The week gone by — Oct. 10

Try listening to “Gangnam Style” by Psy and not sway your head and shoulders or shake your hips at least a little bit, whether you’re on your feet or sitting down.

Go ahead … I dare you.

If you’re feeling especially spry, you might even pantomime ride a horse or swing a lasso.

I had actually forgotten how much of a sensation “Gangnam Style” was, including being the first music video to hit a billion views on YouTube. (It’s now over 4 billion, although it’s no longer the most-watched video on the service.)

I don’t speak Korean, and either didn’t know or remember the English translation or that it was satire about the wealthy Gangnam district in Seoul.

It was just a fun, goofy song that was a big hit almost 10 years ago, but when I randomly heard it recently, I felt a spring in my step, like a small jolt of energy at the end of the day.

What I wrote

I managed to post something every day this week, although I dipped into the archives for a couple of them.

While I once joked about putting my awesome laundry and dishwashing skills on my resume, I was part of a serious discussion about listing vaccination status.

“While I’m perfectly willing to tell anyone who asks (or even anyone who doesn’t) that I’m vaccinated, it never occurred to me that it would actually help on a resume.”

Facebook and Instagram were down the other day. (Perhaps you heard.) I remembered a decision I made to make Facebook a lot less stressful.

“I’ll still argue sports or more-frivolous, less-emotional stuff, but almost never politics. (I use this same approach for family gatherings.)”

I contributed advice on public speaking for a group post on Laura’s Books and Blogs.

“Whether you’re giving a speech to a class in college, talking on the radio, making a presentation at a conference, explaining a concept at a meeting, speaking to a local community group (all of which I’ve done) or whatever reason everyone’s eyes and ears are on you, the first obstacle to overcome in public speaking is the fear of public speaking.”

Do computers know things … like, actual human things? I’m starting to wonder.

“I’m not sure how it knows, because while it was built to do many things, I’m pretty sure understanding the passage of time and how the end comes for all of us wasn’t one of them.”

Is technology becoming that person in the office?

“Like the phone call, I’m sure the text was automated, meaning the state has developed a computerized version of the coworker who calls you to ask if you got the email he or she just sent.”

Never promise what you can’t deliver.

“Having just come from Boston, I could have easily told the pilot that getting off the plane, going through Immigration, claiming luggage, checking luggage back in for the domestic flight, going through Customs, getting to the Porter terminal and getting on the plane was going to take a hell of a lot longer than 15 to 20 minutes.”

Last call!

I’m planning a blog post where people share how old they feel. Some people have already committed, and I plan on inviting others, but if you to take part, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

Stuff I read

Austin has gone off the deep end. He got new windows for his house.

“My name is Austin, and today I embraced change.

It might make me nervous, I’ll probably fret about the cost for a while, but I’m hoping it at least clears the path for me to open up my mind to making further changes.

Please keep me in your prayers…”

Fran’s writing is usually pretty light-hearted, but this topic is definitely not (nor should it be).

“Women are told to be streetwise and that we need to take responsibility for our safety, but we are unable to do anything when someone sends us inappropriate content. The tools just are not there. It is so easy for a website to ban an IP address (as I’ve learned to my cost, which is why I’m very careful on Twitter these days) but it seems that social networks care more about colourful language than — let’s call it what it is — harassment and women’s safety.”

One of the members of T.B.C. is still afraid of the dark, and not without reason.

“Whenever I find myself in the dark – which is not very often now as I have a car, but like any ‘good girl’ I tend to stick to main roads with street lamps. I make sure I am walking facing the traffic, like I have always been told to throwing the odd glance behind me. I also take out my head phones so that I can hear the sounds around me; cars slowing down, footsteps on the other side of the road, laughter/loud voices coming towards me from the other direction. My heart starts racing whenever I hear loud, raised voices. I’m always amiss to know whether they are the voices of an argument, drunken bravado, or just an enthusiastic discussion.”

The onset of a depressive episode has Renata thinking of a book she read as a child.

“But there is hope! Every day and every depressive episode we live, we learn more. I know some of the different things that can help me feel okay in the moment, and I know not to get caught up in the Milo way of thinking. Instead of thinking ‘why go out, I’ll just want to be home once I leave,’ I can flip it to ‘going out will get me out of my head and get me talking to cool people!’”

It hasn’t always been easy, but Rosie has learned what a relationship is supposed to look like.

“Along with honest conversations with my friends about their relationships, I really began to see that a good relationship is one where you just love being with each other and you choose each other every single day. You don’t need to profess your undying love at every moment, there doesn’t need to be some great obstacles, there doesn’t need to be fireworks at every kiss — especially when you’re years into the the relationship.

A good relationship just is. Everyone used to say to me ‘when you know, you know’ and I’m here to tell you that you don’t HAVE to know right now, but eventually there will come a time when you know it’s it or you know it’s not.”

