A Neighborhood Update: I’m Not Nosy, They Are Noisy

NOW that we’re beginning to have a few warmer spring days, I’ve been opening the windows in some rooms.  The sounds of nature drift into the house.  Often it’s birds.  In fact we have a loud hoot owl that does his thing late evening, early morning.

Totally expected.

AND we’re hearing our young neighbors again.  Kids playing on a jungle gym, for instance.  Kids bouncing basketballs.  Kids riding bikes up and down the street while talking or singing.

Again totally expected.

PLUS there are two new February babies on either side of our house.  A boy on one side, a girl on the other, both with well-developed lungs and a tendency to be unhappy in the afternoon. I know this to be a fact– and I’m sure their parents know this as well.

So there’s that.

BUT the biggest news vis-à-vis noise around here is that Crazy Bird Lady, a fifty-something woman who lives across the forested ravine from us, is no longer standing on her deck yelling “f*ck you” at the birds.  And she’s stopped hitting a metal soup pot with a metal spoon while cursing at them.

I don’t want to sound judgy but I believe this might be a good thing.

Instead of the loud cursing she has taken to dancing what I’d describe as the Flamenco on her deck.  This involves her stamping her feet in a rhythmic way while clapping her hands over her head.  She swirls around, kind of hums a tune, then yells ¡Olé! every so often.

I’m mesmerized by this woman’s eccentric behavior, I admit it.  Which brings me to what I want to ask you, my little cherry blossoms:

Who’s the wackiest person in your neighborhood?

Now that spring [Northern Hemisphere] or fall [Southern Hemisphere] is here what’s going on outside your windows?

Any fun plans for the weekend?

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Notes From The Last Weekend Before Daylight Saving Time Begins

This past weekend it was in the 60s F with mild sunshine. That’s unusually warm for this time of year. We had no specific plans, so it was two days of go with the flow, do your own thing.
Here are the highlights of what I did:

• I finished watching The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in Window.  It stars Kristen Bell and is on Netflix.  It’s a parody of books and movies in which the main character witnesses a murder, but can’t prove that the murder took place.

This 8-part miniseries has dark humor with a melodramatic plotline.  I loved it, think Twin Peaks OR more recently Teenage Bounty Hunters.

• I stumbled over the What is your style personality? quiz on a fashion website called 40+STYLE.  According to this website there are 12 style personalities.  Each style is explained in-depth and accompanied with photos + brand recommendations.  My results from the quiz confirmed what I already knew: my primary style is Natural, but I also lean into Minimalism or Classic.

For years I’ve been describing my personal style as tailored suburban casual meaning a relaxed non-trendy look with some texture & mellow colors, structured, simple jewelry, flats shoes–  with no flower-y patterns or twirly skirts.

[Downside of this quiz is that you have to give up your email address to get your results, but after I received mine I unsubscribed from the website.]

• I started reading THE SISTERS: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell.  This is the first time in years that I’ve picked up an honest and true biography, instead of reading a memoir.  I’m enjoying the book because it’s well-researched and footnoted.

So far I’m learning that the Mitford sisters were raised and lived in nonconventional ways that make for spectacular stories, as if they planned to be famous from the git-go.

• I’m a fan of Apartment Therapy.  It’s a website about interior design + organization that ostensibly focuses on small spaces.  HOWEVER, as you probably realize, any conversation about interior design preferences can also be a sly insight into who you are.

For instance, an ongoing Apartment Therapy feature involves real life people sending in photos of their amazing home improvement projects.  Apartment Therapy then interviews these people, always including a request that the real life person “describe your home in 5 words or less.” 

So for snorts and giggles I decided to answer that question here.  I’d describe Chez Bean, aka Happy House, as: relaxed traditional, warm vibes, eclectic.  Sound like anyone you know?

Have a happy week, everyone. 
Soon enough we’re going to be marching on, springing forward, trudging into Daylight Saving Time. May saints preserve us.

True Confessions In A Snap: Some Photos You Dislike, Some Photos You Like

This is a photo of a blooming amaryllis that first bloomed in late December and has now re-bloomed in mid-February. Let’s give it up for this likable go-getter.

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I FIND PEOPLE FASCINATING, although I’ll admit that what people do is much less interesting than why people do what they do.

Therein is the start of many a good conversation. N’est-ce pas? 

You can tell me every stinking detail about WHAT you do in your life, but if I have no idea WHY you do what you do, I’m much less inclined to be interested in you.

To be clear I’m not here to fix people. I figure my job is to observe [what’s up] and understand [as best I can] and help [when asked] and report [in this blog] on them.

This brings me to the point of this post.

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FRIENDS HAVE TOLD ME the following three reasons WHY they dislike some photos their friends + family post on social media, but these friends will not tell their friends + family that they dislike the photos.

[And I sure as heck am not going to tell them.]

I’m not saying these are the most rational ideas, but they are enlightening and have made me smile as I listen politely, nod my head encouragingly, and murmur nondescript soothing sounds of understanding.

 Friend A dislikes photos of food.

This would be any food, either plated, for sale, or in the process of being made. Friend A feels these photos are something that could potentially make her fat because they trigger her to want to eat, which she is always trying not to do.

Friend A is thin.

She doesn’t like food photos so much that she won’t join IG where she feels too many people share photos of food, but does admit that she likes seeing people sitting around a table on which there is food.

 Friend B dislikes selfies.

She thinks they’re are an egotistical show of shallowness that distracts from any relationship. She wants to see what a person is looking at, not what the person looks like while they are looking at something.

Friend B is artistic.

