Encouraged By Your Interest I Answer Minnie Driver’s Existential Questions

These 7 questions are from the podcast Minnie Questions with Minnie Driver. In December I asked you, my gentle readers, if these questions would be of interest to you and there was a resounding YES! My answers are as follows

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Artwork created by Zen-Den the Retired who has figured out how to draw pictures on my iPad.

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When and where were you happiest? 

When? Now. Where? Here. Granted there’s nothing about my current midwest suburban lifestyle that years ago I’d have thought I’d like, but I do. I’ve adapted. I’m grateful for where I’ve landed.

And with whom, of course.

What quality do you like least about yourself? 

I still tend to be a perfectionist in certain situations. I’ve overcome it in the sense of meal planning and daily schedules and wardrobe decisions, but when it comes to interior design decisions or word choices/grammar I get in my own way because I want things to be perfect.

I know, I know, progress not perfection.

What relationship — real or fictionalized — defines love for you?

I’m going to go with a fictionalized relationship and say Amy Pond + Rory Williams.

They travelled with the 11th Dr. Who [Matt Smith] for a while and their love for/commitment to each other was so strong that Rory once guarded Amy’s tomb for thousands of years, just in case she would come back to life. Which she did, eventually [because time travel, like a bowtie, is cool].

They were honest with each other, kind and adventurous, accepting each other’s foibles for what they were, quirky personality features.

What would be your last meal?

Once upon a time Z-D and I were in Hawaii on Christmas Day. We didn’t have reservations at any restaurant so we ate our Christmas dinner sitting on chaise lounge chairs by the hotel pool.

We ordered from the poolside menu, choosing the only items that were still available. Thus we each had a tuna salad sandwich on wheat, a small bag of potato chips, a cup of pineapple cubes, and a couple cans of light beer.

It was memorable and delicious.

What person, place or experience has most altered your life?

I don’t have a specific answer for this question. Maybe going to college altered my life? Or having a house built altered my life? Or learning about reiki altered my life? Or writing this blog altered my life?

All of the above, none of the above, I do not know for sure.

What question would you most like answered?

I’d like to know why some people are only happy when they’re clinging to their problems.

They blah-blah-blah about their problems, sometimes even ask for advice, but if you offer a solution, or suggest that it’s not really a problem, then you are the foe in their narrative. How dare you deprive them of their precious problems!

Can’t you see how put upon they are?

I understand the need to vent for a while but there comes a point when you have to fish or cut bait. Do something or shut up about it.

What in your life has grown out of a personal disaster?

I’d say blogging. Years ago I had emergency surgery, called volvulus, to remove part of my large intestine that unceremoniously had knotted itself shut [plus while the surgeon was in the neighborhood he removed my appendix]. After 6 days in the hospital in a morphine haze I was sent home to recover.

Come to find out healing from major abdominal surgery was a huge lifestyle change. No longer was I the walking-est yoga girl ever. Instead I was told to not exercise vigorously, to not stretch, to not lift heavy objects– and pretty much to sit still.

For 13 months.

So I did the only thing I could think to do while sitting still, I threw myself into blogging as a way to pass the hours and feel productive. Thus thanks to emergency surgery I became Ally Bean, the blogger you know and love today.

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Questions of the Day
What do you think of Minnie’s questions? Yay or nay?
How do you feel about my answers? 
Will you answer Minnie’s questions on your own blog? Why or why not?
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Three Thoughts Thursday | Enjoying. Reading. Watching.

Years ago I dreamed up this feature thinking I’d do it every so often [maybe quarterly], but I let it slide. I’ve been wanting to resurrect it, so I shall. Three Thoughts Thursday is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.

 ONE 

I think that… Only Murders in the Building [available on Hulu] is a hoot and half, as they used to say.

Set in modern day NYC, this TV show stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. The plot revolves around the efforts of three neighbors, bumbling along, as they try to solve a murder, or two, in their apartment building. While it may sound trite and predictable it is not, and has enough laughs to make it a comedy.

Definitely recommended.

TWO 

I think that… SparePrince Harry’s memoir, is an interesting detailed glimpse into how the House of Windsor works. Or more accurately, how it doesn’t work in the case of their dysfunctional family dynamics.

Starting with his adult realization that his family doesn’t understand him, he sets out to explain his take on his life since age 12 when his mother, Diana, died.  I admire anyone who can claim their narrative and tell their story, which is especially difficult when you’re part of an uptight royal family and the British tabloids are primed to make you seem awful.

Would I recommend reading this book? Welp, I read half/skimmed through half because I didn’t care about his time in school or his travels around the world with friends or his experiences in the military.

However I was intrigued by his honesty about his teenage grief, his adult depression, and his growing disbelief about the ways in which his family of origin had treated him– and now his wife.

Not well, as you probably know.

THREE 

I think that… Glass Onion is a fun entertaining whodunit movie. I rarely watch movies, but I like the flamboyant Benoit Blanc character, played by Daniel Craig, so watching him solve another murder was delightful in that Agatha Christie cozy mystery way.

The cast is brilliant, the writing is sharp, the setting is stupendous– and the mystery itself is intriguing, unfolding in ways unexpected, like you’d expect.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY  

Do you enjoy slightly absurd kind of wacky TV shows that make you laugh? If so, any suggestions for what we might watch next?

