Monday, December 27, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Microfiction Monday


Susan at Stony River challenges bloggers every Monday with a linky party called, Microfiction Monday.

She posts a picture and in 140 characters or less, you are to write a story or short poem based on the picture.



So I told her, “I know I said I’d go with you, but you said, ‘Across the pond,’ right? “ Like I knew it was a figure of speech. British chicks! Why can’t they talk American!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holy Water



Our bodies are about 70% water. Planet Earth is about 70% water. It’s what makes us very special, if not unique in the Universe.

We people can go without food for lots more days than most of us blog readers will ever know, but we can’t get by without water. Yet we behave as if clean water is always going to be there for us, and that our bodies are going to work right, regardless of what we do.

 
How much of the water we drink is intentionally polluted by us with sugar and chemical flavorings? Guess what our bodies have to do when we do that? Our bodies have to flush them out with. . . . . duh duh da daaaaaa –
water.

Those big four minerals our bodies use to balance our ticking and our tocking, our sleeping and our rocking, and our incredibly complex electrical system - calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium - are carried around our bodies in water. The nutrients we ingest from the bounty Earth provides us are carried though our bodies with water and eventually are filtered by our livers and kidneys, lungs and skin.

But just as we have kidneys and livers to filter the poisons out of our bodies, Earth has ways of filtering. She has swamps and wetlands. She has shellfish and silt, catfish and trees, but we tend to want to drain swamps and wetlands, overfish and cut down too many trees. And the chemicals we create in plastics, such as dioxins – the most carcinogenic group of boogers in the world - are carried around Earth’s body through water. We humans are not the only beings, by the way, who use Earth’s water, but we are the only ones who poison it to such a degree. And we are the only ones who intentionally destroy Earth’s organs.

When our Western bodies get out of balance through what we give or don’t give them, we tend to put chemicals in the form of medicine into them to get back in synch. I am probably guiltier of this than most. But then our bodies have to figure out and incorporate and filter those chemicals.

What I’m trying to say in this possibly convoluted fashion is that the Earth and we aren’t so different. In fact we are the same. Let’s make a promise to stop polluting us. Let’s drink more water that doesn’t come from plastic bottles. Let’s give our bodies what they/we crave. And let’s remember that we are the Earth and we are water. And we are Holy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Teeth



Christmas means many things.  One thing it means to me is that it's time for my regular dental check up.  My hygienist said mine were the healthiest gums she'd seen in a week.  Now that might not sound like a big thing to you, but to someone who insists the dentist staff meets her at the front door with nitrous oxide for a cleaning, it's a very big thing indeed.

Other than Deborah Kay, my friend who is a dental hygienist and instilled in me the importance of floss and unfortunately lives a gazillion miles from me, I just can't really trust people who choose to earn a living putting their hands in other people's mouths.  It's just not right.  So I've developed a bit of OCD around flossing to try to keep the monsters away. 

Decades ago my dentist finally convinced me that I really had to get that lower wisdom tooth extracted.  It wasn't getting any smaller and it was causing some problems.  So I went to an oral surgeon.  The tooth was crosswise, impacted and looked pretty HUGE in the xray. 

When the day of the surgery came I was proudly doing my calming exercises and doing quite well as every single person in the office tried without success to get an IV started.  Finally the surgeon ordered some nitrous oxide, which I'd never had before.   He said it would help them start the IV.  I don't know, maybe they didn't have as much trust in my relaxation techniques as I did. 

So they started the gas and it was LOVELY.  I tried to pass the mask around to the surgical team.  I said, "Forget the tooth, let's party!"  I told them they were my very best friends ever.

They all laughed, too.  Maybe the gas was leaking out.  Finally the surgeon said, "Say goodbye now.  The IV is started."  I said goodbye and the next thing I knew I was on a small cot and a nurse kept trying to get me into a sitting position and I kept falling over.  She finally got me into my coat and out the door with my husband who got me to the car for the 30 minute drive home.

I told him all about the IV fiasco and that I couldn't believe I'd put this off so long because I felt fine.  I didn't even have any pain.  He pulled into the pharmacy on the way home and I told him I didn't need the pain meds filled.  He told me just to wait in the car.  We got home and I went straight to bed. 

I woke gagging several hours later, convinced that a truck was parked on my face.  I pulled a bloody mess of gauze out of my mouth and tried to call my husband, but my mouth was such a mess I couldn't make words.  My husband came in with a pain pill and some water, which I somehow got down. I was crying.

He said, "I was worried about you, all the way home you were  making weird noises."   I guess the anesthesia took longer to wear off than I thought.

Yes, we all have our favorite Christmas memories.  That one isn't one of mine.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Solstice

In the wee hours this morning I watched the moonlight that filled my room wane then wax. A new year came. The solstice and a lunar eclipse came on the healing heels of an amazing meteor shower. The Universe did it all without any help from me.

All there was for me to do was appreciate it. Maybe you think my intentions, my candles’ light refracting through my crystals, my energy had nothing at all to do with the shadow crossing the moon. Maybe you think there is nothing at all magic about all the recent happenings in the sky. Maybe you think the Universe doesn’t give a stitch about my appreciation.

Maybe you are wrong.

The Universe is very big, indeed. There is room for magic. There is room for a child born of a virgin in a stable under an auspicious star. There is room for a lamp that gives light for eight days with only enough oil for one. There is room to celebrate seven principles of community and family. There is room for you and there is room for me. In fact you and I and the oil and the star and the continents and the families, the water, fire, sky, earth, and air are the Universe and we are whether or not we believe it. So does what we believe affect anything? It might be the only thing that does. Weird, eh? One of those pair o'socks.

So whether you are Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Wiccan or one of the faithful of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, in some way you are Pantheist. And I welcome you to this bright new year. May we all get our intentions pointed in the way of peace and understanding.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I've had better days

Two more haiku




She came for healing
Why to me, I am not whole
She died on Friday













Look. Loud bright smiling
Hear.  Crystal quiet unsure
Know. She is not known.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Won't You Haiku

If you'd like to share a weekend haiku, please do.  Share it here or give us a link





One short river deep
One long slow river shallow
Dry, we can not know.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Won't You Haiku

Won't You Haiku is a weekend challenge.  Post your 5-7-5 syllable word tea over the weekend and let me know you've done so.  Be sure to read a few other's haikus too.
I look forward to reading yours!


December 11

A season apart
Nods to silent holy nights
Forgotten in the din

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Raindrop Genesis Story

From cloud to earth a raindrop fell
Found friends, then more and more
Joyful dancing flowing crashing
O’er mountains did they pour


In young Earth life the raindrop laughed
Rejoicing without care
Dancing with trees, rocks and land
And splashing into air.


Then calming down enjoying sun
The raindrop joined the mud
Then back to clouds where friends did ask
Did you see Noah and his flood?



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Haiku Weekends

Let's try some haiku.  Post your 5-7-5 syllable word tea, inspired by the picture of the week, on Saturday or Sunday.  Leave a link in your comment and be sure to visit a couple of other posts.  It'll be ok. . . trust me.

