Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The story would have taken place around 28,000 years ago in Europe, where it explores the possibility of Neanderthals and early humans (Cro-Magnon) interacting and intermixing. The story was so interesting because it examines the various aspects of the differences between the two branches of humanity, and considers the possible reasons for the demise of the Neanderthals. Jean Auel did a great deal of archaeological and paleontological research for this book. It is said that she based her description of the Neanderthal characters on a burial cave site found in Iraq called Shanidar .
What I like about these books, aside from admiring the heroine of the story, is how clearly the different human societies were presumed to be set up, how they were run, what was important, what were their values, how did they pray, who did they pray to, who or what did they honor, what were their rituals, how did they practise medicine, etc.
In so far as the group dynamics, its interesting the similarities to todays modern societies. Everyone had their place in the group. Leader/and or Head Woman, Holy Man, Medicine Woman, Shaman, Hunter chief, Hunters, Caregivers, Artisans, Craftsmen, Cooks, Weavers, Gatherers, Speakers, etc, Elders, Children, they all did their thing and they all contributed their part.
I like the way they are presumed to have educated their children. It perfectly reflects that old saying, it takes a village to raise a child. They didn't stick the kids in a room and give them all the same tests. No, they taught each child according to where he was most gifted, and they gave the children real practical experience to learn from.
If a young boy showed a talent for carving, he would apprentice with the carver, if he were a strong athlete, he would go train with the elder hunters, if she were a cook, she would help with the cooking and be sent to gather food and berries, if she had the gift of foresight as well as insight, she may be sent to train with the Medicine Woman. The kids worked/helped all day long, and actually applied the skills they were learning.
Too bad we can't do that for children and youths today. Specialized schools that approach ALL the various types of intelligence traits, abilities, and personal tendencies would be the bomb. Get those wild boys out of the classroom and teach them some useful skills, maybe introduce them to the trades. Teach them to build a treehouse, or paint fence surrounding a non-profit facility somewhere. You can still teach skills they will need to know, get them to factor in what they will have to do to complete the job, estimates, budgeting, doing taxes, filling out forms and applying for permits.Let them see the results of their actions in some way. I think it would be more impactful on a young mind, to have to divide and then saw a board into five equal pieces, than it would be to sit at a desk and divide 1 by 5 a hundred times onto a piece of paper that will eventually be discarded.
Why not have a hefty round of gym classes and sports for young athletic boys to get all that rambunctiousness out. Why not make some use out of the energy, put em to work in the community. Kids can do these things, that's what my Grandma did on the farm, her brothers and sisters as kids, were put to work to help the farm operate. Cleaning barns, collecting eggs, painting fences. Man, the kids in my grandmas era sure didn't have any Mommy entertaining them all day, those kids explored freely, figured things out, and they took the knocks as they came. And Mom, while loving, never apologized for being busy, and she didn't worry if you liked her or not. (Theres something to be said for that but that's another topic).
You could go on and on with this education idea, for artistic kids for instance, why are there not more schools for younger people, like the school in the old TV show fame? What about an all tech school for the kids that are interested in technology, computers, graphics, why not save them the horrors of drama class.
I know, I know the logistics of applying such a system would be monstrous, I realize that its just a silly dream. Besides, the moment we got such a thing up and running, some bleeding heart busybody complainer would feel sorry for his kid having to work hard, would find a problem with something, foresee an accident, lodge a complaint and clog up every system by asking for more laws, rules, bans, restrictions, etc .......all those complainers ever manage to do is put up more red tape for the rest of us to deal with.
By the way, accidents are going to happen, special interactive school or not, I will never forget sitting in the lunchroom of my (normal) school, and witnessing a boy blast his way right through a glass door, because he was being a doofus on a skateboard. And, yes I do realize there are inherent safety issues sometimes, yes, a kid in a construction school, could saw off his finger, but................ he can also learn how NOT to saw off his finger.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Just thought I'd share a pic from my delightful new gig as Ana Frieda in Abbacadabra, (which is produced by Mooncoin productions)! My first show was in Alberta, it was at the start of that ridiculous cold snap we just went through.
Those prarie folks are very hardy, despite the crazy weather, there were two fully attended sold out shows. I was impressed, and we gave them a great show, they were wonderful and appreciative.
