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.

Throw Us A Bone, We’re Trying To Name Our New Friend

PLEASE HELP US

As you will notice as you read along, scattered throughout this post are photos of our new friend, a life-size posable plastic skeleton.

I cannot lie about why I spent the money to buy him.  IT’S ALL KARI’S FAULT.  She showed us her skeleton friend, Roger, and I needed to have one of my very own to keep me company.

In other words I loved her idea, so I copied it.

However this fellow desperately needs a name and so far we’ve come to a dead end. [pun intended]

You see, and I’m sure you’ll understand that, when an English Lit major & a history buff attempt to name inanimate objects, things go sideways.

Oh sure, THERE ARE MEANINGFUL IDEAS APLENTY with sound theoretical underpinnings, but to actually pull the trigger on the naming, well– that has yet to happen.  [again pun intended]

Below I’ve listed the possibilities we’re pondering.  Do you, my gentle readers and Halloween aficionados, like any of these names?  OR do you have a better one to suggest?

Just like the air moving through the bones of this skeleton, we are open to ideas.

10 POSSIBLE NAMES FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

WILD BILL [Hickok], as a tribute to he who was shot holding black aces and eights, aka the Dead Man’s Hand, which leads to the next name on the list…

CHARLIE, as in the man who dealt the Dead Man’s Hand, a fellow named Charlie Henry Rich whose grave I featured in a post years ago

McCOY, as in the character from StarTrek whose nickname was “Bones” but you probably know that

CAPTAIN JACK, either [Sparrow], Johnny Depp of movie fame, or [Harkness], Jon Barrrowman of Dr. Who fame, choose your franchise 

SHELLEY, because on Murdoch Mysteries Dr. Emily Grace named the morgue skeleton this name for reasons that I conjecture might be related to the next name on the list…

PERCY, as in Percy Bysshe Shelley who wrote the poem “Ozymandias” giving us the timeless message: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains.”  

YORICK, because when Willy Shakes writes a play like Hamlet, there has to be an applicable quote: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…”

EARL OF GRANTHAM, because this skeleton does have an aristocratic bearing like Robert Crawley and is without funds 

THE PREACHER, as in Ecclesiastes, a chapter in the Bible, & the famous spooky picture by Charles Allen Gilbert titled “All is Vanity” that is a reference to this Biblical quote: Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About sharing photos of the mundane:

“Yep. I agree — reality is infinitely more interesting than the scrubbed and filtered, highly tweaked social media images…. Fantasy – just fantasy.”

~ Victoria

“… I’m totally obsessed with the idea of the Muse of The Mundane…. And suddenly I saw her – she’s actually two-sided like a coin. Her other side is the Muse of The Magical. Makes sense doesn’t it? Magic is always hidden in the mundane, we just don’t often use our eyes to see it.”

~ Deborah Weber

“My daughter and I had this discussion recently about photos…. The photos that get the most, often unexpected positive responses are the ones that have an ‘it’ quality. Goosebumps…a new perspective… and not perfection.”

~ Erica/Erika

For Love Of Reading, Answering The Bookish A-Z Questions

Earlier this week Deb Carey at Debs Despatches shared and answered these questions. She inspired me to do the same today. Do this on your own blog if you like and/or chit-chat about books [or whatever] in the comments below.

~  ~

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From: Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series. I’ve read the ones written by Parker but not by the author who took over after Parkers’s death.

Best Sequel: No answer, I’m coming up blank on this question.

Currently Reading: Underground Fugue by Margot Singer

Drink Choice While Reading: Hot tea or cold wine

E reader or physical book: I prefer a physical book at home, but I use an E reader when I’m not at home.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school: I didn’t date much in high school so I doubt that I’d have gone on a pretend date with a fictional character. Just saying

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance: Slade House by David Mitchell. I tried to read Cloud Atlas by Mitchell and couldn’t do it, but Slade House I enjoyed. Sly premise, short read

Hidden Gem: Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan. This is a memoir with a positive message that confirms you can plan your life all you want, but reality will intervene, especially when family loyalty is involved. It’s sweet and funny.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life: As an adult I read I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. The novel is meant for YA but while reading it I had a light bulb moment wherein I realized I was like the main character in the novel and had been a writer since girlhood.

