Posted in Blogs, Books, Chocolate, Family, Food, Internet, Movies, Music, Parenting, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized

Ex’s and Oh’s

1blogs69Dear Readers, how are you today? Happy, I hope.
Lately I’ve been in a shall we say, reflective mood, thinking of the highs and lows, cons and pros of being human.
I know, like so many things, it’s complicated.

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Let’s start with the Pros:

1. We’re amusing.
I never understand why people go to the zoo when they can watch people instead, such as, on public transit. In one ride I saw: a guy with a bag full of copper wires sucking down a giant blue slurpee who collected paper transfers from the bus floor, tore two apart, licked them, put them together then showed ‘it’ to the driver; another guy was reading a scientific magazine, upside down; a photoshopped woman talking loudly and graphically about her knotty/naughty love life via cellphone; an older gentleman wearing PJs, cool, I did that too, in high school, the top one day, bottoms another, but as I get older I just think, sure, that looks comfy, you could get off the bus and right into bed. Who needs The Oscars? Hop on a bus, be awarded.

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2. We’re ingenious.
Really, we came up with all kinds of stuff, like: flying, fire, medicine, books, family, duct tape, technology, chocolate, the internet, music, blogging, swimming inside in the winter, batteries, politicians, money, cake, saunas, friendships, trains, Johnny Depp as a pirate, pool noodle under fitted sheet so a child doesn’t roll out of bed (wish I’d known this when my son was young), driving, driving with dogs on our laps, wait, someone needs to explain this one to me, does the dog think he’s driving, does he even comprehend what driving is, I doubt he passed a driving test, I mean, how did he fill out all the forms, reach the pedals with his paws, not bite the instructor?

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3. We’re endlessly curious.
We ask questions such as, but not limited to: “How bad can it be?” (very bad); “Could it get any worse?” (yes); “How stupid can you be?” (have you heard some politicians?).

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4. We’re brave.
We live on a planet where the earth shakes, volcanoes spew lava, mountains of snow grow, and storms make us remember there’s no place like home…and then invite tourists, cause it’s that awesome.

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5. We fall in love and out of love.
Love can go from oh’s to ex’s…ex’s to oh’s or so I’ve heard…at least, in song. Our hearts can stay, stray, delay, relay, live to love another day. Don’t think my ex’s or oh’s haunt me, but I’d like to think someday my Prince Charming will ride in on his baggage cart and sweep me into his manly arms, yes, apparently in my flight of fancy I’m dainty and light as a feather, his bronzed flesh glowing, huh, glowing? Too much of the X-Files reboot? But I digress…he’ll have room on his baggage cart for my baggage too and we’ll be off, into the sunset (Risky Business-style sunglasses firmly in place), hopefully not ending up like Thelma and Louise, Romeo and Juliet, or Butch and Sundance

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6. We yearn.
For more, for other worlds and explore them through books, movies, TV…finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens aka A-New-Hope-revisited when I took my son to a movie marathon for his birthday. It was great, but I have to wonder, what is it with people dropping children off on desert planets? Do they think it’s desert daycare? Do they think the children might go all Home Alone on the scum of these wretched hives of villainy? At what point should we just admit they’re bad parents?

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7. We all want to be heroes or funny anti-heroes.
Yeah, I saw Deadpool and laughed so hard my sides hurt. I’m having a bit of a Ryan Reynolds week (how often can you say that?), saw Woman In Gold too, how does Helen Mirren do it? But we don’t have to wear a cape, or a mask, have mutant powers, or fancy gadgets…just be good to one another. But if you get a chance to be be Batman and drive the Batmobile, do that too. Kindness is true heroics.

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The Cons? Maybe another time, or…all of the above? Anything you want to add?

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

Can You Feel The Blog Love Tonight?

1blog52Turns out, being an adult is hard work.

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

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

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

Learning. Teaching. Laughing. Crying. Smiling.

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

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

1. I’d have a computer, in my home.

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

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

4. Bacon would become both hero and villain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. My body would be my worst enemy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted in 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 Canada, Family, Holidays, Parenting, Political, Uncategorized

How To Be Good To One Another

1funny612One life but we’re not the same we get to carry each other,
carry each other.
One…One…One…
~U2

How to be good to one another. We could start by spending less time arguing about: who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s what, who’s to blame.

The internet exploded last week, with rainbows, due to the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision.
Online profile pictures went rainbow. #LoveWins trended worldwide.
June is Gay Pride Month so this added to the parties, parades, pride.
I’m pretty sure if you checked, your poo might be rainbow too.

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It’s a great step for equality, I only hope hype and hyperbole don’t bog down the message that it’s not so much about this issue, but about fighting for rights, not just new ones, but the ones we already enjoy.

It’s been 10 years of marriage equality in Canada (Happy Belated Birthday Canada! You don’t look a day over 147), joined by 17 other countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and now The United States of America. Come on, why aren’t there more? Who cares who you love, as long as you love?

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Sadly, on the same day of this ruling, there were also:
terrorist attacks, natural disasters, murders, child abuse, rapes, corruption, and more.
This decision doesn’t stop bigotry, hatred, racism, or human rights abuses.
It doesn’t feed the world’s hungry, or stop conflicts,
but it does add some equality (can’t have enough of that),
it makes people happy (especially wedding planners and lawyers),
and it shows that justice is still out there, we just have to expand its reach.

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I’m always amazed at how so many people have the time or energy for:
hate, prejudice, racism, hypocrisy, manipulation, machinations, lying, stealing, playing the ‘gotcha’ game, cheating, and judging – especially for people or groups of people they don’t even know.
That must be draining, or maybe invigorating? I can understand, everyone has felt or done that stuff at one time or another, but holding onto that just seems weird and in the end, you must hate yourself the most.

