A post inspired by a similar plaintive rant on The Intersection of People and Process, a blog I stumbled across in one of those serendipitous Twitter-speditions
For years I have been saying "Where's my jet pack?!"
All that exposure to the Jetsons and Star Trek, and a lot of science fiction consumption thanks to the library, had me thinking that by now I’d be zooming around the skies using my personal jet device, probably dressed all in snow-white Lycra and go-go boots to boot. (OK, so in some ways the future was cheesy.)
We'd get dinner in a pill (Willy Wonka gets some of the credit for my belief in this).
My doctor would use a tricorder, like Bones.
Robots would do the housekeeping and dirty work.
We’d have enormous computers that had all the knowledge of the world organized and you’d be able to ask the computer questions and get answers, albeit in a flat monotone. Maybe between Google and Siri we’re on our way there, but the answers to my questions aren’t as easy to figure out as I thought they’d be.
A voracious reader, I thought we'd have something that let us carry around a million books in a small device. Voila--the Kindle!
We would have space travel. And time travel. And a terraformed Mars.
While I didn't analyze the question specifically, I did assume the future would be bright, shiny clean, with blue skies and puffy clouds. We would have solved the problems of pollution and waste disposal in a way that made everything great for everyone, including animals and particularly dolphins, since by then we would have learned to communicate with them, and the "Crying Indian" (who wasn't really Indian) would no longer be sad.
My picture of the future didn't have hunger, poverty, homelessness, or illiteracy in it. In that future people—and aliens—would all be treated equally and no one would discriminate against others merely for the color of their skin, their gender, who they loved, or the number of tentacles on their appendages. So I am clearly not living in the future.
That world would probably also have flying unicorns.
- My once-in-a-lifetime and forever love, Eric
- The two amazing young women I am fortunate enough to call my daughters, who astound me all over again on a regular basis with their talent, intelligence, charm, beauty, insights, and sarcastic wit
- Having two sweet, well-behaved stepchildren who cheerfully accept the strange schedule we have and settle in happily in our family routine, giving our lives a different shape (and a lot of movie-watching and board games) every other weekend and half the summer
- Being safe, warm, and fed in a world where too many people cannot say that
- Having been raised by a loving mother and father who gave me a solid sense of values that I find shaping my actions and priorities every day and a specific understanding of the privileges I have been given and the responsibility to give back to my community—to pay it forward
- Being strong, healthy, and active—again, I’m conscious that not everyone can say this and that I’m incredibly lucky
- Abilities and interests that match up well with a good job that I’m able to keep even in this tough economy
- Wonderful, funny, caring friends with whom we can sit around our dining room table or theirs, drink good wine, and laugh ourselves silly
- The luxury of time in which to reflect on these and other gifts
- 3 Things My Mother Taught Me
- Friday the 13th, or, Why Some People Need to Lose a Driver's License
- Mom Frmrnyis
- For Someone Who's Supposed to Be So Smart...Ways in Which I Am Stupid
There’s always one more blog post I could read and comment on, one more Twitter account I could follow and interact with, one more Facebook page I could give a thumbs-up to and then tag in an update, another question I can answer on Quora to establish my expertise and credentials.
Many years later I am much more equipped to appreciate the impact of his fables. This one bears repeating in full while the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is in full swing worldwide and people exercising their constitutional right to free speech are being condemned as un-American.
The Very Proper Gander
Not so long ago there was a very fine gander. He was strong and beautiful and he spent most of his time singing to his wife and children. One day somebody who saw him strutting up and down in his yard and singing remarked, "There is a very proper gander." An old hen overheard this and told her husband about it that night in the roost. "They said something about propaganda," she said. "I have always suspected that," said the rooster, and he went around the barnyard next day telling everybody that the very fine gander was a dangerous bird, more than likely a hawk in gander's clothing. A small brown hen remembered a time when at a great distance she had seen the gander talking with some hawks in the forest. "They were up to no good," she said. A duck remembered that the gander had once told him he did not believe in anything. "He said to hell with the flag, too," said the duck. A guinea hen recalled that she had once seen somebody who looked very much like the gander throw something that looked a great deal like a bomb. Finally everybody snatched up sticks and stones and descended on the gander's house. He was strutting in his front yard, singing to his children and his wife. "There he is!" everybody cried. "Hawk-lover! Unbeliever! Flag-hater! Bomb-thrower!" So they set upon him and drove him out of the country.
- Thurber's Very Proper Gander isn't quite a creature of our times, but the teabaggers would still know how to deal with him--on Down with Tyranny (from whom I borrowed the graphic rather than scanning it from my copy of the book--thanks!)
