Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I Confess to Consumerism

It would appear that our consumer society has spread its poisonous tentacles of dissatisfaction into every nook and cranny of our existence. The idea being that the acquisition of material possessions will somehow lead to us being more content with our lives. Nothing could be further from the truth.We are like drug addicts who after a “fix” experience a momentary “high” which is replaced, all too soon, by the insatiable craving for the next good time to come along and make us happy.

Anyone who has spent any time near an addict will know that the environment in which they live quickly becomes a disaster area, as they strip their home of anything and everything of any value in order to feed their addiction; At which point they widen the area of destruction to include their neighbours, targeting the most vulnerable first.

This attitude of entitlement to instant gratification is also glaringly
apparent in our interpersonal relationships. Networking, or to put it another way making friends with people depending on how useful they will be to us, as opposed to how pleasant we find their company or what interests we share with them, is a prime example. Not to mention modern attitudes to marriage where divorce decrees are more plentiful than confetti. We all seem to have bought into the myth that marriage should be a bed of roses, instead of a means of providing a stable environment in which to raise the next generation of normal well adjusted human beings.

People, we are in serious need of rehabilitation and, like any kind of addict, the healing cannot begin until we admit to the problem.

My name is Cathy and I am a consumer.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Answers to quiz questions...

My brother sent me this in an email.
It made me laugh 'til I cried.

It's hard to believe people like this exist
Some of them are determined not to be helped.
They must have been born & raised in a deep
mineshaft and only brought out for these shows!


1) Something a blind man might use?
- A Sword

2) A song with the word Moon in the title?
- Blue Suede Moon

3) Name the capital of France?
- F

4) Name a bird with a long Neck?
- Naomi Campbell

5) Name an occupation where you might need a torch?
- A burglar

6) Where is the Taj Mahal?
- Opposite the Dental Hospital

7) What is Hitler's first name?
- Heil

8) A famous Scotsman?
- Jock

9) Some famous brothers?
- Bonnie and Clyde.

10) A dangerous race?
- The Arabs

11) Something that floats in a bath?
- Water

12) An item of clothing worn by the Three Musketeers?
- A horse

13) Something you wear on a beach?
- A deckchair

14) A famous Royal?
- Mail

15) Something that flies that doesn't have an engine?
- A bicycle with wings

16) A famous bridge?
- The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

17) Something a cat does?
- Goes to the toilet

18) Something you do in the bathroom?
- Decorate

19) A method of securing your home?
- Put the kettle on

20) Something associated with pigs?
- The Police

21) A sign of the Zodiac?
- April

22) Something people might be allergic to?
- Skiing

23) Something you do before you go to bed?
- Sleep

24) Something you put on walls?
- A roof

25) Something slippery?
- A conman

26) A kind of ache?
- A fillet of fish

27) A jacket potato topping?
- Jam

28) A food that can be brown or white?
- A potato

29) Something sold by gypsies?
- Bananas

30) Something red?
- My sweater

Bamber Gascoigne: What was Ghandi's first name?
Contestant: Goosey, Goosey?


Anne Robinson: In traffic, what "J" is where two roads meet?
Contestant: Jool carriageway.

Anne Robinson: Which Italian city is overlooked by Vesuvius?
Contestant: Bombay.

Anne Robinson: What insect is commonly found hovering above lakes?
Contestant: Crocodiles.
Anne Robinson: Wh...?
Contestant (interrupting): Pass!

Anne Robinson: In olden times, what were minstrels,
travelling entertainers or chocolate salesmen?
Contestant: Chocolate salesmen.

Anne Robinson: The Bible, the New Testament.
The Four Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and...?
Contestant: (long pause) Joe?

Anne Robinson: Who was a famous Indian leader,
whose name begins with G, revered by millions,
who was assassinated and received a state funeral?
Contestant: Geronimo!

Eamonn Holmes: What's the name of the playwright
commonly known by the initials G.B.S.?
Contestant: William Shakespeare.

Searle: In which European country is Mount Etna?
Caller: Japan.
Searle: I did say which European country,
so in case you didn't hear that,
I can let you try again.
Caller: Er... Mexico?

Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?
Contestant: Barcelona.
Presenter: I was really after the name of a country.
Contestant: I'm sorry, I don't know the names of any countries in Spain.

Wright: On which continent would you find the River Danube?
Contestant: India.

Wright: What is the Italian word for motorway?
Contestant: Espresso.

Wright: What is the capital of Australia?
And it's not Sydney.
Contestant: Sydney.

Judy Finnegan: The American TV show 'The Sopranos' is about opera.
True or false?
Contestant: True?
Judy Finnegan: No, actually, it's about the Mafia.
But it is an American TV show, so I'll give you that.

Paul Wappat: How long did the Six Day War between Egypt and Israel last?
Contestant (after long pause): Fourteen days.