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Week 5 of my year-long try-to-find-happiness challenge is on.
Here are the first 4 weeks if you want to catch up or need a refresher.
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/

Week 5 (approximately 10% done!):

1. Accept that apology never given. This one is soooo difficult, but this is something I really want to do for myself, but more, something I want to teach my son.

2. Embrace my age gracefully, doing a fairly good job, but I’m still going to avoid full-length mirrors, come on, we’ve all seen funhouses, these have got to be the same mirrors, right?

July 1 Do something really Canadian for Canada Day. Maybe respectfully pour Canadian beer on maple syrup butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, and poutine while playing hockey, eh.

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4. Drink one more glass of water per day.

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

July 4 Celebrate our American neighbours by watching that fascinating documentary about the time they saved the world from alien invasion, you know, Independence Day.

7. Clean out that closet. I thought I should tell someone where I’m going so if I’m not back in an hour, send help.

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How to be good to one another? Be kind and accepting. Accept that people have different beliefs, opinions, cultures, politics, points of view, religions, lifestyles, life experiences, abilities, neurofunctions; different ways to love, to live, to grieve, to have fun, to be angry, to be sad. Just because someone isn’t the same as you doesn’t mean they’re: wrong, scary, defective, a sinner, a monster, or a loser. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, don’t worry about different.
Life’s way too short to be: feared or fearful, hating or hated; try to love and be loved.

If you really have to worry about something,
worry about being good to one another.

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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 Internet, Music, Parenting, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

1funny191You can’t always get what you want. The Rolling Stones and parents have been telling us this for years, but they’re not all leading by example. The Stones at least qualified by saying, if you try sometimes…you might get what you need.

I was in a store the other day where a teeny-weeny tornado of a child, innocuously dressed in pink, yet she may well have been the spawn of something evil that came from the bowels of a very toasty place, was screaming at the top of her lungs that she wanted something. I believe it was a doll of some kind, but it was hard to tell as her words flowed together in one raging howl. Spittle flew from her small bow lips and her Dora clasped pigtails bobbed wildly as her neck precariously thrashed her tiny head back and forth in classic Exorcist style as she raged against the injustice of not having this toy. 1funny203
The mother seemed to be holding firm until the volume of the pink virago threatened to shatter glass and then she did something unbelievable, that mother smiled, patted her banshee’s little blonde head and handed her the package, saying they should go pay for it before they went to get lunch at McDonald’s.

I stood, wavering between a slow motion ‘No-o-o-o-o-o-o!’, a facepalm, or standing mouth agape, doing my best impression of a codfish, as I realized the happy silence from the smiling little blonde angel was more deafening than her wailing.

I guess if you scream loud enough and in just the right way, you can always get what you want.1funny196
Make no mistake, adults are not exempt from tantrums, we just have them in different ways. We still want what we want when we want it and we want it now!

Our wants often yell louder than our needs. It’s why we date the wrong people, elect the wrong leaders, buy too much, spend too much time on the internet, lie, steal, cheat, overeat, and even make some Shameless poor choices, ok, most aren’t up to the Gallagher family, but our wants are that little blonde girl and our better judgment is that mother.1funny207
It’s easy to be so focused on the moment and forget, you shouldn’t be frothing at the mouth to get something.

Is this willingness to give in, to give free rein to our angry little want tantrums why so many people, even biologically adult people say life is unfair and that they hate their life? Life isn’t fair. Who told you it was? You hate their life. How is that even possible? No, you hate something that is happening in, or to your life. There are things I hate about my life, but I don’t hate my life. See the difference?1funny193
Yes, the bubblegum raging harridan also hated her life, because she couldn’t have a toy. Wow, red flashing lights for a massive overstatement, please file this under First World Problems.

A child in a refugee camp shivering, scared, and hungry may think she hates her life, but she really hates the situation. A child in a war zone may think he hates his life, but he really hates the effects of war. People in Nepal may feel they hate their life as they reel from the effects of a devastating earthquake, but hating your life over a toy? What’s the name of the doll, Sindy Shallow?

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We should think about how much we have, not just about how much we want to have.

What exactly are we wishing for here, a world where everyone has everything? Then what would you wish for?

Keep wishing, keep dreaming, sometimes it’s the best part of a bad day.1funny189

Posted in Blogs, Chocolate, Family, Food, Parenting, Uncategorized, Weight

50 Things to Get Busy Doing Before 50

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/ 1. Reach 49.

2. Forgive. Doesn’t matter if they deserve it, you do.

3. Some people will be negative and hate, so what, what’s that got to do with you?

4. Learn your parents, family, and friends’ stories.

5. Ignore people who tell you to try surfing or skydiving or extreme sports if you don’t want to do it, they’re not going to spend the time in hospital or rehab.

6. Help someone who needs help and don’t tell a single soul you did it.

7. Learn to compromise.

8. Conquer a fear. Doesn’t have to be a big one.

9. Take the time to write that email, make that call, write a letter, visit, send a card, it may not matter, but what if it does?

10. Ask for help. Accept it gratefully.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

11. Smile. Laugh. Often. Quit thinking about why. Smile. Laugh.
12. Cry. Into someone’s shoulder, a pillow, a cat or dog, a tub of ice cream, a gooey chocolate bar, but cry.

13. Walk. Look around. Walk some more.

14. Quit measuring. Your food. Waist. Accomplishments. What others have. Still measure before cutting wood, fabric, and when you bake.

