Tapping the Brakes

Traffic JamThe highway traffic began to slow down.  Sixty-five was the speed limit, but when it hit fifty-five and then forty-five it was obvious that something had happened up ahead.  The curves and elevation changes of the road prevented seeing the cause, but everyone thought that it must be a bad wreck.

Forty.  Thirty.  Twenty.  Stop.  Nothing but tail lights and short tempers three lanes deep. Continue reading →

I hate liver.

Yukky Expression 02I hate liver.  I can still smell the pungent odor that was created when my mother cooked liver and onions.  I can still remember trying to stifle the gag reflex it caused when my parents told me to “eat your dinner.”  I can still feel its awful texture in my mouth and taste the nasty, livery flavor.

In short, you could never tempt me to eat liver.  I’d have to be starving before I’d let it pass by my lips.

Continue reading →

Letting People Down

down or depressedThe president began the meeting with, “We can’t do any business because we don’t have a quorum.”

It has happened before.  A carefully constructed agenda and set of to-do’s was turned into just an interesting conversation.  The meeting ended with nothing getting done in spite of the fact that the organizational clock was ticking.

Those who didn’t attend had lots of reasons.  Worked spilled over into the meeting time.  School called to ask a parent to attend to a sick child.  Second thoughts about belonging to our group.  Too many commitments and not enough time.  All legitimate reasons.  But all shutting down the actions of the group. Continue reading →

Great is Diana!

Artemis 02

Ephesus was a city in ancient Turkey, and it was the location of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a colossal temple to the goddess Diana, also called Artemis.

Having a temple to one of the gods in your town was like being near Yosemite or the Eiffel Tower.  People flock to such sites fora variety of reasons – religious and secular.

Around the Diana/Artemis’ temple various sorts of tourist vendors cropped up peddling likenesses of the many-breasted Diana.  “Get your genuine statue of Artemis.  You’ll love having this silver ornament on your mantel for all your guests to see.  Pray to her when you’re about to give birth or go on a hunting trip.  The goddess of women and hunting will help you.” Continue reading →

We’re going to Urinetown.

Urinetown 01We’re going to Urinetown this weekend. It will be the second time we’ve seen this Tony Award winning play.

The first time we saw the play was in San Francisco at the Curran Theatre. It was fun telling people about our intentions: “We’re going to see Urinetown in the City.”

“You’re in town? That’s a funny name for a Play.” Continue reading →

Paying Attention

Cleopas and friend 04

I was in a restaurant last week eating lunch with a friend when a fellow diner waved at me and called my name as he left the restaurant.

His face was familiar. His smile said, “I know you.” I’m sure I must have had coffee with him recently or share a group membership. But no name came to my mind. “Who is this person?” I thought.

I hoped my face did not betray my cluelessness. I put on a big smile and waved back even though I couldn’t dredge up a name to go with his face. If I had just a moment to converse with him, I could have figured out the mystery.

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5 Ways to Cause Others to Quit Listening

ListeningKeeping another person engaged in conversation is an art.  It cannot be assumed that others will be interested in what we are saying, and failing to pay attention to that fact can cause a person to become boorish, irritating, and repelling.  Who wants to be the person that sends others scurrying for the nearest exit?

There are some disciplines or tools that will keep others engaged.  Paying attention to these tools requires some attention and work, but it pays high dividends. Continue reading →