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Posts from the ‘life’ Category

There is no good way to move easy, and bye-bye Whitby!

The only good way is if you have enough courage, money and opportunity to trust the packing and moving somebody else. I am such a person who cannot trust sorting out my art and belongings to another somebody and especially to pack it.

We did that before: only one time the moving was acceptable, but all other times it was a disaster. I could find nothing for many months; the packing was done without any common sense and logical approach. It was simply bad, and it cost a lot.

I decided to pack everything mostly by myself, and so I did. It took me 3 weeks so far, and, unfortunately I am not completely done.

The limiting issue is pain, and when it gets too bad, I have to stop. I have to also stop every time when blood glucose gets low, and it takes a while to be back on track again.

I have been doing this quite slowly and meticulously, however, when I pack things, there is absolutely no problem finding and locating anything.

Well, the move is tomorrow, I am really tired of seeing boxes all over, as well as mess. That is mentally painful!

I will be very much relieved once we are finally out of here. We will have helpers tomorrow, and I am a bit worried about the weather, but it is what it is.

moving house

I have not disappeared from WordPress, I was just totally tied up with packing endless things, paintings are close 1500, all prepared canvasses, papers, drawings, sketches, templates and so on make another pile, not to mention all paints, extremely many brushes, pencils and pastels. I have abnormal amounts of clothes because I am also a fashion designer and I have been sewing since age of 12. Therefore, I have lots of fabrics, lots of books, lots of shoes, many purses, lots of smaller things and my husband has music room with numerous speakers, instruments and other musical and recording stuff.

It could not be easy, and it is not.

moving house

I was not happy in Whitby, Ontario. I arrived with huge hopes and great expectations, and nothing came true. It is a snobbish and ignorant place. Most people who walk or drive by every single day have never been here, not even once within 8 years. They most likely though what possibly could such a gallery offer? I had so many free events, but not much interest from the local community. Well, my immobility might be to blame, too, but that does not justify the cold and ignorance. I don’t really care now; I know that I will be better off in some more human and more engaging neighbourhood. I believe South Ajax will be fine. It is a great location, and I will have a garden.

 

I am taking off to Latvia next week, so, I most likely won’t be blogging much until I am back in Canada, in the middle of September.

moving studio

However, in the light of so much stress and work still ahead, I would love to wish everybody good time until the fall sets in and drop me a line!

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How social are social media and how they get you

Why am I on social media?

If you ask me, I don’t know why I am on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Linkedin and on Facebook and a few other sites.

My blog and my website need some exposure, additional exposure, because not everybody is on WordPress. That might be one reason

Am I on social media because the widgets make my website look better? That is true to some extent.

Am I there because social medial make me socially engaged? No, that is not always true. They sometimes make me feel worse, more upset and more isolated. In fact, they frequently make me feel physically bad, too. That is, in the most direct meaning of this word. I find that many articles promote doubtful information, as well as push people to inadequate decisions.

There was a time at the dawn of social media activity when they were truly social. They were about real friendships and real lives.

“Social” cover for selling anything

It did not take too long for the socializing part to transition into advertising and selling features until social media became mainly about selling: opinions, propaganda, products, brands and trends.

As such, social media are the biggest consumerism promoter ever. Our task is actually straight the opposite: decrease junk, avoid consuming useless and harmful things and stay away from products that we never needed in the first place. Social media makes us believe that we will be considered a decent, happy and worthy person only when we have have all the attributes which are advertised.

Social media will impose trendy pictures, trendy products, trendy people and trendy opinions on you. I have even seen: health trends. Is there anything else as healthy and unhealthy? Does that mean that sometimes only mental health matters, but some other time: skin disorders, digestive, nervous or cardiovascular system?

I do not agree with trends. I suppose, trends disagree with me.

Consumerism

Consumerism is killing every one of us by taking away the air we breathe and turning it into polluted smog, it is taking away the clean drinking water and causing soil damage, it is making you into somebody who consumes what you never needed and what makes you sick and poor.

Internet selling is based on positive attitude, lack of education and greed. Greed is the biggest driving force of any so-called economic growth.

Is it economic growth or destruction of the planet in reality? If we did not interfere so badly with anything that the Earth has to offer us for free: natural air and water recycling and purification, clean and nutrient-rich soil, natural food that helps us staying fit and healthy, we would be fine. However, everything must be sacrificed for the economic growth which ironically leads us into more and more debt and disasters.

Offers and missed posts

While Facebook wants me to sign up for all kinds of services or products, I never see what my best friends and relatives have been up to. Facebook will persistently invite me to buy products and services which I do not require, which I am absolutely not interested in and which I do not need or like. That is all based on their algorithms and my likes which I place here and there.

The page I initially created as a Fan page, has transitioned into business page, and I wasn’t even sure I wanted that. I can see it is helpful, however, I have limited time and therefore, I most likely cannot reach the exposure I am expected to.

