The Joys and Sorrow of Fitbit

fitbitA Fitbit falls firmly in the category of items I would never purchase for myself.  It’s trendy, it’s techie, it’s expensive.  But when the craze hit, I was mildly (if remotely) curious.  So when a family member unexpectedly got me one a little over a year ago, I decided to check it out. Continue reading

The Perfect Age for Happiness?

A recent article from TIME magazine claims that “People Aren’t Happiest Until They Reach 33.”  I thought this was a curious claim, and so decided to look further.  According to the article, a study by Friends United, a British social-networking site, “found that 70% of respondents over the age of 40 claimed they were not truly happy until they reached 33.” Continue reading

Messy + Clean = Opposites Attract?

"Oh, the humanity..."

Were you to divide the world’s population into two categories, messy people and clean people, I probably wouldn’t qualify as anyone’s definition of “neat.”  Not that I don’t value cleanliness and order, and not that I leave mountains of filth or mayhem in my wake, either; but I don’t enjoy or feel compelled to always have things “just so” (like some people do; you know the types).  And I certainly feel no burning desire to be the one making things that way.  It’s just not how I am wired. Continue reading

Wide Open Spaces

For a brief time here recently, I was the proud “owner” of about 4100 square feet of space (“owner” is in quotes because ownership is actually, legally and technically, kind of a complicated term.  It often feels like you don’t really “own” anything).  But I bought a house, and was still paying rent on an apartment, and a storage unit, and a moving truck, so for that moment in time, it was all “mine.” Continue reading

Cell Phone Time Warp

Lately, my cell phone has been acting kind of funny.  Every time I turn it off, and then turn it back on, it resets the time and date to January 1, 2005, at 12:00 midnight.  As a result, every time I get a text message or miss a phone call thereafter, it will say it was received at the according time, like “Text from Matt, Jan. 5, 2005, 3:45 a.m.”  It is really throwing me off.  We have become so dependent on technology that, for a split second, looking at that message will have me question my reality.  Was that message sent January 5, 2005?  Is it 2005?  Did I even know Matt in 2005?  And why was he writing me a text message at 3:45 a.m.? Continue reading

TIME: Another Book List

This list first came to my attention as an app and an invite on www.goodreads.com.  And it was labeled simply “ALL TIME 100 Novels.”  “All time of what?” was my question.  I looked to the TIME site itself for clarification, and it is (more descriptively) explained to be the (apparent) 100 best English-Language novels from 1923 to the present (according to TIME critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo).  Of course, we here at Dunce Academy are actively working on our own list, and as you will see, there is not a lot of overlap.  You can take that to mean whatever you like.  Continue reading

Time itself is the real hallucination

I have had lucid dreams, more real than any day I have ever lived in waking consciousness.  Mine is a very active dream life.  I hallucinate. And waking, there is always that brief moment where I’m not sure whether I am awake or dreaming, whether I am drifting into or out of dreamland.  Sometimes, the final realization that I am actually conscious in a tangible, external world is a relief.  Other times, it causes excruciating pain.  Depending on the dream. Continue reading