In a world of dueling political memos about the FBI, at a time when we seem to squabble about anything and everything, I’m spending the next few days nourishing my beleaguered optimism. I’m tuning into the Winter Olympics.
About six weeks ago, as we welcomed the new year, I turned around to The Hubby in bed and mumbled words that I still, despite indications otherwise, want to believe: “I have this gut feeling that 2018 is going to be better. I really, really feel it.”
Two ethicists have published a report, “Our Sexual Future with Robots,” that looks into the future of the robot sex industry. It may only be a matter of years before artificial intelligence will use facial and voice recognition as well as algorithms that detect emotion to make an encounter more … well, more emotionally satisfying.
Appalled, repulsed, without words to describe my dismay, I tune in to the latest installment of a modern horror story for which we all must accept some blame: 13 Southern California siblings shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks.
I have a post-doctoral degree in folding laundry. I know how to pleat and crease and double up with the efficiency of a mother of five whose four boys played years of sports. Millions of laundry loads later, turns out there are actually two devices that can accomplish this onerous chore, the Foldimate and the Laundroid.
Something about the new year — the turn of the calendar page, perhaps, or the numbering change on dates — promises both a closure and an opening. For most of us, January is the month of empowerment and commitment, decrees and determination.
The mad rush to Christmas, that stressful sprint that makes me swear off the holidays every year, is finally over and I’m chilling at home. I need the downtime after spending the past week sleeping too little and eating too much, sweeping away crumpled tissue paper and cleaning up after guests. Not to mention partying and dancing and gorging and imbibing.
Miami — South Florida, really — is unlike the rest of the country in many ways, and this is particularly true at the change of seasons. Here at home, the shift is subtle and, for the newcomer or the unmindful, almost imperceptible. It arrives in the slant of afternoon light, the briskness of early morning, the many festivals held outdoors and, always and forever, the colors in the garden.
Thanksgiving isn’t about precision and perfection. Rather, it’s a time to be thankful and to look for ways to appreciate the smallest things and adjust our expectations to make it easier to carry the heavy load.
We live in anxious times — and I’m not referring to the politics dividing the country. Or the mass shootings. Or the tsunami of rape and sexual harassment accusations aimed at Hollywood moguls and other high-ranking men. I’m referring to the bite-your-nails, can’t-get-to-sleep, hyperventilating-before-a-big-test anxiety many teens are experiencing when they stagger and stumble into adulthood.
I’m not on my best behavior in the days leading up to Halloween. I’m just not — but what a relief to confess this shortcoming, finally. Now friends and family can interpret my seasonal snarls in an appropriate way.
For months one of my granddaughters took her small blue purse everywhere. It hung from her chair at dinner, learned multiplication tables in school during the day and dreamt about fairies and wizards at night. A faithful companion, if there ever was one.
Hundreds of families visited the Parkland campus for a “reunification” day on Sunday. Teachers, staff and counselors were on hand as students picked up the textbooks and backpacks they left behind as they fled the Valentine’s Day shooting in which 17 died.
Daniel VarelaThe Miami Herald
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