Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is That All (30M2DoW: Day 28)

30 minutes out of Montreal, a plaintive cry came from Dufus.  "Is that all?"  Dufus looked longingly into the bottom of the picnic basket, hoping for another helping of poutine.
Simultaneously, Eolist was looking at the bottom of her coffee cup, echoing the same sentiment.  "Is that all?"

The caravan was beginning to sputter.  Max looked at the petrol indicator.  "Is that all?  Good thing Bedlam doesn't run on petrol."  

Boom Boom sat up front next to Max, frantically typing on her laptop, hoping to finish before she arrived at Nicky's house.  If she didn't finish each of the prompts, she wouldn't be allowed to attend the "30M2DoW Reunion Party".

Meanwhile, from the back of the caravan Indigo was channeling Peggy Lee, singing this motley crew out as they approached Montreal:

Is that all there is, Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friend, then let's keep dancing.
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is.

* * * * * * * * * *

It's been a long and sometimes perilous road to the end of this writing challenge.  Be sure to venture one last time over to the House of Cheese to see who else was in at the finish.  Until next time...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And That's Why I Got Drunk... (30M2DoW: Days 25, 26, 27)

Fact or Fiction?  I followed the rules explicitly for this writing challenge.

The correct answer is fiction and because I didn't follow the rules explicitly, I ran right out to buy a t-shirt commemorating the event to assuage my guilt.  (Thank you, Indigo, for offering us that penance at just the right moment.)

(The t-shirts make Indigo and I look younger, thinner
and even more fabulous than we already are!)

What?  You think that's cheating?  Deal with it!

Yes, I've fallen a couple of days behind on the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.  May I be struck by a wheel of falling gouda on the way to work today.

But today's prompt?  "And that's why I got drunk..."  Surely, Nicky and CheesyMike don't expect me to go out and do something so outrageous that I would get plastered, snockered, shit-faced or (to put it a bit more elegantly) enebriated?  For shame, CheeseFreaks!  For shame!

I'm definitely waiting to have that experience at the "30M2DoW Survivor's Reunion".  It's all happening at Nicky's house.  Be there or be square!  And wear your t-shirt!  Date and time to be announced.

(Dufus, Indigo, Max, Eolist and I are already on our way since we don't like being late.  But not to worry... there's still room in the caravan if you want to join us!)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Confucius (30M2DoW: Day 24)

We were tooling down the Adirondack Northway toward Montreal.  Eolist Petite was on her fifth cup of Eolist Blend,  Max was up front at the wheel, and Indigo was sitting cross-legged on the bed at the back of the caravan.  I had been online, catching up on what absurdities everyone had posted late in the day on the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.

When I looked up, I noticed Indigo had grown quite a substantial beard since we'd left Rochester and his hairline appeared to be receding.  Curious, but not so much once you get to know him.  His three piece suit had been exchanged for a looser dressing gown in a similar shade of greyish blue.

Eolist happened to look up at the same time.  "What's with the top knot, Indigo?" she asked.

"I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there."

"Antiquity... that must be why you seem to be aging so rapidly," added Max.  "Although, I'm a little confused about why you're starting to look like Chow Yun Fat."

"They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom."

"Well, I'm still confused about why we couldn't use the time machine to zap us up to Montreal instead of having to take the long way around," whined Dufus.  "I could have gotten there faster if I'd driven myself."

"Where did you come from?" I asked.  (Silly me... I should know better than to have to ask those kinds of questions when I'm in such illustrious company.)

"I have no idea," said Dufus.  "Thing One and Thing Two were running around the house and I said something about rather being in Bedlam and now here I am."

"By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart."

"Then I must definitely be out of practice," replied Dufus.

"Are we there yet," asked Eolist.  "I really have to pee."

"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."

As I looked around this bizarre group of companions, I realized that we were nothing if not full of heart.  Yes, it was going to be a great weekend.

