Posted in finances, money

Can’t Buy Me Love

Money, money changes everything. 💰 A penny saved is a penny earned (except in Canada, we don’t have pennies). Money can’t buy happiness (but it sure would be fun to try). Money Talks. 🤑 Not enough month at the end of my money. Money is the root of all evil. 💲Money’s Too Tight (To Mention). Can’t Buy Me Love. 💰 A light purse is a heavy curse.

Here’s some ways to save…

1. Money Talks

Stay connected. Stay safe. Zoom meetings help you stay connected and a Zoom account is free (40 min time limit/unlimited on holidays). If you do need a paid account, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. For example, I received a 20% discount off Zoom for the group I founded, “Chronic Not Hopeless”. We’re a free (donations gratefully accepted but not expected, etransfer: chronicnothopeless@gmail.com) supporting each other group. There’s also, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Discord, etc. 

“It’s easy to meet expenses, everywhere we go, there they are.” ~Anonymous

2. Money Money Money

Do you love streaming, but not the cost of streaming? There are some “free” alternatives, when it comes to streaming (but don’t be fooled and keep an eye out, some become decidedly less free and others more free!). Though we don’t have as many options here in Canada as larger population countries, but times are achangin’, so stay tuned. Here are few, including but not limited to:

  • Tubi (free and fantastic).
  • Food Network
  • Pluto TV
  • YTV
  • Slice
  • Vice
  • TVO/TVO Kids
  • CBC/GEM
  • OMNI
  • APTN lumi
  • BET
  • The Weather Network
  • CPAC
  • HGTV
  • Food Network
  • Classic Cinema Online
  • Knowledge: Kids (even has “Paw Patrol”)
  • Roku channel (if you stream on Roku)
  • Kanopy
  • Hoopla
  • PopcornFlix
  • Crackle
  • Filmrise various channels
  • CTV/Global (limited)
  • Also, you can buy an indoor digital TV antenna or an outdoor antenna…there are so many ways to save and see!

Plus, look for Free Trials (many streaming services are, sadly, removing their “free” trials, for example, Netflix and Disney Plus) of streaming/music/reading services.  Here’s a few available now, including but not limited to:

  • Acorn TV
  • Britbox
  • Crave/HBO/HBO Max/TMN
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Prime Video/Kindle Unlimited/Audible
  • Apple TV/Apple Music
  • Amazon Music
  • YouTube/YouTube Premium
  • Sirius Canada
  • PBS
  • Sundance Now
  • Crunchyroll
  • Shudder
  • Smithsonian
  • Funimation
  • Discovery Channel
  • and more!

Watch and see if they’re right for you. Note the start date of your free trial and cancel if you don’t like them. Cancel a few days before, you’ll still have the preview to the end of the trial. Easy-“stay home”-“stay safe”-“stay connected”-free-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

“The safest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket.” – Kin Hubbard💲

3. Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)

Like cash? Make some, legally, with coupons, contests, samples, and surveys! Clip, click, print, check your mail, check your email, and scan. I save a lot of money with coupons, sometimes even getting items free (what a lovely word, I never get tired of hearing or seeing it). If you’re into it, there’s also lots of free samples, promo codes, discounts, coupons, contests, and surveys out there: Savealoonie, Lifepoints, Save.ca, Samplesource, Websaver, Lifepoints, Smartcanucks, Pinecone Research, Swagbucks, Asking Canadians, and so, so many more. Sometimes, I get freebies, coupons, samples for items I don’t want or use, but get them anyway. so I give them to others. Find more ways to save and places to find savings online through frugality blogs and other websites. If you have suggestions for ways to save, please leave them in the comment box below. I love to learn. I love to save.💲

Money often costs too much.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Cheap Thoughts/Money For Nothing

Now look at them yo-yos, that’s the way you do it
You blog and vlog and record, loading on the inter-net

They say, blogging, that ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your clicks for free

Money for nothin’, clicks for free…

Truth is, blogging, vlogging, YouTubing, social media, etc., these are work, not money for nothing, not clicks for free and I’ve heard rumours some people make quite a living from it, er, not me, but I live in hope…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/02/02/theres-no-crying-in-blogging/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/09/20/youre-welcome/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/09/18/head-over-heels/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/11/07/can-you-feel-the-blog-love-tonight/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/

Whatever your reasons for wanting to blog: fame, fortune, emptying your brain (clearly, that’s mine), etc., you’ll need to dive into the challenging and sometimes murky depths of blogging, vlogging, social media, YouTubing, etc. You don’t have to be in Dire Straits to want to save or make money and there are many free or cheap blogging/vlogging platforms and editors, WordPress, Wix, Blogger, Weebly, Tumblr, Ghost, Medium, LinkedIn, Quik, Splice, Anchor, Filmora, VidLab, InShot, iMovie, Adobe, Vizmato, and well, tons more…and of course, YouTube. Will you be a viral sensation? Who knows, you’ll never know until you try.

