Men are not buff. Wood can be buffed and sometimes, very beautifully!

This is one of those words that never wander through my brain. I don’t think of men as buff. Handsome, well-built, sexy? Buff to me sounds like something you do with Photoshop to make the picture look better in an expensive fashion magazine. Not a really human thing.

But I do think of buff if I’m thinking about wood finishing. Especially which kind of sandpaper or buffing cloth I need to get that wood as silky as I can. I used to do a lot of that sort of thing, before my son grew up and took away all my tools because I was obviously too helpless to do anything involving tools with sharp edges.

These pictures are very buffed!

It’s not that I’m helpless these days, but I am a bit wobbly. It makes clambering up chairs or step ladders — or hauling heavy stuff around — a bit dicey. Nonetheless, carefully hidden in my hall closet, I have a little  jigsaw and mini power sander … in case I get an uncontrollable urge to carve a piece of local oak.

I know language changes. As a rule, I change with it because that’s how it goes. I have watched American English drift and I don’t always like the drift, but I go with it anyway. Every now and again, a word is used in a way that simply annoys me.

Buff as a description of the human male? That’s one of them. Unless, of course, he used to be a hunk of wood but has now been properly polished and smoothed to an ultra fine finish!


Share Your World – May 29, 2017

What is the most famous landmark or building you have ever seen?

It has been my fate to live in and visit a few famous cities. I grew up in New York, so there has always been The Empire State Building. Then, there’s the Western Wall of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. And the Tower of London … that’s pretty well-known, isn’t it? How about the Golden Gate Bridge … or for that matter, the Brooklyn Bridge? The White House? The U.S. Capitol Building? Fenway Park? Stonehenge? Mab’s Cairn? London Bridge?

And Garry and I are ardent, enthusiastic visitors to museums … many of which are famous places in their own right. No way to answer this except that each place has been special in its own way and I wouldn’t give up any of them.

Which would be the most famous? I have no idea.

Do you like long vacation or lots of mini-vacations?

I like long vacations, but I have nothing against little vacations either. I like long vacations because you can relax and get into the mood of the place. At least two weeks in one place and you can finally relax. Stop thinking about going back to work or going home to clean up the mess into which your house has probably fallen in your absence!

But little vacations are like the cherry on the sundae … just a delicious something to sweeten the week.

These days, with the dogs, really long vacations have been few and far between … even more now that we have Gibbs who does not do well without us.

What is your favorite National or State Park?

I haven’t been to all of them or even half of them, so I can only guess.

The two I best remember are The Grand Canyon — one of those places you have to be to really “feel” … and Muir Woods outside San Francisco. Wonderful, both of them and completely different.

What is your fantasy vacation?

I always wanted to drive from east to west coast and back again. Maybe take a northern route going and a southern route heading home again. We’re still thinking about it. The problems are mostly financial (all those motels cost money!) … the dogs … and time. But we’re thinking.


I love shopping when I’m looking for something specific. It’s like a treasure hunt. My pulse quickens and all my senses go on high alert. I’m like an animal stalking prey. Will I find it down the next aisle? Or around the next corner? The perfect short-sleeved top in a bright summer color with a round or V neckline. Or the earrings that will go perfectly with my turquoise and white print dress.

Why do we get such a rush when we find some item to buy that meets the needs of the moment? Why do we get such a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when we buy it and take it home? Why do we get so excited when we take it out and use it or wear it for the first time?

The endorphin rush I get from shopping must have physiological and evolutionary roots. It’s such a common phenomenon among humans. Maybe it’s like the primeval drive of the hunter or gatherer to provide for his family. Maybe we are programmed to enjoy the search for the necessities of life. Then, by extension, we end up thrilled by the search for amenities and even frivolities as well.

People can even get addicted to shopping – online shopping, QVC television shopping, all kinds of shopping. Most people can control their shopping urges. I have actually been on a long shopping hiatus. These days I only shop at the supermarket, the hardware store and the pet store.

I’m at a point in my life when I really don’t need much. I have enough clothes and too much jewelry. Also a house full of books. After two years of decorating, my house won’t need anything decorative for years. My only recent purchase was a new Cuisinart to replace the old one that broke.

So I satisfy my shopping needs by shopping with friends. I get the thrill of the hunt with none of the guilt from spending too much money. Or the angst of deciding what to buy and whether or not to actually buy it. It’s also fun figuring out what someone else will like. It adds an intellectual element to the game.

I went clothes shopping with a friend today. I’d forgotten how intense and focused I get when I shop. I was thrilled when my friend said I have a good eye and that I’m a great shopper. What a compliment! I felt elated!

Now that I’ve got my shopping fix, I can go back to suppressing my shopping urges. At least until I can find another friend who has to go to a wedding!


HEAR Now – A Festival for AUDIO Lovers

Visit: http://www.hearnowfestival.org for additional information

HEAR Now: Audio Fiction & Arts Festival returns to Kansas City June 8-11, 2017, for its 5th annual 4-day weekend.

Like a good film festival, HEAR Now features panels of producers and artists showcasing their work, an annual “Audio Forum” blending audio fiction and storytelling with other disciplines in an immersion experience of audio arts. You won’t believe your ears!

Country singer songwriter Kasey Lansdale (daughter of author Joe R. Lansdale) will be available to discuss Wondery’s podcast, featuring her new horror tale – Blind Love. Simon Jones will perform a brand new Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

“It’s the only festival of its kind in the U.S. dedicated to the art of recorded and live audio storytelling in all its many genres and forms,” says HEAR Now Festival Director Cynthia Allen. “This is a chance to educate your ears and your imagination.”

INNOVATIONS opens the Festival at the Kansas City Public Library’s Truman Auditorium on Thursday, June 8th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

HEAR Now also offers hands-on training in production and story-telling. Dramatic Podcast Workshop 101, led by former NPR anchor Frank Stasio and playwright Howard Craft, focuses on creating new original short fiction.

The NATF Playhouse showcases productions in a high-quality listening environment. The show runs through Friday, June 9th.

It closes with a retrospective of Simon Jones’ more than 40-year career as a voice artist, beginning with Arthur Dent in the first-ever Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and ending with special new audio treats.

For more information visit http://www.hearnowfestival.org. Questions? Email hearnowfestival@gmail.com.

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