Monday, November 28, 2011

Occupy Wall Street – Is the name important?

by Shinazy

Do the Peace, Feminist, Civil Rights, and Environmental movements have better advertisingagencies that write better ad copy?
The names of these movements describe their agenda, their specific purpose.  Even their slogans reinforce what they’re about.
The peace movement is an anti-war movement, aka, Peace.  As boomers, we remember the common slogans during the Vietnam War years; they were equally descriptive: “Hell no, we won’t go [to war]“; “Make love, not war”; “Draft beer, not boys.”
The feminist movement is about women’s rights:  voting privileges and gender equality.  Even the banner phrase “Women’s Liberation” is clearly about ‘liberating women.’
If we look at each word, the meaning of the civil rights movement is clear – each of us, all of us, are entitled to our rights as declared in civil law.  Rather than a slogan, the 1960’s civil rights movement expressed itself with a song, ‘We shall overcome” [socio-economic segregation, racial discrimination, gender inequality.]
Environmental is defined as “of or relating to the external conditions or surrounding.”  The environmental movement is just that, champions of our surroundings.  For those of you who know me, you know why my favorite slogan is “Green is the new black.”
If we follow the same associate pattern, as illustrated above, is the Occupy movement about . . .  homesteading?

photo by lilyrhoads

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eyebrow Wars

  by Shinazy

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you know this to be true – our eyebrows overtly plot against us.  Blatantly they set-up base camp above our sunglasses and below our caps.  They conduct surveillance on everything we see and everyone we talk with.  Every time we look in a mirror . . . there they are, mocking us.  Eyebrows have an agenda.
They have an arsenal of strategies.  One is the art of subterfuge.  As boomers, we wonder:  why is it that our eyebrow hairs start to grey, appearing to fade away, just when we’re having difficulty focusing our near vision?
To counter this attack, I commandeered a Magnification 20 Assault Mirror to ambush my eyebrows.  It’s a small mirror, no need to see more than needed ( wrinkles resembling the Grand Canyon, which is another boomer issue, but I digress).  But eyebrows are cunning, even after a tweezing attack, ensnaring every visible hair – or so I think – I sometimes discover a spy.  If I’m in the right light, at the right angle, what do I see but a single hair, a banner flapping in the breeze.  (Score1 for the eyebrows).
Another strategy in the eyebrow’s master plan: as hair on my head thins, the hairs in my eyebrows grow to become Amazons.  (Eyebrows 2, me 0).
Our interaction with our eyebrows is as unique as our fingerprints.  My granddaddy never trimmed his eyebrows – he never engaged in the Eyebrow Wars.  They were his allies.  As a child, I would twist his eyebrows into pointed peaks or divide them into little spires.  This action never lost its sense of amusement.  My Aunt Judy was swift and decisive; during the 1940s she conquered her eyebrows and annihilated them . . .  taking no prisoners.  Not a hair remained.  Today, now in her late 80’s she can still draw perfectly matching arches.
Rather than a pencil, my weapon of choice is eyebrow mascara – I’m always armed and ready.  I can unify the patches of grey hair into the patches of dark brown hair, camouflaging the tiny calico mascots that stand ever vigilant just above my eyes.
Like wisdom teeth, eyebrows have outlived their purpose.  As the human species evolves and Homo Sapiens 2.0 is released, I vote to eliminate eyebrows.  It is time for eyebrows to stand-down.
Game point.

photo by Myki Roventine

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Climbing Half Dome with Holes in My Socks, part 2 of 2

              by Shinazy
·         A Runner’s Mind, Burlingame, CA
      My favorite place to buy socks without holes 

·         Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve,
            San Mateo County, CA
      There are many dirt trails, you can hike for miles and miles
o   The area is more forested than the pictures illustrate

·         Yosemite National Park
o   Webcams

·         Gold Coast Marathon, Surfer’s Paradise, Australia

·         Sawyer Camp Trail, San Mateo County, CA

·         El Nayarita, San Mateo, CA
o   Our favorite place for Taco Tuesday
§  Try the carnitas tacos – the best !

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Climbing Half Dome with Holes in My Socks, part 1 of 2

by Shinazy

Oh, would my mom disapprove of me having holes in my socks?

Years ago, I remember my mom hanging laundry and inspecting my clothes for anything that needed to be repaired: a missing botton, a detached hem, a hole in a sock.  Because my appearance was important to her, I always left the house wearing perfectly cared-for clothes.
This morning several friends of mine met at my place briefly to discuss our next adventure.  We were off to hike in the coastal mountains above the town of Pescadero. As my home is a shoe-free zone, everyone leaves their shoes at the front door.
As we casually congregated in my living room, chatting about our upcoming trek, Sandy remarked, “Oh, I’m so glad someone else has holes in their socks.” Our eyes dropped in unison to observe our assemblage of shoeless feet.  It was true – each of our feet was enveloped in what could only be described – at best - as ‘well-ventilated’ socks. It was in that moment that light dawned: these weren’t mere remnants of well-worn pieces of cotton-poly and silk-wool blends.  They were the results of actions and efforts, of steps and journeys taken, of goals actualized and achieved.  They were the indisputable evidence attesting to the activism of their owners.  These socks belonged to a group of Bitchin’ Ol’ Boomer Babes who started walking together almost a year ago (and still continue to do so.) 
It was in that year that we decided we had better begin attending to our Bucket Lists.
Item #1: Climbing Half Dome at Yosemite National Park.
But alas, as it usually is when attempting feats of greatness, our spirits were willing, but our flesh…needed some help!  Between the three of us, we truly encompassed the full range of inactive, aging babes. I was recovering from a back injury that left me paralyzed one morning.  Sandy had been inactive since finishing the Gold Coast Marathon almost 2 years before.  And another member of our group, Bobbi, had only walked 2 miles, but that was 3 years ago.   
So to accomplish our goal successfully – and without hurting ourselves in the process - we needed to “train”…the kind of put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other-over-and-over-again-type of training that only comes with perseverance, determination, and an occasional massage at the local day spa.  Our plan was simple: to go longer and longer distances, adding steps and hills to emulate the Yosemite Valley terrain. We scheduled walks on flat ground along the bay, then the undulating path at Sawyer Camp Trail, next, up and down the mountains near the coast.  We did 1 mile, then 2, 3 . . . 8, 9 . . . 14 . . . 18.
Our walking began in late fall through local neighborhoods, admiring the Christmas decorations as we trudged past,  dashing through the mud, laughing all the way.  We forged ahead during the record-breaking stormy Northern California winter. We saw the fog lift and felt the sun shine. Watched banana slugs mosey along on the trail and listened to the tap-tap-tap of woodpeckers on trees.  We stared up into the awesomeness of the towering redwood trees and gazed down wonderingly at cascading creeks.
We held our Half Dome Climb strategy meetings on what became Taco Tuesdays.  Searched the net for descriptions and pictures of the climb. Read books. Watched videos. As the months-to-train became weeks-to-train became only-days-to-train, we fixed our eyes on the Half Dome webcam hoping to see the snow melt.  We needed the climbing cables installed on the dome surface to reach the top – the objective of our effort.
On the day we were to climb Half Dome the snow was still on the ground, which meant no cables.  No cables = no climb.  Yet, we went to Yosemite anyway and climbed to the base of the dome.  We named this adventure our “Reconnaissance Trip”.  Returning home that day, we realized that during our many months of training together we became physically stronger and mentally confident, embarking on our mission then just like we did today…with holes in our socks. 
I think Mom would approve.