10 Most Attractive Women 

While most of these countdowns judge women only by looks,  I judge them by achievement, talent, perseverance, and,  of course,  if I’m attracted to them. Some you know and some you don’t.  So here we go. 

10.Bjork Gudmundsdottir 

I picked the above picture of Bjork because it exemplifies her breaking stereotypes.  I heard her when I was in my early teens singing in Icelandic and telling God does not exist. Her website shows how far she’s come. For me,  she is the most influential artist ever and represents progressivism.  A great actress, she plays in one of my favorite all -time movies,  Dancer in the Dark.
9.Eugenie Bouchard 

It was tooth -cringing time when Eugenie Bouchard answered her favorite Canadian artist was Justin Bieber.  It wasn’t the choice,  but rather the timing —at the end of a Grand Slam tennis match. It showed how young and sheltered she was.  But lately,  she’s gotten a personality and has shown perseverance on her way back from near the top to near the bottom. 

8.Maryse Ouellet 

Ok, other than her Montreal connection and entertainment factor, I picked Maryse because she is a beautiful woman. She comes from a wrestling family and was a champion in the WWE.  

7.Alisson Stokke 

When it comes to fitness no one looks more fit than Alisson Stokke. She is a champion pole vaulter and is in impeccable physical shape. She is also a role model for future female athletes.

6.Taylor Swift 

We all know who Taylor Swift is. I’ve always liked her songs about heartache in a country pop groove. She has proven she has a lot of range and can even sing some good heavy metal. She is a fashion icon and all around good person. She’s one of the few you don’t hear rumors about. Like it or not, she’s got tons of talent. 

5.Padma Lakshmi  

Padma Lakshmi has achieved a lot in her life. Her Sri Lankan-Indian background has made her unique as someone breaking out of cultural norms. She is a model,  chef, writer,  and wooed one of the smartest men in the world to marry her. She helps others and is a strong role model who exemplifies freedom of expression and women’s rights. 
4.Victoria Koutava 

I met this girl while shopping in Kalamata,  in Greece. She works at the Zara store there. I later found out she was an Instagram hit. Nothing less than a fashion star and guru in the making. Google Aggeliki Victoria Koutava for more of her and a bit about her. Joan Rivers would have loved her. 

3.Lorraine Pascale  

I’ve spoken of Lorraine Pascal before because of her perseverance. She was an orphan who succeeded in modelling and now as a pastry and TV chef. An inspiration for everyone. 
2.Rihanna 

Rihanna makes it here because she is an amazing performer. That’s it. 

1.Eva Kaili

Eva Kaili decided to go from journalist to politician. She is known for championing the plight of the voiceless in her native Greece. 

The above quote goes against the popularity of the Greek far left and also explains the evolution of the neo -Nazi right.  

The above ladies have it all. There are so many more. But more than 10 would make others accuse me of overkill. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder—The New Killer 

As the above graphic shows,  Anxiety is a plethora of emotions that often come together at the same time. This can create physical symptoms and even cause panic attacks.  Prolonged periods with multiple anxiety symptoms is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD. In one word,  it can be described as “fear”. It is putting every negative thing under a microscope and every positive thing in the garbage. The focus is almost continually on what disaster may happen next. Here are 8 symptoms to look out for.

When one suffers from GAD,  one of the most popular symptoms is fatigue, followed by indigestion. Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, is related to GAD. Often,  patients given anti -anxiety medication start feeling better and are able to digest more foods without fear of bloating,  inflammation,  or acute pain. 

The above caption demonstrates the ongoing mini panic attack in a person suffering from GAD. These disturbances and thoughts would be less acute or not there at all were the brain not fighting to keep control of the body. The level of peace needed for your brain and body to be in synch disappears and it becomes a free -for -all.  Signals from your brain are mixed up by the body. The result is everyday activities becoming more difficult or almost impossible to do or cope with. A small problem becomes magnified. Despair and helplessness set in. The future seems bleak.  You lose weight. You don’t move much so you don’t bring about a heart attack. You fear fear itself. You shake and feel a cold coming on. Your have heart palpitations.  You can’t assess the importance of things outside your panicked state. This has no  choice but to lead to depression. 

Left untreated, you get worse. You can’t sleep properly. You become irritable and your relationships suffer. You miss work often and are afraid you’ll lose your job. You want to go to the emergency room because you may not wake up alive. Then you get irrational thoughts. You become detached from everyday life. If no help is gotten at this point,  it may be too late. Although it’s anxiety, it has manifested itself into serious depression. And it can and will kill you if you let it. 

