Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Beat the Heat: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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I feel most energized when I ...

Create.  Whether is music, writing or art, putting my creative spin on something gives me energy.

Where were you ten years ago?

Ugh!  2008 was the beginning of a very dark time in my life.  I was at the most stressful, dehumanizing job ever, my health was heading into the toilet, and my spiritual life wasn't going well either.  Praise the Lord, I'm not there now!

July 17th is World Emoji Day. Do you use emojis? Which one's your favorite? Your most used?

Yes.  My favorite emoji to use is the smiley face.  😊

What song would you put on a wedding DO NOT PLAY list?

I hope you're not wanting a serious answer, because you're not going to get it here.  (Think about who you're dealing with)  My top ten songs NOT to play at a wedding:
  • Friends are Friends Forever by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.  I hate that song to its core.
  • Superfreak by Rick James.  Well, I guess it depends on the couple, doesn't it?  Save it for the reception...or better yet, the honeymoon.
  • You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi.  Might as well sign the divorce papers at the reception.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady by Aerosmith.  'Nuf said.
  • Any song by Adele.  Music to slit your wrists by.
  • Jesse's Girl by Rick Springfield.  Dang Rick, get your own woman!
  • Every Breath You Take by The Police.  Um, if you're getting married, do you really need to keep stalking your intended?  #Creepy
  • What's Love Got to Do With It? by Tina Turner.  If it's that bad, stay single, honey!
  • My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion.  I can smell the cheese from here.  You know that the couple from that song are dead, right?
  • Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks.  Your wedding theme might as well be "Hold my beer and watch this!"

What deserves less of your attention? More of your attention?

My fears deserve less of my attention.
My faith deserves more of my attention.

Insert your own random thought here.

We're all in the throws of summer heat.  I think we all need this.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Blueberry Hill in the 'ville: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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What's something in your house you'd like to get rid of but can't?
The only thing I would get rid of in my apartment is the clothes dryer on our side of the complex.  It needs to be replaced.  I've called the repair people twice and told them that the heating element is going out on it.  However, they keep saying there's nothing wrong with it.  If a dryer won't get 3 towels and some wash cloths dry in 45 minutes, there's something wrong with it.  I end up using the dryer in the adjoining breezeway in our building, which in itself is a minor inconvenience, but in principle irks the stew out of me.  I'm really surprised no else has complained.

When is the last time you experienced a sense of nostalgia? Elaborate.

This spring after the tornado struck my hometown.  One of the most beautiful tributes to our town was from the Spirit of Atlanta drum corp.  The link to the video is here.  "Salvation is Created" is one of the Marching Southerners' standards, so it was more than a fitting tribute.  I was nostalgic and homesick all at the same time as I sat in front of my computer at work and cried (good thing my cubicle is in the back corner of our floor).  I still miss home and I still tear up every time I hear it.

You're only allowed three apps on your smart phone or tablet...which three do you keep?

Assuming the standard apps that make the phone a phone (calling and texting) are not included in this question, I shall proceed.
  1. Google maps - Helps me get where I'm going when I don't know where I'm going.
  2. Music Player - I don't go anywhere without a soundtrack.
  3. Camera - Right now, my phone's camera is the only means of keeping a photographic record of my adventures.

July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Who knew? Do you like blueberry muffins? If you were going to have a muffin would blueberry be your choice? What's the last thing you baked?

Blueberry muffins are a take it or leave it muffin for me.  If I were going to have a muffin, I'd prefer a banana nut muffin.  The last sweet treat I baked was peanut butter cookies.  The last savory treat I baked was a frozen pizza.

What's the biggest way you've changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?

As a child I was very timid and so scared of people that it bordered on xenophobia.  Today, that's not me.  In fact, I love meeting new people and attempting to make new friends.  However, in too many ways, I'm still too much like my old self.  I talk in my latest book review here about how I'm trying to change that.

Insert your own random thought here.

I think I've got another song to add to my list of life songs:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Book Trek 2018 - 13 [My Mythical Year]

Book:  Rhett and Link’s Book of Mythicality.

Author:  Rhett McLaughlin and Charles “Link” Neal, with James Greene

Info:  Copyright 2017. 
New York:  Crown Archetype

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✮✮

Where Acquired:  Library check out that turned into an Amazon purchase.

Category:  Impulse Reads -   As I've stated in earlier posts, a co-worker introduced me to the authors' YouTube show.  Through their show, I was introduced to the book.  The book was available at our local library, so I checked it out.  I enjoyed it so much that I purchased my own copy.

What it's about:  McLaughlin and Neal, hosts of the hit YouTube show Good Mythical Morning, takes the reader on a road trip through their friendship.  The road starts when they met in first grade at Buies Creek (North Carolina) Elementary School, and winds on into the ever-growing friendship intertwined with their current job as "Internetainers" in Los Angeles, California. All of their adventures, filtered through what they have coined "Mythicality," encourage the reader to find his own path to "curiosity, creativity, and tomfoolery" amidst the necessary seriousness of adulthood. 

