Dr. Tanya returns with the #5Things topic for today: 5 things I enjoyed doing during the lockdown.
1. Nothing! That’s right ~ I enjoyed doing nothing for a while. I’d been super tired, without a real vacation for years, so it was lovely just to chill. 🥰
2. Reading! I’ve read several books over the last few months. It’s been great to have the time to participate in some fun reading challenges. 📚
3. Writing! I’m pleased to announce that I’ve made significant progress on my novel Ghosted. 👻
4. Organizing! I bought lucite holders from Target and straightened up all the junk in my bathroom. Rearranged some other misc stuff as well. 👍🏻
5. Bonding! Spending so much time at home has allowed my roommate’s cat to become more comfortable with me. She hangs out with me now while I’m at my laptop. Of course, my own kitty has had more quality time with me too. 🐱
I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my third set of books…
13. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb is an excellent book about history, finance, politics, and (especially) human psychology. I highly recommend it. The last third is full of math, but you don’t have to pore over that to get the gist of the book (I did not).
14. Speaking of swans… Swan Song, a twisted adult fairy tale by Jess Haines was a magical love story, with a bittersweet/philosophical ending. It’s a retelling of The Swan Princess, which is a pretty bad love story imo, and Ms. Haines writes a much better one with a way cooler hero. (PS: it’s not that “adult.”)
15. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien made me cry sad tears and no this was not meant to be a bird-themed set of books! I look on Goodreads to find books I’ve read that fit the motifs. Or, if I can’t find something, I will read a new one, such as #14. Nothing wrong with reading a new book! But I digress. Wesley is such a wonderful story… please read it ASAP. I guarantee that you will love it, or… um… nothing. Owls are awesome!
16. I’ve read many books more than once, but let’s go with The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, a most excellent novel. Please don’t feel you know the story if you’ve merely seen the movie, which was good, but it didn’t (and couldn’t possibly) do justice to this complex philosophical work. It’s okay to read it in small doses and think about it. I did. It’s so very brain crunchy.
17. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was such an unexpectedly weird read, but I enjoyed it a lot. I guessed part of the mystery early on, but I still liked it and wanted to see where it went. I recommend it if you like stories that are a bit offbeat.
18. For my RIP author, I’m going with Ray Carver and his book of short stories Where I’m Calling From. Many of my favorite stories are in there, including the title story as well as Fat, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Neighbors, etc.
Alrighty then! See you with my next set on the 24th. 🙂
Starting my Tuesday with questions from Melanie! 🙂
1. What do you think of professional motivational speakers? Do you think they motivate?
I don’t like to listen to jabber, period. I don’t seek out speakers and in fact avoid audio like the… you know. Videos are for music. 🎶 That said, I don’t mind reading some motivational jibber, depending on my mood. I enjoy short, profound philosophy that can make me go ahhhh and leave me thoughtful and/or calm. And I enjoy humor mixed with inspiration, a la Mark Manson. I don’t find motivation in everything he writes because a lot of it is geared toward much younger folks beginning careers and relationships. But there is still some stuff applicable to me. I don’t know if these speakers motivate people in general, but I’ve gotten value from reading other ideas, especially MM’s.
2. Do you have a favorite flavor?
Yes, several… coconut, cinnamon, lemon, and vanilla.
3. While out walking, you hear a rustling in some bushes. What do you think of?
4. What’s your ideal temperature (nature-wise)? Hot, cold, temperate and mild, humid or bone dry?
I like it pretty warm, 80ish. But I prefer an overcast day, as bright sun is a migraine trigger. Rain is also a trigger, as are any big changes in weather or extremes generally. Hate wind!
Alrighty! Got a post done and now on with the day… 🎉
I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my second set of books…
7. I don’t like audiobooks; silence is my jam. I do love to read on vacation though, but not in a car (barf). For a fast-paced, fun, suspense novel, I recommend Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn if you haven’t gotten to that yet. It’s so unexpectedly well done. I just love the way Flynn draws us in to the husband’s version of his missing wife’s story with the easy, conversational style so that we really feel like we know what’s going on… but then Flynn switches to the other voice. Whoops. Good stuff. I bet it would be great in audio, if you enjoy listening to books.
8. Dunno about everybody, but cat lovers as well as anyone who enjoys poignant, heart-warming, and witty storytelling in general might consider reading Peter Gethers’ The Norton Trilogy, an absolutely lovely series of books about Gethers’ adorable and brilliant Scottish Fold kitty Norton. I must confess that I’ve only read the first and last book, since that’s what was available to me at the time, but if I were to start fresh, I’d buy the trilogy as a set.
9. Hmm, I don’t have one favorite book to give as a gift, although I must say that books are my favorite gifts to give. Who doesn’t love books?! I know I do (hint, hint). I’ve already given Goodnight Moon to my granddaughter ~ every baby must have that one (plus loads of others too!). Cookbooks can be nice gifts (for people who enjoy cooking obvs). One of my friends always appreciates the latest Stephen King novel. Another likes bios of his favorite musical artists.
10. Not sure if they were “happy tears,” but When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal made me cry. What an excellent book this was! I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who enjoys family dramas and/or surfing. So good.
