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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Dreamscape

It was only a dream.    
One of many dreams                    
Bizarre, funny, disjointed
Looking for meaning
Sorting through
Adding up
So many possibilities!
Colourful, hilarious, chaotic
Finding hope in imagination?
Which do I choose?
Or do I leave the dream in dream world?

"I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, 
the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say 
that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?"
~ John Lennon


P.S. - I had an image for this piece - but just can't get it on to my blog!!! After an hour and a half of trying I decided to just let you 'dream' an image.  

Friday, April 1, 2016

Not an April Fool's Joke

This is not an April Fool's joke.  I'm writing this post using my iPad. The less than charming computer interference I experienced on Easter weekend has sent my laptop to the 'computer hospital' to ensure that there is nothing lurking in the chips and gigabytes (if that is the right vocabulary).

I did use my iPad one other time for posting my blog, so I know it's possible. Possibilities present themselves at the most unusual time and in ways that could not be imagined. In the minds of those in withdrawal from active addiction, or maybe just in frustration, possibilities are hidden by exhaustion, fear, grief - a multitude of feelings and situations. And yet, slowly, slowly as each of those individuals regain their health and sanity, possibilities begin to show themselves bit by bit.

Health, sanity and sobriety does return more slowly for some than others. Those that keep coming back for one more attempt at health and sanity, along with sobriety, have seen and felt the possibilities and the stressors of a sober life. The choices all remain to be supported throughout these long struggles. Because possibilities always exist.

"Ensuring possibility is kept alive is imperative."
 ~ Stephen Redhead, Life is Simply a Game





Thursday, March 31, 2016

First World Problems

First world problems crop up every day in this part of the world free of bombs, armies, destruction, water limitations and hunger. I haven’t experienced travel to any such areas so have to trust media reports.

Each time I am in the midst of a worry or complaint about how things are run, my personal health or financial security or, dare I mention, age, I also think about my good fortune for being born and raised in Canada, with the added experience of living and working in the United States. This morning, standing in line in the early morning brilliant sunshine waiting for the Medical Clinic to open, all of these things flooded my mind at the same time as I was about to jump into another pity party. The line-up? Not to see a doctor, but to make an appointment to see a doctor in an hour. But would be seeing a doctor to answer questions that this nurse had spinning in her head. And the physician was one of several at this Walk-In Clinic. I don’t have ‘my own’ doctor, but doctors that are well-trained and confident in their training.

Is it right that in this so-called country of ‘free’ health care, which often does not seem really free, that we are not better served? That was the question that interfered with the sunshine.

I not only had my appointment, brief and efficient, but had my questions and concerns answered so I could relax into my life once more. And then, I walked to the lab for a blood test. Which I can access on line and then return to the doctor if there are more questions.

Line up in the spring sunshine?  First world problem.

“The huge problems we deal with every day are 
actually really small. We’re so focused on what bothers us that 
we don’t even try to see our lives from a clearer perspective.”
~ Susane Colasanti,  Something Like Fate

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Alert!! Sales, Scam or Both!

This blog post is a scathing review of midnight scammers presenting themselves as legitimate salesmen and taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of any ‘customers’ they troll for in the night. And these midnight scammer’s are not concerned with your state of mind, health, wealth or anything else. They are just out to make a buck - or as many bucks as possible. I  admit my own responsibility in the events of Saturday night. After a long and enjoyable day, of travel, dinner and a movie I went to bed. But before turning out the light, I prepared my blog post. Wrote it, had the photo lined up and had just gone online opening Facebook, my Standing Still Slowly page and then GoodReads to find a quotation that fit my blog. Just as I had GoodReads open, a full page pop-up replaced it with a second strip of pop-up over it telling me that my computer had been identified as having a breach. And further that I was not to shut my computer down, that if I did, all my data may be lost. My first reaction was in fact to shut my computer down, data be dammed. I was so focussed was on completing my blog post, tired or not, I opened it again with the same results.  

I have long been aware of some guidelines about protecting yourself against these companies and the individuals that run them.  They are:
  1. Don’t believe pop-ups that tell you your security has been breached - contact the appropriate company in the morning when your head is clear.
  2. Just because the pop-up, uses the word Apple (or Microsoft) several times, close your computer and call in the morning when your head is clear.
  3. If you should call as I did, listen carefully to:
    1. Your gut feelings that say ‘ this is all wrong’
    2. The words of your friends ringing loud and clear in your head that say ‘don’t answer that’
    3. The attitude and manner of ‘service’ that is being offered.
    4. Anything that does not ring true to you.
  4. And above all do not give out your credit card number, even if only to print it on a screen.
  5. Learn to be aware of the times you are most vulnerable - when your soft underbelly is exposed.

But even if you still buy into what is happening, shut down your computer which is what I did do after more than two hours. Fortunately this was merely a pretty successful attempt to make a couple of hundred dollars from this unknown company across the continent.  Unfortunately, my self confidence was completely shattered. Thank heavens for my sons, Jeff and Jason. They saved my sanity with all that they did, said and recommended.

p.s.  After changing many passwords and speaking with the bank, over the last few days, the same pop-up presented itself last night.  Again after I had GoodReads open. GoodReads is a source I have used for several years now, and will continue. I checked my security related to Goodreads and there was a tiny gate open.  Just enough….. So I have closed that gate. (This time I didn’t bite...just so you know.)

