Anything & Everything

February 1, 2018

Spreading The Word On An Excellent Bit Of Content

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life — Susan Morgan @ 9:47 am
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I saw a figure the other day from Pew Research that took me by surprise — 86% of adults are now using the internet. The population skews young, with some college and makes a healthy income.

The online world is massive, and it’s hard to get a handle on everything that’s going on. I thought it might help if I shared some of the tips I’ve learned to stay informed without spending hours and hours online.

It was a client who first suggested I check out NextDraft from Dave Pell, and I’m so glad I did!

A self confessed admits to being obsessed by news and visits over 50 carefully chosen sites daily to pick the most fascinating bits on tech, ideas or culture to share. I always learn something new with every read of NextDraft.

What’s more, the format’s easy to get through, the headlines are a hoot and if you’re not into giving out your email address, you can download a free app for your iPhone or iPad. Easy, peasy, right?

If you want to see what the rest of the internet is searching for, I highly recommend google hot trends, a ranking by number of google searches for the day. Really gives you a peek into what people want to know more about. There’s even a list (put out by google) of the top search terms for 2013 — mostly full of notable deaths, electronics and royal news. Still quite informative.


October 17, 2016

What’s In A Name? A Lot More Than You Think

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life,Musings — Susan Morgan @ 12:56 pm

Time to share a personal pet peeve. If I’m repeating myself, please be patient.

impaired-symbols-6311909I HATE the word disabled. It implies deficiency and helplessness. It promotes a mindset of need. I contend that those we label as “disabled” are neither without defenses or in need of much assistance to manage daily life. I wonder how people with disabling issues feel – do they chafe, as I do, at being being categorized? Or do they simply accept and go about their lives?

Yes I do have an impairment —in my case it’s visual, for others it may be any number of things — normal intelligence, physical problems, or psychological issues. I understand there are serious, life altering disabilities out there that people have to cope with on a daily basis. Like others, I’ve lived (and fought against) this all my life.

Still I do not consider myself disabled. I’m able, just fighting a different challenge.

One that’s more obvious at times than I would like. Recently I faced a situation where I felt singled out in an online social work class I’m taking. The instructor spent class time talking about the Office of Disability Services, and referenced a legally blind student, saying “she” could get all kinds of help there.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was out of class that day, an excused absence to attend a funeral for a childhood friend’s 27-year-old niece who had died unexpectedly. When I watched the recorded class I was mortified — the comments brought to he surface all the things I have fought so hard to overcome.

Being labelled. Being exposed as deficient in some way (as if other students can’t tell my glasses are a mile thick and I have to lean close to the screen sometimes). Being forced to think about an issue I thought long gone.

It’s this experience that has made me think about the language we use to describe people — to put them in piles with a neat label. I for one resent it. I admit (reluctantly) that I have a visual impairment, but I refuse to call myself disabled.

Food for thought or aimless rant?

May 6, 2016

The Kindness Of Strangers

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life,Family — Susan Morgan @ 9:14 am

Even a month later I can still see their faces, still am unable to tell the story without a lump rising to choke me, and goosebumps up and down my body.

kindnessIt was an ordinary Saturday morning in late March, in a suburb like so many others in this country. It took place inside a real, old-school barbershop full of customers. and an old man using every bit of energy he had to get this one errand accomplished.


March 3, 2016

On The Decline Of The Soap Opera

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life — Susan Morgan @ 4:59 pm

days-of-our-livesThey used to be a staple of daytime TV, from 12:30 to 4:00 all three major networks had offerings — something for everyone. Mythical towns. Perfectly groomed people living fabulously dramatic lives. There were soap opera awards and fan magazines devoted to plot summaries and interviews. There were events with select cast members. There were even times when the wedding of a beloved couple would disrupt normal life. In those days before the internet and social media, that kind of attention was huge.

These days there are but four stubborn holdouts —General Hospital, Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful – testaments to an era that has come and gone.

What’s endearing (or annoying) is that if you watched either of the remaining holdout soaps in their heyday you’d recognize the same crop of actors, the same storylines and villains, the same impossible aging, suspension of reality and astonishing lack of productivity these shows have always had. It was what we loved (and hated) about them. It was why we watched.

964905577d63861491dde0508e7558deI must admit to being a little sad to see the soap opera fading away. I bonded with many people in bygone days about the happenings on those shows. Probably a lot like what we do today for Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. To a whole generation soap operas were pretty important, storylines could shock or offend; but that was in the days before You Tube and gazillions of cable channels, the internet and handheld phones.

Maybe we all just got too busy living life to watch it being lived. Reality television and trash talking TV shows took hold, slowly but surely, salacious step by step they made the once edgy soap seem stale and scripted. Reality it seems is still better than any TV drama to be produced.

Isn’t that what’s behind the saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction”?

February 22, 2016

Looking Back On All The Crap I Learned In High School

Filed under: Blogging,General Stuff,Thoughts — Susan Morgan @ 7:59 am

Like the Paul Simon song says, “When I think back on all the crap I leaned in high school, It’s a wonder I can think at all.”

171188With my last child slogging his way through high school and questioning why he needs to learn some of these things, I find myself wondering. how much of what I was taught in those days has stood the test of time?

