Tag Archives: 30 Day Challenge

30 Day Challenge: Day 10 – Favorite Outfit


It occurred to me that this picture has many of the elements of my “favorite outfit”. To wit:

HAT: always wear a hat or cap outdoors for protection from the sun. I find most hats don’t fit me. My head’s too big, and I don’t mean that metaphorically. I had these two porkpie hats, but they’ve gone MIA; the wife put them away for the winter and I haven’t seen them since. I’ve discovered that adjustable caps with a platic band don’t fit me either; they tend to sit on top of my head like a crown. By comparison, caps with a cloth adjustable ban DO tend to fit me.

SUNGLASSES: always. I like to wear the yellow ones for reasons explained here.

LONG SLEEVES: even in summer, unless it’s going to be 90 degrees F, in which case, I slather on the sunscreen. Again, a precaution against severe burning.

PANTS: solid color, usually black or blue, almost always long, as opposed to shorts.

SNEAKERS: almost always these, rather than shoes, when not at work or church, usually Chuck Taylor, and at least once a week, the red Chucks. People LOVE the red Chucks; every time I’m wearing them, at least three people compliment me.

When I was on JEOPARDY! a dozen years ago, I was wearing my red Chucks during the warm up games. but when I was selected to play, I changed into new, uncomfortable hard-soled shoes, much to my fellow contestants’ disappointment. To this day, I figure if I were wearing my red Chucks, I would have been more relaxed and therefore would have played better.
Continue reading 30 Day Challenge: Day 10 – Favorite Outfit

30-Day Challenge: Day 9- Favorite Flower


(At this rate, this will be the 30-MONTH Challenge. I’ll pick up the pace in July, if only because I’ll be away for a few days.)

Here’s a real embarrassment: I am outstandingly bad at identifying flowers. Oh, I recognize a rose, a carnation, or the oddball flora such as the sunflower. And the tulip; you can’t live in Albany, which has an annual festival, without being able to ID a tulip. But beyond that, not so much.

“Oh, that’s a pretty violet flower. What is it?”
“A violet.”

This is particularly mortifying because my father worked at a florist shop when I was a child, and for years after that, he would arrange flowers for weddings, debutante balls and other events. He would drag my sister Leslie and me to these gigs, but I still had no absorption of his skills. I WAS useful, though, schlepping stuff from one place to another.

I suppose my favorite may be the lily, mostly because of Easter, and because they remind me of brass instruments.

The first song on the 1994 eponymous album David Byrne is Lilies of the Valley.

30-Day Challenge -Day 8: Picture of My Room

Interestingly, the meme doesn’t specify what “my room” is. One can assume it’s the bedroom, of course, but I choose not to, mostly because I’ve never taken a picture of it, to my recollection. and there’s a reason for that; I’m not all that fond of it.

When we first moved into the house in 2000, we really had a choice of two bedrooms. One had whitish wallpaper with red strips on the top half of much of the room, and a nice wood finish on the bottom half, plus around the windows and the storage areas. It was/is a bright room.

The other had this cobalt blue wallpaper, with this representational pattern of tulips, about a fingernail tall, in silver. The wood room had a ceiling fan and sufficient light from the light fixture, while the cobalt room had neither. It was a dark room.

So guess which one became the bedroom? I suspect it was because the cobalt room is in the back of the house, and the wood room, which is the guest room, is in front.

Let me describe the cobalt room. One enters on the south wall, at the southeast corner. On that wall is one of only three electrical plugs, unlike the sufficient number in Woody. Then there’s the armoire, purchased to put all my clothes after The Daughter was born and we removed the walk-in closet from what is now her room. Of course, it’s much smaller, and I never understood why the dresser had to go as well, since keeping my underwear, socks, socks and t-shirts in those slots gave me no options about what t-shirt I might like to wear; it was last in, first out, pretty much. In the southwest corner is a standing lamp.

On the western wall are three bay windows – I like bay windows – with Carol’s dresser in front. On the northern wall is the radiator that essentially serves as Carol’s nightstand, then the headboard to the bed that goes into the room, of course, then, in the northeast corner, my nightstand, with a desk lamp.

