Tag Archives: perception

I Love Reality TV 

A Blast From My Past                  Originally posted in April 2017.

Now don’t judge, let me explain. I love Reality TV; you know, what is ‘Real’ not some half-baked version of reality. Seriously some of this “Reality” TV is not my reality!

Now don’t get me wrong. I know how wildly popular these shows are. I personally do not enjoy watching people backstab, scream at each other and generally act like jerks for entertainment. It’s just not my thing. The ‘reality’ programs I do enjoy are the cooking shows. I have never cooked at that level but I’m fascinated by the people that do. Some of them are average people off the street. I find them interesting and supportive of each other. Yes, there are the occasional jerks, but I do try to ignore them and usually they’re booted off the show relatively early.

I even started watching a program, well a game show actually, where they are forging weapons. Seriously! But the passion they show for creating something beautiful and deadly it’s fascinating to me. The other kind of reality I enjoy watching are actually called documentaries. Now that is as real as it gets. I watched a program on the letters Queen Victoria wrote during her more than six decades of reign in England. It was a little bit history, a little romance and a lot of a strong woman. That’s a reality I can get behind.

I’m not sure I understand why some of these “programs” are designated as reality when they’re really just live-action game shows. A group of people are put in a box and live together. I have never watched the program so I’m probably not qualified to judge but to be honest I could never get past the ads for them. It simply looks like a group of people who want to see who can be the meanest or the most obnoxious to gain a questionable prize. I probably don’t understand the concept.

I did watch for a while the game show where people are deserted on an island but when it deteriorated into ‘how badly people can treat each other’, I lost interest. It was fascinating to watch the culture of the island as it was often interwoven into the contest. But that too became unwatchable.

When was the last time you saw something absolutely new on TV?  Everything seems to be a remake of a program from decades ago, even the movies. And then when something interesting does pop up it shows up on other channels with different actors but a similar premise. Have we grown so stale, so jaded that we can’t handle innovation? I find it amusing when I’m watching a show and enjoying it only to recognize something I saw in my childhood in the new program. I guess each new generation has to experience what we did decades ago in the entertainment field. Perhaps if we didn’t continue to live so long, we wouldn’t be noticing all the rehashes.

Still, I watch what’s on TV, some I enjoy some I don’t. And I think I’ll keep watching the reality TV that I enjoy. Parfait anyone?

 

Wild Life

A Polar bear was napping,

Upon a sea of ice.

I wonder if he was dreaming?

Of lunch to be precise.

 

I saw a hedgehog running,

He was in such a rush.

Perhaps he had a meeting,

With his latest crush.

 

A fox was sitting in the dark,

Her eyes so very bright,

I wonder what she was thinking,

And were her kits alright?

 

Butterflies are everywhere,

Flitting amongst the trees.

I wonder if they are happy,

As they surf a morning breeze.

 

Animals are all around us,

They live where we can’t see.

But every now and then they show,

Their lives to you and me.

 

Birds are high up in the sky,

Squirrels atop the trees.

Rabbits run within the grass,

And don’t forget the bees!

 

Can we know what they are thinking,

As we share our world with them?

Can we even guess their needs,

Or do we just condemn?

 

We share our world with others,

So different from who we are.

But kindness should be a way of life,

Then love would not be far.

 

 

 

A Broken Pencil

I broke a pencil the other day,

It hit the paper hard.

It seems I had a thought to mind,

That we must be on guard.

 

I guess it started as a rant,

And seemed to grow from there.

Never one to hold my thoughts,

I also need to share.

 

Fear and hatred all about,

A culture of despair.

Is this the way we want to live?

Or must we now beware?

 

The pencil hit the point with rage,

My fury was too strong.

And the moment I had done it,

I knew that I was wrong.

 

Shame was all I really felt

There was another way.

Hate cannot be met with hate,

It’s love we must convey.

 

This is the time to heal our wounds.

A time when we should bond.

All it takes is willingness,

And we could move beyond.

 

I know that we can make amends,

And all can live as one.

Beam a smile at a stranger,

And lo, you have begun.

Failure is the only option.

Failure. To fail. To not succeed. To not accomplish a task. To not complete your objective. It has seriously negative connotations and yet it is simply one part of the learning curve.

I know parents want to shield their children from the evils that exist in the world. We all do.  It is a natural reaction. But I think children need to be exposed to a little more that is less than perfect. If they only experience rainbows and unicorns when they are young, they won’t be able to understand life when they are adults.  Failure is a part of life, a big part. It is one of the best educational tools we have. And if we don’t take advantage of it, the cost down the line can be catastrophic.

