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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement


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what do you do in your pajamas and bathrobe?

One day I was tired and was staying home most of the day. I realized I needed to go to the market across the street for a few things, but then I would come home again and stay home. I asked myself should I change from my pajamas to go to the market, but then I thought I would just have to change back when I returned home. So I just went to the market in my pajamas and bathrobe. True, it drew some giggles, but people seemed to be laughing with me, not at me.


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    Nov 15 2013: When one is playing the role of Babe, in the musical theater production of "Pajama Game", she, and the rest of the cast wear pajamas on stage for one of the production numbers! My father was quite bent out of shape that his 35 year old daughter would wear pajamas on stage, even though they were long sleeve, long pant legs, cotton, very conservative mens pajamas!!!

    I usually put the trash out on the street early in the morning every week in PJs and robe, with a long coat or cape thrown over the PJs and robe.

    When it's really cold in the winter, I sometimes wear long johns to bed as PJs, and keep them on in the daytime as well....under cloths:>)

    I guess my PJ practices are not very risqué....LOL:>)
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      Nov 15 2013: but it was fun to be in your pajamas onstage just for the change? I do like the practice of going out in my PJ's, for example to a grocery, because it shakes up the routine for other people, reminds them that there are other ways to do things than just the routine way. And in certain situations saves me the effort of a clothing change. And maybe amuses people, one does feel a little bit onstage when one grocery shops in one's PJ's. I do wonder if people would be harder on a woman who wore her PJ's to a grocery, it seems like in certain situations we cut women more slack (than men) to not conform, and in other situations less, I mean based on their sex. Same going the other way, I think.

      What do you do to get out of a rut, colleen?

      Am I right, colleen, that a woman would come in for more criticism if she grocery shopped in her PJ's? Isn't that sad, that seems really sexist, people should be able to do what they want. I wish I could encourage you to get a little more adventurous in this category, sometime if you're just too tired to change out of your pajamas to go somewhere, just go there in them. But I'm a little afraid that it would open you to attack.
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        Nov 16 2013: Greg,
        I like costuming in conjunction with theater, so I enjoyed the PJ costume as much as I enjoyed the nun's habit, victorian gowns, or any of the other costumes I wore in plays.

        I have no doubt that you wandering around in PJs might "shake up the routine for other people". I have only known one person who wandered around in her pajamas, or underwear, or nothing at all. She certainly DID shake up the routine, as well as got herself labeled "mentally unstable".

        I learned as a kid that there are certain ways to dress that may be more or less appropriate in certain circumstances. For example, I feel fine about wearing Pajamas in my home, and I feel fine about wearing various costumes while performing a role on stage.

        If ever I start feeling like I need a change, I make a change in my routine. People generally ARE able to do what they want, and people also can be aware of other people. We have lots of establishments (restaurants, retail stores etc.) here in Vermont which have a sign on the door....."Shirts and shoes required to enter". In my perception, that is simply a matter of respect for ourselves and other people we may interact with. Walking around town in my pajamas does not appeal to me in any way, shape or form.
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          Nov 17 2013: well, Colleen, it's not a case where I was wandering around in my pajamas. It's more a case where I knew that I was going to be home most of the day, but I only had one errand to do, and it was across the street, it just didn't seem worth it to go through two wardrobe changes (to dayclothes and back to pajamas) for one short errand. If I had a more extensive day out, I would change into day clothes.

          It honestly didn't feel disrespectful to visit the grocery in my pj's. Most people try to save time and live efficiently, and I felt like most people would understand that behind my appearing in pajamas was some desire to save time and effort. But also it was fun, it felt a bit like dressing up for Halloween; and it felt like being more intimate with people; and it felt like it opened up options for other people, there might be the occasion where they might wish to go somewhere in their pajamas and it would be efficient but they might not do it simply out of a fear of being different. But in this case they see me being different, and they see that nothing bad is happening to me, so perhaps it makes it more of a possibility for them. Which is kind of what I'm trying to do with this conversation.

          It would seem like there are milder ways to make a change in one's routine, and stronger ones. I would class going to market in your pj's as a stronger one, and actually I would say it brings bigger rewards than a milder one, if you can bring it off. For one thing, it gave me the topic of a TED conversation, whereas a milder way of breaking routine might not. If you were a guy, I would advocate trying this particular way of breaking routine, but for a girl in America it might be untoward. Did you see the post from Yoka where she said it is a bit of a trend for Chinese to go to market in pj's , I presume she means both sexes although I asked her and she didn't answer.
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        Nov 17 2013: If it works for you....feels comfortable.....so be it Greg:>)

        There are LOTS of ways to make changes in our routines. That is one thing I LOVE about the seasonal changes in Vermont, where I live.

        In summer I am outside almost ALL the time, gardening, biking, hiking, kayaking, walking, etc. Also can do lots of outside chores like painting the house, and things like that. More people visit, in summer, the porch is usually occupied either by just me, or groups of people....it becomes a "living" room in the summer. I eat mostly fresh raw vegetables and herbs directly from the gardens.

        In the winter, the porch furniture goes inside, the north side of the house gets closed off, so I don't heat extra rooms that I do not use, it's time to start using the wood stoves, including the wood kitchen cook stove, where I make lots of warm foods.....soups and stews with the frozen vegetables from the gardens, bread, etc. I don't make or eat those things at all in the summer, so my diet changes. Sport and exercise activitys change to skiing, snowshoeing, etc (weather permitting), and I feel more like hunkering down and "nesting". I read more, communicate on TED and with friends by e-mail more, etc.

        That's summer and winter, and the seasons in between (spring and fall) are preparing for the next season. In the spring, I'm starting seedlings inside, that will go into the gardens, painting/repairing furniture that goes outside and on the porch, etc.

