Saturday, 30 April 2011

Marriage doesn't have to last forever to be good

Nothing lasts forever. The ephemeral nature of life. The transitory nature of our existence. All things must pass or more precisely in Matthew 24:6 (King James Version), all these things must come to pass. Our time on this planet is finite and I note that my vacations are very much finite as well as days off, weekends, and statutory holidays. If we look around, it is obvious that a great number of the things we take for granted do not go on forever, but do at some point come to an end one way or another. The question is just because something doesn't last forever does that mean it isn't good or is in some way less than good?

Marriage is wonderful when it lasts forever, and I envy the old couples in When Harry Met Sally who reminisce tearfully about the day they met 50 years before. I no longer believe, however, that a marriage is a failure if it doesn't last forever. It may be a tragedy, but it is not necessarily a failure. And when a marriage does last forever with love alive, it is a miracle.- Peggy O'Mara, Mothering, Fall 1989

"It may be a tragedy, but it is not necessarily a failure." I read that line over several times looking for some sort of comparison elsewhere in life and thought of somebody having gangrene in their leg. The leg is amputated and that's a tragedy, but the patient will go on to live a long life so the operation is not a failure. Sorry, I was chuckling as I thought of the gangrene scenario because a marriage ending seems under any circumstances to be a bad thing and it strikes me as difficult to somehow put a positive spin on it.

Ellen Barkin
In the New York Times article of April 22/2011 called "Ellen Barkin Is No Uptown Girl" by Alex Witchell, the author interviews the American actress. She is currently single, her stormy six year marriage to Ron Perelman (estimated worth: $12 billion) having ended in 2006.

The interesting part of the interview centers on the Irish actor Gabriel Byrne. I quote from Wikipedia (Gabriel Byrne:Personal Life):

Byrne, who now holds both Irish and US citizenship, did not arrive in the United States until 1987, when he was 37. He had begun a relationship with actress Ellen Barkin, and had relocated to New York City to be with her. A year later, In 1988, Byrne married Barkin, with whom he has two children, John "Jack" Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992). The couple separated amicably in 1993, and then divorced in 1999 ... [They] are still close; Byrne even attended Barkin's 2000 wedding to businessman Ronald Perelman.

In the NY Times articles, Barkin talks about her relationship with Byrne:

Barkin famously managed to have a career without leaving her children to do it. Her son, Jack, is now 21 and a blues guitarist in a band called the Dough Rollers, which toured with Bob Dylan last summer. Her daughter, Romy, is set to go to college in the fall. “They’re great, they’re extraordinary and Gabriel and I really did it together,” she said. (Byrne has never remarried.) “We have every kid’s birthday together and both of our birthdays with the kids,” she went on. “Any time I cook a holiday meal, Gabriel comes here, and Christmas is usually his holiday, so then I go there. I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t think a marriage has to last forever to be successful, and I think we had a good marriage and we managed to keep what was good about it alive for 25 years. I have enormous respect for him, and I would say it’s reciprocated. He was extremely supportive of me during some very difficult times. And he’s a great father to our kids.”

Barkin and Byrne are divorced but continue to have a relationship which is respectful and supportive; the two of them together seem to have successfully co-parented their children. I have to ask the question how? If anyone uttered the word "divorce", I'm afraid the images which would come to mind would be anything but pretty. In fact, I would be more inclined to spout off such terms as acrimonious, hateful, spiteful or even World War III. After all, Barkin's divorce from Ron Perelman in 2006 was so labelled. Why is the Barkin-Bryne divorce working?

Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce
In this blog, author Molly Monet talks frankly of her current on-going relationship with her ex-husband. My husband and I split up in 2007 after thirteen years together. We have gone from being bickering spouses to being good friends and harmonious co-parents. As I read Ms. Monet's accounts of family activities, meals together, etc., I am a little startled by a situation which could very well be the same as Ellen Barkin's with Gabriel Byrne. I see a peace and tranquility which exists after what I can only assume must have had its moments. After all, she does write, "I resisted my breakup to the very moment that my ex left the house, then I realized that it was for the best." Would she or her husband or Barkin or Byrne be able to explain exactly what goes wrong and why the split occurred? Would any of them be able to explain how they managed to arrive at making peace with one another so they could continue as parents together?

Rearranging Atoms
In this "Blog about Marriage, Divorce, and Everything in Between", two writers Sexyalchemist and Mylilhurricane share their takes on the world. In a posting of April 25/2011, Sexyalchemist discusses the NY Times article about Ellen Barkin.

As I see the writing on the wall, the fact that my husband and I are heading toward separation, I take particular solace any time I come across someone describing an amicable split — especially when kids are involved. ... [she quotes Barkin from the NY times article] ... Every marriage does have some positives, things you shared, a spark that brought you together, and in some cases, kids you created whom you hope will thrive even when your marriage could not. That is my hope as I face uncertainty and concern about how my family will reconfigure after we separate. It’s a dream of mine that my son will have both parents at his birthday parties, at his important school events, and even at holiday meals. Parents don’t need to live together to share special occasions and provide their kids with as much love as they can on special occasions. That’s an act of selflessness that I hope we both can manage.

Donny Deutsch
On the CNN show Piers Morgan Tonight of February 14, 2011, the host had as a guest Donny Deutsh, host of Bravo's "Love Calling".

Deutsch talks to Piers Morgan about marriage. Says Deutsch: "I was married to two great women. I think people get married at different stages of their life," said Deutsch. "Just because a marriage doesn't last forever doesn't mean it's a failure." Deutsch had further advice: "Worst choice – two miserable parents staying together for the kids. That's bad for everybody."

Hillary Swank
The web site SodaHead published "Opinion: A Failed Marriage Can Still Be a 'Success'" by Melinda Miles (Aug 18, 2010) about the end Ms. Swank's 14 year marriage to Chad Lowe.

The Oscar-award-winning actress has gone on record saying her marriage to Lowe wasn't a "failure." In her mind, it was a "success."

“A lot of people look at divorce as a failure," she tells InStyle magazine. "I really looked at my relationship with Chad as 14 years of success. I will carry him in my heart forever. He’s part of me,” she said.

Swank is not the first celeb to be proud of a union that ultimately ended in divorce. Years ago, Brad Pitt told GQ he didn't look at his 7-year marriage to Jennifer Aniston as a "failure."

"Anything worth anything is a beast. The thing I don't understand is looking at this as a failure. It's talked about like it failed, I guess because it wasn't flawless," said Pitt.

One one hand, I wonder how Lowe and Aniston, largely considered to be the "dumpees" in these relationships, feel about these remarks.

But on the other hand, I think Swank and Pitt have an enlightened point of view on divorce. Let's say you have 10 great years with someone -- and the last five are terrible. Do the first 10 just disappear?

I think the ideal marriage lasts a lifetime -- but maybe there are some marriages that aren't meant to last forever. And if you view past relationships as a learning experience and part of your human journey, then I guess Swank is right, how can your growth and maturity over a 14-year span be considered a failure?

Final Word
Raoul Felder is an American lawyer best known for his involvement with high profile celebrity divorces such as Elizabeth Taylor, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Robin Givens divorcing Mike Tyson and David Gest divorcing Lisa Minelli. In his book "The Good Divorce: How to Walk Away Financially Sound and Emotionally Happy", he writes:

There is nothing more fulfilling than a good marriage. There is nothing more debilitating than a bad marriage. Divorce is a wrenching experience for everyone, whether you are the one leaving or the one being left. The choice, however, between a bad marriage and a good divorce would seem to be apparent. Obviously, for many who dread the idea of breaking up a home, or those who actually terminate a marriage, there is often regret, bitterness, and rage. If people really thought about the goal line, after the messy negotiations and arguments are over, they would realize that divorce gives people a fresh start to lead better lives. Approaching divorce as an adventure means viewing a bad marriage as a reparable mistake. One thing is certain: It takes courage, self-examination, confronting reality, and a sense of optimism to embark upon a process that will forever change your life and the lives of your children and spouse.