Facebook makes one pay

The thing I really have to wonder about is as follows: Facebook makes absolutely no distinction between a single person’s business (hence, they invite me to join my team, which would be I am joining me), and so they want to charge me the promotion fee for anything I put on that page. Huge businesses which have hundreds of employees and specific media managers and other executives can certainly use a specific budget for that. I think there should be a chance to show that one is working alone, maybe part time or something similar.

They make me compete with sites like Wayfair.com or Artfulhome.com and similar that sell art prints while I am selling only originals.

Dear Facebook! I am just a single person, who creates art, does painting, promotes, writes about art and teaches it also, and I need to cook, clean, do daily chores, do medical research and writing to support living, and every day has only 24 hours. If I wanted to be successful on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook advertising, I would not only need a lot of money to promote every post, every picture, every article and every event, but also a lot of time.

My taste disagrees with trends

I do not spend hours scrolling through trends or looking for viral videos. They are not trendy for me most often because my taste often disagrees with them. I disagree with dumbing the population more and using bad and harmful products for such purpose. I am against the noise everywhere. We need a break from music, a break from shows that do not teach anything, that have no content and make no sense, but stand out due to bad acting and simply bad screenplays.

Facebook does not represent me as a person correctly and it does not allow me to become socially more involved. If I do not promote everything and comment on everything, I am practically non-existent.

It is time we turn to critical thinking and sort out our preferences. The narrow-minded and to more consumption leading and directed I-need-it-all thinking has caused enough trouble. Enough is enough.

We have to stop being sheep to such a huge extent.

Social media pressure

I have come to conclusion that instead of allowing one to be true and honest, social media imposes on me their message. Their message is not always my message. It can be quite contrary, in fact.

So, Facebook when there is going to be time when I see everything I choose based on what I prefer as opposed to posts that have been directed to me depending on my age, gender and previous likes?

I once clicked on Artfulhome.com image because I was reading about some artist. They would not let me free afterwards. Wherever I go, the Artful home is trying to sell me something. The same about the flight: I booked it already. I booked it a while ago. Wherever I look, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo mail or any other site, there are Flighthub advertisements. I did not even use the Flighthub.

If I click on a gardening image, Facebook will only put gardening posts in front of me. If I click on shoes or cosmetic product: that is all I am going to see for quite a while, until I do not spam that product everywhere.

I have moods, I have good days and bad days, I have curiosity, I have preferences and I have interests, and they do not match the Facebook algorithms. I am a human who is changing, who has personal opinions and, most importantly, who has a very personal taste.

Misleading social media

Twitter sends me trends and trendy tweets, as well as, lies about people who followed me because they did not. That is to cause a counter-reaction and feeling that I am actively using Twitter. I am not. The tweets are all automated and it looks nice in the widget area of my website, that’s all.

Pinterest does the same, they let me know that somebody pinned an image which I never put on any of my boards, Pinterest also has picked out topics for me. Well, Pinterest, don’t do that. I do have my own brain and my own opinions. That is already too much care, way too much care. If I looked at an old barn yesterday, it does not mean I want to look at old barns for the next few years. If I looked up a spinach recipe today, it does not mean I will be eating only spinach for a few months.

Facebook means a lot of wasted time for me. I would click on like when I am seeing a few posts of people who I have never met, but who I know distantly from the blogging community. I would leave a comment here and there if the post makes sense. Well, Facebook will show me posts only created by these people for quite a while, and, no, it will not show me what my daughter has been up to.

I am finding all the social media very superficial, very ignorant because they try to make me feel meaningless. Just compare yourself with influencers! Go ahead, compare!

My preferences

Well, I am not going to compare me with nobody. I do not care about lots of products just because I find them useless. I don’t literally care about powders, liquids, pills, gels, creams and other things which are advertised as miraculous. These miracles last only as long as there is a decent research done, and it proves rather the harming, not healing effects of this product.

Choose carfully

Social media should take a huge blame for poisoning and making people sick with bad quality, never tested products because while they do not endorse them, they make one see these products and the fake promises which come with such products.

There is a lot of pressure from the social media. A lot. The pressure wants you to subordinate the main mood and the main tone. If you do not, you are not a decent person. Why? There are guys who have nothing better to do: they use any chance to attack somebody. I posted once a comment that gluten-free products have absolutely no effect on people who do not have a celiac disease which is 100% scientifically true, yet, much denied fact because they want you to spend more on gluten-free and more processed products and imagine that you feel better. Somebody did not read it; they just noticed the first line and totally attacked me: what was I thinking because people who have celiac disease would be at such a disadvantage, etc. That was not at all what I was saying. They did not read, but they felt they had to attack me. So, it goes. One will understand only what they want to.

Social media and socializing

Do I see social media as a great socializing opportunity? To some extent, it is a place where to advertise. However, it is not a place where to find somebody or something. I want to see all variety of topics, all the multi-faceted life, everything which I might or might not like instead of “topics picked out for me”. Social media, you don’t know me, you do not want to know me and you do not believe I have my own brain which allows me making my own decisions that are based on my own experience, education and preferences.

I wish social media started trusting me instead of limiting my choices and free speech.

P.S. I had written this post already when I accidentally saw an interview with the high-tech insider Jaron Lanier on CNBC. It was about his book: Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. This interview absolutely echoed what I do agree with. Too much advantage taking, definitely!

