This Post Has Nothing To Do With Coffee

In an effort to complain less, I’ve decided to answer this set of “Questions Over Coffee” (that do not appear to be about coffee) from Rory at Earthly Comforts. Also, I saw other bloggers doing this (answering these questions, not complaining) and decided to join the fun.

Coffee is better than Complaining. Photo by Chevanon Photography:

1) Do you sometimes ‘just’ LIKE posts from those you follow but don’t often read the content?

Yes. Often for recipes, book reviews, and interviews with interesting people – content that I might not have time to read or comment on, but that I appreciate is being written.

Side note, I’ve been blogging for 2 years (which I sense is short relative to a lot of bloggers here), and I get the impression that WP bloggers have strong opinions about “likes”, “serial likers”, “people who like your posts but don’t comment”, etc. I wonder if this is just the nature of communities coming up with strong feelings about oddly specific things. Like I remember back when I was on Imamother, a web forum designed for Orthodox married women, that people thought the “hug” button (represented by a heart) on posts that were not sad or tragic was seen as condescending and almost offensive even, and there were all sorts of forum threads on this. There are multiple reasons why I left Imamother (not the least of which that I was never really Orthodox), but that was one thing I never understood.

2) What do you do with gifts you have received but have no use for?

Keep them and just fail to use them, usually. I’m not good at re-gifting, donating, or throwing away.

Totally unrelated, if you need gift ideas, check out my amazing holiday gift guide! Am I good at giving gifts? Nope! Am I good at giving advice? Debatable! Do I enjoy doing it anyway? Hell yeah!

3a) Have people become lazier concerning cooking do you think, or is it more a case of people not knowing how to cook?

Neither. They’re recognizing that cooking can be a true pain in the ass if you think about it. For one thing, it’s not just one task but several:

  1. Researching/reading/developing the recipe
  2. Ensuring you have the right cooking space/equipment
  3. Buying/growing the ingredients
  4. Prepping the ingredients and storing the unused ingredients so they don’t spoil.
  5. Actually cooking said ingredients per the recipe
  6. Serving the meal
  7. Storing the leftovers so they don’t spoil
  8. Cleaning up the table, the cooking space, the pots/pans/cooking utensils/eating utensils/dishes, etc.

If you don’t have adequate fridge/freezer/cooking/pantry/kitchen space, if you’re living by yourself (most recipes and food packages aren’t geared for single servings), if you’re just learning how to cook (sure, cooking can save money, but you can waste an awful lot of expensive ingredients when you screw up), or if you just plain don’t enjoy it, cooking can be logistically difficult and a massive waste of time, ingredients, and money.

Not everyone enjoys cooking. Image by Kate from Pixabay

3b) Is cooking considered a valuable skill by you?

Seeing as I’m a comically incompetent moron in the kitchen, no.

4) What news stories, in your opinion, have so far defined the 2020’s…

[I put the ellipsis because I’m going to answer this question in two parts.]

I’m going to go offbeat and say it’s the Mars Wrigley’s redesign of the M&M characters, which I wrote about in one of my news updates. To me, this event truly epitomized the idiocy of corporate branding in the 2020s:

  • The claim that consumers care that much about enough about an animated character’s shoes in the first place (although considering the response to Green M&M losing her go-go boots, apparently, they do)
  • The fact that the rebrand of a crappy chocolate candy that costs a couple dollars is news.
  • The contradictory goals of the redesign of Green M&M as both to be a “force supporting women” and to highlight “the character’s ‘personalities, rather than their gender.'”
  • The failure of Mars Wrigley to add another female M&M character for increased representation because that would require actual product innovation.
  • Mars Wrigley highlighting this as an amazing change while failing to do any substantive change, like sustainable and socially-responsible chocolate sourcing. Mars Wrigley even has a sustainability plan (or at least a link on their website that says “sustainability plan”) and they still thought the character redesign was the most important use of media attention.
  • The backlash from pretty much everyone, albeit for wildly different reasons. (Actually, I found this oddly inspiring. A divided America coming together to snark on an idiotic marketing campaign.)
The news story that epitomizes the stupidity of the 2020s. Image by ssunyi from Pixabay

…and what do you think they have taught us personally as individuals?

