Category Archives: Instructive

Welcome to Canada!

tooniesYou may have noticed. I’ve been a little tongue-tied lately. Or, as my friends from the far east of this great land of ours might say, gobsmacked. As most of you know my heart’s desire was to have this blog go viral. Four, almost five years down this long and winding road I have come to the conclusion that it’s just not going to happen. And I’ve made peace with that. I’m ok. Really ok. The thing is, over the past month or so I have spent much time reflecting, and at times feeling just a little reticent, about having shared my thoughts and deep, inner musings about living life as a shallow person. Because it seems, and I say this with as much humility as I can muster, the world has in fact listened. Don’t ask me how it happened. How the message leaked out. I’m certainly not going to point fingers in any one direction. Maybe there’s some kind of cosmic force unbeknownst to me that has its finger on this world wide web of ours. Whatever the case may be, given the events of the past few months, it’s impossible not to notice. It is a shallow world after all.

I’ve said it before and, as has been the case in the past, I will say it again. I like (and may God bless them) the United States of America, so much so that I spend a somewhat significant part of my year within those borders. Mostly because it is much warmer there than here. But also because the people I’ve met are lovely and the produce is cheap and mostly local. That’s the nice thing about Southern California. Well not just that. I mean where else can you pretty much know when you wake up each morning it’s going to be 72 degrees and sunny. And that you’re going to spend that 72 degree day walking along a seemingly endless beach stopping every once in while to let the gentle waves wash over your warm and sandy feet. And those sunsets. Nothing can compare to watching the sun bid us goodnight bathed in all of its red and orange splendor. Nope. There’s not much to complain about when it come to Southern California. Which is why I’m getting out my Nexus pass and that passport of mine and making my way down that magnificent coastal highway once again.

But there have been rumours. Yep, there have been. Since that rather surprising (to some although not so much to me) upset that occurred a month or so ago to our neighbors to the south, I’ve heard rumblings. Particularly from the left side (depending of course on which way you are facing) of this rather vast continent. And it’s not just about people wanting to move to Canada. Sure, Babs says she’s on her way but so far our paths haven’t crossed, and let me tell you, I would know if they had. It’s about entire States wanting to become part of the “true north strong and free”. States like Washington and Oregon and yes, my very favourite of the lot, California. Imagine that! I think we need to give this some serious consideration. In one fell swoop we would more than double the population count of this country of ours. I mean think about it. There could be a province that would actually really hardly ever get any snow. Where our kids, like theirs, could take surfing as part of their P.E. program in school. Where we could grow avocados in our backyard. Avocados! Where you almost never have to wear socks. Have I ever mentioned that I hate socks? I’d say it’s a win on our side for sure.

Here’s the catch. It’s not all that easy to become a Canadian. After all, if it was there would probably be more of us. I know. I’ve been one for my entire life which is why I feel eminently qualified to share some tips with those who are right now, as we speak, weighing their options. Because there’s nothing like being prepared. So, let’s just say it happens. The morning after the “big event” you’ll have to remember that 72 is now 22 and 100 is only 60. Coins are much heavier than paper. Pop is not your Dad. And I’m sorry to have to say it, but you’re going to start saying “I’m sorry” more than you care to think. On balance though, it’s not such a bad deal. You can go to the doctor whenever you want, you won’t go bankrupt sending your kids to school, and, let’s not forget, you woke up today 35% richer.  So just say the word and we’ll roll out the red carpet. Welcome to Canada! I think you’ll be happy here. To be honest, it will make me happier too. You see if this all works out I might feel a tad less guilty about all of the shallow stuff currently going on in this world. And not just that. I won’t even have to renew my passport next year.

Tagged , , , ,

Things you need to know

two-dollar-billLet me get right to it. Yes we are now enjoying the sun and surf in SoCal (that’s “local” for Southern California) and no, we did not win the lottery. Not for lack of trying. I put down my two bucks on the draw. I mean, who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t take a chance at depositing 1.5 billion smackers in the bank? Or a little over 2 when imported into my home and native land. So what if some of that gets taxed away. The way I figure it, there’ll be plenty left after Uncle Sam takes his take. Unfortunately I don’t have to worry about that right now because, as previously mentioned, I didn’t win. Not that I wasn’t ready for it. I was. You see, I thought it would be prudent, just in case, to read all of the information that was being offered on the Internet to those who might be in line for the big win. So I did. And let me tell you, there was lots out there to ponder. Mostly, I suppose, because so many of us were so sure that this was going to be “our day”.

