The Last Roses Of The Season With A Hint Of Shakespeare

“What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

~ Romeo and Juliet

• + • + •

The other morning I gave the shrub roses their last trim of the season.  Even though the calendar says it’s fall, these bushes are officially ready for winter.

Most of the roses were faded and falling apart, but a few flowers were still buds or starting to bloom.

I saved the healthy stragglers, putting them together in a casual bouquet in a vase on the kitchen counter.

Later I noticed that the sun, shining through the window, made the water sparkle and the colors pop, leaving me with one last glimpse of summer’s beauty, while waiting for winter to arrive.

• + • + •

“Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile;
So ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.”

~ Love’s Labor’s Lost

In Which Ms. Bean Drives In Circles & Contemplates A Personal Slogan

About 100 years ago this car would have been my preferred set of wheels, especially if it came standard with a dog. Obviously. { photo via Library of Congress }

~ ~ • ~ ~

OF LATE I’VE HAD MORE OPPORTUNITIES THAN USUAL TO drive to and from the airport.  Considering where we live in Ohio, our closest international airport is in Kentucky, meaning that I have to drive on an interstate highway to cross over the Ohio River to get there.

It’s all about geography.

I can do this by EITHER driving on the outer belt through Ohio, across a bridge into Kentucky.

OR, if there is an accident in my way or construction delays, I can drive in the other direction on the outer belt through Ohio, then through Indiana, across a bridge into Kentucky.

The excitement?  It never ends.

~ ~ • ~ ~

IT IS WHILE SASHAYING AROUND THE AFOREMENTIONED INTERSTATE OUTER BELT SYSTEM THAT I’ve come to notice, on huge bridge signs, that Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana have new-to-me state slogans*.

  • Ohio, formerly “THE HEART OF IT ALL” is now “SO MUCH TO DISCOVER”
  • Kentucky, formerly “WHERE EDUCATION PAYS” is now “UNBRIDLED SPIRIT”
  • Indiana, formerly “CROSSROADS OF AMERICA” is now “HONEST-TO-GOODNESS INDIANA”

Seeing these state slogans, writ large [literally and figuratively], got me thinking about branding, albeit in a narcissistic way.  That is, what might I use as my personal slogan?

If I had to have one.  Which to my knowledge I do not.  Yet.

~ ~ • ~ ~

THUS WANTING TO BE PREPARED FOR ANY CONTINGENCY and bored out of my gourd while driving, I compiled the following list** of potential Ally Bean slogans.

Should you be of a mind to help me decide what my personal slogan should be, please indulge me and do the following two things:

  1. Indicate your preferred slogan for moi, by answering the simple poll question below.
  2. If you have a personal slogan, I’d love to know what it is.  Yours might be better than mine and it’s not too late for me to steal it from you I could be inspired by it.

Thank you in advance for your immediate input on this totally irrelevant, but blogworthy, issue that has come to plague me as I drive hither and yon around the interstate outer belt system.

~ ~ • ~ ~

* I’ve no idea how often these slogans change. All I know is what my addled brain remembers, a faulty system at best– and these state slogans seem different from what I remember them being before.

** Oddly enough, most of these potential slogans are ones that I’ve used in various places online over the years. Or, ideas I wrote down intending to use as topics for blog posts.

Be The Light: The Art Of Turning Hate Into Great

INTRODUCTION:

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of August, in a month that’s been like no other, I have a small news story, albeit political, to share with you, my gentle readers.

THE NEWS STORY:

Early in August I saw this news story, Berlin street artist group cleverly undo swastika graffiti.

The artists featured in this news story have collaborated, voluntarily, to make their city “100% swastika-free” by responding “with humour and love” to the unwelcome swastika graffiti.  They are doing this by modifying the swastika graffiti, turning it into benign, rather cute, images.

MY COMMENTARY:

Considering the recent violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA, this article is more timely than I expected it to be when I first read it and saved it for this project.

