My 10 Best Qualities

Hmmmmph. Let’s all be arrogant, conceited, ego-centric pin heads today, shall we? Like we have to be when we hand in a resume, because if we’re brutally honest no one will ever hire us.

And my motivation for answering this prompt will be what exactly? “A little gloating is in order”? WHY?  Is a list of all my endearing qualities going to be blindly accepted by people who will suddenly love me MORE?  Well, okay then. Let’s get ‘er done.

Optimism

Optimism (Photo credit: hynkle)

Being SINCERE
Because even when I’m being sarcastic, I really, really mean it.

Being a DAYDREAMER
The fact that I can quietly zone out completely at any given moment makes me appear to be thoughtful and imaginative, rather than merely bored to death.

Being CREATIVE
This is the label I give to myself when I am completely zoned out (see above) and performing various artistic tasks at the same time. It’s the process that’s important here, never mind the results.

Being EASYGOING
It is always good to stay calm and relaxed. You can call it being lazy if you want to, I’m perfectly fine with that.

Being KIND, CARING, and CONSIDERATE
These are especially admirable qualities to have when you deal with the public on a daily basis, and are excellent ones to fake when you feel like being the exact opposite.

Being OPEN-MINDED
Sometimes I am SO open-minded that new ideas and concepts just whoosh themselves right on through my brain leaving no lasting impression. I do try to be flexible and embrace change. This ties in with the laziness thing as well, since resistance to change often requires a certain amount of effort.

Being ABLE TO KEEP A SECRET
Please refer to number 6, where things I hear do not necessarily lodge themselves in my mind for long periods of time.

Being DEVOTED TO MY FAMILY
Because friends may come and go, but relatives you’re kind of stuck with.

Being POSITIVE AND OPTIMISTIC
Goodwill is a lovely thing to practice, even when it’s not Christmas. Being funny is good, being fun-loving is even better. Being able to kick yourself in the ass when you’re not being either one of those things is a priceless gift.

Being YOUNG AT HEART
Because always being mature is highly over-rated. My job description suggests that I should act like a grown up all day long. My heart tells me that life is too short to spend it taking myself so seriously 24/7. So I allow myself to play. I give myself permission to be as happy as a child.

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My Inner Eye

Your Daily Horoscope: August 30, 2010

Taurus  Apr. 20 – May 20
The idea that you can create states or conditions by picturing them in your inner eye is nothing new, Taurus. You may be in a position today in which you can prove it to yourself and realize in a very deep way that you have created the situation that you’re in now. What you want to do is to think about where you’d like to be in five years and hold on to that mental image for a short period of time. Don’t demand privileges you haven’t earned today.
Compatibility: Aries
Mood: Creative
Your Daily Lucky Color: Orange
Lucky Number: 80
Lucky Time of Day: 1pm

So THAT’S what I’ve been doing all this long time.  Damn my inner eye.  Because the states and conditions it pictures are often extremely unpleasant.  Time to whip that little inner eye into shape and get it to picture way better stuff.  Of course it’s true that we create the situation we’re in now – or at the very least we have complete control over how we react to it.  Or BE in it.
Where would I like to be in five years?  Well, most of all I would like to still be alive.  If I’m not, then the question is much harder to answer. I would like to be at home, writing and painting with no sense of urgency to get anything done.  Sounds like heaven to me.
What do you mean, there are privileges out there that I haven’t earned?  Give them to me anyway, dammit!!   Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa……

The only Aries I can think of is my brother.

I feel like I’m always creative, although the results of that creativity are another story entirely.

Normally I don’t like orange, but today I’m feeling strangely sympathetic towards it.

Eighty is a nice round fat little number.

And what was I doing at 1 p.m. today?  I can’t remember, except that I’m sure I wasn’t involved in any horrendous disasters, so that of course is the best kind of lucky to be.

BooHoo Blockbusters

There are lots of emotions that bring tears to my eyes – joy, anger, sadness. Sappy commercials on tv can choke me up! Every movie I’ve ever seen has stirred up some kind of emotion – even if it’s just disgust. So I closed my eyes, spun myself around three times and just dizzily pointed at one from my random and incomplete list of tear jerkers.

