Alumni Directories & The Art Of Mischievousness

Apropos of a delightfully snarky conversation with a friend…

FRIEND HAS RECEIVED AN INVITATION to her college reunion this fall. She has no interest in attending, but has the opportunity to be included in the alumni directory.

She would like that.

To do this she has to fill out an online form telling ye olde university details about who she is now. The form will not be accepted unless it is filled in completely.

Friend, like me, graduated from a liberal arts university. Hers, Methodist. Mine, Lutheran.

Friend, like me, majored in something to do with words. Hers, Romance Languages. Mine, English Literature.

Friend, like me, graduated from college and never returned to her hometown, instead choosing to make her way in the big bad world on her own.

Friend, like me, received almost no career counseling while in college. Instead she’s had many jobs, but none that suggest a specific title showing the summation of her work accomplishments*.

• • •

As always, Calvin asks the important questions

• • •

THE PROBLEM, AS WE SEE IT, is that Friend is unsure about how to describe herself on this ridiculous form that will ONLY be accepted if she fills in ALL the blanks.

Does she take the dutiful route and tell this university, where she received a great classical education but had no help finding work, about ONE of the things she’s done? That is, does she say she’s an Interpreter, even though she did that briefly?

OR should she be more irreverent, feeling no need to divulge anything specific about her work history to this institution that provided no career guidance. That is, does she say she’s a Woman of International Mystery?

I relate to this problem.

I know that when I’ve been forced to fill in forms like the one Friend is dealing with, I waiver between saying I’m a Writer or a Kept Woman. Both are apt, more or less, and satisfy the nosy computer system.

So what say you?

IF you were in this situation wherein you only needed to fill in the blank as a means to an end AND you felt no loyalty to the university from which you graduated…

Would your answer be sincere or flippant? 
And why?
Do you consider yourself mischievous at times?
And if so, how does that make you feel?

* If you’re a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or an accountant [or whatever], you’ve not had to deal with this situation. But for those who have wandered through life working at various jobs, contributing to the GNP in our own ways, this can be problematic.

In A Dither: Busy Week For Me, Assorted Random Links For You

I’ve a busy week going on here.

As some of you know, Zen-Den is planning to retire at the end of September.  From now until then he’s kind of working, kind of on vacation– or as he calls it Retirement Bootcamp.

In other words, he’s underfoot.

Plus, landscapers are still trying to finish the area around the new sidewalk and build a stone patio, but it keeps raining, like hell and high water raining.

This project never ends.

And the appliance repair guy is back today, doing his best to fix our dishwasher [the electric one, not me], taking it apart in the kitchen, rebuilding it with new parts.

Fingers crossed this works.

My mind is in a bit of a dither, so instead of writing a tale or sharing a tribulation, I’ll leave with you, my little eggheaded chickadees, the following links.

Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~

Feel like saying something positive? Use a krul, explained by Wikipedia here and shown above, to express yourself.

Want to figure out which productivity method is for you? Take this todoist quiz. [I need to focus on time blocking.]

Curious about the mythology of dragons? Read this article in The Conversation and be informed.

Looking for a way to declutter your living space? Join Apartment Therapy’s 14 Day Declutter Cure. The action starts Sept. 19 & my hopes are high.

Hoping to refresh your memory of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States? Re-learn it here with Barney Fife— and Andy, of course.

Trying to figure out the plural of a word, e.g. spritz? Your answer is here at wordhippo.

Feel like being a little snarky? Use the Viral Post Generator and allow AI to write your own pretend Linkedin post. See image below.

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About how you discovered this blog:

“When I was moonlighting as a private investigator, an anonymous person hired me to tail you. I followed you around for weeks, getting to know everything about you: the house where you reside, the car you drive, the grocery store you frequent. One evening, while peering in through the blinds, I saw you hunched over a laptop, typing away. Curious, I whipped out my binoculars for a closer look. Lo and behold, I discovered you were a blogger! Those high-powered lenses made it easy to see your URL, so I subscribed the next day.”

