Fandango’s Provocative Question #140

During the height of the pandemic, to what extent did you avail yourself of online shopping for meals, groceries, and other goods and services? If you did use online shopping and delivery services, now that things have eased up a bit, has your reliance on or use of such service continued at the same rate, increased, or decreased. To what extent?

So this week, to answer Fandango‘s Provocative Question, I have to start with the fact that during the height of the pandemic, I was living in a hotel while my house was being built. We were (unfortunately) caught in our statewide shutdown involving sales of homes under contract continuing, but all construction put on hold.

There were a few occasions that I did use online shopping and delivery, however, too many times there were substitutions to what I requested and not ones I would have chosen (such as peach yogurt instead of blueberry. Of all the yogurts, peach is my least favorite). I guess they were supposed to notify you of the changes, but as I was working from “home” at the time, I could not constantly monitor my emails. Secondly, I am entirely too much of a control freak to handle the idea of someone else touching my stuff.

As I am immune compromised, I qualified for the “early access” to the stores and after the few attempts to use online shopping, I started going back during the medically compromised/senior hours.

I did, however, use DoorDash quite a bit if we were eating “take out”. Most of the restaurants were completely shut down to indoor seating. My issue with meal delivery was the concern things would not be as I ordered (refer to “control freak” comment above) and things were never as “hot” as we wanted them. Part of my time in the hotel coincided with Ramadan, so I did use DoorDash for late food delivery instead of waiting to cook late in the evening.

Now that things have simmered down a bit, we have returned to eating in restaurants – we have a routine of eating at the local diner every Friday night (and it is how you might picture it – same crowd every Friday). We rarely order delivery because there is nothing close to us to deliver. If we eat take out, one of us buys and the other flies.

I still grocery shop as soon as the grocery store opens but that is not so much because of my medical condition, but more-so because I don’t like people and crowds. My husband is not a morning person so if he intends to shop with me at the stores I am forbidden to go into without supervision (BJs/Costco or Whole Foods or Wegmans), it is usually around lunchtime and I dread every minute of it so I rush through.

Truthful Tuesday – Halloween

This week’s Truthful Tuesday question reminds me Halloween is just around the corner.

Considering how last year went and the current state of things, do you have any plans for Halloween this year? Will you be going to any costume parties, handing out trick-or-treat candy, or just staying at home with the porch light off so no one will bother you? Please let us know! I have not celebrated Halloween in more than 20 years, however, that is not to say that I have not sent my children around to gather candy from the neighbors. Growing up, trick or treating was always an adventure and the one time we three siblings were allowed to wander over to the “other side” of the neighborhood. I remember after Halloween sitting in a triangle, my sister, my brother and myself, with the contents of our Halloween sacks (pillow cases usually) between our legs. My brother had very specific tastes when it came to candy so we would easily trade our plain old Hershey bars, plain M&Ms and Twizzlers (pause for memory to pass) to him in exchange for candy we liked. In the center of our exchange were the yucky candies – things with coconut or peanuts that our dad would confiscate and marzipan or black licorice for mom.

I digress…the answer to the question is no, we do not attend costume parties however, we do hand out trick or treat goodies to the neighborhood kiddos. Families gather at the end of their driveways rather than have children ring the doorbell. It is a nice time to chat with some of our neighbors.

Share Your World – 10.18.21

Melanie offers the following questions for this week:

Are you easily frightened or startled? No, not really. I mean maybe? I don’t get “frightened” but I get overwhelmed. I think I hear too much around me so I am rarely startled by anything. I suppose if someone WAS able to sneak up behind me and frighten or startle me I would jump, but I over-anticipate everything. There was this one time when we had this very scary doll, the youngest was “kind” enough to hide it in the pantry knowing I would be the first one downstairs. That scared the piss out of me…literally.

The “doll” that made its way around the house to see who we could scare the most.

(Purely whimsical supposition.  Suspend disbelief for a bit)
If you were a ghost, what location do you think you would haunt? Is it the same or different from the location you’d want
 to haunt? Hmmm…thought provoking. I think I would be “forced” to haunt my past. I would have to relive the mistakes I made. Wait…I’m not a ghost and I do that anyway. I don’t know that I would want to haunt anyone or anyplace. I would love to be able to go back into times before I lived – like the 1800s or Viking times. I would not want to live at that time, just observe, so maybe that qualifies as haunting.