Haiku Weekend One

Endless sand circles
Yet single grains unnoticed
Remain after waves

Or

What is this pattern
Dark on light the circles form
What is the purpose

Or

Who made 5-7-5
As rules to pattern rhythm
It's just black on white

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday 55

Friday Flash 55
If you want to play, write a story in 55 words and let the G-Man know you've done it.

http://g-man-mrknowitall.blogspot.com/2010/12/friday-flash-55.html

(Here's my atypically unfunny one)

Gray-green hard cold heavy metal full skull
Traitor muscles hot red throbbing angry spasms
Raging throat ears nose

Be quiet, be still. I’ve things to do.

Earl Grey ginger lemon honey steam comfort
Clean soft warm bed cold air
Morphia mercy angel numb sleep
Forget wasted time

Drifting off I watch me laugh and run.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pocket Words

Mrs. Read, my first grade teacher, told my class that we should always have a clean hanky or tissue handy.  I think that's a mighty good rule and I try to abide by it. 

I think we should also always have a meaningful quote handy just in case we're caught without words of our own.  Here are a few that I find particularly helpful.  Feel free to use them.

1) Life is like a waterfall.  I don't know to whom I should attribute this.  But it's a good one to use if you need some time to think and you really don't care if the listener thinks you're a bit off center for not really knowing just what the two have in common.

2)  Help me, Rhonda, Help help me, Rhonda - The Beach Boys.  This is especially useful when you want to express exasperation without dropping a naughty bomb.

3)  I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence. - Robert Frost.  This one is appropriate if ever you should catch yourself doing something that you know will be branded into your memory and you aren't quite sure if it will be a good memory or a regret.

4) Thank you Jesus, I've been to Jersey! - This was said by a student in a class I taught in response to understanding that I meant water fountain when I said bubbler.  I think it's appropriate whenever I surprise myself by knowing an answer to anything.

5) Don't poke no beans up your nose. - My grandmother.  It's just a nice way of saying Goodbye.  Be careful.

6) Yook dem cwouds, Edie. - my friend, Edie's 4 year old niece.  This is a very flexible saying.  You can substitute any noun for cwouds.  For example, in heavy traffic you might say Yook dem cars, Edie. If you're at the zoo you might say Yook dem tigers, Edie.  And the real beauty of it is, you don't even have to know anyone named Edie. It will always make you appear intelligent.

7) You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. - Mick Jagger  It's nicer than just saying quit yer bitchin', but it means the same thing.

8) This, too, shall pass. - Sufi poet.  I say or think this at least once an hour.  It's always true and good to remember lest we get too attached to or too frustrated with some thing, person, or situation.

So thanks for reading.  Until next time, don't poke no beans up your nose.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Adannoyed

If your adenoids offend thee, pluck them out.  It's in the Bible somewhere.  And my adenoids are adannoying.  How big a deal can it be - they aren't that big and I only have one tonsil.

I think it's important to have a diagnosis and treatment plan ready before I go to the doctor's office.  I like to save the boy time.  So I did my research and decided that my sinusy cooties of the last few months are actually adannoyism.

"So how long has this been going on?"  asked Dougie

"A few months," I whined.  Offensive adenoids make ones voice whiny.

"So why didn't you come in sooner?  He had to repeat it because my adannoyism affects my hearing.

"I'm already putting your kids through college, I didn't think I should send you to
Aspen for the holidays, too.  Besides, I don't have an infection or anything."

"And why do you think that?"  The youngster asked his questions between shining lights in my ears, mouth, and nose.  What a way to make a living!

"I haven't had a fever and there isn't gross stuff coming out of my nose.  Well, stuff.  But you know, it's not that highlighter-yellow stuff."

"You do have a fever (100.4) and there's stuff in there.  Believe me."

"Hmmm.  Well, why do I only have one tonsil?"

"You have two.  It's just that one of them is really big and the other one isn't."

I didn't have an out loud answer for that, but in my head I said, "Well, oooh la la, Mr. fancy pants medical doctor with your fancy instruments and fresh batteries."

It's not my fault my diagnosis was off.  I realized when I got home with my steroids and antibiotics that my thermometer is stuck on 97.6.  And I really don't like to study the stuff that comes out of my nose.  It's just not one of my hobbies.

So I slept from about 2:30 to 7:46 this evening and now of course, I'm eating the contents of the refrigerator and cursing the invention of steroids and adenoids and hemorrhoids, and all things that end in oid, while I'm at it. 

And if I had Dougie's home number I think I'd call him just to wake him up.

Wasted Youth

My friend recently asked what was probably meant to be a rhetorical question, but I'm fixin to answer it anyway.  That'll teach her.  She wanted to know what was good about aging.

Here are some of my favs in no certain order:
  1. Free senior coffee at Chick Fil A, 25% discount at GoodWill on Tuesdays, and senior discounts in general.
  2. Enjoying other people's children now and then. Mostly then.
  3. Understanding the phrase "I've forgotten more about that than you know."
  4. AARP
  5. Telling young people about my experience at Woodstock (even though I wasn't there.)
  6. Finally having an excuse for forgetfulness.
  7. Natural platinum blonde highlights
  8. Being OK with me.
  9. Freedom to be flat honest (blunt? tactless?) when the occasion calls for it and knowing that I get to decide when that is.
  10. Being fearless.  I mean, whatcha gonna do, kill me?  Pffftt, you gotta come up with something better than that! 
  11. Old friends
  12. Understanding more than I have need to explain.
  13. Peace
If I had a dollar for every time I said or thought, "If I knew then what I know now. . . " I'd be able to retire someday.  But nobody is going to give me a dollar for that.  (Too bad, because I could really stretch those bucks at GoodWill on Tuesdays.)  The point is, youth truly is wasted on the young.

There's no getting around the fact that age does some wicked, wicked things to physical bodies.  It's a good thing that with age, we often figure out that we're more than just our bodies.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Welcome to Microfiction Monday,
where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer.

“Where did you get this to-die-for purple linen?” Leopardus purred.

He paid his sister handsomely to direct traffic while he made his move.


Or


But wait, there’s more! Now you can get two wooly bully bicep building oxen for the price of one. Just pay shipping and handling.


Check out http://www.stonyriver.ie/2010/11/microfiction-monday-59.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+StonyRiverFarm+%28Stony+River+Farm%29 if you want to play

A Lot of Flocking Questions



Wikileaks, eh?  I guess I could write about this for many, many days.  But I don't want to. As my friend Helen would say, the whole thing makes my ass tired. Let me just say this, if it's sauce for the goose, it's probably sauce for the flock as well as the gander.

Was network news actually hinting that someone at a website (other than their own) should be prosecuted for publishing information that was illegally obtained, just after they made sure I knew the juiciest, most damaging bits?  Um. . . anybody else see the silliosity of this? What's wrong with people? Is there a line between freedom of speech and treason? 

If it's wrong for a person to lie and spread gossip, is it ok for a government? What is a government?

While I'm asking questions, is it possible to impose freedom on people?  Is it possible to forcibly install democracy? Can you be spontaneous right now?  Can you choose not to make a choice?  Can you fight for peace? Can you turn on a light to see in the dark?

If any of you other geese can answer any of these, please let me know.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I won, I won!


I received this award from Barb at This and That (As I Bounce Thru Life)   How fun is that!
So now I'm supposed to bestow this award on 7 more bloggers that I think deserve this funny blog award.  However, I'm just piss poor at following directions.  Therefore, only the first 5 are fun/funny and I've always been bad at math.
I  encourage you to tickle each of these.

