17 ways you know you’ve become a news junkie.

newspapers

It sure seems a lot longer than four and a half months since Obama was president, doesn’t it? Like maybe a whole decade or twenty or even a hundred years ago.   With so much insanity bombarding us every day that has dire implications on our lives and those of the people we love,  it’s easy to feel like a Bobblehead toy that keeps getting sucker-punched by hard, cold reality.  These days, you might get trolled for even believing reality is real.   I think for many of us, staying glued to the news is the only way we feel like we stay connected to what’s real (even if that reassuring feeling of groundedness is just an illusion) .

Our favorite pundits and news anchors and commentators are the heroes we look up to for some idea of what unspeakable dangers might be coming down the pike.  You just never know anymore.   Things really could get THAT BAD.   Conspiracy theories don’t exist anymore because they’re our new reality.    Hyperbole is dead.     Anything that you can imagine, no matter how unimaginable, very probably will happen — and we’d better be ready for it when it does.   History itself seems like it’s become oddly pliable like wet clay and might even dissolve completely if we don’t stay constantly plugged in.   Let go of that lifeline for one minute or one day or a week, pretend like it’s the old days when you pretty much ignored current events and didn’t know (or care) what the difference was between a filibuster and a gerrymander, and you might fall into a bottomless void where reality doesn’t exist anymore and then it’s all over for you.

So, after fifty plus decades of not really giving a damn about current events or politics and being only intermittently and mildly interested during important historical moments such as Watergate, the Challenger Explosion, 9/11, the housing crisis, or even the OJ Simpson trial,  I’ve become a news junkie.    In fact, it’s reached the level of an obsession (I am an obsessive sort of person anyway).   I soon realized I wasn’t alone.  Suddenly, we’re a nation of amateur pundits and political commentators.    While we may annoy or disturb those few folks who are still blissfully oblivious and don’t follow the news,  one good thing can be said for this national obsession:  while we may have slept through high school civics class and had no inkling of how government worked before, now we can write entire dissertations about how government works — now that it no longer does.

So without further ado, here are 17 ways you can tell you’ve become hopelessly addicted to the news.

rachel_maddow

 

1. Rachel Maddow (or Lawrence O’Donnell or Chris Hayes) is your latest crush.

2.  You feel like the talking heads on TV are your friends.

3.  You keep checking your phone during the day for new tweets or Facebook posts about the latest debacle being unleashed from the White House.

4.  The President gives you that same wary, uncertain, triggered feeling that your ex did, and you have to keep checking to make sure he hasn’t taken away your healthcare or started World War III yet.

5.  You check for new tweets during your bathroom break.   All the President’s most outrageous tweets (which is most of them) are like cigarette burns in your memory.

6.  You scream profanities at the TV every night.

7.  You obsessively Like and share every article you find about the most current abomination or opinions that fit yours pertaining to said abomination.

8.  If you have a blog, all your posts start to be opinion pieces about the political situation.   At first you try to make them fit the theme of your blog somehow, but after awhile you don’t even bother with that anymore.

9.  You can’t tell the difference between a Saturday Night Live sketch and whatever political debacle the sketch is parodying, because reality has become as insane as anything a comedy show can come up with.  Real headlines are indistinguishable from headlines in The Onion.

10.  You wrote a song and called it “A Comey in the Curtains is Worth Two Spicers in the Bush.”

11.  You look at strangers and in your mind, decide if they are Trump, Bernie, or Hillary supporters — and judge them for it.   Or if someone is a jerk to you, you label them as a fan of whatever politician you hate the most and judge them even more harshly than you would have because of course, only a total jerk who supports X could do such a nasty thing.

12.  You actually care about what happens to the people employed by the FBI

13.  You find James Comey sort of sexy.

14.   You let off steam by troll-tweeting Trump even though you know he’ll never see them.

15.  You spend time reading comments on Breitbart News to try to understand how the other side feels — and you just can’t.

16.  You finally decided to subscribe to the New York Times because certain people think it’s failing (even though you know it isn’t).

17.  You have hours-long conversations debating whether it’s MSNBC or CNN that’s veering into Fox News territory.

If you can stand to tear yourself away,  I highly recommend taking vacations from the news and having news-free days just doing things that make you feel good.   Your sanity depends on it.   Chances are, taking a break won’t be fatal.  World War III probably won’t start while you’re watering your petunias or reading a spy novel on the beach.  And if it does, you’ll probably never know it hit you because you’ll already be dead.  It’s not as if you could really do anything about it anyway.