Link to article about him and his book: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/30/ten-arguments-deleting-your-social-media-accounts-right-now-jaron-lanier

Lilac, poem, and giving my blog a new direction

Lilac

 

Lilac blossoms blending with twilight:

Purple passionate scent of eternal,

Feeling of everything fading away.

 

Being beautiful without a purpose.

 

Lilac scent melts in the night air,

Twilight calm will fall down very soon

To end this moment with a period mark.

 

The day is so tired, too, time to rest.

 

The night sky uses blush, a lot of it

And the purple scent becomes a shadow.

It is always twilight in some places.

 

It is so complete with the lilac scent.

 

Morning finds birds sipping the morning dew

From tiny cups filled with sunlight pearls.

I paste this moment in my good memories folder.

 

Scents will evaporate, just like us.

 

My personal recovery experience

People, who read my posts, know that my health issues have been resolved completely thanks to my new skills and change of dominance in my mind..

I have learned a lot from my past experiences, and I intend to move on very healthy, with good reasons, not allowing anything to offend or disrupt my intentions.

I am doing much better because I rely on myself and I have learned that by becoming a much better person I am helping not only myself, but also people around me.

I will explore a wide variety of topics that relate to staying young, fit, healthy, stress-free, active and satisfied with my new life.

I am 60 this summer. Apart from the bad accident in 1992 and chronic pain because of that, I have been very fine so far. I took the previous experience as an important lesson. I realize that something in my behaviour, thoughts and intentions was causing it. I will use my experience as a stepping stone in order to bring more light in this life.

I have learned that being kind, nice and good to others and oneself is the most  important thing in our life as we attract the same attitude, the same type of people and the same type of response.

I pay special attention to these 5 most important aspects:

  • healthy weight and ability to be active and pain-free;
  • effective metabolism and well-performing digestive system;
  • daily and hourly stress relief and efficient coping mechanism;
  • natural, simple and rich nutrition that takes minimum time;
  • excellent memory and powerful cognitive function.

How nature is always our best advisor and supporter

Whenever something goes wrong, the easiest way to fix this problem is turning to the nature.

I have written already about that and I will be writing even more.

Gardening is a huge part of it. People sometimes say, they do not have enough space, yet, all the backyard and front yard consists only of grass and a few flower pots. Every vegetable and herb one grows in their own garden is about 100 times better than we can buy at a grocery store. Even with organic produce, we get vegetables, fruit and herbs which have been sitting on a shelf for a while. You will always know what your vegetable is consuming if you grow it. Tiny and small gardening does not require any weed killers and pesticides. We can live extremely well using just some natural things to get rid of bugs. However, they rarely happen in a small garden because you can prevent bad things from happening quite easily.

Nature is always on standby for our mental comfort and stress relief

No gym can ever compare to gardening and walking in fresh air. Many people take exercising way too far and cause premature wear and tear of their joints, tendons, muscles and ligaments. Our heart is also a very specific muscle that takes loads with its own attitude.

Upset mood and over-excited brain can be always fixed with breathing in fresh air and simply walking amidst the beautiful natural surroundings. Your brain loves bird songs instead of loud music; your thoughts get organized and are easy to sort out when the brain has enough oxygen.

How we look and how we dress

Aging does not mean one gives up the good looks they had when they were younger. Daily facial and body routine is a must. I am naturally blonde, so I have been using make-up from its early days, for about 45 years now. I do use some make-up even if I am alone at home. I do that to keep myself satisfied with the way I look.

Make-up helps to prevent skin diseases nowadays. There are wide choices and huge selection out there.

I learned sewing when I was 12. I did so because I always wanted to wear clothes that suit me, fit me and make me stand out. There have been periods when I have been sewing a new outfit every day, and there have been times when I have sewn something just a few times a year.

I am returning to more sewing and dressmaking again because the things one can buy at a store do not satisfy my demands and they are generally very low quality. It is also much more practical. We can recycle everything, but fast and cheap fashion is one of the biggest polluters on the Earth.

Artistic living for brain health and pleasurable life

If you read and follow my art website, you know that I have been a passionate art instructor for about 40 years, and I am as passionate about my own creativity. I started drawing at a very young age, and gradually added to that watercolor, acrylic and pastels. I became sensitive to oils, so, I had to forget about painting with oils. Drawing is a part of my excellent memory maintenance process. Having very well-performing visual memory definitely makes life easier. It always has: studying was easy, learning was easy and starting any new thing was easy.

Art, writing, journaling, outdoor drawing and painting: that is a daily feast for our soul. One can always find a suitable artistic way of self-expression. Art gives one the time for self-care. We forget about any problems while drawing and painting. We immerse ourselves into eternal and limitless.

Lilac, how to stay young

My Angel’s Day was a few days ago. The Angel my mom gave me is always watching over me.

Apple blossoms, how to stay young

The short spring brought us intense blossoming, the beauty was almost touchable.

How to stay young, nature, blossoming apple trees

I will definitely miss this old apple tree after we move to another place, it always greets spring with clouds of wonderful blossoms.

