The Villaj Idiut: Switching

I always find it interesting to compare the marital habits of particular couples to, well, mine and my wife’s – if for no other reason than to see how weird everyone is.

One of the habits I’ve become fascinated with is which side of the bed people sleep on – assuming they are actually sleeping in the same bed and not pulling a Ricky and Lucy.

Haugh About That?: No longer that girl

As I practiced the words that scrolled down the teleprompter, my voice began to tremble with each screwup. “Ugh! Why can’t I get this right?” I moaned. Painful memories from my youth flooded my mind and I broke into tears.

When I was young, I grappled with a learning disability that went undiagnosed. Back in the 1950s, why a child’s brain struggled with academics had yet to be discovered. Instead, you were labeled slow – or worse, stupid. Fortunately, I developed tricks along the way to help me get through grade school, but reading out loud terrified me. Never wanting to deal with the humiliation that came with blunders, each time the teacher called for volunteers to read the next paragraph, I did a nosedive under my desk, praying not to be seen. Sadly, high school was no different.

Haugh About That?: My final responsibility

Going through massive amounts of paperwork, my brother Dave and I cringed. How could our father, a brilliant and organized man, leave such a mess with his estate? What Dad thought were simple instructions would take a year, several attorneys, extra money and a judge’s ruling to clear up his intent. Wasn’t losing him suffering enough? The paperwork became pure torture.

A Piece of My Mind: The perils of privacy

Facebook has allowed massive distribution of the personal data of its users! Hackers have stolen personal information about customers from retailers and banks! Privacy is under threat!

New European regulations will stifle the growth of social media companies! Regulation will stifle entrepreneurial development of new digital consumer products! Free enterprise is under threat!

A Piece of My Mind: Let's have fun

I’m sitting on the balcony of our hotel room overlooking the beach. It is a beautiful day, warm enough to tempt children and teenagers into the water without wetsuits, and the beach is dotted with colorful umbrellas and sun tents and beach towels and beach toys and sand-castles in the making. Up near the steps leading down to the beach is a small playground, with a twisty slide and two sets of swings, six swings in each set, all occupied by kids and pre-teens industriously pumping back and forth.

But I notice something odd. Here we are at the beach with yards of soft sand in front of each swing, but no one is bailing into the sand at the peak of their swing, landing on their knees laughing after flying through the air for a magical few seconds. I watch and wait for the first adventurous child to go sailing through the air, but it doesn’t happen. It seems no one knows how. It seems that jumping out of a swing has never occurred to them.

No Shoes, Please: Mindfulness

Sometimes I wish I could dump the contents of my mind onto a coffee table and rifle through the detritus like I’m scavenging for the prettiest seashells among the shards. I’d collect the best ideas and aspirations, reinsert them in my head, scrap the rest and let the empty space sit as a beautiful expanse that attracts creativity and awe.

Unfortunately, I can’t actually do anything close to that; therefore, thoughts of tasks I need to get to, random observations, insignificant memories and jingles from television commercials of my youth meander around my brain like lost tourists. (“My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name, it’s M-A-Y-E-R. Oh I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why I’ll say, ‘’Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.’”)

No Shoes, Please: Suffer the little children

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has implemented a policy that separates children from their parents at the border. This occurs even when families apply for asylum, a legal option for foreigners to enter this country. According to the Department of Homeland Security, an average of 67 children are being separated from their parents per day, and nearly 12,000 are currently in custody, an anticipated 20,000 by August.

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