Friday, July 30, 2010


Rod and I are in the midst of a major de-cluttering. Actually Rod, finding some time on his hands, has gotten into a de-clearing frenzy and, he keeps trying to drag me into it.

Isn't it amazing how your stuff is "my stuff" and others' stuff is "your s**t"...I think that's fodder for another post, anyway...

Rod is tackling some of our "stuff" and this phase involves scanning photos into his PC which is all well and good, but he wants to turf the originals and this has me gasping for air - the same reaction you all experienced, no doubt, when I told you in this post that in the summer of '97 I'd burned all my diaries.

Somehow looking at photos on a screen isn't the same as flipping through a photo album. It lacks that tactile sense, the feeling that, not only have I thumbed over these pictures many, many times before but that others I know and love, have too. We've sat together on the couch together, poured over them and shared stories contained within the images. I don't know if I'm ready for the screen version complete with captions and "slide shows".

But I've given him the go-ahead but have asked that he put all the pictures aside for a joint effort, one evening, culling. We did this very successfully a few years ago. All the photos that had been thrown randomly into multiple shoe boxes and hermetically sealed for decades got spread out on the coffee table in batches. Only the choice ones, those that rendered the best images or captured the most complete and fondest memories, were kept. We probably did away with 2/3rds of them and it felt good to have photos that were gems clearly in view, not buried amongst shots of: people with their heads cut off, overexposed sunrises and underexposed sunsets, crowds of nameless individuals in mystery locations, thumbs, grandchildren of long forgotten acquaintances and the like.

But now he wants to tackle the sacred ground of photo albums - gulp.

Check Melissa P's comment on the same post. Anytime she let something go inevitably she found a need or desire for it so she often regretted the purge. That's never happened to me except once upon a time; a few months ago to be exact...

I was experiencing a clutter purging high. Everything was going and I was in rapture as I donated items to the Salvation Army Store, The Reuse Centre and Variety Village. I felt lighter than air.

A few weeks later I went to make payment on an item; Rod and I were splitting the cost 50/50. So I pulled out my Visa for my portion and then dug into a seldom used section of my wallet to fish out the joint Visa (which I consider is his card as I so rarely use it) and I didn't get a nibble! A few beads of sweat appeared on my brow but I calmed myself with these thoughts - no worries you probably put it in the safe place when you were away a few weeks ago and never returned it to its rightful place. Just go home and look for it.

So with that I put the item on hold, trotted off home, looked in the safe place wasn't there. I'm starting to hyperventilate - no worries. Just borrow Rod's, make the purchase and do a full search when you are calm. I can't remember what story I used to procure the card from him without arousing suspicion, but let's just say that I was successful and leave it at that.

Purchase made, I returned home and proceeded to turn the place upside down, items were strewn everywhere, drawers were left half opened, doors ajar, papers scattered as my sense of panic rose. It looked like a break and enter. It was so bad the kitties were getting nervous - Ooo something's different. Change, change, too much change, their little minds were thinking. Poops and furballs were brewing.

And suddenly I heard my Dad's voice, "Where was it when you had it last?"

"Well, if I could remember that I'd know where it was, wouldn't I." was my stock response.  He actually meant - "Where was it when you remembered having it last?", but somehow it never came out right.

But that little trip down memory lane was enough to jar my brain. Wait a minute. Where is the photo card of the Dali Lama? You see my sister gave it to me after seeing him in Toronto a few years ago and I have since had the pleasure too so the card's very special to me... and I always carry it in my other wallet... The Dali Lama's missing too!

Wallet, wallet, where is your wallet. Then it dawned on me, I donated a few old purses in the clutter busting. OMG, I DONATED MY WALLET! It must have been tucked into one of them!

To make an even longer story much shorter let me summarize by telling you that:
  • I had to fess up to Rod when I cancelled the VISA (unbeknownst to both of us), while at that very moment he was making a purchase on said VISA. Let me tell you it was not a happy camper that came through the door to witness me pacing amongst the bedlam that posed as our abode.
  • Like a crazed animal I retraced my steps and sniffed out all the places I'd left my stuff, to no avail.
  • Just a week ago, months after receiving the new VISA cards, I found the wallet on a shelf (that I glance upon a few times every friggin' day), sitting at eye level no less, with the Dali Lama smiling compassionately out at me as plain as the nose on my face. How my brain never registered these sightings remains a mystery to me. 
So my advice to you all is beware the clutter busting high otherwise you too could be searching for the Dali Lama. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please, please, please let this work

I am praying that I am not in the parallel universe
Posted by PicasaI'll be right back.....
*   *   *   
I got it to post from Picassa!

