Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Online Dating Site Experiment - Conclusion

10 days into my month-long subscription, things have slowed down to a stand-still. After the feeding frenzy created by my new profile and the scent of fresh blood, there is now zero activity with my account. I’ve dropped a few guys I had started a dialogue with, for lack of interest, I’ve been dropped by a few prospects I had a dialogue with. So nothing. No activity either way. I pretty much expect this will be the state of things until the end of my subscription.
Conclusions on  my experience?

Subscribing with a specific goal (friends, lover, boyfriend/girlfriend) is probably best if you want to achieve something. I signed on with nothing particular in mind, and nothing particular is what I ended up with.
The feeding frenzy is intense but very short lived.
The interest you arouse from the male sex on the site is neither representative nor proportional to the interest you arouse in every day life.
This way of connecting with new people does not work for me any better than on prior experiences, even though I myself, have changed.

And this, folks, or I should say, my 2 readers, concludes my online dating site experiment!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

On the Dating Site

I've been deleting a lot of messages but suddenly today I lost it and actually answered Happy23.
Happy23 sent me a pre-written message wanting to start a conversation with me.
Happy23 has no photo. It says he's 43 and lives in Montreal. His profile is so average you could apply it to half the population.

How can people have so little imagination that they don't even stop and wonder WHY I could possibly have the motivation to start a conversation with a faceless, average, total stranger?????? Do they know the number of messages a girl receives???
Are they so full of themselves that they think their wonderful personality is actually going to shine through 2 lines and no photo, amongst dozen of others?

I gave Happy23 a piece of my mind, probably more than he bargained for. He was a scapegoat really, since I deleted dozens before him without reacting. I suspect I was not very kind, because I'm a little afraid to go back and see his answer. Losing your temper doesn't make for constructive communication.

Oh well. Let's say I gave him a free reality-check.

The next day:
Happy23 answered me. My scolding went completely over his head. He didn't feel the sting at all. I had to go and read my message again. No mistake: it was biting. Well, Happy23 (the name seems to fit) loves my photo and hopes we will go on exchanging. Sigh. Why do I bother?

Friday, August 14, 2015

On the Dating Site... Continued

Not much activity today. I can start drawing some conclusions.

1)      The French Canadian man is allergic to women taking the first step.

Not ONE of the messages I sent as the initiator got a reply. The French Canadian must hunt his woman. How. No hunt, no Good. How. (Sending a message out of the blue… so… forward! She must be desperate. Not a good catch.)

2)      Boyfriends are hard to find, really. But if I ever run out of lovers, it will be my own fault, because they are out there, and they are willing!!! I’ve got more volunteers than I can shake a stick at. (shake a stick…hmmm… an early form of magic wand? I digress)

I now have 600 men who have seen my picture. It makes me paranoid. I go to public places and I think: “Oh my god, why is THIS guy looking at me?  what if he recognizes me from RC!?”. It should happen any minute now. After all, the Province must not have much more than about 800 men total. 600 of them checked me out. Heh.
To be continued.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

One Month on a Dating Site

My photo: I got lucky. I thought only fair to put a recent one and it turned out well. Should I meet anybody, they won’t be able to complain I don’t look like my photograph. I was fresh out of the shower, no make-up. What you see is what you get.

It never fails: the first man to reach out to me is educated, funny, bilingual and writes well. My kind of guy. Our written exchange is fun and we’re ready for the next step. This is where it never fails: I find out he is of Arab origin. It’s funny because it happened every time. The one I connect the best with turns out to be Arab (whether religious or not, it does not matter). And for personal reasons (and not mere prejudice) Arabs are an absolute NO-NO for me. So with a sigh, I turn down this cool guy. Thank you but no thank you. Not negotiable.

Another profile knocks on my door. I check him out. Some say that the only thing people look at on dating sites are the pictures. They are absolutely right. That’s what I do anyhow. If I like your picture, I will read your profile. If I don’t like your picture, your profile will seldom make me change my mind. If you don’t have a picture, you’re not even in the game.

There are a few I check out and the pictures leave me dubious but the profile is good enough i.e. well-written, not cliché, articulate and claiming an open mind. Then you write to them, and they can’t spell 2 words in a row and have nothing to say. Obviously, they had help with writing the profile… sigh.

