One Last 2022 Post: Alexa Gets Nosy & I Ask You A Question

ALEXA GETS NOSY

“The answer is negative one.”

I was composing an email reply to a friend who’d written about a mutual acquaintance who was going through a difficult time.

I was rereading out loud what I’d written to make sure my grammar was correct and the content made sense. I’m a wordy girl after all and I take pride in how I put words together in a sentence.

Even in casual correspondence.

What I’d written, saying to myself in a quiet mumble, was: “ALSO SHE HAS ONLY ONE, NOT TWO, MEANS TO DO WHAT SHE DOES.” It was praise for our mutual acquaintance and how she was handling things.

But then out of nowhere, unasked, Alexa the little eavesdropper piped up saying the line I shared at the top of this post.

She startled me so much I jumped into the air and almost lost my stuffing. Confused and annoyed, I wanted to figure out why the heck she’d inserted herself into my life.

I looked at what I’d written then said to myself a few seconds before. I realized that Alexa had understood the word “ALSO” to be her name, then she’d interpreted what I’d said after that to be a math problem.

That is, I’d said “…ONE NOT TWO MEANS…” which she translated to the equation 1 – 2 = [one minus two equals] resulting in her reply [“the answer is negative one”] that she blurted out answering the question she thought I’d asked her.

Which, of course, I hadn’t.

And with that ridiculous realization about what had just happened, I solved my nosy Alexa mystery.

Bless. Her. Heart.

I ASK YOU A QUESTION

This will be my last blog post of 2022, but I have one last thing to ask you, my little partridges in a pear tree. I have four blog posts started, but FAR from finished. They require more research &/or introspection than I’m willing to put into them in December.

Because I want to goof off now, thus I shall write later.

Getting to what might be the actual point of this post, which one of the topics listed immediately below would you like me to write about first when I return? Yep, I’m crowdsourcing this decision so please tell me your preference in the comments. Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation concerning this matter.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE
See you next year

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Throw Us A Bone, We’re Trying To Name Our New Friend

PLEASE HELP US

As you will notice as you read along, scattered throughout this post are photos of our new friend, a life-size posable plastic skeleton.

I cannot lie about why I spent the money to buy him.  IT’S ALL KARI’S FAULT.  She showed us her skeleton friend, Roger, and I needed to have one of my very own to keep me company.

In other words I loved her idea, so I copied it.

However this fellow desperately needs a name and so far we’ve come to a dead end. [pun intended]

You see, and I’m sure you’ll understand that, when an English Lit major & a history buff attempt to name inanimate objects, things go sideways.

Oh sure, THERE ARE MEANINGFUL IDEAS APLENTY with sound theoretical underpinnings, but to actually pull the trigger on the naming, well– that has yet to happen.  [again pun intended]

Below I’ve listed the possibilities we’re pondering.  Do you, my gentle readers and Halloween aficionados, like any of these names?  OR do you have a better one to suggest?

Just like the air moving through the bones of this skeleton, we are open to ideas.

10 POSSIBLE NAMES FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

WILD BILL [Hickok], as a tribute to he who was shot holding black aces and eights, aka the Dead Man’s Hand, which leads to the next name on the list…

CHARLIE, as in the man who dealt the Dead Man’s Hand, a fellow named Charlie Henry Rich whose grave I featured in a post years ago

McCOY, as in the character from StarTrek whose nickname was “Bones” but you probably know that

CAPTAIN JACK, either [Sparrow], Johnny Depp of movie fame, or [Harkness], Jon Barrrowman of Dr. Who fame, choose your franchise 

SHELLEY, because on Murdoch Mysteries Dr. Emily Grace named the morgue skeleton this name for reasons that I conjecture might be related to the next name on the list…

PERCY, as in Percy Bysshe Shelley who wrote the poem “Ozymandias” giving us the timeless message: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains.”  

YORICK, because when Willy Shakes writes a play like Hamlet, there has to be an applicable quote: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…”

EARL OF GRANTHAM, because this skeleton does have an aristocratic bearing like Robert Crawley and is without funds 

THE PREACHER, as in Ecclesiastes, a chapter in the Bible, & the famous spooky picture by Charles Allen Gilbert titled “All is Vanity” that is a reference to this Biblical quote: Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About sharing photos of the mundane:

“Yep. I agree — reality is infinitely more interesting than the scrubbed and filtered, highly tweaked social media images…. Fantasy – just fantasy.”

~ Victoria

“… I’m totally obsessed with the idea of the Muse of The Mundane…. And suddenly I saw her – she’s actually two-sided like a coin. Her other side is the Muse of The Magical. Makes sense doesn’t it? Magic is always hidden in the mundane, we just don’t often use our eyes to see it.”

~ Deborah Weber

“My daughter and I had this discussion recently about photos…. The photos that get the most, often unexpected positive responses are the ones that have an ‘it’ quality. Goosebumps…a new perspective… and not perfection.”

~ Erica/Erika

It’s Tuesday & The Topic Of The Day Is Pettiness

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I WAS LISTENING to this episode, Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo, on a podcast for women over 40 called, Everything is Fine.

