The Rapey Boy of 21st St

He wants it intensely. No matter how many times you say “no” or try to push him away, he keeps coming back, holding your leg, pressing himself against you. He has needs. How can you be so cruel as to deny them?

Readers may be relieved to know at this point that I am not describing a human assailant or an even slightly traumatic experience. Rather, I am talking about my puppy’s desire to get on the couch with me. Continue reading “The Rapey Boy of 21st St”

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Thoughts After Calling 911

From looking up her symptoms on WebMD it seems she may have stopped breathing very briefly, and her body was trying to make up for it.  Suffice it to say that hearing her grunting and snorting while her eyes rolled back and her unconscious body jerked and her head hung back at an unnatural angle – and then having it all stop so suddenly and so completely that I wondered for a moment if she had died – was unnerving enough. Continue reading “Thoughts After Calling 911”

Ethics, Sleep and Creativity

Lately, I admit, I’ve been fudging the posting timeframe a bit. So, to make some amends, a bonus post with links to some helpful articles I ran across this week.

First, an interview that takes the ethics of everyday decisions to a whole new level:

people have to understand that there’s no latitude, that there’s no such thing as a little bit wrong, like there’s no such thing as a little bit pregnant… if you look at things that way, even a bad attitude is an ethical issue, because it might mean your own work isn’t being done properly, and you’re probably infecting others so their performance suffers, too.

Then two posts that made me feel both better and worse about my productivity levels:

From the Wall Street Journal, why some people can sleep so little and get so much done.

For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time. Natural “short sleepers,” as they’re officially known, are night owls and early birds simultaneously. They typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine.

From Rands In Repose, a discussion of how creativity can be harnessed.

Those who do not understand creativity think it has a well-defined and measurable on/off switch, when in reality it’s a walking dial with many labels. One label reads “Morose and apathetic” and another reads “Unexpectedly totally cranking it out”. This dial sports shy, mischievous feet – yes, feet – that allow it to simply walk away the moment you aren’t paying attention, and each time it walks away, it finds a new place to hide.

Finally, a long, beautiful, depressing and inspiring story about an experiment in which a world-famous violinist played for a crowd of commuters.

Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he’s really bad? What if he’s really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn’t you?

The Possible

A couple of weeks ago I discovered Bea Johnson and her zero-waste home. Particularly compelling was the part of the video that showed how much trash her family of four had accumulated over four months – a literal handful.

6 months of trash

I didn’t know that was possible. Continue reading “The Possible”

Ground Rules

The nonstop motion of the last week was rewarded by a great dinner with a wonderful group of friends and family.

I thought the moral of the story was going to be along the new-agey lines of “envision the outcome you desire and it will be so” and actually, having prepared how I was going to handle the usual source of friction (yes, I know, I am weird for not wanting anyone to help clear the table), it never came up. I’m not sure why preparing for the worst guarantees that you’ll never need to use that preparation, but it seems to work that way.

The real reminder that this is life, and life seems to have an aversion to following plans, lay in the schedule. Continue reading “Ground Rules”