Archive | May 2013

# 70 (2013) Under Age

Huong Hoang (stage name Junie Hoang) recently tried to sue Amazon.com after it posted her real age on its Internet Movie Database. This despite Ms Hoang providing the site with a year that knocked seven years off her date of birth.

Should ages be such a closely guarded secret and are some industries so fickle that they still make a judgement on someone’s age as part of their ability to do a job? Media would be just the sort of industry to come into the line of fire for behaving like this but is it really the case or is Ms Hoang making a fuss about nothing? She has claimed publishing her real age meant work offers dried up.

Whilst the database has been accused in the past of “facilitating age discrimination” the case was thrown out of court. The site’s attorneys said IMDb was not responsible for the actions taken by people who read their profiles.

But is lying about your age such a big deal if you can get away with it? I knew someone in their 50s who struggled to get work interviews. He knocked 10 years off his birth date and instantly started getting interviews and, ultimately, jobs. This I think was the single most influential piece of evidence I saw that ageism really does still exist and the damage it can cause. Age discrimination exists for all age groups of course. Teens are branded trouble makers, and the elderly as infirm and out of touch.
I have for a while been a bit hazy about my actual age. But that’s because I can get away with it. I don’t look my age and I don’t have all the trappings of someone in my age group so I tend not to be judged and people make a presumption as to my age which is always in my favour. But am I being a bit paranoid about owning up to it and should I take the, now rather repetative, jokes on the chin and be thankful for good genes?

Whilst researching this article I discovered that ‘looking younger’ syndrome is not uncommon. Apparently we live longer too. It’s something to do with key pieces of DNA called telomeres, which indicate the ability of cells to replicate. Maybe I’m actually superhuman? I don’t seem to be exhibiting many of the aging signs of people in my group and I know for a fact that in my family history people have lived to some very admirable ages. I’ve always taken forgranted how I look. But perhaps I should be nurturing it and taking better care of myself?

Thankfully I’ve never lied on a job application, but I do let people assume I am younger than I really am. Whilst I’ve never suffered because of my age in the work place (many people are often quite envious when they discover the truth), I find it trickier in social situations because my age can be an initial barrier if it’s pointed out early on. This is primarily because I often mix with people younger than me. If they are going to find out I’d prefer it to be after they have got to know me. I don’t consider myself typical of my age and I don’t like people making assumptions because of the year I was born.

I may never grow up and if I continue to age at my current rate I may only get more defensive as I get older. Maybe I am making a fuss about nothing. After all, I’m in good company.

Salma Hayek. 46 – I kid you not (source)

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# 68 (2013) Knee Jerk Reactions

I write a lot of posts in haste. Only those that are factual are totally premeditated. But I always hit ‘save’ rather than ‘publish’. Coming back to them a day or sometimes several days later my perspective has often changed. Sometimes it’s good to vent, but initial reactions can be irrational and unfounded.

Sometimes I just need to modify my writing a bit, sometimes I delete the whole thing. Sometimes I put the posting on the back-burner if I’m not sure how I feel and then delete it.

I have never published a post without carefully reviewing it at least one day later. Untold damage can be done by not getting the whole story or a proper perspective. Posting knee jerk reactions can do more harm than good. Look at Twitter, peppered with stories of mindless posting without thinking about the consequences.

Although this blog is mine it does affect those around me. Other people, though rarely mentioned directly or indirectly, are often the subject or the cause of my postings and should they read them, it could do more harm than good.

This is definitely a place for me to post my thoughts but it still requires at least a little etiquette. And I am, if nothing else, tactful. 

(source)

# 67 (2013) Humans of New York

There is a wonderful page I follow on Facebook called Humans of New York. It also has a website here. It’s a snap shot of one random individual, animal or object out and about in New York and their by-line.

