Thursday, April 29, 2010

To dye or not to dye, that is the question!

(copyright Nance Thacker '90)
click on picture to enlarge
(photo taken of the cartoon then worked with in i-photo - learned this in my last MAC class)

Age is a state of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
Mark Twain

I get a lot of compliments on the colour of my hair especially from people who dye theirs to get rid of their grey.

I began getting grey hair when I was about 30. It was kind of weird buying wine at the liquor store and (if my hair was covered) getting asked for my ID. You've got to be kidding, yet deep inside it felt kind of good being mistaken for a teenager.

That, obviously doesn't happen to me anymore but for the most part I'm happy with my hair. But sometimes I'll catch a quick glance in a mirror or see myself in a recent photo and I'm taken aback as the image doesn't reflect how I feel inside. I get ma'am's on occasion and am aware that to younger people I'm old; not older but old, though my peers tell me I look young for my age despite the grey.

My older sister went grey early on too, but I thought it was the most beautiful colour and showed off her complexion, blue eyes, lush dark eyelashes and eyebrows. I thought that I too would look as good as she when my hair became more fully grey. But an odd thing happened. My features lost their definition, my skin washed out, my sparse eyebrows and eyelashes did me no favours either and my green eyes seemed lost in the space of the face.

Years ago, when I came home for a visit, Mom and Dad picked me up at the airport. It was a summer day deep in the throws of a swelteringly humid season. I'd been living in Victoria, BC for a few years where everything is moist, the colours are lush and green and the sea and sky crystal, clear blue. I was depressed with the hues that greeted me. Everything was dry and washed out by a haze of heat and pollution, even Mom and Dad had aged and become beige during my absence.

Well, for the longest time that's how I looked to myself — old and beige.

But as time has passed either I've adjusted to my appearance, my makeup application (that smudge of blush) has improved or my skin tones have changed. Still, every once-in-a-while I'm tempted to get rid of the grey.

What keeps me from going there?
  • My hair grows faster than spit and I'm a lazy sod who can't be bothered with touching up my roots.
  • I wonder, would I actually appear younger, or merely look like someone trying to look younger?
  • I get a lot of compliments on it just the way it is.
  • There's a rebellious aspect in boldly going where few others dare to.
  • What I lack in follicular pigmentation I make up for in immaturity which attests to my youth.
  • I can think of a bazillion ways I'd rather spend my money that keep me feeling young.
  • I really look at myself in the mirror and reconnect with who I am right now and realize that I'm fine just the way I am.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Photographic Evidence of Lifes little wonders

Gravity Assistant proudly on duty at all times, doing a great job keeping everything nailed down which would otherwise fly around due to the force of the earth spinning and careening through space. We can all breathe a heavy sigh of relief knowing that millions like her are out there. If not for her tireless effort, the knitting needles inside the bag would have escaped and poked my eyes out by now. Thanks, Gravity Assistant!

DCSI - REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE DOMESTIC CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATOR - undeniable evidence that this is the home of a married couple. The last person at the scene of the crime was the husband.

I rest my case.

Sweet Shop or a Health Shop or just what the heck goes on in there? My husband, at first glance thought it was a sweet shop (until we saw the words Health Centre) because of the bubble gum and Kool Aid colours plus it's got what looks like a cute little wrapped candy above the i. All I know is that it sits between the COP SHOP (a bar) and THE LOVE SHOP (a, well you know, a love shop full of all kinds of naughty-fun stuff) all of which doesn't shout to me — "COME IN AND BE HEALED".

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Denial in De Feet


I find pharmacies one of the most embarrassing places on earth, like just last week when I was on the hunt for preparation-H...

Dr. Steve, my chiropractor, suggested that I go and get some. Now you may be asking yourself, "What gives a chiropractor special knowledge about hemorrhoids?"

And my answer would be, "Nothing."

He doesn't know anything about hemorrhoids but being a runner and triathlete he does know about blisters. He saw my feet shortly after the Around the Bay 30K and wondered what had happened to me. Why had I gotten so many blisters? I sheepishly had to admit that no I hadn't trained a whole lot, the longest walk I'd done before this was two and a half hours long. And no I wasn't breaking in new shoes, in fact my shoes were ancient and had holes in the toes (which I actually thought — wrongly I might add — would be comfortable as they gave my toes more space). But, even though I broke 2 cardinal rules about training and participating in such an event, he took pity on me and shared an old runner's remedy with me.

