The Return Of The Delightful Blogroll: A Bit Of Snark, A Big Reveal

A Bit Of Snark

Not everyone you meet will be your friend, right?

Before I get to the real point of this post, here’s a memory from my early days of blogging. I occasionally think of this guy when the topic of blogrolls comes up and I’m still entertained.

From my point of view he was comic relief.

You see, there was this guy who considered himself to be an EXPERT on blogging. He wrote a weblog called something like Howard’s How-Tos. There was alliteration and that’s all I remember about the name of the weblog.

Howard [or maybe it was Horace?] was a mansplainer first class. In his bio he didn’t state any education or work experience to lend credence to his expert status, we were just supposed to accept that he was an AUTHORITY on blogging.

He knew things. 🙄

Welp, Howard [possibly Herbert?] loved lists– long rambling ones in which he’d repeat himself saying the same pieces of how-to advice, worded slightly differently, over and over. He was seemingly incapable of understanding that quantity is no replacement for quality.

So one day Howard [could be Homer?] announced that he’d put together a blogroll for us lesser bloggers. In his blogroll he listed the 300 weblogs he followed. Yes, according to this self-important knower of all things bloggy, these were the best weblogs out there in the blogosphere.

Being curious I went to look at his list of weblogs, presented alphabetically, and discovered that my sweet little bloggy wasn’t included. This made me laugh out loud. I mean, if I wasn’t on the list then obviously Howard [maybe Hiram?] wasn’t following all the best weblogs, now was he?

Hmmm…? 😁

A Big Reveal

And with that delightfully snide memory I present the updated crowdsourced DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL, a list of weblogs organized BY THE YEAR in which the weblog began.

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

Please note, this blogroll features FRIENDLY bloggers who write PERSONAL blogs. When given the chance these bloggers told me they wanted to be included on this blogroll so I included them.

Also, if I made any mistakes regarding your weblog, please forgive me. I tried my best to be accurate, but SO MANY BLOGS.

Thus without further ado I shall direct you to the blogroll. I’ve closed the comments here hoping that instead of chatting with me you’ll:

  1. Go review the DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL by clicking on the capitalized bright green 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.”

Enjoy!

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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Waiting For A New Deck That I Shall Call Godot

“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.”
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

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AS YOU MAY REMEMBER THE stairs to our deck fell apart in the fall of 2020. Read The One About The Deck Stairs Betraying Us [No One Was Hurt] to refresh your memory or learn about what happened.

As a result of the aforementioned situation we immediately began the search for someone to rebuild the entire deck. This was during the lockdown portion of the pandemic, so I figured we’d have no trouble finding people who’d want to work outside in the fresh air away from the virus where it was safe.

I was wrong.

I’ll succinctly summarize the search.

Because our deck is elevated 9 feet off the ground with a hill below it, after seeing what was going on only two companies expressed any interest in the job. Only one company managed to give us a written estimate for the job, so last fall we contracted with that company.

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ALL OF WHICH BRINGS US to today, a lovely Tuesday morning in the winter of 2023, a mere 28 months after the problem began. This is how things are going.

If the company had begun building our new deck on January 3rd as planned, then today I’d have a lovely series of before | during | after photos to show you.

Alas things are behind schedule.

[I shall pause here whilst you *gasp* in surprise, as I know you’re doing.]

Therefore instead of the finished deck that was estimated to be completed in 7 to 10 working days [January 11th thru the 16th], I’ll end this post with a bunch of photos showing the ongoing mess that now involves snow [because of course it does] + some photos that suggest progress.

Even as I grumble and wait for Godot, testing my patience, I’ll admit that what I’m seeing so far is darned delightful and sturdy.

Eventually it’s gonna be great.

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The aforementioned dodgy stairs on the old deck will be the last thing demolished.

The floor of old deck is the mess on the ground 9′ below.

Scene from the kitchen window showing no real floor just loose boards + no more railing just a drop to below.

The installation of the new deck floor begins.

New deck floor coming together in middle of the deck.

The new deck floor shown with a few of the new posts that’ll be part of the railing.

And finally 5″ of unexpected snow on top of the crumbling old deck stairs making them the poster child for unsafe.

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Now it’s your turn to spill the beans.
What are you waiting for in your world today?
Tell all in the comments below.

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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.

Because I Please, I’m Answering Maggie’s Blogging Survey Questions

Yesterday Maggie asked the following 11 questions on her blog, FROM CAVE WALLS. With her permission I’m answering them below. You may go HERE to read her post in which she explains her reason for asking these simple questions. If you so choose, you may answer them there or on your own blog. 

Image added because this makes my weird little heart happy. See my answer to Question #10 below.

1. How many times per week do you post? Do you post multiple times a day? If so, how many?

I post about once a week, occasionally twice a week, sometimes not at all.

2. How many blogs do you follow? 

I actively follow about 80 blogs but I’m aware of maybe 40 more.

3. Do you read all the blogs you follow every day? If not, how often do you read other blogs?

I don’t read blogs every day. I don’t read everything that everyone writes on their blogs. I try to read at least one post per week by any one blogger who I actively follow, sometimes two posts per week if I have the time.

4. Do you seek out new blogs to follow?  If so, how do you find them?

I seek out new blogs to follow. I do this by reading the comment sections on other people’s blogs, often finding new-to-me bloggers that way. I also check out most new-to-me commenters on who leave comments on my blog posts.

5. Do you comment on the blogs you read? If not, why? Do you respond to all the comments left on your blog?

I comment on the blogs I read because that’s what personal blogging is about, a chance to connect with people. I respond to all comments left on my blog, never cherry-picking a few comments, ignoring the rest.

6. Do you ever close comments on a blog you post? If so, why?

I always close the comment section on each blog post after 21 days, sometimes before. I do this because spammers swoop in if I keep things open any longer.

7. Do you ever unfollow someone? If so, why?

I unfollow people who start out friendly + interesting but over time become pedantic, or whiny, or snobby. People change, not always in ways that I find appealing.

8. What content inspires you to follow a blogger?

I don’t focus on any specific content per se, I follow a blogger because they’re articulate, sincere, and clever. It’s all about their vibe. What they write about is of less interest to me than how they write about it.

9. What content turns you off from following someone?

I won’t follow someone who has a sloppy writing style regardless of my interest in their content or someone who comes off as condescending or someone who has a snarly point of view about everything. Or as I think of it: no slobs, no snobs, no blobs.

10. How important is it to you that you add a photo to every post?

It is important to me that I add a photo or image to each post BUT if I don’t have one that works with my topic that doesn’t stop me from posting.

11. Leave me a link for one blogger (other than yourself) that you think I should check out.

A group of bloggers, many of whom regularly comment here, have just this month started a new blog called The Heart of the Matter. Check it out!

THINKING ABOUT YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS WOULD YOU, MY LITTLE BLOGGING SCRIBES, ANSWER THEM THE SAME, IN A SIMILAR WAY, OR DIFFERENTLY THAN HOW I DID?