Day 251. Meandering Tales

No, it’s not a typo. Or a spelling mistake. I didn’t mean to write ‘trails’. I meant to write exactly what I wrote: ‘Tales”. “Meandering Tales”. David Sedaris was in meanderingtown last night. And I went with a friend. It was her idea. I didn’t even know he was coming.

I’m a fan, so I agreed immediately. And his ‘show’ was every bit as good as I’d hoped. Maybe even better.

The place was packed; and it’s a very large venue. Sometimes I think I really do walk around in a fog. That I’m oblivious to what’s going on all around me. I didn’t realize he was so popular. I didn’t expect it to be sold-out.

What planet do I inhabit? Really.

H E L L O.

Earth calling Fransi, I guess.

In case you’re not familiar with him, he’s a writer. A very prolific writer. An author. And humorist. And comedian. And

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Day 153. Living Simpler

On Friday I wrote about how we often say we need something, when in fact we don’t.  We just want whatever it happens to be.  Or at least we used to.  Because fishbowlmore and more I’m sensing a change.  In people I know and also in me.

A fair number of you commented and generally we were all of the same mind.  Nobody’s spending irresponsibly.  One comment, from Cupcake Travels, reminded me of my own life, and how different I’ve become.  She mentioned, now that she’s moved to France, how much less ‘stuff’ she needs; and how liberating it is.

I’ve bought and sold a few houses in my time, and I went through this phase where nothing was big enough for me.  Absolutely ridiculous.  I remember going to see a HUGE, old, four-bedroom house on a HUGE lot.  As if that wasn’t enough, it had an enormous addition on the back.  True, it was a gorgeous family room, but I was one person.

Really, what was I going to do with all that space?  And when, exactly, was I going to take care of the lawns Continue reading

Day 59. O Canada

Like millions of folks the world over, I also watched the 2012 Presidential debate last night.  No, I am not going there.  There’s enough regurgitation going on, without adding my opinion.  Consider yourselves spared.  Besides, I have a whole other point I want to make.

I was also monitoring social media.  Among my Facebook friends, there wasn’t that much conversation going on.  Some (I was probably the most vocal), but not a lot.  Twitter was going nuts, though.  Not surprising.  It was all fun and games until I saw a post from The New Yorker‘s Nick Paumgarten, who tweeted:  “What is this, Canada?”  I saw red.  Well, red and white, actually; and tweeted back:  “You should be so lucky.”

And so he should.

The lack of knowledge about this country (Canada) by too many of our neighbours to the South has always frustrated, disappointed and annoyed me.  As a child when I went to Continue reading

Day 23. We’re Adrift

In the immortal words of Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On?”  When did we lose our way?  When did lying, cheating, plagiarizing and brazenly breaking the law  become the new normal?  The new standard by which we live.

It turns out that the man the whole world believed was one of our greatest athletes, used illicit performance enhancing drugs.  Year after year after year, Lance Armstrong cheated and lied his way to victory.   A famous, and revered, football coach watched, in silence, as young boys were being sexually molested right under his nose.  Time after time after time, Joe Paterno knowingly allowed the most heinous of crimes to be committed, so Penn State would continue to attract budding football stars; and big donations.  Rupert Murdoch, the founder, Chairman and CEO of the world’s second-largest media conglomerate saw nothing wrong with hacking the phones of celebrities, royalty and private citizens.  For the kind of attention-grabbing headlines that sell newspapers — regardless of whether or not they were true, and regardless of the damage it caused his victims.

Jonah Lehrer, a brilliant, successful 31-year old author fabricated Bob Dylan quotes for his latest book, “Imagine:  How Creativity Works”.  And if that’s not bad enough, his publisher is apparently thinking of re-publishing a corrected version of it.  Why?  Well, of course, I know why.  But the answer disgusts me.  Because they’ll probably sell more books and make more money than they otherwise would have — even if the original version had sold exceptionally well.  Because now it’s controversial.  It’s achieved a whole new level of fame.  It’s no longer a book.  It’s a conversation piece.

But what’s really troublesome is, if that book comes out again then we are turning our backs on the fact that the author made stuff up.  And maybe, just maybe, he made other stuff up, as well.  But he got fired from his magazine-writing jobs, so who cares.  He was publicly humiliated, so who cares.  For a minute, but never mind.  Now let’s all make some money.

And what about the CNN host and Time Magazine columnist, Fareed Zakaria, who plagiarized Jill Lepore’s essay in the New Yorker?  So boo-hoo, he got suspended for a month!  And then he got to go back to all his high-paying jobs.  And his face was red for a couple of days.  Come on.  I know he didn’t murder anyone, but the Continue reading