Beaches

Steel Magnolias

Terms of Endearment

Dead Poets Society

Philadelphia

Ghost

Sophie’s Choice

The Deer Hunter

I guess the theme that causes me the most grief is ‘death’, although the tears are invariably 99% for the people left behind.

After that of course there is always the power of love theme which makes everything better and causes yet another blubbering breakdown.

And then someone tells me to ‘for gawdsakes get a grip’, and I make a mental note to avoid watching a movie with THAT jerk ever again.

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Hurdy Gurdy

(with appologies to Donovan and George Harrison)

I am the Hurdy Gurdy Man, singing songs of love.

I know man, I’m your biggest fan.

Really?

Yeah, ever since that day when I was down by the sea, gazing with tranquility, and your music came washing over me. I’ll never forget it.

Ah. Perhaps you were just one small voice in the crying of humanity.

Hey, I don’t cry man! Come on. I was just sitting there in the unenlightened shadows, and then you came along and blew them clear out of the water.

Yes. I suppose I did. Histories of ages past, down through all eternity – colossal bore, all that. Could do with some serious blowing away.

Yep. The truth was buried deep, beneath a thousand years of sleep. Your songs are gonna save us all.

A turn around is certainly overdue. Would you like to join me, singing songs of love? At least until the truth is found?

Oh man! I would follow you anywhere! I’ll even learn how to sing! This is the best day of my life!

I like you. I think I’ll call you Roly Poly Man. You can be my songs of love and transcendental consciousness awakening side kick.

Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy…..

Hmmm. Roly poly, roly poly, roly poly, poly… I think we’re on to something.

Hurdy Gurdy man, you are THE MAN!

And together we are ON A MISSION! Rock on Roly. Let’s get down.

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Being Birdie Bijou

On a blizzardy night in December, as she tossed and turned in her big feather bed, Birdie Bijou Berengaria had a rather unsettling dream. She was walking across a beautiful ballroom filled with laughing, chattering, fashionable people when she looked down at herself in alarm. She was loosing her color, slowly blending in with the woodwork; fading, dissolving, disappearing. She called out to the people milling around her, but her voice was muted and soft and could not be heard. She reached out to touch a shoulder but her hand passed through the material and the bone as if they were mist, leaving no impression whatsoever.

This is totally unacceptable, she thought to herself, as she attempted to stamp her foot in dismay, but that appendage had mysteriously turned to soft rubber and made no sound at all on the ballroom floor. She began to back away from the horror of this moment, glancing furtively around for some way to escape when she caught sight of her now nearly transparent reflection in the gilt mirror over the fireplace. She was a little grey mouse. No shine, no sparkle, no flare. Nothing. I am nobody, she moaned in despair. I am vanishing. I will be gone and never missed, and no one will remember me.

Birdie Bijou Berengaria suddenly sat up in bed with a start. What do I have to do to get noticed around here? she wailed. And suddenly she knew the answer.

From that day on, Birdie was bold. She wore shimmering sapphire and blinding scarlet, ruffles and lace and jewels. She threw away all her sensible shoes and replaced them with glossy black buckled mary janes that clicked and clacked and stomped with a lovely great racket. She held her head high and adorned it with lustrously flamboyant bows. She felt radiant and glorious. And because she positively glowed, she attracted attention as never before. She smiled and laughed and basked in the sunshine of her new reinvented self and her wonderful, interesting, and now thankfully very physically solid, friends.

She was so delighted to no longer be overlooked and ignored that she never once stopped to ponder what actually brought about this gratifying change. Let her go on believing it was the giant winged hair bow that suddenly turned her life around. We know what really happened.

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I Would Maybe Open the Door Wider

I answered the door that afternoon because I was expecting some registered mail. Normally when I’m home alone being a complete slob I ignore the doorbell. I could be in the shower, is what the bell ringers are supposed to think before they wander off to bother someone else with their offers of “buy a ridiculous number of booster juices and get a free pass to the local mud wrestling contest and a chance to win a hot air balloon ride for six .” Things you don’t need or want or even know exist until some stranger is standing there on your doorstep all ecstatically happy to be the one brightening up your otherwise dull existence with this incredible offer. They always look so pissed off when you turn them down.

