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?

I’ve Read 23 Out Of 35, But I Don’t Know About This Book List

Earlier this week Time magazine published 35 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime.  I’ve added the list to the bottom of this post.  The list, compiled from responses by Reddit users, attempts to answer the question:

“what is a book that everyone needs to read at least once in their life?” 

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dalmatian-sideeye

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WHAT IMMEDIATELY STRUCK ME about the list is that out of the 33 authors, only 3 are women: L.M. Montgomery [Anne of Green Gables];  Harper Lee [To Kill A Mockingbird];  and Margaret Atwood [The Handmaid’s Tale].

Considering that the first two books are about children for children, and that the last one is about a society in which women are slaves, this list doesn’t lend credence to the idea that in 2015 we are living in a post-feminist society.

You with me here?

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I THINK THAT WE can all agree, to use the article’s words, that: “Books have the profound capacity to stay with us for the rest of our lives.”

This is good + positive.

But by accepting this premise I think that it becomes even more important to turn a critical eye toward all the possible books that one can put on a list such as this.  If one is going to have these books with him or herself forever, one must be discerning.

N’est-ce pas?

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TO MAKE THE LIST more balanced, I’d suggest that we include &/or replace on it, at a minimum, the following books written by women:

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

There must be more.  Suggestions?

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Time’s List of 35 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime

{ bolded ones I’ve read – asterisked ones I’ve never heard of before }

  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
  2. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  3. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
  4. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  6. The Forever War* by Joe Haldeman
  7. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  8. Bartleby The Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street by Herman Melville
  9. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
  10. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  11. Kafka on the Shore* by Haruki Murakami
  12. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  13. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  14. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  15. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  16. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  17. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  18. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  19. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  20. Dune by Frank Herbert
  21. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  22. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  23. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  24. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  25. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  26. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  27. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  28. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  29. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?* by Philip K. Dick
  30. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  31. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  32. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  33. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  34. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  35. 1984 by George Orwell

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WordPress Reader: So This Is What It Has Come To?

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Opus the Penguin reacts.

LIKE SO MANY OTHER WP BLOGGERS, for the last week or so I’ve fussed around with my Reader* account.  WordPress changed the thing and now it’s pretty whacked.

I’ve blogged hither and yon forever, so while I understand why people are upset about the change to Reader, I’ve shrugged it off. There are other ways to follow blogs.

For instance, now I’m using feedly.com to keep track of everyone until WordPress gets this latest kerfuffle under control.

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Bill the Cat opines.

BUT GETTING TO MY POINT HERE, as the above screen shot shows you, what I’ve found to be curious + hilarious about my current Reader account is that it tells me that I’m now following -11 blogs.

This, I’m sure, is a first for me.

Apparently Reader has taken it upon itself to carry out peremptory measures to make sure that I will not read the next 11 blogs that I think that I want to follow here in WordPress.

I’m becoming concerned about Reader.  It’s getting uppity.

Truthfully, I have to wonder if when the computers rise up and take over the world, we’ll all look back on this moment and realize that Reader was a leader in the revolution against the human race.

Be forewarned, people.  😉

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*  For those of you outside of the WP system, Reader is a way to follow WP blogs. It’s a free feature that involves minimal effort on my part to have access to a current feed of all the WP blogs that I choose to follow.  In theory, it’s useful. However, in practice… 

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{ It’s back! Images from Bloom County. More here. }