On Election Day: 7 Issues On Which Americans Can Agree

Perhaps you’ve noticed lately that the news media in all its permutations is obsessing on the idea that we Americans are divided… on all issues… with no unity on anything to be found?

WELL, I CALL HOGWASH.

Thus I, a free spirit and seemingly only sane person left in the middle of this country, give you the following list wherein I’ve taken it upon myself to point out issues on which Americans agree.

YES, I USED THE A-WORD.

So what do you think, my gentle readers, are you comfortable focusing on unity instead of divisiveness?  And of equal importance, what have I forgotten to add to this list? 🤔

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7 ISSUES ON WHICH AMERICANS CAN AGREE

  1. Commercial airplane travel is a tedious experience, even if they don’t lose your luggage.
  2. Daylight Savings Time is a bad idea in and of itself may or may not be a bad idea, but changing your clock in response to it, or any time change, is difficult. [Thanks to commenters, revised upon reconsideration.]
  3. Paying attention to any Kardashian is a waste of your time.
  4. Sports announcers, hired because they claim to be experts, are as clueless as the rest of us about who’ll win the game.
  5. Christmas merchandise for sale in retail stores in August is ridiculous.
  6. The price of a movie ticket is too high.
  7. Meteorologists who report the weather on TV news are bluffing about what’s going to happen.

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A Quandary Regarding Mental Health + Tattoos + Modern Etiquette

“NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We are the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.”

Thanks to the efforts of NAMI it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week here in the USA. This year’s theme is #CureStigma. 

In light of this theme here’s something I’ve been thinking about. I’m unclear about what I should do when I’m in situations like the following one.

I was at a doctor’s office, in the examining room, with a medical assistant who was settling me onto the examining table, getting things ready for the doc.

When she reached across me to grab the blood pressure cuff I noticed that she had a tattoo on her inside left wrist.  What caught my eye was that the tattoo was of a semicolon.

As you probably know, that is the tat one gets when you have, or someone you love has, engaged in self-harming behaviors;  OR when you or a loved one have attempted to commit, or possibly in the case of a loved one succeeded in committing, suicide.

[More on the semicolon tattoo meaning here and here.]

In general I’ve found that people with visible tattoos seem pleased when you notice the tattoo.  They often have a story to tell about their tattoos and I’m willing to listen.

However, in this particular case I was reluctant to say anything, so I said nothing and just smiled like I didn’t know what I was seeing.

So my questions are:

  • Would you consider a visible semicolon tattoo to be an invitation for conversation about what it means to the person with this tattoo?
  • Or would you not say a word about it unless the person with the tattoo brings up the topic?

Anyone got any experience with or advice about how to handle this type of situation? I feel like there might be some kind of modern etiquette involved here, but I don’t know what it is.

When The Moon Inspires You, Whatcha Gonna Do?

The moon. Sunday morning.

In a cloudless sky.

Pretty. Inspiring. Unexpectedly perfect.

Looking like someone had painted it above my head as part of a set decoration.

Like an artist’s interpretation of what the moon is supposed to look like in the early morning hours.

When you see it while sitting on your deck, drinking your morning coffee.

Tending your own thoughts, wondering if it might be time to get back to blogging again.

Deciding that it is…

So how’ve you been? What’s new, kids?

I’ve missed you. Mean it!

As College Begins, A Conversation About Time-honored Clichés & Proverbial Wisdom

Fawn sleeping in our Pachysandra. Posted here just because.

Here’s a fun conversation I had with a friend.

Friend’s youngest child, a girl, is going to college this fall.  Friend and husband didn’t go to college and their other children either didn’t go to college or lived at home while pursuing a degree.

Friend, who knows I went away to college and lived in the dorms [oh yes I did], was asking what advice would I give to her daughter.

Based on my experiences.

During the Dark Ages.