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8 ways to survive a 637 mile car trip in just one day — and make it amazing.

highway-driving-1170x660

I love highway driving and I love long road trips most of all, even if I’m driving alone.   Most experts recommend that for anything over 400 or 500 miles, you should think about staying somewhere overnight and splitting your trip into two days.  It’s good advice, but because I want to spend more time wherever I’m going and less time actually traveling (and saving money by not spending it for an extra night at a motel along the way), I never follow that advice, as sound as it may be.   For anything under 700 miles, I make the whole drive in a day.

I’ve made at least five car trips from North Carolina to the greater New York and New Jersey area, and I clocked those trips at 637 miles one way.  Amazingly,  the Tampa Bay area where my son lives is exactly the same distance from my home in North Carolina as those trips to the greater New York area were — and take about the same amount of hours to traverse.  I also once drove from New York to Chicago in just one day — that was a slightly longer trip at close to 800 miles — but that was a little too much.   I’d definitely split that into two days if I ever had to to it again.

There are apps and online programs that tell  you how long a car trip should take, but you should always add about two hours to it.  Those calculations they give you don’t take into account the various stops you will need to make along the way — and if you’re driving alone (or even if you aren’t), you WILL have to stop.   You can get exhausted and stiff as a board from sitting in a car all day, not to mention you will definitely need to relieve yourself from time to time and fill your gas tank.

Since I’m experienced at one day long road trips and have done so many of them,  I’m going to offer some tips to make your trip not only tolerable, but utterly enjoyable.  I for one, consider the road trip part of the vacation itself — even the road trip back.    As far as I’m concerned, the vacation isn’t over until I’ve stepped inside my house.   The actual road trip is definitely part of the pleasure of a vacation.  I can’t even imagine taking a plane for trips like these because the driving part has become such an integral part of it for me.    There’s a delicious feeling of freedom and adventure driving along the highway, especially when the scenery is lovely and you make music a part of it.

Here are eight things I do to make my long road trips not only tolerable, but an absolute blast.

1. Before your road trip, make sure your car is road worthy and in good shape for a long trip.  Check your fluids, get your oil changed, and get any repairs made beforehand.  If your tires look worn, it’s a good time to replace them.  There’s nothing worse than breaking down on the side of the road 400 miles from your home in an unfamiliar or remote place, especially if you know no one there.  It’s happened to me and believe me, it’s a nightmare and you’ll waste much of your trip with car repairs and towing, not to mention wasting money.

2. Time your trip well.  Leave early enough — preferably very early morning, or even at dawn, to start your trip.   That way you won’t be rushed, and can actually enjoy the drive instead of stressing out over the possibility of being late or arriving late at night — and absolutely exhausted. In my case, I try to time my trips so no to very little time is spent driving after dark — since I don’t see well at night.

3. If you leave at dawn (as I do), there’s something almost otherworldly yet serene about an empty highway with only you (and maybe a few early morning truckers) on the road.   It’s a very zen-like feeling, and you feel like the whole world consists of just you, your car, and the road.   It’s an incredibly peaceful feeling.  Just be sure to carry a thermos of coffee so you don’t fall asleep!

4. Pace yourself.   Never try to drive straight through to your destination without stopping.   Even if you’ve brought along snacks and don;t plan on stopping to eat anywhere, you will almost certainly need to stop for gas or to use the restroom.   Whenever you stop, get out of the car and walk around, stretching all your limbs and getting the blood running through them.   You will be surprised at how stiff and sore your muscles will feel after hours of nonstop driving (or sitting in the passenger seat).   It can be worse than after a workout at the gym!  Spend about ten or fifteen minutes just walking around or stretching.   When you get back in your car you will feel awake and refreshed — and a lot less sore.

5. Stock up before your trip with high energy, healthy, but light snacks.  Granola bars, trail mix, nuts, high energy but filling fruit such as bananas, orange slices in a plastic container,  juice, water and coffee will keep you going without filling you up so much you feel heavy and sleepy.     Cheese sticks or slices will give you the protein you need, but nuts will too if you prefer those.  I don’t like to eat big meals along the road, because they always make me fall asleep.    Keep a thermos of coffee that will last most of the day.  Water is better than soda — if you don’t like the taste of plain water, stock a small cooler filled with naturally flavored sparkling water.  It tastes like soda but is much better for you.  Make sure it’s sweetened with real sugar or a sugar substitute like aspartame if you can’t eat sugar, but avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup.

