75 thoughts on “Discuss.”

  1. That’s great – just in someone’s yard?

    Books, though it doesn’t always work – you need another book person…

    We have a small group discussion with some Unitarians here later this morning – just an opportunity to get together (outdoors) with a few people, very loosely organized… “bring a topic you’d like to discuss”. Will no doubt talk about how we’re coping with the pandemic, but I’d love to know what everyone’s reading.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. In a former life I walked two hours a day in an off-leash dog park. Many of the people I encountered there were, like me, introverts. The one safe topic was a comment on the other person’s dog. If the dog was cute or handsome, you could say that. If it was ugly, you’d say, “Your dog sure has a lot of character!”

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Gardening or dogs are always good, as well as fairly neutral. #45 is usually guaranteed to produce a reaction, but really, you don’t know what you will get (unless person is wearing a MAGA hat, then you know) and those reactions are unpleasant. Last weekend we stopped at the Pumphouse Creamery in S. Mpls to take ice cream to my son’s house for a visit. We sat outside on their little deck. The ice cream flavors (salted peanut butter chocolate chip and honey berry/raspberry crisp) provided great conversation because they were so imaginative and delicious. After that we were so busy swatting mosquitos, that that kept us talking for a long time.

    “Hamilton” (the play) is great for small talk, because it also is just so creative, and the entire production is so imaginative. Asking people what they imagined if they read that book, gets a laugh, because no one but Lin Manuel Miranda cooked up a hip hop opera with a multi cultural cast. And he makes it work without any incredulity.

    Liked by 7 people

        1. It has been the opposite for me. Although I do miss people in a general sense, I find that having fewer personal interactions leaves me with more psychic energy. I don’t think I really “pass” for an extrovert under any circumstances, but I have an extrovert’s schedule in normal times.

          Liked by 5 people

        2. I knew I was an extrovert going into this, that opinion has not changed. I need some time alone, but I really miss people. Especially the small things like running into work friends or chatting with people in the hallways at work – the random, happenstance conversations. I miss going to a restaurant or event and running into neighbors or friends. Interacting with people through a computer screen just does not scratch that itch.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. A go-to for those times when dogs (see above) are not a ready topic, I fall back on, “what have you read or seen lately that was especially interesting?” Sometimes I have to ask a bit more to get to an interesting article, something on TV… whatever. Sometimes I wind up hearing about books of poetry, sometimes an interesting blog post, have even found out about TV shows that I wound up watching later.

    At work (and I use that term loosely in current circumstances) a safe topic with new people I am meeting via video is, “what do you miss about campus?” or sometimes more specifically, “what do you miss at the cafeteria?” (Our cafeteria had above average food – and every Wednesday was “Warm Cookie Wednesday”…)

    Liked by 7 people

  5. WordPress and I have had a long and frequently contentious relationship. Recently, WP has grown snooty. Like Trump when he is linked to some discredited person, WP will pretend to not know me (although she and I go back several decades). Her most recent ploy has been to refuse to acknowledge my attempts to Like other folks’ posts.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. For the record, what I need to do is click on the W logo below the comments box. WP suddenly remembers me, and my Gravatar photo magically reappears. Then I have to exit TB. When I come back to TB I can like comments again.

          Liked by 3 people

  6. I am so bad at small talk. I’m not good at ‘Smoozing’ at events.

    Back when there was students around I’d ask what year they were in and what they’re studying. Where are they from, how do they like the class – that stuff was easy.
    But a corporate thing – I get all tongue tied. And I know it shouldn’t be that hard. How long have they been coming to the theater, what have they seen, what do they like, ect… but still. I’ll just be over here in the corner.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Try using the same question do you have a bug been what year were you in school what did you study what did you enjoy where are you from tell me about that part of the world that should be enough to get the ball rolling it’s amazing how even or maybe especially people that appear to be difficult to approach love to chat about whatever it is that they love to chat about and they will go on and on and all you have to do is tweak them a little bit

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I would describe myself as a shy extrovert. I need people, but I have this momentary anxiety that precedes social encounters. Once they begin, I am fine.

    My office is still in a shambles, and my desk is in pieces waiting for assembly. The 22 feet of shelving for the play therapy room hasn’t arrived yet. My professional life is in cardboard boxes. I am despairing that this awful mess will never end.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There is a lot of that kind of despair going on these days. Either things will be assembled or you will retire before assembly. One of the other will happen first. Does that help?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks. I forsee working a tish longer than I anticipated prior to COVID19. My retirement fund took somewhat of a hit and I may need another year of employment to get to where I want it to be.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I meant that as a smarta** answer, although there is a great deal of despair in the world these days. I did not know you may be delaying your retirement. Sorry to hear that.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. One added stressor this past two weeks was the concern that Husband was possibly exposed to COVID in a therapy session. The client and family are all negative, as is Husband, and the time of incubation is passed. Whew!

