A Simply Questionable Post: Answering Four Questions, Acknowledging One Reality

THE ANSWERING FOUR QUESTIONS PART

We’re on staycation again this week, busy morphing a guest bedroom into a reading/yoga room. More on that later. In the meantime here is something I found when I read THIS POST by Martha at Seaside Simplicity. Because of her I know about the Tuesday 4 questions and this week the 4 questions are about blogging.

1.  Tell us about your blog.  When did you start blogging?

I started my first blog in 2004. My intentions were good, but our computer was unreliable and our internet connection was dodgy, resulting in an arbitrary posting schedule. Still, I stuck with it.
 
2.  What prompted you to begin blogging?

Pure curiosity to see if I could do it.
 
3.  What was your first blog about and why did you choose that subject/title?

My first blog was called sweetlyPAZZO. I don’t remember much of what I wrote about but the title came from my point of view. I was much sweeter back then and I thought that ‘pazzo’ [which means crazy in Italian] was a cool word so I used it in the title of the blog.
 
4.  How has your blog changed over time, and has it done for you what you hoped it would do in the first place?

Like many longtime bloggers I’ve had a few different blogs. For me this has made sense because I’ve wanted to try different approaches to blogging, different points of view, different platforms. Over the years blogging has helped keep my brain clicking by satisfiying my curiosity, so it has done what I hoped it’d do for me in the first place.

THE ACKNOWLEDGING ONE REALITY PART

I sometimes say that irony is my closest friend. In this case I’m referring to how difficult it has been for me, an accomplished blogger, to write this cute little post. It has been anything but fun; in fact it’s been hell.

There has been nothing simple about it.

The WordPress Block Editor has thwarted me at every turn, often blocking me from editing my words in a block so that I had to rewrite what I’d written again… and again… and again. Also there are some links in this post, but the system has inexplicably taken away the blue color from the links so you, kids, cannot see them anymore.

I guess you’re just supposed to know they’re there.

Whilst I’d like to say I’m filled with righteous indignation and the fervor that comes from knowing that there’s something wrong going on and you’re going to stop it, I’m too tired to do so. WordPress is slowly stealing the fun from personal blogging. I don’t know why, but I know this to be true.

Slow Down Hippy Child: The One About The Haircut That Wasn’t

Plans change. Often.

When I became fully vaccinated [Moderna] in late May, I made an appointment to get my hair cut. My last real haircut was February 2020, with a fast trim in August 2020.

The upshot of not getting my hair cut every few months is that I’ve got hippy hair now. It’s long and frizzy and curly. The texture looks similar to Carole King on the cover of Tapestry.

“My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue.” Her life, my hair. Of course in my case the royal hues are mostly dishwater blonde and gray, but you get my point.

My appointment was for late June, yesterday in fact.

HOWEVER a few weeks ago I got a text telling me my appointment had been cancelled. Not postponed, mind you. Cancelled.

Bummer, said I.

Then I went to check my email because I thought that Janelle, the stylist who has cut my hair for over 20 years, might have sent me an email explaining what was going on. And she had.

Come to find out Janelle was having hip replacement surgery, immediately. She didn’t say why she was having this surgery stat so I can’t explain the backstory, but she said that she’d be back to work by late July.

To me this seems a little too soon after surgery. Of course I know nothing about hip replacement surgery so maybe it’s okay, but I’m not scheduling another appointment until late August. That’d be one year after my last trim.

I figure I’ve got a good hippy vibe going on now and I’ve come to like wearing my hair in a plump curly ponytail. Bring me those colorful elastics, I can make this work.

The thing is that over the years I’ve spent time and money to keep my hair looking blonde and professional, *neat* as my late mother would have said. So the oddest part of having long unruly hair is that I’m not upset about looking like a hippy child.

MAYBE this who I am meant to be in my later years as I head into my dotage. That could be the message here.

Be that as it may or may not, in the meantime, I think we can all agree that plans change. And if the pandemic has taught me anything it’s you gotta make the best of whatever comes your way, whether it be Covid-19 vaccine availability or delayed haircut appointments.

Yes, with a hat tip to Simon & Garfunkel’s famous song ‘Feelin’ Groovy’ I’m slowing down, talking to lampposts, and living hippy for two more months.

Why not, huh?

• • •

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

You’ve made plans, which ones did not happen?

What did the pandemic teach you about making plans?

Are you feeling groovy?

• • •

Darn Straight Skippy: I Have Things To Do, Links To Share, & A Fact To Tell

PLEASE NOTE: No story or article this week because we’re on staycation mostly doing projects around the house and in the garden. Instead of writing my usual flapdoodle & twaddle I’ll share a few interesting links I’ve saved for no reason in particular. Enjoy!

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About your style… As you may know ‘cheugy’ is a slang term adopted by Gen Z as a put down for Millennials. From what I can tell cheugy has two different, but maybe overlapping, meanings: 1) anything that is out-of-date, not trendy; or 2) someone who is trying too hard. Go HERE to read more or HERE to see a diagram [scroll down] that lets you decide if your style is cheugy.

About your spectacles… Naturally the topic of eyeglasses is one of great interest to me. Remember the name of this blog, my little seraphim. Go HERE, watch a short TED talk about the history of spectacles and be informed.

