25 June 2008
Now I know it may surprise some of my readers that my blog has 'much art' and quite frankly I did a double take myself. So much so, when Jon handed out this award some days ago I didn't quite know what I should do with it. But now the pressure is on not to be so rude because Vikki has pointed the award in my direction too.
I have looked up the meaning of art just to satisfy myself that I qualify. I believe that my blog achieves more aesthetic properties than art-relational ones and that it primarily focuses on art's pan-cultural and trans-historical characteristics. No, I don't really know what all that means either but it sounds, well, almost arty. Convinced yet?
Now Jon and Vikki, on the other hand, are real artists. Jon is freelance writer and photographer living and working in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. His posts are eclectic, profound, fun and he is a great story teller. I am truly inspired by his writing. Vikki is an artiste extraordinaire from California. Her paintings are wonderful and her writing is so spirited and just downright clever. She should be writing books as well as painting masterpieces. After a career in the LA television industry, Vikki has a world of wonderful experiences from which to draw her inspiration. So, truly, thanks Jon and Vikki for the honor.
The great thing about these type of blogging awards is that it allows you to tag some of your favourite blogs. So now it's my turn to choose five bloggers that deserve to be awarded for their creativity, design, interesting material and also for contributing to the blogging community. Pay them a visit and you will soon see why I am addicted. They are all different and reflect the talents of some truly creative people from various countries across the world.
Naked in Eden - Robin Easton
My Little Drummer Boys
Nina Kuriliff Fine Art
From Dusk till Dawn
And if any of the tagged blog owners wish to pass the torch to others please go to Jon's blog and read the rules.
24 June 2008
Very, very clever social commentator. Take a look.
On the Ten Commandments
This is a continuing series of posts about a book called Don't for Husbands which was written by Blanche Ebbut in 1913.
Blanche gives a multitude of advice to newly married men about women and marriage.
Reading this just makes me smile. Life was so different, or was it?
This is what Blanche has to say about Hobbies.
Blanche's advice is still relevant today - for both males and females. And personally, I happen to love a man who has a flying machine and is not afraid to use it!
See previous posts about Blanche's advice on personal relations and men's general habits.
22 June 2008
Bids opened on eBay at 5am this morning, for people wanting to secure a new life in the Australian sun. Six years on from emigrating down under, Briton Ian Usher is selling all his worldly possessions on the online auction site to the highest offer. Up for sale is his ... lifestyle. Following on from a painful divorce he wants to up and leave his Perth paradise and start afresh somewhere new. He's throwing in everything, including; his 3 bedroom house, his car, his wardrobe, his jet-ski and if required, his friends and even his job. Must have been an extremely painful divorce...at least he didn't include his ex wife in the package...
2. Who's a pretty boy then?
More than one third of Australian men would consider a cosmetic enhancement to improve their looks according to a surprising new poll. These enhancements include traditionally female procedures such as facial peels, laser treatments, injections and skin tightening (and more than likely liposuction given we are turning into a fat nation). A cosmetic physician said that men are quite practical about finding solutions to looking older, comparing cosmetic fillers to fillers in maintenance work. Practical problem solvers that they are. I draw the line at pretty men though (too much competition).
So, what are your views about cosmetic surgery?? Would you do it, have you done it, with what results? How would you feel if your partner wanted some work done?
3. Husbands overturning wedding tradition
Apparently more and more Aussie men are beginning to take their wives' names when they marry, reversing centuries of tradition. What do you think? Would you adopt your wife's surname or would you like your partner to adopt your surname upon marrying?
4. Want a bigger brain?
People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don't. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input. Something to be said for standing on your head and going Om I guess. Read more here.
5. Sexy food sells
An R rated food fight has begun on supermarket shelves, with grocery marketing turning risque. Never before has the line between food and sex been so blurred with marketers using phrases and imagery more commonly found in a Mills and Boon novels than on chocolate bar wrappers.