I'm not sure how but I'm not going to press my luck by poking around tonight. I'm going to bed now.
Goodnight All :)

Photo mayhem

OK so our next task at Betty Blogger is to explore Picassa.

I opened an account on Picassa over a year ago. I mucked about with it a little and then went to put a picture in my blog and...entered a parallel, Bizarro universe. Fans of Superman know what I mean (Why do I sound like such a nerd and what the hell is Goofy? Is he a dog or a person or what and why, if he is a dog does he own a dog called Pluto?), it kind of looks the same, but doesn't act the same as when I was putting pictures in through other means. Don't ask me what those other means were back then cus I don't know. I'm on a MAC now and use i-photo to post pics but sometimes I seem to have problems adding pictures this way so I put them in some other way. I don't know how. Somehow I just make it happen. Cross my heart, I'm not making this s**t up.

All of a sudden I had 2 blogs titled Awakening Choice but with slightly different URLs. I even discovered a fan I didn't even know I had stranded out there in the dark side of Awakening Choice land II. I had to bring him over to Awakening Choice, aka the light side. I had to post an entry basically saying, "Oops, you've got the wrong blog.  Click here and come on over the real blog," in order to round up anyone else who could be wandering around over there thinking How lame is she; doesn't she ever finish an entry?

So when I go to my dashboard it looks like I have 2 posts and they're both called Awakening Choice - it's a lie - the deleted one lays dormant just waiting there, haunting me. It's creepy.

*   *   *
I thought I'd enter in a nice picture from my Picassa album. But I can't get it to work. I click on the insert image icon in the tool bar but  I can't "choose" one pic only the app icon itself which makes the MAC spinny thing show up. Maybe Picassa can't be used this way? I tried entering it through Blogger which seems to launch me into the parallel universe. Not going there!

OK then I'll choose one from i-Photo, but nope I am blocked at the app and can't choose an individual picture.

What the hell I'll just go into i-Photo again, export the photos I want into "my pics" and...ureka, here they are. I'll be back in a day or 2 and try again. NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME FOR A COMMENT ANYONE - HELP!

Til then enjoy pics from Montreal Jazz Festival festivities.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm listening

Just a quickie tonight.

I'm thrilled that people are commenting...OK I know they almost exclusively my teachers at Betty Blogger, but it's exciting to come in here hit "sign in" and see "there are comments to be moderated"...thrilling I tell ya!

And it's not just because people are taking the time to comment but that they are sharing some great info. See Library Lady's comment in previous blog re: social networking. I know that it's all ultimately about marketing but her comment shows how harmlessly it is presented and how insidious it all is. This is yet another reason why I'm very selective about what info I give out.

You are probably saying to yourself, "What do you mean selective? You're blabbing about yourself in a Blog for Pete's sake."

"Ah, you're right." I would say to you. But, I choose the story and the info that I want to present from whatever perspective I want, which tends to be that of an amused witness. You won't find things I consider very personal, otherwise you'd be reading my diary and even I couldn't stand reading that s**t for very long.

My diaries were my form of therapy, written so that I might better understand the workings of my mind. That is, before I gave up trying to understand it and simply learned to accept it and go along for the ride.

Here's a sample of what went on in my mind as I (from the vantage point of my mid 40's) re-read entries  from diaries that I had loving lugged back and forth and back and forth with me between B.C and Ontario from my early 20's to my mid 30's. 

OK you've finally figured it out great! Then I read a little more...nope you didn't get it. And a little more...I can't believe you fell for that yet again. Further on...Oh man what the hell's wrong with you. You're certainly not the sharpest pencil in the box are ya!  Finally...I'm so done with this. Bury it so no one sees this record of self-imposed pathetic moments. Better still burn it!

And that's just what I did. I can hear you all gasping now. "You burned your diaries! Why, they are a record of your life and are priceless gems for you to look upon in your old age as you reminisce." 

"Oh please! Is reminiscence another word for torture? It was absolutely LIBERATING"!!! I have had more than my share of pathetic moments and "No I don't need to relive them". Instead I aspire to become an 80 year old crone weaving memories of a life filled with passion, adventure and wisdom.

I tore the pages of my diaries from their bindings; rolled them up into a gazillion "fire bundles"; took them up to a cottage and every night threw a bunch on to the fire and watched them and the person who wrote them go up in flames.

