Tag Archives: election

It’s simply too easy

For those of you who care, this is not a shallow blog. How could it be?

The last, and admittedly, only time I was in Pittsburgh was a few years ago. On our way out of town we stopped at a Starbucks for a bite. Like most people who are roaming around in large and unfamiliar cities, we were a little concerned that we might find ourselves in the “wrong” part of town. I mean we have been told over and over again that taking a right instead of a left can lead to all sorts of problems. Face it. In all cities there are places that are less welcoming than others. So when we stopped I did what I always do. I  took a look around, just to see where we were. And while we have stopped at more Starbucks than I can reasonably remember, I do remember this one. It was a Saturday morning, the sun was shining and as we sipped our coffees and munched on our muffins I looked out the window and saw, what for me, was the familiar sight of families walking by on their way to synagogue, men wearing their tallit and kepas, women dressed in their Saturday finest. And I felt, at that moment, that we had made the right turn. We were in a safe place. At least that’s how it seemed to me on that day. Today I wonder if some of those people I saw will never walk by that window again.

I have to say that I was one of the few people I know who wasn’t surprised that Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States. As a matter of fact, I kind of predicted it. Not sure why. I just had a feeling. Even when everyone assured me that it “just couldn’t happen” I seemed to know that it “just could”. And I was right. When it did happen I also told people not to get too concerned. I mean he’s just the president. Just one person in a much larger governing body. How much impact could he really have?  Look at Obama. Obama was never able to get anything he wanted done. And if Mr. T did try to do anything crazy, well there are checks and balances in place to stop him. After all, even with D.J. Trump at the helm the United States of America is still a democracy. It has a constitution that protects the civil liberties of the people. If nothing else he has more experienced politicians surrounding him for guidance. Surely they would help him to understand what is right and what isn’t. To do the right thing. And there are laws. Laws that prevent him from turning the place upside down. Boy was I wrong.

What I never realized is that no laws need to be passed, no policies enacted for the worst to happen. I never imagined that in this day and age, someone in a position of power would use words that are so caustic as to incite the kind of violence and unspeakable acts we are now experiencing at an unprecedented rate. Of course history tells us this can happen. But because we know, I thought we would know better. And yet here we are. Two black people killed as they shopped for groceries. Fifteen pipe bombs mailed out to critics of 45. Eleven innocent Jewish people murdered as they prayed. Many of us are left wondering what it is we can do to help. So we attend vigils. And  we express our disdain by posting on Facebook. By “liking” other people’s posts to let them know we stand by their side. But, it seems to me, this is simply too easy. This is not enough.

Because what isn’t easy is having to worry every time you go to get your mail. Or answer your door. What isn’t easy is having to bury your dead. The ones that died in horrific ways, too soon. And what isn’t easy is worrying about what might be next. Unfortunately on this one I don’t know how to be right or wrong. I just don’t know. But like everyone else, I do know that something needs to change. Fast. While we try to figure out what to do up here in the north country may I make a request to all of my American friends. On November 6th  go out and vote. Take a couple of friends with you. See what you can do to make a change. Even if it’s a small one. Please do this. For all of our sakes. 

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My Proposal

You know as well as I do that I’m a sucker for a good reality TV show. Well any reality TV show really because, as you can imagine, they are not all that good. If I had to rank them I’d probably put HGTV on top as, even though we know that no one buys one of the first three houses they look at and it actually takes more than a week to rebuild an entire house, at least we get some good decorating ideas and a chance at a little guessing game as we decide where the family we have no real connection to and even less of a vested interest in, will decide where it is they would like to raise their children and spend the rest of their lives. And that can be fun.

Next I gotta go with the food channel as I do so love watching those who are at the pinnacle of their craft. I mean what could be more exciting than witnessing a master baker create the most spectacular peanut butter and raspberry jelly charlotte royale adding the last petal of the rather spectacular chocolate flower with only seconds left on the clock. And who doesn’t drool over a creamy crème brûlée with lime and mint soufflé glacé plated with an assortment of white and dark chocolate swirls that are simply to die for. Now I’m no baker (or cook for that matter) but these shows make me want to waltz right into that kitchen of mine and give it the good ol’ college try.