        In the fall, I prepare the house for winter.....putting up storm windows and doors, putting wood in the cellar to keep the fires burning, and making sure I'm tucked in for the winter:>) Then, of course, there are all kinds of things that come up all year which may change my focus and keep me entertained....LOL:>)

        There are lots of things in my life which happen, or I create, to make delightful changes in routine:>)
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          Nov 17 2013: well, it has a light, playful quality that I really enjoy, it's the same feeling I get from dancing here and there in the world in ordinary situations like waiting in line, it feels lighthearted and playful, not taking life too seriously, enjoying yourself even if you're not doing what everyone else is doing. I believe I've been a bit influenced by the punk music scene, colleen, there's an "anti-expert" idea in punk music that you don't have to have ten years of music lessons to play guitar in a band, you can just pick up a guitar and start playing basically and just have fun.

          Whew, your life sounds pleasant but quite a bit of work. Now you've never mentioned swimming, just out of curiosity are you self-conscious in a swimsuit as some people are.

          Well, as best I can tell you're very adventurous in that you talk with all kinds of people about all kinds of unusual ideas on TED (including this one), now do you think you initiate unusual ideas, or are you more oriented toward supporting other people's unusual ideas by sharing your thoughts and feelings? Let's just say you visited me at my apartment and I was in my pj's and I suddenly said aw I need to go to the market, would you accompany me if you were in your street clothes and I in my pajamas, or would you be too embarrassed? But I can tell you I've never seen anyone offended by it, in general people's faces soften and they smile, it's like we're sharing a joke.

          So far I'm kind of good at generating interesting questions, but who knows if it'll last. I've submitted a conversation to TED, it's: "To me, French is the most beautiful sounding language. So why isn't it the universal language?"
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        Nov 17 2013: I am all for playful, lighthearted, having fun and not taking life too seriously Greg:>)

        I call everything in life "work/play" because I LOVE it all. No, not self-conscious in a swimsuit....are you kidding me? One of my theatrical roles was as Sheila in "A Chorus Line".....I was on stage for the whole production in tights and a leotard.....as was the whole cast!

        I initiate some unusual ideas, AND I support other's ideas....depends on the situation! While hiking the other day, two of my buddies and I got a little turned around and lost track of the marked trail. I forged ahead up a steep incline because I thought we would bump into the trail at the top of the ridge. My buddies followed me, sort of grudgingly, then I started questioning my idea!!! Luckily, after climbing up the steep hill, we DID hit the trail......I was SOOOO thankful to see that trail, because they probably would have given me a hard time......lovingly of course!!! LOL!

        In the situation you mention above......I would probably wonder why you had PJs on if you were expecting me to visit......I probably would not go "out" anywhere with you, 'cause I think it's kind of weird. But again.....if it works for you, and you can entertain yourself in that way....carry on:>)
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          Nov 18 2013: thanks, Colleen. well, I love what you do on TED, both giving and receiving thoughts and feelings. Well, let's say in my scenario you had dropped in on me unexpectedly (fine with me), so I might be in PJ's and robe. I'm still thinking that there are stronger and milder ways to break routine, image is powerful, having both participated in TED conversations and gone to market in PJ's, I would have to say the latter is more powerful and more rewarding, although they are both excellent. It is true that in America going to market in PJ's is weird, but could we think of it as a "good weird"? Or use a more flattering word, like "exotic," or "pushing the envelope?" But still, Colleen, it is mostly practical, it's still just a case where I do it because I don't want to make two clothing changes just to run a 20-minute errand.

          One thing I do somewhat just to be different is put on a shirt and tie to go to the movies, or a shirt and tie to go to a rock concert. But this is also refreshing to me, if I've always gone to the movies just in a shirt, or shirt and jacket, it's mentally refreshing to do something different, and in my mind might be mentally refreshing to someone who saw me, if every time you've gone to the movies all you've ever seen is guys wearing shirts and jackets, might it not delight the eye to suddenly see one guy who is a little different, who is wearing a tie? And just so with PJ's in the market?

          Our family had to run a major garage sale when our friend died, so I put on a shirt and tie one day for that, it's not what most people might wear, but it was mentally refreshing to step outside the box. Of course it should only be what comes naturally, I wouldn't force it just to make a spectacle of myself.

          How do you meet all those people who congregate on your porch? I've never lived anywhere with a porch, maybe it would be good, at least in my mind it seems romantic.
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          Nov 18 2013: colleen, here's a famous photo, that was used as an album cover, that I always thought was shot on a porch. But now that I'm looking, maybe the sofa is just off to the side of the front door? https://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/photo/default.aspx?photographID=63

          By the way, looks like TED rejected my conversation, they can be awfully hard to figure, mine that get rejected often seem just as good as the accepted ones. Any thoughts on why French isn't the universal language, given that it's the most beautiful sounding?
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          Nov 18 2013: colleen, any thoughts on "indecent exposure" laws, why do we think it's bad for a person to go to the grocery in the nude? I asked a policewoman once, she said because it might bother children. But I don't think it would bother children, do you?
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        Nov 19 2013: Greg,
        Re: "here's a famous photo...."
        Yes, that looks like a porch all right....quite different from my porch though!

        How do I meet the people who congregate on my porch?
        I have lots of friends who like to sit on the porch and chat....as I mentioned, in the summer it becomes a "living" room....we eat out there, it is surrounded by gardens, and we can hear the water fall which is near the porch. When it is raining, I often sit on the porch and read....it is a very pleasant "scene" to be part of. The gardens were featured in 4 publications and a short TV segment, so that draws a lot of people. You know the saying..."build it and they will come"? Well, I built it and they came. Since the beginning of my life adventure, I seem to draw people to me, and I love it!

        Re: Thoughts on indecent exposure....
        My only thought is that I have no desire to do it:>)

        Re: " Colleen. well, I love what you do on TED, both giving and receiving thoughts and feelings".
        Thank you Greg. Communication is one of the most precious elements in my life.

        I agree with you that it is often mentally refreshing to do something different, and it is apparent in our world that different people are attracted to different kinds of things. As I said in a previous comment.....I like costuming, and often wear clothes which have a style influenced by another era. To each his/her own regarding what we/they choose wear:>)
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          Nov 19 2013: To me it doesn't look like a porch because a porch usually is raised, plus it has an overhang, plus the front door is right there. Is this how you would describe a porch?

          Are the gardens remarkable in some way, Colleen, I would say many people have nice gardens but not notable enough to get into magazines and TV.

