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

[Spoiler alert]

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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.

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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.

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✅ 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.” 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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