The hosts, Kim [her blog here] & Jennifer, got off on a tangent, which I believe is where the best stuff is on podcasts, and started discussing how petty they were.

I was charmed because it was funny.

But I was also flummoxed because for the life of me I couldn’t decide if I was petty, at least occasionally. Seems like I’ve the potential to be petty, focusing on details like I do and having preferences, but I’D NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT BEFORE.

Weird, huh?

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SO I DID what I do when I don’t understand something, I researched the topic. I first referred to the dictionary and got meself a definition of *petty* [an adjective] which is related to *pettiness* [a noun].

I also did cursory research on the concept of pettiness and learned that it has nothing in particular to do with intelligence, but is often correlated with people who are argumentative, inflexible, or lacking impulse control.

To be petty means you want people to do things the way you do things and you’ll judge someone negatively if they don’t, vowing to remember what you’d describe as a transgression.

Resentment and vindication can nudge someone to be petty. Plus being petty might not be good for your immortal soul.  So there’s that to consider.

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HOWEVER DESPITE MY research I still don’t seem to be able to nail down what it really means to be petty.

➡️ Is pettiness an instance of taking the saying “this is the hill I’ll die on” to an extreme wherein you assert the moral high ground because you know you’re right?

➡️ Or is pettiness more like the embodiment of the passive-aggressive Southern saying “well bless your heart” wherein you voice your disapproval while pretending to be cordial?

➡️ Or is pettiness more like admitting you’re “a stick in the mud”about something that is out-of-date yet your crotchety old self refuses to bow to modernity?

• 🔹 •

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you consider yourself to be petty? Have you thought about this? Care to share an example of when you were petty?  

Do you think I’m petty and just don’t know it or have forgotten about it? I’m human so I must be petty, right?

When stumbling over something you don’t understand do you, like me, turn to the the dictionary to begin your research?

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SOURCES:

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This Is Not Insipid: A Vocabulary Tutorial + Photo Update Of Guest Bathroom Renovation

THE VOCABULARY PART

Here’s how this blog post came to be, my little scribes.  I read something that was lame, lacking any spunk.  In truth I couldn’t believe it’d been published.

All I could think was: “this is insipid.”

While I thought that was the right word to describe what I’d read, I sometimes doublecheck words when I want to confirm that I’m using a word properly, that I know its real meaning.

That the word hasn’t become slang for something I don’t want to be saying. That I’m not inadvertently being vulgar.

So being a conscientious person I went to doublecheck the meaning of the word insipid.  I used the trusty New Oxford American Dictionary that’s on my iMac.

Come to find out I do know the definition of the word insipid.  It means: lacking vigor or interest.

Yep, that’d describe what I’d been reading.


However there’s more to what I learned.  You see, while looking up the definition of insipid, come to find out, there are subtle differences among three words that are occasionally used interchangeably.  Please refer to image immediately  above this paragraph.

These words are the ones that writers, myself included, often misuse.  Perhaps you’ve used them wrongly, too.  No judgement here.

To demonstrate that I, a wordsmith, now understand the nuances implied in each word I’ll use these aforementioned words correctly in one long sentence.  This sentence is the summation of our home improvement journey thus far.

When writing anything I aim to not be INSIPID, but admit that studiously researching a topic for a post can be TEDIOUS, not at all like the excitement created by the comings and goings of the tile guy who is making my daily life anything but UNEVENTFUL.

THE PHOTO PART

Tile around tub in progress

Tile guy’s stuff stored in guest bedroom

Example of  23.5″ x 11.75″ tile up-close

Tile guy’s tools in garage

Cabinet in guest bathroom in place

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you sometimes wonder how the heck someone got their insipid article or book published?

Do you look up words in the dictionary to make sure you understand a word’s true + current meaning?

Is the tile in your bathroom primarily small, medium, or large like the new stuff we’re using? What color is it?

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This Is What Happens When You Crowdsource A Blogroll

I had no clue about what I was in for with this idea.

I haven’t had a blogroll on The Spectacled Bean in years. Last month in honor of this weblog’s 11th birthday, I decided it’d be fun and unique to put together a crowdsourced blogroll.

So in this post I asked you, my fellow bloggers, to let me know if you’d like your weblog, one year or older, to be on the blogroll. I also asked you to tell me how old your weblog is.

This was a one-time offer, never to be repeated.

Well, much to my amazement many, many bloggers jumped in and left me information about their weblogs in the comments. This was wonderful, but also overwhelming.

Over the weekend I put together the blogroll. I did my best to make sure I got all 90+ weblogs on the blogroll, starting with the oldest, ending with the newest. I doublechecked that I spelled each weblog name properly and that each link works.

[To be clear, the blogroll isn’t on this blog post, it is on a tab. Keep reading & all will be revealed.]

Thus without further ado I shall direct you to the blogroll. I’ve closed the comments here hoping that instead of chatting on this blog post you will:

  1. Go review the DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL by clicking on the capitalized purple words you just read.
  2. Pick one new-to-you weblog and go visit.
  3. Leave a comment there IF you feel so moved.
  4. Introduce yourself by saying: “Ally Bean sent me.”

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