Anyway, it’s not so much something I’d take back as something I’d add on to the latest door answering episode. It was Roxanne, our Ward 2 Councillor at the door. And no, I didn’t know she existed either, but she turned out to be a very nice lady going around in her councillors area to say hello and discuss issues or questions about council related stuff. It would have been nice if I’d had any idea at all what is going on in our community and could have conjured up some kind of semi intelligent question to ask her, but it would have been even nicer if it had occurred to me to have her come in for a minute, off the cold doorstep and out of the freezing wind. Hind sight is such a beautiful thing.

She gave me a copy of a little two page newsletter, so now I know there’s a co-op community garden somewhere in the area, measures in the works to calm the traffic on Georgian Way (who knew it had gone wild?), and that the Silver Birch Lodge expansion will include a chapel, a library, an auditorium, recreation areas and a green house. I’m tempted to get an application package just to see what that kind of independent living apartment might cost a person. Having a full-time personal aid might just be cheaper.

And the lovely Roxanne, Councillor, Ward 2, also gave me a coupon for Dairy Queen! I do love a councillor who drops by bearing gifts. So I’m going to subscribe to her newsletter by e-mail, and study up on where the electronic driver feedback signs are located, and maybe even get myself to care about the environmental impact of the 500 kV double circuit transmission power lines that are in the works for the county. And the next time she drops by she’ll think somebody new moved in because I’ll be able to blather away about urban and rural property devaluation, or some such important sounding issue convincing her that it’s dear to my heart and high on my list of priorities, instead of drawing a complete blank and saying ever so vaguely that everything seems to be fine.

And a coupon for a Wendy’s salad – I’ll make that suggestion. Anonymously, and via e-mail, but hey, it’s a start in my sudden blossoming pursuit of community awareness.

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What I Believe

No, I wouldn’t describe myself as being spiritual or religious. At least neither of those words comes immediately to mind when I consider ME. Frankly, I’m getting rather bored describing myself every other Plinky prompt. Or maybe I’m just tired and up too late to be pleasant. I could have just zipped off some flippant answer this morning before work but I thought this question deserved more thought and consideration. Now at the end of the day I can no longer imagine anyone even remotely caring what I do or do not believe.

So of course I feel compelled to tell you anyway.

I believe that it is important to let the past go. There are no time machines and no do-overs. We can only move on. I believe it is pointless to worry myself sick about the future imagining every possible horror that could happen. I believe it is possible to live simply and joyfully in the present moment. So most days I don’t believe in reading the newspaper which is always full of depressing crap.

I believe there is no heaven except the one I create for myself, right here, right now. There is no hell except the one I choose to dwell in right here on earth. I have the power to make changes, or the power to accept the things I cannot change and to make peace with them.

I believe in everyone’s freedom of choice and that they can believe or disbelieve any brilliant or stupid thing they want as long as it causes no one else harm. My daughter decided at the age of 9 to believe in reincarnation, because she wanted to make sense of death, and that belief made her happy. (Much happier than her little friend’s notion that if she didn’t go to church every Sunday and get herself saved that she’d end up in hell.)

If your beliefs aren’t a source of joy and happiness to you, better get yourself some new ones. I believe that there are many things on this earth that cannot be stuffed into little boxes and sealed and labeled, right or wrong, black or white, religious, spiritual, scientific, perfectly sane or just plain weird. Everything’s a lovely mix. Pick the things that lift you up and set you free.

And God or Buddha or The Great Fairy King please forgive me if I ever try to force my beliefs on anyone else, no matter how honorable my intentions.

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A Disappointing Read

At first I thought my expectations were just unrealistically high for this book, because Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones” was so incredible and impossible to put down.

This book was really hard to pick up again after the first few chapters. Helen Knightly is a character I found impossible to like. In the first few pages she calmly murders her invalid mother. And believe it or not, it’s all down hill from there. I could not connect with or care about her, or her ex-husband or her daughters, or her dysfunctional neighbors, or anyone else who wandered across the pages doing assinine things for inexplicable reasons. Absolutely nothing about it rang true.

