It's time






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Giving Thanks



It started with a single post.

One poorly written blog post.

Ones and zeroes circle the globe like the bits of stardust that collected to form life in the beginning. Electronic words on a virtual wall say “I am here.” However you find me, whatever strange search words that you type or links that you click bring us together.

During this season of Thanksgiving, from my family to yours I wish you the best and thank you for reading about my small life on this tiny planet hurtling through space. Our stories matter because we are all connected.

Happy Thanksgiving.

This week's prompt was The writing on the wall

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Mr. Fix-it

You can’t say that I’m not handy. If I put my mind to it, I can pretty much do whatever needs to be done. But that’s the thing; it really needs to be done. I don’t go round the house searching for things to improve. If you were to show me a bathtub that holds water, I would say that was one fine bathtub. Show the same tub to Paul and he would find eighty seven things about it that need to be fixed; things like the yellow caulking or the rust spots or the gouges on the bottom of the tub that make it look like a desperate dog in need of a pedicure was trapped in it for a weekend; cosmetic things. Are you able to wash yourself in it? Alrighty then.

I’m not going to waste my precious time and energy on something that does not want to be changed. Last I noticed the bathtub was not aspiring to become the sink or the toilet. Although, I can’t imagine anything wanting to become a toilet, but people choose to become proctologists, so I suppose anything is possible. The bathtub is perfectly happy the way it is. Some might call it grime, but I call it patina.

Paul does not like patina.

I was perfectly content to leave the metal soap dish in our tub on top of the rust spot. Even though we don’t use bar soap, I thought the dish was a nice nostalgic touch. More importantly, it served its purpose as a cover up. It was left by the previous owner, who was probably a lot like me; someone who was comfortable with patina.

But when Paul installed the body soap and shampoo dispensers and purchased an inventory of those products that would last us one thousand Silkwood showers I knew the soap dish would soon be history. And with the soap dish gone the tub would reveal a pock mark too great for Paul to ignore.

I tried to divert his attention by painting the bathroom vanity, and did a pretty good job too. I just wish I remembered to paint all of the sides. While he was in the shower taking inventory of everything that was wrong with the bathtub, he glanced at the vanity.

“Uh, sweetie, did you forget something?” He shouted from the shower.

I didn’t really forget. I just couldn’t figure out a way to paint the side of the vanity that faced the tub. Who was going to see it from that angle anyway? I’ll tell you who, Paul.

Shortly after that, Paul made an appointment to have the bathtub refinished, and since we had to move the vanity in order for the refinisher to take care of the bathtub, he reasoned that there was no use in putting the old vanity back in its place, or the faucet, or the shower doors. I made certain not to stand around the bathroom to avoid being replaced too, because truth be told, I have a little patina on me.

While the bathtub was being refinished we had to shower at the gym around the corner. On this particular occasion, Paul made a comment about a young guy’s arms and how he would like to develop his own to look the same.

If you are at all the insecure type, you should probably not workout at a gym where the average age of the member is roughly half of your own age. Furthermore, you should not take showers at said gym, lest you begin to compare your body to a newer model.

“So, you liked his arms, huh? I’m sure he’s on the juice.” I said while throwing in an accusing look for good measure.

“They look natural enough to me.” He wasn’t even willing to give me that.

“But, I love my mono-pack” He said smiling while rubbing my belly. I could tell he meant it too. Maybe a little patina on the things you love does enhance the look. But, I’m not taking any chances. I’m pretty handy so I think I can make some improvements; another mile on the treadmill, another repetition.  Now I need to work on wanting to change.


P.S. How do you like my comic strip?  Never took a single drawing class!

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Temptation

“All right Adam, I’ve been working six days straight now and God is pooped! Listen, you be a good boy and pick some colors for all of these things I’ve created and I’ll give you a prize. Go ahead, you’ve got Carte blanche!”

“Well, how about we make this grass green?”

“Say now, that’s something! Go on, keep going.”

“OK, I’m thinking a nice blue for the sky, that’s going to contrast nicely.”

“Well, I’ll be a son of a monkey!”

“A little taupe here, some white to rest the eyes, just a smidge of yellow and a dash of red to make this apple pop!”

“Yikes, I’ve created a monster, quick, give me a rib, son. Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, Ha ha! And Voil√†!”

“Hello, I’m Eve. Love what you’ve done with the place. But, I’m oh so famished. This looks yummy, but are you sure it should be that color?”

“NOT MY CENTERPIECE!”


