Highlights of the Week That Was

This movie has been restored recently, and as I love movies. Did want to say May the force be with you about a thousand times though…fun film that I’d never seen before
sleepy Betty

Gratitude Saturday April 17

Have you all noticed the new WordPress thing, the one where other posts by the blogger show up at the bottom of the screen, as well as posts along similar subject area? Tater and I were talking about this the other day, as he posted about it. I was telling him that one of my posts, the one about whether or not reading was better than other pursuits, was getting a lot of hits (well, lots of hits for me) I told him that last week I gained like a hundred new readers (again- abnormal for me). So I wondered what my blog about reading had linked up to.

A few days later, tater contacted me. He told me that my post about reading was at the top of the Discover page. That’s when the lightbulb went off. My post was at the top of the page designed to highlight a post or blogger and introduce them to others.

Fine.

Now the hits and the new readers totally made sense.

So I am grateful that my post was at the top of the page for a bit of time and I found some new readers and exposed my ideas to more people.

However…

You knew there was going to be some sort of angst along with this, didn’t you?

The past ten months, I have not been really writing blogs. I have been asking questions to get the conversation started. I thought we needed something to focus on that wasn’t necessarily what was featured on the news that day. I wanted us to come together and discuss ideas. This didn’t start out as my goal, but it seemed to work. People were joining the discussion. There was a roundtable of sorts where people presented their thoughts and reflections and I know I certainly learned a lot of things, and thought about things in different ways.

This has been fun. I’ve enjoyed posing these questions.

However…

This does not mean that these have been the best blogs that I’ve ever written. Far from it. These have been pieces that have gotten me through all the challenges that we have faced throughout the past year.

So, the piece that was at the top of the charts so to speak…The reading post was like a bubblegum pop song that makes it to the top of the charts. It was cute, it sparked reaction, but it was by no means representative of what I have done or could do as a writer.

I have so many blogs that I am proud of, so I am a little sad that one of those did not get the same recognition as this one did.

Part of me wants to scream to the new readers-

“This is not the best of me- let me show you the posts I think are good. Let me show you the posts that made me cry as I wrote them. Let me show you the posts that I still laugh about. Let me show you the posts that made me who I am…

See how something “good” can be a blessing and a curse?

My guess is, knowing myself, I am going to try to up my blogging game. I am going to try to write the Great American Post. I am probably going to check my blog for error and spell check…I’m going to try to appear smarter or better or just more…

But at this moment in time….

I am grateful for having a little bit of the spotlight..

I am grateful for 4000+ followers

I am grateful that I want to open up my computer and blog everyday

I am grateful that there is no blogging award acceptance speech…could you imagine what a train wreck that would be?

Anything Can Happen Friday: Safety

This week, the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority-New York City) posted a result of a recent survey. New Yorkers are more afraid of crime in the subway than they are of COVID in the subway.

The mayor is not happy about this.

He wants people to think they are safe. Safe from crime. Safe from COVID. Safe from whatever.

What do we mean when we think of the word safe?

For arguments sake, let’s say that 100% of the people want to be safe. It’s something that we all want to a certain degree.

But do you think every person has the exact same definition of what safe means?

Some might thing having money in the bank means safe. Some may think having a good education means they are safe. We could go on and on with all the things that people say bring them a feeling of safety. But let’s just say that there are lots of ways that individuals think convey safe.

Some people think that a vaccine will make them safe.

Some people do not think the vaccine will make them safe.

Do the people in either of these groups have the right to tell the other group that they are wrong?

Do either of these groups have the right to make the other group feel guilty?

Now let’s touch on what we talked about last week: needing to show proof of vaccine.

Some people feel safe when every ID is checked to ensure that someone has been vaccinated or tested.

Some people don’t feel safe when confronted with someone wanting them to prove something.

Do either of these groups have the right to tell the other group that they are wrong?

Do either of these groups have the right to make the other group feel guilty?

Think of the things that make you personally feel safe. Now think if these very same things make someone else feel unsafe. Put yourself in the shoes of a person not like you.

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

What is safe?

Are You Happy?

Everyone you meet always asks if you have a career, are married, or own a house, as if life was some kind of grocery list. But no one ever asks you if you are happy

Heath Ledger

We’ve gone down the whole happiness route before. But I saw this quote and I thought it was interesting, especially considering how Ledger’s life ended.