A Nestle double blend hot chocolate container states: "You know you want me. You want to hold me. You want to have me to yourself." AO (adults only) muesli bars and soon to be released Sultry Sally Potato Chips are among brands trying to sell edible sex appeal on packets and websites.
Last month the Advertising Standards Bureau investigated complaints about an M&Ms ad campaign featuring the character Miss Green wearing white knee high boots and hugging a tree to which she was handcuffed. Complaints were made about the advertisement with one person claiming the company had turned the female M&M into a slutty pole dancer. The complaint was dismissed. Other ads I have noticed are Drink Sprite, Look Sexy, Tim Tam Crush and Love Potions and muesli bars featuring naked nut characters lying on a bed/in a bath with censored areas.
6. Rape classified as a weapon of War
The UN Security Council has voted unanimously in favour of a resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war. The document describes the deliberate use of rape as a tactic in war and a threat to international security. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said violence against women had reached "unspeakable proportions" in some societies recovering from conflict. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the world now recognised that sexual violence profoundly affected not only the health and safety of women, but the economic and social stability of their nations. Other speakers identified the former Yugoslavia, Sudan's Darfur region, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Liberia as regions where deliberate sexual violence had occurred on a mass scale. The former commander of the UN peacekeeping force in eastern Congo, Maj-Gen Patrick Cammaert, told the BBC he personally witnessed its impact. "It's a very effective weapon, because the communities are totally destroyed," he said. "You destroy communities. You punish the men, and you punish the women, doing it in front of the men." About time.
7. Feeling Blue?
Then mung beans, lobster, turkey, asparagus, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, pineapple, tofu, spinach and bananas could lift your spirits. A diet high in tryptophan - an amino acid converted by the body into the feel-good chemical serotonin - can improve mood and well being. I eat 8 of the 10 - but cannot do sunflower seeds or cottage cheese....I do not want to be too spirited.....
Have a great week.
20 June 2008
If you want to get healthy, eat well, be active, find balance and stay young visit LIVESTRONG.COM
Demand Media and the Lance Armstrong Foundation built LIVESTRONG.COM and believe that through trusted content, interactive tools and an engaged community, this site will help people take action to make the most of their life, their time, their body and their world.
It's fantastic. I dare you to take a look.
18 June 2008
There were plenty of cutting edge hairstyles on show at the 32nd Hair Expo in Sydney this week. I love working at hair shows because the crazier the styles are the crazier the makeup can be. My favourite was the Rock Chic segment, crazy hair, painted on tattoos, black lined eyes. Lots of fun.
While I admire the latest look on other people's heads, I am far more conservative when it comes to my own hair. I have tried lots of different hair colours over the years but I am less brave when it comes to getting my hair 'cut'.
Except on one very memorable occasion, that is.
This would be the time when I completely lost my senses and let a gorgeous French hairdresser have way too much freedom with my hair. I had always worn my hair fairly long and was ready for a bit of a change. I felt I was in safe hands because I assumed that anyone from Paris has 'style' as their middle name. No, clearly he was an impostor who was adopted from elsewhere and hadn't taken a dip in that particular part of the gene pool.
As soon as I sat in the chair he firmly told me what style he would be 'doing'. There was no client, stylist discussion. It was his decision. Mmmm short, short, short was his decision. I became brave for a minute and nodded my head. I mean my thoughts at the time were that hair grows quickly and how bad could it actually be given his reputation. Dangerous.
I sat there, hopeful to begin with ...until it quickly became apparent that I was on the verge of an irrecoverable disaster. My lovely long hair was being cut off chunk by chunk in uneven lengths all over my head. I thought I was going to hyperventilate. The language barrier didn't help. I don't think my Aussie swearing translated that well either. And my six years of schoolgirl French had not prepared me to tell this guy to !%$£!$!@** get away from my hair!!!! The worst insult I could come up with in French was Ferme la bouche!(shut your mouth). He mistook my rising hysteria for a heightened passion for his artwork.
When I finally saw him take a razor to the ends of my hair the tears welled up and streamed down my face. He was fully involved in creating his masterpiece and didn't seem to notice. Perhaps he was used to highly emotional female customers.