It was fitting because the day after I returned home from that holiday was my first day at Shiatsu School and the beginning of my new life.

Monday, July 26, 2010

my inner geek

I've been playing around a lot more with computer stuff since taking the Betty Blogger course.
I have found the Diggo bookmarking feature really helpful and am storing all of my "must see/must save" info on it. Since the info goes with me wherever I am or whatever computer I'm on, I'm sold. Now when I have to get a new computer I won't need a computer geek to transfer the info onto.

I've been on Facebook since my nephew's wedding in 2008. My sister-in-law posted her photos on it for all of the family to see. It was incredible - pics and text to boot. But, my site remained faceless and profile-less for about a year before I dared enter any info - I've got 4 pics; only 1 of myself. If I choose to "share" I do it through my blog where I am the master of my own universe.

Facebook. I love it and I hate it.

I love that I can pop on and get a quick update on friends' comings and goings and states of mind revealed in short sound bites. I love that I can see photos of my friends and their growing families enjoying themselves. Some friends have quite a photographic eye and talent for snapping pictures and I get to see the great shots they've taken. Lately, a friend of a friend shared breathtaking photos of stars in a clear night sky; and my friend is THE Green Thumb Queen Extraordinaire with the pictures of her garden and flowers to prove it.

I love that when I  ask "friends" a question through Facebook my chances of getting relevant info has expanded exponentially.

What I don't like is that, although you can adjust your privacy settings so that only your "friends" can see your profile info, anyone can see you dancing on tables buck naked at the company Christmas party if that's what somebody chooses to share with their "friends". When it comes to picture sharing what happens on facebook stays on facebook and travels around the world for all to see without your knowledge or control (I could be wrong).

In this day and age, it seems to me, Superman and all his masked and caped friends would need to develop new super powers in order to keep their identity secret cus sure enough one of their friends, most likely the cub reporter Jimmy (having had to many shots of booze) in a drunken stupour would find the urge to "share" his shots on Facebook. Before you know it you'd be surfing some friend of a friend of a friend's photo album, come across pictures 2 through 8 and recognize Clark Kent caught in a moment of wild abandon: tossing off his hornrims; unbuttoning his shirt to reveal the tell-tale blue, skin tight leotard and hint of the tip of a red and yellow emblem before flashing to his senses and clumsily fumbling to re-button his shirt and you'd say to yourself...Hey that guy looks a lot like... .

I also don't get Farmville and all that kind of stuff but then I've never been into the "games" aspect of computers, not even solitaire, so I don't really want to know that you've just adopted a baby pig...IT DOESN'T EXIST AND NEITHER DOES YOUR FARM. GET A LIFE!  Nothing makes me exit Facebook in disgust quicker. Besides, my hamster has been waiting for me while I've been following your exploits in virtual reality land. I visit my i-google homepage regularly to feed, water and exercise it...

HEY WAIT A MINUTE WHAT THE HELL'S WRONG WITH ME? I worked in animation for Pete's sake, I should know better. Thanks to some fellow Betty Blogger (who will remain nameless) who put the cool fish swimming gadget on her blog I explored aBowman and found my hammy - see how cute he is! 

There's another love/hate thing about Facebook and social networking, one can get hooked on an infinite variety of time wasting activity - which I consider most of the apps to be. Playing around with apps during a Betty Blogger drop-in I found that friends are on Marketplace and I noticed it on my list of apps in the more section below the ones I've chosen. I didn't choose it. What was it doing there? A few weeks ago I was just browsing, I thought. So I had to go into settings and block it. I find the amount of access to my information most apps want is unacceptable. Melissa (library lady's assistant) said that many of the apps are created by third parties - I don't know where else my info might go or if I'll end up getting a lot of crap showing up on my computer. If in doubt, don't go there.

I joined the Betty Blogger Summer School "group" as part of the exercise but I can't say that I'll continue to visit the group once the course is complete - it's all I can do to write blog entries and follow blogs I like.

I'll have to limit my vices and blogging's it...except for my hammy... and I'll have to figure out what TWITTER'S all about...but, I swear to God that's it!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reader's Digest Reject #5

It's been a while; long overdue in fact.

Boys and girls it's that time again. Time once more for (drum roll please) "Ta da" READER'S DIGEST REJECTS.

During a family reunion, a group of adults was clustered around; talking. My eight-year-old nephew was excitedly and very loudly trying to add to the conversation. My husband Rod turns to him and in a soft voice says, "Johnny lower your voice," gesturing in a downward motion with his hand.

