CHRISTMAS QUESTIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

A Few Christmas Questions


From:  MELANIE B CEE


Feel free to answer the questions and tag 3 bloggers to do the same if you are a person who tags. Personally, I’m not a tagger. It makes me very uncomfortable. Free will and all that, so if you want to answer the questions, please do. Also, a teeny tiny request: “It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of my favorite movies, so try to avoid telling me how much you hated it, okay? 
Which is a famous Christmas Ballet?

The Nutcracker, of course. And how many times have I seen it!

Which country first sent Christmas Cards?

England. It was Charles Dickens who got it rolling. He really made Christmas “big.”

Pigs in blankets are what?

Cocktail wieners. Not a personal favorite.

Between 1647 – 1660 who banned Christmas in England?

Probably the Roundheads (Puritans). They banned anything that might be considered fun.

How many candles are there in a traditional Advent Wreath?

No idea.

In “It’s A Wonderful Life,” what is the name of George’s guardian angel?

Clarence, but he didn’t have his wings yet. And he loved Mark Twain.

Bill & Hilary Clinton switched on the Christmas tree lights in Belfast in 1990, 1995 or 1996?

I don’t know. Actually, I didn’t know they did it at all.

What is the birthstone color of someone born on Christmas day?

Blue. There are four of them, but turquoise is my favorite.

Which English actor starred in “The Muppet Christmas Carol”?

Michael Caine?

What Dr. Seuss character steals Christmas?

Surely the Grinch. He’s still stealing it. Forever and ever. He never learns.

TRUE, FALSE, OR NUTS? – Q & A – Marilyn Armstrong

Strange Questions and Weird Answers


Fandango got the questions from Melanie who got them from Rory. I stole them from Fandango. Now, you are welcome to steal them from me.

Rory’s rules were that you’re supposed to answer the true or false questions the wrong way.

“Don’t answer the questions the right way!” his rules state. And the questions are not just true or false questions. They’re true or false and prove it questions.


Well, here are my answers. Are they true or false? These days where truth is in short supply, you might need a special prosecutor to figure it out.

1. Camels store water in their humps? True or False & Prove It
Lawrence of Arabia

It’s not exactly water. It’s kind of watery. But the camels like it.

2. Snakes only close their eyelids when they sleep? True or False & Prove It?

I have not spent sufficient time with lizard-type snakes to know, but human snakes ALWAYS have their eyes open … and on your wallet.

3. The saber-toothed tiger (Smilodon) was exterminated by Neanderthal man? True or False & Prove It?

The Smilodon was not a saber-toothed tiger. He was the original smiley face. Have you ever seen a smiling saber-toothed tiger? Neither have I and I rest my case.

4. Leonardo da Vinci employed hundreds of craftsmen to build his inventions? True or False & Prove It?

He never worked out the airplane, so I’m gonna say, not really. He meant to get it all done, but he was just so overbooked, he didn’t finish it.

5. The carpet python can hunt in complete darkness? True or False & Prove It?

False. My carpet has no python.

6. Big Bertha was the nickname given to German zeppelins? True or False & Prove It?
Not Big Bertha

False. Big Bertha was my great-aunt. I am named after her. My true name is Bertha and I’m pretty sure I can prove it. Pretty sure.

7. In the 17th century, Wall Street was located on the border of a Dutch colony?  True or False & Prove It?
Wall Street

False. Wall Street is the access road to the Chinese “Great Wall.” My GPS told me so and I always believe the GPS.

8. Yeast must be added to the grapes to obtain alcohol?  True or False & Prove It?

False. All you need are the feet of sexy young women. Many television shows depict this, so it must be true. Right?

9. Zeus is the male god behind Creation? True or False & Prove It?
The really big planet named Jupiter

False. It was Jupiter. He also made the planet Jupiter and was the original designer behind the ring of Saturn … and that dinky little car that was wildly overpriced. Jupiter should be ashamed.

10. For a long time, milk was a luxury? True or False & Prove It?

I loathe milk so it couldn’t possibly be a luxury. Yuck.


