Short Story: The Unraveling

OOMH_heart_pillowMinnie died in her own bed at the age of 93, just as she’d always declared she would. No one was there to witness her personal triumph.

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It was a rough day for Clara. The surprisingly heavy urn she carried up the porch stairs seemed like a poor consolation prize for love denied. This was her first time back in her mother’s house since the night Minnie cut up all her short skirts, called her a trollop, and threw her out. She was all of 17 then, and the closest she’d ever gotten to trollopdom was letting Billy Boyd sneak a wet kiss at the church picnic. It wasn’t even a good kiss.

But tonight Minnie was gone, and Clara was about to sleep in her old room again. Continue reading

A New Blog Is Born…

Career Nook on mobile

A few months ago I began feeling a tug inside – a tug toward something new. I love writing for Out Of My Head and expect to pop back every now and then, but for the last 8 weeks I have been building a new blog called Career Nook. And yesterday it went live. Wuhoo!

I had a popular career blog for five years called Work Coach Cafe, and for many reasons, two years ago it was time to leave that behind. And I thought I could leave career blogging behind me, too. But you can’t ignore a tug that won’t let go. One that included a vision of a blog with the name Career Nook. No matter how hard I tried to push it away, it kept coming back … like it was asking to be born!

And so over the last couple of months, I slowly created a new blog, and will be back on Career Nook helping people with job search and career decisions. And I will also slowly start to take on career coaching work. In fact, I have left my old business process consulting work behind, and this is the new direction I’ve chosen for myself.

Some tug, huh?

Please feel free to stop by Career Nook to say hello – and add your voice to the conversation!

Sign of the Day: Seen at Stinky Brooklyn

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Credit: Stinky Bklyn

There’s a local cheese shop (with so much more) called Stinky Brooklyn. This ever so wonderful sign was spotted there today on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, or what they are calling Take Your Kid to Stinky Day.

I think the sign speaks nicely for itself!

I Took the Bing Google Search Engine Challenge and … Dogpile Wins!

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File:Search-engine-diagram-en.svg

When you’re not working, you have a lot of time on your hands, as I do now. So I decided to take the Bing Google Challenge. This is an online side-by-side comparison test that Bing is offering to get us to think of them more often – when googling.

For those of you with actual jobs, you may never even have heard of the “Bing It On” Bing Google Challenge until now. But I assure you that it exists, and that I took it.

Here’s how the Challenge works: Bing lets you enter your own search queries (it also provides samples you might use), and then lets you see the search engine results from both Bing and Google, right next to each other, without telling you which is which. All you have to do is select which search engine results you like best.

My Bing Google Challenge results?

(See end of article for update including my surprise winner, Dogpile.)

After coming up with what I thought were some pretty good test search questions, based on things that I care about, Continue reading

Dangers of Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements? I Have To Stop Looking Up Side-Effects

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File:Fish Oil Capsules.jpg

Did you know Omega-3 supplements can potentially cause formication?

According to what I found on the Mayo Clinic website: “Restlessness and formication … have also been reported.” Note that’s an “m” in formication (the sensation of ants crawling on your skin) and not an “n”, which of course would be a side-effect with which many of us could happily live.

I have a habit of looking up things on the web to see if what I don’t know could be important. (I’m sure none of you suffer from this ailment.) So when a friend mentioned that she had taken heavier doses than usual of omega-3 fish oil pills / capsules to help with jet lag (and she reports that it did help), I immediately went online to see if this was a good idea.

Most sites I found have at least some cautionary information about taking too much fish oil, since there is a chance of heavier-than-usual bleeding, depending on the dosage (especially important to know before surgery). And of course, depending on the quality of the product, they also warn that there could be mercury or other impurity issues. But that was most of what I found. Nothing too frightening. Until I got to the Mayo Clinic site. Eek! Continue reading

Sheesh! They’re Searching for a Show Called “Bet Your Baby”

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Baby portrait 1-year-old.jpg

 

 

Last week I wrote about a new television game show called “Bet On Your Baby“.  So that we don’t waste any time, I will tell you that I am most definitely NOT a fan of either the show or the concept of betting on your baby in front of millions of viewers, just to win prizes. In fact, I think it’s teetering on the border of reprehensible.

