The theme this year was Mask and Metaphor.
I don't know who the creator of this piece is but I enjoyed their work.
When I first heard it sung by Concrete Blonde, I didn't know it was a cover of Leonard Cohen's song. Listening to the CB version this morning made me want to write , maybe because the song is so good and darkly funny. I like both versions so much.
DOES everbody know? If so, what is it that everybody knows?
It is the easiest thing to point a finger and blame. The hard question, which requires brutal honesty, is "what is my role in this?"
Even when we are not directly part of an issue, I believe that in every situation in which we are tempted to blame, we should ask ourselves this question.
We may or may not like the answer but it may be a starting point to continuing or expanding on a good thing, or to improving our lives as well as others.
Long before the ubiquity of cell phone, I was on the train and overheard a woman broadcasting details of her life (or so it seemed to me) to the person on the other end of her mobile phone as well as to anyone within earshot. I thought it was annoying.
Now here we are, smart phones everywhere and I am one of those people broadcasting their lives to anyone in earshot and anyone who reads this.
I will say that I am still sometimes uncomfortable speaking on "the precious" when strangers are within earshot, but then what's the difference between that and having a conversation with someone in person...And in the same environment? -My own personal oddity?
Some might say that privacy doesn't exist anymore. I hate to agree that things seem to be headed that way, if we're not already there, especially with our ever present devices with apps that need to be able to access our personal info if we want to use them. And we WANT to use them, whether we need them or not.
Sometimes websites want us to enter our email just so we can see what they have to offer. End User License Agreement can ask for an arm and a kidney because most of us don't read them before we click "agree". If I want to buy tickets to see a band, I have to register before purchase and log in every time I want to buy tickets. And the same for so many others...Willingly giving up my privacy for covenience.
I almost want to throw my cell phone out right now...but that'll never happen. It's The Precious.
At least since my teenage years, I'd always thought that I would not live a long life (I don't know why) and I'm surprised to have lived as long as I have. Even now I'm afraid to get too cocky about where I will be in the future. Maybe this is why I try to live mostly in the now and why I don't make resolutions. Well, not New Year resolutions, though I can see why the New Year is a good place to start.
I believe that when it's time for a change, that change should begin now. Of course, I don't always hold myself to that belief, hence my lollygaggings and procrastinations. BUT "when it's time to go", I don't want anyone trying to stop me. It will just piss me off.
The list of things I WANT to do is fairly short but sometimes involved. So I will do my best starting now.
When I think of all the bad news we receive from around the nation and the world I have to think I've been lucky. Nothing is perfect but things could be worse.
I'm grateful to everyone in my present and past who, for good or ill, helped me be the person I am today. Personal growth never ends but so far so good. I'm grateful to Mr Tat, my family, and my friends who challenge me, especially the ones who call me on my shite and throw my words back at me.
I like most of the people I work with, which is a serious blessing, and I'm still just happy to have a job. Everyday isn't bouquets and sunshine and I could always be better but it's overall good.
Being in fairly good health, able to dance, walk, listen, laugh, love and be loved (yes hokey), cry, travel, meet people, and more...I appreciate it all.
The Leonardo Challenge is coming up. I'm excited as usual and I know (in my head) what I want to do. I even have everything I need to get started... well almost everything, I forgot an ingredient but that's not a big deal.
HOWEVER, today when I decided that it was time to start, that was the time to clean house. My excuse is that a cleaning was due... more like overdue. But first I had to work on a puzzle I'd only opened a week ago after buying it about 5 years ago. My excuse for that was it'd put me in a better frame of mind to begin my creative work.
Anyhoo, I finally began the project. Worked on it for less time than cleaning and puzzle-work individually. My excuse is I need the glue to dry.
My plan for tomorrow is to finish cleaning the house, rake the leftover leaves, do some more puzzling AND work on my project.
Any bets on what's really going to happen?
Tonight, friends and I will be braving witch-tit weather to go see bands play tribute to David Bowie.
One morning last month while listening to npr before I dragged myself out of bed, I heard the news: David Bowie dies at the age of 69. I gasped. It was such a shock, who knew he could ever die??
The 3rd cassette tape I'd ever bought (that's right, I said cassette tape) was his Never Let Me Down album. I traded it in for the cd later. Of course, since I only had three tapes at the time, it was in constant rotation.
Loved Day In Day Out, Too Dizzy... Glass Spider was an acquired taste for me but good all the same. I don't have all of his music, not even close, but his music has consistently been in my life at least since that album.
I've seen him perform with Trent Reznor and while not a huge fan of Reznor it was an absolute treat to see the Bowie!
Now aside from the fact that he was an absolutely cool hottie, his music was just so good...I'm Deranged (from David Lynch's movie Lost Highway), Shake It (I often find myself singing that one on the way to work), China Girl, Fame, Criminal World, Jump... and so many more that I don't know!
