PCGuyIV continues his series by asking if the pandemic has altered our Thanksgiving or Christmas plans. 🎄
For the last few years, I’ve been flying up to NorCal to spend Thanksgiving with my eldest and her husband. This year, I won’t fly. I have a bunch of credit with Southwest for trips I didn’t take in the Spring, and they’ll remain unused. May end up losing them. I am planning to drive up there this year, which will be a giant pain, but worth it to see them. It’s about a six hour trip each way, fastest route, maybe more if there’s a traffic jam. I could go the scenic route, which adds at least an hour, but it’s so pretty along the coast that I might do it coming back.
Being a Jewish atheist, I don’t celebrate Christmas, though I enjoy seeing the lights and nomming up cookies, not to mention Reese’s peanut butter trees. I never had much interest in turning Chanukah into Christmas lite, so I’ll probably ignore most of the season as usual, except for giving gifts to my grandchildren.
Regarding the plague. I know some are tired of wearing masks, distancing, etc, but for me… I’m doubling down on all that. The Rose Garden fiasco says to me: be more careful, not less. I especially don’t want to pass this terrible bug to my family.
Melanie is back to “normal” this week with her own four questions and nothing on HP.
1. Where do you feel most at home? Please be more specific than “at home, doh” please. It could be a room in your home, a person, a location… 😝😁😇
I enjoy being home and feel comfy sitting at my kitchen table with laptop, phone, cuppa tea, and Gatsby nearby.
2. Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car? 🐎🚗🚲
Car, I guess, if I have to. Definitely not a horse because all that bumping would kill my back, and so would a bike these days, probably. Last time I rode a bike, I had massive neck and shoulder pain for a week after.
3. What song would you sing on “Karoke Night” (if you were forced to do so)? 🎤🎶🎻🎷🎺🎸🎵🎹
I have sung at karaoke and done a terrible job too. My voice is horrible plus idk when to even start singing! I think I attempted “Bang Bang” by Cher and a few others. Blocked it from my memory mostly…
4. University or life experience, which do you feel best prepares you for life? 🎓
First, I don’t think the “traditional” college experience of living away from home with a bunch of other clueless teenagers, being thrown into social and sexual situations you’re unprepared for, and drinking booze like a maniac is a good thing. Don’t even get me started on the travesty of “Greek life.” Second, I think trade schools have been way undervalued the past several decades while people rack up ridiculous debt to get a 4-year degree. The trades should be much more respected ~ we need plumbers more than marketers! That said, if someone takes a well-rounded slate of college classes and exposes their mind to literature, philosophy, art, psychology, etc., this all can be helpful throughout your life in order to better grasp history, logic, and human behavior. But ultimately, nothing better prepares you for life than living it and transforming your bad choices into learning experiences.
5. What are you grateful for?
This week I’m grateful for delicious pluots. Mmm, so good!
Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the TMP tag, link back to me (or not), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen. I have feelings!
First, let me say WOOHOO and thank you for sticking with me to my 50th Monday Peeve! Couldn’t have done it without you, for what good is a bitch session if no one is around to nod in sympathy? Second, if you’re thinking, gosh, she’s complained about so many things already… is she really gonna be able to make it to 100 peeves? Fear not! I will manage to scrape up 50 more things to complain about, no problem.
Third, it’s time for today’s peeve, which is my freaking car fob battery changing ORDEAL. First (starting over with firsts now), I didn’t even know these things had batteries… I thought they were powered by car fairy sparkle vibes or something. Never thought about it… why would I? No fob has ever stopped working for me before. I assumed it broke and I’d have to buy a complete new one for hundreds of dollars. But a friend told me they have batteries and you can change them easy peasy. LOL
Second (this is the second thing after the first thing from the third thing, okay?), I happened to find a spare fob while I was looking for something else, so I figured AHA this one will work and no need to deal with batteries. But it didn’t work. I guess it was programmed to die at the same time my first fob died. ANYWAY, my clever son-in-law (well, they’re both clever, but I’m just talking about the older clever one right now) sent me a link to buy new batteries from Amazon, since there are like a zillion choices and I didn’t want to take the fob apart to look. Why not? I don’t know! Scary!