The artwork was magnificent but just not on my head. In fact, I don't know whose head it would have worked on. It was all shades of WRONG.
He was ecstatic and I cried. He clearly thought I was overjoyed. I was not. Those tears didn't dry up for a few years, truly, until it grew long again. I had to wear that brown paper bag over my head for a long time let me tell you. It has become one of those funny episodes of my life (just another) that gets mentioned by family and friends every time 'hair styles' are a topic of conversation.
In fact, it was such a traumatic experience I have never worn my hair above my shoulders again. I still wince when I see the hairdresser with a pair of scissors in their hands. I figure I will be 80 with long hair. Hardly appropriate.
15 June 2008
1. Selling your Body
Have you ever wondered how much a body is worth? A dead body that is. No, I can't say it ever crossed my mind either until about 8.30pm tonight when I watched a documentary about this very subject.
The answer is $261,500. A shoulder joint is worth $530, a torso $1330 and an entire body $261,500. No, I am not joking. With demand high around the world for medical research and transplants, selling body parts can be a lucrative business. It was greed that drove bodysnatchers to remove leg bones from the late journalist and broadcaster Alistair Cooke before he was cremated in New York in 2004. The documentary explored widespread criminal activity in the US connected to harvesting and selling body parts in an underground market. Interviews with family members of victims, a police investigator and a journalist revealed how easy it is to trade in illegal body parts. The documentary-makers also visited medical research laboratories where medical students learn complicated procedures by operating on dead body parts. It was a bit grisly to watch but I couldn't turn away either. Put it this way, if someone is taking an overly keen interest in your body parts it may not mean what you think it means....
2. Shoppers, are we really that stupid to fall for this marketing spin?
I was walking the aisles of the supermarket today and happened to walk past these bottles of water. Water for the Mind, Water for Women, Water for Travelling and so on and so on. Now these bottles of water all had the same contents just different labels. So, for a woman, who wants to improve her mind and also travels I supposedly need three bottles of water just to hedge my bets. Dumb. How about a new label called Water for the GULLIBLE. I'll take water from the tap, thanks.
3. You're OK, Mr Kucinich
US Rep. Dennis Kucinich said Monday he wants the House to consider a resolution to impeach President Bush. Kucinich, D-Ohio, read his proposed impeachment in a floor speech that supposedly went for five hours. He contended Bush deceived the nation and violated his oath of office in leading the country into the Iraq war. I do not think it will happen but if Clinton can get impeached for lying about having a sexual encounter with an intern (!!) than what a joke it would be if those allegedly responsible for lying about the need to invade Iraq, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and displaced persons, walk away to a happy and rich retirement. If I was an American I would be very proud of what Kucinich is trying to do. He may be small of stature but he sure has a big heart and sense of morality which puts most others to shame. I also love the story about how he met his wife Elisabeth. She is extremely clever and politically astute as well as having other obvious assets.
4. Be alert but not alarmed
A quarter of adults living in New York City are infected with the genital herpes virus. I guess it's the same in every city in the world.
5. What happened to Madge?
Forbes magazine has once again released its list of the 100 richest celebrities in the world and our spiritual guru Oprah Winfrey is once again at the top. She made $275 million this past year.
The Top 10 are
1. Oprah 2. Tiger Woods 3. Angelina Jolie 4. Beyonce Knowles 5. David Beckham 6. Johnny Depp 7. Jay-Z 8. The Police 9. J.K. Rowling 10. Brad Pitt
Right, so if J K Rowling is as rich as I think she is, that means Brad and Angie could adopt half the world's orphans comfortably. I was surprised about Nos 4. 5. 7. 8. And I really thought Madonna would have been on the list for sure.