Just Finished: The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleton. Set in 1935 during a hurricane the novel is well-researched with a twisted plot. I enjoyed the characters, the odd circumstances that brought them together, and how they persevered.

Kind of Books I Won’t Read: Memoirs *written* by politicians or political hacks;  historical books about sports;  motivational books foisted upon us by grifters;  and any novel I sense will be filled with gore

Longest Book You’ve Read: A guess but I’d say Hawaii by James A. Michener. It’s about a million pages long. 

Major Book Hangover Because Of: If you mean what book stayed on my mind long after I read it, I’d say The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.

Number of Cases You Own: 4 actual book cases;  many drawers filled with books;  piles of books under the coffee table in the living room;  and many cookbooks stashed away in kitchen cupboards + on the counter

One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times: Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Preferred Place to Read: a comfortable chair with decent light and a table beside it for my beverage

Quote That Inspires You, or Gives You All the Feels, From a Book You’ve Read“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” It’s the last line from The Great Gatsby.

Reading Regret: I was slow to get around to reading the Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. I don’t know why I hesitated because they’re funny and brilliant.

Series You Started and Need to Finish: Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway mystery series

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

  • House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • A Judgement In Stone by Ruth Rendell

Unapologetic Fanperson For: No one I can think of

Very Excited For This Release (More than all the others):  I’m never current in my reading so it doesn’t matter when an author plans to publish, I’ll get to the book when I get to it.

Worst Bookish Habit: Starting one book in one room, a different book in another room, a third book in a third room… then getting confused about what I’m reading. Go figure

X Marks the Spot—start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: Almost French by Sarah Turnbull

Your Latest Book Purchase: Bomb Shelter by Laura Mary Philpott

Zzz-Snatcher Book (the last book that kept you up late): I don’t stay up late reading so the answer is none.

~ ~ ~ ~

You Decide: Behaving Hypocritically Or Showing Sound Judgment

~ • ~

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.

~ • ~

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.

~ • ~

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?

~ • ~

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.

Deconstructing Goblin Mode: It Can Happen To The Best Of Us

Image via The Gottman Institute on IG

I’m just throwing it out here, but I may have gone goblin.  Yep, I might be in Goblin Mode.

As you must realize it’s been a long 2 years of living with Covid-19 realities and precautions.  Plus considering I’m an introvert at heart, I may have been on the precipice of going goblin to begin with.

What is Goblin Mode, you may be asking?

According to Google Trends this term, Goblin Mode, has been around for a while, peaking in popularity in February 2022.  The Guardian recently published an article about this term.  The article is cleverly entitled: “Slobbing out and giving up: why are so many people going ‘goblin mode’?”

Here is what I learned from reading the article.  Someone named Juniper, a primary source I guess, described Goblin Mode as: “… kind of the opposite of trying to better yourself…. everyone’s just kind of wild and insane right now.”  

The article also says that Goblin Mode is: “… an almost spiritual-level embrace of our most debased tendencies.”

This was clarified further by Cat Marnell, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir How To Murder Your Lifewho said that: “It’s when you act crazy, and you enter a very mythological space– you want to jump on the back of a salamander and make trouble.” 

Examples of being in Goblin Mode include, but are not limited to, the ideas of not committing to a daily exercise regime, not bothering to wear clothes that match, and pretty much giving up on the bread-baking homemaker ideal + healthy diet that was popular at the beginning of the pandemic.

I have to be truthful here, the foregoing paragraph does ring true with me– and perhaps with you, too.  [Don’t worry, you’re among friends so you can admit it.]

While I don’t think I’m a total slob nor am I certifiably insane after two years of being on constant alert for an invisible virus that can kill me & everyone I love, I do think I’ve shifted my priorities, allowed myself to be less uptight in general.

In fact I’d go so far as to say I’m a person who’d love to cause some harmless trouble– if I could only find the right salamander.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

How did you… first come to realize that Goblin Mode was a thing?

In what ways… do you feel you are currently in Goblin Mode?

Tell me about… what you like or dislike about the concept of Goblin Mode.

What’s it like… to know that you, or someone you love, may have gone goblin?

• • •