My vacation is over. Time to go home. I'm sad that it's over. Nevertheless, I have to admit it was a good vacation. At times, I could say that it was a great vacation. Yes, it's over, but it was good.

Okay, I'm trying to be funny about something which is very, very serious. Is it a valid comparison between a vacation and a marriage? Not at all. But on the other hand, do we ever arrive at a point where we remember the good stuff but forget about the bad stuff? Or does all the rancor sit there festering away like a canker on our soul?

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
- Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.


References

The New York Times - Apr 22/2011
Ellen Barkin Is No Uptown Girl by Alex Witchell
Alex Witchel is a staff writer for the magazine. She writes the Feed Me column for the Dining section of The Times.

Wikipedia: Ellen Barkin
Ellen Rona Barkin (born April 16, 1954) is an American actress. ... Barkin became a notable actress in the 1980s. Her break-out role was in Barry Levinson's Diner (1982). ... Tender Mercies (1983) with Robert Duvall ... The Big Easy (1987) with Dennis Quaid and Sea of Love (1989) with Al Pacino. ... Barkin has a brother, George, who was formerly the editor-in-chief of National Lampoon and High Times. Barkin is the mother of two children, Jack Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992), from her first marriage to actor Gabriel Byrne. The two separated in 1993 and divorced in 1999, but are still close; Byrne even attended Barkin's 2000 wedding to businessman Ronald Perelman. According to New York magazine, that marriage ended in a messy divorce in 2006 with Barkin receiving $40 million. In 2007, Barkin sued Perelman for $3.4 million in investment funds he allegedly promised to invest in their film production company. He was ordered to pay her $4.3 million.

Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce
The joys, challenges, and humorous moments of divorced living by Molly Monet

Rearranging Atoms
A Blog about Marriage, Divorce, and Everything in Between by sexyalchemist and Mylilhurricane

CNN: Piers Morgan Tonight - Feb 14/2011
Donny Deutsch: "Just because a marriage doesn't last forever doesn't mean it's a failure"
Tonight's "Piers Morgan Tonight" is our Valentine's Day edition – featuring "love guru" Donny Deutsch (host of Bravo's new "Love Calling") ... In this preview clip, Deutsch talks to Piers Morgan about marriage. Says Deutsch: "I was married to two great women. I think people get married at different stages of their life," said Deutsch. "Just because a marriage doesn't last forever doesn't mean it's a failure." Deutsch had further advice: "Worst choice – two miserable parents staying together for the kids. That's bad for everybody."

Wikipedia: Donny Deutsch
Donald “Donny” Deutsch (born November 22, 1957) is an American television personality and advertising executive. He is also the former host of the CNBC talk show The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.

Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce - Apr 26/2011
Why Keep The Peace? by Molly Monet
[Thanks for the Buddha quote, Molly!]
So, if you are like my friend and are wondering why I strive to keep the peace, the answer is simple. I do it for my kids, yet I also do it for myself. While I have my brief moments of hating him, it always feels better to love him. Although he can be petty and ill-tempered, he is more often kind and loving.  So that’s what I choose to focus on, and I have never regretted it.

2011-04-30

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Robin Trower: Day of the Eagle


I saw a light, just up ahead
But I couldn't seem
To rise up from my bed

I'm not alone, then I am
People seem
To think I'm Superman

But I watch for the love
I'm livin' in the day of the eagle
Eagle, not the dove

It's like a weight that brings me down
If I don't move, I'm on the ground
It's in my mind, it's in my soul
It's tellin' me the things I can't be told

It's a watch for the love
Livin' in the day of the eagle
Eagle, not the dove

'Nother day, 'nother night
I want to love, they want to fight
I need the time, I've got to be alone
I've got to meet a lover on my own

I watch for the love
Livin' in the day of the eagle
Eagle, not the dove


References

Uploaded by GoinToSleepBIATCH on Aug 18, 2009

Wikipedia: Bridge of Sighs (album)
Bridge of Sighs is the second solo album by the English guitarist and songwriter Robin Trower. It was released in 1974.

The album was produced by organist Matthew Fisher, formerly Trower's bandmate in Procol Harum. Acclaimed Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick was this album's sound engineer.

The album was named after the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy.

Bridge of Sighs, his second album after leaving Procol Harum, was a breakthrough album for Trower. Songs from this album, such as "Bridge of Sighs", "Too Rolling Stoned", "Day of the Eagle", and "Little Bit of Sympathy", have become live concert staples for Trower.

Bridge of Sighs (Chrysalis 1057) reached #7 in the United States during a chart stay of 31 weeks. It was certified Gold on 10 September 1974. Different printings of the original album cover had the front image inverted.

Wikipedia: Robin Trower
Robin Trower (born Robin Leonard Trower, 9 March 1945, Catford, South East London, England) is an English rock guitarist who achieved success with Procol Harum during the 1960s, and then again as the bandleader of his own power trio.

2011-04-29

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Friday, 29 April 2011

Sharyn Wolf's divorce: a heart surgeon can have a heart attack

It's an old riddle, "I always lie, I never tell the truth", and it makes for some amusing moments thinking about how to deal with such a statement. Wikipedia's article "Liar's paradox" shows the origins of this idea date back before Christ, over 2,500 years ago. A lot of people have reflected on this logical conundrum over the years with several funny variations which say basically the same thing. I always lie. But if I always lie, saying I lied is a lie so I've just told the truth. Ad infinitum.

Sharyn Wolf is a marriage counsellor and psychotherapist practicing in New York City listing herself as a LCSW, licensed clinical social worker. As an author, she has penned five self-help books including This Old Spouse: Tips and Tools for Keeping that Honeymoon Glow, How to Stay Lovers for Life: Discover a Marriage Counselor’s Tricks of the Trade, Guerrilla Dating Tactics: Strategies, Tips and Secrets for Finding Romance, 50 Ways to Find a Lover and So You Want to Get Married: Guerrilla Tactics for Turning a Date into a Mate. She has been a guest on various television programs including Oprah (8 times!), Katie Couric, 48 Hours, and CNN. Her work has been quoted in newspapers and magazines including, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and The New York Times as well as magazines such as Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Men’s Health, and Self.

Love Shrinks: A Memoir of a Marriage Counselor's Divorce
On May 3, 2011, Ms. Wolf's latest book Love Shrinks comes out detailing her failed third marriage. The publisher's synopsis:

For twenty years, Sharyn Wolf, a practicing psychotherapist and "relationship expert," has helped revitalize the marriages of countless couples. But while she was being interviewed on Oprah and 48 hours to talk about her nationally bestselling books that instructed millions on how to flirt, find mates, and "stay lovers for life," she was going home every night to a dark secret: a totally failed marriage of her own to a good man she just couldn't leave.

In Love Shrinks, Sharyn tells the mindbending—and yet deeply relatable—story of her (third!) marriage. In anecdotes that range from poignant to horrifying to side-splittingly funny to heart-rending, she explains how it is possible for two good people to make each other totally miserable and yet still be unable to leave. In fifteen years of marriage, she and her husband had sex twice. Despite the fact that Sharyn was a national bestselling self-help author, her husband couldn't bring himself to read a single one of her books. Communication between them had failed so utterly that the simple domestic activity of buying a couch together escalated to disastrous proportions. Yet through it all, they stay together—even though neither one knows why. Sharyn ends each chapter with a touching story of why she could never bear to leave this man who made her so unhappy.

