Links I Love For Clever Beans, Badass Turtles + Other Goofs

… because information is FUN dammit.

 Sometimes you need to remember How To Begin Again.

 Inspiration like the 5 Tips to Trim Down for Trump is why I love the blogosphere.

  Reminding you again How Being Bored Out Of Your Mind Makes You More Creative.

 Taking the What’s Your Closet Personality quiz, learning that I’m a Clothing Economist.

  What say we all try to be a Warrior Not Worrier.

 Knowing How to Enjoy Tea Throughout the Day seems like a good idea.

  Wondering about being a “54” after taking the Do You Live In A Bubble? quiz.

  So The Secret Is Not To Care, huh?

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New goal: Be as badass as this turtle.

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6 Small Thoughts Upon The 6th Anniversary Of This Blog

A glimpse into my personal blogging evolution…

1)  I like my writing better now than when I started The Spectacled Bean.  I’ve learned how to write in a smooth flowing chatty style that is genuine, not dry & academic.  I express myself with more attitude, more gratitude, less awkwardness, and a propensity to use goofy big words that I love.

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2)  I write more in-depth now on one event or topic or person, instead of glossing over and combining many things into one post like I used to do.  I’m more focused, definitely less ditzy.

3)  I think of my blog as a newspaper lifestyle column now in which I share my observations, experiences + research, making sense of these things, so that I can start conversations which, I hope, add a bit of love +  learning + laughter into the world.  I no longer think of this blog as a diary or a variety show or a scrapbook.

4)  My posts look prettier now thanks to the instant availability of font sizes, styles, and colors.  Plus it’s so much easier to add images and videos now.  I sometimes wonder why any of us read any blog considering how text-based and bland they all looked.

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5)  I find myself more engaged with my followers now than ever before.  Lots of  fascinating articulate people have found The Spectacled Bean, and I have found their blogs.  I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my posts, and thank you for making me part of your lives as well.

6)  I’m much mellower now about this whole blogging thing.  No more angst over what to write about, little worry about how to write it, still some concern that I’ll make a spelling or grammatical error.  But overall, I’m chill– and comfortable in my role as a suburban blogger.

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What Was This Week All About? Anxiety, Awareness, Acrimony, And Adjustments

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This has been a ridiculous week.  MY MIND AND SPIRIT ARE WHACKED, ON EDGE.  In fact, so much so that I’m going to write a listicle instead of a proper post To Remember It all. 

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In no particular order…

√  ANXIETY:  Our normal temperature for this time of year would be 39ºF.  However, on Monday morning it was 7ºF here with a wind chill close to 0ºF, a light dusting of snow everywhere.  By Thursday morning, after 65 mph winds on Wednesday night that took down many tree limbs, our temp was 65ºF.  Right now on Saturday morning it’s 35ºF outside with gray skies.

These extreme temperature fluctuations make me nervous– and put a wrinkle [pun intended] in my early morning “what to wear?” decision-making process. 

√  AWARENESS:  I’ve always said that I believe that education is everything.  I was naively referring to learning about language and history and math and science and critical thinking and how to get along with people.  I was not thinking about learning new terms for sexual deviancy, but thanks to our PEOTUS I now know more about said topic.  Unless you’ve been visiting Mars this week you do too, right?  

Perhaps we should change the aforementioned acronym to mean Pervert Elect Of The United States.    

√  ACRIMONY:  I’m disappointed to know that one member of the board at LL Bean, a woman who is a descendent of the founder, has used her vast wealth to fund The Donald’s campaign.  I agree in part with the current LL Bean Executive Chairman’s FB message [instead of a proper press release?] reminding us that this woman is free to do whatever she chooses with her money, but I disagree with him about how her behavior does not reflect upon the company.  

A company’s board of directors, chosen for their acumen, is the brains behind a company, and as such whatever a director values will influence [obviously] his or her input into how the company operates.  Thus any connection to anything or anyone dodgy [Hello Donald] casts doubt on the way the whole company is run. 

Not saying I won’t shop there in the future, but it’ll no longer be the first place I go to when I need clothes, bedding, sporting equipment, outdoor furniture.   

√  ADJUSTMENTS:  My iPad, which by techie standards would be a great-great-grandma, is doing wonky things.  It has taken to tweeting not what I write, but a link to the last article that I read.  Fortunately I’m not ashamed of anything that research and read, so that aspect of this problem isn’t what worries me.  No, it’s the fact that great-great-grandma seems to be on a tweeting bender.  The poor dear just can’t help herself.  Nor can I.

So I deleted my Twitter app from my iPad and this week have lived a life in which I only see Twitter when I’m using my desktop computer, which means not so often.  

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On The Cusp Of The Holidays, I Give You Links I Love

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States.  

Much hustle and bustle. Much family related stress. Much TV watching for the non-shoppers, much discount shopping for the wackos people who like to do that sort of thing.