The question stumped me. I mean, it was soooo long ago, and while I admit that going away to college and living in the dorms helped define who I am today, my immediate answer was the somewhat less than articulate: I DUNNO.

Friend, of course, was taking none of that nonsense so together we got talking about time-honored clichés & proverbial wisdom.  You know, the things we say to each other, meant to be inspiration or balm for the soul, as we listen to each other’s woes and joys.

Eventually we realized that our advice could be put into five categories.  We might be phrasing things differently, but we were saying the same basic five ideas over and over again.  They are as follows.

BE WARY: take care don’t be a pawn in someone else’s game make no assumptions ask yourself, where is the lie?

BE YOURSELF: follow your dreams reach for the stars  well-behaved women rarely make history define yourself

DO YOUR BEST: never give up if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again the same fire that consumes the straw, refines the gold positive begets positive

PEOPLE SUCK: stupid is an iceberg no matter what, someone will take it too seriously never make as your priority someone who considers you optional “no” is a complete sentence

OH WELL, WHATEVER: don’t let the seeds stop you from enjoying the watermelon tomorrow is another day  build a bridge, get over it plans change, often

QUESTION OF THE DAY

What did we forget? What else should be here?

Do tell, in the comments below. 

In Honor Of My 800th Blog Post, I Give You Daisies & Zinnias

Daisies for Quality, Zinnias for Endurance. Living in harmony in an ikebana vase on our kitchen counter. I like the symbolism.

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Would you believe this is my 800th post on The Spectacled Bean?

Never would I have thought I’d stick around here as long as I have. Yet something about blogging caught my fancy.

It put a little pep in my step.

A little bounce in my pounce.

The izzle in my fo’ shizzle.

Certainly I must have something profound to say about this, right?

Some wisdom to impart…

Some life-affirming conclusions to share…

Some fricking how-to advice to foist on you…

But you know what? I don’t.

All I can think to say is that I’ve learned oodles while writing this blog and that I’m delighted by how many people read and comment on it. I may not fit into any one niche, but I do have a sense of community here.

And that’s what personal blogging is about, I do believe.

Thank you. You’re the best.

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How many posts have you published on your blog?

Do you know? Do you care?

Just curious.

My Inaugural Three Thoughts Thursday | Listening. Doing. Watching.

I’ve decided that once in a while I need to have a bona fide feature on this blog wherein I allow myself to just tell you, my gentle readers, a few thoughts.  

To share with you what I’m focusing on without fiddle-farting my morning away writing a whole long involved story about it.  

So with this groovy introduction and with the snazzy image you see above [created by me on Canva], I give you the following.  

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ONE

I think that the By The Book podcast is delightful.

It’s hosted by comedian Jolenta Greenberg and her skeptical friend Kristen Meinzer.  These women pick a self-help book, read it, then live by it for two weeks.  Their subsequent conversations about how living by the book went for them, and sometimes how it went for their husbands, are funny, insightful + mature.  I’m enjoying this podcast, listening to one episode every few weeks.

TWO

I think that the Happyfeed app for your smart phone is useful.

I admit that initially I thought this app seemed flaky, geared more toward teenage girls than grown-ups, but I’m enjoying doing what it wants me to do each day.  That is, I’m creating a small gratitude journal by writing three good things that have happened to me on each day.  The app then shows me my days, in a list, with my good things on the list.  It’s easy.  It’s up-lifting.  What’s not to love?

THREE

I think that Santa Clarita Diet is hilarious.

I binge-watched this Netflix TV show a week ago and haven’t stopped smiling about it yet.  WARNING: it is bloody & gory.  However, once you get past the fact that Drew Barrymore’s character, Sheila, a suburban realtor, turns into a hangry accidental zombie who devours people, the humor in this show is over the top yet *somehow* spot on to reality.

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Question of the Day

What have you been thinking about lately? It’s Thursday, no better day than today to share your thoughts on any topic! Add them to the comments below– and we’ll talk.  

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