Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Cats, Chocolate, Fibromyalgia, Holidays, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

I’ve Had The Time Of My Life

1funny915You’re the one thing I just can’t get enough of.
I’ll tell you something, it could be blog love.
Because I’ve had the time of my life
and I’ve rarely felt this way before,
I swear, it’s the truth and I owe it all to you…
Always liked Dirty Dancing’s message that nothing is impossible (well, except a sequel with Patrick Swayze…or Jennifer Grey’s original nose).  And that nobody should put me in a corner, unless I paint myself in (true story).

Which lead me to Laggies, ok Sam Rockwell lead me there, but intrigued and entertained, I stayed. Kiera Knightley plays a quirky woman (no surprise, but this time, no British accent, way to step out there) who too often waits for others to make decisions for her. Instead of living life according to someone else’s schedule, beliefs, and dreams she decides to follow her heart, her dreams, and finds a her version of happiness.

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I’ve been getting along with my happiness Project, here’s the first 10 weeks and the next 4…
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/2015/08/06/shout-shout-my-2-year-blog-birthday-let-it-all-out/

Week 11

1. Company from out-of-town, got them hooked on Haven, muhahaha…also, food involved.

2. Realized people would be 500lbs if they ate as much food as the characters in Joanne Fluke books.

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3. Read a great book on memory…can’t remember the title.

4. Re-pledged undying allegiance to public libraries.

5.  Thought about taking up knitting….hmm, instead read a book about women in a knitting club, close enough.

6.  Read Beekeeping for Dummies…I have more chance of being a bee than a beekeeper apparently.

7. Tried not to second guess myself, wait, unless that’s a bad idea.

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Week 12

1. Had a zen moment where I just felt floaty – good job remembering not to do this while driving or operating heavy machinery.

2. Donated more stuff.

3. Dental emergency – I know I’ve always tried to be good to you, teeth, but I’ll redouble my efforts.

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4. Pain from dental work, watched The Originals and thought, do vampires need dental work?

5. Some pain, not as much as Orphan Black (wow, Tatiana Maslany playing endless clones just never gets boring), had me revisiting The Island of Dr. Moreau, did I almost forgot how epic H.G. Wells was?

6. Went to mall and yard sales, not sure which were more surreal, people buying junk or selling it.

7. Watched Fear The Walking Dead, really, like anyone would notice the zombie apocalypse that quickly these days, especially in LA.

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Week 13

1. Haters gonna hate, but they’re just noise, listened to the good stuff instead.

2. Lost more of my baby weight, sure, my baby’s 17, but better late than never, right?

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3. Computer’s dying; it has Windows Vista if that gives you any idea of it’s age. Looked for new one.

4. Worried excessively about passing driving test until I noticed I had chocolate…feeling fine.

5. Passed my last driving test, yup, you can teach an old dog new tricks.  They’re dreadfully obsessed with parallel parking, so this is about parallel posting, aka, please leave your link here (in the comment section – any post) for others to find to celebrate with me.

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6. Saw a music video that made me wonder if I’d been dancing incorrectly for years as my underwear doesn’t show.

7. Master of Horror Wes Craven, died. I always wondered, could some of my insomnia stem from watching Nightmare of Elm Street?

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Week 14

1. Spent time chatting online with Microsoft; quickly realized I knew more than they did.

2. Reminded again how wonderful and brave my son is.

3. Sang Nothing Compares 2 U, out loud, thinking of my blogging friends.

4. Oh, so that’s what it sounds like when the doves cry.

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5. Thought about what I’m going to do next, writing wise.

6. Made a bouquet of pencils.

7. Wrote more emails to politicians and news people.

Remember, it’s just an illusion the world is racing past, go at the speed that makes you happy. Have the time of your life.

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Posted in Canada, Cats, Movies, Uncategorized

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

1funny898Why is everybody so gosh darn anxious to rule the world?
I guess the pay and benefits would be awesome, but I can’t imagine there’s any time off.
It would be high stress and thankless, well, unless you paid or forced people to thank you.
And look at all the decisions you’d have to make; I don’t always know what I want for breakfast.
Then there’s the meetings, slogans, pillaging, fear-mongering, plans, plots, the overthrowing, and feeling like you had to wear a fancy military-looking outfit and get giant pictures of yourself to hang up everywhere.
Sounds monotonous and a lot of work.
Tears For Fears might have been exaggerating, for effect, but humans do want what we can’t have.
We can’t seem to help ourselves, it’s a yearning that lives deep inside us.
We want what’s beyond our reach.
It’s what makes us magnificent, but can be our Achilles heel.

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Still, the applicants for ruling the world continue to line up:

  • Terrorists, dictators, villains, supervillains, megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur, evil scientists, and smarmy government types, admittedly, life could be boring without them, but wow, I’m willing to give it a try.

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  • Corporate types who are working so hard on helping everyone, even the homeless, to give their lives a purpose, maybe as a Wi-Fi hotspot, hybrid car/cellphone recharging unit, or solar panel holder. The sky’s the limit!

  • Pirates and vikings, whom I suspect weren’t keen on hygiene, but apparently look like supermodels when portrayed on-screen.

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  • Supernatural beings and aliens seem to have an unnatural interest in ruling our world, hey, guys, go rule your own worlds!

  • Laboratory mice whose genes have been spliced, oh, wait, that might have just been a cartoon.

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  • Presidential candidates, sure, let’s include Donald Trump. I wonder, will future GOP debates come with a warning label: Watch at own risk, to your brain.

  • Criminals – I finally watched Lucy, unsure if it had a pro or anti-drug message, but there was a certain ‘be careful who you hang around’ feel to it.

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  • Hackers, who, for all we know, have tried to save us from some alien invasion or apocalypse and we’ve been all testy with them.

  • Scammers, who teach us how to weigh pros and cons just by sending us a weird email. Pro, click on it and the subsequent links until all curiosity is satisfied. Con, don’t open it, you’ll always wonder, what if, what if…

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  • Computer software makers who rule the world through versions, chat, and accessories.

  • Leaders in dystopian futures – I just watched Insurgent and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1  – definite everybody wants to rule the world vibes and songs.

  • Cats and they’re doing a purr-fectly fine job.

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  • Vegetarians – unlikely world rulers, but sometimes we just want them to leaf us alone…see what I did there?

  • Hunters, ok, the loss of Cecil the Lion was sad, but humans directly or indirectly kill animals, humans, and other forms of life on this planet everyday, right or wrong.

  • Gamers, but at least they don’t care if it’s the real world.

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Don’t we all rule the world? You know, in that moment, that moment when you make someone’s day with a smile or kind word. Help someone. Do something you didn’t think you could do. Care. Answer that toy phone when a child hands it to you. Grow food instead of a portfolio. Don’t try to control, but to take part. Show patience, compassion, understanding. Offer help, comfort, support, or inspiration. Don’t give in to anger, greed, fear. To be part of something instead of needing to run it.

That’s ruling the world.

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Posted in Books, Chocolate, Food, Movies, Music, Parenting, Televison

Shout! Shout! My 2 Year Blog Birthday! Let It All Out!!!

1funny652It’s been 2 years since I started blogging and I feel like I’ve won the lottery…accept without any of the money, so yeah, I’d still like to win an actual lottery.

I’m so thankful for your support, likes, comments, shares, advice, encouragement, comfort, and more. I’m also thrilled and privileged to be able to read and view your works. Thank you all.

So come on, I’m talkin’ to you, help me Shout! Shout! Let it all out to celebrate my 2 year blog birthday by leaving your blog address or a link to a post in the comment section below…please!

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Now to play catch-up. I’ve fallen behind on my Changes for Happiness project, not the doing, just the writing about it. Will a weak, ‘it’s been hot’ explain the lapse?

Here’s the first 5 weeks:
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/

Week 6

1. What happens at Costco stays at Costco.

2. Looked at some old photos, I cried, but remembered to be happy it happened, not that it’s gone.

3. Watched something I wanted to watch, but didn’t feel I had time.

4. Bit the bullet (not literally, high dental bills) and made that appointment.

5. Tore up that shirt I loved, to use as rags – it lived a full life.

6. Craved a burger – If I liked it then I should have put an onion ring on it.

7. This was the birthday of my friend of 30 years, Rose, who recently passed away; she would have wanted there to be music and cake.

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Week 7

1. Cleaned first…then checked emails.

2. Decided on 3 fun things and did them (within the limits of time, budget, circumstances, etc.)

3. Broke a bad habit, snapped it over my knee (not that knee, the other one).

4. Don’t like to go shopping, don’t do it often…going to do it even less.

5. Time is flying…going to catch a ride.

6. Added 15 minutes more exercise, Tai Chi and yoga per day.

7. Hell On Wheels is back – I was frontiered and I liked it.

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Week 8

1. Rewatched Jaws – that shark was a handsome devil, wasn’t he?

2. Picked up a random book (eyes closed) from the new release section of the library.

3. Was it weird the random book ended up being Stephen King’s Finders Keepers?

4. Tried again to learn how to juggle.

5. Remembered why I don’t juggle – kept ice on my cheek.

6. Sang Shout! by Tears for Fears at the top of my lungs (received odd looks).

7. My hair is edging toward the Mary Tyler Moore look, unless I’m planning on wearing a hat and tossing it in the air – I need to think about getting a haircut.

