Encouraged By Your Interest I Answer Minnie Driver’s Existential Questions

These 7 questions are from the podcast Minnie Questions with Minnie Driver. In December I asked you, my gentle readers, if these questions would be of interest to you and there was a resounding YES! My answers are as follows

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Artwork created by Zen-Den the Retired who has figured out how to draw pictures on my iPad.

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When and where were you happiest? 

When? Now. Where? Here. Granted there’s nothing about my current midwest suburban lifestyle that years ago I’d have thought I’d like, but I do. I’ve adapted. I’m grateful for where I’ve landed.

And with whom, of course.

What quality do you like least about yourself? 

I still tend to be a perfectionist in certain situations. I’ve overcome it in the sense of meal planning and daily schedules and wardrobe decisions, but when it comes to interior design decisions or word choices/grammar I get in my own way because I want things to be perfect.

I know, I know, progress not perfection.

What relationship — real or fictionalized — defines love for you?

I’m going to go with a fictionalized relationship and say Amy Pond + Rory Williams.

They travelled with the 11th Dr. Who [Matt Smith] for a while and their love for/commitment to each other was so strong that Rory once guarded Amy’s tomb for thousands of years, just in case she would come back to life. Which she did, eventually [because time travel, like a bowtie, is cool].

They were honest with each other, kind and adventurous, accepting each other’s foibles for what they were, quirky personality features.

What would be your last meal?

Once upon a time Z-D and I were in Hawaii on Christmas Day. We didn’t have reservations at any restaurant so we ate our Christmas dinner sitting on chaise lounge chairs by the hotel pool.

We ordered from the poolside menu, choosing the only items that were still available. Thus we each had a tuna salad sandwich on wheat, a small bag of potato chips, a cup of pineapple cubes, and a couple cans of light beer.

It was memorable and delicious.

What person, place or experience has most altered your life?

I don’t have a specific answer for this question. Maybe going to college altered my life? Or having a house built altered my life? Or learning about reiki altered my life? Or writing this blog altered my life?

All of the above, none of the above, I do not know for sure.

What question would you most like answered?

I’d like to know why some people are only happy when they’re clinging to their problems.

They blah-blah-blah about their problems, sometimes even ask for advice, but if you offer a solution, or suggest that it’s not really a problem, then you are the foe in their narrative. How dare you deprive them of their precious problems!

Can’t you see how put upon they are?

I understand the need to vent for a while but there comes a point when you have to fish or cut bait. Do something or shut up about it.

What in your life has grown out of a personal disaster?

I’d say blogging. Years ago I had emergency surgery, called volvulus, to remove part of my large intestine that unceremoniously had knotted itself shut [plus while the surgeon was in the neighborhood he removed my appendix]. After 6 days in the hospital in a morphine haze I was sent home to recover.

Come to find out healing from major abdominal surgery was a huge lifestyle change. No longer was I the walking-est yoga girl ever. Instead I was told to not exercise vigorously, to not stretch, to not lift heavy objects– and pretty much to sit still.

For 13 months.

So I did the only thing I could think to do while sitting still, I threw myself into blogging as a way to pass the hours and feel productive. Thus thanks to emergency surgery I became Ally Bean, the blogger you know and love today.

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Questions of the Day
What do you think of Minnie’s questions? Yay or nay?
How do you feel about my answers? 
Will you answer Minnie’s questions on your own blog? Why or why not?
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Simply Fun: Revisiting The “If I Were…” Prompts + Playing MASH Online

THE REVISITING PART

First jigsaw puzzle of the season is finished!

Lately I’ve been feeling nostalgic about personal blogging, missing the straightforward simplicity of my early days in the blogosphere. The following is an example of what I’m talking about.

I originally answered these prompts, that were referred to as a meme at the time, in 2011. Most of my answers have changed since then, making me 1/3 the same, 2/3 different now.  [Here is what I said back then.]

Interestingly of the six people who commented on the original post, two are still blogging and keep in touch here: J at Thinking About… and Margaret at Stargazer. Thank you both for hanging around.

