Smart Words

People enjoy feeling smart. I remember when we tossed the phrase 24/7 about like it was going out of style. That’s right there with handing out business cards and carrying pagers.

I’ve listed some words that have we use to get more clicks (click bait), plus one name. If you’re on YouTube watch for Elon Musk videos. They often use his name as a tease. He often isn’t in the videos, just the titles.

Echo chamber

Users tended to seek out information that strengthened their preferred narratives and to reject information that undermined it. – Washington Post

I like you, so I’ll listen to you.

Metadata

Descriptive metadata describes a resource for purposes such as discovery and identification. It can include elements such as title, abstract, author, and keywords. – Wikipedia

Name, rank, and serial number.

Binge watching

The practice of watching multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming. – Google dictionary

Binge watching is bad, but the shows are so good according to an article in Forbes.

Elon Musk

Currently the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor. РWikipedia

Elon Musk is the modern-day Leonardo da Vinci.

Simulated Universe (Matrix)

…the notion that everything humans see and know is a gigantic computer game of sorts, the creation of supersmart hackers existing somewhere else, is not a joke. – Is Our Universe a Fake? Space.com

I prefer books. Yeah, reading is a better mind simulation for me. Ready Player One is about a simulated world. ūüôā

What words can you add?

The Thing About Neighbors

I was walking into my complex and overheard a conversation inside my downstairs neighbor’s condo. Not strange, except she lives alone. I paused in my curiosity. Yes, I’m nosy. “You don’t appreciate anything I do for you.” I imagined her little dogs lined up on the couch being lectured. It’s like she was playing school, but she wasn’t a child. Medication needed?

Young

One of my young¬†guy neighbors was trying to hide his motorcycle inside since management was trying to impound it. He didn’t like parking it out front with the cars and as he stated it, “they are on my¬†ass.” So up the stairs, he struggled and shoved until it was inside the condo. I wonder how his girlfriend felt about the chunk of metal in the living room?

Old

We have an older gentleman, one of the few condo owners who live here, besides me, who is working to clean the grounds. He is a well-dressed fellow, dress shirt, suspenders, and slacks. I’ll see him sometimes in the¬†morning getting into his Mustang GT. I’ve never asked where he goes. Is he still working at his age? I’m not sure even how old he is. In the evenings and weekends, he’s picking up leaves and trash.

All

Neighbors remind me of the story¬†Stone soup.¬†At first glance my neighbors are annoying and I don’t know why I stay at this place. But I’m the stone, the rock in the middle of all this pot of water. They bring the flavor. The painter, a dog trainer, a nurse, and many more good people live here. If I get to know people their lives become more than static, more than the ugly boom, boom bass that disturbs me. Neighbors are¬†people living their life. I have to re-frame it sometimes, understand the annoyance and let it go.

Something to read:

I Am Safe

I’ve admired the European lifestyle for many years. What I’ve watched in a carefree manner began to be the way I wanted to pattern my life. I’ve felt stressed from the uptight expectations of the American society, stretched thin from not enough down time to recharge. I complained that I wanted to move to France or Italy or even Sweden just so I can get away from our hectic ways. Give me siestas and long vacations.

Wine and bread

While I’m working through my lunch cramming down the last bite of food, I’m thinking there’s someone in France sipping a glass of wine with her friend and eating a crusty baguette. Vacation only made this worse.

Somehow, the other side of the pond has always seemed greener. Europe’s healthcare system, vacations, their unpretentious philosophy of life, more liberal politics, all of these were more to my liking. But something interesting happened while I was driving back to work from a doctor’s appointment. I glanced out the car window and noticed there was a flock of geese lounging on the golf course, safe. Only golfers were near enough to chase them.

What Happened?