Doing the show for the first time was brilliant, I loved it, the costumes, the choreography, the receptive audience. Plus the fact that ALL I had to do was show up and perform. I had no production, backline, gear, sound, lights, management, travel, hotel, band member issues or ANY sort of worries other than making sure me and my platform boots were polished and ready to go.
My favorite sort of gig. Here is to an Abbalicious New Year.
Lets see then, a couple of goals to foster for this year would be to keep working on doing studio work doing demos for people, and also to somday secure a groovy gig doing BG vocals for a great inspiring artist or band on a larger tour, yes, that would be the bees knees!
This video was just sent to me today, there is a bar in Japan, Live Music bar JET, which shows You Tube videos from the Original Music DataBase project ( the OMDB collect and promote / feature original music on You Tube). At the JET bar, I believe they play these videos on the band breaks, I am the second artist in this promo video (about 40 seconds in), I have been featured at this bar before and I must say I find it quite hilarious. I am wondering, can I say that I've played in Japan now, or is that stretching it? ; ) hehe
By the way the video they chose to feature was from a live performance for a fundraiser for an incredible and inspiring actress named Babz Chula, who is fighting a mighty battle against cancer, Babz is highly regarded and well loved in the acting community. I was so proud to be a part of the first Annual Babz.
For more info on theBabz Chula Lifelife for Artists Society:http://www.babzchulasociety.org/
They chart thier journey as the plan unfolds and they share it with us on thier blog, facebook, You Tube, and other social media platforms. As they develop thier concept they consider the Law of Attraction, the Secret, Wayne Dyer, and others with positive connective messages. Sue and Steve also share important links and information about the social media tools they discover along the way.
Below is a link to thier blog. Please go and meet them, they are delightful.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
My brother wont let me take a pic with him, even on Christmas, he makes it his mission to avoid all pictures at all times.
I must confess, I make it my mission to GET that shot! :)
I made it out of the driveway today, so that I could enjoy Christmas dinner with the family. It was a lovely afternoon, so full of laughter that it was even worth the great deal of effort it took to dig out from under several days worth of snow.
As I struggled and sweated to clear the deep snow off of my driveway, all I could think about, was how ticked off I was with myself, for choosing the little shovel because it was the cutest one in the shop.
I just love Suzanne Gitzi. She is inspiring to me in every way. I love the incredible tone of her voice and her complete control over it. She is impossibly beautiful. She has a sparkle when she performs onstage, and has a charming and clever wit offstage. Especially loved by me, are her hilarious descriptions of the occasional onstage issues, mini disasters, train wrecks, and/or near misses. It happens to us all, but she just seems to find the funny, and she delivers it with a sparkly bow. She has me laughing so hard I sometimes have to concentrate in order to hold my bladder. I love talking with Suzanne, and I especially love hearing her sing. Every once in a while her husband Russel, sends me a song or clip of Suzanne, and I am so grateful.
This was the latest clip to come to my inbox, it's gorgeous. Make sure to watch and read till the very end.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I don't quite know what to make of it.
I was told that I would most assuredly become the target of a terrifying swarm of people, if I was ever found behind the wheel in an accident. Apparently, the whole scene is very dangerous, and could turn into a riot. No matter who was at fault, every man and woman within hearing distance, would be summoned, they would swear that the accident was my fault. They would get all of my information, and then go to the company my husband works for, and offer that that the witnesses would all be able to 'change their minds about the accident' if someone gave them a large sum of money.
Nigerian shenanigans, don't just happen through an email. Money is a big deal in Lagos. For some 90-something% of the population, Money is extremely hard to come by, scams and "deals" in daily life, are almost to be expected.
Anyhow, with that little bit of insight, what had at first seemed like a serious affront to my freedom (I don't need a babysitter), suddenly sounded like a very good idea, so I embraced it cheerfully. My driver's name was Dominic, he was a big tall ebony colored man, who wore a gleaming white smile. He would have battled dragons to protect me. I used to get a kick out of being a just little bit outrageous once in a while, just to hear him chuckle at me. He cried when we left Africa.
I also had a cleaner /cook named Justine. While I LOVED having someone clean for me, I refused to let her cook. I was a newlywed, and I was excited by the idea of doing the cooking myself (what was I thinking?), so I gave Justine the job of taking care of my dog, and I took over the cooking.
