Anything Can Happen Friday: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

On Wednesday my daughter texted me at 7:25:

Call me when you can”

Is there a worse phrase a Mother can see? I immediately called her and said

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing… I mean… V died.”

V was a boy she knew since Kindergarten. V was a boy who came to my daughter’s early elementary birthday parties. V was on the same soccer team as my daughter. V was really smart and whenever they were in class together, they ended up as partners.

V was a highly intelligent, sweet kid with involved parents who cared and loved him. And yet we all saw this coming from a mile away.

Risk drew him in like a magnet. Trouble with authority. Skipping school. Drugs and alcohol from an early age.

I’m a little bit devastated. The past few years I would hear of something he had done, and I kept thinking, he’s a smart kid. He’ll figure it all out…

But he didn’t.

So I’m about to get on my soapbox:

Let’s stop washing away things by using drugs and alcohol.

While some can have a drink or partake minimally in drug use after a tough day, many can’t. Substance abuse is very very real- and we can blame and sue some drug companies, but really, that’s just a bandaid…

Drug and alcohol use to a certain extent is a bandaid. We think it will make us feel better…but does it?

Let’s stop fighting about words and books and who is right and who is wrong.

Let’s start trying to heal our kids and ourselves from the demons that take us over from the inside.

We worry about what the future will hold for our kids. I just worry that most kids won’t be around to see a future.

Stop treating drugs as some sort of rite of passage, or something that kids just do.

Having to bury your 20 year old because they OD’ed is not a rite of passage…it is every parents worst nightmare.


What makes someone become a rabid fan of something?

A few months ago I went to see Eugene and Dan Levy speak at the Beacon theater on the eve of the release of their book about Schitt’s Creek. Fun show, fun evening, fun Levy and son… I enjoyed the whole experience…


Seated next to me was a superfan…

The woman next to me had flown in from Minnesota or Michigan or Wisconsin specifically for this evening. They were doing nothing else in NYC- just this. Not even a good restaurant… She was here with her husband, who was sitting in the balcony because they originally bought seats upstairs, but then she was able to get a ticket closer to the action…so she had a total of three seats and chose not to sit with her spouse.

When Eugene and Dan took the stage, the woman screamed so loud that months later I am still feeling the reverb…because it was RIGHT IN MY EAR…

This was a talk, not a Q and A, yet she still managed to raise her hand to try to ask things. When they mentioned something, she would scream out a fact about the episode. When she wasn’t yelling to the stage she was talking to herself about the facts from the episode. She even corrected Dan because apparently he forgot something. No joke…

I know it seems like I’m judging this woman, and I espouse to a no judgement zone. And yeah…my bad…I am judging this woman just a little tiny bit…

Because what makes someone love something so much they have the need to learn every single detail about it?

What drives that passion?

I have enjoyed TV and movies and such. I am a wiz (is it whiz?) at trivia games. But I have never been that rabid a fan of anything since 1976 and my love of Met Lee Mazzilli. And oddly, I guess I wasn’t much of a super fan of his because I just heard that he vied for the Olympics in speed skating pre baseball, and I never knew this….Also, for the record, I love baseball but totally admit that the lockdown has been off my radar because I have so much else spinning in my head…

I guess I have that things that I enjoy, but I don’t think I will ever be so crazy about something where I learn everything about it and know more about it than the creators or the persons themselves…

Are you, or have you ever been a superfan of anything?

Travel miles for one specific thing?

Know everything there is to know about something?

What was it that motivated you to know so much about one thing? What was the switch that got turned on that made you go “I need more info NOW”?

Why does someone become a superfan?

It’s OK Because They’re a BLANK

A few months ago I was out with friends. My friend relayed a story about something that had recently happened in her life. She told me that a good friend of hers had had quite a bad case of COVID. And someone else remarked “That’s OK. He voted for Trump. If he dies it will be one less Republican.”

You know what’s the worst thing about this? I’ve heard others say the same thing.

Now, before you say something smug, let me assure you that, though I’ve never heard it, I’d bet money that someone has said the same thing about Democrats.

So we are all even in the hate wars.

But really- I want you to think about those comments…

We can play my favorite game, where we exchange one word for another:

Take out the word REPUBLICAN, or DEMOCRAT if you choose to use that one, and replace it with a religion, or a race, or a gender, or etc…

How does that feel?

I asked my friend what she said to the person. “I told her that she really should seek therapy, because she has so much hate in her heart she needs to work it out. And then I told my daughter not to hang out with her anymore, because this was not a person that will end up being a good friend.”

Have we gotten to the point where we wish ill will on those we don’t agree with?

When we make statements like this, do we really think that we are right? We are moral? We are justified?

Do you want someone to wish you dead because of something you believe in? Because of something you are?

Really really think about that…

Do you want to be judged by one thing, with no back story?

Do you really wish someone dead because they’re not like you?

Gee…where have I heard that before…

How Many Stars Did This Get?

