Monthly Archives: October 2013

BOO — have a fun Halloween!

However you celebrate, have a fun Halloween! Last year someone sent me a cartoon that still cracks me up :))) — here it is for your viewing pleasure! 🙂

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The French sign says:”She was texting while flying!” 🙂

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To complete this Halloween post, here’s a joke, in the spirit of the day!

Jim grabbed his suitcase off the luggage carousel and headed outside to hail a taxi. A taxi promptly picked him up and they were on there way. Twenty minutes into the ride Jim had a question for the taxi driver, “Excuse me sir” said Jim tapping the driver on the shoulder. “AHHHHHHH,” screamed the taxi driver swerving the taxi across three lanes of traffic, finally stopping the car on the opposite shoulder. “What the heck was that all about?” demanded Jim thoroughly shaken. “I’m sorry,” said the taxi driver, wiping his brow, “this is my first day on the job, I’ve been driving a hearse* for the last fifty years!” 🙂

*A hearse is a vehicle for carrying the coffin to the graveyard

 

Some ideals are for always!

Desiderata” (Latin: “desired things”) is a 1927 prose poem written by American writer Max Ehrmann. It was largely unknown in the author’s lifetime, but the became widely known in 1971-1972. Reading it we realize that some ideals are for ever…and time doesn’t change their relevance! The English post is followed by the French translation!

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

French translation:

<< Reste calme au milieu du bruit et de l’impatience et souviens-toi de la paix qui découle du silence. Autant que tu le peux, mais sans te renier, sois en bons termes avec tout le monde. Dis ce que tu penses, clairement, simplement; et écoute les autres, même les sots et les ignorants; eux aussi ont quelque chose à dire. Evite les gens grossiers et violents ils ne sont que tourments pour l’esprit.Si tu te compares aux autres, tu risques de devenir vaniteux ou amer, il y aura toujours quelqu’un de plus grand ou de plus petit que toi.

Sois fier de ce que tu as fait et de ce que tu veux faire. Aime ton métier, même s’il est humble; c’est un bien précieux en notre époque trouble. Sois prudent dans tes affaires, car on pourrait te jouer de vilains tours. Mais que ceci ne te rende pas aveugle à ce qu’il y a de beau; bien des gens luttent pour un idéal et, partout sur la Terre, on fait preuve de courage. Sois toi-même, surtout dans tes affections. Fuis par-dessus tout le cynisme en amour, car il persiste même après avoir desséché ton cœur et désenchanté ton âme.

Permets-toi de t’enrichir de l’expérience des ans, te défaisant progressivement de tes puérilités. Affermis-toi pour faire face aux malheurs de la vie. Mais ne te détruis pas par une imagination maladive; bien des peurs prennent naissance dans la fatigue et la solitude.

Malgré la saine discipline qui s’impose, sois bon envers toi-même. Tu es un enfant de l’univers, tout comme les arbres et les étoiles: tu as le droit d’être ici. Et même si cela n’est pas clair en toi, sois assuré que tout se passe dans l’univers selon ses règles propres. Par conséquent, sois en paix avec ton Dieu, quelle que soit en toi son image. Et par-delà tes peines et tes aspirations, au milieu de la confusion de la vie, sois en paix avec ton âme.

Dis-toi qu’en dépit de ses faussetés, de ses ingratitudes, de ses rêves brisés, le monde est tout de même merveilleux. Répands la bonne humeur. Et tâche d’être heureux. >>

 

Mesquite, Nevada

No, I’ve never been there — Las Vegas yes, but never to Mesquite, which is only an hour away from Vegas! And yet I’m taking on the challenge of writing about a place I haven’t personally visited but only because a golfer friend just did, and told me of his enthralling experience at the Wolf Creek Golf Club in Mesquite, showed me his pictures, and I made a mental note — here’s another one for the bucket list!

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This first picture I got off the web, as I thought it gave a great overview of the layout of the course. It’s a great interactive map…clicking on the different numbers enlarges the view of the hole and describes it in detail, along with  lots more information! It can be found at: http://www.golfwolfcreek.com/courselayout

It says on their website, ‘…it will test your game with its stunning layout, overwhelm you with its dazzling beauty and its breath-taking views…all at the same time.’ Quite a description, that, and my friend said exactly the same thing while describing the place. He said he’s definitely going back!

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For more, I’ll let the pictures do the talking! What fascinated me is that these which appear to be rocky hills, aren’t — it is just hardened sand, and this is what makes the landscape so attractive. The golf course seems to be carved out in the barren desert and fairways and greens laid in there. Let’s look at some more pictures — You may wish to check out the website too!