Let’s break this down a little.

When you first meet someone, what are the things that you want to know about them? How do you know if you want to be friends with someone? How do you know if it’s someone you want to avoid?

My daughter is in the process of figuring out who her roommates will be for next year. One person was easy, but now they are trying to find two others so that they can try to get one of the cool, Junior apartments. I’m betting they’re asked about majors, clubs and hometowns. They’ve probably talked about sleep habits and smoking. But I doubt they’re branched out into asking each other if they are happy.

Do we assume that those around us are happy?

A few months ago a neighbor of mine put a picture on Facebook on their grandchildren. I thought one of the kids looked, I don’t know, closed off? Arms crossed, not engaged with the siblings and cousins, far off look. I wondered if this kid was happy. It was odd for me, because I normally don’t think about whether or not people are happy. But there was something about this kid…the look…

Not long after the kid did suffer an episode that could be considered a mental breakdown.

While we all appear to be striving for happy, do we know what happy looks like? Do we know what unhappy looks like?

Are we more likely to realize that a stranger is unhappy as opposed to someone in our own family?

Do we really care if those around us are happy?

Do you ever ask someone if they are happy?

Or are you afraid to find out the answer is anything other than yes?

Of course, we could ask if happy is really the goal, or if content will suffice…

We could also ask if happy is conditional, a feeling that comes and goes as the day progresses…or is happy just a state of mind?

So…

For write my blog Thursday….pick a question and ponder…

Discuss…

Insta-Challenge

I have been kinda/sorta doing an instagram photo challenge.

I have some problems with it.

  1. some people use pictures that other people took (like ads) in order to describe the scene. I think that’s kind of like cheating
  2. Some people take pictures of words to describe the prompt- I’m iffy about this one. While a word does tell you the prompt, it’s kind if boring

The we come along my greatest problem with insta challenges:

I am not good at staging scenes.

In fact, I am horrible at staging scenes.

And I am just not creative or clever when it comes to photos.

It’s odd that I scheduled this post for this week. On Sunday I had a crisis of faith regarding my insta phot challenge. The prompt was “swing”.

How do you portray “swing”?

Of course, as I am blazingly literal, I thought about an actual swing at the park.

And I also realized that I could not go to the park and take a picture of the children’s playground. On one level that’s just weird. And on the other level it could get me beat up or arrested.

And then I didn’t know what to do. I did not feel like getting up before the park opened to take a picture…

Then I got lazy.

I didn’t do any of the prompts this week.

Yesterday as I sat in Barnes and Noble and enjoyed by iced tea, I looked at the prompt list. One of them was “mood”. I saw a mural of Oscar Wilde looking quite moody so I snapped it. But I was 100% phoning it in.

Another prompt was “picture”, so I glanced through my camera role and saw a picture of a picture I saw at the Whitney the other day. So I shared that one.

Phoning.

It.

In.

Here are my missing prompts:

vehicle

a beautiful sight

donut

mirror

water drops

clean

Admittedly, some of these are easy, but it’s still hard for me to think about the picture that I want to get…

I know I can take a picture of a vehicle, but how do I make it fun? How do I make it stand out? How do I make it good?

How do I express these ideas clearly without resorting to words, or worse, having to make sure the description is clear enough to show my intention without explanation?

And it all comes down to creativity and set up.

Can you get more creative with photography? Is it a learned skill? If I keep practicing will I get better? Or will I always be blatantly average at it?

Same questions for staging. Some people are genius at it. Others, like me, are not…

I wonder if I’m just too impatient. Do I look at a word and expect some brilliant thought to shoot out of my head thus making it easy? Does some part of me think, well, you just take a picture of something…duh…

I think I’m going to start by doing the prompts a day before they are due. If I give myself a day to think about it, instead of rushing to take the picture and post it, maybe the creativity will start to take space.

Maybe.

But for now, I think I’ll make sure I take the donut picture today, you know, because, donuts…

And I’ll think about how I can creatively portray the others…


Noisy

I am a fan of self help/live a better life books. I always garner a little wisdom from them, plus they always motivate me to be a little better person. After a year like we’ve had, I need a little self love.

One of the books I read recently was “The Lemonade Life How to Fuel Success, Create Happiness and Conquer Anything”- Zack Friedman.

This is a bit of a rah rah, yay you sort of book. Find out the distractions and live your best life yay team….