Apply preparation-H to blisters. It helps dry them up.

So, I'm in Shopper's Drug Mart looking high and low for this hemorrhoid cream and for the life of me I can't find it anywhere. I realize that I'm going to have to ask for help locating it and curiously I begin to feel all embarrassed just like I was the first time I had to go in and purchase "feminine products". I don't want to say aloud, "Hey, I'm looking for hemorrhoid cream", or "hey, I'm looking for preparation-H" (which everyone knows is for hemorrhoids) but it looks like I have no choice. So I choose just the right moment when no one's in sight, slide up to the pharmacist and ask in as quiet a voice as I can, and still be heard, "Can you tell me where I can find preparation-H?"

"Over there in isle 6, left side, bottom shelf towards the end of the aisle," he says in a booming voice accompanied by a broad sweeping arm gesture.

Thanks a lot.

Moments after I pluck it off the shelf a big, tall guy, who'd been hovering around that very spot, begins to chat me up, "My mother has, um," he begins, a little tongue-tied, "the same, the same problem, um, that you have..."

His mother must be 80. ACK!

"Oh, no, no, no," I throw my hand up in the cease and desist gesture. "I don't have hemorrhoids. Nope, not me," I'm speaking as quickly as possible to stop that train coming down the tracks and I free my foot from my sandal in an instant and begin flashing its blister ridden surface in his face (I can do this, I'm a yogi) as I hop around on the other. "See, I have blisters on my feet from running. It's supposed to help heal them."

"You're a runner then."

"Yup, I am. I run. I run lots" (OK, OK it's a little fib) and then I left him standing in the hemorrhoid isle as I limped away with my ointment in my hand.

It took 2 nights of applying the cream but it did work on the blister you see. This one I earned last week from walking in Soft Moc athletic sandals (not quite as kind to my feet as I thought they'd be). The other blisters on the heel are taking a little longer probably because the skin's thicker. And, my little toe's just about finished shedding its skin like a snake — lovely.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Will you please put your hand down!

Went to the MAC class tonight and found it much more interesting than the first one. I think the whole point is to follow along on your computer — duh.

So there I was happily tapping along with Dave our teacher as I explored all that could be done in Safari. Lots of great organizational ideas which I love as I do love to organize and put things into systems for some reason, just the same way I like bags and decorative boxes. Within no time I became mesmerized as I attempted to customize my toolbar, becoming deaf to his ongoing instructions. I didn't snap out of it until I realized that he was off and running on some other task.

It amazes me how unabashedly I can just admit before a room full of people that I am a total idiot who needs more assistance. As a teacher myself I realize that often people are too timid to ask what may seem to be a dumb question, but not me; I also realize that no question is too stupid to ask. For every person who speaks up there are always a few others in the class who have the same question.

For teachers who really don't like to teach I am your worst nightmare: I am the student who's hand shoots up like a nervous twitch; the one who makes you turn to address the other side of the room to avoid seeing this gesture; I'm the one who'll pursue the question til I understand the answer; I am the one who loves to learn. For Dave that meant there were a few times I had to say, "Nope, I still don't get it. I'll have to see you after class," (the prospect of which thrilled him no end, I'm sure). I said this, not because he was unwilling to take the time, but because I was - I knew he had territory to cover and I didn't want to risk being the object of a class lynching (there were a number of students quicker on the uptake than I - q'el surprise).

I have one more class next week. We'll be introduced to i-photo. Boy, do I have a lot of questions about that! Then I'm on my own. Well, not quite. It seems my friend's son (brave soul that he is) is going to rise up to the challenge (for a mutually acceptable fee) of being my MAC tutor.

I have promised to do heavy duty, intensive meditation in preparation for our sessions.

Friday, April 16, 2010

You had me at, "I'm listening."

(cartoon copyright N. Thacker 1990)
click on image to enlarge

Episode 415, 30 ROCK, season 4: Jack comes up with the idea of introducing women's porn to the network. In women's porn, handsome men listen to women expressing their feelings. It would be loaded with scenes of handsome men appearing interested as their women blather on and on and occasionally the listener would interject with such things as "go on", "I'm listening".