“When people say they want to be rich and famous, just try rich and see if that doesn’t get most of it for you.” ~Bill Murray

5. Money Changes Everything

Groupon. Make sure you read the fine print (always good advice, for every single thing in life). I’ve found some great deals there, including but not limited to: Costco memberships with Shop cards/products that negate the amount of your membership (really!); pizza (anyone who says money can’t buy happiness, has never paid for a pizza or the makings of a pizza, yes, you can make pizza at home!). Oh, and I paid $4 for a movie w/ popcorn and a drink – I went and saw that movie in a theater, remember those? Back in the good old days when we went to a place, went inside the building, with other people, sat in seats, beside other people, and watched a movie.

“Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.” ~Bob Marley

6. Money Honey

Get paid to shop! Music to our ears and our wallets (virtual or otherwise). That’s exactly what some apps do, like: Rakuten Canada (formerly Ebates), Caddle, Checkout 51, Airmiles, PC Optimum, Petro-Points, Shopper Army, Swagbucks, Plum Rewards (the free version), The Mission Store, David’s Tea, The Body Shop, and so, so many more – look them up! And don’t forget to add the Honey, an app that checks for online coupons and can save you even more!💲

I been shaking two nickels together for a month, trying to get them to mate.” ~Raymond Chandler

7. Love Don’t Cost a Thing

Libraries aren’t just buildings with books (but seriously, books are awesome!!!). #booklove don’t cost a thing when you use your library, especially now many libraries are fine free (you should still return your items in a timely manner). Also, many library resources are now digital: ebooks, e-audio books, streaming – and they’re returned automatically. Did you know many libraries offer free language programs, free programs like “The Great Courses”, free newspapers, free magazines, craft videos, etc. And so much more!!! Also, most cities allow you to get a non-resident card for a small fee. Go online, check it out, what do you have to lose?

Look around your neighbourhood for “Little Free Libraries” – take a book, leave a book. Truly a community spirit exercise. Sharing is caring, in so many ways.

“Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.” ~Zig Ziglar

8. Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)

Price/Ad Matching – you can bring a flyer (not so much now, but “BC” – “Before Covid”, or show an app on a smartphone (ie. Flipp, Reebee, etc.) from one store to another, just show it to clerk and get items cheaper. Of course, an easy, amazing way to save is sales. These can also be combined with sale/reward/points items.

A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” ~Jonathan Swift

9. Easy Money

It doesn’t have to be complicated, look close to home. Look around your place. If you have the time and energy, cooking, canning, preserving, and baking are shockingly easy ways to save money. As well, decluttering, repurposes, sewing, mending, knitting, DIY, gardening, and so much more. I love the Depression Era saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”.

“I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.” ~George Carlin

10. If I Had a Million Dollars

Sort through your “treasures”: those hidden and not-so-hidden gems collecting dust, or being used to hang clothes on; those just-in-case; might-fit-me-someday; what-if-I-need-it? stuff; maybe stored — sell them, donate them, give them away, swap them, etc. Wave a magic wand and like Harry Potter, “Evanesco!”, poof, it will all go away and you’ll be left with money, or a sense of giving, or both. Note: remove animate objects like family, friends or pets from the room before using this spell.

“The four most expensive words in the English language are, ‘This time it’s different.’” ~Sir John Templeton

11. Price Tag

Why pay more for “new”? Buy gently loved, previously loved, new to you. In this wildly consumer-driven culture, we too often “Dumpit to Crumpit”. Though luckily, many people also generously donate. Treasures to be found at: thrift stores, secondhand stores, mission stores, Salvation Army, Goodwill, yard sales/garage sale, Buy Nothing groups, swap groups, eBay, marketplace, Etsy (some new stuff, handmade) many of these places now are online as well! Don’t let perfectly lovely things go to the trash heap when you can give them new life.

The best things in life are free. But you can give them to the birds and bees, I need money (That’s what I want).~The Beatles + The Flying Lizards + The Kingsmen + Jennell Hawkins (etc.)

12. Take The Money and Run

There are endless free things to see and do in your community. Explore your neighbourhood. Go for lovely walks in your parks. Parks are an amazing resource, ready for anything: Walks. Cycling. Picnics. Tai Chi. Yoga. Boating. Ice skating. Jogging. Fishing. Photography. Martial arts. Bird watching. People watching. Playing. Pausing. I love walking through our Ponds – though I live in a large, very busy city, when I step in here, I’m in the woods

Get out there and discover!