Of course there’s that vicarious travel one does while watching 13 or so sets of mother/daughter, boyfriend/girlfriend, married couple, unmarried couple, recently divorced couple, never intend to get married couple, etc. race through the streets of all the countries you ever dreamed of visiting. With a million bucks on the line it’s not too surprising that there are a few arguments, a little backstabbing and some opportunistic alliances made along the way. For the most part though, things are pretty copacetic on this journey around the world. And while you may not be on this amazing race, you do have a chance to bond with the couple of your choice and cheer them on as they make their way to the elusive finish line. If you ask me, it’s a whole lot more enjoyable than watching a bunch of strangers get nasty living in a house with someone (not really sure who) peering into their lives 24/7, or almost starving to death on an island somewhere in the south pacific. But maybe that’s just me. I would be remiss at this point I suppose if I didn’t include all of the assorted talent shows. Some good. Some not so much. All watchable in a pinch.

From here I’m afraid, things take a pretty big tumble downhill. Because somehow someone somewhere thought it would be a good idea to create a show where one gal or one guy spends a couple weeks meeting and subsequently deleting a whole whack of potential mates until they are left with the “one”. Before that happens there will be tears and fears, way too many kisses, a few family meet and greets and a whole lot of who knows what. Inevitably the two pledge their love forever although in most cases, forever is not a long, long time. So one would think that those at the helm might decide that trying to find love on national TV might be a mistake. But not so. Now there’s yet another way to meet your soulmate and it only takes one short hour of your time. And who, these days, can’t spare an hour?

Because, in case you missed it, the newest foray into the world of TV love is “The Proposal”. That’s right. This is a sad but true story. Some TV genius decided that a match made in heaven can happen in one measly hour by having 10 potential mates answer a couple of questions, parade around the stage in beachwear (even Miss America canned that one), shake hands with the BFF (and dog if there is one) and say “how do you do” to the proud Mom and Dad of the soon to be betrothed. This is love before first sight. Now I may be shallow but I gotta tell you, this takes the cake. I mean who does this? Really. And then it hit me. Like a nail, on my head. As we all know, marriages are theoretically for a lifetime but politicians, well you can legitimately get rid of those guys every four years. So the stakes are considerably lower. Why not apply this one hour “who’s your guy/gal” format to choosing politicians? And for the sake of illustration, let say it’s a president. So here’s my proposal.

First things first. Find 10 people who have always wanted to be the prez. Appoint a panel of three judges in order to avoid a tie. It’s their job to whittle the 10 down to one so why not start by picking out those that are most visually appealing. Now move on to the skill testing question. Nothing too hard because there’s only a minute to respond.  Something like “what would you do in the event of a nuclear war?” could work. With three prospects left have them parade around the stage dressed as presidential as possible. Eliminate the one with the bad hair and we are down to the final two. A quick conflab to come to a consensus and we’ve got a winner!  Our guy/gal for the next four years! All this in just one hour.

I know. Sounds silly, doesn’t it. But I’ll bet my bottom dollar that the result won’t be any worse than what we’ve got now.

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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.

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I’m sorry. Honestly, I am. To tell you the truth, I’ve spent the last week mulling over what I would write in my next post and up until today, this wasn’t it. Let’s face it. As a shallow person I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about things that I should apologize for. I suppose there was that “I’m Sorry” piece I wrote a few months ago, but that was more of an observation than a confession. And I guess I did ask for your understanding and tolerance when writing those rants of mine, although in retrospect, that was not so much to apologize as it was to politely let you know what was to come. Let’s face it. I may be a Canadian but I’m just not an apologetic kind of gal and yet, here I am doing the very thing I’ve just told you I don’t often do. Which leads me to believe that right about now, you’re probably looking for an explanation.