          No, I don't want to break the law, either, but I do enjoy understanding the rationale for different laws, as well as the rationale for people's actions, ideas, etc.

          Yes, fresh is important to me, I try to be fresh in my comments on TED, too. Excellent point that refreshment is different for all. I hadn't caught your comment on old-timey clothes, here in L.A. we might call them "vintage," and there are whole stores devoted to them.
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        Nov 20 2013: Greg,
        The definition of porch, is simply "a covered entrance to a building usually with a separate roof". If the one in the photo you posted "doesn't look like a porch" to you, I am curious as to why you posted that photo in conjunction with our discussion about porches.

        I think the gardens are "remarkable" Greg.....I think everything in nature is pretty remarkable:>)
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          Nov 20 2013: Let's see, Colleen, you had thought the photo was shot on a porch? But it doesn't seem like it has a separate roof, does it, if you look at the play of sunlight? Nor does it seem like an entrance, given the windows?

          I was probably interested in how it was that I made a mistake all these years and thought it was shot on a porch, I thought by sharing it I might get closer to figuring that out. But it does have a "porchy" feel, I would say, in other words it has that relaxed feeling of sitting on a couch on a porch.

          Well, yes, I suppose everything in nature is remarkable, well, I would still think that when a TV station does a story on a garden there would be something unusual about it, but perhaps I should ask what the "angle" was when these media did stories on your garden. Just trying to picture your life, Colleen, when I talk to someone other than live and in person, I enjoy trying to picture how they live.

          By the way, had the French question interested you? I still think it's a great topic, if French is the most beautiful sounding language, why isn't it the universal language?
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        Nov 20 2013: Greg,
        If you look in the upper left corner of the photo you posted, on the right side of the mailbox (maybe touching the mailbox), you may see a support (white), going up out of the picture, which is very typical of a porch roof support. Anyway, the definition says..."...usually with a separate roof". Separate, meaning not an extension of the main building roof, but rather held up with supports. I don't really care if you want to call it a porch or not! I am not invested in your perception of what is a porch or not a porch:>)

        The "angle" for the gardens appearing in publications and TV, was generally a place to relax, ponder, enjoy, etc. There were actually spiritual groups/meditating groups which used to meet in the gardens, and most garden clubs in the area have visited at least once....usually more.....as well as MANY (hundreds) of individuals:>)

        There was one publication that focused on the stone work, which my brothers and I did. It is said that if you have seen Colleen's gardens, you know Colleen. There is also a picture of the front porch on this link...enjoy:>)

        http://smugdud.smugmug.com/Quintessential%20Vermont )

        BTW....no....your French language question does not interest me, because there are LOTS of languages that are very beautiful....in my humble perception:>)
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          Nov 20 2013: Well, I enjoy attempting to understand what I am seeing in a photo, and maybe a little bit about architecture, I thought perhaps you would help me understand it. I had seen the support, I just thought it would be a support of one side of the overhang and the other support would be off-camera, to our left. In other words, the guys are sitting next to the porch but not on it. Except even if that's right, I'm not sure it would be what I think of as a porch because it doesn't seem raised.

          Oh, I'm sorry, colleen, I started this reply without looking at the link, if I go to the link now I'm afraid I'll lose what I've written. Do you yourself meditate, or practice "spiritual" practices?

          Excellent point about the languages, that would have been the kind of thing I was looking for if the question was posted. The only other person I've ever talked to about it agrees that French is the most beautiful sounding.
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          Nov 20 2013: wow, those gardens are amazing, Colleen. You care for them all by yourself, how can you do that? How did you learn, oh wait, had you told me your mom had gardens? But still......

          Being interested in cow milk I'm probably most interested in grass, somewhat to the exclusion of other plants. Sometimes as I pick grass during the day and eat it, I get some green from the grass smeared on my thumb, I'm hoping it's a good sign that I'm acquiring a "green thumb." My mom is quite successful with houseplants, she has a ledge she can put them on where they get much light, and she thinks that is the secret.
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        Nov 22 2013: Thanks Greg, for your kind words about the gardens. My brothers and friends have helped me a lot with projects, and I kind of take care of the regular ongoing maintenance. My mother was in her gardens when she went into labor for me....we went to the hospital....did our thing....and went back home to the gardens. I feel like I was born in a garden, and have had gardens ever since. That is one way to nurture a "green thumb" Greg!

        I do meditate Greg....sometimes organized sitting meditations, and sometimes just "being" in the gardens in a meditative state:>)
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          Nov 22 2013: Hi, colleen. Well, that's quite something that you can maintain them, have you only learned from experience or gone to classes, would you say there is anything remarkable about your system of maintenance that allows you to keep up with it all, or would you say any gardener could do it?

          I am trying to work through my feelings about gardens, colleen. As I say, I am fascinated by grass, one thing I like about it is it seems low-maintenance, simply water it and it will do okay. Things like flowers seem so much less dependable, needing more care, and finicky. So I might be happier if you said you had been born on a grass field!

          Is it some recognized form of meditation you do when you do the organized ones? My best friend from Stanford, Phil Ansell, is into meditation. He also goes on Saturday mornings and does something called "sacred dance."

          I remember some years ago I moved from Los Angeles to a city called Ontario, Calif., about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. I hoped to get a job milking cows there, but while I looked for that I picked grapes for a season. One day I missed work because I got there early and then lay down to sleep among the rows of grapes, and none of the others saw me as they arrived to work. So they went off to other fields and when I awoke I could not find them. But when I told them about it the next day, they all smiled, they thought it was a charming reason to miss work.

          I've been trying to belly dance while I shave in the morning, moving my body sensuously and in fact the arm holding the shaver sensuously. I put a few slices in my face, it will be a learned skill. But it is wonderful exercise.
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        Nov 23 2013: Greg,
        I've learned to garden mostly from experience, and I perceive it as another exploration in the life adventure. The only thing that may be remarkable about my system of maintenance, is that I consider it all fun and enjoyable.....challenging at times.....still a pleasure:>)

        Some of the less hardy flowers can be finicky, and I find that most perennials (come back every year) are usually very hardy.