I’m having an out-of-money experience.” ~Author Unknown

13. Taxman

The Taxman (or taxperson) cometh, but no need to run out a pay big bucks for tax programs, a person, or company, the government gives you all that, online to do your taxes, free and well, I can’t say easy, taxes are so needlessly complicated, the least they can do is not make you pay even more for tax programs.💲

“The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30% of their ice cream.” ~Bill Murray 🍦🍦🍦

14. Too Much Month at the End of the Money

Happy Birthday! Lots of places give birthday “treats” – free stuff or discounts, etc. Don’t feel comfortable giving your “real” date of birth, make yourself a few years younger. But remember, sometimes age does matters! Specifically with Student Discounts, Veterans Discounts, Healthcare Workers, Senior Discounts (some start as low as 55 – the new 45?), etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts at: stores, restaurants, education, pharmacies, thrift stores, travel, car rentals, banking, hotels, entertainment, museums, galleries, and so many more! Get free ice cream, discounts, books, cookies, and so much more.

If money doesn’t grow on trees, why do banks have branches?

15. Keep Your Eye on the Money

Online is filled with reasonably priced or even free programs, courses, resources, webinars, etc.  For example, how about Mindful Art (please feel free to join “Chronic Not Hopeless Mindful Art” and other programs (free!) on Zoom, contact: chronicnnothopeless@gmail.com for more info, links, questions, to volunteer, etc.) There’s also Art Therapy and keep in mind, you don’t have to be an artist to benefit from art therapy; it’s a fun activity to do while reminding yourself of your value. For example, check out “Paint It Out! Theurapetic Art” with Salima Andany, BSW, Cert. ExAT & Sandtray Therapist paintitouttherapeuticart@gmail.com

Any other recommendations?

How about online education, for free!

These are just a small sampling. Before you throw large amounts of money at courses, programs, webinars, there are many for reasonable prices, or even for free!

Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?” ~John Barrymore 

16. Cheap Thrills

Of course, YouTube – the vast universe of stuff at your fingertips!!!
Travel the world and beyond. Meditation. Mindfulness. Cooking. CPR. Chess. “Graham Norton”. Health videos (beware). Card games. Board games,. Video games. “Honest Trailers”. Baking. Gaming. Knitting. Life hacks. Magic tricks. Sewing. Quilting. Coding. Household repairs. Shoe repairs. Car repairs.
Want to know how to cut an onion without crying?

Decluttering. Organizing. Tips and tricks. Sourdough tricks. Exercise videos. Modern and classic TV and movies. Learn languages including: “Dothraki”, “Klingon”, “Elvish”,
“Parseltongue”, “Huttese”
 and even some “real” languages.
How to budget (oh no, the “b” word!). Live performance and concerts. Music videos and events. Lip Sync Battles. Cat videos, so many cat videos. How to make masks. How to sell on eBay. How to fight a shark…

How to do just about anything. Find most any (and I mean any) fix. Find “news”…from anywhere in the world (galaxy?). Find reviews. Find stuff that make you snooze…Thank you: Dolly Parton (for sharing your love of books with so many children with “Dolly’s Imagination Library”), and so many others for reading us bedtime and other wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, you know, stories, poems, sonnets thus keeping our spirits up and our hearts and minds soothed, all for good causes. Get online and explore.

“I’m so poor I can’t even pay attention.” ~Ron Kittle

17. Mo Money, No Problems

Want to make memes, posters, social media posts, presentations, brochure, marketing, cards, flyers, infographic, resumes, logos, postcards, photo collage, invitations, banners, business cards, desktop wallpaper, thumbnails, and more? There are many free options (with options to pay for “more”), such as, but not limited to: Canva, vistacreate (formerly Crello), imgflip, Filmora, Memegenerator, Digifloat, Makeameme, Wondershare Pixstudio, Snappa, Quickmeme, etc.

It frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.~Groucho Marx

18. Can’t Buy Me Love

Can’t buy me love! And…

  • Walking – free.
  • Loyalty – free.
  • Quiet – free.
  • Integrity – free.
  • Common sense – free.
  • Snuggling (the snuggle is real) – free.
  • Do you wanna build a snowman? – free.
  • Gratitude – free.
  • Courage – free.
  • Dancing – free.
  • Generosity – free.
  • Comfort – free.
  • Joy – free.
  • Forgiveness – free.
  • Compassion – free.
  • Hope – free.
  • Imagination – free.
  • Smiling – free.
  • Friendship – free.
  • Sincerity – free.
  • Perseverance – free.
  • Respect – free.
  • Empathy – free.
  • Moonlight – free.
  • Laughing – free.
  • Truth (not just your truth, the truth) – free.
  • Singing – free.
  • Love – free.
  • Understanding – free.
  • Ambition – free.
  • Fairness – free.
  • Cheer – free.
  • Art – free.
  • Literature (see library information above) – free.
  • Music (your brain is full of it, let it flow) – free.
  • Cookies – sadly, rarely free (we need a weather machine that makes it rain cookies, who’s with me?), but you can buy the ingredients on sale or with price matching, etc., frugal.

Know what else is completely, utterly free? Kindness is free! So spread it around. Sprinkle that kindness anywhere and everywhere. Fill the world with it…Kindness is the key, and lucky for us, the free key.

