Gwendoogle Part LXXXVI – How to Dance

GwendoogleAnswers served with a parental look , a trophy, and a translation

Kate Kearney searched: Can good stories come from bad or ridiculous ideas?
I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad idea for a story.

There are ideas that are easier to make engaging than others, and there are ideas that you need the blessings of Prose and Poetry and Goshdarn Luck to make it into something readable. There are ideas that a specific writer or reader gravitates toward, and there are ideas that a specific writer or reader won’t touch with a ten foot pole. Still, the thing that makes the story good is how the idea is told, what characters run through it, what mood and setting it’s wrapped in.

Show me an idea, and I’ll show you an author who spun it well.

Kate Kearney searched: What are some horrible or ridiculous ideas for a story?
[Gives Kate the Parental-Were-You-Listening-To-Me?-Look]

I once had a guy tell me about the time he helped his best friend search the parking lot at work for his lucky paper clip. The story took almost an hour. I laughed so hard my face hurt.

Flip the Otter searched: What are three tips to organizing belongings in a room?
1) Remember that this is your living space, and everything you do to organize it is less about making it look the way it’s “supposed to” and more about making it work for you in the way that best supports your activities in that room. Watch how you use that room for a few days before you get started, and mentally mark the most important aspects of the space for you.

2) As you’re finding new places for your belongings, honestly admit to yourself what you are going to be using most often. It’s okay to hint to yourself that you want to be developing better habits by putting your exercise gear on top of your comfy pants, but there is no faster way to mess up a room than by having to dig down to the bottom of a stack on a regular basis. You’ll never want to stack everything back into place every time.

3) After setting up a closet, drawer, chest, or anything else that opens and closes, open and close it three times in a row. If you have to push something back into place to get it to close any of those three times, you’re not finished.

Mother Hen Diaries searched: Is there any use for perfectly good socks that have lost their mates?
Yeah. Wear those widower socks. Match them up with a new mate from the pool of freshly and unexpectedly single socks. You can try to match colors so that they look like they go together, but I don’t care so long as they aren’t different lengths (I’m just not a fan of the lop-sided feeling of one ankle sock and one knee sock).

If you’re going to the work place, or somewhere where it is important that you make a gentle first impression, wear your matching socks. If you’re just going to the movies with friends or out to dinner with family, or hanging around the house, wear your mismatched socks and grin. If anyone asks you about it, tell them that the Japanese valued bright, diverse colors in their traditional kimonos. If it’s good enough for the elegant formal wear of a centuries-old, grand civilization, it’s good enough for your socks.

Or make sock puppets. But that won’t be any less strange.

Flip the Otter searched: What is the significance/history of the no white shoes after/before Labor Day?
The history is largely disputed, but the largest body of experts who have managed to agree with each other think that it was originally a symbol of summer passing into winter. White would have been a more practical color in the hot summer because it didn’t trap heat as much as dark colors, but, in winter, it would be less desirable than just about any other color. On top of that, white and light colors were often worn around summer homes, outside of the city. In the city, the darker colors remained year round for business men and working classes that didn’t change locations seasonally. By switching back out of white at labor day, returning vacationers slipped more smoothly back into city life.

The next largest group to agree with each other, would like to politely point out that fashion rarely has workaday reasons for its rules. It could be just as likely that this rule was put in place because someone with power liked to be able to see who was in the know, and who wasn’t.

Kate Kearney searched: Will you recommend some uplifting or sheer awesome songs?
I’ve had Taylor Swift’s new song Blank Space stuck in my head for days. But I’m betting that if you’ve listened to the radio in the last week, you’ve already heard that one at least a dozen times, and might be ready for something new. Try one of these, which I’ve also played on repeat for whole afternoons:

Katy McAllister’s No Safe Way. (This link takes you to YouTube, as Katy prefers her videos not be embedded in other sites.)

Kate Kearney searched: Will you dance in the dusk with the last of the lingering light?
If I hear the music, it doesn’t matter where I am, I’ll dance.

If I don’t hear the music, and you do, I hope you’ll lead me through the steps.

Mother Hen Diaries searched: What is the correlation between age and the ability to successfully dance in public?
It’s a bell curve. The very young always succeed, because they have not yet learned to be self-conscious. The very old always succeed, because they have unlearned whatever it was that made them believe that a joyful reaction to music ever needed to be tempered by the thoughts of those watching. The ages in between are just in varying states of learning and unlearning, twirling and stepping.

That is not to say that you will become an excellent dancer as soon as you forget to care what anyone watching thinks. You may still clomp onto the dance floor like a drunk baby elephant, but if you are a happy drunk baby elephant and refuse to let go of your enjoyment of the music and the company and the motion, it’s absolutely success.

