Three Thoughts Thursday | Enjoying. Reading. Watching.

Years ago I dreamed up this feature thinking I’d do it every so often [maybe quarterly], but I let it slide. I’ve been wanting to resurrect it, so I shall. Three Thoughts Thursday is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.

 ONE 

I think that… Only Murders in the Building [available on Hulu] is a hoot and half, as they used to say.

Set in modern day NYC, this TV show stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. The plot revolves around the efforts of three neighbors, bumbling along, as they try to solve a murder, or two, in their apartment building. While it may sound trite and predictable it is not, and has enough laughs to make it a comedy.

Definitely recommended.

TWO 

I think that… SparePrince Harry’s memoir, is an interesting detailed glimpse into how the House of Windsor works. Or more accurately, how it doesn’t work in the case of their dysfunctional family dynamics.

Starting with his adult realization that his family doesn’t understand him, he sets out to explain his take on his life since age 12 when his mother, Diana, died.  I admire anyone who can claim their narrative and tell their story, which is especially difficult when you’re part of an uptight royal family and the British tabloids are primed to make you seem awful.

Would I recommend reading this book? Welp, I read half/skimmed through half because I didn’t care about his time in school or his travels around the world with friends or his experiences in the military.

However I was intrigued by his honesty about his teenage grief, his adult depression, and his growing disbelief about the ways in which his family of origin had treated him– and now his wife.

Not well, as you probably know.

THREE 

I think that… Glass Onion is a fun entertaining whodunit movie. I rarely watch movies, but I like the flamboyant Benoit Blanc character, played by Daniel Craig, so watching him solve another murder was delightful in that Agatha Christie cozy mystery way.

The cast is brilliant, the writing is sharp, the setting is stupendous– and the mystery itself is intriguing, unfolding in ways unexpected, like you’d expect.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY  

Do you enjoy slightly absurd kind of wacky TV shows that make you laugh? If so, any suggestions for what we might watch next?

Do you read [or listen to] books? If so, are you interested in memoirs written by or biographies about celebrities? Why or why not? 

If you watch movies do you prefer to do so at home or in a theater? Do you enjoy sequels wherein you watch the same main character [or characters] do whatever they do as the story continues?

 AND FINALLY

Yesterday WordPress sent me the above message. If you’re interested you may click HERE and be magically taken to my first post on this blog wherein I boldly asserted: good things don’t happen without the correct amount of angst.

About Blogging: 5 People Whose Unsolicited Advice Shaped Me + A Blogroll Opportunity

A RATTLING GREAT INTRODUCTION

Not long ago someone [a spammer but whatevs] told me that I write a “rattling great” weblog. No one has ever used the word *rattling* to describe what I do here.

I had to look up the word to make certain I knew what it meant in this context. It’s an adjective used for emphasis when denoting something very good of its kind. 

I’m flattered, regardless of the source, because I’ll take encouragement wherever I find it.

Which leads me to writing about the five people, none of whom blog anymore, who guided me to be the blogger I am today. Without their help, which was pretty much unsolicited advice, I never would have stuck around as long as I have.

Many, many thanks to each.

THE 5 PEOPLE & THEIR UNSOLICITED ADVICE

DAISY (2004) – was a graphic designer who sent me, out of the blue, an email in which she told me point blank that I needed to write a personal blog.

I’d commented on her personal blog and she wanted me to know that I should write my own blog because I had what it’d take. That is, I was articulate and informed with a snarky vibe. I was fascinated by this new thing called blogging so I did as she suggested.

COLLEEN (2005) – was a librarian who took it upon herself to help me. Via email she’d politely point out grammatical errors and spelling mistakes I’d made. She also introduced me to the idea of adding links + images to posts.

While today her determination to correct + teach me might be perceived as trollish, at the time I took it as a generous gesture on her part to help me write clearly, learn html, and make my blog pretty.

TARA (2007) – was a marketing professional who thought personal blogging was great, a wonderful creative adjunct to basic marketing channels.

She read something I wrote then encouraged me to approach each blog post as if I was writing a letter to a few close friends.  Pick your friends, she said. Then write only to them allowing your sincerity and joie de vivre to draw readers to your blog.

CHRIS (2011) – was a lawyer who briefly wrote a family blog that had some of the most succinct entertaining posts of any blog ever.

His advice, that I took to heart, was to make the best use of a few words, often obscure words even. He never dummied down down his posts, nor did he meander aimlessly. He had a point and he got to it with panache.

KAREN (2013) – was a teacher who one day just up and told me that my best blog posts were the ones with the wackiest titles.

I’d never considered my titles, but she was prescient about this, realizing that by letting my freak flag fly in the titles I’d draw in curious readers who’d stick around to see what nonsense I was on about that day. And many days thereafter.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you know the meaning of *rattling* without looking it up? Is that word part of your daily lexicon?!!  

