Lifestyle humor

Getting a Jump over the One-Year Hump

October 23, 2017 • By 1 259

I like to think I’m always up for an adventure. It’s usually a good thing to leave your comfort zone and explore new options. Whether it’s a new vacation spot you’ve been dying to visit or an extreme sport you want to try, most people are always looking for something different. However, every so often plans go awry, and what you signed up for turns into a calamity.

But maybe you’re not the one who signed up at all; maybe somebody else filled out your paperwork or booked your trip. But at this point, what difference does it make where the fault lies once the ground starts shifting? After all, if we’re already on a runaway roller coaster, it makes more sense to concentrate on hanging on until the end without throwing up or falling out.

No matter how we got into this mess, though, there may be a few more things we can do to make sure everything runs smoothly (even if the circus is currently run by clowns as crazy as they are scary). Because what doesn’t nuke you makes you stronger, right? And if it’s a legitimate disaster, well, we have ways to try to shut that whole thing down.READ MORE

Family fun

I Experimented Screen-Free Zone on My Kids

October 16, 2017 • By 6 1 606

Let’s be honest: educational apps and even some TV shows may hone our kids’ communication skills by enhancing their brains, BUT those aren’t the reasons why we dog-tired parents “put” our darling little ones on tablets, smartphones and TV. Putting kids on sleeping pills is frowned upon, but it seems all right to anaesthetize them with electronic devices. And while they’re busy goring plants or zombies (never could figure out which ones are which), you can fiiiiiinaaalllly breathe, you are fiiiiiinaaalllly at peace. (Note that I’m not desperate; I have four kids.) Having your devices outnumbering your little rascals works like a ceasefire agreement and, at last, it’s time to help yourself to a glass of cool wine. If the early hour of the day isn’t appropriate, it’s opportune for this importunate time. Suffice it to say, parents have all overdosed on booze a time or two (or fifty), but never, even in despair, did they ever quit trying to serve and protect.

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Lifestyle humor

The Planet Is Looking (Like a 20-Foot) Swell

September 11, 2017 • By 7 634

Shortly after Category-5 Hurricane Irma destroyed the first Caribbean islands, President Trump commented: “It looks like it could be something that will be not good, believe me, not good.” Duh, thanks Donald! For a second, I thought you were Madame Irma. She’s a French fortune-teller, by the way, in case you were thinking of making a career change Michelle wrote about last week.

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Lifestyle humor

Embrace Your Career

September 5, 2017 • By 3 416

This past week, I welcomed my students back to campus for a new semester, and as always, I got to know them a little by asking their majors (which is not unlike asking “what’s your sign?” in the dating world). I like to spend a few moments chatting about their fields of study, but whenever someone proudly proclaims they’re interested in something like 17th century French philosophy, well, it’s harder to muster enthusiasm. It’s a bit like feeling cornered at Thanksgiving dinner while a young relative proudly introduces me to a new boyfriend who’s got dark, mysterious, brooding eyes but no common sense or 401k to speak of. I can only grimace politely and think: what are you going to do with that?

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Read, write, sleep (a little)

6 Good Reasons Not To Read

August 28, 2017 • By 5 1 480

It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Yet, yes, you read me correctly: reading can seriously damage your health and that of others.

1. Reading causes you to go blind

That is scientific fact: 30% of the world is currently myopic, and individuals who spend considerable time reading are more likely to develop myopia faster than the non-reading species. Coincidence? I don’t think so … Forget that other possible causes may include “working at a computer,” or “doing other intense close visual work” because I think we have a perfect culprit here, especially with the boom of e-readers and online magazines: reading. Guilty as charged. Based on current trends, this worldwide myopic statistic will grow to 50% by 2050. I don’t know about you but I already suffer from hyperopia. If my physical-science assumptions are correct, farsightedness plus nearsightedness equals blindness, and I’m not in such a rush to go completely dark. To prevent yourself from being another brick in the statistics, they say that the solution is as easy as a walk in the outside daylight. So, hurry up and drop your book, enjoy the sun; it’s summer after all, and who wants to read in the quietness of a park in the shade of a tree anyway? You could look up at the sky and maybe catch an eclipse with the naked eye. Why not?