A hysterical, yet true observation — nothing is as sexy to a woman as a guy who listens, really listens, except for maybe a man who loves to cook or a guy who's gentle with children and animals.

Anyway, if there was an award for the best written, male, porn star character in the category of women's porn it would have to go to Joe Dubois of MEDIUM fame. I love this show, not for its primary story lines (which I find gruesome, nasty and far fetched) nor for the acting, but for the secondary story line revolving around the family dynamic. I really love this family and I especially love Joe. I find him attractive and incredibly sexy.

How can you not love a guy who, through years of his wife scaring the bejesus out of him night after night, still continues to sleep in the same bed as she? Does her thrashing about, gasping for air, springing bolt upright in bed, describing her dreams of the most horrific deeds imaginable make him even consider moving on to the couch, or demanding that she do so? No!
No, in fact her cute, unbelievably calm, adoring hubby encourages her, asking, "Are you OK Alison?" or "Tell me what you saw," as he strokes her shoulder. Give me a break! If that's not a female fantasy I don't know what is. I can more believe that she is psychic than that he still shares the same bed with her.

But, then again she has not yet reached peri-menopause, the time that tests even the most devoted husband, the time when the real horror begins. Yes, I'm talking about snoring. Ha, let's see what happens then Mr. Sensitive Joe Dubois. I bet that'll send you running for the couch.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I simply remember my favourite things

The phantom editor strikes again. She e-mailed the cover for the anthology for contributors to vote on which I think is a nice gesture. It looks really good too! But, until I have an actual book that I can hold in my hot little hands, I'm viewing this whole event as just a figment of my imagination.

If it ever happens you'll hear about it here.

If it does happen before my 58th birthday I'll have kind of have met one of my goals which was to have a book published by the age of 57. I was working on the material in Brian Henry's classes (see link in my favourites). The title of my proposed book is LIFE AT 139, a bitter-sweet observation of my parent's journey (in particular, Dad's) through old age and my childhood memories of our eccentric household. Bits and pieces of it will appear in this blog under the label Life at 139.

9 other goals I've been blessed to be able to achieve (if not fully, I got close enough to be satisfied) in my life are:
  1. TO SURF - I learned how to surf in Costa Rica in 2008. A childhood dream come true! I'm totally hooked. Any warm place we go with surf...I'll be surfing from now on.
  2. SYNDICATION OF MY CARTOON STRIP — worked on it for 4 years solidly, intermittently since then. Syndication didn't happen but it was published as STRETCHMARKS in YOGA CENTRE OF VICTORIA NEWSLETTER and other material as THACKER in MONDAY MAGAZINE in Victoria, B.C. and elsewhere. The label Thacker cartoon will bring them up in the blog.
  3. WORK ON A NATIONAL FILM BOARD FILM. I was cel painter on Ellen Besen's animated film ILLUMINATED LIVES - a Brief History of Women's Work in the Middle Ages. This was a fantastic experience and I was so impressed with Ellen's talent and intelligence and am totally in awe when I think about the passion and dedication it takes to be an independent animator. It also showed me I don't have what it takes to be one so I'm very happy with this accomplishment.
  4. EAT FISH AND CHIPS OUT OF NEWSPAPER ON THE BRIGHTON PIER. And for dessert — soft ice cream cone; a memorable evening.
  5. SNORKEL AND DIG MY FEET INTO SUN WARMED SAND ON A CARIBBEAN BEACH — totally unexpected bonus it was my honeymoon in Antigua in '86
  6. CANOE TRIPPING IN ALGONQUIN PARK — me and 5 guys (the other women bailed). But it was great and aside from the joy of exploring the vast wilderness a highlight was sitting in a tree, straight out of a Tom Thompson (member of the group of 7) painting, bathed in a warm, red, blazing sunset after a long day of paddling.
  7. BE DROPPED OFF ALONE ON AN ISLAND FOR A FEW DAYS. Rod and I did this on Flowerpot Island a number of years back. Not quite alone, there were 3 other occupied campsites a fair distance from us (populated by low key individuals like ourselves in search of solitude, peace and quiet) and a tugboat or 2 dropped people off for day trips so they could swim off the rocks on the far side of the island. But after 5 p.m., when they were picked up, the sense of isolation was extremely satisfying.
  8. LIVE AT AN ASHRAM — in 1978 I lived at Yasodhara Ashram: stayed on a tent on the beach, worked in the garden, lived the yogic life — had the supreme honour of studying with my guru Swami Radha.
  9. GO TO PARIS - stayed in quaint hotels, just like I'd imagined they'd be, in Paris. Sat at roadside cafes lingering over croissants, crepes and cappaccino as I people-watched; spent a glorious fall evening atop the Eiffel Tower overlooking the city of lights with Rod and sketched in the Musee d'Orsay!
So, when I feel bummed about whatever my mind chooses to be bummed about I just remember things like this, take in those good feelings, spread them around and realize there are many more goals I've achieved and many yet to come. I've got a lot to feel grateful for.

