Posts Tagged ‘simple living’

Simple LivingI don’t like turkey.

This will come as a shock to my family, who as I grew up watched me order a turkey sandwich every time we went out to eat. It didn’t matter where we went or when–breakfast at IHOP, dinner at Denny’s, a special meal at Sabella’s–I always ordered a turkey sandwich. (I was also always served last, but that’s an entirely different story.) I would order the turkey sandwich, the club sandwich, or (in a pinch) the hot turkey open-face sandwich; it didn’t really matter as long as it had turkey.

I loved turkey. (more…)

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Simple Living

One evening, when I was courting my wife-to-be, we were at my place when the phone rang. Since we were talking, I ignored the phone. “Aren’t you going to answer that?” Nope. If it was important, they’d call back (I didn’t have an answering machine). This was my relationship with technology in those days. Technology was my servant, not the reverse.

Well, sometime during the last three decades, that has changed, so I’m just now coming off a full week of an “internet fast.”

Overall, I am surprised at how easy it was. I stuck to my “going dark” guidelines so successfully that when I tried to go back online, I found that all my little electronic connectimoids needed to be charged up. The computer, the tablet, even the smartphone had gone almost entirely unused for a whole week.

What did I miss? What didn’t I miss?


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TFL Problem

I will not be employing a shabbos goy this week.

When I lived in Jerusalem, I learned about the shabbos goy. The shabbos goy is a non-Jew who will do tasks of work which are forbidden to Jews on the Sabbath. To keep everything on the up-and-up, the shabbos goy should be someone who would be on the premises anyway, such as a maintenance worker or babysitter. Thus, on the Sabbath, a shabbos goy can turn on the house’s lights or rekindle the fire (both of which are forbidden to Jews), and everyone benefits from the work that the shabbos goy did. No commandments were broken. Nothing to see here. Move along.

So, as I said, I will not be using a shabbos goy this week.

In a prevoius post, I mentioned that I was considering an “internet diet.”

Well, today it begins. Today I’ll be going dark.

I’ll be taking it One Day at a Time, but my goal is to go a full week without major technological contact.

What does that mean, specifically? Good idea. Let’s define terms…


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There is nothing so infuriating to my liberal mind than FWPs–First World Problems–and this week I have been beset with them.

Why do I find them so infuriating? Because with each FWP, with each annoyance, with each disruption to my life and my regular routine, as I climb the mountain of frustration, as I reach the pinnacle, the apex of exasperation, I am also acutely aware of how lucky I am.

I know that, should I step away from the desk in my home office, take my iPad and a fresh cup of coffee out onto the deck and wirelessly tippy-tap my woes out into the social medium, my friends (who are also online) will rally to my side, nod sagaciously (albeit virtually), and say “There, there” in their myriad, understanding ways. I also know that my rant, were it to come before the eyes of someone outside my tiny, privileged world, someone who had real problems, it would be met with gaping incredulity.

  • I have a connection to the internet.
  • I have a handful of devices with which I can connect to the internet.
  • I can connect to the internet wirelessly.
  • I can connect from my home.
  • I have a deck on which I can take a break from my job.
  • I have a job I can do from my home.
  • I have a job.
  • I have a home. 
  • I have fresh coffee.
  • I have water. In my home.
  • I have food. In my home.
  • I have a loving spouse.
  • I am healthy.

So, as the top of my brain is screaming because the latest upgrade to Widget-Master 19 has completely destroyed my DirectAccess Connectivity Assistance Service, thus forcing me to lose two whole days’ worth of work as I re-install and re-configure everything on my workstation, as my inner Time Management Center goes ballistic because the weeds in the back garden are growing faster than I can find time to pull them, and as my personal I-Want-It-All-Now nodes are confounded by rain (no drives in the convertible), the rest of me, my deep-brain reality receptors, they know that it’s all hogwash; it’s all just silliness and maundering.

In short, I’ve got it good, and I’m going to shut up, now.


Simple Living

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Simple LivingThese days, with so much on my mind, my natural inclination is to retreat, pull the blanket over my head, and hide. I want to shut out the world, shut off my brain, and think of nothing nothing nothing.

And some days I do just that. Returning from my mother’s bedside, I binged on the DVR’s  stacked up episodes of “Storage Wars” (both versions) and immersed myself in the mindless violence of “Borderlands 2” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops II”. Through the judicious application of Islay whisky and long bouts on the elliptical and treadmill, I’ve kept my body tired enough to sleep through the night (as long as I have to get up at 5am, that is). I’ve read nothing but posts on Facebook and emails.

In short, nothing of substance has entered my brain. I haven’t had a decent thought in days.

Enough of that.

Simplicity doesn’t come on its own. There isn’t a back-alley entrance to serenity. Peace comes from acceptance and understanding.

I must think, to accept. I must think, to understand.


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Simple LivingThe holiday season always brings out my Inner Curmudgeon.

I won’t bore you with a crabby, cliché-riddled tirade against materialism and the mania that infects our nation during the calendar’s final months. You’ve heard that many times by now, and you’re either down with it or you’re down at the mall.

But there are other things we do, sabotaging our own best interests in the name of Holiday Spirit. We do them unconsciously. We never question them. To do so would be heresy. So that’s what I aim to do.


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