Listed are the posts for January 2008.

Emotional Predators

Once when I was young, my best friend and I were walking around the city. A woman came up to us, all smiles and warmth, and handed us a couple of smiley face buttons. We, being innocent, smiled back, and accepted the buttons. Then she started in on us, trying to sell us on being […]

Throwing Rocks and Making Amends

Growing up in my neighborhood, everybody threw rocks at each other at some point, or had rocks thrown at them. It was an epidemic. One thing that we learned, though, was that once someone had been hit, the offending rock thrower had to apologize and bring some kind of gift as a means of making […]

Story Time

One of my favorite children’s writers is Arnold Lobel, with his Frog & Toad series. Frog is the more patient and disciplined of the two, and Toad is more passionate, less able to sit and wait for things. One story is about growing a garden. Frog gives Toad some seeds and shows him how to […]

Red Light, Green Light, Go!

Sometimes in traffic, when the light turns green and you start to go forward, the people next to you may be slower to notice, and you are alone in your forward motion. If you are like me, this can be disconcerting- for a second you might wonder whether you are mistaken, and whether you shouldn’t […]

The Intolerable Speck of Dirt

Imagine a table that is covered in so much dirt, you can barely see the surface. All the specks of dirt combine to make one unified mess. Now, if you clean off that table, you might be able to see individual specks of dirt. In fact, suddenly one little speck can become intolerable to look […]

The Dishwasher of Inevitability

As a kid, I absolutely loathed the job of emptying the dishwasher. One day, I was playing with a friend, and my mother told me to do this dreaded task. I felt that this was incredibly unfair, and voiced my opinion quite loudly. I made my arguments, I fought it, I listed all my reasons […]

Relationships & Shoes

Once, I bought a mocha-colored pair of hiking shoes because I was in love with their color. It was a completely emotional choice. At the store, the salesperson told me that these shoes were discontinued, so they didn’t have them in a larger size. I went straight into denial about the fit- they were a […]

The Emotional Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker panel protects a house. If there is a power surge or an overload in a zone, the breaker in that zone flips off. In old houses especially, a breaker panel can become old and worn out, and some of the breakers may no longer shut off when needed. This can be very […]


As election season heats up, I’m bracing myself for the awful black-and-white thinking that is involved in the world of campaigns. In particular, the whole concept of “flip-flopping” which basically boils down to attacking someone for changing their mind on something. If that person felt or acted one way about something years ago, then it […]