6. Enjoy the scenery and local customs.   Even in the most seemingly boring locales, there’s always something of local interest to enjoy.   If you stop for gas, look around at the local fare at the gas stations (you may find things there you never saw before and want to try), and spend time people watching to get a feel of the local culture.  Listen to the local accents too.   If the scenery is breathtaking, just enjoy it — but avoid taking pictures unless you’ve stopped the car to take them (or are with a companion who can take them for you).

7. If at all possible, make your road trips take place on weekends.   There’s a lot less traffic on the highways, and you won’t run into annoying rush hour traffic, which can slow you down and make your trip stressful and less pleasurable.   Also, on the weekends, you won’t have to deal with as many semi-trucks and 18 wheelers, which can sometimes become intimidating when you find yourself boxed in by them on the highway.  That probably won’t happen on a Saturday or Sunday.

And finally, this is probably the most important of all —

8. Make music a big part of your road trip.    A road trip just isn’t quite right without a soundtrack to go with it.   If you enjoy listening to the radio, there’s something compelling about just flipping around the stations and finding music you like.  Personally, I love to listen to stations come in and fade out as you enter new cities and regions.   It gives me a feeling of vast distances and a kind of ineffable mystery.   It’s hard to explain but I love it.    I also enjoy listening to my own music on road trips.   If you have a special “road song” you love and that fills you with energy or happiness while you drive, turn it into your own driving anthem.   Here’s mine — the feeling of freedom this song conveys makes me want to roll down my windows all the way and sing as loud as I can along to it:

 

Further reading:

15 Things I Love and Hate About Long Road Trips

35 Reasons You are a Terrible Writer and Should Give Up Immediately.

I haven’t posted a new article about blogging in awhile, but I saw this and it made my day.   So I’m reblogging it here.     I hope it makes your day too!

35 Reasons You Are a Terrible Writer and Should Give Up Immediately

By Max Booth, for Litreactor.com

cat_on_laptop

Photo Credit: Litreactor.com

01. You couldn’t think of an interesting or humorous introduction to your latest article.

02. You stared at a blank screen for more than ten minutes without writing a single word.

03. You tried writing longhand and the tip of your pencil broke.

04. You tried with a pen and became frustrated with the constant scratch-outs.

05. You tried erasing the scratch-outs with white-out and accidentally spilled it over the entire page.

06. You tried writing on a typewriter and your brother laughed and asked what happened to your fedora.

07. You went to a coffee house.

08. You went to a coffee house and spent more time trying to decide what to order than you did actually writing.

09. You went to a coffee house and couldn’t write due to a massive brain freeze from your caramel Frappuccino.

10. You went to a coffee house and they played your least favorite Mumford & Sons song, so you didn’t feel inspired.

11. You couldn’t find your muse.

12. You never had a muse.

13. You don’t know what the word “muse’ means, so you are not amused.

14. People keep asking why they can’t find your novel in their local bookstores.

15. Someone asked how much you make being a writer.

16. Someone asked why you don’t quit your day job.

17. You stared at your computer screen so long your eyes began to bleed and maggots burst from your brain and still you did not write anything all day.

18. You spend more time looking at porn than you do a Word document.

19. You thought you’d write better if you got drunk so you drank until you fell asleep on your couch.

20. You turned on Netflix as “background noise” and ended up binging through all five seasons of Breaking Bad for the seventh time. Meanwhile, your laptop fell into hibernation back in episode one.

21. You haven’t taken a shower in over a week, so you smell like garbage and feel too dirty to sit in front of your computer.

22. You just took a shower and you are too clean. Bukowski was never clean. You are a phony and soon everybody is going to realize it.

23. You are not currently suffering from a mental disorder.

24. You had a decent childhood. Your parents never hit you. There was always food on the table. You’ve never had to stand awkwardly outside a pawnshop. Fuck you, you well-off bastard. Go put on a suit and work in some corporate office.

25. You couldn’t decide what genre you were writing.

26. You couldn’t think of the perfect title despite not having written a single word of the story.

27. You’re too distracted wondering what a side character will order on his pizza in book seven of the series to focus on chapter one of book one.