6. Just in case you are feeling in any way superior today
European and US scientists have proved for the first time that two bits of genetic coding, called nucleobases, contained in the meteor fragment, are truly extraterrestrial. Both of the molecules identified, uracil and xanthine, "are present in our DNA and RNA," said lead author Zita Martins, a researcher at Imperial College London. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is another key part of the genetic coding that makes up our bodies. So get over it if you have problems with other people of colour, religion or whatever. The homeless person down the street is the same as you, the African in Zimbabwe is the same as you and the Christian and Jew and Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist and Martian.... are all the same. We are all just unique in our appearances. A collective ahhhhh...now. We are all Humans or Aliens - whatever tag makes you feel more comfortable......all I know is I have met a lot of people from Mars so it explains a few things...and now I'll be just that much more patient that I know.... that we are really all the same....
Have a great week!
Thanks to My Little Drummer Boys for giving me the heads up about Big Huge Labs and being able to make mosaics from digital photos. They are great fun!
13 June 2008
A visit to one little outdoor Market
To get a box of Fruit and Vegetables
To make glasses of Beetroot, Apple & Celery juice and Carrot, Pear & Ginger juice
And one Banana Gluten Free Cake
And some slices of Roast Pumpkin & Spinach Frittata
And loads of Salad
And Fat, Juicy Prawns
And I'm left with three little delicacies I don't have a clue what to do with except admire for their beauty!
UPDATE: Robin from Naked in Eden has the answer on what to do with these - "your little red furry things are RABUTANS. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. You can read about them and how to prepare them here." Thanks Robin!
This is a kind of 'black' post from me today, which is pretty unusual, so be warned.
Black Friday. It's a meaningful day for me.
It's two years to the day that my world turned inside out and I finally had to admit I was living with a psychopath. Surprised? I sure was.
When I say the word psychopath I guess you, like I used to, think of Ted Bundy or Charles Manson, right? The truth is they aren't all serial killers. They don't always come with tags describing who they are. They don't look like you think they do. They don't even act like you think they should. They are business people, politicians, friends, neighbours. They can be the most charming people in the world, male and female. Their lives are anything but what they seem. And before you know it, you can be tangled in a web so evil that it can cost you everything you have including your life.
No-one can safely say, "a psychopath could never fool me". Because they can and do. They are masters at the game.
It's a story I don't really tell people because it's a small part of my life which although has markedly shaped me, never will define me. I have wrestled with the memory of this monster in my dreams for a long time. I have wrestled with the shame although it shouldn't be mine to feel. I thought he was the love of my life. Once. Until .......
Time heals all wounds and is replaced with a level of indifference. My hatred and sense of injustice is replaced with pity. I don't think I will ever forgive and I know I must at some point between now and death. Neither do I want to forget. I want to remember what evil looks like up close and personal. I want this experience to remind me every day of the joy and beauty in leading an authentic, positive and moral life. I grew up trusting and forgiving people. However, the truth is, there will always be those who take advantage of others. I learnt my lesson well. And it's been hard, as lessons are meant to be.
Here is a story I wrote about my time in the Black Magic Kingdom. Maybe I will tell you the real story one day but this is what it was like, a fairytale of sorts. Except, there was never going to be a happy ending, ever. But I have made my own.
Mr Black used to always tell me he would take me to Disneyland…. one day. He was obsessed with the idyllic fantasy kingdom in a way I found a little unusual for a grown man. I was just not that into fairy tales or make believe. Trust me, I love the movies, and the Magic Kingdom is a nice place to visit, I simply don't wish to live there, if you catch my drift.
I now know that an enchanted land of role playing and magic was the ultimate grandiose fantasy world in which he desperately sought to live. He fought hard to stay in that childlike and euphoric state, where anything is possible and everything is yours for the taking. Anyone who entered his own magical kingdom and joined the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party had to abide by his rules or they were banished, silenced, threatened or branded crazy. Surprisingly, there was no shortage of takers. He made laws on the spot, coldly pronouncing, in fits and starts just like the Queen of Hearts, and for no logically intelligible reason, “off with their heads.”
