Fill in: ‘If I were really completely honest, I would say that …’ This is a question for ‘radical honesty’. What are the things you wouldn’t normally say? Things you would otherwise actually hide? What’s on your mind? What would you really like to be able to say? ********************************************
I would talk about the emergency facing our planet: that is, climate change and the havoc it will wreak, not just in a once-a-month meeting of an environmental committee or a conversation over dinner – I would talk about it ALL THE TIME! I would tell people not to litter their masks on the ground – instead, take them home, cut the loops, and dispose of them. I would insist that people recycle. I would chase after scofflaws who litter. I would tell managers at supermarkets that it should be against the law to use plastic bags for loading groceries and demand that they stop or at least charge a quarter for each bag. I would not bite my tongue when someone I’m having lunch with asks for or uses a plastic straw that the wait staff leaves on the table. I would go immediately to the management of the restaurant to tell them not to use straws because plastic straws represent 7% of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean and in landfills. I would be much more “in-your-face” aggressive about anything I were to see relating to pollution of the water or air and other environmental problems (diminishing animal habitats, etc.) and I would demand that our politicians DO SOMETHING NOW!
But of course, I can’t really do much to influence politicians, because it’s not just American politicians – it’s leaders all over the world who are not doing enough to address this crisis.
I would tell everyone to watch the Netflix movie Don’t Look Up and discuss how the premise of the movie is an allegory for the attitudes of politicians toward the serious, life-threatening problem of climate change.
Have you ever broken anything? What about rules? *******************************************
I have broken things, although not many, considering my klutzy-ness. But rules? Sure, I’ve broken many, but not serious ones, nothing that would hurt or impact another person. In high school, my friends and I used to joke about how many rules we broke – we even made a list of all the school rules we’d broken. I think there were at least 25 on the list! As a mature adult, overall, I obey laws and rules if they make sense.
Are you also afraid of spiders? What is your biggest fear, other than spiders? (if you’re not afraid of spiders, use your biggest phobia instead). ***********************************************
I’m not really afraid of spiders. I see them all the time and usually they aren’t bothering me so I let them be. Sometimes I like to watch them. I had a boss once whose son had tarantulas in a tank behind his father’s desk. It was really cool when they shed their skins – it looked exactly like a tarantula itself! Once, I tried to take one of these shedded skins home to show my son, but it disintegrated almost as soon as I touched it.
I have a phobia of pests that run really fast, such as mice and cockroaches. Oh, and also millipedes! We used to see them often in our old house because the basement was often damp. Fortunately, I haven’t seen a millipede where I live now. I hope never to see cockroaches either; we did have a mouse in the garage once. Management put out traps for them near the garage door, but no mice ever got caught in them, so they were eventually removed.
Do you think time goes faster as you get older? ***************************************************
Oh, definitely! There is a scientific basis for this perception. Older people literally have so many memories stored in their brains that ordinary happenings barely register, so they lose track of time easily. (This is also the reason why older people forget things that happened yesterday, but can remember seemingly inconsequential things from their childhoods.) For example, I might get on my computer, expecting to be on for about an hour but then when I’m ready to get off, I look at the time and it’s 3 hours later!
GRATITUDE SECTION (as always, optional)
Please share something that really inspired you from this last week or month.
I joined a group which met this week for the first time in my senior community. One of the activity directors thought of it. It’s called “The Bright Side” group. We met on Tuesday and discussed ideas on what this group could be or do in the community. For example, I suggested that we buy birthday cards and give every person who has a birthday that day a card, signed by at least one of us. Even if we don’t know the individual personally. We used to have a birthday party every month for people whose birthday was in that month, but Covid restrictions put an end to that.
The group is going to meet twice a month and share positive stories or brainstorm ideas for making the people in our community look on “the bright side” of life!
What frivolous, but annoying thing that people do be considered a sin (crime)? And how should violators be made to repent (be punished) for it?
Confuse possessives with plurals by adding an apostrophe where it does not belong!!This is extremely common these days. Don’t they teach grammar in elementary school anymore or were these people asleep in class? It should be a crime, punishable by having to spend a whole day in a grammar class in which the attendees would write out many examples of both plurals and possessives, using all the rules for making plurals and possessives in the English language.