These are the themes I will be mainly focusing on.  Please follow me on Facebook

I will start a new artistic community page soon. This page will be primarily devoted to keeping our brain young and flexible with daily artistic challenges.

Please also check out my art website:  http://inesepogagallery.com/  It offers my own art and also numerous articles about how to start and keep drawing and painting.

I will miss the old lilac tree, as well, it has been my inspiration numerous times!

Lilac, poem, giving blog new direction

My plans are huge. I hope  everything goes according to plan, especially because we have to move soon to another place and that involves reorganizing life to be happy with the new beginning.

Did you know WordPress can block you from following?

I have been blogging since 2012.

I experienced some kind of disaster when I decided to move my art blog to a website last year or maybe a year before. Why did I go for all troubles which are associated with moving a large numerous pictures containing art blog to a self-hosted website?

Well, WordPress makes it account. It does not matter whether you have 1 blog, 2 blogs, 3 blogs or a website and blog: it is going to be one account. I had the art blog since 2012 and I started a lifeschool blog some time in 2014 I believe. I did not want to mix up my art, art classes and other artistic articles with the conclusions and observations I have made doing my medical research and writing for more than 3 decades. I thought it was a great idea. It actually wasn’t. Why?

Because WordPress makes it one account.

That means one blog is primary and visible and regardless of all my efforts, nobody knew the other blog existed, as well. The art blog had about 4 thousand followers by the time I moved it to a website because I was so tired of publishing articles which nobody ever saw.

The move was terrible since my files were huge, and, no, it did not go smooth as some instructions made me believe. Partially, that was because I chose the wrong host (based on a blogger advice, oh yes!). They sold me free theme and then I had to wait until refund rolls in since I wasn’t having much money. They tried to sell all kinds of things which I did not need or require, but having a website is expensive anyway: there are so many small parts that all cost. I am using the free theme and many free plugins, but I still have to allocate quite a lot of money for it. That is the history, so I have a blog, my lifeschool blog and my website, my art website.

Some time ago, I started to notice that I cannot follow anybody. I clicked once, I clicked twice, I clicked on like, that worked, but when I returned to the main website of somebody, I could see that I am not following them.

I believed it was some kind of a glitch. Probably temporary glitch, I assumed.

I let it slide since I was busy and that wasn’t the most important issue on my plate.

I found some really interesting website and a few blogs a while ago, and I got really angry that I cannot follow them. I copied the URLs here and there to find them again. Anyway, I asked the “happiness engineers” what was wrong. Oh well! I found out that I have been spotted by the system as somebody abusive follower last October. They told I was trying to attract attention and instead I should be writing a good content. That was very offensive. I believe these people who have read my stories, poems and articles, people, who check out my paintings, art instruction and advice for beginner artists definitely know that this is a unique content which takes me long time to create. I have actually never tried to follow somebody obsessively.

We all know that: system is system. System thought I was somebody trying to find followers and, thus, boost the visibility of my website and blog, and I do not believe that is true. WP said it was. I had last October followed many blogs in a short period of time. I tried to figure that out but couldn’t. I may have returned from Europe and after not seeing my blog and website for a long time, I could have responded to lots of comments and maybe followed some new fellow bloggers. I don’t know. Basically, nobody ever told me that. I never received any notification, any warning or anything. I believe you are not aware of that either.

I mean, I would have appreciated some notice, some suggestion or something. I am guessing that happened because I’m not that often reading the Reader, publishing posts, commenting, etc. since my health issues started 5 years ago. I might be doing all the commenting, following and liking job once or twice a month. Life is life. System isn’t human and it does not know that I have 1 hour only once or twice a month to do the following among other parts of blogging. Most likely, that’s how I got blocked out of following. Well, if I were so obsessed with following I most likely had noticed that sooner, not 7 months later.

I still remember how 6 years ago when I started blogging, I was advised to like, comment and follow other bloggers. Well, I take it personal and I felt upset. I’m not a new blogger; I’ve been on WordPress for 6 years. I am almost 60 and somebody who always follows rules and meets obligations. Always. I am aware that system is not informed about that.

I have to apologize to bloggers who may have thought I was ignorant or something. I lost some interesting blogs due to this for sure. Maybe we will meet again.

It also seems that system cannot get rid of definitely fake followers such as those who are ….outlook.com. I have deleted quite a few recently.

I wish, there was some advice for those who blog infrequently, just for a few hours a month and who try to do everything during these few hours instead of just blocking them out of following.

WordPress causes some problems

It does not feel right. We are sort of made to believe that website is a place where we can have a freedom to do things which we deem necessary, one of them being following other bloggers. Apparently, it is not the case. I believe before blocking somebody out of anything, especially if they pay money for their website that happens to be on WordPress platform, one deserves at least some warning or message, whatever. My personal situation is worse because I have a website and a blog. People who follow the art blog are not the same as these who follow the lifeschool blog. So, number becomes double. Dear system, you should be way more human! Other bloggers: be aware! System is watching, and God help if you follow too many people! I am afraid to follow anybody, to be honest. I believe a wrong person was punished here. They fixed it for now. They do not let one know what number indicates you are exceeding the normal following range: might be 5, 50 or 100. Who knows? I know that I never acted weirdly or obsessively.