About your pee… I’m at a loss as to how to introduce this link other than to say I never would have thought to use Pantone colors in this way, but that’s just me. Go HERE to see a color chart plus some information about staying hydrated [including drinking beer!] for good health.

About your personality… I give you a way to determine your bean personality because who the heck doesn’t want to know that? Go HERE, answer a few simple questions, and then through the magic of a delightfully accurate algorithm discover your true bean personality.

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FUN FACT: When I started blogging this is the kind of post I planned on writing, lists of links with a bit of commentary. It never occurred to me that anyone would want to read about my daily life and random musings. That stuff I saved for friends and family.

However eventually it dawned on me that I could write about more personal things here and people would appreciate it. Thus it came to be that The Spectacled Bean was born.

In Which I Explain How I Created My Own Unique 2021 Reading Challenge

I’ve been meaning to write about how I arrived at my personalized 2021 reading challenge, but somehow got off track. I was probably reading a book…

For those of you who enjoy numbers: this is a 12″ high stack of 12 books with a total of 4,248 pages that I plan on reading in 2021. 🤓

~ ~ • ~ ~

I barely read any books in 2020. My focus was too scattered, my anxiety was high, and I couldn’t stick with it.

I forgive myself for slip sliding away from reading for pleasure last year because I am still here in one piece, healthy, relatively sane– and with a renewed sense of purpose when it comes to reading.

Allow me to explain.

As some of you know I’m a fan of Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog and get her newsletter. When I saw that she had created a questionnaire that I could use to make my own CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE-STYLE reading challenge I downloaded the worksheets.

By answering her simple questions, I set my 2021 intention, evaluated my reading needs, and then made a list of twelve prompts that resonated with me based on the concepts of variety and escapism. As Modern Mrs. Darcy says: “Remember, your goal isn’t just to get through this challenge. This challenge is a tool to develop the reading life you want.”

Hallelujah!

But then after further contemplating the reading life I wanted, I had a brainstorm, one in which I devised a way to make this reading challenge more personal– and a bit less costly. Please keep in mind that just because I didn’t read much in 2020 doesn’t mean that I didn’t buy books in 2020.

Thus I found myself thinking back to a decade ago when I read a wonderful memoir, Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill.

In this book Hill writes about her decision that for one year she would only re-read books already in the house. That is, she read what she had on hand, then mused upon what her life was like the first time she read the book. This practical approach to deciding what to read next made an impression on me.

Obviously, I guess.

Anyhow, to be clear, I won’t be re-reading anything this coming year, but I will be reading what is here in the house, pre-purchased in good faith you might say– and meant to be read by me, dammit.

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MY 2021 CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE-STYLE READ-WHAT-YOU-HAVE-IN-THE-HOUSE-ALREADY READING CHALLENGE

a thriller

a memoir

a fantasy novel

a cozy mystery

a book of short stories

a recent NYT bestseller

a novel previously abandoned

a NYT bestseller from a while ago

a novel based on something literary

a non-fiction book set where I live now

a non-fiction book set somewhere I’ve never visited

a book I’d never heard of yet is on many required reading lists

~ ~ • ~ ~

Do you do any reading challenges? Have you ever made your own? Inquiring minds wanna know.

Rejoicing With A Glass Of Wine: Cheers To Tenacity & Typos

TENACITY, I GOT IT

AFTER TRYING UNSUCCESSFULLY for three weeks to get wine in our weekly grocery order for curbside pickup, we finally got some wine in the house.

How did we do this, you ask?

We joined an online wine club wherein you pick from their selection of wines and your wine is then delivered, a few weeks later, to your doorstep.  All that is required of you, beyond deciding which bottles of wine you want and having a valid credit card, is to have an adult sign for the wine when it is delivered to your doorstep at an assigned time.

I am an adult, with time on her hands, thus I was more than willing to sign for the wine.  Which I did by standing in my jammies, shamelessly, on our front stoop a week ago Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m.

And by having gray frizzy hair.

The friendly UPS man sized me up from afar as he walked across the lawn carrying the box of wine.  He didn’t bother having me physically sign for the wine, instead he scribbled something on the electronic form and went on his way.

That worked for me, buddy.  No need to be uptight about the signing part of the blessed wine delivery. 😇

Hallelujah!

FUN WITH TYPOS

LAST TUESDAY NIGHT I opened the first bottle of the wine we ordered.  We were having salmon and mashed potatoes and spinach, thus I reasoned a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc would be lovely.

[Truthfully I almost always think a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc would be lovely, but I digress.]

As I was sipping the first glass of wine to cross my lips in quite some time, I decided to read the back label on the bottle of wine.  I like to know what I’m supposed to be tasting according to the vineyard.  Plus I’m into marketing, so I do like well-written copy.

When I can find it.

And even when I can’t…

Below is a photograph of the back label on the bottle of wine. Can you see the typo? The numerical one that made me smile?

And with that I’ll end this post by telling you we enjoyed this bottle of wine.  Perhaps it was because of all the effort it took to get it.  Or, perhaps it was because it taught me a profound lesson: YOU CAN’T JUDGE A WINE BY ITS TYPO. 😉

Happy Weekend, everyone.