MEN: Take Care

Now and then something gender-related gets to me. This time it’s a surprise proposal party: he’s going to surprise her by proposing in front of family and friends.

Don’t get me wrong–I love the young woman; I’ve known her since the day she arrived home from the hospital and I’m happy for her. And the young man seems very nice, caring, and is a responsible adult. It’s the circumstances of the proposal that bother me.

I went to one of these surprise parties a few years ago– it was was as sexist as they come: friends and family gather; she arrives at the house expecting to have dinner with her sister and brother-in-law; instead she hears  a chorus of “Surprise!” He gets down on one knee, opens a ring case and declares, I love you, hashtag-Babe, you are my life yada yada yada. Old folk are in tears, young ones break out the champagne . . .

What’s wrong with a little romance? Nothing, but what if we turned it around: the test for sexism. SHE gets down on one knee, opens the little ring box, etc. If it doesn’t work, then neither should the first scenario.

Let’s take it to a more serious level. Some enlightened FB friend, took the “rules” for women, to keep themselves safe from a #Metoo moment, and turned them around, giving the same advice to men, to keep them from being falsely accused. Here’s how that looks:

Several people have expressed concern that men might be falsely accused of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct going forward. Sharing these tips to keep yourself safe:

1. Don’t put yourself in compromising situations.

2. Stay alert and aware at all times. If you are at a party with a woman who you think will falsely accuse you of sexual assault, limit your alcohol consumption. She is free to drink, but your impaired judgment is not an excuse for her false accusations.

3. If you walk or jog for exercise, try to vary your route and time on the street. To be predictable is risky. Don’t give women the opportunity to falsely accuse you by having an exercise routine.

4. Keep your body covered. If you expose certain areas of your body she may get the impression you are interested in sex with her. Don’t give her that impression by revealing more of your skin than necessary. Modesty is the best policy.

5. Think before you talk. Flirting with a woman is fine but be careful not to give her the impression you’re interested in sex. Chaste words will help you maintain your virtue and good name.

6. Don’t make yourself an easy target. Hold your head up, walk confidently, directly and at a steady pace away from the woman you think may falsely accuse you of sexual misconduct. Don’t forget, you’re a strong capable man too.

7. Attract attention to yourself if you feel like you might be falsely accused of sexual misconduct. Make noise, call 911, use a whistle in hopes that someone will come to your aid as a witness. You can get “Falsely Accused of Rape” whistles at your local shelter.

8. If you are being followed, head for a well-lit area where you think there will be other people who may be able to help you. Well-lit areas could be the difference between a pleasing evening stroll or a night that will forever change your life.

9. It’s probably best to stay home after dark. If you’re worried that while you’re walking home at night you might encounter a woman who may falsely accuse you of sexual assault, it’s best to avoid that situation completely. Consider a self-imposed curfew.

10. If you do have to be out after dark. Stay away from suspect women. Keep your guard up and keep your distance. Remember to bring your “Falsely Accused of Rape” whistle at all times.

11. Trust your “gut instincts.” Even if you get the feeling a woman is about to falsely accuse you of rape leave her alone immediately.

12. Always make sure you lock your car doors, whether or not you are in the car. Always check the floor and rear seat for suspect women before getting into your car.

13. If you suspect that you are being followed by a woman while diving, keep on going—do not stop and pull over until you get to some place that is well-lit and where there are other people to assist you and attest to your innocence.

14. If your car should break down, raise the hood and remain in the car with the doors locked until the police arrive. Don’t stand outside your car. This may give women the impression your helpless circumstance means you want to have sex with them. If a woman should stop and offer to assist you, roll down the window just enough to tell them you called the police.

15. Stay safe at home. Be sure you know whom you are opening your door to. If a sales or repair woman is legitimate, they will not mind your asking to see her identification and confirming their identity with the company they represent. If you still feel uncomfortable, schedule all appointments at a time when your wife can be home to help you.

16. For men who live by themselves in a house or apartment, never advertise the fact by listing your full name in the phone book or on a mailbox. This makes you an easy target for false accusations because you have no alibi.

17. Attend large parties with friends you can trust. Agree to “look out” for one another. Try to leave with your group, rather than alone or with a suspect woman.