What do you see in your mind’s eye when you close your eyes?  (I know somebody will answer ‘the inside of my eyelids”, so I took the temptation away by answering that first! 😜   Feel free to use that answer if you like though, or pass. It’s ALL good!) I would see my happy place. My flat rock along the Chewuck River where I used to sit early in the morning with my cup of coffee. I haven’t been there in many years (I lost it in the divorce), but my girls still own their father’s share. But it is where I go when I look into my mind’s eye.

If a Semi (Big Rig in Americanese) (lorry or trolley over the pond) were about to smash into a crowd, and you could divert the vehicle’s course to hit only one person, would you?  How would you decide who would become the victim? I would like I think I would – to save people. I wouldn’t know or probably even think about who the victim would be, I would just hope to save all or most people.


GRATITUDE SECTION

Please feel free to share what makes you feel warm and cozy when the wind blows cold? Alternatively (for those on the other side of the world), what makes you feel relaxed and comfortable when the thermometer starts rising? I like this time of year – a lot. Getting into a thick pair of sweats and curling up under a flannel blanket is cozy for me. I also like warming up my insides with a good cup of homemade hot cocoa.

Song Lyric Sunday – News

For someone with an extensive and diverse playlist, I struggle to find songs that fit this week’s criteria for Song Lyric Sunday. I like to play it as close to the prompts as possible and while I have several songs that allude to communicating, information, news or telephone, it was hard to find one specifically mentioning those words in the prompt. Maybe the problem is I have too many songs.

This week I chose Hands Held High by Linkin Park. Hands Held High was released in 2007 and is on the Minutes to Midnight album. The song is meant to criticize the government and was a call for citizens to take action. It addresses issues such as war (back in 2007, it would have been the Iraq war), the never-ending disparity between rich and poor, and gas prices, which to this day continue to rise.

Mike Shinoda is the vocalist for this particular song, with the entire band singing “Amen” and the late great Chester Benningfield singing the chorus. This is really only one of a few at that time that feature Mike Shinoda rapping and the first that includes cursing. It is pretty apparent that, at the time, there was some dislike for the Bush administration and the current state of affairs.

Linkin’ Park, if you are not already familiar with the band, is an American rock band from California. Officially formed in 1996, Linkin Park rose to international fame in 2000 with the release of its album Hybrid Theory. When the band released that production, Chester Benningfield (and Shinoda) were the lead vocalists. Chester was the “voice” of Linkin Park in my opinion and sadly he died in 2017 by suicide. (Truly a sad story considering his very close friend, Chris Cornell [Soundgarden] died two months’ earlier by suicide – Chester’s death by hanging was on Chris’ 53rd birthday. Depression is a real thing y’all. So sad.)

Anyway, Linkin Park was founded by vocalist/rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Mike Shinoda, lead guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave Farrell, DJ/turntablist Joe Hahn and drummer Rob Bourdon, all of whom are still members of the band. Besides, Chester Benningfield, Mark Wakefield also performed as singer with the band.

While personally I do not let myself get involved with politics because it really doesn’t matter what my opinion is, nothing will ever change, I do know that what we are told about war (for example) is not really the truth. My heart hurts for our veterans who have had to see and do the things they have had to see and do. But, before I cross a hard line I’ve drawn for myself, I will leave it at that and hope you enjoy this week’s contribution.

Turn my mic up louder, I got to say something
Lightweights steppin’ aside when we come in
Feel it in your chest, the syllables get pumping
People on the street then panic and start running
Words on loose leaf sheet, complete coming
I jump in my mind, I summon the rhyme I’m dumping

Healing the blind, I promise to let the sun in
Sick of the dark ways we march to the drumming
Jump when they tell us that they wanna see jumping
Fuck that, I wanna see some fists pumping

Risk something, take back what’s yours
Say something that you know they might attack you for
‘Cause I’m sick of being treated like I had before
Like it’s stupid standing for what I’m standing for
Like this war’s really just a different brand of war
Like it doesn’t cater to rich and abandon poor
Like they understand you, in the back of their jet
When you can’t put gas in your tank

These fuckers are laughing their way to the bank, and cashing their check
Asking you to have compassion and have some respect
For a leader so nervous in an obvious way
Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay
And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day
In the living room, laughing like, “What did he say?”