For many years I inhabited the land of promises. I stepped into this magical thinking without a glimpse of its sinister undertones. A real Alice in Wonderland some may say. I was to be fresh and eager supply for another of his illusions, perhaps his greatest act to date. I was to star in a fairy tale so macabre that it nearly destroyed my life. He tried. I resisted. I almost lost. Each day was full of unexpected surprises, a turbulent roller coaster full of highs and lows and an endless maze in which I became frustrated, overwhelmed and seemingly stuck. Each new day brought increasingly menacing and distorted images. My life became a tortuous ride which went round and round, up and down, inside and out, at his command. The show stopper was the five storey drop in the end. It was no Splash Mountain. The huge splash was more like a big splatter - on hard, cold, unforgiving cement.
If only someone had given me the script. I would have rewritten it. Our thoughts on my role were markedly different. My involvement with him, my belief in his lies would leave me lifeless. His actions and abuse sucked me dry and trampled my soul. I became a dysfunctional bystander walking a tight rope, trying hard not to fall, looking for answers and the truth. I tried to steer the leaking vessel back to reality. To safety. I tried. So very hard.
Mistakes can be wiped away with magic fairy dust he said, masks can be ripped off only to be replaced by someone entirely different and people and problems can be made to disappear with one swoosh of the magician’s wand. It can be anything you want it to be. You just have to close your eyes and pretend. Easy. No responsibility, no accountability. No conscience.
Could something embedded in childlike innocence and make believe be grounded in something more evil and heart wrenching………I guess that’s the stuff of real fairy tales not the sanitised happy ever after kind. For some reason all of those wolves, giants, trolls and evil villains encountered by Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack seem a little more real to me now. I met a twisted monster who tried to destroy me. Just because he could. I will continue to be branded as a peddler of fairy tales in the eyes of those who choose to live within the four walls of the Black Magic Kingdom.
I do not care, because I am free- the truth set me free.
12 June 2008
Oh yes, there was the usual offerings, such as upgrade your penis, turn possible into probable, get financial help, want a miracle, check out who's hot, are you working smart etc etc which go straight to the bin.
Then, there was this email.
It was sent by Cakes Made Easy and the title was, ....and she's only 9 years old. Knowing that the sender was legitimate, because the title sure was questionable, I opened the email and now I wish I hadn't.
It's affected me in strange ways. You see, I am one of those people who walk the line between the creative and the corporate worlds. I have a theatrical makeup diploma on one hand and an MBA on the other. And I never could quite decide which side of the pond to jump. So I have done both. I am neither one or the other which means I am not particularly talented at anything. Now don't get me wrong, this really suits me because I feel I also get to experience the best of both worlds. I get to dabble in an average way at everything. And I like average. And people are happy to pay for average. So to me its a win, win.
Now one of my recent creative pursuits has been cake decorating. I usually like to bake and feed others when I am eating healthily. Yes, its an issue that may need therapy but I want you to skip over that for the time being (because there is a long list of issues that would keep a therapist busy for the next 20 years and I find its better just to accept imperfection and move on truly). I started baking cakes and then progressed to decorating the said cakes as mini works of art. I really love sculpting little perfect flowers to go on tiny cakes. I thought I was OK at it. Average. Until I saw this little 9 year old at it.......
Great, she is talented, cute, photogenic, confident and all that sugar is going to do horrible things to her one day......and no, of course I am not jealous of a 9 year old, what a thing to say!
I am a mature women of the world who is not threatened by the incredible confidence and poise of a 9 year little homemaker...just watch and see for yourselves. Click here.
This will probably drive me over to the dark side of the corporate world some more today....I haven't seen many 9 year olds running businesses.....yet! But who knows what she may be doing by the time she is 10!
11 June 2008
Last night I went to see the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir with its new show, African Spirit.
The Choir has won critical acclaim and performed to full houses around the world, sung alongside Robert Plant, Bono and Peter Gabriel, and has been heralded as the most exciting group to emerge in world music in recent years. The choir has 26 amazing singers, dancers and drummers and everyone in the audience was on their feet dancing from the beginning.
