May You Be Happy: 8 Interesting Links To Share On A Tuesday

ADVICE, IT’S EVERYWHERE

I’ve been asked to explain why I sometimes write posts that are filled with links. You see…

A long time ago I read an article, written by a marketing professional, about personal blogging. This article had advice about how to ensure that your personal blog had a balanced mix of content that’d appeal to a variety of readers.

Quite simply, the article said that to be perceived as interesting you need to write: 1/3rd of your posts about research, ideas, or professional topics; 1/3rd of your posts about updates in your personal life and how you feel about what is going on; and 1/3rd of your posts about hobbies or adventures.

While I don’t adhere strictly to this advice, I keep it in mind. It has influenced me over the years.

Thus as an example of the first of the three categories mentioned above, I give you, my gentle readers, the following list of 8 random links that I’ve stumbled over whilst flitting about online.

Enjoy!

EIGHT INTERESTING LINKS TO SHARE

• Apparently in France it’s called piscine. I’ve no problem with it, but some people are peeved.

Mine is green. Take a quiz to discover your aura’s color.  UPDATED: Mine is now blue. Take a different quiz to discover your aura’s color.

• I’m not sure I *try* to be nice, but I take this point…

• We don’t have a dog, but the mid-century aesthetic of this kibble dispenser caught my eye.

• Your doctor is talking about you. And it might not be in a flattering way.

• Watch and be entertained. Earworm to follow….

• I want to know the answer to this, too. Why is it so difficult to find normal sleeves?

• You can guess why Karen and Brandon are no longer popular baby names, but do you know which names are popular now? Meet Olivia and Liam— and all their little friends.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you think the personal blogging advice shared in the first part of this post is wise or wacky? That is, would you say it’s AMAZEBALLS or WEAKSAUCE?

Any comments, insightful or otherwise, about any of the links above? That is, would you say any one link in particular is AMAZEBALLS or WEAKSAUCE?

Do you like using slang when you write your blog posts? How about in real life when you talk with people, do you use slang then?

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In Which I Grumble While Waiting For Home Improvements To Begin, For Real

INTRODUCTION

As I’m sure you, my little paint chips, can imagine I’m tired of waiting for our home improvement projects, planned last fall, to begin.  In fact, last week was A SERIES OF DISAPPOINTMENTS, not earth-shattering large ones, just a never-ending parade of things. not. going. right.

I felt exhausted and defeated.

However, in spite of all that isn’t happening, I will tell you the skinny about what is SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON at Chez Bean sometime soon. There is, of course, no precise answer about when ‘soon’ will be so it’s still a puzzle.

THINGS TO TELL YOU

🔜  Supposedly in mid-May the renovations will begin on our two bathrooms.  This, of course, is contingent on THE INFERNAL SUPPLY CHAIN that has limited my style choices and slowed down delivery of the tile, faucets, cabinets, sinks, toilets, a tub, et cetera, et cetera, we need to get going.

🔜  We’re still waiting to hear back from the concrete company that we contracted with last fall to make OUR NEW SIDEWALK in March.  Alas & alack we have no new sidewalk because said company seems to have disappeared.

🔜  Meanwhile the new oven and cooktop are somewhere on this planet, perhaps roaming the high seas aboard a ship, like pirates drinking rum and sporting eyepatches.  In other words, no update about the whereabouts of OUR KITCHEN APPLIANCES so no timeline about when they might be installed and we could once again bake in an oven with an accurate thermometer.

🔜  Earlier this winter I mentioned scratching noises in the attic and guess what?  WE HAVE MICE living and breeding up there.  Thus we have contracted with a professional extermination company to murder them.  Then that company will remove their carcasses + the fusty dirty attic insulation, patch holes in the house, clean the attic area with boric acid, and finally install new insulation in the attic.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What are you WAITING for? Literal &/or figurative answers are acceptable.

Does waiting make you tired, worrying about what might go wrong, leading you to DESPAIR? Or does waiting energize you, anticipating the best, leading you to HOPE?

Thinking about the verb “to wait” which of these three idioms is your favorite? Do you prefer: TWIDDLE ONE’S THUMBS or HOLD ONE’S HORSES or COOL ONE’S HEELS?

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being lost and the kindness of strangers:

“My dad, who is 82 years old, purposefully goes to a store and stands there looking lost until some nice person offers to help him, and then he asks them for what he needs and basically has a personal shopper for free. I’m just saying that you’re onto something.”

~ Colleen Martin

“Once a friend of mine and I drove to Myrtle Beach on the way back we got lost, of course. We stopped and asked for directions and were told to turn left at the Burger King. We drove up and down that street for God knows how long unable to find the Burger King. Stopped and asked again…turns out the Burger King is now a KFC.”

