Jun 17 2010

Better Living Through More Stuff

While I don’t usually perpetuate the notion that the more stuff you have, the better your life is, I am about to make some exceptions.

For example. I have to go camping this summer. I hate camping. However, I have recently purchased an army cot that will put me about 18 bloody inches above the cold, wet earth of Tofino. That makes me happy.

Here’s another; I am a photographer, have been for a long time. You can check out some of my stuff at www.jacflash.com or www.jacflash.com/portfolio. One of the reasons I no longer make my living as a phototographer is because my equipment is out-dated. I own a Nikon D1. It’s the first, ever digital slr camera. In it’s day the D1 was the be all and end all of digital photography. Today however, it can be out-shot by your phone!

Needless to say, it’s time for a new camera.

Which leads us back to the discussion about more stuff having a direct correlation to happiness. Guess what? My new D90 makes me positively giddy! So much so that I have bogarted the 11 year old’s camera cards (of course the D1 and the D90 do NOT share card sizes. Lens? Yes. Cards? No.)

My theory is that the D90 will now make me more money which I can use to…you guessed it, buy more STUFF.

Yay stuff!!!!

Oh, and my skis. They create a large welling up of happiness in me too. They go fast. They make me feel, I dunno…what’s the word???? Young? Fun? Fast? Out of control? All of the above.

What else?

Well, I like to make photobooks with Photoworks. That’s stuff right? Sure looks like stuff when it’s spread out all over the dining room table.

Then there’s my iphone and my Macbook Pro and my 38″ tv (not “compensating for something” sized, just normal sized).

I’m not sayin’ that all this stuff is the reason I’m happy but I do think that it contributes to my ability to not covet what others have….mostly cuz I have it all too.

I do, however, have a line in the sand.

For instance, I don’t like stupid stuff. I won’t own a salad spinner (how lazy is that that you can’t rinse your lettuce by ¬†yourself) or an electric toothbrush. I don’t have electronic picture frames or one of those things that starts your car before you get in it.

There’s a ban on cheap, plastic products from China in our home.

I have a pretty hard and fast rule about stuff. If it doesn’t contribute to long-term happiness then it’s a no go. If it takes away from our set goals (like a trip to Europe) it’s also not allowed.

It’s with these things in mind that I teach the miniatures to respect the stuff they have and to think hard about the stuff they want.

A really good exercise is to stand in front of your closet and look at your stuff. Choose and outfit you remember buying. (it’s best if it was a spur of the moment buy) then look at it and determine if owning it has made you significantly happier in your life. (or did you think about other uses for the money?)

I like stuff as much as the next person but I’ve finally learned to make sure that the stuff I covet will contribute to the sum of my own happiness in the long term.

Jun 15 2010

I Got No Game :(

In this journey through life, single life to be precise, I have found that I am sadly lacking in one very important dating skill…mid-game.

I have beginning game; where I meet a guy that seems somewhat interesting then I treat him like shit or I play hard to get.

I have end game. (for the purposes of this blog I won’t go into specifics of what my end game may entail. I’ve heard that my kid reads this blog ;)

Suffice to say if beginning game is 1 foot off of home and heading for first, end game would be sliding, head-first into home plate after hitting the first ball thrown. (there, that seems sufficiently vague to dissuade my kid from understanding it ;)

Ok, so now what do I do? Is there a class to learn mid-game? Too bad there’s no class to teach the end game, I’m really good at that!

I’m actually not really interested in the end game anymore. Wild oats seem to be quenched. And even if I were, there is a stable available for such random acts.

Back to my dilemma. Mid game.

How’m I gonna git ma game on?

For those of you who are thinking of leaving some advice you ought to know what I’m looking for. I wouldn’t want to waste my new game on just anyone.

Age: 30-40 (I’ve had a 40 year old, I don’t really want another one unless he’s actually young looking, fit, healthy…oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here)

Profession: should have one! No offense, but if you have a “job” I’m not interested. I’m passionate about what I do and I would like a guy to have some sort of vested, emotional interest in his career. Even better would be someone who is so rich that all he does is philanthropic work. Hee hee.

Living arrangements: No guys living in vans, with their parents or with their current or ex wives. Seriously! This is a deal breaker!