Not a damn thing! I would bet money that future marketing leaders are going to look back on this as an inspirational case study.

5) What would you never swallow even if you could?

Am I the only person whose mind went to a very NSFW place when I read this question? I can’t be the only one…

6) How many hours of sleep do you get a night, and how many hours do you think you need and why?

I’m back to sleeping 5-6 hrs/night, more or less, and I function fine on that. Unless I’m jetlagged or sick, I find more sleep kind of unnecessary.

7) How important is it to you to have a clean house or environment to live in?

Clean isn’t super-important to me. (Which is good because, like cooking, this is not my strongest suit.) But a functional space that has two bedrooms, doesn’t have apartment problems like fucked up plumbing and heat, noisy air conditioners, rude neighbors, and a landlord who doesn’t like us, and that is located in a community where I want to live – that’s important to me.

I do not currently have that, so pandemic-era life has been unpleasant, to put it mildly. The housing search continues

8) Could you give up your Smartphone and break your addiction to it?

No. I wouldn’t even see it as a goal.

9) What have been five of your best TV shows?

In alphabetical order:

  1. America’s Test Kitchen – Just because I’m bad at cooking doesn’t mean I don’t like cooking shows, and ATK is criminally underrated. The research presented in a fun, non-patronizing way.
  2. Glee – I feel like it’s not cool to like Glee because of the flawed ridiculous problematic storylines, and there were a lot of moments in Glee that make me go WTF. But I don’t expect my TV shows to be realistic or deal with every issue perfectly. I watch TV for entertainment alone and I enjoyed the performances.
  3. Leverage – fun, memorable characters. I can re-watch episodes I’ve seen before and still be entertained. Leverage Redemption is pretty good too. I like the addition of Harry Wilson and Breanna Casey as characters, and I don’t mind Nate Ford’s absence, but I think the scriptwriting of Leverage Redemption is worse. So much bad dialogue.
  4. Lupin – another great show of brilliant thievery (and so much more), mais en français! Watch it on Netflix in French with English subtitles if you must – the acting (which is fantastic, btw) is just so much better in French.
  5. Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? – I loved this show as a kid. Honestly, I think it’s a great premise for a kid’s game show. Also, it had an amazing theme song.

I noticed that 3/5 of these shows are related to celebrating thieves in some way. Not sure what that says about me.

I’m actually a pretty honest non-criminal in real life. This is not a self-portrait! Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

10) Why is life not a bed of roses but a bed of thorns?

It might be a bed of roses, but what you actually feel is the physical pain of stabbing yourself with a thorn instead of the sublime beauty you’re supposed to feel when looking at the roses.

It’s kind of like eating what was supposed to be your favorite sandwich except someone put olive tapenade on it and as much as you want to enjoy the sandwich but you can’t not taste the disgusting olives. My perfect sandwich + gross olives haven’t changed all that much since the last time I tortured that metaphor, so I’m not going to rehash.

If you actually like olives, this metaphor is lost on you. Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:

11) Toasted waffles or toasted bread?

Are we talking about the Eggo waffles that come frozen and you stick in the toaster to make them? (Such yummy, artificial buttery goodness…😋) Or proper Belgian waffles that you have no reason to toast because they just came out of the waffle iron? Either way, I’m going to say waffles. Sure, bread is useful, but it’s boring AF. Waffles are fun. Bread is overrated.

12) How do you feel about the ageing process and you?

I’m in my thirties and I already hate it.

13) What is the last rebellious thing you did?

RSVP’d “No” to an event that I technically didn’t have a conflict with, but that I didn’t want to attend. No explanation, no lying/making up an excuse as to why I couldn’t attend, no faux-apology, and honestly, I feel absolutely no guilt.

I check “no”, and I don’t feel the least bit bad about it. Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

14) What would be your ideal ‘you experience’ of the following …. museum, theatre, spa day, bungee jumping?