All things considered I’m pleased with my year of chronic change challenge. Life has continuously and unrelentingly thrown very large, weaponized lemons at me, so I’m drinking a lot…of lemonade.

Here’s what’s happened so far…

In August I broke up with myself https://yadadarcyyada.com/2021/08/23/seems-breakin-up-was-easier-in-the-90s/

In September I asked “What If…?” https://yadadarcyyada.com/2021/09/29/what-if/

Then in October I knew that “Sweet Screams (Are Made of This) https://yadadarcyyada.com/2021/10/29/sweet-screams-are-made-of-this/

Then in the midst of November chaos came calm https://yadadarcyyada.com/2021/11/27/have-yourself-a-merry-little-christmas/

Counted down in December https://yadadarcyyada.com/2021/12/02/24-days-of-our-christmas-lives/

Whatever comes next, I’m ready? Geez, why can’t I say that without a question mark at the end? Yup, good thing laughing is still free.

Advertisement

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/11/27/twas-the-month-before-christmas-again/

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the city,
Not a creature was stirring, er, you find a rhyme…
I’m really not that witty.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/11/27/twas-the-month-before-christmas-again/

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Oops, don’t have a chimney, hmmm…
Oh well, Santa’s magic, right, so who cares?

The people were nestled all snug in their beds,
(your business what you’re doing there).
While visions of shopping malls danced
in their wallets and heads.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/11/27/twas-the-month-before-christmas-again/

I in my Soft Kitty PJs and the cat in the hat
Had just settled down to read,
maybe eat some cookies…
How about that?

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/11/27/twas-the-month-before-christmas-again/

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed (sprang is a complete exaggeration),
To see what was the matter.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/11/27/twas-the-month-before-christmas-again/

It was just some drunk guy,
With his nose all aglow,
Shouting and singing,
‘Let it go, let it snow, let it go…’

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/11/27/twas-the-month-before-christmas-again/

The moral of this story is plain to see,
Please don’t sing outside my house
At Christmas, or any other time,
Even on key!!!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/11/27/twas-the-month-before-christmas-again/

‘Twas The Month Before #Christmas …Again

Posted in Books, Canada, Family, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

5 Ways I’m Not Under Pressure

1yada41Can your heart really be broken?

Apparently it can.

Broken Heart Syndrome is a thing.

Also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (not to be confused with the Kobayashi Maru from Star Trek, totally different kind of heart-racing); this condition is most often stress-induced.

Wow, you really can die from a broken heart.

So, how can you mend a broken heart? I’m neither a doctor, nor a therapist, nor one of The BeeGees, but I wish I had the answer, because mine is Under Pressure.

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People die.
David Bowie died.
As did Alan Rickman. And a bunch of other people.
We’ve all had family and friends who have died.

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My point? Moments in time are just that. Big or small, once they’re gone, they’re gone. Life is for the living, even if you can now fulfill all your funeral needs (with drop dead prices) while buying vats of olive oil at Costco. They offer killer deals on multi-packs too. Check out their 6-foot deep discounts on dirt in the Home and Garden Section. Ok, I’m almost done. Prices to die for! Now I’m done. So instead of spending money on flowers, candles, and stuffed animals that rot in the streets, mourn and honour those we’ve lost by helping the living.

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5 Ways I’m Not Under Pressure:

1. Bowie was a voice that told me to be me when I wondered if I should be someone else – I will forever adore and blame him for that, or at least blame him for being so persuasive. Goodnight, Mr. Bowie and thanks.

1yada50
2. Alan Rickman made me Truly, Madly, Deeply – laugh (Galaxy Quest), cringe and cry (Harry Potter), shiver (Die Hard), and sigh (Sense and Sensibility). Goodbye.

1yada51

3. I’ve lost many people in the last few years. I miss them. I wish I could see them again, but at least as time goes by my trips down memory lane, while frequent, are less bumpy, the ride is smoother around the edges.

1yada47

4. When I was young, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, we used to train it to Toronto to see concerts – before train fares and concert tickets skyrocketed. I was a goth/punk girl who didn’t know anything, but I sure had fun learning. My friend (who passed away almost a year ago) and I would hang around places like The Eaton’s Centre, knitting, reading, listening to a giant silver boom box we’d lug around – no cellphones or MP3 players back then. We met loads of cool people, ie. The Ramones, David Bowie, etc. I’m sure the meetings weren’t memorable to them, but for us it was like those voices that made us happy, made us dance came to life. When Bowie walked by we broke into a spontaneous chorus of Rebel, Rebel. This earned us tickets to his show, even backstage (whispered instructions to one of his entourage, of course). If we’d worried about looking silly, we would’ve missed dancing and swaying to the sounds on the stage. We wouldn’t have met lots of fascinating people, famous and never-gonna-be-famous. We wouldn’t have started a music magazine, raised money for those in need, got tons of cool promo stuff…Again, life is not only for the living, it’s to be lived. Take a chance, be brave, be bold, be in the here and now. Memories are fun, but not fuel for life.

