I would define a "Doris Day" as one of those precious, but easily forgotten days where all the scales tip in your favor. A great hair day where you chose the most flattering thing in your closet & every note you sing is on pitch. You can jump the highest. You can run the fastest. You can smile the biggest. Someone asks "How are you?" & you respond with a sincere "I'm great."
Howdy. It's been a while. I've been... preoccupied. That's an excuse. And it's no excuse.
I've been like that sound you used to hear while waiting for dial up internet to connect. Static & beeps.
Hmmm. This isn't how I wanted this to go. Let me start again.
Howdy. It's been a while.
I began this post feeling I had some need to make excuses for the infrequence of my posts. I am abandoning that feeling. And I could tell you why, but then I'd just end up excusing myself from my excuses.
I do this for me. So it doesn't matter if I post every day or once a year. I don't write on a schedule. It's not that I'm not disciplined. I am. I just don't magically produce worthwhile material if I force myself to grind it out. I write on the randomly timed occasion that I have something to say. OMG, am I really making excuses for when and why I write now?!?!?
Why don't I just go ahead and say what I wanted to & not fixate on the amount of time it's been since my last post?
Once again... Howdy. It's been a while.
If I've already lost you, that's okay.
I feel I must acknowledge that things are really sucky right now. And I mean that in every way it can be applied to right now.
Our fire, flood & pollution ravaged planet is losing its ability to sustain polar bears & The Great Barrier Reef as divided politicians & world leaders grapple over control & having the last word & the biggest baddest ways to blow sh*t up & we are only given the option of one side or the other in any argument or vote & CEOs are buying Teslas & tickets to space while their full time employees put off going to the doctor for another month because they've already maxed out their credit card because they can't live without the latest iPhone which they will spend more time connecting with than the friends or family members who occupy the same room.
I didn't even mention hard drugs, reality TV, racism, sexism, gun violence or hate crimes. And I'm not confident adding these things would cover all the bases of sucky-ness. But you get the picture, right?
There's not a lot of good news out there at present. Other than the Deadwood movie finally being made & hazelnut spread M&Ms hitting the shelves & Tom Brady failing to advance in the playoffs yesterday, I'm having a hard time not feeling like George Bailey when he asks Mary “why do we have to have all these kids?”
I get discouraged when I look & see what's going on around me. Or more so what's not going on. People don't look at each other- they look at screens. People don't talk to each other when they are together- only when they are apart. Most of us would rather order anything online than get in the car & navigate the traffic & endure the burden of parking, entering a building, interacting with others, paying with tangible money or carting & carrying purchased items to a vehicle. Most of us would rather put headphones on than engage in conversation. Most of us would rather buy a gift card than think hard about what someone else would really enjoy.
I believe convenience is destroying mankind. Social media is a huge part of that. I bet you can tell me more about the products advertised on your Facebook feed than what the taxes you pay are actually used for. We would all rather get sucked into the pretty pictures of other people having a marvelous, carefully manufactured, posed, airbrushed, filtered, edited & sponsored good time than go out & do something with our day. The dogs I stalk on Instagram can tell you. We scroll past all the mundane "adulting" stuff to indulge in the immediate contentment of comfort food delivery & the nearly limitless options of streaming services.
I didn't make any New Year's resolutions this year. Not even secret ones. I didn't even make an ultra-classified list in my head. I didn't even attempt to act on the ones I made subconsciously. I typically like to berate myself on my failures to meet unspeakably high expectations, but even that's no fun right now. Because things are sucky. I need my guilty pleasures right now. I need those hazelnut spread M&Ms like you wouldn't believe.
We like to forget what's important. We want to be distracted. People are dying in car accidents because they cannot ignore a notification.
I acknowledge all this because it has all contributed to what I really want to say. Which is this:
Things are sucky right now. Don't become ignorant of it. Give current events your attention. Inform yourself. Look up words you don't know. Listen to both sides of the story. Do a bit of research. Determine your own opinion on the matter. Participate in the world by knowing more about it. GIVE A F*CKING DAMN.
“Intelligent life.” That's what they mean when they talk about human beings. We have abilities that other beings do not. Let's use them.
I realize this has probably all come off as a disjointed rant about everything & nothing. I don't care. That's where my brain is right now. There are no rules in blog writing. This isn't Mrs. Lane's college-level English class.
Now. I would like to share some stuff with you. Stuff that doesn't bore or depress me. Stuff helps me feel involved, informed & sometimes even inspired. Stuff that might help you. It's not new. It's not some rare discovery. It's just my little rays of Doris Day sunshine-y, don't-lose-hope-in-humanity stuff.
Humans of New York
True stories told by people approached on the street from all walks of life, accompanied by a thoughtful photograph of their expression or body language. Recently expanded to include other places all over the world. I find it refreshingly honest & eye-opening. No matter what my mood or how my day is going, this cuts right in & steals the dance. It's a wonderful, genuine reminder that every single person does have something interesting to say if you'd only stop for a minute & chat.
Harper's Magazine Weekly Review
News in a compact, succinct, amusingly packaged format that won't let you miss any of the big things you should know or the small things you might miss if you strictly stick to CNN.
Overheard in New York
*honorable mention https://www.instagram.com/overheardnewyork/ & https://www.instagram.com/overheardla/
Eavesdropping gold. Always good for a laugh. Always.
Letters of Note
Mostly historical. Usually written by someone famous (but not always). Never disappoints. One of my absolute favorites is a letter Cary Grant wrote to his 3-year old daughter after the moon landing. (https://www.instagram.com/p/B1mDA-mnjJP/)
Trivia & facts mostly. Tidbits of information collected & consolidated with little pictures & illustrations. A satisfying remedy for the wandering or idle mind.
*Disclaimer: Magazine format is preferred.
I also advocate for public radio, though in smaller doses during times of breaking news (like now) or fundraising.
With that, I bid you a 2020 that is, well, realistically maybe not full of Doris Days, but just enough sprinkled in here & there.