Rod returns his attention to the group and we resume talking. So does Johnny, in a voice just as lout and excited, he says, "Is this better uncle Rod?"

We all turn to see Johnny sitting on the floor as he speaks.

Rules: word count must be 100 or less and story must be true
Words: 92
Only the name of my nephew has been changed (to protect the not so innocent anymore and much older now) otherwise this story is totally true.

If you liked this check out #1 through #4 by clicking on the label reader's digest to the right.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MONTREAL Je t'aime - part III(a) of III

As I promised here are some pics of my Cirque de Soleil performer imitation.

this is a picture of intense concentration
I should give credit to the nice people at SLACKLINE MONTREAL for putting up the lines and giving us a chance to have a little fun. I blogged about the slacklines a few posts ago - see it here.

and this is the graceful shot before I almost did a face plant
just chillin' afterwards
juggling in the park, notice people just doing their thing

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Place for Everything

When I first read the assignment about tagging I felt totally bogged down. Uugh, not yet another way to be exposed to useless info and yet another way to store it.

I don't even know how to use Bookmarks in Safari. I thought it was supposed to store only info that I selected personally but every finger burp and stutter that I make is on the list and, I don't want any of it. It's especially demoralizing to see every re-entry I make into my blog on a day to day basis recorded because: while doing the dishes I suddenly remember that I spelt Skiddamarinky incorrectly or I forgot to enter the date so it looks like all my entries have taken place on Tuesday June 29th at 1:00a.m.

But just the other day, I couldn't find a website that I thought I'd entered into my Safari Bookmark, because I couldn't remember how to spell Aangen (not a common word), I thought,  If I could only enter a word like: workshops, community centre or Toronto, I could at least get somewhere. And since I couldn't remember the last time I was on the site going into History was pointless.

After many trials and errors I finally found what I was looking for. Maybe entering it in Diigo would be most helpful. So I did.

Aangen Community Centre
more from 
No snapshot - Edit - Delete 
affordable educational workshops website

Now I don't have to remember the name of the centre; the tags alone will bring it up. Since I'm always upgrading my skills the tag "workshops" will get well used when I use them to label such bookmarks as: the Ontario Hypnosis Centre School, Robert Moss's website and Harry Kahuna Jim's website. I can even narrow Aangen down further by adding "Dora" (a teacher, who offers worshops on Lomi, Hot Stone and Reiki through the centre) as a tag.

I hate wasting my time. It looks like this Diigo thing is going to, after a little investment of my time, save me time in the long run and help me find fantastic sites on dreamworking.

Moss Dreams

I use Robert Moss's lightning dreamwork techniques in my dream circles and it's always great to keep up to date with his workshops, books etc. I'll have to go back in and add BOOKS to the tags as he's a very prolific author on dreamworking and the history of dream study and I like to keep up to date on his offerings - so yes, I will use Diigo aside from this course assigned exercise.

I typed "dreams" into the search box of the community library section of Diigo to see what others have added and found sites as diverse as:

An Online Guide To Dream Interpretation

health DREAM psychology INTERPRETATION mind first saved by nikki on 2006-03-02

It is representative of most dream symbol sites, offering a very simplistic, analytical but common view of how to understand one's dreams. Though I don't analyze dreams in this way many of my clients do so it's important for me to be able to speak their language and understand their points of reference.

The Case for a Cognitive Theory of Dreams

Quite an extensive article on dreams and dreaming that I entered into my library and bookmarked so that I can read it at a later date.

As a dreamworker I don't interpret dreams per se nor do I analyze them, rather I aim to take the fear out of dreams by teaching my clients how to understand their own dream language rather than rely on the dream dictionary approach. My exploration in Diigo has shown me that, with the proliferation of dream dictionaries and dream symbol sites I've got a lot of work to do.

I found exploring the tags of others led me on a wild goose chase into an infinite number of possibilities. I don't think I'll use this particular aspect too much.

The ability to make notes will be incredibly helpful. I can't seem to read a book without a pen in hand for underlining and note taking. My books are my friends, advisors, educators and confidants and as such they can expect to be well used and have some evidence of my presence within their pages. I can't seem to get the highlighter function working, but when I do, OH BABY!

OK. Here's where I need technical help.
As you can see, I get these weird spaces occurring in the published blog. When I'm checking everything out in compose I've got all the text just the way I want it, but when I post it that's another story, it comes out all WEIRD. 


Sunday, July 18, 2010

What do you think?

I have to be honest about something. I'm not proud of it but here it goes.