The African Spirit is alive and well and ........very contagious.
Let's just say I woke up this morning and put on my best rainbow coloured clothes, was singing at the top of my voice and moved into the day in a whole new way with a whole new set of moves. Hilarious!
Let's hope the choir's messages of peace can be just as contagious. Maybe the power of music can save the world. Here is their website to check if they are touring near you.
May you too have a very HAPPY DAY!
This was filmed in Amsterdam in 2007.
10 June 2008
I don't often get inspired by speeches but I was really taken in by the recent Commencement Address given by J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, to graduates of Harvard University. Rowling spoke about the fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination.
Rowling knows about both, having lived the proverbial rags to riches story. She was, at one point in her life, a single parent living on the breadline in the UK. Faced with a sense of personal failure, and the need to do something about her situation, she used her vivid imagination and her love of writing to pen her beloved Harry Potter books. The rest, as they say, is history.
Here is part of her speech and you can read or listen to the full speech here.
Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.
Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality. So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default. Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.
Given a time machine or a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.
You might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.
If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better. "
"And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."
That sure is a powerful line to remember when riding the rollercoaster called LIFE!
9 June 2008
We've all no doubt been in jobs where we've felt like telling the boss exactly what we think of them, but of course don't. Andrew, on the other hand did - obviously he was in no mood to mind his ps and qs when he wrote this but I thought this was too funny not to share...let's hope he went on to find something which made him truly happy.....because he sure wasn't going to get a reference from his ex employer...
8 June 2008
Lilly's Bits is a new series which I will post each Sunday. It will cover a wrap up of the week as I see it. This series has strangely been inspired by the Google-ites who have come to my site searching for Lilly's Bits. Inspiration does indeed come from the strangest places.
2. The Big Fat Lies just keep on coming.....
The US Senate Intelligence Committee has released the long-delayed final phase of its report on prewar intelligence, highlighting the Bush administration's misuse of that intelligence to lead us into war in Iraq. Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism advisor to both the Clinton and Bush administrations, appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to discuss the implications of the report. Clarke stated that figures in the administration lied then and that Senator John McCain is not telling the truth now when he defends them. "Someone should have to pay in some way," Clarke emphasized. Read more . I also came across a blog this morning about Nostradamus. You can read the psychic's prediction for the 2008 Presidential Election here. Intriguing.
6. Bob knows the Answers
I think Bob still has all the answers. He really is one of the greatest poets of our time no matter what you may think about his vocal talent. His music is timeless. Here is a reminder for those who need reminding. What's changed since 1963? (except maybe Bob's hair). As far as I can tell, the answers are still blowin' in the wind.
Photo: Spare parts handmade by Lilly
7 June 2008
6 June 2008
School teachers, sports coaches, child care workers, police, ordinary average suburban family men with wives and children - have shocked their friends, colleagues, neighbours, students and most of all their families by being arrested as part of a world wide child pornography ring.
Seemingly respectable people one day and scum of the earth the next.Some crimes I can understand and even rationalise, this one I cannot and never will.
Please read this because it's something we all should be aware of. The discovery of this peadophile network will result in arrests across the world - 12 million hits were made on a European site within 24 hours and at least two and a half thousand of those were from Australia.
If you are a paedophile (after all who knows anymore) or you know or suspect someone is, do something about it. Because it is a sick illness that needs to be contained and dealt with. For the sake of children.
The Internet is just a means to an end. A seemingly horrific end for some. Just another way for the unhinged wolves dressed up in sheep's clothing to exploit the vulnerable.
Society's most vulnerable.
Just because they can.
No comments on this post because what's there to say really. It just leaves you speechless. And think twice about posting any innocent pictures of children on your blogs because these whackos seemingly do all sorts of strange things with children's photos 'they happen to take a fancy to'. You never know where your photos may end up.
5 June 2008
A lot of people seem to think we Aussies are always outdoors wrestling crocodiles, stepping on deadly spiders or wearing snakes as some kind of adornment just because of the popularity of Steve Irwin and Paul Hogan before him.
