White Noise Pollution

I’m well liked in my family. This I understand. I think I’m easy to like. I don’t see how I have any other secret to being liked. I’m not especially anything. I’m not good socially. I never have been.  Most of the time it’s easy to be part of a fairly large family who really do mean it when they ask how you are. But…

I’m the quiet one in a family of people who love to talk. To me it seems they just never run out of something to say, especially advice. It’s like noise pollution or white noise at times. I just stop listening and let them become part of the background. You know how it is when you put the radio or TV on and forget it’s there? It just becomes part of the atmosphere.

Now and then it drowns me out. So I give in and do as I’m told even when my own ideas, instincts or opinions were different and just as valid. That’s when I feel angry.

True, I feel guilty about it. We shouldn’t just ignore our Mothers, our sisters or our brothers. But, there are times when I just can’t take the constant feedback any more. I’m the oldest. Long before I was an adult they all expected me to be the one in charge, and I was. I managed everything. It’s odd to me that now they think I need all this advice.

Of course, I do understand it is all well meant. It’s no one’s fault but my own that I sometimes feel there is too much advice for a grown woman all of 47 (nearly 48) years. So, even when I do lose patience with all the communication, I do know it comes from the right place. I just endure.

Some of the feedback is good. I may never post this because they would be hurt (over over analyze everything) if they read this. I don’t want to hurt anyone. But, there are times I’d like to feel more like an adult than a child who has to be taken care of and told what to do.

I’ve Become Super Noob

I started writing as Super Noob on Lindsay’s blog, Web Design for Idiots. Tonight I wrote the following as an introduction to who I am and why I’m someone who might have a reason to be writing there.

I’m posting this from my very messy desk with the TV on to my left and my nearly cold coffee at my right hand, in danger of wrecking my faithful little scanner. I’m a real woman. I’m a real, live, 40+, divorced Canadian woman, a writing legend in my own mind.

In June of 1996 I began on the Internet. I was an IRC diva for quite a long time. It was a lot of fun and most of it I really should not write about here. That’s what personal blogs are all about. I wrote for a zine first, a small print publication called The Crying Clown. From there it was all online. At one point I was producing my own newsletter for writers, InkSplatters, sent out through what is now Yahoo Groups. I was a web writer for HerPlanet, BackWash, BellaOnline, Suite 101, WZ-ard.com and other sites, forums and newsletters some still living and some not. I still write for Creative Fat Grrl on LockerGnome, a babbly blog more than anything seriously functional. Writing for a network is a different educational experience than writing for yourself. Which is one reason I keep doing it.

I’ve had sites and then blogs of my own. I didn’t begin online in the great time of blogging, I was here before that. So my first sites were put together with just HTML code as I learned and goofed it up. I’ve used software and I’ve cut and pasted code and I’ve hand coded my own pages. I’m not an expert, time alone isn’t enough to make you an expert at web design or development. I have learned however and as I learn I see how much more there is to be explored and discovered. But, don’t look to me expecting I’m a know-it-all. If I ever say that you can be sure I’m just laughing at myself.

I love creative things. I’ve done so many interesting forms of art, just to try them out. I made ASCII art for a few years. I continue to take digital photos of abandoned places here in Ontario, starting in 2006 when I bought my first digi camera. I’m also teaching myself to draw cartoons, some people even like them! This week I re-learned the art of cutting out paper doll chains so I could make them into a graphic for a blog. I really think it’s important to keep the creativity and free writing in blogging. It would be a real shame if the personal journal and creative element of blogging were lost in the rush for SEO and money making.

Anyway, I’m here to help the less experienced blogger with my experiences. I’ve got a stack of great books about web design on my bookshelf and I will be using them (finally) for more than a place to hide my dust bunnies. I seem to collect books with great good intentions and then not get very far. You can also find me writing about web writing and posting writing ideas and prompts on my blog, Word Grrls.


Completely off topic… did you know that a nail file works really well if you have an itchy spot on your back that you just can’t reach? I’ve been rubbing my back on my chair tonight wishing for something to work. Then I had the great idea for the nail file (not one of those treacherous metal ones, just some cardboard type) and that worked great!

Romantic Rose Ring 

This appeals to my romantic side. Rickson also makes Claddagh rings (her own design on the traditional style). I bought one of those last year. Since then I’ve kept an eye on her shop to see what other designs come along.

This Sterling Rose ring is the perfect gift or diamond engagement ring for that special woman in your life who appreciates unique, alternative

Source: Rose Ring Unique Alternative Engagement Ring by Ricksonjewellery

Thomas Muther, Jr. Explores in the Nude

Thomas Muther, Jr. is a frequent poster to the Flickr urban exploration group I moderate. He is pretty much the only nude male posing and – he is setting up the camera, posing and taking the photo on his own. His own model.

As a woman moderating the group I’m glad to see Thomas posting his photos. Without him the group would feel very sexually biased to me. But, I do wonder what other group members think. Likely most of them are male. Most urban explorers are still male and most of the people coming to look at nude people are coming to look at nude females. I’ve never asked him what kind of feedback, if any, he gets.

