Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Multitasking Doesn’t Work

Oh Yeah?

I have read that we are tricked into thinking we are multitasking when in fact our minds are are doing one thing at a time. 

I guess the girl at the McDonald’s window is doing that when she takes our money while talking on the headset to another customer. Take order. (Brain switches gears.) Punch order into the menu selection. (Stop—take attention away from the customer at the speaker, to a customer at the window--us). Take our money. (Stop) Give us change. (Stop) Speak into the headset, “Does that complete your order?” (Stop) Now you wonder if she is talking to them or you. She hands us our change. (Stop.)  She smiles, “Have a nice day,” She turns attention to the headset,“May I take your order?”

My God, that girl ought to be hired by a corporation.

Speaking of corporations, here is a message from a CEO:

 “We foster sustainability and social responsibility through our people, technologies and on-going commitment to our global and local communities.”

What the heck?! Did you get that?

Once I picked up a little lady at the dump. (Or to be politically correct a Transfer Station.)  

This story applies, give me a minute. 

I was unloading my pickup into the Transfer Station’s ginormous trash receptacle when she came to me and asked if she could help. She did, we began talking, and I ended up hiring her to mow my lawn. I didn’t realize that doing that was like taking home a puppy.

She was a sweet person, quite messed up emotionally; being raised by nuns and beaten by them can do that to a person. But then we must be careful believing the stories some people tell. I believed her, however, as something dreadful happened to her to put her on disability for mental problems.

The point I am about to make is that once in awhile this little lady would pop out with some pithy advice. For example, regarding multitasking, she said, “Pretend you are washing the baby Buddha.”  In other words, if you were washing the baby Buddha you would place all your attention on your task at hand.

Another time, when my first-born daughter was about to be married in May, in Oregon, outside, by the banks of the McKenzie River, I was concerned that it might rain. It had been off and on. My little friend said, “Ask the Grandmothers,” meaning ask my grandmothers on the other side for beautiful weather. I did and the weather was perfect—shirt-sleeve weather.

You never know who the master is…

Thought for the day: Haruki Murakami once said “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking” --Black Sun Reviews

Friday, February 19, 2016

Kudos for Shorts

Some of the best talents are displayed in these short films--too bad they aren't easily accessible unless you have access to an Art Theater. 

The five above films were shown at the #Bijou here in Eugene. To decide which is best, is, to me, impossible, for all are different. Ave Maria is the funniest. The little girl in Everything Will be Okay ought to win for best actress. Day One is poignant, impactful and memorable. Shok will leave you shaken. The Stutterer is hard to watch at first, but all ends well.

Kudos to the film makers.

All five are nominated for an academy award for best live action shorts. I had to mention them before the awards ceremony. Why don't we see more of these???

I'm off, my daughter inspired me about writing fiction--which I am efforting to do. Perhaps it deserves comment on 

Monday, February 15, 2016

See the Michael Moore Movie, See the Michael Moore Movie, See the #Michael Moore Movie

Movie title: “#Where to Invade Next.”

Don’t be misled by the title. The idea is that we invade other countries to take what we want. This time, Moore  has “Invaded” various countries to find valuable philosophical attributes and bring them back to the US.  Astounding. Wonderful.

The film was playing at the #Bijou Art Theater in Eugene, Oregon, not in one of the “big” theaters. They will wait to see if it is a blockbuster. Maybe if Moore is nominated for an award, then they will show it. (My seven-year-old grandson has gotten sarcasm already, guess I have taught it to him.)

I missed an opportunity to be involved in a discussion that was happening outside the theater. A few people were standing in a group talking. As my husband and I walked past I figured they were friends visiting, but on second thought, I said, “I bet they were discussing the film.” I should have poked my head in. Opportunity missed.

And then I read that theaters are having a hard time clearing people out of the lobby after seeing the film, for they want to discuss it. Imagine.

I don’t want to be a spoiler for the film, but some things sang to me with such vigor I have to say something.

Imagine, a school with no homework. “Children should play,”  the principal said. “They have other things they need to do when they go home.” I have said for years that if a school can’t jam enough information into a child’s head in the 6 hours they have them, they aren’t doing their job. For heaven’s sake, why send work home? Remember endless pages of  long division we had to do at home? Educators then thought that children learn by rote when people learn better by discovery.

The school system implementing that philosophy ranks the highest in education. Their advice to us,  “Stop teaching to the tests.” And I won’t even mention that a gourmet kitchen Moore found was, in fact, a school cafeteria where children were seated at tables set already with china plates, then served a healthy appetizer, main course, a cheese dish, and dessert, and they drink water. This was not a private school—no private schools there.

