What Does 18 Look Like?

Last Friday, we held our first ever Teen Art Show. While we LOVE to do things that involve teens at the library, sometimes it’s tough to get them involved. They’re busy. They have actual lives. They work. They don’t want to admit the library is cool. (Or sick…or whatever it is they say these days.)

Those are the teens we know, from our community, our culture, our society. And we think they’re great.

But are teens the same everywhere around the world? The New York Times recently did a great piece showcasing what it looks like to be 18 all around the world. You might be surprised what some of these 18-year-olds are doing, and how they’re living at eighteen years of age. It’s a fascinating look at people, so take a few minutes to scroll through and really study the amazing photos. You’ll think differently about the 18-year-olds you know now. We promise.

Advertisements

Small Talk

Small talk. It should be an actual course in school, say, in Grade 5. Way before high school, at the very least. It’s not hard to make small talk with friends or co-workers you know fairly well, but get stuck in a room with strangers, and it’s tough! For our Friday Frivolous Post, we’re going there.

As Canadians, we seem to learn how to make small talk about the weather from day one. But what happens when you have more time to kill, or want to chat up that fascinating person across the room during a conference? You can’t rely on the other person to do all the talking–you need to learn how to have conversations, especially in this world of social media and cell phones.

But how? Do you memorize a list of general questions you could ask anyone? (What type of work do you do? Have you been on vacation this summer? What do you think of all this construction? Do you like this restaurant/hotel/yoga class?) After a while, you’ll lose someone with those run-of-the-mill questions. To really engage a stranger, you need to keep a conversation going. But it would be nice to also glean a few tidbits of interesting info from them as well.

When I came across this list of 16 Interesting, Better Small Talk Questions, it was something I had to share. Some of these are BRILLIANT, and I plan on using them the next time I’m lost for words.

How about something like:

  • What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?

We ask this question casually at work all the time, just not in this particular way. When people ask us for book recommendations, we often ask them about the last great book they read, or what type of book they usually enjoy. Why can’t this be a “regular” conversation question? You might find your next favourite book or Netflix binge-worthy show.

  • What are you doing this weekend?

Okay. This seems like a no-brainer, and we often go through this conversation with friends or family right before the weekend. But what if we did it with strangers? (I don’t recommend asking someone on the bus, or in line at the bank…seems a little weird.) I could totally see a conversation like this playing out with someone sitting beside you at the doctor’s office, or the cashier at the grocery store. Just an easy question, and it gets the other person talking about things THEY’RE excited about. Plus, you might get a great tip on something fun to do!

  • What’s the best thing that happened to you today?

I feel like this one is for people you know a little bit already. Otherwise, it ends up sounding like one of those inspirational Facebook posts by a self-help author. (List the five best things that happened to you today! Wasn’t that an Oprah thing?)  But with someone you know…an old friend, your kids, etc., and you could totally pull this off.

There are plenty of other great questions to ask, with lots of wiggle room and the obvious…segues into more conversation! Give them a try and let us know what you think? Or….do you have some favourite conversation starters that work well? Leave us a comment!

 

To the Moon…

matt-benson-9223Just a little fun for our first Frivolous Friday post of March! SpaceX, the company that is planning on sending a manned mission to Mars in the future, has just announced that  it will send TWO people to the moon in 2018.

Now, before you start packing your bags, the two individuals have already been chosen, and they have paid a “significant” deposit to make the trip. While it won’t actually land on the moon, the SpaceX flight will last about a week, and will allow the participants lots of time to ponder life in space.

This flight will launch near Cape Canaveral, from the same launch pad as the Apollo missions. This will be the first visit to the moon in 45 years.

Would you pay to go to the moon?

I Would…

What if..._For our Frivolous Friday post this week, I’m asking the question….”what if?”  This is actually a fun game that we play regularly at our Teen Book Club meetings, and incites plenty of laughter and conversation. But I’m really asking this question after coming across a funny blog post titled “If Justin Bieber Were My Son”.

The premise for the blog post is about what a mother (or father) would do or say if Justin Bieber were his or her child. The idea is that we ALL have lots to say about Justin Bieber—and any other young person that seems to be making bad choices in their lives without any guidance, and yet….are we saying these things to our own children?

Maybe the spoils of fame are to blame for poor decision making at that age, but I’m sure we’d all like to think it has something to do with the parenting as well. If J.B’s mother had just instilled a little more common sense in him, or if she had simply told him to say “no” once in a while, maybe he’d make better decisions. (If all of the other young pop stars want to jump off the side of a cliff, YOU don’t have to do it, too, Justin.)

So, are you telling your child wise things? Maybe they need to hear them. Maybe we need to say them more often. What if your child suddenly rises to fame? Will it be too late then? What if your child just grows up and does normal things? Is it irrelevant then?

Of course, if you read through the statements on the post, some of them are pretty out there, but the idea….the idea that we need to be making bold statements to our kids in order to help them make better decisions….is right on the money. Try it. They might roll their eyes, but they’ll hear it, and maybe remember it when they need it most.

What brilliant thing have you told your child today?

Decoration Inspiration!

For your Frivolous Friday post this week, I want to talk about decorating…specifically fireplace mantels. Since packing away all of my Christmas decorations for another year, my living room looks sadly bare. How is it that piling on greenery, sparkly lights, and tiny ornaments can make a room look so finished? And yet, even thinking of doing that throughout the year would seem overdone. It’s my fireplace mantel that seems to make me stop and stare as I try to figure out new and interesting ways to spruce up the space after the holidays.

20141111_111007As you can see….not the most exciting option. But I’m working on it.

So, when I ran across this inspiring post about ways to decorate your mantel, it got me thinking. Now, I’m opening closets, looking on shelves, and searching out those fun items we probably have lying around doing nothing, in order to make our living room centerpiece more of a conversation. Checks and Spots has great ideas for year-round amazing. Now, we won’t have to wait another 11 months to have fun.

What do you have on your fireplace mantel?

Selling Your House?

For our Frivolous Friday post, we’re going to talk about real estate. Okay, we’re not really going to discuss it at all, but rather, I’m going to share a site with you that should make you appreciate any real estate agent you hire in the future. Unless you hire one of these.

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos is a compilation of the absolute worst (and funniest) photos taken in order to try to sell property. 

tumblr_n5f60vTPPx1rrqskho1_500Yes, they actually posted the photo upside down. After posting the photo sideways. Then, they gave up.

tumblr_n4e5dyKhwo1rrqskho1_500And this one was deemed acceptable to post. Wouldn’t you jump at the chance to purchase this house?

Take some time to look through the posts.  They’re hilarious, and you might want to follow them on Twitter so you never miss one again! Happy House Hunting!