Thursday, August 31, 2006
1. DO talk to me. I'm so fed up of hearing that I'm "intimidating" that if you don't appear intimidated, I'll be charmed.
2. Have the courtesy of sparing my time and respecting my intelligence by being direct. Life is too short to beat around the bush. I will gladly reciprocate.
3. Touch me. I was a cat in a past life and I love physical contact.
And the two Cardinal Sins:
4. Don't bore me. I know people are what they are and they can't help it. It's ok if you're boring. You're still a good person. But I just don’t wish to be around you. (What is boring? Narrow-minded or even better, narrow-minded AND judgmental.)
5. Finally DON'T. EVER. humiliate another human being in front of me.
Here! That took quite a bit of reflection but it was fun. As Jeno pointed out, wouldn't it be great if we all came with an instruction manual?
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
But as a blog writer, there is a huge other entity involved. The Reader. The mythical, elusive Reader.
I think my readers fall into three categories:
There are my regulars, Vince, Jeno, Sam, Phil, Angel. They read me because they care *insert a warm, fuzzy feeling here*. They are my faithful, the temple of my familiar.
There are the onetimers, who stumble upon my blog by chance and leave it never to return, blown away by the fickle cyberly wind.
And then, there are "the Others" (do I sound like LOST yet?). They are my mysterious visitors. Sometimes occasional, sometimes regular, they haunt my blog and I don't know who they -you- are. Do you know me? Do I know you? Why do you read me? I know you exist because the numbers are there.
It's strange. I think I'm a generally speaking rather interesting person, but my blog is so personal that I fail to see what anybody who's not close to me can get out of it. I don't suppose I'll ever know, because my ghostreaders will remain ghosts.
Well, I'm waving at you, my regulars and my ghostreaders. If you weren't there, I'd still write my blog...but it wouldn't be quite the same. Once in a while, I get an email that says "I really enjoy your blog" and it is extremely gratifying.
The world is interactive. I'm reaching out. Take my hand anytime.
I don't use Viagra myself. My lover(s) don't need it (so far). All in all, I thought it better to modify it, just in case. Some friends are just indispensable that way.
The same fellow has stated his rules of engagement in social interaction. (See: My running friend)
I find that to be an interesting concept. Of course, it made me wonder what mine are or would be. I shall get back to you.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Agassi won his second match by a tie-break in the fifth set! Geez buddy, there are no easy ones!
To all my readers, especially my Southern Chinese readers:
I'm looking for anything humorous, well, that YOU think is funny, on the subject of training, fitness or sky-diving. It can be a picture, a cartoon, a video, a quote...anything.
Send this to my email: bmounier (at) videotron (dot) ca
Keep it clean thankyouverymuch. Ok, if you have something that you think is hilarious but does not fit the designated subjects, send it just the same, I'll give you a waiver. If you're a ghostreader (as in ghostwriter), you can send it anonymously, I don't mind.
Looking forward to discovering your stuff...Now I'll go back to bed, fight for room as my cats will have spread out during my absence, and pretend I can sleep.
Good night and good luck.
Man oh man. Did anybody watch the Pavel-Agassi match? A tie-break in each of the 3 first sets! That was some serious grown-up tennis! Go André!
I am wiped. Not sure why since I rested from Saturday noon to Monday night, but completely, utterly wiped. Oh well, workout is only one hour tonight. I can do it.
I'm savouring every day left in this vacation. Finished my 1000 pieces puzzle yesterday and indeed, I see things much clearer. That was really therapeutic.
Still haven't brought myself to go see The Illusionist. I just hate to go to the city unless I have to...Oh Brother where art thou?
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I went out to the big city last night with a girlfriend. I was designated drinker, which I feel this morning even though I didn't grossly overdo it.
With the good old common sense only friends can have, she pointed out to me the hopelessness of a quest I've embarked upon. It unleashed a whirlwind of thoughts.
My father used to quote: "Il n'est pas nécessaire d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer." But my father was a hopeless idealist. I strive to be a realist. The hereditary potential to dream is only too strong in my veins.
So my head is full of questions, this morning. Realistic questions. Like what the f are you doing Bridge? What the h do you really want? I will not censure myself, and there will be no right and wrong answers. But I want to know exactly what I'm about and no matter what my actions afterwards, they will be done with both eyes wide open and with full purpose.