The new batteries came… and like I said, it was scary to think about taking the fobs apart. What if I wrecked something? But I got tired of unlocking my door with the key ~ GAH SO MUCH WORK ~ so finally I said to myself, self, we’re gonna change the damn batteries. Obviously, the first thing to do was open the package of batteries. OH MY GOD! Why do they make the package so hard to open?!? It was beyond ridiculous how these things were sealed up. And after you open them there’s a note saying not to eat them. DAFUQ?
Finally, I was ready to take apart the fob, which as you may know entails wedging in a screwdriver and falooping the whole thing apart. Clearly, some brilliant engineers decided this was the best way to design a key fob. Inside, there’s another SEKRIT compartment that also has to be wedged open with a tool. Finally… TA DA… the battery! I put the fob upside down to remove the battery and all the little widgets fell out. Another brilliant design going on here… make the indicators separate from the whole piece and they’re just wobbling there, unattached to anything. You know what I mean ~ the door open, door lock, trunk lift, etc. ~ all those were plastic whatsits that fell out of their spots. Luckily, I had my SECOND FOB to look at and fix the thing back up.
Then of course I had to do it all over again with fob number two (and the thingies fell out again)… so INSANE! I was positive after all this that the beepies would fail to beep, but they did beep. Everything works fine. The widgets are firmly back in place too after being tightly sealed up with the contraption. But this is why people keep trading their cars in every three years, I understand now. They want to make sure they have a new fob before the old one dies.
This week in Truthful Tuesday, PCGuyIV asks the following:
Is there something that you like or love now that you used to dislike, hate, or at the very least, have no opinion of before? Or perhaps there is something you now dislike, hate, or maybe even loathe that before you liked, loved, adored, or at least had no opinion of? In either case, or both cases if you so choose, what changed your mind?
Ooh interesting to ponder! Okay, so for the first part, here are some things I used to hate and now love…
1. Peanut butter! Yes, I hated PB as a little kid and refused to eat it. I had lunchmeat sandwiches at school. Around age 12, my tastes simply changed and PB is now one of my favorite foods. Lunchmeat on the other hand… 🤮
2. I used to dislike the fantasy genre of books and movies ~ though paradoxically I always enjoyed the original Star Trek and things like The Twilight Zone. But dragons and magic and stuff? No! Game of Thrones changed my mind about that. 🐉
3. Rituals/occasions. It used to annoy me to feel obligated to celebrate holidays the same way every year. Like if I’ve seen great fireworks once, why do I need to go again? The gluttony of Thanksgiving annoyed the crap out of me. Why must we do this? Etc. But I’ve totally mellowed about this and now look forward to certain ritualistic type occasions. I think part of my problem was having to deal with my parents’ constant arguing ~ it simply made everything sad and stressful for me (though it didn’t affect THEM much!). As I aged, I saw that some holidays could actually be enjoyable when people weren’t all mad at each other.
Now, for the second half of the switcharoo, here are some things I used to love and now hate…
1. DRIVING. I was so happy when I first got my license, and I loved to drive hour after hour. We were carless in Chicago for 4 years, and then I got a car when we moved to SoCal. I still enjoyed it, but less and less over the years until it became something I actively despise. It’s effing scary to be on the roads. I guess being older and knowing how many crazy and reckless people are out there, plus all the annoying traffic and construction detours here, spoiled it for me. 🚙
2. Being in a romantic relationship. How I used to love and crave this. It was partly due to my steady diet of romance novels; I thought that romantic love was the only thing that really mattered in life. Now I find it all too stressful and irritating to contemplate. I’ve been happier these last several years without dating AT ALL. I never would have predicted this. 💔
3. Going on rides. Omg, I loved rides at the fair or at an amusement park. My friends and I regularly went on the craziest ones. Now they make me ill and terrified, plus with my neck issues I can’t deal with them at all. Not to mention the fact that people get hurt on them ALL THE TIME. Again, the data on injuries changed my mind, along with not feeling well physically.