Favorite Quotes:
Myth-I-cal-I-ty (noun) - The quality or state of being that embodies a synergistic coalescence of curiosity, creativity, and tomfoolery (sometimes referred to as curio-tomfoolivity),, ideally experienced in the context of friendship and intended to bring goodwill to the universe. - p. 8

Now, we feel obligated to state that we are not publicly advocating scrapbooking.  While we are well aware that scrapbooking might be a perfectly logical application of this chapter, we cannot in good conscience openly endorse the practice.  So we are taking a neutral stance.  If you choose to scrapbook, we will not try to stop you.  Just know that once you enter the world of scrapbooking, it can serve as an unexpected portal to becoming a cat lady. – p. 65

A Mythical party has no lulls.  You have to ready for the real possibility of conversation tapering off by providing activities to keep people engaged.  These should be optional, though, because you don’t want to be the party dictator who forces everyone into a forty-person game of Twister.  (Although we have seen this done to great success with minimal injury, and it spawned at least one marriage.) – p. 212

On throwing parties on a tight budget:
Postapocalyptic Potluck:  The key to this party is that none of the guests eat for three days before the event, and then everyone brings unmarked canned foods that the host hides all over the house.  Games include:  "How Far Will You Go for a Can Opener?" "Celebrity Zombie Charades," and "Touch Those Baked Beans and I’ll Kill You." – p. 218

What I liked:

The voice of the book was clear.  When I've read books penned by several contributing authors, knowing who was speaking when was difficult.  Case in point; The Daniel Plan. However, this volume made it very easy to distinguish whether Neal or McLaughlin were speaking separately or collaboratively.

Each section features a photograph of a unique merit badge associated with the topic of the chapter.  To add to the fun, the authors offer these badges on their website for purchase.  Sure, it all a part of marketing the book, but I like the concept.  It's fun.
I laughed out loud through a great portion of the book.
What I didn’t like:

Some questions went unanswered.  For example, I was hoping that they would explain how "Link" Neal got his nickname.

In chapter 16:  “Throw a Party That Doesn’t Suck,” I was disappointed that the “Rhett and Link’s Party Startin’ T-shirts” featured on pages 214 and 215 weren’t actually available for purchase anywhere.  Now, that sounds like a joke, but I’m serious.  They should offer some kind of party pack of these fun t-shirts at a reasonable rate.  They truly would help me throw great parties.  I may have to make these myself.


I have read lots of good biographies, but none contained a friendship so precious.  I've partaken of many great books of humor, but none this side of the late Lewis Grizzard had me laughing so much.  Among the many personal development books I've slogged through, this offering, though not a personal development book at all, has impacted me most. 

What do I mean?  The personal development genre of books, though written by diverse authors, seems to fall in the same line:  they assume the person reading is someone married and middle class with lots of friends.  They have a pretty good life, but they take things for granted.  These books serve as a governor to steer them back on the right path, set the right goals, and leave a wonderful legacy for their already established friends and family.  That's not me.  And, quite frankly, these books don't seem to include much fun, nor does it give much help on how to establish lasting friendships.

The Book of Mythicality was written by two guys from the southern United States (which made me like them already) who were just "average Joes" (which made me like them even more) who established and maintained an awesome friendship and business partnership, married wives, fathered children, and are surrounded by people who love and care for them as they live out their dream.  Because this book was more fun inspiration than dry information, it was more of an encouragement to me than all the goal setting/personal development books I've read.

So, with that being said; I'd like announce my new blog challenge--"My Mythical Year."   The best time to start something new is a new year right?  Sure, but that new year doesn't have to be January 1st.  The new fiscal year started this month and will end June 30, 2019.  I'm going to earn as many of the Mythical Merit Badge as I can.  It's not that I'll stop learning from serious personal development materials.  However, my plan is to filter the information through the lens of mythicality.  I'm also not giving up on my 101 in 1001 list.  In fact, many of those items have a touch of mythicality to them. 

I'm not sure what order I'll be earning the badges, but when one is earned, I will blog about it, purchase it and attach it to my apparel of choice; a denim vest. The sample picture on the website shows them attached to a denim jacket, but I figure I can wear a vest year round.  Now, to find a vest...or learn to sew my own.

My badges from childhood.
So, I'm sure the question many of you are asking "Why is a woman on the shady side of 40 getting involved in something this juvenile?"  BTW--if you're not asking it, thanks for understanding.  First, I was a Girl Scout whose scouting adventures ended abruptly when our troop aged and started caring more about popularity than friendship and earning badges and patches.  Second, while I still have my sash and badges from scouting, the jackets to which my mom affixed all of my scouting patches were stolen in elementary school.  Earning the Mythical badges would be poetic justice.  Third, and most importantly, if any of you have read my blog for any amount of time (or just know me personally), you know that I'm one of the most boring people on the planet and that I've put off enjoying life too long.  Yes, I'm on the shady side of 40, so I should have had a fabulous first third of my life (yes, I said third--shut up); but I haven't.  The past eleven months has meant a lot of great changes in my life and I'm ready to enjoy the heck out of it and stop being the timid, boring person who left Alabama.

I hope you'll enjoy the fun with me.  If not, move along.  Nothing to see here.