The One In Which I Talk To Myself While Buying Beer & Am Overheard

This post has been published in black and white so that I won’t be accused of trying to influence your answer to the poll question below by using particular colors in this post. Nope, not doing that here.

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I know that Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for gambling, but I know from experience that Super Bowl Sunday is a busy shopping day in grocery stores.

Keeping that in mind while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I decided to go ahead and buy food & drink for what will be our Super Bowl Sunday junk food feast.  It’ll be just the two of us so our snacking will lean toward healthy, but we gotta have something special.

It’s a law.

While in the store I decided to buy a six-pack of fancy beers, one of those create your own dealios, you know?  That’s when the store has a refrigerated section that offers a wide assortment [maybe 75?] of individual bottles of beer/ale/cider.  You pick the 6 you want, placing them in a generic cardboard carrier that when taken to the register rings a set price.

$9.99 to be exact.

Welp, I got totally swept away with the variety in front of me and found myself contemplating each bottle as if I’d never seen beer before.  I was smitten with the idea of having choices, and went with two local ales, two regional beers, and one national-brand ginger beer.  But I couldn’t decide about the last one bottle so I carefully reviewed all my choices, finally adding a bottle of international beer to the cardboard carrier.

As I did so, with a real sense of personal accomplishment, I said out loud: “And it’s Heineken for the win.”

At which point I heard a man, who I didn’t realize was standing behind me waiting for me to choose my bottles, say: “Yes it is, always.”

Of course I jumped about a foot in the air and started laughing, apologizing for taking so long– because really I’d been dawdling more than deciding— but this kind man just grinned and said: “No problem.”

Which in this situation was an appropriate response, so all’s well that end’s well.  Including, I do hope, football season this Sunday evening.

Home Sweet Home: A Simple Way To Explain Where You Live, Just Cuz

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A rambling introduction then a simple question…

A friend and I were talking about where we each live now and how unexpected it’s been for us to find ourselves where we are.  In college we could never have imagined this.

She lives in an older home built in the ’40s in an affluent part of town in a community with a vibe that suggests social status.  It’s a desirable address, near a country club and fancy hospital and an upscale local grocery that’s all the rage.

Posh is the word for it.

I live in a 20 year old home in a quirky suburb with a bit of regional history that until a few years ago was considered to be the sticks by the people who live in affluent parts of town.  It’s an address that suggests good schools and unique local restaurants and outdoor activities.

Relaxed is the word for it.

To be clear, neither of us gives a flying fig through a donut hole about where the other one lives;  we’re not hung up on only befriending people who live exactly like we do.  Call us non-judgmental, I suppose.

Friendly, even.

No, the crux of our conversation was about how she’s ended up as an adult living close to where she grew up as a child while I’ve ended up as an adult living somewhere I knew nothing about as a child.

Without belaboring the point by getting pedantic with sociological terminology and geographic nuances, this is a simple | interesting | harmless way to divide people into two categories based on their subjective responses to the following question:

Do you consider where you live now to be your childhood hometown/region OR do you consider where you live now to be somewhere new you moved to along the way?

Discuss.

One-Liner Wednesday: A Mantra Courtesy Of A Three Year Old Girl

I was in Costco on Friday afternoon.  I ducked into the women’s restroom and while in there saw a cute little girl, about three years old, with her mother.

The little girl was wearing black leggings, a bright blue t-shirt, sturdy white sneakers embellished with cartoon characters, and a sparkly pink tutu.  She was a vision of free-spirited sartorial confidence that made me smile.

Oh, to be so sure of yourself!

The duo was standing by the sink in the restroom and the mother was starting to turn on the water at the sink in order for the little girl to wash her hands.  However, as we all know, toddlers like to do for themselves that which they believe they are capable of doing by themselves.

And they are often loud and dramatic in the process.

This little girl was no different than her independently-minded peers, thus she said for all to hear the following phrase that I think, as an example of positive self-talk, might be the perfect succinct mantra for anyone who momentarily loses their confidence while negotiating the ups and downs of life:

“I. CAN. ME.”

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This is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill. Click on the badge to learn more & to connect with other bloggers who are doing #1LinerWeds this week.

Fun With Pedicures: Conning Mr. Man, If Only For A Moment

It’s not easy to pull the wool over Zen-Den’s eyes. He’s smart and lawyerly and hyper-aware of liars. But for a moment I had him going, so I have to share it here. For posterity. For snorts and giggles.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

I.  In the photo above the color of nail polish you see on my toenails is unusual for me.  I usually go clear/pale OR dark/bright.  I rarely wear halfway/medium colors like you see above.

II.  OPI nail polishes, which I prefer, are grouped into cleverly named collections.  For instance a pale pink called Bubble Bath might be found in the Always Bare For You Collection.  A bright pink red called California Raspberry might be found in the Fan Faves Collection.  [These particular colors are so old that they’re no longer featured in any collection, but I’m making a point here so please go with it.]

III.  After wearing Bubble Bath for a few weeks I decided it was too blah for me.  No character.  So on a whim as a way of zhooshing it up, I mixed a bit of California Raspberry with it.  I figured I’d create a new medium color.  And I did.  That’s what you see on my toenails in the photo.

THE CON *tee-hee*

Z-D came home from work the other night and noticed the pink color of my fresh pedicure.  He looked down at my feet and asked me if I had a rash on my toes.  I instantly realized that he thought my created shade of pink was calamine lotion.

So I told him: “No, that’s a new shade of nail polish.  It’s called Chicken Pox Pink, part of OPI’s new Childhood Illnesses Collection.”