        I have done sitting and walking meditations with an organized group.....nothing particularly noteworthy about the practices.

        Be careful with belly dancing and shaving at the same time. I thought you said you didn't multi-task?
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          Nov 23 2013: Thanks, Colleen. You have a beautiful attitude, have you always had it, I think you mentioned something about a near-death experience? Why have you not remarried, as you would be a wonderful partner and seem like you would want a partner.

          Now what does snow do to flowers, if I think of pansies, or California poppies, I would certainly think snow would kill them. But maybe not?

          The only meditation I know is where you repeat the same phrase over and over. For instance, my friend says the Hebrew for "Hear, O Israel, the lord thy god is one god" over and over in his brain to become meditative, is that what you were doing?

          Thanks for the caution. I did much better this morning, taking shorter, more careful strokes, but still very sensuous. When I belly dance while shaving I actually spread the shaving cream more here and there, I just let my arms and hands go where they will spreading cream in graceful, dancing movements. So I get cream on my head hair, facial hair, chest, stomach. Then let the hand with the razor do the same, so I shave a little head hair here and there, facial hair, and so on, "dancing" with the hand and arm holding the shaver. It's a bit of an experiment to see where I'll end up appearance-wise, as it's a bit random, I'm just moving in sensuous ways and letting the shaver follow.

          Sometimes people bellydance with swords, which is a little like the experience I've had with the shaver. But it may take more practice with a sword, I'm already okay with the shaver after two days.

          Speaking of pajamas I wish I could show you how I've taken in the waist of my pj's, when I lost weight on milk they got big. Basically I just kind of fold the waist over on itself in a one-inch length and then sew it, and do it two or three times on the waist, I usually sew while wearing a garment, so if you saw the pants it would be very evident where the waistband had been folded over to reduce waist size.....
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          Nov 23 2013: ...it's the concept of deconstruction, do you know this concept, it's where you show the details of how something was constructed instead of artfully hiding them. For example, some modern buildings won't install a typical ceiling, they will let you see all the pipes, conduits, etc. above you on the floor you are on, this would be "deconstruction."
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        Nov 24 2013: Thank you Greg,
        The attitude I have seems much more enjoyable to me than the alternative, and from the feedback I get, it apparently is more enjoyable to most of those I interact with as well. The NDE intensified and reinforced the life experience.

        Why have I not remarried? Because I am very content with my life. If I met a person who is as content with his life, I am open to possibilities, and as I said, I am very content. One thing people sometimes ask me is...."why are you not married....you are such a happy person?" I remind them to think about that statement!!! LOL:>)

        "Now what does snow do to flowers, if I think of pansies, or California poppies...."
        California poppies are annuals, which only grow one year. So when the cold and snow hits them, the plant dies back. However, they produce hundreds of seeds, which scatter around the gardens and "plant" themselves for the next year. In California, I think they are living their life span and reseeding all the time, so when there is a cluster of them, it may look like the same plants are living on and on forever. Perennials (come back every year) go dormant in the winter....they go to bed and rest....just like I do when I have my PJs on:>)

        Meditation: I do not have a particular mantra to use for meditation. It seems easy for me to clear the brain of mind chatter, so I am in a meditative state much of the time.....focusing on the present moment.

        I understand the concept of "deconstruction". In fact, on the regional project review committee, we have a deconstruction policy which we implement for things like communication towers, wind towers, land resource extraction, etc. When the projects are permitted, there is a condition, that when/'if they are ever no longer in use, the owner is responsible for deconstruction, so we don't have all these abandoned projects dotting the landscape. Towers need to be deconstructed, land resource extraction sites need to be landscaped and re-vegetated, etc.
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          Nov 24 2013: yes, I enjoy it. Well, when people say why haven't you remarried, they probably mean you're a desirable person who knows how to get along with people, so you'd work in a marriage. They might not say why haven't you remarried to a person who is gloomy and down in the dumps.

          Colleen, is there any reason why they a plant "dies back," wouldn't they just say the plant dies, why do they add the word back? Which plants can go dormant and withstand winter, I imagine winter is tough in Vermont.

          Possibly I do some version of meditation when I just lie in bed and occasionally turn my mind "off." but I'm still awake.

          I'm talking about deconstruction in quite a different sense. The idea is that most things are "constructed," purposely built so that you can't really see the seams, or the inner workings, but when you deconstruct you build something so a person can see the seams. For instance, we know that inside our walls there are many kinds of plumbing, electrical conduits, etc. Most of the time that is covered up by the wall. But a deconstructed architecture, they might not build that inner wall, so you'd be able to see all the pipes, wires, etc. I'll find you a link, but if I do it now I'll lose what I've written. But the concept you're talking about is important, too, your board is thinking ahead obviously.

          Today I'm on my mom's computer, I walked up here to buy tickets to an event online as I don't have a computer. Looks like the event messed up, where they say you can buy tickets you cannot, so I may have to go early and take my chances at the door.
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          Nov 24 2013: well, this link is the best I can find off the bat, I don't feel like reading the whole thing to see if it's perfect. But they mention how deconstructivism want to disassemble architecture, not disassemble completely, they still want to have a working building, but disassemble it so that the visitor sees somehow how it is made. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deconstructivism
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        Nov 25 2013: Greg,
        The reason it is said that a plant "dies back" is because in the winter, the top part (foliage) dies back and the root is still living in a dormant state. That is why perennials come back every year....the winter does not kill them....it only kills the top foliage, and the root goes to sleep (dormant) for the winter. In the spring/summer, when it is warmer, the perennials grow again for the summer months.....then go dormant (die back) again when it starts to get cold again.