Link to my art website for these who did not know I had it: inesepogagallery.com

Becoming an observer

It sometimes feels as if everything is simply flowing by.

There are lots of small distractive things to deal with, and they pretty much keep me away from doing something more meaningful.

Then, there is a feeling of pointlessness.

At a young age we are under impression that we have enough time to do whatever we will choose, to achieve whatever we have decided to and to engage in all kinds of undertakings that eventually lead us to the goal: a good, honest, happy and abundant life. This includes different things for different people. Some want children and some do not, some love studying and some would rather not, some of us see the importance of roots and family and some believe that family is holding them back.

When I was twenty, it felt like 60 years is eternity away: it seemed I have plenty of time to enjoy, to explore, to pursue real life goals and to correct mistakes which everybody makes.

My life involves much unexpected turns, very bad accident that changed everything 25 years ago and after that all a completely unexpected relocation across the ocean. I might not been ready for that. However, I am somebody who goes for an adventure or opportunity if there is one.

Years between 2004 and 2010 were wonderful, so full with life, so full with discoveries. I had huge expectations.

When I got health issues in 2013, lots of things slowed down and became hard to continue. I realized suddenly that nobody can ever regain the energy and the willingness to jump onto new beginnings we do so naturally at 20 when we pass the 50 line. That was the time when I had to push myself extremely hard to accomplish just simple everyday routine tasks, yet, I managed that.

I have become more an observer than an active participant.

I have always been a creator of situations, much engaged in the social scene. I was a high school teacher and college lecturer meeting literally hundreds of people every day. I loved my role as a smart, intelligent and well-educated person.

The one thing that matters to me is learning, studying and keeping the brain extremely busy and active.

I have always admired the brain power, the ability to think and find solutions, to make decisions and to act upon them. I do that still, I learn every single day. The medical writing job requires that. I am certainly thankful for the huge knowledge in any health-related matters due to this.

However, I miss the social engagement. I feel lost. Once you see that nobody actually needs you, you start to experience feelings of being abandoned. It seems that the big goals are also getting crashed. I have become a stranger in my native country and I am still a total stranger in the country to which I immigrated to.

This might be an issue of acceptance. I am quite frequently unable to accept some things here. I will never understand how mediocrity gets to the top because of their wealth. I will never understand how it is possible to idolize and adore some fancy person to the extent that people want to dress like that person and look and speak like that person.

I will never understand over-consumption which is the cause of most of our issues. I will never understand how people are lied to and cheated because of somebody making bigger profits. They get even praise for poisoning other people. That is awkward.

I am for fairness, truth and open-mindedness. Truth is not loved. Truth is frequently escaped using different means, would these be drugs, alcohol or convincing oneself that everything is great while it is far from that in reality.

I used to be a fashionista. I learned sewing very early: at 12. Ever since, I have designed and sewn plenty of designer-quality outfits not only for me, but for hundreds of other people, as well. I stopped doing that also because of pointlessness. How much does one really need? When I paint, I cannot wear anything good because it will have paint spots all over anyway. Fast fashion made it impossible to buy any good quality shoes or jeans or similar things. I just simply refuse to buy more low quality, made in China outfits. They are made of bad materials, they do not last and they do not fit either.

One more aspect became meaningless. So, most of them have.

It is more difficult to stick to the true you when there is no actual demand for being the top you. I am currently an observer. I will wait for a while yet until the troubles settle down to figure out the next steps. Where do I go from there? I don’t know yet. It is a process of re-inventing me. Will that be a better me? I do not know that either.

I do realize that these feelings might be caused by late and delayed spring. It has been a very long winter, and that can affect anybody with the seasonal affective disorder. I remember me hating winter ever since I was a tiny kid. That never went away. I cannot live normally in winter. I have lost many years of life due to winter. I believe these of you who also experience strong seasonal affective disorder know this very well: one only regains energy and willingness to be active once the weather turns warm and sunny again.

To trust and to rely on

One of the most human features is to trust somebody until they do not prove it otherwise. We want to trust things that we believe are fair; we want to rely on services that we assume are honest.

The recent Facebook issues while they are losing a lot of faces which were relying on and trusting their promises about keeping our personal information safe clearly show that we have been very silly and to reliable. Most likely, not all of us have done that, but the natural feeling of trust and reliability has fogged our eyes.

It was hilarious how Mark Zuckerberg tried to convince everybody in his speech that he had no idea about what was going on. They believed the personal user data were deleted. They just take somebody’s word for it and live happily ever after. It is like as if they do not deal with a huge number of people, but just have some school kid’s site that is running on its own. He literally looked like a kid who has not grown up yet, but he has certainly learned how to say sorry with an innocent look. He was sorry about allowing selling off and giving to whoever access to such data. We are so sorry. We hear that so frequently, way too frequently.

Well, we also hear about people deleting their profiles and pages from Facebook.

