31 Jul 2005, 7:35pm
Life Anecdotes Photos

Lunges for Lozenges for Lunch

Although serious subjects may be chosen on their own merit, I feel one coming on owing more to bodily discomfort than spiritual /ideological irritation.

My body has been increasingly fighting something over the last few days. In infallable telltale indicator, namely my nose, knows. My normally blissfully weak sense of smell has spiked up, outdone itself so that even newsprint and magazine ink or unprintably, potently, intolerable. I walk through a smellscape of perfumed everything, BO, fumess and the world offgases in flowers. The paths previously crossed through a nearly empty square are laden with noxious air. It all makes my throat hurt and my nose burn.

My energy level is flaky and fluky, my sense of vertigo and headrushes are entirely too frequent so that that compression around the head leaves me walking as if seasick and at times I have to concentrate to walk. That ain’t fun. Something may just pin me to the mat for the count soon.

I’m either going to successfully defeat, or get, a headcold, flu, laryngitis or strep throat. Only time will tell. [I may not reference it again, so we’ll just aassume I’ll survive it.]

A verse I wrote, judging from archeological depth, around age 10 or 11, and since found among my primary school scribblers.

Anyhew, moving right along, with a sailors sway most likely, however, walking makes one feel better.

I’ve mentioned before that Ottawa has the oddest graffiti. Not saying bad, just, unexpected like,


Menu: D47 of some greens (chinese brocoli?) and something called pineapple ice (which turned out to be canned pineapple chunks dumped into a glass of orange crush pop with hunks of random-sized ice)

Quote of the Day: from Dr Tobacco found via Zackary Sholem Berger in June 05, near Visiting Patients, With Dictionary In Hand a lovely read on language acquisition.

Stephen: Yes I know perfectly well what [cholesterol] is, but I don’t suppose you’d so much as heard of it until a few years ago. You’d die without the stuff.

Hugh: Yes but too much is bad for you.

Stephen: Well of course too much is bad for you, that’s what “too much” means you blithering twat.

Word Chain sombre, sombrero, sum prayer oh, frere jacques, jock and cue, cutie-pooh, tootles, bale and rue, sunny cantina, sonny can’t either, door made zoo, dormez-vous.

Movie of the Day: Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran has some meat, gentle humor, and I found it worthwhile. It was all hand camera filmed and starring that star, and bridge champion, Omar Sharif, who still causes near swoons at the mention of his name among the ladies in my classes.

Thought of the Hour: A smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart.

31 Jul 2005, 12:24am
On the Peace Path

Busk at Dusk

Walking around you never know what is around the next bend. No shelling, no shellshock.

Somehow it’s easy to get waylaid in other lives, tangled in the stacked high frames of big pictures and mistake these for this simple moment, free of the breeze coming in the sliding glass door. Dramas and traumas, like work commitments, life maintence demands will never come to an end. One needs to draw a line in shifting sands and balk as the stubbornist donkeys do and bray, nay. Ain’t goin your way buddy no matter what buffet of carrots you swing at me. I’ll just grit my teeth and brace my legs until you leave me to my pleasures of being alive.

So, which pleasures? Walking though the market and overhearing a bagpiper busking (oh yeah, the Maxville Highland Games are convening) and riffing nearby are two young guys with djembe’s playing in and out of the rhythm of the bagpipes.

This weekend has so much, Smiths Falls Jazz Festival, Carleton Place music festival, the Highland Games in Maxville, the Ottawa Chambre Music festival and the Busker Festival at Sparks Street of Ottawa Buskerfest 2005. Something’s in Almonte as well as I half-recall. Plus, everywhere suffuse with sufficient sunshine. The pictured buskers we happened across are Offbeat who do something performance like the group Stomp, making music from rhythms of sticks and cans and whatnot hanging about, and The Coralies who do burlesque gymnastics.

Offbeat is from the school of Stomp with a touch of Australia’s Tap Dogs. We also saw Spring Action which is a group of trampoline performers who have among them Olympians. The ARC Fasthorse family gave a good show too. They are a husband, wife and kids Lakota family who do an eclectic multiculural show. The best banter hands down went to Byron Bertram.

Menu: Pizza from scratch with spinach, orange and green bell peppers, mushrooms and low fat mozzerella and raspberries, apricots and pineapple.

Link of the Day:How Footpath erosion happens

Trivia Tidbit: On strangers and in shops, those white and red Vote for Pedro shirts keep popping up. I finally took the time to look up if those Tshirts have an explanation. Good, my mind can let that query off the back burner.

Word Chain: eschews, shoes, choose, shoo, stew, loo, lay, lie, jumbalaya, crayfish pie, filet, gumbo

Quote of the Day: Life Rule #636: “Don’t drive faster than your Angels can fly” (Warning: Angels can fly approximately 800 mph, lets be careful with this rule.)