Amen
Amen
Amen
Amen
Amen

In my living room watching it, but I am not laughing
‘Cause when it gets tense, I know what might happen
The war is cold, the bold men take action
Have to react to get blown into fractions
Ten years old, there’s something to see
Another kid my age drugged under a Jeep
Taken and bound and found later under a tree
I wonder if he had thought ‘the next one could be me’

Do you see the soldiers that are out today?
They brush the dust from bulletproof vests away
It’s ironic, at times like this you’d pray
But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday
There’s bombs on the buses, bikes, roads
Inside your market, your shops, and your clothes

My dad, he’s got a lot of fear, I know
But enough pride inside not to let that show
My brother had a book he would hold with pride
A little red cover with a broken spine on the back
He hand-wrote a quote inside
“When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die”
Meanwhile, the leader just talks away
Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay
The rest of the world watching at the end of the day
Both scared and angry, like “What did he say?”

Amen
Amen
Amen
Amen
Amen

With hands held high into a sky so blue
As the ocean opens up to swallow you
With hands held high into a sky so blue
As the ocean opens up to swallow you
With hands held high into a sky so blue
As the ocean opens up to swallow you
With hands held high into a sky so blue
As the ocean opens up to swallow you
With hands held high into a sky so blue
As the ocean opens up to swallow you
With hands held high into a sky so blue
As the ocean opens up to swallow you

Weekend Coffee Share – 10/16/21

Good morning. Thanks for stopping by. This week’s Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie the Explorer. I am just back from the grocery store, so if you would like some coffee, tea, water or hot cocoa, I am happy to whip some up. How about some toast with jam? I have gluten free or wheat.

If we were sitting down for a chat, I would share that I am a little disappointed today. My husband and his son were supposed to go bow hunting this morning. That would have meant alone time for me. I love spending time with my husband, but I was looking forward for him to have some time with his youngest son. Seems every time they make plans, something happens. They canceled the trip up to the hunting grounds because it was going to rain. It is, of course, not raining. Not here, or over the mountain. I was also looking forward to digging into some reorganization of the “crap” lying around. My husband gets exasperated when I move his stuff, but seriously, why does he need to keep opened, empty envelopes on the table with long reviewed old catalogs. If I “move” this stuff (to the trash), he’ll never miss it. But if he is home, he will say “let me go through it first” and that pile will move to a different spot where it will remain until I have the alone time to remove it.

We did take a trip up to the tree stand last week to get it ready for hunting this week. My husband had a senior moment and wandered off UP the mountain (i.e., my fitbit counted it as having climbed 34 flights of stairs). That was a mile we didn’t need to take. I don’t know why he had issues this particular time as he has been hunting on this 600 acre private property owned by his friends’ parents for over 18 years. But oh well…nice day for a hike.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would avoid discussing work as nothing has changed and work is still so very overwhelming. I am off on Tuesday as I am going to see a naturopath and trying to see if we can possibly work on reducing some of my ever-increasing issues. I need the day off. Since my bosses have recognized my very busy workload, they are pushing for me to take my remaining days off so starting in November, I will be taking chunks of time off. I say this, however, I do have remote access to my office from home (on two separate computers). No…I will not log in, I will not log in, I will not log in.

My husband and I went out for dinner last week and witnesses a beautiful act of kindness. Our young waiter was repeatedly visiting with an older woman eating alone. At first I thought he must be a relative or know her, but every now and then I would hear clips of their conversation (she “didn’t have her ears in” and would periodically loudly repeat herself). It was obvious she didn’t know him, and was asking him personal (friendly) questions. Then he came out of the kitchen with dessert and a candle and sang happy birthday to her. When he next came to the table, I asked him what the situation was. Turns out this woman was out for her birthday – alone. Her son usually takes her out but he was not “around”. Not sure what that meant. So this young man (recently out of high school if my age guess is right) was not letting her spend time alone and went out of his way to make her birthday memorable. I shed a few tears after he shared the story. It was beautiful to see such caring from such a young man.

I certainly hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #139

Today Fandango is asking us:

Do you consider yourself today to be more of a spontaneous person or more of a stable person? Which characteristic in others, spontaneity or stability, do you prefer? Why?

