The "Whiz-ard" That Is Dr. Oz

And Other Stories


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Things That Make Me Go HMMMMMMM

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Image courtesy of independent.ie

Some days, when I am sitting in a boring meeting,on the subway or my what will become of me couch, I have very deep thoughts.  Very DEEP thoughts.  I thought I’d share some of the things that cause me distraction at work, on the subway when I’m supposed to be focused on my book challenge or on my sofa when I should be focused on the high quality TV that I’m such a fan of.  If you think I’m thinking about world peace or how to eradicate poverty, you are sadly mistaken.  I’m the same as you every day folks thinking about the really important issues like:

  • Why man buns are a thing?  Was it thanks to Jared Leto?
  • Why are man braids becoming a thing – they are really unattractive
  • Why do people insist on wearing those ear-deforming spacers?  They are just an eye sore
  • Are hipsters really hip?  If so, why do they try so hard not to be?
  • Why is it whenever someone tells me not to touch something because it’s hot do I feel like I should touch it to make sure that they aren’t making it up?
  • Why is the plural of goose geese but moose are just moose?  Would it be weird or trend starting if I threw meese around in conversation?
  • Is that mark on my back a spider bite?  If so, my eyes are widening in fear and I wish that I could run around and scream
  • Do parents really think that their ugly baby is cute or are they just saying that because it’s politically correct?  I was an ugly baby, I can say this
  • If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?  And please don’t tell me pilgrims, I need a more original answer
  • Why would Fox ever cancel The Mindy Project AKA the finest half hour on television
  • Will HULU renew The Mindy Project?
  • Why is it that I still love ’80s music even though the lyrics never made any sense?
  • Will Betty White make it to 100?
  • Should I get fillers?  I think my eyes are sinking
  • Was I as annoying as the 20 year olds that take public transit when I was there age?
  • Did that girl really walk out of the bathroom at work and not wash her hands?  Doesn’t she realize how gross that is?  Should I have told her that she had toilet paper on her shoe?
  • Is there still a market for the VHS tapes that I’m trying to sell or will I have to take them to Value Village?
  • Will people realize that what will become of me couch came from a book (can’t remember which one) or do they think I made it up?  Either way, it’s become a Jill-ism
  • Will the meek inherit the earth?  I don’t think so – no one will speak up to claim it, but am I wrong?
  • If I go to a 24 hour store at 3 in the morning will it really be open or is that a marketing ploy?
  • How does The Bachelor say “will you accept this rose?” with a straight face
  • How much does Chris Harrison get paid for saying “Ladies this is the final rose…Most dramatic rose ceremony ever”! etc.  I can take this off the list – $60,000 per episode – thank you Google
  • Is Phil really sorry to tell someone that they have been eliminated from “The Amazing Race”?
  • Does Kanye West really think he’s a great designer?
  • Does Kanye West really think he’s a god?
  • Why do I care about Kanye West?
  • When Drake says “You used to call me on my cell phone” – shouldn’t he say text?  Who calls anymore?  Love Hotline Bling but get real
  • Why do people love Adele so much? As a person she seems lovely, she has a great voice, but all of her songs sound the same – am I wrong?  HMMMMM…..

I know – it’s a lot to think about – you try getting through the day when there is so much going on in your head.


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Challenges

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Another year, another theme for my blog.  I’ve made one major change – at least major for me…the title is still “The Whiz-ard that is Dr. Oz” but the tag is “And Other Stories”.  I can’t just follow Dr. Oz’s advice, I mean I’ll still try some of his suggestions, but I have other stories that I would like to tell, and let’s face it, I was cheating a lot.  I’d like to do a post and not relate it back to the good Dr.  You’ll still get a healthy dose of health, but I also think growing and changing is healthy too so you’ll be getting some non-health related information from me. More Gwyneth blogs, movie recommendations, recipes my way and some inspiring interviews.

Once I decided that it was time to make some small changes, I also had to think of a theme (not a resolution) for my beloved little blog for 2016.  I sat on my “What Will Become of Me Couch” and pondered.  I lay on my sucky pillow (I’ve had it since I was 2 – I know gross) and had some deep thoughts, then fell asleep.  I sat on the subway and felt the earth move, but realized it was just a bump on the tracks.  I went to my thoughtful spot and thunk, I mean thinked…oh you know what I mean…

So drumroll (in your head) please…this year will be about CHALLENGES!!! Give me a Kermit the Frog YAY!.  Tough audience.  Last year was so challenging, that I thought I should put myself through even more!  In the words of my muse – I know wrong sex, geniuses – Dr. Oz, I want to eliminate stress by trying new things and challenging myself with things that I already love to do.  Some months, I’ll do one challenge, others more.  I’ll have several that last throughout the year,  and I’d love for you to try them with me and comment on how you are doing.