The flowers are from my garden make me smile and are another thing to be grateful for. You see one reason why I love tulips — these ones open up their bright and shining yellow faces to the sun and then close up, exposing their red under-side, around 5p.m. The pics don't do them justice!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

In search of the Holy Grail

Rod and I were on a mission to find the ideal patio furniture on Saturday. He defined the
qualities of the perfect patio chair and they were:
  • he will never have to sand or stain another wooden chair for the rest of his life
  • he will never have to go shopping for another chair, ever in his life
  • comfort — it would allow for just the right degree of slouch-age as he drifts away basking in the rays of the morning sun
  • its arms are broad enough to hold a cup of tea while he reads the Sunday paper
  • it could be left outside throughout the year as our storage space is at a minimum
He finally saw his elusive prey inside the pages of a brochure buried amongst a bazillion others that arrives tucked in the local paper (which, itself comprises about 10 pages, more or less, of local items considered newsworthy)...


There they were gleaming off the page all shiny, bright and cheery in candy colours of orange, candy floss pink, sky blue and sunny yellow. "Make sure you pick a colour you like — you're going to have it forever." Made of recycled plastic, the ad further guaranteed "pure distilled awesomeness" and a "zero maintenance product". No warranty is needed as there is "no disappointment."

It was as if he had found God.

But, there was no price listed, so as he always does, he researched to find more of a similar design and found a $20 version at Canadian Tire. I feared a frighteningly low, unmatchable baseline was being established so I brought him back to reality. "Remember the first patio chairs we bought way back when; the plastic ones that disintegrated and stained to a yucky streaky grey. That's what those are made of. These are a lot better than that."

He thought for a moment and agreed. "How many chairs do you want to get?" he asked me and personally I really don't care, I am comfortable sitting on a rock, but our friends are not rock sitting people.

"It depends on the price and their size as the yard's pretty small." We live in a townhouse and I don't want to see fence to fence furniture blocking my view of the garden.

"OK", he mentally juggles figures and options, "I am willing to spend $50 to $75 tops for a chair. So we'll get 2 or 3 depending on the cost."

They were truly all that the brochure advertised and more because, without realizing it at the time, we fell i
n love with the higher quality, recycled plastic version made by a different manufacturer. "I call this the 'GENERATION' chair," the salesman said as he waxed poetically about it. Oh, oh I was beginning to smell the big sell — this a perfect line aimed to appeal to the '60's generation with "disposable" income (we are the former, not the latter). We couldn't give away my folk's quality, antique furniture so you think the next generation is going to be interested in hand-me-down patio chairs? Times, and styles change. We live in a throwaway culture where "NEWER IS BETTER". I don't think so.

This is what we could afford to get in our $50 to $75 dollar range. I'm not talking about the whole chair, look closer and to the left of the arm of the chair. Yup, that's right...A CUP HOLDER. A frikin' CUP HOLDER!
"No disappointment" my ass, I was stunned and Rod was numb. Not only was his dream smashed to smithereens but it left me wondering what the hell our values are around here. One chair
was $459. The price of 2 chairs would pay for one return ticket to Vancouver Island. "So we can either sit in our backyard or go for a trip" Rod concluded.