- The Very Proper Gander--on Will Grigg's Liberty Minute, a blog that possibly proves my belief that the left and the right meet on occasion if you go around far enough. Best line: ". . . people lose their minds in packs, and come to their senses one at a time."
- Hassle Factor: Biking vs. Driving (Aug. 20, 2011)
- SoDo Is So Terrific! Bikespedition #2 a Must-Shop (Part I) (Aug. 18, 2011)
- On a Roll with Angela Brown (Aug. 16, 2011)
- A Trunk for your Bike: Donkey Boxx Review (Aug. 14, 2011)
- Balancing Act (Aug. 11, 2011)
- Bikespedition #2 Preview: SoDo
- Summer Parkways Are Joyful (August 7, 2011)
- Real People on Bikes: A Rose by any Other Name (August 5, 2011)
- Wearing Real Clothes: A Radical Political Statement (August 2, 2011)
- Feeling Good: Biking and Self-Image (July 31, 2011)
- You're the Catalog Buyer: What Do You Like? (July 27, 2011)
- Bike-Friendly Restaurants (July 22, 2011)
- How Bikes Can Save the World (July 19, 2011)
- Bike Style Spokane Products (July 18, 2011)
- Thoughts on Shopping (July 15, 2011)
- Bikespedition #1: Carnegie Square (July 12, 2011)
- South Perry Street Fair Fun: Look for Bike Style (July 9, 2011)
- Happy Bottom: Pedal Panties Review (July 7, 2011)
- Independence and Freedom, Courtesy of the Bicycle (July 4, 2011)
- Sweaty Betty: The Blogspedition Looks for Answers to that Special Glow (July 1, 2011)
- Losing Weight (June 26, 2011)
- More Treats! More Shopping! And Panties! Bike Style Event June 29 (June 21, 2011)
- Shopping for a Better World (June 16, 2011)
- Women's Clothing for Biking that Doesn't Look like It's for Biking: What to Wear, What to Wear (June 19, 2011)
- America the Beautiful by Ray Charles
- Little Pink Houses by John Mellencamp
- Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen
- Allentown by Billy Joel
- God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood
- We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel
- American Pie by Don McLean
- Goodnight Saigon by Billy Joel
- Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue by Toby Keith
- This Land Is your Land by Woody Guthrie
- Oh What a Beautiful Morning (Hugh Jackman version, which will make you forget all about Wolverine)
- Country Roads by John Denver
- New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
- Only in America by Brooks & Dunn
- My Way by Frank Sinatra
- This Is My Country sung by Cyril Neville (not the one you're thinking of)
- This Is My Country (this is the one you're thinking of; this version is sung by an unnamed group with beautiful harmonies)
- Home by Michael Buble
- Like a Rock by Bob Seger
It reflects how I feel: Angry that we send good men and women to die when there might have been another way. Proud of my father, the World War II bomber pilot, and my husband the Marine Corps officer. Saddened that we still stand divided, rather than united, in many ways. Glad that we are still the land of opportunity and dreams.
Proud to be an American.
What songs would you add to the list?
- Walking along the sidewalk at Washington State University during one of my first years of college there, kicking through piles of gorgeous golden/orange/red/russet/brown fall leaves and looking up through more of that vivid color at a clear blue autumn sky.
- Learning to slalom waterski—at last—rising up behind my oldest brother’s speedboat on one ski and walking on water.
- Listening to my daughters sing (they have gorgeous voices).
- Going for a walk with my sweetheart, holding hands and striding out along the sidewalk walking in step with each other on a balmy evening or a crisp morning.
- And most recently, at Spokane Summer Parkways.
- Biking as Downtime and other Musings on Overproductivity
- Stuff I Didn't Do Today, or, I Know what Happiness Takes Like
- Overdoing: The Seven-Course Meal Approach to Life
I'd especially appreciate it if you would go vote on the Bikespedition #1 poll for great destination neighborhoods for biking/eating/shopping/sightseeing and nominate biking women to interview for "On a Roll With...."
This blog remains as the home for my thoughts on public policy (including bike policy), food, Spokane, random parenting (can't call it drive-by parenting since I'm usually on a bike), and the like.
Herewith, a round-up of my posts since the inauguration of Bike Style Spokane on May 1, 2011, the beginning of Spokane Bicycle Month:
- A Typical Week, in Outfits & Mileage (on Bike Style Spokane June 11, 2011)
- Nice Rack, Lady! (on Bike Style Spokane June 9, 2011)
- Time to Embark! Whither Bikespedition #1? (on Bike Style Spokane June 4, 2011) [come vote on the poll!]