Justine had it really easy. We had no kids at the time either, so she barely had to work. In fact, she cried too, when she learned we were leaving Africa. She actually let out a primal scream and ran down to her bedroom. I stood there with my mouth agape. I guess we made an impact.
I really struggled when I first got to Africa, with the whole having "servants" idea. I was told to treat the staff like staff, or they would steal from me. I watched some wives take their role as "Madam" far too seriously though, and be overly bossy to their staff it was tough to swallow, or and maybe this is even worse, they would simply disregard the people they relied on to run their lives, as if they were no more valuable than soggy bread.
I couldn't do it. I know I was told not to but, I treated Justine and Dominic like they were family. Especially when I found out how much money they made to serve me. I think it was around about $180 a month ( plus a place to stay in the staff quarters ). They sent most of their paycheck home to their families, who lived in other African countries. This was tough for me, these people, leave their own country for 50 weeks of the year in order to feed their children. I never felt so spoiled.
I was actually embarrassed. I could spend the equivalent of their entire paycheck, in a single trip to the grocery store. I thought of the boating trips we took, and the parties we threw, the groceries which Dominic helped me carry up the stairs, that Justine helped me put away. They would never be able to buy those things. Even going into a bricks and mortar grocery store for a pop, is not something that many Nigerians can afford. Mushrooms for instance, are only imported in once a week, and they cost 15 dollars a basket. (that's fungus I just paid 15 dollars for)
Justine and Dominic shopped at the roadside stands. Rickety wooden tables with everything from eggs to fish laying out in the blazing sunshine all day. The table would often be standing next to an open sewage ditch. And sometimes you might even see a dead body on the side of the road. It was a tough go. How could I possibly flaunt my bountiful lifestyle and not be nice to these people?
Yes, Justine did steal from me in the end, but I didn't fire her as she feared I would. Instead I just told her I was really disappointed and sad. That made her feel worse. She was fiercely loyal after that.
I learned a lot from them too. I would ask Dominic about things that made no sense to me, and he would give his simple yet insightful view to help me understand why I couldn't help everyone I saw.
Seeing the poverty right there in front of me, was an eye opener. You haven't seen poverty till you have seen Africa. I mean I can't tell you how many times I saw little 6 and 7 year old girls, standing at the side of the road begging, flaunting either a disability or a smaller sibling (sometimes an infant) to try and convince people they need money more than the next person begging.
I couldn't believe my eyes, looking at one 6ish girl holding a baby just a few months old. "Where are her parents Dominic?"
Dominic: "They might be fishing, or working."
Me: "who is taking care of that baby then?"
Dominic looked over to her, a skinny little bit of a thing with big brown eyes, and he said " oh, she is old enough"
Think about it folks.
Could you imagine it here in North America? Can you imagine someone leaving their 6 year old standing out on a busy intersection median, holding an infant sibling on her hip, begging for money? There would be so much uproar, it would be over before it started, but in Lagos, its commonplace.
I told Dominic to stop so I could get some money for her, but he kept driving and informed me, "No Madam, if you give her some, then everyone you see here, may come and surround the car".
I looked around at the circus of people in and around the intersection. I and saw more beggars and orphaned children that I have ever seen in one place at one time, and I sat back with a quiet, "Oh".
I guess If I wanted to help anyone, I would have to do it some other way.
Which I did do in fact, but I should write about it in another post, because I have blathered on for long enough now.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Well that's a bit dramatic, I could get in my car and drive, all I have to do is find someone willing to give me a bit of a push to get started. A slight nudge and I would be able, to toodle on my merry way, sliding around in the snow, but I have decided to heed the warnings, to be a good citizen and 'stay off the roads' .
Admittedly, this is easy for me to do, considering my kids are in Mexico and I have no responsibilities to worry about. I couldn't imagine having to be somewhere. I really feel badly for the folks who are having to use air-travel right now, and I thank my lucky stars that I still have heat and power in my house, and I am especially thankful that it's not minus 50 degrees in my part of the country.