You complete me.

Yes, I joined Betty Blogger to become social media savvy but now that people are commenting on my blog (my instructors mainly) well it all feels so right. Fellow Betty Bloggers you know what I'm talking about! Sure, friends occasionally comment on my blog entries in person, through e-mail or facebook, even over the phone but rarely do they do so in the blog itself.

I don't know why this is as it couldn't be more convenient.

Picture this. The moon is full, you've had a hard day and you're seeking some "me time"; time to be entertained; time for "brain candy". You don your flannel PJ's and fuzzy slippers, schlep off to your den, plonk down in front of the computer, set your cup of steaming, black brew on the table and start surfing the web. After a half hour of mindless fun you enter into blog territory; the arena of real people leading real lives.

Ah, what's this? You've stumbled onto a site containing such whit, wisdom, and beauty that OMG you are awe struck. Unbeknownst to you somewhere out there in the real world a lonely, forgotten, wanna be writer, taps away decoding the stream of consciousness flowing out of their brain for the public to behold. From the cold, dark, damp, depths of her basement (I know, I know. Lucky her it's frikin' sweltering out there today. At least she has a basement, I don't even have central air and I'm in this tiny apartment... I already said that you're in flannel PJ's imagine that it's winter OK) she huddles over the white glow eminating off her screen.

Aw, come on, send her some encouragement. A little, "Hello out there.", "I think your stuff is fun.", even send her your own perspective or experience regarding the topic of the day to let her know that she's touched a cord. It might even spur others on to comment as well and a nice little forum could take place - sort of like facebook only you could be totally anonymous. And, hey you're already on the blog what could be simpler.

Here's a slightly edited version of how to comment courtesy of the Library Lady:
"At the end of each post you’ll find space to comment. Commenting is a huge component of blogging. Please feel free to comment on my blog. To do so, fill in the box provided, select your profile (always select Google Account) and click POST COMMENT. If you’re not signed into blogger, you can post anonymously or you’ll have to sign in. Once you’ve completed the steps, you’re comment will appear. It’s a nice way to make contact between fellow students and myself."
Please note that some bloggers, like myself, choose to review the comments before allowing them to show up on their post. As ruling monarchs of our little blog territory we get to make up the rules.

See the "tell me what you think" at the end of my post well that's your opportunity to make a comment. Just click on it and follow the directions. Yes, you do need a google account but it'll only take a second. Come on, what do you say...I'm bloody freezn' down here, and it's dark, and I'm all alone, and...
Could I make it sound any more pathetic?
You could comment on that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

me tube, YouTube, we all tube

In answer to the Library Lady's question, yes I enjoy the You Tube experience - especially since I now have the ability to put it in a blog (scroll down to see the last 2 entries).

Streaming has become so popular, in part, because it is so accessible. Younger generations who have been raised with media and computer technology in-their-face from the cradle have an intimate relationship with it. They are the driving force behind its popularity using it as a means of creative expression, communication and providing forums for exploration of ideas.

My generation has a distinct ambivalence towards it. With our reference to WWII and Orwell's classic 1984 , baby boomers, for the most part demonstrate a wariness about such public vehicles. We question: Will it control us or will we control it? How will it impact on our life and issues of privacy? Do we all need our 15 minutes of fame? Why would anyone want to be so out there?

The reality is, what you do with it is up to you. Whether you browse from afar or become more engaged with the technology there's no doubt that it is:
  • entertaining - as you have noticed from the videos that I have chosen to add in the previous 2 posts
  • informative - since I'm a visual type of person I prefer demos to the written word when attempting to learn new skills. I learned how to make my own juggling balls through a video like this
  • a pleasant time waster - and soon I will be able to do this (note - request to embed was denied)
  • a way to find factual information that you want quickly as many TV programs (or snippets of) are available on You Tube - without being held captive by: TV schedules, channel surfing beloved members of a household or commercial interludes
  • potentially a forum for diverse perspectives on the human condition, politics and world events
  • a way to interact with others world-wide - we really are a global community
  • a form of advertising and promotion 
And, these are just some of the reasons that I feel it has become so popular. My classmates will have their views on the subject and I'll be interested in reading their posts.

