Book Lovers Lament

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While we are having some repair work done in our home office, I have temporarily moved my books to various locations around the house, leading me to wonder, once again, why I continue to own so many, especially considering how often we move.

I am a constant reader of books, but it’s not just their content I enjoy. I am a fan of books themselves. The actual objects.  I love holding books in my hands, feeling the weight and texture of them, touching the paper pages, and riffling them with my thumb. 

I enjoy studying the front and back covers of books, appreciating the design that has gone into creating them. Artful cover designs are one of the pleasurable things about owning a collection of books. I might not ever reread my books, but I will certainly look at them from time to time. Continue reading “Book Lovers Lament”

The End of Secrets

Ted in tuxI learned the identity of my biological father two years ago as the result of an autosomal DNA test. Without knowing his name, or anything about him, the test results connected me with cousins in my paternal family, and led to the knowledge of who my father had been.

After decades of fruitless searching, finding my father was an incredible achievement. But success stories like mine are far from unusual these days.

The number of people using DNA testing services has grown steadily during the last few years, increasing the chances of finding a biological relative among them. The tests are fairly inexpensive, easy to take, and provide estimates of ancestral ethnicity along with a list of cousins.

But the most remarkable thing about DNA testing is the way it has put an end to secrecy in adoption, donor conceptions, and other cases of unknown parentage. Continue reading “The End of Secrets”

Not open to the concept

I never seem to get tired of home improvement shows, or shows where people buy new houses.  But one thing I do get tired of is the desire of nearly every person on these shows to want an open concept kitchen. I wonder if these people have ever had an open concept kitchen, or if they desire one only because it sounds good in concept.

great-room-countertops-cleanThese kitchens look great in carefully staged homes. They are spotless. Gleaming.  Gorgeous.  But they make no practical sense in my opinion.

The people who want open concept kitchens must not actually cook much. They must not be the kind of people whose dish drainer frequently gets stacked with pots and pans. The counter next to their sink must not always have a pile of plates and cups waiting to be put into the dishwasher. And their stove top must never be splattered. Continue reading “Not open to the concept”

a little short on the short term

doryThe other day I carried a pile of clothes for the dry cleaner out to my car. I tossed them onto the front passenger seat, along with my purse, and then went into the yard to water the plants before I left.

When I returned to the car and settled into the driver’s seat, I looked over and felt momentarily confused by the pile of fabric next to me. What the hell is that?  It was only a matter of seconds before I remembered, and I laughed at my momentary forgetfulness, but this kind of thing is happening more and more often. Continue reading “a little short on the short term”

Am I an outdated object?

1-uuOX338F02_NMKXITyLflgAs a kid in the 1960s I wondered if the future would be anything like the world depicted on The Jetsons. Would we have flying cars? Food that cooked in an instant? Or phones on which you could see the other person?

I expected to be surprised by the innovations of the future, but I didn’t expect so many things to disappear as a consequence of those innovations.

I have been fascinated with cameras and radios for as long as I can remember, and I have always had a fondness for newspapers and maps. These objects gave me pleasure, not only because of their function, but also because of their design, and the way I knew how to operate them. I enjoyed operating them. It pleased me to press an actual shutter button, fine-tune an FM dial, fold a daily paper over just so, or unfold a road map in order to plot a route. Continue reading “Am I an outdated object?”

Skinny Pants

11898877_694267727373280_5273858872801242298_nIt seems like suddenly every woman and girl on the street is wearing the same thing: leggings or skinny jeans. Did all females simultaneously decided to make this fashion choice while I wasn’t paying attention?

I knew that leggings and skinny jeans were a thing, but suddenly they are the ONLY thing. I noticed this on a recent trip to New York City. Nearly every woman there was wearing skinny pants of some sort with boots. And now I’m seeing it everywhere… even on older women in my local grocery store. How did this happen? Continue reading “Skinny Pants”

My Barbie My Self

Like many women of the Baby Boom generation, I had a collection of Barbie dolls in the early 1960’s. My first Barbie was a “Bubble Cut,” as she is now known because of her round, poufy hairdo. Her waist didn’t swivel, her shoulders didn’t rotate, her hair couldn’t be combed, and she had a huge wardrobe, unlike her most recent incarnations. Continue reading “My Barbie My Self”