Flip the Otter searched: Does popping pimples actually damage your skin and if so in what way? Does it matter if the pimple head is white, black, or red?
First, ew. [hands Flip the Otter a trophy for the first Gwendoogle question to make her cringe]

Second, yes, it does more damage to your skin to pop acne than just to leave them be. It doesn’t matter what color it is.

Popping them breaks the skin and increases the risk of scarring. It can do any or all of the following: spread bacteria from that single, contained acne to the skin around it and cause more acne; push bacteria deeper into the skin and cause a larger problem; expose broken skin and invite new bacteria in.

Remember that acne is not actually the problem, but the visible sign of your body trying to get rid of a problem. Your body is a complicated machine. Please let it complete its self-diagnostics and -repair, or take it to a licensed technician (your doctor).

And enjoy your trophy.

Mother Hen Diaries searched: Is it wise to join Pinterest if I have nothing worth pinning?
There is a wide space reserved for the question of whether it is ever wise to join Pinterest, as it has a habit of eating spare time, igniting imaginations, and beginning a thousand projects around your home when it might be safer to hide yourself in a cardboard box and focus on finishing that one project you started months ago.

However, I am  firm believer that apprehension over not having anything to contribute to a group is a poor reason not to join. Right now, the others will thank you just for appreciating what is there, and eventually, when you have seen what is missing in the mix, you will be able to better judge what gaps you might fill.

So, go. Jump in. Have fun.

Flip the Otter searched: What is an exact translation of “tunc victor docuit praesentia numina Titan, nullum praemissis vincere posse minis.”?
“Thus, the Titan victor taught the assembled deities that nothing can be defeated by mean of threats.”

Flip the Otter searched: A translation comprised of slang?
“And so victorious Phoebus schooled the gods looking on, proving that there is nothing under this sky that can be bested by a bluff.”

Flip the Otter searched: Who is the author?
Avianus, a Roman writer of fables. These lines are the conclusion of his retelling of the The North Wind and the Sun. In the fable, the wind and the sun compete to see who can force a traveler to remove his cloak. The wind blows and blows, and the traveler clutches the cloak tighter. The sun shines down warmer, and overwhelms the traveler with heat so that he takes it off willingly.

The fable existed long before Avianus wrote it down, but is notable in his reiteration for the fact that he calls the wind Boreas, and the sun Phoebus, staging the competition as a battle between gods while other mighty gods look on.

That was fun. Ask me another. [grins]

Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.

The question bucket currently has: 5 questions

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2 thoughts on “Gwendoogle Part LXXXVI – How to Dance

  1. Why is the question bucket so dangerously low? Did a badger eat some of the questions? How are the badgers? Is there anyway to convince my hair to swoop properly? What are six things that made you happy this week? May I have some pictures of cute baby animals? Chocolate or fruit? Would you play a board game that affected reality? What is your ideal weather? Do you like scarves? Do you have an opinion on wearing shoes in the house? Quick, will you help me procrastinate? Where are my magical armaments? Do you have a favorite dinosaur? Which would win in a fight, a demon kitty or a three headed puppy? What would you say to pirates who abducted you? Do you have anything you consider lucky? What do I do when I feel like I have nothing to read? Or when I finish my shows? How do I entertain a ten year old for ten minutes? Has your list of favorite names changed at all? Ponies? Why do I own so many calendars? Warm and overcast skies, or cold and sunny skies?

    • Would you rather write a ten page paper on a topic with fifteen sources or find fifteen sources on a topic and summarize all of them and give a general overview of the topic from the literature? Please inform me how much Rick Riordan messed up when he stated that the Goddess of Love is basically the same person in Greek and Roman Mythology? Will you list five attributes that are singular and descriptive of Venus as opposed to Aphrodite, preferably in gif format, and then do the same except for Aphrodite as opposed to Venus? What is a word that means the state of being happy, cheerful and murderous in English, Russian, Icelandic, Greek and Hindi? Does such a word exist that means I’m-angry-depressed-and-would-really-like-a-giant-sized-hug-that-doesn’t-stop-until-tomorrow-plus-chocolate-cheesy-pasta-my-best-friend-and-favorite-movie? What are three beloved Thanksgiving traditions, not necessarily for you, but the question may be taken this way. What are four bizarre and or terrifying Thanksgiving traditions from around the United States? What is the astrological significance of the third star in Orion’s belt, the one on the right not the left? Will we ever get another Into the Character Lounge? What are the two main Holidays celebrated by the Sea Clans? What special food is eaten by the Sea Clan on Birthdays? Will you list three favorite sailor’s sayings for the Sea Clans? How do the Sea Clans deal with the impoverished in their society, orphans, widows, and the physically or mentally disabled? “Platypus AND Hollins NOT animal”? Define: Polyturfition. Define Metaindorphilanus.

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