Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The NRA & Wilderness Safety

Dear Heather,
I am heading out into the wilderness tomorrow and I was wondering if you have any safety tips you can offer?
Santa Fe

Hello Tim,
Nice to hear from you. Yes-be sure to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, water, and, of course, your handy dandy AR-15 Military Assault Weapon. These are very popular in the good ol' US of A today, and it's really super for everyone to have them. At least that's what the NRA tells me. Enjoy your trip out into the wild!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Today is Always Now

Dear Heather,
I'm a professor and sometimes it is hard to maintain enthusiasm in the classroom. Between the piles of grading, students on their cellphones, and threats of gun violence, it's easy to get a little down. How do you continue to inspire?

Dear Bill,
I find that one inspirational quote can change a person's entire day. Don't be afraid to write a good one on the board and share it with your students.

Best of luck,

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sprouts: The Modern-Day Russian Bread Line

Dear Heather,
Why does shopping at Sprouts feel like you're in a Russian bread line?
Alpine, CA

Hi Judy,
Thanks for writing. Many people have asked this question. While there is a tendency to be intoxicated by the rock-bottom produce prices at Sprouts, the experience itself somehow leaves one on the brink of spiritual poverty. This is linked to the human hysteria that comes with getting something for nothing.
All the best,

Monday, July 6, 2015

Women's World Cup Fever

Dear Heather,
I was at the game last night and there were so many excited American fans. The fashions were quite a thing to behold. What did you make of the patriotic attire at the final game?

Dear Nicholas,
I feel that the fashions truly embodied the patriotic spirit of the day. In fact, many outfits appear to have been purchased in the Fourth of July section at Old Navy. Except the bald eagle's head, though. I have never seen that in stores. Perhaps it is available on E-Bay. Though the fashions were inspiring, nothing could match the soaring play of the US Women's Team. Congratulations USA!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bad Shakespeare

Dear Heather,
Would you rather sit through a bad Shakespeare play or be struck by lightning? I was just wondering.
Woodstock, NY

Hello Sam,
This is a great question. In fact, it's a real toss-up. One would obviously prefer life to death, but in the case of bad theatre--one can easily go to the dark side. You simply can't get back lost time when stuck at a production that's impossible to enjoy. I can offer you a couple words of advice, though. If you are in this predicament again, survey the audience and I am certain you will find someone more miserable than you.
Have a great day,

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Regretful Brushing of Elbows

Dear Heather,
Yesterday I was at the store. I was browsing for cheeses. The store was relatively empty because it was late morning. Suddenly, a family of three, apparently also looking for cheese, stood so close to me I could feel one of their elbows brush against mine. Given that the store was practically empty, why did they all need to come up and be right next to me in my personal space?
Traumatized in Suburban America,

Dear Darlene,
I have asked this question many a time, especially after arriving home and vowing never to go grocery shopping again. Basic civility and lack of concern for others in a retail environment are no longer shown as people are obsessed with procuring material items. Unfortunately, the mass of humans today are object-centered, an unfortunate byproduct of capitalist thought.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Unhappy Ending

Dear Heather,
I was recently at a cafe, where I saw an individual getting angry at their book. They were making irate facial gestures and beating the book against the table. What do you make of this?

It sounds as if this person did not enjoy the ending to the story. I have at times felt this way myself. When a person invests so much time in a story and it doesn't turn out the way they like, one can feel let down by the author. Either that, or they forgot to take their medication.