Spa day. I have no need to try bungee jumping, and while I’ve gone to museums and theaters solo and enjoyed it, I think they’re a better experience with other people. Spa day is the ideal indulgent solo activity.

15) Could you easily step off the planet and away from society and your friends and being social and also away from the Internet for 12 months?

Wow, a lot to unpack with this question! I’m going to have to answer each part of this question separately.

  • Could you easily step off the planet? No. Gravity makes this challenging.
  • And away from society and your friends? Friends? Lol, what friends? My friends either have children, so we’re no longer friends because parent-friends are generally awful to non-parents, or they are rude guests. Or they died. Or after reading their pandemic Facebook posts, I lost interest in being friends.
  • And being social? This might be challenging. The pandemic taught me that I’m the kind of extrovert who lacks the will to do anything, from writing to basic hygiene, if I’m not going to be interacting with people.
  • And also away from the Internet for 12 months? Depends on the circumstances. Do I need to perform my job during those 12 months? If so, then no, I cannot live without the internet for 12 months unless someone is planning to pay my bills. But I suppose if I had absolutely no choice but to live without the internet for 12 months, say I ended up in prison after stealing something (clearly influenced by my TV show choices), then I suppose I’d have to make do.

Bonus Question from WordPress* (that still has nothing to do with coffee):

What are your feelings about eating meat?

Delightful! I rather enjoy a nice rare steak. (IMO, medium-rare = edible, but overcooked. Anything more done than medium-rare is shoe leather.)

Good steak is called rare. (*This was that ghost text question that appears when you click “Write Post”.) Photo by behrouz sasani on Unsplash


Well, this was a fun post. Hope everyone enjoys their coffee. Or steak.


  1. I’d forgotten the M&M story! I should steal it for my satirical novel, but no one would believe it.

    We can’t get kosher M&M’s in the UK and Mum and Dad want me to bring some back whenever I come out here. I like the cookie dough-filled ones, but otherwise we have better cheap chocolate in the UK, IMHO.

    My defining news story: I am amused that the ex-President of the USA might go to jail for stealing nuclear secrets, while the ex-Prime Minister of the UK might be censured by Parliament for eating cake. Says so much about our different societies, and why E is coming to live with me and not the other way around.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Hey JYP – first off – here’s wishing you a lovely Monday, and secondly, my thanks for the comprehensive response to coffee time. A lot to take a bite from here, eh 🙂

    Serial Likers are the worst clan going. Liking x number of posts for the pure sake, like breathing air in the quickest 10 seconds possible, becomes quite bothersome. Random likes are not a big issue. But the LIKE is so danged convenient for people today – instead of being unable to read content because of time restraints or x, s and fifty shades of nope, they hit the like button.

    I prefer people who didn’t crash the like icon, especially if they still need to read it, as it seems bizarre. It’s just that comments are more sociable and more interactive. However, l do understand restraints on a person’s time still. There’s nowt as strange as folks, eh?

    This did make me laugh …” Friends? Lol, what friends? My friends either have children, so we’re no longer friends because parent-friends are generally awful to non-parents, or they are rude guests. Or they died. Or after reading their pandemic Facebook posts, I lost interest in being friends.”

    I have heard things like this before, and as surprising as they are, they are true – at times, friends are overrated.

    Stepping off the planet as a phrase is more like ‘off-grid here in England, as a term goes, and not so much space hopping.

    Plus, you are right. Governing bodies will have learned nothing from this of any actual benefit except how to up their game in scaring and further ruining society 🙂

    Good answers and received with thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You say you get the impression that WP bloggers have strong opinions about “likes”, “serial likers”, “people who like your posts but don’t comment”, etc. This can well be, because when putting so much effort in regularly providing an article one wants the articles to be read and for sure it may be an incentive or encouragement when “like”s are given, or when some people do take the time to give a reply.