We love to regale others with our successes, our shining wins.  No one ever likes to talk about a loss, our mistakes, our failures. Somehow, we think it will make us seem less worthy. Whereas I believe the opposite is true. How you deal with your failures, strengthens your character and will provide you with a template for future situations.

An example:  I was 16 and all excited about getting my Driver’s License. The freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted was intoxicating. I failed my first driving test. I was devastated. I didn’t understand why I had failed but I had. I wallowed for a while in a ‘pity me’ haze. And then my parents pointed out to me that the first test was a trial run. I needed to study more, practice more and I would nail it on the next try. They were right. When I first took the test all I could see was what I would be free to do, I didn’t think at all about my responsibilities with that Driver’s License. There are laws, rules that I had to follow and to respect. I did the second time around. Failure was good for me.

When I was a youth, I belonged to The Girl Guides of Canada. It was a wonderful organization; it probably still is. I was taught how to put up a tent properly, how to appreciate the outdoors, how to work in a team. I was also taught how to make a fire without a match. The first 50 times I failed. I failed again and again and again. What I didn’t do was stop trying. And eventually I became one of the best at making fire using two sticks and a little sweat equity. It was such a moment of achievement for me because of my previous failures. I learned to never give up. It was a life lesson I never forgot.

The only way you will truly fail, is to never try.

 

 

The Nothing Poem

 

 

I have nothing to say,

No wisdom to impart.

My mind is a blank,

I have nowhere to start.

 

My pens are all dry,

And the pencils are broken.

My computer is napping,

I am really heartbroken!

 

This is not who I am,

With nothing to say.

I’ve always got something,

To speak every day!

 

Perhaps it’s my time,

To throw in the towel.

To live without words,

It all seems so foul.

 

Not bloody likely!

I’ll say this to you,

This was a blip,

I know I’ll pull through!

 

I’ll wrestle my demons,

And make them give way.

Cuz I ain’t done talking,

I’ll get back in the fray!

Thought Processes

Have you ever stopped and wondered why you think the way you do? I know that’s an odd question but where does your mind wander to when you’re not focussed on anything. I will be quite honest, I try very hard to keep my mind engaged because when it is allowed to stray, well, things can get interesting.

It was in one of those moments of mindless meanderings when I remembered the many times I’ve had to deal with unprofessional sales clerks. There was the one who could not get past the wheelchair or the one who was smacking her gum, twirling her hair and talking to a friend about a boy.  The fact that I wanted to buy something simply did not enter into her mind even though she was looking right at me. That was probably 20 years ago but I wonder what she’s doing now. Has she gone on to blow expectations and become a PhD chemistry professor? Call me mean but I think not.

Back in the good old days (a year ago) I used to love to listen as people walked by. You never got the entire conversation but it was fascinating to think where it could take you. Like the time I followed a couple after overhearing that he was “…killing them”. Oh, I was intrigued! It’s OK he was just killing his plants. But out of that brief conversation I came up with a story about some actual killing. Yes, there is an evil side to my character and every now and then I embrace it.

When I am standing in front of a dog with a cookie in my hand, I know exactly what he is thinking. The drool is a dead giveaway. But when I’m standing looking at complete strangers it’s impossible to have any idea of what’s going on in their mind. Are they wondering if they locked the door or turned off the porch light? Are they thinking about gifts for a dear friend? Or perhaps how they plan to kill that annoying next-door neighbour? There is just no way to know.

That is fascinating to me. I have, in the past, created stories on the spot to describe what I could see. It had no basis in fact, it was pure fantasy but it was fun to give these people a life and a future directly out of my addled brain.

I once gave a man a wife, a mistress and a sexy secretary all because he was standing waiting for the Train with a smile on his face. It was a nice face but it looked like he had a secret. Those are the best ones to play with. And the upside to this game is nothing is ever written down because I can’t remember them and no one is besmirched. This is what I do when my mind is allowed to ramble and my thought processes are given free rein.  Be afraid, be very afraid…

Crisis Adjacent

I have never been in the middle of a forest fire or a hurricane or a volcano eruption. I have never felt the earth open underneath me in an earthquake. I have never faced down an angry assailant or looked death in the eye. I have never experienced a major crisis but I have been close to a few. I have been crisis adjacent .

My father was in a plane crash and that was pretty tense for a while.  but I didn’t find out about it until after we knew he was OK. I have come across car accidents just after they have happened. I offered what assistance I could but I was never in any danger. I have been trapped on a Lake in the middle of a horrendous storm but with all the canoes secured together we just floated it out. I guess I have just been incredibly lucky.