I thought a few fun links might be appreciated this week while you, my gentle readers, eye-rolled at familial lunacy OR made like a potato on the couch OR foraged in over-heated junked-up stores.

Whatever you decide to do makes no difference to me, but please…

Be safe. Be happy. Be.

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A cheery anthem from an unlikely source that gets us where we’re going.

Details about wishbone karma just in time for Thanksgiving.

An easy way to make people more social. Count me in.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Spend some quality time with old friends.

Feeling anxious? Relax with these neuroscience-approved songs.

Here are the 200 happiest words. Use them often this holiday season.

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Unwanted: A Photo Study Of Stuff, With Commentary

• OUT FOR A STROLL AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD, I saw this little chest of drawers sitting out by the curb, waiting for trash pick-up.  I immediately thought of Downton Abbey’s Mr. Carson’s observation: “If you are tired of style, you are tired of life.”

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• WALKING THROUGH OUR LITTLE DOWNTOWN, I saw this sign on the window of a dilapidated building that I hope to heaven is torn down soon.  It’s the kind of private property that appears to be one sneeze away from collapse, and as such, is dangerous to walk by.

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• ORGANIZING THE JUNK DRAWER, in search of coins, I found this long-expired casino voucher for a whopping 15¢.  Never let it be said that I am not a frugal optimist, albeit a disorganized one, who believed that she’d get back to the casino to redeem this voucher.

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• SORTING THROUGH THE BASEMENT, I found these moving boxes that I saved from our last move 17 years ago.  Interestingly enough, I have no idea where they came from.  We are not the Sparks family, but apparently years ago we got their stoneware, plus bowls and glasses.

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What Ally Forgot: A Different Kind Of Book Review

• Introduction •

A few weeks ago Akilah at The Englishist wrote a post titled, Top Ten Books I Have No Recollection of Reading.”  Her point, which is excellent, is that we all read lots of books, but not all the books stick with us.

We forget about some books entirely– and only remember odd tidbits in other ones.

Inspired by Akilah I decided to figure out what books I’ve read, enjoyed enough to keep a copy around here, but now can’t tell you much of anything about the characters, the plot, the setting.

• My Top Five Books That I Have [Almost] No Recollection Of Reading •

1.  And Only To Deceive by Tasha Alexander  

I know that I read this book when it was cold outside because I remember looking at the cover and thinking how much warmer I’d be if I had on that red dress.  As for the story, couldn’t tell you a thing about it, but that dress…

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 2.  Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman

Someone on Twitter suggested this book so I got a copy of it and read it.  My impression is that I thought the story was cute.  The only specific I remember is that there was something about grilling steaks [?] in it.  Must have been hungry when I read it.  

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3.  Then Again by Diane Keaton

I’ve enjoyed Diane Keaton’s work as an actress, so I bought this book hoping to learn about what makes her tick.  Apparently that didn’t happen because all I can tell you is that Diane’s mother was seriously ill.  There might have been more insight, but I’ll be darned if I know what it was.

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4.  The Buddha Walks Into A Bar: A Guide To Life by Lodro Rinzler

I bought this book at Anthropologie thinking that I could use some self-improvement, and with a title like this one, I’d find the meaning of life within the pages of this book.  No idea what this book was about, but the cover is cute.  So there’s that.

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5.  Four Souls by Louise Erdich

A few friends recommended this book to me.  There was a character with a French first name, and I remember thinking that there was a lot of history going on in this story.  Guess I forgot all the facts, just like I used to do immediately after taking any history test.

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• Some Fun Bookish Things To Do •

Want to laugh about books you don’t want to read? Go to Awful Library Books.

Want to learn about books you will want to read? Go to What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel.

Want to read like an incoming freshman at Harvard? Go to Malia Obama’s Essential College Reading List.

Want to get a book reading list customized for you? Go to whichbook.

Want to keep up with books that aren’t popular? Go to The Neglected Books Page.

• Question of the Day •

What are you reading now?

Is it something that you think you’ll always remember reading?  Or is it a filler book, good in the moment, but destined to be on your very own Books I Have No Recollection of Reading List?

M Is For Mush, Mighty Interesting

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 10.55.02 AMTurned to mush

… is an American slang phrase that means your heart &/or your mind are no longer sensible or clear.  Someone or something has evoked tender feelings within you so that you’ve become nostalgic, sentimental, or sad.

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I’ve no story to tell you about mush, so instead here’s a random list of information about the word “mush.”  Study & learn, my gentle readers.  This information will be on the test.  😉

Mush: Breakfast Recipe, Fried OR Breakfast Recipe, Porridge

Mush: History Of A Regional Company Known For It

Mush: British Slang Term [in a phrase]

Mush: Romany Slang [word alone]

Mush: Word As Used In Alaska In Iditarod

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{ SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO FOR FUN }

Only one word in the lyrics, care to guess what it is?

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