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Week 9

1. Kept writing that book.

2. Tried to accept the idea of Ben Affleck as Batman – isn’t doing the impossible good for the soul?

3. Wrote down 5 things that make my life tough…tried to eliminate or mitigate their effects.

4. What would I do for those Klondike ice cream cones on sale? Don’t ask, don’t mmmm, ice cream.

5. Tried to go cold turkey to stop binge-watching Haven…mmmm, stuffing and gravy and biscuits.

6. Wrote about Haven, sadly it didn’t work it out of my system.

7. Rewatched Clueless – wow, Paul Rudd is now Ant-Man, 20 years can really be harsh. Whatever.

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Week 10

1. Little brown bird landed on my shoulder as I was walking, then flew off (and no poop) – briefly like Snow White.

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2. Thought about going to a movie; watched one at home instead, cheaper and just love the staff.

3. Dreamed about sleeping in.

4. Noticed that it’s my 2 year Blogiversary/Blogaversary/Blog Birthday on WordPress, since I’m having company for the weekend – invite everyone to the party early!

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5. Pack up a box of stuff and give it away.

6. Trying to accept that some people will never change…and would I trust them again, even if they magically did?

7. Deep breathing. Note to self, don’t do this while calling people.

Thank you for dropping by to celebrate with me – you realize, of course, all of the above involved chocolate, right?

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Posted in Autism, Blogs, Cats, Chocolate, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Plan To Be Spontaneous Today

1blog32In the summer, readers run away from blogs like swimmers running out of the water away from the shark in Jaws (We’re going to need a bigger blog).

So what do you do in a blogging slump? Post more? Less? Write longer or shorter posts? Add more pictures of cats? More tweets, likes…eat more chocolate? Or just accept it and take a break for the rest of the summer? Acceptance is such a strange thing, isn’t it? It can be positive – you accept a gift, get accepted into a club, accept an award, or it can become something you feel forced to do, such as compliance or acquiescence.

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I accept The Imitation Game was a brilliant film starring Benedict Cumberbatch (who apparently can’t be anything but astonishing) about WWII. I don’t accept it’s completely factual, clearly they took certain liberties such as Cumberbatch portraying Turing as though he had Asperger’s Syndrome. I don’t know if that’s Hollywood pretending everyone who’s a genius has Autism, or because they wanted Cumberbatch to play Turing more like Sherlock.

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Joan Clarke (played with dazzling brilliance by Kiera Knightley) wasn’t recruited by Turing, crossword puzzle or otherwise, but was engaged to him.

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They did concede Turning’s machine was based on a Polish cryptologic machine (the Polish broke the Enigma code years before), but that he’d built a better, faster machine for the more sophisticated code.
This is Hollywood. They add drama.

Unlike previous films about the Enigma code, this film didn’t cause international snits like U-571, or put us to sleep like Enigma (despite a stunning performance by Kate Winslet, wait, wasn’t she in another famous historically inaccurate film, something about a ship?).

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I don’t take umbrage to movies that play with history. Most of history is changeable, written by the victors and those who want to cast themselves in a positive light. I read history books and watch documentaries, but even those should be taken with a grain of salt. Movies, TV shows, and books, even those based on real-life people and events, those are for entertainment.

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This delightful movie wasn’t actually about the war or codes, it was about acceptance. Alan Turing was a gifted mathematician and cryptographer and yet, in the end, it didn’t matter if he saved millions of lives or gave us the basis for modern computers, it mattered that he was gay. He was only 41 when he committed suicide after being forced to endure chemical castration. His future work, his life, all lost because no one could accept he wasn’t their definition of ‘normal’.

Fear and discrimination are the real enemies. People refusing to accept the differences of others. Differences should be encouraged, supported, celebrated. Different isn’t less, most often, it’s more.

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As for the blogging, who knows, maybe this is a good excuse to write that book I’ve been putting off.
So plan to be spontaneous today, here’s some, er, blogging advice to hold you over.
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/2015/05/12/i-cant-make-you-love-me/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/
And snap out of it, WordPress, you’re driving bloggers insane (perhaps a short drive, but still a waste of gas).

Anyway, this was rather delightful excuse to post lots of pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch. You’re welcome.

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Posted in Books, Canada, Cats, Chocolate, Food, Internet, Jane Austen, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Support Bacteria – It’s the Only Culture Some People Have

1funny778The occasional broken heart (some courtesy of good-for-nothing teen heart-throbs leering suggestively from glossy magazine covers), the enforced cleaning of my room, scrapped knees and elbows, the tedium of school, bullying, losses…still, I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a time where we knew little.

Sure, pesky facts sometimes showed up, but we were quick to scare them away and defiantly let our ‘ignorance is bliss’ flag fly!

Of course, I knew horrible things had happened and were happening, but for inexplicable reasons (I blame chocolate and kittens), I seemed to believe things would get better.

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I don’t know, maybe it was growing up in a small town, but even with all my extensive sci-fi reading and viewing I could never have imagined this strange new world I would someday live in where Donald Trump could be President of the United States; someone would list their dog as a job reference; Kardashians are deities; people fawn and argue on social media over food while many don’t have any food at all; we would still believe governments and corporations who regularly and flagrantly lie to and cheat us…where fiction is fact and fantasy masquerades as reality.

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The news, entertainment, internet, politics, business, sports, relationships – it’s like we’re watching The Tudors or The Borgias and the only thing that has changed are the outfits…and the quality of the acting. Lies, intrigues, shifting alliances, hypocrisy, machinations, double standards (like when someone does whatever they want, but when someone else does the same thing or less, they’re outraged, shocked, appalled – insert Fox Newsworthy propaganda rhetoric here).

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Tired of the daily circus, I eagerly plopped down on my couch, green tea in hand, sore feet on the exercise ball (hey, it has to be good for something) to distract myself from the distractions and marvel at Colin Firth’s magnificence in Magic in the Moonlight.

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But alas, I found the movie full of philosophical questions about the meaning of life. Sigh. Is nothing sacred? While enjoying the witty banter, I also had to think about whether this is all there is. This day-to-day, this cycle of life, the collective cultures, religions, the systems and wealth of knowledge obtained from human history and common experiences…Or is there more? A higher power, a divine plan, magic, a metaphysical world beyond the rational. Are there plans or is it all spontaneous and just happening as it’s happening? Perhaps I should have just revisited the pastoral peace of Pride and Prejudice, but then, I’d probably wonder again whether I would really like Mr. Darcy if I met him, or think he was a rich, pompous jerk.

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My brain was awash with questions…and green tea. Do we need illusions or even delusions to survive and then more and more as stress levels build?
Is that why the world is looking more like the final days of an empire?
It might also explain why pop culture has become an avant-garde-Spanx-clad-Salvador-Dali-painting-on-Viagra.

Oh well, off to Outwit, Outlast and Outplay another day.

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Posted in Books, Movies, Music, Poetry, Televison, Uncategorized

Tomorrow Tomorrow I Love Ya Tomorrow

1funny758Young
I dreamed
I read
Anything
Everything
Young
I danced
I sang
Motion
Rhythm
Young
I loved
was loved
Possibilities
Passion
Promise
Young
Invincible
Unmarred
My mind full of me
Fearless
Thoughtless
Until youth ran from me
~D. Parker

Have you ever had one of those odd weeks, where you had to choose from odd choices? I did, and it seemed as though my viewing and reading, though vastly different, all had a common theme, at least, in my mind: choices.

Gone Girl. Mesmerizing, mostly due to Rosamund Pike’s luminously disturbing performance. The choices in this film and the fall-out of them had me speculating, head-shakingly weirded-out, kind of appalled and that wasn’t even by Ben Affleck’s ‘acting’. Pretty sure this goes into the movies-not-to-see-on-a-first-date category – https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/14/20-movies-to-avoid-on-a-first-date/

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Zoo. Sorry, not Zoo Station by U2, but that would be a cool theme song, this Zoo is the TV adaptation of James Patterson’s bestselling-creepy-makes-Blackfish-look-like-Disneyland novel about how animal behaviours are changing and becoming more aggressive toward humans (gee, I can’t understand why, we’ve been sooo nice to them) due to choices and changes we’ve made.

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Annie. I love Annie’s gumption and her choice to never be limited, to meet her hard-knock life with a smile, a song, kindness, and courage. I tried to watch the latest version, I don’t care what you change, as long as you don’t mangle the songs…yup, they mangled the songs.

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Poldark. You’d think the trials and tribulations of people in the 1800s would at some point cease to be enthralling and yet…not even slightly, BBC, Masterpiece me some more! 40 years after the first run of this series, Aidan Turner (The Hobbit movies, The Tudors, Being Human, TMI, etc.) was chosen to take on the famous role of Capt Ross Poldark and he might give Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy a run for his money…might.

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1funny767Miss Emily: A Novel. Ireland’s Nuala O’Connor (Penguin) brings us this fictional re-imagining  of a time in the life of a writer known for her eccentricity almost as much as her poetry, Emily Dickinson.
When I read what I call a coat-tail book (a book that uses a famous historical or fictional character to bolster their success), I think, would this be as good if they hadn’t use a famous name? In this book, I found the main character being Emily Dickinson distracted from a well-written, at times disturbing, but ultimately intriguing story of overcoming trauma, adversity, and anxiety.
The story is told to us with the alternating voices of Emily and an Irish servant girl, Ada, who works for the unconventional Dickinson family in Amherst, Massachusetts. We see how the choices of the main characters and those around them affect lives, but more than that, how they respond to those choices.
With or without the charming voice of Emily Dickinson, an interesting read.

Our choices and the choices of others lead us down many paths, but none of those choices defines us, what we do after, that does.

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Posted in Canada, Chocolate, Internet, Movies, Uncategorized

A Singular Girl’s Guide To Life

1funny753As a girl you grow up being taught so many things, but many girls aren’t taught how to be single, better yet, singular, or even better, singularly spectacular.  I’m pretty sure this goes for boys as well.