Christina celebrated 13 years sober.

“We need to remember our past achievements. It is incredibly important. It will help in times when we are feeling down or Stuck in a funk or on days when we feel like things are taking longer to accomplish than we had hoped. That was how I was feeling until my awesome 13 year milestone.”

Graham felt some optimism about his youth soccer team’s game. Things did not work out as he had hoped. (There was soccer news more to his liking during the week, albeit not without controversy.)

“We lost the game 6-0 and to use boxing parlance we barely laid a glove on them. I’ve coached these lads for just over 4 years now and I don’t think I’ve felt so frustrated in that time.”

Jackie is all about consistency. Unfortunately for her, it’s that her favorite baseball team has consistently lost a lot of games.

“Fun Fact: Do you know how long it takes to become numb to losing? 99 games.

After the 99th loss, you just want to see how many more games they can lose before Major League Baseball steps in and says, ‘Hey, we love your enthusiasm and all, but maybe Triple A is a better place for you.’”

Pea Green has been writing and promoting her writing less. Her numbers are down, but it’s worth it.

“The time I spend on blog ‘admin’ has reduced drastically, leaving me with more time to help small boy with his spellings or listen to him read, to chat with friends, to plan the weekend and to accommodate my new responsibility ‘managing’ the under 6 and 7 rugby teams for our club (with varying degrees of success for that last one).”

Claudia wrote her first post in six months. I’m glad she’s back.

“The pandemic literally sucked the life out of me and what was always a great side hustle (albeit non-lucrative)/hobby/distraction/passion/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, became the last thing I wanted to spend my free time on which I had lots of!”

Jeff remembers a departed friend … with a weird story.

“The box was 7 inches square and flat and still nearly pristine. Inside, we spied a Super 8 movie reel, the film intact.

In that age before DVD’s and certainly before internet video, the weeds had delivered to us a pornographic movie.”

Dillard finally got his gravestone. Liz tells the story.

“Earlier this year, Father Bill visited the cemetery and stopped at Dillard’s grave. When he saw the boy didn’t have a gravestone, he set up a fund and raised enough from donations to purchase and place a marker.”

Emily sees a trend, and she does not like it.

“Obviously yet another patriarchal fraud is being foisted on the American public. It’s the campaign to make young white men the stars of cat loving.”

Vee loves adventures.

“Being among the skyscrapers in a city where I couldn’t ever explore everything fills me with a sense of wonder and a desire to walk more, see more, and do more. Being among the trees, deep in the mountains, fills me with a sense of admiration for our world and how the most beautiful things on earth aren’t man-made. Being at the beach fills me with a sense of calm, listening to the waves crash the shore, watching the tides roll in and out and feeling like the universe is far greater then I could ever imagine.”

Becky was a little discouraged at her last 5K, but tried to keep it in perspective.

“But I have to look at the current situation: this race was moved 4 times because of a pandemic, that we’re still in; I’ve been extremely busy this past summer with moving into my condo and getting out and enjoying some parts of life again; and that I’m not running as much as I did in 2019, when I think I was in my better running shape. No matter where I finished in the race, I still got a t-shirt, medal, and beer after. People were still cheering us on as we came into the finish line. And just as I was looking up to the half marathoners, I’m sure there are people out there who look up to the 5K runners.”

Michelle and her husband have moved from South Africa to Australia … but first, quarantine.

“The hotel is nice. We’re not allowed to leave our rooms and our food is brought to us. Actually, anything we need is brought to us. Even if we just collect something outside our door, we have to wear masks. But I understand why it’s mandatory.

It’s day 3 of our quarantine, and I’m still jetlagged. I’m not bored — I have assignments to write and tests to study for, but do you think I’m doing that? No, I’m procrastinating like a pro.”

Had Italy changed while Jackie in Italy was in America, or had she? Whichever it was, it took her a while to get settled after coming back.

“My feet were planted on this very ground. Firmly in Italy now. Yes, my heart was still over there, stuck in limbo and not ready to leave. But somehow, in the middle of Italian art and medieval churches and Antonello holding my hand: in this pocket of the early evening, my heart was finally here as well.”

Jen is having trouble falling asleep, which has led to some interesting questions.

Are dogs bilingual?

How do newbie penguins know their travel route every winter?”

Tweets I liked

If this is actually real, which I doubt, it looks quite nice. Also cold.

I know that Maine, however, is both real and quite pleasant.

I can’t wait until they bring back almost everyone from this year and hope that things will be different this time. (Yes, I know this is in the same post as a story about a team that’s great at losing 100-plus games a year. We all feel angst in different ways.)

The older you get, the shorter that distance becomes.

13 thoughts on “The week gone by — Oct. 10

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