Cake’s is not a word, although the supermarket would have you think so! What belongs to the cake? Frosting? A message written on the top? No. They mean simply “more than one cake” which is a plural. The rule in this case is to add an “s” to the end of the word, NO APOSTROPHE! I have a dear friend that makes this mistake all the time and it drives me crazy!! But I don’t tell him about it because he would feel I am just lecturing him in my teacher mode! At the very least, he’d be embarrassed and since I only see his writing in emails, I’m letting it slide. There is one common exception to this rule which confuses a lot of people: its and it’s. “Its” is the possessive. (Its paws, its timing, etc.) “It’s” is a contraction of “it is.” If it doesn’t make sense to substitute “it is” where you’ve written “it’s” in a sentence, then correct it by removing the apostrophe.
Imagination IN and impracticality and logic aside, if you could pick one animal to have as an exotic pet based solely on how cute and adorable it is, what would it be?
A genet. I had never heard of this species until I went on a safari trip in Tanzania, and at one of the lodges, the owners had genets (they left food out for them so the genets would hang around) who would crawl out onto the rafters and stare at the people below. They look like cats, which is probably why I like them so much, but they are not cats. However, they are so CUTE!!
Do you have any siblings? If so, where do you rank in birth order? And do you think either of these facts contributed to the person you became?
I am the youngest of 5. I have three older sisters and one older brother. I’m sure it contributed to the person I became, because I tended to get away with stuff more often than the others. And I was the rebel, or “black sheep” of the family, so I think I made my mother rethink all of her child-rearing methods that she had developed raising four other children before me. Letting me excuse myself from dinner because “we eat so late” and I wanted to watch a TV show during that time. (Not sitting with the family during dinner was always verboten!) And letting the cat stay with me in bed instead of making him sleep in the garage. Things like that, I was able to get away with. Still, I fought a lot with my mother, but not my dad – he was always calm and hated conflict. Then my siblings, one by one, went away to school, and I ended up with only my brother, or alone, living at home with my parents. I think that had an effect also. I loved one of my sisters the most, and always wanted to stay up until she got home from school so I could see her right away. It was hard when she went away, because she served as a buffer between my brother and me. My brother teased me mercilessly, and I wanted that sister at home to comfort me, to distract me with songs or games.
We all have things that make us happy, but what makes you deliriously, giddily, tail wagging-ly happy?
I wish it were my grandchildren, but I don’t have any. It is my cat that makes me the most happy, although I wouldn’t say “giddy” – I love to watch her antics, to play with her, to hear her purr when I stroke her. Speaking of wagging, did you know that cats wag their tails? People associate wagging with dogs, but my cat does wag her tail by flipping it back and forth when she is content. It’s almost an unconscious gesture, because if I pet her when she is almost asleep, her tail starts flipping.
If you had an alter ego, who or what would it be? Describe some fun or interesting things about them!
I don’t know if my alter ego would be male or female. I guess I would want her/him to have the skills and personality characteristics that are the opposite of mine. My alter ego would be confident, organized, and a risk-taker. (S)he would do things I would never do, such as ziplining, hang gliding, going on archaeological digs, and white water rafting. (S)he would be athletic and agile (unlike me) and be an excellent photographer. (S)he’d have a blog, far more exciting than mine, about traveling all over the world. At home, (s)he would have an awesome job: graphic designing, travel consultant, linguist or anthropologist, famous novelist or painter, architect designing eco-friendly buildings. (S)he would get involved in environmental projects that would really make a difference in preserving species from extinction or mitigating the effects of climate change.
I guess my “alter ego” would be damn near perfect!! 🙂 😀
What are some hopes or accomplishments you’d like to see happen in 2022? My number one priority is for the federal government to really get serious about mitigating climate change, and that the population in general become more aware so they can pollute less and love our planet more! I have many other hopes, but I’m afraid they are just pipe dreams: Trump and his cronies get convicted for corruption, lying under oath, and deception of the public. Everyone gets vaccinated against Covid-19 so no new variants have a chance to take hold and wreak havoc. And a personal accomplishment would be for me to waste less time, so that I have time for all the things I “don’t have time” to do! And that the exciting trips I have booked for this year don’t get cancelled!!
Today’s Bloganuary prompt is What was your favorite toy as a child?
