Bah, humbug! An introvert’s rules for holiday survival

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Updated: Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 7:00 PM

Ah, the holidays. Constant parties. Gay apparel. Forced family fun. An introvert’s nightmare.

“I call it the most extroverted time of the year,” says author and introvert Sophia Dembling of Dallas, whose “The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World” (Perigree, $14) just hit bookstores. “I don’t want to check out of it entirely, but it can just completely overwhelm you, and then you get crabby.”

Whereas Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” is an introvert’s manifesto, “The Introvert’s Way” celebrates introversion and gives practical advice on how to survive raving extroversion. Holidays, Dembling says, are a true test of an introvert’s mettle. She offered these tips:

1. Make yourself useful. If you’re at a party, help serve the food. “You’re interacting, but you’re doing your own thing. I call it pretend mingling.”

2. “Find ways to get away” from a family gathering. “I had a family gathering in Chicago, and the weather was 4 degrees, and the entire family was trapped inside for days on end,” Dembling recalls. “That’s the hardest thing for me.” Take your running shoes and say you’re going out for exercise, she advises. Also, she likes having her first cup of coffee in her bedroom.

3. If you’re trapped in a room full of people visiting with each other, work a puzzle or knit while you talk. The busywork creates “psychic space,” Dembling says.

4. At the mall, “hide in plain sight.” While others frantically search for gifts, sit and people-watch. Introverts do this very well.

5. About those gifts: “Introverts are such deep thinkers,” Dembling says. “Every gift has to be perfect.” So, she makes a lot of her gifts.

6. “Choose your parties, and don’t let anyone convince you the party’s going to collapse if you leave,” she says. There’s an art to leaving a party, and, in fact, one of Dembling’s favorite party-leaving gambits involves art. She and her husband, Tom, have a secret code: “Let’s look at the art.” They start making the rounds of the home, looking at the walls, and make their way to the door, from which they exit.

“It’s a lot easier to enjoy parties if we don’t feel trapped,” she says. “Of course, at office parties, you have to put your best foot forward and pretend to be an extrovert. At those, you really have to put on your clown nose.”

Then, after the season’s over, take a deep breath and plunge into the new year.

“I like the concept of a clean slate,” Dembling says, although she eschews big horn-blowing New Year’s Eve parties for quieter celebrations — say, an evening looking at the night sky with just Tom.

Introverts can, indeed, survive the holidays, she says. It’s just a matter of doing it their own way.

“There’s this concept that the extrovert way is the right way,” Dembling says. “No, it’s just a way. And our way is equally valid.”

This new downtown business gives pooches a place to rest their bones

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 1:05 PM

Cedarville native Stephanie Ross is preparing for the grand opening party for her first storefront, Project Warmth.

Dayton’s newest business is going to literally be giving it up to the dogs. 

Project Warmth, 133 E. Third St. on the first floor of Oriel Studios, will celebrate its grand opening  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 4.  

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The party will feature raffles, shopping and dog nail trimming for a donation.

The shop is part of the twelfth phase of the Pop-Up Project, an initiative to fill downtown storefronts lead by Activated Spaces.  

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Owned by Cedarville native Stephanie Ross, Project Warmth sells handmade pet beds, mats, leashes, collars, leash hangers, toys, bandannas, hammocks, harnesses, coats and other products.  

The business donates a pet bed or mat to a Dayton area animal shelter for every one purchased. 

Since launching the business six years ago, Ross says she has donated 500 beds and kennel mats.

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“I started out part-time, selling online, then I grew into the festival and fair market,” Ross said in a Facebook message to this news organization. “Two years ago I quit my full-time job to pursue this full time. I participate in about 60 shows a year, plus an Etsy presence.”

Pet toys start at $1. Pet beds and mats are about $30. Handcrafted pet hammocks are $75 to $150. 

Ross graduated Bowling Green University with a degree in graphic design. The certified activity director last worked at Dunbar Rehabilitation in Dayton. 

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“I started the business after spending all four years of college doing volunteer work, moving back home and feeling like I wasn't contributing to the community as I had in college,” Ross said. “I had picked up sewing as a hobby and decided to take that more seriously and start making dog beds and mats.”

>> Downtown Dayton’s business ‘pop-up’ program bears fruit

Customers help determine which shelters receives one of Ross’ beds or pads.  

“One thing I'm also very excited about is pairing up with other Dayton businesses to also sell some of their inventory in my store, including food, treats, and an entire pet people section,” Ross said.

The Activated Spaces Pop-Up Project is spearheaded by the young professional organizations UpDayton and Generation Dayton.