And so WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, let me tell you that…

if i were a month i’d be May

if i were a day i’d be Tuesday

if i were a time of day i’d be 9:00 a.m.

if i were a font i’d be sans serif

if i were a sea animal i’d be a manatee

if i were a direction i’d be easy to understand

if i were a piece of furniture i’d be a kitchen table

if i were a liquid i’d be Sauvignon Blanc

if i were a gemstone i’d be a garnet

if i were a tree i’d be a maple

if i were a tool i’d be scissors

if i were a flower i’d be a zinnia

if i were an element of weather i’d be a zephyr

if i were a musical instrument i’d be a piano

if i were a colour i’d be teal

if i were an emotion i’d be amused

if i were a fruit i’d be an apple

if i were a sound i’d be quiet

if i were an element i’d be molybdenum

if i were a car i’d be reliable with good gas mileage

if i were a food i’d be a Parker House roll

if i were a place i’d be a locally-owned coffee shop with some outdoor seating

if i were material i’d be denim

if i were a taste i’d be slightly salty

if i were a scent i’d be orange

if i were a body part i’d be an eye

if i were a song i’d be jazz

if i were a bird i’d be a robin

if i were a gift i’d be inside a pretty gift bag

if i were a city i’d be midsize with a thriving farmers’ market and many parks

if i were a door i’d be solid wood with wrought iron hardware

if i were a pair of shoes I’d be narrow women’s walking/running shoes 

if i were a poem I’d be iambic pentameter

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THE PLAYING PART

I’ll be hyphenating my last name to Bean-Riker!

I stumbled across an online version of the childhood fortune-telling game called MASH.  I knew it as a paper and pencil game.  Maybe you played this with your friends at one time, maybe not.

If you’re unfamiliar with this game, the name is an acronym: M = mansion, A= apartment, S= shack, and H = house.  [There were subsequent versions that included I = igloo and T = tent, making the game MASH IT.]

The gist of the game was you answered a few questions, the first being based on the MASH acronym;  other questions had to do with your future life.  You wrote three answers to each question, then made a swirling line that magically showed you your future.

It was/is pure silliness, which is not necessarily a bad thing at any age.

Anyhow here’s WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW to join in…

•  To learn how to play the old-school paper and pencil version of it go here, How to Play M.A.S.H

• To play the free online version of it & get a snazzy personalized graphic go here, MASH

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And ONE LAST THING, to those who are celebrating it this Thursday, HAPPY THANKSGIVING 

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Tea For Two: Talking About A Retirement Side Hustle + 2 Story Updates

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TEA FOR TWO, THAT’S ME & YOU

I’ve heard it said that most marital communication is the word *WHAT* being shouted between rooms.

I believe this to be true.

Especially now that Zen-Den, Esq., has retired, sort of.

You see, he retired from his main source of employment, a full-time job with benefits, and is now self-employed as an advisor wandering around at home, sometimes advising his former main source of employment while other times chatting it up with new prospects.

This is called a side hustle.

I am told.

So this means, from my point of view, that He Who Has A Side Hustle is underfoot almost all day long. Like a cheerful puppy. And because he’s accustomed to barking talking almost all day long, he has begun to NEED to tell me things.

While we are in different rooms.

Why just the other morning he shouted something to me from the kitchen while I was in our home study.

I said *what* of course.

He then walked into the home study and told me he had a few calls to take in the morning. After that he was going to organize the tea drawer where we keep, come to find out, 12 different teas*.

So you can see that He Who Has A Side Hustle is finding productive ways to occupy himself that for the most part keep him from pestering and annoying me all day long, and allow him to believe he is a valuable part of this household.

Because he is, of course.

* Knowing that someone is going to ask, the 12 kinds of tea in the drawer are:

  1. Ceylon Orange Pekoe
  2. Constant Comment
  3. Earl Grey
  4. English Breakfast
  5. English Teatime
  6. Green Tea
  7. Green Tea with Pomegranate, Raspberry & Strawberry
  8. Irish Breakfast
  9. Lady Grey
  10. Oolong Tea
  11. Peppermint
  12. Perfect Peach

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UPDATES TO STORIES

1. We named the skeleton Earl. Thanks to everyone who offered name ideas. Y’all are funny. [Original story HERE.]

2.  After writing about how I accidentally acquired a bag of potato chips, Z-D was at Kroger using the U-scan. He used the barcode reader to ring up a six-pack of beer and it did, but then while placing the beer on the wonky wobbly bagging carousel he accidentally dropped the six-pack on the floor. The impact caused the metal caps on two bottles to loosen, spewing carbonated beer from the bottles.