18. Be cautious about revealing any personal information over the telephone and/or Internet. Don’t make yourself a vulnerable target.

19. If you have roommates, talk to them about the importance of everyone following the safety strategies at all times.

20. Lastly, stay safe out there. There are plenty of good women ready to help you if you need it. Don’t let a few bad apples change the way you feel about all women. Most of us are good and trying to help you do the right thing. #NotAllWomen Disclaimer: Following these tips and strategies does not guarantee that a false accusation will not occur. They are offered as strategies to reduce the likelihood of you becoming a victim of false rape accusations.

See what I mean?

Rock Center 2018

Sharing a couple of images from the Rockefeller Center tree lighting — 11/28/18. I wait all year for this! And this year 1) Tony Bennett was on TWICE and 2) the tree was lit in the middle of the show so we could watch it longer!

Tony Bennett (nee Anthony Dominic Benedetto) at 92

60,000 lights!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

AND Throwback Thursday. Here’s my favorite (and only) photo of Thanksgiving Day from my childhood. I’m not sure why I’ve kept it, or why I like it. Maybe because everyone is smiling, even my mother, which was very rare.

Thanksgiving Day, mid-century

At the head of the table: Uncle Al. Then, clockwise: my father, my sister, my mother, Al’s wife Aunt Teresa, (me, the photographer, not shown!), Aunt Louise, cousin Jean, cousin Gloria, and Uncle Louie.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Welcome to Boston

The World Series has been over for about a month, so I’ve recovered from the Dodgers’ loss. It’s not so much their loss that has me down, it’s the Red Sox win.

I’m from Boston, so you can see why I’m upset about the Red Sox victory. I like to think that I’m part of that famous curse — the failure of the Sox to win the World Series in the 86-year period from 1918 to 2004.

If you’re not sure why a former Bostonian is ready to heap another curse on the team, I’ll remind you what they did in 1952. In fact, I’ll just start from the beginning and print this memoir, published in the Elysian Fields Quarterly, April, 1993.