1.  Professor B. Worm.  My Charlie has a wicked weird wit, which leaves one wanting more.  
2.  The Warden Files.  This is what happens when you combine yummy recipes with a sharp perspective and a thesaurus.  Good fun, even if he won't marry me.
3.  Monkey Man.  Slightly off center.  Ok. . . way off center.  Love it.
4.  The Occasional Chicken.  Has me planning my own urban herd of hens.
5.  Placebo Journal Blog.  Oh so funny and unfortunately true.

6.  CBDG.  Not funny.  Amazing.  Wonderful.  Courageous.  WiseInsightful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thought Erosion

This morning about 7:30, I walked into my office and looked around and stopped to think.  I forgot to start thinking again until about 5:30.  I really don't know what I did all day but I know I was really busy.

We had a staff breakfast this am.  After class last night I came home to put together my usual breakfast casserole.  I cut the crusts from nice whole grain and seed bread,  crisply fried some bacon, chopped herbs, shredded cheese and then realized I had one egg.  I needed about ten.

So I stopped by a bakery on my way to work this am and picked up a scrumptious-looking loaf of pumpkin-walnut bread.  I got to my office; fed Brandiss, my gold fish; started some coffee and that's when it happened.  My brain shifted into slo-mo.

I think there is something wrong with  my transmission too, because I couldn't up-shift all day.  I'd find myself sitting at the computer and wondering what the heck I was supposed to be doing.  I remember staring at the word prescription - a word I type several hundred times per day - trying to remember if it was spelled pre or per. Seriously.  Is that scary or what?

If I were sixteen I'd think I was spacey.  If I were thirty I'd think I was preoccupied.  But since I'm fiddy fav, the first thing I think when I do something like that (when I start thinking again, that is) is that I'm getting senile.

Of course, I'm not getting senile at all.  That's just a silly idea.

The literature and liturgy were bright. . . the moon is.

But sometimes my mind does wander and that's when I wonder.  I wonder as my mind wanders and then I forget again, so it's OK.  But I'm not going senile.  That's just silly.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday 160

For Steamy Love of Coconut Ice Cream

You wait just one mile away.
I hear you. I feel you calling me.
I need you tonight even though I know I’ll regret our secret union
Each time I look in the mirror.





For the original Sunday 160 post click here.



If you wish to take the challenge, here is a quick look at the rules:






1. The Sunday 160 only uses 160 characters (including spaces).


2. Keep on schedule - post Sunday.


3. Let me know you have posted via a comment on my site.


4. Visit at least one other Sunday 160.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Time for Friday Flash 55, that online carnival of stories told in precisely 55 words.


And if you play be sure to let the G-Man know

Here’s mine:


 

“I’d like to go to the other side,” she sighed, “But there is no bridge.”

Having heard about the magic in the cool, green forest across the gorge, she stood at the edge and peered longingly across until the light was gone. Behind her, the faeries went about their silent work in the tall trees.

Listen Up You Gosh Dang Politicians

Ok, I'm fiddy fav, which gives me the good sense to not try to please everyone.  And that's a dang good thing, since I haven't, don't and won't.

I have faith in American people.  I think we have, can and will take care of people all over the world.  However, there's this little thing I've noticed and I'd like to draw to the attention of my "representatives."  Our government is called the American government.  There's that little phrase that another Illinois boy came up with about our government being of the people, by the people, for the people. That Mr. Lincoln may have been the last true representative of the people elected to the White House.  But that may be another blog all together.  Has American science come far enough to reanimate him, you think?

Anyway, why can't the American government stop blowing up and taking care of people outside of America and concentrate on playing nice right here.  We can still have military.  Heck, we can even have the draft.  Let's just keep our trained military here fixing our roads, our buildings, our natural resources, our schools, hospitals, clinics. . . .you know. . . our people.  Us.  Americans. And then American individuals can go out and do what we like to do best, which is take care of others. 

We can't give what we don't have and look around.  Our roads, power systems, sewer and water systems, transportation systems - the things that we sort of need to do as a big organized group (read government) are falling apart.  Yet we have gazilions of trained American troops deployed to the other side of the globe.

If I were an enemy of America, I don't think I'd waste energy attacking us.  I think I'd just stand back and let us stupid ourselves into the ground.  The thing that ticks me off the most is that we aren't naturally stupid.  We are the nation that took the best from every culture on the globe and made a great new one.  It seems that one big thing we

forget to do is act like it.

What? Tell your "representatives" you say?  I do.  I email them regularly.  They don't listen because they don't have to.  They can just assume I one crazy old broad and what they heck, they're already elected.  But that doesn't excuse us from yelling at them at every chance we get.  Maybe we can talk some sense into them.  Frankly, I don't know what else to do.  Elections obviously don't work.

It's not hard to find out how to get in touch with your "representatives."  Here's a place to start. 

http://www.freedomspeaks.com/default.aspx

If you can't think of anything to say, feel free to send them a copy of this blog.  You might also mention that at least one old broad in SC is mad as hell.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feelling Fonts






There is a great need for a sarcasm font. Although typed communication has made great leaps in the age of emails, texting and online communities, we continue to have misunderstandings due to lack of much of the nonverbal communication we use. In fact, as typed online communications become increasingly intimate, the danger of really screwing up increases.

I belong to an online congregation. I started to put the word congregation in quotation marks because it seems as if people can’t really congregate online. But we do. We gather at certain places at certain times and share our thoughts and ideas. We share praise and gratitude and challenge each other. In fact, I think that many of us are much more open than we would be face-to-face and that’s another essay altogether.

Because my congregation is world-wide and all ages, we often face language challenges. For example, some of our most active members don’t speak American. They speak British or Australian, or English is not their primary language. It’s not the accents (obviously) that are troublesome online, but the word usage.

A Brit might say “I’ll be back after a quick trip to the loo and a fresh cuppa.”

An Aussie might say, “Gotta walkabout now. Have a bonza day, mate."

A young person who’s grown up with the Internet might say, “OMG, gotta P. BRB.”

We can deal this that type of gaff because usually when we don’t understand the words we feel free enough to ask. However sometimes, we understand the words, but we can’t see if eyes are rolling, or people are scowling, laughing, or crying.

Of course we can use the little faces, but sometimes they are just too cutesy. If my underlying meaning is that I think you are a real horse’s back end and what you just typed is the biggest pile of steaming dung I’ve read in a long while, somehow a little frowny face just doesn’t cut it. Of course I can type everything in bold all caps, maybe even use a red font, but that’s about as far as I can go.

So let's leave it like this.  If I want to type to you that I think you are pig, I'll say something like, "I think you are a pig."  And if you think I'm off my nut, you can say, "I think you're off your nut." 

That should save us all a lot of grief.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Father's Eyes

Everyone who can see my face can pretty much tell how I’m feeling. I come by this trait naturally. My father communicated so effectively through facial expressions that spoken words were often just a courtesy.

He could cure a case of the giggles across a crowded sanctuary without so much as clearing his throat. If I was two minutes past my curfew he could put The Fear into my date at 25 feet in the dark.

I often reminded him – and it was true – that he had the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen. (I wasn’t stupid. Alas, neither was he!) They were a clear, crisp blue. Very striking, and very, very expressive.

Dad’s ability to communicate complete thoughts with his eyes was especially convenient for us the last two days of his life when his voice stopped working.