Instead of going back to get a new six-pack, for which he paid in full, Z-D left the store with four bottles of beer. Thus he paid for something he did not get and thereby, I believe, restored balance in our relationship with Kroger. [Original story HERE.]

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

When thinking about retirement what is the first idea that pops into your mind? Does this thought make you worry or happy– or something else? 

If you drink tea, hot &/or cold, how many kinds of it do you have in your home? Are you about variety or uniformity?     

So what do you think, was it Kroger Karma that caused Zen-Den to drop that beer, making us whole with them again?

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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?

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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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A Conversation About Curly Hair With The UPS Delivery Man

Our new front sidewalk, pristine and perfect.

THE Scene

I heard the UPS truck pull up in front of the house, mid-morning. I looked out the study window and saw the UPS delivery man step off the truck carrying a thin squishy envelope package for me [a t-shirt from Lands’ End].

He’s a nice guy, handsome, a regular in our neighborhood, and I’m a nice person so I walked out the front door and started walking down the sidewalk to meet him halfway.

Save him a few steps in the intense summer heat, ‘ya know.

Welp, I smiled and said “hello” while extending my left hand to grab the thin squishy envelope package, figuring he’d hand it to me. But instead he froze in place about four feet in front of me and just stared at me.

I followed his gaze and realized I had MY HAIR TIED UP on top of my head in what probably seemed to him to be an UNUSUAL style. I was wrong about that assumption.

THE CURLY HAIR BACKSTORY

When I can, like on days when I’m staying home, after I wash my hair I don’t use a hairdryer;  instead I pull my wet curly hair into a topknot held in place with an elastic.

Then I twist bandana around it in such a way as to tie up my hair. This way my hair dries off my neck AND it forms groovy, beachy curls in the process.

It’s AN OLD-FASHIONED WAY of styling your hair that back then involved clean rags, but now as an affluent suburbanite I use A BANDANA purchased at Walmart for $1.98.

THE CONVERSATION BEGINS

Curly hair, he said.

Yes, said I while trying to reach over to grab the package from his hand, but to no avail.

You do that when it’s wet, he said. It wasn’t a question, it was a statement.

Yes, said I whilst staring intently at the package in his hand, hoping he’d remember why he was here.

Huh, he replied.

A LONG PAUSE during which time I began to notice how hot it was outside standing on the sidewalk in bare feet in the direct sunshine. DAMNED HOT.

THE CONVERSATION CONTINUES

My wife does that with our daughter’s hair, he explained.

Yes, said I nodding my head in what I hoped was a conversation-ending gesture of understanding.

I thought she was pulling my leg when she said it’s what you do with curly hair. I had two sisters but they had straight hair, he continued.

Yes, said I.

They never did that, he confided.

Hmmm, said I wondering where this conversation was going to go next.

After another LONG PAUSE, during which time he further scrutinized my hair like I WAS A SCIENCE PROJECT, he handed me the package.

THE UNEXPECTED COMPLIMENT

The bandana is a nice touch. My wife doesn’t use one of those but it looks cute on you, he said.

Thank you, said I whilst pondering how out of kilter the Universe must be that I, a gray-haired woman of a certain age, had just been told my hairstyle was “cute” by a handsome 30-something man.

I’m going to suggest she get some bandanas for our daughter’s hair, he told me.

Good idea, said I.

And with that he FINALLY handed me the package and said “goodbye” as he walked back to his truck, SHAKING HIS HEAD IN AMAZEMENT, mumbling about how he couldn’t believe his wife hadn’t been joshing him all along.

~ THE END ~

PLEASE NOTE: I’m having difficulties leaving comments on some blogs and it’s incredibly frustrating.

I don’t know if the problem is in my browser or if it’s another example of gremlins in WordPress. The problem seems random. Rivergirl, yes. Nicole, no. Kate, sometimes. And so it goes…

Also, on random blogs I’m not consistently receiving an indication that there’s been a reply to my comment when there has been one. Another gremlin?