Anyway, so here is K knocking on my door. Pics and profile? Acceptable. Culture and sense of humor? Check. Fit? Check. We exchange about 4 emails. It’s looking interesting. He offers to call me. I counter offer to call him. “No you can’t call me, I call you. If you don’t trust me then that’s that.” I almost laughed out loud. Trust you????? Based on WHAT? 4 emails and a picture of your roller skates? That’s hilarious.

I realized I was getting a Mr. Grey vibe: quality package but entitled, impatient and controlling. Well, I wouldn’t take a Mr. Grey if he was offered to me on a plate. So off K goes. But I keep chuckling every time I think about his “if you don’t trust me, forget it”.

So what else do we have… A young Frenchman clearly out for sex. I’ll pass. A youngster (10 years younger) that shows potential. Another divorced man shows potential but has not written back in a few days. The ice-breakers I sent reaped nothing so far. I get plenty of messages, but either no photo or the photo is a clear NO. The site tells me my profile has been seen by 490 people so far. Wow. That’s a lot of guys!

I’ve signed on 3 days ago. Let’s see what develops, if anything, today… to be continued.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"The Curse"


Well the truth is I have been bleeding for 12 days in a row now (!!!) and the 3 last days, drenching every precaution I take, changing every hour,  soaking my clothes, even staining my chair. I’m supposed to lead a normal life, I’m at the office, I just have the tiny difficulty of bleeding all over the place. But even to my female co-workers, I’m not expected to really mention it.
I find that strange. Why is there a residue of shame or “things-better-not-mentioned” as far as periods are concerned? It is clearly a remnant of the prevalent men attitude about it for thousands of years. In this as in many other things, I want to be free of the men-imposed stigma. So when asked what’s the matter, I try not to use the phrase “I have my period”, instead I’d rather shock with  “I’m bloody”. I don’t like vulgarity, I don’t like being coarse. But I won’t tip toe around the fact that what “the matter” is with me is that I’m nearly swimming in blood. So there.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Identifying as... another color

Will a white student apply on a Chinese study grant because “I really feel like I am Chinese deep down”? Cut the crap.

When will we hear “I was born in the wrong body. My body is black but I’ve always been white inside. I identify as white.”? Just because you wish it doesn’t make it true.

I have compassion for Rachel Dolezal having a messed-up racial identity. But don’t build anything on a lie. It’s the lie I object to.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

For Estorbo - Poetry

Dearest Estorbo: I miss you.

A very good friend offered me a wonderful gift. It’s a book of poetry.
It’s called “I Could Pee on This – and Other Poems by Cats”. I really wished I would have received it during your lifetime because I think you would have enjoyed it enormously. I can still share some of it with you:

Sometimes when I lie on your warm chest
And I hear your every happy sigh
I gaze into your two kind eyes
And wonder, “Who is that?”
I swear I can hear you cackling insanely
Ja ja ja ja ja ja ja ja ja
I will share more. Love you

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

From the BBC - excerpt

Poor journalism or British deadpan in this example of suspected pilots' suicide?

3) Botswana, 11 January 1999, one died

The pilot, the only person on board, "deliberately flew the aeroplane into the ground by crashing at Gaborone airport". His license was revoked.


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Sheer Gossip: The Met Gala

The Met Gala or Met Ball is "an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the  Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City". (Source: Wikipedia)

It raised 12 million dollars in 2014. I bet you didn't know costumes were so important!
In comparison, the the amfAR Gala (the Foundation for AIDS Research) held in Los Angeles in October 2014 raised 3 million.
Yos sayeen'.

In reality, the Met Gala is a big circus where the name of the game is making the biggest impression. Blake Lively where were you? It's not like you to miss a pointless occasion to pause on the red carpet.
To add a little bit of fun, each year, there is a different theme. 2015 was "China: Through The Looking Glass". Some tried and succeeded:



Some went way overboard:
Some clearly missed the China thing memo:

Oh no wait, the CLUTCH looks Chinese:

Reese, this is too Chinese, I can't handle it:
Stylish shark suit I must say...

 Rihanna's was much decried as an omelette, but "I" liked it actually.