28 Jul 2005, 6:19am
Equity Positive News
1 comment

Chimp Off the Old Block

I remember being at a travelling zoo as a child. It was in a transport truck with side panels that opened and ramps on both ends of the box. There was an assortment of ooh-ahh mammals, as well as reptiles and spiders in the proportion most tolerable to the public. Part way in was a cage with a sign, “The most dangerous animal on earth: Homo sapiens”, and a mirror.

My mom looked and looked in the cage and then with a striken look, told me, “It got out of the cage!”

Haven’t we though. 😉

See, “You haven’t lost your smile at all, it’s right under your nose. You just forgot it was there.” ~ Unknown, Source but found at Quotations Book

More often then not the cage is of our own making and superficial glances in the mirror, figuratively, collectively or in any way you want to take it, don’t get the full picture.

Off the auction block, out of the cell block, dozens soon swelling to hundreds of individual chimps are turning a corner on a history none of us want to see repeated. It’s been a long times since I’ve seen an update of good news from that front.

Reading the New York Times of July 24, 2005, there’s a 10 page article on the history of chimps in the US as an historical and current contextual backdrop for the Clinton-government enabled Chimp Haven.

Charles Siebert has written a well-paced, engaging and comprehensive look at how we came to have thousands of indoors captive bred chimps and what to do with them next in Planet of the Retired Apes

And excerpt,

In the months since Rita and Teresa arrived at Chimp Haven, a number of fellow research chimps have followed in their bold footsteps: Augusta, Conan, Suzanna, Ellie, Puddin’ and Merv, all from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, a major facility for infectious-disease and behavioral research in Atlanta. Another group of chimps from the Southwest Foundation in San Antonio came soon afterward. Thirty retirees are now in residence. By the time Chimp Haven, parts of which are still under construction, has its official ribbon-cutting ceremony in October, approximately 75 chimps will have settled there. When the facility is fully completed, sometime in 2006, it will hold up to 200.

[…]Chimp Haven is also a reflection of a darker set of realities, a particularly topsy-turvy time in the already tumultuous history of our so-called compact with the wild; a moment when the number of chimpanzees in the wilderness is rapidly decreasing and the number of those in captivity continues to rise. In fact, while chimpanzees in the wilderness are now officially designated endangered, those in captivity are not. There are an estimated 2,500 captive chimps in the United States, a number that’s difficult to pinpoint because of the many private breeders still turning out baby chimps, mostly for private ownership or use in entertainment […] even though chimps are unmanageable much past the age of 6 and despite the fact that advances in computer animation may soon obviate altogether the need for actual animal performers.

Quotes of the Day: “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

“Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Menu: Shanghai Spring Onion pancake and Shanghai Vegetarian Buns, garden fresh cucumbers with fresh picked spring onion bulbs in mayo. (Funny, couple days ago, I was on a hazelnut kick with hazelnut bread, hazelnut cheesecake and hazelnuts in a stir fry. Seems to be onion today)

Sidenote: ABCs of blogging [always bring camera] not obeyed and therefore missed this photo-op inside a local mall at 9 a.m. one wing of shops looked like a rock concert show with the fire extinguisher powder clouding the air and people appearing out out the white wall in varying degrees like receding hills to the horizon. From silhouettes to 3D as they went about their business and all those firemen at work and not a camera to capture it.

Movie of the Day: Saw the trailer of Murderball , seems like it could be an interesting movie.

Word Chain: serene, serendipity, dippity, ditzy, dizzy, do

Links of the Day: Mei Wah: reading restaurant Chinese by looking at the characters, or, how about christians must believe in christ? forum discussion

Poetry of the Day: Elbows on the Table blog of poems,
via Silliman’s blog exploring on down to Quoi? L’eternite so far.

Mood: Spottily focused and could fall to relax or tense. Which way shall I make myself this hour? It has to to be all good. I can’t get in a funk, because, have you heard funk is dead?”

27 Jul 2005, 11:55am
Divertions Life Anecdotes
1 comment

If my Head Weren’t Attached…

…I would miss it so, but probably, not for a day or two.

But seriously, I swear I was paying attention. I’ve been responsible with them. I have felt alert, calm, clearheaded so how did this happen?

I’m afraid I’ve had a senior/blonde/whatever moment, or more accurately 2 hours. re-emptied my bags, checking pockets of things I’m sure I didn’t wear yesterday and yet…

I resorted to phoning stores and the bus company where I’d been to find them. As I was in the elevator to check the mailroom for my pinned up keys, I retraced my steps, wracking my brains, thinking, How could I pick up the car and drive away without my keys. How embarrassing to have to call the garage and say I couldn ‘t pick up the car today because I can’t find —

And then, yes, it dawned, that is what one does at a garage, one gives ones keys to the garage. That’s how they can move the car and so on.

