In Which I Do NOT Steal A Man’s Identity, But Could Do So Easily

You put together a puzzle. You take a photo. You run it through the Waterlogue app on your cell phone and this is what you get: PRETTY!

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

I was sitting in the waiting area in a small boutique eyeglass shop that is in an old house, formerly a residence, but now zoned for commercial use.

I was having my spectacles adjusted. The optician helping me had taken my glasses with her into the back of the house, probably into what was formerly [maybe still is?] the kitchen, to have her way with them.

Across the room from me a different optician was talking with a man who was ordering new glasses. The room we were in was what would have been the living/dining room, with an 8′ ceiling, about 20′ x 15′ in size.

This man hadn’t gotten new glasses in over 12 years. The optician had found his file, a paper one, and was confirming details by saying things about him out loud to him.

Very normal.

BUT THERE WAS THIS LITTLE ISSUE WITH ACOUSTICS

Inadvertently I was overhearing everything that was being said between these two people. I didn’t want to hear but I did. I’ve changed the specific details to protect his identity, but the following is what I know about this man:

  • his former residence is 123 Oak Street in one community;
  • his current residence, that he moved into in 2017, is 4567 Eagle’s Nest Drive in a different community;
  • his last name is Smith;
  • his legal first name is Frederick, but he goes by his middle name, Daniel, preferring to be called Dan;
  • his wife’s name is Martha;
  • his brother who also buys glasses in this boutique is named Will;
  • he has no children;
  • he confirmed the date of his birth, he is 44 years old;
  • he confirmed his cell phone number, mentioning that he’s had it for years
  • he used to work for Blah Blah Blah Corporation but now works from home for Yada Yada Yada Corporation;
  • his medical insurance is Boring Useless Insurance Company;
  • he no longer has a checking account with Fancy Regional Bank;  and
  • he prefers to use his Visa for large purchases because he gets points for travel on Whoop-ass Airline.

The optician didn’t ask about the following but in the course of their conversation I also learned that:

  • he drives a BMW that was parked outside directly in front of this business;
  • he and his wife have been remodeling their house using Super Duper Home Remodeling Company;  and
  • they have a vacation planned for August.

Obviously I accidentally know a lot about this man, the proverbial ship I passed in the night. If I was a person with nefarious intentions I could easily have snapped a fast photo of him + his car’s license plate, then assumed his identity by knowing these random, but incredibly personal, details about him.

KIND OF SCARY, HUH?

Please discuss 😳

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?

Forget Resolutions, These Are My 2023 New Year’s Rejections

My brain trust. Obviously

How My New Year’s Rejections Came To Be

THANKS TO EVERYONE who read my last post and answered my question, a call to action, about what I should write about next.  You’re the best, my personal brain trust.  I was feeling indecisive and needed some help.

I’ve never asked for guidance like that before and given the chance to tell me what to do y’all came through. Come to find out my brain trust wants me to write about what I’m rejecting in 2023.  

Oddly enough I tossed that topic into the choices at the last minute before hitting publish.

A friend and I had been talking about how comfortable we are rejecting trends and ideas that at one time would have seemed important to us. We got laughing about what we dubbed our New Year’s Rejections.

We weren’t saying that a particular idea, a solution, or a way of living is bad for everyone, just that something doesn’t work for us. Rejection is a sound concept if you’re clear about your underlying assumptions and what space you’ll create in your life because of it.

 What I’m Rejecting This Year

GETTING TO MY LIST of New Year’s Rejections a la 2023, I give you the following that I shall be rejecting for at least a year, maybe longer:

Newsletters – From a marketing point of view I understand them. They’re a way for a business/author to distribute information to their customers/readers keeping everyone up to date. They’re predicated on the hope that the customer/reader actually reads the newsletter and doesn’t send it directly to spam.

However as a person who receives these newsletters, I don’t like them. I rarely read them because they seem more like advertisements for new products than sources of information. There’s no engagement with the company/author and I sense I’m a mark, a pawn in someone’s game. This makes me feel irritable so I’ve unsubscribed to the ones I was receiving.

Assumption rejected? I am gaining valuable insight and information.

Cocktails – As I imbibed a few over the holidays I realized that: 1) I wasn’t taken with any of them; 2) they were fussy and expensive; and 3) that I prefer a shot of top-shelf liquor neat, or on the rocks, or with a splash of club soda. Thus I’ve decided to simplify my life, save money, and forgo mixed drinks.

Assumption rejected? I am having fun because I’m drinking something fancy.

Steps Per Day – I’ve never been one to judge my physical healthiness based exclusively on numbers, whether the numbers are external validation &/or criticism. I think that trusting myself to know how to live my life is the best approach, especially when it comes to walking.

To wit, there’ll be no recording of my steps each day. Instead, I’ll move when I want to, the amount I want to. I’ll walk with no preconceived idea [10,000 steps] of what I have to accomplish each day.

Assumption rejected? I am being healthy by focusing on and knowing a number.

Sweet potatoes/yams – Okay, I understand the reason why these starchy vegetables are good for me. They’re filled with fiber and minerals and magical properties helpful to women of a certain age. However, potatoes shouldn’t be sweet, they just shouldn’t. If I eat a potato, it’s going to be a basic old Idaho spud– or some redskin new potatoes.

Assumption rejected? I am eating something good for me.

Word of the Year – In 2011 I started picking one word to be my word of the year. I’ve continued this tradition for about a decade BUT more years than not my word of the year hasn’t made me feel good about my life.

That is, instead of getting a smoother or simplified or enjoyable year, I’ve gotten the opposite. The gods have laughed in my face. Thus I’m foregoing a word of the year to see if, by chance, I don’t need it.

Assumption rejected? I am living my best life because I circle back to a word, a 21st century talisman for self-improvement.

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES with Alexa:

“Our Alexa is a buttinsky quite often. Just yesterday, I was chatting with my husband and daughter about crackers and Alexa piped up, “I’ve added crackers to your grocery list.” No thank you, Alexa. And then she wanted to know if we wanted a suggestion for something she thinks we need to re-order. NO THANK YOU ALEXA.”

~ Suzanne

“That’s funny what Alexa did and said. I’ve had her answer questions on TV when her name is said in a commercial or TV show.”

~ Jean

“We have never activated Alexa or Siri on any of our devices, finding the idea of them sitting there listening to our inane chatter rather creepy. Unbeknownst to us, however, my husband’s new Kindle reader came with Alexa activated. One evening, we were watching some show in which an actor asked his device to find a particular song he had been looking for. Almost immediately, a voice came from Bill’s Kindle asking if this was the song we were looking for, and some piece of music started playing. We did lose our stuffing, and disabled the little snoop faster than you can sing ‘Hit the Road, Jack.'”

~ Donna

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.

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.

~ ~ ~ ~