The first challenge is going to be something that I love to do, big hint it has to do with the picture at the top of my blog.  No, I’m not going to befriend a spider – it’s a reading challenge.  Reading is a big stress relief for me and I love it so I thought why not start with a reading challenge.  I belong to a modified book club at work.  Ok, it’s just me and my pal MJack at work talking about books and swapping stories (pun intended) about what we think about them.  She has great taste in books and was the first person that I thought of when I was putting Challenge #1 together.  I always love her picks and you’ll see them peppered throughout the year so MJack – this challenge is dedicated to you.

The Book Challenge (from several lists but mostly goodreads.com):

I’m going to read the following in 2016 and keep you posted on my progress:

A book about an animal
A book based on a fairytale, myth or folklore
A book based on people from a religious text
A book based on true events
A book considered a ‘classic’
A book considered a ‘modern classic’
A book from a series
A book from one of the “Must Read” lists
A book from Oprah’s book club
A book involving religion
A book involving royalty – a king, queen, prince, princess etc.
A book picked for you by someone else
A book published this year
A book someone gave you
A book that a relative or friend loves
A book that everyone is talking about
A book that you can read in a day – CompleteIf I Stay
A book that’s less than 300 pages long – CompleteWhere She Went
A book with a cover that drew you in
A book with a creative title
A book with a short title
A book with a title that describes your life
A book with a title that has more than five words
A book written by a politician
A book you borrowed
A book you could use as a doorstop (ie. 700+ pages)
A book you own but haven’t read
A book you would normally read on holiday
A book you’re embarrassed to read in public
A book you’re excited about
A book you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t
A book you’ve been putting off reading
A classic children’s book
A humorous book
A play by Shakespeare

Yup, that’s right – 35 books in total for the year.  I’m an avid reader, but GEE WHIZ that’s a lot.  I’ve finished two – but I picked easy reads, because I spent 2015 reading very difficult books including Nightingale recommended by MJack and brutal, End of You Life Book Club which you’ll hear more about, a little bit of Deepak Chopra and other assorted Debbie Downer style books.  I’ll give you lists of some of my favourite books, and tell you which you should put down because they suck and never get better.  Your welcome!  So join me – you don’t have to read 35 books to play along, you can even just send me your recos based on the list above.

Until next time, I remain,

Your bookworm

 


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2015 -The Ugly, The Bad and The Good

2015  – another year coming to an end, and it’s a time for everyone to reflect on the events that shaped their lives this year and think about what they would like to change in the coming year.  Some of you get to do that in your inside voice, I’m going to share, in general terms of course, what I’ve been pondering.  I’m reversing The Good, The Bad and The Ugly so that I can end the year on a positive note.

The Ugly

  • Receiving bad news about loved ones’ health this year was a doozy.  The way they handled everything became part of the good.
  • My father dying was very difficult on many levels for me.  If you’ve ever been estranged from a parent and they pass, you know what I mean.   The saddest day, was when I realized that my life hasn’t really changed all that much.  My heart goes out to people in this position.
  • There are times in your life when you meet what I’ll call “The White Elephant” – that person that you’ve heard about for years, but never met, that caused havoc.  I met someone that I’ll just call bad people, it also turned into “the good” for me when I got to tell her what I thought of her.  Nobody likes confrontation, but it can, at times, be good for your soul.

The Bad

  • It’s so sad when you reach a certain age and see your friends and family going through some of the same things that you are going through.  Death, sickness and job loss is always tough – it’s hard going through it and it’s hard watching other people go through it.
  • I like my job, I even like most of the people that I work with, but I let work get the better of me again this year after promising myself that I needed to lessen my load.  Being at work until 9 every night made me realize that I have to put my needs, and health first.
  • Not blogging as much as I should thanks to the late work nights.
  • World events – Paris, the Middle East, even the homeless situation right here in Toronto.  Rising crime rates, mass shootings every other week, and a miserable winter – I wish that there was a good news channel.

