Identity

Flattery Will Get You… Well, It Depends.

The blog comment read, “Your writing is excellent, and I’m inspired by what you’ve shared. I’ll bookmark it and come back often for wisdom and encouragement.”

And I hit “DELETE” in annoyance.

Because an insincere comment from someone simply seeking a ping-back to their own site is as meaningful to me as a stranger whom I’ve never fed telling me that I make incredible Texas Sheet Cake. They just don’t know. So their words really can’t touch me.

We want to hear encouragement not only from people who actually know us,

Read more Flattery Will Get You… Well, It Depends.

Hidden Agendas and Sincerity

Call me paranoid, but I like knowing who I’m talking to, who I’m hearing from, and what the nature of the “transaction” is.

I wrote a post about the disillusionment of lighting up when an email comes in only to find out that it’s spam, a lie, a trick, a manipulation, a sham. That feels disappointing.

I feel the same way when I read an article only to find out that it is sponsored or “branded”

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An Apt Word

Auto-fill is the bane of my existence. I want to say something just the right way, and it prevents that. Even worse sometimes it embarrasses me when I try to say, “Wait a sec” and end up with “want a sex” or something similarly off base.

I was thinking about the shift in our culture where we now have hand-held devices that fill in the blank (rightly or wrongly) for us, speeding our communication, and allow us to fire off missives (often prematurely).

Read more An Apt Word

100 Years to Live

“You’ve only got 100 years to live.” And sometimes that doesn’t seem like enough.

Having cancer when I was in my thirties created urgency, made me an “ants in my pants” girl, and made me know that I better get on with it (whatever “it” is) in case this (however you measure “this”) is all the time I get.

I can’t really listen to Five for Fighting’s 100 Years without crying. Watch the video here.

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The Loneliness of Lying

“It will live the lifestyle you need to project to others. You can finally be who you want people to think you are. They don’t know you’re sitting at home, getting caught up on ‘Downton Abbey’,” reads an article in which I found out about a new app called CouchCachet which “finds all the coolest places in your neighborhood, then automatically uses Foursquare to check you into them — with none of the irritation of actually leaving the couch.”

Yes, the idea is to lie so that people will think you’re cooler than you are (if cool is indeed defined by being out at the place of the moment,

Read more The Loneliness of Lying

Pride of Place

Do you have a “spirit city,” a place that sets you on fire with the rightness of it, with a feeling of completeness?

I’m writing this from Seattle, my favorite spirit city. So I’m analyzing what makes a place feel as right as this one does for me. Sure there can be favorite restaurants, beautiful vistas, pleasing architectural styles, or epic activities available. But for me, a place is “mine” and hopelessly, magnetically so only if it’s been a place of deep and meaningful transformation or ultra-concentrated emotional impact.

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Shine!

A few years ago I was at a James Taylor concert.  I’m a big fan. I’ve seen him in person many times, starting when I was twelve, forty years ago. So I’ve been up on who his background singers are and who has been in the band — Russ, Kootch, Kate, Andrea, David, Kate, and Arnold, to name a few.

Taylor is famous for supporting other musicians well and showcasing their talents. Yet when I last heard him,

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Oh, the pianist and the cowboy should be friends

Yes, I know that in Oklahoma!, the lyrics are actually, “Oh the farmer and the cowman should be friends!”

But in the case of Dave Brubeck, who would have been 92 today had he not died yesterday, the cowboy/rancher became a pianist, and the world was better for it. Although he’d studied piano from the age of four, growing up in a musical family, in college he planned to study veterinary medicine and return to the 45,000 acre ranch that his father purchased when he was twelve.

Read more Oh, the pianist and the cowboy should be friends

The Tool of Art

Ripple Effect: Currents of Socially Engaged Art is a beautiful show featuring multiple artists, currently in D.C. at The Art Museum of the Americas, part of the Organization of American States. I’m hoping multitudes of people will visit the show, and after you go, let’s talk.

Or better yet, join SPACIOUS at our January SPACIOUS event which will be there, likely January 12 in the afternoon, featuring artist Mark Strandquist and his Write Home Soon project.

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Random shuffle of friends

My iPod got stolen. Admittedly that’s a “first world problem,” and in the scheme of things it’s not a bad problem. When it was stolen, I didn’t replace it and figured I’d just be quiet more or listen to a limited selection of songs on my phone when I’m out and about.

And mostly that’s been fine.

Yet I’m thinking about how sometimes you don’t want to decide what to listen to, and you don’t want to listen to a themed playlist or a particular artist.

Read more Random shuffle of friends