One of my greatest gifts in life was to be able to be with him as he died in his own home fourteen years ago. Just before we brought him home from the hospital, he told my sister and me that the doctors told him he didn’t have more than six months to live, but he didn’t want us to tell our mother because it would upset her. Our mother had just told us that Dad didn’t know it, but he didn’t have more than six months to live. They protected each other as best they could and God help anyone who got in their way.

Dad told me a lot of things with his eyes those last two days. He told me that his body hurt. He told me that it was beautiful, peaceful, pain-free where he was going. He said it was a scary thing he was doing. He told me to be good to this family. He said, “See! There they are! Right there!” He told me he loved me. He said, “See you there.”

He explained that as much as he was looking forward to the next life, he didn’t want to leave us. He worried that he wouldn’t be able to do this thing without Mom with him. Their relationship was more than close. It was symbiotic. They were joined at the soul.

I held his hand and I told him things, too. I sang to him, told him I loved him. I thanked him. I said, “It’s O.K. We’ll all be all right,” although I only half believed it. I said, “It’s time.”

I know that a lot of people tend to turn their relatives into saints after they die. I also know that a lot of times the baby of the family tends to attribute undeserved greatness to her father. However, neither of those is true in my case.

It just happens that my Papa really could do anything. He really did know everything. Well, everything except how to dress.

I still miss him fiercely. I still pick up the phone to call and ask him things sometimes. I surely wish he could see my garden. Sometimes I can’t picture his face now. But always, just a blink away, are the most beautiful clear blue eyes, twinkling at me.

Goldfish Terrorism



In my office I have a little aquarium in which Brandiss, my goldfish lives. Brandiss was a “feeder fish” at PetSmart, which means he would have been someone’s dinner long ago had I not adopted him.

At first he lived in a traditional goldfish bowl with a second goldfish and a snail. But Brandiss sort of picked on the other fish and it died. It could have been a coincidence.

It wasn’t long after that the snail was nothing but an empty shell. Brandiss said he had nothing to do with it.

I found the little aquarium at GoodWill one day, which gave Brandiss two and a half times the swimming room. He also now has a filter, some aeration, a light and a little palm tree. We’ve been through several snails, which I continue to get because they eat the algae from the sides of the tank. Every Monday, I change about a third of the water.

Brandiss would always get excited whenever I got near the tank. He’d swim up to the surface because he knew he was going to get flakes. That fish loves him some flakes.

But the snails - Klugh, Green, Carl, and others, kept disappearing. They’d be eating away at algae one Friday afternoon and the next Monday morning they’d just be the shell of their former selves. Even though he proclaimed his innocence, I found the whole thing a bit fishy and blamed Brandiss. So when I recently saw him nibbling on his new roommate, Chambliss, I jumped toward the aquarium and yelled at him.

Now whenever I go to his aquarium, talking nicely, Brandiss hides behind his filter, his tiny fins shaking in fear.

I feel terrible. Does anyone know how long it takes a goldfish to forgive?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Carma

When I was in driver education, my Papa made sure I knew how my Honey, my ’66 Galaxy 500, worked. I could point to all the parts of that V-8 and tell you what they did and what they were called. When Honey got flooded, I could take off the air filter and hold open the butterfly valve while my friend cranked the engine. I understood Honey and she understood me. There were no computerized whatseediddles in Honey.

Glynda, my ’05 Hyundai, is a totally different story. I don’t know what it is, but it sure as hell isn’t a V-8 Ford. But Monday she was officially paid off. Mine, mine, mine. Whooo hoooo. Monday on the way home from work the “check engine” light came on. I had to chuckle at that. I mean, it had to be a little fuse or something, right? That light had never been on before.

So I took it to a dealership Tuesday morning and left my cell phone number. Tuesday afternoon, I realized that I’d left my cell phone home – something I never do. So I called the dealership back and, in a totally serious voice, the lady said, “Blah, blahdee blah, the hoofadidious from the whatchamacallit, blah, $310.”

“Excuse me?”

“Gobbledygook yacketta yacketta $310”

“That’s what I thought you said. Do I need one of those?”

“Yes.”

Then we talked warranty. It seems my warranty expired while I was asking questions. So I really had no choice but to have them install a new thingamagig. But I didn’t want them to think I fell of the turnip truck yesterday so I told them I wanted the old thingamagig. Papa told me to always do that. I didn’t want the mechanic to know that I might not be able to tell a thingamagig from a hoistavarious.

So I went to pick up car and the man said, “Oh, and the mechanic said you needed new brakes, too.”

“HAH! I know what brakes are. I don’t need new brakes. My car stops fine. It doesn’t make grindy noises or squeally noises and my brakes are just hunky dory thank you very much. NO, NO, NO.”

He handed me my keys and a tiny little bag with some part he probably picked up from a big box where they keep broken bits for people who demand to see the part that needed replaced. It was just a little metal thing that looked like a big spark plug and a dirty black cable thing about 8 inches long.

My car seems happy enough now. No lights flashing where they ought not be flashing. Stops just fine. I miss Honey.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Election Infection

Ah, election time.  Don't you just love it!  I'm having a very difficult time deciding on whom to vote.

First of all, I don't want to vote for a politician.  They are out-of-touch, conniving liars.  I don't trust any of them.  I like to think that some of them start out with good intentions, but within twelve minutes of starting a campaign, they have become totally lost.  Unfortunately, they are the only ones who run for office.  I certainly wouldn't vote for an incumbent.  The definition of insanity is making the same mistake over and over and expecting better results. 

My Mama told me a long time ago that if you can't say something nice about someone you should keep your mouth shut.  Evidently, politicians never heard Mama.  Why on Earth would I want to elect someone who says only meaningless dribble about what he'll do for  me ("I'll fund everything good and cut taxes!) and delights in slinging fertilizer at his opponent?  Seriously, why would I want someone like that "representing" me?   Evidently anyone can say anything about anyone else in a campaign and it's ok.  I don't believe any of them.  Not one.

And why is it that we can't fund schools or mental health care but politicians can raise and spend 18 gazzillion dollars slinging shit? I would be so impressed with someone who would raise money and then improve some schools in her district with it.  That's someone I might be able to trust. 

Perhaps we should just cut out all this campaigning and let people buy their offices outright.  At least we would be spared the commercials.  Or better yet, why don't we decide what the minimum requirements for office are - perhaps certain results on psychological testing, drug screens and an ability to balance a checkbook - throw the names of everyone who meets those requirements in a barrel (or perhaps a quart jar) and pull out names until all the offices are full.

I can guarandangtee you the results wouldn't be any worse than what we've got now.

Friday, October 29, 2010

In My Life Love

The third in a three-part series on love.



John Lennon said it very well.


     There are places I'll remember
     All my life, though some have changed
     Some forever, not for better
     Some have gone and some remain
     All these places had their moments
     With lovers and friends, I still can recall
     Some are dead and some are living
     In my life, I've loved them all

     But of all these friends and lovers
     There is no one compares with you
     And these memories lose their meaning
     When I think of love as something new
     Though I know I'll never lose affection
     For people and things that went before
     I know I'll often stop and think about them
     In my life, I'll love you more


I dunno why or how. Maybe it’s chemical, maybe it’s timing, maybe it’s age.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Groucho Love

Second in a shamelessly honest series on Love.


So what is worse than being told “I don’t love you and I never will?” Perhaps knowing you should say it to someone else.