* * * * * * * * * 

As we draw closer to Montreal, we draw a little closer to the end of the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.  So time is of the essence... hurry on over to check out who else is channeling the wisdom of Confucius in today's prompt.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Absurd (30M2DoW: Day 23)

This is it!  Nicky and CheesyMike's Surreal and Absurd Weekend Festival!  Be sure to stop by the Cheese Shack (an absurdity in itself) to check out all the surreal and absurd entries in today's "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.

It's the absurdities of life that keep me going.  I don't know why, but they amuse me.  Probably why I'm always so delighted with the real life adventures of that scamp, Indigo Roth, since his tales epitomize the absurd.  When I'm down in the dumps, he can always cheer me up.  Someday I want to be him... living with a lion, consorting with badgers, enjoying time travel to exotic places... what's not to like?

But I digress.  Here's an example of what I'm talking about....

One day about two years ago I was a little discouraged about life.  My leg was broken, I'd lost my job, my dog, and my will to live.  The Aflac duck was chortling about the fact that I canceled my policy a year previously.  "Damn you for adding insult to injury, you fowl piece of crap!"

Suddenly there was a tapping sound coming from my not-so-decorative fireplace.  I hobbled over and pulled away the fireplace screen, pushing the electric logs from the firebox with my crutch.  It was then I noticed the small metal plate where the flue would have been were it an actual wood-burning fireplace.

When I turned the latch that held the plate, a cloud of soot came rushing out of the gap above.  Choking, I fanned the air in front of me.  I saw a tall, dapper gentleman standing there.  It took me but a moment to recognize him, since he wasn't accompanied by Lion.  As he dusted off his three piece suit, there was another cloud of soot and I was overcome by another fit of coughing.  "It's time to go," said Indigo.

Max's new caravan which he named "Bedlam"
Before I could even blink, we were outdoors and there was a caravan parked on my front lawn.  My lungs were clear, my crutches were gone and I was pain free.  "This is absurd," I said.  "No, this is Bedlam," said the newest arrival, Max Tunguska.  "And I'll thank you not to go slashing my tyres again!"

The door of the caravan opened and out stepped a petite woman holding a cup with an image of herself emblazoned on the outside.  The aroma from her coffee brought me back to reality... or whatever strange world this was.  She smiled and waved a hello as Indigo said, "Get in. We have to get to Montreal before the weekend is over.  Nicky's expecting us."

"Oh, no!  Please tell me this isn't the weekend.  I thought that wasn't happening for another two years," I exclaimed.  "I'm not prepared."

"Prepared or not,  we're expected and it wouldn't be cricket to leave the rest of the gang wondering what happened to us," said Indigo.  "Besides, we never did find that Caerphilly cheese."

And with that, we were whisked away to the "Surreal and Absurd Weekend Festival."

Yes, it's the absurdities that make life worth living.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Compulsively (30M2DoW: Day 22)

It wasn't like she had to keep everything.  It's just that those things might come in useful someday.  Especially in the classroom.  The children loved using "stuff" to create things.  Old film canisters, bits of cardboard, fabric remnants, cardboard tubes, buttons, magnets, old wooden spools from thread... the list went on and on.  When other teachers had an idea for a project, they'd mention it to her and nine times out of ten she already had the supplies they needed.

At one time, she had things organized, but eventually it got out of control.  Boxes filled the attic to the rafters.  Her compulsive book buying didn't help, either. The downstairs bookshelves were packed to the brim with books on every topic.  It was so much easier to have the books at hand than to have to go to the library every time you started a new theme at school.  But like the attic, the bookshelves got filled and the books started creeping into other areas of the house.

There was only one thing to do... she had to start working as compulsively at culling her stockpile of "stuff" as she had been about collecting it.  It was either that or start going to some 12-step program for hoarders...  and who had time for that?   Especially now that she had started obsessing compulsively about the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.  