~ Gigi

“Just last week someone pulled over as we were walking the kids to school to ask for directions (we live in a small university town) and it made me feel so happy to have the answer to their questions. There is something so satisfying about strangers helping out…”

~ Elizabeth

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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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Deconstructing Goblin Mode: It Can Happen To The Best Of Us

Image via The Gottman Institute on IG

I’m just throwing it out here, but I may have gone goblin.  Yep, I might be in Goblin Mode.

As you must realize it’s been a long 2 years of living with Covid-19 realities and precautions.  Plus considering I’m an introvert at heart, I may have been on the precipice of going goblin to begin with.

What is Goblin Mode, you may be asking?

According to Google Trends this term, Goblin Mode, has been around for a while, peaking in popularity in February 2022.  The Guardian recently published an article about this term.  The article is cleverly entitled: “Slobbing out and giving up: why are so many people going ‘goblin mode’?”

Here is what I learned from reading the article.  Someone named Juniper, a primary source I guess, described Goblin Mode as: “… kind of the opposite of trying to better yourself…. everyone’s just kind of wild and insane right now.”  

The article also says that Goblin Mode is: “… an almost spiritual-level embrace of our most debased tendencies.”

This was clarified further by Cat Marnell, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir How To Murder Your Lifewho said that: “It’s when you act crazy, and you enter a very mythological space– you want to jump on the back of a salamander and make trouble.” 

Examples of being in Goblin Mode include, but are not limited to, the ideas of not committing to a daily exercise regime, not bothering to wear clothes that match, and pretty much giving up on the bread-baking homemaker ideal + healthy diet that was popular at the beginning of the pandemic.

I have to be truthful here, the foregoing paragraph does ring true with me– and perhaps with you, too.  [Don’t worry, you’re among friends so you can admit it.]

While I don’t think I’m a total slob nor am I certifiably insane after two years of being on constant alert for an invisible virus that can kill me & everyone I love, I do think I’ve shifted my priorities, allowed myself to be less uptight in general.

In fact I’d go so far as to say I’m a person who’d love to cause some harmless trouble– if I could only find the right salamander.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

How did you… first come to realize that Goblin Mode was a thing?

In what ways… do you feel you are currently in Goblin Mode?

Tell me about… what you like or dislike about the concept of Goblin Mode.

What’s it like… to know that you, or someone you love, may have gone goblin?

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Pondering: If You Tell Me You’re Independent, What Does That Mean?

Something pretty to enjoy while pondering…

Shortly before the pandemic began 2 years ago this month, I was at a social function with Z-D.  It was for his work.

I was seated next to a 70-something woman, a delightfully chatty child-free extrovert, who was [and I hope still is] the wife of a man who used to work with Z-D.

Thanks to many social business events we’d endured together I knew this pleasant woman as a casual acquaintance so this was good.  From previous conversations with her I knew she was a Joiner with a capital ‘J’.

To wit, over the years she’d told me that she was in a garden club, a book club or two, a dog breed club, a bicycling group, a music guild, a Bible study group, a travel club, and she was a member of a country club.

She went on a *sisters only* cruise every year and hosted parties for her nieces who were involved in multi-level marketing schemes.  She always had a family Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  Plus at one point she had worked full-time and socialized with her workmates, seemingly every weekend.

• • •

We had a lovely time chatting, which is to say I mostly listened and she mostly talked.

As we were getting ready to leave, perhaps sensing this would be the last time we’d see each other [and it was], she leaned over to me and said in a confidential tone: “I’m independent. I need for you to know that.”

INDEPENDENT?

NEED for me TO KNOW?

SAY WHAT?

I had zero idea what she was getting at and because of the circumstances I didn’t get the opportunity to ask her any, shall we say, clarifying follow-up questions.

Over these last two years I’ve thought about that comment often and have talked with friends in real life about what it could mean.  Without context it can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  Here is what we’ve come up with:

  • I’m independent because I have money of my own.
  • I’m independent because I am free to choose which groups I join.
  • I’m independent because I don’t have children.
  • I’m independent because I’m retired and so is my husband.
  • I’m independent because I grew up as a second-wave feminist.
  • I’m independent because I haven’t declared myself to be aligned with a particular political party.
  • I’m independent because the church I go to is outside the mainstream, not part of an established protestant denomination.

So what say you, my gentle readers?  

Do you consider yourself to be independent? And if you do, what does that mean to you? Also, do you need people to know you’re independent?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  This can be an interesting conversation.

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