Yes, I will continue to view YouTube and include it in posts when it is relevant, and I'm so inclined. Being a creative type I also hope to be able to explore making my own videos. I see it as another fun way for me to keep up with technology.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I woke up this morning
And jumped out of my bed

I believe it
Yes, I believe it

With plans of Forrest Gumping
Dancing in my head

I believe it 
Yes, I believe it

Alf W was relaxing
Pedalled my bike instead

I believe it 
Yes, I believe it

Ate a croissant, drank ice coffee too
At my favourite cafe, Pane Fresco-oh-oh-oh

I believe
I believe
I belie e e e e eve

Wrote in my journal
Of dreams and plans to do

I believe it
Yes, I believe it

Went to Spencer Smith Park
And juggling did I do

I believe it
Yes, I believe it

Biked home in time
*To watch the Germans win

I believe it
Yes, I believe it

And through this time
were singing from within

Believe it
Yes, you can believe it
You can belie e e e e eve it down in your soul
*was watching World Cup Soccer - Germany won and placed 3rd

"EARWORMS? What are earworms?" You might ask.

If you have a touch of neurosis, (and who doesn't) you, no doubt, have at one time experienced that: "tune wedgy", song, portion, words or melody that you just can't get out of your head.

The above bad poem shows you just how I experienced my day yesterday. Since sharing and playing I Believe To My Soul I haven't been able to get it out of my mind.

It's a lot better than Skidamarinky dinky do which was my constant companion days after taking a trip with my brother and his family when this happened...

(copyright Nance Thacker 1990)

Skidda (I am not so cruel as to post this as a video as, as any Canadian parent knows, it's totally viral!) was played, over and over and over again to the delight of my sweet niece during a prolonged bit of driving. If she was happy; we were happy.

I also read somewhere that earworms tend to work their magic when people are feeling optimistic.
So to all you optimists out there here is another bit that'll worm its way into your brain. It's full of such great energy and so much fun that it's worth listening to and risking infection.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

MONTREAL Je t'aime - part III of III

On the same night of my previous entries - Montreal Je t'aime parts I and II, after Kathy and I changed into more suitable atire in Jim's van with its tinted windows we headed over to the Metropolis to catch Eric Burdon and the Animals. Yes, THE Eric Burdon; but no, not THE Animals at least not in their original form, none of the members playing that night were from the original band.

How very '60's you might say.

I felt like a stranger in a strange land as they played such tunes as: It's My Life and Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood while all around me ageing hippies, or shrubbies as they're called on Vancouver Island, rocked out. The  surreality got amped up when the band went into We Gotta Get Out of This Place and the whole place was brought to a riotous frenzy as geezers pounded their canes on the floor in time with the beat. And, I was awestruck as I witnessed the audience — a sea of swaying and bobbing grey heads — tripping back to the teenagers they once were, rebelling against (even though they are now) the establishment.

These songs were their anthems of protest, not mine. The '60's was the best time of their lives; the worst of mine. I am not nostalgic for that time and I found it difficult in this context to realize that I am one of them.

Instead of having flashbacks like the rest of them I was having flashforwards. I've been doing some Shiatsu for nursing home residents and frequently visit my Mom's who lives in Burloak Longterm Care Centre. Her generation is soothed by the gentle, bittersweet songs of the big band era, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Satchmo, jazz and the like and it filters out into the hallway from resident's rooms as I pass by.

As the lyrics "We gotta get out of this place if it's the last thing we ever do" written by a rebellious youth but sung now by a grey haired 69 year old (albeit with an amazing set of pipes and agile moves) I couldn't help thinking that when we populate the nursing homes the desire to get out will rise up on occasion (as does in Mom's case) but when we do get out it really will be the last thing we ever do.

And, 20-30 years down the road when members of my generation, fuelled by songs of teenage angst and rebellion, become residents, if there's going to be any peace at all for the caregivers, we're all going to have to be heavily medicated. Soon ads like: TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE? HELL NO, JUST TRIP DOWN or YOU WON'T WANT TO GET OUTTA THIS PLACE or MARIJUANA MOMMA MANOR will have children of the '60's pounding on the doors to get in.

Now comes confession time. A most pleasant surprise of this evening was the band's virtuosity as individual musicians were highlighted with solos and tight jamming during  prolonged, blues-inspired segments. Stripped of '60's references, I can truly say that they blew me away! And they did a most excellent rendition of The House of the Rising Sun - a song I've always loved

And Burdon did a song called I Believe to My Soul which I'd never heard before and which showcased his amazing voice and his ability to interpret a song. Take a moment and listen to the power.

P.S. Thanks to Betty Blogger for making this so easy. It would have taken me days to search just how to do this!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



Aside from the fact that Flippy is busy at work depositing an ever so shiek, fine, layered blend of soft Flippy-fluff thereby transforming my once drab computer bag into an inspired creation, do you notice any new changes around here?

