Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Zumba on Steroids!

Zhumba the latest fitness craze stepped up a notch!
Whew! Makes me tired just watching it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stieg Larsen

I have just finished the Millenium series by Stieg Larsen. These books are very violent especially towards women and not usually my style of books. However they are very cleverly written and capture your attention in a way that few authors have the skill to do. Larsen has a unique way of giving putting in a lot of detail in his writing without making it seem repetitive or boring. 
Stieg Larsen wrote these books before succumbing to a heart attack at the age of  51. Larsen was in fact a journalist who was known for  denouncing racism in Sweden and was a driving for behind Expo-foundation a group dedicated to exposing neo - Nazi activity in Sweden. In the last 15 years of his life he and his wife lived in fear of being targeted because of his work. Writing the Millenium Trilogy was for him a form of relaxation. 

When I read about his life I found it such a contradiction at first. Here was a man who fought against racism and even put his life on the line to expose injustice. However, as I thought about the content of these books I realized that he was, in some ways, writing about the injustice that women find themselves in. 

Salander, the main character,  was a young girl who was made a victim, through no fault of her own, from the time she was  a very young girl. She was a victim of her circumstances and continued to be a victim throughout a system that was should have protected her. She  survived by finding ways to protect herself that were not seen as being socially acceptable and causing her to further be isolated and victimized.  Larsen cleverly included many of the vulnerabilities that plague women such as having no escape from abusive relationships; desperate measures women take to escape from repressive governments; having their sexual preferences dragged out as proof that they are responsible for their own victimization. 

Larsen, in my opinion, was a very talented writer. Despite how the books, at first appear to be written by a man whose mind was depraved especially when it came to women, I have now come to think that he was cleverly trying to point out just how victimized females are in Swedish society and that is experienced by women around the world.

The Stieg Larsen website has more information about this author.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

If by Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; 

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools; 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on"; 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
 Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Life Is Not About The Hand We are Dealt. Life is How We Play The Game!

Every new year I decide there are things  that I am going to do that I believe will improve my life, give me greater understanding and depth of character! It never happens!
This year I didn't even write them down. I realized that I was a week into the new year and I had done none of the things that I told myself I would do.So why bother to write them down.  What's more I discovered I didn't really care that I had not done any of these things so either I am getting very old or I am already developing some greater understanding and it is beginning to improve my life.

The things that we push ourselves to do each year and the self examination that we go through have started  to  seem  so negative to me. Sure ... the year sucked but there was not much I could have done differently. Maybe it was just bad star alignment??? What ever it was my writing down some resolutions that I can look back on at the end of 2011 and chastise myself for not fulfilling is not going to make the year any better.
All we can do at the end of the day is be ourselves and do our best. We are are the sum total of all that we have experienced and learned in life. The good and the bad.   Ultimately we are who we are and knowing who we are and what is of value to us is what will get us through the good times with great joy and the bad times with fortitude .
Carl Jung said "the word happy would lose it's meaning if it were not balanced by sadness". Really ... isn't that what life is all about?  Finding some happiness in every day and knowing what happiness is because you have experienced some sadness.