Want to be a public speaker?

Does the thought of public speaking make you cringe?

If so, I get it. It can be kind of scary.

Although I don’t have any advice on how to be a great public speaker, as someone who studied public speaking and has done a fair amount of it, I do have a recommendation on how to be a public speaker, which I wrote about for Laura from Laura’s Books and Blogs.

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Things we believe in

A couple months ago, I saw an essay in The New York Times by Mike Schur and Todd May titled “What We Believe About Freedom.”

It was part of the Times’ “The Big Ideas: What Do We Believe?” series, and although it’s probably behind a paywall unless you subscribe, they wrote about how “freedom” does not absolve us of responsibility for others.

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Open mouth, insert both feet

My buddy Renata from Buffalo Sauce Everywhere and I are up to our old tricks, this time sharing memories from high school, since she graduated so very long ago … you know, 10 years. To read her tales, including how she gamed the rules for a history competition, click here.

Along with customers and staff who are on a first-name basis and being able to walk up to the counter to refill your coffee without law enforcement getting involved, one of the distinguishing features of real, proper diners — as opposed to restaurants that may look like and even call themselves diners, but aren’t — is regular customers hanging out and shooting the breeze.

It also helps if they’re in small towns, like the one where I grew up and where my family has been regulars at various establishments for decades. (Most of the waitresses knew I was going to order a hot turkey sandwich and a large chocolate milk Friday nights before I even said anything.)

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All I am is me

“… Because I’m me, I don’t have to be like anyone else.

This doesn’t mean I’m some kind of wild nonconformist, because I’m really not. I’m actually fairly ordinary, even boring.

What it does mean is that if a highlight of my week is going upstairs on Thursday night to watch two hours of a former politician traveling around by train, it may not be your cup of tea (fitting, since the former politician is British), but it is mine.

Parties are fine, but I’d rather just hang out with one or two friends.”

The quote above is from a guest post my blogging buddy Renata was nice enough to ask me to write for her “Getting Real” series. To read the rest, go on over to Buffalo Sauce Everywhere, and if you like it (or anything else she writes), make sure you let her know on her blog!

If we only knew …

Remember the first week or 10 days of last March?

I know it feels like a century or two, but it was only a little more than a year ago that most of us were still enjoying the Before Times, unaware that we were just days away from the full force of a pandemic that would infect and kill millions, cripple countless businesses and turn people’s lives upside down … for more than a year.

But what if we had known?

What would we have done? What would we have not done?

Continue reading “If we only knew …”

Make me

There’s a guy up in Maine named Aaron.

He doesn’t seem to be the most-social guy in the world, but he has a best friend named Holly who thinks he personally hangs the moon every night.

I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual, but there’s something about the way Holly feels that’s … different.

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Getting lost in the albums

We’ve done Christmas music. We’ve done travel. We’ve done our “wild younger days,” and now I’ve joined up with my pal Renata from Buffalo Sauce Everywhere to write about our favorite albums. Be sure to read her post here.

I’m not “Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?” young, but the band people my parents’ age knew as Jefferson Airplane or Jefferson Starship was just called Starship by the time I first heard of them.

And that’s due to one album … “Knee Deep in the Hoopla.”

Specifically, the song “We Built This City.”

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Lessons in Loss: Y

“Sometimes loss is part of growing into the person we have become, sometimes it leaves us feeling like something’s fundamentally missing, sometimes we can’t remember what it was like before we lost whatever it was.”

That’s part of how one of my best blogging buddies, Pea Green over at Smelly Socks and Garden Peas, introduced her series called “Lessons in Loss.” (The photo above is her logo for the series.)

She asked several of her favorite bloggers to take part, and I’m happy to say that not only am I one of them, I’m kicking off the series!

It’s also my first guest post, and it’s about how losing a letter helped symbolize the process of growing up. Please go check it out, and if you like it, be sure to let her know. (Read her other stuff, too. It’s really good!)