Friday, December 31, 2010

Top of the list

What was your biggest goal for this year, and did you accomplish it? If you didn't have a specific goal, what was the biggest thing you accomplished this year?

This week's theme is year's end.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The critics rave

Whether you're in the public eye or not, what are some "good reviews" that you got this year? What did you do this year that received a warm and positive reaction from your "fans"?

This week's theme is year's end.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Helping hands, hindering hands

Who stood in your way this year? And who offered timely assistance?

This week's theme is year's end.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tallying up

What issues did you explore in depth this year? What risks did you take?

This week's theme is year's end.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Year's end

What did you handle this year better than ever before? What problems did you decisively solve this year?

This week's theme is year's end.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tell us a story: snowed in

What's the most dramatic time you were waylaid by weather? How long were you stuck? How did you get out, ultimately?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Remembering the good times

What's your favorite memory of a holiday?

Friday, December 24, 2010

This can't be right

What is something that seemed extreme, off-balance, or even scary when you first tried it, but that now seems normal and routine?

This week's theme is extremes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

From one extreme to another

Some people are extremely frugal — until they go out on wild shopping sprees. Some people alternate between eating too much and going on strict diets. Some are extremely wild and rebellious, until they settle down into extremely ordinary, conventional lives.

What is one area of your life where you might find this pattern of shifting from one extreme to the opposite extreme?

This week's theme is extremes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Extremely extreme

What's one time when you took extreme action that may not exactly have been warranted? Did you book a flight to Europe to avoid a family get-together? Expose yourself to a friend with the flu to get out of the company Christmas party? Break a leg to prove you were right about something?

This week's theme is extremes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Extreme attitude

Following up your answer to yesterday's question: Is your extreme thing a positive or a negative? Is it something that you usually take for granted, or something you can't help thinking about every day? Is it something you're embarrassed about, or something you're proud of?

This week's theme is extremes. Happy solstice!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Do you live near the furthest-east point in your state? Do you work for the biggest company in the world? Does your last name start with "Z" and put you at the end of every list?

What is something about your life, your job, your home, your family, or your accomplishments that is an example of something extreme? In what way are you out at the edges, not in the middle of things?

This week's theme is extremes.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tell us a story: weird stuff!

What is the most unusual thing that happened to you this year?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Over and over again

What is the one thing that most often turns out to be at the root of your problems?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Too sexy!

Which people, or what kind of people, inspire your sexual desires? Are the objects of your sexual interest usually similar to you, or do they have characteristics and traits that you think you lack?

This week's theme is sex.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mob mentality

How do your attitudes about sex differ from your parents'? How do your attitudes about sex differ from your peers?

This week's theme is sex.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blushing (or not)

Were you brought up to think that sex was a normal part of life, or that it was something to be ashamed of?

This week's theme is sex.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sex education

Where, and from whom, did you actually learn about sex in a practical and useful manner? What do you wish someone had told you earlier?

This week's theme is sex.

Monday, December 13, 2010


It's the subject that nobody wants to talk about, and that everybody wants to talk about: sex!

What did your parents tell you about sex? What didn't they tell you? Is there anything that you comically misunderstood as a child, but figured out later?

This week's theme is sex.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tell us a story: budget crisis

Did you ever have to suddenly change plans midstream, because you discovered that you didn't have the money (or credit cards or wallet) that you thought you had brought with you?

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Here's a riddle for you to ponder: In what way are you like a picture frame? And what sort of picture do you enclose?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good cop, bad cop

Is there anyone in your life who is a model of responsibility? In what ways is he or she particularly good at it? Is there someone else who is so irresponsible that you resent them? What's the most irresponsible thing you know that they've done?

This week's theme is responsibility.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More, more, more...less, less, less

Overall, do you want more responsibility in your life, or less responsibility? Specifically, which responsibilities would you like to be rid of, and which additional responsibilities would you be eager to take on?

This week's theme is responsibility.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let me handle it

What is one responsibility that you don't mind having — because you know that you can handle it well, and it's an important thing that you wouldn't want to leave to just anyone?

This week's theme is responsibility.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Grow up!

Were you given responsibilities as a child? Did they go beyond the usual scope of keeping your room clean, looking out for a younger sibling or a pet, and a reasonable amount of child-friendly chores? If so, what responsibilities were you given that were, in your opinion, beyond the capabilities of a child of your age?

This week's theme is responsibility.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Responsibility can be a double-edged sword: it can make you feel important, but it can also mean added work. How much responsibility do you have in your everyday life? Are you in charge of many things and people who look to you for guidance and leadership, or even sustenance? Or do you have a very short list of things you must do and places you must be?

This week's theme is responsibility.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tell us a story: found money

Have you ever found someone's lost money inside of something (say, in a bank envelope or a paper bag or a dropped greeting card)? Obviously, finding a $20 on the street by itself is very clear: you can't know who dropped it, so it's yours. But money inside of something can potentially be connected to the person who lost it. If you have ever been in that situation, what did you do? If you've never been in that situation, what would you do?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I want some of that

Do you envy your friends and family who have something that you don't have? What is is that you envy: their material success or visible luxuries? Amount of leisure time they seem to have? Their harmonious family life?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Your first toothbrush

Can you recall when you were too young to brush your teeth or use deodorant? Do you remember being initiated into those rites? Did it make you feel happy? Grown up? Annoyed to have the responsibility?

Do you still use any of the personal care products you used as a child, or that your parents used when you were a child and living with them?

This week's theme is personal grooming.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


How flexible is your morning routine? Do you have a consistent order from which you never deviate? Or do you just wing it based on how you feel?

Is there one thing that you do in the mornings that, if you forgot to do it, you'd feel uncomfortable during the rest of your day?

This week's theme is personal grooming.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The nose knows

What kinds of scents do you favor in your personal care products? Do you like flowery or herbal smells? Spicy scents? Fruity? Unscented?

This week's theme is personal grooming.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hair and now

Do you get your hair cut or trimmed on a regular schedule? Do you have it done the moment it starts to get a bit shaggy, or out of shape, or do you put it off until your hair is long and needs a complete restyling? Do you go through periods of different hair lengths, and just cut it when you feel like it?

This week's theme is personal grooming.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Personal grooming

Is your shower cluttered with dozens of bottles, soaps, sponges, razors, and other things? Or do you just have the minimum necessary items in there? Are you very particular about what products you use while bathing, or are you happy to use whatever is sitting around?

This week's theme is personal grooming.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tell us a story: dressed to kill

Have you ever bought an item of clothing that was either so outrageous, or so unusual for you, that after you got it home you were reluctant to wear it? Did you in fact never wear it? If you did wear it, how did it go over?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In my other occupation, I'm a . . .

Imagine that you are starting to create an alternate-reality life for yourself, with an alternate life story very different from your ordinary life. The first step in this process is creating your alternate-reality business card. With no practical concerns to limit your choices, what job title would be fun to put next to your name on your business card?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The consequences of conflict

What is the worst conflict you've had with a family member, and what happened as a result?

This week's theme is family conflict.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A house divided

Are you estranged from members of your family because of unresolved conflicts? If so, what would have to happen for those divisions to be healed?

This week's theme is family conflict.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is there a diplomat in the house?

When there are conflicts between family members, who in your family is most likely to play the peacemaker or referee?

This week's theme is family conflict.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Learned behavior

How did you learn to resolve conflicts in your family? Were disagreements calmly discussed? Did people argue and then storm off and not speak for a few days (or a few weeks, or a few years)?

Do you still experience conflict the same way that you learned it from your family, or do you have your own style of dealing with it?

This week's theme is family conflict.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Family conflict

In the United States, this Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday is a traditional time for families to get together. For many families, getting together is likely to be an occasion for bickering and arguments. Are you getting together with family members this Thanksgiving? Are your family gatherings often marked by arguments, or are they mostly happy and harmonious?

This week's theme is family conflict.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tell us a story: volunteer work

What was one time that you volunteered to help out and did some interesting work that you otherwise might never have had the occasion to do?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Way on the Highway

What do your friends think of your driving style? Are they more likely to say you're too cautious, or too reckless?

What is one potentially risky thing that you sometimes do while driving?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Facing death

Have you ever been in a situation where death seemed like a possible outcome (for example, a car accident, or awaiting a medical diagnosis)? Did that experience change the way you approach everyday life, or did it have no lasting impact on you?

This week's theme is death.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A death in the family

Who is the first person in your life who died when you were old enough to be aware of it? How old were you? How did the people around you handle it? Did they communicate well with you, or leave you frightened and with unanswered questions?

This week's theme is death.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dreaming of deadly dangers

Do you sometimes dream about your own death, or about facing life-threatening situations? What deadly perils turn up most often in your dreams? Do these dream perils overlap with your daytime worries, or do your dreams have their own special dangers that don't occur in the dayworld?

