Sunday, November 19, 2017

Merry Stinkless Christmas.

2009 Limited Edition
1984. I remember people in 1983 petitioning to get their governments to cancel 1984 and move right into 1985 for fear of Big Brother watching their every move.

Currently there are lots of posts on Facebook of people freaking out because their phones/TVs/computers are not only watching them but also listening to them. People are up in arms because their photos, that they voluntarily posted on a social media site, are being made public. The messages they beam out into cyberspace are being pinged by satellites and robots for marketing purposes. They are shocked that their location-services-enabled electronic device knows where they are.

Frankly, I don't get what part of 'social media' people don't get. Social can be defined as "an informal gathering." Media is defined as "mass communication."

We have all logged into, become addicted to, and quite honestly, thrive on, the informal gathering of mass communication that simultaneously connects and alienates us all.

We've probably all seen the FB video of someone testing the "FB is listening" video where they spend two days with Facebook open on their phones and repeating the phrase "cat food" as often as possible. They do not have a cat. Have never googled anything cat related. Do not even like cats.  And two days later they get a FB "sponsored" post referring to cat food. Coincidence? Possibly. Privacy Invasion? Possibly. Debate fodder? Definitely.

I put this theory to the test last week. I purposely opened FB on my phone numerous times over a few days and talked about umbrellas. Why umbrellas you ask? Simply because I could think of no other topic that doesn't interest me. Like a fool, I talked to myself in an empty house about umbrellas many times for 3 days. I disguised my voice and asked/answered many questions about umbrellas. I emphasized that I NEEDED an umbrella. I questioned where to buy them. I talked about great colours for umbrellas. I debated the optimal size. I questioned their necessity.

Sadly, I have seen zero ads or articles on neither my phone nor my computer about umbrellas since then.

However I do have a couple of other odd coincidences in the last couple of years.

I washed my floors one day a year or two ago. Well, I probably washed them more than once, but one time of note ...
My mother always had Pine Sol for washing floors, so it is sort of a memory smell for me. However, it's not exactly my favourite smell so I don't buy it. But when Jed moved back home a couple of years ago he brought with him his household supplies. One of which was Pine Sol.  I used it one day to wash the floor.

I always strategically wash the floor so I get cornered  into my office area and can justify an extended length of time on social media while the floor dries. (I'm not as dumb as I may first appear.) I sat down at my computer and opened Facebook. The very first thing to pop up is an ad for Pine Sol. Seriously?? Pine Sol? Can computers actually smell?? I don't recall ever in my life seeing an ad for Pine Sol. Perhaps the coincidence just burned it into my cognizance.

About 2 weeks ago, ... well, exactly 2 weeks ago, as today is Sunday... I pulled out of my driveway at 8:45am and I got a pop-up message on my phone saying, "Traffic is light on Ferry Avenue. It's only about 4 minutes to Clapperton Drive."

Now, I WAS on my way to church (which is on Clapperton Drive) but that didn't stop me from thinking, "What the fuck??" My phone knew I was heading to church. To teach Sunday School no less. Still, it was a what-the-fuck moment for me.

Funny? Scary? Convenient? Coincidental? Who knows.

We all want convenience. We all fear its invasion.


The odd thing about blogging is that more often than not, I struggle to find a topic to write about, and when I settle on a topic and sit down to write, the rambling takes me in an entirely different direction than I originally intend. I guess this is why I am a random blogger rather than a regular paid contributor. Sucks for the bank account to be me.

Here is the actual essence of what I sat down to write about -don't even ask my how my mind works to get from one topic to the other:

I sat tonight to sign my name 112 times. Yes, it's that time of year. I have hand painted 112 watercolour greeting cards to send out to the infamous "list" as Christmas Cards.

Many times I think I will try to reduce the size of the list, and thus my workload. And each year people are removed from the list.. but people are also added. I've tried starting in September to paint 75 cards. But it's no use. I always have to add more. So 110 is the magic number. Somehow I painted 2 extra this year.

If you didn't get a card last year, chances are, if you aren't an Aunt or Uncle on my Mom's side (the magical "add to the list" group of this year's recipients) you won't be getting one this year neither.

If you were once previously on my hot-in-demand mailing list and no longer receive one, it means you have somehow removed yourself from our lives ... moved, changed churches, divorced a family member or just generally moved on in your life. PM me (on Facebook, under my real name, Liana Ziemer)  if you want back in. (Yeah, I still daily use FB Messenger on both my phone and computer ... I frankly have nothing to hide if Mark Zuckerberg wants to look at my photos or know that I am shopping at London Drugs. )  I actually think it may serve me well one day to prove, by my phone tracking me, that I was indeed at McDonalds eating a cheeseburger rather than at a downtown bank robbing a teller -or whatever scenario may arise.

I will even add "never-been-on-the-list" peeps if you are so inclined. I also honour the "opt-out" system if you are tired of receiving shit you don't want. Just let me know. (I won't be offended .... and actually would thank you for the reduction in work load and the $1 postage savings.)

Again, I digress. ...


What I really wanted so say was...

I have always struggled to write anything, either with pen or computer, while there is conversation going on in the background. My mind goes into automatic (I never did master driving stick-shift) and I tend to write what I hear.

So while I sit here in front of the TV watching a marathon of Steve Harvey hosting Family Feud, while I sign "Liana 2017" on 112 hand painted watercolour Christmas cards, I try to stay semi-cognizant of how to spell my name. At one point I caught myself spelling "Lysol" instead of "Liana" during a commercial.

Glad I caught myself, but aware of the complete possibility that there may have been times I didn't catch myself.

So, if you are on the "list" and get a Christmas card sent lovingly from Albert and I, but signed by "Kellogg's" "Steve Harvey" or "Dr Scholls" I plead the 5th.  Or Poo-potpourri or VI- Poo (Seriously ... has anyone else been getting a ridiculous amount of tv ads for anti-poop-stink products lately?? Makes me wonder what my Samsung TV and Apple iPhone can see and smell in my home) We do still love you. The sentiment is genuine. My mind was temporarily overtaken.

Merry Stinkless Christmas.

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