One of the big things looming over a single person is dating. The mysteries of the ages look simple compared to dating. Dating is so complex there are times you don’t even know you’re on a date, in fact, you could be on a date right now. And actually getting a date, that’s more complicated than doing your taxes and most often, less fun.

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Dating keeps getting weirder…texting, online dating (did they just match me up with my ex?), sexting, digital fantasies – are we dating or on a sci-fi reality show? And what’s with The Bachelor? If I wanted to date a guy who was dating lots of other women at the same time I would have stayed in the music scene. No, I don’t accept your rose, I don’t know where it’s been.

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  • Be ready to let it go. Hypothetically let’s say you and another person manage to agree to see each other, at a specific time and place, not virtually, but the date isn’t going well. He endlessly checks his phone, explains how women who like chocolate are emotionally constipated, tells stories about his spawn-of-Satan-horns-and-all ex (still married, just a technicality, really, we’re waiting until after the baby is born to divorce), the time he was in prison (a complete misunderstanding), asks to see your toes, and then he says, “Hey, I missed you,” when you came back from the washroom. You start looking for exits and wondering why you didn’t take the money you spent on hair, clothes, and make-up for the date and buy lottery tickets; the odds are ever in your favour. In a desperate attempt to save the date, you try to find common ground, only to discover it’s more like quicksand.

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  • Be the change you want to see in the date. Don’t think of a bad date as a disaster (that word is reserved for when your plane goes down, the volcano you’re climbing erupts, or you learn they’re discontinuing your favourite ice cream flavour), think of it as a learning opportunity. Do a forensic exam of the date. It might have gone better if you hadn’t talked about your extreme obsession with Daryl Dixon (not Norman Reedus, Daryl Dixon), or the hilarious time you put laxatives in your ex’s coffee, or enthused about the TV show, Say Yes to The Dress and how you can’t wait to be on it, or told your date his haircut makes him look like Charles Manson. But who can really pin down the exact moment where things went wrong?

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  • Be the date. Visualize how you want the date to go. You want to charm your date. Be urbane and witty, your eyes should sparkle like diamonds, your hair should catch the light as your toss it casually over your shoulder (not too close to the candlelight or it will actually catch on fire).

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  • Be who you want to date. Think about it, if you want your date to be interesting and fun, be that yourself. If you want your date to be a bad boy type who may run guns on the weekend and is wiping his fingerprints from all the silverware and glasses he uses on the date, be that yourself (oh, don’t forget to take your napkin, they can do wonders with DNA nowadays).

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  • Be your own date. If dating is getting you down, take a break. Learn how to be a singularly spectacular person on your own. Take yourself out to dinner without reading or checking your cellphone, instead, watch the people (not in a creepy-the-management-has-to-ask-you-to-leave-and-puts-your-picture-up-so-you-can’t-come-back way); appreciate the meal and me time. Take yourself to the movie, but if you’re still on the lookout for Mr. Right even when spending time alone, I don’t recommend Magic Mike XXL, the gents in the audience will be more into Channing Tatum than you.

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Being a singular person is about being you, in all situations, so get out there and be your own party.

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Posted in Books, Chocolate, Family, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

In My Life I Loved Them All

1funny629Of
lovers
and
friends
I still
can
recall.
Some
are
dead
and
some are living…
In my life I loved them all.
~The BeaTles

Why do we love when it hurts so much to lose those we love?
How would you answer this question, dear readers?
My answer is as simple and as complex as love itself.
I don’t know for sure, but I think because it feels so amazing to love and be loved, also, we need each other and love connects in a way that nothing else can.

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Love and loss haunt me these days.
I decided reading would offer it’s usual distraction.
As I read Love, Rosie aka Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (Hachette Books), I felt like I was watching a long Friends episode.
Beyond wanting to swat the characters for being such annoying goofs, I was left with a nagging feeling about love and communication and their places in the modern world.

Lily Collins in Love, Rosie
This book and movie adaptation wouldn’t have happened if the two main characters even once had a simple, honest conversation. There, end of book and they lived more or less happily ever after.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? We can communicate each moment of every day in multiple ways, yet our communication skills seem to be deteriorating. Does non-stop communication help if we’re not telling each other what we really need to know?
Ahern also wrote P.S. I Love You, a funny and poignant book, with the beautiful lesson of going on when you’re ready to go on, how you’re ready to go on, after any kind of loss, but I still liked the movie better – I blame Harry Connick Jr.

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I’m sorry, baby, I didn’t mean it. There’s also: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Gerard Butler, and James Marsters. Oops, I’m sorry book, probably should have read you before I saw the movie. The characters didn’t give me what I wanted, I didn’t feel a sincerity or connection, or maybe I was expecting too much.

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Love comes into our lives in many ways, family, friends, lovers, partners; to fill, enrich, challenge, sustain, nurture, embrace, excite, thrill, comfort, cherish, and support us.
It also leaves in many ways.
How can love continue to breathe when it’s viciously torn away, crushed, betrayed, taken for granted, withdrawn, or ignored?
Because it once was and in some way, somewhere, will always be.
I lost someone I love very much yesterday.
I really can’t imagine a world without…but I must.
Gone from this world, but forever in my heart.

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Which weirdly leads me to Week 4 of my Changes/Happiness Project. I wanted to fall in love again with life, and despite the loss life has repeatedly pummeled me with, I want to keep loving. Here are the first 3 weeks of challenges, if you wish to follow along, or just read about it.

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/

Week 4 (has it really been that long?):

1. Decide on 5 things I’d love to do today and just do them (within the limits of time, budget, circumstances, etc.)

2. New bedtime routine: think of 5 things that went well or I was grateful for today and 5 things to hope for, in days ahead.

3. Write down 10 things I want to change, but think I can’t…try to change them.

4. Avoid the cake stalking me. You give cake a bad name. It’s the power of cake. You’d think that people would have had enough of silly cake songs… Don’t know how much longer I can hold out.

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5. Reduce stimuli (mental and physical).

6. Remove a 100 calories per day (chocolate, I still love you, but there’s going to be a shortage of you soon and we have to get used to being apart…ok, that’s long enough.)

7. Construction begins on our street. Allow some time each day to admire the workers…work.

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So why do we love when it hurts so much to lose people?
You don’t turn down the greatest gift in the world just because you can’t keep it forever.

Posted in Blogs, Books, Chocolate, Family, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

How To Get Your Book Published

1funny608As a writer I’ve read literally (that might not be the correct use of that word) thousands of articles on ‘how to get your book published’.

Then I noticed something strange about all of those articles, something they all had in common – they’d all been written by published authors.

What? This is a complete travesty! There are so many more of us, unpublished writers, looking for work and those authors are hogging the spotlight. They get books published, then they get articles published about how to get published. What a scam!

I’ve read enough self-help books to know what had to be done, those books (ironically, also written by published authors) clearly tell us that if you want something bad enough, you just have to imagine it, wish for it, and you’ll get it. Or was that a book about fairy tales?

Anyway…here’s my version of imagining it, wishing for it, my 12 easy steps to get your book published, I mean, how hard could it be, there are whole buildings full of books.

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How To Get Your Book Published:

1. Write a book.

2. Books or manuscripts (as they say in the biz) are generally typed on typing thingies. Some famous writers in history seemed to prefer typewriters, who knows, maybe they didn’t know about computers back then, I don’t have all the answers. I suggest going for a more personalized approach – handwriting your book. Publishers will appreciate your dedication and they’ll understand you really want this book deal.

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3. Go on a book tour. Don’t wait for your book to be published, the public is hungry for your words, bring them to the masses. Go to a book store and start telling customers all about your book. Sign books they’re holding or books on the store shelves – someday when you’re famous they’ll thank you for it.

4. Get an agent. As exciting as it might be, not a secret or special agent.

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5. You need a literary-sounding name. If your name isn’t already literary-sounding, change it to something like: J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Dr. Seuss, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, George R.R. Martin, Shakespeare, E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, Agatha Christie – something really authory.

6. Writing for children is different from writing for adults. For example, don’t use the name Stephen King or anything he writes about…ever.

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7. Have family and friends write glowing book blurbs and reviews. If possible, have them use a well-known authory name, see #5 for examples.

8. People love pictures. You should totally get some of those.

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9. Have characters in your book. Characters is just a fancy literary term for people you write about, either made-up people or those you know (I doubt anyone will sue you).

10. People like when characters do stuff in books. Have your characters stay busy. I don’t want to tell you what to write, but supernatural, scary, science, and sex (or a combination thereof) fly off the shelves. Have fictitious people who don’t even slightly resemble your siblings, parents, children, boss, ex, celebrities, anyone, living or dead or undead, doing fictitious (nudge nudge, wink wink) stuff.

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11. Have your publisher help you promote your book. Sorry, did I skip that part? Get a publisher, preferably one who showers you with money, then get them to help promote your book (see #1).

12. Be prepared. Get ready, not only for fame and fortune, but to discuss and possibly explain your book, at length, on or in: TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, forums, bathroom stalls, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, planes, trains, automobiles, restaurants, conventions, parties, family gatherings, fan sites, stalker fan sites, book signings (see #3 and don’t forget to bring a pen) – yes, everywhere and mostly to people who haven’t actually read your book.

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Now you’ve done all the hard work. Take some ‘me time’, relax in a bubble bath, have some tea or wine.

Let those royalties roll in and remember, show some love to those who helped you out. You’re welcome.

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Posted in Blogs, Books, Food, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Rock Me Amadeus

1funny524No one ever talked or did stuff like they did in 80’s movies. Ever.

