Dixie Darr

Out With the Old

In Auntie Flat, Home on August 15, 2018 at 6:53 am

Remember that old novelty song “They’re coming to take me away, haha. They’re coming to take me away!” I’m singing that this morning, although it isn’t me they’re coming to take away, it’s my couch. My hideous, bulky, not-very-comfortable couch that I’ve hated ever since I bought it twenty years ago.
Once I swore I’d never again have anything in my house that I couldn’t move by myself. That will never happen largely because I have three pieces of space-age designer furniture that I’ve had since 1969 and that I adore. Even though with molded plastic fronts, they look lightweight, in fact, they weigh a ton. Literally.
I have contemplated putting wheels on everything. Sliders help.
Back to the couch. You might wonder why I bought it if I hated it. Well, I detest shopping. I made a trip to American Furniture Warehouse thinking it was so big they would have to have something for me. This was as close as they came. It was the right size and the right price. The color, always the most important feature for me, was a dusty lavender, not the clear bright purple I would have preferred, but again, as close as they came.
Once I moved into my bright modern condo, the couch seemed to become even uglier, so I’ve been looking around (online, because I still hate to shop) for a new one for the past seven years. You’d be surprised how few purple couches are on the market.
Well, maybe you wouldn’t.
I finally found the one I wanted, sleek, modern, and bright, and put it in my Amazon cart where it stayed for several months. Then a couple of weeks ago, it went on sale and I had to order it. Before it came, I needed to find a way to get rid of the old one. The service I called offered fast service and reasonable prices.
They’re coming this morning to haul it away and the new one will arrive sometime in the next week. This all makes me very happy. Best of all, the new one is light enough for me to move by myself when I decide to rearrange things.
I might be old, but I’m lively.


Prayer Time

In Church, Learning on August 13, 2018 at 8:58 am

You can’t reason people out of their strongly held beliefs. I know that, and yet teaching critical thinking for so many years compels me to try.
For example, I got into it on Facebook yesterday with a woman who disapproves of the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem because it’s disrespectful to their employers.
I chimed in asking how kneeling is disrespectful when we kneel to pray.
She struck back by saying they weren’t allowed to pray at work.
Say what? Whole teams gather together before a game to bow their heads and pray. I hope they’re praying to play their best and for nobody to get hurt instead of asking to win, but that’s between them and their creator. Individual players point to the heavens to thank God for a good play.
Anyway, the point is that saying they aren’t allowed to pray is ridiculous.
I politely pointed that out to her.
She said, students aren’t allowed to pray in school, and if they do, other students harass them.
That brought up three separate issues, none of which has anything to do with the NFL players’ protest, but I’m game.
First, saying they aren’t “allowed” presupposes a rule from some authority, school administration, say, or the government. Second, other students harass them, and I’m sure that does occasionally happen, although it doesn’t mean they are not allowed to pray. Finally, by law, students are allowed to pray in school. Teachers and other school officials are not allowed to lead students in prayer. Big difference.
Again, I pointed out the error of her ways, something I know very well is almost never appreciated, so my bad.
Throughout our exchange, she became increasingly agitated. She told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and I should look it up, which she obviously had never done or she would know I was right. She decided to leave the conversation, and I posted a link to a Washington Post article explaining the rules about prayer in schools. I hope she read it and learned something, but I’m not holding my breath.
I will, however, pray about it. God grant me patience.

Scavenger Hunt

In creativity, Learning, writing on August 10, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Someone asked where I get ideas for topics to write about. Usually, they come to me during meditation. During the day, I read newsletters, newspapers, articles, books, listen to a little NPR and some podcasts, and watch very little television (PBS) and a few YouTube videos. I make a few notes and write in a journal or two.
All of that gets mixed in my brain and when I let my mind wander during meditation, one item floats to the top of my consciousness, sometimes pulling with it related resources and quotations.
“Chaos,” according to author Eric Weiner, “is the raw material of creativity.” Some days this process is more productive than others, so I was happy to hear Austin Kleon, my favorite online presence, describe the idea-farming method he uses.
Adapted from the notetaking methods of Henry David Thoreau, Ryan Holiday, and David Sedaris, he writes notes in a pocket Moleskine which he reviews the following morning, transferring sections he wants to develop to his diary. “Young writers don’t have a system for generating stuff.” Substitute anyone doing creative work for writers and I begin to wonder why schools don’t teach this.
I’m hoping his next book gives more details about this process.
Meanwhile, I’m going to start reviewing my notes regularly and consolidating them into a single computer document complete with categories to make it easier to search for information I remember only vaguely.
You can listen to the interview with Austin Kleon on the Sketchnote Army podcast and read about Ryan Holiday’s notetaking system here.