Our hunt intensified. His resolve weakened. As we visited store after store and scoured the town in his van (cleared of his tools precisely for the purpose of delivering his prize home) he began to question his mission. He began considering:
  • Iron chairs which would leave "grill-like" imprints on our flesh from the blazing sun (but would last forever). We could get seat pads and replace them every year (uugh a yearly quest, don't think so).
  • Bouncy ones with steel frame and plastic webbed backs; they're bouncy what's not to like? But their arms were spindly and anaemic, not suited to hold anything.
  • Crappy tire's "ergonomically" friendly, plastic $20 specials would take us back where we started about 18 years ago and put us back on the road in 2 years in search of their replacements.
"Don't get sidetracked" I urged. "What do you really want? Focus on that." I encouraged in my best hypnotist fashion.

"I don't want to have to do any maintenance or look for chairs again. I like the Adirondack chair, but there's no way I'm paying that price." (Actually, I found out a day later that the ones in the brochure that captured our attention initially are made by CRP in Stratford, Ontario, and run for $299 with $20 cup holders but are "cheaply" made with rough edges and exposed screws; no comparison to the Element Squared ones made right here in Burlington, that had captured our hearts.)

The bottom line was no maintenance. Mainte...nance; mainte...nance. Could it be more clear?

Our prize was to be found standing on a podium of boxes just inside the entrance at Costco, which just happened to be the last store we were going to search. It rose above us like a beacon in answer to our prayers. For $57.99 this is what we got.

The compromise aka reality:
  • Some assembly is required and though I can do it, as of this writing Rod has put one of them together. When I asked him how long it took. He said, "Four hours while watching the Master's". The production area is on our living room floor in front of the TV. As long as he's happy that's all I care about.
  • We're not quite back full circle as the chairs we are replacing were weather worn wood with much thinner and more numerous slats — bigger and fewer slats = easier in my book as I will be the maintenance person.
  • So every year, when the season is heralded in by the chirping of birds at 5a.m., I will be called upon to slather the water-repellant preservative over their gleaming, natural wood surface.
  • They will become a garden sculpture in the winter, stored under a cheery, blue tarp.
  • Since they don't have the bright, appealing colours I'll just have to plant more flowers.
Now we just have to replace the nasty little BBQ...

Friday, April 9, 2010


"Go to Hell."

"Really, that's what she said?"

"Yup, we were all sitting at the dining room table cringing. My poor 80 year-old Dad was just looking down into his lap; curling up into a little ball."

"So she was standing there in the kitchen making coffee and..."

"...And swearing, yelling like she was really, really mad."

"And when she came to the table?"

"Nothing, sweet and cheery, like nothing happened. No one dared to say anything we just looked down at our plates as we finished our dessert and drank our coffee. I couldn't get out of there fast enough! On the drive home I said to my son 'I'm not coming back...ever'. Do you think it was me? I think it was me. Or maybe it was her. Maybe she's losing it. Maybe she didn't even know she was saying it aloud, she's in her late 60's so maybe her mind's going off a bit."

This was the snippet of conversation I caught as I returned to the restaurant table. Rod, Austin and Linda were all nodding in agreement that our friend's step mother's behaviour was most strange.

It seems that our friend was having dinner at her father's place a few weeks ago. Her step mother (from now on referred to as SM) was making coffee. My friend came in with a load of dishes she'd cleared from the table and noticed the woman making coffee "like you would do if you were camping, putting the grounds in the coffee pot rather than in the filter, and then pouring the water into the reservoir. I said, 'what are you doing?' and she said this is how we make it in Finland. No, it's not I was saying to myself. But she insisted it was, so I just left the kitchen thinking whatever."

And shortly after the now infamous "GO TO HELL" rang out from the depths of the kitchen for all to hear. My friend, thought perhaps her SM had taken offence at her attempt to help but, being too polite to say it to her face then and there, she waited til her step daughter had left the room.

The conclusion was that either her SM was yelling at her or her SM was losing her mind.

"Maybe she was yelling at the coffee pot," Austin suggested.

"Well, that's kind of odd isn't it?" Linda replied and all agreed; all but me that is.

