Monthly Archives: May 2013

We’re off and running!

_finish_directionSo at first blush this isn’t going to appear to be shallow at all. But read on and you will see just how good I can be at making even the most sincere and heartfelt activities meet my needs.

Tomorrow my team, “Fast in the Past” (get it!) will be participating in the CityChase Race, which I am pretty sure was created just for people like me who always dreamed of taking part in the real “Amazing Race”  but didn’t have a handy moniker like “Dating Divorced Couple” or “Motorcycle Chicks” to get them in. So you get the picture. We get clues that make us run around to various landmarks in the city and, once we get there we undertake challenges that are presented to us. Like eating worms, or running the track or jumping over cars, and once we do this for six hours (you heard me, six!) we get to go to the finish line and let people know that we are done. No million bucks, no medal, probably not even a good bagel. Just the satisfaction of knowing we were able to finish.

But here’s the nice part about this. Our fees and any other money we can raise go to an amazing organization called “Right to Play“.  Here’s what the website says about that:

“By supporting us in our Chase, you will also be supporting every child’s right to play. It costs just $50 to provide a year of weekly sport and play programming to children in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities. Right To Play implements programs in 20 countries around the world including: Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.”

The thing is we have just received our first challenge and it’s to raise money to get a stamp for ChasePoint #1. I won’t go into details here (let me just say the more we raise the better for all of us) but this is where you come in. If you like the cause and have a few extra shekels please take a moment to donate to our team by going to our pledge site at:

Donations of $20.00 or more automatically receive a tax receipt so it’s not costing you as much as you think.

Ok, you really don’t think this is shallow yet so here are some other reasons you should donate to our team:

  1. What could be more satisfying that knowing you had a part in putting  smiles on the face of little children as they play in the open air, leaving their troubles behind them for just a short while. Hey! They don’t call me the “Queen of Guilt” for nothing!
  2. My biggest concern about the race is that the weather tomorrow calls for rain and you know that’s going to play havoc with my hair. It’s a sacrifice but I’ll be there nonetheless.
  3. We’re running this with another team who have connections to folks with rather deep pockets. They have already surpassed their fundraising goal. This competition has really started.
  4. Have I ever asked you for anything, ever?

Now I know you’re thinking “I can do this but not right now”. Well, I hate to be pushy but the race starts tomorrow morning and I’ll need that stamp for ChasePoint #1 at the get go so there’s no better time than now to show your support.

Thanks for any help you provide and I’ll let you know how this things go as I’m pretty sure I’ll find a few shallow posts along the way.

BTW..if you happen to be one of the members of my family reading this feel free to pass it on to those who don’t. I would hate to have them miss out on this opportunity to support me.

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I Admit It!

magnifying_glassI am almost absolutely certain that there are more people reading this blog than reflected in my WordPress stats. I say this because there are times when my weekly numbers don’t even account for the relatives I am foisting my words upon. Nor for the numerous business cards (or perhaps more accurately stated “blog cards”) I have given out to almost everyone I have come into contact with over the past year. Or even the close friends I have cultivated on my Facebook page for the sole purpose of augmenting my readership. All told, if I believed the stats I would have to conclude that there are many people who should be, but are not, reading the blog. Which leads me to what appears to be the only other logical conclusion, that my most loyal followers are receiving the blog in their emails and simply reading it there, and that’s fine with me. Because even though the numbers don’t always add up, there’s enough other information there to allow me to speculate about who stops by, how they get there and what they might be looking for, which is no more a waste of my time than what I would normally do while sitting in my chair.

