What would the media do without the corona-virus, Harvey Weinstein and the Democrats jostling for votes to become the candidate to oppose President Trump this fall? They’d have to fold up and crawl under their desks. Is there any news that isn’t bad news, or better put, scary news? The media thrives on crises.
Have you also noticed how shallow the reporting is? Lots of scare language but little substance. There are barely enough facts to understand anything, let alone feel you have the full story.
What’s happened to journalism? What’s being taught in these schools? I think they’re really in the entertainment business. There is no such thing as a well-balance piece about anything anymore except maybe how to dance the tango or make a plum tart.
And have you noticed how many journalists take their cues from Twitter quotes? Or video clips? Pretty soon I’m expecting some company to roll out a platoon of robots holding yellow legal pads and pencils stuck behind their ears to produce the news. They’ll be cheaper and more efficient in the long run. That is, if you don’t care about the facts.
Calvin says, “Take your cue from me. My nose is the daily paper. I learn everything I need to know there. You should do the same.”
The hoopla is over. The 49ers lost. Kansas City Chiefs won. Let’s move on.
The Iowa caucus is in chaos and nobody emerged as a winner. Yet. They’ll figure it out.
Today is the State of the Union address. Tomorrow is the end of the impeachment proceedings. Let’s move on.
I wonder what the media will do now that all the drama is gone. They live and breathe crises and fear and a heightened anxiety. They’re the reason people are on drugs for depression and high blood pressure. Big pharma is thrilled.
I say we unplug our electronic devises, the television, and anything else that has us tethered to the media. We aren’t getting the news anyway. It’s all entertainment.
Instead, let’s read a book for pleasure. Do we remember how?
Let’s learn how to make chocolate filled croissants.
How about a hike in the woods? Do we even remember what a tree looks like?
It’s time to return to the simple, sane things that give us peace. Now there’s a word that’s out of tune with today.
Calvin says, “When do we go on this hike of yours? My nose is ready. Also for the croissant.”
There are business leaders out there with books and mentoring classes that say that busyness is a lack of focus, and that it robs us of being attentive to what really matters.
Obviously they’ve never been a mother with children. Or a school teacher. Or an ER doctor. Or ants. Have you ever seen an ant soaking up the sun by itself on the sidewalk?
How about bees? We have a hive in the backyard and a day doesn’t go by that they’re not buzzing around flying in and out of the hive, making sure the queen is happy. That’s full-time work, with no vacation.
These gurus are probably in their 30’s, never been married, and order out every day of the week.
Their philosophy sounds so good, but it’s so wrong. Busyness is the nature of life, especially if you’re holding down a job, raising a family, and being a conscientious citizen.
And if you add in walking the dog at least twice a day, busyness doesn’t even come close. I’d love to stop all that, kick back on my couch with a good book or an addictive television series and ignore the needs around me. But then that would put me in a whole new category – that of being a narcissist.
Calvin says, “Two walks a day? Ha! I’m lucky you let me out in the backyard to chase squirrels for exercise.”
Have you noticed the changes that are happening on social media these days? It’s no longer a place to hang out with friends and family. It’s more like a shopping bazaar. Every other post is for leadership workshops, coaching lessons, weight loss programs, dog training.
Lately there are tons of courses for writing a book. It seems, according to the marketers, everybody should write a book. We have a story in all of us, they say, and it must come out. It’s the new therapy. Regurgitate your life on the page and press publish.
Except it’s boring. Have you noticed that? Read some memoirs. You can distill the essence to angst, depravity and survival. That seems to sell. Stories that are hilarious, unique or good for the soul people won’t read.
I can speculate why the negative sells. People like drama. The more hideous the better. Check out your favorite reality TV show. The human tendency to be brutal is inherent in all us.
But I prefer a good story that ends in laughter. It’s time to flood social media with those. Anyone want to join me?
Calvin says, “I will. I’ll write some scratch & sniff posts.”
“Welcome to Paradise,” said the girl behind the counter with an orchid pinned to her hair. A balmy breeze was ruffling my hair as I checked into the resort. It was early afternoon with the sun in full blaze in a cloudless sky. This was check-in Friday. There were so many people and kids coming and going they give you check-in days, like college.