A zillion years ago I sat on a couch looking out a window onto a perfect, crystal clear lake below with sincere tears on my cheeks. The tears were misinterpreted as oh-I-love-you-so-much tears. Actually, they were, dang-this-ain’t-it tears. I mean, I loved him enough to cry about not loving him enough. I think of this as Groucho love.

I’ve had conversations long into the night about when a person knows she’s truly in love or when a person realizes he isn’t in love anymore. I’ve had many of them, actually, and I still don’t really have a clue what makes it so other than timing.

Carl Rogers would probably say you just have to create the right conditions and put yourself out there and it will happen. Glasser would say you simply choose to love someone. Freud would say. . . well, he’d probably mumble something about cigars, I’m not sure. My point is, knowing what the famous shrinks say about love doesn’t actually help all that much.

However, that great philosopher, Groucho Marx put it succinctly when he said, “I’d never want to belong to an organization that would have me as a member.” Anyone who would love me is unlovable. Strange belief, isn’t it? Yet it’s a pretty common one.

Sometimes we just get love confused with the chase. Once a person is caught, the chase is over. It’s confusing love with infatuation, I think. Don’t get me wrong, Children, infatuation is mmm, mmm, good and the chase is exercise. Maybe it’s the sort of exercise that’s training for the real thing.

Or maybe it’s just a way for me feel so good and noble and important through pure fertilizer. “Oh, it just killed me to have to break his heart, blah, blah, sniff, sniff.”

If there is such a thing as a real thing, it surely isn’t Groucho love. It’s a journey, not a destination.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chicken Pox Love

First in a shamelessly honest series on love.



A very long time ago someone said to me “I don’t love you and I never will.” Obviously he had a problem. Probably some chemical imbalance or something. Whatever his problem was it wasn’t with telling the truth. “I don’t love you and I never will.” I think of it as the pox quote.

Who could not love me? I’m smart, I’m nice, small children almost never run screaming from the room when I walk in., I usually smell nice. All in all I’m quite tolerable. I’m really easy to get along with. I would venture to say that if they are willing to do it my way, almost anyone can get along with me.

It’s not that I’m indiscriminate. I don’t like everyone. I just want everyone to like me. And they shouldn’t just like me a little bit, either. They should like me a whole lot. I should be one of everyone’s top 10 people. Maybe top 6. People should be required to love me. It should be automatic for everyone to lo-oo-ove me. Especially people who are inclined not to.

I know that no body is loved by everyone. But come on. . . . we’re talking about me here. I know I don’t deserve it, but I need it. Do you hear me? I ne-ee-ed it. And I will do cartwheels on a tin roof in the rain if I think it has a chance of making someone who isn’t inclined to do so, love me.  I have the scars to prove it.

That’s it. Air, water, food, the love of everyone I meet.

And that’s tough because pissing people off is intrinsic to my job. And I’m not really, nice. I just said that to make you like me. Truth be told, when I’ve been out gardening all afternoon, I don’t even smell nice, so there.

But remember when you had chicken pox and your whole body itched at once and you’d do just about anything to get rid of it, but scratching didn’t work? That’s sort of what it’s like when I remember the pox quote.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Eunice was right, there was a faint aroma in the air reminiscent of Eau d’Guano. Skip had to reconsider Rex’s offer to smell his finger.


This is part of Microfiction Monday, where a picture paints 140 or fewer characters. Check it out here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Letter to God



Dear God,

I'm contacting You because even now, at the ripe old nearly perfect age of 55, I still have more than a few questions for You.

First of all, let me say that I've figured out that You aren't some white-haired old man who has nothing better to do than keep scores for everyone.  I don't have you confused with Santa Claus and I do not live to collect a grand reward or avoid a horrible punishment.  I know You well enough to know that my mind, wondrous though it is, can't get around You.  I know I am part of You. I must be since You, the Universe, is all there is.

And I want to say while I've got Your attention, that You have done a great job on making the Earth and the sky.  There are so many things that I never would have thought of.  And I keep discovering new bits that make life so worth living.  Thanks for all that.  Seriously.  Thank You.

I don't know if You have a grand plan or what.  I reckon it doesn't much matter if I understand it all.  I'll leave it to You.  And far be it from me to suggest anything to One who brought us the hummingbird, sunsets that take my breath away, geodes and orgasms.  But I've got to say, I've got more than a few questions.

What's up with religions?  Sure they start out with good intentions, but sheesh!  You'd think that people would give up when they started noticing they are hurting, killing and destroying in the name of religion. 

And what's the deal with bigotry, greed and hatred?  Do I just happen to be here while we're in the midst of evolving out of those useless behaviors?  Does every generation have the same questions or are we really screwing the whole gig up now?

And God, I don't know what to think about time and space.  Cool concepts, I've got to say.  I suspect all those genius scientists who explain them are just guessing.. 
I do hope that when that thing happens we call death, I'll somehow get to hear the answers to these and the 8 gazillion other questions I have.  Maybe death will be just blank nothingness as some of my friends think.  Personally, I think there's about as much chance of that as there is a town with streets paved with gold where only "good" people go, as some of my other friends think.   I guess I'll try not to worry about it one way or the other.  Another thing I'll leave to You.

I'm not sure, God, who or what You are.  But I think that's sort of the nature of You.  If I could describe you in neat words, then I'd probably start a religion and we all know where that would lead.  So for now, let's just leave it this way.  The bit I know is way beyond me, that I am part of and is part of me, is You.  Let me know if that's not OK with You.

And as I said before, Thanks.

Yours Truly,
Fay

Uncommon Cold



My sinuses are full of compressed cotton balls that have been soaked in melted Crisco.  My lungs are full of steel wool that scuffed my throat on the way down.  A large, rusty, stinky garbage truck is parked on my lower body.

Thank you, Jesus, for red wine and Nyquil capsules.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Microfiction Monday

I’m gonna eat all that bread and drink that whole jug of wine by myself . I’ll watch Hope Floats and have a good long cry.  And nobody is going to interrupt me this weekend!
http://www.stonyriver.ie/2010/10/microfiction-monday-53.html

Casting Pearls Before Beavers

June Cleaver, mother of the Beav, died yesterday at the age of 94.  Mrs. Cleaver collapsed suddenly while feather dusting windowsills wearing  a royal blue and white dress with gathered waist, fitted bodice and three quarter sleeves.  Her white patent leather pumps matched her half inch belt.  Her always-appropriate pearls and perfectly coiffed hair did not hit the immaculate carpet before she was instantly transformed into the Queen of the Light Beings.

Pope Hoss Cartwright of the Church of  Channel 7, has reportedly begun canonization procedures and will name June Cleaver Patron Saint of Psychoanalysts in the Rite of Guilt and Windex later this month.

"She taught the free world a thing or two about class," stated an obviously distraught Eddie Haskell.  "She was never too hard on the Beaver unless he had it comin'."

"Nobody, I mean nobody could make a meat loaf like June Cleaver," stated Bud Anderson, a neighbor.  "My dad even says so, and he knows best."

The passing and ultimate transformation of June Cleaver into the Queen of Light Beings will leave a void in the lives of millions who, because of her most excellent role modelling, have spent decades blaming their own less than perfect mothers.  We will try to take consolation in the knowledge that the Land of Light Beings will be dust-free for eternity

Husband of 75 years, Ward, was heard to ask, "Who in the Hell is going to do the dishes tonight?"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Winter of Her Life

If the size and abundance of acorns is an indicator of coming weather, we're in for a U.P.-sized winter in South Carolina. Blanche, my little dog, has taken to bringing exceptionally large acorns in and hiding them in all her most secret hiding places.  Unfortunately, her hiding places are usually in the middle of the hall where I'm likely to step on them barefooted.  She has a bit of a warped sense of humor.  I don't know where she gets it.