This week's theme is death.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beating the odds

Though individual deaths are hard to predict, on average the causes of death are well understood. Do you know the leading causes of death for people like you, based on your age and where you live?

Have you taken specific steps to reduce your chances of death, for example, by adopting healthy habits or avoiding risky situations?

(US statistics: 15 Leading Causes of Death in 5-year Age Groups)

This week's theme is death.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Do you ever think about your own death? To what degree? Have you decided how you want your earthly remains handled, or what kind of service you want (or don't want)? Have you told anyone about your wishes, or put them in writing so that they have some chance of being carried out?

This week's theme is death.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tell us a story: the extra mile

What was something that you wanted very much, something that inspired you to put in an extraordinary effort or travel a long distance to get it?

After you reached your goal or got the thing you wanted, did it feel like a great triumph, or was it something of a letdown, an anticlimactic conclusion to your quest?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Going Places

What was the first car you owned, or the first car that you drove regularly? What color was it? How long did you have it?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Picture perfect

Think of a photograph of yourself that you particularly like, one that shows you in the best possible light. What is the setting for the photo? Is it a posed photo or a candid action shot? Which of your positive qualities are brought forward in this photograph?

This week's theme is the reflected image.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Like looking at myself

Think of the person who most reminds you of yourself (it can be a family member, a personal friend, a celebrity, a fictional character — anyone who is most like you). Do you tend to be critical of that person or character, or supportive? What do you like about him or her? What do you dislike?

This week's theme is the reflected image.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Profile pic

On Blogger, on social networking sites, anywhere you are allowed to use an avatar or image to represent yourself, what picture are you using right now? Is it a photo of you? Is it a current photo of you, or you as a child? Or is it a cartoon, one of your pets, your children, or a random funny image? If you aren't using a picture of yourself, why not?

This week's theme is the reflected image.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

That person in the mirror

How many times a day do you happen to see yourself in a mirror?

What are your usual thoughts when you look in the mirror? Are you proud of what you see? Do you tend to criticize shortcomings in your clothing or appearance? Do you feel uneasy and self-conscious? Do you smile at yourself in the mirror?

This week's theme is the reflected image.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The reflected image

When the cameras come out at an event, are you the one who puts up a hand in front of your face, or turns away? Or are you happy to have your picture taken, and in fact keep images of yourself around your home?

This week's theme is the reflected image.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tell us a story: mistaken identity

Where were you when someone mistook you for someone else? What happened, and how long did it take for you (or them) to realize you weren't the person they were looking for?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

By the people

Wherever you live, do you keep up with politics? Or do you avoid the subject because it's too scary/depressing/overwhelming/confusing? Do you feel that your world is running smoothly, or would you do things differently if you were running things? (Please folks, let's not turn this into a partisan debate; we just want to talk about your relationship to politics, and not your politics. Thanks!)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pruning the family tree

Are there any pieces of your family history that you'd rather forget, or overcome, or make amends for?

This week's theme is your ancestors.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Your family tree

How far back have you traced your family tree? Who are your earliest ancestors you specifically know about? Where and when did they live?

If you haven't actually traced your ancestry, what do you imagine some of your ancestors might be like?

This week's theme is your ancestors.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


What stories about your ancestors have been passed down through the family? What have you been told about family members who died long before you were born?

This week's theme is your ancestors.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The family name

What expectations of success and accomplishment come with your family lineage?
Do you feel you have to make an effort to live up to the high standards established by your family tree? Or is it the opposite — do you have to overcome low expectations and prove that someone from your family can accomplish something noteworthy?

This week's theme is your ancestors.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Your ancestors

Because this week begins on Samhain, the old Celtic holiday that honors the ancestors on the day when the veil is thinnest between the worlds — and thus when they can walk among us! — we will have five days of questions about ancestors. By "ancestors," we mean both the people who biologically preceded you, and also any people from the past with whom you have an affinity, whether cultural or spiritual or anything else.

Do you feel a connection to your biological ancestors? Do you have a connection to a group of ancestors who aren't biologically related to you?

This week's theme is your ancestors.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tell us a story: trick or treat

Is there a pattern to the Halloween costumes you've chosen over the years? Do you usually pick a human character of some sort, and if so, fictional or real? Or do you frequently go as a monster? Or maybe a concept, or a pun? Do you dress as things you admire and would like to emulate, or as things that cause fear?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Great on a plate

What is your favorite food?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Money can't buy everything

What is one of your current problems that could easily be solved if you had more money? And what is one problem that you would still have, you even if you had a lot more money?

This week's theme is money.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paper or plastic

Do you spend more freely when you buy with a credit card, and more cautiously when you spend cash? Or is it more often the reverse — cash flies out of your hands quickly, but you hesitate to post new charges on your card?

This week's theme is money.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I couldn't pass it up

Do you sometimes buy things just because they're such a good price, even though you might not have any need for them in the near future?

This week's theme is money.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When I win the lottery

Do you dream of striking it rich? How often do you buy a lottery ticket? Have you worked out detailed plans for what you will do if you win a million dollars?

This week's theme is money.

Monday, October 25, 2010


How much is your self-worth tied to your net worth? Can you feel good about yourself even if you don't have much money?

Thinking back over your life, have your wealthiest times been your happiest times?

This week's theme is money.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tell us a story: tough decisions

What was the hardest decision you ever made? What made it so difficult?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I got sidetracked

Looking back over your life, what time period was most like a dead end or a detour? What part of your life seems a little bit outside the main narrative of your life story?

Friday, October 22, 2010


Was there any activity your parents expressly forbade you to do, or people they didn't want you to see? How did that impact your life as an adult?

This week's theme is your parents.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's like my parents always said...

What is one lesson that you heard over and over from your parents — something that they wanted to make sure that you understood?

Did you heed their advice, or did you disregard it?

This week's theme is your parents.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From generation to generation

Regardless of whether you have children of your own, are there habits or behaviors of your parents that you sometimes find yourself repeating in your interactions with others?

This week's theme is your parents.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

With parents like these...

When you think of your most difficult interactions with your mother or your father, what moments come to mind?

This week's theme is your parents.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Your parents

What's your most positive memory of an interaction with your mother? What's your most positive memory of an interaction with your father?

This week's theme is your parents.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tell us a story: "No, really, I can do this..."

Did you ever take on a daunting responsibility, only to realize quickly that it was too much for you? What did you do? Did you continue on, nonetheless? Or did you quit, leave, or otherwise bail on the responsibility?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Causing pain

Did you ever hurt someone very badly?

Friday, October 15, 2010


What is one giant leap — a big change in your life — that you would like to make before the next leap day (February 29, 2012)?

This week's theme is change.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When you weren't looking

What is one big change that seemed to come out of nowhere because it happened while your attention was focused on something else?

This week's theme is change.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mirror, mirror on the wall

How has your appearance changed in the last year? In the last five years? What is the most dramatic change in your appearance since you were in school?

This week's theme is change.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Change on a grand scale

When was the last time something huge changed for you, effectively changing your whole life (or a part of your life)? Have you had more than one massive change in your lifetime?

This week's theme is change.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Do you embrace change, or fear it? Would you rather things continue on as they are, even if they aren't optimal, rather than face the unknown?

This week's theme is change.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tell us a story: Lucky I was there

What was one time when you just happened to be in the right place to help someone who needed immediate assistance — for example, to escape danger, avoid embarrassment, or handle an emergency?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Living in a generous universe

Think quick: what are six valuable things that you got for free in the last 24 hours?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Roadblock to learning

What's the one thing that is most likely to get in the way of you learning new things — whether in school or in other situations?

This week's theme is education.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cast of characters

In every movie about high school, there are certain typical characters. What character were you in high school? If you weren't an easily defined stock 'type,' what were some of your strongest defining characteristics during that time?

This week's theme is education.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

After school special

When you were in school, did you participate in clubs, sports, arts, or other extracurricular activities that would keep you at school longer than the usual school day? Or did you prefer to spend as little time at the school as possible?

What was the highlight of your extracurricular life?

This week's theme is education.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hard-earned lessons about learning

When you look back at your education, thinking both about what you studied and about how you approached it, what decisions do you regret? What would you do differently if you had a second chance?

This week's theme is education.

Monday, October 4, 2010


What is your overall relationship with education? Do you have fond memories of going to school, and learning? Or does the memory of it make you shudder a little? Do you miss going to school? Do you sometimes wish you still were? Or have you closed that door and never look back on it?

This week's theme is education.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tell us a story: and the winner is...

Have you ever won anything? What's the most notable thing you've ever won? A large amount of money? A cool piece of electronic merchandise? A trip to somewhere fabulous? The chance to meet somebody famous? A tremendous stuffed toy?

