I am endlessly fascinated and amused by the mysteries of the cosmos and my tiny place in it. Enjoy my explorations of my inner and outer worlds. 

I’m Sure It Was Plaid

I’m Sure It Was Plaid

Our eyes receive light, our brains tell us the story. The muscles of our eyes allow us to widen and tighten our focus, to see the big picture and the details, from the general to the specific, from the background to the foreground. But it’s the brain that decides whether the person approaching me is a friend or foe, whether I am happy or disappointed that it is raining, whether I’m following the right star on the horizon.

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On the Kindness of Strangers

On the Kindness of Strangers

We are in Gijón, Spain. Ron is carefully (because he's always careful) hanging laundry on the rack attached to our our third floor window. There are no clothespins in our air bnb and there's no way we know to the courtyard below. The doorbell rings. Who could possibly...

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First World Problems

First World Problems

It started with a drip. A delicate but nevertheless relentless Chinese torture, steady and eternal, from the bathroom sink. As people who like to think that we have better things to do with our time, we ignored it. It became a companion, a little tick, tick, tick...

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Ants “R” Us

Ants “R” Us

I was going to call this the year of the spider.  When we lived in NJ, we had spiders crawl into forgotten corners, spin webs in light fixtures and occasionally venture onto the kitchen floor.  But nothing prepared us for North Carolina, where brazen representatives...

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I Am Legion

I Am Legion

My sister and I were recently wondering whether our grasp of the continuously evolving vocabulary of the English language would help us prevent dementia: terabyte, download, netiquette, malware, neuroplasticity, acid-reflux, bromance, bingeable, biohack, microbiome....

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My Theory of Everything

My Theory of Everything

There is a Chinese belief called the Red Thread, or the Red String. The gods tie a red string that connects a person to a destiny, usually in the form of a soulmate. No matter what happens, the string can be pulled, tangled, knotted, but it never breaks. All of us are connected via a complex tapestry of these threads.

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Let The Sock Go!

Let The Sock Go!

For twenty five years, at least twice a week, I put on white face as a professional mime, and then “set” the make-up by smacking myself all over the face with a sock filled with cornstarch. It gave my whiteface a kind of china doll look, smooth, porcelain like, no pores, no greasy dribble. Whiteface was a love/hate relationship: there was romance and fantasy upon donning the white mask, as well as an embarrassing corniness in the cliché of the white faced mime. I stopped performing regularly in 1999, and almost all concerts after that did not involve whiteface And yet, I held on to the sock.

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Lavinia Plonka weaves together 33 autobiographical stories with weighty philosophical questions in her uniquely hilarious way: Are aliens stealing our time? Can one find enlightenment at Sam’s Club? Are nail salons a galactic conspiracy?

These essays originally appeared as Lavinia’s monthly column, “CosmiComedy,” in Western North Carolina Woman Magazine.

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