Overheard at the Denver Airport

This snippet of a conversation. . .

Two young men—late teens, early 20s—were discussing books.

Pete:  “Do you read much?”

RePete:  “You mean like, books?  Not really.”

Pete: “I was reading a book last week that is really good.  Amazingly, it was from the 1930s, I think.”

RePete: “Were you reading it like ‘words on a page’ or like an audio?”

Pete:  “An audio—why would I read words on a page?”

My initial thought is “What? You aren’t reading when you listen to an audio book!”

But that may just be my expectation that people use words accurately—reading is a specific action.  My second thought is my belief that people process information we read differently than we process information we hear—I think reading is easier and faster than listening to someone else read, and easier to review if you want to clarify something—you don’t have to play back on an MP3, just reread.  I also know my mind sometimes wanders and plays “let’s free associate” when I am listening to a book while driving. So for me, the two things are not interchangeable.

But I know people differ on how they process information, and some people with certain learning disabilities might find this the best method to get information.  I also know a lot of people listen to books while doing housework or other repetitive tasks, or while driving.  But do they consider it “reading”.  Somehow, I’d be more comfortable if the kid had said “I listened to a book the other night that was written in the 1930s.”

Or, maybe I should get with the program and go read a show on NPR.

Disco Inferno

DiscoBallVectorIllustrationPhilip and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a networking event while we were at a conference that turned out to be one of the more pleasant such events ever and a bit disturbing. First — the fun.
This event was hosted by a LRV(Large, Rich Vendor) and we were guests of one of LRV’s clients, who is also one of ours. We got there, found our client and she helped us network with a few other people. However, this night turned moved immediately from “vendor networking event” to PARTY!
LRV provided a serious buffet with Kobe beef sliders, flat breads, dips and chips and cheeses and crackers and truffle flavored French fries. They also had an open bar, unfettered by the limitations of drink tickets. All of this overlooking a large dance floor and on the stage. . . a disco cover band called Le Freak.
I had Googled the band and was not sure how they’d be, given their satirical bent. I also know how many 70s things are flat out mocked in movies, but, free is good, and we were in town to network, so we would NETWORK!
When we arrived, the band had just started playing, and about 4 women were dancing in a group and one couple had hit the floor. Sounds like a Junior High Dance, doesn’t it?
But soon, all that changed. (I did mention the open bar.) The band was doing a very good job with the music, had a ribald banter that loosened up the crowd, and was playing song after song that scored a direct bull’s eye for the demographic of the room, which was 55 plus or minus a decade, for the most part. Early in the first set, people were hitting the dance floor in larger numbers.
People in their 50s, of various fitness levels and body types, flocked to the dance floor. Plump guys in pleated Dockers were getting down, and doing such a good job with the old Disco steps, you could almost see them at 17. Cowboys in boots and hats were swinging their partner, not quite Do-Si-Do but since it was Texas, there were people doing a country swing dance to a disco beat—and everybody in the place was having fun. In a very short time anyone who wasn’t dancing was singing along to every song.
This led to the disturbing part of the night. The group played KC and the Sunshine Band’s song with the deep and compelling lyrics:

That’s the way, unh-huh, unh-huh
I like it, unh-huh, unh-huh.

Like most people, the woman at the next table was singing along. And she was putting serious moves on her husband–very serious moves—almost embarrassingly serious moves, which he seemed to be brushing off. That was less disturbing to me than noticing that, as she was pawing his arm/back/neck in time to the music, The Dancing Queen is no longer only 17, and she has age spots!  She was tall, slim, dressed in a top with just a touch of disco glitter and, on closer observation, she not only had age spots, she could be described as frail!
ACK!! Old ladies are not supposed to know all the words do disco songs (NOTE: given my age, when I think of someone as an old lady, they are pretty old). While I’ve long recognized that when I hit the nursing home, the music we’ll listen to will include Queen and ABBA. I just wasn’t expecting to see the first wave of the Disco Generation look so ready to check in to Shady Pines quite yet!
Of course, any 30 year old in the place was probably thinking the same thing about ME!

Here’s to the Past, the Future and Today

Hand uncorking a wine bottle

Thanks, Younger Grace and Philip!

Last night, we opened a bottle of wine that our younger selves bought and put away for us.  And it was quite a tasty treat!  It was a bottle of 1997 Stag’s Leap, bought when we were much less knowledgeable about wine, but were eager to learn more. In those days–like a lot of people– we had a decent income and comparatively low outgo, so—yay—we could afford good wine to lay up. And it did a very nice job of laying up and was a treat when we opened the bottle. 

But it reminds me that I am “Younger Grace” compared to someday.  So I need to figure out what kinds of good things I can do today to ensure that Someday Grace is happy and grateful for what I did or didn’t do going forward from today!  And while that likely includes buying a bit more wine for the cellar, it can also be saving a few more bucks to do everything from buy food to updating my house or maybe splurge as a space tourist when I’m retired.  And I think I’d love a driverless car. I probably ought to exercise a bit more, so that Someday Grace can get around well enough to do the things she/I’ll want to do .   Someday Grace, I’ll keep you in mind when I decide how to spend our money and our time…. 


Three Women Walking

The link takes you to one of my favorite sculptures, Three Women Walking (Tres Mujeres Caminando) which represents three stages of femininity: the young, the matronly, and the elderly. It shows a woman walking, as a youthful woman is walking in the opposite direction moving away from her and an older woman is walking behind her, seemingly gaining on her.


calendarDo you make New Year’s Resolutions? Many people I know are so goals oriented that they have multiple times a year that they evaluate and set new goals. Some friends of mine have an annual theme. They use their theme word or sentence as a rallying cry for the year—to cheer one another on, when making a toast, to celebrate a victory or recover from a setback. We are using a “best year” theme because, it looks like it should be our best year for business in a while, and we are both optimistic about it being a good year health wise, money wise and just life in general.
When asked about resolutions this year, I mentioned our goal setting strategy –we take time to sit down and go over individual and couples goals with each other for short term, mid-term and long term – and ranging from work to home life to recreational goals/wants. We have moved away from resolutions, per se, and toward implementing Continual Improvement Process methods in our lives. If I strive to be better and more aware of things on an ongoing basis, improvement should come.
And let’s face it… I want what most of us want—health, love, security, a certain amount of pleasure and learning of new things. A challenge here and there. The specifics may change over time, but the truth is I want to continue improving, whatever that may mean or however it may be measured, because I believe that people don’t stand still—and if we are not moving forward, in whatever way we can, we are losing ground.