Every year I take the last two weeks of December off from serious blogging to recharge. One of the lighthearted topics I write ahead of time and save for the end of the year is related to answering search engine questions.
The phrases and sentences in bold below are the most amusing and thought-provoking queries that have sent new readers to this site over the last year that didn’t quite warrant their own blog posts.
There are a few mild spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale, The Others, and The Little Stranger in this post, so reader beware. Oh, and this post will be a long one, so settle in for about two thousand words of frivolity.
Hope Santa brings you lots of presents
This one is about a week late, but I was pleased with my haul this year. It included the perfect amounts of chocolate, tea, and warm socks. Ha!
What does autumn taste like?
I think autumn tastes like candy corn, fresh breezes, fun-sized Halloween candy bars, apple cider, all of the produce that ripens then, and, if you catch any of the illnesses that are so easily passed around during cold and flu season, cough drops.
If you liked the fall you will like….
I was going to say Halloween, but I know that not everyone loves that holiday the way I do.
I think people who like the fall might also like:
- The mild, friendly temperatures of spring
- Places on Earth that have mild temperatures in general like Vancouver or Seattle
- Endings (since autumn happens at the end of the year)
- Looking back at your accomplishments
- Long, dark evenings
- Rainy days
How much perfume is too much
Too much cologne
Strong, heavily-applied scents can make me wheeze and, even worse, trigger a migraine.
I hope that anyone who wears them remains mindful of how much they use and how their choices affect others. A little spritz or dab is plenty.
Don’t brag about your morals.
Agreed. I’m always a little suspicious of people or organizations who loudly proclaim how moral and upstanding they are.
Shouldn’t that be self-evident through their actions? Why are they drawing attention to themselves Iike that? Are they trying to divert our attention away from something with all of this humble bragging?
Someone needs to write a story about this immediately! I’d never think to put these two words together.
How long should I meditate each day?
My name is Lydia, and I might be the world’s worst meditator. That is to say, I only do it occasionally and generally not for more than 10-15 minutes.
How long you should meditate depends on your attention span. May it be better than mine in this scenario!
Does baby Angela die in The Handmaid’s Tale?
In the book, a medical professional discovered birth defects in baby Angela soon after she was born. She did not survive them, although it was never clear if the birth defects alone killed her or if someone helped that process along.
In the TV series, she was born healthy and has thrived so far.
Is voting worth it?
Yes, I’d say that it is.
Voting is not a panacea or a quick fix, but it is one of the ways we can share our wishes with elected officials. I mean, would there really be so many attempts to suppress voting if it didn’t work?
Fantasy winter holidays
Is this question asking what my fantasy winter vacation would be like? Is it asking which winter holidays I like? Or maybe it’s asking what the winter vacations and/or winter celebrations are like in fantasy worlds?
My fantasy winter vacation would involve bringing my side of the family to somewhere warm and tropical for a few weeks. I miss them terribly, and what better place to connect than on a beach or in a villa that has never so much as heard of words like freezing rain or blizzard?
I don’t really do traditional celebrations of any winter holidays, but I do like to take note of the Winter Solstice due to my Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s nice to know that more sunlight is on the way. I also enjoy things like eating feasts, baking cookies, and pretending that the socks and chocolates I gave to myself on Christmas morning came from Santa.
As far as winter vacations and celebrations in fantasy worlds go, it really depends on the fantasy world and when exactly you visit it. Narnia was a very different place when the White Witch made it perpetually winter there for a hundred years in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe than it was, say, when her spell began to break down and Father Christmas was finally allowed to visit once again.
The Little Stranger plot explained
An elegant, old mansion might be haunted by the malevolent ghost of a child who died from a disease that young infants are now routinely vaccinated against.
Then again, the people who live there might be imagining things and/or accidentally misinterpreting perfectly ordinary accidents. (Go read my review of it for a deeper analysis).
How to say jólakötturinn?
This site gives a pronunciation guide, but to heck if I know how accurate it is. Icelandic readers, can you help?
The Others husband explained.