As we know we live in an increasingly global world and since my mission is to help all people, regardless of race, religion, colour, ethnicity etc. to become one with their shallow self, there is nothing that makes me happier than discovering that people from the four corners of the globe (are there corners on a globe?) are reading the blog. I’m sure it won’t surprise you that, outside of Canada, most of my visitors come from the United States of America which I think makes sense since for the most part we speak the same language, in more ways than one. But part of the fun is that I never know who’s going to stop by. There have been visitors from as far away as Iran and Iraq who, I’m thinking, may not only struggle with the words but also the sentiments expressed heretofore. And if they do understand, I often wonder whether they spend time exploring the archives or simply cut their losses by navigating away as quickly as they can. Just today someone from Guernsey came by and, even though it’s a country that’s so small it doesn’t show up on the handy world map that WordPress provides, I’m glad to have been able to share my thoughts with him or her in whatever part of the world they might be. But not only do I know where my visitors are coming from, I also have an inkling of how and why they arrived as WordPress shares the search terms that brought them to me. And that’s where things get really interesting.

I’ve learned that many of the people who come upon my blog by chance have actually been searching Google for an image that I suppose they want to put on their own blog. Some have stopped by for a pic of the world while others, who have perhaps shared with me the misfortune of moving a little too quickly on the blacktop, are looking for flashing police lights to display. I have both of those and I’m guessing that I searched Google to get them too. I’ve got to say though that I’m a little baffled by the fact that the search term that most frequently brings otherwise unsuspecting people to the blog is conversations with my hairdresser which raises a number of questions in my mind. I mean do people really plan and prepare ahead of time what they are going to say while their hair is being shampooed? Has the art of conversation been so lost that we need guidance on how to speak more than 140 characters at a time? Or is there just so little happening in their lives that they have to look to others for inspiration? Come on people! We’re talking about an hour of chit chat, most of which won’t even be heard over the drone of the blow dryer. And while I am more than happy for the increased traffic and would never turn anyone away, surely we can do that much without Google.

However, perhaps the most significant information I have recently received on my WordPress stats page was the fact that someone found their way to my space using the search term “Doesn’t anyone admit that this is a shallow world?”  I admit it!! And that’s what they discovered when Google brought them to my  “It’s a Shallow World After All”  post. To be honest, it kind of gave me goose bumps because as you know, I want to help in whatever small way that I can. After all, shallow people like to give back too.

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What’s My Favourite Colour?

colour_paletteI don’t really like to rant about stuff because, one thing I know for sure is that a lot of people have a lot more to rant about than I do. But there’s a time and place for everything and when I tell you what happened to me this weekend I’m pretty sure you’ll cut me some slack and agree that even for a shallow person like me, this is the time. However, before I continue, perhaps it would be best for me to set the stage.

Late last week the engine light on my car came on. It’s a solid, not a flashing light, so it’s entirely possible that this situation will turn out to be “no big deal”. The thing is, over the years my car and I have developed a symbiotic relationship of sorts. I take care of her and she takes care of me. So when a light like that comes on, it hurts not only because we have become so close but because you gotta know that an eleven year old car from the old country has the potential to cost a boatload of cash to fix. Which is why I started thinking about the possibilities and next thing I know I found myself standing in the middle of my local Dodge dealer’s lot.

Now I know you’re thinking “but she said she likes small, foreign cars and there’s no truer statement than that. Which means that at this point, and rightfully so, you may be wondering why I was meandering my way through the rows and rows of “Avengers” and “Challengers” cars, I might add, whose names belie their character. Well, as difficult as it is to believe, this particular lot is also home to the auto of my most recent dreams, (don’t get too excited, these “cars I can’t live without” dreams come and go like the goldfish I had when I was a kid) the Fiat 500. And there’s nothing smaller or more foreign than that. So it was with some anticipation and more than a modicum of excitement that I approached the nearest salesperson to see about taking one of these cute little puppies for a spin.

And now I’m afraid, I have a confession to make. As much as I openly celebrate my shallow way of life, the one thing I am not, nor ever will be shallow about, is cars. Perhaps it’s as a result of spending my formative years living with a couple of older brothers who routinely parked something cute and sassy in the driveway. Or perhaps it’s the fact that one of the two came by his nickname “Crash” quite honestly. No matter, whatever the reason I don’t take my cars lightly and I don’t expect others, especially those tasked with the job of hawking them, to do so either. So you can only imagine my disdain when the first question that emerged from my salesperson of choice’s mouth was “what’s your favourite colour?” Really! Did you really just ask me that? About a car? I mean if we were talking about a jacket, or paint or even my preference in cats, which by the way is black, orange and white, I’d understand. But cars? Not a chance.

