Permission to Speak Freely

White and red bokeh photography

I often say inappropriate things. I can baffle and offend. I confuse people.

My mind skips around. I connect strange dots. It’s a blessing and curse.

To be odd and unexpected.

Still, I speak freely. Less analysis upfront means less stress in conversations and more brain power … Read more...

That Judging Thing

Silhouette of persons hand

Don’t judge me!

Sorry. Can’t help it.

We’re designed to judge each other; it’s for our safety and survival.

Our brains make rapid-fire decisions about what we see based on past experience, learned and lived. We tell ourselves (in a split second), we’re … Read more...

The Aftermath of Joy

I woke up slightly hungover, throat thrashed from singing Nirvana, Boys II Men, Extreme, and The Commodores. I still had my smiley face scarf in my hand, glitter eyeshadow spritzed across my pillow. Downstairs, empty bottles, crumbs on plates, “wounded soldiers” and w… Read more...

First Smile of the Day

Sump Pump Work in Progress

My first smile came from an unexpected source: the image of 5 Latino guys, covered in mud and rain, laughing hysterically outside my basement door.

Here’s the unfunny part. Our drainage system broke down, and we needed to install a sump pump and a whole new line of undergrou… Read more...

Gen Z Wants a Redeal

Saving for a house

I’ve been talking to teens and young adults about the state of our country and the world in general.

“Where do you find hope?” I ask them.

They’re always silent. No quick responses.

WTF. Aren’t the kids supposed to hold hope for the rest of us? Isn̵… Read more...

Entitlement

person standing on white snow covered mountain during daytime

Entitlement elbows Kindness right out of the room.

When someone is entitled (e.g. “This is mine for the taking”), they eliminate the possibility of being assisted.

People around them get the message and put their hands down. They may cheer for the entitled person, but t… Read more...

One Question, One Click

black and silver door knob

We’re often one question away from peace.

No matter how serious or stressful the situation may feel, if we can figure out the right question to ask (and answer), our suffering will begin to lessen

I ask questions all day long. In some ways I feel like a safe cracker with his … Read more...

Empathy All Around

Man playing saxophone

I gain empathy for a person immediately after I get to know them. We all do. That’s how it works.

But why wait until then?

I went to a Latin Jazz/Funk show because I felt the need to move around after a particularly heavy week. We got there early to beat the crowd and get a g… Read more...

The Key to Impressing People

I was hard at work prepping for a school fundraiser at my house.

I had just finished calibrating the stereo and microphones. I still needed to set up the auxiliary A/V system (just in case), make blackberry rosemary syrup for the cocktails, trim back the ivy on the stoop, vacuum t… Read more...