15. Nurture yourself so you can nurture others. The world works best when everyone cares for someone.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

16. Say yes more often.

17. Say no more often.

18. Do something you didn’t think you could do. Maybe you still can’t, but isn’t it glorious that you tried?

19. Read. Doesn’t matter what.

20. Laugh so hard it hurts and you think someone might call in help because there’s something wrong.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

21. Don’t be too serious, it causes wrinkles and it’s no fun.

22. Believe in something, stand behind it, no matter what.

23. Find some magic, whether it’s in a book, a sunset, a blog post, a smile, a party, a kiss, a moment…Find it and keep it.

24. Belt out a song at Karaoke, especially one you don’t know or with inappropriate lyrics.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

25. Watch the stars…sleep under them if possible.

26. Roll down a grassy hill with your friend (make sure there’s nothing in the way first).

27. Change your hair, not to follow a style, or to cover gray hair, or because someone tells you that you should.

28. Let go of hate.

29. Lay and watch clouds for a minimum of one hour. You’re welcome.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

30. Sit alone in a restaurant, don’t hide behind a book or your phone or pretend to be engrossed in your noodles (they’re not that fascinating). Look around, be in the moment.

31. Make an unrealistic wish on a shooting star.

32. Have a huge crush that can never be returned. It’s freeing.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

33. Follow a dream, even if everyone tells you it’s ridiculous, especially if everyone tells you it’s ridiculous.

34. Move forward. You don’t have a time machine.

35. Compassion first. Compassion second. Compassion third. You get the idea.

36. Be so completely wrong you’ll never believe how wrong you were.

37. Be so completely right no one will ever believe how right you were.

38. Visit Niagara Falls, really, any enormous waterfall will do. You will walk away with a million and half questions about the universe.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

39. Don’t follow trends or fads, do what you want, your time is limited.

40. Be like your parents.

41. Don’t be like your parents.

42. The answer to life, the universe and everything. Use it wisely and sparingly.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

43. Stop saying, ‘Life isn’t fair’. It never was.

44. Be happy with what you have and what you are – at least it’s real.

45. Have goals. Fulfill some.

46. Stop using the word ‘impossible’. Substitute ‘improbable’ if you must.

47. Spend a whole day just listening.

48. Spend a whole day telling the truth.

49. There’s no scorecard, so be yourself, quit trying to get points.

50. Life is too short to do someone else’s bucket list. Be your best you….at any age.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/19/50-things-to-get-busy-doing-before-50/

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

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

easter13

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

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

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

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

Some things we used to believe:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viva la difference!

Posted in Blogs, Canada, Chocolate, Family, Food, Parenting, Uncategorized, Weight

Old Habits Die Harder

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Don’t you think this would be a perfect title of the next Die Hard movie? Call me Bruce, we’ll talk…

Oh, you know there’s going to more, this isn’t over yet.

I woke up in the night with my leg in a bear trap. The pain was excruciating. It was dark and there was no one around to help me. As I struggled to my feet, feeling at my ankle for blood I realized I’d been dreaming. My mind, trying to process the pain of the fist-sized charley horse in my leg had incorporated it into my dream.
I’d done a prolonged and unusual activity the day before, sadly, it wasn’t nearly as exciting as it sounds. I had broken a habit of procrastination and avoidance. OK, maybe I’d at least dented the habit.

The trouble with habits, these sometimes helpful, sometimes hurtful patterns of behaviour – they so can easily become addictive and breaking them is complicated.1habits2

  • Phase 1 Some call it denial. You don’t have a problem, everybody else does. This habit isn’t hurting anyone. Phase 1 can last for years and years.

  • Phase 2 You consider you might have a bad habit and contemplate whether to part ways with the habit. This phase can also last a long time.

  • Phase 3 You start looking at the good, the bad, and addictive. I like the habits, no, I hate the habits. Pros and Cons lists are made. Arguments for and against are hotly debated in your head.

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  • Phase 4 – The most public phase. Until now you fought the habit war in your head. With action, people will know. It’s all out there. You’ll get narrow-eyed looks, comments, praise, questions, and/or criticism. But your resolve is firm.

  • Phase 5 – Staying the course. You’ve done it, kicked that habit to the curb! It’s not going to run your life, you are in charge. This is when you have to maintain. They can take our habits, but they can never take our freedom!

  • Phase 6  – When the ugly stats that 9 out of 10 people relapse back into their habits within a year. And the older the habit, the harder is it to break. You get the bad news, you have Chronic Reversion Syndrome. The tests all show, the habit is back. Your family and friends fear the worst, but you know you’re going to fight it.1habits4

In your rush to recover, you should be  careful, to change a habit, you need to move toward something new and better, not just away from the habit you’re trying to kick. Or try to replace a bad habit with a good habit.

How do you quit bad habits, dear readers?
Have you had success or like me, do you suffer from Chronic Reversion Syndrome?

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Yippee Ki-Yay,
dear readers!

Posted in Canada, Environment, Family, Music, Parenting, Political, Uncategorized

Dreaming is Free

Are teens and young people at risk for dreaming anymore?

Dreaming has become very expensive…and I think you need an app for it.

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Boomers and Gen X were well-intentioned, wanting to give our children everything. Somehow it backfired and we’re leaving them with: a broken system, crumbling infrastructure, crippling debt, dubious morals, attention issues, a yawning wealth gap, a dying planet, corrupt governments and business.
Now in our defence, we also gave them: kittens on the internet, tons of fast food, and technology that might be destroying them.