Now turning to the far side of reprehensible … today more than one googler found my original article by looking for a show that they called “Bet Your Baby”. One was even looking for the show’s time slot. Oh boy…now doesn’t THAT sound like fun!

Look, I know there’s a lot of bad television out there, and I am certainly not too proud to admit that I watch some of it, but please oh please come back googlers and tell me that search term was just a typo!  Do you really think it’s called “Bet Your Baby” and still want to watch it? Just imagine what THOSE kids would tell their therapists one day about being lost in a bad bet their parents made on some game show. Not even a good game show.

Once again…sheesh!

Of Pillows, Costco, and Good Friends

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Charisma® 2-pack Down Pillow

First, I have to tell you that I am endlessly obsessed with finding the right pillow for sleeping. I have spent years prodding and testing pillows, and then bringing them home, only to find that they aren’t the perfect pillow after all. Sigh.

Some of the less-perfect pillows make it to my bed as extra pillows. Many other of these hopeful candidates are soon relegated to the sofa or closet, nervously awaiting the next batch that may wind up sending them to the trash bin.

But every now and then, I find some pillows that feel really good – at least to me. Not too firm. Not too soft. Just enough support to keep my neck happy. Still not THE perfect pillow, perhaps, but really really good. And these pillows get immediately elevated to the sacred spot on the bed where my head gets placed at night.

So it was for two “down alternative” Charisma pillows that my acupuncturist (and friend) got for me from Costco at the end of last year. Her husband had originally found this brand for her (a package of 2 for $20!), she also being a pillow seeker. And since then, they have been my go-to pillows for sleeping. The two pillows together are just perfect for me, and even more so after some months have passed.

But First a Word About Costco

No…this is not a paid advertisement. In fact, I used to laugh at my cousin who was always raving about all the things she got at Costco, even food. “Aren’t there any other stores out there in the suburbs?” I teased. Continue reading

What??? There’s a New TV Show Called “Bet On Your Baby”!

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I just found a new show that blows my mind. In fact, I had to look twice at the listing. Yup…ABC has a new television show where parents actually bet on their babies to win prizes. Now isn’t that something you want to grow up and one day find out about!

Look…I watch some pretty bad TV shows. Ones that I know probably set my brain’s development back at least a few years.  But this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen on TV – and I’ve watched Sean from The Bachelor as a dancing “star” on Dancing with the Stars.

Maybe it’s a joke. I know it’s not April Fool’s Day, but maybe they are going to stop near the end of it and tell us they’ve been pulling our collective legs.

Ok. Now a father walks his kid into the “baby dome” where we will watch to see if he lets go of a ball. Continue reading

Cat on a Warm Spring Day

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“We already know a tree grows in Brooklyn. Look at ME!”

My cat, Lucie, likes to help when I’m taking pictures. And who am I to say no?

I was trying to get a photo of the wonderful white-blossomed tree across the street that always means spring to me, when she popped up to say hello.

Ah, cats. Ah, spring blossoms. You are both so very very welcome.

Down Under the Manhattan Bridge

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File:Manhattan Bridge 2009.jpg by Steve_V via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

UNDER THE BRIDGE

The resolute rattle of time-worn trains above.

The animated laughter of rosy-cheeked children below.

The emphatic blast of a passing ferry’s horn.

The torrid whispers of soon-to-be lovers on the grass.

The irrepressibly hopeful street vendor hawking his wares in the distance.

No city built on cowering silence this!

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Photo Credit: Manhattan Bridge 2009 by Steve_V via Wikimedia Commons

What I Learned About Dieting from Daytime TV … and Snooki?

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OOMH_Snooki_photoUPDATE:  It’s been about three months total since I started this diet, and I’ve continued to slowly shed the pounds. As of now, about 6 or 7 pounds.  Wuhoo! I haven’t been hungry one minute nor have a felt deprived. And the weight loss feels solid, not the kind you get from quick “lose ten pounds in ten days” diets. This is not a diet, Just an easy way to eat well and feel good.