In fact, I look at my last few days and, besides the occasional spot of longing for my children, it has been like a vacation. I am on my computer or holding my guitar, all day long. I'm either creating something myself, or being inspired by other peoples creations. Throw in a few trips to the kitchen, and the odd Miwashe Geri ( Karate Kick), and you have my day. I feel like I have scored big time,\ in terms of comfort. The fact that I miraculously do not have to be anywhere or provide anything for anyone, means I can just worry about ME. That's totally worth something. I may never win the lottery, but I have been very lucky through this snowstorm.
Anyways, I have gone from a million miles a minute, to zero in approximately an attosecond. I even had the time to start this blog, I have had this account for over a year, yet never felt inclined to use it. I still don't know what I am doing with it exactly. I am not particularly prolific nor am I eloquent, I don't have a great wealth of information to contribute, nor a scholarly view to impart. But a browse around the blog world shows such a vast difference between blogs, that it's clear to me, anything goes.
Excellent, this is my kind of place. So, my blog will be my place to express my thoughts, collect favorite links, as well as report connections and happenings. I will leave the funny blogs to the comedians, the sporting blogs to the guys, the arty blogs to the artists, and the clever blogs to the wise.
ciao for now..
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I have a male friend, who is in the middle of a divorce. I have never met his soon to be ex, but secretly, I hate her. (& I don't "hate" people easily,....well, ever really). I'm sure if I got to know her, I would find some redeeming human quality, I would find a way to love her for it even. But for now, to me, she is an anonymous girl who appears to be trying to crush the man she made children with, and I'm very unimpressed.
[note: If there are circumstances where a woman is scared, if her man has not yet learned that he just can't hurt people, that's different of course. Women need to protect themselves and their children. Sister, if this is you, get OUT, NOW. That is all I will say, this is not my topic, and I digress far too easily. ]
To be safe then, lets assume that I am talking about the fairly normal, nice, hardworking, Joe blo Dad.
My friend is one of those basically nice guys. I see him with his kids & he's a fine Father. Yet his Ex-cow/wife, makes his life miserable, she makes it hard for him to be a parent to them. It seems like every time I see him, he walks a little slower, with his head held a little lower.
How are you doing today? I Would say in a cheery voice.
Me; What's up?
Friend; Well, I went to court today, just to have 3 more lousy dollars taken off of my 'nothing' paycheck. (That's all the judge could find to bleed out of him). Now she (the ex) wants me to get another job, so she can have more money.
Me, simmering: "Brutal, 3 bucks eh? And how much did you lose for sitting in that courtroom rather than being at work?"
He snarfed at that.
Me; "...... and I suppose the only time you have to even get a second job, is when you are supposed to see the kids".
I don't get it. When there are children involved, you just don't do this nonsense. Especially with a Dad who is actually willing to pay up and show up. Do you even know how lucky you are? You GOTTA work with each other.
This woman is just so small and vindictive, she just hates him, which actually, I am basically fine with, BUT she uses the kids as her pawns. Which I am not at all fine with, in fact, everything about that little maneouver, is wrong.
She took him to court because he let their son pet a cat.
I am serious about that.
She makes up stories, and here is the worst part, the judges buy it, because she is a manipulative woman. She will go to the Doctor and imagine up these horrible symptoms, she will get the doc to write a note that somehow supports her story, illustrating how serious it is, that the kid not be around cats. Which ultimately by the way, means that the kids can't go to her ex's new girlfriends house.
This of course is the real crux of the problem, the new girlfriend. The ex-cow/wife, isn't even single herself (she has a live in boyfriend), she simply does not want to see her ex, happy.
Why not? A happy Dad is bound to be a much better influence on her children, don't you think? I think she is she nuts. And instead of meeting the new girlfriend (who is very nice by the way), to assess for herself the kind of person her children are going to be around, she just pulled an ugly 'court' card and worked the system. Ugh, It makes me sick, it really does.
I know she is unhappy, thats a given, she is morbidly obese and so are the children. ( which is child abuse in my mind, I don't know why the judges don't see THAT little fact )
She does nothing but sit at home and collect money from him And then she craps all over him, and she still expects him to continually keep jumping through hoops. Should he smile while he is doing that too dear?
She has to be the stupidest woman in the world.
To all women like her I want to say, get over it sister.