Today, I do not consider myself to be either. I know I am definitely the most UN-spontaneous person in the world as I adhere to my routines like superglue and the mere thought of having to make a spontaneous decision causes my brain to open 101 more computer tabs of all the “how would I do”, “what if” and “will I recover from this change” questions. None of which likely affect the action should I have been spontaneous.

On the other hand….I am not stable either. I am prone to rash decisions. I would not go so far as to say those rash decisions are spontaneous, but rather, made out of panic (for lack of a better word).

For example, to me, being spontaneous means a phone call at 3 p.m. to meet a friend for dinner at 5 p.m. Every fiber of my being wants to say yes, but the brain immediately starts with “what about what I laid out for dinner, can I cook it tomorrow, I have a meeting tomorrow, will I have time to cook it tomorrow if I don’t do it today, will it keep another day, this sets my meal plan back a day, I need to let husband know, will he mind, no of course he won’t mind, the dog will need walked, can he wait an extra 1/2 hour, I should leave work now, what if there is traffic on the way home, I will never make it by 5 p.m., do they have food I am hungry for, is she making reservations, do I need a mask to go there-no probably not-it is going to be loud, I am going to be there for hours, I left my pills at home I hope I don’t forget to take them” to which I the respond to said friend practically instantaneously “no, sorry, I am tied up tonight”. Yes, it is INCREDIBLY exhausting.

On the other hand, the unstable rash decisions are…oh look, traffic is slow ahead, I will exit at the next available exit (which, by the way, are few and far between in my rural neck of the woods) and then spend an additional 1/2 hour reminding myself how STUPID I am for forgetting this was the farm road during harvest season. I think those rash decisions tend to make me unstable. Or rather, I feel very unstable after doing something when I should have known better.

So to succinctly answer Fandango’s Provocative Question, I am neither stable nor spontaneous. If I had to choose one and be good at one, it would be stable. It seems to be the calmer of the two to me.

Truthful Tuesday

Oh this week’s question posed by Frank the PC Guy is a fun one!

With the exception of an autograph table at a concert or book signing, have you ever met anyone famous? Were they anything like what you expected? So surprisingly, more than I can probably remember. My friend in Washington worked for Universal Concerts and I would often go with her on “working passes” during several festivals.

Bass Canyon Festival - 3 Day Pass Tickets | 20th August | Gorge Amphitheatre
Google Images – the Gorge Amphitheater, Washington State

At the Gorge, I ate in the catering tent with the members of Sonic Youth and R.E.M. I remember Peter Buck sitting near us discussing life issues – just like a regular human. I interacted with many of the band members and crew and honestly didn’t even really know they were the “performers”. Very down to earth.

I’ve met Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull – he poured me a glass of wine during a concert and told me I was “beautiful”.

I think the last time I was allowed to go with her on any working pass was during a Metallica concert where I promised to remember I was “working” and not “lose my shit” when Hetfield and Ulrich walked by. Well…I forgot. She shoved me into a side room and shut the door. So I can’t say I actually “met” my then-dreamboats since I could not behave like an adult. Oh well…

My daughters’ father was a local musician and through him, I met Rikki Rocket (drummer for Poison) and just about every member of Kix.

ROXX GANG with KEVIN STEELE
Roxx Gang – David is the 4th on the right

David Blackshire, former drummer of Roxx Gang, grew up with me and attended my wedding back in the 1980s. That him in the photo above when he was the drummer for Roxx Gang. He’s next to the last – the one with blondie butt-bumping him.

John Fahnestock Archives - Ghost Cult MagazineGhost Cult Magazine
John Fahnestock (Snot)

I went to school with John (pictured above), the bassist for the band, Snot. He was my brother’s age and up until my brother’s death – remained a friend of my brother. I do remember him being a little shit though – or better yet, a little snot. Pun intended. He always had “that hair” – wild and unruly.

I could go on…but let us move away from music. During my early years of fight training (mid-1990s), I trained out of AMC Kickboxing and Pancration in Kirkland, Washington. Matt Hume (the Wizard) was the owner and one of the trainers. He has been voted one of the top 20 coaches in MMA. (That’s him standing behind the great Demetrius Johnson – also trained at AMC and now coaches there – long after I was gone).