It’s been about 5 months now, and I slowly and happily continue to lose weight. I am now down by about 8 or 9 pounds. Just under 2 pounds a month and no feeling of deprivation whatsoever. Wuhoo!

Six months…10 pounds. Slow and steady wins the race. :)

More to go. Stay tuned!

The original article…

When I’m in between consulting jobs, one of my most beloved indulgences is daytime TV. Even bad daytime TV.  And that’s where I found Snooki. And I was reminded of one of the most basic of diet truths, something I had forgotten amid a flurry of fad diet advice and sure-fire diet tricks.

Now as much as I love bad TV, daytime or anytime, I have never watched Snooki or anyone on Jersey Shore. Wasn’t even tempted. And I stoop as low as watching and totally enjoying The Bachelor! (Well, most of the time.)

So when I was channel surfing and saw that Snooki was going to be a guest on the Dr. Oz show (his show has good info, but one revelatory this is THE ANSWER moment after another can really grate on you after a while), I decided it was time to get myself out for a nice walk instead. But something – perhaps the fact that it was April Fool’s day – made me tune in. Or maybe it was just a thought that it’s cool sometimes to get past preconceived notions. Anyway, for whatever reason, I prepared to give her and my curiosity a few minutes.

Snooki on Dr. Oz

And there she was, being interviewed by Dr. Oz, who in his own way seems to find the best in almost everyone. As for Snooki, she was natural; she was engaging; and she was coherent. All things I didn’t expect. Continue reading

Embracing the Church of Sports (Warts and All)

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I’ll get to less-obvious reasons that I still embrace the church of sports, despite the many many problems and flaws. But first….

The video above shows one of the most exciting come-back moments ever in baseball, when the New York Mets won the World Series in 1986 in the bottom of the 10th, in what seemed to be a no-brainer win for the Boston Red Sox. This last-minute win was a breathtaking. eye-popping conclusion many of us will never forget.

Not only was it great to see our (finally) amazin’ Mets win the entire Series, but this was a moment to remember for anyone who thinks their own game is lost. These Mets never gave up, even when the odds were stacked against them. It’s not about the odds, they might tell us. It’s about knowing, in any moment no matter what anyone tells you, you can still change things around for yourself – and for your team.

The Darker Side of Sports

Of course, sports has a darker side, too. Continue reading

Do You Use the First Person When You Talk to Yourself?

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Here’s something I bet no one’s ever asked you: What personal pronoun do you use when you talk to yourself? First person? Second person? Third person?

Or are you thinking “What a stupid question. I never talk to myself.” Uh…if so, maybe take a moment to check that thought!

Ok. Maybe I’m putting myself out on a limb since I’m not even sure that you do talk to yourself, but I right now flat out admit that I do. Not out loud too much (luckily I have a cat so when I do, it can simply look like I’m talking to her), but I most definitely catch myself talking to me in my head.

Like this morning, I caught myself thinking “I will get up in just a few more minutes.” Not person-less forms like “time to get up” or “get up soon” or “Ugh. Coffee.” Continue reading

How Do You Make Peace with a Life You Didn’t Expect?

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Peacock Pansy, Burdwan, West Bengal, India 31 01 2013.jpg

An unexpected life. Is there any other kind, when you really think about it?

I’ve been thinking a lot about those parts of life that just seem to sneak up on us – and at other times land smack dab in front of us, as if carried to mission success by an eagle-eyed paratrooper.

Sometimes it’s something wonderful, a gift from the heavens perhaps. Like meeting your beloved life partner while waiting for a slow elevator.

But sometimes not-so-great things come to us – things that are not at all what we expected, and most definitely not in our control. Things we would never choose in an idealized life. Things we wish would just go away, so we won’t have to deal with them. And yet there they are, staring us in the face, daring us to act…or not.

A woman I know came to me for advice today. Some new neighbors moved in, people who seem very nice, but whose dog goes into 10-minute barking jags in the afternoon when he’s alone in the apartment Continue reading

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