Say what? I love summer! 🌻 But Dr. Tanya wants me to come up with 5 Things I Hate for her continuing prompt. I suppose I can spend days pondering this topic… psyche! I’ve already thought of ’em, neener!
1. Air conditioning. Just when it’s nice and warm, allowing me to bounce out of the house in short sleeves, crazy people insist on blasting freezing cold AC everywhere. 🥶 So, even on the hottest days, I have to bring a sweater with me. Annoy!
2. Gross men without shirts. Gah!
3. Traffic clogging up Pacific Coast Highway, and I can’t use it, bleh.
4. Amateur fireworks going off every night around the 4th. So dumb and irritating.
5. It’s over too soon, wah. Nice long days full of sun are already too short in August, and soon it’ll be dark early again. 😢
I have a fantasy that after I retire (and G has passed over the rainbow bridge) I’ll see more of the U.S. I’ll do it leisurely, maybe by train, or partly by car… spend as much or as little time as I please wherever I go. I figure I can begin in the Northwest corner and see Vancouver. Then I’ll mosey on over to Montana and check out the Big Sky. Idk how long I’ll stay there before dipping south to visit Yellowstone…
Next, there will be a stop in North Dakota to visit the reptile zoo. Then I’ll make my way to the Chicago area, where hopefully I can visit some peeps and cruise around some old haunts. Then I would want to see a bit of Michigan before continuing on to Pennsylvania. Never have been to Philly, so I need to stay there a bit.
After that, I need to deal seriously with New England. Boston is a must-see, and also Providence. Burlington, VT is where some of my family lived way back, so it’s on the list. I want to go up to Maine too and see the places Stephen King writes about. Obviously, I will spend some time in New York, duh!
I’ll journey down the East Coast and check out the touristy stuff in D.C. Gotta see some of Virginia also… and absolutely for sure Nashville. Dunno if there’s anything else I need to check out before visiting Atlanta. And I will definitely see New Orleans, as I’ve been wanting to for ages…
Apparently I have to cross some vast nothingness to get to New Mexico, where I’d likely spend a bunch of time seeing Cool Things. Breaking Bad, yo! Colorado is in the plan, even though I went as a teenager. Worth a second visit, imo. And Utah! Drove through Zion National Park once on the way to Vegas and it was utterly gorgeous. This time, I’d really see it. Arizona needs a revisit as well. Beautiful place!
I don’t mind waiting anywhere there’s a comfy seat and no loud noises. Probably my Toyota service lounge would be the best place. I read my Kindle and/or play on my phone.
2. What Is In Your Fridge Right Now?
Nothing exciting… bread, milk, eggs, etc.
3. If You Could Only Speak One Word Today, What Would It Be?
4. Would You Rather Be Trapped In An Elevator Full Of Men With BO Or Three Soaked Dogs? (this is with the codicil that C-19 doesn’t exist)
I’ll take the stairs with Fandango. Okay, okay… getting into the spirit of the Q, I would choose the stinky men. Why? To deal with smellies, I could hold my breath for a minute or breathe through my mouth, but unknown dogs are scary to me. Sorry, dog lovers.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Please feel free to share something good about last week. This is NOT mandatory, it is just if you’d like to.
The good thing about last week is that it’s over and we are one week closer to November when hopefully reason will prevail and we will be rid of this horrible potus and his disgusting admin. 🤮
TSAONGAF is the abbreviation for Mark Manson’s self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’ve read MM’s articles with some regularity, and last week I read his bestselling book. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot. As I said earlier, I’m going to blog about some of my thoughts on his various concepts.
What does MM mean by not giving a f*ck? He points out that most of us are wrapped up in caring about so many things that we feel perpetually entitled to a perfect world and freak out when things don’t go how we want. I guess you could say that our giving f*cks too freely has turned us into a bunch of whiny Karens. MM suggests we drill down to our basic values (and change them if they aren’t working for us), and then find the few, important things to focus on. “Let the little things go.” We’ve heard that before, right?