Many years ago, a friend of mine was in Mexico during a horrific earthquake. She was terrified. She and her companions huddled in the doorway and waited for the shaking to stop. She left the country the next day. I cannot begin to imagine what she went through. Maybe this is why I enjoy watching disaster movies. It isn’t so much for the disaster but how people respond to it. The hero and heroine always come out looking wonderful but it’s the side stories that interest me. It is the image of a stranger reaching down to help another. They don’t discuss ideology or politics or even the weather. They just help one another. I know it’s a movie and I don’t ever want to experience a tsunami to find out how I will react. Maybe if I watch enough disaster movies, I will know what to do but one can never be absolutely certain until you are in the moment.

All the planning in the world can be derailed by a simple misunderstanding or a missed appointment. We can have the best intentions but at the moment we freeze . Why? Because life is not an algorithm. It is a series of moments strung together to form your life, your existence.  Our reaction to what is happening around us is predicated on our past, our experiences and our understanding of the situation. People with proper training react without thinking. Police officers , first responders. These people have trained and acted out scenarios so that they will know exactly what to do without taking the time to formulate a plan. Sometimes seconds really do count.

For the rest of us we just react, hopefully responsibly. But it is in that moment of crisis when all the ego is burned off and what is left is the true merit of a person. I wonder what I will do …

 

 

In Anticipation

 

I look forward to the time ,

When I can feel the sun on my back.

And greet a dear friend,

Without any flack .

 

I want to wander the streets,

With nary a care.

I want to hug a stranger,

Put my hands in their hair.

 

I want to smile with my mouth,

So, everyone can see.

I want to eat in a restaurant,

Where people can be.

 

Travelling the world,

Would be on my list.

Or simply the next town,

These things I have missed.

 

I know it’s not possible,

To break all the rules.

They are there for a reason,

The Breakers are fools.

 

So, with patience I’ll wait,

For this time to be done.

Then we will be free,

To walk in the sun.

A Fallen Leaf

He lay on his back,

A slight dusting of snow.

He knew he was done,

There was no place to go.

 

His time in the branches,

Were glorious and free!

But time is not static,

His memory the key.

 

You see he is a symbol,

of Summer and Spring.

The days full of frolic,

That memories bring.

 

As he shivered with cold,

On this bright chilly day.

He knew with conviction,

What others would say .

 

Soon will be spring,

And buds will appear.

Leaves will start growing,

Never you fear!

 

 

 

The accompanying photograph was provided by Dan over at nofacilities.com. He and Maddie are most generous with the fruits of their walks. Thanks Dan!

 

Unsettled

When I sat down to write this post, I was a little flummoxed. There seems to be so much hatred seething about just below the surface. And some of it, of course, is erupting. Nothing subtle about it!  But we see too much of that on TV and I didn’t want to write about it, I wanted to write about joy and hope and prosperity. And then I wondered what I was smoking! Honey, life ain’t great at this particular moment!

I keep saying that I’m not suffering. And I’m not. I have my computer, books, TV, my food is delivered, everything is delivered. And yet I think I’m suffering more than I think I am. I’m relatively stable, psychologically speaking,  and yet who can say that with any authority except perhaps a doctor. And even that is sometimes questionable.  Sorry. What I am is unsettled.

I watch TV and yet I spend half of my time doing other things not paying attention. I have projects I want to finish but I just don’t have the initiative . I know what needs to be done and I am quite capable of it and yet I don’t do it. I have three books in a queue that I need to go through before I send them to the printer. A couple of weeks work at the most. I haven’t looked at them in two.

I’m not seriously anxious or afraid. I feel safe in the town I’m in but I don’t leave my apartment. When the weather was warmer, I would go out on my balcony. It’s too flipping cold now! I want to empty my apartment and reconfigure it with all new furniture. Don’t worry, that is not going to happen! The cost and inconvenience are insurmountable. So, I sat down at my computer and I designed a one-bedroom condo. It’s not a place that will ever be built but I rather like it. And it amused me for several hours. That seems to be my goal these days: amusement. That is a sad state of affairs. (I also designed a two-bedroom condo and a cottage with three bedrooms.)

I Zoom with friends and use FaceTime and Skype. I have Personal Support Workers that come in every day to help. Suitably masked and gloved but people nonetheless. I have a beautiful view of the Sky and a strip of the downtown. I’m warm and dry. I have nothing to complain about. There are people in the world that are truly suffering with circumstances and disease.

In Canada we have helplines to call if people are feeling overwhelmed. They are free and there are real people to talk to, to connect with. Sometimes it’s easier to tell a stranger then a friend. A study came out recently that said women are more psychologically affected by Covid then are men. I wonder if that’s true or maybe women are just more willing to talk about it. People are suffering in ways I cannot begin to imagine and all we can do is wait.  I can help through charities but that’s not enough. I will continue to help in whatever small way I can but I look forward desperately to some form of normalcy in the coming future. Did I mention that I am impatient? Maybe I’ll go design another building …