Presenter: Bob Hope was the fifth of how many sons?
Contestant: Four

Wood: What "K" could be described as the Islamic Bible?
Contestant: Er...
Wood: It's got two syllables... Kor...
Contestant: Blimey?
Wood: Ha ha ha ha no. The past participle of run...
Contestant: (Silence)
Wood: OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I...
Contestant: Walked?

Daryl Denham: In which country would you spend shekels?
Contestant: Holland?
Daryl Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Contestant: Iceland? Ireland?
Daryl Denham (helpfully): It's a bad line. Did you say Israel?
Contestant: No.

The Wisdom of the Wizened

Sometimes my grandmother talked “a right load of codswallop”
Or so I used to think, but the older I get the more I hear her platitudes with attitude
echoing through my mind now that her real voice has been silenced forever.
”You’re that Sharp you’ll cut yourself, too clever for your own good”

It occurs to me that if I had to use a higher proportion of my mental powers to grapple with the daily dilemmas presented by the struggle for survival I would have less time for introspection and dissatisfactionm “bein’ maudlin” as my gran would have said.

So maybe “ignorance is bliss” and we would all be better off sitting in the trees exchanging cheesy grins and chattering with the chimpanzees.

Now what would be the modern high tech equivalent of this happy state of affairs…?

OK PEOPLE LET’S BLOG. Anyone want a banana?

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Abyss of Despair

I feel a numbing purple fog permeate my heavy heart
Its creeping tendrils fill my mind with melancholy mauve

Dark red irrationality amplifies my fears
Begetting a cacophony
Of harsh discordant tears

And then a scarlet stranglehold grips me around the throat
I choke out an unwilling bark
Depression’s bleak foghorn

The storm breaks
The pain recedes
Leaving its driftwood of broken dreams

I gaze upon this sad debris
And ponder life’s futility

Thursday, February 22, 2007



Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stolen from ejokes. It had to be done

Frank can't obtain an erection so he goes to the doctor. The doctor tells him the muscles at the base of his penis are broken down and there's nothing he can do unless he's willing to try an experimental surgery.
Frank asks what the surgery is and the doctor tells him they take the muscles from the base of a baby elephant's trunk, insert them in the base of his penis, and hope for the best. Frank says that sounds pretty scary but the thought of never having sex again is even scarier, so he says ok.
The doctor goes ahead and performs the surgery and about 6 weeks later the gives frank the go ahead to "try out his new equipment". Frank takes his wife out to dinner. While at dinner Frank starts feeling incredible pressure in his pants.
It gets unbearable and he figures no one can see him so he undoes his pants. No sooner does he do this his penis pops out of his pants, rolls across the table, grabs a dinner roll, and disappears back into his pants.
His wife sits in shock for a few moments, and then gets a sly look on her face. She says, "That was pretty cool! Can you do that again?" With his eyes watering and a painful look on his face, Frank says, "Probably, but I don't know if I can fit another dinner roll up my ass."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy valentine's day

God is love.
He who lives in love
Lives in God
And God in him


That's all the religion I need.

Found in the Translation

Today I had my first session with a new student. He is a Greek
orthodox priest who is translating a Hebrew text into Greek.
However all the notes he has about grammatical forms and
Possible alternate translations are in English and ancient Greek.
A far cry from teaching school children ABC but very interesting,

Anyway, to cut a long story short we decided to take it easy for a
while by translating the beginning of the Kabbalah from English into Greek (a piece of cake in comparison).

Here comes the interesting part, for those interested in such things.
AH HEM… (drum roll, followed by eerie but expectant silence).

The first few paragraphs of the MANIFESTATION,
which is the Kabbalistic creation myth reads like some ancient dude’s
description of the big bang. So there you go science and religion are
actually in total agreement about how the universe came into existence.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Embarrassed in the Outback

Ayers Rock. Australia

Some years ago I spent several months traveling round Australia.
One of the places I visited was Alice Springs and whilst there it seemed like a good Idea to go on a trip to Ayers Rock, which now has an unpronounceable Aborigine name that I can’t
Remember. I traveled there on a coach with a whole bunch of other intrepid tourists. Ayers Rock is a lot further away from Alice Springs than it looks on the map and some bright spark
of a tour operator thought it would be a good plan to visit a
camel farm along the way.

It was after this spit stop that things started to go downhill as several of the aforementioned intrepids took up the offer of a free camel ride. Camels STINK. The rest of the coach ride was
an epic endurance test. All the camel riders sat there steaming camel stench and the rest of us were turning green, though not with envy.
It was a blessed relief to reach our destination and stagger off the coach into the blazing heat of the Australian desert. We were greeted by park rangers who blithely informed us that we were the first visitors to arrive since the reopening of the rock.

