The One About Grace And Frankie & Fun Quirky Details About My Dad

[Spoiler alert]

• • •

OVER THE WEEKEND I FINISHED WATCHING the last hilarious season of the TV show, Grace and Frankie.  One of the episodes* in this season involves Grace [played by Jane Fonda] reconciling with her younger brother [played by Jamey Sheridan] who she hasn’t seen in years.

She invites him to her house on the pretext of familial love, but the truth is she’s feeling unexpectedly nostalgic and wants him to give her the family recipe for chicken paprikash.

He knows this recipe by heart.

In the course of their conversation he figures out the subterfuge and starts to walk out, but Frankie [played by Lily Tomlin] finds a way for the two of them to get along.

He was young when their father died and he wants to know fun little details about the man.  So for every chicken paprikash ingredient he says, Grace tells him something personal about their father.

This episode was quintessential Grace and Frankie, funny and poignant.

Absurd, yet believable.

• • •

THIS EPISODE GOT ME THINKING ABOUT fun little details about my father;  he died when I was 15 so my memories of him are from a kid’s point of view.  The details I remember aren’t about his professions, or his accomplishments, or his character– just idiosyncratic things about an adult.

Thus in honor of this coming weekend’s Father’s Day in the US, and for snorts and giggles, I share a list of some fun quirky details about my dad.

Ostensibly it’s about my father, but perhaps gives a glimpse into who I am as well.  I’ve read that the oldest daughter is a female version of her father. Maybe so, maybe not.

All I know is he was character.

• • •

✅ He could wiggle his ears.

✅ His favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day. He wore a green necktie and green suspenders, and insisted we have corned beef & cabbage dinner– with a shot of Irish whiskey for the adults.

✅ He collected antique guns.

✅ He was a camera-shy** camera nut, with more brands and lenses and tripods and lights than you can imagine. Equipment everywhere.

✅ He kept bees and we ate honey from the hive.

✅ He had a pair of boxer shorts underwear that had a white background with red ants crawling around. When he wore the underwear he’d say he had “ants in his pants.”

✅ He was ambidextrous.

✅ He didn’t suffer fools easily, nor dawdling little girls, so if I was being pokey and said “I’m coming, I’m coming” he’d yell “SO’S CHRISTMAS.” 

• • •

Questions of the Day

If you knew him as a child, what fun and/or quirky little details do you remember about your father?

Are you like him in any ways?

If you watched it, what did you think of Season 7 of Grace and Frankie?

Did the series finale work for you?

* Season7, Episode 14 – The Paprikash

** The best photo of him I have is of him sitting by a cadaver he worked on in med school.  While interesting, it is macabre, not suitable for this PG-13 blog.

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.

A Neighborhood Update: I’m Not Nosy, They Are Noisy

NOW that we’re beginning to have a few warmer spring days, I’ve been opening the windows in some rooms.  The sounds of nature drift into the house.  Often it’s birds.  In fact we have a loud hoot owl that does his thing late evening, early morning.

Totally expected.

AND we’re hearing our young neighbors again.  Kids playing on a jungle gym, for instance.  Kids bouncing basketballs.  Kids riding bikes up and down the street while talking or singing.

Again totally expected.

PLUS there are two new February babies on either side of our house.  A boy on one side, a girl on the other, both with well-developed lungs and a tendency to be unhappy in the afternoon. I know this to be a fact– and I’m sure their parents know this as well.

So there’s that.

BUT the biggest news vis-à-vis noise around here is that Crazy Bird Lady, a fifty-something woman who lives across the forested ravine from us, is no longer standing on her deck yelling “f*ck you” at the birds.  And she’s stopped hitting a metal soup pot with a metal spoon while cursing at them.

I don’t want to sound judgy but I believe this might be a good thing.

Instead of the loud cursing she has taken to dancing what I’d describe as the Flamenco on her deck.  This involves her stamping her feet in a rhythmic way while clapping her hands over her head.  She swirls around, kind of hums a tune, then yells ¡Olé! every so often.

I’m mesmerized by this woman’s eccentric behavior, I admit it.  Which brings me to what I want to ask you, my little cherry blossoms:

Who’s the wackiest person in your neighborhood?

Now that spring [Northern Hemisphere] or fall [Southern Hemisphere] is here what’s going on outside your windows?

Any fun plans for the weekend?

~ ~ 🌸 ~ ~ 

In Which Ms. Bean Answers Mr. Monk’s Question + The Names Of Measuring Spoons & Cups

• • •

“How many pinches in a dollop?”