There are those who just went naked
(and even though my dear Anderson Cooper once said: "This is Beyonce's world and we just live in it", I beg to differ. I'm not part of the Beyonce Worship Movement):
And inevitably, there is the just plain awful. Most are beyond actual comments:

 I'll make an exception for Chloé. This girl is my most consistent model for awful. No matter what the occasion, I don't just dislike Chloé's outfits, I find them actually horrible. Her taste is like no one else's. I applaud originality. Her's is just not my cup of tea. In this instance, the straight arms pause is particularly distressing as the dress is clearly falling off.

This is it for my input on this year's display of good, bad and no taste. See you next year.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Deep

                                                            Photo credits unknown

In the Bahamas, one of our featured dives was called the deep dive. It was a short dash to 120 feet, where the continental shelf ended and plunged into an abyss over 3000 feet. I think our allowed bottom time was 5 minutes. Keeping the ledge very close, we would swim over the bottomless blue for a few seconds. Light was up, bubbles went up, darkness was down, those were our only points of reference. It was an advanced dive for experimented divers with excellent control of their buoyancy. A bumbling beginner would have sunk to a 1000 feet before being even aware that something was wrong, would have panicked and died.

120 feet is not very deep by today’s standards. Free divers go beyond 300 feet. Scuba divers can reach 1000 feet when breathing mixed gas. But the good old diver, breathing from a good old tank of air, is still limited by physiology and physics barriers. I know many an instructor who recklessly went to 180 or 200 feet. But it’s risky business. With nitrogen narcosis not hitting everyone at the same depth and with the same intensity, 120 feet was a reasonable limit for guided, paying customers.

 I didn’t go on this dive very often. But I didn’t go a single time, without feeling the attraction of the void. I didn’t go a single time without scrutinizing the depths and thinking: “It would be so EASY”.

Not that I wanted to die. But if I had, how simple it could be. Just go down to the edge of the ledge… and then keep going. A one way trip, never to be seen again. No barrier, no flag, no warning signs. So easy. It gets darker, colder, heavier. You become narced. You run out of air or you throw your regulator out, either way you drown. No body, no blood. Ashes to ashes, reef to reef.
Yos sayeen' (as an immortal cat used to say).

Friday, April 17, 2015

IMHO: The Astronaut

I was quite willing to approve of him. His feats and accomplishments are undeniable. When he reached out to the every day people through Twitter and Facebook, with unique photographs of our planet, I thought it was a great way to help develop space awareness. The media celebrated the most "social media savy" astronaut ever.

Covering a world-famous song in space and posting it was as unexpected as it was amusing.
His intense scrutiny of the (ever-increasing) number of viewings of that video was the first sign of something that didn't have to do with exploration, science and service to humanity.

Less than two months after his return to Earth, at the height of his potential as a spokesperson and ambassador to space, he retired from his federal job as an astronaut and became a private citizen. He promptly wrote, edited and published a book about his experience. I read it. Only a small part was about his actual time in space but he had wetted our appetite to find out more about him with his social media presence. The book had one message throughout: it's all about being prepared. Preparation is the key to everything.

The Astronaut then started putting together the pieces of a plan he had clearly hatched way beforehand.There was a very public world tour to promote his book, which was translated in a great many languages.

He played every card to become a public figure, ostensibly promoting education, science, space and his own achievements. He played on his sense of humor, his approachable vibe: I'm just an ordinary guy, I'm on Twitter and Facebook, hey come say hi at my book signing etc... Like it's all no big deal.

He appeared on magazines covers, received several honors and distinctions, everybody wanted to meet him, invite him, have a piece of him. That's exactly where he wanted to be.

A year later, he published a second book of photographs taken while in space.

I've just learned that he will soon release "the first album ever recorded in space".

The line was crossed for me there. An astronaut's schedule on the ISS is intense, to say the least. They are not up there twiddling their thumbs, and are provided everyday with a heavy, tight and full schedule of things to do.

I was a little surprised that he had had time to shoot his famous song cover video. I was a little suprised that his book could have been written, edited and published so soon after his return. Beating the iron while it's hot and publishing space photographs taken during is sojourn? Ok.

Now I discover he made the time and had the equipement up there to record an album? And suddenly, everything falls into place. "Preparation is the key to everything." He planned it all along. No spontaneous rise to fame here. Every step was a piece of a perfectly executed plan leading to money, fame and a comfortable retirement.