Memoir: The Boston Braves

My friends know me as a middle-aged scientist whose interests run from Italian opera to French Impressionism and back. Not much in between, certainly nothing that might involve sports, active or passive, indoor or outdoor. I am hardly recognizable as the same woman who nearly let the tides of professional baseball determine her choice of college forty years ago. But following the Braves to Milwaukee, which I had never heard of, was my only positive thought on the gray March day in 1952 when the headlines announced that the team was leaving Boston.
I threw myself across my bed that day and wept so loudly that my mother shuffled in and bent over me, hands on her wide, aproned hips, like some black-padded umpire, and ordered me to stop. At fifteen, I had never dis-obeyed my mother, so I stopped crying and tried to focus on something in my room that wouldn’t remind me of the end of my world. I longed for my father, who was still at work, probably high on a ladder securing a rain gutter or patching a damaged roof.
My walls were covered with baseball–the official chart of National League logos; southpaw Warren Spahn warming up; Sam Jethroe, black and fast, sliding in to steal second; autographed programs and laminated ticket stubs– “like a boy’s room,” my mother said, with a click of her tongue.
The sounds of the park rang in my head–John Kiley at the organ, not quite drowning out the rustle of dungarees and jackets and the creaking of the old green wooden chairs, raised and lowered as people filled the bleachers. The smells from the battered concession stands filled my room, sweet cold drinks and ice cream, the pink, white, and brown kind I never saw outside the park.
My father had introduced me at age seven to the lively, struggling Braves, who became my perfect friends. In their white uniforms, trimmed in red and blue, they always tried their best to win, to please me. As soon as my mother left the house for shopping or visiting, my father and I, two short, dark figures, came to life in front of the old Philco radio. His strong calloused fingers, never quite free of grime and paint stains, drew the ball field on a brown paper bag and diagrammed every play for me. We heard other programs, too–Inner Sanctum, The Shadow, The Answer Man. But first priority was always for Bump Hadley’s raspy voice, tones which became even less crisp as the game wore on (he did, after all, advertise lager ale).
My father would let me stay up until we heard my mother’s steps on the front porch. Most often she was returning from helping a neighbor with a new baby or chatting with friends while they clipped coupons from box tops and newspapers. At the first jingle of her keys, I would race to my bed and pretend to be asleep, like the inmate who hides an escape attempt from a prison guard.
I used the Braves to direct the rest of my life, too–if the Braves beat Brooklyn I’ll get all A’s and my mother will love me; if I finish three Hail Mary’s before this inning is over, she will not find out that I sat next to a boy at the matinee of High Noon; if Mathews is safe at second, then I will be safe at home and in this world. I had no plan for If the Braves leave Boston.
At school I drew tomahawks in the margins of my notebooks and wrote with pens and pencils shaped like tiny bats that said, “Sincerely, Tommy Holmes.” One time I signed a card to Paul, whom I loved, secretly, of course, Merry Christmas from Lou Perini and the Boston Braves, as if my own name had too little weight to hold ink. Other girls were thin, pretty, confi-dent. They had the right to say “hi” without apology. I could only say, “Did you see that third inning catch last night?” or “I’ll take Earl Torgeson over Ted Williams any day.” (Don’t think I expect you to notice me or acknowledge me. I’m just here as a messenger for the Braves.)
Now, how could I face life without the Braves? Without my father and our wonderful conspiracy, was my real question. Without a way to talk to other kids, was another.
I ground the terrible newspaper into my chenille spread and wondered what I could have done to prevent this loss. A novena to St. Anthony? No candy during lent? An urgent letter to Tom Yawkey, the Red Sox owner who refused to help the Braves by sharing Fenway Park?
The same papers and newscasters that brought word of the future of the Boston Braves that spring told of anti-British riots erupting in Egypt, of Albert Schweizer giving his life to others, of H-bomb tests in the Pacific. But current events did nothing to give me perspective, to help me with my struggle.
The next day, I barely heard the voices around me. “It’s your father’s fault you’re this way,” from my mother. “I guess now you’ll have to be a Red Sox fan.” This from classmates who did not understand that existence is not like a baserunner, sprinting from one anchored sack to the next, around to home; it is like a whisper of wind under a fastball, waiting to be named by the umpire. “They ain’t nothing ’til I calls them,” says the umpire.
My father understood. I listened carefully and believed his simple message–”We did that long enough, cara, we’ll find something else.” And through the next thirty years until he died, we did indeed find “something else” in our adult relationship.
But, more amazing, Paul (with unparalleled genius he had figured out who sent him the card) also came through. “Now you can come to your own high school basketball games,” he said, “and let the Braves go west.”
I did even more than that–I let all of baseball go west and never followed it again.
From time to time through the last forty years, I have watched baseball games out of the corner of my eye and sometimes allowed the cheers of the crowd and the crack of the bat to carry me back to the old Philco. When friends hear the story of “my life as a Braves fan” they mistakenly think it would take little to turn me into a 1990s fan. They offer tickets and invite me to tailgate parties. But reentry into baseball cannot unearth the passion I felt in the 5Os, exulting in Bickford’s hot August no-hitter, moping when Antonelli popped up (pitchers took their turn in the batter’s box back then!), defending my underdog Braves with all my energy.
The shapes and motions of baseball are part of my past, in scrapbooks and on closet shelves with my saddle shoes. The comings and goings in the ballpark, inning by inning, game by game, season by season-even city by city-introduced me to the rhythms of life. Baseball and the Braves have already done all they ever needed to do for me.

-

Get some rest

Nothing brings on more advice than a health/injury incident. Not that I’m ungrateful, but sometimes it takes all my patience not to run through my life’s experiences, especially with medical/health advice. A recent trip-and-fall accident brought out some of my favorites.

Still image print, NYPL, Gautier-Dagoty, Arnauld-Eloi, 1741-1771

1. Get some rest. As if I’m deliberately staying awake, tossing and turning, hurting, whatever. As if could just slap my forehead and say, “Gosh, I never thought of that!” (Here I would close my eyes and z-z-z-z-z-z.)

2. It’s nature’s way of telling you to slow down. Oh, and what if it’s nature’s way of telling me to speed up? That I’m not doing enough, otherwise I wouldn’t have time to have this accident?