    Concerning “What news stories, in your opinion, have so far defined the 2020’s…” you are welcome to visit “my personal Space” (Marcus Ampe’s Space) where I give every year a review of the year. But told in a nutshell, it can be said that the 2020ies turned the world upside down with some viruses, Coronavirus (with Covid-19 and Omicron variants) and the RSV virus that is now making the rounds with the streptococcus A virus, but also the much more malignant virus, that of the war-sick great leaders from Russia, China and North Korea.

    To us, in Europe, it seems ridiculous so many Americans spend so much time discussing some outlooks of a chocolate sweet. (?) though for M&M a few years ago there was a rightly court case from M&M chocolates versus the Flemish radio station with the same name (Absurd that radio station took the same name as the very popular sweeties!) (The radio station was allowed to keep its name M&M)

    Concerning my Smartphone, which is not so smart as the once from the youngsters, me not paying for constant internet, only using the internet server from my and my children’s homes and the free internet servers from the airport and McDonalds). I am not at all addicted to that internet tool either on the pc to the internet or e-mail postages and messages …. So do not worry if a mail does not get answered directly or in a fortnight….)
    Virtual or digital friends are not the friends I would look for… I go for the real life friends, though I must admit that aren’t a lot.

    I would agree I can not miss internet because I have several websites on which I like to place articles at regular times (some even daily).

    About the ageing process and myself I always say I become younger, though I must admit having crossed the half-a-century line already some years ago, I must say my brain does not work so nicely anymore and I forget often lots of things. Having three autoimmune diseases makes life not easier by the day and I even got warnings from the doctors not to walk barefeet anymore. (That seems a trifle, but for me who in the 60s and 70s of the previous century preferred walking naked and enjoyed climbing mountains with bare feet, it is weird not to feel the sand anymore at the beach.)

    My hippie years may already be long behind me, but I still carry with me the same ideas, so to mention the last rebellious thing I did, I would say to hold pickets and hand out pamphlets for the ongoing cost-of-living crisis with the rising energy costs.

    My ideal ‘you experience’ of “the following …. museum, theatre, spa day, bungee jumping?” is that I am pleased still to be able to museums and to go hiking as much as I can. For the theatre, having done that for my whole life as a livelihood, I must say visits are on a low because I mostly enjoy ballets at home on television or pc (choosing what to see and skipping all rubbish) not having to pay so much money for theatre tickets, transport and parking the car.
    I also admit that on that front, I have become more homely and prefer to enjoy a captivating film or detective series on the sofa in the living room.

    I would not spend any money at a spa or wellness studio, having no patience and not wanting somebody fiddling at my body.

    I have no need to try bungee jumping or any other ‘kicking’ adventurous events. The Elohim does not want that we bring our body in danger or do not come addicted to the wrong expectations.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Every time I read American news I think we sound ridiculous, and I am American! I can’t imagine how idiotic we come across to non-Americans.

      Fascinating about the court case on the M&M name!

      I feel like anyone who says they can go without the internet/their Smartphone for an extended period of time is forgetting how much this is a part of our lives now. It’s like, are you planning on not doing your job and not checking the news, your bank account, or the weather for 12 months? Yes, it’s a lifestyle choice and one can limit their Smartphone functionality and data usage and internet usage. But I think it’s tough to forgo entirely.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective on aging. I do think a lot of this is perspective. I’m in my 30s not yet experiencing the true effects of aging, but well-aware that time to have a child is running out. But I don’t yet have the perspective that comes from more years of life experience. Wishing you good health!


  4. I somewhat agree with your view of “likes” on posts. The likes that bother me are the serial likes. Just today, someone liked eleven of my most recent posts and they allegedly read them all at 7:54 am. That’s some mighty fast speed-reading.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am one of those speed readers. Not necessarily of your posts. But I do get into he swing if it and read a lot, fast. If I’ve read it , I like it. I see it as an acknowledgement. It also shows me I’ve read something before, because I do forget! My children call it spamming. I used to be a teacher. I used to tick everything I marked to show I’ve actually read the assignments. My kids used to appreciate that!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Ps, sorry l meant write this earlier – “Am I the only person whose mind went to a very NSFW place when I read this question? I can’t be the only one…”

    Hahaha, strangely enough l created this question with the naughty theme in mind after overhearing a conversation – BUT YOU are the only one who has made reference to it – bravo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. HA thank you soooo much for explaining the downsides of cooking. People always make fun of me because I don’t cook and say they’re going to teach me, but it’s not that I suck at it, it’s that I hate the waste of food if it doesn’t work out or if you simply can’t eat all of it by yourself. I abhor wasting food.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You were not the only one, no.