It is supported by the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the City of Dayton, the City of Dayton Neighborhood Mini-Grant program and community volunteers.

The Pop-Up Project provides the opportunity for shorter leases at below-market rates. 

Past Pop-Up Shops include Beaute Box, Vintage Barber Shop, Peace on Fifth, Spice Paradise, Hicks’ Barber Shop & Shave ParlorTwist Cupcakery, Fronana, Baker SalvageMitosis, Buckeye LaptopsSoccer Shots, and Catapult Creative. 

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Daytonian of the Week: Richard Brown

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

An easily recognizable figure in Dayton music, Richard Brown does far more than just hang out at shows.

Dayton’s Richard Brown seemingly has endless amounts of energy. He’s the type of person who always has to stay busy. Brown is a regular fixture at local music shows week in and week out.

While many talk the talk of loving Dayton art, he walks the walk. Brown’s YouTube channel TheBoxxCar is a veritable treasure trove of local music of all kinds, filled with hundreds of videos from the last several years. 

But it’s about more than just going to clubs and watching bands for this Tennessee transplant who came to become a hardcore Daytonian. Brown, a Delphi retiree, started volunteering at his church 10 years ago. That led him to help out at the Dayton Life Enrichment Center three times a week. In fact, Brown donates his time and labor to several area shelters and the Foodbank every month. As if that weren’t enough, he also helps out the Twin Towers Neighborhood Association. He’s as worthy a Daytonian of the Week as ever there was.

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What do you do?

I enjoy volunteering. It keeps me out of trouble and it gives me something to do.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Fly like Superman. Be able to fly places real quick and help people.

What do you love about life in Dayton?

That we’ve got so much stuff to do in Dayton that you can’t do it all -- so much music and art.

What’s your favorite spot in Dayton?

It used to be J-Alans (bar and music venue). You know how much I miss that place. Now it’s probably Blind Bob’s. They have a lot of good shows there. It’s a fun place.

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Why did you decide to settle in Dayton?

I’ve been here all my life. I wasn’t born here, but I was raised here.

How did you get involved in your line of work?

After I retired, I needed something to do. I got in a church program called Help Your Neighbor. I did that for five years. Then I started at the Life Enrichment Center.

If you could change one thing about Dayton, what would it be?

Definitely all the overdoses. The house behind (me) has had like six overdoses in the last two months. We had a guy lying next to my house.

What do you think Dayton will look like in the next 10-15 years?

Basically the same. They are improving it! Dave Hall Plaza, they’re going to fix that up. All that (new) housing downtown.

>> Levitt Pavilion aims to be win-win for Dayton musicians, audience

Daytonian of the Week is a feature that spotlights people who help build the Dayton community. See more Daytonian of the Week stories HERE.

Bride wears gown in stunning underwater photo shoot

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 3:43 PM

Stock image of a woman wearing a wedding dress underwater.
stock_colors/Getty Images/iStockphoto

A newlywed in the nation's capital really made a splash with a photo shoot to mark her special day.

Nicole Hardesty, 30, told WUSA that she is a competitive swimmer, so it felt natural for her to pose underwater while wearing a wedding dress.

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Her grandmother, who spent four weeks making her blue wedding dress, did not approve of Hardesty taking her creation underwater, WUSA reported, so Hardesty wore her reception gown instead for the photo shoot.

Hardesty told WUSA that she wanted to "look like a mermaid."

The dress used in the photo shoot will not hang in a closet. Hardesty told WUSA that the dress will be professionally cleaned and donated to Forever Angels of Virginia, a charity that makes gowns for infants who die due to miscarriage, stillbirth or other causes.

Swipey swipe.

A post shared by Nic (@nicole_hardesty) on

Doctor: Popular charcoal masks could cause permanent skin damage

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

A popular charcoal mask could cause permanent skin damage
WFTS video

A popular “do-it-yourself” charcoal mask that has been trending all over the internet could cause serious damage to your skin, according to a dermatologist.

"It might be dangerous if you like all three layers of your skin," Dr. Seth Forman, a dermatologist in Tampa, Florida, said in an interview with WFTS

Many people have taken to YouTube to show users the painful process of peeling off the charcoal mask. Many of these products are sold from “unregulated vendors,” WFTS reports. Forman said that some of these products are mixed with a foreign charcoal powder and super glue, and will “most likely” be illegal soon. 

If certain layers of skin are peeled off, it can lead to scarring and infection “especially when you get down to the second layer (of skin),” according to WFTS

The good news is that there is a large variety of FDA approved facial masks that are safe, Forman said.