Melanie asked two additional questions.

A)  On Good Friday in 1930, the BBC reported, “There is no news.” Instead, they played piano music. True or False & Prove It?

True, but really it was an advertisement for the unrealized entertainment potential of radio. They hadn’t yet discovered advertising.

B)  There really was a Captain Morgan. He was a Welsh privateer (a legal pirate) who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica. True or False & Prove It?

The Captain never died. He is alive and well if a bit loopy. He has stayed drunk since the mid-1600s which might be a record if anyone is keeping them.


From Fandango:

1) “Truthiness” is the word Donald Trump coined to counter allegations that he’s a pathological liar. True or False & Prove It?

Nope. The only word he created was “covfefe.”

2) “Papa Doc” was the nickname given to Ernest Hemingway when he removed a harpoon from the fin of a great white whale. True or False & Prove It? 

Papa Doc was not a doctor and he definitely wasn’t Ernie. Papa Doc was more of a mass murderer. During his time in “office” (he was the father of “Baby” Doc), the largest export from Haiti were corpses. He liked killing people.

Seriously. Corpses.

Now, about my questions:


1)   What kind of dog do you call this? Please provide paperwork.

2)  Is there any such thing as climate change? Prove it.

You are more than welcome to use these questions and add to them. Just please, remember to not tell the truth. It would only confuse the public.

SHARING MY WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – Election Day 2018


Is there one post on your site that is really special to you?  

DON’T DRINK THE KOOL AID – THE JONESTOWN MASSACRE. You’ll see it again on the 18th which will be the 40th anniversary of the massacre. It’s a cautionary tale for our times.

MARILYN’S FAVORITE YEAR – 1969.  Because it really was my favorite year for a lot of reasons.

They aren’t my “best-selling” posts, but they are favorite for entirely different reasons.

How do you deal with negative people? 

Personally? My life is singularly free of negative people. Otherwise, patience and occasionally getting really mad. I have to admit, it depends on what I think will get the job (usually customer service) done. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter. No matter what you do, it won’t help.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake in the morning? 

How quickly can I get to the bathroom!

Would you rather be able to talk to the animals or speak all foreign languages? 

It would be really convenient to speak thousands of languages. On the other hand, there’s no point in talking “Dog.” They would still ignore me.

Bonnie and Gibbs

November is a month in which many people give thanks.  America (and other countries) celebrate an actual Thanksgiving Day. For example, Canada celebrates this in October.

What small thing happened today (or in the past few days) that you were grateful for?   

We put up the bird feeder yesterday and it’s more than half empty today. That’s like two pounds of seed gone in about three hours. Shocking how expensive bird seed is, by the way. For some reason, I figured it would be cheap. It isn’t cheap.

Nothing is cheap, not even birdseed.

I was surprised. I thought it would a few days for the birds to find the feeder, but there were easily a dozen Chickadees and they were flying by in groups looking for a place to land! There were some other small finches eating their hearts out. I didn’t have a camera and it was raining, which slowed down my shooting. It didn’t slow down the birds!

ONE PIECE AT A TIME – SHARING MY WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Sharing My World – One piece at a time!


What’s your go-to for unwinding after a stressful event or day?   Can be someone or something – music, pets, family or whatever you choose.

Sofa, dogs, and dinner plus something funny to watch on television while trying not to do anything at all for at last an hour.

I usually manage half an hour, but that will usually do!

The plane you’re flying in is going to crash, no survivors.  If you had one song you could listen to before it happens, what would it be?  (credit to NewEpicAuthor for this one).  Please share the link to the song if you can.

No comment. I don’t do life-ending stuff. Too close for comfort with way too many people around us who have life-ending cancer and other diseases.

What is one thing you’re really, really good at and not ashamed to admit it?  I worded that deliberately because aren’t we taught to be humble and not pushy about our achievements?  Celebrate your ability!

I write well. It’s the only thing I ever wanted to be really good at.