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There’s a lot of talk about healthcare in the states, and you’d think we were all dying on the streets without any care at all. I don’t want Medicaid defunded because this affects everyone, hospitals and doctors included, and of course, the patients receiving care. But that’s a political conversation. What I did realize about my own situation is that I am doing alright. And I came by this truth by changing my inner picture. Instead of seeing bad, I caught a glimpse of what’s good in my life, but this has taken retraining. Rehab for my brain.¬†Neurolinguistics.¬†Read this post. Can you Neuro Lingo.

I’m alright

I was returning from an appointment with a¬†doctor who was helpful and kind. I have good healthcare. My¬†job allows me to leave in the middle of the day for an appointment. Yes, our system is complicated. It needs improvement, not abolished as some want to do. I’m also trying to remember that the grass is pretty damn green on my golf course.

Some helpful links:

Neurolinguistic training that helped

Similar blog posts:

 

Name That Cookie

Years ago, when I was married, my mother-in-law shared her¬†memory of the best sugar cookies in the world. But, she didn’t have the recipe. It was her mom’s recipe, and her mom never wrote a recipe on paper. Earline remembered eating them as a child fresh from the oven. They were soft and cake-like, somewhat crumbly. She tried adapting sugar cookie recipes to create something similar, but they weren’t quite right. What’s a woman with a cookie craving to do?

Another Strategy?

How many times have we spouted the great words of wisdom, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting to get different results?”¬†Psychology Today¬†We sometimes mock people who keep trying, but I wonder if we don’t give up too quickly. Anyway, I call trying and trying determination. There’s also a time to do things a little different. Sometimes calling a friend can help. Or get some air.

Feedback, please

I’m tenacious. Sometimes to a fault. That spot is coming out of the carpet. It’s difficult¬†for me to know when to call it quits. I’m uncertain when to stop scrubbing the carpet or to stop trying different cleaning products. There’s not an indicator light to give me feedback, to let me know I’m at peak cleaning potential. At least not until the carpet is restored to the original color. If I succeed, I’ve fed my belief that Tenacity rules! But I tell myself this tale whether it’s true or not.

My motto as a teenager was to not give up. I loved this quote,

Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.Sir Winston Churchill,¬†Speech, 1941, Harrow School
British politician (1874 – 1965)

Know Your Team

It’s funny how we can mislabel things for years, misjudge, and misunderstand. Yeah, I went there. I work in the health care industry, so I see symbols all day. Hearts, snakes, and poles. Their meanings along with all of the medical language make me aware of how we communicate with each other. The hearts aren’t referring to love. The poles aren’t sexy. And if you see a naked man or woman, you might want to close your eyes.

Cookies

Oh, and those weren’t sugar cookies by the way. Earline eventually asked her older sister if she knew the recipe. Sis called them Oma’s cookies. Together they found a recipe for Oma, German for Grandma’s cookies. It’s a simple, no-fuss cookie recipe by the way.

My recipes-Omas Sugar Cookies

project pastry-Omas Sugar Cookies

 

Hard Times Come Again No More

1803421922-tumblr_mevga9vhge1rla79eo1_500Some weeks are exhausting. Getting out of bed is more than I can do. But then I meet people who are suffering, lost their job, a child has cancer, and it makes me realize I’m okay. Just whining here. This song is for those who have had some real hard times.

Maybe this is you. Did you take two steps forward and slip three steps back? If this hasn’t been one of your good weeks and it seems that only the vultures are your friend. I’m sorry. I wish¬†I could be there with you and help. Could you consider singing part of this song with me? It’s one of my favorites. The band is Eastmountainsouth.

let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears
while we all sup sorrow with the poor
there’s a song that will linger forever in our ears
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
hard timesa hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oha hard times come again no more

while we seek mirth and beauty
and music light and gay
there are frail ones fainting at the door
though their voices are silent
their pleading looks will say
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
hard times… hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave
’tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
’tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
oh, hard times come again no more

Read more: Eastmountainsouth РHard Times Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I hope tomorrow is full of joy and delight.