She's about to celebrate her birthday.  Actually, it will be her adoption day November 1.  The shelter lady told me she was probably around 7 when I brought her home.  Blanche's doctor says she's a bit older. Blanche and I agree that age is just a number and neither one of us is any good at math.  Especially with the dog-year conversion and all that. . . . who's to say how many candles we should put on her cake. 

Blanche is dieting lately.  She eats mostly dry health food. Before dinner she still likes an appetizer of soft food wrapped around her Prevacid, which keeps her tummy happy.  She also likes a bit of dessert, in the form of a T-R-E-A-T.   She's getting just a bit less of everything recently. 

Blanche is very concerned about her curves. It's not gone unnoticed by the male dog across the street, either.  He goes bananas whenever he sees Blanche.  She doesn't want to be known as a cougar flirt, and she really doesn't try to lead him on.   He's young and impetuous and just naturally intrigued with Blanche's outgoing personality, shiny coat and rhinestone collar.  And, of course, her joie de vivre shows in her hobbies - gardening and acorn collecting.

A year ago, Blanche was an old homeless girl on death row through no fault of her own.  Now she's a stylin' lady of a certain age with lots of bling. She doesn't follow trends, she sets them.  Her days are full of meaning and love.  Blanche always says, "What doesn't kill you outright, makes you stronger." So bring on the winter.  Blanche and I can handle it, whatever it holds. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

That Fool Lost His Bongos

We all have that little inner voice that we really should listen to.  But my voice of reason often mumbles. Perhaps a speech impediment. Lately I have trouble making out just what it's talking about.  "Speak up!" I say and it says, "Arrrummnnumlee. . .errr."

Lately I'm afraid that my inner child is developing Alzheimer's.  I know for sure that brat has arthritis.  She can barely get out of bed some mornings.  Lots of days she'd rather stay home than come to work with me.  She has been forgetting to play.  Maybe she's depressed.

And another thing - all my life I have marched to a different drummer.  But I think that fool lost his bongos.  He has been the sound of one hand clapping and it's tough to keep the beat. I feel like I'm tripping along. 

My boss saw me dancing - make that trying to dance - in the hall yesterday and nearly fell down laughing.  I looked like I attended the White Geriatric School of Dance for the Footless.  When did that happen? The wings on my feet have lost their feathers.

I have no trouble aging.  But all those other folk - that little voice, my inner child, my different drummer - those guys aren't handling it well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

My blog friend, Barb awarded me a One Lovely  Blog Award.  So the deal is I have to talk about 10 things I like and then forward the award to ten people.  I think that's how it goes.  I'm really bad at instructions - especially after 5:00 p.m.

Things I like (in no particular order)

1) Long Lake outside Waupaca, WI.  It is possibly the perfect place

2) The ridge outside Twin Oaks, NC where I used to live.  It is no doubt the perfect place

3) Chip's creme brulee - especially maple.  It's probably the perfect food

4)  Juicy words.

5)  Grilled Swiss on whole wheat with dill pickles.

6)  Getting in bed with sheets that have dried on the line on a crisp autumn day with the windows open and 55 degrees outside.

7)  A hug from a happy cat.

8)  Dark nights with an impossible number of stars.

9) Schubert's Ave Maria done really, really well.

10) Being held by a strong tree.

Now for ten I'd like to award:
http://corticowhat.blogspot.com/  this man is simply incredible
http://thefirstbookoftesticles.blogspot.com/ this man will make you think, laugh, cry.  He's brilliant.
http://wardenfiles.blogspot.com/  I'm currently in withdrawal from his blogs.

I'm just too tired to go on with this.  It's not that there aren't more blogs I love.  It's just
that I'm too technologically challenged and tired to list more.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A tube of Brylcreem.

Communication is a tricky thing.  You always have to have a sender and a receiver and a message, but you also always have noise.  In communication terms noise is anything that messes with the whole thing so that the message received isn't exactly what the sender intended.  Sometimes, noise is as simple as pronunciation or hearing problems.

I remember being very little and asking my Papa what davelduia was.  Brylcreem had
a little davelduia.  It must be a very important ingredient, I thought.  What the jingle actually said was "Brylcreem, a little dab will do ya."

I also sang, "Bringing in the sheets, bringing in the sheets, we will come from Jersey bringing in the sheets."  At Christmas I sang, "Bells on cocktails ring." I had no idea what a bobtail was.

And come on, you know you sang with Jimmy, "Scuse me, while I kiss this guy."  Everyone sang along with "There's a bathroom on the right."  I really thought it was "You and me and Leslie."  I found out decades later that Leslie wasn't in the song.  It was "You and me endlessly." 
When my daughter was younger, she sang, "I can see clearly now, the pain is gone.  I can see all Popsicles in my way."  That's a nice image, isn't it?

And it's not just mortals who are affected by noise.  Eric Clapton named a song Badge because he misunderstood when George Harrison referred to the bridge. So this type of miscommunication is excusable.

I'm not so sure about the excusability of using nonwords.  Pacificly I'm referring to words like irregardless, eckcetera. In cases like that, the sender should be slapped upside the head. And that's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Jingle Has a First Name. . . .

I am not a marketing professional, but I've always been interested in the psychology behind advertising and marketing. Many bucks are spent on ads and there's a ton of research behind most of it, so one would assume that bad marketing wouldn't exist - at least not for long.  But some of the marketing that assaults me puzzles me greatly.

Why, for example would anyone assume that it would be a good thing for a cat not to  be able to find her litterbox.  I have had cats and generally speaking, it's very bad indeed if they pee on the floor. The goal of having a litterbox is the cat using it, which implies it has to be able to find it.

Speaking of cats, why would anyone want to associate them with a sandwich.  Why would a sandwich restaurant think tone-deaf cats singing non-rhyming songs about them would make me want to eat their sandwiches?  The first thing that goes through my mind is perhaps they make sandwiches out of cat meat.  Not a good thing

And is it just South Carolina or do other, possibly  more literate places have billboards stating, "U litter, U lazy."   Is Bubba more likely to keep his beer can in the truck after reading that?

I really like the commercial with the drop-dead gorgeous man riding the horse backward, but I can't tell you know what's advertised in that.  Perhaps I'm not the target audience, eh?

I had bad dreams for weeks about waking up next to some freak wearing a frozen king mask.  Not once did it make me want to go to Burger King.  It makes me afraid to go to Burger King. 

I don't want to drive the same car that gerbils drive.  I don't think cheaper is better when it comes to pizza, and I'm offended by skinny 20 year-olds advertising wrinkle cream.

However, I've known Empire Carpet's phone number (588-2300) for decades and I still know you meet the nicest people on a Honda bike (it's the world's greatest seller and I know you'll like. . . .)  My bologna still has a first name, Baby and if I eat too much of it I know enough to plop, plop, fizz, fizz. And maybe it's just because I'm a Pepper (wouldn't you like to be a Pepper,too?) but it seems to me we need jingles. I don't know about you, but give me a catchy tune  and I'm half way to the checkout.

