Donuts are part of the magic that makes life so sweet. I founded the Level 3 Friday Donut Club in 2004 and ran it until my departure in 2015. It had a three year run at Windstream and is now virtual, but at its peak, we had a rotation of 50+ folks who brought donuts every Friday. We had three simple rules: (1) five dozen (2) boutique shop donuts (3) by 8:00 am. This blog memorializes these e-mails to share my thoughts (and, once upon a time, announce the donut arrival). Have a happy Friday!
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To Emoji or not to Emoji 🍩
In this era of digital communication, the growing cast of available emoji seems a convenient and fun way to enrich your message. The plethora of colorful options lends your communication a palette unavailable to classic writers. Use them to reduce your keystrokes (a lion image instead of the word "lion"), add emphasis (balloons, streamers and a cake after "happy birthday" ), or convey emotion (choose a happy face among the dozens of options ). Lately I've been pondering the hidden pitfalls behind these seemingly harmless characters. I loften use humor when communicating and tend to be liberal with the range of meanings I ascribe to any given icon. I assume people will get my drift and, if they don't, no harm done. Right? Maybe. Maybe my lack of guile and hipness blinds me to inadvertent double entendre (or, worse, insult). What if there is a secret thesaurus people use to decrypt the hidden meaning in these pictures? Is one smiley face more appropriate than another for a given circumstance 🤨🧐? Does the color of the heart I chose to signal appreciation mean something specific ️? Does replacing a heart with a peach send the wrong message ?
(this heart shaped fruit was in my recently used emoji due to my año viejo effigy, and I may have subsequently used them interchangeably).
I suppose that's a chance you take, particularly when delving into humor. There is only so much mind reading you can expect from your audience. We all have our own background, perspective and baggage. Hopefully you know me well enough to see through any miscommunication and know I meant well. Then again, maybe I should refrain from their use altogether. I have mixed emotions over emoticons and my cognitive dissonance makes me feel like I have a double-standard. On one hand I have convinced myself I'm clever and my emoji use is hilarious. On the other hand, I find a response with three teary-eyed smiley faces both irking and loathsome (whoever designed that emoji should be summarily shot ). Maybe I should stick to safe emoji like the donut. It's sweet, simple and leaves no room for misinterpretation. Or not.
Friends, My family gained a new daughter last week. As I welcome the freshly minted Mrs. González, I wish the new couple a lasting, loving, happy and tranquil marriage. I am also reminded of a special delivery I received at the wedding. A few weeks ago, my niece/goddaughter held a “go fund me” and offered to stitch something for the donors. I, of corse, asked for a horse jumping through a donut. The completed masterpiece depicting this unlikely combo now has a special place in my office, and brings a smile to my face every time I see it. That said, I may forgo the obligatory donut today and opt for some of the leftover cake we still have at the house. Happy Friday! New addition to the Family Horse through donut with the artist Horse through donut at it’s new home shelf P.S. The donut wall in action.
Friends, The human form is the measure by which we frame the world around us. We are, after all, most familiar with (and full of) ourselves. Take the friendly elevator at Shift, the coworking environment where I sometimes migrate to change scenery. It’s no more or less efficient than other elevators, yet, the illusion of a smiley face created by the card reader’s reflection makes the space just a tad more endearing. The elevator could, for all I know, be an evil machine plotting my demise. Nah! Who am I kidding, it can’t be. What with its symmetric “eyes” and understated grin. Nothing so cute could possibly be waiting for the right moment to plunge me to my grave from the top floor. Could it? Another example: receiving two thumbs up is universally accepted as a sign of having done a great job. Unless, of course, if it’s coming from a koala bear. With two opposable thumbs in each hand, anything short of four thumbs has room for improvement. Which leads me to donuts. Last week’s expedit
Friends, The book Ready Player One sent me down memory lane this week. The journey was not triggered by the author’s excessive references to the 1980s, which border on obsessive. Rather, it was the name of the massive virtual reality simulation used by characters in this dystopian future to escape their grim surroundings: The OASIS. You see, that was also the name of my grandfather’s country estate, the setting where a disproportionate share of my treasured childhood memories were created. La Quinta Oasis was a bucolic old whitewashed house with a massive stone staircase, three foot thick adobe walls and wooden window shutters that, when closed at night, would submerge the residence in pitch darkness. With no running water, electricity, phone or indoor plumbing, the only modern convenience was the battery transistor radio on which my uncles would listen to “Chucho el Roto”, a radio soap opera. The Spanish fighting roosters crowed long before sunrise, making it difficult to fall back