Today I had an email from a friend in the US who is about to visit Australia for the first time. She was asking about our 'deadly creatures' because she has heard all sorts of stories and is now a little concerned.
While we Australians love the outdoors, we don't all wear khaki or carry huge knives just in case we stumble upon a deadly creature.
It is true, the Land Down Under is home to many of Earth’s most venomous creatures, such as the inland taipan, whose venom is 50 times more toxic than that of the king cobras and the box jellyfish where death can occur within three minutes of being stung.
However, strangely enough, many Australians are unaware that they are sharing their backyard with extremely venomous animals. While the animals in this country may be much more deadly than anywhere else in the world, they are treated with the same amount of thought and respect that others may give to water moccasins or the black widow. Their presence is accepted and we all know not to 'mess with the wildlife". A philosophy which has been reinforced since the death of Steve Irwin.
Personally, I am more scared of a mouse than I am of a spider, snake or jelly fish.
While I prefer house trained animals, I, like many people, have had the frequent run ins with the world's most deadly animal. In fact, it's the No 1 killer animal in the world. And, it is one which may surprise you.
No, I didn't get up close and personal with a Bear (then again....) even though bears kill up to 10 people across the world each year
Or Sharks that kill 100 people a year
Or box jellyfish that kill 120 people a year
Or hippopotami that easily outpace humans on land and kill 150 people a year
Or elephants which kill up to 500 people a year
Or big cats which kill around 800 people a year
Or crocodiles which kill around 850 people a year
Or scorpions which paralyse their prey and cause 2,000 fatalities a year
Or snakes which cause up to 125,000 deaths a year
No, it is the animal
which kills up to 3 million people a year by spreading deadly diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever.
See, you have nothing really to fear in visiting Australia after all. So, come on down!
Mozzies are everywhere and we don't do cats, bears, elephants or hoppopotami. You just have to be careful of Kev the Crocodile who lives in the bathtub.....and Cecile the Snake who likes to curl up in the first bed she can find each night....other than that, it's all good! Fair Dinkum!
3 June 2008
Note to new readers: Message from your Mother is a series of letters written by Lilly to her daughter which are based sometimes 'too closely' on their most recent phone calls. The letters are often written in the kind of irrational way that seems to come naturally to most mothers when it comes to the lives of their children. Whether the letters are funny or serious, you will always find a 'message' or, in this case, maybe a new revenge tactic.
It's been a while since I last spoke with you and so much seems to be happening in your life. Shame about 'that horrid person' you had to deal with in the last couple of weeks. I can understand why you were thinking of giving her a bottle of wine with the label BITCH (folks that's TRULY the brand name) but the message is a bit obvious and people like that wouldn't get 'it' anyway, would they? She would probably think it was a compliment of some kind plus quite frankly why waste a good bottle of red.
I know a mother is meant to say take the high ground but it's hard isn't it? The whole revenge thing. I mean I have been there as you know. We all have and sometimes you just have to bite your tongue, sit on your hands or chain yourself to something immovable and sturdy until the urge well and truly passes.
Now if I was a 'proper' mother I would tell you that you really have to behave decently, kindly, no matter what the provocation. No matter what the challenge thrown at you. No matter how unfairly other's behave. No matter how badly they behave. You should never retaliate. You should carry on being good and civilised and morally irreproachable. Your manner should be impeccable. Your language moderated and dignified.
In fact I should reassure you that its really difficult when the rest of the world is behaving appallingly, and you have to carry on taking it on the chin without giving into your desire to get the boot in. When people are horrid its natural to want to get your own back and lash out. And supposedly, we all know that once this rough time has passed, you will be so proud of yourself for keeping the moral high ground and it will taste a thousand times better than revenge ever could. Taking and keeping the moral high ground is the only way to be, so they say. Apparently it doesn't mean you're a pushover or a wimp. It just means that any action you take will be honest and dignified and clean. I mean I would tell you all of that if I was a proper mother
BUT (and you know what I mean by BUT - check out No 8 on my list)
given I have never been that kind of mother, I think you should just choose to communicate your views in a different way. You see, taking the moral high ground does, as it turns out, have several different meanings. Revenge, it seems, can still be honest, dignified and clean after all.