Uh huh, uh huh, I thought you would. It's all thanks to the BETTY BLOGGER course I'm taking and the assistance of the Library Lady.

My friend was right. This program is fantastic. I came in to the drop-in session this morning with a list of challenges I haven't been able to solve for months. And the Library Lady helped me solve all my problems within 90 minutes... I heard that. No, smarty pants, the Library Lady's not a counsellor or psychiatrist. She's a computer Web 2.0 whiz — which for me is a bazillion times better as blogging IS my therapy.

It's such a relief to work through and explore this stuff and all that can be done at my own pace AND have a guide who will also work at my own pace, no: jumping in, taking over, clicking at the speed of light to "voila" make the changes for me and expect me to get what she's done. She just calmly stands by my side, observing, directing and working alongside me on her own computer which allows me to follow along. BRILLIANT!!! And, anytime I press a key by mistake or launch anything into cyberspace due to my excitedly dancing fingers the Library Lady is there to act as my safety net.

And not a swearword has been uttered!

I have to take that back, only one, by me of course. But it was a tiny, little inoffensive one that just slipped out under my breath.

Now I've probably blown it. The next drop-in session will probably be filled with the 70 or so other students (no, less as some people are taking part from Victoria and India). I should have said that her assistance sucked and she's a real b***h. But the cat is out of the bag (damn enthusiasm). Not only is she efficient and helpful, she's nice and P-A-T-I-E-N-T.

I assume the title of the course was designed to draw the attention of my generation and to help us enter into the Web world (especially those of us without children aka computer consultants). Though I've been blogging for a while now it's taken me months and months to get where I am though a lot of blood, sweat and tears. But today as I worked alongside the Library Lady I could feel myself "getting it", becoming more courageous, enthusiastic and confident with exploring innumerable options, applications or whatever you call 'em (still have to work on the lingo) on my own.

Men take note, this is an entirely male friendly venue — we're really working hard on our tasks here, not talking recipes (we may be blogging about them, but we're not talking about them). Anyway, my point is that it's extremely user friendly.

Maybe I'll get up to snuff and be able to mix it up with the geeks. It could happen.

Please Note: (Vanna White sweep of the hands) I added on a new gadget which appears at the bottom of each post and shows what you might also like to read. Because I typed computer angst in my labels area at the end of this entry, it'll bring up posts related to my struggles with blogging and computer issues (happily many of these have been corrected over time so some of them may not make too much sense but you'll be able to get my drift). So to those students in the class who are new to this stuff, read and be assured that if I can do it so can you. The advantage is you won't have to go through all the angst along the way.

I just checked my post and those computer related entries don't come up. Never mind. Don't listen to me, I don't know what I'm talking about. You'll get some more RANDOM postings totally unrelated to computer stuff, but it looks nice.

To see more about my journey with computer angst hit the labels: computer angst, Betty Blogger or computer/blogger angst in the side bar.

OK, I'm back again. Every time I come in to edit my blog and publish it I get different selections in the "you might like" section. I'm just telling ya.

If anyone knows if I can select the 3 that I'd like to show up that would be really helpful otherwise I'll leave it up to the randomness of the universe.

I've had a bazillion hits on my site since I started it. They're all me cus I keep doing this. The geeks can rest easy, I won't be schmoozing with them any time soon.

That's it, I'm really done now...I mean it. I'm not coming back into this post again. All for now.  Bye bye.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

come out, come out wherever you are

"Computer Nance" is getting some schooling in social media including: blogging, flickr, youtube, facebook etc, as I am now a student of Burlington Public Library's Betty Blogger - an 8 week program exploring Web 2.0.

After the gasillionth time listening to me whine about my inability to understand aspects of the web, witnessing me in the throws of blogger/computer angst (not a pretty picture, I assure you) and being thwarted in her attempts to explain how stuff works, (on a scale of 1 - 10 my understanding of all things Web 2.0 and its applications is about a 4; I know the names of things, even have a Twitter account, but I don't know what the hell to do with it), my friend said calmly, "You should take the Betty Blogger course. Really!"

"Betty Blogger? Ah, I don't know." I said. Revealing my child of the 60's perspective and feminist leanings I continued, "sounds like Betty Crocker and makes me think of the whole post WWII effort to entice Rosie the Riveter types (women had been encouraged to do their part in the war effort by working outside the home filling jobs vacated when men went to war) back into the kitchen when their men returned."

