How Londoners Fight Terrorism

While Danny and I prepared for our trip to Europe, we heard about the terrorist attack in Manchester, England. Our whole vacation started with London at its heart. I would attend the Bloggers Bash on June 10th.

We didn’t change our plans.

Instead, we drove from Glasgow to Edinburgh, Scotland when I noticed London trending on Twitter. To be honest, a second terrorist attack so soon after Manchester gave me pause. Was it an outbreak?

We didn’t change our plans.

After a fabulous week in Scotland, we flew to Gatwick airport and took the train to London. I wondered if police presence would be everywhere. Would any of the tourist attractions be open? Would we have to stick around the neighborhood of the Wellington Hotel?

The fabulous Bloggers Bash was the next day. We planned to take London by storm on Sunday. I brought my most comfortable walking shoes. I wanted to see Buckingham Palace, check out my buddy, Chuck, I mean Charles Dickens’ haunts, and go to Covent Gardens.

As soon as we walked out of Victoria’s station, I was struck by the number of cute little children, dressed to impress.

How Londoners Fight Terrorism (1)

And just like that, I was over any doubt or fear.

Of course, we didn’t change our plans.

When I asked people in London how they felt about safety, they all said, “We have to live their lives.” One man said, “Americans are scaredy cats.” True that. I was, but not anymore.

My suggestion to Americans?

Travel to London or Paris or wherever you want. It’s the only way we win. Terrorists want to destroy our way of life. When we change our plans because we’re afraid, they win.

Have you changed your vacation plans because of recent events? Would you?

Wild Thoughts on Election Day #MyVote2016

keep-calm-and-go-americaThis election has been a crazy reality TV show where the most unpredictable moments have blown our minds. Admit it. Jaw-dropping shock value is addictive. The lack of decorum and respect, name-calling, accusations and bullying has been like watching a high school kid troll on Facebook, only the actions came from a seventy-year-old man. On the other side, gnarly old scars hiding secrets and lies of deceit were reopened in the hope the truth would finally come out. Many waited with held breath, but no earth-shattering revelations have surfaced. Even if our candidate wins, many of us will continue to worry long after the election.

Unlike reality TV, the hatred and lack of respect spewed every day, seeped through the screen into some of its viewers. Anger and frustration boiled over into real life. They became trolls on the internet. Some became vicious.

60 Minutes aired a story where a control group, led by Frank Luntz, spiraled out of control. People interrupted. Name calling ensued. They exhibited rude behavior even though they were being recorded and millions would see them. Luntz said his mother would have disowned him for the horrible language they used. What’s up with that? 

Luntz concluded that no one is interested in learning anything. They only want to be heard. He blames the internet.

I think he’s wrong.

I blame the program. We’ve been watching this show for so long and from the beginning, it has broken all the rules. Moderators didn’t take control during the debates. Commercials include bleeped out words little kids can figure out. Our voting system and democracy itself has come into question. Many of my online friends who live in other countries wonder how we ended up with these candidates. So do I. World leaders who hate us are asking their citizens, desperate for freedom, “Is this what you want?”

Many voters defend their choice of candidate by pointing a finger at the other. Instead of voting for a candidate they have chosen the lesser of two evils. Our country stands divided.

I believe we’ve outgrown the two party system. Most of us want the same things; quality of life for ourselves, our children and for others. We love our country and its freedoms.

It’s time to stop pointing fingers and reach out to those less fortunate as we approach the season of giving. Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, people!

I would expect this reality show to continue waaay after election day, even after the inauguration. Eventually, acceptance of our new president will quiet the noise of frustration. Most will change the channel to focus on something else.

In the coming months, show others you are above those characters on crazy reality TV.

End the hatred.

Be kind.

Be respectful.

Be grateful to live in the United States of America.

I am.

 

Check out more of my Wild Colorado Adventures!

Discovering Blurred Lines and Booty Calls

Everyone has sung the wrong lyrics to songs, but I shouted the lyrics to a particular hit all summer at clubs in New Orleans, two weddings and fund-raiser not knowing why I got such strange looks. First of all, I thought Blurred Lines was called For a Good Time. I haven’t loved a song for dancing this much since INXS’s What You Need and you know I love to dance.

