Sunday Stealing: Pinterest


I do not know why this week’s Sunday Stealing is called Pinterest, but I stole the graphic from Alice’s Pinterest.

1. What is your favorite book?

I’m a sucker for a series of music charts books by the late Joel Whitburn re: singles and albums in the pop, soul, and country genres. As for actual books with sentences, it’s usually one of the ones I read most recently, such as How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

2. Are you afraid of the dark?

I don’t see well in the dark. For that reason, I like to get to my seat at the movies before the lights go down. Also, I fear tripping hazards that I don’t see well or at all.

3. Are you mean?

I understand that the mean in math is “the average of a data set, found by adding all numbers together and then dividing the sum of the numbers by the number of numbers.” My age is above the mean. My intelligence? Who knows.

4. Is cheating ever OK?

I was contemplating whether lying, for example, could be justified. Possibly yes, but I’m not finding the same gray area with cheating.

5. Can you keep white shoes white?

Goodness no. Grass stains, mud, et al.

6. Are you currently bored?

Never. I find bored people boring, which sounds snobbish, but there it is.

7. Would you change your name?

I considered it for a time, but the circumstances changed.

Mass transit

8. Do you like the subway?

I love the subway. And I’m pretty adept at the NYC subway, the light rail of San Diego, and other major city systems.

9. Who’s the last person you had a deep conversation with?

My sister Leslie.

10. Dumbest lie you’ve ever told?

I can’t even remember.

11. Do you sleep with your door open or closed?

Closed, in order to keep the cats out. Okay, really one particular feline.

12. Favorite month?

March, which not only signifies spring in the Northern Hemisphere but the real harbinger of spring, my birthday.

13. Dark, milk, or white chocolate?

Milk chocolate.

14. Tea or coffee?

I don’t like coffee. I realize this is a cardinal sin. And I do like several varieties of tea.

15. Night or day?

Summer nights, winter days.

Sunday Stealing: Pinterest

555 feet

This Sunday Stealing cue comes from Pinterest. I have an account, but I never use it. BTW, the graphic came from Pinterest.

1. Would you rather trade some intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
Easy. I’ll always take intelligence. Looks are transitory. Intelligence is sexy.

2. If everything in your house had to be one color, what would it be?
I guess I’ll go with the obvious. There’s such a range in any color. Here are  134 Shades of Green Color With Names, Hex, RGB, CMYK Codes

3. What animal would be the most terrifying if it could speak?
Humans. Some of them say the damndest things.

4. How do you procrastinate?
I don’t see it as procrastination. I play backgammon, spades, and pinochle on my phone as a break from a given task.

5. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Prone to tell you some obscure fact that you have no interest in.

6. Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or life without dessert?
I could easily survive 30 days without my phone if I could commit my appointment to a paper calendar first. I’ve determined that others can’t deal with me not having a phone. Doctors’ offices. Anything involving two-step verification. THEY want me to have a phone.

7. If one animal was made the size of an elephant, which would be the scariest?
An ant. Have you ever looked at those mandibles?
8. If you were reincarnated as a famous landmark, which would it be?
The Washington Monument. At 555 feet, it has such a great view of history.  (I didn’t have to look up the height; I told you I know obscure stuff.)

9. What celebrity chef would you like to make you dinner?
The first living one I could think of was Nigella Lawson because she seems genuine and not a schmuck. If we could resurrect Julia Child or Anthony Bourdain, then one of them.

10. How much would someone have to pay you to eat a spider?
The annual budget of the charity of my choosing.

11. If you joined a circus, what would your circus act be?
Cat tamer. I’m talking about domesticated felines.

12. Do you have any superstitions?
None come to mind.

13. What cheesy song do you have memorized?
The great thing about getting older is that if there were cheesy songs, I’d since forgotten them. Of course, it depends on the definition of “cheesy.” Okay, Be Kind To Your Parents, which my sister Leslie and I used to sing as kids.

14. What’s something weird that you recommend everyone tries at least once?
I don’t think it’s “weird,” but sitting quietly for at least five minutes daily.

15. What do you think is the most unpleasant-sounding word?
Schmuck. Or at least the worse one I’m willing to post online.

Sunday Stealing: Pinterest

Henri Nouwen

This week’s Sunday Stealing is called Pinterest. I don’t know why.

1. When did you last sing to yourself?

Five minutes ago. I often sing to myself.

2. If you’re male, would you ever rock black nail polish? If you’re female, would you ever rock really, really short hair?

It’s not my style. I have no specific problem with it, except that it would involve far more effort in getting ready than I’m willing to expend.

3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Writing a blog post every day since May 2, 2005.

4. What is the first happy memory that comes to mind, recent or otherwise?

Undoubtedly, it involved listening to music, or singing music. I’ll pick the last time I heard I Only Have Eyes For You by the Flamingos. I love that song so much I could weep. Or maybe I did.

5. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?

Surely, I’d spend more time on the genealogy stuff for my sisters and daughter.

6. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are the top three things?

I may have once had a bucket list, but I found it an albatross. So I abandoned it.