He said nothing, just kept staring at my toes.

So I continued: “There are other colors in the collection, like Measles Mauve and Flu Shot Fuchsia.”

With a totally confused look on his face he said: “There’s a nail polish collection called Childhood Illnesses?”

I said: “Oh yes, there’s Bronchitis Burgundy and…”

He interrupted: “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS THIS COLLECTION.”

But I kept going: “Boo-Boo Bunny Beige and…”

He said: “You’re making this up.”

I said: “Oh no, this is for real.  There’s Drippy Nose Rose and…”

At which point Zen-Den, shaking his head in disbelief and laughing, wandered away from the conversation, as if I might not be telling the truth.  Can you imagine that?

THE END

Notes On Getting My TSA Known Traveler Number + Chitchat About Where I’ve Been

Let’s heAR it for Ms. Bean

This summer, after yabbling about doing this for years, I finally enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program.

The online application was easy.  The total cost was $85.00 for five years.  But it did require an interview with a real person at a TSA-approved IdentoGO office that happened to be nowhere close to where I live.

My interview appointment time, the soonest I could get, was 4 weeks from when I sent in my enrollment– and then it was 10 days after that before I got my official TSA Known Traveler Number [KTN].

For me this was not a fast process

Do I need this TSA PreCheck status?  I dunno.  But after some of my air travel experiences, most notably standing in the Las Vegas TSA line for 1 hour 45 minutes, I’ll do anything that *might* make the process less painful.

[Click HERE to read an article that helped me to better understand the program.]

And on that note, having talked about the practical side of travel, I’ll share the following fun and pretty stuff.

I created these images using the Visited Countries Project on Douwe Osinga’s website. You may already know about this because it’s been around for a long time.

Nonetheless here is where I’ve been
I’ve been to 9 countries which amounts to 4% of the world.

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I’ve been to 34 US states which amounts to 68% of the country.

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I’ve been to 3 Canadian provinces which amounts to 23% of the country.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Are you in the TSA PreCheck program? If so, how has that worked out for you?

Where did you go for your favorite vacation ever? Where did you go for your worst vacation ever?  

Got any travel plans for the rest of this year?

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This Is How I Make 2 Types Of Images For My Blog

Have you ever heard someone say that their mantra is to always be recommending?  I love that idea.  Information is part of what makes the world go round.  

To wit, here’s what I use to make 2 types of unique images that I share on The Spectacled Bean. I’m often asked about where I get my images, so here you go.  

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WHEN I TURN PERSONAL PHOTOS INTO ART I use a free app called Waterlogue.  It’s on my phone, ezpz to use, and offers a variety of looks.  Here’s an example of a before and after image.

First I took a photo with my phone.  This is that photo.

Then I used the app choosing one of their filters, in this case the Illustrator, to make my photo look snazzy.  This is the after.

As you can see the app has taken a so-so photo and turned it into a bombdiggity blog-worthy picture.

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WHEN I CREATE IMAGES WITH TEXT I use Canva on my desktop computer [or here for your phone].  It’s a graphic design website [or an app for your phone] featuring a variety of free templates, many pre-sized for any social media you might use.

First I picked a template.  This is the before.

Then I did a fast little rewrite using the first movie quote that came to mind, thus creating something clever and unique.  This is the after.

In this example I did a color change & resized the font but there were many free and $$$ options I could have used to make this image even more amazeballs.

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I hope that this information is of some value to you.  

If you know of other ways to create blog post images [preferably free] please recommend them in the comments below.

And on that note, with nothing more to say here, I shall wish all of you Happy Blogging.

The Big Bang Theory: In Which I Share 2 Pieces Of Advice From Penny + Ask A Few Questions

I got 94/100 on The Big Bang Theory Quiz. Click HERE to take it.

I’M LOOKING FORWARD to watching the series finale of The Big Bang Theory.  It airs tonight and I want to know how the show ends.

I’ve enjoyed the show, having seen it in reruns and in prime time.  I’ve not watched every episode nor have I seen it in a linear way so some of the story lines are a jumble in my mind, but that doesn’t matter.

The Big Bang Theory is all about the characters and their relationships with each other.  I especially like Penny.  She’s my favorite.

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THE FIRST PIECE of Penny advice is from an episode in which she’s sitting in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment with them– and of course Sheldon and Leonard start bickering about something academic. As they do.

Penny stops them from talking, then looks at Sheldon reminding him: what did we say about being nicer to your friends?  Then she looks at Leonard reminding him: what did we say about not being a gullible weenie? 

This scene could be from my real life.  I occasionally find myself in the middle of conversations wherein one person needs to remember how to be kind while the other person needs to engage in some critical thinking.

I have yet to say the above out loud directly to anyone, but I’m thinking it. Dagnabbit.

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THE SECOND PIECE of Penny advice is from the end of an episode in which Penny has sat through a tedious Physics Bowl competition at the university.  In this competition Sheldon and Leonard try to prove who is smarter.

Later as a way of showing the guys how little they actually know she creates her own pop culture quiz.  They, of course, are clueless about what she is asking them.  Baffled, Leonard asks her how she knows this stuff.

She answers with a classic line that I find myself saying from time-to-time, a line perfectly suited for ending this post, in fact. She says: I go outside and I talk to people.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Will you be watching [or did you watch] the series finale of The Big Bang Theory? And if so, which character is your favorite?

Do you like or dislike or are indifferent to The Big Bang Theory? It’s been on the air for 12 years so you’ve had ample time to form an opinion of it. ‘Fess up. 

If you took the quiz I linked to under the image of my score, what score did you get?

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