Naming the problem and admitting you need help almost always guarantees a road to recovery. The new killer of our era is made possible by the social constructs and constraints holding them up that exist. Every era or generation has its diseases. And a lot of them have become extinct. 

The first step to recovery is to not be afraid or ashamed to admit to yourself and other that you have a problem. Considering the stigma and lack of understanding in general,  it is not advisable to tell people outside your trusted circle of family and friends. You need the help of a doctor. Usually,  it takes a combination of drugs and counseling to see measurable amelioration.  

The second step is to see it to the end and put yourself first. You will learn what the stressors are and will be able to eliminate them or cope healthily with them.  Remember, you are the one in charge. 

In the end, you’ll know you’re a victim of anxiety forever,  just like an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic. Instead of keeping off the booze, you’ll need to just keep yourself in the most optimal shape possible. This includes a healthy diet, proper sleeping habits,  exercise,  and a balance in your lifestyle that promotes positive activity for your brain.  

For me, reliving the moment above helps alleviate tension. What does it for you? 

Manhattan Revisited — An Awesome Morning at Bryant Park 

I had it in my itinerary to visit the area where Nikola Tesla and his justified paranoia called home. Or at least somewhere around there. I was looking forward to visiting Manhattan’s biggest library and updating my journal. Bryant Park is a nice looking place with a myriad of activities all year round. I took a picture of Nikola Tesla corner and went to make my way into the park by what seemed to be a side entrance. 

A middle -aged African American and his friend were chatting drinking what seemed to be a smoothie,  something that really didn’t suit people of their generation. Luther started chatting me up and asked me to play chess with him for 5 bucks a game. He said he usually played for 20,  but he’d give me the tourist-on -a-Tuesday -morning discount. I felt bad not accepting, so I did. Luther was from the Bronx and said he made it down to Manhattan every day to spend the morning and play some chess. He eventually beat me but took back many moves and pointed out mistakes along the way.  I balked at another game and his friend told me to give another 5 for the lesson. “Don’tlisten to Ross, ” Luther said,  “he’s a hustler. Keep your money and go spend it on a sandwich for a sexy Latina. You’re Latino, right?”

“No, and I prefer black, ”

“No, you don’t. Why do you think I’m down here every morning? ”

They laughed. They joked about the endless chores their black women gave them. “Take care, my boy, ” Luther said. He waved and I was on my way. 

I went to Le Pain Quotidien and had a nice cucumber soup with a sandwich and ginger ale. 

People were reading almost nude while others were taking a walk with colleagues eating an organic hot dog. They seemed to feel they were doing something smart. I was thinking that a hot dog is still crap, organic or not.  It was almost noon and the crowd was getting bigger. I started logging a journal entry when a university girl asked if she can sit with me. There were plenty of empty seats still, but I said it was OK. She said her sorority friends had dared her to find someone older to kiss on the lips and she figured I wasn’t that old and looked clean. I refused to participate. I felt used. 

“I’m gonna kiss someone. Why not you?”

“It’s not embarrassing enough. They want you to be embarrassed. Are you? ”

“No. I don’t wanna be embarrassed. ” She was very good looking. She said she was from Nebraska. 

“Ok then, ” I said, “but there needs to be serious tongue action for 5 seconds. ”

She agreed. There was serious action for a few minutes. I went for the grab and she let it be up to a certain point. She stopped and touched my bulge for a brief second. The dare was to get me excited. People watched and slowly turned away. 

Believe it or not, no pictures in the library. 

Orellia came over,  said she hopes that I wasn’t offended. She invited me to a comedy club just the 2 of us somewhere in Greenwich Village that night. 

It was shaping up to be a nice full day in Manhattan. 

Silence at High Dawn

 It’s just so quiet in the early morning before the sun goes up. There is the moon battling to leave at the same time as the street lamps just about see the end of their work shift.

It’s frigid yet off to work I go. The beginning of another week of office cubicles and chairs unhealthy for the back, neck, and digestive tract. 

A parking spot. Beat the traffic.

Slow Whole Locavores —For Body and Mind 

#locavore #slowfood #wholefood 

As many people know, stress and diet are directly related to digestive health. The better the food, the better chance of stress triggers for indigestion going down. The more managed the stress,  the better chance of the food being digested properly. There are further factors,  namely environment and exercise, that further affect our overall health and adaptive defense mechanisms in our immune systems in combating disease and infection.  For now,  let’s focus on the calming effect of good food choices. 

LOCAL FOOD 

Canada has harsh winters which make it difficult to eat local during the winter months. Those intent on it have to live on a repetitive diet that local growers offer of cabbage,  beets,  potatoes  turnips, etc. Others incorporate pickled or smoked or fermented goods. But we can cheat and it won’t hurt. 

