Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wealth Beyond Measure

What follows is a lie and you shouldn’t believe a word of it.

But I don’t want you to think of it like that, rather I want you to believe it, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this world it’s hope that drives us forward and makes us RICH BEYOND MEASURE.

And who wouldn’t want to be rich beyond measure? In fact most of us would happily settle for measured riches too.

So with that in mind I want to tell you of a programme whereby you can become fabulously WEALTHY with virtually no effort.

Sound too good to be true? Yet there are people all over the world who earn MORE MONEY IN A SINGLE MONTH than we could hope to spend in a lifetime.

Think what you could do with all that money – huge mansion with a home cinema, swimming pool and fabulous views; holiday homes in the Bahamas, European cities and mountain retreats; your own Porsche, Ferrari, Winnebago, Jeep and Aston Martin with all the James Bond gadgets sitting in your driveway.

And you could make sure your LOVED ONES would want for nothing. Your kids would go to the BEST SCHOOLS and universities in the world.

You could make massive donations to all the important causes you believe in.

You could mix with the RICH and POWERFUL of the world and influence the big decision makers.

This programme could make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.

How much would something like this be worth to you?

If it cost you a million dollars but allowed you to make $10 million, $100 million even a BILLION DOLLARS, then it would be a bargain, right?

What if it cost less than a million?

What if it cost less than a hundred thousand?

What if it cost less than $10,000?

Wow. How idiotic would you have to be to pass up the OPPORTUNITY to have hundreds of millions of dollars, all for less than $10,000?

What if I was to tell you that for a mere $7, 350 I would give you the SECRETS TO UNLOCK THE WEALTH OF THE WORLD?

But we can take this further.

If you invite a friend to sign up and they join the programme then I’ll knock a thousand dollars off the price.

Invite 2 and I’ll knock off a further $1,000. I’ll do this for up to 6 friends, and 6 friends only, so you need to think carefully about whom you want to get involved in this.

You could not only make your millions, but SAVE a massive $6,000 RIGHT NOW by helping those nearest and dearest to you to become fabulously wealthy too!

So what do you need to do to gain these UNTOLD RICHES for a little over a thousand dollars?

Send me a check or deposit $7,350 into my PayPal account and I will send you the SECRETS to gaining a GREATER WEALTH than you can possibly imagine.

Make sure your friends let me know it was YOU who sent them and for each one who signs up I will send you a check for $1,000. That’s right – you gain ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS for EVERY FRIEND who signs up. But no more than 6 friends, right? We don’t want to let everyone in on our secret.

Feel a bit uncertain? There’s no need. Listen to these testimonials.

Kim, how can I ever thank you enough? Thanks to your programme my wife and I have given up our jobs, put our kids through Harvard and enjoy skiing in Switzerland all winter long.” ...Mark Davies

Not only do I have more money than I can throw in my Olympic-sized swimming pool, but so do my brother and his family, my parents and my best friend from high-school. You are the Man!” ...Andrew Gillespie

Fiona and I are getting married in September and I hope you’ll join us as our guest of honour. We very nearly split up when I was worrying every day about my minimum-wage job, realising that I would never be able to give her the life she deserves. But now we’re to have a fairy-tale wedding with over a thousand guests. And it’s all thanks to you and your extraordinary programme for making money.” ...Jason Anderson

But I need to warn you that this offer is TIME LIMITED.

I am only opening my unique money making offer to the first 500 people to sign up. After that it CLOSES FOREVER. Already I have had 328 people on my books who have been pleading with me to pass on my secret to them, so this offer won’t last long.

If you want the wealth of a lifetime you have to ACT NOW.

CLICK HERE right now and deposit your investment to secure your place on the programme.

If you’re still hesitating, then don’t bother. Stop right now. UNTOLD RICHES are not for you. Not everyone is capable of dealing with so much money. If you think you can’t handle it, then don’t sign up. I don’t need time wasters and I certainly don’t want to ruin anybody’s life with TOO MUCH MONEY.

So only if you’re ready for more money you can dream of, and then some, CLICK HERE. But only if you’re sure.

Once you CLICK HERE, there is no going back. Your life will change forever. Do not CLICK HERE if you are not ready.

But if you are, then don’t hang about because there are plenty of others signing up as you read this, and spaces are LIMITED.

CLICK HERE NOW!