Painted against the backdrop of her psycotherapy practice, real-life illustrative cases of her patients, and the wacky story of career trajectory, Sharyn turns her analytical eye on herself and her husband and deftly depicts a marriage on its long last legs. The result is this beautiful and sad tapestry of a hidden and omnipresent human condition. You will not be able to put her book down.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do
In this March 16, 2011 article published in the Huffington Post, Ms. Wolf announces to the world what's happened. She writes briefly about her marriage, her failed attempts to correct it, and her decision to file for divorce. The article concludes with:

This story wouldn't be complete without telling you how I am now, and that's complicated. At my best, I feel elated. I no longer feel like I'm hiding a shameful secret. I'm lighter. My pants fit better. At my worst, I feel empty. I miss the husband I never shared a meal with and rarely saw. Yet, even in my lowest moments, telling the truth is a huge relief, even if it means I'm the marriage counselor who couldn't keep her own marriage intact. I've learned from my mistakes, and that knowledge lets me feel that I can survive the emptiness and make room in my life now for whatever comes next.

10-minute interview: Sharyn Wolf
The Toronto Star published this interview on April 14, 2011.

... Despite telling Oprah viewers she was in a happy marriage, Wolf's marriage (her fourth) was a mess. She and her husband didn't have sex for 13 years and they wouldn't speak for weeks. In Love Shrinks, a Memoir of a Marriage Counselor's Divorce, Wolf details her unusual marriage and tumultuous and at times tragic life. She was sexually abused by a friend of her father's as a child; she was committed to a psychiatric facility after her second marriage failed for the first time (she married him twice); when she discovered her most recent husband's bills for phone sex, she slit her wrists.
...
Q: Has anyone expressed outrage that you were offering advice when your own marriage was troubled?
A: Some were outraged—even saying I was a sham. But you can be a heart surgeon and have a heart attack. I have a professional and a personal life and they are separate. With the divorce rate at 50 per cent, it doesn't seem possible to me that all marriage therapists have great marriages.
...
Q: What have you heard from Oprah or her minions about your book?
A: Nothing and I don't think I will. I didn't lie to Oprah, I was lying to myself.
Q: Do you think your Oprah show advice was helpful to anyone?
A: Yes, I have had the chance recently to play back a tape of myself on Oprah that is on YouTube. The advice is the same I'd give today, so many years later, because it is sound.
...
Q: It seems as though you didn't have high standards for what you wanted in a husband. Why was that?
A: I had a very troubled childhood. I had no idea of how to take care of myself, let alone how to choose a partner for myself.
Q: How common is that among women?
A: I think it is quite common for women to undervalue ourselves and be unclear about what can make love work.

No Stone Unturned by Michel Weiner-Davis
Ms. Weiner-Davis wrote this article about Sharyn Wolf and her article "Do as I Say, Not As I Do" in the Huffington Post:

...as I read her wonderfully written account about what she tried and what didn’t work with her husband, the psychotic optimist in me (I didn’t write the book, Divorce Busting randomly) couldn’t help but notice that perhaps Sharon left several stones unturned when trying to mend her failing relationship.

* Marriage-saving Tip # 1- Don’t be complacent about a ho-hum sex life
...what happens to marriages where one spouse is yearning for more physical contact... Resentful spouses generally don’t have much empathy or desire to please.

* Marriage-Saving Tip # 2- Spend time together
By Sharon’s admission, her focus on work and the resulting success takes time and energy. Could it be that her ex felt like a second fiddle to her career and resented his not being a priority?

* Marriage-Saving Tip #3- If all else fails, do nothing
...in my practice, I’ve noticed that sometimes one spouse is doing ALL the work while the other spouse does NOTHING. Relationships are like see saws. The more one person does, the less the other person has to do.


Uploaded by FoxNewsInsider on Apr 12, 2011
Oprah Show Relationship Expert Admits She Lied About Her Marriage
Sharyn Wolf, author of "Love Shrink" and former relationship expert on the Oprah Winfrey show, tells Alisyn Camerota why she lied on the show about her own failing marriage ... and whether or not she believes Oprah will forgive her.



Final Word
Men are from Mars; women are from Venus. Years ago in another life I told a girlfriend I had to work late on Friday evening and couldn't see her, but if she was available on Saturday, we could get together; "Let me know if you're free". I never heard from her so when I finally phoned her on Saturday around 5pm, she had already gone out - I don't know where - and I never got to see her.

Afterwards, in dissecting our lost weekend, it came out that I went out with the guys on Friday and she went out with the girls on Saturday. However as we debated this back and forth, she got angry with me because I had lied as I had said I had to work late when I really went out with the guys. When I pointed out she didn't phone me and went out with the girls on Saturday night, she said she hadn't lied to me, she had never phoned me therefore she had never said anything. Okay, she was mad at me because I had lied about going out with the guys on Friday night. But in turn, she never said anything to me about Saturday night so that wasn't a lie and if I sat around doing nothing on Saturday night, that wasn't her fault. White lie versus white silence?

It has been years since this took place, but I still scratch my head about it. And I scratch my head even more when I realise that neither one of us really figured out why we couldn't be 100% truthful with each other. Did I lie because I wanted to spare her feelings? Or did I do it because I wanted to avoid a potential argument? Did she not phone me because she didn't want to be obliged in some way or was she ticked that I wasn't available on Friday and she wanted to get even?

On Sharyn Wolf's web site, under the section "Press" which gives some reviews of her book Love Shrinks, I read:

"A relentlessly honest portrayal of a marriage – Love Shrinks is for anyone who has stayed in a relationship too long for all the wrong—and yes, sometimes right—reasons. You’ll cheer when Wolf finally breaks out. And just maybe it will remind you of someone you know."
—Susan Richards, bestselling author of Chosen by a Horse.

I haven't read Ms. Wolf's book, but I have a lot of questions about it. The above review makes her seem like a heroine and some of the things quoted from her book vilify her husband. What's his side of the story? She and her husband didn't have sex for 13 years and they wouldn't speak for weeks... when she discovered her most recent husband's bills for phone sex, she slit her wrists. (Toronto Star)

What's his side of the story? Maybe nobody cares. Was it a sham when she was counselling people, appearing on TV, and writing books about relationships while living in this odd marriage? Sex twice in fifteen years? What? I've heard people criticize criminals who do their time, then get out, write a book, and become the darling of the talk show circuit. Is this the same thing? Screw things up royally, write a book about it, and then turn into a heroine? Is there always redemption at the end of the tunnel if you've got a book?

I must come back to the article "No Stone Unturned" by Michel Weiner-Davis in which the author says about Sharyn Wolf's book:

I am not surprised by her confession that one’s marriage-saving wisdom isn’t always easy to implement in one’s own marriage. Some of the most prominent and well-respected marriage experts in the field are on their second and subsequent marriages.

If the supposed experts can't get it right, what chance do the rest of us have?


References

Soho Press: Love Shrinks: A Memoir of a Marriage Counselor's Divorce
About the Author: Sharyn Wolf is a New York State–licensed psychotherapist who has worked with couples for twenty years.  She has been a frequent media commentator on celebrity marriage and divorce and has written five self-help books including This Old Spouse: Tips and Tools for Keeping that Honeymoon Glow, How to Stay Lovers for Life, Guerrilla Dating Tactics, 50 Ways to Find a Lover and So You Want to Get Married.  She has been a guest on Oprah eight times.  A jazz, big band and R&B vocalist for seventeen years, she has opened for B.B. King, David Brenner and Victor Borge.

official web site: Sharyn Wolf

LCSW = Licensed clinical social worker

Huffington Post - Mar 16/2011
Do As I Say, Not As I Do by Sharyn Wolf
What Oprah, the audience, or anyone in my life didn't know then was that I had a secret. While launching a career as a "relationship expert," I was going home every night to a failed marriage of my own. My husband and I didn't sleep in the same bed. We only had sex three times in fifteen years. We rarely shared a meal. Nonetheless, we were deeply attached to each other, would take a bullet for each other, and in some cockeyed way, still loved each other deeply.

