Showing posts from February, 2018

Watching the trains go by

This is my new favorite livestream to watch on YouTube.

It's calming, peaceful, enlightening to watch the traffic and the trains go by.

There are also lots of people on bicycles. This reminds me of how I wish now that I had bought a house in town with the specific feature of being within walking distance to the library (and also a restaurant or two would be nice but primarily the library) instead of being out of town a bit where there is no ability to walk anywhere and I would be in fear of my life if I drove a bicycle out of my neighborhood and up on the main highway.

P.S. YouTube livestreams can only run so long and then they have to be restarted as a new video so the channel is here if you see this far off in the future and the embedded video is no longer live.

I hold the bags

I have appointed myself a very specific role whenever my family shops at the outlet mall. I bring my book or Paperwhite, find a comfortable bench and am the designated bag holder.

This keeps me from making stupid purchases. If I don't see it, I don't need it and I know in my head that I have everything I could possibly need. It's my eyes that get in the way of this knowledge. I walk into a store and see something on clearance and my eyes and mind have sort of a meeting in which my eyes convince my mind that this is a really great deal and who doesn't need another shirt, bag, pair of pants, pair of socks, etc.? Then there is the real kicker that my mind delivers, "It's on the clearance rack! BARGAIN!"

It's this way of thinking last summer that had me buy a shirt on a trip to the mall with my daughters only to get home and discover the exact same shirt hanging in the closet. What can I say - I must really like that shirt.

Along with my "don't ente…

There is so much to do

I had to force myself to sit down at the kitchen table just now. It is quiet at work for a moment and  I have my cup of coffee that is still hot and a few emails to look at plus a book I am about halfway through.

However, I am having a hard time concentrating on doing any of this because my mind keeps being invaded by all of the tasks on my to do list and with the tasks that aren't on there but surround me like floors that desperately need to be swept and mopped. I think of these and convince myself it is now or never. If I don't mop right this second while there is time to mop, other things will happen and the floor will stay dirty. Oh, the humanity!

My problem is my desire to "get it all done" and I try to convince myself that "my time" will come after all of the tasks are checked off and the chairs are put back at the table once the floor is dry. My time to create, concentrate, meditate, read, learn or do nothing is the carrot I dangle out in front of mys…

We must be the positivity that we seek

After a Twitter conversation this weekend with Heavy D and similar conversations with others over the past weeks and months and years (I've been complaining about this for a while, apparently), I had a tiny breakthrough about my ongoing angsty relationship with social media.

I have a like/hate relationship with social media. I'm typically an early adopter so I've tried all sorts of social media networks multiple times looking for the "right" network (for example, my active but pretty much abandoned Ello account) with the "right" network being a utopia, a fantasy world, a future Disney production that has zero negativity, zero complaining, and zero TMI.

This network does not nor will it ever exist. If it did, hardly anyone would sign up. People love their negativity, complaining and TMI and so do advertisers.

The simple realization I had (and this has been a long time coming) is we must be the positivity that we seek. We must be like the salmon of social me…

Write everything down. Keep a journal.

In Nora Ephron's "I Feel Bad About My Neck," there is an essay titled "What I Wish I'd Known" and it consists of a list of all sorts of true (in my opinion) things such as "Buy, don't rent" and "You can't be friends with people who call after 11 p.m."

Also found in this list is "Write everything down. Keep a journal."

I know that this blog is a journal of sorts but it's not really a journal describing day to day life. I have kept many journals with detail of what I did each day, starting back in 1987 but I decided about the time I started seriously blogging in 2007 that all of that should meet the shredder. Sometimes I regret that afternoon but I realize that it was an overall mentally healthy move. This was at the time of my mother's cancer diagnosis and I realized that I needed to let go of a huge chunk of the past that was recorded in those journals or it was going to suffocate me and if it didn't actually …

Completely present

The weirdest thing happened last night. I sat in the living room in front of the television and watched the Olympics and then three episodes of a tv show without my phone or my tablet or even my Kindle nearby. There was nothing distracting me from watching television aside from the occasional dog disruption or need to get and then consume various snacks.

It was briefly like the 80's and 90's all over again.

Sometimes I forget what life was like without the power to retrieve of all of the world's information at any moment and I'm really bad about watching something on television and having that something trigger the need for me to grab my all-knowing device in order to confirm some bit of trivia (Where have I seen this actor before? Was he ever on The Love Boat?) or add something to my shopping list (A commercial for Mercedes! That reminds me. I need to buy more Charmin!) and then, once the device is in my hand, I get sucked down the Internet sinkhole and stay distracted …

Art regret

I've noticed my musical tastes have taken a bit of a shift in the past few years, away from popular music and toward jazz and classical music. I stream stations that play this music. I even bought a better FM radio so I could get the local classical station clearer. I've bought MP3's, CD's and even more vinyl albums. I guess I am in a rediscovery phase.

I call it rediscovery because I was a liberal arts major in college and I had to learn so much about jazz and classical in such a short time in the early 90's that it suffocated the joy out of it for me. For example, when you have to cram classical tapes in order to score high on tests that prove you can recognize composers and styles (most of which I seem to have forgotten permanently, oddly enough), you sort of develop a distaste for it all. Well, maybe you wouldn't, but I did.

Now I have what I keep referring to as art regret. You see, I had the chance during my college years to not only really develop a love f…

Planning on paper

I've been trying something new since about the second week of January. Instead of just using online tools, such as Google Calendar (where my family calendar is), Outlook (where my work calendar is) and Todoist, for planning, I've added a paper planner to the mix.

It started with this article in the New York Times which led to this article but none of the planners shown was exactly what I wanted. I ended up lucking upon this planner on Amazon.

What I really like is the huge area for tasks in addition to the huge area for your daily schedule. It's like Todoist at the top and Google Calendar/Outlook Calendar at the bottom and that's exactly how I use it. On Friday, I plan the week ahead, looking at my three online tools and I write everything out in pencil, including the reoccurring tasks that I know I typically do on certain days.

I would post a picture of an actual week written out but I don't like sharing work information online and although my work tasks would probab…