So, just forget the lame message on the bottle idea and use the message on the side of the hill idea instead. It's way more effective, is as subtle as a sledgehammer and it will make a far more powerful statement (plus, it can't be directly linked to you unless you sign your handiwork). Better still, you will never have to directly confront the person.
My friend Tulip, the distinguished horticulturalist from the West, told me about this fascinating communication (aka revenge) tip using the natural elements. She said that when you are plotting revenge, "you need to take the high ground as it will prevent you from stooping so low". I found that statement very, very, profound. So much so I had to repeat it out loud over and over to myself until its meaning became clear.
And this is what I think she was getting at. Very cryptic indeed. Find a raised large green area (preferably a major hill, mountain or grass covered building) that the 'horrid one' passes each day and using a certain spray (Tulip only endorses green friendly products), write your desired message and then run (not for the hills away from the hills). Two days later the grassy plains will reveal your message and your horrid acquaintance may have something deep and meaningful to think about for some time to come (which is a good thing given some messages need to be reinforced over and over again). Oh, and please remember it was really Tulip's idea, not mine, if you get caught (just mumble something about a weird horticulture experiment gone wrong).
Anyway, I am just giving you some food for thought. And if you do attempt to do this, please, please, mind your spelling, because you don't want it to reflect badly on you (or your upbringing) do you?
PS OK Readers, tell the truth, be brave, what have you done to seek revenge on someone - I know you have so please share!!! As for me I may take up hill climbing........in certain parts of the world....with strange gardening tools and spray cans in my backpack...
1 June 2008
Every weekend I visit my sister and help her with her housework and other errands because she has Parkinson's Disease and her energies are better spent doing more important things.
This is my sister's third major illness, all diagnosed before she was 45. It has filled me with a lot of guilt wondering why she has had to face all of this when the rest of us are all healthy (sisters and brother). It's a question she never asks though, no matter how tough it seems to get. Not out loud anyway.
She just puts everything in perspective somehow and takes what comes in her stride. She fights each set back in ernest. I often wish I had her strength and faith. I know that each of us has our own crosses to bear and none of us is immune to suffering but I wonder long and hard why really 'bad stuff' happens to good people. Why? Does anyone have the answer on that? Because I really would like to know.
Whenever I visit she is always so calm about everything. I am the total opposite. She always calms me down and teaches me something each and every time, without fail. I love her lessons and I get more out of my visits then I could possibly give in return.
Today the lessons were simple. Really love the people you love, keep your heart open, never harm anyone, stay away from anyone who sucks the life out of you, ditch the things that are just taking up space in your life and enjoy the ordinary pleasures that we always take for granted. Simply because you never know when you may not be able to do them anymore.
Today, on the first day of winter, we shared some time in the sunshine. We had a long talk about how we needed to bring back a few tried and true pleasures for her from the brink of extinction, just for the hell of it you understand.
Now possibly three hour martini lunches are never going to cut it particularly as she said she is already unsteady on her feet, but there are a few others we decided we are going to embrace a little more frequently.
1. Sleeping in
2. Foot Massages
3. Sitting in silence
4. Walking in the rain
5. Afternoon cocktails
6. Floating in the ocean
7. Reading in a hammock
8. Uncontrollable laughter
9. Music so loud to shake the walls, and
10. Dancing, of any kind no matter how stupid we may look
Thanks Meg. Somehow, even on the first day of winter, you make the sun shine brighter than ever.
UPDATE: The very talented Vikki, from Red Chair Gallery has given me another essential to add to the list. So here is No 11.
"At least once a week …Make a really fattening and delicious midnight snack with chocolate and ice cream and whipping cream and those little crunchy things and maybe some fruit...and...! Hmmmm!”