Wikipedia: Liar's paradox
In philosophy and logic, the liar paradox or liar's paradox (pseudomenon in Ancient Greek), is the statement "This sentence is false." Trying to assign to this statement a classical binary truth value leads to a contradiction. If "This sentence is false" is true, then it is false, which would in turn mean that it is actually true, but this would mean that it is false, and so on ad infinitum. Similarly, if "This sentence is false" is false, then it is true, which would in turn mean that it is actually false, but this would mean that it is true, and so on ad infinitum.

Postscript
I'm certain I'm going to get some flak about this, but there's something about this story which rubs me the wrong way. Having a bad marriage and getting out at the five year mark is laudatory. Waiting for 15 years is nuts. Watching her on Oprah talking about how to have a good marriage and keep love alive then saying, "I'm in a long happy marriage and I have those feelings about my husband." is so dishonest. She's lying!

I just read a comment about this book: "I love how honest you are". What? Am I missing something? This woman has been lying to Oprah, her audience, and herself for fifteen years, but she writes a tell-all about this and now she's honest, she's off the hook, she's gotten a get out of jail free card. Does anybody remember A Million Little Pieces by James Fry?

In the above clip from Fox News, the newscaster says, "You said, 'I've been in a long happy marriage'" and Wolf replies "I did say that but I was fooling myself. I thought it was the truth." I can't help thinking of the memorable character of George Costanza on the TV show Seinfeld who said, "It's not a lie if you believe it."

2011-04-29

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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Garbage: Push It


Uploaded by aneke on Dec 18, 2005

I was angry when I met you
I think I'm angry still
We can try to talk it over
If you say you'll help me out

Don't worry baby (don't worry baby)
No need to fight
Don't worry baby (don't worry baby)
We'll be alright

[Chorus:]
This is the noise that keeps me awake
My head explodes and my body aches
Push it, make the beats go harder
Push it, make the beats go harder

I'm sorry that I hurt you
Please don't ask me why
I want to see you happy
I want to see you shine

Don't worry baby (don't worry baby)
Don't be uptight
Don't worry baby (don't worry baby)
We'll stay up all night

[Chorus:]
C'mon push it, you can do it
C'mon prove it, nothing to it
C'mon use it, let's get through it
C'mon push it, you can do it

Don't worry baby (don't worry baby)
Don't be uptight
Don't worry baby (don't worry baby)
We'll stay up all night

[Chorus (3x):]
Don't worry baby
We'll be alright
Don't worry baby
We'll be alright

Push it
Push it
Push it
Push it
Push it.

References
Wikipedia: Push It
"Push It" is an alternative rock song written, produced and performed by Garbage. "Push It" was the lead single released from their second album Version 2.0 and became a worldwide hit in 1998. Incorporating a melodic line from Beach Boys hit "Don't Worry Baby", "Push It" was critically acclaimed, receiving nominations at that year's MTV Europe Music Awards and at the Miami Winter Music Conference. The music video for "Push It" went on to receive eight nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards. In 2007, "Push It" was remastered and included on Garbage's greatest hits album Absolute Garbage.

"Push It" was written and recorded at Smart Studios during the 1997 sessions for Version 2.0. Bass on "Push It" is performed by Daniel Shulman.

"Push It" contains an interpolation of Californian band the Beach Boys hit "Don't Worry Baby" which was written by members Brian Wilson and Roger Christian and 1980s act Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" written by Herbie Azor.

"On "Push It", it was how far can we go, to just get so intense. The verses are slow and dreamy and pull you in, and then, of course, it gets very confrontational. The Beach Boys thing was a conscious thing, Shirley just came up with the lyric don't worry baby, and we wanted to try having a vocal chorus answering her. I think it was Steve who sampled the Beach Boys right off the record. So, we had Shirley Manson singing and the Beach Boys answering her. It was amazing."

Garbage originally sampled the actual Beach Boys vocal track, but it wouldn't work with the song, so Shirley re-sung the lyric. After debating whether to keep the line, they sent a tape to Brian Wilson, who gave them permission to use the sample, and also said he liked the song and asked if he could keep the tape.

Wikipedia: Garbage (band)
Garbage is an alternative rock band formed in Madison, Wisconsin in 1994. Comprising Scottish vocalist Shirley Manson and American musicians Duke Erikson, Steve Marker and Butch Vig, the band has counted worldwide album sales of over 17 million units.

2011-04-29

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Chernobyl: 25 years; Fukushima: 2 months

April 26 marks twenty-five years since the world saw the worst nuclear accident in our collective history. With all eyes on Fukushima at the moment, this is a telling reminder of the dangers of a technology we do not necessarily fully understand. The need for an almost inexhaustible source of clean power is more apparent than ever as we face the mounting concerns of global warming and rising levels of pollution. Burning fossil fuels no longer seems sustainable especially in light of the development of other highly populated industrialized nations like India and China. The United States with its population of three hundred million is the biggest polluter on the planet. What is the situation going to be like when these other nations in building cars, new coal-fired electrical centres, and manufacturing plants reach the same levels of smog? Are we all going to end up walking around outside having to wear some sort of mask with a breathing apparatus?

Are we worried about the right things?
Public opinion is just that, the opinion of the public and the ebbs and flows of what is in the forefront of the collective conscious at any particular moment may be based more on publicity and marketing than on an honest assessment of the situation. Like a herd of gazelle that becomes spooked then sets off in a gallop, the actions of the many are determined by the actions of the few. I see my neighbour running; I guess I should run too.

If you will permit me a brief detour. Last October, I did my first, well, only tandem parachute jump. Scary. (see my blog Parachuting: If God had meant me to...)  Before jumping, I did a little research to check out how safe this sport was and surprise, surprise.

In case you haven't guessed, there is a small risk associated with this sport. Sign away your life or go home. But looking at the numbers, I just have to laugh. We truly don't understand what's going on around us and get scared for all the wrong reasons.

In the United States, there are over 3 million jumps each year and about 30 people die as a result. This works out to approximately 1 death for every 100,000 jumps. So, your chances of dying by doing a skydive are 1 in 100,000.

In comparison, 40,000 people die each year in car accidents. That works out to 1.7 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles. If we take the average person driving 10,000 miles a year, you have a 1 in 6,000 chance of dying in a car accident.

That's hilarious! You are almost 17 times more likely to die getting in your car than by jumping out of an airplane; 1 in 100,000 versus 1 in 6,000. However, I like how the web site howstuffworks explains why we're afraid.

* Skydiving accidents are so infrequent, they usually hit the headlines. In contrast, car accidents are so frequent, they are either not reported or we just tend to ignore them.

* Familiarity: we are familiar with cars; we drive them; nothing bad happens; we think it's safe. It's only when we check out the stats we may clue in to just how dangerous cars really are.

The Guardian newspaper published on April 26, 2011, the article "Look at the science – smoking and obesity are more harmful than radiation" by Geraldine Thomas in which the author points out pretty much the same idea in regards to the latest kerfuffle over nuclear power in light of events at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant.

The recent frenzy following the events in Japan suggests that the media are keen to feed our nuclear fears, by focusing on exposure to radiation that is extremely unlikely to result in a single death, compared with a natural catastrophe that has killed at least 20,000 people and displaced more than 100,000.

Ms. Thomas goes on to rattle off statistics relating to the atomic bomb explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki plus the Chernobyl disaster, but the important point is the conclusion at which she arrives.

The consequences for the most exposed group of atomic bomb survivors was an average loss of life expectancy significantly lower than that caused by severe obesity or smoking.

I am not trying to suggest that the problems at Fukushima are not serious, but in reading over this article I realised - and I think I made the comment several times in my posts - that the topic of Fukushima seems to have completely taken over the reporting on events in Japan. 14,000 dead, 14,000 still missing at last count? Who cares; let's report on Fukushima.

