Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lenten reflection

Ah, we are almost mid-Lent already...
How time flies.

This is probably the most solemn part of the year.
And the most sombre.

In some parts of the Northern Hemisphere, winter still has a firm grip.
In others, spring is trying to emerge.
In yet other parts, spring has already made itself at home and is lounging about on the sofa :-)

There is a sense of 'new beginnings' in the air.
A sense of change.
Rather like at the turn of the year.

Aside from Nature's 'change of guard' that Lent represents, we also have a strange 'change of guard' that has been foisted upon The Catholic Church.

For today is Pope Benedict's last day in the office, so to speak.
Tomorrow, he no longer wears 'the red shoes'.

Tomorrow, we are leaderless.
No-one at the helm.

Yes, a group of around 100 very religious men will be doing their best to right this problem by Easter.
All hush-hush in a closed room.

But until then, we wait.

Lent is very much a time to wait.
We wait for Our Lord to emerge triumphant from the grave.
And this year, we also wait for his representative on Earth to emerge.

On a more personal note, we wait for other things in our daily lives.

We wait for news about a loved one who is ill.
We wait for the delivery of our mail.
We wait for the toast to pop out of the toaster.
We wait for the red light to turn green.

Life is but one long waiting-room...

Some things, however, make the wait a bit more pleasant.

Karl Jenkins was well-known for his 'Songs of Sanctuary' long before he composed 'The Mass for Peace'.
How approprately titled, I might add ;-)

One of my favourites is...

The genius of this piece lies in its simplicity.
It doesn't even contain words.
The 'lyrics' of this piece are just 'empty syllables'. Made-up sounds that just fill the void.

Sometimes, words are not necessary.
Now, as a pretty wordy female (at least when I write :-), I can tell you, this is a pretty humbling truism for me...

Enjoy it.
I do.
All year round.
But it is absolutely perfect for Lent....

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fat kind of wonderful?

Well, it may not feel like it, as I am still freezing.

But my hamster tells me spring is on its way...
The snow will soon give way to...rain!

And for single gals everywhere, the best kind of rain is....

Man rain!!!!

Much as it sounds like I have turned into a hormone-fuelled, boy-crazy teenager, my interest in this song is two-fold....
1. It is Lent and the song contains the word 'alleluia', therefore it is kinda a religious song ;-)
Alright, even I don't believe this offering provided by my ever dutiful and tireless hamster :-)
2. (And this one is actually true. Promise):
I love the humour in this song.
I really do.
I don't know much about 'The Weather Girls', except of course that they are two fat women as can be seen in the above video.
The other thing I know about them is that their nickname is 'Two Tons o' fun'...
'Nuff said.
These women are fun. I love how (in this song at least), they seem to celebrate men just for the sake of it. I listen to this song and smile, (and ...aherm... I look at the video and smile, not for the gratuitous pics of nice-looking men, but) to join in the gratuitous celebration of something opposite to me.
The Weather Gilrs may be slightly salacious in their celebration of all things masculine...
But...who cares?
The important thing is, they appear to be genuinely, joyous, fun people.
Had I thought of it, I would have added them to my list of people that make me laugh. suddenly struck me that they induce in me a certain....déja vu feeling.
Whenever a woman or a group of women have been so 'larger than life', or indulged in so much genuine fun in total abandon like this, they have been....well... not exactly slim.
Am I just hanging out with the wrong kind of funny people?
This might be a good place to make a declaration of sorts.
I am not what one would call a 'fat apologist'.
I care too much about cardiovascular health to be.
Whilst I accept that we cannot all be swimsuit models, I absolutely believe that people should be the slimmest possible they can be, for their body type and genetics.
Therefore this is not an 'ode to fat women' - not by a long shot.
But still...observations are observations.
There is definitely a certain kind of fat woman who is irresistibly fun to hang out with. These women are everywhere, and perhaps in today's world where people are bigger than ever, their numbers are increasing.
They are born extroverts.
They really are quite literally 'larger than life'.
They are feminine, but not in the usual visual way.
They are usually exceptionally friendly and in a way, self-sacrificing.
They are also usually at the receiving end of rejection by 'men with options' - perhaps due to their weight? - and yet, they are usually the most 'man-friendly' types of women.
Those that are not rejected, usually are married to or are in relationships with men who are exceptionally caring.
Unfortnately, when these women lose the weight, they also lose this lovely personality of theirs.
It seems to me that their weight is absolutely tied to their persona.
It does not escape my notice that Maria Callas lost her wonderful voice the minute she lost weight.
The British comedienne Dawn French stopped being funny the minute she lost weight.
The actress Queen Latifah seems to be at her best when she is also at her heaviest (this one might be  a subjective example).
The soap actress Lisa Riley became a popular contestant in the celebrity dance competition 'Strictly Come Dancing' because of her weight. She is therefore in danger of killing the golden goose that laid the golden egg because this very activity caused her to lose (almost literally) a ton of weight...
Which is all very confusingly tragic.
Have you noticed these women?
Do you have any more observations about them?
Now this is where I part company with you (you, who are presumably still safely grounded in the land of logic and reality) and venture into the dodgy land of speculation and conjecture.
I think there is a massive (no pun intended) difference between 'flabby fat' and 'solid fat'.
Yes, I don't really know what I am describing here, but I think I am onto something...
All the women I have in mind who belong to the above category are 'solid'.
They look like they are genetically predisposed to their weight issues, as opposed to overfilling the frame which supports their bodies, with excess calories.
I used to be very confused about this, but now it is only mildly confusing:
Someone who is overweight but still looks 'in proportion' one part of the body relative to another is what I am clumsily calling 'solid fat'.
Everyone else who is overweight, but literally 'out of shape' looks 'flabby fat' even if in reality they are lighter than someone who is 'solid fat'.
I think this also explains why men get away with obesity more than women (aside from the cruel twist in attraction triggers where men are generally visual and women are mostly not): it is so much easier for a woman to get 'out of shape' than a man.
I think it is harder to maintain an hourglass figure than a barrel one.
But somehow, these 'solidly fat' women seem to manage this herculean task.
(And, also, men are generally taller than women, and therefore can 'take' more weight than women).
But the worst thing any woman can do, no matter what her size, is to have this facial appearance. The woman in this article is not stared at because she is obese, I don't think. I think she just seems at  odds with her immediate environment, with her demeanor - as several commenters pointed out.
Not every woman can be a 'smiler' all the time. But smiling is only one of many effective ways to portray 'approachable' and 'friendly'.
For some women, the most frequent 'chat up line' a man may use on them might be 'So what are so happy about?'
I bet 'The Weather Girls' may have been in this category in their time :-)
For others, (mentioning no names), it might well be 'Penny for your thoughts'.
Either way, I guess the goal is one and the same.
The way to skin a cat is indeed multiple...
No matter how fat the cat...


