Archive for June, 2013

Political Correctness.  I’m  tired of it.  Racism, religion, feminism, safety issues–the works.

Thing is, all this PC-ism seems to go only one way.  We mustn’t refer to African Americans by the “N” word or we’re in trouble; but what about white-folks being called “Whitey” or as used to be some years ago “Honkey”–has any African American been in trouble for that?  Nobody dare say a word against Muslims, we mustn’t bad mouth their religious faith, yet they get away with disrespecting ours and other faiths.  Women are suing and complaining about sexual harassment, particularly in the work place–has a man ever sued a female co-worker for that?  I think the answer to all the above is “I don’t think so.”

As for the sexual harassment bit–if I had a dime for every event in my life that, today constitutes sexual harassment I would have no need to buy lottery tickets!  I worked on a USAF base–for over eight years.  If I didn’t get a wolf-whistle when I walked down the street to the snack bar for my lunch, I would think something was wrong with me.  If the guys didn’t flirt with me–simply plain flirting–I would think something was wrong with me.  I mean, it was all in fun–I would flirt back, and everybody knew nothing was serious.  Nobody took advantage of me–and I learned to give as much back, in the way of jokes, as I took. These days it seems, at the first hint of a flirt the woman complains and runs to sue.

In my opinion, what is lacking today is discipline, particularly self discipline.  We are becoming so dependent on being “looked after” we will soon be incapable of personal action.  A certain commercial that bothers me is the one for an over the counter medication to prevent heartburn–you know the one, “Don’t let heartburn stop you eating your favorite foods, take THIS before you eat and you won’t get heartburn at all…”; when the top and bottom of it is have enough self discipline to not eat the foods you know will hurt you. No, take a pill and eat what you want.  Safety issues–wear protective clothing when enjoying cycling, rollerskating, or playing sports–don’t learn to cycle safely, roller skate safely, or otherwise take care of yourself.

When roller skating as a teenager, something I loved to do and went to the skating rink every night for a couple of hours, I quickly learned how to skate without falling, or how to fall without hurting vital parts of my body.  Same with riding a bicycle, I looked after myself and took care not to fall–not too hard, anyway.  Today, children really don’t care how they play, because “I’m not going to hurt myself, I’m wearing knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet, it doesn’t matter if I ride my bicycle properly or roughly, I can’t get hurt.”

We are smothered with safety gadgets–instead of the self discipline of taking care of our own selves.  So we blame others for our mishaps–like the teen who died recently after drinking too may energy drinks (his mother is suing the drink company) and the woman who spilled hot coffee when leaving the drive-through at McDonald’s.

By the way, I am British–several of my American friends have referred to me as “Limey”–that is an insult, but Americans aren’t aware that it is–so maybe the next time I hear my son-in-law say “What can you expect–she’s a Limey” I should sue him for using a racial slur!

It’s all in fun you know folks.

Oh, I found my ear-worm song on YouTube–so I was able to learn the first four lines of it, it is from Disney’s Peter Pan.  I sang it to myself several times, and I think I might have lost it (Never smile at a Crocodile…)  Ooops, no not yet. 😦

Keep Calm and Carry On




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First, the Ear Worms:

I’ve had this stupid tune, plus about 5 words of the first line of a children’s song, stuck in my head for several months now.  Yes–several months.  I just can’t get rid of it.  I’ve tried humming a totally different tune as soon as the ear worm pops up–doesn’t help.  The six word repetition:  “Never smile at a crocodile…”  and that’s it!  Why that tune, and why it’s stuck, I can’t fathom.  It could be worse though–could be any one of a bunch of hated tunes from equally hated commercials.

And now the subject of Revisions:

When I write–when I work on my WIP, I tend to over-revise by adding or embellishing what I’ve already written.  I can’t seem to stop, I become out of control, adding a word here, a whole sentence there.  Adjectives and adverbs become over-used.  In fact I do just what a writer is told not to do–I over revise, going back and forth through what I’ve already written, changing too much and not cutting out enough.

What brought this to mind at this point in time is my latest painting endeavor.  You see I’ve become obsessed with Poppies and am planning a large 18″ by 24″ painting of such flowers to go over our mantel.  To that end I’ve already done a couple of smaller versions as practice.  I noticed that I’ve spoiled them by adding a touch of white here, a touch of yellow there–more white and more yellow–oh, and a dab of black in the center–maybe a smidgeon of orange on the edge–right–there!  Darn, why didn’t I stop before I added that last few splodges of white?  

That made me realize that my art,  as my writing, can suffer from over-doing.  I need to make myself stop while I’m ahead.

Keep Calm and Carry On






















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I got to thinking about last names.  They fascinate me–where do they come from, what do they mean?  I’m not talking about true foreign names, or names that have obviously been changed from the original (foreign) name. I’m talking of odd names–names that are almost a sentence in themselves.

Two that come to mind are “Gathercoal” and “Gotobed”–both of which I encountered in the county of Suffolk, England.  Joe Gathercoal didn’t know where his name originated–well, neither did Eddie Gotobed; I’m guessing both names originated in Suffolk, who knows how many centuries ago.  The Husband mentioned the name Golightly, too.

