Pollyanna Ponders

Lyda here. I was obviously off perfecting my hermit impression. Yeah, let’s go with that…

Moving on…

I found these 100 Questions to Ask Each Other on half a 1000 miles, and I thought answering some might be a fun kick starter for getting back into the blog habit. Here goes.

  1. Name something that sounds like it should be fun, but it’s really not. Going to a club. See this post on Wait But Why for a great explanation.
  2. If you went to a party where half the guests were bikers and half the groups were doctors, who do you think you would talk to most? The cat.
  3. When you tell someone to make themselves at home, what do you actually mean? Help yourself to a drink, take your shoes off, put your feet up, get a snack if you want one. I tell close friends and family “Welcome to your home” which means they are welcome any time and can stay as long as they like and pretty much do anything they want. 
  4. Is it fair to get mad at someone for something they almost did? Yes. Attempted murder is still bad.
  5. Have you ever made a cake and not tasted the batter? That. Would. Never. Happen.
  6. Do you know someone who could make being stuck in a traffic jam fun? Oh yes! In fact, that could be one of my definitions of “people I want to spend time with”.
  7. Would you consider it negative OR positive if someone told you that you had really tight control over your emotions? Ah, the old question, Vulcan or Klingon. No one would ever tell me that, anyway.
  8. Does a critic’s review of a movie make any difference on whether you see it or not? No, unless I’m not sure if I want to see it – then a good review might convince me to give it a try.
  9. If someone tells you that you are too good for them, should you believe them? Yes. Yes yes yes. Believe them and WALK AWAY QUICKLY. Oh, how I wish I’d known that earlier in life…
  10. Who is the most famous person you ever met? Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island.” She was lovely and very talented.
  11. If you had to pick between the two, would you rather your partner have a habit of silent gratitude OR silent anger? Gratitude, absolutely.
  12. Is there any circumstance where you would speak up at a wedding when they asked if anyone knows why the couple should not get married? “Don’t marry him, he killed his other 3 wives, I just found their bodies!” 
  13. Do you undervalue what you are, and overvalue what you are not? Get out of my mind!
  14. If you owned the restaurant, who would eat for free? Other than very close friends & family? The homeless. Police officers. Firefighters. Hungry children. And teachers. And military about to go overseas, or coming back. And… oh, I think I see why I don’t have a restaurant.
  15. Have you ever been mad at someone for something they did in a dream? Yes, isn’t it weird?
  16. Would you rather have someone very smart extremely mad at you OR someone very stupid extremely mad at you? The smart person, because they will probably just quietly poison me. The stupid kill in a messy and painful way. I may be watching too many murder mysteries…
  17. Name three things worth waiting in line for. Voting. Voting. Voting.
  18. Have you ever Googled yourself? Yes, it’s a weird experience. I recommend it.
  19. Do you think positive OR negative consequences would more likely motivate someone to lose 50 pounds? Would they be more determined to do so if they were given $50,000 if they succeeded OR if there would be a large nude billboard of them all over their hometown if they didn’t? Oh gosh. I think they would be motivated by the negative – who wouldn’t be!? – but I also think that positive consequences would give them a better shot at success. I am willing to try this if someone gives me $50,000.
  20. What do you spend too much time perfecting, when it doesn’t require perfection? Blog posts!


Pollyanna tries to be Shiny – part deux

Lyda here.

So this is me, tryin’ to be shiny.*

* Some of our beloved readers might not know what I mean when I say “Shiny.”

To which I say:  Get thee to Netflix and watch “Firefly” and then “Serenity.”  Y’all are in for some fantastic viewing! Here is just a taste of the shiny that is “Firefly” – not safe for work. 

In that ‘Verse [universe], shiny = awesomeness. See bottom of post for more shiny fun.

But I digress…

You know when you are trolling the web, and you keep coming across all these lists of cleaning rituals, clutter-busting rules, and organization plans? It’s especially bad at the beginning of the year, and then bad again when everyone is telling you it’s time for Spring Cleaning.

Like the seasons need cleaning. Please. Seasons are self-cleaning. That is what rain is for, people. But I digress…

You read things like:  “2 Million Things You Should Do Every Morning Before Anyone Else is Awake or You are a Failure as a Human Being” or “1001 Clutter-Busting Tasks That You Must Do Immediately – Unless You Want to Continue Living in Filthy Squalor, You Lazy Bitch” or “Your New Simple Task List  –  Two Hours a Day Is All It Takes or You Can Continue to Live Like A Sewer Rat, You Disgusting Whore.”

Wow, those subtitles escalated fast. Calm down, Internet.

And then you have to go lie down because you feel faint. And you are certain that you will drown in your own clutter if you don’t die first from the filth. But before that happens you will be evicted because you are just too hopelessly disorganized to find your bills, much less pay them. And then they will drag you off to debtor’s prison and your daughter will have to support you, and your granddaughter will die in the street and it will be ALL. YOUR. FAULT.

You never want to live out a Dickens novel.

Okay, calm down. A few deep breaths. Think about kittens.  And wine. Think about watching adorable kittens while drinking wine…

That’s better.

I think I can help.

Anna-Liza is laughing now because she knows I have a bit of a cleaning thing* and she thinks my rules are going to be just as bad as Martha‘s.

Really, Martha? 4 minutes and 15 seconds on how to fold a fitted sheet? Really? Someone get that woman some better drugs.

* Let’s just say that I can relate to Monk a bit more than I’d like. I’ve never been that obsessive. Or that funny. But still, hours of cleaning.

But I digress…

I can no longer spend hours obsessively cleaning my place, as I was wont to do back in the old days.