3. See a physical therapist. This one brings out a long list of painful experiences, of which these are among my favorites:

– the most honest PT: this guy looked at my x ray, asked if it hurt to sit. When I said no, it hurts to not sit, he said that was wrong, and therefore he couldn’t help me.

the funniest PT: this was a woman who told me to get up on a table taller than I am. When I said I couldn’t get up there, she said she couldn’t help me. The next day I got an email saying she’d welcome me back when I was better. Hello?

-- the monster PT: this guy levered me up on a high table and forgot about me until I was screaming loud enough to attract the person next door.

the second monster PT: this woman hooked me up to electrodes and went to lunch.

I could go on, but I’ll close with this:

What with the lack of guarantees offered by medical science, who knows from cause and effect? When my nephew’s knee went out they told him it was because he didn’t exercise enough. When my friend’s knee went out they told her it was because she exercised too much.

See what I mean?

Cheaper Than a Therapist

I’m happy to welcome my friend, best-selling author LOIS WINSTON as my guest blogger today, and here’s why!

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

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I’m not one of those authors who always knew they wanted to grow up to write novels. The urge to write came upon me much later in life during a time of great personal stress and upheaval. We all deal with stress in different ways. Some people run marathons, others run to therapy, and still others run to the mall for retail therapy. None of these were viable options at the time.

After years of a mandatory daily mile run around the high school track for gym class—which had to be accomplished in under ten minutes—I’ll only run to escape a killer hot on my heels. Otherwise, forget it!

As for therapy, retail or otherwise, one of the factors causing me stress at the time was financial. We were eating macaroni and cheese casseroles most nights to stretch the food budget. No way could I afford a new pair of socks, let alone a shrink.

So I began to write. It all started with a dream. I normally don’t remember my dreams, but I remembered this one in vivid detail. Each night the dream returned, unfolding like the chapters of a book. Eventually, I decided to write the dream down, and before I knew it, I’d written 50,000 words. That dream, after ten years, many rewrites, and an additional 50,000 words, became the romantic suspense, Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception, the second book I sold to a publisher.

I not only discovered that I enjoyed writing fiction, I realized that writing relieved my stress. Losing myself in my characters enabled me to escape my own problems, if only for a little while. I probably could have accomplished this by journaling, but many years ago I discovered my mother was reading my diary, and I hadn’t written anything truly personal since.

Writing fiction became very cathartic. I could instill various characters with bits and pieces of myself. Every book I’ve written has a little of me in at least one of the characters. But which characters and what traits remain my secret—with one exception. In my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series Anastasia’s communist mother-in-law Lucille is patterned after my own communist mother-in-law. Anastasia’s reactions to her often mirror my own thoughts and actions from back when my mother-in-law was alive. Although I have to admit, Anastasia often handles these situations better than I did at the time. In my defense, though, I’m only human. She’s my better angel, personifying the woman I strive to be. That’s the beauty of fiction. We can recreate ourselves through our characters.

New Release!

Drop Dead Ornaments

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 7

Anastasia Pollack’s son Alex is dating Sophie Lambert, the new kid in town. For their community service project, the high school seniors have chosen to raise money for the county food bank. Anastasia taps her craft industry contacts to donate materials for the students to make Christmas ornaments they’ll sell at the town’s annual Holiday Crafts Fair.

At the fair Anastasia meets Sophie’s father, Shane Lambert, who strikes her as a man with secrets. She also notices a woman eavesdropping on their conversation. Later that evening when the woman turns up dead, Sophie’s father is arrested for her murder.

Alex and Sophie beg Anastasia to find the real killer, but Anastasia has had her fill of dead bodies. She’s also not convinced of Shane’s innocence. Besides, she’s promised younger son Nick she’ll stop risking her life. But how can she say no to Alex?

Buy Links

Amazon https://amzn.to/2MBo1xS

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/drop-dead-ornaments

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/drop-dead-ornaments/id1431548050?mt=11

Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drop-dead-ornaments-lois-winston/1129345148?ean=2940161937181

Website: www.loiswinston.com

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anasleuth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/722763.Lois_Winston

Newsletter sign-up: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z1z1u5

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lois-winston

All Saints Day

All Saints — that means the roughly 10000 men and women who’ve been canonized over the centuries.

I’ve picked a few to celebrate All Saints Day, November 1.