Did you win this great prize by luck, or was skill or talent involved?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The hue of you

What color is most closely associated with your personality and personal style? If your friends had to pick one color to represent you, what would they most likely pick?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Buying and reading

How well does your pace of book purchases match up with your pace of reading? Do you read books as soon as you get them home, or do you have a growing stack of books that you're hoping to have time to read someday? If you had to guess, how many unread books are there in your house?

This week's theme is your reading habits.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Browsing other sections

Have you ever read something that was out of your usual realm of choices? What's the most unusual, out of character book you've finished? Did you ever pick up an unusual book, only to put it down when you realized it wasn't for you?

This week's theme is your reading habits.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Skipping ahead

When reading fiction, did you ever jump ahead to the last page, just to satisfy your curiosity about how the story comes out?

This week's theme is your reading habits.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

See Spot run

Can you remember learning to read? What were some of the first all-text books that you read? What are some of the most memorable books from your early years of reading?

This week's theme is your reading habits.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Your reading habits

Reading is more than a way to pass the time: it's a form of escape, it's a way to relax, it's a means for educating oneself. Take a look at your bookshelves. Are most of the books fiction, or non-fiction? Are you looking more to entertain yourself with your reading, or to inform yourself? Has that balance shifted over the years?

This week's theme is your reading habits.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tell us a story: another door

"When one door closes, another opens." This old saying reminds us that a disappointment or missed opportunity often leads, through some unexpected turn of events, to an even better opportunity. Tell us a story about the time this happened for you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The road ahead

On the road of life, where are you now: on an uphill stretch, a downhill stretch, a hilltop, or a valley?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lonely planet

What's the place you've been to so frequently, and have explored so thoroughly, that you could write a travel guide for it?

This week's theme is places you'd like to be.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A place I'll always remember

What is one inspiring place from your younger years that you would love to visit again if possible — or perhaps create a new version of it in your life today?

This week's theme is places you'd like to be.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fantasy island

What is a perfect place to be with someone you love?

This week's theme is places you'd like to be.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My new home

If you could live absolutely anywhere, unhindered by family or job locale or friends, but at your current economic position (i.e. no castles on Antarctica unless you're already Trump-level wealthy!), where would you live? Why would you choose that place?

This week's theme is places you'd like to be.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Places you'd like to be

This week we'll be talking about places, locations, homes, and vacation spots where you'd like to be.

Where do you live now: a city, a suburb, a small town, a rural area, or someplace else? Are you in the north of your country, the south, the east, or the west? Are you within driving distance of mountains, the beach, farmlands, or a desert? From the perspective of these parameters (and similar ones), is your current home your ideal of where you'd like to live?

This week's theme is places you'd like to be.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tell us a story: Where did you get that?

What is one piece of clothing that you prize because of where it came from? Do you have a T-shirt you won in a contest, or a hat that belonged to your great-grandfather, or a costume that you created yourself for a special event?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The beginning of fall

In the northern hemisphere, the fall season officially starts a few days from now. Fall brings many new things, such as a new school year, a new television season, and many seasonal fruits and vegetables. What element of the fall season is most exciting or most meaningful for you?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The mask you wear

What is one animal whose characteristics you share? Are you sly like a fox? Sharp-eyed, like an eagle? Resourceful, like a raven?

This week's theme is your relationship with animals.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fangs and claws

Has an animal ever hurt you?

This week's theme is your relationship with animals.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shopping cart

Do you eat animals? Which ones? Do you have rules about which animals are okay to eat, and why? Or do you just not think about it?

This week's theme is your relationship with animals.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lions and tigers and bears!

Many children's stories are about animals. What is one animal story that particularly fascinated, amused, or frightened you as a child?

This week's theme is your relationship with animals.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Man and beast

We often have complicated relationships with many of the creatures sharing the planet with us. This week, we'll look at how you interact with some of them, both tame and wild.

As a child, were you allowed to have pets? Did your parents' relationship to animals affect your current relationship to animals, and did it affect your decision on whether to have pets or not?

This week's theme is your relationship with animals.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tell us a story: Cue the laugh track

What's the most straight-out-of-a-sitcom thing to have ever happened to you?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reading hour

What's one book that you were sorry to reach the end of; one that you wish had gone on for twice as many pages?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Best time of day

Typically, what time of day finds you at your peak of energy? When are you most likely to notice your energy flagging?

This week's theme is energy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Getting a boost

How much do you rely on coffee, sweets, cigarettes, or other stimulants to keep your energy from drooping? Do you use information -- news, gossip, TV, e-mail -- as a stimulant? Would you be able to function if your sources of stimulation were taken away?

This week's theme is energy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


What are some things that you do to energize yourself, charge your batteries, and reawaken your enthusiasm?

This week's theme is energy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Running low on energy

How often do you find that you are running low on energy and enthusiasm? Do you regularly have difficulty mustering the energy to do the things that you have decided to do?

This week's theme is energy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Energy level

In general, how energetic a person are you? How would other people describe your level of energy?

This week's theme is energy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tell us a story: I should have stayed in bed

What was one day you can remember when everything went wrong?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Specialty of the house

What's the best dish you can cook? What's the most memorable time you cooked and served it?

Friday, September 3, 2010


Who was the most important person in shaping your life? Was it one specific thing that they did for you? Or were they a long-term influence over some period of time?

This week's theme is important things.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life's work

What is your most important life's work? What is it that, at the end of your life, you want to have gotten accomplished?

This week's theme is important things.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

With friends like these

What's important to you in your friendships? Do you have any "deal breaker" behavior that would cause you to reevaluate a friendship?

This week's theme is important things.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The white glove test

When you're having people over — say for a party, or a houseguest — and you need to clean up but are short on time, what do you feel is the most important thing you can do to make your space welcoming?

This week's theme is important things.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Important things

Think of all the things that are new in the world — inventions, people, organization, TV shows, commercial products, or traditions that have existed for less than one year. What is one newly-arrived thing that plays an important role in your life?

This week's theme is important things.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tell us a story: fire drill!

Tell us about one time when your day was disrupted by a fire drill, a false alarm, or some other anticlimactic emergency. When did you experience a big interruption by something that turned out to be a big "never mind"?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The bright spot

Which room in your home has the best feel, the brightest energy? Which room is the most comfortable and welcoming?

Friday, August 27, 2010


Polite manners seem to require lying when you turn down an invitation. Do you agree that lying is sometimes better than hurting someone's feelings?

This week's theme is lying.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The truth fairy, delayed

Was there a time in your childhood when your parents kept the truth from you about something? Did they think you couldn't handle the truth, or were they trying to make something easier on themselves?

This week's theme is lying.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Means to an end

What's one time that you lied — or stretched the truth — in order to gain a tangible benefit (such as a job, a higher salary, free food, entry into an event, etc.)? Was the benefit worth the lie, or did you agonize over it for a long time afterward?

This week's theme is lying.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pants on fire

What is one lie you told recently? Who were you trying to deceive? Did they suspect that you weren’t telling the truth?

This week's theme is lying.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Are you a good liar? When necessary, can you convincingly say something that isn't true?

Now, what about the flip side? Can you usually sense it when someone else isn't telling you the truth?

This week's theme is lying.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tell us a story: that thing about my mother

Tell us a story about why and how your mother came to have some trait or characteristic you associate with her. You may know this information from stories you heard (or read) secondhand, but don't worry too much whether your answer is fact or conjecture. What do you think happened in her younger years that helped shape her personality or world view?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Keeping secrets

Do you enjoy hearing people's secrets? Is it easy, or difficult, for you to keep secrets?

Friday, August 20, 2010

A whole lotta wastin' goin on

Suppose you had a whole week to kill, and you weren't allowed to do anything remotely productive. What would you do?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Er, I wasn't napping just now

If someone catches you wasting time, are you ashamed or defensive? Do you rush to explain how much work you got done earlier, or that you aren't doing what you seem to be doing?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Instead of

When you have something unexciting to do — say, balancing your checkbook or cleaning the cat litter — do you waste time to avoid getting to the tedious task? What kinds of ways do you waste time to avoid things like that?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On the schedule

Do you allot yourself specific time for wasting each day, or each week? For example, do you read in bed for a half an hour each night before turning out the light, or play Sudoku online during your lunch hour on Wednesdays? Or is your wasted time more spontaneous, happening only when you feel like you have some breathing room?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wasting time

How do you like to waste time? What activity do you usually gravitate to when you have time to be completely unproductive?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tell us a story: out of uniform

What was one occasion when you showed up and found that you were dressed differently from everyone else there? What happened?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Halfway point

Think back to when you were half your current age. What were your main concerns, issues and problems then? Which of those have been completely resolved in the intervening years? Which ones are still a part of your life all these years later?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Astronomical odds

Your house could get hit by a meteorite. It's extremely unlikely, but not entirely impossible. You probably don't spend much time worrying about this possible calamity -- but what is another extremely unlikely risk that you do sometimes worry about?

