Fandango’s Provocative Question #9

And the question is: 

“As a blogger, do you enjoy ‘virtual relationships’? Do you consider them to be real?”

If you don’t like virtual relationships, you probably shouldn’t be blogging. Blogging is about writing, photography, art … what you are into. But as much as it’s about art — whatever your version of art is — it’s also about the people with whom you develop relationships. Online.

Are they real? Many of my online relationships feel more real than my “real” relationships. I spend more time with online friends than with real live friends. If it weren’t for the distances involved — in some cases literally the other side of the world — I’d be there for coffee or whatever in the morning.

When one of my “online friends” goes missing, I worry. Many of us are pretty senior, so when we go missing, everyone worries about injury or even death. Then we need to track that person down, which is why anonymous bloggers are terrifying for those of us who actually care about the people. If they go missing, we have no way to get any information.

Anonymous is also a hard person to get close to. Just saying.

As for the other question: 

“What are you struggling with the most right now?”

In equal measure, money, health, and what is left of the ecology of the world. Which is all wrapped up in current politics. In our hateful politics where hatred, arrogance, and cruelty is our biggest and best weapon.

Money and health are personal issues. They concern most retired people of a certain age, but the politic horrors we are going through? They are stupid, unnecessary … and they make everyone’s life just a little — or a lot — worse.

I don’t know how I wandered into this nightmare country that is supposedly mine. I don’t recognize this world. I don’t recognize this government. I don’t understand how Americans can allow such horrors to be supported by their government. Whatever this is, it’s not freedom. It’s wrong on every level.

It’s entirely possible I don’t want to understand.

I’m also stressed for time, but all things considered, it’s a minor issue.


DAILY TOPIC SUBJECT – MUSIC! – Marilyn Armstrong

Daily Topic Subject – The Beauty of Great Music

There was a time in my life when I was “all music all the time.” I completed a music major in college (piano) with a minor in “what am I really going to be when I grow up?” I knew I wasn’t a good enough pianist to perform professionally, added to which I have stage fright so bad I get petrified. I can talk on a stage — even with a camera running — but not perform. Especially, not play the piano. My teacher had to pretend to make tea so I would perform for her.

If my minimal talent was barely sufficient, my stage fright was paralytic … but she was warmly encouraging. She felt I had talent. I don’t think she really understood that my hands are really small and I had a terrible time with ‘big hand’ music … I think she kept expecting me to grow. I started taking lessons when I was 4, so I suppose she never got used to my having actually grown up.

If she didn’t turn me into a professional musician, she did teach me to love music. So I read music, though I can’t play anymore so it’s a moot point.

And I can always tell if someone is off-key. Including me.

Q1] How important is music in your life?

Moderately, but I don’t like music playing all the time. If music is on, I want to actually listen to it. I don’t like it as background noise.

Q2] What is most and least favorite types of music?

Most favorite is classical except when it’s bluegrass, country, or 1960s rock. Yeah, I know. Call me eclectic.

Least would be either hip-hop or rap. Rap may be art, but it isn’t music. Hip-hop to me is just noise.

Q3] Do you own a music collection or do you simply listen to whatever on whatever?

We own CDs. Like, a lot of them. I just got a new CD player since when we got a newer car, we lost the CD player too.

Q4] Are you a singer, a hummer or a whistler?

I used to sing. Broke my voice many years ago. I hum quietly and can’t whistle.

PQ5] Show through links your five best songs?

I really can’t do that. Music for me is entirely changeable, literally minute by minute. I  DO like everything. Well, up through the late 1970s. After that, it got weird.

Q6] Have you ever been to an outdoor concert?

Yes. My two favorites were”Men At Work” and Ray Charles in the natural arena below the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

PQ7] Do you ever go out to listen to music live? When was the last time you went to a concert/gig?

We used to. Not recently, though. Last time was the 2015 Boston Pops Christmas Concert.

Q8] Do you sometimes feel like dancing when you hear music? Under what circumstances do you dance?

Yes, but I don’t. I can’t. I really can’t.

Q9] When do you listen to music?

In the morning while I try to sort out the morass of email in my inbox.

Q10] If you answered yes to Questions 6 & 7 – who did you go and see?

Men At Work, Ray Charles, and The Boston Pops (Christmas Concert)

Q11] Is there a song that makes you emotional?

All songs make me emotional. That’s why I don’t listen to it all the time.

PQ12] Do you feel that you have a special connection with some types of music? Which types?

Piano music that I used to play. I still see the notes in my head.

Another one I like playing

Q13]  Have you ever tried singing in a karaoke bar? What was the experience like?


Q14] Do you listen to music when writing? If so which?

No. When I write, I write.

PQ15] Have you ever gone to see a musical? What was it, provide link please.

We went to see the revived “Show Boat” on Broadway … like 15 years ago? Don’t have a link, sorry.

Q16] Do you know the lyrics to all the songs you like?

Some, not all.

Q17] When you are listening to music – are you listening just to the music itself or the lyrics too?

Both. Also, it depends on whether or not there ARE any lyrics. A lot of music is just music. No lyrics.

Q18] Do you listen to music when you go cycling/jogging or when you’re working out at the gym? [or any other physical activity]

We used to listen while driving, but when we sold our car, it took away the CD player. Maybe I’ll learn to like the radio.

Q19] Many operas are in French, Italian or German. If you listen to opera, do you understand the libretto (text) or are you happy to get the gist (main idea)?

I really hate opera, especially soprano solos. I like operettas, however. Gilbert & Sullivan does it for me.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?


Q21] Do you enjoy watching music videos? What sort of music videos do you enjoy most?

Very occasionally and it depends on my mood. Last time it was an old Dolly Parton show from way back, also starring a young Linda Ronstadt.