Saints Christopher, Eustace, and Erasmus (Three Helper Saints) Artist: Tilman Riemenschneider (German, 1460–1531) Date: ca. 1500–1505 Geography: Made in Würzburg, Germany Culture: German Medium: Limewood Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1961

St. Christopher (left) — patron saint of travelers and of children. Legend has it that he was carrying an unknown child across a river when the child became heavier and heavier. Long story short, it was the Christ Child. His feast day is July 25, though he’s no longer recognized by the Catholic Church. I’ll bet you or someone you know had a St. Christopher medal or statue for safe travels. I wonder how many tossed the icon when we found out he wasn’t “real.” hmm.

St. Eustace (center)He was second abbot of the Irish monastery of Luxeuil in France. With his disciples did much to spread the Gospel over Central and Southern Europe.

St. Erasmus (right) — also known as St. Elmo, patron saint of sailors and abdominal pain. Strange combination? Maybe has to do with seasickness.

And two more:

Scenes from the life of Joan of Arc Manufactory: Hartmann et Fils Designer: Designed by Charles Abraham Chasselat (French, Paris 1782–1843 Paris) , Paris Date: 1817 Culture: French, Munster Medium: Cotton Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 191, Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection

St. Joan of Arc — Nicknamed “The Maid of Orléans,” considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint.

Saint Anthony of Padua Artist: Maso di Banco (Italian, Florence, active 1320–46) Date: ca. 1340 Medium: Tempera on wood, gold ground Credit Line: Maitland F. Griggs Collection, Bequest of Maitland F. Griggs, 1943, Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection

St. Anthony of Padua — born Fernando Martins de Bulhões, was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, and died in Padua, Italy. He is known as the patron saint of lost articles and of the church where I grew up in Revere, Massachusetts (so how could I leave him off this list?).

Who’s your favorite saint?

A Triple Halloween

Full disclosure: I’ve preyed upon author JO MELE before to visit The Real Me. This one is a repeat from a couple of years ago, but is my favorite Halloween story. Thanks, Jo!

~*~*~~*~*~~*~*~~*~*~~*~*~~*~*~~*~*~~*~*~

My little brother Joey is the most determined; some call it stubborn, person I know. He loved Halloween and couldn’t wait to get home and sort his candy into piles eating all his favorites first.

When he was eight he missed trick or treating because he had a high fever. My mother’s decision to keep him in nearly drove Joey and her crazy. The pleading went on for hours until he gave my mother a headache and was sent to his room in tears.

I went around the neighborhood with two bags asking for a treat for my brother who was home sick. The neighbors were sorry to hear he was missing his favorite Holiday. They were very generous to his sack. He didn’t even feel well enough to do his sorting and eating routine until the following weekend.

The next year Joey had two costumes ready, the pirate from the previous year and the new cowboy costume, (complete with boots and pearl handled Lone Ranger six-shooters) he got for his birthday. He was counting the days to trick or treating.

Unfortunately, he came down with the flu that day and couldn’t even stand.  My mother wouldn’t allow him to go out into the frigid New York afternoon.

I went around the neighborhood with his sack and mine and everyone said, “Oh no, poor guy, not again!” They poured goodies and change into his bag saying he could buy what he liked when he felt better. He made two dollars but wasn’t happy.

When October came around again Joey was ready. He was ten years old, full of energy, had three costumes waiting to be worn. He was determined, and on a mission. My parents had already decided they’d let him go trick or treating – no matter what.

Halloween fell on a Saturday that year, so Joey could rest before his long-awaited adventure and stay out late since it wasn’t a school night. It was a beautiful warm fall day and after whining “Can’t I start yet,” for the hundredth time, my mother gave in and let him start.

He was the first kid out and the last one home. When his bag got heavy he came home, changed his costume and got another one. He started over again, and again, determined to make up for lost time. He had the Halloween of his life.

When Joey finally dragged in and saw his three bags full of goodies waiting for the sorting, he hugged them and burst into tears of joy. He’d won his battle with Halloween. I admired his determination. He never gave up and wouldn’t settle for one round of trick-or-treating when he deserved three. I’m sure I would’ve quit after the first trip out into the cold.