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Despite the fact that my mother spent my early life telling everyone I was shy. I am not an introvert. I can talk pretty easily to just about anyone on any topic if they want. All the topics others have mentioned are good for me, especially books and dogs., I have a new friend this summer, a couple of blocks away and so far we talk exclusively about gardens and weather and Guinevere.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. One good thing about the pandemic and its consequent isolation is that it provides a ready topic of conversation based on a common experience: “What have you been doing to cope and compensate?” Unfortunately, the imposed sequestration has meant there are scant opportunities to have that conversation.

    If the small talk topic veers into sports, or current television shows or movies, I am ill equipped to hold up my end. Whenever possible, I seek out people who are busy pursuing personal interests rather than simply consuming the entertainments being pushed at them by popular media. They are self motivated, digging deep into a project or working on a skill or a process, discovering new things and eager to share what they’ve learned. I’ve pretty much given up finding anyone who evinces a reciprocal interest in the things I’ve been pursuing, but I’m more than happy to take the role of interrogator. I find I can usually offer up some germane responses, and sometimes it spurs my own interests in a new direction.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. look into meetups with your collateral interests
      they exist somewhere
      if they don’t start them up
      others care about your areas of interest and it’s such a joy to hang with them

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do have that sort of group. It’s a club made up of people with special interests related to books—authors, book collectors, operators of small presses, book artists of various sorts, book sellers, typographic nerds, paper makers, and above all readers on a wide range of arcane subjects. None of them are much interested in my stuff, but I’m interested in theirs, so there’s that. Unfortunately, the club hasn’t been able to meet since February or March.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. Today we met new people and reconnected with a neighbor. Husband and I were at the church garden watering the raised vegetable beds and applying fungicide on the cucumber vines when a Hispanic family with Idaho license plates drove into the parking lot. We encouraged them to explore the and enjoy the garden, and to make sure their 3 year old got some of the everbearing strawberries that were ripe. They said they loved looking at the garden, and got ideas from the church garden for their own garden, which they planted for the first time this year. It was a grace-filled encounter.

    On the way home we encountered a neighbor from down the block who had knee surgery this winter and who was struggling with mobility and range of motion. We were stopped at a stop sign, and just sat there talking to her as she hobbled across the street, caught up on our respective children, and talked gardens and landscaping. She had been at the house on the opposite corner, who are new Hispanic neighbors who had rented a huge, inflatable slide thingy for their 4 year old daughter’s birthday. We yelled “Happy Birthday” as we drove home and the dad flashed us a smile and a peace sign.

    Liked by 6 people

        1. I need to again figure out how to navigate WordPress.
          I do have a few stores to tell.
          I adopted two “boys” (budgies)
          I’m a c-19 vaccine trial volunteer.

          Liked by 8 people

  12. I’m a lousy conversation starter, but if you ask me about music, golf, writing, books (especially MY books), finance, the economy, Austrian economic theory, or Libertarianism, I’m all there. Oh, yeah, I can hold my own in almost any sports conversation too.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Kinda like hunters.
    I have a couple guys that hunt my place And have for years. They’re good guys. But I told them once I just wasn’t that interested. Told them they had one minute to tell Me their hunting story. They looked really hurt.
    See Anything? Shoot at anything? Get anything?
    That’s all that really matters. I don’t need to hear about the one that got away or how many you saw. I know there are too many dang turkeys and deer; that’s not news to me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had a guy up at my lake place ask if he could set up is blind so that he could get deer with his bow and arrow because it would be perfect with him coming off the DNR property I told him sure and then called him back and said no I’d like those deer to live you can kill them on somebody else’s property and he said that he understood and that’s why he asked in the first place was because he knew I was a vegetarian for the reason of a respect for life based philosophy
      The last thing I wanna hear about is the details on how somebody slaughtered something while they were out hanging with the hunting gang
      My grandmother used to have wildlife sanctuary signs on the driveway on the road into the property I think I’ll get some for my property

      Liked by 6 people

  14. OT YouTube channels. The last time I made one of these posts WordPress threw a hissy fit, telling me it was too long. So I’ll break this one up.

    Today’s channel suggestions are all about humor, for there is a lot of humor on YouTube. Of course, what one person finds hilarious another person finds insufferable. You have been warned. You will probably dislike some of my samples today. If so, just back out and try to forgive me.

    The first three of today’s videos are about pranks. That’s odd, because I don’t generally like pranks. But humor is odd. It surprises us.

    Like

  15. Okay, now we get into it. The next example is a twofer, two comedians in one clip, and both are offensive potty-mouths. Gabriel Iglesias is a recent discovery of mine. You might think he’s fat. He says, “I’m not fat. I’m fluffy!” This bit features blue language and racial stereotypes. Don’t click if you’re easily offended.

    Like

  16. I need to end on a less reprehensible note. Other people knew Jeanne Robertson’s work a long time ago. I just discovered her. She is a “clean” comic who has a lot of fun joking about her husband and other characters from The South.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I adore this gal. The very first piece I saw her do was the one where she sends her husband to the store to get ingredients for cake. And my favorite, which I’ve gone back to many times, is Bungee Jumping. It makes me laugh out loud every single time.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. BTW- Kelly approves of the butter keeper. As hot as it’s been the last few days, the butter has stayed nice and creamy on the counter. Pretty cool!

    Liked by 3 people

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