The Good

  • I am proud that I got through such a difficult year with more perspective and yes, my sanity.  I still have a sense of humour and now I also have the knowledge that I can get through just about anything.
  • Focusing on conquering my fears and setting new goals for myself resulted in me getting my driver’s license (finally), getting first aid certified and trying a host of things like axe throwing, archery and rib boating that I never would have done in the past.
  • Seeing the way people in my life have handled bad news gave me a new respect for them.
  • Traveling with the Frousins – always a good thing.
  • Decluttering really does make you feeler freer and the process, even though it’s a lengthy one, is very satisfying.
  • Learning to cook – it’s very relaxing for me – I never thought that I would say that!
  • Life in general – if you have one, it’s always a good thing!

I usually think of New Year’s as a time to start fresh and make resolutions that I sometimes will keep.  This year, I have a different outlook.  2016 is a brand new year, but each day, we can change our lives.  We don’t need a new calendar to do it.  I wish you all health and happiness and all the best for the New Year.

Until 2016, I remain, gratefully yours,

Jill

 


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Satanic Starbucks and More Kon-fessions

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Image courtesy of starbucks.com

I know, I know, I’m late to the party, but I just wanted to add my thoughts to the recent craziness around Starbucks latest holiday design.  Umm…can we say, get a real problem?  There are people being starving all around the world, there’s homelessness, there are terrorist attacks, there are children being trafficked and abused (at least Jared the Subway guy is safely sandwiched away in prison) and animals being tortured or abandoned and there is Donald Trump!  The best that people can do is come together to protest that Starbucks didn’t put a snow flake – a sign of precipitation not Christianity – on it’s cups this year?  I would understand the upset if year after year they put the Nativity Scene on their cups – which to me, a Jewish person, is the true meaning of Christmas – but they don’t.  I looked back at designs of yesteryear and they included, but were not limited to snowflakes, reindeer, skating scenes, snowmen (or since we are politically correct snow people, snow women or snow people that may be transgendered) and a Christmas ornament.

I wish people a Merry Christmas or best wishes on whatever holiday they are celebrating (I’ve written about this before – remember my rant last year about calling a Christmas Tree just that?).  If I don’t know what religion they follow, it’s a generic happy holidays.  I believe that people should be able to celebrate whatever they want or not celebrate at all.  A coffee cup to me doesn’t signify anything other than a vessel for holding my tall, no foam, skinny vanilla latte (sometimes I ask for it extra hot, because I can).  If you followed the true meaning of the holidays then the people so up in arms over Starbucks would spend their $4 on a charity and put their money to better use.  If a red and green snowman less cup is your biggest problem, I’d gladly trade you – it’s been a rough year.

Now back to more Oz related pursuits AKA decluttering.  I’ve continued the KonMari method outlined in “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.      I can see why she says it takes up to 6 months – it’s been a huge job.  In the last few weeks, I’ve had to go slightly outside of her order – I’m supposed to be working on papers – and moved to CDs, tapes, VHS tapes, DVDs, etc.  Worry not, I did still manage to get rid of a big bag of paper (shredded) and a small recycling bin of notebooks and other paper-like sundries,  but I still have a bit of ways to go on that project.  I did manage to get rid of the following:

  • 84 cassette tapes – who needs them?
  • 16 CDs – just the ones I never listen to – I haven’t digitized my other CDs yet – that may not happen for awhile
  • 3 old VHS movies – I’m going to try posted my Disney movies on Kijiji
  • Assorted knick knacks
  • More dishes

This week, I’m posted more stuff on Kijiji to see where I net out with the collectibles and I’m going to finish off my papers.  Next week, it’s skin cream (easy), make up and accessories.  I know – fun times – right?  I’ll keep you posted on my progress, but see below for the load from two weeks ago:

Value Village is now the proud owner of 5 more boxes from Casa Schneiderman.  In case you are getting sick of my decluttering posts, I know I am, tune in for an exclusive 3 part series with a Dietician.  You learn…actually, you’ll have to come back to read more…

 

 


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We’ll Always Have Paris…

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I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Paris 3 times in my life and I’m looking forward to returning again one day soon.  The first time was in 1995 as my friend and I did a whirlwind Contiki tour of Europe.  We came, we saw, we went up the Eiffel Tour and then we left 24 hours later.  It was amazing and left me wanting to visit again….which I did in 2008.  In January…yes January I got to enjoy 5 days of greatness.  Since it was winter, there were hardly any tourists so no line ups for the Mona Lisa, no waiting for the elevator at the Eiffel Tour, no one blocking my view of my favourite paintings at the Musée D’Orsay.   Last but not least, I went for two days in November 2011 – the weather couldn’t have been better, and we walked EVERYWHERE.  I’ll give you all of the tips and tricks for visiting Paris in a very future blog, but I think today, we should remember the victims of the horrible attacks.  We’ll always have Paris.