In the future, they’ll probably dig up 80’s movies and come to conclusions like: Ferris Bueller was a god, aliens could phone home from Earth, “wax on, wax off” was a common phrase, and paternity results were only told to your child in space, after you cut off their hand. They’re going to think the 80’s were even more messed up than they were.

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And what was with romance in the 80’s?
Why sit on a table with a birthday cake and a cute boy? I can think of much better things to do…with that cake.
Everyone was dancing – dirty dancing, flashdancing, Kevin Bacon dancing (don’t know what else to call it).
A guy with a boom box and a trench coat outside your house…nowadays, restraining order, or it would go viral, or both.1funny560

Officers, gentlemen, risky business, funny business.
Adventures, in space or babysitting, as long as they were most excellent, dude.
Supernatural, psycho, science, time travel – sometimes all at once.
Where’d they get all the gremlins, goonies, vampires, muppets, and aliens?
Actually, that all sounds like the soundtrack to my 80’s.

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Know what also ruled in the 80’s? Political incorrectness. Who could worry about offending anyone when girls just wanted to have fun and boys wanted girls to have fun, especially with them?

I kind of miss it. Sure, political correctness is good in theory, don’t say unto others what you don’t want said to you, but has the correctness over-corrected? I don’t know if you can change human nature, people just say weird stuff.

  • “That’s the best kind of cancer to have.”  Let’s review that sentence. Nope, still looks weird. The best kind of cancer is no cancer.

  • “Don’t worry.”  Why are they telling me not to worry, is it because they know I should be worried and they don’t want me to panic?

  • “Do you have a bathroom?”  Did you mean to ask if you can use my bathroom, because yes, I have a bathroom, I don’t ‘go’ in the yard.

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  • “Money won’t make you happy.”  I think money and I would be very happy together, we’d make the perfect couple (couple of million).

  • “Time heals all wounds.”  Not true. Time doesn’t heal anything, it just passes.

  • “If you get lost in the woods, don’t panic.”  Of course I’m going to panic! I’m lost, in the woods!!! Surrounded by bears, badgers, and bugs, maybe zombies in the dark (when I picture being lost in the woods, it’s always dark), and with my luck, zombie bears, badgers and bugs (note to self, pitch a spin-off to AMC, working title, The Walking Bears, Badgers, and Bugs ).

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  • “Everything happens for a reason.”  Technically correct, but I’m not sure that’s how people mean it.

  • “I think therefore I am.”  Not true for everyone, have you been on the internet?

  • “I know you are, but what am I?”  This one is actually timeless.

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 Back to 2015, my Don’t Worry, Be Happy 365 day project enters Week 3, will I falter?
Week 1, amazing: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
Week 2, a revelation: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/

Week 3:

1. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with dancing, but with less enthusiasm to Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus, my knee will thank me).

2. Remove another 100 calories per day (Again, not veggies…perhaps cake, but not, like chocolate cake, right?).

3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day to read or research.

4. Do 1 thing I’ve put off doing.

5. Read a book I said I’d never read (doesn’t leave me the range you’d think it would).

6. Pay it forward, aka do something good and don’t tell anyone what I did.

7. Try a food I haven’t tried (I guess I can’t sneak cake in and pretend?).

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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 Books, Canada, Cats, Chocolate, Family, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

1ahappy12Everyday in the media and social media I hear about happiness.

Happiness Projects,
Happiness Quotients,
Happiness Index,
Gross National Happiness,
polls, songs, quotes…
what’s with all the happiness?

Is wretchedness and melancholy really that out of style?

Where are the memes celebrating the drudgery of everyday life?

Where are all the T-shirts promoting doom and gloom?

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If happiness is sooooo easy why does everyone have to be constantly reminded to be happy?

When did we become so obsessed with measuring and quantifying happiness? When it became big business, that’s when. I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately so I was drawn to The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being by William Davies (Verso). I felt the book was overly academic, like I needed a degree in something to understand it, but it did have some fascinating, logical, brilliant, and disturbing points about how we’re being sold happiness and at what cost. Happiness is a new religion.

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But what if we’re being sold a one-size-fits-all happiness coat? It seems to insulate us against heartache, but instead, it’s drafty, the seams are fraying, and oops, it’s not waterproof. I’ve been sales-pitched happiness for years, and I’m starting to feel consumer fatigue. I’m guessing a lot of people aren’t feeling ‘the happy’ the way they’re told they should be feeling it, especially if the amount of loneliness, antidepressants, and boredom are any indication.

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I find people endlessly fascinating, though I could live to be a 1000 and still never grasp their full complexity. Maybe I don’t want to, there’s nothing more thrilling than a mystery. I’ve observed that people seem to think they have to add things and people to their life to be happier, but what if it’s quite the opposite, what if you have to remove things and people to be happier?

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I decided to start my own Happiness Savings Plan – pool then diversify my assets and lose some liabilities. I want to make sure I keep falling in love, over and over again, with my son’s laughter, books, music, clouds, chocolate, TV, movies, loved ones, conversation, kittens, dreams, puppies, laughter, hope…I’m tired of hearing about: The Kardashians, FIFA, Bruce Jenner/Caitlyn (I don’t care about the choice, I’m just sick of endless publicity-seeking), spy pigeons, wrinkled selfies (pretty much all selfies at this point actually), drought shaming, fat shaming, age shaming, sex mad marsupials…sigh, I’m feeling less happy just thinking about it all.

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So for the next 365 days my plan is to make changes, one per day, mostly removing things; perhaps it will make me happier, perhaps not, only time will tell.

I invite you, my dear readers to join, if you so wish, don’t feel like you need to, or do the same changes. And don’t worry, there won’t be endless posts about my C-C-Changes Plan, just an update here and there…

My first week is as follows:

1. Remove 15 minutes or more of internet time per day.

2. Remove 15 minutes or more of news/politics per day.

3. Remove 15 minutes or more of sitting per day.

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4. Give up one TV show.

5. Change 15 minutes of screen time into reading or listening to a book time.

6. Take 15 minutes or more to organize .

7. Learn something new each day.

It might be challenging, but as G.K. Chesterton reminded us, “There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”

P.S. I’m going for less.

Posted in Books, Family, Fibromyalgia, Movies, Parenting, Uncategorized

Don’t You Forget About Me

1alice18We all forget things.

  • We’ve all forgotten where we put our car or house keys.

  • Who hasn’t walked into a room and forgotten why?

  • Been speaking when the word you want goes missing, you know it’s there, you grope around in your mind, finding other words that might work in it’s place, but the word you wanted is gone.

  • I’m forever putting things ‘where I know they’ll be’ then fairies spirit them away, only to be found later in a totally illogical spot. Those fairies.

Forgetting is normal. Our minds are full. Overfull. We’re stressed or tired.

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What if it isn’t just that?
1alice8What if forgetting is a symptom?
I made the mistake/best choice to watch Still Alice, based on the stunning novel by Lisa Genova about a 50-year-old Linguistics professor who learns she has early onset Alzheimer’s. I hadn’t been quite prepared for the visceral punch of watching a woman close to my age lose her mind and herself.
How can your thoughts, memories, love, dreams, the essence of who you are all be ripped from you, not by some invading army, some natural disaster, but by your own brain?

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How could we lose: Our Dad’s laugh. Mom’s wisdom. Joking with siblings. Husbands. Wives. Friends. The smell of our children as babies. The feel of loved ones in our arms. Our first date, first kiss, first job. Or our best date, best kiss, best job? I can’t even begin to imagine staring at pictures of family and friends and not knowing who they are.
Our knowledge and memories so greedily gathered over the years, erased as though they never happened.
Losing who we are, even before we’re gone.

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In the movie, Alice (played the exquisitely talented Julianne Moore) quotes Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, One Art, sad and famous words,
“The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.”
As a person with Fibromyalgia I’ve long appreciated and hated those words. For those who live with illness every day the art of losing isn’t hard to master, it becomes more of a science. You learn to manage, modify, accommodate, cope, compromise, let things go, adjust, re-adjust and always adjust your expectations – there’s a trick to life, except you’re not always sure it isn’t being played on you.

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At times we all want to forget. Forget pain. Forget sorrow. Forget humiliation. Forget betrayal. Forget loss. The seductive lure of forgetting makes us forget that remembering is a gift, one that should never be wished away.

I won’t recommend this film. Not because it wasn’t wonderful, it was.

I won’t urge you to watch this film. Instead watch the news, so full of ISIS, FIFA, elections that are months or even years away, what celebrities are wearing, eating, doing, it’s all sooooo important, we really should be paying close attention.

Don’t worry about Alzheimer’s, cancer, MS, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, asthma, and all the other illness that take our loved ones.

Don’t watch this movie, there wasn’t any sex, violence, special effects, car chases, CGI, superheroes. It’s only about change, dignity, character, and highlights that things we too often think matter, you know, little things, petty things, stupid things, don’t matter at all.

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Posted in Canada, Environment, Family, Food, Internet, Movies, Uncategorized

The Internet Has Spoken

1funny301I feel like I’m drifting away.

Connection is such a tenuous thing, physically or emotionally. You want to connect, to trust, but how do you know when the connection is toxic, or failing, or broken?

Each day, I try to tiptoe around the world for as long as I can, but the internet has made this challenging.

It’s a Catch-22, if I don’t connect to the internet I drift apart from the world, but if I connect to the internet, I’m bombarded with stuff : news, ads, studies, misery and success, and just, well, stuff.

Page after page, link after link of:

  • People with diseases and those pretending to have diseases, really? Pretending to have a disease? Stuns me every time.

  • Finding life on other planets – shouldn’t we concentrate on keeping what little intelligent life we have on Earth first?