28. You still haven’t decided on a marketing tagline for the unwritten book series, so why bother living?

29. You have never become literally possessed by one of your characters. That’s what happens to all the other writers. In interviews, they always say the characters had a life of their own. The characters wrote the book for them. But nobody’s writing shit for you. You suck.

coffee-shop-head-down

Read the rest of this post here:

https://litreactor.com/columns/35-reasons-you-are-a-terrible-writer-and-should-give-up-immediately

 

 

13 reasons why being an introvert is awesome.

introvertsurvival

1.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on presents.

2.  You read more than the average person.

3.   You tend to be educated beyond your schooling, because you read so much.

4.   People think of you as smart and/or deep.  Because you’re self-educated from all that reading.

5.   You project an aura of mystery.  This can be sexy.  (It can also be creepy).

6.   You stay out of drama, or at least you try to.

7.   You tend to be able to see more than one side of a situation  because you’re always observing other people and you think so much and give yourself time to reflect.

8.   You have more insight into yourself and others.

9.   You appreciate nature.  This extends to animals.   As an introvert, you feel more in tune with living things if they’re non-human.  Beautiful scenery inspires you.

10.  You’re probably artistic.  Or musical.  Or literary.

11.   Your friendships, being fewer, tend to be deep and close ones.

12.  Once you have chosen someone as a friend, they can count on a friend for life.

13.  It’s hard for you to be bored, because you’re so good at being entertained all by yourself without the help of others.

15 things I love and hate about long road trips.

natchez-trace-parkway-photo

I adore road trips, and yesterday’s 635 mile drive from west-central Florida, to western North Carolina was no exception.   I love playing music when I drive, but since my car has no CD player and is not set up for playing pre-recorded music right now, I have to listen to the radio if I want music.  I always think it’s cool hearing the various stations fade in and out. I even love that crackle that means a station is coming in or disappearing.  It gives you that wonderful feeling of traveling for very long distances.

Here’s a list of all the things I love and hate about long road trips.

7 Things I Love.

road_trip

1. The zen-like feeling of just driving along the highway–no one but you, the car, your deep thoughts, and the road, especially very early in the morning just before or just as the sun rises.

2.  The scenery.  Even if it’s ugly, every location has its own unique “look” and it’s always interesting to see that.   Better still if the scenery is beautiful (but keep your eyes on the road!)

3. Checking out the regional fare at the gas stations and rest stops along the way.

4.  Hearing the radio stations of other states and cities.  Sometimes you get a sampling of the local accent or culture that way.  I love hearing a song I really like, and then I start jamming!   Driving and music go together like peanut butter and jelly!

5.  Seeing the first signs that you’re getting to your destination (a recognizable radio station, actual signs for your destination, the landscape changing to one you’re familiar with).  In my case yesterday, it was all these things, but mostly seeing the distant mountains when I was still in South Carolina.

6.  That feeling of relaxed sleepiness that follows a long day driving.

7.   Counting the miles and/or calculating how many there are left to go.  It appeals to my inner geek.

*****

8 Things I Hate.

Scores Of Travelers Depart For Long Holiday Weekend
Photo of San Francisco jam by David Paul Morris/Getty Images

1.  Having to pee and the next exit is still miles away.

2. Getting lost or taking the wrong exit; I also can’t stand confusing road signs.

3. Traffic.

4. Rude or incompetent drivers who don’t signal, weave in and out, cut you off, or tailgate (my worst pet peeve).

5.  Merges and busy interchanges.  They can be scary!

6. The way your back starts to hurt and your legs and butt feel numb after you’ve been driving for a very long time.  I always have to periodically stop, get out, and walk around to get rid of that feeling.  I usually have to pee or get gas too, so it works out.

7. Dropping food you’re eating while you’re driving where it can’t be easily reached until you stop.

8.  Having to pass an 18 wheeler, especially if there’s a concrete wall on your left.

*****

Further reading:

Driving Before Dawn on a Sunday Morning

The Ten Commandments of the Narc Cult family.

angry_god

Narc families are like cults.   They swarm with Cluster Bees (sorry, couldn’t resist!) particularly Narcissists, and there is usually one Leader who is a Malignant Narcissist that rules over the Lesser narcissists and their supporters. There is always one member who serves as a sacrificial lamb who all imperfections can be dumped on. The Narc-family Cult has a set of unwritten Commandments. If you break these Commandments, you will be turned viciously against.  Oh, no one tells you about the Commandments; there is no Holy Book or Bible; it is just assumed that you know them and you had better learn them well and not break any if you want to keep your place in the Cult.