Some of you know that I started this little blog of mine to help others understand that life in the shallow lane isn’t all that bad. In fact, divested of the burden of constantly seeking meaning from each and every day, one can actually live a rather blissful existence. It was important for me to share with you that it’s possible to be shallow yet happy or sad, thoughtful or introspective and, at times, even funny. Without being presumptuous I wanted to help you to gain just a little bit of insight into the life of one, if not all, shallow person. Along the way it wouldn’t have bothered me one bit if I had sold a “Shallow and Proud” T-shirt or two which I certainly would have made had anyone asked. Or if this blog had somehow gone viral. Nonetheless, I am content in knowing, as my little Bro’ oft reminds me, that I have a small but loyal following. Now I’m thinking that you’re thinking there’s absolutely nothing to be sorry about. But unfortunately you would be wrong.

I’m no political pundit. As a matter of fact, and as you can well imagine, I don’t pay all that much attention to the powers that be, or those that would like to be.  For the most part, I figure that they are going to do pretty much what they want to do regardless of what I would actually like them do to. At the risk of being overly cynical, from where I sit it seems that they know and care about me as much as I know or care about them. Don’t get me wrong. I have my preferences and every once in awhile I mark my “x” on a little piece of paper, for better or for worse, to let them know what I think. And for the most part, that’s the extent of my involvement in the political process. At least that’s what I thought until this most recent batch of presidential hopefuls found their way onto the stage.

You see, for the past couple of months while I’ve been enjoying the sun and surf, it has been hard to avoid all of the hoopla surrounding the upcoming changing of the guard in these United States. It seems that at least a couple of times a week five or six guys (apparently the number varies according to who is asking the questions) get up on the stage to take part in something that is called, but doesn’t in any conventional way, resemble a debate. Because it seems that each and every time they get behind their little podiums they neglect to talk about the issues, or their policies or even the state of affairs that this world of ours is in. Rather, it seems as though they prefer to spend their time calling each other some rather unbecoming names, pointing out past indiscretions, and generally acting in ways that would make you or I scold a five year old. And while I’ve been watching, I’ve been wondering why. Why would these men, in their well tailored suits and expertly coiffed hair, be acting like this?  Why are they saying and doing things that their Mother’s would disapprove? What makes them think that this is what the voting public wants or expects of them? What is going on and more importantly, how did this happen? And that’s when a rather terrifying thought crossed my mind.

Over the past few weeks I have noticed an increased number of visitors to this site from the U.S. of A and that got me thinking. Is it possible that one or two, maybe even three of these fellas happened upon this blog? Is it possible that they have been reading my musings about being shallow, not realizing that these are the ramblings of one single human being among many? Could they be focusing in on the “thoughtful and introspective” parts and missing all the “funny”? And at the risk of sounding just a tad arrogant, could my blog be the reason for all of their shenanigans? The way things are going these days, I suppose anything is possible. So just in case this is the case, I find myself in the rather awkward position of having to say I’m sorry. Really, really sorry.

I’m really, really sorry!

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The Big Day

By now you will note that my customary “Sunday” post has this week moved to Tuesday. That’s because days like today don’t come around that often and I wanted to celebrate, and to share my thoughts with you on this rather auspicious occasion. There’s an excitement in the air that you can feel, almost touch, as the anticipation builds with a new optimism for what’s to come.  Today we look forward to resurrecting possibilities, and once again to the promise of hope and change. Because on this day our dreams are rekindled and we believe in a brighter future, one that is being reconstructed with new ideas and new potential. It’s time to stop peering through the rear-view mirror on what has been, and to begin to focus on what can and will be. There has been much fanfare leading up to this event, so much that I am hoping for all of our sakes that the outcome is not anticlimactic. And while I know that for some this day, like any other day, may bring more disappointment than joy, more sadness than happiness, more tears than laughter, as the evening falls upon us let’s all raise a glass to new hope, new beginnings and to good times for the coming years.

Yes, November 6, 2012 is a big day because (are you ready?) it’s my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! For those of you who know me well you are aware of just how big a day this is. For those of you who do not, may I remind you that ignorance is indeed bliss. In either case please rest assured in knowing that I love having birthdays if only because the alternative is not all that appealing to me.

And now I am off to a conference in Denver where 5 to 6 thousand people will have the chance to celebrate my birthday with me.  Oh yeah, while I’m at it, I’ll probably drop by the local pub tonight to see who’s going to be the next President of the USofA because I guess this is going to be a big day for one of those guys too.

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