This week's theme is risks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The chance you didn't take

What was one big opportunity that slipped away because you weren't ready at the time to take the risk that was required?

This week's theme is risks.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Against the odds

What is something that's a valued part of your life now, something that's there only because you took a risk at some time in the past to make it happen?

This week's theme is risks.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comfort zone

There are many kinds of risk, for example, physical danger, health risks, financial risks, and risk of public embarrassment. What are some categories of risk (or specific examples of risks) that you are comfortable with and don't mind taking?

What are some risks that make you uneasy, risks that you go to some effort to avoid?

This week's theme is risks.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Worth the risk

What is one thing that you would set out to do if you knew for certain that your efforts would be successful?

What if you were almost certain of success — would you still go ahead? How much uncertainty is enough to stop you from doing something?

This week's theme is risks.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tell us a story: time traveler

If you could send a message back in time to your younger self, what advice would help the younger you the most? What might happen differently in your life as a result?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Okay, you can take me out to the ball game

What form or genre of entertainment do you resolutely steer clear of? Was there ever a time that someone convinced you to partake in it anyway? How did they persuade you to go against your usual preferences?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yeah, I could do that

What is the loftiest job that you think you'd be good at, even though you might not have any formal training or official qualifications for the job?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Luring you away

What's one thing — other than a salary bump or a bonus — an employer could offer you that would get you to leave your current job for a similar position?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


What is one interesting non-financial advantage of your current job situation?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You'd make a great bartender

What is the career that other people seem to think would be a good fit for you? Did any of the standard school aptitude tests turn up anything strange or interesting as a possible career for you?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Your livelihood

What do you do for a living? How close is it to what you imagined, as a child, you would do when you grew up? How close is it to what you imagined when you were in high school and either choosing a college or preparing to go out into the world and work? How close it is to what you studied for in college?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tell us a story: mistaken identity

Have you ever been mistaken for someone else? Most of us aren't celebrity lookalikes, but perhaps you were waiting somewhere in a suit and were mistaken for an important executive, or a doctor, or someone in charge of something. Or maybe you appeared particularly competent in a shop and someone asked for your help in finding an item in their size. When you were mistaken for someone — or something — that you weren't, did you have a moment where you wished you were that other person?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Road trip

How do you feel about long car trips? Do you resent the time spent traveling in a cramped, limited environment? Or do you relish the thought of hitting the open road with nothing but you, your radio, and maybe some company for a few hours?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sleeping better

Are your bed, blankets, and pillows as comfortable as they could be? Do you have back tension, congestion, or other physical problems that seem to get worse when you lie down to sleep?

What is one aspect of your sleep experience that you wish you could improve?

This week's theme is sleep.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sleeping through the alarms

Did you ever sleep through a earthquake or some other middle-of-the-night adventure that woke up everyone else in the area? Did you ever oversleep and miss an opportunity or an important appointment?

What is one significant event that missed because you literally slept through it?

This week's theme is sleep.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Asleep on the job

Did you ever fall asleep when you were supposed to be working? Have you ever slept while waiting in line overnight for an exciting event?

What is one unusual circumstance or memorable place where you once slept?

This week's theme is sleep.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sleepless nights

Caffeine, worries, noises, and a host of other things can interfere with falling asleep and staying asleep. We can also lose sleep by staying up too late doing fun things. What's the thing that most often interferes with you getting a full night of sleep?

Do you sometimes take sleep drugs? Do you practice relaxation techniques or follow familiar bedtime rituals? What helps you get a good night of sleep?

This week's theme is sleep.

Monday, July 26, 2010


How many hours of sleep do you get each night, on average?

In ideal circumstances, how much sleep would you get?

This week's theme is sleep.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tell us a story: cliff hanger

What was one time in your life when you were left waiting for some important news, or a fateful decision, or a resolution to a tense situation?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Communication breakdown

Are there people you'd rather not talk to on the phone, preferring instead to exchange email or text messages with them? And are there people you prefer to talk to on the phone? Do you have specific reasons, or is it just habit?

Friday, July 23, 2010

A partial solution

When you're troubleshooting a complicated problem, which do you find more frustrating: Getting things to work again, but having no idea how you did it? Or gaining a full understanding of what caused the problem and how to fix it, but not being able to implement the solution?

This week's theme is your preferences and tendencies.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take me away!

On the whole, which do you prefer, when vacation plans are up to you: being pampered and surrounded by luxury, or getting away from it all in a rustic place of natural beauty?

This week's theme is your preferences and tendencies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pet peeve

Do you like dogs, or cats? Do you own any?

This week's theme is your preferences and tendencies.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An open and shut case

Do you sleep with your bedroom door open, or closed?

This week's theme is your preferences and tendencies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Your reading list

Which kind of book do you read more often: fiction or non-fiction? Which kind do you buy more often?

This week's theme is your preferences and tendencies.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tell us a story: summer fun

What's the most interesting — or most fun, or craziest, or most risky — adventure you had in the summer?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fun for the whole family

When you were a child, what games did your whole family play together?

Friday, July 16, 2010

My opus magnum

What is the most ambitious creative project that you have ever undertaken and finished?

This week's theme is creativity.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I wish I could do that

What are a few modes of creative expression that you would like to do, but you don't do? What stops you?

This week's theme is creativity.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Good morning, universe!"

If you had your own weekly radio show, what would you broadcast?

This week's theme is creativity.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Taking care of your artist

What do you do to nurture your creativity?

This week's theme is creativity.

Monday, July 12, 2010


What are the main ways by which you express yourself?

What are a few aspects of your creative self that could be more fully expressed?

This week's theme is creativity.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tell us a story: close encounter

What was one memorable occasion when you unexpectedly came face to face with an animal?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

To-do for you and you and you...

How much is your daily schedule dependent on other people? For example, do you have to wait for someone else to come home before you eat dinner? What other parts of your day -- or week -- are driven by other people?

Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm sorry to disappoint you

Have you ever done something that made you look bad in someone's eyes? Were you able to repair your reputation with that person?

This week's theme is how others see you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fan club

Who has the most positive opinion of you? Do you think their opinion is realistic, or are they simply overlooking your shortcomings?

This week's theme is how others see you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wrong, wrong, wrong

What is something about you that is often misunderstood or hard to grasp, or something that people mistakenly assume about you?

This week's theme is how others see you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"So, am I the first to notice that?"

Is there something about you that everyone (or nearly everyone) remarks upon when meeting you? Is it an unusual name, an uncommon hair color, do you remind everyone of someone famous, or something else?

This week's theme is how others see you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

How others see you

If you asked a dozen friends to describe you, you might be surprised by what they have to say. Our "internal mirror" sometimes gives us a distorted picture: you might be nearly fifty years old but still feel like you're seventeen, or you might self-identify with something that's very central to how you think about yourself that others hardly even notice.

What one aspect of your personality, identity or appearance do you think is the one that sticks in peoples' memories after they are introduced to you?

This week's theme is how others see you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tell us a story: I once had one of those

What is one thing that you regretted throwing away, because you discovered later that it was more valuable than you realized?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

High above it all

Thinking of all the places that you have been to, where was the place with your favorite balcony, fire escape, rooftop, or hilltop — an elevated place where you could sit, relax, and look out at the world?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Get out your crystal ball

It's time to make one silly prediction. What is one thing — either in your personal life or in the public realm — that you think might happen before the end of 2010?

Just come up with something that seems at least remotely plausible and post it here. If it comes to pass, you can say you were prophetic. If it doesn't happen, then we'll say we were just having fun.

Think about the next six months and gaze into your crystal ball. What do you see?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Taking stock

Did you set personal goals for this year? Which of your goals did you reach during the first half of the year? Which goals seem within reach for the second half of the year?

Did you make new year's resolutions? Which of them are on track so far?

Do your goals and plans for this year still make sense? What is the most important goal for you to focus on for the rest of the year?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Person of the Year

We realize there are six months to go -- but if you had to make a preliminary nomination for your "person of the year" for 2010, who might you pick? Who has had a big, positive impact on your life? Who inspires you by their example? Who has achieved something remarkable this year?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Plans and surprises

Which of your predictions for 2010 have already come true? What things unfolded pretty much the way you expected? What were this year's biggest surprises so far?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Halfway through the year

2010 is almost half over. How are things going? Is this year shaping up as well as you had hoped? Is 2010 working out better than 2009 for you?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tell us a story: lost

Think back to your childhood, to a time when you got lost. Were you alone? If not, who was with you? Where were you? Where were you trying to go? Who helped you find your way?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Being prepared

At Blog Headquarters, we had an extended power outage this week -- which allowed for an interesting reflection on this week's theme of how important machines have become in daily life.