So what if he was wrong and (in your assessment) caused the marriage to fail? Its done now right? I don't care if he farted on the couch all day long, or boinked his assistant. Get over it. You are rid of him now, so detach yourself emotionally. If you don't have to trust him, then he won't have to lie. Simple, done, move on, now go figure out a way to parent those kids that you made together.
I have plenty of excellent reasons that I could use to justify making my ex's life miserable, but I don't. Whats the point? The real reason I don't fight with him, has very little to do with my ex himself. Its all about my kids. I vowed that they will NEVER have to feel torn between their parents. If their Dad, calls the house, I want them to feel comfortable to talk freely with him, they will never have to feel guilty for loving the other parent, they are welcome to us both equally. I feel so sorry for kids who's parents don't get that.
Just imagine being little, and knowing that your parents despise each other, imagine having to carry such a heavy load. Its so sad.
Sisters hear me, it only hurts your children when you talk badly about thier father.
Just what do you expect your children to do with this information you hoisted onto thier little shoulders?
Don't do it to your kids.
The obese, unhappy, vindictive cow in the story above, is not the only example I am aware of. I have heard of lots of women 'over dramatising' a situation to wrestle more power and energy from the man they once devoted their lives to.
If you recognize yourself in this story, then I want to tell you something. I have seen the effects on the children in situations like yours. It is SO much easier to make friends with your ex. I know its hard sometimes, but the alternative is much worse. Take your lemons and make some lemonade.
with warm hugs ~ rach
Great, my son just got an ipod, an iTunes gift card will be handy!
Here is my post, to enter, as per the rules,I will have to go make a comment on her blog, because I have not investigated whatever "trackback" is, or figured out how to apply it. (I have a feeling I will laugh at myself for this, sometime in the future)
My favorite song EVER, is called Fancy Tail, it was written (in improv mode) by my daughter.
here is the video link
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I opened up Megan's channel, and there on the screen was this beaming, beautiful, bright ray of sunshine. She had words like Positive, Happiness, and Law of Attraction in the titles to her videos. I noticed a reference to Dr. Randy Pausch, and I hit subscribe immediately. I knew I was about to meet a friend with a similar hopeful outlook to life.
We became online pals, Megan and I, and though we don't have time to do it often, we do check in with each other on Instant messaging, where we cheer each other on, proud of each others victories (or we offer each other support through the crap). We both feel that you can design your attitude, and you reveal your character by choosing your responses to things.
When she talks about the 'energy' drawing her to the book,..... well, I get that. I feel like there is an energy, but I don't know how to define it. I don' t really spend a lot of time contemplating it actually, seeing as Its beyond anything I will ever fully understand.
I just want to know how to use it. This energy. I'm getting better at it, I try to be open to it. I look for the little signs and affirmations that tell me I am heading in the right direction. These signs, they could be nothing, or they could mean everything. I try and be open to it all, and at the very least, if an affirmation gives me a boost of confidence right when I need it most, well its hardly a bad thing now is it?. Laugh if you want, but my experience tells me, these little signs are guideposts, affirming that I am on the right path.
OK, then. Now that you know I am just a little bit flaky sometimes, you can validate those thoughts with this virtual scrapbook video of my last year, I made these clips into a birthday card for my dear friend Megan. Yep, that's me lending the BG vox to the tune.
Anyway this isn't about candy, this is about the hotwheels.
One day while my aunt visited from out of town, she spotted the hundreds of cars that my son has, and asked, "HE has so many, Why do you ask for cars for him when I ask you what I can bring?" ( she wants to bring 'special' things ). I assured her that he does play with all of his cars (he's overly focused on them in fact), and that he still appreciates every one. I told her I would watch him as he turned each one around and studied them in detail.
She still figured she was wasting her coins on hotwheels.
So aunty devised a plan, as she was packing to go home, she told me she had decided to sneak a few of his cars from the bottom of his toy bin, back home with her (thinking, he will never even notice if I send one back to him).
Sure enough, the next month she sent a package with a car and some candy in the mail.
Would you believe me if I told you that my son, (4 at the time) opened the envelope, looked inside, and said, "Hey Mommy, Aunty sent me my blue and white car!"
Friday, December 19, 2008
Unknowingly I made an appearance on her blog one day.... caution to young children who might be reading, there are swear words ( they are not mine, LOL).