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the value in suffering and the mundane

There is value in the mundane and ordinary because that is where we spend most of our lives. Think of this part of life as the vegetables while the steak and dessert are those fleeting moments where we celebrate unexpected euphoria.

Mark Manson’s book is called “The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck” and it deals with high expectations we place for our lives and the increasing focus on having it all. We celebrate the special and unique in everyone forgetting that not everyone will be and place emphasis on finding it at all costs lest we fail to measure up. We have found a way to strip suffering and hard work from the formula of life which allows through contrast to know the happiness we seek. That struggle lived is part of the journey which leads to true fulfillment through learned experience.

When I was young the old adage was that it’s about the journey and not the destination and one of the unavoidable parts of the human condition is suffering. Yet with its experience comes the forma…
Recent posts

"Your Song"

I remember being about 11 years old and playing this song. It was one of the first pop tunes I ever learned on the piano and I had asked my father to start me on lessons upon first hearing Elton John's music. Later I went on to classical, prog rock and jazz but this was what initiated my interest.

I played "Your Song" at my youngest sister's wedding 20 years ago as my future brother-in-law sang it to her and, all these years later, I still play it on occasion and it immediately brings me back to my youth.

Here is a young Elton performing it in 1970...


a lesson in pragmatism

As a transgender person trying to figure myself out I needed to test my mettle in the world. So while dressing at home in my mother’s clothes when I was young was sufficient for a time, I would break out of those confines in my early 20's.

For me it wasn’t about standing out in the crowd and being admired but simply testing whether I could blend seamlessly into society (at least only as well as a woman over 6 feet can).

Besides, dressing in lingerie and sky high heels and staring longingly into the mirror wasn’t me and it is how I eventually determined that I leaned much more towards transsexualism than someone who merely got a sexual buzz from dressing. This part took a while to figure out and was intermingled with numerous purges and much soul searching.

But blending needn’t mean frumpy and my sense of style wasn’t going to be dampened by an attempt to pass by wearing sweat pants. Besides, this has much more to do with confidence than anything else. Now that I have tested mysel…

epiphany

It’s a zero-sum game.

Trump base supporters think that every time a visible minority makes a gain in society it comes at the expense of a white person.

It’s not difficult to figure out who his base is: uneducated white blue collar workers some of whom have lost their jobs over the last number of years not to minorities but instead to a system that values individual prosperity more than collective advancement.

This is not going to be repaired easily and you won’t readily convince that 30% who see Trump as almost being infallible. However now that his border wall is at risk and he has made overtures towards making deals with the Democrats over DACA, he is beginning to rattle that base who saw the wall as a literal and symbolic metaphor for solving their job problems while feeding a racist bent.

The GOP establishment is stuck because they dare not anger Trump and face midterm election scorn from voters weary of a party that is beginning to crack at its foundations. The Democratic party w…

Pope Francis calls out hypocrisy

Pope Francis recently called out the Republican party and in particular those members from the religious right. Yes, the people who rail against abortion and the LGBT "agenda" and very little else. But please don't tread on their capitalist system that gives everyone the middle finger who doesn't belong to their clan.

Are you listening Paul Ryan man of Catholic principles as you try and screw people out of their health care?

Let's call a spade a spade shall we? Unbridled capitalism has nothing to do with Christian values so the GOP may want to stop calling themselves the party of middle America and old fashioned beliefs.

Now if the Democrats would ever grow a spine and shed their corporate sponsors.


comment le monde change

That young transgender woman that I thought only worked at the downtown Oakville Starbucks outlet I most frequent was suddenly at the one in Oakville Place Mall. I recognized her immediately and she is not quite passable so I imagine that many people know and yet everyone, colleague and customer alike, seem to treat her normally. Something I am very glad about.

I am waiting for my coffee and suddenly there is a look of recognition and she smiles at me

“Oh, hi you go to the other Starbucks”

“Yes, how are you and what are you doing at this one?” I responded

“This one is 5 minutes away from where I live and no long bus ride anymore”

She hands me my coffee “have a wonderful day” and I say the same to her and miss the name on her badge although I make a mental note to ask her name the next time.

I have this funny feeling that she doesn’t know I am trans although I could be wrong but it doesn’t matter because the objective is not to point fingers at each other in recognition. We are more an…

Ozark

No it's not "Breaking Bad" and yet "Ozark" feels a little like it; the everyman embroiled in a series of happenings which have dire consequences and play themselves out like a series of dominoes. In this drama the acting of Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde and Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde steals the show as they play the hapless couple trying to survive the chaos of a bad decision gone sour.

I wouldn't let the tomato meter score fool you as I think this show is much better than the critics would lead you to believe. I for one inhaled the first season and I can't wait for the second one.

I don't know, but there is something about these types of dramas that captivates me. Whether it's "Breaking Bad" or "House of Cards" or this one, watching human beings try and deal with moral dilemmas as they are put under duress just makes for good material and all the more if the situation should be beyond their capabilities. I also greatly appre…