  1.  Thou shalt not “enable” anyone down on their luck.   Everyone should be able to take care of themselves and not expect help.   To help someone means you’re a “codependent” or “enabler” and indicates your own unfitness to remain a Cult member.
  2. Thou shalt not be weak.  Weakness means financial, emotional, physical, or mental vulnerability of any kind.   Weakness also means showing empathy or true (as opposed to fake) kindness and charity. (see above).  You are to pull your self up by your own bootstraps no matter what challenges confront you, not cry or whine, and be a self-made man or woman. Do not expect financial, emotional or any other kind of support because such support is only for weak people.
  3. Thou shalt not ask for help.  Ever.  You are to pick yourself up even if you’re bleeding to death and not expect help from others because only weak people do that.  If you die of your wounds, oh well, you were too weak to deserve to live anyway.  If you do commit the sin of asking for help, expect to be judged, scolded and criticized for daring to be so “entitled” to expect help from others.   Each man out for himself.
  4.  Thou shalt value monetary and material success above everything else.   Be a self made man or woman and have lots of material goodies to show what a strong and successful person you are.   Qualities like empathy, compassion, and kindness are only for the weak.
  5. Thou shalt never become poor.  Becoming impoverished is proof of your weakness and unfitness to live in this world.   Poverty is a heinous sin, brought on by your own unfitness, stupidity, and incompetence and is evidence of your worthlessness.   Go die somewhere, loser.  You brought this on yourself.
  6. Thou shalt keep a perfect “Temple.”   Becoming fat, even a little overweight, or having any physical flaws you do nothing about (even if you are not able to do anything about them) or not dressing fashionably  is a mortal sin punishable by rejection and shunning.   You are not worthy of a place in the Cult if your Temple shows any cracks or imperfections.
  7. Thou shalt not expect support after age 18.   When a Cult member turns 18,  he or she is expected to fully support themselves, expect no help from any Cult member, and not ask questions.  Our responsibility to you ends on your 18th birthday.    Exceptions may be made for the Golden Child.
  8. A proper Cult family must keep a Sacrificial Lamb for ritual abuse.  A Sacrificial Lamb, or Scapegoat is a necessary accessory in any proper Cult family to carry any shame the more worthy family members want to be rid of or deny.   All unsavory or shameful traits can be unloaded and projected onto the Scapegoat, since a worthy Family member must be perfect at all times.  This Scapegoat should be banished when their purpose has been fulfilled or when they are no longer of any use.   There are no restrictions on how badly a Scapegoat can be treated.  They are fair game for any kind of abuse anyone wishes to  inflict on them.  Should the Scapegoat protest this treatment or attempt to blow the whistle, they are to be banished forever.  If they die, even better.  Their souls must be destroyed.
  9.  A proper Cult family must have its Golden Child.  The golden child is a Cult Leader in Training.  Every Cult family must contribute to the causes of the Cult by presenting its best and brightest (and most obedient) member and holding that child to lofty standards and a bright future.  The Golden Child should be trained to project any undesirable traits of their own onto the Scapegoat because they too must be perfect at all times and show no imperfections.
  10. Thou shalt learn the Rituals of the Cult.   Worthy Cult members must learn the ancient and sacred techniques of Gaslighting, Blame-Shifting, Triangulation, Recruitment of Flying Monkeys, Manipulation, Faking Emotion (for personal gain), Silence (for both punishment and control), Devaluation (and Discard), Denial, Smearing, and Character Assassination (to be used against the Scapegoat).  Any Cult member who fails to learn these techniques or refuses to use them is committing a heinous sin and risks demotion to Scapegoat status.

25 things that gross me out.

nasty

I admit it.  I’m easily grossed out. That’s why I could never work as a nurse.    In this list I’m only including the things that most people don’t think are that disgusting (that’s why you won’t see vomit, poo, or green phlegm here), or things that seem very specific.   I think some of them are pretty weird.

