In Which I Answer Five Brilliant Questions, Outstandingly

I’ve received the Outstanding Blogger Award from Laura Bruno Lilly who asked some great questions. I don’t usually do awards, but like Laura said doing this award is a good way to break out of a blogging rut & I’ve felt like I’ve been in one lately. Thus I’m answering these five brilliant questions to the best of my free-spirited ability.

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LAURA’S QUESTIONS FOR ME

What’s the first thing (or two) you’ll do once you ‘get your shot’ and/or the world otherwise opens back up after the Pandemic?

I have two things. I’m tired of my hippy hair so I’ll get it cut, but I’m keeping it longer than before. Who knew it was easier to have longer layered curly hair than a short stacked bob? The second thing is I want to go to a local restaurant, order a pear martini, crab cakes, and their house salad. Maybe two martinis now that I think about it. 

What makes you break into your ‘happy dance’?

Pots and pots of flowers around the outside of the house. I like geraniums and petunias and coleus and zinnias and dipladenia and impatiens and marigolds and whatever else will grow. I’m not fussy about what’s in the pots, I just want pretty. 

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

I liked English class. No surprise, huh?

Which of your blog posts is your favorite and why? Please provide a link.

After ten years of blogging I can’t just offer one post so I’m going to answer with three posts. If you like funny, read this: Fun With Pedicures: Conning Mr. Man, If Only For A Moment. If you like melancholy, read this: Strange Days Indeed. If you like badassery, read this: Good Morning To Everyone Except WordPress, My Frenemy.

Coffee, tea or ????

Yes. Coffee, tea, seltzer, beer, wine, aperol & soda, margaritas, vodka martinis, a shot of whiskey even– but never anything with rum in it. *bleech* 

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Now it’s my turn to nominate and to ask questions. Considering everyone who reads this blog is outstanding I nominate anyone who wants to do this. You may do this in the comments below or on your blog.

There’s no obligation to take up the challenge, but if you do then please answer the following questions. If you do this on your blog then you may nominate [5 or however many] other bloggers, and then compile a set of your own 5 questions. 

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MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU

Q1 – What’s your favorite movie?

Q2 – When trying to buy shoes, what’s your biggest problem?

Q3 – Ice cream cone or cupcake?

Q4 – What’s one good thing you have learned about yourself during this pandemic?

Q5 – Any eccentric people in your family? Discuss.

Applying A Business Framework To This Personal Blog To Tell A Tale

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Above is the Rudolph Framework. It’s from marketing guru + author Ann Handley’s newsletter called Total Annarchy. The framework is a lighthearted take on the Christmas song and children’s book, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

The Rudolph Framework “helps you understand the actual problem you and your business solve for your customers– not the one you *think* you solve.” Click HERE to be taken to her fun explanation of this framework.

While the Rudolph Framework is meant to help a business clarify its purpose, it’s applicable to personal blogs. It’s easy to conceptualize a personal blog as a business. As such the blog provides customers [that’d be you] with a product [my blog posts] that solve a problem for you.

I know that I’m getting abstract here, but I have a tale to tell and I feel the need to explain how I came by it, lest you think I’m nuts. Which I probably am, but let’s not dwell on that, shall we?

Just go with it.

Thus using the Rudolph Framework I give you the following story created by moi by filling in the blanks, occasionally adjusting a few words so that it makes more sense. See what you think.

In fact, should you like to fly your freak flag, you could get jiggy and try applying the Rudolph Framework to your own blog, even. I’d love to see what you come up with. ‘Cuz, you know, I’m nosy curious.

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THE TALE OF THE SPECTACLED BEAN AND THE COMMUNITY IT HAS CREATED

Once upon a time, there was a delightful personal blog called The Spectacled Bean.

It had the capacity to be a catalyst for conversation based on the tales, thoughts, and tribulations of a free spirit in suburbia.

Some people doubted it because it was not all about the benjamins.

But one day, the woman who writes the blog realized she was perfectly happy doing what she was doing in the way she was doing it.

Which meant that the blog could be as varied and wonderfully idiosyncratic as the cool kids who read and comment on it.

To help them have sense of belonging online where they are understood and accepted, as long they’re polite and not spammers and not stealing my content.

And that matters because the cool kids are the heroes of this blog and what make The Spectacled Bean fun and engaging.

Thus in the process, this blog has helped coalesce a community of articulate + good-natured lurkers, readers, and cool kids who have the savvy to know a good thing when they read it.

Everyone gets a kiss. And a big ‘ole thank you.

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Exit, Pursued By A Dragon: My Video Directorial Debut, Take One

Keeping in mind that I’m stuck at home now because of a Winter Storm Warning [or maybe it’s a Level One Snow Emergency at this point], I give you the following…

Some days you slay the dragon, other days you befriend it.