Today, I will go down to my airy, soft pink basement. I will set out a puzzle on the large table. I will plug Mylene Farmer in the background, and turn some lights on, for the sky is so dark. And in the company of a few friendly spiders, of a few dead ones, and one or two curled up cats, I will concentrate on the pointless and satisfying task, and listen to the wind and the rain, and, nursing endless coffees, try to clarify my own head and heart.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Rest today is spelled L.O.S.T. Hey, I am as curious as the next person and I do want to know what will happen. The faint-hearted, skip the following revelation, but I found out yesterday that my video store ONLY HAS SEASON ONE. How I will survive this, no one knows at this time.
And you all, good people, how are you?
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
As planned, I'm pushing the limits a bit with the workouts. One hour done this morning, I'll go for another two hours tonight. I can foresee legs like jello and arms shaking like an old lady.
As I've long intended to do, I've rented the first season of Lost and I'm watching it little bit by little bit. Pretty cool that all the ugly people died in the crash and all the good-looking ones survived. It's about as representative of reality as the Survivor cast every season. But I am not very far yet, I'll give it a chance. Even if Jack tearfully recalls his epiphany surgery of a young girl within the first 10 minutes of the program. No, no, I'll give it a chance...
Rented C.R.A.Z.Y. And I have to admit it's every bit as good as I was told. Luminous acting by the main character and the best rendition of Space Oddity I've heard in a long time... It stayed with me for several days.
Ground control off to find mischief.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Workouts to date: 4
Film rented: V for Vendetta. I hated it so much I didn't even finish it!
Re-reading: Great Expectations
For fun: massage, tonight informal supper with a bunch of friends, at my house. On the menu: fine cuisine (ok, pizza), wine, fun, pool weather permitting.
Ambitious plans: cinema (The Illusionist), a night in my raft on my pool (no really, it will be a blast!), probably a Mont Saint-Hilaire climb, workouts 'till I drop, some fun stuff with the Papou, more stuff with friends.
Have you ever seen less ambitious vacation plans?
Sometimes, I have a suspicion that this might just be happiness.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Do I get bragging rights? To my grandchildren perhaps. I quite see myself old, wrinkled and useless, sleeping with the old copies under my pillow and showing them off to anybody, to prove that I once did something cool. And the kids will go: "Oh, Grand'Ma, NOT the dolphins again?"
In the meantime, I'll forget them for another 10 years.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
First of all, some of you must be familiar with Schrodinger’s cat. (If not)
Here’s where René Péo’ch comes into play again. He made an experiment, still using random generators, that I will try to summarize in very very broad lines. The result of the experiment seems to demonstrate that an observer can influence today, the result of trajectories made by the generator months ago. In other words, if the trajectories are recorded but unobserved, they can be influenced by a mental action before they become known.
I’ll give another example that wasn’t an experiment but makes it easy to understand. Let’s say the generator gives 100 random answers of either black or white. The 100 answers are stored. Months later, a person concentrates on wanting more black answers than the normal average would be. Then they open the result: there are more black answers. You see the principle? It’s wildly simplified but it’s the notion we’re talking about.
Now apply that to that unfortunate Schrodinger’s cat (which needed at least nine lives with all these shananigans). It is both dead and alive until an observer opens the box. But what if the observer can influence what he will find even with a time delay?
So Péo’ch concludes that an unobseved random event can still be influenced.* And if that doesn’t give you food for thoughts for a good while, well, you can just ponder on Boy George doing community service.
*Same reference as in “The way we think”.
Astronomers meeting in Prague have presented a resolution allowing Pluto to keep its planet status.
Boy, must Pluto be relieved!!! It's been worried for years that it would be demoted. There's a big Champagne party going on there right now.
This reminds me of a Company commitee which held an emergency session to address its own name. Thanks to the meeting, they changed "integration" to "interrelation" in the title. I bet a whole bunch of Company people slept better that night!
Boy George entered his second day of community service.
I had to read that three times to try and find the nugget of information or public interest that was hidden in this announcement. But no, there's really nothing more to it than what it says. It's positively riveting news. Middle East? Where is that?
Talking 'bout the Middle East, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has started a blog. A Head of State writing a blog... Ok. This time I won't give you the link because this man scares the living daylights out of me. A lunatic, fanatic, Head of State is a dangerous combination. I'll give him credit: Mein Kamph emphasizes the usefulness of propaganda; a blog is a very modern mean for it.