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Yet I’m still hopeful. Why? Because they are.
Many young people still want to try. They want to change things.
The media gives us the impression that all young people care about is
their smart phones, that they don’t vote, they’re unmotivated, or joining terrorist groups.
But that’s because the news is pandering – sensationalism rules.
Saving the planet isn’t sexy.
Trillions in unfunded liabilities (governments are happy if you don’t pay attention to things like this) is boring and incomprehensible.
None of this has ratings potential. Rarely goes viral. But it should. We need to stop focusing on the negative and sensational.

Have we removed our children’s ability to dream? I hope not.1agenscrewed3
Maybe it would help if we stopped calling them things like, Generation Screwed. That’s uplifting.
Profusely unemployed or underemployed, many live at home longer or return home. Debt, especially from student loans, is weighing them down. They need to have hope.

This generation, Millennials, have been given so much.
Their expectations are high. A new smart phone in their hand, and often. Big TVs, little laptops and tablets, a car to drive, fast food, clothes, trips.
Yet when they get out into the world to earn enough to have those things themselves, they hit barriers – no jobs, part-time jobs, low-income jobs, outsourcing, and even their beloved technology is plotting to steal their jobs.

They’re told to: lower their expectations; accept the new normal; the low-hanging fruit has been picked; and society has reached a plateau. Wow, way to motivate.

That should be a Graduation Speech:

Knowing that society has reached a plateau and all the low-hanging fruit has been picked, we’re all going back home to live with our parents until we’re 40 or so. 1agenscrewed4
This is the new normal, having lowered our expectations of ever getting a decent job or a home.
We accept this is the way things are.
And in conclusion, check out this viral video of a zebra that can paint its own toenails.

 

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

Take your time, hurry up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Autism, Books, Parenting, Uncategorized

There are worse things I could do

Spring has sprung, 1anxiety4
the grass has riz
and everywhere
the birdies is.

That was my Dad’s way of letting us know, it was Spring.

On this beautiful Spring-like day, I’m settling for the sin of cleaning.
Cleaning, sinful? For someone with Asperger’s, who like things a certain way and don’t like changes, it’s a terrible transgression.
It’s all how we see things – making things fresh and clean or adding lots of weird smells and moving things, possibly moving them out of order?
I clean less than Martha Stewart, but my son, the Aspie thinks I clean way too much. Which got me thinking about balance.1anxiety8

1anxiety1Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrum by Lee A, Wilkinson, PhD (Jessica Kingsley Publishers), was a timely book to read today when I borrowed the digital copy from Netgalley.com for an honest review.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help people restore balance, whether they’re on the Autism Spectrum or not.
It’s about changing your way of thinking.
Taking a bad, sad, mad, or scary thought and changing how you look at it.
It’s like taking a old, clean sock, soaking it in equal parts water and vinegar and using it to clean your blinds and windows so you can see more clearly.
Don’t forget to use the other sock to dry them.

There’s nothing wrong with being sad, mad, or scared, but how we handle those thoughts can be like washing a cast iron pan with soap and water instead of coarse salt and water. We want it to last and reach its full potential, so don’t forget TLC (for the pan, some oil).

CBT helps manage and overcome difficulties, in a straightforward way, making a complicated situation less so.
Like when you use your blender, helpful, but now it’s messy. Instead of taking it apart to clean, or trying to clean around the blades, potentially causing more harm, pour in hot water and dish soap, lid on, then blend. Just rinse, dry and store.
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Wilkinson is excellent at explaining the anxiety, depression, and isolation caused by social skills deficits and cognitive issues, and how they can be alleviated and managed through CBT.
Too often people with anxiety or depression are told to: just stop, grow up, smarten up, man up, or they’re defective or attention-seeking, etc.
Trying to clean a cutting board used for cutting raw chicken with only soap and water or bleach. Think that fixes the problem?
1anxiety7No, but a lemon cut in half with salt on it would do the trick.

So there are worse things I can do than Spring cleaning…if we find the right balance, there’s little or no anxiety for my son and our home is sparkling.

For now.

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

Sharks Do Get Cancer

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

We used to believe:

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

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

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

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

The myth has outgrown its origins.

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

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

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

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

Welcome to my Nightmare

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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, Christmas, Family, Parenting, Televison

I Miss Saturday Morning Cartoons

1bull18I loved Saturday morning cartoons and other programs as a child…yeah, that’s it, only as a child.

I even willingly (more or less) went to bed Friday nights so I could get up early to watch cartoons like:
Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Hour,

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Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear (hey Boo-Boo!), Space Ghost,
Jabberjaw, The Banana Splits, The Pink Panther Show, The Jetsons, The Flintstones,

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1bull8Josie and the Pussycats (ok, they went to outer space;
smart, getting a bigger audience share), Shazam!,
Superfriends, Batman, Superman, Grape Ape,
Fantastic Four,
various Captain Caveman,
Harlem Globetrotters, Schoolhouse Rock,  
The Addams Family (the ill-fated cartoon version),
Return of the Planet of the Apes, Land of the Lost,
The New Shmoo, The New Adventures of Gilligan,

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Godzilla (with Godzooky), Spiderman, Smurfs, Ewoks,
Star Trek (sigh, yes, boldly going into cartoons),
Cucumber Club (I was a member), Blackstar,
Inch High Private Eye, Fat Albert, Speed Racer,
Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Tom and Jerry,
The Banana Splits, Underdog, H.R. Puff’n’Stuff,
Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Droopy Dog,

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Mighty Mouse, Hong Kong Phooey (before political correctness),
and probably more that I can’t think of off the top of my head.

Just so you understand how sad this is, I can still sing all the words to all these theme songs.

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A graphic novel like Rocky and Bullwinkle takes me back to a simpler time. I know how old that makes me sound, but there it is.