If I look back on the comparison of parachuting and driving your car, in the United States, every year, every single year, over 30,000 people are killed in traffic accidents. (Wikipedia) Every year. Without fail. Worldwide, 1.2 million people are estimated to be killed each year on the roads – more than 3,000 people every day. 50 million people worldwide are estimated to be injured in road crashes each year. (FIA Foundation) Okay, we're all scared about Fukushima turning into another Chernobyl but we are oblivious to the carnage that is happening right in front on us on our own roads every single day.

Worldwide, over 57 million people died in 2002, nearly 30% of those deaths attributed to cardiovascular diseases. Anybody concerned about that? Heck, did anybody even know that?


Euronews - Apr 26/2011
Chernobyl's 1986 disaster
On 26 April 1986, it was decided at Chernobyl to take advantage of reactor number four's downtime by carrying out a safety test on an emergency core cooling feature. At 1.24 am, an engineer recorded in his diary that the protective system was not working. At the same moment, a huge and catastrophic surge in power caused two explosions. As fires raged, the core of reactor number four was destroyed. A huge cloud rose into the sky, spreading large amounts of radioactive fuel and materials into the atmosphere.



Final Word
I do not believe that nuclear power is 100% safe. Then again, I don't believe automobiles are 100% safe but I drive one without thinking about it. Fukushima is a bad situation, however I believe that coming out of it will be new and better methods of dealing with nuclear energy. Is nuclear power overhyped as being safe? Maybe. But we certainly have to take a better look at what we're going to do to produce power as burning fossil fuels is not going to be sustainable in the long run.


References

Wikipedia: Chernobyl disaster
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine). An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Western Russia and Europe. It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima I nuclear incident, which is considered far less serious and has caused no direct deaths). The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles, crippling the Soviet economy.

Wikipedia: Chernobyl disaster effects
The Chernobyl disaster triggered the release of substantial amounts of radiation into the atmosphere in the form of both particulate and gaseous radioisotopes. It is the most significant unintentional release of radiation into the environment to date. It has been suggested that the radioactive contamination caused by the Chernobyl disaster greatly exceeded that of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. However, the work of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) suggests that the two events cannot be directly compared, with a number suggesting that one was x times larger than the other; the isotopes released at Chernobyl tended to be longer-lived than those released by a bomb detonation, producing radioactivity curves that vary in shape as well as size.

Wikipedia: List of causes of death by rate
The following is a list of the causes of human deaths worldwide for the year 2002, arranged by their associated mortality rates. There were 57,029,000 deaths tabulated for that year. Some causes listed include deaths also included in more specific subordinate causes (as indicated by the "Group" column), and some causes are omitted, so the percentages do not sum to 100. According to the World Health Organization, about 58 million people died in 2005. ... Cardiovascular diseases: 29.34%

my blog: Let's go green... er, black?
A couple of years ago, I was reading an analysis in the editorial pages of the Toronto Star where the author [looked] at our green efforts. He listed off our various initiatives in North America like changing traditional light bulbs to more energy efficient ones, getting more green appliances, turning off unnecessary lights and dimming others, etc. Then he said that these types of efforts, while laudable were laughable when one took into account that at that moment, China was constructing a new coal-fired electrical power generating station every week. All of our light bulbs were dwarfed by the new developments elsewhere in the world which were leading to even higher levels of pollution.

2011-04-28

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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

My Mother Tried to Commit Suicide

My memory of the details is foggy. After all, it happened 39 years ago and anybody who could tell me anything about what happened is no longer with us. So, as I sit here mulling this over, I realise I have few facts but a lot of speculation.

I vaguely remember Dad telling me he was going to out to look for Mom. I don't remember this, but I'm guessing she left a note which prompted his search. He eventually found her. She had gone to his office and climbed into an outside container meant to hide the unsightly trash cans from neighbourhood. Dad took her to the hospital and had her stomach pumped. I can't say whether whatever she took would have actually killed her but nevertheless, there was the intent.

What happened afterwards? Counselling? Visits to a psychiatrist? I don't know. I do remember that the issue was never brought up; at least not in front of me. Then again, I don't think I ever talked with my mother about this incident. I headed off to university shortly after this occurred and I never again lived at home for any length of time.

Nevertheless, I have at times over the years thought about my mother and this incident as I have discovered, or maybe conjectured, that I have gotten more of my genes from my mother than from my father. Physically, no doubt, but temperament, personality, mental make-up, ah, it seems we share some common traits.

My mother was born in 1929. She grew up in the Great Depression and suffered the loss of her own mother when she was 8 years old. Grandpa remarried however that didn't work out as well as it could have. Appearances can be deceiving, but I'll leave the story of my grandmother to another time.

The main point was that my grandfather decided to not send my mother to university. It was a waste of money as my mother would just get married and that would be the end of it. I think this always gave her a sense of inferiority in the community where she ended up. My father was a medical professional. We lived in what I have since grown to appreciate was an upper middle class neighbourhood surrounded by similar people: doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. Just about every wife in the neighbourhood had a university degree except my mother. How many were stay-at-home moms like my mother? I'm not sure. I know a couple who worked; heck, one was a doctor like her husband, but I think this being the 1950s, it was common for wives to not work.

In looking back on all this, I can't help thinking of the era, the 1950s and the 1960s, married to a professional, etc., I get the idea of the Stepford Wives, robotic wives who are pleasant but vacuous, designed to serve but not necessarily participate. I don't think this satisfied whatever craving my mother may have had.

My mother was, for lack of a better word, an artsy fartsy personality. - I know that expression "artsy fartsy" has a pejorative sense to it and I'll come back to that in a moment. - Mom did some painting and some sculpting, took lessons even, but never dove into it. She dabbled. I wouldn't say she was passionate; she had not been truly bitten by the bug. She liked to read, talk about "stuff", and was a good socialiser. I could characterize the decades of the 1950s and the 1960s as idyllic, but then again, I was only a kid and what the heck did I know?

I still remember this vividly. I was 16 years old. There was some sort of family get together with another family up the street and my mother had a touch too much to drink. I found her being inebriated to be both embarrassing and annoying. I distinctly remember her telling me to "loosen up, have fun". Her dancing around with some other teenagers struck me as being, well, stupid.

In the subsequent years, I was witness to my mother being drunk and I mean really drunk, a couple of times. In retrospect, I am sure she had a potential to becoming an alcoholic. If she stayed out of the danger zone over the years, I wonder if this had a lot to do with my father. He was one of those salt of the Earth, traditional type of guys, and I don't think I ever saw him intoxicated. Not once.

In 1971, Mom decided she was going back to high school. She had originally completed high school with a four year secretarial diploma. Unfortunately, at that time, the 5th year was a necessary requirement for university and I think she had gotten the idea of possibly going to university. My final year at high school had me seeing my own mother in the school hallways. We didn't have any classes together; ah, that might have been just a tad too weird.

Now for what I think may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. It's 1971. The hippie era of the 1960s may have been over, but I certainly had enough people in my immediate circle of friends who were continuing to live that sort of lifestyle. And drugs were a part of that time and of that social circle. Now let me be clear, I was a weekend hippie. Yes, I'd go to concerts with a group of friends, get stoned, crash at somebody's place on a Saturday night, but I was still the son of a professional living in an upper middle class neighbourhood. I was playing at it, but I wasn't being a full-blown hippie.

My mother found me one evening and guessed that I was high. I think she then asked and all the kids confessed to having done a little experimenting. Now us trying a few drugs was in no way a reflection on her parenting skills. Heck, at that time, if you had not tried drugs, you were the exception to the rule. Nevertheless, I have speculated over the years that this peccadillo on my part, on our part broke her in some way. If she doubted herself, if she undervalued her contribution to the family, if she suffered from a sense of inferiority, her children having tried drugs was a clear indication that she had also failed as mother.