Obsessing over way too many unimportant details has been a huge problem for me my whole life. I can’t simply decide not to and that’s that. “Don’t do that” is a negative statement, and when you focus on a negative, well, you know what happens. “Don’t eat potato chips”… now all you can think about are potato chips. I’ve been trying to substitute the negative statements with positive ones. Focus on work. Pay attention to family. Engage in self-care routines. Get more sleep and exercise. Read more books.
Focusing on these positives has had the effect of pushing some of the trivial crap away. It really does work. I don’t have time (or the inclination) to engage in social media arguments (a huge source of past stress) when I’m in the middle of a good book. If I’m filling my time with pleasurable activities, I’m less inclined to click on a new dating site “just to see.” I know that leads down a bad path. I can step back now. It’s a bit harder in some areas, such as driving ~ I still get enraged when someone does a dangerous maneuver. What does MM say about that?
It’s okay for life to suck sometimes, is what he says. We are not entitled to a perfect life, and there’s no need to feel inadequate when something fails to be perfect. So I had a frustrating drive to Los Angeles. That’s just how it is some days and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me or the way I’m living my life. Sometimes traffic is sucky and frustrating. That’s okay. I literally had this ridiculous conversation in my head the other week. I was so stupid for letting my daughter go to UCB. She had a full ride to UCD and wouldn’t have met her future husband there probably. I’d have more money now and wouldn’t have to make this horrible drive when I want to see her. God, I’m so dumb!
But then I got to her house (a half hour later than expected) and had such a great time with my family. I’m not “dumb” because there was a detour and some other drivers were being rude and awful. It’s okay for things to suck sometimes. I’m not entitled to perfection. It’s hard though to keep that mindset all the time… I’m constantly reminding myself to stay positive and not dwell on small annoyances. Being positive is more of a habit now than it used to be though, so I am improving. Slowly.
Okay, that’s the end of this PoiMo. I’ll do more MM musing another time. 🙂
Waving goodbye to someone. They were on a train and my mom held me to wave. It was probably my father’s parents. I was around 2 years old.
2. If you dive, what was your first car?
I don’t dive… I dislike going in the water at all. 🤣 I drive though, and the first car I owned was a Renault.
3. Do you prefer sweet or savoury foods?
4. Before the lockdown, were you comfortable in a crowd?
I was okay with small groups of friends, 4-10 being the ideal number. I may never go to a fair or concert again because I can’t imagine ever feeling okay about a huge crowd, not that I liked them previously.
5. Are you a night or day person?
Lately, my sleep schedule has been all messed up. I probably am most productive in the late afternoon and early evening.
6. Favourite past time?
Writing and reading.
7. What makes you laugh?
8. What makes you cry?
Thinking about my mom…
9. Compared to your school days, are you more or less creative now?
About the same.
10. What is you pet hate/peeve?
11. What kind of blogs interest you enough to follow?
I like eclectic blogs where the blogger writes poetry and/or short fiction, maybe has a prompt going on to share, and also talks about themselves a little. I don’t like blogs that link news articles (as a whole post) and/or blather endlessly about news in an impersonal way. I don’t want to read conspiracy theories nor will I tolerate even the slightest hint of racism or antisemitism. And if a blog is about selling me something, it had better be interesting and funny.
Yesterday morning I drove to Los Angeles to celebrate my granddaughter’s second birthday. I brought a giant bag of gifts with me. The original plan was to have a “distance” party in the park, but we didn’t feel safe outdoors, given the insanity, so we stayed inside. It’s the first time I’ve seen family in person since the beginning of March. We’ve all been very careful, so we decided to go ahead and spend a couple hours together. Oh my gosh, it did my heart good to be with this angel not to mention my own sweet daughter and son-in-law as well. We FaceTime’d with my eldest over a birthday pizza lunch too. I was so grateful for the opportunity to finally see (some of) my loved ones in person! There were smiles galore for hours… I left at 1:30 to make sure I was back in Orange County well before any curfews began. This little girl is an absolute joy to be around! I am so excited to spend more time with her very soon, maybe next week. 🙂