Monday, June 16, 2008

Money spent on war outsourcing

This week-end I watched "Grace is gone", a movie that touched my heart. I have to admit that I cried and felt a lot of anger watching this under-rated beautiful film about a father who does not know how to explain to his young daughters that their mother was killed serving in Iraq.

It was a beautiful film but received little acclaim in spite of John Cusack's stellar performance. Probably this film was too subtle for a typical anti-war movie, there are no flashback to a heroic death in Iraq just a great sense of loss.

In "War Inc" the new John Cusack's movie, there are no such subtleties, the message is apparently clear enough to invite Bill O'Reilly's spin zone to call the film nothing but propaganda, interesting words from the King of slime at Fox network.

War Inc is available on DVD if you can't wait to see it in Cleveland.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Poetry in Tremont

I know that Steve has become possessed by the power of words. He is so passionate about poetry that sometimes I wonder if he is a reincarnation of those long gone "Beat generation poets."

I think that I will attend tomorrow's event at the Lit, I don't do poetry very well but I am dying to see Steve with his French beret , read his work with total sincerity.

My poems are sad and frankly not very good but sometimes being whimsical allows a gap to be breach and something extraordinary will be.

So tomorrow night, see you at the Lit!

Poême pour Lui

Someone told me that you still talk about me
How is that possible
Have you forgotten what was meant to be
You gave me the Moon and the Sun but I was too young
I chose a falling Star and never made it very far

Someone told me that you still talk about me
How is that possible
I see your eyes and I forget how many lies
You said about me

Do you feel sorry sometimes, do you have regrets
Or do you just like to talk about me
And deep in your soul hope to forget
That I left because you never talked to me.

Small Changes and micro-economics

I have had to cut my expenses because like everyone else, I noticed that between my gas bill and grocery trips my money just doesn't stretch as far as I need it. One of the first casualty has been my book budget, I no longer buy books and instead go to the library. I know that it is saving me about $100.00 per month but I sure miss the new books that I must now wait to read. I also cut way back on my TV cable offerings, I only kept my internet connection and basic cable and I hardly notice the switch, it was painless.

I limited my selection of plants and flowers for my landscaping projects this year and I think that by being more selective, I chose better. I'm actually enjoying adding plants a little at a time and waiting for what I want until the price is right. The planning and anticipation is enticing and the final selection definitely satisfying.

All my meals are home made except for an occasional stepping out which is usually shared with friends and becomes a festive occasion rather than a scheduled non-event. I have decided to keep my six year old car as long as possible, it makes me feel "green" and it is paid for so even more valuable to me than Kelley Blue Book estimates.

I still drink great wine, I can't compromise on that subject, so these days I'm drinking Oregon's Pinot Noir and I find the quality excellent. I also won't compromise on my hair, I still spend too much money on my stylist but she is a professional and in Rocky River, one must pay for talent.

This week-end I am planning to clean up years of photo albums, I am planning to send all those memories to my sons who live out of states after all it is time for them to carry their own past.

Meanwhile I am adapting and change is so good for one's brains once you stop hitting your head against the wall and realize that it was all self inflicted pain.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pourquoi nous isoler?

Je vis aux Etats-Unis depuis pas mal longtemps, en effet parler Français m'a donné un avantage énorme pour trouver du boulot. Je suis Québécoise et il y a beaucoup de compagnies américaines qui font affaire avec le Canada.

Le Canada est le pays qui est le plus grand partenaire financier des Etats-Unis. Il y a deux langues officielles, le Français et l'Anglais et la loi demande que les contrats et ententes soient offertes dans les deux langues.

Mais ce qui est très chouette, c'est d'avoir le bénifice des deux cultures.


I have lived in the US for a very long time and being bilingual has given me a real edge in getting continuous employment. So many American firms are doing business with Canada because it is the number one economical partner and Canadian law recognises two official languages, French and English. This is requiring that contracts be available in both languages as well as all marketing material.

But the best part is that having a bi-cultural experience is beneficial to all.

It makes us richer in experience, knowledge and understanding.

I just don't trust Obama

Dust is settling on the Democratic Primary season, Hillary has withdrawn from the Presidential race and now it is time for the Obama camp to re-evaluate their strategy. Ordinary people have suffered many set backs under GWB and Cheney's reign but yet in Ohio, one of the most segregated state of the union, many ordinary folks are considering casting their vote for McCain because they say that they do not trust Senator Obama.

I am trying to be open minded and respect their position but the sheer narrow mindless grates on me. I have lived long and hard and have lived under many forms of government in various countries. I see working Americans, these people who all work so hard compared to other industrialized nations letting their prejudices keep them prisoners of a system that favors the true elite which is not among the ranks of the educated but among the ranks of the super rich.

Today our Congress voted down a Bill which would have re-captured 17 Billion dollars of tax payers money from the Oil companies, under a special windfall provision.

Under John McCain, we can be assure that the Bush doctrine will continue. There is a lot of talk about Obama's lack of experience but do you really like the wide experience that McCain has?
What has he done for you?

The incredible positive energy which Obama is projecting is a big threat to politics as usual. I think he would not listen to the Christian right, I think that he would upheld division or state and religion, I think that global competition would be on his mind when discussing education. I think the possibilities for lifting us out of this economic down turn is exceptionally strong.

McCain with his wealthy wife, quick temper and flip flopping personality is the one that should not be trusted. Where does his interest lie?

My neighbor Peg said that she would not vote for Obama because in spite of being a wonderful human being and a lifelong Democrat, she "just does not trust him."

I feel the same about McCain and the Republican party. They are not reliable, it is the party that brought us to invade a country which represented no danger to us, it is the party that brought us international shame by letting its own American citizens wade through the Katrina's devastation without assistance. Lots of money, our money went to Katrina's contractors who were supposed to help and did not.

Part of me, the Canadian born part says let them choose the object of their own destruction, let them choose racial prejudice over common sense but the US citizen part of me says, no. We are better than that, our fears can be tame, we can grow all together. Race is economics, it is about being poor and uneducated, it is about choosing to vote for someone who represent the divide that is crippling us rather than giving union a chance.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Flirting can be easy...really Virginia!

How about wearing a t-shirt that breaks the ice?

This t-shirt says support your local library, check me out.

I like that idea even though I cringed at some of the words that one can see parading on some people's back. However Single Tease, promoting the t-shirts that put you at ease may really have hit on a cute and nonthreatening way to let that handsome man know that you are available without looking like a desperado.

They also have t-shirts for men but maybe some of the more macho guy would feel a bit too metrosexual to wear one? I'll have to ask around what men think about it.

The last time that I was in Montreal, I noticed how accepted it was for people not to be married and to have or not a relationship. My sister Cathy who is in her thirties, always say to me when we talk about relationships, "Danielle, c'est pas pour la vie." Which means it is not for ever.

This in spite of having a great relationship with Alexandre, a really nice young man, who is at least 10 years her junior and quite in love with her.

Maybe Quebecoises are just more stoic about relationships, getting marry is not a goal and with the laws protecting children and their welfare ; fathers and mothers are required to support their offspring.

The Canadian Government has established $7.00 per day daycare centers which are registered and professionally staffed. This encourage both parents to work and contribute to raising the children regardless of their status.

Maybe what allows the women in my family not to rush into unsuitable unions, is financial independence and laws protecting children's rights. We also have close family ties and if one of us needs help, there is always someone who will lend a hand.

My sisters have a very positive attitude towards their children, they love them and as such would not bring into their home unsuitable partners. I think that if a woman has a strong support system she can raise a happy child without the benefit of matrimony which allows her the freedom to only stay in relationships which are healthy.