Because of her firm conviction about the wrongness of selfies, she ignores them as best she can which means she’s ignoring a lot of people. This reality, she admits, gives her pause.

 Friend C dislikes photos of paths in the woods.

She says that all paths look the same, all woods surrounding a path look the same, and therefore if you’ve seen one path you’ve seen them all. Why anyone would bother to take these photos is beyond her.

Friend C is studious.

She extends this principle to photos taken of city sidewalks with buildings on either side, but seems less harsh with her criticism allowing that sometimes those photos are interesting.

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THUS HAVING SHARED THESE three character studies based on the truthful mutterings of generally kindhearted people with a need to vent, I’m reminded of Eeyore’s wise words: “We can’t all and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”

This, of course, leads to me to asking you, my gentle readers, a few questions as catalysts for discussion about photos you see on social media.

Or as I like to think of the comment section here, it’s true confessions time!

When it comes to the photos your friends + family share, do you have a strongly held opinion about any one type of photo you dislike seeing?

Do your friends + family know that you dislike seeing that type of photo and WHY?

Or to put a positive spin on this conversation, do your friends + family know which photos you prefer to see and WHY?

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The One About NOT Beige + 5 Exceptionally Random Links For Eggheads

This advertisement appeared on my screen out of nowhere. I wasn’t looking for furniture. Beyond annoying me with its interloper-ness, this is not a beige nightstand; it’s a teal side table. Is there no truth to be found in advertising? 🤨

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5 EXCEPTIONALLY RANDOM LINKS FOR EGGHEADS

THIS is the Weird Old Book Finder.  It does exactly what it says it does.  Input a word, name, or concept then the finder will give you ONE result.  It’s fun, if’n you like surprises and spending time online goofing off.

[I’ve not tried this but on Twitter a few people have suggested that when creating a blackout poem you use a page from one of these old books.]

THIS is an article about cleaning superstitions from around the world.  Superstitions are, after all, part of a cultural language and the language we use shapes us. It’s interesting to explore how other cultures think about things– and what worries them.

THIS is the definition of the slang term ‘Pushing P’ that all the kids are using.  Or I guess they’re using it.  I’ve no kids to confirm the ubiquitousness of this term.  I’ll warn you that the term probably does not mean what you may be thinking it means.

THIS is a link to a cartoon of Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog who was [still is?] Tom Terrific’s ever faithful companion.  This black & white footage of the old Captain Kangaroo classic terrytoon cartoon is on the Internet Archive website, home of the Wayback Machine.

THIS is an article that reviews in depth 4 Famous Red Velvet Cake Recipes.  I haven’t made a red velvet cake in decades, but if I was going to make one, maybe for Valentine’s Day, I’d make the winner, as proclaimed in this article.

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Follow the links my little Eggheads.  Then read, contemplate, return here, and discuss. I’ve no specific questions today. 

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Because Maggie Asked The Questions About Blogging, I Will Answer Them

Good Morning! It snowed, and continues to snow, here. This is going to be a perfect day for answering questions.

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Earlier this week Maggie at From Cave Walls wrote a post offering advice intending to help new bloggers specifically, but useful to all bloggers in general.

She also asked her readers to answer 10 questions about blogging. After mulling over the questions for a few days, here are my answers.

 Do you respond to every comment, even if it is just an emoji?

I attempt to reply to all comments on a timely basis, although occasionally I miss one.  I’m not a fan of using just an emoji to begin a conversation but will reply with words to it.  I have no trouble with emojis used in conjunction with words or just an emoji to end an ongoing conversation.

Are there styles, colors, or fonts that make reading a blog more difficult?

Yes there are.  I find it almost impossible to read white/pastel letters on a dark background.  I know it looks dramatic or modern, but I find it difficult to see.

I also think that it looks messy when someone indiscriminately has words in too many different colors within the text of a post.  Same with words that are written using a mix of uPpER and LoWEr cAsE letters.  They slow down my ability to read the post and I don’t like to be slowed down.

Under what circumstances would you block a user?

I block spammers, haters, and people who are only here to try to get me promote their products or services.  This is my personal blog therefore: my blog, my rules.

Are there certain topics you refuse to engage with?

I’ll talk about many topics, but I refuse to talk about things like health issues or finances or the specifics about who we are/where we live.

How do you feel about blogging awards?

Early on they seemed important but now I’m indifferent to them.  If it makes you feel good about receiving one, then flaunt it.  However long ago I deleted the page on which I had mine, but that’s just me.

How old is your current blog?

The Spectacled Bean is 11 years old [as if my loyal gentle readers didn’t know that already 🙄].

Do you respond to prompts?

Generally speaking I freeze when I see a prompt.  Occasionally I’ll find something to say in regard to one, but overall they scare me and I immediately feel stressed.  It has to do with too many collegiate essay exams that were a large percentage of my final grade.

When it comes to playing follow-the-leader in the blogosphere, I like straightforward questions like these, or an ongoing weekly or monthly challenge, truth be told.

Do the number of your blog followers matter to you?

No, not at all

What motivates you to follow or unfollow a blog?

I FOLLOW blogs written by people who aren’t afraid to be unique, who know how to think clearly & write truthfully, who seem to be kindhearted, and who create blog posts that are visually pleasing.

I UNFOLLOW [or never follow to begin with] a blog whose tone is rude, crude, whiny, preachy, or there’s too much emphasis on selling something.  I’m not here for that crap.

What is your blogging pet peeve?

I want to see a well-written up-to-date ABOUT page on every personal blog.  I want to know who you think you are before I start reading your posts.  Have some gumption and define yourself, kids!

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TGIF, everyone.  Happy Weekend to you.

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