Another year older…


And no deeper in debt!

debt

This month marks yet another birthday, my 48th so far. As this blog is dedicated to my Grandmother, I thought I would use the occasion to share with all of you the best advice she ever gave me. Many moons ago, when I was in my teen years, my Grandmother told me about the importance of staying out of debt. Her exact words were, “If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.” As my Grandmother was a successful woman in her own right, I took those words to heart and I am grateful to her for explaining to me what none of my teachers ever did… that debt can ruin your life. In this age of everything on credit, I am one of a very few who actually has no debt. No student loans, no car loan, no mortgage… I don’t even owe 20 bucks to a friend. The only debt I owe is to my Grandmother for her sage advice.

I never understood why, in high school where we are supposed to be preparing for life, there was no course about finances. That’s the kind of math all of us can actually use. There does seem to be a backlash to all of this credit/debt mess into which we have collectively gotten ourselves. People like Suze Orman and Gail Vaz Oxlade have made a very nice living teaching others what we should already know, how to get out and stay out of debt.

Gail

Perhaps parents should be teaching the next generation not to fall into the same traps as we did. Or even more importantly, get more involved with school curriculum and demand a class on money management. I have seen too many smart people lose everything because a bubble burst (housing, stock market, banks, internet companies etc.) You want your kids to be successful in life, so you make sure they get the best education that your credit score can afford, but send them out into the world entirely unprepared when it comes to handling all the money they will be making from that high paying job they will hopefully get with their fancy degree.

dirtyjobs

Last night on Real Time With Bill Maher, Mike Rowe (host of a show called Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel) was talking about how there are 3 million high paying jobs that companies are desperate to fill in the United States, but nobody wants to do them. This is systemic of another problem facing the next generation of kids today. The idea that everyone is special and that everyone can be rich and famous. Kids brought up on reality television have been bombarded with the message that the only way to succeed in life is to be on TV so they get student loans and pursue a liberal arts degree. Meanwhile, there is a severe shortage of plumbers, mechanics and other blue-collar workers who could be making real money (over $100,000/year) if they weren’t so concerned with being ordinary or getting a little dirty.

It’s important to remember that, everyone is not special… to be special by definition is to be distinguished or different from what is ordinary or usual. There is no shame in being ordinary. There is only shame in drowning in debt while waiting for the world to notice that you are special.

** Note, the links were not provided by me, but were automatically generated and I do not endorse them.

 

 

Can music save your mortal soul?


It was 1971 when musician Don McLean posed the above question in one of my all time favourite songs, American Pie. Now, while I don’t believe in all of that mortal soul stuff, I do think that music can really help a person through some tough times.

Don+McLean

Don McLean

I met a young woman today named Sydney (I hope I spelled that correctly) who reminded me a lot of myself when I was her age (I am assuming she was in her mid-teens) She told me about several bands that she was into. She mentioned one, specifically called Escape the Fate that really helped her through a difficult bullying experience when she was in middle school.

escape

Escape the Fate

I too, was horribly bullied through junior high and high school and I too, turned to music for solace. This beautiful girl came alive when she spoke about her favourite bands, and her plan to start her own band in the coming year. It seems Sydney is into what she calls the new metal. As a child of the 70’s, I was into the old metal bands like Judas Priest, ACDC and Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin

 I listened with excitement as she told me about this ‘new metal’ and how the lyrics really inspired her. It was encouraging to hear that she had found something to help her out of a dark place, something that touched her deeply and allowed her to channel her anger and teenage angst. Just when I was thinking that the music world had been entirely taken over by the boy bands and the Disney brigade, along comes this gorgeous, intelligent and sensitive young woman to tell me that all is not lost. That the youth of today is creating actual music with lyrics that explore real emotions as opposed to the insipid Baby, baby, baby crap that has deluged the radio for far too long. It is my sincere hope that there is new musical revolution on the horizon, one that will dilute the posers of the world (I’m looking at you Justin Bieber) and start a new and meaningful conversation… and hopefully these new bands will actually play their own instruments as opposed to the computer generated beats and melodies that has been passing for music for far too long.

