Share Your World — My Happy Place

Share Your WorldMelanie is once again asking us to share a piece of our world in this week’s Share Your World edition. Here we go.

How well do you know your next-door neighbors? Do you like them?

I moved into my new house last year in early February. A month later, we were put under stay-at-home orders due to the rapidly spreading pandemic. Before the quarantine started, I did get to meet a handful of my neighbors and they were welcoming and seemed to be very nice people. But over the past year, due to the lockdown, my interactions with my neighbors have been limited. So, my direct answer is that I don’t really know my neighbors very well, but from what little I do know of them, I like them.

Do you have a full-length mirror?

When we first moved into our house last year, my wife insisted that I hang a full-length mirror in our master bedroom walk-in closet. So yes.

Do you shave every day or do you like the ‘stubble’ look, or a beard?*

I have had a full beard from most of my adult life. Before I retired, I used to trim my beard with my handy-dandy electric beard trimmer once a week and I would shave my neck below my desired beard line. Now that I’m retired, I just don’t bother shaving my neck anymore, and I’ve reduced trimming my beard to every two or three weeks. That said, I also shave my head when I trim my beard.

How many items of clothing are in your bedroom (or closet) and not hung up?

I have a chest of drawers with my undershirts, underpants, and socks folded up inside the drawers. I also keep some sweaters folded up in that chest of drawers. In the closet, I have sweatshirts, sweatpants, and a few other sweaters folded up on the shelves. Other than that, I have my clothing that needs washing tossed into a hamper.

Do you have a happy place?

I’m still among the living, so wherever I am, I’m happy. As the song goes, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

*This question was specific to men. Melanie asked an alternative question directed at her female readers: How long do you spend putting on make-up in the morning?

Share Your World — About Cereal, Toys, and Pets

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and that means that Melanie has graced us with another edition of Share Your World. This time Melanie wants to know…

Is cereal soup? Why or why not?

No. Try putting Cheerios and milk into a sauce plan and heating it up for a few minutes and you’ll quickly see that cereal is not soup. Cereal is cereal and soup is soup, just like day is day, night is night, meat is meat, and fish is fish.

What are some interesting ways to answer everyday questions like “how’s it going” or “what do you do”?

These are examples of perfunctory questions that people ask without really expecting or even wanting an answer. That said, if someone asks me, “How’s it going?” I would typically say, “Fine and you?” But maybe someday I’ll instead say, “Well, tell me what it is and I’ll tell you how it’s going.

And if someone asks, “What do you do?” I might answer, “That depends upon how much time and how much money you have.”

What was your favorite toy growing up?

Probably my Etch-a-Sketch. I used to spend hours with that thing. I wish we had digital photography back then so I could have taken pictures of some of the more elaborate sketches I painstakingly created.

If you have a pet, and you could ask it three questions, what would you ask?

We are down to one pet now that our dog is gone. The three questions I’d like to ask our cat are:

  1. Why do you insist on jumping up on the table and sitting down right on top of my newspaper every morning when I’m having my first cup of coffee and trying to read the paper?
  2. Why at 5:00 every morning do you jump on the bed, walk on my body, and start kneading the blanket. Can’t you wait just another hour or two?
  3. What’s up with those gross hairballs that you spit up every few days? A little warning might be nice.

What’s one simple thing society at large could do to improve our world?

Wear a goddam face mask when you go out in public and keep your distance.

Share Your World — Taste, Admiration, and Regret

Share Your WorldMelanie’s Share Your World prompt this week asks a few relatively simple, non-controversial questions, which is just the ticket for the day before election day in the United States. Here goes:

Which meal is your favorite: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

As those of you who read my blog know, I lost my sense of taste early this year (another reason to despise 2020) as a result of surgery in my middle ear. One of the nerves that apparently enables you to have a sense of taste in your mouth was severed and now almost everything I eat is rather tasteless. So rather than depending upon taste to get any sensation from my food, I depend upon texture. For breakfast, I have cold cereal with raisins, bananas, and, of course, milk. While that might not sound like much to get excited about, breakfast is now my favorite meal because of the crunchy nature of the cereal flakes, and the texture of the raisins and bananas. And I can taste the coldness of the milk. Unfortunately, everything I eat tastes bland. My dear wife tries really hard to make meals that tickle my taste buds, but my taste buds are no longer ticklish.

Who do you admire most in the world?

These days, there aren’t very many admirable people left. That said, with Barrack Obama coming out over the past few weeks to support Joe Biden, I was reminded of what a smart, articulate, intelligent, sane, and normal president can be. And while Obama was far from perfect, when compared with the current madman we have in the Oval Office at the moment (and hopefully for not too many more moments), I have to say that I truly do admire Barrack Obama.

With the obvious restrictions in place, what do you regret not doing in the last year?

I regret not being able to spend more time face-to-face with my grown children, and, particularly not being able to spend more time with my five month old grandchild.

