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The Cheshire Press ... Here's our newest
publication-Old Dame Dancing, Essays From the Eighth Decade,
by Nancy Parsons.
In her eighth decade, and feeling compelled
on what “she got out of it all,” Nancy Parsons
offers this collection of casual essays. It’s a mixed
dish of memoir, social comment, and rant, loosely organized
around the subject of aging, and seasoned with a healthy helping
of humor. With the right attitude, growing older is an adventure.
It would be a shame to miss it.
From My Body Has An Age, I Don’t
I worked with a videographer once—this was years ago—who
had filmed Raquel Welch.
“Stunning woman,” he told me. “Drop-dead
gorgeous, except for her feet. She had old feet.”
You are filming Raquel Welch, I thought, and you are looking
at her feet?
A great book with lots of laughs. Look for it
on the cheshire press
This is the 67th issue of The Better Mousetrap.
We have archived the last few issues on our web site. It is
easy to review them. Just click
here for the list or go to the Cheshire
Group web site and click on the link that says "Newsletter
ROAD NOT TAKEN - ROBERT FROST.
of us have read Frost's 1916 poem in high school. And it has
often been loved and quoted for the wrong reasons, at least
according to David Orr in his recent book —"The
Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves
and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong.."
Here is the poem:
roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth:
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads onto way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
of commencement speakers have quoted this poem because of
its perceived message. Avoid the common route. Go your own
way. Be a maverick, a nonconformist in the great American
tradition of Emerson and Thoreau.
But go now back to the second
stanza. As far as the traffic on them, the two roads are "really,"
Frost acknowledges "about the same." Two questions
immediately occur. If there is little to distinguish the two
roads, what do we make of the last stanza? And if the poem
is not a straightforward assertion of nonconformism, what
is it about?
One thing it is about is the
inevitability of regret. You can not "be one traveler"
and take both paths. At any crossroads you must choose and
though you may keep alive the hope you'll return someday,
you know deep down you will never get a second chance. "I
doubted if I should ever come back."
What about the proud boast in
the last stanza? The key line, easy to overlook is "I
shall be telling this with a sigh." The sigh communicates
regret even as it paves the way for a stirring declaration
of independence. But this declaration may just be a case of
a proud man praising his own past.
So subtle is this seemingly
plain-spoken poet that he can have it both ways. He can appeal
to readers who look for adages, nuggets of wisdom. and he
can reward those who value subtlety and complexity. Frost's
economy is exemplary: the "yellow" wood in line
one suffices to place us in autumn. And the vagueness of "Somewhere
ages and ages hence" establishes that the speaker is
an older gentleman given to recollecting the past with a distant
look in his eyes.
What is the sneakiest word in
the poem? Hint. It's in the title.The word is "not,"
a powerful word because it gives presence to absence, summoning
up what is not there. The poem is about the road the speaker
takes, not about the one disdained. The road not taken is
the road we will never know except perhaps in alternative
versions of history.
Wall Street Journal
15 October 2016
BIG BENEFITS OF A LITTLE SMALL TALK.
who passes regularly through busy public spaces knows that
one casualty of our obsession with digital devices has been
small talk. With our eyes glued to our smartphones, fewer
of us engage anymore with people whom we don't know well.
But are we missing something in this loss of idle chitchat?
A growing body of research suggests
that small talk has surprising benefits. In a recent study
researchers found that daily interactions with casual acquaintances,
like chatting with your regular barista at the coffee shop
can contribute to day-to-day well-being,
In a series of studies, participants
were asked to track their daily interactions with people connected
to them by "strong ties" (family and friends) and
"weak ties" (acquaintances). On days when participants
had more "weak tie" interactions than usual, they
a greater sense of belonging and happiness. Like having a
diverse financial portfolio, possessing a "diverse social
portfolio might make people less vulnerable to fluctuations
in their social network."
Chitchat is also an important
social lubricant, helping to build empathy and a sense of
community. It is much harder to snap at a taxi driver for
going the wrong way if you have just exchanged pleasantries.
Small talk can humanize others across the usual divides; like
saying hello to the mail carrier or being appreciative of
the server in a restaurant.
At parties or events consider
the 10/5 rule taught to many hotel and hospitality employees:
When you're 10 feet away, make eye contact; at 5 feet away,
say hello. Pay people a compliment like "I like your
bow tie!" Don't over-estimate the social risks involved
in small talk, Most people not only want to talk to you, they'll
wind up confiding things they may not even tell a spouse.
A few tips for successful small
Find common ground.
Ask "How do you know the host? or "Have
you been going to a lot of these events?"
Instead of going from topic to topic, find one subject and
dig deeper. Sports, family and travel are often good topics
for sustained conversation.
Small talk is an opportunity to learn something new. For example
if the person sitting next to you says that he works in renewable
energy, admit that you have no idea how wind power actually
works. People appreciate candor and will respond in kind.
Ask interesting questions.
If someone says "It sure is cold." reply, "What's
the coldest you've ever been?"
Instead of ending abruptly with "Well, nice to talk with
you," subtle verbal cues like "Before we take off"
or "Since I only have a few minutes left" send a
gentler signal that you'd like the small talk to end.
Wall Street Journal
1 October 2016
esteem in this country has gone up substantially , It
nice now that when people wave at me, they use all their
all want their sons to be president but they
don't want them to be become politicians in the process
John F. Kennedy
matter how much cats fight
there always seem to be plenty of kittens
ABCs OF BUSINESS-PART VII.
A Modern Glossary for Workplace Survival
in nonfascist institutions doesn't count, so long as you don't
harbor rotten fruit in your drawers, allow dead animals on
your desk or lose too many crucial things. Alot of very competent
people need clutter to keep their myriad projects before their
eyes. To them, chaos means vitality. This insouciance is all
very well and good until you toss out your paycheck with your
occurs when people get together to try to get something from
each other, which makes it very anxiety-producing and boring
if you don't want anything from anybody.
is a serious profanity in business. You seldom want to say
it. Better to just say "Yes" or "Maybe"and
do nothing about the matter until it goes away.
in the Wall Street Journal
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but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that
isn't everything, it's the only thing."
arranged with my executor to be buried in Chicago.
Because when I die I want to still remain active
a better mouse-trap and the world will beat a path to your
Ralph Waldo Emerson
can build it but they don't have to come. Let your
market know the product is there.
BETTER MOUSE-TRAP helps you do it. To do it even better
call The Cheshire Group
978 475-1478 or visit us