Thanks for the great conversation and Rock On Sydney!

rockon

Oh, and Sydney, if you’re reading this, I gave you the wrong email addy… it’s windupmyskirt1@aol.com (forgot the number 1)

A Canada Day Quiz (funny)


Two blog posts in one day?! Well, it’s a special day.

Just in case you thought I had forgotten about (aboot?) Canada Day… here’s a little something for my fellow Canucks.

Canada Day

The following quiz was written by Jack Knox (who is known for his terrific sense of humour) of the Victoria Times Colonist. It’s possibly the easiest and funniest quiz I have ever taken. Images added by yours truly.

• The name Canada Day was adopted in 1982. Prior to that the July 1 holiday was celebrated as:

A) Dominion Day

B) St. Jean Baptiste Day

C) McHappy Day

D) Christmas in July for the Bellingham outlet stores

• B.C. joined Confederation in:

A) 1867

B) 1871

C) 1492 (1671 after HST)

D) a fit of madness

• Which is highest?

A) Mount Robson

B) Mount Logan

C) The CN Tower

D) Rob Ford

Rob-Ford-Smikes-Crack

• A Montreal-area mayor pictured with his hand on a Bible is:

A) taking the oath of office

B) taking the Bible

C) risking eternal damnation

D) pleading not guilty

• Canada’s best-known scientist was:

A) Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone

B) Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin

C) William Osler, the father of modern medicine

D) burned at the stake as a witch by Stephen Harper

• Match the quote with the prime minister: Jean Chrétien, Pierre Trudeau, Lester Pearson, William Lyon Mackenzie King

A) “We hate the GST and we will kill it.”

B) “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”

C) “The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants, and for peace like retarded pygmies.”

D) “Hakuna matata.” Oops, my mistake. That’s William Mackenzie Lion King.

• B.C. was discovered by:

A) Capt. James Cook aboard the Endeavour

B) Capt. James Kirk aboard the Enterprise

C) Wanda Fuca, the first woman to command a Spanish galleon

D) The people who met the Europeans when they got here

kirk-pub

• Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton are:

A) CFL teams

B) warships based at CFB Esquimalt

C) cities in Eastern Canada (everything beyond Saltspring is Eastern Canada)

D) jealous of Victoria

• Canada’s motto “A Mari usque ad Mare” means:

A) From sea to sea

B) A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse

C) Roll up the rim to win

D) GST not included

rolluptherim

• Canada’s most valuable export is:

A) Alberta bitumen

B) B.C. Bud

C) Céline Dion

D) Justin Bieber

• We wish to apologize for:

A) Alberta bitumen

B) B.C. Bud

C) Céline Dion

D) Justin Bieber

justin-bieber-2013-pants-down

• Explorer Alexander Mackenzie famously completed his transcontinental journey to the West Coast by what message on a rock at Bella Coola:

A) “Alexander Mackenzie/ from Canada/ by land/ 22d July 1793”

B) “Must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque.”

C) “What do you mean there’s a two-sailing wait?”

D) “We’ll put the pipeline right here.”

left-turn-at-Albuquerque

• Here’s what others say about us. Discuss.

A) Jane Fonda: “When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like.”

B) Explorer Jacques Cartier: “I am rather inclined to believe this is the land God gave to Cain.”

C) Russian gangster recorded while phoning home from prison: “You must come to Canada. This is a wonderful place. I’m in jail and eat meat three times a day.”

D) TV’s Jon Stewart: “I’ve been to Canada, and I’ve always gotten the impression that I could take the country over in about two days.”

• Here’s what we say about ourselves:

A) Comedian John Wing: “A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care.”

B) Author Douglas Coupland: “There are few, if any, Canadian men who have never spelled their name in a snow bank.”

C) Former Victoria Times publisher Stuart Keate: “In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations; it’s cold, half-French and difficult to stir.”

D) Retiring astronaut Chris Hadfield, on Twitter last week: “After 26 years serving in other places around the world, tonight I am back on Canadian soil, to stay. It feels so very good to be home.”

nameinsnow