One thing you might know, but if you don’t probably should, about a shallow person like me is that at times I can be a little skeptical. You see, as much as I would like to be able to take everything I read on the Internet at face value, making my life oh so much easier and less complicated, I simply can’t. If you are anything like me, and I’m not implying that any of you are, there are just times when that little bit of doubt creeps its insidious way into your otherwise open and accepting mind and you begin to wonder. And when I wonder, sometimes, and only sometimes, I begin to think that perhaps there might be another, if not better, way to go about things. And so it was that after studying all of the “things you should do if you win the lottery” articles available on the Internet, I came to the conclusion that this was one of those times. That the advice, while substantial and I’m sure created in all good faith with everyone’s best interests in mind, was not always completely, how should I put this, sound. So at the risk of sounding presumptuous, I thought I would take some time to share with you both theirs and my suggestions ‘cause even though we didn’t win this time, there’s always, as they say, another day. Here we go.

  1. Don’t tell anyone. I get that. The last thing you want is everybody and their dog knocking on your door asking you to share your shekels with them. So best to keep the big win to yourself for a bit. Although, from what I understand, you probably should tell your spouse lest you end up in divorce court harbouring your little secret. Apparently judges frown upon that and have, in the past, rewarded your soon to be single partner with what used to be your jackpot. Oh, and you may want to tell your realtor. And the Porsche dealer.  
  2. Get yourself a team. You’re gonna need a lawyer, an accountant, and a financial planner. At least that’s what they tell you. Now if it were me, and as we all know it was not, I’d put in the call to the lawyer, because there’s sure to be some wills and estate stuff to do, and the accountant as I figure I won’t be able to get away with the short tax form anymore. But the financial planner? Here’s the thing. I’ve just put 1.5 billion dollars in the bank. Let’s just say I get myself a long term commitment for around 3%. Without doing the math I’m going out on a limb to say life will be just fine. Especially since I’m saving all of those fees I would have had to pay that financial planner.
  3. Find a good therapist. Now on this I have to concur with the experts, although we differ some on the details. You see they think that the winner, not realizing what emotions their new found circumstance will unleash will need someone to talk to. They think there’s no way of knowing down what path the mix of joy, excitement, terror and guilt will take you. I on the other hand, think that those of us who lost might want to make that call given the disappointment, anger, tinge of jealousy, not to mention, dashed dreams we are now burdened with. Come on. It’s not just me. Even the usually upbeat and cheery Kelly Ripa (yes, I watch on occasion), who I am pretty sure is doing ok all on her own, expressed her disappointment and was even a little green with envy on the day after the big day.
  4. Don’t quit your job. And this my friends, is what makes me a tad skeptical about all of the aforementioned advice.

By now all of the hoopla has died down and we can resign ourselves to living today as we did yesterday. A dear friend of mine continues to remind me that given our lot in life, we have already won the lottery and I know she’s right. I mean I have nothing to complain about and I am continually grateful for each and every day. I’m happy and content with the way things are and have no reason not to be. Even so, let’s face it. 1.5 billion is nothing to sneeze at and what the heck, I’m ready for it.

Tagged , , , ,

It’s not just another day

calendarlargeLots of people say they learn something new everyday. If I have to be honest with myself (which btw, is my preference) I would have to admit that I don’t always, but I did today. Apparently yesterday was not just another day. Yesterday was
World Introvert Day. Honestly, up until a few hours ago I had no idea there was one. Or, for that matter, an organization that helps all of us to better understand this apparently most oft, misunderstood minority. According to this group, who I am assuming is made up primarily of the aforesaid personality type, they are often mistakenly viewed by others as “arrogant and strange” which could not be further from the truth although, as they go on to say, the majority of introverts are in fact, gifted. I suppose, this is as good a reason as any to allocate them one out of 365 days to call their own. And January 2 seems to be quite an appropriate day to dedicate to this group. After all, I imagine that most of the introverts have struggled a little over the past few weeks, what with all of the hoopla surrounding the holiday season. Not to mention the hugging that has become so  commonplace during these types of celebrations. So why not give these people a day to revel in their own self worth? Who’s the worse for that?