"What's so odd at swearing at a coffee pot? I swear at pretty much everything in the kitchen: coffee pots, dishes, the crap on the floor, bananas; you name it, at one time or another I've sworn at it. That's how I do most of my cooking; swearing, running around, throwing things, spilling things. In fact, the kitchen has the highest percentage of swearage in the house. It's my ALL SWEARING ALL THE TIME ZONE. Most of the time I'm not even aware that I'm doing it, but once I leave the SWEARING ZONE, I'm OK. It's like Vegas, what happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen. She probably didn't even realize that you guys could hear her. It wasn't directed at anybody; she's just frustrated that's all."


They just looked at me with utensils poised at their mouths for what seemed like an eternity with the expression "uh huh there's another one," written across their faces.

Oh well, "Live long and prosper, Na-Nu Na-Nu", I say.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

computer play

OK - I got this image in by using the old PC and HP scanner and camera wizard. Scanned it in and posted it using the PC and now I'm on the MAC entering in this text. I don't dare touch it in case it disappears and I'll have to do the whole thing over again.

I cut up the panels and entered this one right side up on the scanner bed, but wasn't able to manipulate it on the PC.

Help on Blogger takes an age; lots of time spent sorting out a bazillion comments and recommendations. So I will be using trial and error and recording my findings over the next while until I can enlist someone's help. A friend of mine has offered up her son's help though I don't know if he knows it yet, we'll see.

And the text isn't moving around the picture as I'm entering it...OK it just made a liar out of me, but that doesn't mean that it's going to appear this way in the post.

We'll see, I'll be right back...

I'm back. The text wasn't wrapped around but should be in the next few lines or so. Umm, hmm,, how are you doing? I'm doing OK myself. The day's cold, overcast and there's been some rain but other than that I can't complain.

OK it should have wrapped around by now, I'll be right back...

Yup, it wrapped around beginning with the "I'm back" line.

Well, at least the photo problem seems sorted out as you can see by the posts I've entered since Da Agony of De Feet. And, you know the odd thing is all of a sudden I just got it. I don't know how or what "it" was, but I can now even move the pics around the text. So, maybe this is how learning this stuff happens and some morning I'll wake up and... EUREKA ... excuse me I'll be right back...

Oh, I just discovered that back there, that change in text which came up on the blog. This is new to me; very cool.

As I was saying, maybe one day I'll wake up and just be able to scan and enter the cartoons in without a thought because my conscious mind has given up the ghost and let the subconscious put all the pieces together while I've been in dream land. Many huge scientific discoveries were made this way so it could happen (I'll tell you more about this fact later).

So, I probably should go. I'm working on de-cluttering my time and my mind which means: spending the minimum amount of time on something in order to get the maximum results, uni-tasking, following up on a sort of schedule/goal list and distracting my mind with positive action to counteract negative rumination.

Have a great day all! OOOps, good timing, my timer just went off, computer time is over and it's time to move on to another commitment.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


(cartoon copyright Nance Thacker '84)
click on image to enlarge

Just keep reading the post or jump to the text that follows after the line.

It seems I've inherited my mother's odd immune system; it feels as if I'm coming down with a cold, I have all the symptoms...but nothing the next day. As long as I haven't inherited her tendency towards dementia too, I'm good with this.

I went to the MAC training last night and was bored, bored, bored. It reminded me of my Monday night 7 - 10p.m. class in Northern European Renaissance Art. The tenure-secured, uninspired, catatonic prof would use her pointer to focus on the obvious and in her monotone voice drone on, "Here you have a grouping of people (pointer motions around them) reflected in a mirror" (pointer slaps to the frame the mirror). Wait for it...for some conclusion, some point of using the pointer; nope, nothing. Then, with a click of her button the next masterpiece would appear and be dissected in the same way. FOR 3 WHOLE, MIND NUMBING HOURS! If it did nothing else, it left an indelible impression on my mind. I can hear her voice and see the disembodied pointer floating above image after image because, from my vantage point, she was virtually hidden away, she could have been eating a big mac and having a bottle of wine for all I know.

All I'm saying is that my computer remained laying on my lap, trapped in it's little cardboard box for the whole 2 hours just begging to be let out. (No, I haven't gotten my fancy laptop case yet - I think I've found a project for that tunisian crochet piece that keeps growing and growing.) Finally, at around 11p.m., I let it out and explored all that we'd covered in class about system preferences for myself — which, I guess was the whole point of this style of teaching. It actually proved to be more helpful than I'd imagined.