Check out Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Smell of Dust After Rain

Hiding from Our Power

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There are Many Truths.

I hate when people say they don’t want to talk politics or other current hot issues. But I understand. They don’t want to isolate their friends or family. And neither do I, but isn’t putting your head in the sand similar to losing power?

I never considered ignorance a virtue. Blindly doing what I’m told isn’t my style. My goal isn’t to debate. There are a lot of issues and I want to learn. I’m not trying to slaughter an opponent. If I were, which team do I trash and which do I defend? There’s more than one truth, more than two sides to every story.

When I started following the foreign relations debacle, it was a war issue in my mind. I was young. I’d read the history of the Islamic culture and the religious clashes. Mostly I was familiar with the biblical context and like most Americans, I dismissed it and went on with my life of raising a family. I was naive.

Pick A Side

As the years passed, the sects morphed from Al Qaida to ISIS. The United Nations and other joint efforts moved troops from Iraq, Afghanistan then into Syria. The issues have ranged in scope from violence, human trafficking, and the debate over women’s rights. In the American sphere, we’ve passed the baton of power from one president to another, changing the man behind the desk, without changing much in the world sphere. It feels like a game of whack-a-mole, but real people are harmed. This isn’t a funhouse. No one wins.

I was so appalled at the beginning of Trump’s presidency, that I couldn’t hear differing opinions about the banning of Muslims. Even though I’m still not in favor of it, I won’t try to remove your skull. My opinion has changed on some matters, but none are fully formed. I’m learning.

Forget Debate

Possibly we don’t want to offend our friends, but we can still learn. We can listen to podcasts. Read books. Talk to people. Learn about the current news subjects. Pick one that’s right for you, maybe even a bit frightening. The difference-do it with a goal in mind. Not to win, but to learn.

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My current podcast:

Sam Harris – The Waking Up podcast

Mysterious Universe (they make me smile)

My current read:

The Way of the Strangers Encounters With the Islamic State by Graeme Wood

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Choking

BIGRecently I ran into a brick wall. I felt I couldn’t bust through. I had ideas, but they just hung out in the air. Pen to paper. Fingers to the keyboard. Where to start? Frustrating. This has been my struggle the last few months.

Back in my junior high days, there was a group from the wrestling team in my history class. They were often cutting up before the class started, before the teacher came into the room. Now, I knew what a full-nelson and a half-nelson hold were. I was familiar with martial arts and wrestling in general. My two older brothers were excellent teachers of how to remove yourself from holds and better still of how not to become entangled.

These three boys in class demonstrated something which shocked me. One guy would hold another wrestler up by gripping him around the neck, cutting off the blood flow. At first, I didn’t believe it was real. The guy fainted. Blacked completely out. Teen boys don’t faint. He’s joking around–right? They did it again to demonstrate. WTF. And then the teacher walked into the room. The chattering of 30 teenagers hushed to a whisper.

What happened?

They were using a modified choke hold. And the wrestlers got high from the choke out. It became a tough guy competition and a then a demonstration to show what they knew. It was even an “I’ll hold you against the wall by the throat thing” until you pass out. Which is what happened and they’d get up and laugh it off.

Back

That’s what I did to myself. Accidently. Only it wasn’t a real choke hold, just in the mad panic of getting too much done I dropped my writing. I quit editing my book. I had ideas, but I choked. I couldn’t seem to get enough air between my crazed thoughts. “Not enough time,” “that’s a dumb idea,” “later,” “everyone else has done that,” you’re a moron.” I choked.

Get up

Like those wrestlers, I’m getting back up and laughing it off. I relaxed the choke hold. I let the events pass that held me captive. One by one the stressors left. One more important thing I’ve done is to receive guidance. I’ve had therapy before, and it helped. This time I’d been thinking about having a life coach and I still might. What I did this time was order some coaching online that fit my specific needs. It has helped me tremendously. Maybe that’s what we all need, a little help, someone to nudge us in the right direction.