I liked the story because I thought these artists had found an inspired + simple way to handle hate.  By defacing that which was defaced, they have created something not morally reprehensible.

Something that shows a bit of style and, dare I suggest, angelic grace.

Something that quickly and quietly has effectively turned hate into great.

I Believe Sheldon Was Right, The ATMs Are Starting To Rise Up

“I don’t trust banks. I believe that when the robots rise up, ATMs will lead the charge.”
~ Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory

• • •

HEY! DID YOU KNOW… that an ATM can take your card away from you? A legitimate card that you’ve had for a while? A card that attaches to an account that has your money in it?

Well, it can. And one did.

Here’s what happened: I drove to our local bank branch, got into the stay-in-your-car ATM lane, got to the machine, put my bright red ATM card into the machine– and WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM the machine ate my card.

Just. Like. That.

The message on the ATM screen said that my card had been confiscated for security reasons and that I needed to contact my financial institution for further assistance.

Considering that I was at my financial institution I found this message ludicrous.

Annoying.

Off-putting, even.

• • •

• • •

SO I SWORE AT… the ATM, as one does, then I drove around to the front of the bank, found a parking spot, got out of my car, wandered into the bank branch, waited in line– and finally got to a teller.

This teller, a pleasant woman, told me that the bank doesn’t want its customers to use our old bright red ATM cards, so the bank is confiscating them when you try to use one. Thereafter, I was quickly issued a new light blue ATM card that the bank wants me to use.

Uh huh.

And it worked when I used it so… *yay* I guess.

• • •

• • •

BUT HERE’S THE THING… what if I’d been on vacation when this happened?  Or at the airport stuck waiting for a flight? Or I needed the cash immediately for some reason*?

What would have happened then?

The reality is that I would have been in dire straits through no doing of my own– all because the bank, who has my money, doesn’t like the ATM card it issued to me.

So instead of just sending me a new card, the bank decided that it’d be better to risk my safety and experience my ire, than waste the money on an envelope and postage to send me a new light blue ATM card.

That gets me to my money.

All of which has me thinking that Sheldon might be onto something, ‘ya know?

• • •

* Actual real-life examples of when I needed cash now:

  1. in the hospital emergency waiting room late at night by myself, hungry, in need of cash to use in the vending machine
  2. in a foreign country too tired to use public transit back to hotel, in need of cash to use to take a taxi
  3. at a local art show, having found a beautiful piece of art, in need of cash to buy it from the person who made it

Images courtesy of Library of Congress: |1| |2|

Thus Far My August Has Not Been The Best

Here we go…

GOBSMACKED.  My car, parked legally on our street, was in an accident.  I found out about this when a neighbor, then a police officer, came to our front door to tell me that someone had rear-ended my vehicle.  Was it another car? A truck? A van or SUV? A person on a motorcycle?

No it was not.

It was a man on a bicycle who was going so fast that when he lost control he propelled himself through my back windshield, shattering it to bits.  And hurting himself so much that he had to be airlifted to a hospital across town.

[I have no further information on his condition at this time and my car is in the process of being repaired.]

DISAPPOINTED.  When Google Reader shut down a few years ago, I started using Feedly as my RSS reader.  I was thrilled with their straightforward, fresh and easy-to-use format.

In fact, as one of the early community members I told everyone I knew about this service because there was no fuss when reorganizing your feeds, no distractions when reading your chosen content.

Earlier this spring, I graciously consented to take a few in-house Feedly surveys, each of which had about a gazillion questions.  In my responses I praised what the company was doing, telling them that I appreciated how they were staying true to the idea that simplicity is best.

Well, Feedly didn’t listen to me.  And last week they changed their simple box-oriented organizational format to a cluttered mess of feeds, shown in lists overburdened with distracting data.  When I asked Feedly what the heck was going on, they told that the community wanted this.

Really? Hmmm. Not everyone.

[Therein I will leave this story, wiser to the truth in the old saying: if you aren’t paying for it, you’re the product.]

