Balance?

I’m supposed to blog. Part of the job of being a writer. Self-promotion. Which I hate. Right now, I’m too busy to have a thought. Which is a thought. Or a complaint. Negativity. But, writers try to be honestly in touch with feelings, right? Human nature, anti white-wash. But, we could focus on the positive bcz everything has 2 sides. Of course. In solving one problem a few years ago, underemployment, I found another job to generate income bcz I make no money from my writing and painting passions. (extremely nominal. less than these pursuits cost). Then hours at both jobs increased and I’m very over employed. Add commuting time. I like both my jobs & enjoy reading on the bus. But there’s too much of a good thing. I don’t know what to do besides wait. Asking for some time off is fine, if co-workers aren’t sick or holidaying or too busy with school. So, time off is “coming.” I just need to hold on. I’m holding. And right now choking on perfume or hand sanitizer or both at the library. All in all, I consider myself a very fortunate person – just struggling for balance.

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a changing world

what is possible in one generation often isn’t in the next, i.e., leaving home around the age of 20, paying for post secondary education without massive student loans, obtaining food without chemicals and preservatives, and maybe in another couple (of generations) living on the ground floor. The Brentwood 8 acre condo development in Burnaby is horribly fascinating to me. 5  69 story condo towers are being built. I hope, with all our condo developments in the Lower Mainland that people who need somewhere to live will be able to afford to. And find work. The kids complain (rightly so, often) they can’t find jobs, and maybe partially because the generations before have automated too much, and probably more is to come. I dread the day of driverless cars

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Crashes & Coincidences

I love airshows. At one, a pilot told me what a danger birds posed. I never thought a little bird could take out a jet engine.

Later – in a magazine, I chanced to see a passenger airliner floating in the Hudson – taken down by geese! My sick sense of humour said save it. I could draw a goose standing triumphantly on top of it.

7 more years later – I rented the DVD, Sully. The true story of how that plane got in the Hudson. What a well done portrayal of a miraculous water landing. Everyone lived.

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I Dream…

…that one day fragrance will be treated like smoking. It’s just as, if not more, harmful. There are so many sources, I barely know where to start. Perfumes, shampoos, deodorants, facial mists, aftershaves, lotions, air “fresheners” (poison) in changerooms and bathrooms, and sprayed through the air systems in some hotels, and laundry soaps. Drier sheets belch unnecessary air pollution, stinking up half a square block. The scent sticks to clothing and off gasses everywhere, drowning out diesel in bus loops. Entire downtowns and large open areas reek of chemical smells. The chemicals can trigger asthma and skin rashes in sensitive individuals.Even if not allergic, why is it okay for certain persons to add even more perfume on top of what comes from “regular products” to choke the air out of a room and force everyone to smell the scent of their choice?

Perfumes have changed my life. I barely date. I fear shaking hands and social hugs and avoid both. I rarely attend public events. I’ve taped the vents in my apartment and weather-stripped my door so other people’s pop and cleaning chemicals don’t seep in. I mostly leave my windows closed because of smells from the drier. Still, some are so strong they enter through gaps in the windows. I buy ionizers and air filters for home and work. I carry masks and coffee beans. I’ve now stopped using tissues because they absorb so much scent from other products.  Toilet paper is more scent-free. I get through the bus and the gym. Often my hair absorbs the odors of others and I spray it with vinegar. Shopping has lost its appeal. Not only do malls smell, but the clothes. I often leave purchases on the balcony to off-gas for weeks in the rain. I’ve had reactions to new furniture too.

So in this day when we’re protesting so much, (this week in Vancouver the opening of the new Trump tower) I want to voice my distressing and pervasive problem few people pay enough attention to. Fortunately, though, I think MOST people are aware and don’t smell or use minimal scent.

And to answer a question I’m often asked: what do I use to wash my clothes? Soap nuts or unscented organic – same for dishes, body, and hair.

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Comma fun

The count walked briskly on his waxed moustache, spread like the wings of a gull.

Or

The count walked briskly on, his waxed moustache spread like the wings of a gull.

From Man from Moscow

 

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person like novel

I have the rights back to Pool Party and was just re-reading it on my e-novel, right after a Jeffrey Archer. I discovered some problems I’m now eagerly correcting, like a lot of telling as opposed to showing, gaps from here to there, and errors in logistics, like a person moving in twice and accomplishing an unrealistic amount of activity in a short period of time. I was also delighted with some of its inspired gems. Sort of like a personality: we all have our charming qualities and faults. Only thing, in a human, the shortcomings are harder to fix.

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Ishiguro on Pretense vs Substance: superficial vs essence

In a discussion among butlers, in The Remains of the Day, about what criteria constitutes a good butler:

A good butler is not one who can merely “be displayed as a monkey at a house party [answering] random questions of the day [in a] good accent and command of language” but one who can, with a 12 bore, kill a tiger which got into the house and took up residence under the dining room table, then honestly tell the master that, “Dinner will be served at the usual time…[with] no discernible traces left of the recent occurrence”.

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