* * * * * * * * *

Time to go on over to the Cheese Hoarding Duo's place to see who else has been obsessing compulsively about writing.  Lord, what fools these mortals be!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Last Train (30M2DoW: Day 21)

Okay, so I'm feeling a little lazy this morning.  The "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge Mike and Nicky are sponsoring said you could repost, so here goes.  It's a little longer than my usual fare...  it's from my earlier blogging days before I learned that less is more.  Be sure to check in at the We Work for Cheese station stop to see who else is participating today.  

The last train has long since left the station here at the Crap Shack but, in his younger years, my son was all about trains...

* * * * * * * * * 

The first seven years of little Vladimir’s life were filled with his dreams of becoming a train engineer.*  For about five years he wore the same outfit every day… OshKosh overalls in a tasteful blue and white stripe, along with a matching striped engineer’s hat. For Halloween he would dress it up with a red bandana.  (No cute little pumpkin outfits for Vladimir!) 

This suited Vladimir’s dad and I just fine.  We gratefully bypassed the current popular culture icons such as Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers.  We felt it was far superior to go with the classic childhood toys.  Our house became filled with trains of all sorts… Brio, HO, N-Gauge, G-Gauge, Lionel, Duplo, Playmobil, Lego... and more. The Little General became one of our favorite movies and Thomas the Tank Engine’s best friends became ours as well.  My creative contribution was to craft stuffed cloth Annie & Clarabel train cars to go with the stuffed Thomas the Tank Engine that Vladimir took to bed each night (in lieu of the traditional stuffed animal.) Vladimir’s dad spent hours in the basement workshop, creating new additions for the collection… tiny wooden train sets, additional wooden track for the Brios, Christmas tree ornaments, etc. Each was lovingly crafted for the enjoyment of all. Family vacations were spent traveling to railway museums and sleeping in caboose motels.

Later on Vladimir developed an interest in roller coasters.  Because he was a large economy-sized kid, he was tall enough to ride these amusement park demons by the time he was four.  And I dutifully accompanied him, trying my best not to faint or lose my lunch on the spiraling drops in mid-air. (My personal best was riding the Quantum Loop five times in a row without barfing.) 

Now, you’d think these were innocuous pursuits, which would afford few reasons to be sent to Mommy Jail.  But believe me… there are plenty of ways that only Vladimir could come up with. 

From an early age, a favorite Saturday morning routine for Vladimir and his dad was to go to one of the local train spotting locations to watch for trains.  During these outings they would occasionally find old railroad spikes and the “fish-plates” into which they are driven. These would be collected and brought home for the “collection”.  This would not be bad in and of itself.  However, I was a bit taken aback one morning when I came outside to find 4-year-old Vladimir with a sledge-hammer in hand, pounding the spikes through the fish plates and into our driveway.

“HOLY CRAP, Vladimir!  WHAT are you DOING?!?!”
This reasonable question was met with a proud smile and the words… “Daddy said I could do it.”   GRRRRRR!  
(Cut to scene of parents arguing in quiet voices about the sanity of this pursuit.)

I had visions of having to rush Vladimir to the hospital with a spike sticking out of his foot and blood gushing from the massive head wound where he had clunked himself with the sledge-hammer.

Emergency Room Nurse:  “And Vladimir’s Mommy… how exactly did little Vladimir come to having a rusty railroad spike driven through his foot… not to mention the gash in his head?  Were you actually stupid enough to think these were appropriate toys for a 4-year-old?  We’d like to have you talk to our social worker now.”

Definitely a reason for being sent to Mommy Jail!

Vladimir’s dad assured me I was over-reacting and so the tradition continued and the number of fish-plates in the driveway grew.  For years I thumped over them as I drove the car in and out of the driveway and swore at them each time my shovel came to a jarring halt during the snowy season.  (It wasn’t until Vladimir was 20 years old that he finally agreed to remove them.)