Here's an interesting article on the future of quantum computers. Skip the somewhat silly beginning and then get lost in the technical explanations below. Don't get me wrong, it's way over my head. If had become the physicist I should have been, I might have understood better. However, what little I grasp about quantum physics makes me a staunch believer in the future of quantum computers. If I were an investor, that's where I'd put my money.
Finally Time online gives us a list of the 25 web sites we can't live without. I mean, are there really people who don't know Ebay, Amazon, IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes yet? At least they know Boy George is doing community service.
Good people, my vacation starts today at 16h15. Namaste.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Telekinesis, one of the debated fields, is thus defined: a production of motion in objects (as by a spiritualistic medium) without contact or other physical means.
On a more basic level, people wonder whether we can physically affect objects solely with the power of the mind.
That’s where René Peoc’h stepped in. He devised a controlled experiment involving a RNG (a machine which traces perfectly random trajectories) and chicks.
The first thing a chick sees out of his shell, it adopts as its mother (don’t even get me started on the possibilities). The RNG was put close to a hatching chick, and the two were left to mingle freely for a few days, until the chick was really attached to its “mother”. Then it was separated from the RNG by being put in a cage with a transparent side. The RNG was fenced in a perimeter in sight of the cage. The distressed chick wanted its mother to come closer.
The experiment showed that the trajectory of the RNG was significantly altered, the RGN coming closer to the cage and more often than it normally would have.
The opposite was also true. When the chicks were made to be afraid of the RNG, the trajectory of the RNG would then significantly stay away from the cage.
This is just a summary of the findings, courtesy of yours truly. But how bloody interesting is that????
If you want to read more, the article is in French.
Monday, August 14, 2006
The following book excerpt jumped at me, this morning, striking me especially in my identity as a blog writer:
« Nous choisissons notre réalité. »
« Au sein de la masse foisonnante des faits, nous sélectionnons ceux qui renforcent nos opinions favorites et « oublions » les autres.
« Penser constituera, la plupart du temps, à chercher de nouveaux faits qui vont dans le sens de nos besoins psychologiques et affectifs, et confirment nos préjugés. »*
Translation for the French-challenged:
We chose our reality.
Among an ocean of facts, we pick those which reinforce our favorite opinions and we « forget » the others.
Thinking, most of the time, will consist of looking for new facts which are aligned with our psychological and affective needs, and confirm our prejudices.
I think it’s good to be reminded of that. It’s important not only to think outside the box but to challenge our own perception of reality by remembering that we pick and chose the info.
*Source : Paranormal entre mythes et réalités, sous la direction d’Eric Raulet et d’Emmanuel-Juste Duits, Dervy, 2002. Pages 13 et 14.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
My personal favorite: the way the department keep changing its name, apparently randomly. Oooooh, that's too good.
I've got one too: I've heard through the grapevines that in a certain department, the former branch of Human Resources (pretty straightforward) has been renamed People and Culture (huh?). Delightful.
There is a slight problem however. I have a feeling I'm already overtraining. Recently, instead of feeling full of energy, I feel wiped out and I don't recover even after one or two days off. I don’t wake up rested. During training instead of "the burn", my muscles way too quickly go: "Forget it dude, it ain't happening." And worst of all, I now almost regularly hit a nasty nausea at about two-thirds of the workout. After a bit of reading, this could be a matter of glycemic level, which I will try to adjust. There remains the sober fact that signs are there that I'm already overdoing it. DAMMIT!
What's with me and my vacation plans this year? I had so looked forward to a week by the sea and it was thwarted. I had so looked forward to two weeks of intense training and it looks like I'm going to have to take it fairly easy instead. Is there someone with a voodoo doll, somewhere, planting pins in Brigitte saying: "Be disappointed in all you anticipate eagerly"?
Blogging: for some unfathomable reason, I am completely incapable of finding an English spell checker on my Mac since it was updated to a newer version. It’s as if there wasn’t one. Considering I blog in English and English is only my second language, can you imagine the slight difficulty? All the more ironic because I’m an absolute stickler for spelling? All I can say is bear with me and feel free to point out mistakes when you catch them. Once in a while, I get on a PC and try correct what I can.
There also seems to be a strike going on from my regular commentators. It’s not going to work guys. NOTHING SHALL PREVENT ME FROM BLOGGING EVEN IN TOTAL CYBERSPACE SILENCE!