1yada56

5. Speaking of living – The X-Files reboot is only days away. The Truth Is Out There once again, just a,er, tad older…like me. I watched the spooky premiere on September 10, 1993 and never looked back. The only time I remember missing it was the night my son was born (totally, totally worth it). I thought of calling him Fox, but also a major Buffy fan, so…Xander it is.

1xfiles33

Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust, we know people we loved and lost are still with us…No Pressure.

1yada57

Posted in Blogs, Books, Music, Uncategorized

It’s a Nice Day to Start Again

1afrus13Have you ever had one of those days, dear readers, when you’re so frustrated with yourself you don’t know whether to: cry; give yourself a time out; scream; give yourself a hug and say you’ll do better next time; or maybe all the above and not necessarily in that order?

Too many things I try lately are thwarted, either by circumstances, or by me responding to circumstances. I keep giving myself pep talks, but I have a suspicion I’m not listening very well.

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Happiness is a choice. Apparently, this isn’t just a platitude or a wall plaque, according to researchers, happiness is really a choice (as well as a booming business). So instead of beating myself up for my utter failure today, I decided to go to a happy place and figure out how to reduce my stress.  I’m not one for magical thinking, I like to believe in goodness, happiness, etc., but the realist in me knows that any broomstick I’m handed will come with a dustpan, not a flight into the moonlight.1afrus17

Maybe today was a good day to read MeQuilibrium: 14 days to Cooler, Calmer, and Happier (Harmony Books) – wait, what, 14 days?!? That’s a long time, 2 weeks, a fortnight, half a month, I need help right now! Deep breaths, remain focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.

Ok, Jan Bruce, Andrew Shatte, Ph.D. and Adam Perlman, M.D., dazzle me with your wisdom. I hope the rest of the book is better than the title, sorry, it doesn’t really thrill me, but Blogging for Books wanted an honest review in exchange for the digital copy of this book, so ready or not, here it comes.

Day 1, sure, let’s pretend that’s today. This book has a lot of logical points, including changing the way you think about a problem or situation, although most I’ve heard in the labyrinth (ok, I just spelled that correctly for the first time in my life, things are looking up) of self-help I’ve traversed in my journey to now.

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As I read about our Emotion Radar and how we scan and see situations and things, I had to squint as the light bulb over my head turned on. I went into this morning’s debacle looking through an ‘anxiety radar’, therefore, I saw things to be anxious about, then became more and more and more anxious, trapping a bunch of poor little monarchs in my stomach as my heart tried to smash through my ribcage.

1afrus15

This book, while well-written and easy-to-follow is basically a giant ad for their ‘wellness’ program, but that doesn’t rule out any a-ha moments (Excuse me, I need a moment to dance to a-ha’s Take on Me, don’t be shy, join me! As I watch this video again, there’s clearly a lesson to be learned – no matter how drawn toward someone you are, it’s probably a bad idea to go into a comic book just because the cute guy winks at you and extends his penciled hand).

1afrus20

Society has become busier and busier as we rush from one thing to the next to the next. We barely have time to breathe, let alone think. The answer might be to unlock our problem-solving room, go in and get calm, figure things out, before we fall into the stress traps.

As I reboot and relax listening to Duran Duran’s Save A Prayer then Billy Idol’s White Wedding (I moved on, but couldn’t quite leave that decade apparently) I realize, if I should stumble, I can catch my own fall. Perhaps I didn’t do as badly as I thought, in retrospect, I actually learned a lot from the experience.

It’s a nice day to start again.

1afrus12

Posted in Autism, Blogs, Books, Family, Music, Uncategorized

O-o-h Child Things Are Gonna Get Easier…

1love38

In the dusty sanctuaries of erudition (cooler word than knowledge, which is sooo five centuries ago)… black and white, truth and lies live comfortably, side by side, lined up…we, elbow to elbow, heads bent, allow worlds to cascade around us. ‘Take us home,’ they whisper seductively, promising to reveal all their secrets.
Within the walls of a bookstore or library it’s clear what’s fiction and what’s non-fiction.
In the real world, not so much.

1guardians5Some of you, dear readers might be aware it’s Autism Awareness Month. You may have Autism; know those who live with it; love those who live with it who you can’t live without; or know those you don’t even know are on the Autism Spectrum. Still with me? Good. Reading Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy (Simon Pulse)  – we’ll get to the title in a minute – had me thinking of Autism’s infinite variety, as well as the still surprising amount of intolerance in the world.

12 things I thought about while reading this novel:

1.  It’s all lists. I like lists.pablo47

2. The title is too long…oops, I’m one to talk.

3. The main character, a teen named Darren seems to be on the Autism Spectrum.

4. Part way through the book, I realized I had read other works by this author and felt a ‘doh’ moment. It passed.

1guardians85. The writing was accessible, appealing, and made me want to read more, yet around page 400 I found it was dragging and even I was growing tired of lists (is that even possible?).