EXHAUSTED.  Our 3 to 4 week remodeling project, that started on June 5th, is now into week 10.  We’re still waiting for the rest of the decorative tile to arrive– and now we’re waiting for the second custom frame for the shower doors to arrive.

Why?  The first custom frame, measured correctly, was then created in the factory incorrectly.  This first frame, when installed in our bathroom, was too short for the doors.

So until a new frame arrives, sometime before Christmas one hopes, we have shower doors leaning against the wall in the bedroom, rather than serving, what I would believe to be, their intended purpose in the bathroom.

[This project has had more unanticipated screw-ups than even I could envision– and I’m pretty damned creative & fretful when planning anything.]

SADDENED.  It is with sorrow that I share with you, my gentle readers, that Fuzzy the Squirrel has passed away.  I’d been seeing less of him around the deck this summer, and when I did see him he was moving slowly, not even bothering to swipe a few tomatoes from my pot.

Last week while watering flower beds out back of the house, I found his almost lifeless body, under a bush near our lower level patio.  He glanced at me, then rolled his eyes upward, as he twitched his right front paw in the air.

Shortly thereafter he was gone from this world.  However, Fuzzy will be remembered forever in the pages of this blog.  May he RIP.

[All stories about Fuzzy the Squirrel are here.]

Be The Light: “You’ve Got To Have Friends”

INTRODUCTION:

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, whatever they might be, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of July, I have a story to share with you, my gentle readers.

* * *

THE NEWS STORY:  

This is a simple story with funny photos.  The gist of this story is best understood in its title: To Prove A Point, This Woman Wore Her ’90s Bridesmaid Dress Everywhere.

As explained in the article, the reason the bridesmaid wore her dress everywhere was to poke fun at her friend, the bride– who recently apologized to her bridesmaids for making them wear these dresses years ago.

The bridesmaid, who took umbrage at this apology, showed her friend, the bride, that she, the bridesmaid, loved the dress and then wore it as she did her daily activities.  She even provided photographic proof.

* * *

MY COMMENTARY:

This story, which is totally absurd, made me laugh out loud.

It reminded me that a longtime friendship like the one described in this article is rare and true and needs to be celebrated.

I mean think about it: who do you know who’d do something as goofy as wearing a bridesmaid dress while doing her daily activities just to make you laugh– and eat your words?

My answer: only a dear friend, that’s who!

And it’s for this reason that I share with you this small, silly, happy news story proving that a bit of humor can go a long way toward making life more positive and enjoyable.

Like they say, you gotta have friends.

Share Your World | Who You Calling A Birdbrain?

Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.  You can join in this week’s Share Your World Challenge by clicking here.

 List some of your favorites types of teas.

  • Oolong
  • Irish Breakfast Tea
  • Orange Pekoe
  • Peppermint

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

“GO RIGHT TO TURN LEFT”  This is my favorite traffic sign ever.  I saw it years ago in a small town in MA.  This sign, which makes no sense and perfect sense at the same time, aptly summarizes my days.

What are a couple of things that people could do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

Bring me food, then leave me alone. Check on me, then leave me alone. Pretty much, leave me alone… I’m having a bad day here. 

Irregardless [sic] of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would you do?  Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

Oh, I could be a swimmer, I suppose.  Meaning I’d have to have muscles and feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit in public and have eyes that aren’t irritated by chlorine and hair that doesn’t get frizzy near humidity.  So, sure, if I must be an athlete, and all the previous conditions have been met, then I’ll happily be a swimmer.

Optional Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week’s gratitude award goes to the video below that demonstrates how to put an adhesive bandage on your finger so that it’ll cover the boo-boo and stay in place.  I’m inspired by this video– and am almost looking forward to doing that which it shows me how to do.  Who knew?

This week’s looking forward to something goes to the distinct possibility that our new washer and dryer will be installed in our newly updated laundry room.  When that happens, we’ll have a working clothes dryer for the first time since April– and a better washing machine for the first time in years.  *fingers crossed*