- Sure Footing: The Blogspedition Goes Shoe Shopping (on Bike Style Spokane May 28, 2011)
- SO Fun--Last Saturday's Shopping Event (on Bike Style Spokane May 26, 2011)
- Sisterhood Rocks! (on Bike Style Spokane May 19, 2011)
- The Search for the Perfect Purse: It May Just be a Bike Bag (on Bike Style Spokane May 17, 2011)
- Bike Style Spokane Treats and Shopping! May 21 Event (on Bike Style Spokane May 13, 2011)
- It's Snot Pretty (on Bike Style Spokane May 11, 2011)
- Bustin' the Style Boundaries, Believe It or Not (on Bike Style Spokane May 8, 2011)
- Why We Need Each Other (on Bike Style Spokane May 6, 2011)
- Riding in Skirts: Today's Reactions (on Bike Style Spokane May 5, 2011)
- What the Heck Is a Blogspedition? (on Bike Style Spokane May 2, 2011)
- Bikespeditions (on Bike Style Spokane May 1, 2011)
- On a Roll With... (on Bike Style Spokane May 1, 2011) [come nominate great women I should profile!]
- Bike Style=Active Style=Spokane Style (on Bike Style Spokane May 1, 2011)
What do you remember from the Watergate era?
So many plates spin in my life. As I’ve said before, I have a slight—ever so slight!—tendency to take on too many things, to say yes to every good cause to which I could contribute something. I just stick up another pole, throw on another plate, and spin-spin-spin.
So the idea of being able to freeze time and catch up on any one thing has great appeal. If I had a day outside of time and could do anything, what would it be? One co-worker’s “anything goes” day would involve flying to Paris for lunch and flying back, which sounds dashing and devil-may-care. I occasionally dream of things like cleaning my entire basement or catching up on my filing, which is really sort of sick when you think about it.
I realized a while back, though, that my greatest happiness comes from doing nothing in particular with my loved ones and from not beating myself up over the things I don’t do.
- Sleep in with my sweetheart.
- Wake up with no sense of things left undone or the guilty start created by a missed alarm clock—just that wonderful feeling of being fully rested.
- Clean up (lots of hot water!), then take a leisurely walk to Rockwood Bakery for quiche and good coffee, or maybe ride our bikes downtown to Taste for amazing maple walnut scones and coffee. (Yes, always coffee. Did you know we may be genetically wired for our caffeinated craving?)
- At some point take a wonderful long walk along the Centennial Trail through the heart of downtown. Stop at Chocolate Apothecary for treats. And coffee.
- At some other point, spend time in Auntie’s Bookstore browsing for nothing in particular. Find a used copy of some wonderful book I’ve been meaning to read forever, or one I’ve never heard of that grabs me on the first page when I flip it open.
- Read for a while.
- Take a nap.
- Spend time really talking with—and really listening to—my daughters.
- Maybe have dinner with Steve and Betsy and a couple of other friends and talk forever and laugh until it hurts over glasses of wine.
- Get another full night’s sleep to wrap it up. (The rest of it is none of your business.)
LetsBlogOff Participating Blogs
- Thanks for Asking: Unsolicited Advice on How to Live (Aug. 21, 2010)
- Stuff I Didn't Do Today, or, I Know what Happiness Tastes Like (Feb. 27, 2009)
- Overdoing: The 7-Course Meal Approach to Life (Jan. 1, 2009)
- I Should Train for this: Day Two of 30 Days of Biking (April 2, 2011)
- No Foolin'--A Different Kind of Ride for my First Day of 30 Days of Biking (April 1, 2011)
- I'm Part Dutch, You Know: What Do YOU Wear to Bike? (May 24, 2010)
- 30 Days of Biking
- College Promise Coalition of Washington
- College Promise Coalition on Facebook
- My live tweets from a College Promise Coalition event held in Spokane March 31, 2011
- Site created by Greater Spokane Inc. that allows you to contact your state legislators to express your opinion (the form has some prewritten messages; you can just write whatever you want to send and it will find your legislators for you to route the email appropriately)
- No Foolin'--A Different Kind of Ride for my First Day of 30 Days of Biking (April 1, 2011)
- If Bikes Were Electric Hand Dryers (Feb. 24, 2011)
- Hassle Factor: Bike Days vs. Car Days (March 20, 2010)
- To Race, or Not to Race. That Is the Question. Whether 'tis Nobler in the Mind to Suffer the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune.... (March 6, 2010)
- 30 Days of Biking