“Everyone is selling something, if you can’t see
 what people are selling, maybe you’re the cart.”
Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Vancouver Art Gallery - Mashup: The Birth of Modern Culture

Top half of the Andy Warhol painting on display
This exhibition that began February 20 and continues to June 12, 2016 was fascinating.  From Pablo Picasso and Quentin Tarentino to Jean-Luc Goddard and Joyce Weiland four floors of the mashup of art forms were displayed. There were some that were interactive, some that filled every inch of wall, ceiling and floor space. I especially loved the TV footage of the telephone from clips from movies. These clips, from many movies of yesteryear, demonstrated the part the telephone played in the ambience and character of a movie. All of these mashups of  substance, mixed media, and sound demonstrated the artists' confidence in their creative endeavours.

I want to return so I can appreciate this exhibition in it’s totality. I only present the top half of this Andy Warhol as the image of me in front of it showed an extremely exhausted me! I do feel as though I was only able to appreciate half of the richness of this exhibition. 

“Others have seen what is and asked why. 
I have seen what could be and asked why not.”
~ Pablo Picasso, Pablo Picasso: Metamorphoses 
of the Human Form: Graphic works, 1895-1972



Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice - Movie Review

This movie about these favoured and favourite caped crusaders and their foibles has been panned by movie reviewers much more experienced than myself. However, my sons and I, with 3D glasses on, are reveiwers with different opinions. This movie had a story line, tension, dramatics, expected superhero dry comedy lines and just plain fun. Your confidence in the very idea of superheroes always being good may be shattered, but wait as the end draws to a crescendo. That being said, if any of you come to the movies with tissues to dry an eye, make sure you bring tissues to this one! 

Henry Cavill was impressive, but mild mannered, as Superman. Ben Affleck was just as impressive, in a rather dark way, as Batman. Superman the superhero from outer space, raised on a farm in Kansas. Batman, just an ordinary, wealthy business man. Both fought evil but from their own perspective. Government, as always, interfered in how, when and where Superman should be fighting for good - concerned about the death and destruction that was wrought in his wake. The attention paid to Batman was at a lower policing level, as he chased, caught and branded the bad guys to right the evils and injustices of human traffiking and horror. His cruelty was not to be accepted - even if it was the bad guys that got burned with his ‘Bat Brand’.

Superman’s mom, Martha, played by Diane Lane, uttered the first of the comic lines, and was solidly in his corner. Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, was the love of his life. Batman, was more of a James Bond type guy but still a romantic loner. His mother, also named Martha, had been murdered in his presence when he was a very young lad, putting a vigellante spin on his entire life. He even had Alfred J. Pennyworth, played by Jeremy Irons, in the Bat Cave creating and repairing all of his weapons of destruction and of course developing the ultimate Bat Suit for that final epic battle. The Bat Cave was Ben Affleck’s own private gym. And of course, there was Lex Luthor, played with evil brilliance by Jesse Eisenberg, the psychotic mad scientist who’s self proclaimed role was to bring these two superheros together, one to kill the other and bring the ‘right’ kind of order to the planet. Oh, and there was a nasty kryptonite weapon planned for the final battle.


And don’t forget Perry White, played by Laurence Fishburne, the demanding and forceful editor of the Planet who was Clark Kent’s earthly nemesis in Clark Kent’s job as mild mannered reporter. There is another of our superheroes in this movie that I’ll leave for you to find out for yourself. She, like many women, comes in to, well sort of, save the day - in a very athletic way!

The score for this movie carried the tension and story line all the way through. The digitization and graphics were amazing and realistic.  Sorry all you reviewers that panned this movie.  You really missed a good movie. Superman vs Batman is a serious, and a seriously good movie!

“That’s how it starts. The fever, the rage, the feeling 
of powerlessness that turns good mencruel.”
~ Alfred J. Pennyworth (from the Bat Cave)
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Down by the Bay..

After the bus depot and o
n the ferry to Vancouver
Down by the bay……

The singsong voice of the smiling five year old girl with deep brown eyes and shiny black hair spun me all the way through decades from Victoria’s bus depot to many campfires in Saskatchewan - whether at Carlyle Lake or Lumsden Beach.

Where the watermelons grow……..

Is there a bay somewhere with watermelons growing or is this just nonsense that has carried word for word down the years, an oral history passed child to child, group leader to group leader and campfires in the prairies to bus depots in urbanity.

Back to my home I dare not go……

I have dared to go back home and am often saddened to see changes of time and circumstancean old school gone, Main Street without the old Town Hall, grain elevators vanished all but one…..rather like looking in my mirror and seeing a face moulded by the same time, yet much different circumstance.  

For if I do, my mother would say…….

 I know she would say ‘Welcome home, honey!” and give me one of her wonderful huge hugs, but as the song goes……

“Did you ever see a whale with a ponytail
down by the bay…..

I may not always be certain that memory will serve accurately, but in this case my confidence in memory is redeemed. This song continues for as many times as that last line can be changed. Again rather like our faces and our hometowns change with time and circumstance and yet with the joy of childhood.

and the verse I remember is:
 “Did you ever see a bear in his underwear
   down by the bay……”

“Strange, what brings these past things so vividly back to us, sometimes!”
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin