All posts for the month September, 2012

Religious Violence

Published September 21, 2012 by mindfulofchatter

I remember a few decades back when a film came out titled ‘The Life of Brian’. It raised the hackles of many Christians who claimed the film made fun of Christ and portrayed him in an unflattering light. Cinemas were picketed, people stood on corners with signs and many boycotted the film. When a reporter asked the people protesting what it was about the film they found so objectiobable, the reporter was told none of the people has actually seen the film. As far as I know, no one threw bombs, set theatres on fire or killed another human being.

There have been several films that have raised the hackles of different religious groups. They boycotted theatres and held up signs on street corners, but never once threw a bomb or ransacked someone’s restaurant.

All the unrest in Muslim world about this anti-Muslim film is obliviously not only about the film. The film is an excuse to riot, ransack and kill. Yes, I understand that the Muslim community is angery about the portrayal of Mohammed. But how many of these men rioting in the street and killing others have actually SEEN the film and judged its contents for themselves? And as angry as they are over this film, how does killing people and ruining livihoods change the film’s contents? It doesn’t.

I saddened to see that the Muslim community can not protest in a more peaceful manner. That they find ransacking, setting fires and killing to be an acceptable form of protest. That they can not see that the people they have killed had nothing to do with the film.

Violence only begets violence.

The Countdown to France

Published September 20, 2012 by mindfulofchatter



I leave for France in 6 days. I still have to go to work until then, which is fine with me. Work makes the days go faster. I’m not sitting at home stressing over flight times and packing. I don’t have the time at home to pack and re-pack, then pack yet again. Work is keeping me level and calm.

No that I am all worked up over this trip. I am very excited in some ways. In others, not so much. I don’t way I am not screaming to the mountain tops ‘ I am going to FRANCE!’, but I’m not. I’ve been to France. I’ve never even been overseas. I have no idea what awaits me over there besides jet lag and long line at the airports. The people I work with are more excited than I am about this trip (this does make me wonder a bit about my job security).

My sister and travel companion is in a little bit of a flurry as the day to depart heads out way. She has been there several times and loves it. My daughter is happy I am going because she insists I will LOVE it there and never want to come back. Plus, if I were to stay, she could come visit anytime she could get over and have a place to stay for free.

I do have some concerns about the language gap. I have The Rosetta Stone program, but there is not enough time to get through it all. I am just now getting to numbers (most of which I know). I have found the Rosetta Stone and I argue more than communicate. The mic system isn’t very good. The headset they include are only good for the microphone. The earphones don’t work at all. So you wear this cumbersome headphone set up just to have a microphone. And that microphone has to be almost IN your mouth for it to work well. If you don’t mimic the speaker’s exact inflections, you are ‘wrong’. I have found I have to speak very slowly and in tiny bites to get a phrase ‘correct’. Even for phrases I have said a hundred times to a live teacher. So its is a bit frustrating, but I have learned a few new words and phrases.

I can ask for baguettes and croissants, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’, as well as a few other little phrases and words. I’ll be okay, mostly because I am not afraid to try and act it out of I need to. Having done theatre and street theatre really helps.

So off I go in 6 days. I guess I’ll live on baguettes and croissants.

The Art of Make-up for Former Tom-boys

Published September 20, 2012 by mindfulofchatter


I grew up a bit of a tom boy. Jeans, tees and sneakers were my favorite clothing. In elementary school, we girls were required to wear dresses. Then play games like kick ball and softball. Who thought of that was a good idea? We got around it by wearing shorts under our skirts. Junior high (now called middle school) saw my 7th grade class the first one that did NOT have to wear dresses. I didn’t a don a dress for 2 years (except for choir performances). Both of my sisters were required to wear dresses in high school. The eldest had to kneel to show her hemline touched the floor when asked to do so by a teacher or principal. When I hit my freshman year, once again the dress code had under gone a change. No more were the girls required to wear a dress. I got off easy.