Finally, on the eastern wall is MY dresser, which I got about two years ago after I muttered regularly about the inadequacy of the armoire, and a door to Carol’s non-too-large closet.

But things are looking better, literally. Almost a year ago, a ceiling fan was purchased, and it finally got put up a few months ago. But it didn’t have any light bulbs, and a stop at the Home depot proved fruitless. Then a couple of weeks ago, we went back to the HD, and utilizing THREE aides, finally found the right bulbs for the fan. What a difference! I can actually read in that room, whereas I never did anything in that room other than the usual. And the lights make a nifty pattern on the ceiling when the fan is operating, which, this week, is often.
***
MY room is probably the office, which, in the process of being cleaned, is messier than it started. So this is a picture of the living room:

Oh, the one good thing about our bedroom: limited number of stuffed animals.

30-Day Challenge: Day 7-Favorite TV Show

Ah, a single favorite. Well, I mentioned five possibilities here.

Early favorites included Captain Kangaroo – there was a character named Mister Green Jeans! – and most Hanna-Barbera cartoons (Yogi Bear, Huckelberry hound, Top Cat).

Later, the Fugitive, and pretty much any Quinn Martin production. Also, any show with a lawyer: Perry Mason, of course, but also The Defenders, starring E.G. Marshall and a pre-Brady Bunch Robert Reed as father-and-son attorneys.

Sitcoms from Norman Lear (All in the Family, Maude), pretty much anything from MTM (Bob Newhart Show, St. Elsewhere). Barney Miller. Taxi.

JEOPARDY!, of course. 60 Minutes.

But when I think of one show I’ve watched for years and would miss it if it were gone: CBS Sunday Morning. It’s a magazine on the air, covers a wide variety of topics, both hard news and entertainment features. History is respected by noting in the almanac some interesting event that happened on that date. It notes the passing of significant people and institutions. Commentary comes from a variety of POV, some of which I even agree with. The show explains trends that I need to know as a librarian in an entertaining way.

It’s been on for over 30 years, initially hosted by the late Charles Kuralt and, since 1994, by Charles Osgood. When it first started, I used to watch it leisurely in real time, while reading the paper. Later, I would record it on the VCR, or now, the DVR, for watching, sometimes only a section or two at a time, but it is structured so that one can do that too.

Now, if you forced me to pick a scripted show, it would have to be The Dick van Dyke Show, a program with the perfect mix of home and family life. It didn’t last too long or was canceled too early, though it almost was. Carl Reiner was smart enough NOT to cast himself as the lead. Richard Deacon (Mel Cooley) was from my hometown of Binghamton, NY. And Mary Tyler Moore wore those capri pants.

30-Day Challenge: Day 6 – Favorite Song

If you had access to the soundtrack of my mind – my, that’d be VERY scary, and you don’t know how lucky you are – you would know that picking a favorite song is nigh unto impossible. I did select 100 songs that moved me, with my #1 pick here a couple years back, but such a list is highly fungible.

Besides, that doesn’t mean any of them are my favorites. I’m always thinking, “How could I forget THAT one?” Experienced that phenomenon just recently when I was watching an episode of Glee and hear the song “A House Is Not A Home” and thought, “I’m very fond of the Dionne Warwick version of that song; should have made the list.”

So, I decided to pick a list of three of my favorite songs that namecheck other songs by that same performer:

3. Creeque Alley by The Mamas and the Papas, with the final line, “And California Dreamin’ is becomin’ a reality…

2. Glass Onion by the Beatles with references to Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am The Walrus, Lady Madonna, Fool on the Hill, and Fixing a Hole
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30-Day Challenge: Day 5 – Favorite Food


Ah, a tough one. Certainly, I’ve stated my love of spinach lasagna. Partly, it came from the realization that I didn’t have to cook the noodles beforehand; no, you don’t need to buy those special noodles, you just need extra tomato sauce. But I don’t have it very often. Same goes for dishes with duck, or a beef steak.