6. Made me remember high school…Actually, I might be thinking of Glee, I don’t remember my high school having that much singing (luckily, this book doesn’t either).1guardians12
7. Parents should care about themselves by caring for their children.

8. I wanted to buy Darren some ice cream and tell him, ‘O-o-h child things are gonna get easier. O-o-h child things’ll get brighter.’ I have this Five Stairsteps song in my head, I blame Guardians of the Galaxy.

1guardians119. You can’t escape the world, it follows you everywhere.

10. Different can be bad or good, so much depends on intention and perception.

11. It might be comforting to tell someone things will get easier, brighter, or better, but it’s not always true. One of the best things to say is, ‘things are ok right now’. If that’s not true either, then, yes, by all means, say things are going to get easier, brighter, or better.1guardians1312. I love books. I love free books in a different way. Refer to #10 and in this case, different is good.

Posted in Books, Music, Uncategorized

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you

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I’m not going to wax poetic about Leonard Cohen, he can do that himself, through his music.

These are the 5 of his songs I love:

1. Everybody Knows (made famous in Pump Up the Volume). To me, an echoing voice of many generations, still calling vainly through the haze of lies and corruption.

2. First We Take Manhattan. This song got in my head and has never left; such unprocessed intensity it thrashes around still begging for answers.

3. Hallelujah. First heard in my teen angst years and can sometimes evoke a tear or two as the truth struggles through. Hundreds of versions later, my favs remain by: Jeff Buckley, John Cale, and Mr. Cohen, sorry Bono, yours sucked. Long before Shrek, this was classic.

4. Who By Fire. A prayer by another other name. I might just be reading into this, but I always felt it was about atonement, an expiational yearning, of sorts.

5. Avalanche. Evocative articulation about depression.

I don’t dislike the rest of Cohen’s work, it just doesn’t affect me the way the aforementioned songs do. I’ve seen him in concert several times, I even sat with him once many years ago, in a group. I felt questions bubbling up, but rarely spoke; being a writer and pedantic poet I found myself enjoying just listening to one so exquisitely arcane.

1cohen8I’m always interested to see what others read into this abstruse artist. There are so many interpretations of his work. I dove into the book, Leonard Cohen and Philosophy: Various Positions, edited by Jason Holt (Open Court), from the Popular Culture and Philosophy series with a keenness that was repaid in full by cool and thought-provoking scrutiny of Cohen’s creations. I revisited some of his songs, to hear what these philosophers had heard. I still didn’t always hear it, but I thank them for their considered analysis.  After many decades of listening to Mr. Cohen I realize that reconciling what people say and what they do may remain an eternal mystery…doesn’t mean I have to quit trying.

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

Happy 4th of July

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I don’t live in America.

I have visited America many, many times.

I’m Canadian, so we’re kind of neighbours. Hey neighbour (yes, here in Canada we have ‘u’ in weird places…don’t ask unless you really want to know).

Here are just a few random things I love about America:
  The Walking Dead,
Captain America, X-Files, Heroes, Family Guy, Star Wars…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Deadwood, Community, Revolution, 3rd Rock From The Sun, escalators, The Addams Family, Mad Men, The Munsters,
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/Spiderman, Batman, part of Superman (get your minds out of the gutter), X-Men, Star Trek, Six Million Dollar Man, Alice Cooper, Supernatural, Soap, Green Day, The Ramones, Hell On Wheels, The Misfits, The Carol Burnett Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Elvis, ER, Get Smart, Firefly, The Avengers (not the British one), Sonic Youth, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Violent Femmes, Animaniacs, The Brady Bunch, Nirvana, American Gothic, Smallville, Angel, cash registers, KISS, Battlestar Galactica, Boston Legal

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Breaking Bad, Maude, Columbo, Scooby-Doo, Quincy, House, sunglasses, https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/Murder She Wrote, R.E.M, V, potato chips, Under The Dome, Metallica, Pushing Daisies, 8-track tapes, Guns’n’Roses, Love Boat, The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, Family Ties,  Six Feet Under, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, MacGyver, Aerosmith, The Beverly Hillbillies, Twin Peaks, Parks & Recreation, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Law & Order (you may have gotten carried away there, let it go), Jimi Hendrix, the transistor, Bruce Springsteen, clothes hangers, ARPANET, Jeopardy!, crayons (most of the colours, some are getting freaky)….

