In Which I Answer 20 Questions Because It’s Something Fun To Do

I haven’t done anything like this in a long time, so why not change it up? After all, variety is the spice of life blogging. Therefore today I’m answering 20 questions I found on View from the Back who got them from The Life And Travels Of Mrs Suvi

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Your most memorable fancy dress costume?

A few years ago I wore a purple cocktail dress with silver sparkly trim to a black-tie business event that was a horrible affair. I was physically and emotionally uncomfortable the whole evening: my dress was tight & my feet hurt while I was standing in a room filled with status-seeking people cursed with negative energy. I vowed to never do anything like it again– and I haven’t.

Which social media platform do you use the most?

WordPress

Favourite season?

• Autumn

If you had to choose the beach or mountains, which would it be?

• I’d choose the beach because I like walking on sand, looking at the waves, searching for shells or driftwood, BUT I choose this with the proviso that I can visit the mountains whenever I want to.

What can you play very well?

• Candy Crush Soda Saga

What kind of cheese do you like?

• All non-stinky kinds

Life goal?

• To put things or ideas or people together. Metaphorically speaking I see puzzle pieces everywhere and want to make the picture whole. Or maybe I see tesserae everywhere and want to make my own mosaic. In either case I put things together.

How many cities have you lived in?

• I’ll answer this by defining cities as metropolitan regions, thus my answer is 8.

What language do you wish you could speak?

• Spanish

What can’t you stand?

• A mocking tone of voice. The idea that education is of no value. Green peppers.

If you have an hour to kill on your hands, what would you do?

• Depending on the situation I’d: go for a walk;  read a book &/or some blogs;  play a game on my phone;  or become a lounge lizard watching the people go by.

Your favorite routine?

• I’d say it’s showing up to my blog at least once a week, usually on Tuesday, and talking with everyone in the comments. Like I’m doing now. *Hi!*

When do you become hyperactive?

• When I’m forced to travel by plane, often leaving the house before the break of day, I become hyperactive with worry about locking the house and all things related to the hassle at the airport. It makes me crazy until I’m sitting at my gate.

Text message or phone call?

• Text message

Your most precious treasure?

• I like things, but as for precious treasure I’m not sure any one thing would rate that designation. I mean, any thing I have can be replaced so how precious is it really?

Your latest foreign language mistake?

• I probably mispronounced some French word. The few I know trip me up when I try to say them.

What’s the best therapy for you?

• A glass of chilled dry white wine sipped while gazing into nature

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?

• I rather liked Piper in Charmed. She could make a great meal, stop time in order to decide what to do next, and vanquish evil when necessary. Plus she married her true love. All-in-all, she’s my kind of badass.

Where would you like to travel?

• Dreaming big here: UK. Ireland. Italy. Hawaii. Australia. NZ. Vietnam. South Africa. Argentina.

Where did you meet your spouse/partner?

• We met in college. In fact, this past Valentine’s Day we received a card from our alma mater telling us that we are among about 2,000 couples who met on campus. Of course the Valentine’s Day card was also a solicitation for monies making the card less lovable, but the factoid was interesting.

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If you decide to do this on your own blog please link back to this post so I can go read what you wrote. Deal?

A Character Study: Justifying Your Rationale About Doing A Tango With The Truth

~ INTRODUCTION ~

I NEVER INTENDED TO write about this person, she’s someone I knew a long time ago.  I’d guess that I haven’t been in touch with her for over a decade, maybe longer.

I got thinking of her because I found one of her business cards wedged in the back of my desk drawer.  I’m surprised I kept it, to be honest– but there it was and memories of her flooded into my brain.

So here’s a story, a character study if you will, of a pleasant someone who had her own unique way of rationalizing that which she said and felt no shame about telling, what were ostensibly, falsehoods.

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ONCE UPON A TIME I knew a lovely woman who introduced me to a college acquaintance of hers;  I shall call this acquaintance Nedra.  The lovely women moved away but out of respect for her, Nedra and I still got together for coffee every few months.

Our relationship was superficial, but delightful at first.  Nedra and I had interests in common, reading and healthy eating.  She was dating at the time and had funny stories about her experiences.  I was remodeling the kitchen and had ridiculous stories about my experiences.

All would’ve been well IF I hadn’t come to realize that Nedra was making up stories about her love life. And her career. Stories that she told me, doing what I’d describe as, a tango with the truth.

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I STUMBLED OVER THIS dance with reality while we were having coffee one day.  I hadn’t seen her in a while and I asked her about a guy she’d been on a date with, a date that she’d described in detail months before.

Well, she looked confused, baffled by my question– and told me I must be wrong about her, that she’d never been on a date like that.  Clearly I was mistaken.

