Charlotte Phillips

The Price of Vegas – by Charlotte Phillips

No matter how many times I visit Las Vegas, it always plays out the same way.

At first, I am excited and enthusiastic as the plane lifts off from rainy Vancouver and heads due south to the hot, palm tree environs of Sin City. I usually consider a cocktail as my self-control slips the surly bonds of real life on earth, but the good angel on my shoulder pokes me in the conscience a few times and I opt for tea or maybe a Canada Dry Ginger Ale and feel good about myself. Also, as it is not quite noon, I think about pacing myself.

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Jody Vance

“Old Fashionable” – by Jody Vance

Yesterday, at a family bbq, my sister in-law inadvertently coined a new phrase.  Chatting with my 79 year old mother (who was calling herself “old” and “old-fashioned”, of which she neither) my sister said: “you are old fashionABLE.”

We all loved that newly coined phrase.

Question: Why can’t we be fabulous at any age?  Answer: We can.

My mom is fashionable to the nth degree.  She’s always been independent and smart, driven and kind, sensitive and strong; beautiful.  She’s a fashionista on the inside, and out.  At almost 80 she’s cooler than most will ever be, yet is incredibly self deprecating.  She is a strong woman who will, often, say what no one else has the guts to say — she is the queen of nice, with a big dose of crassness.

While spring cleaning yesterday, I came across this photo of her from 1975.  That was the year that the hard working, single mom of two, scraped together enough money to take her kids to her homeland of Yugoslavia:

Later yesterday, here she is at the Everett Family Lamb Roast:

My mom has sparkle, she loves a sparkle. She is beautiful.  She is Old Fashionable, and one day I hope to be as old and fashionable as she is.

Sure, much to the chagrin of my Dad, she shops for things that she will never wear.  Sure, she wears things that no one really understands (the moon stones from her mom, the gecko pin I gave her in 1985, the gold Tiffany ‘bean’ necklace I talked my Dad into buying her one year for her birthday.)

As I look across the table to my mom, with all of the above, a fedora with designer knock off sunnies propped on them, the leopard print cardigan, the rings that tell a life story……I see myself.  I love that my mom dresses for herself.  She dresses for her history and for her soul.

She is Old Fashionable.

This post is about us all, men and women, taking a moment to consider our age and then ponder becoming Old Fashionable.  Own it.  Live it.  Devour it.  Like my Mom.

Perfectly imperfect.  Loveable and beautiful always.

 

** Update from Dad: “One error, her sun glasses are not knock offs, they are originals Now, I do have a problem getting her to wear them over her many knock offs ……………Why, only she knows.”

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Claire Martin

Campaigning: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – By Claire Martin

As many of you know, I ran as the Green Party of Canada candidate for North Vancouver in the last federal election. It was an incredible experience. I learned so much about our country, politics, the process of election campaigning and where my strengths could lie if I was elected.

I wanted to be the second no-bullshit MP in Canada – with (in my opinion) Elizabeth May being the first.

The promise I made to myself, to my campaign and most importantly to my constituents was that I would always be straightforward, hard working and honest. And that hasn’t changed.

So as a defeated-but-not-down former federal potential MP, I’d to like to pen this note to the morons out there that think defacing campaign material FOR ANY PARTY is an ok form of protest.

IT IS NOT.

IT IS 100% NOT OK.

Campaigning is a very humbling yet rewarding way of reaching out to as many people as possible and asking “how’s your government working for you?” The answers are incredibly enlightening – and if you’re wise enough to really listen to folks – you get a true litmus on the state and soul of the community. You get to chat with everyday people on doorsteps, in shopping malls, heading home from work and on holiday. It is honestly a massive learning experience.

The most rewarding aspect is hearing from people who then say “You’ve got my vote, how can I show my support?”. The answer – during the writ period only – is “I’ll give you a sign for your lawn, or your window, or your balcony”.

It’s a visible, non-confrontational show of support.

Now, it’s not for everyone. Politics can a be a tricky subject in some households – and some chose to keep their choice private. And that too – is fine.

But when someone decides to put up a sign, that action should be respected.

Several candidates in North Vancouver have recently fallen foul to idiots out there that think defacing a sign is akin to saying “I don’t support you”, or “I don’t support this election” or whatever.

You know what – IT ISN’T.

As Jody Vance, Sarah Daniels and many of us ex-TV types will tell you – voting (and by that, I mean changing the establishment) comes by simply changing the channel. Nothing hurts a TV station/network more than falling audience numbers. And it is exactly the same in politics. Defacing a sign does little more than garner mediocre, momentary attention. Then it’s back to getting people to vote.

If you’re pissed off with the established political party in power, vote against it.

Change the channel. Don’t scrawl on the TV screen.

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Jody Vance

Bill O’Reilly – by Jody Vance

 

Getty Images: CBS Archive Photo

Anyone else missing David Letterman?  It’s hard to put into words how much I do.  He was my “must watch” daily.

You might assume that my motivation to write about my “Letterman Withdrawal” is Trump related, it’s not — as much as I’d love Dave to be going “no holds barred” on his nightly monologue about POTUS — today I’m missing Letterman because I’d love him to weigh in on Bill O’Reilly.