~ Mark Petruska

“Blog readers are a bit like those at a the mall: there are the boomers busily rushing by on a mission, the window shoppers who momentarily are attracted to something and pause before moving on, and those who actually go in (and those can be subdivided into the browsers and those who walk in, look around and decide to buy – becoming a repeat customer).”

~ philosophermouseofthehedge

“The Universe sets us up, leading us to start a blog (why?why?why? no answer – the Universe just pushed us to a place we didn’t know we’d LOVE); to light a match on WordPress and see the writing flames erupt as we began to visit each other; to learn SO MUCH about different subjects, yes, but mostly about the amazing wonderful like-minded (even if totally different from us) souls out here in the …. UNIVERSE.”

~ Pamela S. Wight

Tidbits & Trifles Confirming That Life Isn’t Always Exciting

Image via Mums Who Wine on Instagram

Hello world, what’s new with you?  

• Last Thursday the nurse holding the syringe said “Coming at ‘ya, BOOM!” And with that I received my final booster shot against Covid-19. On July 1 I’ll be VAXXED TO THE MAX at 95% protection. It’ll be my first day of freedom after 28 months of pandemic precautions and awareness. Whatever shall I do with myself?

Mark my words, this won’t be jolly.

• Our favorite DISHWASHER ever isn’t working. First we’ll see if it can be repaired, but past experience has taught me probably not. Then if/when that is confirmed we’ll start down the primrose path to getting a new one, meaning we’re heading back into the world of supply chain woes. This does not make me happy.

I think not, my fine fellow!

• I made deviled eggs whilst Z-D lurked around the kitchen looking like a starving puppy. As is my habit after filling each egg half with yummy yolk-y goodness I sprinkled smoked paprika on top of each egg, then placed a pimiento on top because… is it even a real deviled egg without a DECORATIVE PIMIENTO?  

Zen-Den, who you’d think would know better, did not comprehend the importance of said decoration and kept trying to eat an undecorated egg, like a prehistoric caveman. Hands were slapped.

What are the odds, I ask sarcastically?

• On the home improvement front I’m sorry to report that not enough TILE has arrived to finish the floor in the powder room. We’re waiting on getting more of it that’ll, God willing the creek don’t rise, match what’s already installed. If it doesn’t match then who knows what happens next. I shudder to think.

It’s gonna be an epic battle.

• The ZINNIA WARS of the Summer of ’22 have begun. Deer [or rabbits?] are gnawing on my zinnias that I’ve nurtured from seed, then planted outside in sunny spots where I can easily see them daily. YET many zinnias have been torn out of the ground, strewn asunder, by nefarious animals intent on stealing my joy. We’ll just see about that.

Now is your chance to share your Tidbits & Trifles. WHAT NOT EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN YOUR WORLD? Spill it in the comments below.  

Inspired By A *Sincere* Spammer, Here Are Photos Of Pretty Spring Colors

I was wondering how I was going to introduce these photos then inspiration arrived in the form of a spammer. No doubt he’s a sincere dude, offering me unsolicited advice.

You see, kids, this spammer believes I’m too verbose to create good content, as evidenced by my last wordy post*. He mansplained graciously suggested that by using more photos in my posts, and fewer words, I could become a GREAT blogger.

Thus with a hat tip to this fine fellow, and a hope that this picture-filled post doesn’t burden him with the need to read & comprehend too many words, I give you seven pretty photos that showcase spring colors in the garden.

Also, Zen-Den wants me to wish spammer dude well completing fourth grade. We both think this might be a challenge for him… all. those. words.

BLUE sky smiling above

RED geranium in a terra cotta pot

PINK astilbe in dappled sunlight

GREEN trees as backdrop to screened-in porch

BLACK petunias [that are actually as very dark purple but are sold as black] in a terra cotta pot

PEACHY PINK drift roses

PURPLE salvia by a stone path

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About hypocrisy versus sound judgement:

“I don’t know this woman but I think you’re protecting your personal boundaries. I think her response to your very thoughtful and honest suggestion speaks volumes. Sure, people can change. But that doesn’t mean they get to be let into your life. No thank you.”

