How to Connect. Let Me Count the Ways.

I’ve heard everything now. A friend’s daughter is hosting movie nights with her buddies via computer. Don’t ask how they’re doing it, I haven’t a clue, but they have dinner together and then sit back and relax and watch the movie. I’m sure a lot of people are doing this. What an ingenious way to stay together. It’s like having family when you want it without the drama. Clever.

I have to think of something like this with my siblings, but it won’t work. We can’t agree on anything, especially what movie to watch. It’s the same with music. This forced lockdown is making me guilty that I’m not putting aside my differences in order to re-engage with them. But I know better. I spoke with a neighbor today and she’s going through old photographs of herself with her family. That might work, but I’m afraid it would bring up all sorts of things we’d rather leave buried, like the dog that disappeared, and that scar we’d rather not talk about.

One thing that might bring us together is to talk about funny memories we all lived through and see how each remembers them. It might make us realize we lived a totally different life from each other even while in the same house sharing the same DNA. Like the time we almost set the kitchen on fire. Or when we painted the bathroom blue instead of red and who was to blame for the color mix-up.

One thing is for sure. We’d all remember the pets we had. Especially the flamingos.

Calvin says, “Flamingos? Now I know you’re making this up.”



I know several people who are interviewing for jobs these days.

They have superb resumes and are qualified to do the work.

They got called in and aced their preliminary interviews and they got the call back.

They went back in, got grilled by a panel and did well there as well.brain

They were told they’d hear in a couple of days to a week.

Three weeks have gone by and zilch. No call, no email, no text.

Apparently that’s how it’s done.

In other words, be prepared for a workout worse than any gym, but don’t expect any courtesy back.

Manners are a thing of the past.

Rudeness is the new currency in the workplace.

I think a lot has to do with the tech culture. They don’t care about manners. Just open your head and dump your brain on the table for analysis. They don’t care if you are a living, breathing human being with feelings. In fact that’s a liability.

It seems the M.O. has leaked into most industries now.

Calvin says, “Brains are over-rated. It’s the nose factor that should reign supreme.”  beagle

Change Is the Only Constant

The Giants won the World Series last week and celebrated with a massive parade at City Hall.

The Republicans took Congress this week and are happy with their victories.  

So what’s going to happen next week?

Maybe rain?

I hope so because we need it.

My lawn looks like a desert.

My last remaining tomatoes are still green on the vine.

Have you noticed that the drought has not phased golf courses, hotel gardens, and the mansions of the very rich? Are they receiving the $500 fine, I wonder?

Some of my neighbors’ lawns are as green as a hillside in Scotland. And I know they wouldn’t relish paying out those $500 dollars.

So what do they know that I don’t?

Are they watering their lawns with green paint? Or maybe with bottled water from the water store?

I want in on their secret.

Meanwhile I’ve been researching on the web for tips on how to take care of your lawn in a drought.

Here’s one that’s scary:

“You need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your particular grass.”

Really? Do I call in a drought specialist for therapy sessions?

Other tips include only watering those areas that are dying, and ignoring the areas that are surviving.

And – this one gave me hope – brown grass does not mean dead grass.

What planet are you on?

Calvin says, “I can provide water, just let me loose in the front yard.” beagle







How To Do Your Real Work

Every so often I write about resistance. You know, the distractions we give in to that pull us away from our real work.

In my case, it’s writing. In yours it could be designing the next space vehicle.

Whatever your calling is, you’re familiar with the pull to distract.

Distractions allure you. Out of the blue you long to learn Latin. Or free-fall from an airplane. Or take tango lessons in Buenos Aires.

Maybe it’s not such a large vision that compels you to drop what you’re doing. Maybe it’s bull-riding lessons, finger painting, or singing with your canary.

Sometimes the distraction is even closer than that.




Blogging. (Checking your analytics every hour)

Text messages.


Video games.

I could go on, but you catch my drift.

The social media platforms are massive distractions! They will absorb you. Consume you. Smother you.

They  also:

Stall you.

Numb you.

Suck your energy.

They’re only a worthwhile investment when you’re building a posse of fans for your work.

Otherwise it’s death to your creativity!

Go on a diet.

Make a pledge to look at these platforms only after you’ve done your work.

Tell a friend to hold you accountable.

And then notice your productivity and creativity soar.

Calvin says, “Yep, when I get pulled off a scent, I end up in a ditch with thorns up my butt.”





Online Dating Is Not For Wimps

Getting married used to be a simple thing. You lived in a village all your life, and when it was time to find a spouse, Aunt Sadie, the village matchmaker was only too happy to oblige.

The village is now the world.  Aunt Sadie is an online dating site that fulfills a similar role, but in a less quirky way. If you don’t like the looks and sounds of someone, you move on. After all he was only a photograph with a few descriptive lies, not a real person. I suppose the same happened back in the village, but in that instance you ran the risk of bumping into him the next day at the county hog races.

Finding a mate is not for the fainthearted. It takes finesse, timing, the right circumstances to come together, and plain sheer grit.

I asked a friend of mine, a perennial bachelor who continues to comb the online dating scene for hopefuls, what he does when he is hurt and in pain over not finding the right person. “I tell myself God loves me much more than all these losers,” he said with a laugh.

“Even at your age when you behave like a dejected 17-year old?” I asked.

“We’re all 17-years old inside. And it doesn’t get any better as you get older either,” he said.

And he ought to know. He’s been looking for a wife forever.

The truth is I know many couples who met online and they have happy marriages.

It’s the ones who are still hopeful that I feel for.

Sometimes the search is aggravating and unbearable.

Calvin says, “Do what I do. I dig up an old bone to re-acquaint myself with it. Then bury it under your pillow so I have something to keep me entertained while you search on your iPad.”