I could make this story quite lengthy, but to cut to the chase, after hitting me with a volley of questions–during which seven (7!!!!!!) other police cars pulled up–I was informed that a woman out walking her dog had seen me and reported the “incident” to the police. I was then belatedly informed of my rights, handcuffed, and taken to jail for “indecent exposure.” As they were putting the handcuffs on me, I was utterly dumbfounded. The only thing I managed to verbalize was, “why are you putting me in handcuffs?” which seems a reasonable question. Their reply? “Because that’s what we do to people who break the law!” If I’d had my wits about me, I might have rejoindered, “So, you put people in handcuffs who jaywalk?–or go 5 miles over the speed limit?”–but I was completely flummoxed. Thus, I ended up spending the night, and all the next day in jail. I finally managed to contact my sister who wired bail, and I got out late the next evening. With such a horrific charge hanging over my head, I hired an attorney (at $3500), as being a sexual predator registry for the rest of my life didn’t appeal. The charges were dropped after his intervention, so there were no long term consequences, but it was not a fun experience. The ridiculous over zealousness of these police cost me more than just the $3,500, obviously. Being in jail against your will when you’ve done nothing to deserve it really sucks (as opposed to being in jail for civil disobedience–which I’ve done three times . . . an entirely different feeling). Oh well. 🙁 Compared to the injustices committed by various trigger-happy police over the last months, I guess I shouldn’t complain.

This is Me Today – Making Myself Crazy


Being a perfectionist is a vicious circle of events. Nothing is ever good enough. So we (or I) end up keeping endless stuff because I feel I have to finish it, get it right before I can let it go. I feel obligated to the stuff and myself. I’m letting myself down if I don’t do everything and do it right. I can’t just let things go so they pile up.

Ironically, the piles of actual stuff make me feel pressured and I can’t deal with all of it.

On top of that, no woman is an island. I get request from others who want me to do things for them. They even have deadlines and complain when stuff isn’t done, for them. Then I get annoyed because they expect me to just drop everything and put them first.

The joke is on me. I’m getting so little actually done that things are piling up (of course). In the end – I am the one on the bottom of the pile under all this stuff.

So, the plan is to wait until sometime in November when I will have the house (most of it) to myself and I can move things out of my work room and into other rooms. This will give me some space and maybe clear my mind a bit. If I feel I have some space to work in maybe I can actually get to work and get some of this stuff done.

Of course, we come back to the perfectionism issue.  Is making the space enough? Can I let things be imperfect? Can I decide to just get rid of some things, undone, not completed? Can I give up on some of the things which I thought mattered so much? That will be the hard part. It isn’t the stuff or the lack of space so much as feeling I am losing parts of myself and who I think I am and should be.

If I get rid of everything which makes me feel like I’m someone, what will be left of me? Once I am clutter free how will I know what to do with myself?

The Polka Dot Door

the polka dot doorDo you remember The Polka Dot Door?

The Polka Dot Door was a children’s television show which began in the 1970′s in Ontario, Canada. TV Ontario broadcast the program 1971 to 1993.

Songs and stories and so much more at the Polka Dot Door!

Every show had a man and a woman as hosts and Polkaroo, a life sized polka dotted kangaroo, would appear for a few minutes on almost every show. They played in a play house which had a polka dot door, of course. Educational videos would be shown through one of the polka dots on the door.

The house also included a large indoor space where the hosts would have tea parties and birthdays and everything else. Outdoors I remember the playground with a sandbox and swing set.

I liked the toys: Marigold (a doll), Bear, (a stuffed teddy bear) and Humpty and Dumpty (two stuffed characters with round egg-like bodies) as if they were real but could only talk to the hosts. Often the host would pause, say “What was that Marigold?”, or “Bear says he…” and so on. Usually they would pick up the toy as they carried on a short conversation between the toy, themselves and the children watching the show.

Each show had a theme which would fit into the day of the week:

  • Monday was Treasure Day
  • Tuesday was Dress-Up Day
  • Wednesday was Animal Day
  • Thursday was Imagination Day
  • Friday was Finding-Out Day

Tanya Petrova, a Canadian soft sculpture artist, created Polkaroo.

Later Polka Dot Shorts began as a spin off from the original show. This show featured the toys as life sized soft sculptures having educational adventures.

Marigold the doll

Marigold was my favourite. I tried to find a sewing pattern to make the Marigold doll but did not find anything.  I did find this photo which shows more of her design so I could make a pattern myself.

The Grass On the Other Side was Greener

Being Green (reprinted from Facebook)

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or
future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person.

Red Green’s Guide to Women (for Men)

The real joke behind Red Green’s book about understanding women is that Steve Smith (the author) has been with his wife, Morag Smith, for over 45 years. Her 16th birthday was their first date. Now, over the age of retirement, they are still together.

During the TV show, “The Red Green Show” Red would mention his wife, naming her Bernice, but no wife ever appeared on the show. At the close of each show he would tell Bernice he was coming home after the meeting (with the Possum Lodge members). Usually something was added about what he wanted, or hoped for, once he would get home. It would always depend on the show that week. The routine of the show was to end showing a group of men, facing away from the camera and giving the “Man’s Prayer”.

This book is based on humour, not meant as completely serious advice, but everything written here comes from a man who will be celebrating 50 years with the same woman in the near future. Funny, but this comic relief is the voice of experience.

Steve Smith began the character of Red Green and later the Possum Lodge for a comedy troupe known as “Smith & Smith” based in Hamilton, Ontario. The troupe included his wife and a few other friends, both actors and comedians. “Smith & Smith” ended sometime in the 1980’s. “The Red Green Show” lasted 15 seasons, closing in 2006 so Steve Smith could ‘retire’. Not that he actually retired. Although the TV show ended the books, tours and TV appearances have continued.

Red Green on Facebook.

Red Green on Twitter.  #redgreenlovetips