I do need to do a little rant right now…when people call the terrorists who victimized this city animals, it is really insulting since animals have no guile.  These people are nothing but psychopaths.  If Paris is a city of “obscenity and prostitution” it shows how little they understand about either.  It is much more moral to prevent women from having any rights at all including the basic right of education.  It is much more righteous to rape and terrorize women and young girls than to enjoy a soccer game.  It is far more decent to force 12-year-old girls to marry 60-year-old men than to go to a concert.  It is much better to hate and murder gay people than to accept them for what they are – normal, consenting adults.  It is far more spiritual to decapitate a humanitarian or a journalist than to enjoy a glass of wine at a restaurant near the Louvre. And speaking of that, it is a much better idea to destroy antiquities like the Buddhas in Afghanistan and the museums in Iraq preventing those nations from every re-growing their tourism than to appreciate fine art the way they do in Paris.  Please don’t take this as a condemnation of Islam, but rather a condemnation of the hatred that comes with any form of extremism regardless of the religion.

It is a scary time in the world, however, we all still have to live our lives.  Travel is a way to get a better understanding of our world and the different types of people that live in it. Don’t let a few bad people keep you from exploring other parts of the globe, including the most beautiful city in the world.

Paris, Je t’aime.


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How To Use Twitter Hashtags to Increase Your Traffic

For any bloggers that read The Whiz-ard that is Dr. Oz, here is an easy way to promote your blog. Suzie Speaks has a lot of great blogging tips and has a lot of enjoyable general posts. Check it out!

Suzie Speaks

imageSuzie Speaks began in 2013, and was originally used as online therapy, primarily allowing me to discuss a difficult time I was having in my personal life. I knew nothing about social media – I had a personal Facebook account and a Twitter page that I hadn’t used in quite a while, and I rather naively assumed that I would receive a large amount of views simply by pressing the publish button.

It took me about six months to realise that the biggest source of traffic to a blog, without getting heavily into SEO (which I still find difficult to understand), is through different social media accounts. I created a brand new Facebook and Twitter page, separate to my personal ones, and set about building a following.

In two years, I have had nearly 44,000 views from Twitter, but only have 6,500 ‘followers.’ It’s hardly setting the blogging world on…

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The Sadness of Soft Toys and The Royal Treatment at Value Village

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Decluttering means saying good-bye to old friends.  I’ll miss Melvin, Pookie and Pink Poodle, but every once you have to let go of something that you love to make room for more peace in your life.  Ok, that was me trying to be deep.  The truth is, Melvin’s sunglasses were falling off, Pookie doesn’t exist and Pink Poodle may be unimaginative, but I’m also the girl that gave her stuffed animals classic names like Teddy, Pink Bunny and Blue Bunny when I was growing up.  Nothing wrong with being literal.  The stuffed animals didn’t seem to mind.  Pink Poodle was given to me by one of my dearest friends to remind me of the time that I gave myself a really bad bang trim.  She also bought me a giggling, burping beanie baby that sounds vaguely like me.

It was more than time for me to give away my soft toys to a loving home.  It was also time to get rid of dishes that weren’t being used, glasses that were collecting dust and knick knacks that were more nicked than knacked.  Where did the 5 cases and one garbage bag of home clutter go?  Value Village.  I have to say – dropping my old dishes and toys off was an amazing experience – they treat you like royalty.  Just stop at the donation drop off entrance and out come a couple of big strong men to take a load off your hands.  All I did was point and I got to have everything carried away.  All of the proceeds from Value Village go to charity and they help keep your worn items out of landfills.  They even take orphan socks – who knew?  Check out https://www.valuevillage.com/donate/what-we-take to see what you can donate.  Best experience at a charity ever.

In addition to the 2 sets of dishes, dozen glasses, 16 stuffed animals, etc. that left my abode, I also noticed that my building was doing a hazardous waste drop off.  I scurried down with 5 cans of old paint.  Remember, as freeing as it is to declutter, you also should be environmentally responsible dear readers.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get this little project finished.  Next on the list is sorting papers and even I can’t make that task fun and interesting.  I may have to combine it with something a little more entertaining…maybe Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest health advice?  Stay tuned to find out more.

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