It's not illegal by any means. It does not make him a bad man, it hurts no one, it breaks no rule. He was sent to space and paid during that time at considerable expense to the taxpayers of Canada... He was given an opportunity, he exploited it fully thanks to a flawless agenda. Good for him I guess.

But I have jumped off the Astronaut's bandwagon of fans and admirers. It looks like his main agenda was his personal one all along. So, Good night, and Good luck, Major Tom.

Sheer Gossip

Taylor, Taylor, Taylor. Calvin Harris, really??
Have you seen his video "Summer"?
I guess you don't have a problem with the shallow objectification of women then.
I can't believe you would date a guy that would made a video like "Summer".
I strongly disaprove.

Let's BLOG!

This blog is about me, because I am the center of my universe. I've been feeling a need for a platform to express thoughts and opinions again, a need that posting on Faccebook does not fulfill.
So I'm returning to my faithful blog. I'm going to create columns, where I will address matters unrelated to my life. So far I have two in mind:
Sheer Gossip: I love keeping abreast of stars's comings and goings and antics. They get paid millions to give fodder to my judgemental opinions: we're both happy.
In My Humble Opinion: on things happening on the Blue Planet that get a reaction from me.
So without further ado... Let's BLOG!!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Trying to keep up

My library in 2002. About 600 books. (Another bookshelf doesn't fit in the photo.)

My library in 2015. Can hold 3000 books.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings is part of me, its text so familiar, flashes of it constantly rise in my everyday life.

Here are foreign words which to me, describe something that belongs in LoR.

Padkos: food taken with you while traveling/going on a trip. Literally means “road-food” (Afrikaans).

Lembas is padkos.

Tingo: the act of taking objects one desires from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them (Pascuense).

A typical Hobbit habit.

Hiraeth: homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness - a homesickness for somewhere you cannot return to, the nostalgia and the grief for the lost places of your past.To feel hiraeth is to experience a deep sense of incompleteness tinged with longing (Welsh).

This is how Frodo felt in the years before he left for the Grey Havens.

Words, but also pictures belong in my Lord of the Rings.

This is a real place, Mount Thor on Baffin Island.

I will add to this post as I come across other inspirations.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

From the BBC

(...)The ban on women drivers, while informal, is enforced by Saudi police through fines and arrests. Only men are permitted to acquire driving licences. 
"If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards," Sheikh Lohaidan told the news website
"That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees."
I am all for religious freedom. Obscurantism is another matter altogether.

A New Word

I've opened a forum on Facebook, but I don't expect much from Facebook.
Here is the thing. I am discovering and playing with foreign words that have no equivalent in English but designate a familiar concept.
Carried away by my enthusiasm, I actually want to create a new word. It will mean:
"Lifting a cat by the tail, briefly lifting its 2 back paws, given and received as a friendly gesture."

And to demonstrate my word, I made a bad, short video on an unsuspecting victim.

Blogger will not let me post it so I'll draw an illustration when I have a minute.

Any suggestion is welcome, until it feels right!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

And from the BBC

(...) The brain is malleable and can be moulded by experience. (...) - repeated use sculpts the brain.


From the BBC

I am a regular on the BBC news website. I find news and articles there that I would never come across anywhere else. To share the joy and wonder, I'm going to create a new column on my blog that will be called, you guessed it, "From the BBC". But I'll put just the bit that is really thought provoking. No context.

Today, on "From the BBC":

Psychologist Dr Arthur Cassidy agrees (...)
"(...) We live in a world where we are expected to conform - not doing so can be an exciting phenomenon.
"Of course, it really depends on which part of the world you are in - culturally speaking. Here in the West, social solitude is still stigmatised. Instead, the cultural norm is to be connected on a day-to-day basis, especially on Christmas Day."

The Weight of Christmas

But you've got to lose
The weight of the wind
Hard on your shoulders
Getting you down

Thoughts are swirling in my head like snow on a windy road. Words come up. Loneliness. Social stigma. Expectations. Christmas. Pressure.
I've been reflecting on loneliness. How it's become something to be ashamed of, because if you are popular and busy and worthy, you have an endless social life and you're never lonely.
Being single, being old, not having many friends, not having a close family circle, all of those are symptoms of a failure. Your failure. Popular culture glamourizes sociability. Admitting to loneliness has become difficult. It's like revealing how truly flawed you are.
At Christmas time, the pressure doubles. It's a time to spend with family anf friends AND to be merry and joyful. Or else.
What if you don't feel joyful? What if you are mourning, you are sad, you are alone and/or lonely?
"What are you doing for Christmas?"
Try saying: "Actually I'm all alone, I won't get a single present and I expect I'll have a good cry".
See the shock on people's face, not sympathy but actual shock. Like you've broken a taboo.