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So much rugged beauty here… This gorgeous picture shows the clubhouse in the background, way at the back to the right. In the center, behind the grey rock formation are condos. I’m quite aware that my small pictures aren’t doing justice to the place, unlike the bigger versions on the computer, but hope you get the idea :)…*SIGH* There’s so much beauty on our planet! 🙂

mesquite 2013 232 (1)But golf isn’t all there is, in Mesquite…there are many other activities for the non-golfers too, which includes me. Nearby is the famous Zion National Park with many facilities and activities to participate in. And in and around Mesquite are a host of activities for all tastes and ages! But whether or not I played golf, I would definitely rent a cart for a day and cart around the beautiful Wolf Creek Course! 🙂

 

 

Some good clean jokes :)

I love telling jokes, and love it when I find good, clean ones that can be told in any company. The beauty of clean jokes is that they need true wit, and a real sense of humor, unlike ‘adult’ jokes where it is sexual innuendos that amuse us!

These are from an email forward from a long time ago that I saved in my ‘Good Jokes’ folder. It’s very likely that some of you may have heard some of these before, but hey, a good joke is a good joke — we can always enjoy them a second, or a third time! So here goes…

West Jet is an airline with its head office located in Calgary, Alberta. Its airline attendants try to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and other announcements more entertaining than is usual in the airline industry. Here are some examples:

On a West Jet flight there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you
want. Passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight
attendant announced, “People, people… we’re not picking out furniture here,
find a seat and get in it!”
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On another West Jet flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”
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On landing, the stewardess said, “Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”
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“Thank you for flying West Jet Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the
business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
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As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Vancouver Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella, WHOA!”
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“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.”
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“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than West Jet Airlines.”
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“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”
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On a West Jet Airlines flight into Regina, on a particularly windy and bumpy day, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the flight attendant said: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Regina. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the captain taxis what’s left of our
airplane to the gate!”
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An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his plane into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and say, “Thanks for flying our airline.” He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, “Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?” “Why, no, Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?” The little old lady said, “Did we land, or were we shot down?
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Reading and posting them here made me laugh yet again — hope you enjoyed them too! 🙂

 

A world-famous Paris Café

No visit of mine to Paris is complete without a meal at Les Deux Magots*! A famous Paris café-restaurant, it was once a well-known rendezvous point for the literary and the intellectuals. It was frequented by the likes of James Joyce, Bertold Brecht, Pablo Picasso, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway,  Albert Camus amongst a host of others.
 
The name Les Deux Magots originally belonged to a fabric shop at the nearby 23, Rue de Buci. The shop sold silk lingerie and took its name from a popular play of the moment, in the 1800s, named Les Deux Magots de la Chine (Two Figurines from China). In 1873 the business transferred to the current location in the Place Saint-Germain-des-Près in the 6th Arrondissement (burough), in the shadow of the famous church St. Germain des PrĂ©s, a haven of peace in a busy area. In 1884, the business changed to a cafĂ© and a liquoriste (a liquor store), keeping the original name. It has been in the hands of the same family since 1914. If they have their centennial next year, I’m going 🙂
 
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Some people consider the place an overpriced tourist trap but not I. I like to find a table in the glazed patio and watch the world go by as I partake of the energy of the souls of the writers of bygone eras. I specially chose this picture for the clear view of the table I sat at on my very first visit there, almost a decade ago. I had invited two dear friends for breakfast, and we sat at the very spot of the table on the right side, where there are three people sitting…the woman in green is where I sat — ah nostalgia! There are some memories and emotions that can’t be allowed to be interpretted by anyone else!
 
 
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 Here are some of my favorite souvenirs from Les Deux Magots — an apron, an espresso cup and a creamer. They sit here on my kitchen counter to remind me of one of my favorite corners in the world :)! Ahhh…
 
 
This youtube video captures the ambience a bit, although it’s a little noisy!
 
 
 
*Pronunciation: lay – the – mag_O
 
 
 

As Within So Without…

There are several different interpretations of this ancient and famous quote, and I prefer to stick with the very literal meaning conveyed by it. My own experience has taught me that these words mean exactly what they say, that our inner and outer states are representations of each other, they reflect each other. To explain how this happens, I need to ask you, dear reader, to keep an open mind and just read on. They do say, “A mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open!” ;)…so, for starters let’s just open up to hearing some new ideas here, and later decide if we’ll accept them or not. 