I’m not going to make the National Archives, but I’ve been read and some people enjoyed it. That will do nicely.

Would you rather lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?

I have no money to lose. We have no money.

Meanwhile, my pictures are all over the internet so I couldn’t lose them if I tried. The virtual world is forever, like it or not. I wish money were forever too.

What were you grateful for or something that made you smile during the past month?

We got some really nice photographs in two different locations. Both rivers and dams because that’s what we have around here. It’s very gray and kind of dark today, so rain is looking likely.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Autumn is considering arriving but so far, only has one foot in the door. I think during the next week, it’s going to pop. My cameras are ready!

BARKING QUESTIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

Barking Questions – If only we could bark a few answers!

Our dogs bark at us. They look us in the eyes, then they bark. So we have conversations with them.

Duke

Duke: “Bark, bark.” Short whimper.

Marilyn: “What?”

Duke: “BARK bark BARK bark BARK.”

Marilyn: ” Garry, do you know what he wants?”

Gibbs

Garry: “No. Duke, you’ll have to speak up. What do you want?”

Bonnie: “BARK! Bark, bark, bark.”

Garry: “I’m sorry, we just don’t speak dog.”

Bonnie

Dogs look at each other, clearly frustrated. I’m sure they want something and apparently, whatever it is, it’s quite specific. I get when it’s food because then they bark at the plate or the fork or try very hard to get right in there and eat some. But the rest of it?

Bark? Bark bark bark? Definitely a question.

They need to learn to speak more people-like. Or we need to find a better way to ask them the bigger question. Why don’t you dogs speak English? Are you aliens? Do you have green cards? Are you guys legal?

FOWC with Fandango — Question
RDP THURSDAY PROMPT – BARK

QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS – Marilyn Armstrong

Sometimes, I answer questions. There’s no reason why. I used to answer all the quizzes in magazines, too. I never knew why I did it since I never thought the questions were enlightening. It was like doing a really easy crossword puzzle.

So here are some questions and my answers. Feel free to write your own answers. Or not.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most? 

I hate paying bills.  That’s pretty much global. The bigger the bill, the more I don’t want to pay. But to be fair, I don’t have any particular personal hatred for a particular bill. They are all just bills.

2. When was the last time you had a romantic dinner? 

The only romantic dinner is sushi — eaten OUT.

If I have to clean up or cook or even think about cleaning or cooking, it’s not romantic … just extra work.

3. What do you really want to be doing? 

Visiting New Zealand, then Australia, then Hawaii. After that, Europe with a strong emphasis on the wine country of France, Italy, and the stone circles in the British Isles.

4. How many colleges did you attend? 

One — from which I graduated.

5. Why did you choose the shirt you have on? 

It was on the hanger in front of me. I wish I had a better reason.

6. Thoughts on gas prices? 

Gas is just one of those things. You need it? You buy it. When the price goes up, we travel less. It’s like electricity and heat. A utility.

These days, we don’t travel more than we have to anyway. Our long drives across the roads of America appear to be over.

7. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning? 

No alarm. Not in a long time. We use an alarm only if we have to get up really early and that is always because of some medical thing.

We do not make early appointments if we have any other choice.

8. Last thought you have before you go to bed? 

I don’t have one. One minute I’m listening to a book, the next thing I’m waking up to go to the bathroom.

9. Do you miss being a child?

NO!

10. What errand/chore do you despise the most?

I’m not really thrilled about any chores or errands, but I think cleaning clogged drains is the most disgusting.

11. Up early or sleep in?  

Late to bed, late to rise. It’s the best part of retirement — along with not working and not using an alarm clock.

12. Pet’s names? 

Bonnie, Gibbs, and The Duke.

13. Favorite lunch meat? 

Roast beef. But I’m also a very big eater of leftovers. I get tired of sandwiches.