Friday, February 15, 2013

Adopt a bloke for Lent

I don't like the word 'propaganda'. I really don't.
But I think that's because it is so entwined with 'Joseph Goebbels' and 'Das Dritte Reich'.

I prefer the word 'campaign'.
And it's nothing to do with the auditory resemblance to 'champagne'.

Even more enjoyable for me is the notion of a 'counter-campaign'.
Perhaps this is a guilty pleasure...

In any case, I like the idea of creative solutions to impossible problems.

Consider this:

One of the biggest complaints of modern single women is that we have 'no-one to love'. It may not even be verbalised in most cases, but this is a truism. I know this. So does everyone else.

Cuddle bunnies (aherm, don't judge us!), cats, little pint-sized dogs, other people's children...
These are all great solutions.

I have another one.
It's not at all revolutionary, but some people may not like it.
Shrug. It's just an idea.

Although not really intended, this has become somewhat of a dating-themed blog.
But sometimes, it is good to 'branch out' a bit.

'Adopt a man' could just as well be 'Adopt a baby chimp in deepest Africa' or 'Adopt a koala bear in Australia' - which are actually real-life campaigns out there.
It's a general thing.

We are called to 'give up' something for Lent. For most of us (at least in the West), the simplest and most appropriate thing to 'give up' is food. So we omit chocolate or cakes for six weeks and then 'make up for lost time' in Holy Week :-).

For others, it is painful whole-day fasting.

Many people use this time simply to become better persons.
For those with 'anger issues', it is a time to play nice and bite the old tongue.
And then snap at the nearest person on Easter Sunday :-)

For yet others, it is simply a time to reflect.
Which makes this time of year so serenely sacred.

The point is, sometimes it is not so much 'to give up' as to 'add' to one's own life. Or to some other person's life.

As we filed out of the warm church into the cold February air, ash on head, I was introduced to an old lady struggling to balance herself on two sticks. She was absolutely ridden with arthritis.

As I shook her hand (very gently for fear of breaking something), she gave me a compliment which was appearance-related. Which validated me no end :-)

But my little morcel of pleasure was soon blasted into the ether.
For I was told a little while later that the old lady had just recently lost her daughter, to a rather aggressive illness.

It was overwhelmingy sad to hear.

This woman (she looked like she might be a widow) was going to endure the rest of this winter (and her life, of course) without her daughter.

I wondered - did she have any other children? Did she have grandchildren? A good friend? Any other family?
But...none of the above will ever ease the pain of losing a daughter, I am sure.

'Adopting' her as in 'Adopt a Granny' assuming she was now all alone in the world, though, perhaps would go a long way to alleviating her pain and distress at this particularly cruel time.

For many women, the need to reach out to someone else, or some other people is overwhelmingly forceful. And of course there is a use for it.

TPM recently blogged about this trait in women. I find it to be so true.
Which is why I find it so frustrating when I see it underemployed, this nurturing business.

Perhaps we think it should be 'buried' until we are mothers of large families before we 'deploy' the nurturing time-bomb?
But surely it is like a muscle - use it or you lose it, no?

Practice makes perfect.

One of the sins of feminism is that women are taught to be rather coy about showing their nurturing side. It is definitely not 'cool' nowadays in the SMP.