Do you read [or listen to] books? If so, are you interested in memoirs written by or biographies about celebrities? Why or why not? 

If you watch movies do you prefer to do so at home or in a theater? Do you enjoy sequels wherein you watch the same main character [or characters] do whatever they do as the story continues?

 AND FINALLY

Yesterday WordPress sent me the above message. If you’re interested you may click HERE and be magically taken to my first post on this blog wherein I boldly asserted: good things don’t happen without the correct amount of angst.

A Rare Sunday Blog Post In Which I Grumble Unimaginatively About A Rare Early Snowfall

“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

Oscar Wilde said that, but I say WHATEVER.  I don’t see that dude standing here dealing with weather whiplash like I am.

You see, and I am a bit grumbly about this, after falling back one hour last Sunday we had a beautiful week of sunny days and agreeable daily highs in the 70s. I was running around outside wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sandals.

Life was good, in a warm busy way.

However yesterday *bing bang boom* we had our first snowfall of the season.  This isn’t statistically the norm.  Our first snow usually arrives in December [sometimes as late as January] meaning that I’m supposed to have a few more weeks of autumn.

With a gradual decline in the temperature.

With me going from shorts to capris, then pants.

But there I was yesterday morning scrambling around in the closet looking for jeans and a sweater and boots.  Clothes I enjoy wearing, but prefer to deal with in an organized, systematic way.

Not by throwing open drawers and storage bins, rooting through piles of turtlenecks trying to remember which ones I actually like–and which I ones I tolerate because I bought them & they’re here now.

Anyhow, because I’m sensing that the cold is here to stay and because I’m not ready to deal with it in a mature way, I wrote this rare Sunday blog post.  By talking about the early snow I do realize that I’m avoiding the obvious: that is, I could be doing something productive like getting my winter clothes in order.

But instead I’m complaining.  Not quite whining, but grousing, hoping to find the silver lining in this cold wet unwanted cloud of early snowiness that makes me feel like hibernating inside until next spring.

Which I should not do.

Thus if you see the silver lining in any of this please point it out to me.  Or if nothing else, distract me from the weather with your warm personality and joyful thoughts.

You know you want to.

Throw Us A Bone, We’re Trying To Name Our New Friend

PLEASE HELP US

As you will notice as you read along, scattered throughout this post are photos of our new friend, a life-size posable plastic skeleton.

I cannot lie about why I spent the money to buy him.  IT’S ALL KARI’S FAULT.  She showed us her skeleton friend, Roger, and I needed to have one of my very own to keep me company.

In other words I loved her idea, so I copied it.

However this fellow desperately needs a name and so far we’ve come to a dead end. [pun intended]

You see, and I’m sure you’ll understand that, when an English Lit major & a history buff attempt to name inanimate objects, things go sideways.

Oh sure, THERE ARE MEANINGFUL IDEAS APLENTY with sound theoretical underpinnings, but to actually pull the trigger on the naming, well– that has yet to happen.  [again pun intended]

Below I’ve listed the possibilities we’re pondering.  Do you, my gentle readers and Halloween aficionados, like any of these names?  OR do you have a better one to suggest?

Just like the air moving through the bones of this skeleton, we are open to ideas.

10 POSSIBLE NAMES FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

WILD BILL [Hickok], as a tribute to he who was shot holding black aces and eights, aka the Dead Man’s Hand, which leads to the next name on the list…

CHARLIE, as in the man who dealt the Dead Man’s Hand, a fellow named Charlie Henry Rich whose grave I featured in a post years ago

McCOY, as in the character from StarTrek whose nickname was “Bones” but you probably know that

CAPTAIN JACK, either [Sparrow], Johnny Depp of movie fame, or [Harkness], Jon Barrrowman of Dr. Who fame, choose your franchise 

SHELLEY, because on Murdoch Mysteries Dr. Emily Grace named the morgue skeleton this name for reasons that I conjecture might be related to the next name on the list…

PERCY, as in Percy Bysshe Shelley who wrote the poem “Ozymandias” giving us the timeless message: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains.”  

YORICK, because when Willy Shakes writes a play like Hamlet, there has to be an applicable quote: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…”

EARL OF GRANTHAM, because this skeleton does have an aristocratic bearing like Robert Crawley and is without funds 

THE PREACHER, as in Ecclesiastes, a chapter in the Bible, & the famous spooky picture by Charles Allen Gilbert titled “All is Vanity” that is a reference to this Biblical quote: Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About sharing photos of the mundane:

“Yep. I agree — reality is infinitely more interesting than the scrubbed and filtered, highly tweaked social media images…. Fantasy – just fantasy.”

~ Victoria

“… I’m totally obsessed with the idea of the Muse of The Mundane…. And suddenly I saw her – she’s actually two-sided like a coin. Her other side is the Muse of The Magical. Makes sense doesn’t it? Magic is always hidden in the mundane, we just don’t often use our eyes to see it.”

~ Deborah Weber

“My daughter and I had this discussion recently about photos…. The photos that get the most, often unexpected positive responses are the ones that have an ‘it’ quality. Goosebumps…a new perspective… and not perfection.”

~ Erica/Erika

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!

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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