My mother was a wonderful mother. You couldn't ask for a better one, but over the years I've come to realise that while children are dealing with their parents as parents, they completely forget that their parents are also individuals with hopes, dream, and aspirations just like anybody else. I am convinced that her finding out I experimented with drugs pushed her over the edge. Her suicide attempt happened a few months later.

Years later, I remember talking with my Dad about various things and the topic of Mom came up. Keep in mind that we rarely talked about what I'm sure one would label as personal stuff. It wasn't that he wouldn't or couldn't, but I understood that for my father, there were no real personal issues to discuss. He was a very even keel type of guy. He had a good career. He made good money. He travelled; he socialized; he didn't really want for anything. What was there to discuss? Life was good.

Nevertheless, for my mother, it wasn't the same. She wanted to talk. She wanted to feel. She wanted to do something, achieve something, but whatever that was, it was never clearly articulated. She dabbled, but there wasn't a clear lifetime goal like my father had. Dad went to university, got a degree, got a career, and became a professional; he was living the dream. Mom, no.

Coming back to talking about this with Dad. He said he would have supported her in anything she would have wanted to do. When she wanted to sculpt, he got her lessons and set aside part of the house for her work. When she tried painting, he did the same. She just never stuck at it. She had talent and I'm sure she could have done something with art, but she didn't stick to it. What was the missing piece of the puzzle?

My Dad also told me they had discussed divorce. But why? What was missing? What was she looking for? I do remember her one time, and I think just one time, revealing that she felt Dad didn't want to or was incapable of communicating with her; that he was cold. Really? As I said above, for Dad life was good. What was there to talk about? Was this one of those glass half full half empty things?

I have heard tell of women for whom being a mother is the be all and the end all. They define themselves as mothers and if their child doesn't measure up to their expectations, their life isn't complete; they have somehow failed. In light of that, I am stunned at the stories of other people. I recently heard the tale of a mother whose one and only son became a heroin addict in his late teens and spent five years in jail. He got out and came back to live with his mother then went back to drugs, stole from his own family, and finally his mother had to turn him in. His mother told me that during a visit with him in jail the second time; he told her he was better off in jail as it provided him with a structured environment away from drugs. How does a mother live with such a thing?

My mother lived another 25 years. She died prematurely from lung cancer as she was a smoker. I do not remember ever talking about Mom's attempt with either my mother or my father. If you ask me why, I would have to honestly say that I don't know. How do you bring up the topic of one's attempted suicide?

Final Word
I had not thought about this family event for years, but something I read recently reminded me of it. As a child, even as a grown child, I seemed to have this tendency of thinking of my parents as being my parents. When I became a parent, I became aware of the fact that I had step-children looking at me as a parent. However, the realisation dawned on me that yes, to them I was a parent (step-parent) but I was still me, just another guy with his own hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Yes, I was a parent, but I was still your run-of-mill average guy trying to get along in life and figure things out for himself. Did my step-kids understand that about me? I didn't seem to clue into that about my own parents.

Sometimes I think back on my parents and wonder about their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. What were their successes; what were their failures? I'd certainly love to talk to Mom about her attempt and why she was so desperate at that time. By the way, my mother never completed high school. She never did go to university. I'm sure Dad would have supported her in any endeavour, but she never again tried anything major. Why not? Did she "give up"? What did she do for those remaining 25 years?

I said I seem to have gotten my genes from my mother. I'm a bit of an arsty fartsy type. Good? Bad? Thinking about her makes me think about myself and ask if there are any lessons to be learned.

About ten months before her death, about four months before she was diagnosed with cancer, she went to a sculpting studio for a few lessons and to do some work. She completed a piece for which she made six finished glazed copies for each member of the family. It was a partially abstract piece of a woman holding her arms out as if she was praising or blessing something or possibly about to hug somebody. My mother called it, "Joy". Out of it all, out of 66 years, she left behind her husband of 46 years, her children, and a little "Joy". If I had the chance, what would I ask her? What would I talk to her about? I'll never know.


References

Wikipedia: Suicide
Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, "to kill oneself") is the act of a human being intentionally causing his or her own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, or attributed to some underlying mental disorder which includes depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism and drug abuse. Financial difficulties, troubles with interpersonal relationships and other undesirable situations play a significant role.

Over one million people commit suicide every year. The World Health Organization estimates that it is the thirteenth-leading cause of death worldwide and the National Safety Council rates it sixth in the United States. It is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. Rates of suicide are higher in men than in women. There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year worldwide.

Wikipedia: List of countries by suicide rate
Canada: 11.9 per 100,000 (2005)
United States: 11.1 per 100,000 (2005)


StatsCan: Suicides and suicide rate, by sex and by age group
There were 3,611 suicides in Canada in 2007 or 11.0 per 100,000.

StatsCan: Leading causes of death
There were 235,217 deaths in Canada in 2007. Cancer accounted for 30% of deaths, and heart disease, 22%. Stroke, in third place, accounted for 6%. Ranked in order, the other seven leading causes of death were chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and suicide.

my blog: Alcoholism: I'll drink to that!

I wrote this essay and after having read it over a zillion times, I'm still not sure I've said what I wanted to say. Maybe sometime I'll come back to it; maybe sometime I'll just start again from scratch and see what comes out.

2011-04-26

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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

OK Go: This Too Shall Pass (Rube Goldberg machine)

OK Go is a rock band originally from Chicago, Illinois, USA, now residing in Los Angeles, California, USA. ... They are perhaps best known for their often elaborate and quirky music videos.

"This Too Shall Pass" is an alternative rock song by OK Go from the album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. The single was released in January 2010. The band took the unorthodox route of creating two official music videos for the song, both of which premiered on YouTube. The first features a live performance of the song in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame Marching Band. The second features a giant Rube Goldberg machine, constructed to operate in time with the song. (Wikipedia)


The video was filmed in a two story warehouse, in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. The "machine" was designed and built by the band, along with members of Syyn Labs over the course of several months. (more construction details in References below)



You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down
And you can't keep draggin' that dead weight around.
If there ain't all that much to lug around,
Better run like hell when you hit the ground.

When the morning comes.
When the morning comes.

You can't stop these kids from dancin'.
Why would you want to?
Especially when you're already gettin' yours.
'Cause if your mind don't move and your knees don't bend,
well don't go blamin' the kids again.

When the morning comes.
When the morning comes.

When the morning comes.
When the morning comes.

When the morning comes.
When the morning comes.

Let it go, this too shall pass.
Let it go, this too shall pass.

Let it go, this too shall pass.
(You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

Let it go, this too shall pass.
(You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

Hey!

Let it go, this too shall pass.
(You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes.
(You can't keep lettin' it get you down. You can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes.
(You can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes.
(You can't keep lettin' it get you down. You can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes.
(You can't keep lettin' it get you down. No, you can't keep lettin' it get you down.)

When the morning comes!



References

Wikipedia: Rube Goldberg machine
A Rube Goldberg machine, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg. Since then, the expression has expanded to denote any form of overly confusing or complicated system. For example, news headlines include "Is Rep. Bill Thomas the Rube Goldberg of Legislative Reform?" and "Retirement 'insurance' as a Rube Goldberg machine".

Wikipedia: Rube Goldberg
Reuben Lucius Goldberg (July 4, 1883 – December 7, 1970) was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer and inventor. He is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complex gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. These devices, now known as Rube Goldberg machines, are similar to those drawn by "Heath Robinson" in the UK. Goldberg received many honors in his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948 and the Banshees' Silver Lady Award 1959.

Wikipedia: OK Go
OK Go is a rock band originally from Chicago, Illinois, USA, now residing in Los Angeles, California, USA. The band is composed of Damian Kulash (lead vocals and guitar), Tim Nordwind (bass guitar and vocals), Dan Konopka (drums and percussion) and Andy Ross (guitar, keyboards and vocals), who joined them in 2005, replacing Andy Duncan. They are perhaps best known for their often elaborate and quirky music videos.