Karaoke nights out with friends would nearly always have a Bowie song in our mix. My go-to favourite is Young American and last year, I sang Let's Dance at a divey karaoke bar in Berlin. There were maybe 10 people there including my friend and me, the rest looked like high school kids... a couple of whom helped me figure out how to get my song in the queue.
A few days after Bowie's death, Mr. Tat showed me a video of two of my all time favourites singing one of my all time favourite songs: David Bowie and Pink Floyd singing Comfortably Numb, that's when the tears flowed. I surprised myself. Never did I ever expect myself to cry over a celebrity, Sa-weet Jaysus what was wrong with me!
I've come to accept this mourning of a person I've only known through music. Maybe because music in general is such a great part of life and his music in particular has been ever present in my life...since that cassette tape.
We go on about our lives daily, what else can we do? But it's a sad day in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, and for most of the world, I think.
Again tragedy finds France, well, more like seeks them out, and I can't help but feel for them AND think that it will only get worse and someday it will find us on the scale it has found them.
We have certainly had terrorist attacks, even home grown (Oklahoma City bombing and the Boston Marathon bombing) and while we've had "terroristic" school shootings, this latest attack on France and other countries leads me to believe that the extremists will not stop and sooner or later another TERRORIST attack will come to us.
Now there is backlash here, against people who "look" like terrorists, on a college campus no less! Ay! Do we all have to be extremists? This latest event will certainly make it harder on legitimate Syrian refugees trying to get into Europe or anywhere else, I imagine.
And how do we distinguish friend from those who itch to hurt us? Who are intent on destroying ANY way of life that is not approved by their beliefs? And all this does is create escalation... And will that ever end?
I've always been envious of people who speak more than one language fluently. After more than 3 years of Español in high school and a semester of Français, I barely have anything to show for it. Yes, there has been dabbling, a little English (ha ha), a little Spanish, a little French, but nothing that might save my life if I get caught in the zombie apocalypse in Quebec or Madrid and need help to hide.
The major problem, of course, was not visiting these foreign countries during the time I was learning their language and so most of it flitted away from memory.
Sure, I know "el baño" if I need the bathroom in Mexico or "ich habe Hunger" if I'm desperate for food in Germany but I want more.
So as of a couple of weeks ago I've been using a little app called Duolingo. Providing it's teaching me correctly, it's absolutely wonderful! It teaches the words, then puts them in sentences for you to translate, both English to German (or language of choice) and vice versa. Then there are the speech tests where you speak a given phrase into the mic and it tells you if what you said is correct... I'm a little suspect of that part of the app because I've said things that were very wrong and was told I was correct. Ah well, still a pretty good app so far.
IF I can learn another language fluently, no longer will I be jealous of those bilinguals (never mind the multilinguals).
First time cruising. It was fun hanging out with my peeps, and while I love being on the water, 7 days was too long. More than two days asea going, and about 1.5 days coming back -and a captive audience to the ship (more days to give them money).
The ship is a small city on water, but I think I had the unconscious feeling of not being able to leave (while at sea) which stunted my enjoyment of the whole experience. While it's not at the top of my vacation to-do list, I'd try it again -knowing what I know now.
I will say I enjoyed the shows I saw, Rock of Ages and The Second City...adult edition. There were food options galore. Music. And dancing: Almost every night -Loved it!!
The island itself deserved more than 2+ days to explore, but we do what we can with what we have. And I can't complain, it was a vacation.
... They are more palatable when volunteered for. But even when challenges arise that you certainly weren't looking for, they can have potential for positive (and of course negative) personal change and growth. I prefer to find the positive in such episodes and hopefully be able to realize the negatives as they arise.
Very early one morning few months ago, Mr. Tat and I, away on vakay, found ourselves face to face with 4 masked men and a gun in our hotel room...I know we both considered the possibilities of how the night could end.
In this case we were fortunate enough to have heard the intruders. To be fair, it was Mr. Tat who heard them coming up the balcony to our 2nd floor room and when I saw them, I screamed.
The ordeal seemed to take forever but it was probably less than 8 minutes. Someone had heard me scream and a few minutes later the hotel's security officer was at our door. I yelled out and the thieves ran back where they came from.
Police came and talked with us. Then a trip to the station a few sleepless hours later and it was over.
The hotel's manager and a maid there were very sympathetic to us and we are very appreciative of their support. The hotel's owner was extremely good with helping us to take our vacation back, though I have to admit it wasn't the same afterward. He also compensated us for our losses after we returned home. I know we would have had an all around great time there if not for our experience.
So what do we do now? Be a wee bit bolder. Don't take garbage from anyone. Remember to live. Try our best to not live in fear. Keep traveling. Continue to trust that most people don't want to harm us.
My latest challenge was the Leonardo Challenge. I try to participate every year because it's so damn fun. This year's theme was maps... I love maps! I don't think I rose to this challenge as well as I could have but I'm still pretty proud to have completed the vision in my head.