TV, TV Everywhere and Not a Chance to Think

Help! The public sphere is being flooded with TV screens that are drowning out everything else. They show up everywhere, obtrusive and unavoidable.

Media Overload

They demand attention; trying to block them out and do something else can be mentally exhausting. Whether they are large or small, whether they broadcast a public station or a closed circuit network, their continuous distraction of moving images and background noise discourages people from interacting, reading, writing, or just sitting quietly and thinking. I really dislike it.  Skip the life preserver and someone please throw me a remote!
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I love it when you talk southern to me!

Bless Your HeartI was born and raised in New York and, until I reached my 40s, I had never lived more than 90 miles from the heart of “the city”, also known as Manhattan. Then, I followed my job to Durham, NC and found myself naively unprepared for the culture shock; language being one of the most immediately obvious differences. Growing up, I had seen episodes of the Andy Griffith Show, so I knew they spoke differently in the south. I just didn’t expect they would still be watching that show and still speaking that way.

Over the (20+) years I’ve lived here, I have come to appreciate many things about this area. The genteel ways have won me over and I now enjoy many of the southern colloquial, linguistic quirks. Mind you, I actually never find myself saying them — all my attempts at “y’all” still come out as “all you guys” — but I like these funny and sometimes corny phrases; they make me smile when I hear them. Here are my favorite “southernisms”, things that would never come out of a New Yorker’s mouth. Continue reading

How To Be a Good Dinner Guest: My Top 10.5 Rules

Holidays and entertaining go hand in hand. Over the next few months, there is a good chance you’ll be invited to someone’s house to celebrate. Most likely they will serve food. Lucky you… it means that you will be a dinner guest!  Dinner guests
I’ve thrown many dinner parties myself, been a guest at dozens more, and participated in a slew of pot-luck dinners. Here are my top 10.5 DOs and DON’Ts for dinner guests. They fall in the realm of common sense but they are definitely worth repeating.
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My Fashion Doppelganger Moment

Maybe it has happened to you.  It’s that moment when you walk into your office, a party, or a big event like a prom or your child’s wedding, and you see someone there wearing the EXACT SAME THING.  Eeek, it’s your fashion doppelganger!  Admittedly, this is a bigger problem for women than men. But, nevertheless, you are stuck.   There is not much you can do, so you bravely make the best of it.  I’ve found that humor helps.  I’ve also come to realize that WHO the other person is can make it a funnier or more awkward situation.
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Welcome to the Institution of Marriage

Gay Marriage is LegalWith the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, I have been reflecting on this widely popular contractual agreement between two people.  One of the benefits of being older is witnessing social and political changes;  knowing and living through “how it used to be” gives me a deep appreciation of these advancements. And, along the way, I’ve also noticed my own opinions evolving.  This is the case regarding my view of marriage.
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Do You Need Yoga? Probably Yes.

regret-yogaYoga has been around for 5-10 thousand years, give or take a few thousand, and now — maybe more than ever — it is a much needed practice.  In fact, because of the way modern living affects us both physically and mentally, it’s likely that most people today need (or will benefit from) yoga. I truly believe that yoga can be the perfect antidote to modern life.  Here are the reasons why.
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When Other People Diet

When I learn that family, friends, or passing acquaintances are trying to lose weight, I know I am about to be educated, again. I involuntarily receive all kinds of information about foods I eat and don’t eat. Information such as calorie counts, amount of fat, and grams of carbohydrates. Fiber and gluten are also brought to my attention. Everything — on my plate, in my refrigerator, at the grocery store — suddenly develops a dietary sub-text. This is very helpful because, being I am rarely on a diet, I forget that the light cream I put in my coffee has four times the fat of 2% reduced-fat milk, and that packaged gravy mixes have practically no calories (because they are made from unpronounceable chemicals). Sometimes, I am treated to a new recipe for a low-cal, low-fat but tasty entree or dessert, often using low-cal, low-fat, tasty ingredients I don’t have in my pantry.
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