        You ask...which plants go dormant in winter?
        Oh my goodness Greg....there are hundreds of plants that go dormant in winter conditions!
        Winter in Vermont can be cold indeed....it is 7 degrees this morning:>)

        Yes we were using "deconstruction" differently. I have not heard the term "deconstructivism", in relationship to buildings built specifically with the intent that the infrastructure be left visible. We have lots of old buildings here that have been repurposed, and sometimes, the underlying systems are left visible. This happens quite a bit in old warehouse-type buildings that are now being used for different purposes like restaurants, for example. The basements are often utilized, and of course, there is often a lot of existing systems in the basement, which they incorporate into the design, rather than trying to cover it up:>)
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          Nov 25 2013: thanks, colleen. always wondered about that phrase. Now let's see, what is a flower that grows in a snowy climate and has a soft trunk (unlike a rose that has a hard, woody trunk)? Could those plants die back up above but the roots still survive? For example, do lupens grow naturally in a snowy climate and maybe they are perennial? I'm sorry I've started this comment so I can't google it.

          I was reading about grass and the author asserted that there are some grass plants that are older than 2000 years, than the redwoods, they just die back up top and then regrow but the roots survive. Hard to believe?

          I have eaten moss but that's very hard to separate the dirt. I have this idea that if you eat a plant that's very ancient you'll absorb some of that ancient wisdom, and mosses and algaes are the oldest living things on earth.

          For some reason ever since I learned about deconstructivism I've liked it and been interested in it. Maybe just because it's different and fresh (kind of like wearing your pj's to the supermarket), if all you've ever seen is a thousand buildings that are smooth and don't show the nuts and bolts you might like one that does show them.

          You can apply the concept to just about anything. For example, some theater tears down the "fourth wall" and very frankly admits this is a piece of theater, were you ever in a performance like that?
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        Nov 25 2013: Greg,
        If it is a perennial, the foliage will die back in the winter months, and the root will be dormant until the next warm season.

        Yes, Lupine are perennial, and often grow in snowy climates.

        I have never eaten moss, but have used it as a lovely "scrub" when bathing in mountain streams:>)
        Moss is also good for bee stings....put it directly on the sting, and it sooths it immediately.

        I have performed on a stage in the round (seats on all sides), and on a stage with only a back wall (seats on three sides)
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          Nov 26 2013: Huh, that's quite something, well, I just generally hate snow and wonder how anything can like it. How do you feel about it, Colleen?

          That's a lovely picture, scrubbing with moss in a mountain stream. I wonder if this is heftier moss than we get in the suburbs, I really haven't checked out wild forest moss.

          I'm thinking playing on a stage in the round would not necessarily be deconstructivist, Colleen, if the play were still presented as a set of real events, as most plays are. As best I know, deconstructivist might mean a character in the play would start talking about the play to the audience and be very forthright about it being "just a play." I've never seen a play like that, have you?

          I feel quite privileged that a woman who was successful in theater, you, talks to me, somehow it seems like actors are special and a bit of a "club."
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        Nov 28 2013: I love snow Greg. Remember in one conversation with you I wrote about how I love the seasonal changes? I love to see the earth covered in a beautiful white blanket in the winter, and I like to "nest" with the wood fires going. I usually cook and bake more in the winter, on the wood stove, and I love the feeling of it all. You create change in your life by going to the grocery store in your pajamas, and I enjoy seasonal changes in which I wear different cloths, eat differently, am more inside in winter and outside in summer, activities change, etc. etc.

        I think whether or not a play is presented as a real event, or fictional, there is usually a connection with real life experiences, simply because people are people, and humans have been dealing with similar situations and emotions for a very long time. Have I ever seen a play that was presented as "just a play"? Yes, I have seen plays with a narrator, expressing the idea that this is just a play. Unfortunately, any name of such plays escape me at the moment.....sorry.

        Actors are people Greg, same as you and me. I think we addressed that in another one of your conversations.
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          Nov 28 2013: well, for me, even if I'm in a warm house, I can somehow sense and feel that outside cold in my bones and so it's difficult to like it. Part of it is one knows that at some point one will have to go outside to do something and experience the cold. Have you lived in Vermont all your life, Colleen? Have I ever asked where you were born, I recall I started a convo about where people were born, but I didn't host it very well, as Yahoo! started sending TED answers to my spam and I didn't realize they were going there. Have you ever tried a warm place like Florida or SoCal, it is pretty nice.

          I've seen very few plays, as a general rule I have disliked going to the theater although enjoyed movies, can you figure? I have seen movies where an actor will address the audience directly, actually, those moments probably bug me, maybe in a movie I prefer to have the illusion it's "real," or at least somewhat real. In architecture I rather dig a "deconstructed" look.

          It does kind of feel like I am looking for change by going to market in PJ's, but what change is it? It is only a practical decision, only for practical reasons. Had you noticed that my TED profile photo is taken in my pajama shirt, it was supposed to be a practice photo to break in my new camera, but then I was satisfied with it.
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        Nov 28 2013: Greg,
        It seems from your comments that you have lived in California most of your life? That could be part of the reason for your discomfort with cold.....you're not used to it?

        You ask..."Have you lived in Vermont all your life Colleen?"

        Not yet Greg!!! (That's an old Vermont joke!!! LOL:>)

        Seriously, I was born in Vt., and have lived here most of my life, and have also lived in warm climates for short periods....CA being one of them. They are all nice, and I REALLY like the seasonal changes in Vermont:>)

        No, I did not notice that your profile photo is taken in your pajama shirt....it just looks like a shirt.
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          Nov 29 2013: well, it may be my milk diet, Colleen. On this diet, as I have said, I stay at the middle of normal on the BMI for my height. But that is definitely thinner than I've been at any other time of my life, and the lack of padding may make me more sensitive to cold. When I was in first grade my family lived in Canada for a year, and we have also had a vacation cabin in a snowy area. When I encountered the snow before being on this diet, it didn't bother me so much. But I'll take the diet over loving the snow.

          Well, the seasonal changes might be nice. My old friend moved to the state of Washington, and has had to grapple with tough weather. But every year I always want to call him on the first day of spring because I think it must be nice, sort of a compensation for the tough winter.

          Well, I'm cleaning up my mom's kitchen after Thanksgiving. We had about 13 gathered, family and one friend of family. I started out the day in my PJ's, and, since I didn't shower, I thought about staying in them all day, but changed into day clothes. I guess the day clothes seemed physically warmer. Yet if the guests hadn't come, I very well might have stayed in PJ's all day, and they would have been physically comfortable. I wonder what the connection is between the group coming, and the day clothes seeming physically warmer than the PJ's?

