30 Oct 2014 2 Comments
My Aunt Bonnie, who was so very cool, my cousins Vickie and Bruce, and little me next to our grandparents’ house on a summer day, sometime before 1950.
29 Oct 2014 Leave a comment
After comments from Facebook friends like “I’m so jealous,” and “I want to MOVE,” I’m thinking I should add a disclaimer to yesterday’s post:
Lawrence is obviously not heaven on earth. All of life is what we make it, and we came here with a goal of making it amazing, to make of this part of our lives all the good we possibly can, and to overlook the negative. That colors our approach to what we see every day when we wake up, what we do, where we go. Someone else could come here and have an entirely different experience and wonder why they feel let down in view of all the “hype.”
1.) Life is what you make it, and 2.) no matter where you go, there you are — two clichés that are truth just because they are. Kim and I are making up for lost time — we met late in life, we’ve both lived places we weren’t wild about, we’ve both felt stuck in routine and longing for more “soul” food. We don’t have the luxury of waiting and hoping at this point, so we get up every day and make fun things happen, whether we step outside our own walls or not. Some may see my ramblings as bragging, but they’re my way of being thankful. I don’t want to wake up later and wish I’d appreciated life more when I had the chance.
Young people think they’ll always be that way — young. And some people just need to be told it’s okay to be happy — to give themselves permission to live, from the inside out. Just do it — regret is a killer.
28 Oct 2014 6 Comments
On a perfect fall day, temps in the 60s, sun shining through a light haze, leaves turning every shade from gold to purple, Kim noodling on guitar and finding melodies and chord changes that bring tears to my eyes, the house in just enough disarray to feel comfy, and our tiny white terror (nope, not a misspelling) running back and forth from balcony to everywhere else, I’m thankful for my town. Also all of the above, none of which would have happened without this town, except the guitar man.
We’ve been here a little over a year now, and it’s home in a way no other place has ever been. From the University of Kansas on Mt. Oread to the tiniest neighborhood we love it all. Lawrence is marinated in history, and as much of it as possible has been lovingly preserved — there are still rock houses standing since before the Civil War, and several businesses on Mass St. have original interior rock walls. Following Harper’s Ferry and other John Brown exploits in opposition to slavery (don’t get nervous, there won’t be a test), Quantrill and his raiders came through town in 1863, killing 150 men but no women and children, torching every house and business they could, robbing all the banks, and looting what was left. Lawrence immediately started rebuilding and the pro-slavery forces lost, end of story. The town is founded on that legacy and hasn’t wavered. Here people cheekily ask, “WWJBD?” (What Would John Brown Do?) The town’s beginnings were the roots of the open-hearted approach to personal liberty that permeates everything here and resonates so deeply with us.
We love the tree-lined streets full of dignified 3-story homes and whimsical “Painted Ladies.” We’re equally in love with the more haphazard neighborhoods, where every block is home to at least one artist’s studio, gallery, or workshop. A few more things we’re hooked on — Mass Street, with its blocks of stores and restaurants, housed in carefully preserved old buildings, all of it walkable and friendly. Live music all over town, plays, art shows, nice weather, rain, trees, great food, beautiful lakes, and the wide Kaw River, which is endlessly fascinating to us after living with a dry dusty riverbed for the past few decades. And KU Basketball, need I say more?
Here’s a small photographic sampling of what makes us so happy to be living here …
27 Oct 2014 Leave a comment
A timely post from Ned. Ray Villafane, eat your heart out.
Originally posted on Ned's Blog:
Carving a jack-o-lantern used to require little more than a pumpkin, an oversized kitchen knife, and a tourniquet. It was a simple matter of plunging a 10-inch French knife into the gourd of your choice and creating a triangle-eyed, square-toothed masterpiece of horror.
In those days, the trickiest thing about making your jack-o-lantern was deciding on how to light the candle.
Option one: Light candle, then attempt to lower it into the pumpkin without catching your sleeve on fire.
Option two: Put the candle inside the pumpkin first. Then attempt to light it without catching your sleeve on fire.
Option three: Accept the inevitable and just light yourself on fire, then go find a candle.
After a quick trip to the emergency room for stitches and some light skin grafting, you could return home and set your jack-o-lantern on the porch, where it would remain until gravity and molecular breakdown…
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27 Oct 2014 1 Comment
My friend Carrie Rubin nails it.
Originally posted on The Write Transition:
Do you judge a human book by its cover? Assign people personality traits based on their faces? Better be careful if you do.
New research highlights the risk of judging people’s characters based on their facial expressions:
Those assumptions affect how we’re treated.
For example, if we’re blessed with a welcoming expression, we’re more likely to be seen as competent and trustworthy. Therefore, we win elections, become CEOs, and bring more boys (or girls) to the yard.
Uh oh, spaghettios. This doesn’t bode well for introverts.
The Introverted Face
The article discussing this research features an example of an introverted vs. extroverted face (The Introverted Face). To avoid using their image, I’m posting one of my own. My apologies for its American Horror Story scariness. Lord knows I would never have posted such hideous self-photos in the past, but with age comes blissful indifference. And…
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