  • What’s getting deflated? Definitely not the egos of athletes!

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  • Governments lying to us again…still?

  • Bragging, boasting, whining, complaining, rudeness, trolls and trouble.

  • Turtles and snakes in toilets, transformed food, books, social media, movies, cats, TV, music, royalty, and endless things going viral we won’t remember next week.

  • Riots, wars, conflicts, comets, poverty, abuse, slavery, rape, murder, mutant ants, fires, biker wars, shootings, floods, terrorism, volcanic eruptions, killer bees, public shaming, teachers having sex with students (in the wise words of Pink Floyd, Hey! teachers! leave the kids alone!)…1funny304

  • Hoaxes, scams, and stunts, aarrgghhh, my head is spinning!

  • NSA, CIA, IRS, CSIS, OMG, ISIS, UFO, LOL, NASA, it might be fun to stay at the YMCA, if we weren’t drowning in abbreviations.

  • Studies explaining things they think I should know, like: food, drinking, sleeping, the environment, politics, parenting. I figured out parenting, at first you’re disoriented, exhausted, scared to say or do the wrong thing, a bit like being abducted by aliens, then you realize, they’re adorable aliens, like ET and then, they have you, you have X-Files Stockholm Syndrome and you can’t get enough…or wait, is that politics, not parenting?

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  • Ads and commercials for things we don’t need, but apparently should want more than breathing.

  • And remember when we only knew a little about celebrities and their lives? I miss that.1funny283

Remember in Poltergeist, where the eldest daughter is standing in the street screaming, “What’s happening?!?”sometimes, that’s me, inside my head.1funny331

Don’t get me wrong, despite my woes, I’m happy to wake up alive every morning, as opposed to waking up dead, which is most inconvenient and usually alters your plans, not only for the day, but the foreseeable future. Yet I’m struggling, dear readers, to find a balance between using technology and being consumed by it. I suppose it’s the same with any relationship, you need boundaries, compromise and…

1. Mutual respect. If you’re feeling bad when using the internet, take some time away, explore other interests.

2. Independence. If you depend on it for everything, it’s likely to let you down one way or another.

3. Dreams. Does it inspire you to write that novel you’ve always talked about writing, talk to an old friend, travel, try new things, explore, take a chance…dream?

Perhaps sometimes you have to drift to make connections; strong connections, not overpowering ones.

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Posted in Autism, Canada, Chocolate, Family, Movies, Televison

Happy Mother’s Day – I Just Ate Your Gift

1moms3Someone asked me the things I would have done differently as a Mom. I could lie and say nothing, I was perfect, but it’s not true.

I would have cared  a lot less about what people said.

I would have cleaned less and listened more.

I would have ignored the heartburn, swelling, and other difficulties of my pregnancy because my son was growing under my heart even as he took over my heart.

I would have gazed even more at my son’s amazing face because it took me too long to realize it changed often, and permanently.

I would have listened less to what people told me was ‘right’ or what I ‘should do’ and listened to my heart more.1moms5

I would have figured out earlier that I didn’t have to be Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Martha Stewart combined; I was fine as just me.

I would have spent more time there, in that moment because in that moment, everyone was there and now they aren’t.

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I’m glad I sat on the floor and played Thomas the Tank Engine.

I’m glad I rolled in the grass, built sandcastles, and almost threw up on rides.

I’m glad we ate popcorn in a couch fort.

I’m glad we made snow angels and laid in the grass finding shapes in the clouds.

I’m glad we laughed as we waded through muddy fields to get the best pumpkin ever.

I’m glad we ate ice cream and talked about all the ‘sharks’ in the river and giggled as we tried to name them.

I’m glad I never turned down a sticky kiss or told my son to wash his grubby hand instead of holding it.

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Moms kiss boo-boos to make them better, go to appointments, love unconditionally, make sandwiches that may or may not be traded to other kids, laugh, cry, help with schoolwork, brush teeth, change diapers, read and cuddle, dance in bare feet to Elvis, nag repeatedly about cleaning rooms, and teach how to be in the world.

Enjoy the moment of being a daughter or son, of being a Mom, Dad, brother, sister, grandparent, friend, aunt, uncle, cousin – life is too quick and too complicated not too enjoy.

Hopefully this  Mother’s Day you don’t have to:1moms6

  • Save the future of the entire human race by allowing your son to hang out with a Terminator (then again, you can’t pick their friends).

  • Break into ABBA songs while trying to remember who your child’s father is.

  • Send your supernatural darling to the prom.

  • Nag your son, even from beyond the grave to maintain the family motel business and to shower his guests with attention.

  • Date your son when he travels back in time to your high school.

  • 1moms1Worry if your little girl is the best and most stylish vampire slayer she can be.

  • Expose secrets about corporations using toxic substances while in heels.

  • Stop selling Avon long enough to rescue an orphan with a cutting issue.

  • Raise little dragons to be upstanding members of the community – take that villager out of your mouth, honey, you don’t know where he’s been!

  • Keep a royal dynasty going by providing heirs…and spares.

  • Have enough children to make a baseball league.

  • Or keep the hills alive with the Sound of Music while escaping the Nazis.

Life is like a box of chocolates…Happy Mother’s Day, I just ate your gift.

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Posted in Books, Chocolate, Family, Fibromyalgia, Holidays, Movies, Music, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Come To The Dark Side, We Have Cookies

14th4“They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes.”
Princess Leia Organa of Aldaraan, Senator

This is one of my favourite quotes from Star Wars, though it was never used in the movies. I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if one believes in fate, perhaps I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Each day is filled with choices, decisions, some huge, life-changing and others little, although who knows, they might be life changing as well.

Today is May the 4th, some may know it as Intergalactic Star Wars Day. For some, that’s everyday.
Nerds greet each other with, May the 4th Be With You. Posts, memes, parties, hash tags, sales, and news stories converge, in greater numbers.
Although this May 4th, the news is more about Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana than Princess Leia.14th21
Tomorrow, to a lesser degree with Revenge of the Fifth, although I think Revenge of the Sixth makes more sense. Is that a thing?

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An old nemesis has descended upon me this May the 4th – my Darth Vader, my Boba Fett, Jabba the Hut (probably rather have Pizza the Hut), Rancor (although it smells better), Greedo, or Count Dooku –  I’ve loosely titled it, Stars Wars VIII: Return of the Back Pain. Luckily it doesn’t hurt as much when I sit…and if I go over to The Dark Side, I hear they have cookies.
I think I know what brought it on, an unusual activity (not nearly as exciting as it sounds).

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It also brings back horrible memories of the car accident where the pain originated and I’m left to watch my back, like the aptly titled book, Watch Your Back! by Richard A. Deyo MD (Cornell University Press). I read this last time my back pain flared, hoping for some answers. It left me with more questions as it’s straightforward information shone a light on The Dark Side of the medical profession which offers people less and less, for more and more.

We don’t like to think that our pain is a business, but it’s big business.
This book won’t be popular, it points out that the medical profession, like politics and other systems, to paraphrase George Lucas, is like a great tree, able to withstand any external force, but rots from within. The lure of money, power, and prestige can overcome common sense and decency.
I understand the temptation of the magic fix, but realistically I know I have to do most of the figurative heavy lifting.
As patients we should be pushing for more treatments that are sensible, empowering, and give effective, long-term results for moderate costs.14th20

I’m used to being in constant pain with Fibromyalgia, it waxes and wanes, but never actually ceases, but in a strange way pain can also be freeing. You see past the Jedi mind tricks or I guess more like Sith mind tricks…you see the truth.1starwars15

What about you, dear readers, do you ever see The Dark Side of people when they think they can’t get anything from you?

Do you also see the power of The Force of goodness when some people like you just the way you are?
The latter is what I choose to believe in.

May the Fourth be with you.

Posted in Autism, Awards, Blogs, Books, Canada, Cats, Chocolate, Family, Fibromyalgia, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

March Madness Spring Fling Blog Party

1funny36

Depending on where you are, this week is:
Spring Break, March Break, March Madness, Spring Equinox, St. Patrick’s Day or maybe it’s just March.

So for our own form of March Madness, a Spring Fling to get us in the mood, let’s have a Blog Party!!!
Please use the comment box below to tell other bloggers about your blog –
don’t forget to include your blog link!
Tell us something about yourself and/or your blog
and share it so other bloggers will find out about you and everyone else!

1blog21bull18

I started this blog for relaxation (although sometimes, especially when WordPress makes changes, relaxation is not the word I use), but now, over 500 posts later, I look at my followers and views with wonder.
As a single mom with Fibromyalgia, raising a child with Autism and other health concerns, relaxation is important because most days I feel like Wile E. Coyote with his tiny umbrella.

I’ve learned a lot, but the best part has been my dear readers.
You make it all worth while.
Finding each other in this giant virtual haystack is astonishing and awesome.
I’d hoped it would also lead to fame and fortune; that part hasn’t panned out, but who knows?
Till then, still broke and just a tad less obscure.1thanks6I’m thankful for all the awards I’ve received, but narrowing down other nominees has become too challenging as I find more and more astonishing bloggers whose insights thrill, stories chill, make me cry, laugh, smile, remember, make me think, wonder, and dream.
I love that you think of me, but my time and energy are limited so I’ll use them by responding to your comments and leaving some on your blogs, Tweeting, Retweeting, and sharing your posts.