I knew controversy surrounded the video since Robin Thicke’s wife divorced him after it was released. I had heard there were topless dancers, but I lost my boobs last year and I love and appreciate real ones since mine are now 100% fake. I thought, Big deal.

A DJ played the song during an outdoor festival last weekend and I sang along as usual. Then I turned to my husband, Danny and said, “I have got to learn the lyrics to this song.” I tried to keep from dancing, but it was tough. After the song played in my head Sunday, I sat down on Monday and checked out the unedited video.

Here’s the unrated version I found offensive. WARNING: Naked boob alert for those of you at work. You may want to watch the tamer version at the bottom of the article.

Oh. My. God. Okay. So I used to draw naked people all the time in college and I appreciate women and men’s bodies, but coupled (bad word choice?) with the offensive lyrics, it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. (Sorry. I couldn’t help myself). It was all about gratuitous sex and booty calling. Hey babe. You want to get lucky? It’s bartime.

“I know you want it.” So I knew that part of the song and I get that they’re naked and strutting across the stage like they want it, but what about the singers? They’re in the background staring, ogling, and fully clothed like they’re in a strip joint. My mind begged the question, what’s the message of the song? Hot girls get laid?

Did you notice how the models looked directly into the camera? It reminded me of this painting equally popular and controversial. Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass raised eyebrows and the ire of the community when it was unveiled in 1863. We’ve come a long way baby, or have we?

t_Manet - Luncheon on The Grass 1863 Continue reading

In Defense of Rankings, Yoga Pants, and Just Going Naked

Pearl Street Mall
Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall on a Friday night 
GQ Magazine recently ranked Boulder as the 40th worst dressed city in America. On face value that sounded pretty bad until I read 40th meant that 39 other cities were worse. As I clicked to the right, the numbers got lower and I realized we were in good company, but I gasped when I clicked on #5) Manhattan. Wait a second. Manhattan? That fine city embodies the heart of American fashion whose pulse we rely on with a beat that strikes a rhythm for the rest of the 49 states and …okay… I will calm myself. Number #4) was Chicago, #3) Pittsburgh, #2) L.A., and the all-time worst-dressed city, drum roll please, #1) Boston. Boston is like America’s Bad-Taste Storm Sewer: all the worst fashion ideas from across the country flow there, stagnate, and putrefy.
What?

Okay, I admit the Republic of Boulder should own its worst-dressed ranking. For years we have been known for our tie-dyed hippies who have recently traded in their Birkenstocks for Keens. Some Boulderites spend a lot of money to look like they just got done hiking a fourteener.  When I first moved out here from Wisconsin almost 25 years ago, (no city was picked from this state –surprised?), I included a dress code on my party invitations since many guests would show up in the same jeans and t-shirt they had picked up dog poo in earlier in the day. During the weekday, I was shocked to see women running around in workout clothes. Back in Madison we changed into nice outfits after working out. Yes, people from Wisconsin work out too. Slowly I got used to this Western casual dress code and now I can be found in a tennis skirt after a match while picking out a cantaloupe at Whole Foods or in yoga pants after working out while running errands on Pearl Street. My theory is that “Casual Friday” was so popular it spread throughout the week and then across the country like wildfire.

I will acknowledge some of Boulder’s fashion short-comings, but must defend some of the statements made in this article written by Nurit Zunger. “Strolling through this charming university town, you are most likely to find three major categories of clothing: 1) anything made by North Face 2) anything made by Patagonia 3) fanny packs.”

Seriously, fanny packs? They went out of style when all the elderly started wearing them to fast-walk unencumbered around the mall.

The next statement is just ridiculous. The observant eye will also spot unmistakable seasonal trends, such as Adidas for Fall, Crocs for Spring, and Uggs for Summer (we have no explanation for this).

Well that’s because it is also a falsehood. Adidas are worn year round. Crocs are not a trend around here unless you are under the age of 10. Even though adult Boulderites own at least one pair of Crocs since they are headquartered here and they practically give them away at warehouse sales, they would never be caught outside their yard wearing them since they are so 5 years ago. Uggs worn in summer, are you kidding me? First of all I thought this was a men’s fashion magazine. Women do not wear them on the summer sandy beaches like the Australian company intended, but in the winter snow. Did Nurit actually come to Boulder to observe us before writing this article?