Another time, Vladimir and his dad decided to build their own roller coaster.  It was really cool!  They made 24 feet of grooved wooden track out of 2 x 4’s that actually went up and down and over which Vladimir could ride a little cart that they also created.  We would add “poppers” to the track to create extra thrills.  (The chances of being arrested for having contraband “poppers” in our possession were slim, so I agreed to go along with this plan.  They may yell at you for being stupid, but I don’t think they take you to Mommy Jail for that.)  Come winter, the track had to be put away. 

One day, Vladimir called me to the basement to ask a favor.  He was clad in his cute little engineer outfit as usual and had gotten out one of the sections of roller coaster train track.  He was laying down on it and wanted me to tie him to the tracks.  Okay, I’d play along…

I did such a good job, Vladimir looked as though he’d been tied there by Snidely Whiplash himself!   Then Vladimir wanted me to leave him there like that.  I went back upstairs and went about my business and all was quiet from the basement.  The more I worked, the more uneasy I became… 

This would be the perfect time for someone to come visit, (for example, the social worker from the hospital,) discover I had my child tied up to railroad tracks in the basement and turn me in to the Mommy Police.  Mommy Jail was definitely looming in the distance.

When I rushed back downstairs to untie him, Vladimir was laying quietly and contentedly, wondering why I was in such a state.  Poor Vladimir… once again I took all his fun away by insisting he had to let me untie him.   Worse, I made him promise never to go to school and tell everyone I had tied him up in the basement and left him to rot. 

Lucky for me Vladimir’s a great kid… or else he could still be holding this one over my head to this day! 

Mommy Jail still lurks!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Other Shoe (30M2DoW: Day 20)

Where did it go?  She'd often heard that phrase about waiting for the other shoe to drop, but this was ridiculous.

They'd been hiking for hours and all she wanted to do was rest her feet for a few minutes.  The cool water from the stream was so soothing.

Wouldn't you know, that was when the dog would appear out of nowhere and steal her sneaker.  He ran with it a ways up the path, turning back to see if she was going to play his little game.  When she looked away, he dropped the sneaker as she hoped he would.... and ran back to grab the other one.  The game was afoot as far as the dog was concerned.

If she'd worn hiking boots like her boyfriend suggested, this never would have happened.  Her feet wouldn't have been so sore and the boots would have been too heavy for the dog to toy with.  But there was no way she'd give him the satisfaction of admitting he was right.

So she pretended she didn't care... until the dog playfully flipped the sneaker up in the air and it landed in the middle of the stream.  The other shoe had literally dropped.

Jumping up, she was met with gales of laughter from her companion as she tried to retrieve the shoe from the stream that was quickly going from soothingly cool to treacherously icy.  Slipping and sliding on the mossy rocks, she nearly lost her balance twice.

Then, just as she was about to reach the shoe, the current swept it away and she simultaneously fell.

Oh, that grating laugh.  Damn him.

* * * * * * *

Hike over to see who else is participating in the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge... before the other shoe drops.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Little Things (30M2DoW: Day 19)

As the cameras rolled outside the courthouse, reporters were speculating on what caused the woman to savage her husband with a chef's knife as he slept.

By all accounts, they had a solid marriage, living in a large home in the most affluent neighborhood in the city.  They had tickets to the theater and were active in their church.  Both volunteered for area non-profit groups.  They had answered phones on so many PBS telethons that people thought they must work for the local station.

She had been the chairwoman of last year's Charity Ball.  They raised more money than ever before under her leadership.  Her husband had looked dashing as she entered the ballroom on his arm, beaming.  Who would have thought there was trouble in paradise.

Their children were grown now and were also pillars of the community.  Both she and her husband doted on their grandchildren, taking them on trips to exotic places.  They introduced them to the wildlife sanctuary in Kenya, went trekking in Nepal and took them to visit the orphanage they sponsored in Malawi.

Outwardly, there was nothing to indicate that there was strife in the marriage, let alone enough to cause such a brutal carnage.

When the reporters finally got their interview, all she could say was, "It was the little things."