And I look forward to welcoming you to the MULTI-MILLIONAIRE’S CLUB by the end of next month.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Facebook

Blogging seems to have taken a back seat this week. Of course all the usual things that get in the way of it are still getting in the way of it, but a new element has entered the equation that has started eating into blogging time.

Facebook.

I’d been invited to join a few times in the past but the front page is fairly dull and the site tour doesn’t inspire much confidence, but after the fourth invite from someone I knew I thought I’d try it out.

Now I have yet another thing to be addicted to.

I really hadn’t been expecting much. I figured it was going to be a poor imitation of MySpace, would only have a handful of people signed up to it and would probably disappear in a few months.

It turns out there are over 30 million people currently on Facebook

I’ve found precious old friends I’d lost contact with and several people I never expected to bump into. I was even recently sent a message from the drummer in my school band, Granite (we played Hard Rock, obviously), who I’d not seen or heard from for at least 24 years.

There are all sorts of groups and networks you can join, from regional to political, hobbies to fashion, religious to historic, including one or two that seemed like they were tailor made specifically for me.

It’s quite a different style of ‘social networking’ to blogging and I can see how the two will compliment each other well. It certainly won’t replace the blog because it fills a different need, however it has been a little distracting while I’ve been setting up my page and exploring what can be done with it.

So, for anyone who is signed up to Facebook, or plans to be, look me up – I think I’m the only Kim Ayres on there with a beard – and add me to your friends list.

In the meantime, we apologise for any disruption. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Something Light

“You know, I’ve found I just can’t face watching violent films these days.”

This is from a man who is a real film buff. He is the guy we ask if we have any questions about anything to do with movies – whether we’d like it, suitability for Rogan, what other films the director has made etc.

I know what he means. Maggie and I went to see “Children of Men” at the cinema several months ago. It’s a brilliantly made film, but it is harrowing. By the end of it we felt brutalised, and we staggered from the theatre in need of soothing and medication.

I’ve found that the older I get and the more shit I’ve had to deal with, the more I prefer my escapism to be light, humorous or distracting. Watching people in pain is too painful. We empathise too much. We reach out and try and help and support as much as we can, but we don’t put ourselves through it for entertainment. Gritty realism is something to be avoided at all costs.

This young man, so dear and close to us, has been to places in his mind the human psyche was never designed to dwell in.

As harrowing as it has been for us to try and help bring him back, his own experience has been a hundred times worse.

There’s nothing on TV tonight. I know when I stand in front of the videos and DVDs and ask Maggie what she fancies watching this evening, her answer will be, “Something light.”

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Birthdays, Mariachi and Video Out-takes

It was Maggie's birthday on Saturday July 21st - one of those with a zero after it - so something special was really needed to help mark the event.

Rogan decided he wanted to make a video of us singing Happy Birthday to her. He planned it as an adventure where we would sing it unaccompanied, then with the guitar, then with Rogan doing a solo on his trumpet, then with a combination of all, resulting in me, Meg and Rogan looking like a dodgy Mariachi band.



Rogan scripted, storyboarded and worked out all the camera angles, while I edited it together under his strict supervision, making changes where requested.

The final result was a great success. I won't show it here because it's a personal, family moment; suffice it to say Maggie was delighted and awash with emotion by the consideration, thought and effort put into the project by her boy.

However, I couldn't resist putting together a compilation of the out-takes, which not only give a flavour of the original, but also a sense of the time and energy put into it.

More than that, it probably gives a greater insight into our family dynamics than I can imagine anything else ever achieving.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Philosopher’s Dilemma

.


Everything is true, for a given meaning of truth

Nothing is true, for a given meaning of truth



Take your pick.


.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Blogger Reflection Awards

I was hit with 2 memes in the comments of the last post.

One was from Binty McShae. For his I was supposed to list 8 true things about me plus one lie. However, having already done not only a 7 things about me post, a 6 weird things about me post, but also an epic 101 things about me, I don’t think I have 8 things left to list that are worth mentioning. So, with apologies to Binty, I will pass on that one. If you really want to know 8 things, but can’t be bothered reading the other meme posts, then just go to the 101 things and read entries 6, 12, 28, 57, 65, 78, 89, and 99

The other meme was the Blogger Reflection Award from Jeff over at Big Dawg Tales. According to the blurb, “This award should make an individual reflect upon five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and who have provided a Godly example. In other words, five dear bloggers whom, when you reflect upon them, you are filled with a sense of pride and joy...of knowing them and being blessed by them.”