Image Credit – Fansided – Top 20 MMA Coaches

While training at AMC, and before I was seriously training – just moving up levels in Muay Thai – I worked out with Josh Barnett and, although did not know him to call him friend, it was before he became an MMA fighter. My direct coach at the time, Kim Mason, was an fast-rising fighter, having just turned professional, when he decided to off someone and, as far as I know, is still in prison. Sad story – he was a great trainer.

Josh Barnett
Josh Barnett – Google Images

Those are some of the big name peeps I have met. What a fun walk down memory lane!!!

Share Your World – 10/11/2021

Melanie posts some seasonal questions in this weeks’ Share Your World.

QUESTIONS

(Two ‘seasonal’ and two plain today)

Hasbro Gaming Ouija Board Game Brown, 1 Pack

What is the scariest game (board or on-line) you ever may have played? Ouiji board game. It was awful. I was young and impressionable and am still terrified of the incidents that day.

Assateague's Wild Horses - Assateague Island National Seashore (U.S.  National Park Service)
Assateague Island

What’s just ‘over the rainbow” for you? You can’t really ever “catch” a rainbow. So my answer is nothing. I can, however, tell you want is over every mountain. The ocean with wild running horses.

Do you have to watch something upbeat after watching a suspense or horror movie so you can go to sleep? No. If I stick around to watch a horror movie, it is usually because it is so stupid I make fun of it. I will not watch the Exorcist or other horror movies that cause me anxiety. I rarely, if ever, watch suspenseful movies at all.

Is there intent behind every action? Yes, and in my humble opinion, every single person should check their intention before taking action.

GRATITUDE SECTION  (as always, optional)

Feel free to share some gratitude with folks today!   Thanks!  🎃 🍁🍂

I am particularly grateful that when I woke up from my incredibly realistic dream last night where I was pregnant with twins despite having a radical hysterectomy many years ago, that it was, in fact a dream. Dear god, my grandsons would end up raising my twins if it was real. But it was so very real. I am not a dream interpreter, however, as I have been told most of my life that the symptoms I suffer with either do not really exist or make no sense, I believe that is what was behind this dream. I have an upcoming ND appointment and I have been go over in my head my freakish medical history. Nevertheless, at my age, pregnant with twins was a nightmare and I was very grateful to wake up from it.

Fandango’s Provocative Question – #138

This week’s Provocative Question asks “do you see a difference between settling for things and accepting the way things are? If so, in what way are they different? If not why do you feel settling and accepting are the same?”

I believe “settling for things” and “accepting things the way they are” are two completely different ideas, yet also linked. To me they are different in that “settling for things” alludes that you can opt for something different. You “settle” for a hateful marriage, when you can make a change. Or you “settle” for a toxic job, whether because of fear or need, but you can actually make a change. On the other hand, “accepting things the way they are”, to me, mean you cannot undo the situation, but you can move through it. Such as…you have a debilitating illness – you need to accept it and make efforts to live with it. Or, Facebook crashes by no fault of your own and you must “accept” the fact you cannot scroll 24/7 until it is fixed. Crying, jumping up and down on your iPhone, cursing the IT world and the like, will not change the fact that you have to give up social media for an hour or so.

I believe there is a fine line in some situations between “settling” and “accepting” and many times people struggle with accepting a situation thinking they can ignore it, such as dealing with gluten sensitivity later in life denying a person the one thing they love almost as much as chocolate and caramel – bread. It has taken three years to “accept” something rather than “settle” for the extreme discomfort caused by belligerently eating gluten laden items.

Sania Asif Clinical Psychologist
Google images

Truthful Tuesday – Sinfully Sweet

Today Frank asks for us to answer truthfully the following question.

Do you have a sweet tooth, or do you prefer savory snacks? Hands down I have a sweet tooth. There are days I crave something sweet to the point I feel I will explode. I am told (by Dr. Google) that this could be an underlying medical/nutrition issue. But on a regular basis I definitely crave sweet over savory. I have relatively decent self-control, but if said sweet is either tiramisu or something containing caramel, my self-control is rarely strong enough to save me from indulging. As a matter of fact, it is well-known that if I am in a pissy mood at work and need to be approached, most know to toss Milk Duds or a Milky Way at me first. Once the beast has her mouth full of melty caramel and delicious chocolate, she is less dangerous.

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