But, that’s not all that I’ve learned lately. Little did I know that December 21 was National Short Girl Appreciation Day, a day I can get my head around unlike National Hug a Short Person Day which, as you can well imagine, is a day that I plan to stay out of the reach of, well just about everybody. The thing is, if people want to appreciate me simply because I am short, I can get on board with that. And, according to the rules of the day, I qualify even though, and I say this at the risk of losing my status, I’ve never really thought of myself as being short. You see, the way I figure it size is what you make of it. I can still recall the time that I met someone I had previously only encountered on the phone. Having had several conversations, we eventually got together and, as she walked in the door, with nary a glance around the room, she quite surprisingly exclaimed “I thought you would be taller”. Which puzzled me because who ever knew that a voice could be “tall”. And what if she had thought my voice sounded “short”? Would she have come in and said “I thought you would be shorter?” See what I mean? It’s all relative. Nonetheless, I did think it was a little bit of genius to dedicate the shortest day of the year to short people. Which, as these things almost always seem to do, got me thinking. If there was, and I’m not saying there should be, a National Shallow Person’s Day, what day would that be?

So right off the bat there are dates that simply have to be eliminated. Like January 15, or any day thereabouts lest by some unfortunate accident we were to overlap with Martin Luther King Day, a day that even a shallow person would not want to usurp. For that matter, anything close to Labour Day, President’s Day, the Queen’s birthday, Christmas and all other religious holidays, are off the table, mostly for obvious reasons that I shouldn’t have to explain here. I did give some consideration to the “Hallmark Card” days (well that’s what we call them in our house) like Mother’s and Father’s Day, Valentine’s and Halloween, the latter being a real contender until I realized there could be some expectation around costuming for the occasion.  The funny thing though was, the more I thought about the best choice of a day, the less able I was able to come up with anything remotely as clever as the ones I had just learned about.

And that’s when it happened. That’s when I realized that shallow people don’t succumb to convention. We’re not slaves to the calendar. No one can tell us which day should be ours and which day shouldn’t be. Afterall, we’re shallow. Isn’t life really mostly about us? So here’s what I say. Go ahead and pick your day. Any day you want, barring the ones mentioned above of course to avoid casting any sort of shadow on our kind. Own it. Make it yours. You deserve a day of your own. As a matter of fact, I’m making tomorrow my very own National Shallow Person’s Day. So, go ahead. Wish me a happy one. And I’ll be sure to wish you one too, if you tell me when it is of course. 

Tagged , ,

It could happen to you

brainy-peopleI know I’ve said this before but at the risk of repeating myself, I thought I would mention that my Mother,
kenahora, (don’t worry, you can check it out here.) recently had her 100th birthday. And if you can excuse the redundancy, you should also know that my Mother has three sisters who are, respectively, 96, 94 and 85 years old. Their Mother was 102. So to say I know something about living long is a bit of an understatement. I know a lot about living long. And well for that matter because, if I might say so, all of these ladies have lived and are living, very wonderful lives. Which, as Martha would say (and yes, I’ve said this before too), is a very good thing. Given the facts, it’s not all that surprising that people who know this story of mine jump to the somewhat dubious conclusion that I too will one day find myself, hammer and nail in hand, placing that elusive to most plaque from the Queen (or more likely, in my case, the King) on my living room wall. And while I might, I also might not because, as you are most likely aware, there are no guarantees in this or any other life and one never knows what one will face each and every day. It’s just the way it goes. What will be will be. Ca sera sera.

Nevertheless, not too long ago I found myself watching a docu/news show about longevity and the amazing research taking place that will, sooner than later, let all of us live to be 1000. That’s right. Scientists tell us that it is possible that someone who is alive today will still be alive 1000 years from now. So if you are reading this, it could happen to you. Apparently there are various ways for this to come to pass, most of which I don’t care to understand as they seem to demand some rather invasive medical procedures, and one of which involves downloading your brain into a computer which doesn’t seem quite so onerous and I would imagine, would be somewhat faster and require much less direct participation from me. It’s complicated but I suppose if you think you are still thinking, perhaps you are. Cogito ergo sum.  And I suppose it wouldn’t be all that bad. Especially if they could take that computer brain and put it into a fantastic robot body. I mean, imagine. Not only could you live for a 1000 years but you could do it in someone else’s hot body. Like Marilyn Monroe. Or Jennifer Lopez. Or perhaps Ms. Streisand which in my particular case, wouldn’t be much of a stretch or, from what I hear, much different. But as compelling as all of this might sound, as a shallow person I got thinking about the prospect of being stuck on this earth for a thousand years and decided there could be a considerable downside because knowing what I know, I have to ask, who really wants to live to be 1000? And the more I thought about it, the more reasons I came up with, so in true “shallow be my name” fashion, I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of the most persuasive of them with you. Here they are. My top 10, most persuasive reasons for not wanting to live to be 1000 at the end of which, I am confident, you truly will be careful for what you wish.