The trouble with power outages and similar emergencies is that they come by surprise. If you know that they're coming ahead of time, you can prepare and be in a much better position when the emergency arrives. It's not practical to be prepared for every possible emergency -- but what are some simple things you can do now that would put you in a better position for many different possible emergencies?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Making it your own

Do you personalize your machines? Machines can be adapted to suit your personal workstyle, customized to handle the specific tasks that you do most often, and decorated to express your personality.

Think of your own machines and devices. What is one that you personalized in some interesting way?

This week's theme is you and machines.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gadget sacrifice

Thinking about all of those machines that you use every day, which one would it be hardest to live without? How would your life change if you could never use it again?

This week's theme is you and machines.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Your faithful assistant

If you had to pick one out of all the machines that you use, which one is your specialty, your area of mastery? When a job needs to be done with this machine, people are likely to defer to you or at least to ask your advice. Which machine reveals its subtle secrets to you and reliably does your bidding?

This week's theme is you and machines.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A thing about machines

How is your relationship with machines? Do you resent every gadget you're forced to deal with? Do you revel in every new toy? Do you just...coexist with them?

This week's theme is you and machines.

Monday, June 21, 2010

You and machines

Anyone reading this post is intimately connected with machines — anything powered by something other than muscle. (According to one thesaurus, synonyms for "machine" include: apparatus, appliance, device, contraption, contrivance, mechanism, engine, gadget, tool.) Machines take up a tremendous amount of space in our lives, whether you work as a programmer, a mechanic for NASA, or a baker. We really know how dependent we are on machines when we lose access to them, as in a power outage.

What are 5 machines you used today? What are 5 machines you use every day?

This week's theme is you and machines.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tell us a story: compromising positions

What is the most embarrassing situation in which you've been caught? How did you end up that way, and who was involved? If another person was involved, did that person often get you involved in shenanigans?

Weather or not

How affected are you by the weather? Do you always need to have a sweater with you? Are you unable to function in high heat and humidity? Do rainy days make you sad? Or do you carry on regardless of what is going on out of doors?

Friday, June 18, 2010

School days

Think back to the first school you attended as a child. What was the name of the school? What kind of building was it?

What was something that you passed every day on your way to school?

What happened on the first day of school?

This week's theme is details from your childhood.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Think of your childhood disappointments. What was one unhappy time when something you were looking forward to — some special event or trip or visit — was canceled (or just didn't happen)?

This week's theme is details from your childhood.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

At the usual place

Think of your childhood friends. Where did you and your friends get together? Did you have a "secret" meeting place? What are some of the things you did with your friends?
This week's theme is details from your childhood.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good morning

Think back to a typical day in your childhood. What woke you up in the morning? What was something you liked to eat for breakfast?

This week's theme is details from your childhood.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Details from your childhood

This week we'll ask you to think back to your childhood — not to analyze how you came to be who you are, but just to look around at the world you lived in. Of all the things that you took for granted as a child, some might be quite ordinary in retrospect, and some might be unique and noteworthy.

What color was your childhood bedroom? What covered the wall: paint or wallpaper? If wallpaper, what was the pattern? What else was on the wall?

This week's theme is details from your childhood.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tell us a story: 2 times 2 is 8, right?

Working with numbers is not a natural human ability. Our mental calculator is extremely error-prone; that's why we double-check any complicated calculation. But it's a good idea to double-check even the simplest of calculations. Did you ever buy twelve socks for twelve people, forgetting to account for the fact that each person has two feet?

What is one time when you made a wrong decision based on an embarrassingly dumb mathematical error?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

That old thing

Which item of clothing, among the things that you actually wear, has been in your collection longer than any other? Do you keep it because it has a special meaning or history, or is it just extremely durable?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Brave new world

How would the world be different if everyone took you as their model of normal social behavior, and conformed to your example?

This week's theme is rules.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

That thing you do/have/are

If you have something about you that is a constant source of outside attention for being different, unusual, or somehow contrary to the perceived rules of normality, do you have a stock response for people who mention it? How long have you had this stock response, and what is the genesis of it?

This week's theme is rules.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lightbulb moment

Did you ever have a moment of epiphany wherein you realized that most of the rules didn't actually matter? What caused that realization? Did it change the way you related to the rules from that time on?

This week's theme is rules.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rule breaker

What childhood rules didn't you follow? Are you still breaking those rules to this day?

This week's theme is rules.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Our lives are dictated by rules: rules set by others that we perceive we have to follow, as well as the rules we set for ourselves. Some rules are extremely important to follow (I'm thinking about some signs I saw on our recent vacation indicating that to proceed any farther on tricky terrain would be hazardous to your health!), while others are decidedly arbitrary.

When you were a child, what rules did you follow? Do you still notably follow those rules?

This week's theme is rules.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tell us a story: backstage pass

What is one place where you had a special opportunity to go backstage, literally or figuratively — into an area behind the scenes that's off-limits to most people?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

We're Not Gonna Take It

What is something unpleasant that you used to put up with, but not anymore?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Life story: edits

This week we're having fun with your life story, re-imagining it in a historical time period. Though the point of the exercise is to retain the main narrative of your life while putting it in a wholly different context, no one could fault you for making a few little, let's say, improvements in the story. What is one major mistake you made that you'd like to edit out of your alternate life story? What are a few choices that the historical you could make differently to get on a faster track to a happier, more successful, more dramatic life?

This week's theme is your life as a historical novel.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cast of characters

As long as you're rewriting your life as historical fiction, you might as well make the most of it. What larger-than-life characters from your chosen historical time period will play a supporting role in your alternative life story? Who are your friends and adversaries?

This week's theme is your life as a historical novel.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No spelling checker

In this week's historical rewrite of your life, there are no cell phones, no automobiles, no shopping malls. Which modern tools, conveniences, skills, and settings play key roles in your real life story? Which of these things will be hardest to translate into a pre-industrial setting for your alternate life story?

This week's theme is your life as a historical novel.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vienna, 1790 — for the fancy clothes!

This week you're imagining rewriting your life story as a historical drama. What country and time period will you choose for your alternate life story? What appeals to you about this particular time and place?

This week's theme is your life as a historical novel.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Your life as a historical novel

This week's little assignment is to rewrite the story of your life in a pre-technological time period. You need to follow the basic narrative of your life as closely as possible, while adapting all of the details of fit in with your chosen historical context. How easy or hard will this assignment be? What aspects of your life would require the trickiest rewriting to fit into an earlier era?

This week's theme is your life as a historical novel.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tell us a story: Happy Birthday

Tell us a story about the birthday you'll never forget. What was your best, biggest, strangest, or most mixed-up birthday celebration ever?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Your personal clock

What is your best time of day? On days when you are free to arrange your own schedule, how does your day typically go? What part of the day do you have the most energy: morning, afternoon, or evening? When are you most productive? What part of the day do you enjoy the most?

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Goat and the Goose

Social psychologists say that you tend to make friends with people who are similar to you in their values and backgrounds. Do most of your friendships follow this pattern?

Which of your friendships cross cultural lines, challenge stereotypes, or otherwise defy expectations?

This week's theme is old friends.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Social circles

Do most of your friends know each other? Or do you have separate groups of friends in different social settings?

Do you go by different names (or nicknames) among different groups of friends?

This week's theme is old friends.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Long-lost friend

Who is your long-lost friend — someone you still clearly remember but haven't seen for the longest time?

This week's theme is old friends.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We'll look back in 20 years...

What setting from years ago (activity, club, team, class, or job) connected you to several people who remain your friends today? Could you have guessed in advance that it was a prime opportunity to form lasting friendships?

This week's theme is old friends.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Old friends

Which one of your current friends (not counting family members) has been in your life for the longest time?

This week's theme is old friends.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tell us a story: culinary disaster

What is something you tried to cook, but failed so spectacularly that you never tried it again? What happened? Who had you planned to serve your creation to? What did you end up eating instead?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's not what you think

What is something that people frequently misunderstand or incorrectly assume about you? What do you wish you could tell everyone, to set the record straight?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Your own personal deity

If you could choose one person, being, or animal to be your own personal guiding spirit, who or what would you choose?

This week's theme is a higher power.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The where and the when of Spirit

Do you feel your higher power or divine spirit all around you all the time, or only in certain places and particular times?

This week's theme is a higher power.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The many faces of God

How does your higher power appear to you? Young? Old? Male? Female? Strong? Brainy?

This week's theme is a higher power.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My invisible friend

When you were a child, did you sometimes feel you were being helped, or watched over, by an invisible presence? Did you think this was God, or something else? Did you have a name for this invisible presence? If you stopped experiencing this being, when did you stop, and why?