The answer is 42 ;)
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Since I was one of the two people, I knew my side: I was puzzled, and frustrated and angry. I saw things with the very limited info of my point of view, for lack of other input.
Today a third party filled me in on where the other came from, and the other person’s own puzzlement and frustration. And from that other person’s perspective, I can understand it; not necessarily agree with it, but understand it.
What is sad and frightening to me is that in this instance, chance so happened to provide us with a third party who filled in some blanks for us. But had he not been there, the miscommunication was probably close to a point of no return. Yet when I finally understood, I realized the distance is not such that the chiasm cannot be bridged.
In other words, now that I understand where the other comes from, I'm confident the communication channel can be re-established. But had a third party not intervened, I believe the breakdown was too far along to be solved even if we had tried to talk.
Neither of us desired this breakdown. Yet it happened and would have jeopardized the relationship. I wish I knew a way to prevent such things.
An other thing I was reminded of is that a behaviour I found so totally puzzling, on August 3rd, can probably be explained very simply and logically. It ALL depends on where the person comes from, and THAT is simply something impossible to guess. My God, how complex we are!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
By way of illustration, on a recent trip, the Prime Minister was asked by a flight attendant to turn off his cellphone and BlackBerry. Mr. Harper declined. The pilot then made a request, saying it was for safety purposes. The PM relented. But, at the end of the journey, one of his staffers gave the pilot some news: His services would no longer be required on prime ministerial trips.
This is an interactive post. I post an excerpt; the reader draws his/her own conclusions.
Have a great day everyone!
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I met with my ex-boss, this morning, a man I like, I trust implicitly, I am very grateful to. He’s one of the few people with whom I don’t have to watch my words to make sure what I say is politically correct in the Company’s context. I can speak my mind plainly, and it is heard and received exactly like that.
He has played a role of mentor for me. This morning, in the mist of what he was saying, he said: “If you were my daughter, that’s what I would recommend you to do right now…”
He has shown such interest and concern about me, he has expressed so much faith, support and appreciation of Brigitte and who she is, and her strengths, and her weaknesses, that with these words, for a split second, I, the fatherless girl, had a glimpse of what it might have been to have a loving father looking out for you, trying to guide you through life, believing in you.
Need I say more? I can’t.
I am not convinced the path he suggests is the right one for me, but I am ready to go and find out. I am ready for a change. I am ready for new horizons, new learning and new challenges. I am ready to take chances.
God bless you G. for your input in my life, for acting towards me as you would have a daughter.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Afterwards, the children scattered among the old graves surrounding the church and little Vincent proudly announced having discovered an Egyptian tomb.
"And how do you know it is Egyptian?" I asked.
"Because it has a cat on it."
He offered to show me and we went to investigate the Egyptian tomb in the mist of the small Anglican graveyard.
The eroded "cat", on top of the stone, was actually a little lamb lying down. I explained to Vincent that a thirteen year-old child was buried there and that people often used lambs to symbolize the innocence of children. Five minutes later, I heard Vincent proudly announced there was an Egyptian tomb in the graveyard. Oh well.
The party then moved on to a friendly house, with a nice yard, shady trees and a deep blue pool. An army of little savages in bathing suits soon splashed and ran around happily and my son announced afterwards that it had been "the best party of his life". I'm sure the children's catering table, offering limitless and unsupervised chips, candies and juice had a good part in his enthusiasm.
I sat with two cousins I don't see often enough (I'm extremely fond of all my cousins and we were all pretty close when we were young) and had a very pleasant time.
I had the privilege of holding the 5 month-old son of the bride and groom for a good half-hour, one of my avowed objectives. In a social gathering, just put a baby in my arms and I'm absolutely and perfectly happy. I don't actually know how old little Michael was. I asked him but he only said "Aaaaagh" so I'm not entirely sure.
The speeches were, in my view, uncommonly moving. And what struck me more than anything is how in love the bride and groom were. They are no naive youngsters, they both have children already, and have lived together long enough already to produce the chubby little package I held in my arms. I will not expand here on my views about marriage, but I don't think I've ever heard the 'till death do us part vows pronounced with such meaning. It’d almost make me believe in romantic love again. Imagine that!
I wish them all the love in the world.