It is one of those stories that you keep reading because you’re sure it must have something in it somewhere to redeem itself, that it’s bound to get better…..and then it just never does. “The Almost Moon” was one of the most unsatisfying, unresolved, emotionally cold and unhappy books I have ever read.

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Confessions of a Bylaw Breaker

Clothesline

Canada has its share of strange laws that could be reversed tomorrow with minimal public outcry. Like the one where you can’t water your grass in Nova Scotia when it’s raining, or the one that states its illegal to drag a dead horse down Yonge Street in Toronto on a Sunday. Actually, it wouldn’t hurt to beef that last one up a bit to include ANYTHING that’s dead and every day of the week, but our lawmakers may never get around to that one in my lifetime. Or anyone elses.

But that’s the crazy east end of the country. Here in the west we have to deal with way more pressing issues, although I’m happy to report there’s one that doesn’t keep Albertans awake at night anymore. It is no longer a requirement of law to supply a prisoner being released from jail with a gun and a horse to ride out of town. I mean seriously, what would become of all those poor horses, never mind the nightmarish quantity of gun law paperwork you’d need to complete for acquisition permits that might not be approved before the applicant died of old age.

Anyway, here’s the law (well it’s actually just a minor little by-law) that I would like reversed. In this place where I live it is against the law to have a clothesline in your backyard. Every time I look out my kitchen window I am reminded that I am blatantly breaking this strange regulation. There has been a clothesline out there for probably 25 years. It was there when we moved in, and even though the previous owners advised us of this law, we just have never gotten around to obeying it. I suppose if the bylaw officers suddenly show up at our house to do a property inspection that we could plead ignorance; or call it a low flying aircraft deterrent; or just look shocked and exclaim OMG where did THAT thing come from? (Although if there are things hanging on it, that last one will lose some credibility.)

There are five other backyards partially visible from ours, but not one of these neighbors has ever registered a clothesline related complaint about us, that I’m aware of, anyway. W. probably breaks some kind of noise bylaw when he talks on his cell phone in the backyard, but that’s a whole other story. I thought once about getting out our heavy-duty binoculars and climbing up on the garage roof to have a good look around the neighborhood for other clothesline transgressors. Fortunately some other matter distracted me before I could work out all the details.

The clothesline doesn’t get used a lot, and we’re pretty selective about what we put out there for the world to see. Mostly sheets, hopefully with no gaping holes in them, and big towels that take forever in the dryer. You’d think they should be giving out some kind of tax incentive for people like us who save all that dryer energy with our environmentally friendly laundry hanging. But I don’t know what the penalty is for covertly performing this illegal activity, so I won’t be the one who brings it up at the next bylaw meeting. If they even have such things. And having gone 25 years undetected and unreported, I would venture to guess that our bylaw officers have their priorities all screwed up with photo radar traps or some such other unimportant nonsense.

I’ve shared this information with you in strictest confidence. Please do not report me. I still have those binoculars around here somewhere.

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Novel Plot Brainstorm

Drinking coffee

Brainstorm? With only one brain? It’s just me and my cup of coffee here, and he’s not so big on conversation. Espresso yourself, good buddy, I might say. And he might answer –

“How’s this for a novel plot – an old Italian guy named Macchiato Cappuccino travels to Americano to start a new life (because, you know, better latte than never) where he opens up a (SURPRISE) coffee shop in a town named Java, meets a wonderful lady, the beautiful Melya Kopi Tubruk whose love of Irish Coffee presents Macchiato with his only really big challenge in the story, that of converting her to Ristretto and of course winning her heart in the process.”

That’s the lamest thing I’ve ever heard.

“Well, wait till you hear this, then. Outside the shop he hangs a gigantic hand painted sign that says DRINK COFFEE: DO STUPID THINGS FASTER WITH MORE ENERGY: YOU CAN SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD: Double shot hammerheads Oliang $1.00 “.

Gawd. Talking coffee mugs. The one brain I’ve been blessed with is seriously malfunctioning.

“Yep, your brain is pretty much completely freeze-dried today. I’m standing my grounds. My shot in the dark may be breva but it’s got more frappe than a Madras Lungo, and you have yet to come up with anything at all, so mocha good luck with that; I’m done.”

Good. Your plot was dull as dirt.

Stupid au lait.

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