someone. We can’t make a difference if we don’t at least try.

  • Instead of thinking about what you don’t want to happen, think about what you do want to happen.

  • Those who love you don’t need you to explain yourself and pretenders, bullies, or enemies, they’ll believe what they want to believe.1funny103

Posted in Autism, Doctor Who, Family, Parenting, Political, Uncategorized

Sharks Do Get Cancer

1life11It amazes me how certain myths stick while others don’t.

We used to believe:

  • Sharks don’t get cancer (they do, anyone volunteering to put on their sunscreen?)
  • Bananas grow on trees (no, they’re berries that grow on the world’s largest perennial herb plant).
  • We only have 5 senses.
  • Need 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Ulcers were caused by stress or eating acidy foods. Nope, a nasty bacteria, Helicobacter pylori.
  • Tomatoes are veggies, actually, fruit.
  • Chastity belts were for chastity, actually, puritans wanted people to be Masters of their Domain (yeah, I had a Seinfeld flashback).

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  • Humans use 10% of our brain. My son worried his brain couldn’t hold too much information. I explained his brain is like the TARDIS from Doctor Who (looks like an old blue police box, but inside is unlimited space and astonishing things). Now my son fills his head with as much information as possible.
  • Salted water boils faster.
  • Lemmings run off cliffs to kill themselves, actually they go into the sea to swim to mating area – come on, there’s no one you’d jump and swim for?
  • Poinsettias are poison, no, but why is anyone eating Poinsettias anyway?
  • Milk increases mucus.
  • Shouldn’t swim after you eat.
  • Humans and dinosaurs existed during the same time period (except in Jurassic Park, of course).
  • Dieting myths, endless dieting myths.
  • People with Epilepsy were possessed by demons.
    Just because you believe something doesn’t mean you have to keep believing it.
    Free speech is important, too bad it can also be hurtful or deadly.

The news pumps out stories of measles and other outbreaks; the anti-vaccine and pro-vaccine contingents battle on.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated children get Autism.
Millions get vaccinated and don’t have Autism.
What about genetics? Environmental agents? Epigenetics? Infectious processes? Autoimmume? I don’t know the answer, maybe it’s the Perfect Storm etiology, a predisposition in conjunction with various components.
Or maybe they’re just different or a vanguard of human evolution.

1funny87Calling other parents names and berating them for vaccinating their children isn’t going to find a cause or a cure or help them live good lives. Autism was once known as Childhood Schizophrenia. Now we know better and have broader definitions, better awareness, resources, and statistics.  Jenny McCarthy said her son was a Crystal Child, then had Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a seizure disorder with symptoms similar to Autism). That didn’t sell, so she jumped on the Autism train and rode it all the way to stardom, sort of. Mass hysteria that would make the Salem Witch Trials blush has swept the world, based on one discredited study. McCarthy has since backed off, having made a fortune, but the damage is done.

The myth has outgrown its origins.

If you want me to believe something, don’t use  insults, anecdotal evidence, anger, flawed logic, catastrophic hyperbole, and endless drama. If your point is valid you could debate or even argue it, in a rational and respectful manner. I also don’t understand having a mock funeral when your child is diagnosed with Autism. If only people could unite to help our children, use all that energy, time, money, and passion to promote tolerance, acceptance, support, love, and hope, imagine how much better the world would be.

If you believe, you don’t have to belittle.

“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” -Edward R. Murrow

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

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.

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

What Happens In Space Stays In Space

How did your space mission go?
Quiet as space itself, oh, except for being impregnated by an alien life force. Other than that, a-ok.

When I first heard about the CBS TV series Extant it sounded like it had it all.
Oscar-winner Halle Berry, amazing in everything.

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Goran Visnjic who was the McDreamy of his day, in ER.

Grace Gummer, being the daughter of Meryl Streep, I see why she went into acting. Hiroyuki Sanada, guess he needed something to do while we wait forever for the next season of Helix. Camryn Manheim, why isn’t she in more?