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Traveling recreations

A Word of Difference

August 21, 2017 • By 4 262

It’s no secret that I love words. I enjoy the elasticity of language more than the rules and appreciate that slang is always in flux; we’re continually creating new idioms to express the ways we see ourselves and the world. We can play with words by juggling their meanings and smash them together to create new ones; we can invent new adjectives by adding “y” onto the ends of words or squeeze a whole sentence into a word using hyphens to make long it-may-give-you-a-headache-or-a-good-laugh jargon-y lingo that outsiders scratch their heads at. The dictionary is always expanding, and I adore all the 171,476 words that currently exist.READ MORE

Read, write, sleep (a little)

Mind the Void

August 14, 2017 • By 5 469

It’s twilight. I go out, sit in a lounge chair in my backyard, and look before me into the void (which resembles a painting of shades of green; grass and strange flowers you can only see around here and a whole bunch of other tropical vines that anarchically crawl up the fence). And I wait, listening to a silence that’s only disturbed by a handful of bugs, focusing on all and nothing, and I think “Tropics” when what I really want to think about is: “Topics.”

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Lifestyle humor

The Weaker Sex Is Strengthening

January 30, 2017 • By and 7 1 1148

After the Women’s March that happened in hundreds of cities across the globe, the number one criticism came in the form of a single word: Why? And sure, on the surface, we’ve never had it better. Women today have the choice about whether to work, get married, or have children. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. And climate change is not a hoax; Antarctica’s ice sheets are melting. Fast. And so are our rights to our so-called choices, apparently. But it’s true: we are no longer forced to stay in the kitchen, donning aprons and smiles, to bake pot roasts and soufflés all day if that’s not our cup of tea. (That’s still fine if it is!) We’ve come so far and we have so many freedoms now. What’s the point of complaining?

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Lifestyle humor

Winter is Trending

January 23, 2017 • By 5 1001

Winter has arrived, which means many of us who may be experiencing a distinct chill in the air these days are most likely wishing it were possible to move to the Caribbean, Australia, or perhaps even Venus right now. But what people may not realize is that there are so many reasons to embrace winter. In fact, since it’s my fourth favorite season, and I’ve spent more than a few winters here, I’m more than qualified to discuss the joys of winter that you might have otherwise overlooked. It’s never too late to get started because from where I’m standing, it’s clear that winter is only beginning.

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Lifestyle humor

Subscribe to Optimism and Get a Pair of Rosy Glasses for Free!

January 16, 2017 • By 8 2 1230

I look at all things on the bright and sunny side as if I’ve been fed with Maui Jim ad campaigns and the Coué method over the last twenty or thirty years. I was about to say “on the bright and shiny side,” but considering the dreadful untidiness of my house, I thought again. But even then, the awesomist part of my optimism takes over, noting that this vividly-living party-of-six-sheltering house has more important rules to follow than being clean. If you ask me why and how I’m an optimist, I’ll tell you honestly that I don’t know exactly. One day, when the worldwide news became too much of a burden, I cancelled my cable subscription. When the weather froze me to the bones, I moved to the Caribbean. Life is too short to get hung up over issues and tinker with them. Every problem has a solution and there are better things to procrastinate about.

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Read, write, sleep (a little)

Book Yourself on Social Reading

January 9, 2017 • By 8 3 1312

It’s about 9:00 PM, and now that my kids have finally fallen asleep, the rest of the evening is open. On this particular night, I’ve been looking forward to starting a new book. So I curl up on the couch, wrap a blanket around me, and open my Kindle. Now there’s only one thing left to do before I can begin reading.

“Ready for chapter one?” I tap out in Facebook Messenger.

The response is almost immediate: “Yes, let’s go!”

And with that, I turn my attention back to the first chapter, knowing that 2300 miles away, the other half of this book club a deux is reading the same words right along with me.

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Family fun

What Moms (Really) Want this Christmas

December 19, 2016 • By 9 2 1264

If there’s but one time of year where we can make a wish and believe, it is Christmas. I’m no exception; like every other kid, I have wishes. And I want to believe. I could wish for a new car, a new phone, or a new brain, but I’m not the materialistic type. Travel, then? Um, no. I want simpler things (and cheaper). So in case my family stops by, these are just a few of the things that moms would love, even if they don’t fit underneath the tree:

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