I wouldn’t exactly call myself a hoarder …

… but I do admit I hang on to too much ‘stuff’.  I don’t know why really, because my mother wasn’t like that at all.  She was ruthless about getting rid of anythingtrash and everything she no longer needed, wanted or used.  Or fit into, for that matter.

Maybe this is nothing more than an act of rebellion on my part.  I’ve never thought of it in quite that way before.  Or maybe I just take after my father.  My mother used to crack the whip on both of us.

My closets and drawers are not a thing of organized beauty.  Neither is my desk.  Or my bookcase.  Or just about any surface you can find in my apartment.  My handbag’s the same.  A royal mess.  I can never find anything in there, Continue reading

A question for Margaret Wente …

Most of you won’t know who Margaret Wente is (because you live all over the world), so I’ll tell you.  She’s an OpEd columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail.  There was a time I really enjoyed her sticktongueoutwork; and actually looked forward to reading each and every one of her columns.

That time has come and gone.

Now, for the most part, I find her way too full of herself, way too arrogant, way too pompous and, very often, condescending.  And kinda irrelevant, too, now that I think about it.  She no longer represents my views.

Other than that I think she’s fab.

Last week she wrote a column on climate change.  Well, preached, actually.  And, in the end, she decided we’re way too hysterical about global warming — the planet will survive and so will we.  Well, she’s certainly entitled to her opinion, there’s no arguing with that.  And she may even turn out to be right.  But until then …

What might her explanation be for the fact that, in Toronto today, it is currently -1 celsius (feels like -5 with the windchill) and it’s snowing?  On April 15.  And yesterday it was 21 celsius. I went out wearing a T-shirt, without a jacket.  I didn’t need socks, either.  Convertible tops were down, terrace cafes and restaurants were doing a booming business and it felt almost like summer.

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Never put off ’til tomorrow …

Don’t get excited. This is not a post about sadists or sex. Or Fifty Shades of Grey. We are so over that, aren’t we?? crackingthewhip

Just saying …

Anyway. Talk about timing. If ever there was an absolutely perfect time for me to be responding to a WordPress Daily Prompt, it’s today: “Tell us your tried and true techniques for focusing when that deadline looms and you need to get work done. In other words, how do you avoid wasted days and wasted nights?”

Simple. I’ve got a one-word answer for you:

DISCIPLINE.

No procrastinating.

You’ve gotta crack that whip — on yourself.

Case in point: If you’re a regular reader here, you know I was off last week. I got a new project, from a new client. It’s a pretty big job, with three different parts

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Zzzzzzzz …

I had a really tough time waking up this morning.  I was in a deep, deep sleep and when the alarm went off it took a while for it to actually register with me.  I sleepwas totally disoriented.  Didn’t know where I was; and the last thing I wanted to do was open my eyes and get out of bed.

So it seemed like a good idea to respond to this recent WordPress Daily Prompt:  “What kind of sleeper are you?  Do you drop off like a stone and awaken refreshed, or do you need pitch black and silence to drift off to dream?”

My aunt needed pitch black.  She’d pull down her shades, then close her drapes (which were double lined so no light could shine through) and then she’d put on a sleep mask.  I tried the mask once.  It gave me an extreme case of claustrophobia.  She also needed absolute quiet.

But let me tell you, when she fell asleep the house could have fallen down around her and she wouldn’t have known. Me?  When I was young I slept like a log.  I went to bed rather late, but I fell asleep the instant my head touched the pillow.  And, like my aunt, I heard absolutely nothing once I was asleep.  It’s like I’d been transported to never never land.  An earthquake wouldn’t have woken me up.

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There’s no escaping it, that’s for sure …

Well, we can escape it, but being dead doesn’t seem like a good alternative to me.  Wondering what the hell I’m talking about?  Come on, think about fathertimeit for a nano second:

Aging.

Getting older.

Watching the years go by.

Blowing out the candles.

I have written about this subject before, but there have been a trifecta of ‘events’ in my life recently that have compelled me to write about it again.  Sometimes the Universe sends you such strong Continue reading

The tighter they are, the better I like it …

No, I am not talking about my jeans.  Or Spanx.  I’m talking about deadlines.  Yeah, I’m one of those sickos who loves deadlines.  I thrive on ‘em.  So stressneedless to say this WordPress Daily Prompt is right up my alley:

“Do you thrive under pressure or crumble at the thought of it?  Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches or do you need to iterate, day after day to achieve something you’re proud of?  Tell us how you work best.”

It’s a good thing I’m a stress junkie, because advertising is all about deadlines.  They’re a constant and they’re brutal.  And they seem to get worse and worse all the time.  As I think about it, it’d be a stressful business even without the deadlines.

Why?

You try sitting in front  of a blank computer screen every day waiting for an idea to hit you, or words and sentences and images to start forming in your mind.  It’s not easy, trust me.  I’ve been doing this for a Continue reading

If there’s anything I can’t stand …

Liars drive me insane.  I have zero tolerance.  Years ago there was a guy I was crazy in love with.  He lied to me.  That was it.  I was gone.  Forever more.  So you liar2know I am just going out of my mind over our infamous mayor, Rob Ford.

He tells so many lies it’s a wonder his nose isn’t 10-feet long.  In fact, I don’t think he’s ever told the truth, about anything, in his entire life.  He claims he’s saved the city of Toronto 1 billion dollars.  It is a bald-faced lie.

He swore he never used crack until our police chief said he’d seen the video of him smoking it.  When, red-faced, he had to admit he’d “tried it”.  He insists he doesn’t know who he was talking about in a video where he was seen, and heard, threatening to kill someone.  Excuse me!  

He says, over and over and over again, he doesn’t have a drinking problem yet there are videos surfacing constantly in which he’s loaded.  He’s been asked to leave sporting events and official city Continue reading

After I’m gone …

I recently completed a project for an estate and trust lawyer.  And another client of mine is an investment advisor.  Both of them are in the ‘money’ Figure in the fogbusiness.  One helps clients accumulate it; and the other helps them dispose of it.  But I’ve always believed that money is the least of what we leave behind — our legacy, in other words.

Which is the reason why I decided to take a stab at a recent WordPress Daily Prompt for this post:  “Imagine yourself at the end of your life.  What sort of legacy will you leave?  Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.”

A good place to start is probably the non-monetary legacy my parents left me.  They were kind, loving, generous people.  Everyone was welcome in their home, in their lives and in their hearts.   It didn’t matter who you were, or where you came from.

They were honest to a fault.  Their ‘word’ was like a blood oath.  And there isn’t a human being who ever knew them, who would ever have questioned their integrity, or their intentions.

Family and friends meant everything to them; and whenever anyone needed help my parents could Continue reading

A real hodge podge …

Do you ever think about who lives in your neighbourhood — not just your closest neighbours, but even those who live blocks and blocks away.  I can’t neighbourhoodsay I do, but today’s WordPress Daily Prompt has given me pause.

“Every city and town contains people of different classes:  rich, poor, and somewhere in between.  What’s it like where you live?  If it’s difficult for you to discern and describe the different types of classes in your locale, describe what it was like where you grew up — was it swimming pools and movie stars, industrial and working class, somewhere in between or something completely different?”

I live in an area of downtown Toronto called the Annex; and I’m happy to say it is truly a mixed bag. Here you’ll find it all.  Students, young families, singles, seniors, gays, straights and bisexuals, working class, white collar, professionals, professors, not-for-profit workers, creatives, every race, Continue reading