#1. If you can live to be 1000 so can that irritating neighbor of yours.
#2. You’re gonna need a year’s worth of stars to get a free one at Starbucks and that’s a lotta lattes.
#3. Survivor season 753, and Jeff Probst is still counting the votes.
#4. Gas is $700.00 a litre, food costs you a couple grand a week and you haven’t had a raise in 500 years.
#5. 1000 years old and you still haven’t won the lottery.
#6. Just how many times do you think you can feign excitement when you hear “Honey, I’m home”!
#7. Meatloaf again?
#8. If you’ve said this once you’ve said it a million times. Literally.
#9. Your brain has been downloaded to a computer and you’re living in a robot body. Think about it.
#10. And last but not least, I’ll still be writing this blog and you’ll still feel obligated to read it 1000 years from now.

Tagged , , , ,

It’s My Move!

I know, I know! I’ve been gone quite a long time. Long enough I suppose to warrant an explanation. So here it comes. For the past “longer than I care to think about”, I’ve been trying to write a blog post about my move. You know of course, that I have moved. With every good intention, I have sat with my laptop on my knee, albeit while watching one of the many summer reality shows that are currently taking the place of the many fall reality shows soon to come, formulating sentences and even paragraphs so that I could share with you the experience of moving from the perspective of a shallow person. Alas, it has all been to no avail. Now I’m not going to tell you that my other posts have always come easy. That the words flow from my thoughts onto the screen like waves upon the sand. Sometimes they do and other times there’s a bit of a struggle, but nothing like this time. This time has been different. Because even when I thought I had it right, I didn’t. Why, I thought, was it so difficult for me to write a little piece about my move? And then it hit me. Having just gone through the whole thing I realized that there is nothing, and I mean nothing shallow, or funny for that matter, about moving. Absolutely nothing. It’s just one long, excruciating and painful experience. So I’m left with little to say but this.

Moving sucks! Trust me. I don’t use that kind of descriptive language very often. But it’s just as simple as that. The packing, the loading, the throwing out junk, the unloading, the unpacking, the realization that you didn’t throw out enough junk. There’s just not much about it that I can honestly, in all good faith, recommend. And now is not the time to remind me that I have just moved from one of the coldest parts of the country to arguably one of the most beautiful and temperate Islands this side of Hawaii. Let’s put that aside for a moment and focus on the act of moving because that’s really what we are here to talk about.

If you have been reading this blog for some time you will recall my tale about the sale of the house and how we suffered through the cleaning and purging related to that little episode, and then the cleaning and purging that followed as we attempted to rid ourselves of all our extraneous possessions. If you were to reread those posts (as I just did but you won’t) it may even have seemed that our commitment and diligence to the task would have resulted in our being left with only those things that were really important to us and, as such, worth loading onto the moving van. Of course, if that were the case, I certainly wouldn’t be trying to figure out what to do with the stuffed Pooh Bear that is staring up at me right now with it’s big, brown, glassy eyes. Or attempting to balance my evening cup of tea on what used to be a packing box but has now taken on the role of a coffee table since, apparently, while Pooh moved, the coffee tables did not. Explain to me how that happened! Given that I am just this side of a rant, I won’t even go into how, in all of the confusion on the day the van arrived, I mistakenly thought I had left my laptop at the local Starbucks never to be seen again (even in this laid back town there is only so much one can expect of strangers), only to discover that at some earlier point in the day I had decided to put it at the very back of my closet for safekeeping. Or how after spending copious amounts of time and money in preparing to take our cat on her first two day jaunt in the car (did we really need that extra can of “At Ease” pet spray?) she promptly disappeared only to be found several panicked  hours later sleeping quite contently inside the box spring of our bed. No, those are events that are simply best forgotten at this point.

Ok, so things have started to settle down and, if we can make up our minds soon, it should only be another ten weeks or so until I will be able to once again place that tea of mine on an actual table. In the meantime, all of this has got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be much simpler if houses were sold “as is”? I mean if all you had to do was move some clothes and maybe a picture or two, life would be so much easier. So what if the couch wasn’t the exact shade of blue you were hoping for? Trust me, you’d get used to it. Or the coffee table was glass instead of walnut? It’s still going to do what a table is supposed to do. Or the dishes were a little chipped? You’re going to chip them eventually anyway. Think of it! No more boxes, or loading and unloading or packing and unpacking or sussing out that elusive piece of furniture that apparently exists only in your own mind’s eye. It just makes sense to me.  But then, I might be just a tad more shallow than most of you.

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: