Category Archives: Ordinary


The prompt is interior.

When I was a kid, my mom had the Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book. I loved this book! I would look at the rooms (all in 70s style) and dream of having my own house to decorate. As a teen, I read decorating magazines like House and Garden and House Beautiful. I continued to dream of one day living in immaculately decorated spaces.

Now I have a house, a husband, two inside dogs, a cat, and a lot of clutter. I will never live in one of those magazines. I have not made peace with that fact. It makes me anxious and upset when I see all of the disorganization and clutter in my house. If I’m feeling depressed, thinking about dealing with the clutter worsens the depression. I know there’s a way to overcome the problem, but I have other priorities just now. Yes, I’ve considered reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The idea scares me for some reason. Sometimes I watch Hoarders and thank the gods that I’m not one of them.

I ordered a used copy of that Better Homes and Gardens book. When it arrives I will gaze at the photos and fondly recall my childhood dreams. The book itself will contribute to the clutter problem. I am sometimes not so smart.


Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book on Amazon

Too Early

It’s really too early to write. Brain and body say no. Just drink your tea and go back to bed. There’s nothing to be said.

I know that it’s quiet. Quiet is good. I can hear my thoughts. I can hear birds chirping and the fridge running. Across the street, a car door slams.  Someone’s going to work, or coming home.

Digital painting of birds.

Birds will Sing

More birds are stirring. Is this their morning colloquium? Do they take this time to plan the bird day? Maybe they just sing for the joy of it. They sing because they sing.

Today will be whatever it wants to be. I’ll do what I want to do. Me and the day, we’ll meet somewhere in the middle and it should work out just fine.

I’ll breathe and stretch and look gaze at birds. I’ll secretly ask them to sing with me.

Progress Delayed

I was sitting at a workstation in the Library Information Commons here at IUB, writing a post for my much neglected A Learning Experience blog.
I noticed a rather strange guy approaching one of the nearby computers. I thought he was strange because he didn’t look like an undergraduate student (most users of the Information Commons are undergrads), and there was just something about the way he was dressed, and the way he moved. When I see someone like this guy, I always think Aspergers Syndrome. That’s my go-to diagnosis.

So the computer the guy was trying to use wasn’t working. He got up and moved over to the cluster of machines where I was sitting. That’s when I smelled him. The odor was oiniony (if that’s a word). It was strong. It overwhelmed! I thought for a moment that I could tolerate it, but I could not. I saved my post as a draft and fled.

And that’s the story of my progress delayed.


Food Ruiners

Years ago, when I was in graduate school for dance, I was sitting in the dance studio between classes and eating Jello. One of the undergraduate students sat down next to me and said , “Do you know you’re eating horses hooves?”  I can’t remember what my response was, but I hope I said something like, “Mmm, I love’s me some horses hooves!”

Illustration of bowl of red gelatin

Something similar happened today. I was at my desk, enjoying my lunch of fish, vegetables, and brown rice with quinoa. A colleague sat down at the desk facing mine to use the shared computer that lives there.

He said, ‘”Something smells good.”

I said, “It’s fish.”

He asked what kind of fish it was and I told him I thought it was tilapia.

He said, “That’s a fish without too many heavy metals in it.”  I smiled and indicated that that’s a good thing, but I wondered why he had to ruin my meal by reminding me that a lot of the foods we eat are contaminated with industrial toxins. He then proceeded to mention something about the talapia’s digestive system. Apparently it’s a complicated one that allows for more junk to accumulate in the fish’s body.

Illustration of 5 fish on a line


If you want people to avoid having conversations with you, I recommend you emulate the behaviors of the people I just mentioned.

Kind readers, if you have a cause that you care about, please bring it up at an appropriate time. Don’t be a food ruiner.

By the way, I don’t think they make gelatin from animal products anymore.

Not Robby Benson

Ernie and I were at Walmart tonight. We were walking down the main aisle in the grocery section and we saw this guy. He had long dark hair with a little grey at the temples. He   wore an over-sized t-shirt with cut off sleeves, and baggy blue jeans. He was lean, muscular, and a little bit exotic looking.

After we passed him, Ernie asked me if I thought that was Robby Benson.

Robby Benson - Photo: Courtesy of Indiana University

Robby Benson: Courtesy of Indiana University

Okay, you might be wondering why Ernie would expect to see Robby Benson, the actor, in Walmart in Bloomington. I’ll tell you why. Robby Benson is teaching at IU this semester. Read more about that here. It is in fact plausible that he might take a trip to Walmart.

I didn’t think it was him. To me, Benson’s face is a gentle one. This guy’s face seemed too angular, too gaunt. We turned around so as to have another look. Ernie said the guy’s eyes were an intense blue like Benson’s. I was afraid it might be Robby Benson, so I was apprehensive to walk past and gawk. Celebrities make me nervous.

As we approached him, I got brave and  took a look. I was sure this wasn’t Robby Benson. Ernie agreed, but thought that if Robby Benson had a brother, this is what he would look like.

Ernie suggested it would have been funny if he had convinced me to go up to the guy and ask for an autograph. I can’t help thinking that if I had, he would have asked me if I wanted to buy some meth.

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