"No, it's fantastic... Think of it this way, Betty Blogger, Betty Crocker. It's as easy to use Web 2.0 as it is to bake a cake," she said, pleased with the analogy.

"Umm, you do know who you're talking to, don't you?" We met when we were in public school and she knows that I'm a bit of a feminist type and definitely no domestic goddess.

Cutting to the bare bones facts she emphatically stated the obvious, "You'll get help with your blog."

"Oh, there are classes?" This is starting to get me excited.

"Well, not exactly. You get your assignments through e-mail correspondence and it's done online."

"I need to talk to real people, to get hands on help sometimes when I need it." (I'm such a "baby la-la"  [aka whiner], as my friend Kathy would say).

"You can drop in at set times and get help from the Library Lady and from fellow classmates as one of the goals of the program is to encourage networking and collaboration. Even the staff at the library can assist you as we've all taken the course." I forgot to mention that she works at the library.

"OK then; sounds good. I'm in. So, you could help me then?"


"Uh...No, I'll be working where you can't find me."

Can't say I blame her.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

MONTREAL Je t'aime - part II of III

Here is part 2 of our great Montreal expedition. We're still in the park in this entry. Jim and Rod are at our little picnic site and you can see the trees behind them. If you look real close at the tree on the very left you'll see a band around its base and a guy standing to the right. The band connects a slack line to the tree between the whirlygigs that Jim and Rod are holding up.

This is what happens when you put the lines up, give people the opportunity to drop in a little coin into the box (which you see on the far right tree) and let them go at it. If you have a drop of acrobatic blood in you, and I do, you'll find this irresistible. No, this is not me. I did take my shot at it though and Jim has the pics in his camera, which, if they're not too unflattering, I promise to post when I get them.

And this is what happens when you get really good at it. This guy is just coming down from a jump. He was jumping and dancing and running across the thing like there was no gravity. On another line a young woman in a simple summer dress, in bare feet, looked like an angel simply walking with such control, posture and grace that it took my breath away.

Meanwhile, in a field up the hill a battle was raging. Maybe raging isn't the right word; notice the smiles on the combatants faces. Anyway, these "re-enactors" were having a great time with their home-made weapons consisting of foam and wood and lots and lots of duct tape (Red Green would be proud). Two groups gather at either end of the field and then begin to advance.

They pick their target, the dust rises as they move closer and the battle begins.

If you get hit in the arm you have to put it behind your back and use your other one. If you're caught in the leg you have to jump around on the "good" one and continue the fight. And, if you're mortally wounded you fall where you were struck down as war is waged all around you. Once a side is defeated everyone regroups and it all begins again.

I swear, everyone was enacting their fantasy that day or at least letting the child in them come out and play. So I took out the juggling balls and amused myself. People watched, they enjoyed and then moved on. I was just one of the gang of all ages having fun.


Friday, July 2, 2010

MONTREAL Je t'aime - part I of III

Last Sunday Rod and I were hanging out with our friends Kathy and Jim and their son Chris on Mount Royal in Montreal taking in the "tam tams" as Kathy calls it. We got there around 2pm and the festivities were in full swing. People were gathered in groups scattered around a square playing drums of all kinds. Although there were other instruments present in some of the rag-tag bands, the focus was on the beat of the heart of mother earth. For hours on end a steady driving rhythm pervaded the airwaves enticing you (well OK, me and a few hundred others) to dance, sing, hoot, and clap or simply soak in the atmosphere from a distance.

People playing, dancing, singing and just enjoying the scene.

This happens every Sunday, weather permitting during the summer and is an event not to be missed! We brought a picnic and found a nice place under some trees to act as a home base from which to take in all the activities around us and people watch. Rod said it was like a flashback to the '60's, but I felt it offered the freedom and opportunity for people of all ages to play un-self-consciously; such a rarity these days. As you know, I'm big on playing so this is one of the many reasons why I feel totally at home here. There is a gaiety and abandon that is embraced in this fantastic city that I have not found in Ontario.
Around the perimeter of the statue vendors sell their wares.
Notice the curious man considering his next purchase.

Curious man, having made his purchase,
heads home after a day of fun and sun in the park with the "tam tams".
And here is our memento, all cheery and whimsical, at home in our little back garden.
Notice the rainbow effect on the lense?
It makes the picture look like an action shot;
as if the whirly gig is spinning, smokin' fast.
It's not, the air was still yesterday.
Just like me as I try and "land" and take hold of my everyday life once more after 8 days in glorious Montreal.