Basically, while it may help one in the future, the harm has been done. If you were using many apps and sharing all kinds of attractive images with unknown origin and these hearty “if you have a daughter …”, “if you have a mother …”, “if you have a sister or brother…” texts or images, you are already in. You’ve been tracked big time. The truth is that software that is intended to mask its real intentions is designed to appeal to people who do not have time or enough insight in order to realize what they are really doing. Some people are really hooked on this. I told one lady: could you please stop sending me these attachments, I told a lot of people: could you please stop inviting me to strange games and sites and activities that I am completely not interested in, but they ignore my requests. They believe everybody is in silly games and sweet attachment sharing.

It is not that I really love any of the social media sites. In fact, I’d rather not be on any of them, but just like everybody else I simply need access to larger audiences while being quite isolated in the real life. For me, it feels quite frequently like a duty: if I do not post any announcements or any updates of my studio, I become 100% invisible. It is not that I am extremely visible right now. I do not have time to be obsessed with posting even on my blogs, not to mention I could ever have enough time to review or read everything on Twitter or on Facebook. I limit my presence there to approximately 5 minutes a day or 10 minutes every three days. I do sometimes disappear completely from blogs and social media when I am having some large writing job, do not feel well enough or when I am struggling with my current pain attack.

I never understood people who congratulate their children or spouses who live together on Facebook. My question always was: cannot you say this personally?

Lots of people use such social media sites to show off, to get some “oh, my God you look so beautiful” when they actually absolutely do not, “you are so talented” when that is not the case at all, “your kids are so wonderful and gifted” when your kids are just simply kids and do everything normal what a kid should.

I am wondering how people are not alarmed or worried when they post all of their life on social media. They check in during the day and even night in all places they visit or stay, or work, they take numerous selfies and make everybody aware about what exactly they are doing and when. What a wonderful tracking experience that must be for companies that sell you lots of junk and useless things, as well as ask you to sign up for anything and register with anything! Plus, anybody can spy on your whereabouts.

If you think that deleting Facebook profile or business page is enough and you do not want to be there, you still cannot undo the past and take back your data from tracking and malware inserting sites that spy on you, your activities and are present in every step of your life. Instagram is owned by Facebook. You Tube along with multiple companies is owned by Google which is owned by Alphabet. As you watch You Tube somebody could be watching you. We all use Google maps, we are all certainly aware that somebody also knows where we are at all times.

Every time when you sign up for a new app on your smart phone, you should really think who you are allowing into your house, into your family and into your personal life. Tracking is not only what Facebook apps do. Every app has a potential to steal your data and use your data in the way they find necessary.

It might be a good moment to clean up the social profiles or to at least clarify what does what and where things you share go.

The more connected you are, the bigger threats you actually are facing. If you are an obsessive internet shopper, these tracking and spying apps adore and love you. Even if you just send a few messages and e-mails here there, even if you have signed up for a few sites that you believe have nothing to do with spying on you, you still cannot trust everybody and blindly rely on their promises.

I personally think a good principle is this: if you can show the content that you are posting or letting to appear on the internet to anybody including your children, parents, teachers, boss or coworkers, as well as law enforcement agencies and it does not disclose too much of your sensitive information, why not? It is just so that one has to really decide who and what they should trust and to what extent they are able to rely on their agreements about not selling out your personal information to third parties. Trust is something that must be earned. Do not give it out as added value to what you are already paying for the services some social or other online site provides you with. Trust, but check meticulously. Rely only on these who have proven to be worth your trust.

As I was typing this, Facebook’s stock was on a downtrend, it was down quite a lot actually, somewhere in the range of 150 US. Well, there were mentioned also other internet giants who pose a big threat to your privacy: Yahoo being one of the most affected in the past and the potential vulnerabilities of You Tube. When something is so big, there is always potential to miss some harmful bad guy and anybody unfair will use that. Therefore, maybe it’s time to switch your trust to somebody more reliable, such as the real people in your real life.

International Woman’s Day: history gets revised

Since the International Woman’s Day March 8, resonates with Me too and Time’s up movements in North America recently, this day has become more visible and more important by now.

It wasn’t actually this way before. I have been writing March 8 articles every year, and they quite often didn’t get much response. I believe it is because the day as such did not feel very important for many women or they associated it only with socialism and political movements, thus, it wasn’t widely popular.

While general articles mention North American and British suffragist movements as origin of this day, it is not entirely true. It is quite visible that the contribution of women fighters for female equality, such as Clara Zetkin, Inessa Armand, Alexandra Kollontai, the first soviet woman ambassador, and Nadezhda Krupskaya, Soviet Union’s Deputy Minister of Education and women’s rights advocate has actually not been acknowledged globally. I would think it is because they were all socialists, to some extent representing communism, and it is assumed that nothing good came out of all this movement and their personal fights. They actually addressed issues such as sexuality, abortion, marriage, divorce, morality, sexual relations between genders, family relationships, motherhood and role of mother, getting rid of male dominance in any area of life and physical abuse about 100 years ago in Russia and Western Europe at a time when nobody dared even to speak out about these issues. One has to remember that the state of education wasn’t really the same what it is right now, in 2018. Only the richest women would be able to obtain good education and it was rare they would have important political and executive positions, hence woman’s role was mostly understood as the one of a family member and mother.