          Yes, I suppose it could seem like a regular shirt, but I believe the thicker texture, flannel, gives it away.

          How was your holiday? Anything creative or bold about it?
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          Nov 29 2013: I'm thinking maybe the reason I prefer movies to theater is movies have background music, background sound in general? That does add something to the experience?
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        Nov 29 2013: Yes Greg, I think sometimes music and other background sounds add to an experience, and in my perception, musical theater has that.

        I think you are right about a thinner body with less padding being less tolerant of the cold. I also think that as we age we become less tolerant of the cold.

        Spring is indeed nice, when it warms up and things start popping in the gardens...ready for another summer season.

        Sounds like a very nice gathering you had for Thanksgiving. I went to friends house for a lovely quiet dinner. A couple weeks ago 4 of my siblings and I took thanksgiving dinner to our brother...the one with COPD and somewhat homebound. He lives in a town further north, which is sometimes difficult to get to in winter weather. We had a lovely "Thanksgiving" there as well. Thank you for asking:>)
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          Nov 29 2013: true, colleen, although then it's not background, am I correct or am I wrong on that? Maybe musical theater is too much music? I guess it's somewhat a matter of taste. Probably movies make more money than theater?

          By the way, I think I decided that the reason I didn't want to wear my PJ's with guests over is that I knew the various doors would be opening and letting in the cold, doors open as guests arrive, and as guests go outside to stroll in the backyard. And as they come back in. I like warm.
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        Nov 29 2013: I agree that it is a matter of taste and preference Greg. Music in musical theater productions can be subtle background music, or it can be featured. I like to be warm too, which is why I wear LOTS of layers in the winter!
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          Nov 29 2013: Do you mean that if you have musical theater with a live orchestra the orchestra sometimes plays live music while the characters talk, or do some action? But non-musical theater never does that, or at least that I've seen? Maybe you don't want to spend money for an orchestra just to play background music?

          Just had a funny image of the orchestra in their pajamas.

          My grandparents were pastors. I think sometimes as a stunt the teens in the youth group would declare a pajama day where they all went to restaurant breakfast in pj's and robe, and would come and get my grandparents at their house, who would have to put on their robes and come along. My grandparents were good sports and would have gottten a kick out of it, I'm sure. Sound like fun?
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        Nov 29 2013: Right Greg....the orchestra sometimes plays background music to set the scene for dialogue, it plays to accompany singers, dancers, and sometimes, depending on the scene, the orchestra music may be featured. Right again....non musical theater generally doesn't have music.....but it can. I did "On Golden Pond", which is not generally a musical production, but we had live guitar music contributing to the scenes.
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          Nov 29 2013: was it nicer for you having music contributing to the scenes, or did it make no difference? Well, I somewhat wish I preferred theater, Colleen, as in theory I think it is important to be with living, in-the-flesh people. What do you think? I would say I feel somewhat guilty for participating in TED conversations for the same reason, that it's better to be with flesh-and-blood people? But there are distinct advantages to internet communication, it is easier to find a fairly large number of people who share your interest, in this case discussing ideas.

          I am going to see a new movie out today, "Homefront," a kind of cheesy "crime thriller" I enjoy much. Another guilty pleasure? Do you have any of those?
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        Nov 29 2013: Greg,
        Music seemed to enhance a scene when it was appropriate to do so. One thing I learned more about with involvement in theater, is to be ready to adapt and adjust to changing situations. It was a job that I loved, and there was a director (director, music director and choreographer in musical theater), so I followed directions and had fun with the process.

        I have never been a big fan of going to the movies, although I do once in a while. I have traditionally liked theater more. I like TED communications as well as communications in person.

        I don't think I have any "guilty pleasures". If it is pleasurable, I see no reason to feel guilty, and if there is a feeling of guilt, it probably isn't genuinely pleasurable.
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          Nov 30 2013: Well, when you have watched movies, would you agree that the background music has enhanced the experience, Colleen? I mention movies because background music is far more common in movies, almost every movie has it, whereas almost no theater has it? I wonder what the background music does, well, it adds an extra layer of emotion, I suppose? And excitement, there is something exciting about music? Also, it fills in some spots with sound where otherwise there would be no sound, or uninteresting sound, that seems to work as well?

          Mom was saying movie sound might be better because the performers are miked perfectly? Of course the volume is higher.

          Thanks for sharing your theater experiences. How did you get into it? Did you go to college, have a college degree?

          Your lack of guilty pleasures seems wholesome and "up." But, for example, Mom again was saying her guilty pleasure is food. You don't think she is really enjoying it?
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        Nov 30 2013: It probably does enhance it Greg, although to say for sure, I would have to see it with and without the music. All musical theater has music.

        I think I told you this before and I'll answer your question again....
        I wanted to get back into music, so I auditioned for a community musical theater production....then did more and more and more.....and it evolved into a profession. In between times, I took acting classes, voice and dance lessons to improve my skills and endurance:>)

        I do not know if your mom is enjoying food Greg.....that's something you can ask her:>)
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          Nov 30 2013: that's an excellent idea to compare the two. If I do it in my imagination, I do believe the one without music is much less interesting. So that may be part of why I prefer movies. Another thing is that they're kind of convenient, you can go so many different times of day, seven days a week. And they're local, so you're familiar with the venue, parking, etc.

          I think you did mention it, Colleen. But I'm not sure if you mentioned taking the classes, that was smart on your part. Do you have any idea why some people like to perform more than others, some people would be much too shy to get up on stage and dance and sing in front of other people. But it seems like it's the people who are willing to get up and be in the spotlight, in any profession, who get the most rewards?

          Well, I asked, the quick answer was she feels guilty an hour after she eats.
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        Nov 30 2013: Greg,
        Perhaps it is similar to comparing a book to the movie version of the same story? They both have different elements which may or may not stimulate us in different ways.

        I agree....the classes were good, because I had to learn how to maintain the voice and the body for extended periods of performances.