His grating laugh,
the way he left the toilet seat up,
the remnants of shaving cream in the sink,
the winks he'd give waitresses,
the attention he gave to the cats,
the ever so soft slurping of coffee in the morning,
the constant humming while he worked,
the way he always stopped for yellow lights,
the muddy footprints in the kitchen after a walk.
But most of all it was the grating laugh.

Nothing big or earth shattering... just 35 years of niggling annoyances.  Little things she thought about as she plunged the knife over and over and over again into his chest.

* * * * * * * * *

Now, go on over to see who else is participating in "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" before Nicky and Mike get annoyed with you and start sharpening the cheese knives.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Home at Last (30M2DoW: Day 18)

It had been a long week.  

Whoever said it would be fun to chaperone the middle school class trip to Toronto was wrong.  Raging hormones, silly pranks, surly teens... what had she been thinking?

It was bad enough that some of the kids jumped in the fountain right before dinner.  Worse was the stink bomb in the dorm.  Where do they find those things?

What did her in, though, was when her top student, Nicky, and Nicky's best friend Mike snuck off in the middle of the night to get tattoos to commemorate the trip.  How was she going to explain that to their parents?  Somehow, she didn't think they'd be thrilled that their children now had tiny wedges of swiss cheese permanently imprinted on their shoulders.  

Yes, it had been a long week.  She kept telling herself that someday it would make a great story.

Someday... but not tonight, she thought as the bus pulled into the school parking lot.

Home at last!  Thank god almighty, she was home at last!

* * * * * * * * * * *

Head on over to Nicky & Mike's place to check out their tattoos... and check in with the rest of the gang who decided to tackle this prompt for the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Whatever, Dude (30M2DoW: Day 17)

I spend my days with little kids.  I like to think it keeps me young.  After so many years of teaching, you'd think there wouldn't be too many surprises.  You'd be wrong, though.

Most are delightful surprises.  Others not so much.

Like the child who used to tell me to "fuck off".  Charming.  His parents eventually pulled him from my class because I was "the worst teacher ever".  Dad was a bouncer at a local bar and he felt it was wrong of me to deny his child the pleasure of pounding other kids simply because they glanced his way.  He thought it was important for his child to learn to defend himself and felt his child was justified in telling me to "fuck off".  Whatever, dude.

Happily, those instances are the exception to the rule.  Most of the kids I work with are engaging, thoughtful, creative people and their parents are appreciative of the work I do.  That's why I left my administrative job to return to the classroom.

But I still worry about what happens to the ones I lose.  The children whose families, for whatever reason, aren't open to what I have to offer to their children.  Sure, I can say, "Whatever dude." But it still hurts.

* * * * * * * * *

Now, head on over to Nicky & CheesyMike's place to see who else is participating in "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing".

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Music (30M2DoW: Day 16)

When the child was very small, his parents noticed that he was different than other children.  He watched them carefully and was always attentive to what they said and did.   But he never responded to their voices with words.

They kept waiting for the first babbles of communication, yet the babbles never came.  Their home remained quiet.  The raucous abandon they witnessed from children at play groups was foreign to them.  Their child remained silent.

Except for the music.  When music was playing, the child came alive.  He found his voice.

At first it was a bobbing motion as he rocked in his baby seat.  Then sounds began to emanate from his throat.  Amazingly, the sounds were in perfect pitch with the notes coming from the stereo speakers.

They were in awe of this tiny person who could not produce a spoken word, but who could create the sweetest of tones.

To them, it was a miracle.

To him, it was life itself.

It would be years before he spoke his first words, but his path was already laid out for him.  His world revolved around his music.  Music would sustain him, provide a career and lift him beyond the mundane.

His once quiet life became rich beyond words.

* * * * * * * * * *

Be sure to visit the other writers participating in the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge to hear more on today's theme of "Music".

Friday, February 15, 2013

Or Else! (30M2DoW: Day 15)

"You'd better write every day", Nicky said. "Or else!"

Or else what?  What are you going to do if I miss a day?  I mean... it's not like you live right down the street and can come over and kick my ass if I don't write something every day.