My daughter and son-in-law are both in marketing, and I'm fixin' to give them a call (I understand they are part of the 99% of America covered by my cell company) and ask them what's up with this stuff. 

Equinox

I sat on a swing, on a porch six feet from the drop of a mountain.  Across the valley, blue on blue on violet brush strokes faded into the end of the world.   A fat black and yellow spider kept me company.    Morning filled the valley with solid white. Squirrels jumped from branch to branch, acorns crackled down the limbs. Hawks circled up and up until even with binoculars they were tiny specks against the blue white sky, expert at endlessly riding invisible therms. Humming birds greedily fought each other for the sugar syrup in the feeder. A huge, coral-colored moon washed away all but the brightest stars and hushed my breath. Waves of crisp cold air brought up the volume of the mountain night symphony and I played my part.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Boob Tube




I just watched an episode of Andy Griffith that I hadn't seen before.  Aunt Bee was encouraged to run for city council against Howard Sprague.  Andy was backing Howard.  The two candidates had a debate and Howard smashed her.  Aunt Bee, realizing that things on the razor's edge of Mayberry politics wasn't quite the same as Garden Club, gracefully stepped down and endorsed the ever-so-qualified Howard.

The viewers learned that it's good to recognize the strengths of ourselves and others.  We also learned that silly old aunts shouldn't run for office and should stay in the kitchen where they belong.  I'm not really hot on that last moral. 

But at least there was a moral.

I also saw a piece of an episode of . . . I have gratefully forgotten the name of it.  It went something like this:

Young, buxom blonde woman whose neckline met the hem of her shorts:  "Why do you have to be such a dick?"

Young, handsome man: "I'm not being a dick."

Blonde: "Yes you are!" (sob, sob, stamp out of room)

Blonde: "And then he was like, 'I'm not a dick,' and I was like, 'yes, you are.' " (sob, sob) "Why does he have to be such a diiiiick?" (whine, whine)

Young, black-haired woman with bare legs to her chin: "Ohhhhhh," (pouty mouth) "So what are you going to dooooo?

Blonde:  "I'm like, I don't knowwwww."

Black -haired: "I know, right?"

Without taking into account inflation, I think it cost 14 times as much to produce that episode of Andy Griffith than it did to produce the latter.  Andy and Aunt Bee's characters actually acted.  There were costumes and scenes and characters. There was a script, for crying in a bucket.

Who gets the job of deciding what gets on TV?  I think I want that job.  Are we really that hard up for talent and creativity that stuff like that looks good?  Bring back Alfred Hitchcock, the Twilight Zone and the Smothers Brothers.  Bring on more channels like History and Nat Geo.   And news?  Give me a break!  Where are the Cronkites and Brinkleys that reported news instead of trying to entertain with competetive hysterics?

I'm not being a silly old person.  I'm like, being a silly person in her prime with 100 channels and nothing to watch.  (whines and stamps out of blog)

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's time to play "Write a story in 55 words".   When you do, be sure to let the http://g-man-mrknowitall.blogspot.com/ G-Man know.




You don’t scare me.
I have been there.
I have done that.
And I have perfected the whole damn thing.
I know the secret handshakes.
I know how the game is played.
You will underestimate me with great remorse on your part
And lovely pleasure on mine.
Go ahead,
Think of me as old, Shugga.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What to do with the leftovers

This is an email I just sent to my fam and closest friends. I encourage you all to consider doing this.

Family,


I have handy little cards that I'll send some of you to keep in your wallets or desks or. . . underwear if you'd like. Anyway, I've willed my body (only after my death, you understand, until then I plan to use it myself) to Science Care. They can be reached at 800 417 3747 or www.sciencecare.com if any of you is interested in doing the same. At the event of my death, whoever is around should call them and they'll come and get the body. It will be used for grafts, tissue, education and/or research. If you want to see my body, I recommend you do it while I'm alive. The bits and pieces won't be returned to you and I can't think why you'd want them anyway.

I just wanted to tell you now, while I'm very much alive, just so you won't be surprised, will know my wishes, will know what to do, and hopefully will be somewhat relieved because.. . well, that's one less thing, eh?

I also fully intend to have my funeral while I'm still around to enjoy you all walking past me talking about how good I look and bringing me flowers. But there's lots time for that.

Peace.

Read Whine


I just whine sometimes, don't I?  And I'm not unhappy.  I'm very happy.  I choose to be happy.  Don't go thinking that happy people don't whine.  I think it's imperative to whine once in a while if one is going to be happy.

I think it's just important to think through to whom we whine.  I have a set of whine recipients and I am indeed a blessed person. 

I have a co-worker to whom I am allowed to whine free of charge at any time of day.  I'm fairly sure I'd be gone without her.  I whine to her about work-related things.  Unfortunately, we are often interrupted by work. 

A friend who has been the best since age 3 is about 700 miles away, but the internet and telephone being what they are, she remains a great therapist.  I can whine to her about anything.  Things that she doesn't understand are not off limits.  That's important for a lifelong friend therapist.  She'll also tell me - ever so lovingly - if I'm off base.  Of course, that hardly ever happens.

I have a therapist therapist who points out to me in a less gentle, though not harsh way when I'm whining over the whine limit.  He encourages me to woman up and do something more productive than whining.  This is important to have but not always immediately available.

Then I have Blanche.  She will happily listen to me whine for hours on end.  She never gets bored, tells me that I'm feeling sorry for myself or has to go do something more important.  When I come home from work she's waiting for me, eager to hear me whine about my day, the news, the weather,  my joints. . . .whatever I decide is whine worthy. She gardens with me, in case I think of something to whine about in the garden. 

I find that with Blanche I don't censor myself.  She isn't afraid of strong emotions (as long as they aren't accompanied by the vicious vacuum cleaner.)  She has a way of making me feel important.  She loves me as only a rescued dog can do. 

Blanche, this blog is dedicated to you and the late Gus Campbell, our canine great nephew and cousin.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Client Suicide

Sunday 160


She said emotional, as if the word tasted bad. I am emotional. He had tied a garbage bag around his head because he wanted so much not to live. I am emotional.


The Sunday 160 Challenge uses only 160 characters including spaces. Keep on schedule, post only on Sunday and let Monkey Man know via a post to his site. Visit at least one other Sunday 160. http://petzoldspracticalprose.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

OD on the Best Medicine













There's nothing better than a good right-from-the-toes laugh.  I've heard it referred to as internal jogging and I'm sure it's one of the greatest blessings in the Universe.

Sometimes something happens that's 80% serious, 18% neutral and 2% funny.  97% of the times that happens to me, I get stuck on the 2% funny.  I just can't help it.  Usually, it's a good thing I think.  It's just healthier to laugh than it is to cry. Usually.

There are situations - funerals come to mind - during which it's frowned upon to find and focus on the funny bits.  And the really outrageous thing  about laughing during times like that is that realizing it while I'm doing it is inescapably hilarious. 

I'll share an example.  A couple of days ago I burned my wrist during an ironing accident.  Let this be a lesson, boys and girls, be well-insured before attempting laundry.  Anyway, since I'm very light skinned, looking at me wrong causes scarring. This unfortunate ironing burn will definitely scar.  So today at work I was washing my hands when it occurred to me that it's going to look exactly like a suicide attempt scar and I immediately pictured myself saying to an as yet unknown client,
"You call that a cut?  This is a cut!" 