The O’Reilly Factor here (pun intended) is that the FOX News Host had been accused, by five women, of sexual harassment and – between himself personally and FOX News owner Rupert Murdoch – had paid out a reported $13m dollars in settlements.

O’Reilly kept his job.

He KEPT HIS JOB.

When the story of these payouts were leaked, public outrage was significant. One woman, Wendy Walsh, a psychologist by trade and regular contributor on The O’Reilly Factor, accused the host of backtracking on a job offer after she declined to join him in his hotel suite after a dinner in 2013.

O’Reilly has denied all allegations, even while acknowledging millions in personal payouts, in the name of “protecting his family” from a media circus.  With 4 million nightly viewers, a ratings juggernaut, he didn’t blink.

O’Reilly kept his job.

He KEPT HIS JOB.

Bill O’Reilly is known for his viewership of right-wing Americans who watch religiously and often believe everything he says as The Gospel.  If you’ve ever watched The O’Reilly Factor, you know that it’s anything but steeped in truth.  It’s a ratings beast and therefore a magnet for advertising money.

Enter the all-powerful advertising dollars.  A couple of weeks ago advertisers started to pull their sponsorship and spots from his show: Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai — Caldwell Banker, GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi, Lexus, Bayer, and on and on.  To date more than 50 have bailed, good for them.  Proof that there is power in the ad dollar, clearly more power than a group of women accusing a famous “News” man of sexual harassment.

Early today we woke up to “several reports”, in The New York Times and from The BBC (among others), saying that “high level meetings were taking place today to plan his exit”.

O’Reilly’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz has gone on record saying that this was all being driven by “far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons”.

According to the BBC, 21st Century Fox (Fox News Parent Company) owner, Rupert Murdoch was “in favour of keeping Mr. O’Reilly in his post, while his son – James Murdoch who is the CEO of 21st CF wanted him gone.

Now the news has come down that he’s been forced out, fired.

Just released statement from 21st Century Fox:

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”

This isn’t the first scandal to hit FOX News, the top guy – Roger Ailes – was recently sacked due to his own scandal of the sexual harassment kind.  The man who built the Fox News conservative television empire lost his job.  How is it that Bill O’Reilly kept his for so long?

This is what’s really at issue.

David Letterman is by no means an angel (we all saw his mea culpa about the affair with the intern) but how he addressed his own indiscretions would certainly have given him carte blanche to throw down the facts, and hold O’Reilly’s feet to the fire.

Boy-oh-boy would I love to see Bill sit with Dave tonight.   Damn … I truly do have Letterman Withdrawl.

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Doug Murray

No Fixed Address – by Doug Murray

When I first read ‘The Four-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss, I was surprised to find much of the content strangely familiar. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a terrific book, and I highly recommend it. It gives you a completely different perspective on what your life can be, if you choose.

As I leafed through its pages, I discovered that I was already doing much of what Tim recommends. That is, living a different kind of life. One with more freedom and less work.

Let’s rewind.

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Adopt A Pet, Kristina Matisic

Adopt a Pet – by Kristina Matisic

             
 

GRETTA 

 
I know, I’m a stunner, it’s hard to look away! I’m definitely a breed apart: with the teeth of a shih tzu, the front legs and long body of a basset hound, and the back legs of a beagle. What a combo! (I’m actually part Chiuhauhau and part Beagle, and almost six and a half years old.) 
 
My personality is a real mixed bag too. On the one hand, I’m an affectionate little snuggle bug who loves nothing more than kissing and cuddling with any human who’s handy. On the other hand, I can also be a bit of a diva and tend to almost stamp my feet if I don’t get what the attention I want and deserve! 
 
When I first came to the BC SPCA, I was a bit obese but since I’ve been in foster care, I’ve slimmed down quite a bit, though I still have a little way to go before reaching my ideal weight.  (Don’t we all, ladies?!) 
 
I also had a great deal of pain before, as my ears were badly infected.  After some medical attention, it’s getting a lot better.  But because I had to deal with this pain and people touching my ears to heal them, I’m super sensitive and have a profound dislike of having any painful area of my body touched. So, even though I’m super affectionate, it’s probably best if I don’t live with children, as they may not read my warning signs. 
I’m currently sharing a home with two other small dogs and two cats, and we all get along great, as long as we respect each other’s space.  So I’d do well with another wee pup about my size, or a dog-savvy cat, as long as they don’t get up in my business too much. 
 
If you do take me home, be prepared for stares: people love to check me out. Yes, I may be funny looking, but I’ll be sure to love you up and put a smile on your face every single day.  To meet me (and to see if you measure up to my standards!) please contact the SPCA today.
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Charlotte Phillips

Book Sold Separately – by Charlotte Phillips

“How Much is that Jesus in the Window?”

I actually asked a clerk this weird question today at the card store in a relatively new shopping area in my neighbourhood. She laughed, awkwardly, and blurted out, “Isn’t he cute? We’ve sold a lot of these today. He’s $14.99. See, right there on the little card that says he loves you. He comes with a book, too. Separately.”

I could barely contain myself at her earnest demeanor. I had to hold back my initial retort of, “Yes, I hear Jesus does have a Book.”

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