Whose Laughing Now?

When I was conceived, God went through his check list. When he got to “ears?” I thought he said “beers” and asked for “two large ones”.

Consequently, as a child, after moms took me to the barber, people would say I “looked like a taxi cab going down the street with its doors open.” 

Fast forward to the global ‘pan. Look who can hang their mask on their ear when walking between classes. Meanwhile, all the sad sacks who made fun of me sticking theirs in their sorry pockets.

Whose laughing now suckers?! 

If There’s Any Justice In The World

If the Seattle Mariner magic continues this weekend and they close out the season with a sweep of the “Los Angeles” Angels and make the playoffs, all will be forgiven and forgotten by each and every Specific Northwesterner: Jeff Bezos, the endemic, the unprecedented heat and wild fires, the traffic nightmares, the fractured politics, the Seahawk’s defense, the antiquated airport, the creeping wetness and darkness.

92-70. See it. Believe it.

Postscript: 91-71?

Paragraph To Ponder

From Slate.

“Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley was first elected to political office in 1958, midway through the second term of President Dwight Eisenhower. I learned this fact earlier this year and have thought about it every day since. At 88, he is the oldest Republican senator, and second-oldest overall by a few months (to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein), in the oldest Senate in American history. He will turn 89 shortly before the 2022 midterms, in which, as he announced on Friday morning, he will seek reelection yet again. If he wins, which he probably will, his six-year term will end when he is 95.”

Who will be the first centenarian member of Congress?

Monday Required Reading and Listening

The semester is in full swing. Time to raise your game.

  1. Our high-speed transport future. Doubt I’ll live long enough to find out if it’s 670 (Branson) or 760 (Musk) miles per hour.
  2. And the future of weight-loss.
  3. How to help kids struggling with their mental health.
  4. The best young adult author going explains how to connect with kids through the written word.
  5. China’s Hot New Rental Service: Men Who Actually Listen. Groovy, we’re trending.
  6. Astute Ryder Cup analysis you’ve been clamoring for. I hope the U.S. hasn’t “ushered in a new era”. I prefer my Ryder Cups like I do the Good Wife, close.

Are You ‘Misliving’?

William Irvine’s The Guide To The Good Life is an attempt to reinvent Stoicism for the 21st Century. Irvine argues that everyone should have a philosophy of life that includes specific strategies for achieving their primary objective(s) in life. Absent an intentional plan, at the end of life, people will regret that they have “mislived”.

Put differently, one should live intentionally, not spontaneously. He acknowledges few people do so mostly because of the “endless stream of distractions” that keeps them from clarifying what’s most important. And he made that point before social media and streaming television both exploded.

If pressed though, I’m guessing Irvine would acknowledge rewarding times in his life when he acted spontaneously, when he said yes to an unexpected invitation or adventure.

I wonder if the answer to the dilemma of just how intentional to be in planning one’s life lies in the tides, meaning there should be some sort of natural ebb and flow between intentionality and spontaneity.

The older other people and I get, the more set we become in our daily routines. Losing some of our youthful spontaneity, we should carefully consider the improvisors’ dictum of always saying YES. Okay, “always” is unrealistic, but what about “more often”?

A LOT of my acquaintances and friends have died lately, almost all of them from cancer, a scourge we may be sleeping on amidst the endemic. Being my age, their deaths have got me thinking about my own.

Despite not having an explicit philosophy of life, if I die sometime soon, and have time to reflect on my six decades*, I wouldn’t at all think I had mislived. Quite the opposite. I would be grateful for all the meaningful friendships; all the socially redeeming work; and all the fond memories of things including athletics, traveling, and especially family.

Lately, I’ve felt a deep and profound sense of contentment for most everything including my new and improved health, our home, and the natural environment in which it sits.

That very spiritual sense of contentment doesn’t have to conspire against saying YES to new invitations and adventures does it? To continual growth?

Presently, I’m most interested in personal growth. Professionally there’s nothing I feel a need to accomplish. My plan is to spend my remaining days learning to listen more patiently and empathetically to others—whether the Good Wife, my daughters, you, my students, everyone. That could easily take several more decades. Guess I should keep exercising and eating healthily.

*meaning not on my bike :)