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What do you really want out of life? Now what's stopping you?

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Lighter Side of America

So I've been here for a week now, a rather fast and furious introduction to the 'American Dream'. It is easy to talk about the things I like about Seattle, and it is probably the same as many others; snow, the clear signs, wide roads, Starbucks. A little more interesting are the oddities that, as an outsider, fill me with mirth and amusement. Lets start with drug adverts. It is mandatory to list the side effects of drugs during a commercial. There is one for a sinus decongestant that lists effects including viral infection and nasal congestion. Then there is the rheumatoid arthritis med that promises side effects inclding disability, disfigurement and death. I can see it now; "Hey hon, I'm just popping down to the drugstore to pick up some death pills, I may not be back..."

The coffee flavour syrup that includes 'natural and artificial flavours'-seriously why bother with the eco friendly at all.

Went to a restaurant last night-rather pleasant and very busy. As with most public toilets there was the compulsory wheelchair access loo. Only one snag-I'd love to see any wheelchair user manouver their machine through all the highly tensioned sprung doors that lead to it. The fact that they all open one way means that you can get to the toilet in a wheelchair, but getting out again may be a little more fun.

Can't wait to see the parking spaces for the blind...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And we have touchdown!

What a month. Shortly before my last post I was invited to America as part of a choir/dance tour. My role is to primarily tutor a number of the kids on tour to make sure they finish school on time. So a hectic few weeks of visa applications, bill finalising, shopping and sheer panic culminated in 48 hours of travel to arrive in Seattle last Friday. It has been a mind blowing and eye opening experience. Much work and many observations-too many to write about in one sitting.

So let me put down one that is fresh in my mind. The Oscars. Now I havn't watched them for a few years, but loved the way the best actor/actress awards were handled-with 5 previous winners each affirming and encouraging one of the nomminees. Very powerful. As for Kate Winslet's speech, I think that was an example of visualising your childhood dreams and making them come true-the shampoo bottle she held up in the mirror as an eight year old is not a shampoo bottle any more.

Will try write more soon.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A little tragedy

I read Tolkein’s ‘Children of Hurin’ yesterday. Now I love Lord of the Rings and can appreciate the style of prose which some find a little weird and long winded. I cannot really stomach a tragedy though. I can appreciate the effort and style in writing one, Romeo and Juliet is amazing, but the morbid ending leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I don’t watch movies to appreciate reality; I watch them to avoid it. There is enough crap happening in the world already, there is no need to add to it fictionally. The guy should get the girl and ‘happily ever after’ should still happen. Movies like ‘Message in a Bottle’ are just depressing. Sure you can have a little pathos in the whole thing, kill off a mentor, have the occasional minor death to help tension and focus-just don’t kill off the hero! So if you are looking for something to help lift your mood then read the book for literary brilliance, not for the tale.