Apparently You Cannot Motivate Me With One Written Word

To thine own self be true…

LATE LAST WINTER I STUMBLED on an article that was about how to be more productive.  I wasn’t looking for an article on that topic, but for some reason when I saw this particular article I stopped to read what it had to say.

The gist of this article, that I did not save the link to, told me that if anyone [who reads English, I’m assuming] sees the word ACHIEVE while working at any task, then that anyone will be more productive.

So being a curious open-minded person who happened to be bored on a winter afternoon, I wrote “Achieve” on a post-it note and put the post-it note where I’d see it when I sit at my desktop computer every day.

The premise of this idea seemed a little woo-woo to me, but I thought: Why not? I’ll keep the note where it is for spring and then when summer arrives I’ll evaluate what has happened.

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SUMMER IS HERE NOW SO it’s time for me to weigh in on the efficacy of this visual aid: that is, have I been inspired to new heights of productivity because I see the word ACHIEVE every day?

As much as I want to say “yes, this ezpz solution has helped me be more productive,” I’m going to be honest and tell you, my gentle readers, that I don’t think I’ve been any more or less productive since I put this post-it note in my line of sight.

I, of course, have no way of verifying my finding because I have no baseline level of productivity from which to start my study, so my conclusion is entirely subjective… rather like the idea in the article that prompted me to try this experiment.

But what I have learned about myself from this little foray into the land of inspirational signage is that for me the desire to do things has to come from within, and cannot be supplanted by one random word… no matter how clearly or often I see that word.

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Do you find yourself motivated when you see an inspirational sign with one word on it?

OR

Do you find yourself to be motivation-resistant to one word signs like I am?

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A Remodeling Update: In Which Ms. Bean “Helps” & Other Important Things

It will come as no surprise to you, but it’s a mess around here.

Dining room with stuff from other rooms in it.

 Nothing is where it’s supposed to be.  Rooms that aren’t being remodeled have been turned into storage spaces for the stuff from rooms that are being remodeled.

Then with no clothes dryer, we’re using portable wooden racks, wedged into bedroom corners, to dry our clothes and towels and unmentionables… that are getting covered in a layer of dust before they dry, courtesy of the construction all over the house.

 Because the family room and the master suite are under construction, Zen-Den and I are living on the other side of the upstairs, each having taken up camp in a different guest bedroom.  At night we shout “good night” to each other like we’re the fricking Waltons: “Good night, Sue Mary Ellen… Good night, John-Boy.” 

Old microwave sitting on counter underneath spot where it fit, but new ones won’t.

 I officially hate microwaves.  Did you know that the manufacturers change the sizes of microwaves fairly often?  This means that the one we had built into the kitchen cabinets 9 years ago is now a size that is no longer available.

So we have to redesign the cabinets to accommodate the newer deeper microwaves.  I cannot *mutter* enough about this development.

 When the water is off for a few hours you immediately understand there’s one flush left in the toilet, right?  BUT what you might not remember is that there’ll be no water to wash your hands– and that you’ll need to have some hand wipes around.  IF you don’t have them around, then you’ll end up eating your lunch using a paper towel as you hold your sammie– then perhaps accidentally ingest some paper towel. 😖

Tools and such that are now on the floor hither and yon around the house.

 And finally, how is that I helped?  Well, as if there’s not enough destruction around here, I added to it when I went to close the bathroom door and the handle fell off into my hand.

Just. Like. That. I’m stuck outside the bathroom, holding the formerly useful handle in my hand, looking forlornly at the screws now at my feet.  Screws that happen to be about the same color as the carpeting, allowing them to blend perfectly with the carpet fibers, causing Ms. Bean to become FRAZZLED.

And on that cheery note, I’ll wish y’all a happy weekend.  Catch up with you later, kids. 

Out For A Walk: “Love You, Annie”

IN ANTICIPATION OF A haircut appointment tomorrow, I’ve been trying to decide what to do about my graying blonde hair. “Gronde” as it’s known in hair salon lingo.

Out for a walk yesterday I was lost in my thoughts, contemplating this very important issue, when I walked by a property under construction.  There were men working on the outside of the building.

As I walked by I heard one of them shout at me: “Love you, Annie.”

This made no sense to me but I smiled, waved my hand at him, and continued on with my walk.

ABOUT HALF A BLOCK later it occurred to me in a hey-wait-a-minute moment that I may have misheard what the guy shouted at me.

That what the man shouted at me was: “Love you, Granny.”

Meaning that from afar I appeared to be, of all things, a grandmother.

Peeved and dismayed as I was by this disturbing realization that shook my ego to its core, it dawned on me that I had my answer about what to do about my gronde hair.

Hence, tomorrow’s hair appointment will include highlights, lowlights– and any other lights available– to reduce the grayness in my fading blonde hair.

Because Granny?!

Me thinks not.

A Nobody Shops For Jammies

A few doors down from Ulta, which I adore, is a Soma.  I was in Ulta and on a whim, being in a good mood, I walked over to Soma.

They sell bras + undies plus PJs. I thought that I might treat myself to some new pajamas.

I got the idea of indulging in new PJs after talking with some friends about how we adore cotton flannel jammies, the epitome of autumn/winter comfort and practicality.

Not to mention, flannel jammies are classic.

Timeless… or so you’d think.

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I walked into Soma, intent on buying some PJs, but when I noticed lots of gorgeous bras + undies I thought to myself: “I think I’ll get some of these, too, while I’m in here. I deserve to upgrade my unmentionables.”