        I suspect the motivation to perform on stage is different for different people. My motivation, was simply to get back to singing, and it kind of mushroomed into lots of other things. The greatest "rewards" for me were all the incredible lessons learned throughout the experience:>)
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          Dec 1 2013: sounds like you have the beginnings of a great idea there, Colleen. Could you say more about what the difference is between how a book stimulates you, versus the movie version of that same book?

          Would you mind filling me in what you mean by "maintain" the voice and body?

          Mm, your motivation was to get back to singing, but in theory you could have just.......sung around the house? There was something different about doing it on stage? What were the rewarding lessons learned?
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        Dec 1 2013: I don't think it's really a new idea Greg:>)

        While reading a book, I imagine how the characters and the scene look.....I form a picture, based on the written word and my own imagination. Sometimes, when I see the same story made into a movie, the characters, dialogue and scenes are very different, which sometimes has a significant impact on the story. Sometimes, with the production of the movie, they add things that will sell....more drama and violence for example. In general, I like the book more than the movie which may be based on a book.

        Maintaining the voice and body simply means keeping it in shape. In musical theater, there is often quite a bit of singing and dancing. When one is singing for 2-3 hours every night for a couple weeks, it is important to know, and use the voice appropriately, so we don't overtax it. Same with the body....it's important to have enough energy to sustain the performance, so staying in good physical condition is beneficial.

        Lessons learned:
        Working together with a group of people to create a production. How to adapt and adjust to changing circumstances, and different scenes. How to take good care of the body and stay in shape, patience, gratitude, persistence......those are just a few lessons learned and/or reinforced.
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          Dec 1 2013: Can you say why you generally like the book better?

          What are the methods to maintain the voice and body?

          I have much enjoyed working as a TV and movie extra. I really enjoyed learning the behind-the-scenes structure, for example, how extras get hired, what is a working day like, and so on. Plus the experience is colorful and intense, movies themselves are colorful and intense, and working on and in them is, too.

          Do you think you have a "showbiz" personality? What is the connection between being good at TED conversations and working in showbiz?
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        Dec 3 2013: I thought I already said that Greg!

        I usually like the book better because...
        "While reading a book, I imagine how the characters and the scene look.....I form a picture, based on the written word and my own imagination. Sometimes, when I see the same story made into a movie, the characters, dialogue and scenes are very different, which sometimes has a significant impact on the story. Sometimes, with the production of the movie, they add things that will sell....more drama and violence for example. In general, I like the book more than the movie which may be based on a book."

        You ask..."What are the methods to maintain the voice and body?"
        Exercising, eating and sleeping well, vocalizing.....generally being healthy.

        I do not know what a "showbiz" personality is Greg. You probably have noticed that people in "showbiz" have many different personalities.
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          Dec 4 2013: Well, I apologize if I didn't catch it, I suppose if the movie was different from the book one might actually like the movie better. Ditto if the movie was more dramatic or violent one also might like it better although that might not be you, Colleen. Just trying to possibly get to a place where I appreciate theater as well as movies, think tapping into your mind might help me.

          By showbiz I meant flamboyant, big, dramatic, also intelligent and insightful. Likes attention. Some of these qualities do seem like they would help in a TED conversation.
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        Dec 4 2013: I agree Greg....one might like a movie better than a book, and one might like a book better than a movie.....we are all different, with different likes, dislikes, preferences, etc.

        No Greg, I am not flamboyant or extremely dramatic in my everyday life, and I don't perceive all actors to be that. Actually, many actors are very shy. What one sees in the tabloids is not typical of all "showbiz" people. Think about the number of people who are in showbiz, and think about the few that you may see CONSTANTLY in the news. It is not at all an accurate reflection of most people in showbiz.
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          Dec 4 2013: right. you were saying that in most cases you prefer the book to the movie, I was just wondering why? Perhaps the images in your imagination usually please you more than those some outside person creates? The images in your imagination are more beautiful, or.....?

          good point that actors have different personalities. Have I asked, Colleen, whether you think performing is more mentally stimulating than other kinds of jobs, I believe that working as a TV-movie extra has been more intellectually enriching for me than, say, working in more ordinary jobs like driver, cashier, office clerk, and so on.

          If you wish to share, would enjoy knowing if you got anything out of the relationship with the audience, I know you mentioned the benefits of theater work but they seemed to be more about working with fellow performers.

          Yes, I don't think my diet makes it hard for me to change into pj's at night. As a matter of fact, it's when I eat solid food that I am more tired.
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        Dec 5 2013: Hi again Greg,
        I believe that it is not the particular job that is more or less stimulating, but rather our perception, attention to, curiosity about the task that creates more or less stimulation. I think/feel that situations are often what we make of them. I have had some wonderful experiences within what may seem like ordinary, or less stimulating situations, because I am open to possibilities:>)

        Yes, I absolutely DID feel the energy of the audience as a whole, and sometimes with individuals in the audience. I feel an energy flow with people, and when that is felt by another person, it creates a stronger feeling of flow. Sometimes, if it felt like a particular person was more engaged with the performance, I was drawn to direct energy toward that person.
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          Dec 5 2013: I get that, colleen, although aren't the more open people going to gravitate toward the more interesting jobs, I mean Albert Einstein might have gotten bored with an office clerk job no matter how much he made it interesting? Maybe he could have invented the theory of relativity while typing correspondence?

          Beautiful description of your relationship with an audience. It might be a reason to go to theater, that you can genuinely connect with the performers, versus a movie. Did you ever encounter other actors with stage fright, were you able to help them at all?

          Are we still on the pajamas topic? I treasure the opportunity to learn from you.
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        Dec 5 2013: If I am not mistaken, Einstein DID develop the theory of relativity and write the breakthrough paper on it while working as a clerk in a patent office.
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          Dec 5 2013: I guess I have heard that, Fritzie. Or developed it in his off-hours. Still, he did move on to university teacher, a more stimulating job?

          I think Colleen and I keep discussing this, I think some people and jobs are exceptionally good, and I think she believes there's not so much difference between different people, and different jobs (I hope I haven't misrepresented her.) Maybe there's some truth to both our positions.
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          Dec 6 2013: Fritzie and Greg,
          I think there is a difference in people and jobs, and I don't label or categorize jobs as better/worse, more or less stimulating. It depends a lot on the talents, skills, abilities and preferences of different people.