Even as I read Rocky and Bullwinkle #1: The Psychic Sidekick by Roger Langridge (IDW Publishing/Diamond Book Distributors), I marvelled at the blatant anti-Soviet/Russian sentiment and thought, hmmm, I see why it’s making a comeback. Amuse children and adults, but wait, there’s more, also a propaganda tool! While not quite as funny as I remembered, but both R&B and Dudley Do-Right are still amusing in a cheesy way. Sometimes when they recycle these oldies but goodies they ruin them by modernizing or making them too politically correct, but no squirrel and moose are just as old school silly, yahoo!

1bull1So when did Saturday morning cartoons die and why?
VCRs then other recording devices, cable, internet, video games, etc. were the beginning.

Animation changed, more as a business, with little art involved.

Needing children to be ‘busy’ every minute of their day was a big factor. Pushing for more ‘quality’ family time that involved paid activities, traveling, etc. another.

1bull29When I was young, quality time with my parents came later in the day, after they had slept in – their reward for a long work week.
My brother and I foraged for food, cereal or toast, leftover soup or spaghetti, if you were lucky, cold pizza from the night before. There were simple rules to Saturday morning: try to be quiet (I’m sure my brother and I were awesome at this rule) and don’t make a mess (if you do, clean it up). I think it taught my brother and I independence, and we enjoyed the time together.

There have been other changes in society. The divorce rate has increased significantly since then and now many children live between homes.
More recreational sports now. Anything else?

There are still many cartoons, but available anytime…

I kind of miss the days when you saw The Grinch and Charlie Brown’s Christmas once a year at Christmas, and cartoons only on Saturday morning.

Life should have seemed limited, but instead we just felt lucky to see them, not entitled.

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Posted in Autism, Cats, Family, Parenting, Uncategorized

It’s A Cat’s World…Adjust

It’s World Cat Day and I think that’s a tad unfair, isn’t everyday Cat Day, well, at least they think so.1cat20

I don’t currently share my home with any feline characters unless I count my son who has Asperger’s (see earlier post, https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/27/all-cats-have-asperger-syndrome/ ), but I’ve had a lot of experience in their world.

My friend George (loved Curious George) was pure black except for a white bib and apron. George liked to sit on the front porch, even more on Halloween where he got maximum effect. He lost one half of an ear being out in the cold; we lived in Coniston, near Sudbury, it was very cold at times. In those days most cats were outdoor cats, this also led to us calling his name or saying, bad George which got a hearty laugh from my Grandfather because his brother, George lived right across the street.

Other cat friends?

Candace, regrettably insane; eventually needed little kitty pills to keep her calm (those were sooooo much fun to give her). My Mom let my Dad take me to the SPCA to find a kitten. We were two big saps who came home with a tiny runt kitten who needed to be fed with an eye dropper for days and the SPCA said they would replace her when she passed away. I didn’t want her replaced, I loved her. Candace lived 17 years. I don’t think she had many other fans.

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Note how we picked a cat to match the groovy 70s carpet and furniture.

We had Tanis (yes, my Raiders of the Lost Ark phase, which I’m sort of still in) who my Mom (the only one of the family who professes not to be a cat person), saved when someone threw it out of a car. We couldn’t keep her because of Candace, er, aforementioned krazy kitty. We found her a good home.

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There was also Xena and Luna who were lovely. Luna had to find a new home because she decided she wanted to play with my son as a baby, just his head. And Xena, her sister had to find another home when I found out my son had Asthma.

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No cats since.

If you do get a kitten or cat, please, adopt from an animal shelter or rescue; or family or friend.

Our extended family has had so many beautiful cats over the years, we don’t think of them as pets so much as companions.
They think of us as staff.

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Posted in Autism, Books, Christmas, Cooking, Environment, Family, Fibromyalgia, Food, Holidays, Internet, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Parenting, Political, Televison, Uncategorized, Weight, Zombies

My 1 Year Blogaversary!

1birthday10August 8, 2013 wow, that seems like a lifetime ago.

That blog post was, Fibromyalgia is a  Four Letter Word (it still is).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/08/fibromyalgia-is-a-four-letter-word/

Since then I’ve made a lot of mistakes, did I say a lot I meant a ton, or perhaps a tad more; probably said a lot of things people don’t agree with; and had some wanting-to-pull-my-hair-out moments, no worries, it’s still there, more or less.

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I’ve learned a lot. Had some revelations about people I thought would be supportive, turns they weren’t, and still aren’t.

I’ll take it as a life lesson.

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Plenty more people have been extremely supportive.
Thank you to family and friends, those who have pressed like, or shared, or reblogged, or followed, or subscribed, tweeted and retweeted, given me awards, or a combination. It means more than you’ll ever know, really.

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I have 1birthday6‘virtually’ met some awesome people who are kind, supportive, funny, helpful, generous, hopeful, caring, and have mind-blowing things to say and they share it. Thank you.

This year has opened up new portals for me.

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I’m reading books I might never have read, learned things I didn’t know my brain could learn, but most of all it’s given me hope that maybe I can be more, it’s given me a glimpse of me, a me that I sometimes fear is gone forever.

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So please join me for this virtual celebration of my 1st Blogaversary or Blogversary or maybe it’s a blogbirthday!

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Drop by and say hi, read some of my older posts, apparently there are like 450 of them, hey, I did warn you with the tagline, Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure.

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Have a slice of virtual cake, wear a silly hat and join me for another year of who knows what!!!

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Posted in Autism, Books, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

Sometimes simple and straightforward are best.1cats1

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) explains Asperger’s Syndrome perfectly. And it has adorable pictures of cats being adorable.