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Magnum P.I., SNL, Heart, the Cyclotron Atom-Smasher, Hogan’s Heroes, 30 Rock, cotton candy, airplanes, airbags, The Simpsons, Sons of Anarchy, GPS, New York Dolls, Night Court, Faith No More, Wonder Woman, Farscape, Jeff Goldblum, The Waltons, The Big Bang Theory, Hawaii Five-O, John Malkovich,The Lone Ranger, Bill Murray….https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Monk, Rockford Files, Yogi Bear, Devo, Johnny Depp, The Doors, Late Night With John Oliver, Seinfeld, Vikings, Pinky and the Brain, Cosmos, The Partridge Family, Police Squad!, All in the Family, Psych, The Twilight Zone, Happy Days, electric guitar, Gang Green, The Colbert Report…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

The Muppets, Steve Martin, Sesame Street, John Cusack, Frasier, Terra Nova, The Daily Show, 21 Jump Street, Roswell, Cheers, Spongebob Squarepants, flashlights, skyscrapers, Mork & Mindy, George Clooney,

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Falling Skies, Dexter, Garfield, I Dream of Jeannie, Bonanza, George Carlin, Homeland, M*A*S*H,  Mystery Science Theater 3000, I Love Lucy, The Flintsones, Patti Smith, Land of the Lost, Veep, The Wizard of Oz, Mallethead, Charlie Brown, American Dad!, South Park, Peanuts, Game of Thrones, Beastie Boys, nylon, Lie To Me, Talking Heads…and way way too many great movies, writers, artists, entertainers, athletes, scientists, and others making things better or at least interesting to name…
Ok, you had some international help with some of these, including Canada, but you’re doin’ stuff and I think that’s great…
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Feel free to tell me if I forgot anything, I got tired.

Parts of America are also stunningly beautiful…and many of the people are amazing.

You’ve also done some very, very naughty things, America, which we won’t dwell on today because you’re celebrating Independence Day, and perhaps watching Independence Day between BBQing, fireworks, being patriotic, watching Dead White and Blue the latest AMC The Walking Dead marathon, spending time with family and friends, and drinking (and hopefully not driving).

Like any neighbour there are things we like and don’t like about each other, but mostly we get along quite well.

Happy Independence Day,

America!!!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Posted in Books, Movies, Political, Uncategorized

Words Will Break Cement

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Truth is, everyone needs to be more tolerant. Everyone.

Aren’t most of the world’s problems because of intolerance?

Would we have to fight for rights and freedoms if everyone was more tolerant?

Why does it bother anyone who you love?

The colour of your skin?

The shape of your body?

Whom you choose to worship?

That someone has special needs?

What you choose to listen to or watch?

Why does choice intimidate some many people?

Just their need to control?

Whatever. Relax.

1pussy1When I first heard the name Pussy Riot I thought they were a punk band.1pussy5

So I read Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen (Riverhead Books/Penguin) in the hope of understanding the situation. Well-written and painstakingly detailed, it made for fascinating read.

I don’t always get performance art, I’m way too plebeian for that. However, I understand the need for artistic expression.

The women from Pussy Riot are part of one of the Russian art collectives who call themselves Voina. They stage performance art, often as a form of protest.

Their performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow went viral. Was it tasteless and a slap in the face of religion? Absolutely. Although I rather think that was their purpose.

Russia gives them ample material to protest.
LGBT rights regressing rapidly.
A wealth gap like the space between planets.
Barely existent women’s rights.
Maybe Georgia and Ukraine could give us some insight into how the Russian government feels about, you know, rights.

1pussy4Whether or not you agree with civil disobedience or the way this group or others protest, it gets attention. I disagree they should be jailed, separated from their family and friends, brutalized, beaten, persecuted, and maligned just because they don’t agree with the people in power. Also, it really just, well, proves their point.

Every country has its problems. Democracy seems to be creeping into twilight around the world, soon to join the dinosaurs as fossil fuel. When we don’t stand up for something, we really do seem to fall for anything.

Sadly Russia is not unique in intolerance, grinding of rights and freedoms, and overenthusiastic authoritarianism. Putin is just really, really open about it.1pussy6

It’s easy to pick on Russia, they have those cool accents that make everything sound sinister and we’re kind of programmed by James Bond flicks.

Tolerance would do us all well.

As long as you’re not hurting anyone…then who are you hurting?

 

Posted in Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

THIS IS SPINAL TAP

In case you haven’t seen This Is Spinal Tap, it’s a mockumentary about a heavy metal band and their downward descent. It’s not merely a satire about 1spinal1bands, but about documentaries themselves.

It was so different and groundbreaking, fans and bands alike thought it was about a real band and believed this was an actual documentary.1spinal2

Many bands and musicians can identify with This Is Spinal Tap, like, way too much.

This Is Spinal Tap wasn’t popular at first, but since has grown into a cult sensation.

Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer did their own music. In the decades since, they’ve released albums as Spinal Tap.

Guest, McKean, and Shearer received writing credit with Rob Reiner because they ad-libbed most of the movie.1spinaal6

Christopher Guest is actually a British peer, the 5th Baron Hadon-Guest. Brilliant in Waiting For Guffman. Tragically exceptional in The Princess Bride.