I’d like to thank some of my most stalwart supporters, those of you who follow, take the time to press the Like button; who humble me by reblogging; Tweet and Retweet, share on Facebook, Google+, Reddit, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and more. I find myself looking forward to your posts, comments, insights, loving your stories, glowing…
I just want to soak them all up.1bean2

So join me here, it’s easy to Follow via email or WordPress
and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada

Twitter @yadadarcyyada for some Hashtag parties:
Sundays: #SundayBlogShare @suzie81blog
Mondays: #MondayBlogs @MondayBlogs
Wednesdays: #wwwblogs (Women Writer Wednesdays),
and #BeWoW (Be Wonderful posts on Wednesdays @RonovanWrites)
Saturdays: #ArchiveDay
Any day with compassion: #1000Speak @1000Speak
Weekends: #WeekendBlogHop @WeekendBlogHop
Excellent ways to find posts and bloggers.

1climate14

1athank5So thank you all for a memorable time here on this big bouncy web.
Please don’t leave without sharing your blog link and info below,
so other bloggers can find you
and you can find other bloggers.

Keep checking back, who knows how long this party will last?

Posted in Chocolate, Holidays, Movies, Uncategorized

Go ahead, make my St. Patrick’s Day!

irish10

I know what you’re thinking, was it a 3 or 4 leaf shamrock?
To tell you the truth in all this excitement, I kinda lost track myself.
Seein’ as how St. Patrick’s Day is almost here…
people will be wearin’ the green, singing, dancing and enjoying libations,
you’ve got to ask yourself one question.
Do I feel lucky?
Well, do ya, dear readers?
Go ahead, make my St. Patrick’s Day!

  • The 1st rule of St. Patrick’s Day, you do not talk about St. Patrick’s Day!

  • This St. Patrick’s Day I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.

  • I’ve always depended upon the kindness of Irish strangers, except no one’s a stranger on St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Listen to them, children of the Irish, what beautiful music they make.

  • If you pour the beer, they will come.

  • I love the smell of shamrocks in the morning!

  • The Shamrock Redemption

  • I see Irish people. They’re everywhere. Some of them don’t even know they’re not Irish.irish4

  • Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Ireland anymore.irish8

  • May the Green be with you.

  • Nobody puts a wee Leprechaun baby in the corner.

  • What we’ve got here is a failure to excommunicate!

  • I feel the need, the need for Irish speed.

  • I’m still Irish, it’s the holiday that got less Irish!

  • Show me the blarney!

  • You do know how to whistle Toora Loora Loora, don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow.

  • We’re goin’ need a bigger bar.

  • Say hello to my little friend…they like to be called that now, the Leprechauns.

  • Life is like a box of Baileys chocolates, you just never remember what you got. 

  • Hope you’ve enjoyed my St. Patrick’s Day-goes-to-the-movies edition. Remember, what happens on St. Patrick’s Day stays on St. Patrick’s Day.irish9

     

Posted in Holidays, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

It’s Friday the 13th, Do You Know Where Your Serial Killer is?

13th3With Friday the 13th and St. Patrick’s Day so close this year, will bad luck rub off or will the luck of the Irish prevail? Maybe a cage match between Jason Voorhees and a Leprechaun and may the best, er, whatever they are, win.

Are you among the millions who believe Friday the 13th is bad luck?

Are you especially careful on this day? Statistically, there are actually fewer accidents and injuries on Friday the 13th, most likely because people are more cautious.

  • Do you have any superstitions?

  • Do you carry a good luck charm or talisman?

  • Believe in signs?

  • Omens?

  • Portents?13th1

  • Do you wear a special outfit for a job interview or date?

  • Have a lucky symbol or charm with you when taking a test?

  • Not shower before the big game?

  • Bring a troll (hopefully just a toy one) with you to bingo?

  • Don’t trust black cats?

  • Never walk under a ladder?

  • Throw salt over your left shoulder if you spill salt?

  • Freak out if you break a mirror?

I can’t think of any of that I believe in, then again, I don’t really believe in luck either. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong in believing, unless it controls you.13th5

Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky? Theories abound.

  • The combination of 13 being considered an unlucky number and Friday an unlucky day.

  • Books, movies, urban legends, numerology, deaths, etc. about it.

  • People coping with grief or trauma often try to find something to blame, perhaps superstitions seemed an easy scapegoat.

  • Humans always want an explanation or excuse.

Strange thing is, most countries and cultures don’t actually consider Friday the 13th unlucky…

Dear readers, do you do anything different on Friday the 13th?

I could suggest the new Friday the 13th movie released today,
I think it’s called:

Friday the 13th Part XXXV:
Jason Kills Again at his Seniors Assisted Living Home

13th10

Good luck…we’re all counting on you.

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Charming Savage Events

1antihero4

When did we start cheering for the Black Hats instead of the White Hats?

Classic movies, TV and books were easier. There were good guys and bad guys. You knew your protagonist, even the flawed ones were always good and your antagonists were always bad.

Then the lines not only blurred, they splintered apart.
We started cheering for a serial killer because he kills bad guys the law can’t put away.
We felt empathy for a teacher with cancer who became a drug lord.
We couldn’t wait to visit a family of mobsters.

1antihero3
We used to know who the bad guys were and hated them, now we’re worried if they’ll be ok.

We seem charmed by the savage events we witness; repulsed yet mesmerized by the violence, greed, self-absorption on-screen, in politics, the news, and in books.

Maybe we pay more attention to product placement, ads, and merchandise with the glamorized ugly.

Have years of governments and corporations flaunting their corruption, immorality, greed, and dissolution made this all seem normal, even appealing?

Or are we simply being more honest, realizing that good people sometimes do bad things and bad people sometimes do good things?
Noble people can be ignoble and vice versa.

Flawed heroes,
or villains who are heroes in their head,
bad guys who we love,
are all gaining speed:
Tony Soprano, The Fonz, JR, Philip Marlowe, Jason Bourne,
Dirty Harry, Snape, Jack Bauer, House, V, The Lannisters, Hellboy,
Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, Loki, Jax
1antihero2
Stewie, Batman, Shrek, Blackadder, Daryl Dixon, Kirk, Raylan, Hawkeye Pierce, Gallaghers, Klaus, Scarlett O’Hara, Don Draper, Nancy Botwin, Tommy Gavin,

1antihero7
The Winchester boys, Kratos, Sherlock, Dexter, Walter White, Emily Thorne, Mal, Wolverine, Aiden Pearce, Captain Jack Sparrow, Holden Caulfield, Brody, Archie, Francis Underwood, Bane, Eric, Bill and well, most of True Blood characters…
and too many more to name.1antihero10

Strangely, while our governments and the news try to convince us that one group after another are evil and scary, and we agree, in theory, but applaud evil and scary, worshiping at the cult of ambiguous moral codes and hazy regard for the law.

They’re selling us Black Hats while we watch The Blacklist.

We’re told about atrocities, torture, and murder, to make us scared enough to toss away our personal liberties, while we wait to see who gets tortured and murdered on Game of Thrones. GOT4

Escapism? Entertainment? Or evolution?

Fleeing from reality or seeing its fuzzy reflection?

Dastardly is the new valiant.

Posted in Autism, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

Spock, you made it cool to be different

1spock7My own little teen Spock has been ill with a cold for the last few days.
Then the news today, Spock/Leonard Nimoy (most famous for Star Trek, but also a fascinating director/writer/photographer/singer, etc.) has passed away. It’s illogical to be so sad at the passing of an actor, but as a Trekker, Nimoy was in my life since I was very young.

Spock was also an early example of a character with qualities of Asperger’s Syndrome on TV. Asperger’s didn’t even have a name when Nimoy started playing Spock, but he showed that being different was cool.

I hope Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future, where there will be less or no distinction between differences, comes true someday.

1spock8
I think the biggest tragedy of our time is that people still have so many prejudices, especially about things they don’t understand.
They don’t know what they’re missing.

Most of us have known someone with:
Stroke, migraines, CP, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease,
Alzheimer’s, Tetanus, Pinched nerve, meningitis,
Huntington’s Disease, Migraines, Epilepsy, Polio,
or some other neurological disorder.
Imagine telling someone who’d suffered a stroke to just talk properly?
Don’t think so.
Telling someone with ALS to stop being so lazy? 1spock2
No way.
Suggesting to someone with Alzheimer’s they could remember if they just tried harder.
Doubtful.
Or someone with Parkinson’s to stop shaking, that they were just trying to get attention?
Improbable.
Yet people with Autism are constantly told to:
grow up, smarten up, man up, stop being so lazy.
People scoff, blame, bully, abuse, mock, make jokes, call names, etc.
Autism is a neurological condition just like any other.
They have as much control over how their brain works as any other neurological disorder.

If we could all just accept each other, we’d see the amazing.

And I see my teen Spock is awake again…

Goodbye Mr. Nimoy, you came into our hearts through our TVs; you made it cool to be different.

“That is the exploration that awaits you! Not mapping stars and studying nebula, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.” ~Leonard NimoyStar Trek: The Original Series

LLAP

Posted in Food, Holidays, Movies, Uncategorized

We’ll Always Have Pancakes

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/Tuesday isn’t Friday. And it never will be.

Tuesday Weld (Susan Ker Weld) legally changed her name in 1959. She was born on a Friday. While filming Wild in the Country (1961) Weld was professionally and personally involved with Elvis. Elvis died at 42, on Tuesday August 16, 1977. There are those that believe otherwise…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/

Tuesday is thankful it’s not Monday; people seem to really hate Monday.

Ruby Tuesday, the classic hit by The Rolling Stones was originally titled, Title B. Hmmm, would a chain of restaurants called themselves Title B ?

People are allegedly the least ‘frisky’ on Tuesdays.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/

October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, when the New York Stock Exchange crashed, signalling the beginning of The Great Depression, which may have been badly named.

Tuesday June 6, 1944, D-Day. Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to liberate Nazi-controlled Europe.