About housework, my mother used to say, make a shiny spot each day. Oh wow. I just realized that Joss Whedon stole “shiny” from my mom. I think I’m due some royalties now. Or free DVDs.  Mom also used to say “You missed a spot” but I’m much better after the therapy…

But I digress again…

So I recently came up with my own plan:  the Five-Minute Shiny.

I decided to see what I could do in 5 minutes. Anything that I could call progress around the place, anything at all.

For five minutes.

Put a few  clean dishes away. Take out the kitchen trash.

No, not “go through the frig and toss everything that needs to be tossed and then clean the frig since it’s now empty, and defrost the freezer, and…” –  Just take out the bag of trash already in the bin.

The Five-Minute Shiny is a tiny bit extra beyond my everyday tasks, like feeding and watering the livestock (my three cats), and cleaning the litter box. And… uh… yeah, that’s about it.

The first week I came up with this, I timed myself – because I happened to be microwaving my dinner for five minutes, not because I was being all scientific. I was amazed at what I can do in five minutes.

So, now I try to do a Five-Minute Shiny every day. Some days, I might do one in the morning and one at night. And some days, even 5 minutes is too much to think about, let alone accomplish. And that’s okay too.

This is the great thing:  Even done semi-regularly, the Five-Minute Shiny has really helped keep the place tidier and more organized.

Of course, I could use the five minutes to fold a fitted sheet.

But let’s not get silly.

* Super Shiny Bonus Fun:  Go here. Let’s do the thing.

Pollyanna tries to be Shiny

Lyda here. Again. At last.

So, having gone so often without posting, and for such long periods, I kept thinking that I needed to do something HUGE and EPIC for my next post. But that is so scary that it is paralyzing me into hiding under the blankets. With cats on top to hold the blanket down.

So I decided I’m just going to jump in and post something every day or two, and not think it has to be epic.

Okay, here goes….

Pollyanna and the Lost Weekend

Lyda here.

I wasn’t actually lost this weekend, just… misplaced. But only slightly. (It was not at all like this Lost Weekend.)

I was in LA visiting friends. One of the things we did was go to a fabulous restaurant in Santa Monica called The Lobster. It’s right at the entrance to the pier, with an 180-degree view of the ocean and the pier. The whole evening was amazing – incredible food, excellent mixed drinks (I wasn’t driving), and an elegantly casual atmosphere. Elegantly casual is hard to pull off if you aren’t Audrey Hepburn, but they do it well.

If you go, ask if Patrick can be your waiter. He was terrific. Listen to his recommendations on the food and you can’t go wrong.

And also?  Best. Oysters. Ever.

Pollyanna gets bogged down

Lyda here.

I have all kinds of plans to write posts about stuff – my new apartment, my new cats, my new furnishings, my new projects & reading… but most of these posts cry out for photos, and I haven’t downloaded them.

Actually, those first three are not really new. They are used and/or old.

I’ve now been in my “new” apartment for 13 months or so. The apartment was built in the 50s, I’m guessing. I moved in just in time to view my neighbors butchering a cow in the driveway. The shared driveway. I have a picture of the butchery, but I hesitate to share it. The cow arrived in the driveway already dead, and the neighbor plopped it on a tarp on the driveway and cut it into parts. I tried not to watch. I did see the blood pouring down the driveway and the neighbor’s kids running barefoot through it.

And that’s how we do Thanksgiving in my hood.

Those people have since moved out, and the new neighbors in that unit are quiet, polite, and have yet to pour blood down the driveway. It’s early days, though.

But I digress…

My furnishings are old – I got almost everything at either Salvation Army or Goodwill. I made curtains, and have a lot of painting furniture / sewing pillows / other projects on my list. Of course. Posts and pictures will be forthcoming. But I digress… 

The cats are also used – ahem, pre-owned – by one of my coworkers. The big black cat is Jinx, and she is calm, sweet, and loving. The reddish yellow cat came in as the boss of the massive climbing structure that came with the cats (don’t all cats move in with their own furniture?). She is the Red Queen as she often yowled “Off with their heads!” At least, I assume that’s what she was saying…

And then there is the kitten. Originally, my coworker was going to keep the kitten, but he left her with me while he went on a long vacation and when he came back she wasn’t having anything to do with him. I think she decided I was easier to manipulate.

The kitten was such a pale striped yellow as to be almost white, and she had a habit of hiding and then attacking passing cats, feet, and random bits of paper. She was also easily spooked, often breaking high jump records in her startlement. (“Startlement” is too a word, spellcheck.) So the kitten’s name is Spook. She has grown and calmed down a bit, and now her fur has darkened into a pale gold. But still, no paper is safe.

As the kitten grew – they will do that – she began a systematic campaign to take over the world, starting with the climbing structure. She and the Queen had some epic battles, but in the end, the Queen abdicated and the kitten was triumphant.

So Spook rules, and still attacks the others, my feet, and anything made of paper without warning. I almost named her Cato… The Queen has become a lap cat, and Jinx is still mellow.

And yes, I think this does qualify me as a crazy cat lady.

Cow-butchering neighbors an optional extra.

Pollyanna wishes you a Happy 2015

I can think of no better way to ring in the new year than to quote the new year wish of the always brilliant Neil Gaiman:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Pollyanna is not politically correct

Lyda here.

A decree came down from management that we cannot celebrate Halloween in the office any more. Apparently Halloween is not politically correct.

Geez, lighten up, people.

I’d cast a turning-them-into-bats spell, but I suspect that’s not PC either.

Anyway, I could not dress up as a zombie this year, but I’m not taking the little green witch off my desk.

In other news, I’m considering writing a country song titled “I’m turning blue from missing you, or maybe it’s because of my new jeans.”