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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You Decide: Behaving Hypocritically Or Showing Sound Judgment

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I CAN SEE WHAT HAPPENED FROM TWO PERSPECTIVES 

On the one hand I believe people can change and that’s a defining characteristic of humanity.  As we gain experience and knowledge we are able to change, preferably for the better, as we go along.

But on the other hand I like to keep my distance from people who have demonstrated they’re irony-impaired and don’t have the sense God gave a goose, regardless of whether they may have changed or not.

Judge me as you will.

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I WAS ON INSTAGRAM WHEN IT MADE A SUGGESTION ABOUT WHO I SHOULD FOLLOW  

When I saw the name I recognized it immediately and shouted “HELL NO.”

Literally.

Shouted those words out loud.

Then I started laughing because I hadn’t thought about this woman, Zelda, in years.

I met Zelda, an author wannabe, through a mutual acquaintance who knew that Zelda was creating her author’s platform which was to include a personal blog.

Our mutual acquaintance thought that I might be able to answer some of Zelda’s questions about writing a personal blog. And I did.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

~ • ~

YOU SEE, ZELDA WAS GOING TO WRITE HER MEMOIR

It was to be about what she’d learned about how to get along with people while living on four continents.

She had stories to tell about her experiences while overcoming language barriers and adapting to the idiosyncrasies of the cultures around her.

There was a charming Kum Ba Yah hippy vibe to her thinking and Zelda was a wordy girl, of that I have no doubt.  She could talk up a storm about the book she had yet to write.

The thesis statement for her proposed memoir was something to the effect of: by taking time to listen and understand people you can connect on a deeper level regardless of your background. It just takes effort.

Being proactive, she’d started a blog for her author’s platform.

Oh yes she had.

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BUT THERE WAS A PROBLEM

She couldn’t figure out how to attract readers.  She knew that as an author-to-be she’d need to be able prove to a literary agent that she had a loyal online following.

This was something that had not happened despite the time she was pouring into her blog;  she was clueless as to why this was so.

In an attempt to get to gain perspective on her problem I asked her which blogs she followed and commented on. She seemed baffled, genuinely confused.

She replied, you mean I’m supposed to pay attention to other blogs?  

I said, yes, that’s the deal. That’s how you connect in the blogosphere. You pay attention to other bloggers, leave thoughtful comments, then those people become your readers. 

To which she said, why would I do that? I don’t care about those people. All I want is for them to pay attention to me so I can sell my book.

And therein was the crux of the problem for this author wannabe/newbie blogger who wanted to tell YOU what to do, but had no intention of making any effort to do so herself.

Go figure, huh?

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NOW I GRANT YOU ZELDA COULD HAVE CHANGED

It’s been years since I met her, but looking at her IG account I saw no evidence that she’d written her memoir or that she had a public personal blog.

Instead I saw an Instagram feed with selfies– and not much else.

Knowing what you do now, would you want to follow her on social media? Hmmm? 

Am I being hypocritical by not allowing her the opportunity to show me that she has changed OR am I protecting my personal boundaries/sanity by not following her?

Discuss.

The One About Demolition & Dust, Home Improvements Have Begun

“Patience is what you have when there are witnesses.”

I don’t know who said it first but I like that saying.  Seems like the subtext of my week, both in real life and blog land*.

After months of waiting for our home improvement projects to begin, they began.  And I’ve been here at home for it, having a noisy, chaotic, dusty week of people and stuff everywhere.

BUT I’VE BEEN A PARAGON OF PATIENCE

The fact is I’m giddy to finally be underway so I’m attempting to overlook the inconveniences that I knew would be part of this experience. This isn’t my first remodeling rodeo, kids.

Below are a few photos that show some of what has happened thus far. Further updates on these projects and my blood pressure as they develop.

• • •

Out with the OLD, in with the NEW.  To protect them from damage the carpeted stairs have been covered. It’s difficult to walk on them now, but I’m not complaining.

• • •

I’m happy to see the end of the OLD tub, toilet, and tile. It was builder grade and ugly, but we lived with it for 22 years.

• • •

The OLD cabinet, countertop, and sink are gone, but the plumbing stays in the same place. Nice touch with the paper towel, eh?

• • •

This is our guest bedroom as it looks today filled with lovely, beautiful, NEW pieces of bathroom.

• • •

Shiny copper pipes in place with NEW bathtub installed immediately below. I’ve yet to see the fabulosity of the tub because it’s protected with plywood right now.

• • •

This is where there will be something NEW, a shelf niche in the shower. My interior design-y heart is thrilled with this upgrade.

• • •

Thanks to everyone who has checked in with me this week to make sure I’m hanging in there. I appreciate your moral support.

Happy Weekend, everyone. May it be all that you want it to be, which in my case is calm and quiet– and not stuck at home.

I’m sure you understand.

* The blog land saga is that my WP media account was hacked for the second time in half a year.  One of my unpublished photo was stolen, then used as the image on a blog post that referred back to my previous post, the one with all the interesting links.

Why? Because to someone somewhere in this world that seemed like the thing to do. To what end? I couldn’t say but it has been the icing on the cake of a difficult week.