11. I’d love to meet Archy McNally of the Lawrence Sanders’ detective novels. Archy is such a fun and interesting guy! But just dinner, okay? I know how he is. Charming, witty, sexy, and so flirtatious… but he is a cad and he always goes back to Connie. Why she puts up with him who even knows. Perhaps I could change him though. Maybe he simply hasn’t met the right woman yet? Interesting idea. I guess I could be open to the possibility of more than dinner if the vibe was right…
12. A popular book I hate? Any book by Nicholas Sparks! Ick ick ick. I can’t stand his writing. I’m also not a fan of hobbits or Potter. Or that Dan Brown book they made into a movie with Tom Hanks. What was the name of that? Horrible. I’ve blocked it from my mind. Maybe I should end this post now… hehehe…
1. I miss going to work in my office every day. I’m one of those rare souls who dislikes working from home. I don’t like to slob around in grungy clothes, graze at the fridge all day, and procrastinate until I end up doing my work late at night. So annoying! Not to mention all the noise from gardeners, cats, etc. I like to work at work.
2. I miss playing Ticket to Ride, my favorite board game. Other games are doable over Zoom (not that I like Zoom that much, different issue), but you really need to play TTR in person. I could go on indefinitely with remote games… except for the loss of TTR.
3. I miss being able to grab a coffee in a Starbucks (or wherever) and sit for a few minutes while zoning out with my phone… or even having lunch somewhere by myself at a little table and reading on my phone or gazing out the window. I guess we can start doing this again, but I’m not inclined to expose myself to germs for no reason. It just seems foolish.
4. I miss being able to fly up to Northern California to see my daughter and her hubby, and I don’t feel comfortable flying yet or going through an airport. Maybe I’ll drive up at some point, though that’s no fun at all. Seven hours on the road each way, gah.
5. I miss being able to hang out with my younger daughter in Los Angeles and her family, go to the park, or grab lunch, whatever. I can see them now, but it’s still pretty limited.
Guess who is back with a dozen silly questions for us? Yep, you got it. The Blokey Guy aka Rory! Let’s get to it, shall we… I haven’t got all night.
How spontaneous are you? Great question. I’m very fun and spontaneous, as long as I have a teensy bit of advance notice, say like 2 weeks.
How flirtatious would you say you are and if that is not the word you would use then try the alternatives of ‘teasing or playful’ either way – how much are you of this? I’m loads of this as well, though perhaps I might use the word snarky or bitchy, but a rose is a rose, eh? 🌹
How serious are you as a person? Welp, I would say I’m more serious as a person than I am as a kangaroo.
Do you think the older we become certain emotions are easier to handle – say as an example ‘grief?’ Yes, especially when we can’t even remember what the hell happened the day before. That’s helpful.
What is the most adventurous thing you have done to date? Probably dating a married man was pretty adventurous, and that worked out as well as you would expect. 💔
What’s the craziest or riskiest thing you have ever done and simply got away with it or gotten caught doing it? Way way back when, I both took and gave rides from/to strangers. Don’t do this, kids.
What do you think the future is of dating and other ‘other’ now that social distancing has become part of your life? Irrelevant, since I no longer date or do any other othering either.
How different do you really think you are to the next person – are you prim and proper, or straight laced and serious, wild and abandoned or rebellious and controversial? I think I’m average/middle-of-the-road in almost all areas, except I can be alone for vast amounts of time and be fine (though I miss my family in this horrid lockdown). In fact, being overly social makes me exhausted and depressed, which seems different from what most people report.
During this time of global concern how has your thinking changed with regards the planet, conservation, climate issues… or has it not changed one little bit? I’ve always been in favor of minimizing our pollution levels and finding ways to avoid destroying animals and their habitats. 🌎
What ‘topical issues’ considered ‘taboo’ by society are you deeply passionate with and about to the point of doing something about it? None really. Just leave people alone to do as they will as long as they aren’t harming anyone else. Oh, I guess I’m a fan of internet reform, which no one likes, but I’m too lazy to do anything about it. If I were in charge, I’d likely disallow anonymity and multiple accounts. One account, per person, traceable across platforms. No trolling or sock puppets or other shenanigans used for evil purposes.
What’s more important and or is there a difference between ‘Friendship and Companionship’ and if so what is that difference? There are levels to friendship for sure, from basic acquaintances to coworkers to peeps you want to hang out with in your free time. And then there are other people, maybe just a few, or only one, with whom you have a special connection (not talking romantic, though it could be)… someone who “gets” you and with whom you can easily share your feelings and experiences, knowing you won’t be judged or mocked or criticized. But also someone who shares things with you in return, so you feel you aren’t just taking but giving as well. This is what I consider companionship, beyond friendship. I don’t really have it in my life now, just sporadic friendship when people aren’t busy with other things, and I’m okay with that.
What is your passion with regards writing genres – (1) what is your chosen genre and (2) what is the genre you might like to write about but lack confidence to start? I’ve written lots of romance and a little erotica, bunches of poetry, and a political romance. I’ve begun a few mysteries and “literary fiction” type works as well. Finished some shorter pieces in those genres. Dabbled in a bit of sci-fi too. As I keep saying, I’m working on a mystery/love story called Ghosted, which will be finished… at some point. Lack of confidence to write in a genre I haven’t tried before does not seem to be an issue for me. 🤣
Look what I have to put up with when I’m trying to work or write at home. Whatever happened to the idea of two kitties playing nicely and snuggling up together for naps? Nope! They never cuddle cutely. They are always hissing and mrowing and smacking each other. Annoying.
Spraying them with water always stops their shenanigans… for a few minutes anyway. 🙄