Friday, August 1, 2014

Fashion is a Two-Faced Bitch: Sunglasses

Sunglasses say a lot about a person, don't they?  There's the big diva sunglasses that take up half your face.  There's the elegant retro Jackie O look, there's sporty wrap arounds, hipster tinted, and then there's the classic too-cool-for-my-school aviator style.

I like aviators.   They have style without appearing as though one is attempting to be stylish.  And I'm  super sneaky that way.  I don't like to look as though I've put much of an effort in.  Most times I haven't.  One need only take in the holy, maroon Columbia sweater, circa 2005, that I wear most days to intuit lack of style on my part.

Actually,  it's not even how one looks in their sunglasses, but how one feels.  Putting on sunglasses is a little like putting on a disguise.  You hide part of your face and keep it for yourself.  There's power in that.  And then you subconsciously project what you feel to the outside world, whether that's a big, sexy, curvaceous man eater, a triathlete, or a rock-star.  I've seen this, I'm not kidding.  I've seen a woman sashay  a little sassier, an athlete prowl more gracefully, and an icognito rock-star's insouciant saunter down the sidewalk.

Of course, you have to be careful with sunglasses, as with all things related to fashion.  You may be thinking and projecting Diva, but your sunglasses just may be shouting "Get out of my way, I'm mad and I'm drunk".  Your tinted wrap-arounds may be smirking and whispering, "Thinks he's Bono, What a tool!"  When I wear my aviators, I suspect they are broadcasting, "Highly delusional Chicken channeling Carrie Bradshaw, make way, coming through.."

Why all this talk about sunglasses?  Because I can't find mine, dammit.

What do you like about your sun glasses.  How do they make you feel?

Chicken  out

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Save the Elephants Takes on a Whole New Meaning

Came across this link today and rushed here to share it with you.  Go ahead and take a peek, I'll hang out here and drink my coffee.

Elephants addicted to heroin

Well?  Is that not bizarre?  What do you think?

I think it's cruel enough to be true.  There's no end, it seems, to what a certain slice of humanity will do in order to gain  money and power.

And I can't help but we feel more sorry for the elephants than we do for the human victims of addiction?  I'm willing to bet that if you took a survey many people would say, "people have a choice and they  know better.  The elephants didn't."

To those people I would say, it doesn't really matter when or why people try drugs.  It might be by choice the first time, it might be by trickery, sometimes it's by force.  The end result is the same-thousands of children and adults leading a sad existence from which it can  seem there is no escape other than death.

Heroin dealers infiltrate society and use the drug the same ways on people as they do on elephants. They have to create a market.   To control people.  To manage their human trafficking operations.  To make money.

Heroin dealers make house calls.   In your neighborhood.

At least the elephants don't have much of a choice when it comes to being rehabilitated.  They are at the mercy of their handlers.  Human addicts in recovery have to make the difficult choice every day to stay sober.

I wish that we were as worried about the drugs crossing the borders as we are about the children crossing our borders.

And now I'm just all upset.  I started out with the intent of talking about really skinny elephants, twitching trunks and elephants on  street corners holding signs.

But then I started writing and you know what ?   It's just not funny, is it?  Too many people (and elephants and who knows, maybe dogs or other useful animals) are suffering from addiction.  How can they be helped?  I'd start with harsher penalties for dealers and free elective and non-elective rehab for addicts.

You got any ideas?

Chicken out

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beginner Mind

A fellow blogger wrote a post recently about keeping an open mind and it reminded me of a concept that I first learned in yoga class, but which  originated in Zen Buddhism.

To approach a task with beginners mind means approaching with no pre-set notions about how things should proceed.  The task  is wide open to many possibilities.

For instance, if you write stories a lot, you probably know about sentence and  plot construction, grammatical style, etc.  As you write, maybe you keep these things in mind and maybe it interferes with your creativity.

If you are just beginning to write stories, you might not worry about  such  complications. Your focus would probably  be on getting the story down on  paper before you forgot it.  You'll learn more as you  continue writing.

For true beginners, embracing "beginner's mind" is fairly easy.  When you become a little more accomplished at your work, when you learn the tricks of the trade, and the small nuances that mark a hack from a pro, that's when the real work begins.  It's a lot harder to be open when you "know" how everything is supposed to work.  The possibilities narrow considerably.

I have struggled with beginner's mind.  I understand the concept.  Still, I like to know what I'm getting myself into. I've learned to prepare ahead.  Being prepared is sorta my thing.  I like to do well when I'm new at something, and I like to be recognized for my expertise when I'm well-practiced.  I have to impress you, don't I?  I can't just walk around trying new things without researching them on the internet first and picking up a few tips, can I?  I can't just humbly listen while you prattle on about something you apparently know nothing about, can I?  I can't try things  a new way.  At my  old school, we did it differently.  The right way. This is the way it's done, damn it.

Right?  Are you with me?

When I was younger, I was more open to possibility.  I believed magic could happen in this world.  I believed in fairies and parallel universes and portals into other dimensions.  I believed that I did not need to know how to do something before I did it for the first time.