He continues: These are often accompanied by Boulder’s year-round go-to accessory, the wheatgrass shot (sometimes paired with an unidentifiable vegan “cookie”). Yet of Boulder’s 100,000 people, about 30,000 are students, some 99.9% are blonde, and all of them in better shape than you.

I will agree that we eat well, but I would say the bike helmet is a more common accessory. 99.9% blonde? I think the number must be down in the 80thpercentile somewhere.

He concludes with: This town is always obnoxiously flaunting its “fittest-place-in-the-country” awards, and you will be hard-pressed to find one person here, including your 85-year-old grandmother, without a six-pack. It is, in fact, a worst-dressed city that looks best naked. So Boulderites, do your fellow citizens a favor: next time you reach for the biking-shorts-and-sneakers as eveningwear combo, just take it all off.

Naked pumpkin run

We are too busy working out to flaunt our “fittest” ranking, but I agree with the second statement and have been obliterated by some of those 85-year-old grandmothers in tennis. It is amazing how they can move on the court. One of them flashed her stomach at me when she overheated, but I wish six-pack abs had graced my view. You won’t catch me taking it all off, but Nurit, please feel welcome to come to Boulder for its Naked Pumpkin Run in October!

 Should your city be on the list? 

 Only in Boulder! 

Second photo, from  http://www.keepboulderweird.org/

Weiner – It’s All in a Name

Anthony Weiner
The amount of media attention given to Congressman Anthony Weiner quickly “rose” this week when they “exposed” his lack of morality and decency, but the attention also took on a humorous slant. More than one chuckle has been made at his expense because of the irony of his name and the obvious correlations after his “wiener tweet.” Was he preoccupied with taking pictures of his privates because of his name? I don’t know what he said in his texts, but it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to think that he too saw the double entendre. He became a successful Congressman and yet it took a sexting incident, to become infamous around the world.

I have often wondered if surnames predict careers. Is it a subconscious decision or deliberate? When I worked as an illustrator at the VA Hospital I observed many interesting parallels. I often heard their names called through the intercom system above my drawing board. “Dr. Bonebreak, Please come to orthopedics.” Yes. He was an orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Goodfriend continues to work as Chief of Medicine and has the role of flying across the country as a liaison for the hospital and in helping researchers apply for grants.

My favorite of all time is Dr. Bloodworth who was the Chief Pathologist and worked in autopsy down in the basement of the hospital where the morgue was located.

I have a friend who has a dermatologist named Dr. Boyle.

The ex-CEO of Krispy Kreme is Scott Livengood whom probably is; hence the “ex.”

In ancient times, it became common for a man to take the name of his profession as clans became towns that grew along with communities. People needed a way to distinguish themselves. Being a patriarchal society, families were handed down the surname of their father. We probably all know a Baker, a Gardener, or a Fisher, and everyone is familiar with Potter.

 My friend Johanna remembers working at a very large company called GTE with Carl Engineer and Firoz Doctor. Their names made it very confusing for a temporary secretary who happened to answer the phone one day when Carl wanted to speak to Firoz.

“Is Firoz Doctor there?” asked Carl.

“Wait. Doctor who?” asked the secretary.

“Firoz Doctor.”

“Which doctor did you want to speak to?

“I told you already. Firoz Doctor.”

“You mean Dr. Firoz?” asked the secretary.

“No! Not Dr. Firoz. Firoz Doctor.”

“I am sorry sir, but I don’t know who Firo’s Doctor is. Maybe you should ask Mr. Firo.”

“Just look up his name in the directory. F I R O Z  Doctor,” said Carl. He was more than a bit exasperated at this point.

“Oh! Here he is!”

“Just tell him it’s Mr. Engineer.”

In fact, Carl was an electrical engineer.

Here in Boulder we have our own Dr. Weiner. He practices urology and specializes in vasectomies. He prefers the pronunciation Winer.

I bet you know someone who practices the profession of their last name.