Don’t Touch That Dial (Or, a brief digression about waiting room televisions, HGTV, and the reasons why the pursuit of knowledge is more fun than knowledge itself)

I was at our local hospital’s imaging center a few days ago for a couple of CT scans. I’ll spare you the reasons at this time, because that’s not the point of this post. If it becomes something worth talking about, you can rest assured that I will. My wife and I were sitting in […]

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Cognitive Dissonance (or: a brief digression about God, the Scientific Method, a family history with alcoholism, and a belated requiem for The Cars’ Benjamin Orr)

According to Psychology Today, the term cognitive dissonance is defined thusly: Cognitive dissonance is a term for the state of discomfort felt when two or more modes of thought contradict each other. The clashing cognitions may include ideas, beliefs, or the knowledge that one has behaved in a certain way. I’ve been aware of the […]

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Cinematic Perspective (Or, a brief digression about sensory engagement in movies, writing dialogue and narrative POV)

You like movies? I like movies. Some movies, anyway. Stories told through the medium of motion pictures tend to be memorable because they engage the senses of the person watching them. Sight and sound, certainly. These are the two obvious senses engaged. But, I think I can make a case for the other senses as […]

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“Hey, Guys!” (Or: a brief digression about gender-neutral terms and how an old dog can learn a new trick)

Like so many of you out there, I’ve used the term “guys” when referring to groups of people comprised of both sexes. I never once thought the word would make anyone feel excluded. In fact, I’ve always considered it a gender-neutral term. It’s not, however. The first Merriam-Webster definition of guy is “MAN; FELLOW.” While […]

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A Story is Born (or: a brief digression about fiction writing, idea generation, and Gilmore Girls)

During the last six months of 2021, I managed to get 10,000 words written of a novel-length story idea that’s been percolating in the back of my head for more than twenty years. Since I average 250 words per printed page (double-spaced, 12-point type), that’s forty pages. Not a bad start. These forty pages are […]

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Nonplussed about Unpaired Words (or: a brief digression about problematic words, Euclidian geometry, and Sesame Street)

This bit of tangential thinking was forced upon me by the word “nonplussed.” Which reminds me (a tangent of a tangent—I should coin a word for this definition), of Sesame Street, a show that existed even when I was young, kids, only with more Big Bird and no Elmo. The show would always announce that […]

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Tiger-Man, Tiger-Man…Does Whatever a Tiger Can? (or: a brief digression about the pursuit of happiness, Steve Ditko, and how memories sometimes resurface without warning)

My personal pursuit of happiness involves several variables, two of the most important being looking forward and looking back. The looking forward component involves the planning for—and anticipation of—future events or activities. This can be special moments, such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or vacations. Or, it could be the release of an anticipated movie, book […]

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Why We Hate Each Other (or, a brief digression about why I think “Imagine” is a pretty neat song)

I attended college with an Iraqi named Ibrahim who was a couple of years older than I was. He had a metal plate in his head from injuries sustained in the Iran-Iraq War. He was a friendly guy whose name was easy to remember because he resembled American president Abraham Lincoln. Seriously. Summon an image […]

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But, I Digress . . .: a brief digression about the massive size of the internet and why you shouldn’t feel bad for calling yourself a writer.

There’s a scene in an episode of Seinfeld in which a woman cheers on hundreds of marathon runners by shouting, “You’re all winners!” A few years ago, I wrote a rather short essay that still managed to wander off-topic in spite of its brevity entitled “Everyone is a Writer.” No exclamation point, but it might […]

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Generation X (Or: a brief digression about putting people in boxes and calling them names)

“Millennials may know more about my iPhone than I do, but very few of them have been taught how to properly address an envelope.” I’m a window clerk for the US Postal Service, and I’ve actually said the above sentence before. Out loud. Where people could hear me. I usually get a chorus of agreement […]

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