On the negative side, I was a dreamy, magical-thinking, impractical hot little mess who once put an offer on a house without realizing that when you agree to purchase a house, custom dictates you hand over a deposit.  I  saw the house, got a prickly feeling, and knew I needed to buy it before someone else did.  Then I did what I needed to do to make that happen.  It all worked out.  Had I known then what I know now, that purchase would not have happened.  I would have researched, talked to my friends, made pros/cons lists, and scared myself with the financial concerns.  Then I would have given up  on the idea.  But beginner's mind saved me way back then and shortly after I moved into my own house.  And then proceeded to became a second-guessing, scaredy cat know-it-all.  Not all at once, mind you.  It happened over a long stretch.  I think it might be time to change my ways.

Let's all be beginners today.  I will if you will.


Chicken out

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I look really good on Linked In

I am connected to 750 people on Linked In.  I have 10 million people in my network.  Many of people I'm connected to I have never met.  This does not stop them for endorsing me for various skills I may or may not have.  Maybe I'm a great Cat Herder, and maybe I am not, but according to Linked In, I am a seasoned Cat Herder.  If you are looking for a good Cat Herder, rest assured, my name will come up in your search.  I don't own any cats, I've never herded a cat, but I guess it can't be that hard.  Thank God for benevolent Linked In strangers.

These mystery connections and endorsements happen because Linked In is, of course, highly engaged in supporting its own platform of connectivity and to that end, it makes suggestions daily as to who one should connect with to increase profile views and who might be worthy of one's endorsement for some specific skill. People can't be trusted to develop a network on  their own.  People are lazy.  At least Linked In seems to think so.

The premise of Linked In is great.  You develop a network of people you work with, have worked with, know professionally or personally, or went to school with.  And then, by extension, you are connected to their connections.  If your old school chum has a connection that you would like to meet, you can, in theory,  ask your old school  chum to introduce you.

This works well if you a.) do, in fact, know your old school chum and b.) they do, in fact, know your target and like you enough to provide a warm intro. Otherwise, it's smoke and mirrors, and unsolicited marketing attempts.

I realized this too late.  Early on, when using  Linked In, I accepted invitations from anyone.  I was LI Easy.  I was also in the habit of connecting to everyone I met in the course of business.  I really wanted to be one of those 400+ people.

Now I am and I look really good on Linked In.  Just don't ask me to introduce you to anyone.  I'd be happy to write you a recommendation, though.  What was your name again?

Chicken out

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cuteness Championships

Ladies and Gentlemen..

Welcome to the first ever Cuteness Championships.  After weeks of eliminations of such embodiments  of cuteness as kittens,  cheerleaders, capri  pants with sailboats,  chinchillas and mini-coopers, two  finalists have  been  selected to battle it out for the heavyweight title of World's Cutest.  It's a big belt to fill, my friends.  Let me introduce you to your champions.

In this corner, weighing in at just 19.5 pounds, meet the Baby!  That's 19.5 pounds of blue-eyed, fine-haired adorableness.  And she's just starting to walk and talk.  Can you take it?  I'm not sure I can, ladies and gentlemen.

And in this corner, weighing in at 32 pounds, meet the Puppy!  He's a four month old golden lab, folks, with a bright bandana around his neck and paws too big for the rest of his wriggling, tail-wagging body.  This is one tough competitor, folks.

Are you ready to rumble?


The baby is toddling, Oh. My.  God. how cute is she, oh oh oh, she's going to fall, nope, she's found her balance and she's off, waving shyly at the elderly couple in the first row.  They are smitten, that's Baby 1, Puppy 0

Oh, but Puppy has jumped onto the lap of a young man eating a cookie and he's stolen the cookie and gobbled it down before the young man could even take a bite.  The crowd is going wild!  I'm not sure how the baby can salvage this one.  The fight may be over quickly  today, but wait...

Oh man, the baby  has spotted the cookie and is crying because she doesn't have a cookie of her own. Oh look at that sad face, look at that little tear rolling down that pink cheek.  HOLY SMOKES, I can't believe it, people are falling over themselves to give the baby a cookie.  What a come back by the Baby.  Carrie, I'm glad you could join us  today.   How do  things look down there on the floor.  Can you believe this fight?

No, I can't, Mike, we knew it was going to be a battle but I don't think anyone expected the cuteness these two are rolling out today.  Aw, look at her smiling, she's got four little teeth in there....

Wait, what's this?  What's happening now?  The Puppy has spotted the Baby. Here he comes....I don't believe it, the Puppy has snatched the baby's cookie.  The crowd is going nuts!  Is the baby crying?  No?  The Baby's laughing.  Oh look at that, she is.  She's trying to hug the Puppy and he's licking her face.  The crowd is on their feet.  The referee is stepping in to separate the two...What?  What just happened?  Carrie, can you see what's going on from your position?

I can Mike, and I'm  not sure how the judges are going to call this one.  The referee attempted to separate the two competitors but they refuse to be separated...the Puppy ran between the referee's legs,  tripping him, and now the Baby is chasing the Puppy, chattering wildly.  She's gotten a grip on his tail and  they appear to be wrestling on the floor.  There's chortling and licking and barking happening. The crowd is out of control.   It's pure mayhem!  Back to you, Mike.

Thanks looks like the ref has regained his footing and has blown his whistle. The crowd  is calming down. And....Oh my  gosh,   I think we have a decision by the judges....

What?  Can you believe this?   The judges have announced that the match is a draw.  There is no possible way they can choose between a baby and a puppy.  Each are impossibly cute on their own but together?  Together, they are unbeatable.  The Cuteness Championship goes to the Puppy AND the Baby, as a unit.

And this, folks, is a historical moment.

Chicken  out