This week's theme is a higher power.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A higher power

Are you a religious person? Do you currently believe in God, some other god(s), or any deity or supernatural being?

This week's theme is a higher power.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tell us a story: April in Paris

What's the best vacation you ever took? What made it so memorable? Was it the place to which you traveled? Was it the person you were with? Or was it something that happened during the course of the trip?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sinking fast

What is the first sign that your energy level is dropping? Do you usually notice it yourself, or do other people have to point it out?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Standing between two trees

Which side of the family do you feel more connected to — your father's family, or your mother's family?

What is the most obvious difference between the two sides of your extended family? What are the best strengths of each? In what way do you (and your brothers and sisters) embody the combination of these two family lineages?

This week's theme is your extended family.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Remember that guy in the detergent commercial...

What colorful character or famous person turns out to be an ancestor or distant relative of yours?

If you had your druthers, what famous person do you wish you could count as a family member?

This week's theme is your extended family.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It runs in the family

What is one thing about your family that you're not proud of — one unfortunate trait that most members of your extended family seem to have in common?

This week's theme is your extended family.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Where did your ancestors come from? How many different countries are represented in your family tree?

Do your living relatives mostly live in one area, or are they geographically scattered? If you had to pick one place as your family's "home," what would it be?

This week's theme is your extended family.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Extended family

At the largest family gathering you ever attended, how many of your relatives were there? How old were you at the time? What kind of event was it?

This week's theme is your extended family.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tell us a story: pressure cooker

What was one intense, high-pressure experience that seemed nightmarish at the time, but that you remember positively because it helped you to discover new strengths and capabilities?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Your own private Narnia

In the fantasy-movie version of your life, familiar things gain a magical dimension. Your closet door, at unpredictable intervals, turns into a gateway to some wacky or wondrous place. Pretend you're the screenwriter, and let your imagination go there. What inspiring place do you occasionally find in place of your closet?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Opportunity knocks

Every day brings us so many opportunities that we can't pursue all of them. We can't give each one careful thought; there just isn't enough time. With so many opportunities around us all the time, just being able to pay attention to the right ones might be the key to success.

What are some of the things you already do to become aware of opportunities and keep track of them?
How do you decide which opportunities to take, and which to leave behind?
What could you do that would help you notice and pay more attention to your most valuable opportunities?

This week's theme is missed opportunities.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The road not taken

Sometimes you have to choose between two roughly equivalent — but mutually exclusive — opportunities. And sometimes you have to make a choice with precious little solid information to go on. What is one choice that still haunts you, years later, with the niggling (but unprovable) suspicion that the other path might have worked out better for you?

This week's theme is missed opportunities.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

If only I had known at the time

Did you ever pass up an opportunity, only to regret it later after learning additional relevant information?

This week's theme is missed opportunities.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I can do it just fine by myself, thank you

Whose help did you unwisely refuse, because you didn't realize at the time how much you were going to need their help? What things might have gone differently if you had accepted their offer of help?

This week's theme is missed opportunities.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Missed opportunities

What was an opportunity that slipped away more quickly than you expected? What was one thing that you wanted, and could have had, if only you had acted quickly enough?

This week's theme is missed opportunities.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tell us a story: living on the edge

What's something you did — short of anything actually illegal, please! — that was either unscrupulous, immoral, or not quite following the spirit of the law? What — or who — made you do it?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Your Song

If you had to pick one, what song could serve as your personal theme song?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Out of reach

What is one thing that is in your life only as a substitute, because the thing you really wanted was something you couldn’t have?

This week's theme is desire.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Conditional wishes

What are some things that you want — but only if the price is low enough?
What is the thing that you want, but that you won't buy for yourself, because you must receive it as a gift?

This week's theme is desire.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This is the world calling...

What does everyone want from you?

This week's theme is desire.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When do you want it?

What do you want to happen for you in the next twelve months?
What do you want to happen for you in the next few days?
What do you want right now?

This week's theme is desire.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What do you want?

What do you want, more than anything else?

This week's theme is desire.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tell us a story: a meal to remember

What was the last memorable meal you had? What made it memorable?

Saturday, April 24, 2010


What are you ready to let go of today?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Take a stand

What is something that you've been putting off that you could resolve with decisive action today?

This week's theme is procrastination.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A simpler plan

Remember that thing from yesterday — the project that you are reluctant to start? Is it simply too big a job for you? Is there an easier, simpler way to do it? How much could you scale back your expectations, and still get a workable outcome? How much could you gain by being willing to be flexible? What would you have to give up in order to be flexible on this particular project?

This week's theme is procrastination.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Got to be starting something

Think of one thing you are reluctant to get started on. Is your reluctance because you are not convinced that the reward will be worth the effort? Or is it because you're afraid that you'll fail, or that something bad could happen?

This week's theme is procrastination.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Counting down to putting things off

Take sixty seconds and try to list anything you are putting off doing. Think of the things that have been on your list for months (or even years!), the things you keep finding are less important than something else (like washing your dog or synching your iPad), or the things you know you should do, but for which you don't even have a plan. How many things did you come up with?

This week's theme is procrastination.

Monday, April 19, 2010


None of us have unlimited free time, so we all procrastinate to one degree or another. What are some areas of your life where you repeatedly put things off, or move them to the bottom of your to-do list? Are there areas of your life where you usually don't delay and can get things done in a timely manner?

This week's theme is procrastination.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tell us a story: Top of the world

Did you ever climb to a high place, just for the exhilaration of being high above the ground? Or are you daunted by heights?

What was one memorable time when you were at a high place with a dramatic view?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Don't panic

How well do you handle a crisis situation? Can you keep your cool, quickly gather information, and formulate a plan?

What was one crisis that you handled pretty well?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Change the channel; leave the party!

Who is someone you dislike because they remind you of the worst parts of yourself?

This week's theme is self-esteem.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tearing you down

What critical thoughts seem to play over and over in your mind? Who is really the source of this criticism — is it your mother's voice, a teacher's, a sibling or a friend? Are these criticisms well-founded, or, when you look at them logically rather than emotionally, are they overly harsh and uncalled for?

This week's theme is self-esteem.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On the other hand...

If you had to name a negative trait of yours, what is the obvious one that you think of first?

This week's theme is self-esteem.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here's why I'm great

If you had to name a positive trait of yours, what is the first one that comes to mind? What are some other things you like about yourself?

This week's theme is self-esteem.

Monday, April 12, 2010


For many of us, we come from a tradition that requires us to be humble. "Oh, shucks," we say after being complimented, "it was nothing." But the responses we keep to ourselves are more revealing. Some of us respond to a compliment by thinking, "Yeah, I rock!," some are thinking, "No, seriously, I'm not so great — this is so embarrassing," while still others are wondering what the other person's agenda might be.

Do you like yourself? Do you gracefully accept compliments from others?

This week's theme is self-esteem.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tell us a story: biggest whopper

What's the craziest lie you ever told, and why?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Time zones

Do you regularly deal with people in different time zones? How many different time zones do you interact with?

Friday, April 9, 2010


In general, do you have a strategy for dealing with long enforced periods of boredom? Say, if you know you're going to have a long layover between flights, or will be waiting for your appointment with a perennially late doctor, or have to wait on an endless line at the department of motor vehicles. Do you bring a book, or correspondence, or hope you'll meet someone interesting to talk to?

This week's theme is strategies.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Big Plan

How do you begin when you have something you want to accomplish? Do you do a lot of research first? Do you just forge ahead, and expect that you'll solve problems as they come along?

This week's theme is strategies.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wet blankets

We all know people who like to rain on parades. How do you deal with people who belittle or discourage your plans and ambitions?

This week's theme is strategies.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mood-lightener or gasoline-on-fire pourer?

What is one way you frequently react when faced with a crisis or a challenge? Is that mode of behavior usually helpful, or does it just make matters worse?

This week's theme is strategies.

Monday, April 5, 2010


We all have our unique ways of dealing with the world, with people, with situations. Our personal strategies are sometimes a winning formula, but equally as often they are simply a racket we run to stay one up on the big, bad world.

When you have limited time and many things to do, which kinds of things do you do first? How do you decide?

This week's theme is strategies.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tell us a story: Brush with fame

Who is the most famous or most admired person you've ever met face to face?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On the menu

Do you read while you're eating? If so, what is your typical mealtime reading material?

Friday, April 2, 2010

You had to be there

Think of your own children, or of all the people who are one generation younger than you. What are some things that they don't fully understand because they weren't alive yet when those things took shape? What are some things that you think of as new, but that younger people might think have "always been there" because they never knew a world without them?

If you had the chance, and if you had their attention for a few minutes, what are some things that you'd like to explain to people of the next generation, so they could gain the benefit of your perspective and have a better understanding of the world they live in?