    I’m familiar with the like/no comment issues, but I choose to mostly ignore it. I never like a post unless I’ve read it. Commenting on it means something has tickled me — and yours often do. 🧐

    A clean house is very important to me. I’m constantly wiping, dusting, mopping, etc. I have a thing about sinks especially, which amuses my wife.

    Five best TV shows: (1) Sopranos, (2) Dick Van Dyke Show, (3) Vera (UK crime show), (4) Six Feet Under, and (5) Seinfeld.

    I get between 7-8 hours of sleep each evening. I think I’m good with that, though I love an 40 min afternoon nap a few times a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Okay, so I feel as if I know you a bit better. #1 I think is just general consensus. I almost published a post about not being a serial liker or begging someone to follow your blog, but I didn’t want to come across as an a-hole, so I deleted it, but I do understand the premise, which is this: no one could have read 10 blog posts (especially the kind you and I write) in one minute, which seems pretty disingenuous.

    3a: I agree

    The waffle one…totally agree lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was a good set of ice breaker questions.

      I hear that on serial likers. I guess I don’t necessarily mind someone not reading my post in full (or at all). I know they just want me to read their blog, but I can pretend that they really just liked the title.

      Cooking and bread are overrated!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This prompt/questions has been an interesting one, though long. But, on the other hand, I got nothing to do anyway. But, my point, we are bingeing Leverage Redemption and have mixed feelings about it. The writing seems to have made caricatures of the returning characters — like we must insert at least two incidents of Elliot beating up three or more people, four of him getting glaringly, raised-eyebrow angry at some minutia, three of Parker acting like she just escaped from the looney bin, a handful of whats-her-name performing some sort of impossible computer hack using 17 keystrokes, and at least two times where Sophie inadvertently reveals something intriguing about her vague, notorious past. etc. The whole thing is still strangely satisfying, probably because we already grew to like the characters in the original series, but it seems to have degenerated into a kind of comic book format, best enjoyed by bright fifth graders. But it remains that a TV show that apparently is worth a fairly lengthy paragraph can’t be all bad. Plus, I’m kind of a fifth-grader.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I thought the first Leverage Redemption episode had more character nuance. Parker being more used to grifting than Sophie and Sophie being all nervous and nearly screwing up the grift. And Breanna (the new hacker) screwing up more often than Hardison did, although the hacker role was always incredibly unrealistic, was fun and refreshing. But I hear you on overall lack of character development and nuance. I wonder if it’s the overall fewer episodes. You can’t develop characters the way you can when you have 5 seasons.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I always thought that over a run of several seasons, a lot of actors will take it on themselves to develop their characters, or at least the writers will focus in on that some, or maybe both. It’s fun to see how some peripheral role for a particular episode will become a “regular.” Maybe they do audience polls and know when a character is appealing, or not.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Cooking…I like eating and the idea of cooking, but ran out of “spoons” for it. Pun intended. “Spoons” is a metaphor for people with health challenges. I primarily exist in a “spoon” deficit. Socializing? What’s that? I haven’t done it since the pandemic started. Most pivotal news? The pandemic and all the polarization that resulted from it. Favorite tv shows: The Munsters, The Addam’s Family, Perry Mason, Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents…I like oldies as you can tell. Bread or waffles? Challah french toast. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ha! Cooking can be a pain in the ass indeed. I’ve just started learning to cook, and part of the friction comes from understanding a new recipe and reading it while cooking. The other pain comes from all the washing up. Plus, I’m learning to use cast iron, so there’s the added maintenance involved.

    I always love reading posts like this. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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