It helped me explore the scanner and hopefully enabled me to enter in the cartoon I'd mentioned in Spring has sprung. This is one of the first grouping of cartoons I'd done for the Yoga Centre of Victoria Newsletter and it shows, but I thought I'd post it anyway.

I'd actually forgotten about the text in the first panel. I often feel this way. Oversensitivity challenges my interactions with others in daily life, but when I'm in therapist mode it appears as empathy which enables me to hear and see what is happening in my clients and respond appropriately. A few years ago during a conversation with friends, a psychotherapist I'd just met mentioned her dislike of crowds and gatherings because she found it difficult to filter out all the impressions that came her way — stripped of her role in these situations she didn't know how to deal with the onslaught of information. Somehow this makes me feel better and more "normal", whatever that is.
OK, so maybe the class wasn't as helpful as I thought. We haven't covered putting a scanned image into a blog. Actually, I don't think we ever will, so if some kind soul out there knows how to this (PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ENTER A HELPFUL COMMENT AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST) I'd be eternally grateful! I have tried using Picassa, i-photo, and God knows what else because as you can see, I somehow got these images in using 2 different methods and I haven't got a clue how I did the first one.

In i-photo I got the first half to come out right side up in the viewer after rotating it, but in every other application it comes out sideways. I had to scan the copy of the original in its original size (as that's the only copy I have) sideways. The original size is approx. 20" x 6", remember I began working on the cartoon strip back in the mid '80's when technology was wa-a-a-y different.

Though it's driving me nuts to not try and align things a little different I'm not going to press my luck. After 5 hours this is the best I could do. I know it's not pretty, but there it is. In order to read it just turn your computer on its side and read from what will now be the top left square...just don't strain yourself in the process. If you do, I know a really good Shiatsu Therapist who can help you.

*Image edited May 01/10

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Knit one?

UUUgh! I think I'm coming down with a cold.

The thing is, when I have a cold, or think I may be coming down with one, I have to cancel my clients as a precaution, but no work; no pay. Which makes me real unsympathetic when my non self-employed friends complain that they are using up their "sick day" pay in order to nurse themselves back to health. "Boo Hoo".

The SARS scare a few years ago has made us bodyworkers extra cautious
around our clients. Who wants your therapist leaning over you snorting back snot, imploding with a stifled sneeze (though it seems that nothing's escaping, that little "tssst" sound one makes is not terribly reassuring) or choking on a repressed coughing fit? Strangely, many people find this sort of behaviour negatively impacts on their ability to surrender to the relaxation process; muscles tense and negative thoughts abound.

But I can't just lay here and do nothing (at least not yet) so I'm catching up on all the odds 'n ends around here. Moving information and files over from the old laptop to my new MAC, cooking, doing laundry and blogging, amongst other things. There's always something that needs doing.

For a brief moment I fantasized about getting back into knitting the Inside-Outside scarf (click on that link to see how it should look, especially since these are the colours I've chosen). The one that Glynnie has pretty much finished already. The one that Pam and went to THE NEEDLE EMPORIUM to enlist Julie's help. The one that Pam and I started numerous times before - Pam in order to achieve the ideal look and me because I kept on loosing track of turning the needles vs sliding the yarn on the needles. Glynnie, "I will never ever again accept your protestations about what a lousy knitter you are! It's time to own it, own the fact that you are far more skilled than you let on." She's knitting's version of the card shark — a lot of bluff.

I didn't knit today because good ol' guilt got in the way. Today was supposed to be a work day and I don't feel that bad. My throat just feels cruddy. I found out yesterday that Pam came down with the bug after we went to the ONE OF A KIND craft show in Toronto (I don't do malls for shopping, but I do the One of a Kind - thankfully it comes only twice a year) last Wednesday - she felt crappy that night. I talked with her yesterday and though she's on the mend, she still sounded like she was dying. She had achey joints and a temperature of 102 for a few days coupled with bronchial and head stuff; scratchy throat — the whole shebang. It's probably just as well that I didn't know about this before now as it would probably put me into a hypochondriacal spin.