Except I wasn’t. I’m not that addled-brained. I remembered quite specifically her conversation and joyfulness vis-à-vis this date. That hadn’t happened, but she said it had. Uh huh.

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AS YOU CAN IMAGINE after that conversation I became more disinclined to believe what Nedra said to me, but I was intrigued because I’m a curious person who pays attention to people– and here was a character for me to watch.

Up close and in action, so to speak.

Time passed, like a year or so, and I was to a point where I didn’t want to meet Nedra for coffee anymore.  Beyond her propensity to make up stories, I no longer needed to be in her part of town on a regular basis so getting together with her was a chore.  On many levels.

Still, I wanted to know more about her reasoning for making up stories: why she did it and, you know, if she experienced any remorse about deviating from the truth. So I asked her, politely, tactfully, why she made up stories about her life and this is where it got really interesting.

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NEDRA BELIEVED THAT BY making up stories about her life she was showing people how to make themselves whole.  She was, she felt, merely using her fictional tales to guide people to make better decisions about themselves.

She justified this by saying that when you think about it, scripted TV shows and movies were often fabricated stories that we accept as having a real impact on our minds, hearts, psyches.  We believe the stories and accept the messages contained within.

Therefore she was doing the same thing with her stories on a smaller, more personal, scale so that she could help people become more self-aware and feel empowered to do better. And as such she felt no guilt for what some of us might call lying.

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Have you met anyone like Nedra who does a tango with the truth?

Do you think she has a point about scripted TV & movies being basically lies so why not do it too?

Was she naive or manipulative?

Have you found a business card from someone you lost touch with and got thinking about them, for better or for worse?

~ THE END ~

In Which I Snark About Something Regarding Interior Design Whilst Sharing Words Of Wisdom

If you ask me “what is your passion?” I will answer that it is “interior design.”  

I think of myself as an active amateur interior designer because I like putting objects and ideas together to make any space, real or virtual, pretty.  I love the principles of design and all the possibilities.

After some introspection I’ve realized that I’m a problem solver at heart and design is nothing more than solving the problem of how to live in a way that is congruent with your core values.

Thus I keep my eyes open to any possible design trend that might enhance our transitional-style home and add value to it.  Earlier this week when I saw this article, Real-Estate Agents Think These Are the 3 Most Enticing Home Features, I clicked on it to read what it had to say.

[Spoiler alert] The three most-used keywords, therefore enticing home features, in real estate listings are: granite countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances.  We have those three things so we are on trend should we want to sell this house, which we don’t.

Make no mistake about that.

But getting to my snarky point here, if you look at the photo at the top of the article you will see that it is of a gorgeous kitchen whose teal-colored cabinets and gold-tone handles make me drool.  So much love.

However, as you continue looking at the photo you will notice that the kitchen has hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances, but alas and alack, the kitchen has marble countertops.

Now far be it from me, an active amateur interior designer, to tell domino.com that their choice of photo does not support the facts in the article, but it doesn’t.  And it lends credence to something I’ve found to be universally true and shall share with you, my gentle readers.

Life is in the details. Pay attention.

Three Thoughts Thursday | Doing. Organizing. Watching.

This is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.  

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ONE

I think that this month I’ll try Susannah Conway’s The August Break [#augustbreak2019] photo prompts on Instagram [also on Facebook if that’s your jam].

Janet at Janet’s Smiles made me aware of this challenge. No pressure, no hype– just a chance to do something creative and different than my usual lackadaisical approach to sharing pics over on my IG account [@thespectacledbean].

I’ve never tried anything like this before, so I anticipate some anxiety at first, but I imagine I can follow through and do this more or less daily.

TWO

I think that the idea of learning to batch your time is intriguing.

A friend mentioned this concept to me so I did some research.  According to a productivity hack from Brazen, batching: “allows you to take advantage of your full concentration by grouping a bunch of similar activities together and doing them all at the same time.” [More here and here.]

I’m sure I do this naturally in some areas of my life already, but I could apply this concept to how I blog.

THREE

I think that Dead to Me is a wonderful TV show that just goes to prove great TV is possible.

I watched the 10 episodes in a 2-day binge.  This show, starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, is funny + sad + clever + outrageous.  I won’t go into the deets about the plot, the characters, the settings but I will say that I didn’t see the ending coming.  And I loved it.

There’s nothing better than being pleasantly surprised by something unexpectedly smart.

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Questions of the Day

Have you ever tried a monthly photo challenge on your blog &/or on IG &/or in FB?  And if so, how’d it go?

What do you know about batching your time?  Do you do this?

Got a suggestion for another wonderful TV show that you’ve found to be amazeballs?

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The Big Bang Theory: In Which I Share 2 Pieces Of Advice From Penny + Ask A Few Questions

I got 94/100 on The Big Bang Theory Quiz. Click HERE to take it.