7. How do you feel about tattoos and piercings?

I’ve evolved on them. I used to find tattoos unappealing. But as I see more people wearing them, I’m more comfortable with most of them, though I’d never want one myself. BTW, you can’t give blood for some months if you get a tattoo. I’m fascinated by people with full-body tats; it’s like viewing a totally different culture.

Rolling Stones or Pharrell Williams

More or less. I had good friends, some of whom I’m still in contact with.

8. When did you last cry in front of another person?

Probably in the past month, in front of my wife

9. Who in the world would you most like to receive a letter from, and what would you want it to say?

Maybe someone I wrote about in my blog that they liked what I wrote about them.

10. What is your nighttime routine?

Dinner, watch the recorded news, watch the recorded JEOPARDY, check my email, take my medicine, and brush my teeth.

11. When was your last 3 am conversation with someone, and who were they to you?

It was my daughter, who had just come home after seeing a midnight movie.

12. if you were about to die, and you could only say one more sentence to one person, what would you say and to whom?

A friend who has ghosted me to say, “I love you anyway.”

13. What is your opinion on brown eyes?

I have brown eyes. I’m in favor.

14. Pick a quote and describe what it means to you personally.

I have posted a section from theologian Henri Nouwen’s book Here and Now: Living in the Spirit several times on my birthday. Here it is. One section: On a birthday, we do not say: “Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.” No, we say: “Thank you for being born and being among us.”

15. What would you title the autobiography of your life so far?

Information without the Bun, which was the title of my now-defunct Albany Times Union blog.

Pinterest and other things

When the Mets had an 11-game winning streak, I had to root for them.

LPG artI finally found a use for Pinterest. I’ve had an account for a while. People follow my Pinterest page, but I don’t know why, because there was literally nothing there, since I didn’t know what to do with it.

I’ve seen other people put what seemed to me to be random photos, irrespective of things such as copyright or context.

Then I realized that I can never find pictures my sister posts on Facebook, that my eldest niece, Rebecca Jade, gets lots of pictures taken of her, and that the Daughter is starting to experiment with the camera (it’s her piece on this page).

Maybe I should have put them on Instagram, which I don’t have, and don’t have the inclination to learn at this time; or some other platform, such as the “cloud”, which has burned me before with music I had, but lost.

I’m not going to make a great retrospective effort, but I’ll use Pinterest as time and inspiration allow.


Someone asked what to do to help the folks in Nepal after the massive earthquake: this article has some suggestions.

There are now eight music videos posted on YouTube from First Presbyterian Church in Albany, seven from various First Friday performances, and one from a recent worship service.

I was a Yankees fan from way back, but when the Bronx Bombers were going to play the New York Mets in the Subway Series, and the Mets had an 11-game winning streak, I had to root for them. They lost but rebounded the next day.

Flipping through the channels, I caught part of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Here’s President Obama and Cecily Strong, from Saturday Night Live.

I saw the end of an episode of the ABC-TV show Grey’s Anatomy, and I figured McDreamy would buy the farm the next episode. Then he did. The fan base is all upset, but the show has done such egregious crap before (the shootings in the hospital, the plane crash)… whatever.

This coming Sunday, MeTV is airing the MASH finale, along with new interviews with members of the cast and production team. Like half the US, I watched it. I found it lugubrious and overlong, and I haven’t seen it since. I’m thinking about watching it again for the first time in over 30 years.

I probably need to do a lot more short posts like this, for time reasons. I’ve had posts I want to write, but have not had the opportunity.

War, singing, feminism, tribalism, Cinderella, Pinterest

I understand Pinterest the way someone understands a menu in a foreign language.

Answering those Ask Roger Anything questions. You can still play.

Denise Nesbitt, the doyenne of ABC Wednesday, noted:

What did you have for breakfast this morning Roger? I had boiled eggs – I often feature photographs of my wonderful hen’s efforts on FB, do I sound sad? lol – 2 questions there!!!!

Oatmeal a lot lately for breakfast. I must have asked you if you were sad about something you wrote. And around the same time, a very good friend of mine suggested that my “doing all right” responses were hiding some stuff, which was true. So maybe I was just projecting.
Thomas McKinnon, my old FantaCo colleague, remembers:

We once had a fun conversation about the Lesley Ann Warren, “Cinderella”, both of us having enjoyed it. Did you like the Brandy version? And have you ever seen the original Julie Andrews version in B&W?

Ah, yes, Lesley Ann Warren, a major crush in the day. I did like the Brandy version, though not as much as the others; seemed padded somehow. BTW, The Prince Is Giving A Ball, which I believe Jason Alexander performs in the Brandy iteration, is one of the toughest songs ever, because of all the names in the lyrics. We OWN the Julie Andrews version on DVD; The Daughter thinks the Wife looks like Cinderella; the Wife is flattered.
New York Erratic wonders:

What’s one song you’ve always fantasized about doing onstage, and what was the fantasy venue?

