Hospice and Hidden Brain

I had the greatest morning, y’all.

There were zero other people involved, except my kids, but that’s okay, because they’re people I don’t hate and they got on the bus at 7:30 so we didn’t even really have time for a significant power struggle, or a mutiny or anything.


There was lots of driving, which I actually really love because it takes me back to the happiest time in my life which was commuting to Clarion five days a week.

Well. Except the hour I spent hugging a rock at the bottom of the ocean.


That’s different.

And because I was on the road I had the opportunity to make some headway on the episodes of Hidden Brain I’ve been hanging on to. I don’t like to start an episode unless I’m going to be able to finish it, and I don’t listen to podcasts anywhere but in the car. So it’s not often I get a full 30 to 50 minutes of straight driving to enjoy an episode. I listened to four on the way down.

And oh my heck it was one of those times when every episode was interesting and relatable and there were even threads of connection to be drawn between each of them.

The best so far was the Alan Alda miscommunication episode.

I fucking adore it when storytelling and psychology meet in a theoretical/philosophical discussion.

You have to hear this episode. It just blew me away how many times I found myself nodding emphatically and being like, “yes, yaaaas, check out the big brain on Alan Alda!”

You can listen to it here.

I’ll wait.


No, seriously. Go now.

I know you’re not going to listen to it. But you should. And I’m going to look at you with the same face your dog uses to watch you eat dinner without blinking while silently begging you to play with her.


I’ll just be right here.

With the eyes.

And the whines.

And the shaking.

Just…you know. Whenever you’re ready.

All done?

Okie doke. That was badass, right?

So badass. So many great things. The whole conversation about timing? I love how he talks about not spraying your dialogue. Every writer has an element that they kinda dominate.

Mine is dialogue.

I know. I know, you guys. If you’ve ever had a conversation with me you know I’m really really bad at mouth words. But that’s a processing thing. My brain to mouth wires are all mixed up.

But I have an ear for dialogue and I recreate it by writing as much as possible in the second person (directly to the reader), and that helps me to deliver humor and even serious feels by writing in a conversational tone. I generally am having a theoretical conversation with a faceless reader in my head as I write most columns, blog posts, and emails. And texts. And Facebook posts.

It’s a whole thing I do.

So hearing Alda reinforce and put words to stuff I recognize myself doing and not knowing how to explain is so great.

Let’s see. It’s now 10:30 pm and I just got home. I have gotten into the full nerd zone today and it feels like nerd Thanksgiving. I’m so stuffed full of podcasts.

Today I heard the following HB episodes:

  1. Tunnel Vision
  2. Lonely American Man
  3. Mind of the Village
  4. Daniel Kahneman
  5. Other People’s Blessings
  6. Why Now

They were all actually really good but my brain may have just been going full gluttony because I haven’t had time to watch a documentary or listen to NPR in almost two weeks and it was basically starving.

And then I started Lost In Translation but then I got to Centralia.

I’m too tired to make them pretty. I was sincer hoping for snowy hell highway photos. I wasn’t going to even go after the hospice lunch because there were so many people and so many feels in that room and I was just super wiped out from the interaction overload. But then it started to snow and I was like, you know what? This is totally something I will not do and then wish I had done.

Of course there wasn’t enough accumulation by the time I got there to make it worth it but.

It was still there first time I got to see it looking full Silent Hill.

So. Watching Silent Hill tonight. For sure.

And then I started Lost In Translation again but when I got to 81 there was a clusterfuck construction-related traffic jam and I needed some George Carlin to make me not hate every person on the road.


And then I was almost home and I got a huge hankering for the Frozen soundtrack.

Just one song, actually.

Rolled into my driveway singing my Frozen theme song.

If I were a boy, and animated, I would totally be Kristoff.

Maybe Branch. But probably Kristoff.


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