If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond is one is a series of children’s books that teaches cause and effect. The usual effect for me? When reading it to my son, I wanted pancakes.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/

Tuesday is allegedly the most productive day of the work week. If you’re reading this at work, that may not be true.

Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday – all the same day. Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for many Christians. Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras is a time to celebrate and feast on foods not allowed during the austerity of Lent, most of which are rich in fat…now I’m drooling at the thought of pancakes. Even if people don’t observe Lent, many celebrate Pancake Tuesday or Fat Tuesday.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/

Here’s one of my favourite pancake recipes:

½ cup flour (your choice)
1 ½ cups of oatmeal
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Mix together lightly in a large bowl.
Add 1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour milk (you can make milk sour by adding 1 tsp vinegar)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large egg
Mix gently and cook with a small amount of butter/olive oil mixture to grease the pan.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/

Garnish to taste and enjoy!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/

“He respects Owl, because you can’t help respecting anybody who can spell Tuesday even if he doesn’t spell it right” ~AA Milne

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/17/well-always-have-pancakes/

Posted in Movies, Uncategorized

20 Movies To Avoid on a First Date

1love701. The Notebook. There’s no winner here, men will be edging to the door wanting to avoid the crying woman beside him in the theater and comparing themselves to Ryan Gosling. Your date will be all dewy-eyed and comparing you to Ryan Gosling.

2. (500) Days Of Summer. Sweet and quirky, but both of you will be thinking, hmmmm, they’re just going to break my heart, why even start this?

3. Lolita. Whole mess of discomfort and awkward conversations.

4. Saw. Any of them. Stay away from horror movies unless your date specifically says they love horror movies.

5. Knocked Up. Take a trip to a pharmacy before you see this.

6. Anything too funny – who can live up to that? Your jokes will fall flat for the rest of the night and you’ll end up repeating back the movie lines. Great way to weed out atrocious laughers though.  

7.  Marley & Me. Nothing says hot date like the death of a beloved pet.

8. Muriel’s Wedding, The Wedding Date, Monsoon Wedding, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. My Best Friend’s Wedding, Love Actually…you could be sized up for a tux while you’re getting popcorn. This goes double for Jane Austen-related films.

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9. Anything too political. Could spark a lively debate or you could end up hating each other.

10. How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. Because it’s about screwing up relationships, but mainly because it’s just kinda boring.

11. Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, Misery, Play Misty For Me, You Belong To Me, One Hour Photo, Sleeping With the Enemy, The Crush. Anything too stalkery – your date will be looking for the exits and changing their number.

12. Anything by David Lynch. This could lead to unsettling conversations about who has tried what, with whom, and when.

13. Titanic. Too long and spoilers, it didn’t end well. This goes for: Romeo and Juliet, Blue Valentine, Blue Velvet, The Comfort of Strangers, Antichrist, American Psycho, or Shame.

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14. The Break Up. Leads to long silences and not just about the poor acting.

15. War movies, specifically Holocaust related.

16. Back to the Future. Mom in love with her son. Enough said.

17. He’s Just Not That Into You. Too much chatter and suspicion.

18. Vanilla Sky. I have nothing.

19. Remember Me. Your date may not want Robert Pattinson to die and guess what? Stick with any of the Twilight films.

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20.  Say Anything. Unless you have a boom box, a trench coat and are John Cusack, don’t even try this one.

Posted in Environment, Movies, Music, Uncategorized

I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the freezing rain

I never wanted 2 cause u any sorrow
(But I’m sad chipping ice off everything)
I never aimed 2 cause u any pain
(I fell on the ice and hurt my, er, derriere)
I only fancied one time 2 see u laughing
(But I’m not laughing)
I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the frozen rain
(Can u even see me in this rain?)

Freezing rain Freezing rain
Freezing rain Freezing rain
Freezing rain Freezing rain1ice2I only wanted 2 see u sliding in the Freezing rain
(that’s more than a little cruel)I never desired 2 be your lover
(it’s not u, it’s me)
I only wanted 2 be some kind of friend
(what kind of friend?)
Baby I would never steal u from another
(probably not, but u could try)
It’s such a shame our friendship had 2 end
(Hey baby, welcome 2 Dumpsville, Population: U)

Freezing rain Freezing rain
Freezing rain Freezing rain
Freezing rain Freezing rain

I only wanted 2 see u in the freezing rain
(What? Like a statue?)

Sunny, no, no, no, times are changing
Time to reach 4 something more Spring-like
Back off, winter, that u 2
U say u want to be a season?
But u can’t seem 2 make up your mind
I think u better warm up
And let me feel some warmer rain

Freezing rain Freezing rain
Freezing rain Freezing rain

If you know what I’m singing about out there
C’mon raise your ice scrapers!1ice5Freezing rain Freezing rain

I only want 2 see u, only want 2 see u after
the freezing rain

Inspired by the weather and Prince or whatever his name is these days.

Posted in Chocolate, Food, Movies, Poetry

Lazy SuperBowl Sundae

 

I know it’s Super Bowl Sunday
That means I should be
worshiping
the gods of football

Yet when I hear Sunday
I think of many things
people might do:
relaxing
1asunday5cleaning
Sunday dinner
volunteering
#SundayBlogShare
day at the park
drive in the country
fun with family
and friends
brunch
Downton Abbey
museum
movies
walking
tea
Masterpiece Classics
or Mystery!
board games
The Walking Dead
video games
sledding
Sunday Bloody Sunday
staying in bed
curled up with a good book
Broadchurch
cookies
Pokemon
laundry
swimming
The Blacklistblackl3sleeping
shoveling
church

But mostly I think of
rivers of chocolate flowing
down
over snowy white
mountains
of ice cream
majestic whipped cream
caressing icy peaks
crowned by a plump
red
rotund
cherry
all on a lazy sundae1asunday2So whether you’re watching
Super Bowl
Puppy Bowl
Zombie Bowl
Or cleaning your toilet bowl
Hope this day, at least,
is treating you kindly.

Posted in Christmas, Food, Holidays, Movies, Uncategorized

We are Santa’s elves

1elves11Unseasonably warm, it seemed a beautiful day to go for a long walk. Little did I know chaos had broken out at The North Pole. As I wandered off to do errands and go to the library, behind the scenes, disgruntled elves had declared war on Christmas! Tired of deplorable working conditions, the Elves went on strike.

Santa seemed bemused, telling the media, “I’ve spent more money on elves, especially Veteran elves than any other Santa in the history of Santas.”

The elves shot back with a list of demands.

“We’re tired of being pushed around!” Chief SpokesElf Snowball exclaimed. “We don’t have glamorous jobs like fighting to save Middle-earth, making cookies in trees, being a warrior in Hyrule, or saving Harry Potter, we just make toys!”

Other elves murmured their agreement.

“We love making toys, but day in and day out, it’s torture!” Snowball climbed up on a festive stool to point at the growing crowd of elves. “No one talks about the harassment we endure when we go into town, we can’t even walk down the street without hearing, Hey Sugarplum, or Twinkletoes, Peppermint Buns, Angel Ears, Sprinklepants.” Snowball sat down heavily on the stool, head in hands, as if unable to carry on.

Another elf patted Snowball on the back and continued, “We want to work, but we have to sing the whole time and some elves, I won’t mention any names, cough cough, Buddy, sing loud for all to hear, off key. And why does Santa’s Workshop have to be at The North Pole, why not Aruba or Belize?” Holly sighed and raised her hands in a gesture of defeat. “We have a mandatory diet of cookies, candy canes, gingerbread, candy corn, do you know what all these gumdrops are doing to my diet?”

Cries of Here, Here! and One Two Three Four Eating Cookies is a Bore! rang through the workshop.

“We have to wear these outfits all the time,” Holly sighed, pointing down at her tacky elf outfit. “And now they’re loaning us out to sit on shelves, what’s with that?”1elves8

But while the elves were rallying, the reindeer escaped and went flying around the world, stuffing themselves on fast food and samples at Costco; getting liquored up before knocking down unsuspecting pedestrians. This is where I come in, one minute I was walking, the next I was on the ground, in the mud. The reindeer didn’t even stop, it kept talking on it’s cellphone, at least, I think it was a reindeer.

With only 19 sleeps before the Big Night, let’s hope Santa and the Elves can work this out.

Posted in Holidays, Movies, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Welcome to my Nightmare

1alice4

Around this time of year people often pose the question: what’s your worst nightmare? For me, something horrible happening to my son, and the rest of my family and friends.

My nightmares, when I actually sleep, are few, but they all start the same, running. Not jogging, all comfy shoes and music, but frantic, desperate, trying-to-get-away-from-something-running. I’m not scared of the running, but of what I’m running from. Maybe that’s why I love to walk, little chance I’m leisurely strolling away from a zombie, vampire, alien, mass murderer, serial killer, etc., right?
Luckily in the nightmares my son is usually running ahead of me; he’s fast, so he makes it.

I know what you’re doing right now…hopefully reading this:

1. The origins of Halloween are ancient and include: sacrifices, celebrating Harvest, fairies, demons, feasts, Druids, Celts, scaring away spirits, appeasing spirits, passion, death, and so much more…and this is for children now, hmmm.

2. In Medieval England hearing an owl’s call meant someone was about to die, well, duh, it was Medieval England, of course someone was about to die.

3. Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween so why does no one drink green beer on October 31st?

4. Harry Houdini died on Halloween 1926…coincidence?

5. We have carved: beets, turnips, potatoes, and pumpkins for Halloween, weird amount of veggies for a candy holiday.

6. Safety first, sadly, children are twice as likely to be killed in or by a car on Halloween.

7. Some animals shelters have stopped adoptions of black cats near Halloween, because people sacrifice them. What is wrong with…sigh, I have no words.1alice18. Orange symbolizes: Harvest, Fall, and strength. Black implies darkness and death, including the death of summer…I just like wearing it.