There’s a huge body of research and information that conclusively proves that our inner state is actually the very creator of the environment we find ourselves living in. For example, a calm and relaxed inner state creates a calm and relaxed outer environment — everything goes well, and life moves along smoothly. Then, quite suddenly, we find that there is a lack of harmony in our environment, and there are obstacles and frustrations. This is a good time to do some investigation and look for areas of discord within. Investigate, what happened that disturbed your inner balance? Due to what reasons were you disconnected with a sense of contentment and peace within? The answers to these questions, and their resolution are also the fix for an outer environment that’s dysfunctional. Take care of the within, and the without will take care of itself! This is a new category I’m starting today, on health related issues…you’ll be hearing much more about all this in the near future! Ciao, ciao…

 

Peace in the world?

As with everything in our lives, what we want to see on the outside, is what we must cultivate on the inside! These wise words by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tze Tung are worth pondering:

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

Lao Tzu (570-490 B.C.)

Champagne screams *celebration*

It was absolutely delightful, to receive an unexpected gift of a Veuve Clicquot the other day…one of my favorite champagnes, so good for easy drinking!

2013-10-22 14_40_54What doubled the pleasure was to see it packaged in its own yellowy-orange ‘Cooler Jacket’, for insulation after chilling! Just check out this bright, joy-inducing picture :), leading to a bit of confusion as to which special flutes to bring out to drink it! *SIGH* – life would be so easy if these kinds of decisions were the only ones we had to make ;) ! I’m sure everyone here agrees! This champagne is considered an iconoclast* like Veuve Cliquot herself, who took over her husband’s domaine after his passing in 1805.

To me, champagne screams one thing: C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-NNNN!!! 🙂

220px-Veuve-Clicquot-BoursaultThis wine is a product of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, a French champagne house based in Reims, specializing in premium products. Here’s its brief history: In 1772, Philippe Clicquot-Muiron established the original enterprise. His son François Clicquot, married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin in 1798 and died in 1805, leaving his widow (‘veuve’ in French), in control of a company involved in banking, wool trading, and champagne production. Under Madame Clicquot (here in the picture on the right, with a niece of hers), the firm focused entirely on the production of champagne, to great success and Madame Clicquot succeeded in establishing her wine in many royal courts, especially that of Imperial Russia. By the time she died in 1866, Veuve Clicquot had become a highly respected Champagne House. This wine holds the Royal Warrant of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. In 1987, the Veuve Cliquot company was taken over by the Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy Group.

This champagne is a perfect example of harmony between delicacy and power. It is loved for its crisp, full flavors, and consistent quality. Traditionally, the proportion of each grape variety used is 50 to 55% Pinot Noir, 15 to 20% Pinot Meunier, and 28 to 33% Chardonnay. These figures vary slightly from year to year according to conditions. The Pinot Noir gives it the firm structure, Pinot Meunier the roundedness, and the Chardonnay gives it the elegance and finesse needed for perfect balance. It has a complex and intense nose of apple, citrus and caramel, and a fine persistent sparkle of the bubbles. This champagne is excellent as an aperitif, with food or even dessert. 

Without further ado, choose the flute and — SANTÉ :)! But my bottle is going to wait for the friends who sent it to me to return from their travels, so we can drink it together…good friends are a true blessing! 🙂

*An iconoclast is a person who destroys or overthrows traditional or popular ideas or institutions

 

New list of the 10 best cities to visit

The Annual CondĂ© Nast Traveler’s Hot List for the best cities in the world to travel to is out — and here are the top ten!

1. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2. Budapest, Hungary
2. Florence, Italy
4. Salzburg, Austria
5. Charleston, South Carolina, United States
5. San Sebastián, Spain
7. Vienna, Austria
8. Rome
9. Siena, Italy
10. Québec City

Of the above, there are only two I have visited, Vienna and Quebec City — does changing planes in Rome count, I wonder ;)? For someone who considers herself very well traveled, this is a disappointment of sorts. So how well did you do? And what plans will you be making in the near future? I have a standing invitation from friends in San Miguel de Allende — seems like it’s time to accept it :)!

 

Life got you down :( ?

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”* 🙂 … and that’s all it takes to succeed in anything!!

It helps to always split every problem in the four areas that govern our life:

  • the physical
  • the mental
  • the emotional
  • the spiritual

Be sure to take care of each of these areas separately — get whatever help you need, and you will always be well!

*This means: “When a situation gets difficult, strong people work harder to meet the challenge.” The origin of the phrase has been attributed to Joseph P. Kennedy (1888–1969), father of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and sometimes to Norwegian-born American football player and coach Knute Rockne (1888–1931).