Things That Gross Me Out

  1. The sight of blood pouring out of someone’s mouth.  Seeing blood (even a lot of it) doesn’t necessarily bother me.  But when I see a movie or show where blood is spurting from someone’s mouth and nose I have to look away.  I can’t stand seeing that.
  2. Long fingernails that are not polished. They don’t have to be dirty.  I never understood why women want long nails if they’re not going to polish them. I think it looks nasty. I have no idea why it bothers me but it does.
  3. Dried spittle, especially when it forms white strings.
  4. Dishwater left with bits of food floating in it.
  5. Ketchup and mayo mixed together.
  6. Any kind of slimy shellfish.  I can’t look at them or eat them.
  7. Eye gunk.
  8. Edematic skin that looks red, tight and shiny with veins visible.
  9. Putting in someone else’s pierced earrings.  I can’t do it.
  10.  Boiled squash.  I don’t care for the texture of pumpkin much either.
  11.  Eating chicken skin.  Something about the texture is just ew.   Same thing with tripe (besides the horrible smell).
  12.  Bone visible through a gash.
  13.  Shiny bald heads with scabs or dry-skin scales.
  14.  The sound of someone eating, chewing, smacking lips, etc.
  15.  When someone talks and you can hear wet mouth sounds while they speak.
  16.  Mayo on almost anything.  (In tuna salad or deviled eggs, it’s fine).
  17. The bottom of a refrigerator, where water pools and mixes in with bits of food and eventually a pinkish mold grows there.
  18. The inside of a raw Thanksgiving turkey.  I love stuffing, but I always have to get someone else to stuff it for me because the way it looks and feels makes me gag.
  19. Eggs with gooey yolks.  Even worse: when I’m with someone who is dipping their toast into the runny egg and swirling it around in it, I feel like puking.  Even worse still:  the part of a cooked egg white that for some reason doesn’t get cooked and you get a mouthful of viscous slime.   Blargh.
  20. The slimy feel of the rim of a used drinking glass when you trying to wash it.
  21. Bread that has had raw tomato on it and turns pink and gushy.
  22. The jelly-like coating on an opened can of cat or dog food.
  23. Insect fragments and carcasses in windowsills.
  24. Thinking about someone getting their ear cartilage pierced.  Shudder.  I don’t know if it’s because I think it’s disgusting or if it’s more like that horrible way you feel when you hear someone scraping their fingernails on a blackboard–not exactly gross but horrible just the same.
  25. That foam you sometimes see in stagnant pond or lakewater

I think that’s enough.  I need to stop before I heave.

 

ETA: 2 more I just thought of.

26. the feeling of chalk, powder, or dried clay on my hands.   Not gross really, I just hate the feeling of it.

27.  “Surprises” when I’m eating. I hate, hate, hate when you bite into something expecting one thing, and taste something you didn’t expect, even if it’s something I would have liked if I had known what it was.    Or eating something designed to look like something else.  Like a cake done up to look exactly like a pot roast and veggies.   Just ew.  Keep it away from me.

Apparently a lot of people suffer from Trypophobia, the fear of clusters of holes.    If you Google it, the images that come up are a little unsettling, but they don’t disgust or terrify me, like they do for some people.  I actually find these images interesting to look at.

5 things I can’t believe I ever lived without.

1. Cellphones

old_cellphone_ad

Then:

A mere 15 years ago I stubbornly held onto my house phone and refused to be one of the sheeple who carried around an annoying device where you could never escape from the interruptions of unwanted callers.   I proudly told everyone I would never lower myself to having to have a cellphone.

Now:

I’m completely dependent on my Smartphone.  I used it as a mini computer and a camera.  Texting is also infinitely more preferable to me than talking to someone on the phone. Once when I thought I lost it, I went into a panic until I found it.

2. Internet

old_yahooad

Then:

I remember saying this in 1994:  “It will just be a fad.”     I much preferred my old Selectric typewriter to doing anything on a computer.

Now:

How on earth did I live so long without the Internet. Losing service is like losing my eyesight.  Now that I blog, I go REALLY nuts.

3. Flat Screen TV’s

old_flatscreen

Then:

2008:  They look like computer monitors or undersized movie screens.   No thanks.

Now:

I want one.

4. Texting

early_text

2010:

I’m too old to text.

Now:

Much better than a phone call.

5. GPS devices

gps

Then:

They look so complicated,  I’d rather ask for directions.

Now:

How did I get around without one?

50 things to ponder.

socks

I think about these things all the time. Some of them drive me crazy!
Warning: some of these things have moral or religious implications.

1. Will we ever discover another habitable, earthlike planet? If one exists, will we build colonies there?

2. Are there colors we have never seen?

3. What happened to the ships and planes that have disappeared in the Bermuda triangle?

4. What really happens after you die?

5. Why have people always fought over religion? Why is it so all-important what others believe?

6. It’s said everyone has a double who looks exactly like them somewhere in the world. Where is mine?

7. When does a person’s soul actually enter their body?

8. Are souls “recycled” (reincarnation) or is each new person assigned a brand new soul?

9. What exactly is a soul? Is it a material thing or purely spiritual?

10. What does the fourth dimension actually look like (I don’t think time is it). Is it possible to “see” it or our brains to process what you’d see?