If you write a personal blog what’s the best blogging advice you’ve received? Was it solicited OR unsolicited?

In general what’s your opinion of unsolicited advice? Are you open to it OR snarly about it?

A BLOGROLL OPPORTUNITY

Last year in January I crowdsourced my Delightful Blogroll. It’s unique in that it’s a compilation of blogs based on the age of the weblog. I’m going to revise the blogroll this next month.

If you’re not currently on it and would like to be included let me know in the comments below by January 31st.  No act of kindness goes unpunished. Case in point, offer closed early due to excessive spam. Thanks for nothing, dipshits. Terms & conditions are were as follows:

  1. your blog must be at least one year old so tell me the year you started it & its complete name;
  2. your blog must be primarily a personal one;
  3. your blog cannot be rude, vulgar, vindictive, or hateful as determined by me; and
  4. you must demonstrate to my satisfaction that you engage with other bloggers via comment sections. 
~ ~ ~ ~

The One About Remembering A Muse, Sharing Some Mundane Moments

INTRODUCTION TO THE MUSE PART

Today I’m going to share photos, but first I’m going to tell you why I’m sharing these particular photos. I have a reason.

A muse, if you will.

People influence you in life. It’s all about where you place your power, but you know that [or at least you should].

Getting to my point…

Many, many years ago when I was newbie blogger [mid-2000s] there was a blogger, Rayleen*, who was a professional portrait photographer. She was into poetry and musings and, of course, photos. The ones on her blog were informal & not necessarily of people.

Her vibe was mellow, her thoughts were straightforward, and her use of light when snapping pics was awe-inspiringShe had a positive influence on me and how I went about learning to blog.

On your journey to be a better blogger ultimately it’s NOT the people who tell you how to blog with their well-intentioned lists and rules, it’s the people who show you how to blog with their own style, allowing you to learn and grow from their examples.

THE MUSE PART CONTINUED

One autumn day Rayleen mentioned that she had begun to notice, and thought it was a shame, that people on social media were only sharing photos of perfection. Nothing messy was going on because it was all staged.

She was prescient on this point.

Have you seen Instagram lately? 

On that day she encouraged personal bloggers to occasionally share photos without deeper meaning or treasured memories. Instead, take photos showing imperfection, mundane moments in time that record the normal messiness of ordinary life.

Focus at least briefly on things around you that you tend to push aside, or ignore, when snapping photos for social media.

In other words, allow yourself to be vulnerable, to be real, by showing the world your own special messiness for no reason other than you can.

So today as a tribute to Rayleen and as a way of saying thanks for her guidance, I’m sharing photos of nothing much in particular. We were ships that passed in the night and because we did I’m a more authentic and open-minded blogger.

THE PHOTOS OF MUNDANE MOMENTS PART

Dirty dishes in the sink & on the kitchen counter

~ • ~

Assorted stuff heaped on the hutch

~ • ~

Piles of pillows on the screened-in porch

~ • ~

Old-fashioned time-wasters on the end table

~ • ~

Boxes of stuff destined for Goodwill in the garage

THE QUESTIONS OF THE DAY PART

Can you think of someone who came into any aspect of your life who influenced you then disappeared leaving you better off for knowing this person? 

Have you posted photos on social media that show the daily, often overlooked, messiness of your life?

Which of the above photos is your favorite? And why? 

~ ~ • ~ ~

* I think this is the proper spelling of her name, at least that’s how I remember it. Could have been Reyleen or Raylene– or Reylene, I guess. It’s been a loooong time. I shall not fret if I got her name wrong.

Move Over Grand Theft Auto, Pondering A Real-life Armed Robbery In Our Neighborhood

Because sometimes odd unexpected things happen…

Last week I learned that there was an armed robbery in this subdivision.  We’ve lived here over 20 years and this is a first.  I learned about it formally from the HOA [Homeowner Association] + informally from the neighborhood grapevine.

The robbery took place in the early evening and involved two men with guns stealing a new Volvo from a neighbor’s open garage.  It’s my understanding that the house security system with alarms and cameras wasn’t on at the time.

The neighbor heard noise in the garage, went to investigate, and found the robbery in process.  He was not hurt physically, although I cannot say how it affected him emotionally.  I don’t know him personally to ask him.

The police haven’t found his car and the men who stole it.  As of today this remains an open case.  My guess is it’ll never be solved, but will become part of the folklore of this large subdivision of 800+ homes.

• • •

A place to ponder. Drinking a mug of coffee while sitting on the deck on a foggy autumn morning.

• • •

It’s easy, and perhaps natural, to start thinking about why this robbery took place, to make up stories that might explain it.  I’m motivated by my need to make sense of this, to try to understand it.

It could be as straightforward as it seems.  The robbers who were driving a Volvo [and isn’t that interesting?] saw an opportunity to steal another one and took it.  It was a crime of opportunity, no advance planning.

This would be my preferred scenario.