This is a 158 word challenge, which must contain the phrase "are you sure it should be that color..." and should concentrate on dialogue.

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Sticks and stones

Michelle Bachmann-“If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”

Jamie Hubley, 15 “You can’t break when you’re already broken”

Rick Perry –“Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?”

Tyler Clementi, 18, “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry”

Rick Santorum-“I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?”

Seth Walsh, 13, “Hopefully, I become the universe”

Lest we forget.

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Losing Control

I think I know why people talk about the weather. It’s because there is nothing we can do to control it. If we can’t control something, then we can damn well talk about it. This is why people stop by my office, which consists of an entire wall of windows overlooking a courtyard and tell me “You wouldn’t believe how nice it is outside today!” Squinting from the glare, I think No shit, Sherlock, but what I say is “You don’t say?” because people need to hear themselves talk about things they can’t control.

It would be OK if they stopped there, but they usually follow up the immediate weather report with an extended forecast. Invariably, they paint a picture of the weekend weather as perfect: Even if it will be cold and rainy with wind gusts up to fifty miles per hour. “Nice weather to curl up with a good book!” They say. I’d love to reply “Or great weather to plan that suicide you’ve been putting off!” but most people wouldn’t see the humor in that.

It is an American thing to be delusional about the uncontrollable. Several years ago I was working at a company that experienced one lay off after another. It was difficult to see our friends and co-workers leave. Those of us lucky enough to keep our jobs yammered on about what a great opportunity it would be for the departed. “You’ll find something better than this!” was heard over and over again. My Irish friend had a different take “This is shit. If I got laid off all I’d be saying is what the feck am I going to do now?” But that type of comment makes people uncomfortable. If you can’t control something, you want to think that it is beyond your control for some greater purpose; “When one door closes, another one opens” type of thinking.

Friends don't let friends quote country songs!
During the layoffs, I overheard one woman say to another “Well, I guess I’ll let go and let God.” To which her friend replied with one hand in the air √† la Christina Aguilera high-note, “Jesus take the wheel.” This sort of thinking rubs me the wrong way so I couldn’t help but ask “Do you really want someone who’s not afraid of death driving you around in your car?” It seemed like a valid question. Can we really believe that everything is beyond our control and that a guiding force is watching over us?

This morning, while looking in the bathroom mirror at the gray in my hair, I begin to separate the things I can and cannot control. When your child turns twenty one, you are forced to think about these things. I turn on the cold water to brush my teeth and watch the steam rise. Apparently, cold water is something new to add to the list of uncontrollable things. It’s right below the inability to control the heat in our condo. Once it is turned on for the season, our condo maintains a steady seventy seven degrees, unless we open the windows. While the snow is falling outside, Paul and I sit around in boxers and t-shirts with the windows wide open.

That night I meet my friend Julie for drinks. Despite being out of work for one year she still maintains the same level of fun and perkiness that drew me to her in the first place. In no time we have downed two martinis and are laughing about her gay boyfriend from many years ago.

“We had this cook book that was displayed in the kitchen with our Pottery Barn china that Scott picked out. Every week he would say to me, it’s time to turn the page!” Julie says laughing. I wonder to myself how she couldn’t figure it out. By the end of the night we have had our fill of laughter and drinks.

On my walk home I think about Julie. She did not once mention how depressing it is to be out of work. Maybe the important thing is not that we lose control, but more how we react to that. Pools of light from the street lamps dot the streets as I walk through the city in the cool autumn night. Amy Winehouse plays on my iPod and I wonder if the entire world can hear her singing. The T screeches towards its next stop, disappearing into the night. A singular moment of piercing truth hits me. This is my life. I am finally who I was meant to become. Maybe there is a guiding presence looking over me. A cold breeze rustles the leaves. I button my coat. Two more blocks and then I’ll be home. I’ll climb the stairs and open the door to our condo, where it’s not uncontrollably hot, but eternally summer and the windows are always open.

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Who's that Guy?

What, me leave? Fuggedaboutit!



Occupy! Occupy! Wall Street we vilify
Anarchy camping, "No Fair!"
It is quite cramping this anarchy camping
In winter we shiVER!


This is a 21 word challenge that must include in winter we shiver, based on the following rhyme about Guy Fawkes:

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

The emphasis must be placed on the second half of shiver. Say it  as if you were freezing!  OK, my Iambic beat is a little different, but I'm too tired to do anything else with it..There is smoke coming out of my brain.

You can find other entries here:  http://jfb57.wordpress.com/tag/100wcgu/



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