A while back, I wrote a post and we discussed how important customer generated ratings are before we make a purchase. How much do we really use them?

So, for the past few weeks I’ve tried to take notice of the “why this” before I purchase something. Here’s my very unscientific results.

Beauty products: I do not look at Amazon reviews before I buy beauty products. For some things I buy brands that I have bought before and that I love. That doesn’t mean I am unwilling to try out new things- but when I try out something new, it’s based on a magazine articles such as “Best eye creams for undereye puffiness”. I know that these items are often pushed by reps, and there’s nothing to guarantee how good they are, but my mind totally falls for the “Best of” articles. I’m happy to say that, for the most part, I am satisfied with the results. For example- I tried Curel Extreme Dry Hand Relief and I love it! Not greasy and really makes my snake like hand skin soft.

Books: You know I source my books from many places, but I do admit that sometimes I let the Goodreads star ratings sway me- I am more likely to read something with a greater average. However, I rarely read the actual reviews…too many spoilers. For the most part, I tend to agree with the aggregate, but there are always exceptions. Sometimes I buy a book without knowing anything, just because something about it appeals to me- like “Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village” which I saw, loved, and my daughter got me for Christmas.

Movies: For the most part, I look at Rotten Tomatoes. However there are some movies I will see just because, such as “Marry Me” which I’m seeing this week and “Death on the Nile” which I’m seeing next week. Doesn’t matter the ratings: I’m seeing them. As you know, I will attempt to see every Oscar nominated movie. However, when there is a film festival I don’t look at movie ratings- I either see what fits into my schedule, or old films that I’ve always wanted to see.

Actual Things: This has to be done on a case by case basis. Here goes:

Wireless earbuds: My pair recently broke, so I needed to replace. They no longer have the exact brand I had, so I did sort my price and rating. I bought the least expensive pair with the highest stars. I did not read individual reviews. I will tell you how they fair when they arrive.

1 Qt Saucepan: Being an empty nester has changed the way I cook (expect a blog about this) I find that I need to modify my equipment. To find this pan I filtered for size, price, non stick and dishwasher safe. I did not look at rating or reviews, but I did buy from a company that I have bought cookware from before and liked.

Cheesecloth bags– filtered for small and cheap. No ratings required.

Rubbermaid containers- This was a replacement for old gross ones. Bought what I had before. No ratings

Shoelaces– filtered for length and type. No ratings.

Foam Roller– one of my goals is to increase my flexibility. I know from experience that my daughter’s foam roller was much too hard on my body, so I DID LOOK AT REVIEWS because I knew that I needed something soft, not dense. This is a case of hearing what actual people said was much better than company literature.

So that wraps up how I use reviews.

Where do you stand on reviews?

Disclaimer: I am not receiving anything in exchange for naming any products. I used my own cash for anything I purchased.

Head in the Sand

Traditionally, when you hear the term “head in the sand”, it means that someone isn’t paying attention to what is going on around them. It harkens to one being uninformed.

When you think “head in the sand” what’s your first thought?

Ok- so hopefully you have something in your head. Now I’m going to present my side of the story.

I think sometimes people can become so involved in something, they have their head in the sand because they are unable to see any other viewpoint but their own. These people are super informed- so informed as to become a detriment. They see things the way they want to see them, but perhaps not as they truly are. They narrowly focus in on one side, or one part of an argument and forget that there are multiple ways to look at something…

There are people so convinced that they are “right” that they put their head in the sand to anything that could prove them “wrong”. They simply refuse to learn the other side of the story.

That’s what’s great about science- for every theory, there are a dozen scientists trying to disprove the theory. The beauty of science is that it’s continually evolving. True scientists can’t keep their heads in the sand- they have to just keep working and trying and experimenting…

Being truly informed means that you keep searching and questioning and listening to all the theories…

The people that keep asking questions and listening to the alternate theories are the only ones who don’t have their head in the sand…

Those unwilling to listen or acknowledge have their heads in the sand…no matter how well informed they think they are.

What Inspired Me: 2/13/22

  • Morgan Library has a lovely exhibit – Gwendolyn Brooks: A Poet’s Work in Community. Also peeked at selections from The Kasper Collection and recent acquisitions.
  • Tenho makes an awesome bowl of tonkatsu ramen!!! Just delcious!
  • There will be a blog about the whole making a Martha Stewart recipe- but suffice to say the cake was excellent…
  • Loving touring the Met in gallery number order, however, the Met just announced that some of the galleries will be closed for three years, due to renovation (bet you thought your contractor was slow) so I may do those galleries next!! However, I am enjoying Greco Roman! I also saw special exhibit The Good Life: Collecting Late Antique Art at the Met. The exhibit was good, but the room it’s housed in was even better. Gallery 302 very cool!!
  • For those of you who watch Gilded Age, I took a shot of the corner of 61st & 5th, where the houses were supposed to have been. Not quite gilded age anymore, but the Pierre is pretty.