We need a balanced diet made up of local foods in order to avoid packaging and the preservatives and chemicals that come with it. 

WHOLE AND SANE 

Another advantage to eating local is that it’s good for the environment. There’s much less pollution caused by transportation. There’s a faster path from grower to consumer. We get the immediate nutrition in its basic  (read : unadulterated ) form.  The nutritional value is increased. There is the good argument that food frozen at the source is just as good,  and I would agree. But that food is not plentiful. If you want the equivalent of local,  frozen is the best way to go. 

Whole foods then are obviously the way to go. Again,  they are unadulterated. The above food pyramid shows which foods are musts and which ones we need to be careful about.  The pyramid can be modified to correspond to your needs, but the fruits and vegetables are unquestionably the most important. I believe that the middle of the pyramid contains foods that are good snacks and great alternatives to what we usually eat at work or on the go.  

These foods being raw sounds dangerous to some. But upon closer examination,  there are few of these you’ve ever cooked anyway. We don’t realize how much we eat raw. And for the most part,  anything outside of main courses should be raw. 

SLOW

There is no easy way to define slow food but to say it’s a combination of wholesome and local foods. It is a sustainable way to exist within your community’s food output distributed among its citizens. Think of a communal farm with all the inhabitants being fed. It’s the emblem of sustainable development at the grass roots level and needs to exist for a community to advance. It is the foundation of sustainability in a more global sense. Here’s an example from Italy.

Local is said to be the new organic. While I believe local is great, organic is just as needful for good nutritional value. Organic should be synonymous to local, but it often isn’t. And we need to eat organic as much as possible. Especially with meat and fish. The health of the animal becomes part of our health, mental and physical. 

So go to your farmer’s market and your organic marker and empower yourself by empowering your body with the best quality food. 

Stand Up Comics as Tragedians — The Fine Line That Never Was 

The CNN series got me thinking. Highly recommend it. 
Since my beginning of my literature studies,  there was always a link between comedy and tragedy. The comedy was veiled,  feigned even.  It was often one and the same.  The mask served as a way of reminding us what we were actually watching.  

Then I moved to studying the exemplary James Joyce and came across Dubliners and noticed that farce, comedy, tragedy, and sarcasm were intertwined. It is shown mostly in The Dead where the situation, like the snow, was general all over the world, not just Ireland. 

Then there was Six Feet Under, the amazing HBO series that shot a dose of reality on TV as banal as reality at home. The point is that there exist comedy and tragedy simultaneously all the time in some perspective. 

ONE IN A LIFETIME 

It was an afternoon of lounging around that introduced me to George Carlin. I remember him answering the Proust questionnaire on the last page of Vanity Fair. I remember him being asked who his hero in real life was. He answered something like “nobody should have heroes. That’s a terrible thing “. Carlin was a realist at a post -Lenny Bruce era that was adorning all the fluff. Carlin was a unique sort of comic. He did the usual shtick but also put enough social satire to make him a legend. He incorporated fears and yearnings into a comical package that made you laugh hysterically but made you think long and hard afterwards. But the reason he was the most unique was his longevity. He was not the usual tragic comic that died young. He lasted and played till his dying days.  Longevity, timeliness,  and stability are a triumvirate hardly ever achieved. This is why he is the greatest. The God of comedy. But don’t ever let him know I said that. Perhaps he was stronger than most. Perhaps he had better coping mechanisms. No matter, he outlasted all his counterparts. 

THE HIDDEN ANGST 

The Guardian explain that comics die young. Lenny Bruce and Robin Williams are attestations to this. Thereis often addiction involved. In Bruce’s case, there was the alcoholism, the alleged drugs, and his unending trouble with the law that got him into taking the tragic route out. Robin Williams was depressed,  as I’ve found out many are. 

I love the above quote. Very true and globally so.  This was once the funniest man in the world. Depressed. Took his life. Unlike Carlin, Williams,  unfortunately,  is more of a typical version of a successful comic.  Even of a successful artist. They want to make you laugh because they usually can’t laugh themselves. Not internally anyway. Not where it counts behind the adoration of the crowd.  

A DOSE OF REALITY 

And then there’s the enigmatic Marc Maron,  who reminds me of myself. I got to see him through his IFC series and then listened to his entertaining podcast. In real life, Maron has been an addict. Though I have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol,  I have vices difficult to take care of.  It is a win at a time with a few losses in between. But Marc hangs in there. And through difficult moments, it is someone at your wave length that you have laughed with that’s the saving grace that keeps you chugging along. 

For the, George and Marc are people I always fall back on because I need a dose of reality.