11. Are there any places in the universe where time can go backwards, stand still, or where it’s flexible, the way 3D space is in this reality?

12. Are ghosts really beings from a higher dimension?

13. Is an intelligent and friendly race of aliens going to save humanity from self-destruction?

14. When you die, do you go back to the same place you were before you were born? Will everything seem familiar, like going home?

15. Are heaven and hell actual places, or are they states of mind?

16. Do psychedelic drugs like DMT actually show you other realities, or is the experience purely due to changes in the way the brain processes information?

17. Are there as many grains of sand on the earth as there are stars in the universe?

18. What causes a molecule to become “life” as opposed to a nonliving thing?

19. Do beings on other planets have DNA? Do they have cells?

20. If the dinosaurs had lived, would they have evolved intelligence?

21. Why do you never see baby squirrels?

22. Do lower animals (fish, reptiles, insects, etc.) experience any kind of sexual pleasure when mating?

23. Do single celled, asexual animals experience pleasure when they reproduce?

24. What do animals like dogs and cats actually think about? They look like they’re always thinking about something!

25. Why do most people prefer eating unhealthy food over healthy food, when it’s worse for your survival?

26. If eating insects was socially acceptable in modern cultures, would we be able to end starvation?

27. Was 9/11 an inside job?

28. Is the Illuminati really running everything? (I’m leaning toward yes)

29. Do socks that disappear in the wash actually go into an alternate universe where random socks just appear?

30. Does the taste of something taste different to different people? Is my experience of “cheese” or “chocolate” the same as yours?

31. The same thing about color. Does “red” to me look the same as “red” to you?

32. Are there any worlds in which music is a language?

33. Do plants get cancer? (I got the answer to this and posted about it here) But it’s still a good question.

34. Does cancer always hurt? Is it possible to get cancer and not really suffer?

35. Is the treatment for cancer worse than the disease itself?

36. Why do some people seem to have “charmed lives”? Why do others seem to be cursed from the day they are born?

37. If “survival of the fittest” is real, will modern western culture eventually breed out those who have empathy and the capacity to be altruistic until we become a race of unfeeling psychopaths and that becomes the new normal? This really scares me…

38. Are some “disorders” like Aspergers really just variations of cognition and not really a disorder at all? (The Aspie rights movement does believe this)

39. If some people are born gay and can’t change their sexual orientation, how can being gay be sinful?

40. If humans have been cloned, do they have souls too?

41. Do animals have an afterlife? If heaven exists, why wouldn’t our pets be there too?

42. Why is coffee not considered a “drug”?

43. Are men really from Mars and women from Venus?

44. Is it possible for non-human animals to cry? Evidently elephants can shed emotional tears and there have been reports of certain dogs crying.

45. Does the sun have any kind of consciousness? Sometimes it seems like it does.

46. Why do so many religions stifle thinking about these kinds of things, especially since God gave us a brain to think with?

47. Does a shadow have any kind of substance, or is it the absence of substance (light)?

48. Is it possible for anything to travel faster than the speed of light?

49. Will we ever be able to time travel?

50. What kind of other universes are there? Do they have different physics than this one?

I can think of so many more. I might do another post like this sometime.

34 rules for kick-ass writing.

karate

I didn’t make these rules; they come from this post. But they got a laugh from me and I hope you enjoy them too.

34 Rules For Kick ass Writing

1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
7. Be more or less specific.
8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually)
unnecessary.
9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
10. No sentence fragments.
11. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used unless you don’t want to seem too formal.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not always apropos.
13. Do not use more words, phrases, sentences, or other linguistic elements than you, yourself, actually really and definitely need to use or employ when expressing yourself or otherwise giving voice to what you may or may not be thinking when you are trying to say how many words you should use or not use when using words.
14. One should NEVER generalize.
15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
16. Don’t use no double negatives.
17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, i.e. etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive voice is to be ignored.
21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
23. Kill excessive exclamation points!!!
24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others elude to them.
25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.
26. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
27. Eliminate distracting quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson is said to have once remarked, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
28. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
32. Who needs rhetorical questions?
33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
And finally…
34. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.