This year, I'm not playing along. This year, I'm going to pick and choose which society's standards I'll adhere to, or at least I'm going to review them instead of accepting them all blindly.
-This is what society expects: do I agree/ want it/ follow it/ endorse it/ play along? Or do I step aside and decide: "I shall pass on this one."
The price to pay will be to be considered odd, to be judged by the uncomprehending said society.
The reward will be to know that I think for myself.

Yeah, nothing like setting up goals, right?
Merry Christmas Everybody!!!!!!

Cat-ering on Facebook

Self-heating blanket. Cordless, no batteries required. Works with pellets only. Comes with purring and shedding options.

Sometimes, you can't beat the spontaneity of Facebook. Blogs are craftingly designed and written and thought over. When things just burst out, there's Facebook.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We Have Evolved

The Chinese used to bind girls feet to keep them from growing. The feet grew deformed, and women suffered a lifetime of excruciating pain, all in the name of some bizarre aesthetics. It seems hard to believe.

Thank god our civilisation has quite evolved. Today's society wouldn't dream of inflicting pain or discomfort to women in the name of strange beauty standards. Boy, am I glad!

Then again, primitive cultures have always had strange fashion fetishes, where gross deformity is considered appealing..

I'm just glad I live in 2014!

Friday, December 12, 2014

On Advertising

I used to work for a company that was fun and exciting. Advertising was our bread and butter. Have you noticed how you don't question your bread and butter?
Things change and years later, I find myself living a lifestyle that is almost completely advertising-free.
I never watch television.
I can't stand the radio.
I don't read newspapers and magazines.
I don't use public transportation.
I don't live in a big city anymore.
Circulars go straight to recycling.
The only advertisment exposure I get is via the Web, and it's not overwhelming yet, or the occasional email.
And... I LOVE it.
It's a bit like a life without Kim Kardashian in it. You don't really notice your bliss until she barges in.

The other day, I tried to watch a little TV. It had been so long since I had turned my TV on that I had to go over the instructions again. I'm not kidding. After a little while, my jaw dropped. It seems to me that TV has become full time advertising with short, sporadic bursts of programs to keep you hooked in between. I wondered how people can STAND to watch TV the way it is now. The assault on my senses was relentless. This store had a big sale. This cream does wonder for your skin. This pizza sure looks delicious. Isn't it time for a good beer? How can I live without all this information brought to my attention?
Actually, EXTREMELY well, thank you. I neither need it nor miss it.
The avowed goal of advertisement is to create a need where there was none in the first place. Why do we agree to play along????

Advertising is playful and creative when it's your job and I'm all for it.
For the audience, I think advertising remains acceptable only as long as you retain a measure of choice or agreement to the exposure. Whereas in everyday life, people tolerate publicity the way they deal with taxes: they shrugg in acceptance because they don't have a choice. It's EVERYWHERE.

I am not willing to pay the advertising-assault price for the privilege of watching TV or listening to the radio. So I don't. The latest jingle or slogan of the latest big corporation is not familiar to me. And my life is that much more serene.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Because... Estorbo

Every time I light a candle I do it for you kitty. I miss you, cad.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lifelong Search for a Career

I long hesitated in my choice of career.

At first, "pétanque" pro circuit seemed like a real option.
Grumpy old men killed that in the bud.

I tried for Playboy but they said I had to lose the pacifier. That was a deal breaker.

I was vastly impressed by the academic path.
But it didn't last.

Nursing was considered but the gloves didn't fit. I was acquitted.

I briefly considered law-inforcement...

...and even more briefly, sainthood.

My brother went through a short cross-dressing period...

... and we auditioned to join the von Trapp family.
Until they asked us to sing.

After living as a pirate was vetoed by my parents,

I finally, at eleven, put on my first wet suit.

The rest is history...

I'll show you more pictures of hanging out with dolphins sometime.

And keep you updated on my career path.