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Brian's Brain

Brian's Brain

by Brian George Hose

Friday, December 08, 2017

A Cure For Holiday Cynicism

The holiday season can be a tricky time of the year. Yes, it’s a season of giving and togetherness, of sharing good times, good food, and gifts with those we care about, and these are all wonderful things. But all this comes at a price. It takes planning, organizing, budgeting, and usually some amount of baking to successfully navigate the holidays. It’s enough to stress out even the most “perfect” Martha Stewarts among us. Even if you don’t observe the holidays, all this is happening around you and usually demands some sort of participation – or worse, an explanation of the intensely personal reasons as to why you don’t want to make merry the same way as everyone else.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving and Survival

These days everything’s political, including Thanksgiving. It doesn’t take much research or study to know that there’s more to the Thanksgiving story than we were taught as children. A condensed history would suggest that the Pilgrims were terrible guests in a new land, stealing from and even slaughtering the Native Americans whose lands the Pilgrims claimed for themselves. As such, modern day Thanksgiving can bring with it an icky sense of guilt that makes some wonder if we should still be celebrating a holiday with such a sordid past.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Risky Business

Project T407 and Tori Amos

I spend a lot of time and energy avoiding risky situations. I always look both ways before crossing the street; I don’t drive fast; I wear sensible shoes. Maybe this makes me boring, but it also keeps me safe and, for the most part, happy. I think a lot of us fall into this pattern as we get older, which is why when we do anything out of the ordinary it’s a cause for celebration. On these occasions we remember that in trying to keep things consistent by avoiding lows, we also sometimes miss out on the highs.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

‘Me Too’ and the Tipping Point

When the allegations of sexual abuse against Harvey Weinstein made headlines, part of me wanted to be shocked and surprised. When the “Me Too” campaign took off shortly after, with countless survivors of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence posting “me too” on social media, I again wished that I was shocked, either by the number of posts or the fact that I personally know so many survivors. But the truth is, I wasn’t.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Seeking the Snallygaster

Maryland's Infamous Monster

For as long as I can remember I've been a collector of stories.  I like learning new things about people, places, and things (ok, just nouns in general), and it's rare that I hear a story that I deem completely insignificant or unworthy of remembering.  That said, my love of stories is much like an addiction: each story ups my tolerance, leaving me wanting more.  I've harvested and collected hundreds, thousands, of stories over the years, always in search of a new favorite.  That's why I was surprised to learn that a centuries-old story has been quietly lurking right in front of me (or maybe above me) my whole life.  That story is a Western Maryland legend known as the Snallygaster.  With Halloween fast approaching, now seems to be the perfect time to share the Snallygaster with you.

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