Categories
family storytelling

How to Mow The Lawn

How to mow the lawn

In the interest of not being pathetic and dependent, I asked Bob to show me how to mow the lawn.

Last week he showed me, and this week I did it myself.

I know that my rows were not up to the razor-straight standards that he demands.

Some of the rows were downright wobbly.

All I could think of was that scene in True Detective where Woody Harrelson gets up in Matthew McConaughey’s face and snarls at him threateningly, “You don’t mow another man’s lawn.”

I’m a little concerned.

If I’m lucky, Bob will say, “Nice job,” with false sincerity.

And then he’ll never let me near the lawn mower again because he can’t trust me to do it right.

I can only hope

Categories
storytelling work

It Could Be a Very Interesting Concept

It could be a very interesting concept

IT COULD BE A VERY INTERESTING CONCEPT

I’ve been binge-reading Baldacci thrillers.

I’ve been binge-watching True Detective on HBO.

I can’t help but notice the similarities between Rustin Cohle and Amos Decker.

They both suffered devastating losses.

They both suffered brain injuries.

They both are insufferably self absorbed.

And they are both trying to do the best they can with the rotten hand they’ve been dealt.

Now I want to see a crossover where Cohle and Decker work a case together.

Marty Hart and Melvin Mars would have to show up too, to keep them from killing each other.

It could be a very interesting concept.

Categories
family storytelling

Tiger King

Tiger King

“What the heck is this Tiger King thing I keep seeing?” The Husband asked.

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

I explained Tiger King to him.

“You really watched that?” he asked, surprised.

I watched one episode, and I’ve seen the memes.

That’s all I need to know.

He assured me that if I annoy him during this quarantine, he will play Tiger King at full volume.

Hey, that’s MY threat.

Categories
family storytelling

A Budding Comedian in the Neighborhood

A budding comedian in the neighborhood

A BUDDING COMEDIAN IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

At intervals along the sidewalk in my neighborhood, a kid had written jokes in chalk.

At first I didn’t pay any attention.

But then I started to read them, and they were funny.

What is orange and sounds like a parrot?

A carrot.

I had to take a second lap around the block to read the ones I had missed.

Great job, Kid!

We’ve got a budding comedian in the neighborhood.

Now I expect to be entertained for the rest of the quarantine.

Categories
humor lifestyle reading

My Inciting Incident

My Inciting Incident

MY INCITING INCIDENT

Day Whatever of the quarantine.

The grown son has been flicking fruit stickers willy-nilly around the kitchen.

This may very well be my Inciting Incident…

Categories
lifestyle reading

Season One of True Detective

Season One of True Detective

SEASON ONE OF TRUE DETECTIVE

I just finished Season One of True Detective.

It wasn’t really a cop show.

It wasn’t really about a cold case.

It wasn’t really about what might have happened all those years ago.

That was just the vehicle to tell the story.

The real story was about sin and redemption.

And grief.

And enduring friendship.

I can’t wait to start Season Two.

Categories
dog lifestyle quarantine

Training the Dog During the Quarantine

training the dog during the quarantine

TRAINING THE DOG DURING THE QUARANTINE

The Grown Son has been training the dog during the quarantine.

“Bark twice if you see a virus.”

So far, the dog hasn’t barked.

And we are all healthy.

It worked!

I guess the thousands and thousands of viewings of Anchorman have finally paid off.

Categories
humor lifestyle quarantine

I Took A Long Walk

I took a long walk

I TOOK A LONG WALK

I took a long walk by the creek behind our house.

It’s been raining, so there was a lot of water.

And a lot of frogs.

Or maybe toads.

Who knows?

I couldn’t see them.

But I could hear them.

They were loud.

It kind of freaked me out.

They sound a lot like the Geiger counters in Chernobyl.

I knew I shouldn’t have watched that disaster show in the middle of our own disaster.

Categories
humor lifestyle quarantine

Everyone is Talking About Tiger King

everyone is talking about tiger king

EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT TIGER KING

Everyone is talking about Tiger King.

So I started to watch it.

I immediately determined that I lack the proper level of Quarantine Desperation necessary for this show.

I have started a concurrent binge of Prodigal Son and True Detective.

These are both really good stories.

I’ll keep Tiger King on the back burner.

If The Husband and I can ever be bothered to have a Quarantine Fight, I’ll watch Tiger King with the volume way up high.

Just to annoy him

Categories
lifestyle quarantine teaching

Six Tips to Improve Your Video Conference

six tips to improve your video conference

SIX TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR VIDEO CONFERENCE

I work online, and I do video conferencing every day. Now that we are well into our quarantine, and we are all communicating online, I want to give six tips to improve your video conference.

  1. CAMERA POSITION

Make sure your camera is at eye level. If it is anywhere else, it is going to give an odd perspective. If your laptop is set up on a low coffee table, it is looking up at you, and your audience sees you distorted. They see huge knees. They see up your nose. They see the underside of your chin. Perhaps they are even getting a crotch shot. A downward view is equally distorting. Raise or lower your camera so that the lens is at eye level.

  1. IMAGE POSITION

Position the top of your head to the top and center of the screen and make sure your image covers more than 50% of the screen. Stay there for the entire conference. To keep yourself from skooching down, sit in a secretary chair or a wooden dining room chair. Chairs with arms and upholstered furniture lend themselves to slouching on camera. Check yourself often so that you continue to sit up straight and occupy more than 50% of the screen.

  1. LIGHTING

Do not put your back to a window. You will be seen in silhouette.

  1. BACKGROUND

Keep your background clean and clear. A blank wall is best. If you don’t have a blank wall, then position your camera for a close up shot so that your face takes up most of the screen. This will lessen the distraction of the background.

  1. MOVEMENT

Sit still. If you use a standing desk, stand still. The camera doesn’t know what to focus on when you are moving about. I have seen many people on video calls this week with their bookcase in focus rather than their face because they are moving around, and the camera doesn’t know where to focus.

  1. SOUND

Mute yourself when you are not speaking. Small sounds that you don’t notice in person can be heard by everyone else. Keyboarding, finger tapping and dogs yapping are all very loud on the mic, even if they are not loud in person.


Let me know if these six tips to improve your video conference have been helpful.