Tentatively

Writers Unblocked

Time Travel

In Reverse

ESSAY

FICTION

TRAVEL

ARTS

GALLERY

 

ESSAY

 

 

 

Reverse Mentoring

 

“Clear? Huh! Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child. I can't make head or tail out of it.”

 

So spoke Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx in Duck Soup if you’re a fan).

 

But these days you do not have to be the leader of Freedonia to get some help. Turns out millennials are happy to teach baby boomers a thing or two about such things as the integration of social media and crowd sourcing. They call it reverse mentoring when 18 to 35 year-old employees are paired with baby boomers in order to educate one another on business topics and new tools.

 

I think it’s a great idea, but then every time I’ve been stuck with a computer issue I’m the first one to say “Run out and get me a 12 year-old!” You have to stop and realize every so often that almost every baby boomer can remember when there was no internet. Millennials on the other hand, for the most part, think the internet has been there for their entire lives – and they would be correct in that assumption.

 

Millennials will make up half the workforce by 2020 so I’m thinking I want to be on their good side. Not only do they have some good information and techniques to pass on, they will be footing my social security payments. Honestly, I feel capable of keeping up with most new developments in social media now, but 2, 3 or 4 years from now, it may be a much different story. You start to have visions of impatient youth trying to get technical concepts through to our brains. Remember trying to explain AOL’s modem and the concept of email to your own parents? That’s right. That could be you trying to understand how a microchip tattoo on your wrist is going to replace your watch, your mobile phone and your fitbit. And don’t even get me started on the retina implant that will project films or the Uber car that’s going to show up without a driver.

 

Fasten your seatbelts because things are going to change and you may want your own millennial to help you make it through the storm.


Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

 

 

 

Sign up for BoomSpeak Email Updates

 

 

 

 

 

FICTION

 

 

 

Tentative Kidnappers

 

“We’re not grabbing the Lindberg baby – are we agreed?”

 

“Agreed. We’re going to go to a wealthy neighborhood and find a rich kid who feels sorry for old people. We grab her and collect a quick ransom.”

 

“And we’re not going to be greedy. We need enough to cover the health insurance premiums and your prescription medications. How much do you think that is, anyway?”

 

“Oh, I would say the insurance is about $8,000 and the prescriptions are at least $5,000, maybe $6,000.”

 

“That’s for one year, for Christ’s sake?”

 

“Yep, one year.”

 

“Jesus. Well, there’s not much point in trying to kidnap someone and only getting enough money for one year. Otherwise we’ll be back out there next year trying this same stunt again. I say we ask for $50,000. Any family in a good neighborhood can get that kind of money out of their 401k or already has it in savings.”

 

“I don’t know about that. A lot of these upper income families are starting to feel the pinch, what with rising college tuitions.”

 

“Wait a second. Let me get this straight. You’re worried about the upper crust running short of money? Give me a break. We don’t have enough money for the drugs you need. You think they have that problem? You think that if their little girl needs some special medicine that costs $500 a month that the money is going to break them?”

 

“No, I didn’t say that. I’m just saying that in this kind of economy, everyone feels some pain. And speaking of pain, do you think that two sixty somethings can hold down a ten year old without getting kicked in the head. Because if either one of us gets hurt trying to pull off this kidnapping, we’ll be worse off than we are now.”

 

“That’s a laugh. How could we be worse off?  Huh? We don’t have the money to cover your prescriptions. How sick is that? I tell you what, if we get caught and they throw us in the clink, at least we would get decent healthcare.”

 

“What are you saying? You want to get caught?”

 

“No, I’m just saying that we wouldn’t be any worse off than we are now.”

 

“So are we going to grab a kid to get a ransom or are we trying to get caught in the act?”

 

“I told you from the start. This is no Lindberg baby screw-up. We grab the kid, give her something to keep her drowsy and hit the parents up for 50k.”

 

“You sound like some hardened criminal, not a retired biology teacher.”

 

“Yeah, well times change.”

 

“And so do people.”

 

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

 

“Shit.”

 

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

 

 

 

 

 

Sign up for BoomSpeak Email Updates

 

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL

 

 

Time Travel

 

I performed a little time travel while in the shower this morning and, actually, what better place? Water activates both the imagination and the subconscious like nothing else that I’ve ever found. While washing my hair I thought, what if it were normal for us to live to the age of 200? How would I feel at this moment if I didn’t have the sense of time running out? What if, instead of only about twenty years left to do all the things I want to do, I had over a hundred? So then I thought, what if I just lived as if I had all that time? Instead of mentally limiting myself (as I all too frequently do), why don’t I try to live without that mental stricture? Instantly, I felt lighter, less pressured, and freer from the chains of my mortality.

 

Aging is something I’m having a very hard time with, you know. I don’t mean the loss of my looks. Besides the sense of my time running out, I mean the waning of my vitality, energy, passion, and the regard people no longer pay me. Where I once was considered interesting, even fascinating at times, I’m now tolerated, if I’m heard at all. Where once eyes peered into mine with rapt attention, I now see a glazed expression wash over people’s faces. I see them turn off. Worse, they pretend to listen while checking their Facebook and texts. No one pays attention to anyone anymore. Looks be damned! It’s watching myself become more and more invisible that’s the hardest thing. This isn’t vanity, it’s a yearning for continued significance. I still matter. And I’m not playing that game anymore. I will pay attention when people speak to me and if I perceive that I’m not being listened to, I’ll simply shut up. Be the change you wish to see, and all that.