I'm plugging myself with vitamin C, water, COLD FX and oil of oregano so that I can go to my first session in MAC training tonight. I go bearing anti-bacterial gel and tissues and vow to keep a healthy distance from others. Much as I despise infected people going out in public, if I miss this session I have to wait another few months and my tolerance for frustration is
nearing a max.

As I've learned, when I'm happy everyone around
me is a lot happier too and as the day is wearing on I'm doing O.K. Hopefully this will prove to be more than just wishful thinking.

Monday, April 5, 2010

guru kitty

heavily laden
worldly matters

Pillow sitting white cat Smiles



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Spring is sprung
the grass is riz
I wonder where dem
boidies is

by Anon

Well I know where they is!

The noisy brats (normally I love nature and all of her creatures) were all outside my window at 5 a.m. this morning, causing Maya to rediscover her wild side. Massive "brrrritting" and tearing about of kitty feet insued: over me, onto the window sill, down the stairs to the living room window, up the stairs, over me, onto the window sill and on and on like some kind of blurry, furry, rubber-on-the-road-free, gas-free Indy 500. Flippy seemed
unaware and, unlike me, continued journeying in the land of nod - lucky little sod.

I finally gave up, got up and began looking (yes, we're talkin' bout before 7a.m.) to no avail, for a cartoon I did years ago that would be very appropriate for today. Though I was unable to unearth it I did find:

- the cables and booklet to the TOMTOM that died (this announcement may be premature - won't know til Rod checks it out) in ALF W a few weeks ago. I had conveniently put them in a ziplock bag on the top shelf of a storage unit in the office. Logic told me we'd just have to bend down and look and voila there it would be. No such luck. In typical fashion I couldn't find it til I wasn't looking for it anymore.

- a stash of old cartoons and PMT's I forgot I had. I don't know what PMT stands for. It is old technology. I was trying to put together a book in the early '90's but ran out of steam as it was so time consuming and daunting a task that I became overwhelmed. A PMT was a photo reproduction process that enabled you to resize the images and cut and paste them into your layout and resulted in a clear, crisp image. Do I feel ancient or what?

- old YOGA CENTRE OF VICTORIA NEWSLETTERS compiled into 2 book set, which sent me down memory lane as I leafed through the pages.

And, then I decided to take some photos of the garden and of a bouquet of flowers that Di tastefully arranged for us last night as I was preparing a non-traditional lasagna Easter dinner for she, Roger, Austin, Linda, Rod and I.

All in all it was a very productive extra few hours. But, maybe tonight as I hit the sack I'll keep the window closed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Hi all,

I am pleased to let you know that, together with my sponsors, we raised $380. for St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation in Hamilton - yippee! I have to admit that the fundraising was an afterthought. When I mentioned that I was participating in Around the Bay many of my friends expressed interest in contributing to the cause and so I figured why not put it out there through the blog.

Days before the walk people e-mailed me their best wishes. And after I'd done it, when I phoned friends about other matters (before I could get a word out) they asked how I was doing and what it was like to walk 30K.

Your support - financial and otherwise is greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

Now I feel I've earned the right to wear the commemorative shirt, given to all the participants in our pre-race kit, with OLDER THAN BOSTON proudly emblazoned on the back although Rod said, "you may not want to be wearing that in public they might get the wrong idea". Nice guy. This is a case when it sucks to have grey hair and be over 50.

He knows about being typed, ALF W (my trusty Ford Escort) broke down on Monday night and we had to call CAA for a tow. As we stepped out of the car the tow truck driver (who must have been in his 30's) said, "what can I do for you young fella" OUCH! I'm not proud to admit that psychically part of me stepped away from the "old guy" to escape being labelled as ancient by association; old folks stand to the right, us youngsters to the left.
As I write this I'm listening to Kermit the Frog's rendition of the song THE RAINBOW CONNECTION courtesy of Rod who's surfing the music on the internet. It's nostalgia night on the airwaves here at the Thacker/Waterman abode as my guy's music taste drifts back into the last century. Now he's tormenting me with snippets from some '60's groups and quizzing me with, "who is this?" Though I recognize the music the names escape me as he goes through: Peter and Gordon, Leslie Gore, Ricky Nelson, the Righteous Brothers and more. He can, and has been doing this for hours. This, I've concluded, is a guy thing.