Relax.

I think everything will be alright.

Keep your hope alive.

Insatiable 

Take five minutes. Only five minutes. Five minutes to calm. To listen. To be quiet. To pray. To meditate. To stop and smell the fragrance of the scarlet roses in your mother’s front lawn. Slow down five minutes.

Life’s been tugging on me with its incessant neediness and each pull feels as if it will take me down with it.

I want to change the world. Change society. When I see the desperate face of a refugee, there’s a pang of empathy and a desire to help. I see the needless waste of human lives thrown and tossed into the skirmish of wars fought over pettiness or another’s profit. It infuriates me.

My idealism is a black hole of never finished projects. I cannot save the world. I cannot change society. But I absolutely cannot afford to despair. Or to check out.

So, I’m taking five minutes. Five minutes to listen to music. To feel the perfection of this moment. To heal. To give. These five minutes I can do. In these five minutes I can reflect and remember who I am. Would you join me?

Five minutes.

Hope

CdOVbD_WAAEEZzRTime is closing in on me. It’s been a problem of claustrophobia. Lack of oxygen. Not enough air. Maybe it’s depression. If I listened to the doctors, they’d give me another pill. I don’t need another. I’d like to take fewer thanks! Maybe the ones I use are causing the issue. Well, yeah, could be.

One thing I realized finally is that I’m not alone.  Society has been steadily growing more complicated. And it’s been creeping up on us all. More demanding. Greedy. Our boundaries have become porous, and we have to be the ones to say, STOP!

Bob Lefsetz in his Letter says – Who‚Äôs gonna lead us out of the wilderness? Artists. If they just grab the wheel and start to drive.

Here’s my thing-I don’t fit into the entrepreneur’s gig. I’m not aggressive enough to work on my own. I like the umbrella of a company paying my income. Unfortunately, it pigeon-holes me into the 9 to 5 cubicle workforce.

Maybe I’m looking at this wrong. The creative side of me likes to have fun. Books, movies, and music make me happy. Get my light burning again.

Gordon White from Rune Soup suggests we turn to literature for restoration

And he brings up another reason, social media, and the difficulty of speaking out, which I mentioned in my blog We Have Wet Feet 

There is another reason why creatives may want to think very seriously about unfurling their towel on this part of the beach. It is getting more and more difficult to say anything real publicly. The pH level of the discourse is hovering around 2. (Acid rain starts below 4.)

We’ve all felt this. We really only fire up social media for private conversations now. Venturing out into its public discussions is akin to looking down at the fork in your hand and realising you weren’t doing anything else with that other eye, anyway. – Gordon White

Lately, I’ve questioned my choices. Should I be more assertive? Do the Tim Ferriss thing? Jump from the airplane and be an adventurous person? I know, I know. It’s a ridiculous thing to ponder. I don’t even have a plan. It’s all self-doubt and speculation, but it’s there, sitting and waiting, in the back of my mind. I won’t do it really. I’ll read more books.

I’m just a creative needing to breathe.

We Have Wet Feet

Centurion Quintus Dias: [narrating] In the chaos of battle, when the ground beneath your feet is a slurry of blood, puke, piss and the entrails of friends and enemies alike, it’s easy to turn to the gods for salvation. But it’s soldiers who do the fighting, and soldiers who do the dying, and the gods never get their feet wet. – from the movie Centurion.

This quote is haunting. Friends and enemies together in the unforgiving harshness of battle.

No, I don’t think we’re currently living the nightmare Quintus painted. We aren’t battling alongside our friends. Many of us are hardly speaking. We’re either afraid we’ll lash out with our politics or we’ve shunned some of them already. 

Maybe my picture is too bleak. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but how many of you have dropped the social media life? Facebook family anyone? I feel like I’m recovering from a bad breakup. Or my feet got wet. I’m feeling icky. Is it soup time?

Thanks for stopping by! Take care of yourself.