Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Posts tagged ‘Lifestyle & Travel’

Top 10 Contemporary Signs of St. Patrick’s Day

Remember when holidays pretty much were celebrated on the actual day?

Now, no doubt in part for commercial purposes, promotion has largely turned them into multi-day, if not multi-week, events.

Which still leaves some latitude in how the spirit might be defined this time of year…

  • Everyone named Patrick is given a mulligan for the day
  • The best of the morning means having draft beverages for breakfast
  • Exercise classes add extra twirls to bring out that green feeling
  • Leprechauns are treated with a short amount of respect
  • Green tag sales mainly comprise green tags
  • The Hulk, the Green Goblin, and Green Lantern perform their yearly folk trio
  • Wearing of the green can be induced uninvited by regurgitation
  • Potato eye collectors hold their largest conventions
  • The Green Party everywhere is thought of as a place to have fun
  • Irish eyes may still be able to smile, but eyes of the less practiced will spend time trying to focus





Life Lessons from the Winter Olympics

We’ve just had the latest round of the Olympic Winter Games play out in Korea in the latter part of February.

Some nations, particularly the three highest medal count countries – namely, Norway, Germany, and Canada – found relative success after their long journeys to southeast Asia. Other countries didn’t have their usually expected triumphs (U.S.A.), and one wasn’t even able to compete under its national flag (Russia) – so, bigger is not always better.

The dedication of the athletes, with victories sometimes expected, sometimes surprising, often with an inspiring back-story, continued to reign at the top of the human interest level (‘gold’ stories). Not far behind were tales of family support along the path to the Olympics, as well as in many cases being there in person to lead the cheers, or condolences (‘silver’ stories). Then there were the backdrop stories, concerning logistics, behavioural subtext and potential drug cheating, and especially relevant to the Winter Olympics, the weather (stories competing for the ‘bronze’).

The behavioural subtext issue is always a fascinating one at major sporting events, because it includes the subjective coverage as seen by viewers around the world, and the tendency toward jingoism in reporting, more obvious with some national broadcasts than with others. But then, human response and ratings are not mutually exclusive.

As with any other form of organized expression which includes a more or less clear underlay of art, there are potentially larger, more philosophical lessons and messages for our own lives:

  • Watching events live versus on tape delay is a much easier decision when sleep patterns are involved
  • Sometimes it’s nice to have to go through a medal detector
  • Sponsors, win or lose, will always be ready to move on to the next sponsorship
  • Cold is a relative term
  • Finishing fourth is an opportunity to practice enhancing one’s mental fortitude, because it sucks
  • Sports provides just another example of where social media can be used to distort reality from a wrong conclusion
  • Jingoistic bias is noticeable
  • Losing a race is easier to get over than losing a gamble with local customs
  • A natural outdoors backdrop makes almost any situation more palatable
  • Being home to money helps the international prevalence of spoken English



Travel Tips

Open any travel related periodical or insert, and chances are that, in addition to glowing enticements to visit sites far or near, there will be some degree of tips from supposed experts. Sometimes the expertise is limited to lessons learned by the author about specific destinations; sometimes it’s more general ‘rules of thumb’ (not the green kind).

Case in point: the spring edition of CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) Magazine devotes several pages to recommending travel locations for 2018, with brief comments from CAA travel specialists. Some remarks are more insightful than others. (more…)