Category Archives: New Word

The Chameleon Of Nostalgia

To burn this bright all the time would be my demise. I awoke at 2:30 this morning, already feeling that sensation of otherworldly lightness. And so I navigated my day at work, my feet boundless. Even after work, both my mind and my feet were creative and I did a few projects as if I were two people, one focused on the task at hand and the other in my head, writing. But the sunlight streamed through my large front windows and the prisms danced and cast rainbows all over me and across the new rainbow light I made today.

So I decided to get 5 miles over my normal amount for the day. I grabbed my keys and headed out, even though I still had on my work shoes from 12 hours earlier. Lord, what a good decision it was. The breeze, sublime, the sun just warm enough, several dogs to stop and pet, and some good music. Though I am unlike most of my contemporaries and enjoy a lot of current music, I opted for ’80s rock. And the very first song was “Sweet Child Of Mine.” I had no choice but to sing part of it, my ears encased in prehistoric headphones. Had someone stopped and said, “You sound terrible,” I would have said, “…at least I don’t LOOK like Axl Rose these days.”

It made me think of my cousin Jimmy. He loved Metallica and copied most of the hairstyles of the band as it transitioned. He would have shaken his head at me and asked me to please stop the screeching. I of course would have ignored him. At which point he would have joined in, his voice equally absent any trace of singing ability.

There’s no doubt I don’t sing well. There’s equal certainty I enjoy a good day. I tend to have a lot of energy. Even when I’m sitting still. It’s why I annoy people and say I don’t get bored. I have to really work at it to feel the sensation.

But I walked and walked and watched the brilliant sunlight grow longer and cast increasingly somber shadows.

I can’t say that tomorrow I will burn as bright. I am fond of saying though, that I can own the moment and memory no matter what.

Maybe there’s a word to describe a simultaneous lightness of being rendered as a chameleon of nostalgia.

I can’t walk forever. And even so the number of days ahead of me is certainly much fewer than those ahead. If this were to be the last photo of me,.. even though I took it myself, it’s fitting. Please don’t “at” me for triggering any possible morbid connotation. Having lived it, no one can tell me that it’s impossible that it might be so.

I’m grateful.

What a beautiful afternoon..

Love, X

The Postal Rule For Transparency

This one makes people uncomfortable.

I “@” Dave Worthen on TikTok because I think it is a great analogy for him to compare – or criticize if he feels it’s wrong.

Love, X

The Duh List For Phones (Please Argue!)

The Duh List For Phones

I wrote a series of bullet points like these for someone’s TikTok. They asked for 5. I’m a big fan of overkill, so here it is, stripped of the humor:

People first. If you’re with someone special or at a gathering, silence your phone and treat it as secondary to the event or the people in your presence.

The casual rule says that we can relax our rigidity when we’re with family, close friends, and partners – but you should keep it in the back of your mind. Using a cellphone in the presence of others is by its nature exclusionary.

Generally speaking, avoid texting while you’re having a face-to-face. If you do, politely ask for a moment.

It’s generally frowned upon to text/talk while you’re eating with others. It’s still not a good idea to leave it where people will see it flashing or hear/feel the vibration. Doubly so if it’s on the table.

IF you need to make/receive a call while eating, excuse yourself out of earshot of anyone trying to enjoy their meal. If you have important texts, please do the same.

Unless “everyone” has their phone out, keep yours tucked away too.

Just because your phone beeps or notifies you, it doesn’t mean you need to look at it or address it if you are with someone or a group. People first, and the ones (or one) you’re with trump others.

If you’re having a conversation, finish it before moving on to the next. Whether face-to-face or on the phone.

It’s a 24/7 world. Your phone has super-easy ways to keep it from ringing, beeping, or flashing. Use them.

Doubly so at work for the above.

It’s on you to assume that you could hear from any of your contacts at any second of the day or night. The person causing a notification might not be aware they are doing it.

With that in mind, YOU should take a second to ensure you’re not interrupted, woken up, or causing a disturbance where YOU are.

Likewise, you have do-not-disturb options on your phone for any time of the day or night – including when you’re sleeping.

You can set up exceptions where ONLY important people will go through anyway. For emergencies or whatever else.

Don’t talk on the phone when you’re paying unless it is truly important. And take a second to communicate that to the human helping you. Everyone universally shakes their heads at people that do this, but some haven’t understood the collective disdain for this.

Don’t text and drive. Or watch the latest episode of The Bachelor either.

No one likes seeing your screen at a theater. At all. Ever. It distracts anyone seeing the movie, play, or concert. Even if it’s “just for a second.” If everyone looks at their phone for “just a second” with 300 people in the theater… well, you get the idea.

ALWAYS turn your phone OFF if there is the slightest chance it will interfere with a funeral, church, business meeting, or any important occasion where people attend. The world will not end if you don’t have access for an hour. Humans evolved for thousands of years without immediate contact with the entire world. The entire group’s reason for attendance trounces your urge to be in constant contact.

It’s recommended to avoid using your phone while you’re doing your business in the bathroom. Unless you’re besties. But it’s true if you’re blathering on in a private conversation and other people have no choice but to listen. This applies to buses, doctor’s offices, etc.

Even though people don’t like hearing it, you sleep better if your phone isn’t in the bedroom. If it is, it should not flash, beep, or vibrate except for those on your emergency list. Study after study backs this up. Because you’re so attentive to your phone, it lingers at the fringe of your consciousness even when you don’t realize it. If it makes noise or light? Doubly so.

For business calls, voicemail is fine. For personal calls? Text instead and divulge at least the urgency or content of your contact.

If you get a text, don’t leave it too long “read.” At least politely respond with something similar: “I’m busy, but I’ll get back to you.” You can set pre-made messages to respond like this, too.

Never ask someone to wait to eat or drink so you can snap a picture.

Speakerphone in public is a no.

Talking about your nether-region warts in public is a bad idea, too.

Be aware that you generally speak louder than you think you do when you’re on the phone.

If someone is driving you, don’t use the time to jump into your cell phone. Unless it is a taxi or Uber. You’re in an enclosed space, and it’s a chance to talk or enjoy conversation with the person you’re with. It’s a common source of mild irritation for those driving to be ignored at the expense of a cellphone.

If someone is showing you something on their phone, resist the urge to reach for their phone.

As for group texts, err on the side of caution when including numerous people. If you see people not interacting at the same level, it’s best to ask them before the next time.

While we’re yapping about group texts… don’t use it to go across the line of appropriateness. Don’t be joking when it’s serious; don’t throw a wet blanket on the content by airing complaints or sidetracking the group. And no matter how clever you think you are, don’t drink and attempt to engage in group texts.

As you can see, as comprehensive as this list is, I’ve probably forgotten something.

And people will argue about some of them.

Phone etiquette is devolving, but the above list is generally accurate.

Love, X

The Holiday Salutation Admonition

It’s that time of year y’all!

Whether you call it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or nothing at all. This season belongs to all of us.

Lovingkindness, no matter your religion (or the absence of it) shouldn’t be forgotten this time of year.

I made a different version of this, one which is music I composed myself so that the social media platforms couldn’t block it.

Love, X