Gratitude Saturday- 2/12/22

Different seasons typically introduce different weather. Brisk fall leads to cold winter. I remember those first days that dipped into the twenties. Brrrr. But then magically, after a few weeks of temps in the high 20’s low 30’s, one day you go out and its 25 degrees and you remark- Ok- not too bad today. Your body has acclimated to the colder temps. And then you have a 40 degree day and you go out in a thermal fleece, because its practically tropical…

I am grateful for our bodies- how they adapt to what we need them to adapt to. It’s a beautiful thing.

I am going to incorporate some mindfulness along with gratitude on my Saturdays. I’m not really a spiritual person, but I have found that little bits of solitude and reflection can help my mind.

If you need a word to focus on, let this week be: RESPECT

If you need a phrase, let it be: LOOK EVEN CLOSER

If you need a quote: One can appreciate and celebrate each moment- there’s nothing more sacred. There’s nothing more vast or absolute. In fact, there’s nothing more! Pema Chodron

The things that divide us are far less important than those that connect us. Rachel Naomi Remen

Anything Can Happen Friday: Love Songs

Sometimes you need to give your brain a break. I have been on overdrive on every cylinder of my life lately, and today my brain is tired. I don’t want to rant or complain or frankly, think, so I’m giving you my list of love songs. There was no thought put into this: It’s just the first five lovish songs that come into my head. Hopefully they trigger something in you, or just make you smile at a fond memory, or make you feel better about a lost love.

Everlasting Love

Eternal Flame


I Love You So

Just Like Heaven

Contextually Speaking

I’m going to start out with a little piece of Deacon King Kong by James McBride:

“He goes out there and insults the Jews and nobody says a drop about it. Except us. The Jews hate us, man! They don’t want no projects out there in Forest Hills.”

“Dig That.”

And the whiteys hate the Jews, because the Jews run everything. You dig?”

Now- it you read that passage without any accompaniment. what do you think? You don’t have to say it out loud, but how do the words presented sound when you roll them around in your brain? Chew on that for a moment…

Do these four lines need more context in order to give one the full meaning?


Do you think this mini section stands alone?

When you hear/read/see something, how much context do you need to understand it and make sense of it?

Should you make a decision about the book based on the four lines that I quoted?

Ok- now I’m going to go way to the far end of the tree branch and make a statement that may or may not make sense…even I haven’t thought this one out fully… Lucky you- you get to be here for the actual genesis of an idea in my brain…Huzzah…Prepare to be scared because I’m not quite sure what’s about to spill forth…

Do we ever really have the full story on anything, because do we ever all the contextual things that we need in order to make a decision/judgement/whatever?

Every statement I make is a compilation of all the things that make up my background, and what is going on in my present, and what I am preparing for in the future.

If I make a statement that you don’t agree with, it is fair to chide me unless you know my whole backstory?

I know, this sort of goes back to my NO JUDGEMENT zone, which you also know I manipulate sometimes to prove a point…

Should you ever tell someone that what they are thinking or feeling is wrong? (for the record- I still hold that math has right and wrong answers, but you have to know my background as someone who wants correct change and for my taxes to be done fairly to fully comprehend why I feel this way)

Should we stop giving people grief because they think differently than us because we don’t know the context of their lives?


Implied Consent

Back in October I wrote a post In this post I toyed with some ground rules as to how you should interact with someone who doesn’t share your opinion on a topic. I questioned whether or not we should really engage anymore, as nothing is seen as polite discussion- everything is a battle…

This blog brought about some lively debate, but the thing that stuck out the most to me was the thought that if you don’t engage with someone, are you actually in agreement?

Does not arguing, or staying silent imply agreement with a point/subject/topic?

So let’s keep that bold point in our heads for a moment.

As coincidences happen, I wrote a post last Friday about some words that UW feels are problematic. I had many clever responses as to what UW can do with the list…so thanks for that.

I am not really a stats checker on the daily. However, whenever I write something that can be considered controversial, I do like to look at the numbers. In the case of Friday, I had more views than normal. But, I had less “likes” and less comments…

So, as I put my analyst hat on…

Why more views but less engagement?

Were people silent because they agreed? Or were they silent because they disagreed? Or is censorship just not a topic to have an opinion on?

Was this something that people did not want to go “on the record” with an opinion, or look as if they are agreeing with me?

Or were people unwilling to disagree with me on a topic I am clearly passionate about and opinionated on?

Were people mad that I took on those to the left of center? Were people afraid to agree with something that said the progressive agenda might have some issues?

Were people mad that I took on those to the right of center? Were people afraid to agree with something that said the extreme right wing might have some issues?

OK- I segued a lot here…I don’t even remember my original topic…

What was it…


free speech, social discourse, opinions, herd mentality…

In the face of a disagreement, do you stay silent because you agree, or do you just not want to engage?

If you don’t engage, is the implication that you agree?