I struggled for a while with the overt slushy sentimentalism, while laughing hard at the idea that anyone would consider me a “Godly example” given my views on religion. However, there’s a deeper warmth behind the idea that made me feel it was worth acknowledging and participating in, so thank you Jeff.

A couple of months back I took part in the “Thinking Blogger Awards” and duly pointed anyone who was interested towards 5 bloggers who were must-reads from my side bar. Of course there’s always a problem of limiting it to 5, so I’m quite happy to now point you to 5 more bloggers who have impacted on me in a good way.

I would have mentioned BStrong from Down Syndrome Life, but he’s already been tagged. Besides, he gets a mention in a post I’m planning for a couple of week’s time.

So, for a real smorgasbord of style and content, my Blogger Reflection Awards go to:

Pat’s Past Imperfect
When I rearranged my sidebar listings, I had to create a new category for Pat – Hot Chocolate & Cream. Quite simply she is an exquisite indulgence. Just go back to the start and begin working your way forward through. But don’t rush. Take the time to savour each entry.

Hangar Queen
Devin is the kind of person you enjoy as a best mate. Thoughtful, caring, great sense of humour and prepared to go out and grab life by the balls, so to speak. Everyone has life challenges, well at least everyone whose blog I read does, and while there are common themes to many of them Devin is in a class all of her own. The practical problems facing a male to female transsexual are enough to make the mind boggle, long before you get to the emotional ones. (Now you know, go back and read her comment in my last post and you get a whole new perspective).

The Kitchen Bitch Ponders
A student of Philosophy, a fan of Nietzsche and an active protester against the threatened closure of our local university, I met Eryl on a story-tellers workshop back before xmas. She is relatively new to blogging but she’s a great thinker and a great read.

Hooters and Other Tales of Woe
Like nails being scratched down a blackboard, but in a good way. There’s a manic energy in ADW’s writing that makes you realise you’re alive. Strangely addictive

Sam, Problem Child Bride
Half the time I haven’t a clue what Sam’s writing about, but I love her to bits anyway. There’s a mind behind that writing that can twist visions of reality so far round it’s easy to forget normality exists. Her comments on my, and other posts, however, reveal an incredibly deep, caring and sensitive soul, with a combination of such strength and vulnerability you could weep.

All have at some time or another halted me in my tracks and caused me to stop reading, sit back, and reflect deeply on something they’ve said.

Go read and enjoy.


For the 5 awarded:

1. Copy this bit of the post.
2. Reflect on five bloggers and write a least a paragraph about each one.
3. Make sure you link this post so others can read it and the rules.
4. Leave your chosen bloggers a comment and let them know they’ve been given the award.
5. Place the award icon on your site

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Can I really believe that no one along the line said, "stop, this is wrong"?

“But Dad…”

“No, listen. If we went to watch the new Harry Potter film and Harry and Ron had enormous breasts, but nothing about it was ever mentioned, explained or alluded to, how easily would you be able to suspend your disbelief?”

“But…”

“All the way through you would just be thinking ‘this is soooo wrong.’”

“But Dad…”

“What if James Bond was walking around brandishing a Walther PPK and a 38DD cup?”

“Dad…”

“Or if Enter the Dragon had starred a Ladyboy from Thailand?”

“But Dad, it’s just a computer animated film.”

“I don’t care. I can just about cope with the overbearing sentimentalism, dodgy racial stereotyping, poor characterisation, unfunny jokes and plot holes big enough to lose continents in, but MALE COWS DO NOT HAVE UDDERS!!!”

“Lighten up Dad, I bought Barnyard out of my own money. You don’t have to watch it again.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Difference Between Habit and Addiction

Generally speaking I don’t like to write posts trying to explain what the last one was about. I can’t help but feel that if I failed to get my message across first time, the writing wasn’t good enough. Usually at this point I prefer to give an embarrassed cough and move swiftly on.

However, there were some touching, heartfelt and intense responses posted in "For the next time you see the finger being pointed at the fat person" that made me feel further thoughts needed to be expressed on the subject.

What has become clear from the range of comments is the need to draw a distinction between habit and addiction.

Very often, those who criticise people who are overweight assume that it’s purely down to bad eating habits. If only fat people were able to see that their behaviour was putting their health at risk then they would modify that behaviour. If it’s pointed out to you that the reason your hand hurts and is disfigured is because fire burns flesh, then you will understand that if you stop sticking your hand in the fire, you will stop being hurt. Likewise, if you just stop eating as much crap your health won’t be so badly affected. It is so bloody obvious, it seems insane the fat person just doesn’t get it.

