Friday, June 25, 2010

What I Am Reading

Dear Lucy,

I have just finished reading, "Buyology" by Martin Lindstrom.

The book is a study in why we buy products and how advertising is changing and entering our lives in ways we are unaware of.

“Why do rational people act irrationally? Written like a fast paced detective
novel, "Buyology" unveils what neuromarketers know about our decision making so
we can buy and sell more insightfully."
- Dr. Mehmet C Oz Professor of
Surgery, Columbia University, and author of YOU -The Owner’s Manual

One study, to find out if all the anti-smoking advertising is working, took a group of smokers, hooked them up to a machine to scan their brains and, long story short, showed them pictures of the cigarette warning along with pictures of smoker's lungs and all sorts of gory smoker related physical ailments.

They found that the test showed that rather than turning the smokers off, it actually stimulated the craving area of the brain!

One other tid bit of information is that vanilla is the most popular scent in the United states. Why? They think it is because human breast milk has a hint of vanilla scent in it and we are therefore attracted to it at a basic human level.

I'm not crazy wild about vanilla scents myself. Perhaps that's because I was bottle fed...


Thursday, June 24, 2010

San Diego??

Dear Lucy,
Katie's daughter got her official orders and so it's off to San Diego for the lot of 'em in November. Since she is the only family member who can take care of Ian, her grandson, she has to go.
So, I am seriously considering...moving to San Diego with her. Yes, that's right, San Diego.
I will have gone full circle. I moved with Cathy, my first partner, to San Francisco, then to Washington with Anne.
Am I crazy? I don't know. But, when I know for sure, (whether I am going, not whether I'm crazy) I will let everyone know.
Any thoughts?


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cab-In Fever

Dear Lucy,
So my last fare yesterday to end my 10 hour shift was to pick up three Canadians at the border and drive them to a resort called Semiahmoo Resort. Very posh place on the water, with sail boats and all that cool rich people stuff.
Two men and a woman about my age jump in the car and ask me to take them to the nearest grocery store so the woman could buy vegetables. Seemed a little strange, but I had seen worse.
Later, as we are driving to the resort, I hear her talking to the man in the back seat with her about her purchase of some broccoli and 6 cupcakes with "Happy Birthday" on them.
As we enter the resort area, we pass a beautiful golf course to which the two men drooled over.
The woman was busy asking where the tent was.
I finally said, "It's none of my business, but you are going to a nice resort and you have neither luggage nor golf clubs and you are looking for a tent."
"Yes, we are having dinner in the tent," the woman replied. "Not a little tent, one of those big ones."
"It's a wedding," one of the men finally said as if this explained it all.
I replied with my usual, "I see," and shut up.
Soon I let off the three passengers who had no luggage, were dressed in street clothes, carrying a bag of raw broccoli and 6 cupcakes to a wedding.
They tipped me well--probably to keep quiet about this whole thing.
I left feeling badly that I didn't at least let the woman know that in the States we throw rice at the bride and groom, not raw vegetables.
But then, I am just a cab driver; what do I know?


Saturday, June 5, 2010


Dear Lucy,
Today I was called into work early and so worked from 8 am to 6:30 pm...without a lunch or break.
I saw and talked to so many people today they are almost a total blur. But I shall try and remember.
First the guy who works as a civilian for the Navy spending most of his time in hotels all over the world. He was coming back from San Francisco only to leave for Norfolk in two days.
There was the guy who was hearing voices because he ran out of his anti-psychotic meds. I took him to the ER.
There was the banker from NYC visiting his 84 year old mother to try and get her some assistance so he doesn't have to make her move to NYC so he can care for her. I was able to give him lots of free advice.
A young guy needing a ride to his car, left last night when he was too drunk to drive...the woman pregnant who had been grocery shopping...the usual man who lives in a half-way house and has the mental capacity of a ten year old...the Canadian man who timed his arrival over the border wrong and so I had to drive him 25 miles in 15 minutes to make his plane in Bellingham...
Big small, short tall, rich poor, sane crazy, I get to see them all.
Makes my life look boring by comparison!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hungry all the Time

Dear Lucy,
Yes, I must admit it; I am hungry all the time these days. Not the hungry that sends one to the all-night Taco Bell, but the hungry that sends one to find spiritual food or maybe intellectual food.
Maybe it is the fact that my job demands absolutely no real intellectual stimulation; no challenge to problem solve other than finding the fastest or shortest way from here to there.
Maybe I am just truly bored. There is--and in my opinion has never been--anything on TV that could really hold my interest even with 200 channels to chose from! How sad is that?
I guess part of the problem is that the Christianity that kept me going has, in the last few years, become flat and lifeless.
Buddhism, which I started studying about 5 years ago, while interesting and peaceful in nature, is based on meditation a practice I have never been able to do regularly.
And, there's the rub eh? I have no religion: not a techno-geek, not a religious nut, not a crazed consumer not an over eater, not a sports nut...hmmm.