Melanie also asks us to share something we are grateful for.

I am grateful that tomorrow is election day and that we shall soon (probably not by the end of the day tomorrow, though) know who won the election. And I’m grateful that, if Biden wins, on January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day, our country can begin to recover from this madness we have been living with for the past four years.

Share Your World — Potpourri

Share Your WorldThis week, Melanie is giving us a potpourri of questions for her Share Your World prompt. So let’s just get to it.

The first question is courtesy of the magnificent blogger, Rory (aka A Guy Called Bloke). Rory asked, “How many people in real life or on social media (including WordPress, which has become a rather social media site) do you consider good enough friends to help you hide the dead body?”

Well, it just so happens that I answered this question already when I responded to Rory’s post on my own blog. So rather than repeat it here, if you’re interested in how I responded to Rory’s question, you may click here.

Are you ready to order? What are you having (craving) right now?

I can’t say that I’m craving anything right at this moment. However, more often than not, what we order for delivery is Chinese food.

How’s the weather in YOUR neck of the woods?

The good news is that it’s sunny and it’s only going up to 88° today and by the weekend, the highs are going to only be in the 70s. And the air quality is good. So, the weather is fine.

There has always been something. Before there was something, there was only nothing. Which do you think is more likely?

Melanie states that “there has always been something.” She also states that “before there was something, there was only nothing.” She wants to know which of these diametrically opposite statements do I believe? I believe that I don’t know and I am 100% sure that no one else knows. That said, I am inclined to believe that before there was something (i.e., before the “big bang” some 13.7 billion years ago) there was absolutely nothing. And from a personal perspective, before I was something (i.e., before I was born), I was nothing; I didn’t exist. And once I’m dead, there will, again, for me, be nothing; I will cease to exist.

Attitude of Gratitude:

What is your favorite time of year? Why?

I’m not sure why this is a “gratitude” question, other than the fact that autumn is my favorite season and it’s now autumn, so I’m grateful that summer is over and winter has not yet begun. Why is autumn my favorite season? Well, the weather is delightful…not devastatingly hot nor overly cold. I’m easy to please.

Share Your World — Metaphysically Speaking

Share Your WorldMelanie is back with her Share Your World prompt and she’s posed some very provocative questions. So let’s get right to it.

Are we “here” or do we just think we are? (A metaphysical question today folks.) Can you prove your point of view?

About three years ago I wrote a post about a philosophy called “solipsism.” Basically, solipsism is the belief that the person holding the belief is the only real thing in the universe. All other persons and things are merely ornaments or impediments to his or her happiness.

I’m not a solipsist per se. I don’t deny the existence of anything else in the universe outside of myself, or claim it to be non-existent or not real except in my own mind. I know that each and every one of you who may be reading my response to this question is real. You exist. You have your own mind, your own life, and your own very real experiences.

That said, if I don’t exist, neither do you. If I don’t exist, nothing exists. To put it another way, when I cease to exist (i.e., die), nothing would exist — for me. So everything that exists for me is dependent upon my continued existence.

As to my answer to this very intriguing question, I am “here,” and as long as I’m alive (and mentally competent), so are all of you “here.” But purely from my perspective, when I die and cease to exist, I won’t be “here” any more and, for me, neither will any of you.

From an identity stand-point, which would be the worst for you personally to lose? Your face, your body, or your voice? Which do YOU identify with most strongly for your own sense of self?

Jeez, Melanie, what’s gotten into you today? Are you auditioning to take over my Fandango’s Provocative Question prompt? Okay, well, of course I identify with my face, my body, and my voice. However, if I lost my sight, my hearing, my voice, or developed an inability to use my body (e.g., became quadriplegic), as long as I haven’t lost my mind (i.e., still have a functioning brain and the ability to think), I would still have a sense of self, although without those other senses, I might not have a very positive sense of self. But were I to suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease or severe dementia, and be unable to recognize those around me and probably not even recognize who I am or once was anymore, I think that is what would cause me to no longer have a sense of self.

Do you have a ‘song’? If you’re part of a couple, you could use “your couple’s song” OR a song that’s just always resonated with you.

I’ve had various special songs throughout my life, but they’ve changed over time and the course of my life. At this point in my life, as a septuagenarian, the song that most resonates with me is this one.

Are ghosts real or has someone been smoking something and just imagines them?

I don’t believe in an afterlife, or life of any kind, after death. I believe that when you die, you’re dead and gone, fini, kaput, done for, no longer exist, either physically or spiritually — except maybe, if you’re lucky, in the fond memories of others. So, with that as my core belief, there can be no such things as ghosts. Like God and the devil, ghosts are figments of our imaginations.

Please feel free to share a moment of gratitude you experienced over the past week.

I am grateful every day that I’m still here, that I’m still of sound mind, and that I have this wonderful blogging community to share my world with.