I’M LOOKING FORWARD to watching the series finale of The Big Bang Theory.  It airs tonight and I want to know how the show ends.

I’ve enjoyed the show, having seen it in reruns and in prime time.  I’ve not watched every episode nor have I seen it in a linear way so some of the story lines are a jumble in my mind, but that doesn’t matter.

The Big Bang Theory is all about the characters and their relationships with each other.  I especially like Penny.  She’s my favorite.

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THE FIRST PIECE of Penny advice is from an episode in which she’s sitting in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment with them– and of course Sheldon and Leonard start bickering about something academic. As they do.

Penny stops them from talking, then looks at Sheldon reminding him: what did we say about being nicer to your friends?  Then she looks at Leonard reminding him: what did we say about not being a gullible weenie? 

This scene could be from my real life.  I occasionally find myself in the middle of conversations wherein one person needs to remember how to be kind while the other person needs to engage in some critical thinking.

I have yet to say the above out loud directly to anyone, but I’m thinking it. Dagnabbit.

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THE SECOND PIECE of Penny advice is from the end of an episode in which Penny has sat through a tedious Physics Bowl competition at the university.  In this competition Sheldon and Leonard try to prove who is smarter.

Later as a way of showing the guys how little they actually know she creates her own pop culture quiz.  They, of course, are clueless about what she is asking them.  Baffled, Leonard asks her how she knows this stuff.

She answers with a classic line that I find myself saying from time-to-time, a line perfectly suited for ending this post, in fact. She says: I go outside and I talk to people.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Will you be watching [or did you watch] the series finale of The Big Bang Theory? And if so, which character is your favorite?

Do you like or dislike or are indifferent to The Big Bang Theory? It’s been on the air for 12 years so you’ve had ample time to form an opinion of it. ‘Fess up. 

If you took the quiz I linked to under the image of my score, what score did you get?

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High Hopes: Growing A Houseplant, Sharing A Mother’s Day Memory

“Just what makes that little old ant, Think he can move that rubber tree plant…”

Over the weekend Zen-Den informed me that the houseplant I think is a rubber tree plant is, in fact, a jade plant.

Apparently I do not know my houseplants, even if I can grow them.

“Anyone knows an ant, can’t, Move a rubber tree plant…”

Z-D became aware of my botanical ignorance when I was happily watering and singing to what I believed to be a rubber tree plant.

I’ve mothered and nurtured this NOT rubber tree plant for the last few years, channeling Shirley Feeney every time I am near it.

“But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes, He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes…”

My efforts have resulted in a healthy houseplant that I feel adds a certain joie de vivre to our family room.

It, the plant, being so healthy and all. Me, the plant mama, being so loving and all.

“So anytime you’re gettin’ low, ‘Stead of letting go, Just remember that ant…”

But there’s more to this story than my confusion about a houseplant.

Yes, this is a hat tip to my mother who adored Shirley Feeney’s spunk and who had me singing in the Cherub Choir at the First Presbyterian Church when I was but a little sprig.

“Oops there goes another rubber tree plant, Oops there goes another rubber tree plant, Oops there goes another rubber tree plant.”

It was there at a luncheon dedicated to mothers that we little cherubs, standing in three rows on risers, sang “High Hopes” to our mothers. Thus to this day whenever I sing this song, I think fondly of my mother.

Regardless of the kind of plant I’m watering while I am singing the song. 🙄

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Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is celebrating it this weekend

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Three Thoughts Thursday | Laughing. Drinking. Watching.

This is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.  

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ONE

I think that Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund is hilarious.

When I came upon Crusoe and his brother, Oakley Dokley, I was in puppy dog heaven.  Their YouTube channel, currently featuring their interpretation of Game of Thrones [#GameofBones], is clever and creative and verifiably wacko.

Highly recommended if you’re having a down day or just like to see little dogs in costumes.

TWO

I think that Stella Artois Spritzer is good and I’m surprised.

It’s a light refreshing alcoholic beverage that is a new take on the old concept of a white wine spritzer.  That is, it’s pub cider with carbonated water.  Available in a slim can and described as a blend of apple and hibiscus flavors, we found it refreshing, not too sweet.

I’m sensing this is our house drink for the summer.

THREE

I think that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a delightful movie based on the novel of the same name.

I watched this movie one lazy afternoon and enjoyed it, not because I was being lazy but because I truly enjoyed the book when I read it and wanted to see the movie.  I won’t address how the book differs from the movie, but will tell you I thought it was worth the time I invested in watching the movie.

Not all movies need be blockbusters, right?

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Questions of the Day

Don’t you wish you were as clever as some of these people who can turn their pets into YouTube and IG stars? Got a suggestion for a summer drink? Do you have issues with movie adaptations of books?

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