I almost never fantasize about singing on stage, because I’d rather sing backup, 20 Feet From Stardom, and all that. I hate listening to the sound of my singing voice more than I hate the sound of my speaking voice, which is quite a bit. Yet other people find it pleasant, so there’s that.

That being said, there are songs for which I wouldn’t mind singing the bass parts: Shower the People by James Taylor or The Longest Time by Billy Joel immediately come to mind; I’m sure there are others. If I had to sing alone, it’d be the Talking Heads version of Take Me To The River. The venue would be Carnegie Hall because I mean, why not?
Melanie chimes in:

After your many kind and thoughtful comments on my blog, I think I owe you a question to help you with yours. What is something you wish people knew about you?

As I’ve mentioned, it is true that I’m shy, even though I sometimes fake it well. I don’t really like to be in charge of things, though either I keep getting selected to be that (Olin family reunion, Friends of the Albany Public Library) or it defaults to me (Black History Month at church). I take it on because I must be Nature, and Nature abhors a vacuum. If someone else stepped up, I’d be THRILLED to step aside.
In retaliationresponse to all my questions for him, Jaquandor has a few for me:

George Carlin once opined that America gets in so many wars because we simply like war a lot. As the next one seems to be just revving its engines, to what degree do you think this is true? Would a country that really claims to dislike war really have a military and defense budget that dwarfs all others on the planet?
I’ve been watching the Ken Burns series on the Roosevelts, and there’s a LOT about war. It’s true that if there had been no Civil War, Lincoln would not have been LINCOLN. Great generals aren’t created in peacetime. They build few statues, few monuments to the peacekeepers, and far more to the war makers.

Our involvement in the Spanish-American War of 1898 was, as much as anything, to prove the US had cojones. American exceptionalism at work. Likewise with the Panama Canal, riling up the Panamanians against Columbia.

I’ve noted before that I thought the Iraq war was a mistake from the outset. But worse, I think our playdate there and our loss of focus in Afghanistan created the understandable war-weariness that has helped create the current situation. Maybe if we had stayed out of Iraq, there wouldn’t have been an ISIS. It’s all speculation, I suppose.

What’s not speculation is that the famous departing speech from Eisenhower that we need to be wary of the military industrial complex was totally on the mark.

Do you understand Pinterest? I don’t.

I understand it the way someone understands a menu in a foreign language. My greatest disdain for it, BTW, is that there seems – and someone may correct me if I’m wrong – to have no concern about intellectual property rights, such as copyright. I’ll just pin that picture because it meets my criteria.

Are women making progress in combating the “war on women”? Or are they losing ground?

Of course, they’re making progress. But it’s painfully slow. Check out the ACLU page on the issue.

I happened across this Daily Kos article which show how Republican strategists can find issues of women equality less than important. The Violence Against Women Act is unimportant because it’s not a “real” issue, like war.

Equal pay for women is unimportant because, well, I don’t really know. Is it they think women don’t need the money because they can depend on their husband’s income? Unless, of course, they’re unmarried, which a majority of young adults are.

And yes, it IS also about contraception. As long as the “right to life” seems to end at childbirth, as the GOP wants to continue to cut dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids, it’ll be about contraception.

I applaud Emma Watson’s effort to explain feminism, because the man-hating trope is getting extremely old. Conversely, see a tone-deaf GOP candidate’s ad (NOT from The Onion).

As bad as I think things are in the US, conditions for women are worse in some other parts of the world. It’s astonishing how much rape and the trafficking of women (see, e.g., Nigeria) is normative in some cultures. It enrages me.

How concerned are you about tribalism in America? In the world?

If I understand your meaning, there has always been tribalism in America. It’s often been tied to who is defined as white. When the Irish were the “other”, they clung together; likewise the Italians, the Poles, and others.

Robert Reich is worried about tribalism in the US. Is this so-called melting pot experiment called the United States viable anymore? We’re more divided than ever politically, and income inequality issues might well boil over into something violent.

I will admit to enjoying A Conservative Lexicon With English Translation, because, and I suppose I don’t say it enough, but most would peg me as a liberal, and I’m OK with that, but not inflexibly so.

On the world stage, I understand tribalism somewhat more. Why, to this day, the Kurds, e.g., don’t have their own country is an unfortunate outcome of the post-WWI carving up of the Middle East. About every other conflict in the world is related to tribalism, from the civil wars in Nigeria in the 1970s and in Rwanda in the 1990s, to the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia. The Basque in Spain and the Quebecois in Canada make noise for independence.

Of course, the whole nation-state is impossible without some shared values, and a sense of fairness. Which brings us to…

Should Scotland have voted the other way?

It’s not for me to say. I don’t know well enough how badly the Scots felt like second-class citizens to answer it with any contextual understanding. I’ve read people calling the NO (to independence) voter self-loathing Scots, which I thought was harsh.

I think the issue of having to develop a currency might have been the deciding factor because the polls I saw were neck and neck. I daresay the vote was a head-over-heart decision.

What’s that food you loved as a kid that now you see and think, “Ewwww, how did I ever eat that?!”

White bread. Marshmallow fluff.

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