de poezenboot

Friday Five

1. FOMO. When I was small, my mom insisted on a proper bedtime. It didn’t matter if we had company. (Remember when guests were considered “company”?) I would lie awake thinking about what was going on out in the living room. I’d hear their laughter and the clinking of glasses. What were they discussing? It didn’t matter that I never understood the inside jokes. I was missing out! I would get up at least 10 times for water, bathroom, monsters in the closet, etc. just so I could be part of the conversation in some way. I doubt that I’m alone in this. I bet you have similar memories, and maybe your children, if you have them, do the same thing.

This follows us into adulthood, doesn’t it? This fear of missing out (FOMO). That’s why we check Twitter and FB relentlessly. It’s why we want the latest gadgets and why we can’t wait to get a seat at the hottest restaurant in town. We don’t want to be left out of the conversation. We still want to belong.

Leo Babauta over at Zen Habits wrote about FOMO this week and he offers a few suggestions to enjoy where you are and what you’re doing right this second.

Do you ever experience FOMO? 

2. Super Moon. This Saturday, if there is a clear sky where you are, take a moment to look into the night sky. The moon’s orbit will be closest to earth  than it has in years, making it appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a regular full moon. (It will be the closest at 11:34 pm EDT.) The super moon actually occurs every year, but this year it will appear larger than it has in a long time partly because it will coincide precisely with the full moon.

The supermoon of March 2011, rising behind the Lincoln Memorial In Washington, DC. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

For a little more scientific explanation but still easy to understand, check out this short NASA video, including lots of cool super moon photos.

3, Here, kitty, kitty, kitty. My friend Michele over at Vegtastic Voyage posted about The Teal Cat Project, which is a fundraiser for cat rescue groups by turning cat tchotchkes found at thrift stores or yard sales into collectibles. Then the kitties are painted a glossy teal color, tagged and sold with all of the money going to the rescue groups. New kitties are coming this May. Isn’t it great when you can find a way of taking a hobby (thrifting/crafting) that pays it forward? (If you love thrifting, you can also donate kitty tchotchkes that you find to the project.)

Speaking of rescue cats…when we were in Amsterdam, we learned about a really unique way to provide a shelter for stray and abandoned cats – a houseboat, of course! De Pozenboot (The Cat Boat) has been around since 1966. They are docked right on one of the picturesque canals in the heart of Amsterdam. Unfortunately the day we were there, visiting hours were closed, but we did see one kitty getting some fresh air on the side deck there.

4. The best little idea I never thought of. Maybe friends Todd Bol and Rick Brooks of Madison, Wisconsin, were channeling Andrew Carnegie when they decided to build libraries around the country. Their libraries aren’t imposing brick and mortar structures; they look more like small birdhouses designed to encourage the neighborly sharing of books. Each Little Free Library holds a dozen or so books and has a sign, “Leave a Book, Take a Book.”

It started with one little library in Tod’s yard as a memorial to his mother in 2009. Soon, people were stopping by and expressing interest in starting their own little library. “It was like a literary water cooler, where people gathered and had a discussion about books in a way they wouldn’t have had if they had just met on the street,” he said.

Each library has a steward who signs a contract to oversee and maintain the book collection, and one of the first stewards was Megan Blake-Horst, the owner of Absolutely Art Gallery in Madison. About a year and a half ago, installed a little library on a bike trail that runs next to her gallery. Now there are 80 little libraries in 12 states and 5 countries. At the website a map lists all of the locations so you can find one in your community. How SHINE-worthy is that?

5. Back to Basics. Starting June 4, I’m teaching an online creative writing course through The Loft Literary Center. It’s a fun class for beginning writers, where we discuss one element of fiction each week such as dialogue  and setting. There are writing exercises and readings from master works highlighting that week’s topic. I developed the syllabus and put together all of the course materials myself and I’m proud of the result.  If you or anyone you know might be interested, please forward the link above or in the sidebar on the right. Registration is open until the first day of class.

Have a great weekend, everyone!