To blog or not to blog?

This woman from the Age of Aquarius has been reborn.

She’s now a Tweeter, a Facebooker, a YouTuber, and a blogger.

So, when the job description reads “social media skills across all platforms,” she confidently pulls the listing into her digital “to do” box with a bright yellow star next to it.

Oh, the transition into the glaring light has not been without tantrum, but she has managed to quiet her cries and join the ranks of the twice daily posters.

Still, she wonders…

Dear employer,

◾Does this make her more attractive?

◾Do her decades of experience combined with her new social media skill set make her rise to the top of the heap?

◾Will you pay her a living wage? One equal to her extensive experience and sizable mortgage?

◾Or, will you prefer to hire a whiz of the digital age who grew up with an iPhone in her hand?

◾Pray tell, is there room for—and value to be found in—both of us?

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Black kohosh straight up please, with a chaser of melatonin

For many wonderful years, I was in love with the Cadillac Margarita.

I’m not talking “like”…I mean LOVE.

More than just its yummy taste, the Cadillac Margarita was–to me–a magical elixir, transforming almost any setting into an immediate “whoo hoo” party in my brain. One sip and…ahhhhh…visions of white sandy beaches with warm ocean breezes.

But alas, this love affair was not to last.

Oh, the taste is still delicious and the transformation still heartfelt, but the journey from white sandy beaches to “help me to my bed and send in the Excedrin” now takes five sips and a mere 15 minutes at best.

The Doc says its due to changing body chemistry and as you’d imagine, she’s none too concerned about it.

Sooooo…

“The Change” claims another.

I’m sure there’s an up side (a richer pocketbook, a thankful liver?)…but still, parting is such sweet sorrow.

Annoyed as hell, but keeping pace

My grandfather was an Italian immigrant who worked as a baker in a small Montana town. My grandmother was a coal miner’s daughter who proudly graduated the 7th grade.

In the late 1980s, my father threw up his hands, cried “uncle” and tossed my grandparents’ telephone answering machine into the trash (and none too gently at that!). It would be the last in a long series of “confounded electric gadgets” that my grandparents could see no use for…and/or had managed to incessantly break.

They had seen the arrival of indoor plumbing and had been one of the first in town to own a refrigerator (not an ice box), a television set, and a washing machine.

But, the telephone answering machine was simply, flat-out too much… Their line in the sand…. Just not gonna do it…. Too old for new tricks… No more!

My brother and I have always giggled at this story…but more and more, I think I know how they felt.

Today, my telephone answering machine is called “Social Media.” How I would love to ignore it… Turn it off… Say: “You can just come visit if you want to talk!”

And Geez… just think about what’s to come in the next 30 years?

All we know for sure is it won’t look anything like today–not at the rate were going and bound to go faster.

Frankly, I kinda look forward to the time when I can justifiably state “no more confounded gadgets!” To the time when our kids will tell their kids: “I remember when all we had was MySpace.”

Til then though..best jump in and learn to drive.

They say learning new stuff keeps your brain young. Tired and annoyed–but young.

LOL

Luck of the draw

Today I woke at 6am to drive my neighbor to the new casino (the biggest in California). I didn’t want him riding his bike in the rain.

My neighbor is not a gambler; he cleans bathrooms for $12 per hour for the newest employer in town. He’s ecstatic for the job and hasn’t once complained about the seven mile, one hour bike ride in the cold and dark of early morning to arrive in time for his shift.

Mid-forties, handsome, with epilepsy; my neighbor is not a complainer. He won’t take disability (though I think he should). He once had his own successful heating and air conditioning business. But now he cannot drive.

So, he rides his bike to work and he makes money how he can and he pays his bills and he seems to be one of the happiest people I’ve met in years!

“You gotta play the hand you’re dealt,” he says.

Dang, if inspiration doesn’t show up in the strangest of ways.

Money’s tight but empathy abounds

Annie has a cough and should probably go to the vet. My sister-in-law insists that I not “dink around about it.” It could be kennel cough or worse.

Here’s the problem: vets are expensive and right now there’s no slush fund for….well, anything. I mean, I would have to be darned sick before I’d go to the doctor right now.

Of course, I didn’t tell her that — embarrassed I guess and put off by her insensitivity.

It wasn’t too long ago that I was exactly in her shoes: miles not feet from slipping into poverty.

Perhaps “insensitive” is harsh. But “ignorant”…”completely without understanding.”  Those would be accurate.

It’s one thing to have an intellectual idea of what it means to not have enough money and another to look into the face of it and see someone or something that you love at risk.

Mine’s a dog. Imagine if it were a child.

This is not a fun place to be but I’m grateful to be traveling through here.

Humility (I’ll ask for help if I have to) and discipline (Joe’s O’s are very good for dinner) are a few of the lessons along the way.

Soon enough, I trust, the money will be back around and when it gets here I’ll be stronger and kinder too.

When therapy and mt. bikes collide

My friend Greg says he’s a mess inside: restless, angry, sad; a whirling dervish of thoughts and emotions that ping off each other like a pinball machine in his head. He’s actually “seeing someone” at $140 per 55 minute session, so I know it’s bad (Greg is also notoriously and proudly cheap).

Today, as we took a hike through the hills above Santa Rosa, I thought: “Who knew men had menopause too?” Minus the hot flashes, the symptoms sound familiar (and the age is right).

Greg has Annie by the leash, which the two of them love because he allows her to chase squirrels until she just about gets ‘em.

Suddenly, he’s talking about getting a new mountain bike (a very expensive one) to help ease the pain. And I think…

”Ah, here we go, that’s more like it—standard male mid-life crisis behavior.”

Shheew!  The gender lines were getting a little too blurred there for a minute.

Let’s blame evolution

I saw the King of the Beast in action. Literally. It was in Kenya, in the Masai Mara game reserve.

Theirs was a lazy and repeated coupling…strong as he gripped the back of her neck in his teeth, yet also gentle.

This isn’t something you soon forget—watching lions mating out in the wide open grass lands of Kenya and it’s gotten me to thinking…

…Maybe men aren’t so bad after all…maybe they’re still just trying to figure out how to live in the modern world…?

I know, that’s a hell of a leap…right?! From lions to 21st Century man!

But I feel a softening in my heart when I think of men this way, and that’s better than feeling angry and disappointed in the whole of them as a species.

It’s not their fault, any more than it is mine, that our roles have changed so dramatically and quickly.

Unlike the lion king and his lioness(es), who continue on exactly as they always have, we’re in the midst of a whole new dance…

Let’s pray that we learn the steps soon. Because, frankly, my feet are sore.