Some names like Gathercoal and Gotobed seem to be rooted in one particular part of the country.  If you introduce me to a person with the surname Rimmer, I will tell them their ancestors came from the Wigan area of Lancashire in England.  The name “Whatmaugh” is from the Nottingham area–and I don’t think it spread much further than Nottingham, I’ve not come across another Whatmaugh family!

That started me thinking about odd-named people and their occupations.  In Liverpool there used to be a firm of accountants–the company name?  Dalley and Dolittle!  I knew a dentist–his name, Dr. Fillinger (and there is a dentist where I live now who’s name is Dr. Hurt.)

Several years ago, The Husband and I belonged to a local Bass (fishing) Club, among the members were the Hamm family, the Bunn family and us Beenes.  So we had all the fixings for a picnic–the ham, the buns and the beans!

Continuing on with the subject of names–how about the pronunciation of some of them.  Though I don’t know about the rest of the US, but in this East Texas area some names are not pronounced the way I–as a foreigner–would say them,  The first that comes to mind is Beall; folks around here say it “Bell”, where I would say “Beel”.  My mother-in-law (and a lot of others here) pronounced the town name of Carthage “Carthrage”–and how about “ShreveSport” for Shreveport. 

The surname Talliaferro is pronounced “Tolliver”, Ballow is “Bloo”.   Those are just a few names I got wrong when I first came across them.  We have friends with the last name Forsythe–not an unusual name at all, but it gets pronounced “Forsite”–which bugs me.  I asked one of the family members how he said his name–“Well it’s ForsyTHe, but everybody calls it Forsite so I just go along with them.”

Never mind–I get called Ms. BeenAY.  I suppose I should be like a certain character in a British Sitcom (Keeping Up Appearances)–her last name is Bucket, she prefers to be known as Mrs.  “Bookay”.

Since I am not particularly snobby–I will continue to be Vivra Beene, with a silent final “e”.

Keep Calm and Carry On









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Inspiration for writers and other creators can come from dreams, we are told.  So  sleep with a pencil and paper beside the bed, when you wake up from an interesting dream, write it down–or write key words down–so you can remember in the morning and make use of the dream input.

That sounds helpful, but no matter how hard I try I cannot bring myself to raise up from a comfortable position, fumble for a light and the writing materials I thought were conveniently placed, and after becoming fully awake, write down the dream that by now I can’t remember!

I don’t remember my dreams.  I know they are good, because when I do wake from one, I “feel” it was a happy one–I don’t think I have many really bad ones.  Last night, however, I had a good one–an interesting one.  I know that because when it was over, right on the point of waking up, I thought I must remember that, I’m meant to remember that.  So I went over it in my mind in detail, puzzling about it’s meaning–and went back to sleep (I was so very comfortable.)  Because I had re-played it in my head I felt sure I would remember in the morning.

Of course, I couldn’t.

Keep Calm and Carry On


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Here we are again with some things that really bug me.  This one is in two parts: a) When watching television, they stick preview information about upcoming programs either on the bottom , or in one corner, of the screen.  Very distracting.  And b) At the end of a movie they usually show the credits–the names of cast members, the location where the movie was filmed, the music and artists etc.  The Husband and I argue throughout a movie, about who played what and where it was made.  We watch to the absolute end hoping to discover the answers and see who won the bet—but the credits shrink up and move to one side so as to advertise the next night’s movie.   I defy anybody to read them–oh, and they fly up the screen so fast…

And that’s all for today.  My new knee bothered me last night, enough to stop me from having a good night’s rest, and I am so sleepy I can’t keep my eyes open.

Keep Calm and Carry On

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The Husband and I have been married for over 4 decades, we get along quite well, he lets me be me, and I try to let him be him.  However, after this length of time I it has finally dawned on me that I am married to—a teenager!

I have often said that he is a great husband, that he will happily do anything I ask him to, but that I am fed up with having to ask.  After all, by now he should know enough about the workings of the household (and me) to be able to initiate actions on his own.  Do the dishes need putting in the dishwasher, if so, does he put them in?  When I ask him to set the table, does he notice the table needs wiping off first, and do it?  Do the dogs’ dishes need picking up ready for their next meal–in fact, does he notice it’s time to feed them?  When the dogs are at the back door barking to come inside, does he let them in?  The answer to all those questions, and similar, is NO.

He will sit on the couch in front of the television, hypnotized by even the commercials, fingers glued to the remote–the equivalent of our granddaughter’s fingers being glued to her cell phone.  I mention a light bulb needs  replacing–“I’ll do it later .”

There is one difference between The Husband and a teenager–he doesn’t have an attitude, thank goodness.  But I do feel as if I am nagging when I have to repeat requests, even though he doesn’t seem to notice.  I listen to myself and realize I sound like my daughter fussing with our granddaughter.

I wonder, should I keep on with the “nagging”–or simply ignore him and do everything for myself?  I really don’t think he would care which I did!

And with that, I’m off to put the dishes in the dishwasher, pick up the dogs’ dishes, and look to see if we do have a light bulb of the correct size (make that two light bulbs–another one just went kaplooey) and set them out for when “later” gets here.

Keep Calm and Carry On







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