HUMANS OF THE PFISTER | AUGUST 2016 | Coming soon!

July marked the first month of my HUMANS OF THE PFISTER (HOTP) series.  The theme: Life, Liberty, & Happiness.

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This second month of HOTP will focus on augustly stories of guests and visitors to The Pfister Hotel–of which there are sure to be plenty.

As a preview of what’s to come, look for tales inspired by the etymology of our eighth month:

august (adj.)
1660s, from Latin augustus “venerable, majestic, magnificent, noble,” probably originally “consecrated by the augurs, with favorable auguries” (see augur(n.)); or else “that which is increased” (see augment).
  • Who is the most venerable, majestic, magnificent, and/or noble person you have known?
  • When have you felt the most “consecrated by the augurs”?
  • When have you felt the most “increase”?
augur (n.)
1540s, from Latin augur, a religious official in ancient Rome who foretold events by interpreting omens, perhaps originally meaning “an increase in crops enacted in ritual,” in which case it probably is from Old Latin *augos (genitive *augeris) “increase,” and is related to augere “increase” (see augment). The more popular theory is that it is from Latin avis “bird,” because the flights, singing, and feeding of birds, along with entrails from bird sacrifices, were important objects of divination (compare auspicious). 
  • When have you felt like the cards were in your favor, like the stars were aligning, etc.?
  • When did you interpret a “sign” of some sort and act upon it, for better or for worse?
augment (v.)
c. 1400, from Old French augmenter “increase, enhance” (14c.), from Late Latin augmentare “to increase,” from Latin augmentum “an increase,” from augere “to increase, make big, enlarge, enrich,” from PIE root *aug- (1) “to increase” (source also of Sanskrit ojas “strength;” Lithuanian augu “to grow,” aukstas “high, of superior rank;” Greek auxo “increase,” auxein “to increase;” Gothic aukan “to grow, increase;” Old English eacien “to increase”). 
  • When have you felt the most “enlarged,” the most “enriched”?
  • How did you become the august person that you are?
auspicious (adj.)
1590s, “of good omen” (implied in auspiciously), from Latin auspicium “divination by observing the flight of birds,” from auspex (genitive auspicis) + ous
  • Have you ever had an epiphany?  A time when the lightbulb lit up?

 

HUMANS OF THE PFISTER | JULY 2016 | Continued

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It’s all about connectivity.  For example, the local urban agricultural scene.  It’s not just about growing food in urban settings.  The real essence of it is individuals and communities taking back ownership of their lives through local employment, creating a community system that feeds itself, literally and figuratively.  It’s about creating conditions for this to flourish, which can catalyze and create unforeseen values.  The old urban planning model is B.S.  If we give people the means to take care of their immediate needs, then all kinds of unforeseen values can arise from that.  If we create incentives so that people can figure out how to help themselves, then everyone can be free to breathe and create.

You can’t PLAN that, you can’t ENGINEER that.  And that’s coming from an engineer.

HUMANS OF THE PFISTER | JULY 2016 | Continued

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More than anything, I treasure my friendships.  I love taking care of my girlfriends.  I’m married, and I love him, and that’s all fine and dandy.  But as you get older, you need your friends more and more.  When you’re in your 20’s, you think and talk about stupid shit.  I mean, we’re not talking about deep things all the time, but you know what I mean.  I love to laugh with them, tell a good, funny story–things that are really living and that are new experiences.  One thing I really love to do is bike with my girlfriends (I’m a member of the advanced cycling team Velo Femmes).  They make me happy.  And to me, happiness is a state of freedom, of being unencumbered, with no stress, free of worry and life’s pressures.

I think I felt the most free when I stopped giving a shit what people thought.  I’m not an ass or anything, but I just stopped caring what society thought I should be, what people said about my age, all the compartments people wanted to put me into.  I just don’t care anymore, which has been so freeing.  And I also stopped judging other people, which is a good thing.  I’m interested in making myself happy instead of relying on others to make me happy.  I have confidence in my own skin.