This also meant I didn’t develop any fashion sense. I never thought about my hair or wore make-up. I got up, got dressed, ran a brush through my hair and was out the door. I rarely wore a dress. I never wore heels. I was already taller than most of the boys, and a little self-conscious about it. Pants that weren’t denim or corduroy rarely came long enough. All this came together to keep me on the tom boy side of things.

As I got older and started going out with friends to parties and to go dancing, I began to think more about what I wore. Choosing dresses and dressier pants happened more and more often. I even started wearing dress shoes with heels! My fashion sense bloomed, and even my friends commented on how well I dressed. The hair and the make-up, however, remained in a holding pattern.

My hair was very long, down to my waist. It was difficult to do much with it. It was thick and heavy. Pony tails gave me a headache. My hair styles were pretty much a side ponytail, a braid down my back and just plain loose. Make-up consisted of mascara on occasion. Nothing more. My experiments with eyeliner often went badly. Very badly.

This left me hair and make-up inept. At a tad over 50, I am still pretty much hair inept, but I am getting better. My ability to apply make-up has been given a huge boost by the T.V. show What Not to Wear.

Yup, you read that right. A T.V. show has helped my master the art of make-up.

This is a show were people with no fashion sense what so ever, are nominated for a complete make-over. They are shown what styles work for their body type. They get to go shopping on the show’s dime ($5000 worth), a hair make-over with Ted Gibson and a make-up lesson with Carmindy.

Carmindy is sweetie of a lady. She has been with WNTW since it began 9 years ago. She sought after by celebrities for red carpet events. Carmindy can pick and choose what she wants to do. Carmindy decided years ago she wanted to help the everyday woman see her own unique beauty, and teach them how to properly apply make-up at every stage of life. And she does a bang up job.

With a bright smile and a little psycho therapy, Carmindy has helped 100’s of women see just how beautiful they truly are. She has written a book called ‘The Five Minute Face’ which covers women from their 20’s through their 60’s. Not only does each section tell you how to apply the make-up, but the proper color pallet to use, where to buy it, from the spendy stuff to the affordable stuff. It is all laid out. It’s so easy, even I didn’t screw it up!

While I had to mail order the Sally Hansen Inspired by Carmindy make-up products, I knew what colors I was looking for, thanks to Carmindy spelling out for all of us make-up inept women. With a little practice, I’ve gotten it all down. I still fumble a little with the eyeliner, but it’s getting better. I look fantastic. I can’t believe it’s me looking back from the mirror. I look soft and natural, my features are gently highlighted to show my best bits. Wow. Even I think I am kind of pretty! And I don’t have a huge pile of products. I have 6. Foundation, bronzer, blush, mascara, eyeliner and a compact of shadow. From the time I step out of the shower to the last spritz of hairspray, I take 25 – 30 minutes. This is make-up AND hair!! And it lasts all day. All day!! Sweet!

Look out France – here I come!

How Many Utterly Useless Articles Are Out There?

Published September 15, 2012 by mindfulofchatter



I have a new job. My duties are still not completely set up, nor have I been trained to do a lot of the little things that I could be doing. To fill my downtime, I have been doing something I have never done before.

I am reading online articles and ‘news’ stories.

CNN has a ‘breaking news’ page. If you are wondering about today’s news, or just want to know the top ten fashion trends men hate, this is the place for you. Their page is covered with news stories, opinion columns, fashion ‘news’, celebrity ‘news’ and loads of links to video showing cute animals cuddling. Political news and the current ‘unrest’ in the middle east top the page. There must be 20 different takes on the presidential election as well as the muslin uprisings responding to some low-budget, piece of crap film. At least there is some real news. Not a lot, but some none the less.

Yahoo! comes up next. Yahoo! is a joke. The new stories are a joke. The informational articles are full of no information what so ever. Click on any given article on Yahoo! and you will find the title and the information contained within the article do not match. The article about ‘How to Buy a Mattress’ had one useful line about mattresses. One. Any article that begins with ‘Tips on How to’ should be avoided at all costs. You think my grammar is bad? Read a few Yahoo! articles. They make me look like an english major.

