If all you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail.

This is my favourite quotation. For me it speaks of how we suffer greatly and act accordingly, often, because we don’t have the tools we need to change our situation. But for now I am thinking about how we communicate and how it affects what we communicate. I think some guy from Canada wrote at length about this…

I had a discussion years ago with some of my French fellow students about language when I was in art school in the 70’s. Quebec nationalism was a huge topic and the importance of preserving the French language really important, so much so that when the conversation got really impassioned we each would shout in our own! Our argument was whether the true nature of a person wasn’t formed by the language they used to express themselves.

Is there some mystical quality in language? Can you change the scope of your mind with language alone? I would prefer to believe that understanding is what is the greatest power for change and language is only one way to get there.

Words can be used to distance ourselves from our experiences and from each other and so in the end they are limited. They can even be dangerous when used to express division of self and other. They can inspire, motivate and condemn but they have to arise within a context that is somehow meaningful to the listener and it is the context that decides their effect.

If you judge others favourably on the basis of their eloquence alone, you can end up surrounded by liars.

What I take the quotation to mean is understand the tools a person has, if you want to understand what they are saying.
I also take it to mean, spend your life acquiring tools of expression but pay attention to the intent and the context.
True expression is often wordless.Even the greatest poets stutter in the face of reality, it requires effort more than just a vast or specific vocabulary. The greatest tool is an open mind and that is the hardest to maintain.

Stevland Hardaway Judkins, aka Stevie Wonder

The Blog of Funny Names

Happy Monday, everybody! Today we are ready to induct a living legend into the Funny Names Hall of Fame. Which is totally a thing. And totally exists. In fact, the FNHOF is actually housed inside a building somewhere. We just haven’t figured out where yet.

It’s a well-known fact that we here at Funny Names HQ appreciate and cherish all of our inductees, but sometimes there’s a person that really pushes the envelope, and darn tootin’ if today’s subject ain’t one of them!

We have theories on fellas with Funny Names growing up to be tough guys, a la A Boy Named Sue. We’ve christened this  the Kermit Can Kill Conjecture, and it’s one of our favorite Funny Names Theories (just kidding – naming a favorite Funny Names Theory is like deciding which of my children I’d like to eat*).

* Until I have reason to do otherwise, I’m…

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This Actually Happened

Sea gulls flying in formation like each is a knot in a crocheted blanket thrown from heaven,
while I make my way in my little human meat boat across the ocean of concrete,
hauling my shopping cart towards the illusive shore, I mean store,
as they dive for morsels of garbage and cigarette butts.

Sometimes my little dot turns and looks at the beauty of it all.

Took the Long Way Home…

toronto island 006I don’t know the girl in this photo. It was very crowded on the ferry but I did think at the time that it would not hurt to have her in it. I missed the boat to Ward’s Island which is closer to Algonquin and so rather than sit for an hour (I didn’t bring a book) I took the one to Center Island with all the kids and parents going to enjoy the rides etc.

I don’t really like Center Island, it is over priced and crowded. Why not go to the C.N.E. if you want rides? This was last Friday so lots of people with kids were there. The islands are full of beautiful parks. I walked behind a pair of moms heading to the rides at Centerville who were constantly telling their kids “You’re going to LOVE the rides!” One little girl just wanted to run over to the swings. There are lots of free things to do on the islands with kids, plenty of playgrounds, wildlife to watch and sandy beaches to play on.
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It was a long walk. I wore my runners, and a special tenser bandage for support on my wonky knee. I did find the walk very long and difficult. Next time I will wait for the Ward’s Island ferry!  I wished I had my bike!  The owner of the B&B was able to show me the rooms I rented for my daughter’s wedding.  It is  only three blocks from the bed and breakfast to the venue and one of the loveliest walks you can find, with cute houses and narrow lanes; all tree lined with the lake and a view of the city at the end of each.toronto island 037 There are no cars on the island except for a few official park vehicles. It is a walker/biker paradise.
mapThis is a map I drew for the official wedding web page.  I know!  Remember when all you needed was big hair, a box of wine and a license to get married?

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The AIA building is the venue. There is a daycare and Montessori school there but on this particular day there were these guys who were doing repairs.  The gentleman on the right lives on the island and reassured me that my ninety year old mother would have no problem getting out at the dock for the venue. “She’s probably less than a hundred pounds so not too heavy to lift.  We lift my Gran up out of a boat here all the time!”  They were good sports.  I still am not very adept at using my phone camera and they were just about to walk off after I had tried several times to get their photo.  They were after all working!

The air show was on at the C.N.E. so I was in the perfect spot to watch some of it.  I sat on the dock and ate two delicious Ontario peaches I had brought with me and drank a bottle of water for lunch so the entire day just cost me no more than my transit fare.