There are so many horrible things happening in this world right now: random people being shot by the police, random police shootings, kids getting killed.  It makes all the little things we worry about pale in comparison.

In the end, I want people at my funeral to say good things about me not just to say good things–but because I was a good person.

HUMANS OF THE PFISTER | JULY 2016 | Continued

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This woman is a state legislator from North Dakota.  She and her husband were enjoying some sit-at-the-bar time after a long week for her at a Council of State Governments conference.

We are happiest when we travel.  We were in Dublin this spring, and this fall, we’re going to Iceland then London.  One of our favorite places was Seattle.  I [Mike] particularly loved the Boeing airplane exhibit.  My dad flew a B-17, so being able to get on a real B-17 and crawl around on it, sit where he sat–it’s a magnificent plane–was pretty incredible.

We’ve traveled in groups many times, but as we got older, we got used to just traveling together.  We learned how to adjust to each others’ schedules, think about someone else’s feelings, things like that.  We do a good pace, we think.

When we travel, we really are sit-at-the-bar people.  We meet the most interesting people, some of whom become good friends.  We’re able to suggest things that strangers might like–and just have a good time.

We’re both retired teachers, so travel always had to happen in the summer.  But now . . .

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The photo is a little blurry, but this is the one she liked.  It captures her youthful spirit, which emerged as she talked about her independence.  When I saw her, she was sitting alone, reading the newspaper, her expression inscrutable.  I couldn’t tell if she was going to welcome my company. 

I am happiest when I travel to a new city and I get to figure out how to navigate it, use the mass transit, and such.  When I travel, I’m almost always on my own, which makes me feel independent and strong.

My first trip was–I was only 20 or 21–when I went to New York City.  I was working at the time.  I didn’t finish college.  I didn’t drop out, though–back then, they called it “stopping college.”  Most people who “stopped” college planned on going back after they “found themselves.”  But once I started working and the money started coming in (I was never rich, of course), it got comfortable.  There was a documentary on in the 60s about elderly people who didn’t have enough to eat–and I remember telling myself that I didn’t want to be poor when I got older.  So, anyways: all my friends had just graduated from college, and they didn’t have a lot of money.  I figured that I could either wait to go to NYC until they had some money or–so I just went.

I never got married.  I was born independent.  In fact, I had my fortune told by a psychic once.  My mother was deceased, but the psychic saw her and my mother told her, “She’s always been independent, even as a little child.”

HUMANS OF THE PFISTER Teaser (Guess the Human!)

HUMANS OF THE PFISTER

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I met some fun Humans today at Blu and the Lobby Lounge.

I’m preparing their stories for the next installment of HUMANS OF THE PFISTER (HOTP): LIFE, LIBERTY, & HAPPINESS,

but for now, here’s a preview of their beautiful faces.

Can you guess which of these HOTP said the following?

a. “I feel most alive when I’m at my peak, with my home life, my love life, my work life.”

b. “I just want to feel like I have a nice strong deck of cards in my hands.”

c. “Singing with the band was like my therapy.”

d. “My country song would be an adventure song, with travels, sunshine, and good people.”

e. “Our daughter was four years old when we moved from Milwaukee to Sussex.  At first, she’d cry and say, ‘It’s too quiet, mom.  Where are the sirens?’  She got used to it.”

f. “I’m a doo-wop girl.  Or a roadie.  I like to help people shine.”

g. “I love the beach because it lightens you, frees you, and oooh, it’s invigorating to me!”

h. “Life is about dancing and singing.  They’re the two biggest cures for illness.  If we don’t live, we’re not accomplishing anything.”

i. “I try to lighten things up.  I write a monthly newsletter–18 pages long–for the support group.”

j. “We just watched a documentary about how we need a ‘shift in our moral imagination,’ so that we can have personal satisfaction that we’re doing something morally right, that we’re doing what we want to do as human beings.”