The Happiness Engineers, btw, tell me WP takes no responsibility for any photos/images you have in your media account.  WP protects your words, but your images are your own problem.

Just dandy, huh?

May You Be Happy: 8 Interesting Links To Share On A Tuesday

ADVICE, IT’S EVERYWHERE

I’ve been asked to explain why I sometimes write posts that are filled with links. You see…

A long time ago I read an article, written by a marketing professional, about personal blogging. This article had advice about how to ensure that your personal blog had a balanced mix of content that’d appeal to a variety of readers.

Quite simply, the article said that to be perceived as interesting you need to write: 1/3rd of your posts about research, ideas, or professional topics; 1/3rd of your posts about updates in your personal life and how you feel about what is going on; and 1/3rd of your posts about hobbies or adventures.

While I don’t adhere strictly to this advice, I keep it in mind. It has influenced me over the years.

Thus as an example of the first of the three categories mentioned above, I give you, my gentle readers, the following list of 8 random links that I’ve stumbled over whilst flitting about online.

Enjoy!

EIGHT INTERESTING LINKS TO SHARE

• Apparently in France it’s called piscine. I’ve no problem with it, but some people are peeved.

Mine is green. Take a quiz to discover your aura’s color.  UPDATED: Mine is now blue. Take a different quiz to discover your aura’s color.

• I’m not sure I *try* to be nice, but I take this point…

• We don’t have a dog, but the mid-century aesthetic of this kibble dispenser caught my eye.

• Your doctor is talking about you. And it might not be in a flattering way.

• Watch and be entertained. Earworm to follow….

• I want to know the answer to this, too. Why is it so difficult to find normal sleeves?

• You can guess why Karen and Brandon are no longer popular baby names, but do you know which names are popular now? Meet Olivia and Liam— and all their little friends.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you think the personal blogging advice shared in the first part of this post is wise or wacky? That is, would you say it’s AMAZEBALLS or WEAKSAUCE?

Any comments, insightful or otherwise, about any of the links above? That is, would you say any one link in particular is AMAZEBALLS or WEAKSAUCE?

Do you like using slang when you write your blog posts? How about in real life when you talk with people, do you use slang then?

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In Which I Grumble While Waiting For Home Improvements To Begin, For Real

INTRODUCTION

As I’m sure you, my little paint chips, can imagine I’m tired of waiting for our home improvement projects, planned last fall, to begin.  In fact, last week was A SERIES OF DISAPPOINTMENTS, not earth-shattering large ones, just a never-ending parade of things. not. going. right.

I felt exhausted and defeated.

However, in spite of all that isn’t happening, I will tell you the skinny about what is SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON at Chez Bean sometime soon. There is, of course, no precise answer about when ‘soon’ will be so it’s still a puzzle.

THINGS TO TELL YOU

🔜  Supposedly in mid-May the renovations will begin on our two bathrooms.  This, of course, is contingent on THE INFERNAL SUPPLY CHAIN that has limited my style choices and slowed down delivery of the tile, faucets, cabinets, sinks, toilets, a tub, et cetera, et cetera, we need to get going.

🔜  We’re still waiting to hear back from the concrete company that we contracted with last fall to make OUR NEW SIDEWALK in March.  Alas & alack we have no new sidewalk because said company seems to have disappeared.

🔜  Meanwhile the new oven and cooktop are somewhere on this planet, perhaps roaming the high seas aboard a ship, like pirates drinking rum and sporting eyepatches.  In other words, no update about the whereabouts of OUR KITCHEN APPLIANCES so no timeline about when they might be installed and we could once again bake in an oven with an accurate thermometer.

🔜  Earlier this winter I mentioned scratching noises in the attic and guess what?  WE HAVE MICE living and breeding up there.  Thus we have contracted with a professional extermination company to murder them.  Then that company will remove their carcasses + the fusty dirty attic insulation, patch holes in the house, clean the attic area with boric acid, and finally install new insulation in the attic.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What are you WAITING for? Literal &/or figurative answers are acceptable.

Does waiting make you tired, worrying about what might go wrong, leading you to DESPAIR? Or does waiting energize you, anticipating the best, leading you to HOPE?

Thinking about the verb “to wait” which of these three idioms is your favorite? Do you prefer: TWIDDLE ONE’S THUMBS or HOLD ONE’S HORSES or COOL ONE’S HEELS?

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being lost and the kindness of strangers:

“My dad, who is 82 years old, purposefully goes to a store and stands there looking lost until some nice person offers to help him, and then he asks them for what he needs and basically has a personal shopper for free. I’m just saying that you’re onto something.”

~ Colleen Martin

“Once a friend of mine and I drove to Myrtle Beach on the way back we got lost, of course. We stopped and asked for directions and were told to turn left at the Burger King. We drove up and down that street for God knows how long unable to find the Burger King. Stopped and asked again…turns out the Burger King is now a KFC.”

~ Gigi

“Just last week someone pulled over as we were walking the kids to school to ask for directions (we live in a small university town) and it made me feel so happy to have the answer to their questions. There is something so satisfying about strangers helping out…”

~ Elisabeth

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