14. What do you get every time at Wal-Mart? 

I don’t visit Wal-Mart, though I do order non-perishable food from there. They deliver and one of the things they deliver are sports drinks. I drink quite a lot of them because that’s what I have to drink due to a blood sodium deficiency. Crates of drinks are pretty cheap there. They are also shockingly heavy, so the delivery is a big help.

15. Beach or lake? 

We live in a river valley.

16. Is marriage overrated? 

It depends on who you are married to. Or were married to. Or are planning to marry. There are good ones, bad ones, and a billion mediocre ones.

17. Ever crashed your vehicle?

Banged it up. Gotten hit by other vehicles. Crash? As in hard enough to make the car no longer drivable? I think once, but I’m not sure. I don’t know if any accident I’ve had has totaled the car. Garry has totaled at least one — and unfortunately, the car he totaled was mine. I really loved that car, but it probably saved his life.

Warning! Ice on a twisty, unplowed and unsalted road can cost you more than your car. If he hadn’t been in my Acura, he might not have been around to tell the story.

18. Strangest place you’ve brushed your teeth? 

Probably a grass hut in the Sinai desert.

19. Somewhere you’ve never been but want to go?

New Zealand. Australia. Hawaii. Paris. Rome.

20. At this point in your life would you want to start a new career? 

Hell no.

21. How old are you? 

71.

22. Do you have a go to person? 

What does that mean? Go to for what?

23. Are you where you want to be in life? 

I’m old. I’m alive. I’m not dying of anything I know about. My husband is alive and pretty healthy. We’ve got dogs.

At our age, I don’t think it gets better than this.

24. Growing up what were your favorite cartoons? 

We weren’t allowed to watch TV as kids so that a non-answer.

25. What do you think has changed about you since you were a teenager?  

Everything. What hasn’t changed might be a better question.

DO YOU “DO” PROUST? – Marilyn Armstrong

I got this one from THE PATIENCE OF WILLOW.  

If you’d like to copy the questions yourself without having to delete my answers, just click on the above link.

Anyway, this questionnaire, popularized by Proust, according to Vanity Fair (from whence it sprang), has been making the rounds. I, myself got it from Willow who got it from Embeecee.

Here are the questions — with my answers. As I said, if you want the questions without the answers, just click on the link.

The Proust Questionnaire had its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that in answering these questions, an individual revealed his or her true nature.

So, is this my “true” nature? I have no idea what my true nature really is because I have been in a state of permanent change as long as I’ve been alive. So have fun. Just … don’t get too serious. I’ve never much cared for Proust or his writing.

Also, there are no answers, right or wrong. So no matter what you say, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to prove. Quizzes without answers are kind of weird, don’t you think?

__1.__What is your idea of perfect happiness?

My life with about twice the income and enough savings to cover “stuff” that comes up. Also, add to that, good health, a sturdy, comfortable car with 4-wheel drive, happy dogs, someone to come in twice a week to clean. An on-call driver so neither one of us has to drive plus someone sturdy, young, and interested to take care of the house. Heavy stuff, like snow shoveling, serious cleaning.

Can I also get a cook a few times a week? Not every night. Just a few nights … like maybe three? That would do it for me!

__2.__What is your greatest fear?

Spiders in the bed.

__3.__What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Talking too much and thinking too little.

__4.__What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Stupidity, ignorance, bigotry, and bad speech.

__5.__Which living person do you most admire?

Admire? Maybe, at this exact moment in time, Elizabeth Warren. You could ask me this tomorrow and I’d say something different. I am not embarrassed that I change my opinions. Isn’t change what it’s all about?

__6.__What is your greatest extravagance?

Housewares. Linens, blankets, towels, bathmats. Cookware. And, sadly, antiques.

__7.__What is your current state of mind?

Pretty good. A little worried about stuff coming up. Garry’s surgery. His recovery.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Hoping that I’m able to do what I need to do. I have good days and not such good days. I need a bunch of good ones all strung together. I absolutely do NOT have time for bad days!

__8.__What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Some people think I’m a lot wise than I am. My “wisdom” is more like a compilation of tens of thousands books I’ve read, conversations I’ve had, the courses I’ve taken. It’s not me. It’s all the authors I’ve read, conversations I’ve had. The great thoughts of other people I’ve absorbed.