So is smoking. Total deal-breaker. No smokers. Anyone with that little respect for themselves, the people that love them and their health really shouldn’t be allowed to have friends or lovers. Just sayin’.

Fit. Needn’t be a freak. In fact, freaky fit is not much of a turn-on for me. Someone who likes to do stuff that keeps him fit would be good rather than a gym rat.

Humour: This really ought to be at the top of the list. If you can’t make me laugh you are clearly not clever enough to date me. Again, just sayin’.

Kids: He can definitely have ‘em. In fact, if he does and they live with him that’s even better. If he doesn’t have kids at 35 I’m gonna wanna know why.

This is all starting to sound like Plenty of Fish (which I don’t subscribe to…anymore. Which, by the way, is really just a hook up site which is mostly why I have such a well-defined end game….but I digress)

Ok, now that you are armed with the knowledge of what I want…oh wait! I forgot the most important part! I don’t want an actual “boyfriend”. Whew, that would be embarrassing if you commented and it landed me a “life-mate”.

There is not enough room in my life for a full-time bf. I’m thinking more along the lines of someone that travels a lot for a living. You know, someone who is not in town all the time but available when I need him to be.

Is that selfish? Am I asking too much?

Jun 13 2010

Where the Hell are All the Single Men God-damn It!?

Is it really too bloody much to ask that there be at least a half dozen hot, single men in my town of 22,000?

You’d think with 22,000 I’d be able to have a drink at the local and actually have someone interesting to talk to.

I’m pretty cute. I’ve held up well (for my age) I’m fun and funny and out-going and have a job. I don’t live in a dumpster, drink to excess, shy away from adventure. What the hell?

Secretly, I think this is just a test to see if I can truly be single in a town where the only single guys are the ones who’ve simply outlived their wives. The average age here seems to be somewhere around 200 years old. Uggg.

Frequently my sistas and I are required to make the sojourn to downtown Vancouver to check out the local talent. Vancouver is, depending on how you drive, 20 or so minutes from where we live. It’s not a long way but it’s an $80 cab ride if you decide to get silly or stay out past the transit system hours.

The other night we made the trek. All of us, all dolled up, looking like Sex in the City meets Target. We looked hot. We’re all of a certain age and we chose our destination accordingly…Sandbar (otherwise known as Vancouver’s cougar bar)

What a colossal disappointment that turned out to be. The only guys that even spoke to us had to be reeled in like Marlin and even they weren’t much to shake a stick at.

What the hell is wrong with men these days? They have great role models! (see above) They should be able to model their behaviour on the suave, debonaire example that my buddy George sets for them. He’s doing his part to bring the 30-55 set into line and these idiots are paying no attention whatsoever!

What more can we women do than spend an hour to get gorgeous, go to where the men are and look approachable but not so approachable that someone’s hand is up your skirt before first names are exchanged? Tell me, I want to know the secret.

If the secret is “be 22″ then don’t tell me, I’ll wallow in my 44 ness and be happy at that.

Maybe we’re all barking up the wrong tree, maybe the suave, debonaire types are reading books or going to foreign films. I may have to check that out one of these days.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress ;)

Jun 12 2010

Saying Goodbye to My Firstborn…Camera that is.

It’s been a wonderful love affair. The one between my first digital SLR camera and me.

We’ve been through a lot together, learning to work together, frustrated at some results, delighted at others.

Our 9 year relationship has seen much. To be honest, all the changes have mostly been mine. The camera hasn’t changed much. In fact, it’s never even needed a doctor’s appointment or anything. It’s the most low-maintenance thing in my life.

Despite our long-standing mutual adoration the time has come to amp up my game. I don’t do a ton of pro photography anymore but what I do do (ha ha, I said “do do”) requires a lot more photoshopping than I’m comfortable with. I think the actuation on the camera are about at their past-due date.

So, yesterday I did it! I bought a new rig.

It’s really cute and pretty and feels a bit…um…light. Like my old camera after a 30 day cleanse.

I introduced the 2 of them this morning. (see pic) I didn’t sense any animosity so I am going to leave them alone for a few hours, see if my mature camera can give the new kid on the block some pointers.

They’ve already traded lenses like tweens trading dresses at a slumber party so I think all will be well.

Looking forward to sharing lots of pix and vids with you all in the future!