Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Neurotic’s Handbook by Charles A. Monagan

Charlie Brown, one of the Neurotic Hall of Famers

This one goes back all the way to 1982. It is hilarious, helpful and accurate. I dare you to read this book and not find a decent length list of things you do or have yourself, just like the neurotic. (For example, I too have a scented sachet in my underwear drawer. A former co-worker brought one for everyone in the office from her trip to Greece and I didn’t know where else it would be appropriate to put.) This book is the proverbial mirror (that you’re supposed to hold up for yourself.)

The book goes through various descriptions of the neurotic

  • The Seven Ages of the Neurotic
  • The Private Lives of Neurotics
  • The Neurotic at Home
  • Health and Health Care for the Neurotic
  • The Neurotic Looks for Love
  • The World View
  • The Neurotic Hall of Fame

Here’s an excerpt from the Winter section, where the Neurotic is considering throwing an New Year’s Eve party:

The alternatives, of course, are even more chilling. To spend the night by yourself is unthinkable and perhaps even suicidal. To spend it among strangers at a lounge or a night club with a manic emcee at the helm is desperate and expensive. The only way of getting around the problem is to be madly in love, a prospect that is chancy to say the least“.

If you get to page 88 and you still aren’t sure if you fit the category of “neurotic”, there are 3 lists of points referring to the neurotic’s house, apartment and car. If your behaviours match up with these, you are, for sure, neurotic.

If, in the end, you are too frazzled from reading about all of these signs of neuroses, it’s best to go to back to the beginning, which begins like this:

It was no so long ago that most people were normal. They tilled the fields or worked hard in factories, they ate regular food that was hot and plentiful and served on thick crockery, they went to sleep shortly after it got dark, they prayed (all the time, not just when they were in trouble) and they engaged in sex under the covers with the lights out…

Photo credit for pic of Charlie: Pinterest


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Teddy Bear vs. the Monsters in Your Room

Is this not the best picture you’ve seen? (At least, lately?)

I came across it on Facebook by chance; it’s by Begemott and it’s called “Sweet Halloween Dreams”.

But, it just says it all in terms of the function of a teddy bear, doesn’t it? Or, maybe, Teddy could be a representation of your bit of courage standing up to your fears in general. Or David and Goliath….or some other metaphor…

Does anyone have stories to share about their teddy bears or childhood fears of the dark? I never had a toy to sleep with, but I did endow my duvet with powers of protection.


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Arbitrary Pictures 4: Maplelawn Garden

The only Keg that I’ve been to is the Keg Manor, which I like because it’s a beautiful, heritage  stone building and I love things that are old and durable….and beautiful. (Plus, if you like steak, some have said it’s the best in town. I don’t know, I’m not a big steak eater.)

This post is about the garden located right beside the building, which, until recently, I believed was private. It’s not and it’s lovely. Both the building and the garden have been declared a national historic site, which is great because, as previously mentioned, I like old stuff. It’s also an opportunity to visit a nice, secluded place where you can just relax, breathe and take it all in.

Here are a few pics from Maplelawn Garden:


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Sleeping Tigers by Holly Robinson

This book is chick litt. Not hyper chick litt, but chick litt. nevertheless. As such, I did not expect miracles. But, I figured that since I wanted to turn off my brain and run my eyes over words of little consequence, this book was it!

Jordan is 33 years old and has left her fiancee, Peter. Her Dad believes this was a big mistake and that, at her age, she will never find anyone else. Jordan is also not convinced that leaving was the best thing to do. Her best friend Karin thinks otherwise. Unlike Jordan, Karin believes in playing the field, sleeping with the field and having a “good time” constantly. When Jordan comes to visit her in San Francisco, Karin puts her right in the middle of the field by throwing her a welcome party. Not much happens there.

By the fourth chapter, a bit of sad drama is introduced when Jordan catches up with her brother, Cam…we learn that their Dad was an alcoholic and that Cam is also prone to addiction and may have impregnated a 15 year old drug addict. And on and on it plods…seriously, I couldn’t finish this book. It was like reading a play-by-play of someone’s grocery shopping trip. A bit too we’re-still-relatively-young-so-we-do-stupid-things-to-look-younger-and-“cool”. It’s basically about 30-somethings who feel sorry for themselves, still haven’t go it together and display behaviours that may (or may not) be accepted by the occasional teen. Empty and pretentious.

On the other hand, the author’s site says it was the 2011 Book Of The Year Finalist…maybe I should have been more patient.

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The Perfume that Smells Like a Book

It has finally happened. The lovely smell emitted by every new book has been bottled. Is this every book lover’s dream come true or a conspiracy from the e-book people to convince us paper book lovers to go digital? I don’t know, but I am intrigued.

Read more about it here: Karl Lagerfeld to Develop “Paper Passion” Fragrance, Karl Lagerfeld’s Paper Passion Perfume to Smell Like a New Book, Paper Passion: Wallpaper Launches Fragrance with Karl Lagerfeld & Steidl

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The Neverending Story

I first saw this book as the movie, many years ago. I still get choked up when I think about the storybook characters desperately running to get away from The Nothing that was destroying the land of Fantasia.

I went to explain the desperate situation to my Mom…”The Nothing is sweeping the land. You should have seen the poor characters; they were so desperate! And it’s true. This is actually happening, with everyone attached to their TVs. Imagination is dieing!” She gave me that look that said that I was ridiculous. “Which means that creativity is dieing…the sense of community, responsibility….appreciation of nature…it’s all related.” The look continued. I left the kitchen, yelling to the house: “Everyone’s a drone!”

Anyway, I wish I had listened to myself back then. (Not sure how things would have been different, but I should have listened.) The imagination really is the source of everything; imagination and heart is the source of power, isn’t it?

This video makes me think of the changing global weather patterns…the current drought, the various floods…am I nuts?

Book reviews: “N” Is for the Neverending Story”, Review #2: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, The Neverending Story

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Arbitrary Pictures 3: Flowers

These gorgeous photos were taken by my friend, Miroslav Pospisil….are they not beautiful enough to put on greeting cards?

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Books and Movies

A few books that have become movies:

Peter Pan

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Chronicles of Narnia


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As much as I love books, sometimes, I wonder whether I shouldn’t live life rather then read about other people’s perceptions of it.

Soul Writings

Shared by “Teresa”

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The Little Mole by Zdenek Miler

Today, I thought I’d turn my flashlight on the Little Mole, a cartoon character from the Czech Republic, first created in 1956.

He is probably more popular today than ever. (Last year the Little Mole even flew to outer space with NASA.) He is the star of many books and cartoons that demonstrate caring, sharing, cooperation, hard work, ingenuity and resilience and that encourage children to acquire knowledge and skills by following the Little Mole’s example. Part of what makes the Little Mole different is that there’s nearly no dialogue; most of the verbal communication is emotional exclamations, which adds to his innocence and, perhaps, partly explains his popularity in over 80 countries (ie. no dubbing required).

Have a look a the Little Mole in action and you may fall in love with him too: The Mole and the Snowman.

The Little Mole and his friends

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