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Amy Schumer’s Film Trainwreck Talks About Death and Grief

There’s a pivotal scene deep into the film Trainwreck, where Amy’s boss gives her the corporate version of sympathy.  It’s so brief that I lost it in laughter first time around and only picked it up on second viewing.  Our heroine’s emotional crash may have begun (spoiler alert) with her father’s death, but she doesn’t go completely […]

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The Link Between Grieving and Estate Organizing

“Grieving is about choosing what to hold onto and what can be let go of.” These words were spoken by Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, author and bereavement social worker, during a daylong workshop The Art of Saying Goodbye.  I’m glad that I was seated when she said this, because you could have knocked me over with that proverbial feather.  […]

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Exploring Compassionate Communication

I’ve recently begun studying nonviolent communication, also called compassionate communication or mediation training, and it’s very different from what I had imagined. Sure, I’d encountered bits and pieces of the philosophy here and there, like disassembled car parts. Seeing it up and running is something else entirely. Now I know why the titles can seem […]

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Social Wellness and Chicken Soup

“Its not the chicken soup that makes you better, it’s the person who brings you the chicken soup.” As an estate organizer, I like to keep abreast of end-of-life topics like estate and funeral planning.  These issues can be difficult enough for people who have family and friends.  For those who don’t, I can imagine that feelings […]

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Why it Pays to Hire an Estate Organizer

Sorting the contents of an estate is an enormous and complicated task. While the most precious items in a home may have little monetary value, it’s vital to find the things that do. Family members, even if they have time to do the work, may not know where to look or may fail to recognize […]

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What it’s Like to Hoard

This beautifully written essay by Elizabeth Friend was just published on Vox.com: I think I’m becoming a hoarder — and I’m afraid there’s no way out I’m pretty sure my partner and I are hoarders, or least well on our way. We have one entire room in our house that’s too full of clutter to walk through […]

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How to Get a Fast Free MFA Degree

This morning I received a Masters of Fine Art degree for free, in about an hour, from the Tenderloin Institute of Art on O’Farrell Street in downtown San Francisco.  Yes, I actually got a paper diploma.  No, TIA is not accredited.  The brainchild of artist Jeremiah Jenkins, an MFA “degree” is awarded as part of […]

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Where In The World Is Microloa?

While checking out at Whole Foods the other day, I glanced at a poster for their Prosperity Campaign.  A photo of a woman swathed in batik fabric smiled back at me.  SIX MILLION MICROLOANS the poster announced.  Brain gears creaked into action.  Who are the Microloans?  Where exactly is Microloa?  If there were six million of them, […]

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Mansplaining Mansplaining

When I attempted to introduce the concept of mansplaining to a male friend, he interrupted and began explaining it to me.          

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Organizing Wisdom

 “It is up to humans to organize their territory and life, to consume without defacing, produce without depleting, to live without destroying.” I came across this quote in an article about a Finnish architectural design contest, for, of all things, Santa’s logistics center.  “The jury also gave an honorable mention to a team (El Hadi Jazairy, Chen […]

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