The United Nations began celebrating International Woman’s Day on March 8 only in 1975.

This day was celebrated always in former Soviet Union as far as I can remember, and I am 60 this year. To me and many soviet era women from former soviet republics this day felt as one of the most wonderful days in the entire year. White and pink tulips, bright yellow daffodils and mimosa, as well as any early spring flowers were given to every woman. It was always celebration of a woman. This tradition continues in the independent Republic of Latvia, and it still goes very strongly.

What are the achievements due to the highly recognized role of a woman during the soviet and post-soviet era? There are actually many, although, we do not want to admit that. First of all, it was free education for everybody from the nursery school to the University. I had only excellent grades also while studying at the University, so, the government actually paid me monthly which was a huge financial aid. That means that the higher education was not only free, but also promoted in any possible way. The female dominance in higher education was absurd. I was studying foreign languages, and among students of many departments there were just very few male students with about 90% being female. This sounds crazy, and so it was. Male students would be choosing the Technical University and similar establishments, but still at a much lesser rate.

The aspect that was definitely promoted was female participation, equality and recognition of female achievements. It went way beyond that.

The period after the World War II was dominated by women in Latvia. First of all, there were more women who survived the war, and secondly, more women were well-educated. It went way too far in regard that women lost their female side and became work heroes: woman, the tractor driver and heavy machinery operator, the “rifle woman”, woman, the chair of an industrial plant who deals exclusively with work matters, denies make-up and fashion, denies any weaknesses and puts their political and social role above anything.

People who have seen the great movie of that era: Office Romance by Eldar Ryazanov (1977) certainly can recall the boss Ludmila Kalugina who is described by her subordinate employee as “dry, heartless and inhuman”. The actress portrays this image extremely well. Although, she is a very successful at work and managing the Statistics Bureau, she has lost absolutely all female attraction, she wears terrible, old fashioned clothes, her hair isn’t done and she looks at least 15 years older than her actual age. She is single. During this comedy, she gets transformed into a very attractive woman who has it all: excellent work position, beauty, love and family.

Office Romance, part 1 with translated subtitles

This image realistically depicts the overworked woman who neglects all other aspects of her life, and, therefore, she is single and replaces love and family with reading scientific literature and watching TV. The movie had huge success because it was true. Lots of women were so much in work and they had such highly responsible positions that there was no time or opportunity for them to address personal matters and their personal life.

Office Romance, part 2 with translated subtitles

You Tube

The scientific sector is dominated by women in Latvia: it is at 51% which is the highest rating among all European Union countries. It is not surprising, because traditionally and historically women have always been at the top due to excellent education, devotion and intelligence in Latvia. I mean, while living in Latvia I never felt any restrictions, any discrimination to me as a woman. It was, in fact, the opposite: starting with elementary school and ending with University, my success was always much acknowledged and I was always sitting in the first row when students were receiving yearly awards for state competitions in essay writing, geography, math, physics, foreign languages and visual art. Latvian women have also always been socially very active. It is pretty well-known that the Canadian Latvian Vaira Vike-Freiberga became a president of the Latvian Republic not that long ago.

 

The list of women high-achievers in Latvia would be very long and large. I suppose the roots and origins of female dominance in such countries as Latvia is somewhat historically and traditionally related to our life style and way of thinking. Latvian women have been and still are extremely independent and mentally strong.

I do miss a lot of that Latvian free spirit here in Canada. I’ve become invisible and I do not enjoy the social recognition I had back there. Well, I am kind of newcomer to Canada also, and I have been here for only 14 years yet. Ones efforts become much diluted in such a big place like Canada, and I feel that anything I do goes unnoticed to a big extent.

Well, this day is referred to in Latvia as simply Women’s Day, and it is celebrated in every family, at any workplace, at every school and at every office. It is a beautiful tradition which comes with spring flowers and feeling that spring and woman are synonyms.

This is a contribution to all women who are trying to be and feel equal in any walk of life. You certainly deserve all the most beautiful spring flowers that exist!

Being a freelancer: the tough ride

My work requires huge knowledge and insight in medical matters, conduction of clinical trials, knowledge in chemistry, biology, physiology, anatomy, as well as lots and lots of understanding of human genetics, brain function, including cognitive function and any mental disorders, pharmaceutical mechanisms of action and all kinds of dosing rules, medical interaction of pharmaceutical ingredients and things that apply to clinical indications, such as contraindications and also exceptions when using medication off-label.

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Life

Life isn’t what we think about it

Life is all the things what it does to us.

We are never in the same place. Ever.

As we stroll through the sky which is actually alive

With the speed that is not approachable even in sleep, even in dream

We do not know what is going to happen the next minute.

How would we know about the next year?

This is an endless flight which might end abruptly at the destiny’s door.

Between grasps of air some face reminds you that there actually was something.

Long ago. Far away.