Oh lord love a duck! I’m redder than a beet and nearly as sweet if I do say so myself.

Repacking Your Bags

Reading: Folding and unfolding Repacking Your Bags is an interesting process. Although it targets a mid-life crisis audience, it meets me where I’m at. As the authors point out, repacking your mental bags is a lifetime continuous process. The book raises a number of useful questions such as, “who are your nutritious friends?”

Nutritious friends are those who nourish your soul, whose eyes light up when they see you, whose presence lightens your load. These are people you want to travel through life with.

Another category of relationships with people are those you can enjoy the prescence of, for a short time, knowing it will end. They are weekend travel partners and your bags stay packed around them. The 3rd category are day-trip people that you pass in life, spend minutes not days conversing with and have no commitment to. You set down your bags together perhaps and dilvulge a great deal because you will never meet again or divulge nothing for the same reason.

The authors point out (p. 127) a book by George Vaillant called Adaption to Life. He did a longitudinal study of university guys. After 40 years they divided the people into 2 groups: the healthy and the ones who became chronically ill, disabled or dead early. He found that holding all else equal, the factor that distinguised the groups was not diet, exercise, overall fitness, but “self-disclosure”.

Those who lived healthiest were correlated with having at least one person the could consistantly, openly share their whole selves with. I can’t speak to the effect gender, time and place, interpretation or the data collection may have had but it seems reasonable that someone who finds people who accept and love them with all the warts and trust themselves enough to show their true face would have less complexes, less stress, more boldily health. Once there’s any defensiveness, muscles tighten, blood constricts, oxygen doesn’t flow the same, the body prepares for going towards brain base fucntion. Once one flows, so does blood and all else is tickety-boo fluid even if not correct. The capacity to err further increases when one stops awkward and spreads ease, stops disease and dizziness.

Another question they pose is “Who am I in the relationship?”. That is a gong song question that resonates week after week. They only brush over it but it has since led my vision to focus and clear and observe several eurekas of micro-interactions, primed me to observe what each person may be responding to. For instance observing one person attempting to not intrude, showing too much hesitancy and obsequiousness and rendering the opposite effect when the power imbalance isn’t as great as the person demonstrates. When one cowers, it seems to provoke swift, automatic anger and dominancy. It is signalling it is OK to treat me this way by default. People have a habit of not responding in default settings but still, the countermove of the other is suggested, just as when walking nervously, looking around furtively indicates a mark to someone who looks for such things.

People only want to do what is expected of them. The most natural behavior mirrors back what you are given. If you don’t like what you’re getting, you may have to change what you’re giving, signalling. That’s not to say, blame the victim but a closer examination of body language, tone, reactions, counterreactions and decisions could lead to better pattterns.

It takes a training to be aware that this process is happening and step out of it, tell the person they are doing it, firmly command them to straighten up or proactively distract and compliment to short-circuit the grovel before it gets any more pronounced.

One particular lady I observed was particularly deft at this grovel-stopping. In other circumstances, she led by stepping back and cheering. While playing basketball, her face was supportive and her grin and cheer genuine whenever someone else scored. She seemed to be able enter another’s world and see from their eyes and give them what they need. I’m glad that she has 3 children. Perhaps one or a few will model on her and spread her personal culture.

As a final, probably final plug for this book that impressed me, Repacking Your Bags is clearly, accessibly written. The chapters are not dependant on each other and the format clear with easily scannable headers that convey meaning instead of inscrutable puns (while clever in some books are more for the purpose of pointing to the author than aiding the reader). There are indented quote example sections and bulleted reasons, numbered tips. All the while the writing is not flat and not overly decorative. I could use more example before the go-to-it application here and there but overall I take my hat off to Richard Leider and David Shapiro for structuring the book to not obscure the useful content.

Quotes of the Day: “Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, “Here is an opportunity for me to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent. “ ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Movie of the Day: Eu Tu Eles (2000, You, Me, Them) because it is unconventionally filmed, not overdialogued, and has a totally kick ass woman who lives as she sees fit without apologizing or answering to anyone as well as some great comedic scenes. It feels unpredictable without falling into random chaos. It would have been easy to make villains, victims or buffoons of the males in the movie but I came away feeling their dignity was also served.

Fiction Book of the Day: Industrial Magic also has female characters who aren’t the characteristically female-in-media portrayals but admirable in being naturally capable of running their own life and asserting their own place. Only downside is I have to wait til 2006 for the next book in the series but until then there are the monthly short stories.

Links of the Day: Cuddle party (from tupperware to candles to this?) via Presurfer and Anti-Porn Myths debunked is a bit long winded but got some interesting points

Poems of the Day: Darren Jackson poems in Terrain and Jenn Ku poem in current High Altitude Poetry pdf issue.

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