And yet, it is surprisingly cool to those who might benefit.

Wouldn't it be great taking Bellita's example of 'seeing the good in every man' to a new level - just for Lent?

Once a good trait has been identified in the lucky fella (he doesn't even have to be 'Mr. Possible' or 'Mr. Right' - just a random bloke who looks like he may need some nurturing :-)

Then feed and generally treat him for the 6 weeks leading up to Easter. Do something for him that he can't do for himself.
If he is a gourmet chef like Danny, pass him over :-)

It may be necessary to however warn him that this is not a 'favour-carrying' maneouvre. However, if he volunteers to fix that crooked garage-door that your brother promised to fix three years ago, that would be cool and will be rewarded handsomely with a feminine favour of your choice :-)

It may also be necessary to the terms of this interaction and the details of exactly which feminine undertaking is on offer...maybe even in writing, lol.

If this is an enjoyable exercise, it could very well be carried on beyond Lent...
Whyever not?
The recipient number does not have to be singular, by the way. It all depends on time and availability. It doesn't even have to be a man, (but somehow it does make feminine sense to choose a man for this, it seems to me :-).

All in the name of Lenten sacrifice :-)
Oh the perils of religion...

And one happy side effect of this sort of thing is that it is a counter-reaction to feminism, so... 'happy days' :-)

And another is that, some cynical guy somewhere is suddenly going to think he died and went to Heaven...

Priceless :-)

Make my day brighter - adopt me for Lent!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Sky is falling!

I never thought I'd say this (at least not in public), but I really do sympathise with Chicken Licken...

After many hours of mini-hysteria, I have finally conceded that it was only an acorn, not the sky, that fell on my head earlier this afternoon.

My first thought on hearing that Papa Ben had shockingly resigned, was, rather (predictably?) solipsistically, 'Well, there goes my number!'

I was never going to be a one-pope girl the minute JP2 died. Now, my crush in The Vatican was hellbent on pushing my number up. :-)
It is afterall, all about me...

My next thought was, 'Is he alright? What really brought this on? Is he sick? Did something happen? Talk to me! Talk to me!


Well, it has been rather sudden. Even his closest aides apparently didn't know until this morning...

Then... panic set in.

Oh no. Was there something really constitutionally wrong with what Pope Benedict did?
I mean, no Pope had resigned for 700 years!

Was Popedom not for life?
Was it not 'till death us do part' like it is for marriage?

Were we witnessing the ultimate "catholic divorce" here, oxymoronic as it may sound?

I had smugly reacted to the recent abdication of Queen Beatrix of Holland in favour of her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, with the silent retort, 'Well, the Queen of England or The Pope would never do that!'


Head spinning, frenzied conversations and head scratching being the order of the day, it has been an interesting few hours.
A friendly priest provided much needed calm: No, it is not a sin for a Pope to resign. In fact, resignation in light of poor health is very much encouraged. JP2 was advised to step down long before he died.

Calmness restored, much in the manner of a well-known recently departed British film-maker's catchphrase of 'Calm down, dear!' thoughts now turn to...

Who is next in line?

Who will be my next alpha fix?
Who gets my religious affections?
Who will my hypergamous intent focus itself on next?

There is an impressive list of candidates already. they say, one enters the Conclave as a Pope and emerges as a Cardinal.
None of these highly-placed priests are guaranteed successors to 'God's Rottweiler'.
They are all fiercely conservative though, as Big Ben is known to be.

The Church will be safe in the hands of whoever emerges from the White Smoke: I am fairly confident of that.

In the meantime, I pray for the health of Papa Benni.

Long live The Pope!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Re-inventing the wheel

I thought the sartorial excellence displayed in this video had gone somewhere to die.
Never to be resurrected again.

But it seems I was wrong.

These trousers are back with a vengeance.
With a few modifications.

For example, only a certain type of shoe goes with it.

Ladies' version...


As part of my 'homework' on feminism, I wondered if there has truly been a matriarchal society.

Yes, there were the Amazons, and other communities with the same all-female blueprint...but did these societies really prosper?

There are lots of matrilineal societies in the world, in which the feminine holds a great deal of power. But these societies are not matriarchal as such, except where there is also a Patriarch, in which case the Matriarch is Queen to the Patriarch's King.
And these societies continue to prosper quite nicely till today.

If third wave (Third Reich?) feminism seeks to create a mariarchy of the modern world, are there not enough lessons in history to dissuade it?

Or perhaps I missed something.

I really need someone to point out  a truly matriarchal socety that prospered for more than a century, and whose legacy still exists today.

It would be nice to know, in order to adjust my thinking on why third wave feminism is bound to fail unless its metamorphosis into fourth wave feminism (which I am told is a whole new beast with society-friendly properties :-) is swift and decisive.

It looks like we are stuck with the word 'feminism' in any case.

Whether or not we are referring to 'the good kind' or 'the bad kind' of feminism, one big question remains:

Can we ever re-invent the wheel?

Hasn't it all been done before?