Fox News – we distort, you decide. ‘Nuf said.

And then there are the comments. Oh. My. Goodness. No wonder the U.S. is in it’s current state. People read part of an article, then start ranting about it. They ask questions that were, indeed, answered in the article. They just didn’t bother to read that far, or read ALL the words. The complete lack of awareness and education are glaringly apparent. The ‘Me’ mentality shines through like a beacon. It is very scary.

The really bad articles all have comments on where to go to get a date.

I am flabbergasted that people are getting paid to write this stuff. I’ve written book reports that are better than a lot of this crap…….er………..stuff. We have become a nation that thinks it need to be constantly in touch. We seem to feel that if we can’t open our computer and know everything that’s going on RIGHT NOW, we can’t survive.

We are over saturated with information. There is no way our fuzzy little brains can’t process everything that is thrown at us every minute of every day. No one needs to watch Fox News or CNN 24/7. No one. What we need is break. A chance to sort it all out, have a chance to ask questions, to get more facts, to just plain sleep a little! No Fox, no CNN, no Facebook updates, no ‘Hot Trends For Fall’.

So turn off the computer. Silence the phone. Walk away for day or three. Breathe real, outside air and go for a walk with your significant other or the dog.

I know I am.

The Busy Mind

Published September 7, 2012 by mindfulofchatter



There seems to be a lot going on in my head lately. During the day, all is well. Night time? ARGH!

Many a night I lie awake trying make my mind shut the hell up. I have tried a few  tricks I’ve read about, such as writing down the lists it makes, a hot beverage before bed, warm shower, and cooling down my room. It refuses to be silenced so easily. All those little guys in my head seem to think the wee hours of the night are the perfect time to hold debates.

I leave for France in 19 days. You would think that is what my mind is going on and on about, but it’s not. Instead, it is choosing a variety of other topics to rant about.

One of the blogs I read is Mizinsomniac (I can relate). She is currently writing about the lack of affordable comfortable shoes. Her job keeps her on her feet all day. The shoes that are comfy in the shoe store are not so comfy when out to real life use. My mind has made endless lists of shoe brands that are known to be comfortable. As if these lists will help a blogger I have no knowledge of.

Another favorite topic is that of a close friend who is not in a happy relationship. We talk quite a bit, the friend lets off steam, has a rant now and then, and sometimes asks my opinion. We have covered a lot of territory, including this friend seeking out counseling to help sort things out. Aside from being a shoulder and an ear, I can’t help this friend. I’d love to help, but the decision of what to do is in their court. I know this. I mean I KNOW this. My mind? Nope. It still wants to run through the options one more time.

My current weight also seems to be an issue to my brain. I can’t seem to lose any. Okay, not true. I keep losing and gaining two pounds. I log my food and watch what I eat to no avail. I walk more now than did I did before, so the calories are being burned and muscles used. It is a bit frustrating, sure. But my brain really doesn’t need to rehash it at 3 AM.

Articles on fashion, weight loss, life coaches, movies, fluffy crap and anything thing else you may think of are rolling through my mind at the oddest hours. I lie in bed with my mind whirring at a million miles an hour about an article about life coaching. Really? Life coaching? You would think since I found the entire article to be bogus crap, I could dismiss it without another thought. Ah – no.

I know that my mind is avoiding something I don’t want to deal with. Well, I am assuming (yikesface) that that is whats going on. Since it won’t shut up about the mundane crap, I can’t pin down what I am avoiding. Its hiding in there somewhere between the price of cotton Spanx and what movies are out this week. I’m sure at some point, the topic I don’t want to think about will rear its ugly head, be dealt with, and sleep will be peaceful once more.

Until then, I guess I’ll keep counting the slat thingies in the ceiling.