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Pierce Gagnon, only 9, but we’ll see a lot more of him. Michael O’Neill, who’s been in so much you’ll feel like you know him. And more. The cast is out of this world.
Producer, Steven Spielberg.

Space is vast, sometimes bringing it to Earth, for TV viewing, can be hit or miss.

Our fascination with space is insatiable, from Star Trek in all its various forms to Doctor Who,

1ex16Battlestar Galactica, Lost In Space, V,
Jetsons, Space: 1999, Farscape, Firefly,

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Transformers, The 4400, Alien Nation,
Falling Skies, Star Wars, The X-Files,

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Roswell, Lexx, G-Force, Superfriends, Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, Family Guy, The Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy, Torchwood, Red Dwarf, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Earth 2, Crusade, Starhunter, Lexx, The Starlost, Cowboy Bebop, Space: Above and Beyond, Babylon 5, and more.

As a space fan I’m loathe to admit, maybe we should focus a bit more on how we’re destroying the earth and less on how to get away from the mess we’ve made.

Extant explores more than space, it attempts to explore human emotions, reactions, thought processes, even delving into what makes us human.

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Is Extant full of new ideas? No.
Are the older ideas reprocessed and revisited in a way that makes them refreshing? So far, mostly.

This show isn’t really about aliens, androids, space, conspiracies, a futuristic Earth, it’s about people. It’s about how we act and interact. How we love, hate, fear, dream, hope, and dare to imagine. It’s about understanding that everything comes at a cost. Hopefully we learn that lesson before it’s too late.

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Posted in Books, Chocolate, Doctor Who, Food, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized, Weight

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Turns 50

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I’m celebrating 50,000+ views on my blog (Thank you! Thank you!) and the 50th anniversary (published 1964) of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, published 1964.

Loved with this book, then I saw the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – my mind was forever altered.
A factory full of chocolate? It was one thing to read about it, another to see a river of chocolate

I still love the 1971 Gene Wilder version best (directed by David L. Wolper), maybe because it’s steeped in childhood memories or because for me, it’s Gene Wilder’s definitive performance.

This is where I fell in love. Gene Wilder and chocolate. Sign me up!

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Wilder is the ultimate Willy Wonka. He didn’t go over-the-top weird, instead opting for a subtle, damaged man-child who was trapped in his own reclusion, a Howard Hughes-like creative genius who couldn’t cope in a reality that wasn’t of his own making. Wilder’s transcendent blend of cordiality, callousness, awe, and animosity make you think he is Wonka, he just is.

Jack Albertson was delightful as Grandpa Joe, who apparently couldn’t get out of bed to get a job, but could dance a jig and spend the day at a chocolate factory.

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Charlie Bucket is the only child Dahl and Wonka even remotely like due to his meek and accommodating nature, but Charlie wasn’t as obedient as he seemed, he spent money on a chocolate bar that he wasn’t supposed to; so even in the most co-operative child Dahl found a fault.
The 1971 version was renamed Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to cross-promote UK’s The Willy Wonka Candy Company who had bought the rights from Roald Dahl.

I never understood why Roald Dahl was classed as a children’s author, he clearly disliked children, at times rather intensely. His stories and books reflect this.
What he hated more than children were their parents, specifically parents who didn’t raise their children properly, at least from his point of view.

Imagine what Roald Dahl would think of children and their parents now?

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The Friday Project/ Harper Collins

I recently read A Brief History of Chocolate (Steve Berry and Phil Norman) which I must warn you will not only vastly entertain and inform, but make you crave chocolate.

Despite best intentions this book lacked something, what was it? Oh yes, chocolate. They should sell each copy with a chocolate bar or coupon for a free chocolate bar. There, a marketing idea, no charge…although I’d take a thank you in chocolate bars.

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I also loved the darker, creepier Tim Burton vision of Willy Wonka.