Michael McKean, best known for playing Lenny on Laverne & Shirley. Former SNL alum, also in Clue, A Mighty Wind, American Dad, my fav is still when he changed X-Files.

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You may know Harry Shearer as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, etc. on The Simpsons. Did you know he’s 70? That he was mentored by Mel Blanc? And also on SNL and Laverne & Shirley?

Rob Reiner is best known for his amazing writing and directing, but has appeared in many films and TV series, the most obvious as Michael “Meathead” on All In The Family.

There is a legend told of 4½ hour bootleg version of This Is Spinal Tap, traded among fans and collectors for years.

Do you know at least one of the original names of the band, Spinal Tap? And how many members they’ve had?

Some bands actually believed the writers of This Is Spinal Tap had bugged their tour buses and hotel rooms because parts of it were so familiar.1spinal5

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler wasn’t pleased with the movie. Gee, was it because Rock in a Hard Place had Stonehenge on its cover?

Many people believe the tiny Stonehenge was a parody of Black Sabbath’s too-large-to-fit-on-stage-monument during their 1983 Born Again tour, yet this Spinal Tap joke was actually first filmed in 1982 as a 20-minute short. Life imitating art?

Cherie Currie (The Runaways) appeared as the singer of The Dose, sadly, by the release her whole character lay on the cutting room floor until deleted scenes became en vogue.

A running gag during the film was bizarre drummer deaths, including a gardening accident. Strangely enough, drummers from ABBA and Toto died in bizarre gardening accidents within a few years of the film.

Jamie Lee Curtis allegedly fell in love with Christopher Guest after seeing him as Nigel. She said she was going to marry him. She did. They’ve been married 30 years.

Many movie sites that usually rate movies out of 10, rated This Is Spinal Tap out of 11. Of course.

Spinal Tap attempting to sing Heartbreak Hotel when they visit Graceland is still one of my fav scenes.

I made not one, but two cheese Stonehenges for gigs when a band I knew were doing a Spinal Tap cover band many years ago. I wish I had taken pictures, then again maybe they weren’t as good as I remember, er, the Stonehenges that is.

I could go on and on and on and on about this movie. Really.

30 years later and this documentary is just as hilarious and as realistic as ever. 1spinal19

Posted in Books, Movies, Uncategorized

P.S. I LOVE YOU

psilu8I liked the movie better than the book despite the change in locations. I don’t say that too often.

Maybe it was Harry Connick Jr. I’ll blame him. No, I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean it.psilu6I found the characters in the book didn’t give me what I wanted or maybe I was expecting too much. It is a great read, just not fantastic.

As romcoms go, it has more to offer than many. It offers loss, grief, sorrow, change, renewal, love, and hope with small storms of laughter. And the lesson of going on when you’re ready to go on, how you’re ready to go on, after any kind of loss.psilu2

Oh and there was Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Gerard Butler and James Marsters

Sorry book, I probably should have read you before I saw the movie. My bad.psilu4Love isn’t replaced, only added to.

Posted in Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

Pump Up The Volume

pump6Pump Up The Volume explains why adults can’t seem find a way to stop teen bullying, self-esteem issues, suicide, etc. They don’t listen.

Instead, they spend so much time, money, and energy trying to control the situation, create laws, studies, ‘make-work’ projects about bullying that are either a joke or cause more bullying, and wringing their hands saying, why oh why…

Seems we’d rather place teddy bears and flowers, post pictures and hold candlelight vigils than fix the problem. Kind of symptomatic of the problem really, wasting yet more money, time and energy on symbolic gestures when people could be actually helping others.

Teens are worried. They have eyes, they have ears. They can see they’re living in a broken world, that we’re leaving them a broken world. They want some real hope, not just a slogan about it.

Teens (and many adults) are tired. Tired of the lies, scams, hypocrisy, scandals, cover-ups, pretending to care, destroying of their world by those that put power and profit ahead of humans. Adults complain that teenagers don’t respect them. Look around, would you?

Ever wonder why everpump5yone is so obsessive? About: cars, sex, celebrities, toys, religion, exercise, video games, junk food, fast food, TV shows, decorating, news, alcohol, politics, Christmas and other holidays, drugs, fashion, cigarettes, work, crafts, gambling, consumerism, cooking, movies, cell phones, reality shows, weight, shopping, technology, the past, the future, music, well, just about everything?

Everyone is looking for something to cling onto, something to believe in, a way to feel. Teens defy because they want someone to acknowledge their pain and reassure them they have a future.

Is this a great film? Yes and no. The concept is fantastic, the frustration genuine. Christian Slater has to crash his way through some very sludgy, boring bits, nonetheless handing over that apathetic, frenetic amalgamation that does it every time.  Of course, Samantha Mathis is great, as always.

pumpup3Watch this recognizing we haven’t fixed the problems…doesn’t mean we can’t. And enjoy the music, it saves the day. Talk hard.