(For those of you too young to have children, think about the people who will be born in the next few years, and how they might see the world about ten years from now. What are some of the new things that they will assume have "always been there"?)

This week's theme is one generation ago.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Name Tag Day

Believe it or not, just forty years ago, there was no April Fool's Day. That tradition hadn't gotten started yet. But in some places there was a different April 1 tradition, now long forgotten, called Name Tag Day. People would pick a hero, or someone who inspired them, and introduce themselves by that person's name all day long. If you met someone on April 1, there was almost no point in asking their name, because they wouldn't tell you their own name; they'd give you the name the person who inspired them.

To speed things up, people got in the habit of wearing their hero's name on a name tag. "Hello, my name is John Glenn." "Hello, my name is Marie Curie" — and so on.

Just kidding! There never was a Name Tag Day tradition on April 1. But if there were such a tradition, and if you were in a place where this tradition was observed, whose name would you wear on your name tag? What person is an inspiring example of what you would like to be? Whom would you enjoy pretending to be, just for one day? (Please phrase your answer in the form of a name tag: "Hello, my name is _____.")

This week's theme is one generation ago.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It was new; now it's old

Think back to the world that your parents lived in when they were as old as you are today. For many of us, that was some time in the 1980s. What was new and exciting then, but is taken for granted today? What new developments alarmed and confused people back then, but have become accepted and understood in the intervening years?

What were some of the new things that your parents struggled with at the time? And how do those things look from today's perspective?

This week's theme is one generation ago.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Different times, different opportunities

Think back to what the world was like when your parents were as old as you are today. What are some of the advantages that you have today, compared to your parents at the same age? Conversely, what might have been easier for them, compared to the challenges you face today?

On the whole, do you think your situation is better today, or did your parents have a better life back when they were this age?

This week's theme is one generation ago.

Monday, March 29, 2010

One generation ago

How old are you? Where were your parents, and what were they doing, when they were the age that you are today?

What were the main hopes and concerns in their lives back then? Did they face basically the same issues that you face today — or has your life taken a completely different path from theirs?

This week's theme is one generation ago.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tell us a story: Across great distances

What is the farthest distance you've traveled to see someone you love? Who was it? What happened? Was it worth the trip?

Just for fun: The Proclaimers singing "500 Miles" (YouTube)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The missing ingredient

It's a metaphor: Imagine that you are a master chef creating the delicious concoction that is your life. What ingredient do you need more of in your life, in order to make it a richer, smoother, and tastier experience?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Attention, shoppers!

If you had a free day and $2000 that you were required to spend on yourself, which store would you go to first?

This week's theme is "what if...?"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thou shalt not be evil

If you were going to start your own religion, what would be its fundamental principles and central beliefs?

This week's theme is "what if...?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Think different

If you could upgrade your own brain like a computer, which would be a bigger help: more memory, or a faster thought processor? If you could add one premium package of software to gain a special skill, what might that software be called?

This week's theme is "what if...?"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Safe home

Suppose you somehow found yourself living on another Earth, in an alternate reality with one crucial difference: there is no crime on this planet. What difference would that make in your everyday thoughts and experiences?

This week's theme is "what if...?"

Monday, March 22, 2010

What if...?

Imagine a time traveler drops by and asks you to pick one historical event that you would want to witness firsthand. You may only watch from the background; you will not be allowed to interrupt or change the course of history. What event would you pick?

This week's theme is "what if...?"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tell us a story: Stuck

Where and when did it happen, when you literally got stuck in the mud?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Improving your game

Are you winning at the game of life? What does it mean to win at life?

Suppose that you got a personal coach or trainer to help you improve your score in the game of life. What is the first bit of advice that your new coach would most likely give you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Your secret dream

What is one thing you hope you'll be able to do someday (it could be realistic or a pipe dream, serious or frivolous) — something that you've told very few people about?

This week's theme is what people don't know about you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not a skeleton, but...

What unusual item is stowed away in your closet (or somewhere else at home) — something that most of your friends would not expect you to have?

This week's theme is what people don't know about you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The first time

Does your current partner know the story of your first sexual experience?

This week's theme is what people don't know about you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The "Future Astronauts Club"

What is something that was a familiar part of your childhood, but that is no longer part of your life — something that your friends today would never guess about you?

This week's theme is what people don't know about you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What people don't know about you

This week we'll be asking about the things about yourself and your life that never get to be in the spotlight, the parts of your story that remain hidden. And we're not looking for deep, dark secrets or embarrassing confessions — just the ordinary things that, for one reason or another, get left out of your social identity.

What is one of your hobbies, interests, or activities that very few of your friends and acquaintances know about?

This week's theme is what people don't know about you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tell us a story: Strangely enough, we met when...

What was one unlikely situation where you made a new friend?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Second chance

What is something that you had a chance to do over — and you did it better the second time?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bon-bons and monster movies

What are some things you do exclusively when you're sick — things you could do at other times, but don't?

This week's theme is being sick.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You don't look well...

When you're sick, do you relax and enjoy it — reveling in being in pajamas all day and letting your hair get dirty -- or do you try to keep up with your normal grooming routine, defying the illness by at least trying to look like a healthy person?

This week's theme is being sick.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sick day

Have you ever taken a sick day off from work when you weren't really sick? When was the last time you did that? How often do you do that?

This week's theme is being sick.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dr. Jekyll or Patient Hyde?

When you're sick, are you a good patient, or do you make life difficult for the people around you? Are you more comfortable taking care of yourself, or do you like to have someone bring you soup, take your temperature, check in on you, etc.?

This week's theme is being sick.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Being sick

Being sick often involves more than physical complaints. As adults, finding ourselves physically compromised or limited can bring back some of the less pleasant memories of being a small child.

When were you last sick? Was it serious enough that you can remember exactly when, and for how long, and what your illness was? Or are you so infrequently sick, and with only such minor illnesses, that you can only guesstimate your last bout of something-or-other?

This week's theme is being sick.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tell us a story: It's a family tradition

What is one special thing that your family does (or did) every year at the same time?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Your best

Which friends and family members are the best at encouraging you to be your best?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thank you, coffeemaker

Imagine, just for a moment, that ordinary objects, tools, and things had souls and feelings. Which things would you most want to thank for their reliable assistance, for their loyalty, for how much they enrich your everyday life?

This week's theme is gratitude.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Grateful from afar

Who is someone you'd love to thank for all that they've done — but you don't expect you'll ever have an appropriate opportunity to say it?

This week's theme is gratitude.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

That's what friends are for

What is one time when it definitely paid off for you to have the right friends? What friends went beyond the call of duty and helped you out in a big way when you really needed it?

This week's theme is gratitude.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You accidentally made my day

Who indirectly or unwittingly contributed to the joy in your life?

Who introduced you to something that you now enjoy a lot? Who first introduced you to your significant other? Who stepped out of the way just in time to open up a great opportunity for you?

This week's theme is gratitude.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank you for being there

Who deserves your gratitude for helping you at a critical time?

Who helped you out of a jam? Who talked you out of a foolish mistake? Who found and returned something important that you had lost?

Do these people realize how much of a difference they made for you?

This week's theme is gratitude.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tell us a story: It's a miracle!

What is one miraculous thing that occurred and seemed to be specifically an answer to your prayers?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reading the tea leaves

What future events are so certain to occur that you have made plans based on them?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mom and Dad were right

What is one lesson from your parents that you didn't appreciate at the time — but, years later, you recognize its value?

This week's theme is learning.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dragon riding

What is one thing you would love to take lessons in — assuming you had the time and opportunity, and assuming you had a practical reason for developing that area of skill or knowledge?

This week's theme is learning.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A word to the wise

What is one safety precaution or way of avoiding trouble that someone once taught you — and that you in turn taught to someone else?

Who did you learn it from? Who did you pass it on to? How much time passed between learning it and teaching it?

This week's theme is learning.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No one will ever suspect

Who taught you a unique or unusual way to mislead or deceive people? Did that lesson give you any ethical qualms?

Did you put it to good use?

This week's theme is learning.

Monday, February 22, 2010


What is one time in your life when you were completely engaged in learning? What was one lesson when you paid full attention and felt excited about expanding your knowledge or skills?

What made that particular lesson seem so important to you?

This week's theme is learning.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tell us a story: car trouble

What is the most colorful or memorable place where you were stuck with a disabled car?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Free stuff

What is the most interesting thing you've found discarded or abandoned by the roadside?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Enemy headquarters

Think of a dream in which people or forces seemed lined up against you: fighting you, blocking your progress, opposing your goals, or perhaps just making fun of you. What dream location seemed to be the central point of your opposition, your foes' stronghold?

What dayworld place resembles this place from your dream?

