Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Look What I Found!

 Quite unintentionally, I found some fun stuff last week. Now you get to look at it, too.

I have a terribly sad history with Cheetos. In 2003 I had to break up with them after they turned on me in a gastric episode that stays with me still. When I saw this bag of Lay's Cheeto flavoured potato chips, I literally did a double-take. Then I stood there, trying to decide whether to take the risk and try them. The amount of hemming and hawing I did was ridiculous and pathetic. I'm sure that someone saw me and commented about it on their Twitter account: Some crazy woman is mesmerized by the new cheeto lays chips. Shoot me if I ever get that enthralled by snacks.

Anyway, I bought them (of course I did) and we tried them. 


And they ended up making me a little bit nauseated, so Cheetos--we're still broken up after all.

Spiders, especially the daddy longlegs kind, and spider webs are the bane of my existence at the lake. Every weekend I'm trying to get rid of the damn things in every conceivable nook and cranny. I found this duster at my goofy grocery store and bought it. It's on a nice long handle. I took it and my groceries up to the cashier, a diminutive elderly man with an impeccable haircut.

Cashier:  Wow, look at that thing!
Me:  I know. It's ridiculous.
Cashier: They should have put trump's picture on it.
Me:  Ugh. Then I wouldn't have bought it.
Cashier: (fixing me with a keen look) Oh sure you would. 
Me: Oh, so I'd have the pleasure of getting him all dirty? Yeah, maybe so!
Cashier:  What a crook! You know, my wife is the most laid-back, gentle person. But any time she hears his name, she goes off. That guy...what a jerk. What a crook.
(Woman behind me laughs and nods)
Me:  I couldn't agree more. 

Finally, I found this treasure in my Cleveland Plain Dealer over the weekend. Yes, it's rife with grammatical errors, but that's not my favourite thing about it. I know once you read it, you'll be as delighted as I am with what you find. 

I certainly hope you are similarly Up To Date and feeling fine because of it. Regularity is often something for which to be Thankful, is it not? 

Enjoy your week, and I hope you find things to brighten it up. Talk to me about Finds in Comments.

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Soundtracks Of My Life

y life has a lot more Music in it lately. Jared included us in his Music streaming service plan, and being able to listen to exactly what I want to hear with no ads was revolutionary. Now I understand why both my sons sit for a few moments in the driveway after we said our goodbyes; getting one's Music set up is sort of a big deal.

Because I'm old, I immediately started a playlist of a bunch of songs I loved from forever ago spanning the 70s to the present. Do you want to hear Carole King or Carly Simon? I've got you covered. How about a little Matchbox 20 or Bruce Springsteen? Here you go. Eminem, John Mayer, Steely Dan, Sam Smith, Aretha? Of course. Jeffrey James or James Bay or maybe The Weeknd? Let me play Al Green first. And that's just a little sampling (I even have Milli Vanilli; I loved those songs) because I keep adding more songs to this big bloated playlist rather than make a separate one. Why make things workier than I have to?

Sometimes, though, I need some Music that's very serene and relaxing. I don't want words and I don't want a melody that my brain has to follow. I needed that desperately a few weeks ago, and thankfully, I found a ready-made mix called Mellow Cello. That led me to Yo Yo Ma, and I discovered that I have a deep appreciation for cello Music. It's calming and beautiful, and Yo Yo Ma's artistry is profound. 

I like that this service tries to figure me out and make mixes for me, too. Sometimes it does a pretty good job. Other times, it bores me to death or strikes out terribly. It also has a pre-made mix of something they named Yacht Rock, and I have no idea why it's called that. Do aging rockers really sit on expensive boats and listen to songs like Africa by Toto, Brandy by Looking Glass, The Pina Colada Song by Rupert Holmes, Into the Night by Benny Mardones, and Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts? 

I will say that when Sam and Jared have joined us on the boat this summer and we drop anchor to do a little day drinking, they are in charge of the Music. They do not choose Yacht Rock. Instead, Sam brings his bluetooth speaker and fires up Hip Hop BBQ. This Music also gives my brain a break because I don't know any of the songs except for a few words here and there. Once in a while, I make reference to how many times the rappers/artists say "In da club," and the boys assure me that only Old School Hip Hop Artists say that anymore. I'll take their word for it because they would know and it's not my genre.

Quite often I'll simply tune into WCLV, the classical Music station, as I'm driving. I've discovered that there is a great deal of classical Music that I do not care for. Some of it sounds like they're throwing their instruments down a flight of steps. Some of it sounds like jazz, but with an orchestra. At times, violins irritate me. I've listened to enough Debussy to know that I don't like his stuff. 

I still like my Quiet, and it's rare that I play Music at home when I'm alone. I also don't play Music when I take my walks. It is, however, good to welcome Music back into my life. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

For The Birds

I have a long, long history as a Bird Enthusiast, documented already in this post from years ago. It's perplexing how I can retain so much Bird Knowledge, yet forget where in the heck I set my phone down or on which streaming service the show we're watching can be found. Right now I can hear a cardinal outside the window. I don't even have to go and check to see if I'm right.

This, however, was supposed to be The Summer Of The Blue Jay. If you remember, I was setting peanuts out on my porch in a ceramic dish every morning, and a blue jay was coming for breakfast. My goal was to get that blue jay (which I named Sassy) to eventually take a peanut from my hand. Well, that didn't happen, and I sure didn't think up enough names for my Breakfast Club.

I did try to sit out on my porch quietly, but my blue jay just screamed its annoyance and stayed away. Because I am a little bit of an anthropomorphizer and a little bit of an empath, I had to give up after several tries. It just made me feel bad. So I settled for calling, "Sassy!" after I placed the peanuts, and went in and sat on the couch by the window. Very soon, Sassy would come, and I'd say his (? her?) name a few times softly as he took his time choosing the right nut. Then he'd fly away, returning quickly for the next.

It wasn't long before Sassy's Peanut Buffet became common knowledge among the Blue Jay Community. At least four different blue jays are now breakfasting at my house, observed not just by me, but by the resident cats, Marlowe and Piper, too. Even when I put peanuts on the table directly under our gaze, the blue jays hop up and grab their meal. The jays never eat together, but always wait until each one leaves before swooping in.

I'm calling it a Win. 

In other Victorious Bird News, I have successfully repelled squirrels from my backyard feeder by stirring cayenne pepper into the birdseed. It's astonishing how effective it is. It's dramatically cut down the chipmunk traffic in the yard as well. Now if I could find a way to keep starlings away, that would be even better. Redheaded woodpeckers are abundant, even at my little stick-on window feeder that entertains the cats. The robins, who appeared in February this year and were everywhere, suddenly disappeared midsummer. I'm noticing more female cardinals than males. Does any of this mean anything? Who knows. 

Finally, here's a bit of an Oddment:  In my entire life I've never found a cardinal feather. I've found countless blue jay feathers, starling and grackle feathers, and brown feathers from any number of sparrows or whatever. At the lake we find goose feathers quite often, and we've found duck feathers, too. Have you ever found that beautiful red feather?

Enjoy your September now that we're in its midst. How did that happen?


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