This delightful and deceptively minimal book is the first book you should read if someone you love is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (also called Aspergers Syndrome, or Asperger Syndrome, or Asperger’s, or Aspergers).sheldon6

The only downside? Like Sheldon Cooper (played so brilliantly by Jim Parsons) on The Big Bang Theory, it makes it sound much cuter than it usually is; for those who have it and those who love them. Or Sherlock Holmes (take your pick, the most recent, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller) which makes it seem exciting…Or all the other examples of Aspergian or High-Functioning Autism on TV, in movies or books.

The truth, it’s difficult, frustrating, wonderful, sad, amazing, and confusing…for all concerned.

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IM000556.JPGThere are many great books I would recommend, but these are quite helpful, informative and above all, accessible.
Borrow them from a friend, library, or Autism association; or purchase them in store or online.

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome – Dr. Tony Attwood; Inside Asperger’s Looking Out – Kathy Hoopmann; An Asperger Dictionary of Everyday Expressions – Ian Stuart-Hamilton; Kids in the Syndrome Mix – Martin L Kutscher, MD; The Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome – Patricia Romanowski Bashe & Barbara L. Kirby (Harmony Books); The Autism Discussion Page on the Core Challenges of Autism – Bill Nason (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)1cats10The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Asperger’s Syndrome – William Stillman (Adams Media)
The Asperger’s Answer Book – Susan Ashley, Ph.D. (Sourcebooks, Inc.)
Empowered Autism Parenting – William Stillman (Jossey-Bass)
The Fabric of Autism – Judith Bluestone (Sapphire Enterprises, LLC)
How To Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s – Jennifer McIlwee Myers (Future Horizons)
Quirky, Yes Hopeless, No – Cynthia La Brie Norall, Ph.D w/ Beth Wagner Brust (St. Martin’s Griffin)1cats9

Thank goodness for Jessica Kingsley Publishers, I don’t know what I would have done without them.

If your child, spouse, friend, or yourself is diagnosed – don’t panic!

HHgttg don't panic
1cats3Media, doom and gloomers, people holding mock funerals for their children when they’re diagnosed, etc., even those who wish to help can intentionally or unintentionally scare you.
Don’t get caught up in the conflict people, people that love to make everything a drama.
Don’t hyper-focus on people ‘understanding’, including your family or friends, how could they understand? Just hope they’re supportive.
Focus on helping the person you love.
They’re still the same person, you just have a diagnosis that will aid you and others, to help them.
Helping the person you love find the skills and resources is taxing enough without adding fuss.

It’s also important to remember Autism isn’t a straight road, there are many, many twists and turns, ups and downs.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ~Confusius

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My son has Asperger’s and several medical conditions, but is doing better than anyone would have predicted.
Yet when a setback comes along, a medical procedure; other anxiety-provoking situations, people, challenges; illness, or something that is overwhelming I have to remember, it may seem like one step forward, two back, but he still took that one step forward.

But it’s still been a long few days.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

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Posted in Family, Parenting, Uncategorized

Building Decks With Dad

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It’s not as though me and my Dad built decks for a living or built lots of decks together.

We built one deck together. It took us a few days. And by us I mean mostly my Dad.

Up front, I’m not sure whether I was more of a help or hindrance.

I recall smashing my thumb with a hammer. Dad said, more or less, “Great, your Mom is going to kill me”, with a laugh. It was a family joke. She understood. I had suffered many injuries in the care of everyone, as well as those that happened while with friends, in school, alone. I was known as clumsy. Turns out I actually had: Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, and Hypermobile Joint Syndrome. It’s very possible I’m also clumsy.

Why was I at the camp (some call them cottages or summer home, in Northern Ontario, they’re called camps) helping my Dad with the deck? I seemed an unlikely choice, but my older brother who was actually helpful in building situations was away at university and everyone else was working. My Dad was on vacation and we needed a deck at the camp.

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We’d work during the day and in the evening we’d have supper then ice cream, watch TV, I’d read to my Dad, or we’d both read to ourselves…and we’d talk.

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You may have noticed I refer to my father as Dad, never my father because he’s a Dad, always. Funny, smart, sweet, sometimes annoying, sometimes really annoying, kind, and fun. He loved friends and family, cars, talking about cars, looking at cars, fixing cars, driving cars, watching cars, taking pictures of cars and with cars, also, cats, beer, eating, TV, movies, working, laughing, dancing; he was a gentleman and a gentle man, hopelessly silly…and always a Dad to me and my brother.scan0010

There’s never a picture of him where that mischievous twinkle isn’t in his eye except when he had dark sunglasses on, but we know the twinkle’s still there.

I’m not sure we were always aware of how lucky we were to have a Mom & Dad, not just a Mother & Father. We did always know we were loved. Of course, look at us, we were adorable. I love my Mom & Dad today and every day.

I have lived at least six or seven lifetimes in the past 30 or so years since those days at the camp. I wish my memory was perfect or more robust, but the happiness I felt in that time has never faded in my heart.

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Enjoy the times you have because you never know until later those times were actually treasures.

Happy Dad’s Day to all those men who care enough to be Dads, not just fathers!

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Posted in Books, Environment, Holidays, Parenting, Political, Uncategorized

Earth Day? Really? Just One?

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1. We only have one planet. Unless we find a way to boldly go where no one has gone before, we might want to be nicer to it.

2. The first Earth Day was celebrated 44 years ago, founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson (Democrat Wisconsin). Earth Day went international in 1990. Here in Canada we are regressing in our fight for our planet. How about your country, how are they doing?

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3. To bring awareness to this beautiful blue planet we call home, NASA is throwing the #GlobalSelfie event. So you take a selfie (duck lips and model poses optional) of yourself outside, post it using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. NASA will use the images to generate a Blue Marble/Earth out of all the photos.