This week's theme is dream places.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Only in my dreams

What location turns up repeatedly in your dreams, even though you have never been to that place in your waking life?

This week's theme is dream places.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Think of a dream in which you are traveling from one place to another, or planning to take a trip. Where are you headed? What is the destination of your dream trip?

Is the trip easy, or do you encounter difficulties and obstacles along the way?

Do you arrive at your destination in your dream, or does the dream end while you are still traveling?

This week's theme is dream places.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What part of the (dream) home

Is the home in your dreams usually a happy and enlivening place, or is it more often a place of problems and conflicts?

Think of a recent dream in which your home itself had a particular problem (such as water flowing, or a big hole in a wall) or unexpected potential (such as finding a treasure, or discovering a room that you never knew was there). What happened in the dream?

What part of your home was the focal point of the dream's events? In the comparable part of your dayworld home, is there anything noteworthy or significant? What might that part of a home mean as a metaphor?

This week's theme is dream places.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dream home

Think about dreams you have had that take place at home. Is the home in your dreams the same as your dayworld home? If not, what kind of homes do you find in your dreamworld?

If you've lived in several different places throughout your life, which of those homes still turn up in your dreams? Which of your past homes never appear in your dreams?

This week's theme is dream places.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Top Ten: easy targets

Think of the familiar knots of difficulty in your daily life: things that you tend to avoid doing; tasks where you often get bogged down; goals that are clouded in a fog of uncertainty; and temperamental, failure-prone devices that you have to use.

What are ten things in your life that seem more difficult than necessary? To look at it on the positive side, what ten tasks or areas represent the greatest potential for making your life easier?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Right in front of you

Look around, wherever you are right now. What's the first thing that catches your eye — big or small, significant or trivial — that represents a sign of neglect, something that clearly could benefit from some energy, care, and attention?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Every day

The daily cycle of day and night, light and dark, is one of the most basic structures of our lives. We literally set our clocks by it.

What are some things that you do every day, or almost every day, and always during daylight hours?

This week's theme is the sun.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The center of your universe

It was a step forward in understanding the universe — but a blow to human egos — when scientists grasped that the earth is not the center of everything; it revolves around the sun. We now know that the sun is not the center of the universe, either; it is just one of many stars orbiting a galactic center.

If you can temporarily put aside seeing yourself as the center of your life's activities, who or what does your life revolve around? What stands in the center of your universe?

This week's theme is the sun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Solar power

Solar energy is gradually emerging as a major energy source. But solar-powered devices — including calculators — have been around for decades, and you don't need any new technology to get heat from a sunny window or to dry your laundry in the sun.

Do you have any solar-powered devices? How do you already use the energy of the sun in your everyday life?

This week's theme is the sun.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bright and sunny

Who is the sunniest person you know?

When are you in your most cheerful frame of mind? What places or circumstances make you happy and radiant?

This week's theme is the sun.

Monday, February 8, 2010


There are many kinds of sunrises. When you watch the sun rise, it might be a quiet and peaceful moment when you take the time to appreciate the beauty of the world. Or it might just be a bright light glaring in your eyes as you drive to work.

Where you you the last time you saw a sunrise? What kind of sunrise was it? What kind of day was it?

This week's theme is the sun.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Top Ten: ultimate makeover

Suppose you were getting a complete makeover, a top-to-bottom reshaping of every aspect of your life and style. Whose wisdom, experience, fashion sense, and practical skills would you most benefit from? Who are ten people — real, fictional, or historical — that you would like to have on your makeover team?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It was bigger in the movie

Some famous places are larger and brighter in legend and imagination than they are in real life. What is one place that seemed surprisingly small or modest or unremarkable when you finally saw it in person?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Maybe a gallon of Ben & Jerry's

How do you deal with loss? Do you get angry? Do you cry? Do you blame yourself? Do you go out and do or buy something extravagant to fill the hole?

This week's theme is loss.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I still can't believe it happened

What's the loss about which you're still most melancholy and/or nostalgic?

This week's theme is loss.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oops, there it goes...

What's the largest sum of money or most expensive item you ever lost at one time? This could be a gambling loss, or a purchase of something that didn't turn out to be quite as advertised, or a loss from theft or carelessness.

This week's theme is loss.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A time of mourning

Have you ever lost someone you loved? How did that experience shape your feelings about death?

This week's theme is loss.

Monday, February 1, 2010


When someone you know dies, it might feel as though a part of yourself is missing. It can be difficult for anyone to deal with the finality and absurdity of death and loss, and even more so for children, when their understanding of the world is still taking shape.

Did someone close to you die during your childhood? How did that experience shape your feelings about death?

This week's theme is loss.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Top Ten: shoe phones, pen lasers, and the awesome power to cloud men's minds

What are ten secret weapons you'd like to have to bring to bear on your problems?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yes I am/have/can/do!

What are you trying to prove again and again?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Character development

In what ways did your childhood environment help shape who you are today?

This week's theme is childhood.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Strong memories

What events, places or situations dominated your childhood experience?

This week's theme is childhood.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Family fiction and non-fiction

What are some things from your childhood that you know about only because someone else told you about them later — things that you can't remember yourself? Which of these do you think are merely "family fiction," and didn't actually happen the way your relatives recount it?

This week's theme is childhood.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I remember mama

How clear are your memories of childhood? How old were you during the earliest events that you can clearly remember?

This week's theme is childhood.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Childish things are supposed to be simple and easy to understand, but paradoxically your own childhood may be the most difficult part of your life to grasp.

When you think about your childhood overall, what is your immediate emotional reaction? Are your first thoughts about childhood feelings of happiness, anxiety, nostalgia, resentment, or some other emotion?

This week's theme is childhood.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Top Ten: table for two

Besides your own home, what are ten places you like to eat?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A (clothing) horse of a different color

Open up your closets, and your drawers, and look at your clothes: leaving out your underwear from the survey, what color do you see the most of?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Continuing education

What is the most recent occasion when you went to some trouble to learn something—for example, taking a course, reading a book, or seeking out an expert for instruction?

This week's theme is education.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life lessons

What fears and dangers affected your educational life? Did you face physical attacks or intimidation, ridicule or prejudice, embarrassment or humiliation? What lessons did you learn from your school environment?

This week's theme is education.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Honor roll of teachers

Which of your teachers had the most enduring positive affect on your life? What are some skills or facts that you remember learning and still find valuable today?

This week's theme is education.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lesson one

What is the earliest lesson that you can clearly remember learning in school? How old were you when it happened? Is it a positive memory (for example, feeling amazed or proud) or a negative memory (for example, being punished or ridiculed)?

This week's theme is education.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The right amount of education

How many years of your life have you spent in school? Is your education complete? If not, how many more years do you expect to spend?

Consider the value of your time and the value of education. Is the amount of time you've spent on your education appropriate and balanced? Or would you (in ideal circumstances) spend less time, or more time, on your education?

This week's theme is education.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Top ten: winning events

What are ten competitive games or sports that you are likely to win at — or at least enjoy the challenge of competing and doing your best? Think of team sports, individual sports, board games, trivia games, cookoffs, online competitions, or any venue where you put your skill to the test and try to win a game or a prize. What are your best events?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting in tune

For beginning guitarists a few decades ago, tuning a guitar was a slow and frustrating chore. Untrained ears struggled to tease out fine distinctions of flat and sharp. And after several minutes, you might just give up and say, "I know that's not quite right, but it's close enough."

But digital tuners changed the whole game. A tuner's lights tell you whether a string is sharp or flat, and by precisely how much. And when you get a string's tuning right, the tuner will give you a decisive thumbs-up. Tuning a guitar might still be a chore, but with a tuner, it's a quick chore, and the results are always good.

What chore in your life could benefit from the equivalent of a guitar tuner? Where would you like to replace fuzzy, unreliable results with precision and certainty?

Friday, January 15, 2010

The pressure's on!

When someone asks for your advice, are you comfortable saying "I don't know" or "I can't help you"? Have you ever felt pressured into giving advice just because you were eager to be helpful?

This week's theme is giving advice.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dear Abby

Who turns to you for advice? What subjects do you advise people on? Is giving advice part of your job?

This week's theme is giving advice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Well-meaning advice isn't always well-received, and sometimes makes things worse. How do you decide when to offer advice, and when to keep your opinions to yourself?

This week's theme is giving advice.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some call it meddling

Given the chance, whose life would you like to straighten out?

This week's theme is giving advice.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Giving advice

The longer we're on this earth, the more knowledge we accumulate. And, often, the more certain we are of the value of our knowledge and insights.

Do you like to tell people what they are doing wrong, and how they could do it better? What problems could easily be solved if people would only listen to your advice and wisdom?

This week's theme is giving advice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Top ten: home enhancement

What are ten realistic and affordable things you could do to make your living space more liveable?