Wow, when you start to list it out, it really was a lot of crap. The real learning didn’t start until college. I remember on the day I graduated I was sure I’d never have to study, my learning days were behind me, except they weren’t. Far from it.

I’ve learned more since I left that building than I ever did inside it.

Makes me wonder how much of what my own children were taught in those hallowed halls of high school might one day (maybe soon) be proven untrue, be labelled crap.

February 17, 2016

Understanding The Difference Between Expectations And Reality

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life,Musings — Susan Morgan @ 9:29 am

stop-expecting-300x300I expect a lot, I readily admit this, though I find the term, “high maintenance” supremely insulting. A way to put down a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to tell you. Luckily the man I share my life with understands my expectations (for myself as much as anyone), appreciates it (can you believe that?) and admits to benefiting from it.

Having high expectations can ruin you, if you let it. The ability to distinguish between reality and your expectation is key to keeping yourself from being disappointed. Be realistic in what you expect… perfection is great in your dreams but pretty hard to achieve in real life. Get as close as you can. Understand that things can, and do, go wrong sometimes and that’s okay. Greatness can still be possible too, just not the greatness you expected.


January 6, 2016

Bad Times Are Good Teachers

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life,Musings,Writing — Susan Morgan @ 5:56 pm

bad-times-bcf71bThere are times in life when everybody wins. Everybody but you.

One of the hardest, loneliest of these is where a “win-win” is joyfully proclaimed and celebrated by everyone, except you. Whatever misgivings or concerns you might have are brushed aside, not even making the radar. No one sees what you do. The siren song of victory is calling to them all, no dark clouds in sight for anyone, but you.

If there is a lesson in the bad times in my own personal journey, I’ve yet to find it. Perhaps I’m a slow learner. Or a hopeless pessimist. Or lack true faith that things are unfolding as they were meant to.


December 7, 2015

In A New York Minute

Filed under: Blogging,General Stuff,Life — Susan Morgan @ 9:30 am
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It was only a few days ago that I visited New York City for the first time.

radio-city-hall-nyc-new-york-manhattanBelieve me, if funds allowed I’d be far more well-travelled at my age than I am. As it is I don’t go far from home very often. We vacation in the same New England state that we live in. My honeymoon to Bermuda was 25+ years ago, and we made the obligatory trip to Disney in Florida, as well as being lucky enough to take a cruise to Mexico and visit the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. With little travel experience to my credit, I look forward to any opportunity to go someplace, even if just for a short while.

So when the chance to visit New York City came up, I jumped at it. Short as it would be, I’d have the adventure, see for myself the sights, the people and the iconic places we all know. Anyone who can, and never has, really needs to go into New York City for a few hours. If only once.


November 7, 2015

Declaring Facebook Independence

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life,Musings — Susan Morgan @ 8:28 am

break_from_FB_061714_web_titleI admit to being a regular Facebook user who has gleefully eliminated trips to card stores and the post office. Who gets to keep up on the life events of the people I love who happen to live across the country. Who follows favorite authors and groups of interest. Who laughs at The Onion headlines and the occasional Purple Clover item.

Facebook really shines on your birthday. That one day a year when it’s all about Y.O.U. Being on the receiving end of all those wishes is a great feeling. But then, I’m one of those (silly) people who unrealistically expects the whole world to stop and acknowledge the day I arrived on this planet. It isn’t logical, but it’s how I feel, How I’ve always felt.

And still I would say that I really think the Facebook thing has gotten totally out of hand. (more…)

October 6, 2015

When Being A Mrs. Matters More Than Anything Else

Filed under: Blogging,Family — Susan Morgan @ 6:08 am

I will never get used to this; and by “this” I mean being one of a dwindling number of people who accurately remember the story. Who were there as front row witnesses to events those involved wish would be forgotten..

Today I’m going to vent about a situation where my honset, not easy to say advice was utterly and completely ignored. But I wasn’t wrong, even if I’m someday the only one who remembers.

27FIELDNOTES-articleLargeThe story goes like this. Entitled Son (ES) meets Old School Piety (OSP) in a club one night. They were both with friends in the crowded and noisy place, trying to have the required “good time.” As the two were not totally repulsed by one another, they chatted and laughed and he promised to call. ES meant what he said (unless something better came along, of course) and when he had time he gave her a call. OSP was pleasantly surprised, though rightfully suspicious of all males after a hearty Catholic school education. They dated successfully for a time, met each other’s friends without incident, and gradually became a part of family times and celebrations.

They found they had things in common. An interest in nice cars and fine things. A love of Christmas. Travel, amusement parks and live events. He thought she was pretty and didn’t care about her ugly baby pictures; he didn’t laugh at the “jokes” told by her sisters. She thought he was handsome, charming, sentimental and totally under appreciated by his family.

Now of course ES and OSP were following the approved courtship path for couples of their age and circumstances. They bought gifts with care. Planned special times together. Neither had any other promising prospects for a long term relationship and OSP stopped looking. ES always looked, flirted and made himself available but there were no takers. In due course ES and OSP were engaged, had chosen the white dress and attendants, found a venue and priest.- a wedding shower was about to be held in ES’s backyard. (more…)

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