My Fun Socks

Just wanted to share some of my new fun socks. 


You don’t always have to take yourself so serious. 


It’s okay to let go and just be you. 


From Dragon Ball Z to Super Mario, I feel so empowered!


Hope you do too.  😉


(Source Photo:  Andy Blumenthal)

Happy Summer Shoes

Summer Shoes.jpeg

Summer is generally a sunny and happy time of year. 


People throw off the thick winter coats and  heavy boots and wear some nice sandals.


I saw this one lady wearing these happy, colorful sandals on the Metro. 


I’d expect to see these more in Florida or California than in stodgy Washington, D.C. 


They were pretty awesome–trendy, stylish, even comfortable looking. 


Fashion is self-expression and freedom.


It’s also artistic and a reflection of our culture and our desires. 


We need more color, more chance, more futurism from our fashion.


The clothes can shape not only our bodies, but the times we live in. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Tznius Police

Tzniut.jpeg

So there is an important concept in Judaism as well as other religions of modesty for the sexes. 


This means appropriately covering up in dress and acting modestly. 


In Hebrew, we call it Tznius!


As kids, I remember the kids used to sing, “Tznius, don’t show you knee-ius.”


It seems like these days, “everything goes,” where extreme sexuality in public and showing off is the rage. 


But as I remember the older generation saying, “Maybe some things are better left to the imagination.”


That doesn’t mean we need to be a bunch of prudes–inhibit or prohibit people from being who they are. 


Freedom means everyone is allowed and has a fundamental right to self-expression. 


But also, people that want to show more restraint and modesty can do that too. 


Perhaps, sometimes things in our society can get a little too superficial, where like and love is only skin deep. 


We forget the inner person and the soul in lieu of momentary pleasures of the flesh. 


I don’t think we need the tznius police to come out and tell us what to do, but rather that we need to be consider people inside and out for what and who they really are. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s What You Can’t Say

Taboo
So I saw this game called Taboo when doing the grocery shopping today. 



(This one is the Jewish edition.)



Having never played this before, I looked it up and learned that it’s a word game, where you have to give clues to the other team for them to guess a word, but you can’t use the “taboo” words on the card. 



So for example, if the word is baseball, then some of the taboo words may be sport, pitcher, hitter, etc. 



So this is not an easy game per se. 



Thinking about the premise of the game though, I started to reflect that this isn’t just a game, but in real life isn’t so much of our interactions with others not about what we can say, but also the “taboo” things that we can’t.



How many times do you want to tell someone off and explain what a jerk they have been acting lately or say your real feelings on a topic that you may feel passionately about, but it’s somehow taboo to get into those things–you don’t want to offend, be “politically incorrect”, or perhaps you just think others may not agree with you or understand your point. 



What do we do? 



We “beat around the bush”–we express our dissatisfaction or disapproval or the opposite, with facial expressions, non-verbal cues, or perhaps we take a deep breath, hold back, or mince our words, so as not to somehow cross a social boundary of some sort. 



We want others to know us, accept us, respect us, and truly like us, but we can’t always really be ourselves fully, because our words or feelings may be seen as taboo. 



In the end, sometimes we’re discreet and “hold our tongue” and occasionally we blurt out what we really think and maybe are proud we did or are sorry for it afterwards–but wouldn’t it be great if we could just be ourselves–without fear or retribution.



It shouldn’t be taboo! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

To Archive Or Not

To Archive Or Not

Farhad Manjoo had a good piece in the Wall Street Journal on the Forever Internet vs. the Erasable Internet.

The question he raises is whether items on the Internet should be archived indefinitely or whether we should be able to delete postings.

Manjoo uses the example of Snapshot where messages and photos disappear a few seconds after the recipient opens them–a self-destruct feature.

It reminded me of Mission Impossible, where each episode started with the tape recording of the next mission’s instructions that would then self-destruct in five seconds…whoosh, gone.

I remember seeing a demo years ago of an enterprise product that did this for email messages–where you could lock down or limit the capability to print, share, screenshot, or otherwise retain messages that you sent to others.

It seemed like a pretty cool feature in that you could communicate what you really thought about something–instead of an antiseptic version–without being in constant fear that it would be used against you by some unknown individual at some future date.

I thought, wow, if we had this in our organizations, perhaps we could get more honest ideas, discussion, vetting, and better decision making if we just let people genuinely speak their minds.

Isn’t that what the First Amendment is really all about–“speaking truth to power”(of course, with appropriate limits–you can’t just provoke violence, incite illegal actions, damage or defame others, etc.)?

Perhaps, not everything we say or do needs to be kept for eternity–even though both public and private sector organizations benefit from using these for “big data” analytics for everything from marketing to national security.

Like Manjoo points out, when we keep each and every utterance, photo, video, and audio, you create a situation where you have to “constantly police yourself, to create a single, stultifying profile that restricts spontaneous self-expression.”

While one one hand, it is good to think twice before you speak or post–so that you act with decency and civility–on the other hand, it is also good to be free to be yourself and not a virtual fake online and in the office.

Some things are worth keeping–official records of people, places, things, and events–especially those of operational, legal or historical significance and even those of sentimental value–and these should be archived and preserved in a time appropriate way so that we can reference, study, and learn from them for their useful lives.

But not everything is records-worthy, and we should be able to decide–within common sense guidelines for records management, privacy, and security–what we save and what we keep online and off.

Some people are hoarders and others are neat freaks, but the point is that we have a choice–we have freedom to decide whether to put that old pair of sneakers in a cardboard box in the garage, trash it, or donate it.

Overall, I would summarize using the photo in this post of the vault boxes, there is no need to store your umbrella there–it isn’t raining indoors. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Spinster Cardigan)

Parking Lot Crazy Car

Parking Lot Crazy Car

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure–funny, interesting, weird, how does it make you feel?

This car, aside from the missing fender, window, and masking tape and cord holding it together, has got a crown of mementos on its hood and roof (aside from the stuff piled in the side and rear seat).

A collage, mosaic–artsy self expression–this car is someone’s jewel.

Almost can’t believe that it still runs, but it got to this shopping mall parking lot somehow–and it manages to get its share of attention.

Wondering–is this a hoarder’s mentality and does the person’s home also look like this too or is this someone’s big statement about their values and beliefs?

Definitely unique, an eye catcher, and a whole different way to think of a Honda. 😉

(Source photo: me)

Stronger, Indeed.

Combine the Seattle Children’s Hospital Hemoncology Unit with Kelly Clarkson’s song “Stronger,” and you have the true essence of bravery and hope.

Having recently been in the hospital for a short time for my own health issues, I know how difficult it can be–how defeated it feels.

It is amazing when someone brings you just a glimmer of hope, how much stronger you can feel.

For me, my family with me made a world of difference, but also when they brought me a laptop connecting me back to the world and giving me the ability to write and express myself.

Other hospital visits for other health issues have been longer in the past–and I want to run out the door, and there was a time that I actually did–walking around the grounds in my hospital gown–any way to be free.

Having the freedom to help yourself, be yourself–and not just lay there–is a true gift.

When I see the little boy racing around the hospital floor in his go-car with the I.V. hanging off the back, I am inspired.

As when I see the victims singing, dancing, and holding signs of hope and strength.

May G-d have mercy on our ill and downtrodden and raise them up up to be stronger indeed.