9.Witch comes from wicce which means wise woman. I know a lot of witches.

10. Halloween can cause poor behaviour and deindividualization. In costume, together, people care less about consequences of individual actions; doing things they normally wouldn’t do alone.

1alice311. The Michael Myers mask in 1978’s Halloween was actually a William Shatner mask. And now he has a renovation show, William Shatner, not Michael Myers although it’s reality TV so who knows?

12. Some suggestions for definitely too-soon Halloween costumes: Sexy Hazmat suits, zombie Robin Williams, terrorist, Ray Rice dragging a doll…just don’t.

13. Halloween has had many names: All Hallows Evening, All Hallows Eve, Samhain, Witches Night, Lambswool, Haunting Night, Summer’s End, Snap-Apple Night, wait, doesn’t that last one just sound like Snapple Night? Mmmm, Snapple.

And if you inadvertently find yourself in a horror movie this Halloween, here’s some help: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/

Posted in Books, Holidays, Movies, Televison, Zombies

Supernatural Calgon Take Me Away!

1bane10The supernatural has intrigued humans for all long as anyone can remember, but does anyone think of their side of the story? Do supernatural creatures ever get a chance to just kick back and enjoy life?
They seem too busy conjuring, hunting, and doing evil to just enjoy the little things. Maybe they should visit a supernatural spa, take a long supernatural walk, enjoy a stunning supernatural sunset, or read a supernatural book, give themselves a supernatural break.
Instead they enrage already angry mobs, dodge bullets, arrows, demon hunters! Avoiding being burned at the stake or getting a stake through the heart! Avoiding the sun, salt, garlic, silver, conflict with others in various realms – there’s a lot of avoidance behaviour there.
Just seems exhausting.
They must feel like saying, Supernatural Calgon take me away!
They just don’t seem like they get a lot of time to themselves.
So they’re creepy but are they happy?

1bane15

None of that explains why we like the supernatural, superstition, mysticism, religion, etc. so much.
Does scaring ourselves let us come to terms with our fears in a sort of safe mode?
Can we sense the supernatural in the natural world and we’re trying to make sense of it?
Perhaps it’s the illusion of control? To believe in supernatural causality, that somehow one thing causes another to happen without any natural process between them, perhaps it’s comforting.1bane8

In the spirit of Halloween I’ve been reading creepy and kooky and sometimes even spooky books, including The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson (Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster), a sort of spin-off from The Mortal Instruments series where Bane (not one of my top characters at least in this series, but these historical follies were amusing), an immortal warlock goes on a supernatural bar hop scavenger hunt through time.  I got a chuckle from the inference that he’s the reason we have the idiom, Bane of my existence…hmmm, I suppose that could refer to Batman’s Bane as well. But I digress…

Of course, reading this made me wonder even more why we can’t get enough of stories of: warlocks, witches, zombies, aliens, demons, demon hunters, ghosts, angels, monsters, fallen angels, werewolves, vampires and other supernatural beings?
Do we need to put a face and a name on the things that go bump in the night?
Try to calm the inner turmoil caused by our fight or flight response?
Or is dressing up at Halloween and scaring ourselves with movies, books, TV now merely entertainment?

This Halloween think of our supernatural friends…I know they’ll be thinking of you!

Posted in Holidays, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

My Fair Munster

1addams1Married in 1865 Herman and Lily Munster had a love that was timeless.

With Universal Studios as producer, The Munsters were able to use classic monster images to which they added running gags, including the central theme that they considered themselves just an average, middle-class family to make a typical sitcom into a brilliantly campy classic.

Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster, Frankenstein’s monster/joke-cracking suburban Dad was electric. Yvonne De Carlo as a blood-sucking Donna Reedesque PTA Mom was inspired. Add cool cars, pets, a young werewolf, older vampire and of course, the family oddball, the ‘plain’ niece, Marilyn, and they had a runaway hit.

1halloween38

What I could piece together about The Munsters:

1313 Mockingbird Lane has been used in many TV series and movies in various forms including Desperate Housewives.

Spot was alleged to be a fire-breathing T Rex, not a dragon.

The Munsters and The Addams Family ran concurrently, 1964-1966. The Munsters had higher ratings, but was knocked out by Batman, in colour. Kapow!

Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis were in Car 54, Where Are You? together before The Munsters. Gwynne says “Car 54, Where Are You?” in the Munster Go Home! film.

Herman worked at Gateman, Goodbury & Grave Funeral Parlor. The spooky John Carradine played Mr. Gateman.

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Fred Gwynne continued acting, including Jud Crandall in Stephen King’s Pet Semetary (I guess you could say Gage was his Achilles’ Heel) and who could forget his conversation with Joe Pecsi about the ‘yutes’ in My Cousin Vinny.

Pat Priest replaced Beverley Owen as Marilyn Munster after episode 13; the two were so similar most people didn’t even notice.

Butch Patrick played himself, dressed as Eddie Munster in The Simpsons in 1999.

Fred Gwynne’s costume weighed about 50lbs and filming in black & white they had to use violet face paint to catch the light.

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The Munsters did have a certain built-in charm.

Posted in Books, Movies, Uncategorized

Maybe Anna Karenina should have taken a bus

1anna1Some books should be reread at various stages of your life, not only to view the book differently, but to view the world differently.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is one of those books.

As a teen I thought this book wildly romantic. A tragic tale filled with noble nobles; and I didn’t fully understand why the peasants were so upset.

In my 20s I thought Anna Karenina was a narcissistic neurotic birdbrain; the nobles pompous gits; and the peasants noble.

Now, in my 40s I decided to read this again, so I borrowed the recent Oxford University Press version, an inspiring and edifying translation with notes and a wonderful introduction by Rosamund Bartlett from Netgalley.com for the low price of an honest review. As the pages flew by I realized how differently I now see the novel as well as the complicated navigation of life’s path. The message that finding happiness without causing damage or destruction is so clear, though easier said than done, and for Anna Karenina, apparently impossible. Trapped in a loveless marriage, surrounded by sociopolitical upheaval, and bound by the brutal intolerance and hypocrisy of society, she made poor choices.

No idea how I will see this years from now.

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Rosamund Bartlett’s patient guidance through the troubled waters of Tolstoy’s complicated soul offers generations a chance to experience the passion and progress, still relevant today. Translations of Tolstoy can be thorny, his remarkable ability to link realist and modern writing to emphasize differing attitudes and lifestyles can be difficult to communicate without altering or losing his viewpoint.

1anna4There have also been many visions of this classic presented on film. The latest adaptation by director Joe Wright, screenplay by Tom Stoppard starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson was a sumptuous  delight for the senses, yet in the 1927 silent film, Love starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert  had a consummate romance and depth of despair that spoke volumes.

All in all, maybe Anna Karenina should have taken a bus.

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, 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 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, 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, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Zombies and Calculus and Other Scary Stuff

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There’s a slight possibility I could handle the horrors of the zombie apocalypse with slower-paced zombies, but express zombies are just too much. Think about it, you don’t have to outrun the zombies, just slower people, but with rapid zombies I know I wouldn’t last long.

I don’t think we’d like The Walking Dead nearly as much if they were The Running Dead, or The Sprinting Dead, or even The Jogging Dead.

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Princeton University Press

Zombies and Calculus by Colin Adams (Princeton University Press) was a panic-inducing read, overflowing with horror, confusion, and images that will keep me up at night. And that was just the calculus, there were also zombies.

This is either a math book that added zombies to keep it interesting or a zombie book that has added math as a gimmick, either way, it’s a fun tweak to a supersaturated zombie genre.

A math professor is teaching calculus when the zombie apocalypse happens. As the zombies begin to multiply exponentially (yeah, you know I went for the math joke), the remaining humans must use cunning, force, teamwork, and math to survive.

I expected more of this from Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) on The Walking Dead (AMC), of course, it might break the rhythm of the show to have him figuring out math problems while zombies attack.
Might distract from his haircut though.

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At first I was tempted to skip the math stuff in Zombies & Calculus, but quickly I realized it wasn’t just an integral part of the story, it was so well-explained and tied into the story, it was quite readable.

While interesting, it’s more math and less zombie than say: The Walking Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days Later, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Resident Evil, Night of the Living Dead and all its sequels, video games, or even Max Brooks’s (yes, the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft) stuff, World War ZThe Zombie Survival Guide, or his new graphic novel series, The Extinction Parade, illustrated by Raulo Caceres (Avatar).

The Extinction Parade, from what I’ve seen so far, is dark, gritty, and creepy. Vampires vs. zombies after the vampires decide the zombies are a bad idea because they’re not a good food source; us humans apparently are tastier before we get all zombified. Well-done and flowing with intriguing messages about the fallacies of ‘development’, ‘progress’ and ‘consumption’, but I wouldn’t recommend it for younger audiences or even some adults.

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Old school zombie guy George A. Romero tried to use zombies to get people to understand rampant consumerism and how it’s going to destroy us all, but somehow I think the message got lost. That hasn’t diminished it’s popularity, zombies have been spreading through books, movies, TV shows,video games for decades, so before the zombie fad draws its last breath, why not do something fun with it? If it gets children interested in math, all the better.

As school begins, pack up those lunches, books, put on those new clothes and shoes, recharge those tablets, laptops, smartphones, and don’t forget your zombie survival kit, after all, doesn’t it make sense zombies would go to schools first, you know, with the whole brains thing?

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