Joey was no quitter, he needed to even the score, two traits he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

Jo and Patience at the NYPL

JOSEPHINE E. MELE is a tour director who lives in California and loves to travel.

Her former job as Director of the Emeritus College, a Life-long learning program at the local community college, enabled Jo to lead groups of travelers interested in education and history to: Cuba, Italy, China, Amsterdam and Egypt.

On her return she schedules a travelogue for those who couldn’t make the trip. Groups of one hundred or more people turn out for these lectures.

An art background enables Jo to draw people into cartoon strips to help remember their names and idiosyncrasies; and provides comic relief.

Several of her travel and non-fiction articles have been published in Parent’s Magazine, Reminisce, The Contra Costa Times Newspaper and the Lamorinda Press.

Jo is an adventurous traveler and opts for the less traveled itineraries. A recent trip to Monaco led her to write Mystery in Monte Carlo. Last year she traveled by herself to Bulgaria and Eastern Europe where she found a few good locations to drop a body or two.

Lighting the way

This week, on October 21, we celebrate the light bulb.

Legend has it that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, and that the first one started brightening the night on October 21, 1879.

It’s a little more complicated, what with Humphrey Davy creating an arc lamp years earlier, and other scientists creating sparks here and there along the way. One thing that is certain is that Edison created the first marketable bulb.

This is as official as anything: the DOE’s The History of the Light Bulb page, with a great timeline, starting with the first arc lamp in 1803. Another exciting history is from the Edison Tech Center.

Perhaps the most famous light bulb burns in Livermore, California: It is maintained by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. The fire department claims that the bulb is at least 116 years old (installed 1901) and has only been turned off a handful of times.

Need an update? Here’s a more modern floor lamp, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art open access collection:

“Toio” Floor Lamp Designer: Achille Castiglioni (Italian, 1918–2002)
 Designer: Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (Italian, 1913–1968)
 Manufacturer: Flos S.p.A.
 Date: designed 1962 Medium: Automobile headlight bulb, steel, enamel, transformer, rubber, duct tape, plastic Dimensions: 65 x 8 1/4 x 7 3/4 in. (165.1 x 21 x 19.7 cm) Classification: Lighting Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Michael Sze, 2002

Do you feel enlightened? <groan>

Never mind the roses

I’m deep into my class, dealing with science and technology, and the cultural changes they bring about. As usual, questions of technology and lifestyle come up among my students. Here are some common memes, complaints, observations. Depending on where you stand on the spectrum — how much technology is too much?

1. I don’t have time anymore to smell the roses, says one student.

My question: how much time does it take to smell roses to get the full benefit of the scent? One good long inhalation should do it. And the rest of the time, we can be doing something useful, something that might even benefit our fellows/sisters next door.

Lovely decoration; not worth more than one smell

2. Math skills are going away — a clerk doesn’t even have to “make change” anymore!

My response: So what? Is that what we aspire to for our kids, to be whizzes at arithmetic? Or do we want them to dream up new software or perhaps new medical devices, or write brilliant novels? Horse riding skills are going away also, now that we have planes, trains, and automobiles. Do we lament that as well?

3. Penmanship, too, has suffered – no more cursive!

Another so what? Hasn’t it always been easier to print? Isn’t that why forms usually state PLEASE PRINT? Because it’s hard to read a cursive? Isn’t there something more creative to do than write a beautiful letter A? Monks did this, but they didn’t have much else to do.

The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, Queen of France, ca. 1324–28, Grisaille, tempera, and ink on vellum, the Cloisters

Maybe we leave it to today’s artists to create more fonts or illustrate manuscripts.

We’re not necessarily dumber because we don’t need certain outdated skills. Neither are we more stressed if we don’t “stop to appreciate the beauty of life,” as so many memes remind us.

Some of us, in fact, become very stressed when we don’t have enough to do. For me, panic sets in when I have fewer than 7 projects underway.

Finally, it’s not the Internet’s fault that we’re distracted (from what? the roses?) We use cars instead of horses; therefore we can go more places, educate ourselves on the way. Yes, FB and other Internet attractions can grab us and  “waste” time, but that’s our choice, and I feel — for me — if I didn’t have the Internet to distract me, something else would!

It’s my personality/temperament that’s to blame, not the technology in front of me.

You?