          In my perception and experience, there's also a preference for different jobs within a certain time period. For example, when I was acting, I also managed and maintained rental units. Sometimes, I'd be in the city one day on an acting job, being pampered and paid lucratively, and the next day I was cleaning and repairing a trashed apartment. Both jobs were contributing to my life experience in different ways, so I enjoyed the opportunities equally as much:>)
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        Dec 5 2013: I agree that there are some great matches between person and job. A job one person would love and find stimulating another would not necessarily, depending on his different talents, interests, and preferred ways of working.

        I think also that in any undertaking or experience, some people are more disposed to focus on the pluses and minimize the minuses than others are. Anyone can be happier with an experience if he decides to focus on the opportunities rather than the inconveniences.
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          Dec 6 2013: so you don't think there are jobs that almost everyone would agree are better than other jobs, for example, wouldn't almost everyone agree that it's better to be a movie star than to be an office clerk?

          I believe you joined this conversation almost at the end, Fritzie, thanks for doing that. One new question that came into my mind as we conducted it is whether most people sleep barefoot, and why. After all, if we say our pajamas rather parallel our day clothing in the sense of covering our body, you would think we would wear socks when we sleep paralleling our wearing socks during the day. I'm thinking, however, many people sleep barefoot, if true I wonder why? Do you yourself sleep barefoot?
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        Dec 6 2013: I believe many introverts would prefer being office clerks.

        I do not know what proportion of people sleep in socks. I would guess more people regularly pad about the house in bare feet than in socks.
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          Dec 6 2013: any sense in which an introvert could say being a movie star is a better job even if it isn't a better job for him, or her?

          well, here's one link I found http://vator.tv/news/2013-10-23-men-sleep-naked-women-sleep-with-socks-on I just find my feet are hot and uncomfortable under the covers of the bed with socks on, but I like to pad about the house with socks on wearing the same clothes I was wearing in bed, and when not in bed but wearing socks my feet feel fine. Can't figure out the physiology?

          If you notice, the link says women are three times as likely to wear socks to bed, wonder why?
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          Dec 6 2013: I love bare feet in the summer, and in the winter in Vermont, I usually wear at least one pair of socks around the house and sometimes in bed! LOL!
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        Dec 6 2013: Hi Greg:>)
        Regarding your comment...
        "I get that Colleen although aren't the more open people going to gravitate toward the more interesting jobs...."

        Who decides what is more or less interesting? Do you suppose what is interesting may be different for different people? I believe that is the case.

        Regarding connecting with an audience......yes, connecting with people is always a lovely experience for me no matter what the situation is:>)

        Re: Stage fright.....yes, I've met performers who experienced stage fright, and I myself had a challenge with that in the beginning. I got very nervous prior to a performance sometime to the point of feeling physically ill. I worried about forgetting my lines or blocking, choreography, words of the songs, what if I messed up the performance, etc...Once I was on stage, it was fine and went well.

        I worked with a very good director, who recognized the challenge and reminded me that we rehearsed...did our homework well, put in the time and energy to create a good performance, and we could believe in that....let go of the worry, and enjoy the process. He also reminded me that we have energy running through us, and we can use that energy as a positive force, or a negative. If we focus on all the mistakes we could make, it actually can interfere with our ability to perform well (stage fright). When we believe in ourselves and our ability, we can go with the flow and enjoy the experience.

        In another comment, you asked me what lessons I learned while performing....this is an important one for me, which I incorporated into the life experience....do the homework...put in the time and effort...gather all available information, and believe in myself:>)

        I treasure the opportunity to learn with you too Greg:>)
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          Dec 6 2013: Thanks, Colleen. Well, if you say what is interesting for different people can be different, then are you implying that in no case can we decide upon an absolute? For example, what if we said that what is bad and deserves punishment is different for different people? How then would we prosecute people for a crime, the worst being murder?

          I agree that it's lovely to connect with people, by connect we mean that we are comfortable in each other's presence, that we feel we have something to say that the other person will value, and vice versa? Is that about what "connect" means to you?

          Really appreciate the behind-the-scenes experiences. I've deeply enjoyed working as an extra, and learned a great deal in spite of being "just" an extra. In film I guess you play to an imaginary audience, well, in most cases I was probably not trying to connect with the audience because that would remind them it's a piece of fiction, I was more trying to act like I'm a real person really doing whatever I'm portraying, and have no awareness that any audience is watching me. In my last extra job I had a long "bit" with an actor named Tony Hale, who I noticed just won an Emmy.

          Now I'm picturing you barefoot surfing about an eight-footer in the warm California sun.
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        Dec 6 2013: No Greg, I am not suggesting that in no case can we decide upon an absolute. I certainly do not believe in deciding what is absolute for another individual, although we may choose what is considered absolute for ourselves as individuals.

        Your question was about jobs, and I said it may be different for different people depending on an individual's talents, skills and preferences. Now you bring in differences regarding punishing people for crime, which is another topic.

        Yes you have a good idea of what "connecting" with people means:>)
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          Dec 6 2013: well, I do think it's an intellectual problem, I mean, if we say there are no absolutes regarding what is the best job to get, how then do we say there are absolutes when it comes to whether you can inflict violence on someone else? I probably still think some jobs are absolutely better than others, and there are also absolutes as to you should not hurt other people. Do you think there are absolutes when it comes to prohibiting violence? How do you justify saying the job preference is subjective, and the violence feeling is objective?
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      Nov 17 2013: Colleen crawling under the quilt in long john. Haha!
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        Nov 17 2013: Dear Pabitra from a warm country,
        Up here in the north country, it is very common to wear long johns to bed with SEVERAL quilts! There is a joke about long johns up here......we put them on in November and take them off in April.....maybe it's not really a joke:>(

        When I was acting, I was often cast about 10 years younger than I actually was, and when people in the city discovered my real age, they asked ....what's your secret? How do you stay looking so young? My response often was....."I live in Vermont, and frozen meat doesn't spoil"......there may be some truth to that:>)

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