~ Nicole MacPherson

“Boundaries, baby! Yes, Ally, I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion/schtick/whatevs, but that doesn’t make them right or smart or even decent people. If there’s anything the I’ve learned since we’ve entered the aughts is that there are a whole lotta people out there I wouldn’t want to have dinner with…”

~ Pam Lazos

“Nothing hypocritical about avoiding people who aren’t good energy. I have to say I feel a little bad for Zelda. Not bad enough that I think you should follow her. Just sad for a person who seems to know something of the world, yet remains so self-focused.”

~ Crystal Byers

* The analysis of my word to photo ratio on the previous post shows 246 words per 2 photos. On this post, excluding this footnote and the captions on the photos, there are 42 words per 7 photos. Make of this what you will.

You Decide: Behaving Hypocritically Or Showing Sound Judgment

~ • ~

I CAN SEE WHAT HAPPENED FROM TWO PERSPECTIVES 

On the one hand I believe people can change and that’s a defining characteristic of humanity.  As we gain experience and knowledge we are able to change, preferably for the better, as we go along.

But on the other hand I like to keep my distance from people who have demonstrated they’re irony-impaired and don’t have the sense God gave a goose, regardless of whether they may have changed or not.

Judge me as you will.

~ • ~

I WAS ON INSTAGRAM WHEN IT MADE A SUGGESTION ABOUT WHO I SHOULD FOLLOW  

When I saw the name I recognized it immediately and shouted “HELL NO.”

Literally.

Shouted those words out loud.

Then I started laughing because I hadn’t thought about this woman, Zelda, in years.

I met Zelda, an author wannabe, through a mutual acquaintance who knew that Zelda was creating her author’s platform which was to include a personal blog.

Our mutual acquaintance thought that I might be able to answer some of Zelda’s questions about writing a personal blog. And I did.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

~ • ~

YOU SEE, ZELDA WAS GOING TO WRITE HER MEMOIR

It was to be about what she’d learned about how to get along with people while living on four continents.

She had stories to tell about her experiences while overcoming language barriers and adapting to the idiosyncrasies of the cultures around her.

There was a charming Kum Ba Yah hippy vibe to her thinking and Zelda was a wordy girl, of that I have no doubt.  She could talk up a storm about the book she had yet to write.

The thesis statement for her proposed memoir was something to the effect of: by taking time to listen and understand people you can connect on a deeper level regardless of your background. It just takes effort.

Being proactive, she’d started a blog for her author’s platform.

Oh yes she had.

~ • ~

BUT THERE WAS A PROBLEM

She couldn’t figure out how to attract readers.  She knew that as an author-to-be she’d need to be able prove to a literary agent that she had a loyal online following.

This was something that had not happened despite the time she was pouring into her blog;  she was clueless as to why this was so.

In an attempt to get to gain perspective on her problem I asked her which blogs she followed and commented on. She seemed baffled, genuinely confused.

She replied, you mean I’m supposed to pay attention to other blogs?  

I said, yes, that’s the deal. That’s how you connect in the blogosphere. You pay attention to other bloggers, leave thoughtful comments, then those people become your readers. 

To which she said, why would I do that? I don’t care about those people. All I want is for them to pay attention to me so I can sell my book.

And therein was the crux of the problem for this author wannabe/newbie blogger who wanted to tell YOU what to do, but had no intention of making any effort to do so herself.

Go figure, huh?

~ • ~

NOW I GRANT YOU ZELDA COULD HAVE CHANGED

It’s been years since I met her, but looking at her IG account I saw no evidence that she’d written her memoir or that she had a public personal blog.

Instead I saw an Instagram feed with selfies– and not much else.

Knowing what you do now, would you want to follow her on social media? Hmmm? 

Am I being hypocritical by not allowing her the opportunity to show me that she has changed OR am I protecting my personal boundaries/sanity by not following her?

Discuss.