I try to leave a little room for a few knickknacks too. Fit them in with all the books …

Maybe that really IS wisdom, but I’ve always thought wisdom was more Zen and magic, and less like research.

__9.__On what occasion do you lie?

I always tell people they look fabulous, no matter what I really think. Everyone needs a boost. No one wants to hear they look like crap.

__10.__What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I look kind of like a stump with a bad back. I try not to look very hard. It is what it is and at least I can still walk. Or limp.

Marilyn can still walk! Photo: Garry Armstrong

Whatever you call it, I can still do it. On my own and these days, that’s no small thing.

__11.__Which living person do you most despise?

Donald Trump.

__12.__What is the quality you most like in a man?

Intelligent openness. The ability to understand — to “get it” — the first time and the openness to accept ideas that are new and might require change.

__13.__What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Same as for a man plus a determination to laugh at tragedy.

__14.__Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Really. Very. Actually. I am an adverbial overdoser.

__15.__What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Garry.

__16.__When and where were you happiest?

The past 30 years have been great. Yes, I know. I had cancer twice and major heart surgery and I forget how many other illnesses and surgeries … but still, they have been great years.

I have never been happier, even when everything seemed to be falling apart, including me.

__17.__Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could still sing. I miss my voice.

__18.__If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d make my back function like a real spine!

__19.__What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Surviving.

__20.__If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I can’t answer that. I have no idea.

__21.__Where would you most like to live?

I’m pretty happy here, actually. If we could also take a midwinter vacation to someplace warm — Arizona for example — it would be perfect.

I like the seasons and I love New England. It just isn’t my favorite place in the middle of winter.

__22.__What is your most treasured possession?

I don’t think I have one. I have many things I love and enjoy, but “most treasured” implies a level of caring for a “thing” that I no longer possess. It’s one of those time-sensitive issues.

“Things” meant more to me when I was younger than they do now. I am more inclined to love living things than inanimate things.

__23.__What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Growing up. Childhood was ugly.

__24.__What is your favorite occupation?

Writer.

__25.__What is your strongest characteristic?

I can write.

__26.__What do you most value in friends?

Humor.

__27.__Who are your favorite writers?

That’s not fair. I like many authors and who is at the top depends on the genre and my current mood. And what I read last.

__28.__Who is your fictional hero?

Do I have a fictional hero? If you’d asked me that as a kid, I’d probably have said “The Black Stallion.” He might still be my hero. I really like horses.

__29.__Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Identify with as in “feel some sense of being like them?” Or is this an “I wish I was like” sort of question?

Eleanor with Franklin D. Roosevelt. By Effanbee, 1985

I wish I were Eleanor Roosevelt, but I’m not. Many of the people I identify with have lived a life similar to my own. They are not necessarily the people I most admire, but I understand them. I “get” them.

__30.__Who are your heroes in real life?

And still handsome.

Garry is. My friends are also my heroes. They live real lives and overcome real adversity. And they laugh anyway.

__31.__What are your favorite names?

I don’t really have favorite names. I had a terrible time picking a name for my own baby. I had thousands of potential names and picking one was really hard. Fortunately, I had a husband with a passion for awful names so, anything he suggested, I automatically rejected. He weeded out a lot of bad ones for me.

If he liked it, I just knew it would be cruel to a child. Gwynellin? Seriously?

__32.__What is it that you most dislike?

Spiders.

__33.__What is your greatest regret?

Not saving more money. Or possibly, not earning more money that I could save. Maybe these are the same thing.

Regardless, I think you can put it down to my haunting lack of ambition.

__34.__How would you like to die?

Quickly and painlessly.

__35.__What is your motto?

Do the most you can with what you’ve got. Life won’t be perfect, but you will have given it your best shot.


So now that I’ve filled it all the answers, how do I find out what my true nature is? Anyone have any ideas? I’m listening.