Wikipedia: This Too Shall Pass (song)
"This Too Shall Pass" is an alternative rock song by OK Go from the album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. The single was released in January 2010. The band took the unorthodox route of creating two official music videos for the song, both of which premiered on YouTube. The first features a live performance of the song in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame Marching Band. The second features a giant Rube Goldberg machine, constructed to operate in time with the song.

official web site: OK Go

OK Go: details about constructing the Rube Goldberg machine for the video

2011-04-26

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Monday, 25 April 2011

Jane Child: Don't Wanna Fall in Love


Uploaded by RhinoEntertainment on Aug 3, 2010

Ain't no personal thing boy
but you have got to stay away
far, far away from my heart, my heart
don't you know what your kiss is doing
let me tell it to you from the start, boy

I don't wanna fall in love, no no
Love cuts just like a knife, woo woo
You make the knife feel good baby
I'll fight you to the end

You've been hanging around boy
And you have started sinking in
Whoa baby you're way out of line now
unaware how this all got started
let me tell it to you one more time boy

I don't wanna fall in love no no
love cuts just like a knife woo woo
you make the knife feel good baby
I'll fight you to the end
repeat

I learned something about myself
last night with you I knew
I didn't want nobody else
And your scaring me to death now baby

Guitar and Synth Solo

I don't wanna fall in love no no
love cuts just like a knife woo woo
you make the knife feel good baby
I'll fight you to the end

Synth Solo

I don't wanna fall in love no no
Love cuts just like a knife woo woo
you make the knife feel good baby
I'll fight you to the end


References
Wikipedia: Don't Wanna Fall in Love
"Don't Wanna Fall in Love" is a 1990 hit song for Toronto-born singer/songwriter/musician Jane Child. Released as the second single from her self-titled debut album, the single went to number two for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in late April and early May 1990, kept out of the top spot by Sinéad O'Connor's ballad "'Nothing Compares 2 U". In addition, a "New Jack Swing" remix of the song was produced by Teddy Riley and reached number six on the R&B chart, and number eleven on the dance chart. When released around Europe it also became successful. In the UK, the single peaked at a low #22, because Child refused to appear on the popular British TV program Top of the Pops while the single was climbing the charts due to considering appearing on that program a "sellout".

Wikipedia: Jane Child
Jane Child (born 15 February 1967, Toronto) is a Canadian dance-pop singer, producer and musician. ... She is perhaps best known for her 1990 hit song "Don't Wanna Fall in Love", which peaked at #1 on "Radio & Records", and #2 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for three weeks in the spring of that year. A remix of the single earned her a 1991 Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year.

Uploaded by cyclonicleo on Sep 3, 2010
YouTube: Jane Child - "Don't Wanna Fall In Love", Live On The Wayne Brady Show.

2011-04-25

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Divorce Mistakes to Avoid

Note: I am not a professional. I have not researched the topic high and low to present the most comprehensive analysis of the topic. I am merely writing about some things I myself have run across and about some questions I have asked myself.

I couldn't help thinking in writing this article of the many things in life I don't know anything about, but end up learning about out of necessity. I've had some wonky PSA tests and have been in for two - yes, count'em - two prostate biopsies: more fun than a barrel of monkeys! (see my blog My Prostate: something near and dear to me) I've had the pleasure of watching myself on TV as a doctor examined me from the inside out during a colonoscopy. "Hey! How long is that thing? Aren't those my tonsils?" (see my blog Where the sun don't shine: my colonoscopy) Somehow those two examples of "things in life I've learned a lot about but wouldn't have minded skipping altogether", tie in with the next close up and personal examination. There's a joke that has been floating around for years amongst us guys where we point out the gravity of a situation by making a scary but joking reference to a cavity search with the line, "Bend over and spread'em." Maybe we have something of an anal fixation.

Before deciding on a divorce
It would seem that we are not necessarily going to be any happier after a divorce. This isn't just an opinion; there are studies to prove it. While divorce may remove some problems, it can also create new problems, so unhappily married does not necessarily mean happily divorced. Some, who were unhappily married but decided to stick it out, eventually ended up happy again. (see Does divorce make us happier?).

Two-thirds of the time, it is the woman who files for divorce. In only 7% of cases do both spouses petition for divorce together so that means that 93% of time, it is only one spouse that has decided to opt out. And when it is the woman who files, the most common reason is neglect. (see Two-thirds of divorces are filed by women)

The marriage and family therapist, Michele Weiner-Davis, believes we do not do enough to sustain marriages; we fold up our tents and bail rather than seeking solutions to our problems. She sees hopelessness as the biggest factor in marriages ending and her entire approach is to focus on the future, not the past, emphasizing that a situation can and will change. (see Michel Weiner-Davis: The Divorce Buster)

Get legal representation
Working it out together, doing some sort of mediation, therapy, counselling; there are various options which involve the couple discussing what to do. However, if one of the couple gets a lawyer, the name of the game completely changes. AskMen.Com's article "Top 10: Mistakes Men Make In Divorce" by Jeffery Leving, Law Correspondent, is actually applicable to both sexes. Get a lawyer and don't roll over.

No.8 Allowing your spouse to convince you to not hire an attorney

If your spouse has hired a lawyer, you need to hire one quickly. If you don’t, you are an amateur playing against professionals. One underhand tactic is for a spouse’s attorney to offer to represent both parties to save time and money. Not only is it unethical, but it also creates a conflict of interest.

The process is designed to be adversarial, and there is no way a lawyer can fairly represent you both. The odds are that your spouse has something to hide or something she wants, and she knows that if you hire a lawyer it will be more difficult to achieve that goal.

No.4 Becoming passive

The last thing you want to do when your spouse announces she wants a divorce is to become completely acquiescent. Many people are manipulative, and if they think they can manipulate you into getting what they want out of the divorce, such as money, property or custody, they will do so.

If you are stunned or saddened, you may agree to anything and everything your spouse recommends. Don’t confuse passivity with being reasonable. My experience is that the shock of divorce soon wears off, and once it does, you’re much less vulnerable to making this mistake.

From here on in, the rest of this article is based on the premise one of the couple has lawyered up and the other has had to follow suit. So, we not only have a couple of spouses, we have a couple of legal representatives.

Being reasonable, not "flipping out"
Not being emotional in one of the most emotional events of one's life seems like a tall order. In the article "5 Worst Mistakes you can make in a Divorce case" by Justin Lee Kelsey, an attorney in Massachusetts, the author points out the most egregious of behaviours due to emotions running high:

Mistake #5: Wanting you "day in court"
Mistake #4: Failing to make full disclosure
Mistake #3: Telling the world your side of the story
Mistake #2: Flaunting or focusing on the boyfriend/girlfriend
Mistake #1: Involving your children in your divorce


Is there a danger, no, a huge danger of us doing something out of character or just downright dumb because we've let this get the better of us?

Keeping quiet
In my posting Blogging your way through divorce, I talked about those who are blogging about their divorce while they are in the middle of their divorce. While blogging can be therapeutic, is a blogger running the risk of jeopardising their negotiations by revealing personal things which could very well make their way to opposing counsel? Mr. Kelset expands on his mistake #3:

Although I always encourage my clients to confide in and find support in close family members or family, I also warn them against the danger of sharing too much. The dangers of sharing your private information on sites like Facebook have made recent news, but this is just the latest way to share too much. While it is important to have a support system when going through a divorce, talking to anyone who will listen usually results in your personal information making it back to your spouse, or even into court. Mutual friends can inadvertently disclose important strategies while trying not to take sides. And helpful friends explaining what their sister's best friend's brother's divorce was like can provide poor and unreliable information. If you have concerns make sure you discuss them with your attorney first and only discuss your case with your closest confidants. In addition, make sure you consider how your case is different than anyone else's.