I like those kind of books…and if you like this kind of books, this is worth a look.

But anyway…

Here’s one takeaway I got from the book:

Friedman states that “noise” is a thief who steals focus and prevents you from achieving your vision and realizing your goals. (Chapter 9)

So what are your “noises”? What are the things that suck the creativity from you?

Here are some of mine:

  1. Husband working out of the living room- seriously- I can’t think, let alone do anything that causes actual noise (I was unable to have a phone conversation with a friend yesterday because my husband was in meetings all day and there is no place left for me to talk except the bathroom…which I just can’t do…
  2. I manage to find a game every month that does suck away at my time- I get really into it and I become hyper focused on it to the point where I have to set up time windows
  3. writing truth in my work that no one will say could ever happen- when you put yourself on a page, and thinking/knowing that people are judging and doubting
  4. communication with my Mom- she just argues about everything…

So-

What are your noises? What are the things that distract you from achieving your dreams?

What do you do to get through the things that block you?

How do you reach your goals?

Discuss

The Headline that Made me Switch my Blog Schedule

NEW YORK PARENT SEEKS OK TO MARRY THEIR OWN ADULT CHILD

This is the headline that flashed across my phone news scroll the other day.

https://nypost.com/2021/04/10/new-york-parent-seeks-ok-to-marry-their-own-adult-child/

First off- I had to double check the date to make sure it wasn’t an April Fool’s Joke.

Secondly, I checked the date to see if it was an April Fool’s Joke…

And I fully note that the papers were filed on April 1…

However…

Is there a chance that this is for real?

And then I scanned the article…

The person filing says that it is a matter of “individual autonomy”.

Ok- I was originally going to joke about this, say something like, well at least I know that my Mother in Law is in Florida, but really…

I can’t even…

If this is true, if this is actually a good law suit…

Am I wrong to think that this is nuts?

Or is there someone out there who is going to defend this saying that as I’ve never been in this situation I can’t put myself in their shoes? That I don’t understand what it’s like to be them?

Now…if you agree with this being an OK thing to file…I will listen to your argument…

But please…

Discuss…

But I will say, this would be one heck of an April Fool’s Joke

Highlights of the Week That Was April 11

Chocolate Cream Pie from Petee’s Pies

Gratitude Saturday- April 10

Our mattress was so old I believe cave people delivered it to us. So we finally sprung for a new mattress.

First off- we got a very plush pillowtop mattress that is just delightful.

Secondly, our sleep expert told us about this wonderful thing that we really had never heard about- an adjustable mattress base (free if you spend over a certain amount on a mattress)

Ok- first- I admit that my husband decided to upgrade the adjustable base to one that wasn’t free. Meaning, we got a base that not only raises the head of the bed, but it raises the feet as well, putting your knees at a 45 degree angle (or thereabouts)

Apparently there’s all sort of science about sleeping in this position, which we haven’t really looked into but it all sounds really impressive…

But anyway…

I love the adjustable base for when I want to read in bed

So I am grateful to my sleep expert…

I am grateful for my soft, comfy mattress

I am grateful for my adjustable base

I am grateful that the bed got here in four days and the set up people took our old mattress away (meaning we didn’t have to wrap it in plastic as per NYC law, which is a giant pain. (We had to throw out our daughters single bed a few years ago, and even a bed that small is a pain)

Grateful for good sleep!!

Anything Can Happen Friday: Vaccines, privacy, HIPAA and you

What did your family discuss at Easter dinner? Mine discussed whether or not vaccine passports and asking for negative test results violates HIPAA policy….

Good times…

Broadly, HIPAA states that patient’s medical records are not allowed to be shared without consent of the patient.

Fine.

Any individual is allowed to share there medical history. If someone asks if you have been vaccinated you can share that information.

Do you have to share the information? No. But any venue has the right to refuse entry based on whatever their rules are. But is it legal to discriminate against someone because of their medical history? Or lack thereof…

For arguments sake: can you refuse entry to someone who is pregnant? Someone who has a disorder that requires medication? Does vaccination fall under the same umbrella?

Does a venue have the right to ask you about your medical history, or is that privileged information?

I really have no idea how scenarios like this will play out in court. I’m guessing it depends upon the judge and what evidence is put into play, which precedents…

But roughly speaking- what do you think about this?

Can someone demand proof of your medical records?

Pros and cons.

Discuss