I had to say it. But I can’t steal any more of Moore’s thunder, you must see it. Don’t take the children, though, a few scenes in American prison’s are brutal. Generally, however, it is impactful and upbeat.

A lady in Iceland looked us straight in the eye and said that she wouldn’t live next door to an American, they don’t take care of each other. They think in terms of Me instead of We. And they don’t care.

Moore said, “I do.”

 Me too.

 How about you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Oh The Places We’ll Go

Danielle Steel is my mentor. Rosamunde Pilcher is my inspiration.

Why Steel? Because she weaves description, character development, dialogue, and backstory into one seamless flow, and she is so prolific she has kept me reading for months. Pilcher because I just love her. Her writing is exquisite, and her first best seller was The Shell Seekers, about a painting.

My novel, The Girl on The Pier, too, is about a painting.

After completing a novel titled Song of Africa I saw that one publisher was offering a two book contract (not to me), but I thought, my God, two books? How could I ever write a second? 

Whap! A thump on the side of the head.  “Write about the young namesake from the Africa book, and about a canvas featured there painted by her uncle.

Sara Andrews, 22, fresh out of Parsons School of Design, and now with a job as a curator of a gallery in SoHo New York, meets the love of her life on page one of  The Girl on the Pier.

The following day Sara receives a call from a customer wanting to view the painting The Girl on the Pier, painted by her uncle, Clyde Dales. When the customer sees the painting, however, he says, “That isn’t the painting.”

Sara didn’t know there was another. Two paintings by the same name?  When the customer offers two million dollars for it, Sara acts as though she sells two million dollar paintings every day. Uncle Clyde’s paintings have sold for thousands, but never millions. 

Something is fishy.

Sara’s search takes her and her new love from New York to Los Angeles, to Seattle, to Gambia West Africa, to Kenya, to Paris, and with Paris comes my reason for writing  this…

Not knowing Diddy squat about Paris, I needed to find a museum there—not the Louvre, and so I searched and found Muse’e d’ Orsay. And within that museum, I stumbled upon a collection of Vintage American Photographs.
Shirley temple signing her first movie contract

I had to show you a few:

JFK and Jackie, 1953, in a photo booth

Girls at soda fountain 1940's


Hawaiian surfer. The missionaries outlawed surfing, luckily the Hawaiians didn't listen.

Live Wild,
P.S. See link below

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Live Wild

Island Lilikoi* iced tea, El Yummo

Come sit a spell...I'd pour a frosty glass for you if I could,

We live on earth is experience life.
We write about it to make sense of it.

I tried to be wild once but gave it up in favor of ice.

We lived on the island without a refrigerator—well, we had an ice box, but it didn’t make ice. Strange how something as simple as ice can mean so much when you don’t have it.

Happy times on the Island were going to sleep to the tune of the #Coqui frogs, and awakening in the morning fresh as the #Lilikoi Iced tea pictured above. My computer was in front of a window and as the sun came up it enlivened the green outside my window as though the Morning Goddess was turning up her rheostat.

We saw no sunrises or sunsets where we lived on the island for the trees stood in the way of them, but when we were on the West side of the island we stood in reverence watching the sun sink into the sea. Fascinating again how exquisite a daily occurrence can be when you do not have it daily.

I said my mission statement is “Live wild.”  That doesn’t mean running away and living on a tropical island—although one can, and that sounds good--Swimming in a bath-tub warm sea, and being able to go to luxury hotels when the urge and pocketbook collide.

When I say “Live Wild,” I don’t mean going to #Waldon’s Pond as Thoreau did where he wrote 

I mean, follow that wildness that is buried deep in your solar plexus. You know the feeling. It burns with a desire to break free, to live the life you’ve always wanted, to have the courage to follow your dreams. It’s not coming to the end of your life and realizing that you have not lived.

What might those dreams be? And what are you willing to do to accomplish them?

Live wild,

P.S. What really pushed us off the island? I have written rewritten, contemplated and journaled about that experience for what, about five years now? Maybe one day One Year on the Island will be a book. Hope springs eternal.

P.S.P.S.  This blog isn't about it being a business, I love you guys too much to enter that into the equation. I'm going to carry on as I have always done--rambling, contemplating, urging all readers to greatness. Whew! That releases the stress.

Ta Da

Lilikoi blossom. Isn't that exquisite?             Lilikoi passion fruit