Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Tag

Me On Canada 150   Leave a comment

Since I live in Saint-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Québec, Harper sort of arm-twisted me — uh, make that “sweet-talked”; I can feel Harper staring at me as I write this, and she’s across most of a continent — into writing about Canada on its sesquicentennial birthday.  I don’t know if I’m really the right person for this; I may live in Québec, but I’m not native Canadian.  (I was born in upstate New York, and then my parents moved here some years ago.)  But I’m the closest thing to a Canadian on hand, so I suppose I’m anointed.  (I was also supposed to publish this on July 1, but Second Life must wait for the RL working schedule.)

And there’s really a lot to be proud of as a citizen of a country as great as Canada is, even if I wasn’t raised on hockey and poutine.  Harper actually said a lot of good things about us last year, when she happened to write a piece in this blog for our 149th birthday.  And she got it mostly right.  But there’s always a few exceptions to quick observations, some missed at the time, some which slip in later.  For instance, our eminent publisher didn’t really catch the ambivalence of many here in Québec toward being part of a country whose original rulers kicked out the king and government that founded us years before — specifically, France.  A separatist referendum back in 1995 was defeated — by only 1.16%.  Stresses exist to this day between Québec and the other provinces, and Québec has never approved the 1982 Constitution.

And then there are the relations with the First Nations peoples, who in the US are called Native Americans or Indians.  There have been few wars of “pacification,” along the line of the Indian Wars of the American 19th century.  Great efforts have been expended in modern days to work with tribal leaders.  But there have been many rocky moments as well, with promises broken by the white man; the British and Canadian governments of the 19th and early 20th centuries did have a history of land dispossession, Indian residential schools and forced assimilation.  A “reoccupation” tent was raised on Parliament Hill by an indigenous group in the days before the Canada Day celebration in Ottawa, as a reminder of these past blots on the Canadian copybook.  In a politically shrewd move, the tent was not ejected, but moved closer to the Centre Block Peace Tower — and the celebration stage.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited it as a gesture.

And things like this are actually a sign that gives Canadians hope for their country.  In the long run, Canadians have tried to live up to the more noble aspects of their country and culture.  The country itself (more properly, the Dominion of Canada) was confederated in 1867 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on the principles of “peace, order and good government,” and the full patriation of its Constitution from British control (in 1982) included a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that codifies constitutionally Canadians’ protections — aside from one interesting “notwithstanding” section that can be invoked, but rarely is due to political costs.  Outside of, perhaps, the House of Commons and the provincial legislatures, there’s usually a real attempt to find dialogue and consensus between sides of a question.  And the old chestnut about Canadians being just plain nicer than other peoples has a lot of truth to it.  (Aside from, maybe, Stanley and Grey Cup championship games.)

So yeah, I’m glad to be a Canadian in many ways.  It’s not the perfect place to live; but what country is?  And it strives to be better than many other places are around the world.  Canadians have worked hard for 150 years now to hold their place among the other countries of the world, and we’ve made our contributions, to politics, science, medicine, economics, and entertainment.  We’re gonna keep on working hard, and we should be here in some form or another for a few more decades.  Maybe we can even help keep the rest of the world from destroying itself, if we can export a little “Canadianness” to other places around.  Our children will find that out for us.

Donate Blood Today — The Gift of Life   5 comments

Today is the first day of summer, and that reminded me of something I once wrote about back in my political-blogging days:  donating blood.

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Back from Orlando — City, That Is   Leave a comment

No, I didn’t just do another composite image here of Orlando City Stadium (becoming known as The Fortress, for its level of fan support for Orlando City SC); I took this photo myself last Saturday, prior to kickoff, when I was down in Orlando with my husband for our annual trip to watch the team at home.  It was a heck of a walk between where I parked and the new stadium; but the walk was worth it in the end (and I easily made my step goal for the day).  Beautiful sight lines from almost anywhere inside; lovely neighbors around me to watch the game and root for our guys in purple — and LOUD!!!  The stadium has sold out every home game to date, and probably will sell most tickets easily for the year (one reason I went in April instead of for the home opener:  I couldn’t get a ticket for a decent price).

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Fearless Girls   Leave a comment

This little girl, done in bronze and sort of “smuggled” into position overnight (with a city permit allowing them) either says a lot about the future of business on Wall Street, or doesn’t say anything, depending on who you read and talk to.  The statue, Fearless Girl, was dropped deliberately in front of another famous statue, Charging Bull, as a sort of symbol.  She is supposed to represent future women standing up to Wall Street and corporations who have almost no female representation in board rooms and executive suites, demanding that this change, and soon.

Admirers think this is great.  There’s a lot of detractors as well, though, pointing out that the statue was commissioned by an investment house that sells a branded package of stocks from companies with women on their board — and the plaque at Fearless Girl‘s feet is nothing more than advertising the package, complete with brand.  It’s also pointed out that less than a third of the company’s own board is female, so shouldn’t they be putting their money where their mouth supposedly is?

Harper and I see this as a beginning, not an ending.  Less than 30% representation certainly isn’t equal, but it’s a beginning.  Societal mentality changes slowly — as slow as a glacier at times — but it changes.  While as much progress as women have made in the corporate area in 45 years is about as slow as that glacier, remember that those big ice cubes have ground down mountains over time.  It’s time to start improving corporate performance, yes.  But it will come, one way or another.

Never Hunt Alone!   Leave a comment

we-win

MLS soccer season is on us again, and the Lions opened at home once more — three years in a row!  You can’t beat that luck.

Well, actually, we did — WE WON!!!  No nerve-straining, pull-it-out-at-the-last-minute draw this year; it’s a clear win, and a full three points on the standings — and we did it before a sold-out house once more, in a brand-new, LOUD stadium all our own.  I only wish I could have attended this year, but schedules didn’t work out in my favor this time.  I’ll have to hope that I can get down to Orlando sometime during the season, so I can scream my lungs out for another year.  And watch for when Orlando City drives up the Interstate to Atlanta to play United there.

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Posted March 6, 2017 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal, Sports

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Reblogging ECLIPSE Magazine – Berry Singh

You probably saw Harper’s piece a while back about my not being able to write much for the blog anymore.  The good news is that things aren’t quite as drastic as I may have led her to think.  It’ll still be fun to get some time for writing, but it probably won’t be any worse than I already am, lol.

Anyway, when I let the boss know I’m still available, she asked me to do a fast one to link to the current issue of Eclipse Magazine.  Their cover story this month, written by Cajsa Lilliehook of It’s Only Fashion, is on Strawberry Singh.  But it’s not the usual fashion piece, like you’d see in the past on her (I’ve done some checking).  Berry is one of the more prominent and outspoken women within Second Life working for preservation of women’s and immigrant rights.  This lets her in for a lot of “criticism” — if you can really call it that.  Please be sure to read the article.

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OFPC Extra — 2017 Vanity Fair Cover

Photo by Annie Leibowitz; copyright 2017 Annie Leibowitz and Vanity Fair magazine.

Photo by Annie Leibowitz; copyright 2017 Annie Leibowitz and Vanity Fair magazine.

Appearing together (L-R):  Emma Stone, Lupita Nyong’o, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Ruth Neggia, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Aja Naomi King, Dakota Johnson, Greta Gerwig, Janelle Monáe.

See the 2017 Hollywood Portfolio at Vanity Fair magazine, online or on your newsstand.

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