Or it could be that the neighbor was working in league with the robbers, intending on splitting the insurance money.  After all, no one except the neighbor saw these two men, allegedly with guns, and because the security system cameras weren’t on at the time there’s no way to corroborate his story.

Or it could be that the neighbor owes money to someone, a bookie perhaps, and that someone arranged for payment in the form of his car.  Things like that happen in this world.  I watch police procedural TV shows;  I know things.

• • •

A view while pondering. Looking out from the deck into the backyard on a foggy autumn morning.

• • •

I’ve been trying to decide what I think about this robbery, discern how it makes me feel.  I’m not stressed by it.  I’m not worried about being safe. Instead I’m indifferent to it.

Is that peculiar?  Shouldn’t I be more panicked?

Of course, as Zen-Den pointed out, we always keep our garage doors closed plus no one wants to steal my 18 year old Honda.  Or his 5 year old one.  A fast risk-benefit analysis confirms his logic.  

Ain’t gonna happen.

Plus this robbery isn’t going to stop me from going for walks around this neighborhood.  If nothing else we might be safer now that more sheriffs are driving through here on a more regular basis.

From their point of view, we’re the place to be.

So that’s where I find myself this morning, hoping this is a one-off, an aberration and not the beginning of a trend.  I’m amazed that I’m writing about something so out of the ordinary that it doesn’t seem feasible, yet it happened.

And that’s all there is to it.

Comments, anyone? How would this make you feel?

Let’s Connect: That Which Motivates + A List Of Who’s Doing What

{Image courtesy of geralt | Pixabay}

I’VE HEARD IT SAID THAT people use social media either for affirmation or for information. This is said as if the two motivations are mutually exclusive, but I don’t think they are. I’d suggest that there is a continuum with affirmation on one end and information on the other.

We each fall somewhere along the continuum, depending on the social media we’re using and our mood that day.

I suspect that people probably don’t stop to analyze what their motivations are when they check their FB account, or Linked In account, or Twitter account, or Instagram account. The whole process has become habitual rather than intentional.

Or at least most of the time.

I know that I mindlessly pop onto IG to see what’s up. I’m not looking for much of anything other than a way to pass a few minutes, pleasantly. While there I might experience 20% affirmation [someone liked my photo] and 80% information [photos of new decks, for instance].

I can tell you those percentages in retrospect, but I don’t plan my motivations and how my experience will unfold before I visit the website. Do you?

ANYHOW THAT’S WHAT’S FLOATING AROUND in my head this morning. Nothing controversial. Nothing profound. Nothing humorous. Just a few thoughts about social media, something we seem to take for granted now.

And when did that happen? I cannot remember a life without social media, can you?

All of which brings me to the following informational list of ongoing [mostly] blogging challenges & prompts. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive list of all that is out there on the WWW. Instead it features bloggers, who in addition to creating challenges & prompts, have connected with me via comments.

[Thank you]

For clarity I’ve stated the names of the bloggers alphabetically using first names, shared a link to their blogs, then added whatever details I could find about what they’re doing.

~ • ~

A LIST OF WHO’S DOING WHAT

Amanda at the blog Something to Ponder About has Friendly Friday

Cee of the blog Cee’s Photo Challenges has Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge

Dan at the blog No Facilities has Thursday Doors

David at the blog Fiction Can Be Fun and Deb at the blog Debs Despatches have Insecure Writer’s Support Group [@TheIWSG and #IWSG on Twitter]

Deb at the blog The Widow Badass Blog and Donna at the blog Retirement Reflections are starting What’s On Your Plate [#whatsonyourplateblogchallenge on IG]

Isa-Lee Wolf at the blog A Bit To Read has Ten Word Photo Prompt [example of her prompt] [#TENWORD on Twitter]

John at the blog The Sound of One Hand Typing has Go stand in the corner! and is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge [#AtoZChallenge on Twitter]

Junie-Jesh at the blog The Jesh Studio has All Seasons [example of her post]

Linda at the blog Linda G. Hill has One-Liner Wednesday [#1linerWeds] and Stream of Consciousness Saturday [#SoCS]

Marian at the blog Marian Allen, Author Lady has A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU [example of her prompt]

Mary at the blog Mary J Melange and Susan Scott at the blog Garden of Eden Blog are part of We Are The World Blogfest [#WATWB]

Melanie at the blog sparksfromacombustiblemind has Share Your World [example of her questions]

Natalie at the blog Natalie The Explorer has Weekend Coffee Share

Paula at the blog Light Motifs II had some fun prompts, but her blog is under construction at the moment so stay tuned

Su Leslie at the blog Zimmerbitch has Virtual Afternoon Tea [example of a post] [#virtualteaparty2021 on IG]

Terri at the blog Second Wind Leisure Perspectives has Sunday Stills Photography Challenge

Trent at the blog Trent’s World has The Weekly Smile [#WeeklySmile on Twitter]

~ ~ • ~ ~