Johnny Depp played him weird and it worked. Also damaged, but in a deranged-metrosexual-game-show-host-who-moonlights-as-a-rock-star-on-acid-way.

Veruca Salt was a bad egg or nut in all versions, but really, her parents spoiled her. Also, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teevee, and Violet Beauregarde. All annoying children, but allowed, even encouraged to be so by their parents.

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 The first time I walked into the Hershey chocolate factory in Smith Falls, Ontario the smell was divine, like melted chocolate floating through clouds of more chocolate just before it rained chocolate.

I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face, the pure wonder as he watched row after row after row of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups racing happily along the conveyor belt.

I’m sure I had a similar look as I saw the giant vat of chocolate I wanted to swim in, not figuratively, literally.

No Oompa-Loompas, no chocolate waterfall, trees made of taffy, Everlasting Gobstoppers, no fizzy lifting drinks, or Wonka though, but lots of chocolate for sale and sample.

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Alas Hershey closed the factory after 45 years, losing a great tourist attraction, and hundred of jobs. Several other large employers closed, shipping more Canadian jobs overseas, 1ww10leaving 40% of the town unemployed.

Now a flame has been lit as Smith Falls rallies; the factory at 1 Hershey Drive now produces medical marijuana, which, in a great cosmic irony would have made more people buy chocolate.

There are still times, when I open a chocolate bar wrapper and think I see a flash of gold.

Posted in Canada, Chocolate, Cooking, Doctor Who, Environment, Food, Uncategorized

Baby it’s cold outside

cold1Hate to be one of those super obvious people, but it’s cold outside!!! I’m more than sure there are really warm places, but I’m not in one of them.

I’m going to say this is the coldest I remember, I haven’t checked my facts on this one, I believe when it comes to weather it’s important to exaggerate and use as much hyperbole as possible, after all, you’re cold.

No one’s even touched upon the real drama of this Polar Vortex, flyaway hair…

1. Heat yourself, not your space.  Best time for socks and/or slippers, long-sleeved shirts, pants, thermal long johns, sweaters (your choice of pattern), bridgetjones2blankets, robes, hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, etc.cold6

2. Candles add heat, as do fireplaces, but be very careful, fire is only fun when contained.

3. Thick curtains and blinds (open if the sun is shining; closed if lots of wind and at night).

4. Keep interior doors closed, stops the cold moving from unused rooms.

5. Bake lasagna, cabbage rolls, cakes, etc. Not in the summer when you need to use Central Air to cool it down afterwards. Use your oven’s heat to warm your house – smells fantastic and you get yummy food.

6. A great time for soups or stews, not sure if scientifically they keep you warmer, but it sure feels that way. More so if dumplings are involved.

7. If so inclined I’ve been lead to, er, believe hot toddies can be a lovely way to keep warm, or hot chocolate, tea or coffee.cold98. If you know any penguins willing to share body heat they seem dreadfully good at that whole sitting on someone to keep them warm thing. They’re also so adorable.cold8

9. Fat might be bad for you, but comes in handy during these extreme cold spells. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that Mother Nature is freaking on us and the general obesity rate is rising. Food for thought.

10. When you’re going to brave the outdoors, be a Boy Scout, always be prepared. Remember, the key is layers. Cover exposed skin. Make sure you’re aware of places you can duck into to warm up, especially on a longer trek.

11. People think because they’re driving they don’t have to dress for the weather. Wrong. Wear or bring a winter jacket. Wear or bring winter boots. Have extra gloves, hats, scarves, blankets, candles, and other emergency supplies in your car. Just in case.

12. Body heat. Enough said.

13. Don’t be hating on the cold, embrace it. Go for a walk; shovel (lift with your knees, not your back. No twisting and take your time, it’s not a race). Go sledding, skiing, skating, throw hot water into the air so it turns into snow…

Relax. It’s winter, not Armageddon. We’ll be back to whining about the heat in no time.