They are simple, funny, honest, thought provoking, often sad and full of regret and they remind me that I am not the only one who has fucked up and has regrets, hopes and dreams. We all do it to some degree or other. And I am okay knowing that I am not the only one. Small comforts in small places.

‘This is the third one I’ve saved.’

# 66 (2013) Spare Tyres

Last month I did a LOT of recycling. It included 8 car tyres which I very nearly couldn’t get rid of at all thanks to new directives from the Environment Agency. Way to go guys!

Household waste recycling centres don’t take tyres anymore. There is currently one in the whole of Lincolnshire at Louth but you can kiss goodbye to that soon.

Did you know that in 2011 there were something like 40,000,000 cars on the road in the UK alone and we are second only to Germany in Europe for new registrations? Even if only half those cars have their tyres changed each year, that’s a lot of tyres. So where do they all go?

A few are used by outdoor activity centres, play parks and the like. They’ll stay as tyres and get turned into swings and climbing equipment for activity days. That’s a tiny drop into a rubbery ocean though.

In 2001 alone the Environment Agency revealed that ‘…..the UK scrapped 50 million tyres. According to the Used Tyre Working Group’s 2001 survey, 22% were recycled, 8.3% went to energy recovery, 9.9% were retreaded, 16% were reused and 3.3% were used in landfill engineering. The remainder (approximately 40%) were landfilled, stockpiled or disposed of illegally.’

What to do with all the tyres…. (source)

The thing is this number has gone up but disposal has become harder, meaning more and more tyres are going to be dumped illegally. And then someone still has to pick them up and do something else with them. If I hadn’t been able to recycle my 8 car tyres, what was I supposed to do with them?

Take a look at this video which shows some of the ways that tyres can be recycled. But is there an endless demand and with the number of waste tyres rising – something like 55 million now – how are we going to deal with them? We are now banned from putting them into landfill which means they either get stored or have to be recycled. Wastebook will tell you all about this.

Although the options might be simple – why not recycle them into new tyres – the costs of recycling are sometimes more than making new products. Whilst I was at the recyclling plant they told me that it costs more to recycle an old glass bottle than it does to make a new one. So where’s the sense in companies recycling if it’s not cost effective?

Everyone needs to profit. Money makes the world go round and if recycling was more profitable, everyone would be doing it. Now there’s a problem worth solving.

# 65 (2013) Money Appreciation

I find unnecessary spending rather obscene. I guess having lived at both ends of the financial scale (to a certain degree) I’ve learned to appreciate and be happy with the basics and abhore excessive expenditure and more than anything else – waste.

I suppose I’ve got very used to own brands and having only what I need. I don’t get a buzz from shopping or spending money. I’d rather have it sitting in the bank where I can find it.

(source)

And this makes birthdays and Christmas rather tricky times. I come from a background where quantity has fewer limits, and where if you don’t provide some guidance on gift lists, you’ll end up with a million things you really don’t need. I have therefore learnt to provide plenty of guidance in advance to save on pretended gratitude so that ‘Thanks, I really needed that’ means it.

I save all my bathroom non-essentials such as perfume or branded products for events such as this and they are easy stocking fillers for anyone because you are grateful for whatever you are given. I have put a stop to bringing back ‘tat’ from holidays. If you have to bring me something back make it edible because food is always at a premium and I love my food.

Food has started to make regular appearances in my birthday and Christmas gift bags. It seems sad but I get more of a kick from finding a ‘luxury’ product in my kitchen cupboard than I do in my bathroom.

If ever I make enough money to have spending cash at the end of the month and not have to worry I think I will always lead a relatively frugal existence. Excess funds will probably end up in the bank anyway. I appreciate and respect money and material goods more than I ever did and I don’t think I could ever change. It’s an inbuilt part of me now.

I no longer waste my money on alcohol or other ‘kicks’, expensive makeup or branded bathroom products. I just don’t see the need. I don’t buy entertainment except the occasional film ‘treat’ and you know what, that’s just fine. Because it makes it more special.