Needless to say there was nothing left to do but leave. Oddly enough this evening I read about a new Fiat 500L due to come out this summer and it looks pretty cool. I can’t wait to take it out for a drive, and hopefully when I get to the dealer, they’ll have something in a pearl white for me to try.

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Google This!

phoneLast week I was in my local big box bookstore which of late, to be honest, seems to have morphed into a purveyor of fashion and home decor and, now that I think about it, makes what I learned at the conference about matching books to my paint colour evermore useful. But already, I digress. As I was walking past one of those tables laden with “books you might like by subject” I was struck by the bright red lettering of one titled “The Day My Brain Exploded”. Beside the title was a cartoon-like picture of a bomb primed to detonate. My first thought was “What’s to write about? I feel like that almost everyday!” Of course, my curiosity got the best of me and so it was that I learned this particular title was more literal than figurative as the author recounts his life story of survival after a cerebral hemorrhage with, as the jacket tells me, humour. I guess that was a good enough reason for the publisher to have included the little “bomb” thing on the cover. Having dealt with the requisite guilt of making light, if only in my own mind, of this literary work I had to admit that, as my week progressed, the title stuck with me. In fact, as I continued to mull it over I realized that it provides a remarkably accurate description of how I feel a good deal of the time.

This feeling of mine became particularly intense during a recent 2 hour workshop I attended that promised to help me learn everything I need to know about Google Docs and in so doing, inevitably make my life immeasurably more productive, if not better. And this, I am led to believe, will be simple to accomplish as all I have to do is learn how to use Google Docs the “right way”. Now if you have learned nothing else from this blog you surely know that, as a shallow person I like things to be simple. I mean if I had to boil it down, along with being irreverent (see paragraph above) the one most important piece of advice I can give to those who aspire to this way of life is to keep things simple. And by simple I mean, not complicated. (Please note: I throw in these little tidbits of advice to meet one of the mandates of this blog which is to help others help themselves become more shallow). So I had high hopes as I walked into the workshop and my friend the trainer, who I must admit is perhaps just a tad overly enthusiastic about the possibilities of this suite of online tools, began sharing with us his extensive knowledge of all things Google.

Now I’m no slouch when it comes to technology as the use of it contributes substantially to my standard of living. And I’m open and willing to learn new things. Not only that, but I figure I’m kind of a Google Docs expert since I use it to write this blog. You see it allows me to access my document from anywhere which is important because I never know where I’ll be when a shallow thought strikes me. So when I sat down in my chair I was optimistic that I would be leaving with new ideas on how to simplify the work that I do, and by so doing, my life. And for the first few minutes he had me hooked as he explained how I would no longer need to share a document by attaching it to an email message and sending it to the many people who need to see it. Sounds good to me so far. I can use Google Docs to share stuff. Ok. Of course, in order to really make this work he suggested that I set up a Google Group and a Google Site so that I can put my Google Doc in the Google Site and then proceed to share it with my Google Group. He warns however, that I could run into trouble finding the Google Doc that I want to share with my Google Group so, to avoid this inconvenience, I should create a set of naming conventions to share with the members of my Google Group in order to ensure that I can find said document by searching, using boolean logic, through the potentially thousands of Google Docs I will accumulate in my Google Drive.

That’s when it happened. My brain exploded. At which time I turned to my neighbour and asked “what the heck is he talking about?” using not exactly those words. Because at this point it seemed to me that it was all pretty complicated and the better option would have been that attachment to the email we talked about at the start. Now don’t get me wrong. This revelation had nothing to do with the trainer who was very skilled in his craft and I am sure that the others in the room benefitted greatly from his knowledge. But I’m a shallow person who likes things to be simple and this simply was not.

Having thought about it for a day or two I’ve made a decision. From now on, if you want to share something with me, just give me a call…on my landline. And if you don’t know my number, you can probably google it.

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