We’ve been watching the TV show MONK at night.  It’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime.  The show is silliness wrapped around a mystery, so it’s light and entertaining.

Just what we like.

For anyone unfamiliar with the show, Mr. Monk is a detective who suffers from so many phobias & foibles that half the show is watching him freak out, while the other half of the show is observing how he solves a mystery, usually a murder.

In one episode, “Mr. Monk Goes To The Circus” [Season 2, Episode 4], while attempting to make a mug of cocoa Mr. Monk asks Sharona, his beleaguered assistant, the question shown at the top of this post.  It seems like it might be a rhetorical question, but in fact it is not.

There is an answer that I shall now tell you.

Ready? Here goes.

FIRST you need to know these two facts about measuring spoons:

a PINCH is 1/16th of a teaspoon

3 TEASPOONS is 1 tablespoon

PLUS you need to understand that:

a DOLLOP is 1 + 1/4th tablespoons

THEN you need to do the math:

Knowing that 16 pinches are 1 teaspoon and that 3 teaspoons make 1 tablespoon, I determined that 1 tablespoon is 48 pinches [16 x 3].

But what about the 1/4th of a tablespoon, you might be asking yourself?  Well that’s where it gets more complicated but I figured it out.

Remembering that 1 tablespoon equals 48 pinches, I was able to determine that one fourth of a tablespoon equals 12 pinches [48 ÷ 4].

Thus I added 12 to 48 and arrived at the answer:

60 pinches make a dollop

• • •

• • •

 The Names Of Measuring Spoons & Cups

a DROP or a NIP is 1/64th of a teaspoon

a SMIDGEN or a SHAKE is 1/32nd of a teaspoon

a PINCH is 1/16th of a teaspoon

a DASH is 1/8th of a teaspoon

a TAD is 1/4th of a teaspoon

a HALF is 1/2th of a teaspoon

a DESSERTSPOON is 2 teaspoons

TABLESPOON is 3 teaspoons

a DOLLOP is 1 + 1/4th tablespoons

a WALNUT-SIZE is roughly 2 tablespoons

a SPLASH is less than a drizzle

a DRIZZLE is about 2 tablespoons

a GLUG is more than a drizzle

a HEN’S EGG is 3 to 4 tablespoons

a FISTFUL or a WINEGLASS is 1/4th of a cup

a HANDFUL or a TEACUP or a GILL is 1/2th of a cup

• • •

Sources:

What’s the Difference Between a Pinch, a Dash and a Shake? via Taste of Home

How big is a dollop? via AnswersToAll

A Walnut-Size of Butter via Bygone Food and Recipes

A Funny Bumper Sticker That Lends Itself To Discussion, Research, And A Poll Question

I.  Stuck in traffic I laughed out loud when I saw the bumper sticker on the car in front of me.  The bumper sticker said:

ANNOY THE BORING

The car had no other bumper stickers, suggesting this bumper sticker had nothing to do with 2020 politics.  In fact the bumper sticker looked like it’d been on the car for years.

While we’ll never know why this person put this particular bumper sticker on his car it does lend itself to contemplation. I figure we all know how to ANNOY each other without any further investigation, but we can contemplate who THE BORING might be.

‘Tis a fact that you have to define your terms if you want to communicate a useful + meaningful message.  No doubt this bumper sticker was meant to be a prompt for existential thought, a declaration of raison d’être, and a catalyst for conversation.

• • •

II.  So I sat down at ye olde computer to find the dictionary definition for *boring* while also checking what the thesaurus had to say.  Then I did a fast internet search about *boring people* so I might learn about the traits generally associated with people who are considered boring.

Synthesizing this information I created the following cursory list of the types of people who I shall refer to jointly and separately as THE BORING.

INSIPID: talk too much/have unbalanced conversations

STALE: stuck in a rut or routine never doing anything new

LACKLUSTER: have no opinions about or passions for anything in life

QUOTIDIAN: hang on phone or stare at other screen instead of engaging directly with people

TIRESOME: only complain or talk about their disappointments in life, what is wrong with the world

SOUL-DESTROYING: lack, or do not use, empathy/are bad listeners

DULLSVILLE: talk in droning voice, often referred to as flat affect

STODGY: have no sense of humor &/or cannot tell a story/joke

• • •

 III.  Below is a poll question for you to answer.  I listed THE BORING, as defined above, in such a way as to allow you to pick one.  That is, which one of these types of behaviors drives you bonkers the fastest?

Or to put it differently: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO ANNOY THE MOST?