I have come to believe that whatever your interest or passion as a child, even if you don’t follow that passion for many years, will come back to you sometime in adulthood, and you will have a chance to pursue it once again and hone your skill.
My favorite toy, although not really a toy, was reams of paper that my dad picked up at the local newspaper’s office. It was left over from what the newspaper used to print each edition of the paper. My dad knew I would be happy to put it to good use. Along with pencils and crayons, this paper was the material I used to create my drawings and writings. I wrote little books, usually about my family or an experience I had, such as a basketball game, and illustrated them.
A few years ago, going through some of my mother’s stuff, I found several of these little books, which my mom had had stiff covers put on to preserve them. I haven’t been able to throw them out! I guess I will leave that to my kids to sort out after I’m dead. At that point, I will no longer care!
As I got older, my stories were longer and usually fictional. I wrote a “book” of several chapters when I was in junior high – I typed it and illustrated it. It was about a girl who meets a boy when visiting California and they are separated when she has to go back home to Wisconsin. Did he love her as she loved him? That was for her to find out (typical young teenage preoccupation!).
I have always loved drawing and writing. I kept a diary for many years when I was a kid, and I still journal, although not nearly as often as I would like to. I also have started writing projects which I keep meaning to get back to. Some day they will all be stored on flash drives and my kids can either read them or discard them. Maybe they will entertain or enlighten someone. Anyway, I enjoyed doing them! Currently I spend more time drawing and painting than writing. I am not very good at painting yet, but have done several watercolors, such as the one below.
Artists who use sidewalks as their canvas know that their art is temporary. If you are lucky enough to see one of these 3D-looking masterpieces, it’s best to take a photo right then and there, because next week it could be gone! I have only myself encountered one of these sidewalk paintings – usually I see them online somewhere – so I was happy to find this one, which was done on the sidewalk in front of the Des Plaines Public Library last August. I have not seen it since, so I assume it was removed or washed away.
Melanie writes: 2022 Is bearing down on the world. In my opinion 2021 was 100% better than 2020, but it hasn’t been without its own set of problems and fresh worries. I’m hopeful that 2022 will somehow see a return to ‘life before Covid’ , but I also realize that’s a foolish hope.
At 12 a.m. on December 31st/Jan 1st, what will you be doing? (use your own time zone please)
Toasting the New Year with my husband, sister, and brother-in-law. We will probably be drinking one of the wines I’ve brought to their house to share on that evening.
Is there a tradition you have for New Year’s Eve?
The four of us have gotten together on New Year’s Eve for several years. They provide the venue and games, we provide the food. This year we’re having pizza and have the chance to sample several wines from my “collection.” We play games, always Scrabble, but since we’ve acquired some new games in the last couple of years, including a Trivia game, we will play those as well. We play games until midnight, then turn on the TV to watch Chicago bring in the new year! And we toast! Shortly thereafter, Dale & I take our wines (if anything is left) and go home to bed.
Do you have any hope or reason you find that next year will be better?
Oh yes! Because of vaccines, we are not in the situation we were a year ago. But Covid still rages, preying on primarily the unvaccinate, but frightfully also many vaccinated! Dr. Fauci says that the omicron variant seems to produce milder symptoms, thus fewer hospitalizations in the long run. And travel opportunities are now available! I know several people who have traveled already, mostly to Europe. After a few false starts, we now look forward to a trip in March to Southeast Asia. Travel requirements will make things more complicated, but we are ready to face them, after staying within 50 miles of home for two years!
On the other hand, I think the political situation in the U.S. will get worse. Too many people believe the 2020 election was “stolen” and that Biden is not a legitimate president. In the latest polls, 70% of Republicans now believe the Big Lie!! Due to the vast array of media sources, Americans live in different universes. Bridging that gap, enlightening those who are convinced the virus is a hoax and the election was stolen, will not be easy! So there will be more violence, less civility, and meanwhile, people will continue to die from gun violence every day, while Congress does nothing to stop it.
What’s the biggest personal lesson you learned during 2021?
Not to take life for granted. It is important to live life as fully as possible and to take obstacles in stride. I do not think life will return completely to what it was at the beginning of 2020. Changes have already been made that will affect us for a long time to come. And Covid may be with us for a long time, but it will become manageable, people getting vaccinations every year just like we do for the flu. We will, we must, adapt!
Describe in 1-3 words how you feel going into 2022.