This news item defines when I will lose the will to live.

“Coffee beans burn towards extinction.”

That gives me 68 years to get the rest of my work done. Not enough time, of course, but it will have to do.

*Orders an Americano, black.*

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Some recent thoughts on Email, Smoke Detectors, and The Secret Joys of Editors

An Unexpected Benefit of The Invention of Email

I love the internet. I have just facilitated an email conversation between a cousin who is 82 and my (deceased) aunt’s best friend (92) (both of them sharp as tacks). They live thousands of miles apart, and they are now happily sharing memories of my aunt and other relatives of the long-ago past on email with copies to me!

Smoke Detectors

Makes me laugh with sympathy and relief when I hear the sound of the smoke detector going off in someone else’s apartment for a few minutes and then the sound of a “Smash” and then silence. It is a miracle any of the smoke detectors in any of my apartments I have ever lived in have not been permanently broken. They must be built to withstand abuse.

On Being An Editor

Yesterday I found myself stopped in the street to admire a billboard that promotes Don Equis. And, for a change, I was not admiring the most interesting man in the world – I was admiring a pronoun. It said, “He once rode a bull until it fell asleep.” Total genius not to use the accurate pronoun there. Hats off to the editor.

One time I admired a period on the cover of an Esquire magazine for several days. It was when Jack Nicholson was in more of his heyday than he is now, and it was a cover story about him, and there was his photo on a black background and under it the word “Jack” in white, and then the period in white. And that was all.


Get An Office, Lady

I am sending this message to the woman in the next booth to mine at Timothy’s this afternoon who spread her papers all over a table meant for four people, held a business meeting with another woman for half an hour, dismissed her, and then talked loudly on the phone with another business associate for an additional half an hour.

You are probably the same person I wanted to tell 20 years ago to take the guy you were with and get a room. You are totally oblivious to the presence or sensibilities of anyone in the world who is not in your immediate circle.


Get An Office, Lady

I am sending this message to the woman in the next booth to mine at Timothy’s this afternoon who spread her papers all over a table meant for four people, held a business meeting with another woman for half an hour, dismissed her, and then talked loudly on the phone with another business associate for an additional half an hour.

You are probably the same person I wanted to tell 20 years ago to take the guy you were with and get a room. You are totally oblivious to the presence or sensibilities of anyone in the world who is not in your immediate circle.


A welcome innovation

One of the most satisfying indicators of how far technological change has come is recent years must surely be the fact that Heinz ketchup now comes in squeezable containers.

(And before you bewail all that additional plastic waste, check out this fabulous Canadian story, which really IS an advance in technology to cheer. And maybe even invest in.)


Robins

I hope that Canada never warms up so much that robins no longer migrate. The sound of a robin’s song when they first return in the spring fills me with such happiness and hope that it almost hurts. The feeling would not be the same if they were here year-round.


The “*uck it” list

In honor of my on-line friend Ellen Mizzel, whose untimely death yesterday reminded me that life is too short, I am starting a “*uck-it” list. It will include the things I’ve decided I’m never going to do even though I feel I should.

So far my list includes finishing War and Peace, reading anything by Jane Austen, learning to play golf and making the perfect pie crust.

(I find this whole notion much more liberating than I do the notion of a Bucket List, one of which I have never wanted.)

(If you would like to tell the world what would go on your *uck-it list, please add a comment.)