 

For me as a woman this invisibility isn’t all bad, however. I no longer feel like a piece of meat when I walk past young men who, before, would have stared a hole through me. I don’t feel that I have to look my very best when I need to make a quick run to the store, and I can enjoy a quiet glass of wine in a public place without having some guy breathing down my neck. But as I said, my personal angst doesn’t stem from a need to be eternally youthful and—let’s just be blunt—fuckable; I appreciate not being reduced to an orifice. But, damn it, there always was much more to me than that. It’s just that back then, people were also interested in ME. Does this sound vain or narcissistic? I don’t mean it to, and I really don’t think it is. When I see that glazed look cross someone’s face I want to physically turn their eyes to mine and say, “Look at me. I am not an old person in here. I’m as young and I matter as much as I did when I was your age. You don’t want to look at me because I reveal to you who you’ll be in a few short years.”


Steph Waller is an author and composer. Books One and Two (With A Dream and With A Bullet) of her rock and roll series, Beyond The Bridge,  takes places in late 70s London. Read more at Bucksnort Chronicles and SKWaller.com.

 

 

 

 

Sign up for BoomSpeak Email Updates

 

 

 

 

ARTS

 

 

Why You May Not Want to Hang Out With a Writer

 

Sometimes when I’m up late, not feeling creative enough to write and I want to knock myself out so that I can sleep, I site hop around the internet. Last night I came across this meme about why you might want to hang out with or date a writer.

 

WRITERS WILL ROMANCE YOU WITH WORDS.

We probably won’t. We write for ourselves, or for money, and by the time we’re done, we’re sick of it. If we have to write you something, there’s a good chance it’ll take us two days and we’ll be really snippy and grumpy about the process.

 

WRITERS WILL WRITE ABOUT YOU.

You don’t want this. Trust me.

 

WRITERS WILL TAKE YOU TO INTERESTING EVENTS.

No. We will not. We are busy writing. Leave us alone about these “interesting events.” I know one person who dates a terrific writer. He goes out alone. She is busy writing.

 

WRITERS WILL ACKNOWLEDGE YOU AND WILL DEDICATE THINGS TO YOU.

A better way to ensure this would be to become an agent. That way you’d actually make money off of talking people through their neuroses.

 

WRITERS WILL PRESENT YOU WITH AN INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE OF THINGS.

Yes. Constantly. While you’re trying to watch TV, or take a shower. You will have to listen to observations all day long, in addition to being asked to read the observations we wrote about when you were at work and unavailable for bothering. It will be almost as annoying as dating a stand-up comedian, except if you don’t find these observations scintillating, we will think you’re dumb, instead of uptight.

 

WRITERS ARE SMART.

The moment you realize this is not true, your relationship with a writer will develop a significant problem.

 

WRITERS ARE REALLY PASSIONATE.

About writing. Not necessarily about you.

 

WRITERS CAN THINK THROUGH THEIR FEELINGS.

So don’t start an argument unless you’re ready for a very, very lengthy explication of our position, our feelings about your position, and what scenes from our recent fiction the whole thing is reminding us of.

 

WRITERS ENJOY THEIR SOLITUDE.

So get lost, will you?

 

WRITERS WEAR THEIR HEARTS ON THEIR SLEEVES.

Serious advice: if you meet a writer who’s actually demonstrative, be careful.

 

WRITERS WILL TEACH YOU COOL NEW WORDS.

This is possibly true! We may also expect you to remember them, correct your grammar, and look pained after reading mundane notes you’ve left for us.

 

WRITERS MAY BE ABLE TO ADJUST THEIR SCHEDULES FOR YOU.

Writers may be able to adjust their schedules for writing. Get in line, then.

 

WRITERS CAN FIND 1000 WAYS TO SAY WHAT THEY LIKE ABOUT YOU.

By the 108th you’ll be pretty sure we’re just making them up for fun.

 

WRITERS CAN COMMUNICATE IN A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT WAYS.

But mostly writing. Hope you don’t like talking on the phone—that shit is rough.

 

WRITERS ARE SURROUNDED BY INTERESTING PEOPLE.

Every last one of whom is imaginary.

 

WRITERS ARE SEXY.

No argument. Some people think this about heroin addicts, too.


Steph Waller is an author and composer. Books One and Two (With A Dream and With A Bullet) of her rock and roll series, Beyond The Bridge,  takes places in late 70s London. Read more at Bucksnort Chronicles and SKWaller.com.

 

 

 

Sign up for BoomSpeak Email Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

GALLERY

 

 

 

 

 

10 - 10<>

 

Tom Mortenson is retired and I'm going to guess he lives in Wisconsin. He photographs a lot of beautiful scenery up there but I was kind of partial to his take on the night life. View more of his photos on flickr.

 

 

 

 

Links of Interest to Boomers Going Like Sixty Baby Boomer Daily Curmudgeon    Viva Veracruz The Bucksnort Chronicles