I do know that I tend to like things mixed more than plain. Cheerios and shredded wheat is better than either component.
Ditto:
orange juice and cranberry juice
cottage cheese and apple sauce
sharp Cheddar cheese and a Ritz cracker

Thing is, I don’t like that many things over and over. I eat a lot of chicken, but it becomes tolerable only because it’s prepared in different ways.

Though I have gotten into ruts. If I have a bagel, it’ll always be cinnamon raisin, if it’s available. Likewise, strawberry ice cream, lamb saag (spinach) from the local Indian restaurant. My candy choice tends to be plain M&Ms, which I eat in color order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, brown); it’s part of the enjoyment.

Do I HAVE a favorite food? I suppose it’s spinach, a function of propaganda from daily doses of Popeye on television as a child.

It’s much easier to pick the things I DON’T like: things with peanut butter; things with the artificial banana flavor (I like bananas) or almost any fruit; anchovy; cauliflower; sauerkraut. Don’t drink coffee, beer, vermouth or Scotch, so I don’t like coffee ice cream, e.g.

30-Day Challenge: Day 4 – Favorite Book

About a month before Carol and I got married, some of our friends threw us a party. We were supposed to answer a series of questions about each other. I was supposed to pick her favorite book; don’t know what I chose, but it was wrong. It was 100 Years of Solitude, which I had never heard her ever mention.

She guessed the World Almanac. Some folks declared skepticism about her pick, but it was dead-on right. It’s a book I’ve gotten every year except maybe a couple since I was 10.
Now that the computer is so ubiquitous, can’t I find the same info online? Probably most of it. But I know where to find it in this book, with a notation for the source of additional data; in some ways, THAT is more significant than the initial information. Besides, sometimes I don’t WANT to be on the computer.

Indeed I love my reference books on music, TV, movies; that’s why the former is on my list for The Giveaway (see right column until July 3, 2010).

But what about “real” books, books with actual sentences? Certainly, one of the most significant is Lying by Sissela Bok; except for a couple books on the Beatles, it’s one of the books I’ve read more than once all the way through as an adult.

Another would be the Bible, but that’s a special case. Sometimes it’s just too oblique for me. In our Bible study, one of the goals is to ascertain what the reading means for today. But there are plenty of readings, in Leviticus, e.g., that I can’t fathom., even after repeated study.

So I pick the book with the facts and figures as my favorite.

The 30-Day Challenge: Day 3- Favorite Musician

Does one have a favorite musician? I mean, I do love:
B.B. King’s guitar
Jerry Douglas’ dobro
Rick Wakeman’s organ
Alison Krauss’ fiddle
Itzhak Perlman’s violin
Pete Seeger’s banjo
Bill Evans’ piano
Hubert Laws’ flute (he plays on It’s Love by the Rascals
Nat Cole’s vocals (the voice is an instrument – and I have an irrational affection for the way he says BEER)

But truly, anyone who knows me for a while KNOWS that the ultimate choice will be John Lennon. I have a picture of him in my office (thanks, Rocco) and a picture of the IMAGINE section of Strawberry Fields in New York City (thanks, honey).

He’s not the greatest singer, or guitar player, or pianist, though more than adequate. He IS a great songwriter, of course.

So, what Lennon song should I link to? WWJD? (What would John do?) It being Memorial Day weekend, he’d probably find an alternative version of
I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier.

30-Day Challenge: Day 1 – Favorite Actor


I took on this 30-day challenge because I thought it would be interesting. And, just as important, quick and easy. But I got stuck on the first question.

I assume “actor” is gender neutral in this case.

Starting to parse the category, I began with theater actors. But I don’t really see stage actors that often, though in fact this year’s Tony nominations feature a lot of familiar names from TV and movies.

Favorite television performer: I could pick actors I watched in more than one series: Bob Newhart (Bob Newhart Show, Newhart); James Garner (Maverick, The Rockford Files); Mary Tyler Moore (Dick van Dyke Show, MTM Show); Jimmy Smits (L.A. Law, NYPD Blue). There are others who qualify because of other functions Continue reading 30-Day Challenge: Day 1 – Favorite Actor