Thursday, June 19, 2008

lawn care and public speaking

The weather here has been so beautiful that we spend every afternoon and evening it enjoying it as much as we can. I don’t have much energy for blogging when we finally come back in the house. Blogging and texting. Ha!

I think if someone would invent a soundproof screen room it would be very popular in Minnesota. The last two nights when we were sitting in the yard, several of our neighbors started up their two-cycle engines to sheer off parts of their vegetation and greatly disturbed the peace and quiet of the summer evening. I sympathize with their need for order and short grass, but do we have to suffer?

I think if our grass gets long, we’re just making oxygen.

I watched, with great interest, the memorial for Tim Russert. I noticed that while most people had notes or written comments, not all of them used them as much as others. I wonder if that indicates a difference between people whose preference for communication is speaking and those whose preference is writing. If I ever have to speak in public, I have to have most of the words written down and I usually have to use my written text. That’s why interviews are so painful. Of course, many of the people who spoke are professional journalists and that would give them an edge.

Yesterday on my way home, I thought of a topic I wanted to write about and even started composing it in my head. By the time I got to it, it had floated over the horizon like a big balloon and damn it, I can’t recall it. The other night I read a great essay by Ian Frazier called, If Memory Doesn’t Serve. He talks about how it’s cruel that your brain is less fresh as you get older and your life is more complicated. You have the freshest brain in your early years when you don’t have much to remember. When I told Regis about it, he said, “Oh yeah, Ian Frazier the movie star”. Or something like that. Which is exactly the point of the essay.

There's a cardinal outside my window that is expressing utter exuberance. You can hear it here if you aren't familiar. Once you know it, you'll never forget it.


Anonymous said...

I think the issue with ex-temporaneous speaking vs. reading is mostly self-confidence. That relates to familiarity with the group and degree of complexity of the arguments. I also bet that many of the media types (many are actors, really) are good memorizers. I think your buddy Barry Obama has memorized his lines quite thoroughly. I've seen him ex-temp and he fumbles like George W. Buy me a beer and I'll share more deep insights...;-)

Anonymous said...

It's easy for Larry the Retired to come up with a theory like that. He's clearing his head along with his files as he cleans out his office. There is more room in his head now for theorizing.

Teresa Saum said...

Read that If Memory Doesn't Serve essay. It's great. Larry the Retired better find another debate customer. I'm memory impaired.