Of course I would never say that to a client.  Well, not unless it was my unplanned last day of work.  But you see, now that demon seed is planted and writing about it here is probably fertilizing the damned thing. So the next time I check someones wrists for cutting scars you know I'm going to have to fight the urge to laugh.  It will have nothing to do with the client, but there would be absoflippinlutely no way to convince anyone of that.  By the time I explained the whole thing, the 50 minutes would be up and. . . well, it just wouldn't be a good idea.

To make matters even worse, as I was walking out of the ladies room, laughing out loud over the mental picture of me clobbering someones ailing self image while simultaneously ending my career, I ran smack into the executive director of the clinic.  I said, "No, really, I'm OK."  Duh.


Of course there are those poor souls who focus on the 18% neutral in nearly every situation.  The clinical term for those peeps is boring.  I work with one of those.  That guy goes through the halls - and evidently through life - with absolutely no expression.  And he's not one of those funny, funny folk (often Brits) who see humor in most things and make you laugh and always do it with a totally straight face.  No, the guy I work with is humorless.  Passionless.  If he were a color he'd be landlord beige.  If he were a flavor he'd be water.  Not refreshingly cool or tea-brewing hot or bracingly cold or carbonated.  He'd be room temperature tap water.  Probably full of unseen toxins.

Then there are those people who tend to focus on the serious bits of life.  Some go beyond that and focus on the terrifying.  Those people are often called great artists.  They tend to exhaust me, but I think if I had to choose between being bored to death or being terrified to death I'd choose the latter.  Of course, I'd probably find something sidesplitting about dying.

So I reckon the best I can do is perfect my laughter covering techniques.  There's the -cover-your-face-and-pretend-you're-grieving technique, which is useful at funerals or when your adolescent son is being questioned by police about some absolutely gorgeous painting on the side of a building.

The excuse-me-I-have-to-pee/make an emergency phone call/heard myself being paged can work if you practice it enough and are in a situation where you have some flexibility.  For situations in which removing yourself is very difficult, you really should become proficient at the tried and true cough/sneeze/choke technique. Save the feigned seizure for a dire emergency. It probably won't work more than one time, so don't waste it.

Probably the best thing to do is share the belly shake.  If you're lucky enough to be blessed with a naturally funny laugh, you're 90% there.  I have am fortunate to be a snorter.  I know others who have the little scream laugh, which is also very contagious.  Personally, I enjoy a good wheeze laugher, too.  I always think, "Well, he's either dying or found something really, really funny."  I'm often concerned that I will laugh along with someone for a good couple of minutes then figure out I need to start CPR.  Funny, eh?

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Bottle of Time, Please

You'd think it would be enough!

I just figured out what's wrong with life.  Well, my life that is.  I've no idea what's wrong with your life.  Could be a number of things.  You should find a therapist, or a minister or a teacher or something. . . oh, wait.  I'm those things.  But I still don't know what's wrong with your life.  Probably nothing much.  Anyway, this is about ME.

Now where was I?

Oh, yeah, what's wrong with my life.  Not enough hours.  That's it.  If I just had more hours I could do all the things I want to do AND all the things I'm supposed to do. 

I'm not sure how many more hours it would take to satisfy me.  More than I have, that's for ding dang sure.  I just had a three day weekend and what do I have to show for it?  Oh, sure I made some pickles, cooked some meals, did grocery shopping, laundry, made some shampoo and fabric softener, did some gardening, did a little writing, made some chicken stock, did some ironing, took some pictures and explored my neighborhood.  But I didn't clean my gutters, wash windows, write the Great American Novel, shape my eyebrows, or install a pond in my back yard. 

And when I get back to work tomorrow, I'll probably see a bunch of clients, but I won't get those monthly report thingies all done, cure schizophrenia or make my supervisor happy.  I'll probably power walk for 30 minutes, but I won't lose 35 pounds. I'll do some resistance exercises, but I won't achieve sculpted biceps.

After my day job I'll teach a class.  I'll go over new material and review for a test we'll have next week, but not every student will get an A. I still won't figure out how to use all the university websites without anxiety and frustration.

I have so many projects in various stages of perfection, but none of them are quite there yet.   If I had more hours, I'm sure they'd all be perfect and I could start new projects.  I could even relax. 

As it is with only 24 hours in a day, I'm going to have to live to be somewhere around 212 years old before I'm going to get to relax and enjoy perfection. I need to squeeze eight hours out of each 24 to sleep, or I'll just stumble around bumping into walls, which is neither something I want or am supposed to do.  And I'm far too busy to waste hours being tired or depressed or be . . . stumbly.

OK, I've figured out the problem.  I think it's only fair that some of you should come up with the solution.  Perhaps you have some extra hours you could send me.

Love poem, take two

I started this for microfiction friday and it was harsh.  Not exactly right.  This is closer.
(I'm either a) quite brave, 2) quite silly, c) sleep deprived - AGAIN)


I'll tell you that I'll never change
You'll promise me you will
But who knows what the moons will bring
What hides beyond the hills?

Everything in life must change
And all remains the same
And trying to avoid that truth
Can only lead to pain

This moment now is all we have
So love me now and here
Fierce and strong and gentle
Til there's nothing left to fear.

And maybe you'll convince me
(Though impossible to do)
That I am worth the loving
And then I can love you, too.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Write a story in 140 characters and then let Susan (http://www.stonyriver.ie/)  know you came to play.



The water volume is OK and I love the spontaneity, but the curl is lacking that certain je ne sais quoi. Overall I’d give this wave a five.

Sunday 160









"Yes, it's a little gun," she spoke far too calmly. "And  you know all about little guns don't you?"  His smile slid off his face as her aim slid down his body.



http://petzoldspracticalprose.blogspot.com/2010/09/sunday-160-dont-shoot.html#linksThe Sunday 160 Challenge uses only 160 characters including spaces.  Keep on schedule, post only on Sunday and let Monkey Man know via a post to his site. Visit at least one other Sunday 160.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Seeing Things For the First Time Again (One Moment)

The following is a re-run of a post from a year or so ago.  Professor B. Worm's blog on one life changing moment encouraged me to post it. 

My sister had to hold me, I didn't have glasses yet.
One of my earliest memories is Papa carrying me from the car to the house the day I got my first pair of glasses. He set me down inside the front door and I just stood there looking around, soaking it in. My mother says I couldn't possibly remember it because I was only two years old, but I don't think you forget the first time you see things as they really are.

The brown floors were individual pieces of wood with lighter and darker grains. The pink blobs on the wall of the bathroom were flamingos standing on only one of their spindley legs. Trees had leaves - individual leaves. There were just so many more little things making up larger things.

People would ask my parents how they got me to leave the glasses on, after all I was just a toddler. But I was a toddler who could finally see. And vision is a great motivator. I wish I would have saved every pair of glasses I've ever had. It would be fun to see how lenses and fashions changed. I'm sure if I tried on my first glasses now, I wouldn't be able to see at all, even though they clarified things so well 53 years ago.

We all look through lenses all the time. We look through the lens of our culture, our upbringing, our beliefs. And we change. The lens that made things clear in our childhood may really muddle reality now. And that's ok. We outgrow our beliefs the way I outgrew my glasses.

We never get to the point in life that we no longer need to check our prescriptions. Usually vision changes so insiduously that we don't realize we aren't seeing clearly until we get new lenses. Then it's just amazing.
Seeing things as they really are is an experience we never outgrow.