She handed me a welcome packet about tours, restaurants, shopping and rainbow shaved ice treats. All at the resort. They don’t want you wandering off the property and spending money elsewhere. You want to grill your own meat? They have the latest grills, all ten bright and shiny ones, next to the lagoons. You want massages? Step this way. Brunhilde is waiting. How about hula lessons? Sign up for an all-exposure class on the lawn in front of the restaurant. You’re the entertainment while guests gobble fish tacos with pineapple salsa and garlic fries at double the price of anything on the mainline.
Alf and I noticed that most of the guests were our age with our same body shape. We felt right at home.
They sunbathed on chaise lounges by man-made lagoons, by periwinkle pools and under thatched trees made in Mexico. No one minded the artificial landscape except me. Why did it come to this? Was it a way to control and contain it? What was wrong with a more rugged look?
The koi in the pond were overweight by a few hundred kilos. It was because they had regular feeding hours like we did. Too many fish tacos.
The drinks tasted the same no matter where you were and what you ordered. They were all sugared up and splashed with ice and straws.
The big surprise for me was the pineapple. Never a big fan because of its tartness, the ones on the island turned me into an addict. They were sweet, juicy, crunchy and thirst quenching. I had to visit a plantation and see for myself how they were grown. This led us to the Dole plantation, which when we arrived was packed with visitors from around the world. It was more a souvenir shop with a few plants growing outside, but they were real. I also saw cocoa trees with pods. When I asked where the real plantations were, I was told, “Costa Rica.” I was buying and devouring Central American pineapples in Hawaii? I was in shock. What else were they not telling me?
Calvin says, “You don’t believe all beagle breeders come from England, do you? Remember, I was a Napa pup.”
Alf and I had two major leaks today. One from a toilet, the other from the washer in the garage. I’m grateful they didn’t happen on Christmas day. It would have meant our guests using our neighbor’s bathroom. And they weren’t home.
It could be an omen for 2019.
Leaks. What do they represent? Not being in control, for one thing. All you can do is scream, grab towels and mop-up.
Then go to the store and buy a new toilet.
Another, the mechanism in the tank needs replacing. Could that mean we’ll need colonoscopies to check our plumbing?
A diversionary tactic is to buy a new toilet.
A third possibility, someone is leaking secret information about me and Calvin on our walks. Who would do such a thing? Those times are sacred.
Definitely buy a new toilet, preferably the kind that flushes itself.
So we went to the store. Who knew there were so many toilets to choose from? The selection was tush-numbing. We had to think about height, bowl shape, color, style, and flushing and water-saving technology. Really?
I have only one specification. I need a comfort-high toilet. I’m tired of sitting cross-legged at floor level.
Calvin says, “You need to practice using bushes outside the house. They like the extra watering, they don’t leak, and the leaves tickle your tush.”
I hate New Year’s resolutions, so here are some of mine to hopefully make you laugh, because as we all know nobody lives up to this ridiculous list.
- Flush the guilt down the toilet. What has it done for you this year?
- Only spend time with people who add richness to your life. Flush the others, along with the guilt, down the toilet.
- Do more writing. Get that book written.
- Consider walking an extra mile every evening. Only one a day isn’t doing it.
- Speak up more. Slap down those boundaries.
- Forget being nice. Where has it gotten you?
- Try authentic on for size. You might like it better.
- Remember some people use words as weapons. Don’t show up for the fight.
- Let me know how #8 works for you. Share your bulletproof vest.
- Fear rules most of us. Turn it on its head. Revel in being alive today.
- Don’t buy that puppy to keep you warm on so many levels. A good chocolate souffle will do the same without the vet bills.
- Invite more people into your home. It’s where to know them better.
- Listen more. Look for the extraordinary in them.
- Affirm others. They’re starving for it. One trait, that’s all it takes.
- Yank those weeds from the garden. I mean your heart.
Calvin says, “A chocolate souffle, eh? Well then, I’ll find another home where my warm body and doggie breath will be adored.”