You’ve been there…
…the Italian-American restaurant with fountains, fake distressed stucco on the walls and ceramic tile roof portions inside.
It’s an imitation, just like Las Vegas imitates reality with their New York and Egyptian themed hotels.
It’s not a bad thing to bring those places to people who may never get to visit the real thing.
But let’s be genuine.
My office building has been undergoing a renovation, mostly because flood damage meant they had to replace the carpets and baseboards anyway.
During the few days between when the old carpet was ripped up and the new carpet was laid, the bare floor was exposed. Then I saw a beautiful patchy, distressed, stucco-like pattern.
Why not leave it that way and skip the carpet?
From the perspective of a Denver dweller, where Porsche SUVs are as common as hamburgers, the Tesla Model X is a fairly rare sight.
They got the proportions wrong. It’s like a beautiful Model S that was injected with way too much Play Doh.
The strange “Falcon Wing” doors are way too complicated (and apparently a bit trouble-prone).
Sorry, I’ll pass. (But starting at about $95,000, I don’t have much choice in the matter.)
Photo courtesy of Tesla.
Dandelions are not beautiful. Or that’s what someone decided a while back.
America spends tens of millions of dollars eradicating this lovely flower from their blandly uniform green lawns.
I’m an American. My family doesn’t spend very much getting them out of our lawn, but we do prefer uniform green blandness. (I have been known to pick the little flowers and throw them in the street — not a very effective method for preventing them from returning.)
Apparently, it’s not just an American obsession. They are also considered weeds in England, Australia and Denmark — to name just a few other cultures that categorize them as a nuisance.
Even the post-flower seed blooms are amazing — uniform spheres of light fluffy helicopters, each waiting to be carried by the wind onto a neighbor’s yard. Ikea took inspiration from this stage of the plant to create their Maskros lamp.
The dandelion’s medicinal qualities are so many that one must venture to at least the third page of Google results until it’s possible to find any reference to them being weeds. (The French word is pissenlit.)
But who decided that dandelions are ugly? Maybe it’s the spiky green leaves — when the English word is translated from sort-of French, the word literally means “teeth of lions.”
Or maybe the flowers blooming so fast and growing taller than the grass around them offends people who appreciate consistency and visual homogeneity.
I vote for a law requiring that dandelions will forever be considered beautiful.
I’ve decided to stop listening to the news.
Another day brings another crazy action by our president or news of a fresh terrorist act.
It was not doing me any good to learn of another bad thing happening.
(I’m not making this a 100% rule… I am willing to learn what’s happening, but I don’t necessarily need to know the details. And part of my job requires me to be on top of what’s up, at least locally.)
Instead, I’m trying to focus on good things:
- When I ride my bicycle on some local trails, I benefit from the work of trails maintenance people who evened out many of the dips and jolts between concrete slabs. (See photo above.)
- I live in a town where it’s possible to ride my bike to work.
- There’s easy access to health care here. My daughter and son were attacked by poison oak recently, and they were able to easily get treatment. We paid cash (no insurance involved), and it was just $40 for each visit.
- I live in a country where I can visit the church of my choice freely and not worry about government officials arresting me.
- I have a warm and dry place to live.
- My family is healthy (now that poison oak is almost history).
- I have a job that I love.
I could go on. And should.
The idea of focusing on the good is not my own. I give credit to another Paul — see here.
And Austin Kleon agrees.
The human-animal connection is unlike any other. We understand and interact with our pets at varied levels. On my little chart, dogs are the highest-interacting animals. Dogs also seem to have the ability to experience greater depths and heights of emotion than any other animal.
No one would argue with the idea that goldfish are the least interactive of any pets. (I have yet to hear of anyone making a pet out of a snail.)
I’m a cat lover. Generally, cats can be as smart as dogs. But cats certainly care less about humans than most dogs do. Or at least cats love to give the impression of not caring that a human is around. “What? Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you were there.”
And that’s part of the reason I like cats more than dogs. Our cat can survive without my attention.
As soon as you enter its field of perception, a dog will run over to interact with you — run to you and not walk.
But what if I want to be ignored? That’s not part of a dog’s universe.
Our cat, Floof loves us, even when he’s asleep.