However, beyond blogging, professionals talk of those who try to start a new life before their divorce is finalized. In MacLean's magazine's review of Joseph Cordell's book "The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce", the author writes:

Revealing too much information on the Internet is a big mistake, too, he writes. "Too many men decide they need to reinvent themselves as they emerge from a failed marriage, and they put forth their new image on Facebook or MySpace." Bad idea. "You don’t want to appear in court representing yourself as quiet, churchgoing and sober, and then have opposing counsel present a MySpace page that shows you playing beer pong."

If you’ve got a new girlfriend, take a close look at what she’s posting, too, Cordell tells clients. He gives the example of a husband who pleaded poverty during proceedings only to learn in court that his new girlfriend posted news of the expensive jewellery he’d given her.

When men ask his firm, "What can my girlfriend put up on Facebook about me and our relationship?" Cordell says their answer is: "Nothing. Not a word. Not a single photo. Nothing." He goes further, telling men to buy a new computer at the first sign of marital discord. "The cost of a new computer is cheap compared with the cost of an incriminating browsing history."

He also warns men to "tell your lawyer about all your Internet habits at the outset." "We’ve been able to persuade judges that a mom can’t be doing the best job possible with her kids if she’s spending five or six hours a day glued to Facebook. She’s literally stealing time from the kids. If the same argument can be lodged against you, your lawyer needs to know."

For one of the wildest, out of control, emotional divorces, see my posting Tricia Walsh: Let's divorce on YouTube!. Not satisfied with lawyering up, Ms. Walsh posted videos on YouTube describing her husband's stash of Viagra and pornography and various details about their sex life together or lack thereof.

What's fair is not always equal
One spouse earns less than the other. One spouse has the children full time. A fifty-fifty split may not be fair and while it may be at first glance hard to swallow, one of the couple is going to have to accept the idea and pay up.

Moving Out
The experts say you shouldn't move out before a divorce settlement and this rule is applicable to both men and women. If you move out, you are giving the appearance of abandoning the marriage and you are also not leaving the door open to a possible reconciliation. - Okay, these experts do bring up spousal abuse which may change this rule and what needs to be done immediately. - If there are children involved, you can look like an absentee father or mother and not being around raises the risk of "not being there" and being accused of neglecting the kids.

Babbling to your spouse
I quote from the MacLean's article on Joseph Cordell's book "The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce" and although this is about the mistakes men make, I'd say it is applicable to both spouses:

Blabbing to your wife is another mistake. “The most destructive conversations typically seem to happen late at night on Friday or Saturday, usually in the kitchen,” he writes. “Both husband and wife are tired, and maybe one or both has had a drink or two. She says, ‘I’m going to win.’ He says, ‘No, you’re not, because my lawyer is going to say that you took Valium and that you made a mistake on your financial forms. I’m going to get the kids and I’m going to have to pay you little or nothing.’

“What happens next is she tells her lawyer what she’s learned. Her lawyer fixes the mistakes on the financial forms and prepares to show that her doctor prescribed Valium because her husband was driving her crazy.”

Yes, you're overtired, maybe you've had a drink, and you're saying things you shouldn't say. You may be angry. When emotions run high, who knows what any of us might say that we will regret later? (Hello Tricia Walsh!)

From "Stupid Divorce Mistakes Most Guys Make":

#6 Talking too much -- especially to your wife
Most guys can't resist getting sucked into conversations or verbal sparring during conflicts. This is not the time to share! You don't have to prove that you have the upper hand or blow off steam. Remember, everything you tell her will find its way back to her lawyer.


Final Word
Some of the above may seem just for men, but I can see it's also for women; it's for anybody taking the plunge, so to speak.

If one side gets a lawyer, the other side must also get legal representation. It must be a level playing field and if one decides to get professional help, both have to do the same thing. It does bring to mind a curious question as to just who is getting the divorce at this point, the couple or the lawyers.

One must be cautious in disclosing information as this can affect negotiations. In fact, the word "strategy" is used in articles describing the debate over the terms of the divorce. The question comes to mind as to whether or not the law is specific enough to define an "objective agreement or settlement", that is, objective means there is no negotiation on the part of the spouses, the law has applied some sort of formula and decided the terms of the divorce.

In Does divorce makes us happier? I wrote, "Getting married is fun. Being married is a joy. Divorce sucks." While I laud Michele Weiner-Davis and her approach to saving a marriage, I can't help thinking that once the retainer is paid to a lawyer, the entire nature of the proceedings has changed in both tone and objective and the likelihood of an 11th hour reprieve is slim to nil.


References

Wikipedia: Implications of divorce
Recent sociological studies have pointed to a variety of long-term economic, social, physical, and mental health consequences of divorce, although the full extent of such effects remains hotly debated. All the studies to date suffer from an inherent methodological weakness which researchers have not yet found a solution to: establishing the relevant baseline for comparisons. By definition, all divorces are of unhappy couples; meanwhile, those who do not divorce are some mix of happy couples and of unhappy ones who stayed married. Comparisons of life outcomes or well-being along the simple divorced/not divorced axis will therefore always show poorer outcomes for the group which is composed entirely of unhappy couples, demonstrating simply that being part of a happy couple is better than being part of an unhappy one.

Macleans Magazine - Jan 20/2011 - Book Review
The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce by Joseph Cordell
"Smart, fair-minded, hard-working good men make all sorts of mistakes in divorce. Executives and professors and doctors make the same mistakes as plumbers and truck drivers," according to Joseph Cordell in The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce. The lawyer and his wife run a bustling St. Louis law practice specializing in men’s divorce. “You can’t make a mistake we haven’t seen,” he writes.

About.Com - Book Review
The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce by Joseph Cordell
[This book] is a must-read for any father or husband going through a divorce or even thinking about it. If you find yourself in this very tough spot, get this book and read it carefully before making the final decision. It will help you think through the process and make smarter decisions at every step along the way.

Scribd: The 10 Stupiest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce by Joesph Cordell
Excerpt: Chapter #1: Moving Out

Fox Business video - Apr 1/2011
Divorce Mistakes to Avoid for Those Over 50
Divorce attorney Vikki Ziegler on the financial mistakes to avoid, particularly for those over the age of 50.

The Washington Post - Mar 23/2011
Divorce Over 50: 3 Mistakes to Avoid by Catey Hill
...getting divorced after 50 is plenty complicated, with rules and pitfalls that younger couples never have to consider. ... While the overall divorce rate has decreased slightly over the past two decades, for those over 50 it has doubled. ... the stakes are higher for couples in their 50s, 60s and 70s. ... it's critical to get the best settlement possible. "You have much less time to recover if mistakes are made," says Jeffrey A. Landers, president and founder of New York-based Bedrock Divorce Advisors, which consults divorcing women. "There are no do-overs."

Divorced Women Online - Dec 9/2010
How NOT to Divorce: 9 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid by Cathy Meyer
The great American philosopher, Yogi Berra, once said, “Be careful, you don’t want to make the wrong mistake.” Nowhere is that more true than in the area of divorce advice. Yogi also said, “90% of this game is half mental.” Also true if you are contemplating, or involved in, a divorce. Almost always, the mindset of the people involved in the divorce is what will eventually dictate the length, complexity and difficulty of the action. If you want to end your marriage as cheaply and as painlessly as possible, do yourself a favor and heed well this advice.
1. Do not think of divorce as a war!
2. Do not demonize your spouse!
3. Do not fail to make concessions!
4. Do not think you are above the guidelines!
5. Do not think that “words don’t count”!
6. Do not fail to get the help you need!
7. Do not think you will get a “free ride”!
8. Do not let yourself think that things wont get better!
9. Do not litigate! Be smart, choose mediation.
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t make the mistake of suing.

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2011-04-25

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