Was that you setting up the alarm which never went off?

And so, we are flying without the warning system.

Without suggestions. Without instructions.

This flight has no stops.

We literally circle the sky until somebody gets moody or tired.

That’s when the next flood or ice age starts.

It would be unfair to just circle in the sky without ever learning anything.

So, what’s the lesson my dear?

Life isn’t what we think about it

Life is all the things what it does to us.

life

After extremely tough weeks of all kinds of health concerns and issues, after some sleepless nights and a very disturbing feeling of hopelessness, I am returning with a summary of thoughts about things which did not want to leave me alone.

I would love you to also stop at the art website: https://inesepogagallery.com/2017/12/10/shop-heartwarming-unique-nature-art/

I started an initiative to raise some money, but it got interrupted by different matters, including the lack of internet when construction workers cut off our cable. I’m not thrilled knowing that the next year might start off on the wrong foot with some delayed treatment. I haven’t had any chance to really try or sell anything this year, so, hopefully, you can help spread the word. I do appreciate any purchase of any creation on the art website.

Flow of time: where does it take us?

I arrived to Canada in 2004. I did not know what to expect, but I was very impressed by greatness of many things, and everything felt to me huge. I mean everything. Latvia where I came from is a small country, and, therefore, the endless wide roads, the high-rise buildings, the downtown Toronto with its busy streets and, especially, the size of any province was so different from what I was used to.

Well, time flew absurdly fast then, and I got married in October 30th of the same year. It’s very amazing that it is my daughter’s birthday on this day, too, which I hadn’t even realized when we made all arrangements. We stayed in Niagara Falls in a newlywed suite which had number 3010 on the door. Something else, or what?

Well, we got married in The Small Wedding Chapel in Niagara Falls. My family was in Latvia, so, my fiancé decided not to invite his family also, just to be fair to each other. Very tactful, I’d say. Therefore we headed out to Niagara Falls the day before wedding. The weather was mild and sunny during the day, although, it was the end of October. These pictures were taken by the numerous by-passers who all kept congratulating us, so, it felt wonderful actually.

I cannot believe it’s been 13 years. The flow of time is very different from what it was back then. The best part is that my daughter is 38 today and we celebrate the 13th wedding anniversary. So much fun together (over the internet because she is in Latvia).

Everything worked out quite well. My husband has proved himself to be the best, most loving and most honest person ever and he is still the same excellent man who I met back then. He has had a lot of patience and understanding in the situations when my health really gave up. When we are saying “…in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part” at the wedding, we rarely can be aware of what is ahead in reality. It has not been all that smooth, but, thankfully, we are managing everything.

We got married in Niagara Falls

Signing …

Happy me, well, we tried to take each others pictures first, and then the by-passers helped

This is us 13 years ago

While we are still very young we believe that nothing really changes as we get older, except it is a larger number. We assume we will have the same ideas and the same attitude, and the same capability when executing different things. That is so wrong! I just now have started to understand how my parents felt at older age, and I am very lucky to have my daughter as my best friend because my top energy levels matched time of her being young and very energetic and passionate.

We are a lot smarter. Life teaches us if we are willing to pay attention and to learn the lesson. We find out that some ideas were simply silly and that the world isn’t there to please us and make miraculously our wishes come true without any effort. We have learnt that lots of things require fighting for them and that path can take a lot of turns, too. It’s never as if going from point A to point B. There are always obstacles and problems, and all kinds of disturbances.

The most important things for a family are love, trust and respect. If any of these are missing, marriage is going to have cracks. The most important thing for an individual is the mental and physical health. While I have a lot of brain power, excellent memory and very strong willpower, the physical side is somewhat suffering. Well, I hope the future is friendly and has some better things for me and us.

Being an older white, legal immigrant in Canada is not quite the same as being a refugee. Refugees are treated very well here and receive extreme support. I haven’t received any smallest or tiniest support whatsoever. My only support has come from my husband so far, and I am happy and grateful for that. Other than that, my expectations did not come true: I wasn’t met too friendly wherever I turned to in Canada, and I haven’t made too many friends locally, as well. Realistically, I was already 46 when I relocated to Canada; so, it’s not the same as when one is 16 or even 26. I have turned from a very social person (I worked at publishing houses, high schools and colleges in Latvia, it was work with and among people) to a very isolated person. My lack of health has contributed to that also, a lot actually, but still, I did not expect such ignorance from the local community and people. It has been as if approaching some unbreakable brick wall: there is very little interest about what I do and offer. I suppose one has way better chances if they have classmates, schoolmates, University time friends, childhood friends and obviously relatives in the country they work and live.

Well, I have only my husband.

Cheers to our 13 wonderful years together! I want to thank my husband and God for this great time and I certainly believe that the best times are still ahead of us.

P. S. I have to apologize to fellow bloggers for their kind and numerous comments and likes to previous posts, as well, as thank you to all who keep following my art site https://inesepogagallery.com/ I will approve everything and I will return all likes as soon as get a bit better and all my stuff is sorted out. That won’t be today because it is our wedding anniversary. Thanks to everybody!

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