There are lessons we all learn as a kid. A few years later, we forget them. We all learn that when someone teases us, the most effective tactic is to ignore the taunting. The apparent indifference causes those hassling us to move on to another target.
How soon we forget.
Crossing The Line
In the United States, the Christmas holiday shopping season has been traditionally defined as starting the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving was a solid line that no one crossed. There were no Christmas holiday sales on the Wednesday before, but there were discounts galore on the Friday following.
And then retailers started toying with their hours on the Friday after Thanksgiving, moving their opening times to 8 a.m., then 6…and then earlier. There were special discounts available, if you were one of the adventurous souls who were there when the doors opened. People didn’t ignore the tease, they bought into it…and they bought like mad.
Recently, stores have crossed that once solid line. They’ve started opening on Thanksgiving with “unbeatable offers”. Some of us have responded in that uniquely American way – whining about how sad it is that the holiday has been violated as we drive to the stores. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m not a fan of politicians. No matter what end of the spectrum they purport to represent, in the end, they represent the people who paid to get them elected. They represent those who contributed in proportion to the amount paid.
A few years ago I dipped my toe in politics. Some of you may remember that I ran for president against Donald Trump. I announced my candidacy. A few weeks later, the Trump campaign went into a tail spin. A week later, I drove him out of the race. In just over a month, I vanquished one of the richest men in the United States.
Today, I come before you to announce that I am a candidate for the office of Mayor of Toronto, Canada.
We all know that fine city is currently being run by a Mayor who is short on sense, but has plenty of vices. Mayor Rob Ford has admitted that he has smoked crack, but claims he is not addicted to it. Yeah. He’s the one human on the planet who hasn’t become addicted after smoking crack.
There’s also talk of sexual harassment, physical attacks, drunk driving and prostitution. Just in the past few days he’s made some unfortunate sexual references and bowled over an elderly woman. Surprisingly, those last two were not in the same incident.
He’s got to go.
Dispensing With A Technicality
I’m certain that my lack of Canadian citizenship is the first issue that came to mind for many of you. That could be a deal killer. But before we throw me out of the race prematurely, let me argue that my opponent, Mr. Ford, is not much of a Canadian citizen either. Read the rest of this entry »
Preparing for what life throws at us is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves.
I find myself in a lot of situations, unsure of how I got there, or how I’ll get through it. I prefer to prepare by thinking through situations ahead of time when I can. Visualizing what success will look like and considering what I’ll have to do to get there helps me develop action plans.
Sometimes it doesn’t work that way. Just the other day, I ran across a solution for a problem I don’t have.
I Wasn’t Looking
On Saturday, I watched a college football game. The teams playing weren’t ones I’m connected with; I watch a lot of games just to appreciate the art of the game itself. As the announcers discussed one of the plays, the name of a defensive lineman for Ohio State hit me right in the ear – Noah Spence.
Mr. Spence played well; I’m sure he’s a great student and will go far in whatever he chooses to do. But he has one of those names that makes me think “someone didn’t say that name aloud before they gave it to that kid.”
Noah Spence. Noah Spence.
Noah Spence is a great name because it is a great play on words.
And then it hit me. Being Noah Spence could be useful, and not just to the student-athlete on the Ohio State defensive line. In a very specific situation, one that I don’t foresee myself in, I might change my name to Noah Spence. Read the rest of this entry »
Last year, someone told me about Elf On A Shelf. Elf On A Shelf is a way to milk a little more good behavior out of young children around Christmas.
The way this works is that you buy an elf doll and put it in your house. You tell your little one that the elf works for Santa and is in the house to see who is being naughty or nice. The elf supposedly goes to the North Pole to report to Santa every night, so you’ve got to move him while your children sleep.
Theoretically, with this elf watching what goes on in their home, kids won’t chance being caught misbehaving.
This elf business has become a business. Elf dolls, books and assorted other paraphernalia are sold to support this “tradition”.
You know what isn’t really for sale? Tradition. Tradition happens, tradition develops. Tradition doesn’t come with a receipt, except at Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »
I love music. Dancing is pretty good too, if someone else is doing it. When I take over running the world, my administration will support music, dance and all the arts.
Generally, my administration will support the arts without regard to my opinion of them. I don’t like rap music, but I see that some people do. I don’t enjoy ballet, other people love it. I’ll support both rap and ballet, despite my distaste for both.
But when I say generally, smart Blurt readers (as if there were another kind) realize that there is at least one exception to my support of the arts. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s a quiet day, so I’m doing some extra writing. This one’s in response to a prompt on The Daily Post suggesting writing the answers to the ten questions James Lipton asks all his guests on Inside The Actor’s Studio.
If you write and don’t subscribe to The Daily Post, you should fix that.
After James Lipton’s introduction, I’d walk onto the set wearing jeans, my Brooks Robinson jersey and tennis shoes. I’d smile, wave, have a drink of water, wave again and sit down as the applause died down. “I don’t know why I had to have water there, does applause usually make people thirsty?” James would laugh heartily, then begin his interview…
“Omawarisan, you’ve been a pizza maker, a church grounds keeper, an usher in a sports arena, a police officer and a hostage negotiator. What brings you to The Actor’s Studio?” Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve recently noticed that the Do Not Disturb signs in hotels almost always have the same message on both sides. The old signs, with a message on one side to the housekeeper that the room was ready for cleaning, are rare.
While this isn’t a change that’ll end the world, I feel somewhat responsible for the fact that it became necessary. I regret my part in causing it.
Yes, I flip other people’s “Do Not Disturb” signs to the “Please Make Up This Room” side.
It started when I was a kid. I’d noticed the sign in a hotel room my family shared. On the way to check out, I flipped my first sign. What could be funnier than some person having a hotel housekeeper walk in on them sleeping? I didn’t know, so I picked a door and changed its “do not disturb” to “make up this room right away.” It was an impulsive, childish thing to do.
Once we were on the road, I told my parents what I’d done. Perhaps it seems odd that I did that. There was some logic in my decision to tell on myself.
I think, as a rule, funny stuff isn’t funny unless you share it. I shared with my mom and dad. They did not see the humor in what I’d done. There are exceptions to every rule. Read the rest of this entry »