4. There are still those who don’t believe in climate change. Did you spread some more carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, Stratospheric ozone depleters, and other fun toxins today? Don’t worry about it, we’ll be gone before it gets too bad, let our children and their children live the nightmare we’re creating.

5. Canada is a large country with only 36 million people yet we are ambitious, we always try to get in to the Top 10 of World polluters. Wow, so proud…not.

6. Lyrid meteor shower peaked during the early hours of Earth Day this year (visible most of the week depending on your location, weather conditions, etc.). We need to enjoy the amazing gift we live on. earth6

7. There are places in the world, including Alberta (Home of the Tar Sands/Oil Sands), etc. where some people celebrate Earth Hour, Earth Day, Green Week by deliberately running all their appliances, vehicles, etc. to burn as much energy and fuel as possible. Seriously. I know I live in the same country as them, but I really think we exist on different planes of dimension.

"Pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space cause there’s bugger all down her on Earth." ~Monty Python

“Pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.” ~Monty Python’s Meaning of Life

8. Over 70% of our stunning, astonishing planet is water yet millions of people don’t have access to clean water. We’re systematically polluting and destroying our oceans, rivers, lakes, etc. as well the earth, air, and ourselves. 

9. What messages are we sending to our children and grandchildren with our over-consumption? People will celebrate holidays like: Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving (especially Black Friday), Halloween, Valentine’s Day, but don’t celebrate Earth Day. I guess shopping and Earth Day wouldn’t go well together. So if the schools weren’t pushing it, how much would we participate?

10. Enjoy the Earth Day celebrations, but remember, when the photo ops are done, the trees planted, the walks done, we’re still destroying the planet today and the other 364 days of the year. Protect your home, the Earth.

Make peace with the planet. Happy Earth Day every day!!!

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Posted in Books, Christmas, Holidays, Movies, Music, Parenting, Political, Televison, Uncategorized, Weight

SCARCITY

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We stand in line for various new smart phones.

We have to decide between multiple versions of coffee. There are literally too many TV shows and movies to watch.

Too many pod casts, audio books, and musicians to listen to.

Too many books to read.

Giant grocery stores where you practically need a GPS to find your way around. I just wanted an apple. Sure, there are 20 varieties. Aaaaargh.

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Huge malls where you need maps, like you’re on an Indiana Jones adventure.

Clothes, shoes, jewellery, cars, toys, restaurants, tablets, bars, news, clubs, blogs, theaters, social media, stores, computers, alcohol, laptops, medications, make-up, information, games, video games, apps, services, oh my!

We’re destroying our future and our children’s futures so we can have stuff.

We’re being controlled by our ability to choose.

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Scarcity is unknown to too many of us. It’s difficult to even comprehend people still live in squalor with no safe water, no heat or cooling, no medical care, selling themselves, dying, even selling their children for food.

Comfort and abundance has lead to sloth, entitlement, intolerance, apathy, and waste.

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“Having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting; it is not logical but it is often true.” ~Spock

The less you have the more you appreciate it. People dreaming of winning the lottery are often happier than those who win it.

Ever been eating something delicious and realize it’s almost gone? Those last few bites are savoured.

Reading a book, watching a show, time with family or friends – all taken for granted until you realize they’re almost over.

You’ll actually use less toothpaste as the tube empties, without conscious thought.

The last days of your vacation you’ll do more.cityscar9

You’d think we’d be happier with more things, more choices. If stuff made us happy why are more people on meds for stress and depression with higher debt, more drama, more shopping, more self-help books, more diets…apparently more isn’t always better.

If you have one glass you will take care of that glass, cherish it because otherwise you will have difficulty drinking.
If you have one pair of shoes, you will treasure those shoes for without them you will walk in bare feet.

I’m not advocating poverty, just moderation. The ‘M’ word was more popular before we were told by corporations selling us stuff that we needed more stuff.

I love having the ability to choose, but there comes a point, especially with products and services that super saturation directs us to confusion, stress, worry, and disorder.

Abundance should be shared.

When will we ever have enough?

The book Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir (Times Books/Henry Holt and Company) is a well-written, amusing, comprehensive explanation with examples of why scarcity is so important. Scarcity in all forms. I borrowed it from the library…one less book.

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Posted in Autism, Canada, Family, Internet, Parenting, Uncategorized

15 Things I’m Aware of on World Autism Awareness Day

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1. April is Autism Awareness Month.

2. April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day.

3. Today and all through April there will be more talk, more posts, more ads, more stuff sold, more people arguing about what caused Autism and still the numbers of children with Autism will rise.

4. For me everyday is Autism day. My son is brilliant, funny, clever, handsome, and amazing; he also happens to have Autism.

5. Children are being diagnosed with Autism in record numbers. Businesses, charities, celebrities, etc. are making record profits off the fears and vulnerabilities of parents.

6. Governments may say they’re aware and are doing a lot, but in truth, they just aren’t doing nearly enough.

7. Some parents hold mock funerals when their child is diagnosed with Autism. Is it just me or is that super creepy?

8. There are opautism13en doubters, closet doubters, haters, blamers, whiners, name-callers, bullies, accusers…the list goes on. None of that makes my child better.

9. The many voices for Autism, from whispers of hope to screams of anger to cries of despair can be heard throughout the world, not just today, but everyday.

10. There are plenty of theories and things people blame for Autism, yet to date, no single cause has been proven.

11. My child has Asperger’s Syndrome, he’s on the Autism Spectrum. He doesn’t need saving. He needs to be happy. Live up to his amazing potential. In that way, he’s the same as every other child.