View from the top of Ayers Rock

It had been closed while they cleaned up after a previous visitor had fallen off and died. The day was just getting better by the minute.
After receiving advice about carrying plenty of water and not trying this at home etc we were led to “the chicken run”. This was a fairly steep area at the foot of the rock which you have to climb unaided in order to be allowed to continue the assent to the top. Most of the path has posts and chain ropes to help people along the way. After negotiating this initial hurdle we continued upwards, each one at their own pace, I dawdled a little not wanting to feel like I was in a train station at rush hour and most of my camelly companions were soon out of sight.
I had been climbing for about twenty minutes when I came across a forlorn figure sitting on the slope sobbing. It was a young woman who, upon my enquiring into her welfare, told me the sad tale of how she and her boyfriend had saved up for over a year for a dream holiday backpacking in OZ. This weasel of a man had chosen, half way up Ayers Rock, to tell his girlfriend that he wanted them to split up after the trip was over.
Having just reached the end of a fairly serious relationship myself I had nothing but sympathy for her so having persuaded her to continue the climb I kept her company for the rest of the way. There is a book on a pedestal on the top of Ayers Rock where anyone who gets there can write a comment and sign to record the event for posterity. Somewhere in that book along with all the profound comments about the majestic beauty of nature and poetic prose inspired by the climbers own sense of achievement there are two comments about what bastards men are, and I’ve not even got to the most embarrassing part yet.
That's me posing by the pedestal.

Forlorn and Weasel set off together on the descent while I took a few photos. I then realized that if I wasn’t quick the bus would be held up by my tardiness therefore I set off somewhat hurriedly on the downward part of my trek. As it turned out this was a lot quicker than I had anticipated because I slipped and fell backwards landing on my bottom then sliding for at least a hundred yards down the path before having my progress rudely interrupted by a protruding tree branch.
Feeling shaken but relatively unhurt I continued more carefully holding on to the chain for reassurance. I had almost reached the coach when I realized that the friction of my unorthodox descent had ripped the back out of not only my leggings but also my underwear. There I stood with my backside outside in the outback. And the worst was yet to come.
I climbed the steps onto the coach wondering how I could possibly reach my seat, which was near the back, without exposing my derriere to the world in general. It was impossible.
Having considered several courses of action I did what seemed, at the time, to be the most sensible thing. I faced my fellow travellers and apologized politely for delaying their departure, and then I turned around and mooned at them. Among the subsequent shouts and cheers I’m sure I detected the flashes and clicks of several cameras going off among the applause.
If anyone out there, in possession of an old photo of a stranger's bare bottom, ever stops to wonder if that was the most embarrassing moment of my life then I’m afraid to have to tell you that it wasn’t. But that’s another story.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Animals in Athens.

We have been adopted by a kitten. He just walked into our kitchen through the open door, jumped up onto a chair and went to sleep. Once the children saw him it was a done deal. They have given him an unpronounceable Greek name that I can’t spell or even, when it comes right down to it, remember. I call him Cat because that is what he is and it suffices to differentiate him from the other members of our animal collection. We have a fish called Fish, and a squirrel called Squirrel as well as a tortoise called, strangely enough, Tortoise.
Whenever my children are allowed out of the house under their Grandfather’s supervision they come back with something that we really could have done without, however I am thankful for small mercies. For example the snakes, spiders and frogs that my youngest daughter has collected are all made of plastic. There is only one plastic creature in the house whose presence I object to, the green dinosaur which hangs from the light fitting in my living room clashes terribly with my burgundy, chesterfield, three piece suite. The only thing I object to more than this intoxicating pterodactyl is sharing my food with uninvited guests. My youngest daughter is not past running in from the garden and putting a snail in the salad, because they like lettuce.
I know very little about genetics but this fascination with all manner of creeping things can only have come from my sister Pauline who lives in a different country and sees her nieces, on average, once a year for a fortnight. Can anyone explain how this happened?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

No sleep, No smokes.


I woke up this mornin’
It was only 5 am.
But try as I might
I couldn’t get to sleep again
I’ve got those early Sunday mornin’
Ain’t getting’ no lie in blues

I staggered out of bed
With a cravin’ for nicotine
But my cigarettes and lighter
Were nowhere to be seen
I’ve got those early Sunday mornin’
No smokin’ in the kitchen blues.

I went to the bathroom
Just to wash my face
Now I can’t find a towel
And I’m drippin’ all over the place
I’ve got those early Sunday mornin’
No towels in the bathroom blues

MY brother has been bitchin’
That I need a middle eight
To break things up a bit
He gave it to me straight
Damned if I know what he’s talkin’ about
I’m not Andrew Lloyd Webber
So I’ll leave writin’ better songs
To folks who are really clever

I’ve got those early Sunday Mornin’
I’m a blogger not a boffin blues.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Vincent DÓnofrio, Better Than Valium

Lost In Unreality

I look at the TV screen.
And I’m lost in the dream.
I escape from reality.
To a place that can never be.
The modern day madness
The new ‘’opium of the masses”.
If you hate your situation
It’s the perfect medication
There’s no need to shout and scream
When you’re lost in the TV dream.
I was wondering what I could add to this poem to make a post.
A visit to Youtube soon solved the problem. So I would like to
say thankyou to everyone who has used their time and talent
to create clips featuring Vincent D'Onofrio, who happens to be
my favourite actor.

Here are a couple of links to youtube's VDO fans.