Sunday Stealing: Extraordinary PenPals

adrenaline rush

This Sunday Stealing edition is PenPals, Part 2, stolen from the League of Extraordinary PenPals.

1. Do you make new friends easily?
I don’t think so. Acquaintances who may become friends down the road, perhaps. But almost all of my friends I’ve known for decades.

2..Which podcasts do you like at the moment?
I only listen to three. Coverville: Brian Ibbott plays new renditions of previously recorded songs.  Hollywood and Levine by Ken Levine, an Emmy-winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. AmeriNZ by Arthur Schenck, a gay American-born New Zealander.

3. One thing that immediately makes your day better
Music. I play a LOT of music. Currently, it’s people whose birthdays are in March, such as Aretha Franklin, Elton John, and James Taylor. Also, LOTS of soundtracks in honor of the Oscars.

4. What app do you use most?
The Capital District Transportation Authority’s Navigator tells me when the next bus is coming.

5. The friends who would have your back no matter what
The ones I’ve mentioned in the last three months: Carol, Karen, Mark, Bill, Fred, and a few others.

6. What is something you’ll never do again?
So many things… I’ll say get married. (Note: I like being married.)

7. Something you practice often
The intentionality of kindness. A movie I saw two years ago called The Antidote spoke to this. 
Better than drugs
8. What gives you an adrenaline rush?
I repeat myself when under stress. I repeat myself when under stress. I
 repeat myself… It’s music. This week, I was commenting on how the bassline of Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart by the Supremes moves me. Or how The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel breaks my heart.
My choir is practicing Worthy Is The Lamb That Was Slain, the last piece from Handel’s Messiah. We began working on it in March 2020, and then we didn’t perform it for some reason.

9. How well do you do in social situations?
I fake it well, I gather. Our dermatologist told my wife this week that I was “full of personality” from when I was there a couple of months ago.

10. Are you a light sleeper or a deep sleeper?
Definitely light.

11. Do you get stage fright?
A small tribe
12. Which family members are you closest to?
Well, my family is small.  There are two nieces on the Green side, two sisters, one daughter, and one spouse. My parents are deceased, and they had no siblings, so I never had any first cousins.

13. How was your February?
Exhausting. Although I’ve said for years that I wasn’t in charge of my church’s Black History Month, I suppose I was. I called a meeting in October for ideas, several of which sounded promising, but only one panned out.  I scurried around finding events for three classes of Adult Education.

14. What is your favorite candle scent?
I have no idea.

15. One book that you would recommend as a “must read”?
I don’t believe in a “must read, ” an album people must listen to, or a movie folks must watch. It’s too prescriptive for my sensibilities. Besides, it depends on the individual I’m recommending to.

Sunday Stealing: Extraordinary Penpals

Donny Hathaway

extraordinary penpalsHere’s another Sunday Stealing from the League of Extraordinary Penpals

Have you ever written to a celebrity? Did they respond?

I don’t know that I’ve ever written to any celebrity directly except to some comic book creator types who I have gotten to know. I did write to Paul Simon’s label once to complain that the six-minute version of Boy In The Bubble should have been on the expanded version of Graceland, but there’s no reason to think that Paul himself ever read it.

Do you read letters immediately or wait until you are ready to reply?

What are “letters”? Oh yeah, I remember letters. Usually wait, although if I think I’ll let it slip through the cracks, I’ll try to push it up in my queue.

My preferences when it comes to reading

Sufficient light (a growing requirement), probably on the sofa because it’s the only place, other than my office (and I want not even to see the computer, lest I be tempted to check it out), that provides comfort and sufficient illumination. The television must not be on. Music can be, but it should not have words, which is to say mostly classical or jazz.

Invisible pain

What I’m least likely to change my mind about?

Things that are true over time. An example: my wife had some medical issues involving her left leg. She has not been to church in over a month. I recommended that she take her cane to church today. This is because when someone does not appear hurt/injured, others perceive that he or she is better physically than they might be.

I believe this to be true because my wife and I have a friend who has experienced severe pain over time. They have told us that because they don’t LOOK unwell that others believe they are faking or malingering. Having a crutch or sling or wheelchair or visible bandages – and my wife has bandages under her clothes – is a sign that “something is wrong.”

Whether my wife will take the advice, IDK.

 The topics I would get wrong during trivia

Car models, flower varieties, and actors who became famous in the 21st century.

What I’m hopeful about right now?

That my wife will continue to heal

Philosophies I’ve learned/embraced from others

A Unitarian once told me that “we create our own theology,” and I think that’s true. I may believe something uplifting from the Gospel according to Matthew, but I don’t feel obliged to explain some dreadful verses from Leviticus.

What makes home feel like home?

Music and books.

Talents and skills I like to cultivate

Getting around via mass transit, keeping up with political events

More music

What makes my heart race?

Music, for sure. There is music that will make me cry with joy or cry with melancholy. Take one example: Gone Away by Roberta Flack. It really doesn’t get going until the second verse. It’s described here: The late, great Donny Hathaway “lifted that fleeting horn melody from his own ‘I Believe to My Soul’ and used it to anchor the chorus and closing section.” In the right mood, the song can make me weep.

What power means to me

The ability to turn on my computer, my CD player, my cellphone…

One of my comfort hobbies

Playing with my Hess trucks.

Last time I was pleasantly surprised

When my wife started changing her own bandages this week

How was my October 2022?

Busy and exhausted, as noted here and here and here and especially here,  plus another post I haven’t put out yet.

Those who inspire my growth

Almost anyone who has a rational point of view. Of course, I get to define what I think is rational.

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