12. Finding out my son had Autism didn’t change anything, I loved him just as much as ever.

13. Some people see my son as someone to be pitied, or mocked, or bullied, or judged, or labelled, or ignored. If some people took off their intolerance goggles they’d see who people really are.autism9

14. Autism used to terrify me, now I see that’s it’s different, not bad or scary or less, just different. Who ever said different was awful? Neurodiversity Now!!!

15. When something or someone is hurting our children we could easily be angry, sad, frustrated, depressed, look for reasons, excuses or someone to blame. Instead we need to focus on helping our children and finding the real cause.

So on this day and others, remember, Autism is just a word, the real story is in each child and who they really are.autism5

 

Posted in Books, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Movies, Music, Parenting, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

War on Christmas

chrisstmas10There’s a War on Christmas? Using terms like Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings suggest that Christmas is being attacked? Wow, I didn’t know Christmas was that insecure or vulnerable. Kind of makes a mockery out of the soldiers who fight in real wars.

I love Christmas. Especially what used to be the spirit of Christmas. People caring about others. Although that seems to have dimmed over the years. Now it’s about rushing and shopping and whining and complaining and First World Problems

Stores use terms like Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to allegedly be inclusive. It’s really to extend the shopping period. The sustained commercialism has made for sustained greetings. To sell more.
Christmas decorations in malls, city streets, etc. up before Halloween, before Remembrance Day.
They blast Christmas music into stores for months.
Santa Claus parades block the streets.
More cars congest the streets and highways.
Christmas movies swarming the airwaves for 2-3 months per year.

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Others started using Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings to reflect the Christian holiday wasn’t the only religious or non-religious celebration this time of year. Wait, we wouldn’t want to include others in a time of giving.

What about people who don’t celebrate Christmas? Or those who don’t want it extended? Can you imagine Christmas if you weren’t Christian? Or maybe didn’t like Christmas? Or don’t have family and friends to celebrate with?
You can’t go to a store to get a pair of socks without crowds; blaring Christmas songs; people running around like it’s the zombie apocalypse (that might be more fun); low or no stock; and very harried store personnel.

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I suppose some believe the ‘Christ’ part of Christmas is being attacked. Times have changed, people seem to worship their cell phones more than Christ. And I doubt all the scandals that have rocked the various religions have helped.

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Does someone saying Happy Holidays offend you? Does it offend Christ? If you have a strong faith in something, don’t you believe despite the odds?
If you receive a Christmas card that says Season’s Greetings does it make the fact that someone bought a card, wrote in it, addressed it, sent it to you via snail mail mean less?

The term, War on Christmas was popularized by a FOX News host, that should tell you something. Politicians, pundits, celebrities, charities all exploit Christmas to further their agendas just as many corporations, stores, charities, churches, etc exploit it to make money. John Gibson was simply regurgitating the whining with his book, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse than You Thought.

Yet Christmas is bigger than ever. Santa is still selling Coke. Jesus is still praised at midnight masses. The War On Christmas is failing. Commercialism is still going strong.

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If you want Christ in Christmas, he’s there.
If you want the Grinch in Christmas, he’s there. If you want to just enjoy the season…enjoy it.

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Looks like we’re stuck with Christmas three months a year and for me, it’s a bit much, but it doesn’t steal away my love of Christmas…but it does keep me away from shopping.

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Posted in Awards, Music, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized

Blurred Miley Lines

Someone needs to explain to me why people are shocked and/or appalled by performances or images, especially from the MTV Awards. They do it to get attention. We give it to them. It’s about money.  It’s about power. It’s about fame. Image Miley Cyrus is not the first nor will she be the last to be provocative when singing, dancing, acting, modelling, etc.

Sex sells.

She follows in the footsteps of :Image

Grace Jones, Cherie Currie, Shirley Manson, Tina Turner, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Joan Jett, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Shakira, Fergie, Alexis Krauss, Selena Gomez, Nico, Samantha Fox, Spice Girls, Brody Dalle, Debbie Harry, Poison Ivy, Poly Styrene, Cher, Bif Naked, Kim Gordon, Pink, Shania Twain, Sabrina Sabrok, Carrie Brownstein, Viv Albertine, Wendy O. Williams,  Image

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Siouxsie Sioux, Nicki Minaj, Exene Cervenka, Gwen Stefani, Chrissy Amphlett, Ke$ha, Pussycat Dolls, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Jenny Lewis, Penelope Houston, Pat Benatar, Katy Perry, Amy Miret, Britney Spears, Mya, Grace Slick, Courtney Love, Liz Phair and I could go on.

The point is, Ms. Cyrus wants to kill off Hannah Montana to get rich and famous on her own, not on her Daddy’s achy break coat tails. She’s doing a trashy, calculated, brilliant job. Robin Thicke wants to be rich and famous (again, not on his Daddy’s coat tails, hey, see the pattern?) so he agreed to hook up with Ms. Cyrus to be bumped’n’grinded into history.

There’s a simple solution if you find Ms. Cyrus, MTV, etc. too crass, vulgar and rude – don’t watch it. Don’t let your children watch it. If adults want to watch celebrities behaving badly, let them.

I didn’t find Ms. Cyrus’ performance shocking (unless you count that Blurred Lines is clearly stolen from Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up); then again, it wasn’t overly interesting either. She’s a performer. She was performing. Just like she was performing when she was pretending to be Hannah Montana. miley3

Maybe the problem isn’t with the performers, but with the public who can’t differentiate between fantasy and reality. The entire purpose of the MTV Awards is to get attention. It works.

If you don’t like it, turn if off. Image