Reality Check

Skip the turkey; I’ve got to get to Target!

WHAT?!? Tell me it isn’t so. Retailers are opening this year on Thanksgiving night, beginning at 8 o’clock, so that people don’t have to wait until “Black Friday” to shop.

With bellies full of stuffing, we’re all supposed to rush to the mega-watt parking lots and begin lining up to riot our way into big box stores full of crap to buy things that nobody wants or needs to prove our love to the very folks whom we’ve just left at home.

Read more Skip the turkey; I’ve got to get to Target!

Risky Business

What sort of risks do you take? And are they really risky? I mean, what will the consequences be?

A couple of years ago I took a solo road trip around the country for several weeks. And I can’t tell you how many people said, “Wow; what a brave thing to do” or something like that. Except it wasn’t really that risky; it didn’t require that much bravery. In an era where we have GPS navigation, cell phones, rest areas or business establishments every few miles,

Read more Risky Business

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

My brain got a little wacky over the weekend. I’ve had far too much time alone lately, much of it sitting at a computer. And when that happens, I get crazy. I feel despair. I decide I have no friends. I am certain my life is not worth living. I’m positive that there is nothing I’m involved in that will come to fruition or prove valuable. I globalize (“Because I’m discouraged today, I’ll always feel this way.”) In short, I lose it.

All it takes to return me to some degree of normalcy is human contact —

Read more The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Family Form Follows Function

Old school: a leather-bound address book with handwritten entries, by family, alphabetically arranged.  Updated each year to reflect changes in marital status, births, deaths, moves.

The new normal: iPhone entries for each person, reflecting only that individual person’s email address, cell phone number and — rarely — a street address.

What does the format of an iPhone’s Contact section do, in and of itself, to affect how we think about people? It’s my contention that it’s a significant mind-shaper,

Read more Family Form Follows Function

Airport Terminals and Transitions

I’m hanging out in the Las Vegas airport, with a lengthening layover, one of those times when you’re not sure when or if you’ll get out of town.

Trying to take advantage of the unexpected time here, I’m curious as to what it’s like. I’ve never been. If the airport provides hints (which it may or may not), I’d say “dirty” and “noisy” might be apt descriptors.

I started out in Portland, Oregon, which was clean, quiet, and had interesting shops and restaurants.

Read more Airport Terminals and Transitions

Stock Photos of You

I ran across an amusing article this week in Jezebel, called The World According to Stock Photos of Women. It analyzes in a tongue and cheek way what women do with their days if we go only by the evidence of stock photos. They sip coffee from mugs, feel perplexed by computers, eat lots of fruit, and live in pale blue surroundings.

It got me thinking about the idea of stock photos in general and what uses we have for them and what their limits are.

Read more Stock Photos of You

The Flight Back to Conversation

If a smile is the first currency exchanged in a potential relationship, think about where actual words might take you. And then think about what is robbing you of the joy of conversation.

I last wrote about missed connections and people who were seeking to find strangers they wished they’d spoken to when they spotted them in public. Most of them simply exchanged a smile, and yet the smile had stayed in the memory of one party, who was now desperately seeking the other.

Read more The Flight Back to Conversation

Glory and Crap Coexist

A perfect illustration of life:

I was on a walk. Feeling a little sorrowful. Feeling a little wonderful. Does anybody else regularly hold those two in tension?

The weather was perfect, 68 degrees and breezy, and I was walking in an area with glorious high trees.  They were swaying in the breeze, rustling as I walked by. I was arrested by the combination of that sight and what hit my ears.

I had my iPod on a random shuffle and had probably been bouncing between Teenage Lobotomy and Firework,

Read more Glory and Crap Coexist

Randomness and the Frank Burke Fan Club

Randomness used to be so much more fun before the Internet. Now we live in an era of instant gratification and of being able to elucidate things that used to remain mysteries and of being able to consummate connections that were often better left in a “What if?” realm.

Years ago, I was visiting a friend whom I had, somewhat randomly, met on a cruise. He let me and my husband in on a joke of sorts by giving us one of his limited number of “Frank Burke ”

Read more Randomness and the Frank Burke Fan Club

I was wrong… nuancing the “for and against” issue

My last post was about how one way to avoid “us and them” thinking is to be FOR things and not AGAINST things. I made the point that when someone espouses a cause they care about, many people take the time and energy to knock down that same cause, and I don’t like that approach (personally or for SPACIOUS).

One reader, Sarah, replied to my blogpost via Facebook, saying, “…I do think there’s a difference between constructive criticism, which opens up the possiblity for growth,

Read more I was wrong… nuancing the “for and against” issue