There you go, miss Dodo, that’s my story and I stick to it :)
Friday, August 04, 2006
Let's see, I've lived...on the French Riviera, in the Bahamas, in Mississippi and in Quebec. In other words, except for Quebec, places where it's always sunny and warm (and often bloody hot).
People always commiserate with me for ending up in Quebec. But the truth is, I LOVE having four seasons, even if spring here lasts about forty-eight hours. If it weren't for the winters we get, would I enjoy the blue sky, warm sun and cool pool like I do today? Nope.
Apart from the fact that I love sweaters (I must have Swedish blood), the very fact that I wear them half a year allows me to go out and love the current warmth. If I were stuck with it all year, I'd be longing for rain and grey skies.
So today is simply gorgeous and I'm enjoying the heck out of it.
The Papou picked a pair of spectacles. The minute he tried them on, he knew those were the ones he wanted. (My son knows his own mind; I wonder who on earth he got that from...) They were not my first choice but he likes them, so that might reconcile him with the idea a bit. I'll try to post a picture soon so that friends and family can admire the new look...
Thursday, August 03, 2006
In my insufferable arrogance, I think I expected a “Hi” or a “How are you”. A simple acknowledgement of an identity known to him. A smile.
Why I didn't get that, I've no idea, but he merely addressed me with instructions, once or twice. There's a facet of myself somewhere that was quite hurt by it. It must be yet another instance of my inability to adapt to the Company's ways. By Company standards, I must be terribly inappropriate sometimes. I don't care. I'd rather be human and inappropriate, and keep seeing people first and foremost before I see titles and functions, than stuff people into pre-packaged and labelled boxes or obey an unwritten, robotic code.
My cold reasoning says it is hardly worth the time to write about it. But every human experience is worth noting so I can file it away for future reference, and I must take the time to say "ouch". Ouch. This instance will go in the "incomprehensible to Brigitte" file.
The cats are lying about, giving me dirty looks. Everywhere I turn there seems to be one underfoot. I think they’re holding me personally responsible for the temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius (with the humidity factor) we’ve been having. I’ve offered to shave them or bathe them. They declined both. Scoffing I might add. Tough luck then.
My insufferable arrogance and I have a three day weekend. It shall be most welcome.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
You will find my favourite excerpts below. Note that they've all been cut and pasted in order to preserve the original spelling.
“the Bible is the answer, it is what is to be differed to at all times”
“are you high when you decided to make up the spaghetti monster casue i think you were their is no such thing as the spaghtti monste.”
“i think it will b better if u stop n start acting more like a christian even if u r not”
“You don't need to question, God does all the thinking for us; (…) the Bible is flawless- it says so in theBible.
(…) As a Christian, I follow Jesus for his teachings of love and tolerance; it is people like you who make me sick, I hope you die in a lake of fire and get your eyes pecked out by crows, so that you may go to hell and exist for eternity in a lake of fire getting your eyes pecked out by crows. Wth love,”
“ok first off i want to start by asking do you really believe everything that you wrote on that page about us being created by a freaking giant spaghetti monster??”
“you are a stupid little guy with no girlfriend, so you're depressed.”
“Oh and just so you know, I know most of the people on you website, and hardly any of them belive it.”
“To beleive that a Pair of meat balls and spaghetti is responsable for creating the universe is poposterus..”
“You have said that you have many religious documents that support the fact that a Flying Bunch of noodles created the universe. I'd like to see these documents? Where are they? You show no proof. You say you have them. Yet where are they?”
“YOU STUPID FUCK YOU NEED TO FIND JESUS YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKER.”
“However i do believe very strongly in science and so cannot agree with you on your "interpretations" of how pirates stop global warming,”
And my favourite:
“God does not allow for the type of logical fallicies you promote on your site. For instance, why would a perfect, infanate being have to rest for three days after creation? The bible clearly establishes a maximum one to six day resting ratio for the creation of the universe by an infante being. Ok, I'll be sympathetic to your tortured logic and explain how mankind knows that the bible is the word of god. 1. the bible is infallible.”
I started reading the mails laughing out loud. But I had had no exposure to hate mail before and I didn’t laugh all the way through. The rage, the violence and the venom in many mails are staggering (and unfit to be reproduced, here or anywhere else). They exude… Evil and, beyond laughter, I was actually incredibly disturbed by this window into humanity.
It's just poposterous.