Perhaps if you say it slowly and loudly they will understand. Perhaps if you give them smaller portions they will take the hint. Perhaps if you humiliate them it will draw their attention to their unacceptable behaviour and they will start to modify it.

The fact that you do all these things and they still eat too much just beggars belief.

But the reality is for many, especially those who are 30% or more overweight, "habit" is not what it’s about. Even once you get beyond the fact that the supermarket shelves are stuffed with foods loaded up with sugars, fats and salts to make the body crave more, and are wrapped in covers designed using some of the most sophisticated marketing techniques on the planet, eating is still much more than just fuel for the body.

For some people certain foods items are addictive and promote cravings that go far beyond just “the munchies”. Some foods are trigger foods – foods that once you start on them there is no stopping until not only is the rest of the packet empty, but half the contents of the larder and fridge too.

Some people use food for self medication – a way of dealing with extreme emotion, in the way an alcoholic or drug addict will use their chemical of choice to dull the pain, the ache in the chest, the deep hollow in the gut.

For some people food is used as a form of self-abuse in a similar way that self-harmers will cut themselves or burn themselves with cigarette ends.

For some, being fat is a way of keeping people at arms length because of fear of relationships, or even fear of appearing sexually desirable.

For some people, a combination of any or all of these reasons can be at play at any one particular time

In all these cases, the relationship with food is an unhealthy one. It goes far beyond just a lack of self-discipline.

The thing to realise here is that the food in itself if not the issue. Food is being used as a tool, or weapon, for something else. In a different set of circumstances, the person who struggles with food would have struggled with alcohol, self-harm, or any kind of illegal or prescription drugs.

So for those who are feeling exasperated with loved ones who won’t take the hint, or who seem intent on continuing to eat more than necessary despite the obvious damage they are doing to their health, you need to look beyond the food.

Just like alcoholism, drug abuse, self-harm, anorexia and bulimia, or any other damaging addiction, over eating is an expression of another problem, or more likely problems. And until those problems are dealt with, the eating will never be fully under control.

This isn’t about over indulging at Christmas or anniversaries then being too lazy to work off a few pounds. People who fall into that category become a bit overweight, develop a couple of love handles and a bit of a belly.

But people who are a third or a half as much again, or even double the weight they should naturally be, are people who have a problem beyond food.

For them, the fat you see are the outward scars of a thousand internal battles

Monday, July 09, 2007

For the next time you see the finger being pointed at the fat person

“If you want to lose weight, you just have to stop eating as much.”

Wow. How simple. Wish I’d thought of that. So it’s a bit like saying if I don’t want to burn my flesh I shouldn’t stick my hand in the fire?

“Exactly”

But what if I have to keep sticking my hand in the fire?

“What?”

What if I feel compelled to stick my hand in the fire, again and again, over and over?

“Why on earth would you do that?”

Suppose it was habit, or suppose I enjoyed it, or suppose every time I did it, it released endorphins that made me feel good, or suppose it was addictive, or suppose I hated myself so much I felt I deserved to be disfigured, or suppose by looking disfigured people would have less expectations of me, or suppose by looking disfigured people would leave me alone. Suppose at different times I stuck my hand in the fire for each of these different reasons, or any combination and it changed every time.

Do you think just saying “well don’t do it then” is going to make the slightest bit of difference?

“Er, probably not.”

Do you think that telling me I’m stupid for doing it is going to make me stop?

“Well, it might… tough love and all that…”

If my response to feeling bad is to stick my hand in the fire, what do you think calling me stupid is likely to make me do?

“Er… stick your hand in the fire again?”

And calling me lazy, useless, ugly and a drain on the health services?

“…stick your hand in the fire again.”

You know, I do believe we’re starting to get somewhere.

“But you don’t stick your hand in the fire.”

No, I overeat instead.

“Well, if you want to lose weight, you just have to stop eating as much.”

Slap, slap, slap, slap, slap, slap, slap, slap...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Late Night Conversation

"That's the kind of foot that could bring on a hot flush! What? Why are you looking at me like that?"

"You know, if I lived to be 140 years old I can't imagine I'd ever write a line like that."

"I don't believe a word of it. I bet it's up on the blog by morning."

"Well, yes, there is always the blog..."