I’m nothing if not good at entertaining myself with goofy little projects. Blame it on my curiosity and a creative spirit and a lonely only childhood that taught me to make my own fun. Thus as an adult, who just happens to write a personal blog, I’ve no shame when it comes to trying new things here– and making obscure references*.

This is especially true when there’s a potential source of flapdoodle and twaddle sitting in our family room while waiting to be discovered.

Hence I give you the following 18 second silent video of our Christmas Dragon** who never got packed away at the end of the season this year. Instead he’s been lounging on an outdoor swivel dining chair that is, for reasons too complicated to go into, currently residing in the corner of the family room.

Clearly the dragon looks good sitting on the chair: you might say he’s a natural. In fact, in a moment of pure genius complete kookiness I realized I could make my first [and only?] action video, thereby showcasing my directorial skills and testing the waters to see whether Christmas Dragon could be a regular*** on this blog.

In other words, tell me if you think he has star potential.

* The title of this post is alluding to William Shakespeare’s famous stage direction in The Winter’s Tale.

** I’m sad to say that our Christmas Dragon has no official stage name. Polite suggestions welcome, but he is not magical so don’t even go there.

*** Years ago I occasionally featured a star critter named Fuzzy the Squirrel [here and here and here] who, may he RIP, annoyed & entertained in equal measure.

Waiting For The Inauguration, I Snark + Laugh + Celebrate A Blogging Milestone

Tomorrow is THE DAY when 81,009,468 Americans finally will get to say: “Don’t let the door hit you on the butt as you leave, Donald. You’re fired.”

[Lock him up.]

I tell ‘ya, what a clusterfork these last four years have been*. I’m emotionally exhausted by the hate, intellectually tired of the stupidity, and morally outraged by the greed.

You probably are, too.

However, be that as it may, as we wait for better days ahead, here’s a smorgasbord of four images I’ve saved over the last few months, waiting for the perfect time to share them here.

Why today? Two reasons.

First this is something to do until the adults take over the government tomorrow. And secondly, yesterday was the ten year anniversary of this blog** and I wanted to quietly make note of it.

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I saw this sticker on a car, an old Impala sedan. A bit of fast research and now I know that it’s a way to say “Baby on Board.” I’m unclear if this is new or old urban slang, but it caught my eye on a car out here in suburbia.

Have you seen this sticker before?

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I’m seeing this saying all over the place, however I’ve no primary source for it which is a bummer because it is clever. I realize that attempting to overthrow the government is serious, but this sentiment amuses moi.

Thoughts, anyone?

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When I opened an old family cookbook out fell this newspaper clipping for a drink called a Trojan Horse. One of my ancestors, probably my father, must have saved this absinthe, anisette, and gin drink that is described as: “infiltrates slowly without your knowing it and then hits you all of a sudden about an hour later.”

None for me, thanks. And you?

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Moira Rose of Schitt’s Creek is one of my favorite TV characters. Thus I shall leave her immortal words here as a way of thanking the wonderful people who read this blog. You’re the best.

I’d be nowhere without my own wolf pack, now wouldn’t I?

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* Don’t blame me, I voted for the lady with the emails.

** First post is here.

TGIF: I Answer Jill’s Questions Over There While Announcing Summer Hours Here

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THE JILL’S QUESTIONS OVER THERE PART

Jill Weatherholt asks questions, oh yes she does.

In fact she asked me to answer her questions, so I did.

Should you care to read my answers to her questions then click on I WANT TO READ ALLY BEAN’S ANSWERS TO JILL’S QUESTIONS and you’ll be magically taken over there to her blog.

Forsooth.

THE SUMMER HOURS HERE PART

Wanna know a secret, my gentle readers? Yes? Well then lean in closer and I’ll tell you one.

When I chose SIMPLIFY as my word of the year I planned on taking this summer off from blogging.  Just bug out completely.  Detach entirely.

However plans change.  Perhaps you, too, live in a state where you are still being asked to stay at home?  Well, we do and we are.

This is the end of Week 13, by the way.

Now clearly I have the time to post to this blog, but summer [in the northern hemisphere] is when I’ve found that personal blogging slows down to a dribble.  Plus I’m in a blogging rut, in the mood for a change, a simplification as it were.

Thus I’ve decided to adopt what I’m calling SUMMER HOURS.  To wit:

  • I’ll be posting my usual flapdoodle and twaddle here every other week instead of weekly.
  • I’ll be posting mid-morning, probably on Tuesdays, thereby allowing me to have a relaxed morning in keeping with summer’s mellow vibe.
  • I’ll be commenting less frequently on your blogs, keeping up weekly with the cool kids who keep up with me.

And with that I wish y’all a groovy weekend and a happy summer.  I’ll be here when I’m here.

LOVE ‘YA. Mean it.