My mind was in a happy place, giddy with possibility.

Eventually one of the employees came over to wait on me. I asked her if they had any 100% cotton or mostly cotton PJs, summer or winter, I didn’t care which season.

With a dismissive laugh she told me that: “No, we don’t carry things like that. NOBODY WANTS COTTON PAJAMAS!”

[Considering that I was SOMEBODY standing in front of her this statement was factually incorrect. But out of the largesse of my heart I chose to not mention this lapse in logic to her.]

Ignoring her attitude I told her that my friends and I liked cotton flannel jammies, and suggested that: “I’m sure there are lots of woman who want 100% cotton pajamas. I think that my friends and I are the norm.”

Could be wrong, but kinda think I’m not.

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She shrugged, indifferent to me, the NOBODY standing in front of her, and started to wander away from me. As she turned her back on me I told her: “Tell the corporate people that we want 100% cotton PJs. You got that?”

She just walked away from me, without a word.

No apology for not having what I, the customer nobody, wanted. No sympathy for what I was asking for. No suggestion of where I might go to buy what I wanted.

No indication that she cared in the least [because she didn’t].

Now you’d think I’d be mad about this, wouldn’t you, my gentle readers? But really, can you blame her for behaving this way?

After all, I was, quite obviously, a NOBODY.

Of Sloth And Grit: A Slacker Laments

Sloth is my favorite cardinal sin.

I’m a natural-born slacker, so maybe it’s unfair of me to choose sloth as my #1 deadly sin because it comes so easily to me, but it is the one I like the best.  It’s not that I dislike all the other cardinal sins, it’s just that I have a preference.

So imagine my disappointment when…

I’m reading one of my favorite websites, Smithsonian.com.  I see an article geared toward self-improvement, a subject that intrigues a lazybones such as myself.  The article is: If Grit Breeds Success, How Can I Get Grittier?

Reading this article I come upon a link to Angela Duckworth’s Grit Scale.  Following the link, I find and take a 10 question quiz.  My score, baffling and disheartening as it is, you can see in the image below.

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 This number does not please me.

Grit suggests spunk, courage, resolve.  It shows perseverance and a strength of character that a sloth-y person such as myself believes she does not have.

Then to find out that I’m grittier than 80% of American adults– well… I. am. bummed.

And it is on that point that I’m going to leave this topic today, my gentle readers.  Clearly I need to re-assess all that I think I know about myself, examine in-depth my heretofore hidden strength of grittiness, and set about figuring out what is my new favorite deadly sin.

Perhaps gluttony? Maybe envy? Suggestions anyone?!

A 3-Question Pop Quiz On Guttering & Muttering

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Q1: What is wrong with this picture?

A. Not a thing… did I ever mention my favorite artist is Salvador Dali?

B. How clever! You’ve built a sliding board for Fuzzy the Squirrel.

C. It looks like some more of the gutter has fallen off the back of your house… AGAIN.

D. What’s wrong with this?! Every stinking thing. The end of the world is nigh.

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Q2: What caused this gutter to come undone?

A. I don’t understand the question… you know Dali painted some surreal works with absurd off-kilter angles just like this gutter.

B. A squirrel jumped up and down about a hundred thousand times on the gutter.

C. Ally Bean allowed herself to dream of buying a new laptop computer for herself, not because she needs one, but because she WANTS one.

D. What caused this to come undone?! Every stinking thing. The end of the world is nigh.

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Q3: What did Ally Bean mutter when she saw what had happened?

A. I imagine, like Salvador’s work, her words were a bizarre juxtaposition of pathos and profundity, of oddness and obviousness.  A mélange of commonplace utterances and curse words.

B. Where is that damned squirrel!

C. Holy Fricking Mole-y! I gotta call Z-D, who is, of course, out-of-town on business, to tell him I’M. NOT. HAPPY.

D. What did she say?! Every stinking thing. The end of the world is nigh.

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When Good Grapefruit Has Bad Marketing

DSCN5865 To your left you will see a photo of half a grapefruit, on a pretty white bread & butter plate, plus the label off the sturdy red mesh bag it came in.

This grapefruit, purchased at the local K. Roger, is not as humongous as many of the grapefruits available, nor is it as intensely pink in color as most of the individually sold grapefruits.

It was tasty.  Easy to section. Juicy, but not overly so. With just the right amount of sweetness.

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But here’s the weird thing about this grapefruit.  Just like Proust’s madeleines, this grapefruit stimulated long-lost memories from my childhood.

It reminded me of being an elementary school-age girl.  Sitting at home in my parents’ warm kitchen while eating breakfast at the old, slightly wobbly, wooden drop-leaf table.  Listening to the local AM radio “Quickie Quiz” show.  Wondering what I’d be doing at recess later in the morning.

So considering the effect that this grapefruit had on me, I’m left wondering what marketing genius came up with the idea to name this product:

NOT your MOTHER’S Grapefruit.

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Putting aside the stupid inconsistent capitalization of the letters of the product’s name, if there was ever a fruit whose essence reminded me positively of my past, it would be these grapefruits.

And considering that grapefruits are pretty much the same old fruit now that they were 40 years ago, I’m irritated with the somewhat passive aggressive marketing message that I’ll be an old fuddy duddy if I don’t buy these particular grapefruits.

I understand that times change, but I gotta wonder how it could be that bad-mouthing grapefruit is the key to more sales.  Does that even make sense?