He most likely died in battle. His spirit eventually returned home to be reunited with his wife and children, but he was too traumatized by his last moments on the battlefield to reconnect to them.
I choose to believe he eventually healed enough emotionally to seek them out again. (My review of it is here).
National bird of Canada
Canada has no official bird, although we tried to change that in 2017.
I think that pigeons should be our national bird. They thrive here in Toronto, and I think they’re kind of pretty.
Is it unprofessional to not wear makeup?
Y’all, I mentioned this once on my blog about a decade ago and still get hits on the topic. Isn’t the Internet a funny place?
In some workplaces, it would be considered unprofessional for a woman not to wear makeup. Those companies are sexist and ableist in my opinion. Some of us are allergic to makeup, or have sensory difficulties with it, or have any number of other medical reasons why we can’t wear it. No one should be pressured to wear (or not to wear it) no matter what their sex or gender identity happens to be. It has nothing at all do with how effective someone is at answering calls, stocking shelves, frying eggs, writing TPS reports, or making sales goals.
If someone enjoys wearing makeup, good for them! However, I think we should all be judged on the actual metrics of our jobs instead of what colour our lips are.
The Land of Painted Caves movie
On several occasions, I’ve blogged about my desire to see a miniseries or film series on Jean M. Abel’s Earth’s Children. I would still love to see the first few books in this series brought to the small or big screen. If the later books could be transformed into scripts that explored the themes and conflicts that were present in the beginning, I’d happily watch them as well.
Is being late acceptable in your culture?
No. I grew up in a family that was generally 10-15 minutes early for everything. It was interesting to grow up and meet people from other cultures who have completely different thoughts on what it means to arrive on time. I’ve met some people who will show up at 3pm when you originally agreed to meet at 1 or 2pm due to assumptions they make about the meaning of time and how closely it should be kept track of!
If these things are clearly communicated ahead of time, I’m cool with it and will simply mark down a later time in my calendar because I am a stickler for arriving when my calendar says I ought to even if the people I’m meeting have a much more flexible interpretation of our meeting time.
I don’t socialize with people who are habitually hours late, refuse to communicate about it, and will make me miss something like dinner or a movie because they can’t arrive on time for things that only happen at certain times or that will cause my blood sugar to crash. (I’m a bit hypoglycaemic, so skipping meals makes me feel sick).
Fairies with fangs
Wouldn’t that make them tiny little flying vampires?
Describe me in a gif
I have no idea how to describe someone with a gif when I don’t know who I’m describing or what they’re like.
My brother once said that Merida from the animated cartoon “Brave” reminded him a little of me.
Maybe my readers will respond to this post with gifs that are somehow similar to their looks, personalities, interests, or hobbies?
I have no idea why anyone would search for this, but I do have a cute family story about it.
When I was a kid, we’d sometimes ask my dad to open cans of soda for us. He’d always agree so long as he could have the first sip of it. Seeing him drink a little bit of our treats gave us the motivation to learn how to open aluminum tabs as soon as possible!
What happens when computers get smarter than we are?
I’d argue that some of them already are more intelligent than some of us. Eventually, this will happen more routinely. It’s nothing to worry about so long as we program them correctly and treat them kindly.
What rhymes with Lydia
Plenty of words rhyme with Lydia, but most of them aren’t words you’d hear in most ordinary conversations. For example, telosporidia or Numidia both rhyme with Lydia.
When mindfulness is a bad idea
Anything can be a bad idea in excess.
I’d say mindfulness is a bad idea if you dwell in a moment that needs decisive action. For example, if someone is choking or if you’re in some other situation that requires you to get up and do something about it right now.
Tips and hints for aspiring writers.
Stop calling yourself an aspiring writer.
if you write, you’re a writer.
You don’t have to be traditionally published, hybrid published, or self published.
Writers write. That’s all you need to know.
Is William Golding still alive?
Only if you’re a time traveler from 1993.
Let’s end this very long post on a cheerful note.
There’s always hope gif
This is the perfect gif to end this post and this year with.