Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Luck of the draw

Did you ever win a big lottery or sweepstakes prize, or some other prize determine entirely by chance? How many other people entered that same contest? What were the odds that you would end up the winner?

This weeks theme is good luck.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good luck charm

Have you ever had your own good luck charm, an object that you carried with you because you believed (or at least hoped) that it brought you luck? What was that object, and where did it come from? If you don't have it anymore, what happened to it?

This week's theme is good luck.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good luck

We say "good luck" to friends to offer our support. It means, "I know there are factors outside your control, but I hope you succeed." But, in everyday conversation, the words "good luck" are often said sarcastically, with a not-so-supportive meaning: "You're wasting your effort. I already know you're going to fail."

When was the last time you said "good luck" to someone? On that occasion, which meaning of the phrase did you intend?

This week's theme is good luck.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tell us a story: evacuation

A few million people are away from home today to stay out of harm's way in the path of Hurricane Irene. Have you ever had to evacuate because of severe weather, flooding, or other dangers? Where did you go, and how long did you have to stay away before you were allowed to return?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nothing but books

If for some reason you were stuck in a library or bookstore all day with nothing to do but read, what is one book you might read first?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vibes good and bad

Do you generally feel nurtured and valued at your workplace, and that you are given the psychological space to do your best work? Or are you at cross purposes with your co-workers at all times, fending off subtle (or not-so-subtle) attacks on your professionalism?

This week's theme is your workplace.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tools of the trade

What is one tool on hand at your workplace that you enjoy having a chance to use?

Do you generally have the right tools at your job for the things that you're asked to do, or do you sometimes have to improvise and struggle with tool that don't quite fit the task?

This week's theme is your workplace.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We don't talk about that here

In most workplaces, there are several subject areas that are out of bounds for normal conversation. What is one of these subjects, one thing that you would like to talk about with your co-workers, given the chance?

This week's theme is your workplace.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Home and work

How far is it from your home to your job? Did you make a point of picking a job close to home — or picking a home close to your job?

Do you work at home? If so, do you make any effort to differentiate your work space from your living space?

This week's theme is your workplace.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Your workplace

Think about your workplace as a place, apart from the work that you do there. Is it a well-lit, comfortable, cheerful place? Does it have a picturesque or historically significant location? What are some advantages that your workplace offers, or some ways that it enriches your life?

This week's theme is your workplace.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tell us a story: master class

What was one time when you had a chance to get advice or instruction from a master in some area of skill? Was this a lesson you'd planned for and sought out, or was it just luck putting you in the right place at the right time? Did the advice or lesson in fact help you develop your skills?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Forget cyan, let's try turquoise

What was one big change you once made that turned out to be more of the same — not much of a change at all?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Only in my dreams

How realistic are your expectations surrounding romantic love? Do you have fantasies that could never be fulfilled by real people? Or are your desires in line with what can realistically be expected?

This week's theme is romantic love.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Love hurts

What's the worst pain you ever caused someone in a romantic relationship? What's the worst pain love ever caused you?

This week's theme is romantic love.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The color of love

When you think about your history of experiences with romantic love, what feeling comes out most strongly with your memories? Do you feel embarrassed at rash things you did, for example, or are you impressed with what you were able to do? Do you feel nostalgia, regret, sorrow, wistfulness?

This week's theme is romantic love.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Under a spell

What are some uncharacteristic things you've done under the influence of romantic love — things that might seem to diverge from your usual personality and style?

This week's theme is romantic love.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Romantic love

About how old were you the first time you felt romantic love for another person? Whether you've been in love more than once or are still with that same first partner, are your more recent feelings qualitatively different than your earlier romantic feelings? Was love more painful when you were young? Was it more fleeting? Did it make you want to do things (make mix tapes, write poetry, etc.) that you no longer feel a need to do?

This week's theme is romantic love.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tell us a story: factory tour

What was one memorable place you visited where raw materials were shaped into finished products? What things did they make there? And what was the most surprising thing you learned during your visit?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pick a day

Suppose you had to get rid of one day of the week — to pre-empt your existing activities with a new, all-day, once-a-week training program. Which day of your week would be the easiest to give up?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Give and give again

How do you feel about repeat gifts? Is it okay to give the same thing to someone year after year (something nice, obviously), or is it important that each gift be a unique surprise?

This week's theme is giving.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


What is the most unusual gift you've ever given someone? Was it also the most costly gift, or was it something that was more about creativity than expense?

This week's theme is giving.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quiet gifts

Some gifts are presented in a brightly wrapped box, while other gifts, though sometimes just as valuable, are much more subtle. You might skip the gift wrap, downplay the gift's value, or even give something anonymously. What is something of value that you gave away in a less "gifty" way?

This week's theme is giving.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Give generously

Do you donate time, money or materials to any charities or organizations? How do you decide to which charities or organizations you're going to give?

This week's theme is giving.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Most of us are good at receiving, but are you good at giving? Can you give of yourself — whether it's time, money, advice, a favor, or something else — freely, without looking for a return on your investment? Or do you never let people forget what you've given them?

This week's theme is giving.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tell us a story: your parents

What stories have you heard about how your parents met? What circumstances, mutual friends, or common interests helped bring them together?

Saturday, August 6, 2011


In the past 24 hours, who made you feel happy?

Friday, August 5, 2011


What's one unusual or noteworthy place where you've cooked (or assisted) outside a home kitchen? Have you fried eggs on a sailing ship, bagged bread in a commercial bakery, served up smoothies at a festival, or demonstrated a recipe in a TV studio?

This week's theme is your kitchen.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A better kitchen

What would make your kitchen a better, more useable, more inspiring space? What's the first thing you would like to do to improve your kitchen?

This week's theme is your kitchen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's cooking?

What fits into your kitchen besides food and utensils? And what do you do there besides cooking and eating? Is it a place for hanging out, watching TV, phone conversations, reading, computer work, art projects? Are there poetry magnets on the refrigerator? What's happening in your kitchen?

This week's theme is your kitchen.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Home cooking

In a typical week, how many of your meals do you prepare in the kitchen and eat at home?

This week's theme is your kitchen.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Your kitchen

Every home has a kitchen, but there are many different ways to fit a kitchen into a home. In some homes, the kitchen is hidden away out of sight and barely large enough for preparing food. In other homes, the kitchen is the heart of home life, the center of everything.

How does your kitchen fit into your home? And how well does the style of your kitchen fit with your style of cooking, eating, and living?

This week's theme is your kitchen.