Yeah, what are you going to do, CheesyMike?  Withhold cheese from me indefinitely?

Write every day...

Alright!  Alright!  I'm writing!

Geesh!  Who knew you two would be the type to take it out on the Hamster?

* * * * * * * * *

Now, for the love of all that's sacred... please go over to the Cheese Shack and find out who else is participating in the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" today.  (Or it might be curtains for the Hamster.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where Can I Get a Good Blintz? (30M2DoW: Day 14)

Well, here it is, the half-way mark in this month-long "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.  Having made it this far, it's time for a celebration!  Anybody know where I can get a good blintz?  A blintz is always good for a celebration, isn't it?  Maybe fill it with some strawberries and whipped cream?

Yeah, that works for me!  

As part of the half-way celebration, I'd like to echo what Dufus said yesterday.  Much as I rant and rave about how miserable this writing challenge is, I appreciate the opportunity to stretch my mind and take my writing in a few directions it might not otherwise have gone.

I also enjoy going around to visit everyone who participates to see what they wrote, (and not just so I can flagellate myself afterward for not thinking of something so clever or poignant.)  I enjoy the camaraderie and the connections I make.  It's what makes this whole writing thing worthwhile!

So fly on over to Nicky & Mike's place to enjoy a cheese blintz and see who else is still hanging on.  It will be the perfect Valentine's Day gift to yourself!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Unintended (30M2DoW: Day 13)

I have a hard time thinking of my former spouse as "my ex."  I think I'd prefer to call him "my unintended".

After all, I intended to stay married until one of us was dead.  I was from the old school, where you just didn't get divorced.  Nobody in my family was divorced.  Divorce was what "other people" did.  I couldn't imagine not being with my husband.

Until one day he simply wasn't there anymore.

Now, almost ten years later, I have a hard time remembering why we stayed together for so long.  (Nearly 30 years if you count the time we lived together before we got married.) The person I fell in love with was long gone.  Not what I intended, but it happened.

"Unintended" suits him now.

Oops.... sorry!  That was unintended.

* * * * * * * *

To check out who intends to stay in this writing challenge, go check things out over at CheesyMike and Nicky's place.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Day I Met Abraham Lincoln (30M2DoW: Day 12)

Working her way through college hadn't been easy.  The low wages at the pizza joint were supposed to be offset by tips, but seriously?  The university clientele wasn't known for being great tippers.

It had been a long night, with the music from the bar next door reverberating through the walls of the tiny restaurant.  "Driving that train, high on cocaine..."  Another Dead tribute band was droning on into the early hours of the morning.

Meanwhile, the old radio in the kitchen was fighting back with a little Carly Simon.

"In a small moment, in the restaurant, 
where she worked the late night shift.
She shortchanged a sailor and made five.
You could never really call it a theft,
Just a little lie,
Swept up in her apron
And kept as a well-deserved gift..."

That was the moment she decided it was time to meet Mr. Lincoln.

The next patron who stumbled in looking for a slice never noticed the difference as he shoved his change into his pocket and returned to the drunken revelry next door.

* * * * * * * * *

No, this one is not autobiographical, although I did sling pizzas in college back in the early 70's.  Now go visit Nicky and Mike for a large one with extra cheese.  While you're there, you can check out who else is playing in today's "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" game.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Road Trip (30M2DoW: Day 11)

The car careened down Kensington Road at breakneck speed, the air laden with the remnants of curry.  The Anglican archbishop's muffled shouts from the trunk broke the silence.  "Whr the dffl er y' takin' meh?"

"What was that?" asked the man in the dapper suit.

"No time for questions!" shouted Boom Boom.  "I didn't come all this way just to be beaten by that evil genius, Max Tunguska.  Now, what's next on the list?"

"We have to stop... I'm out of coffee!" came a mewling voice from the back seat.  It was the rather diminutive lass who had just come along for the ride.

"No time!  There's no coffee on the list!"

"Well, the next thing on the list is a pair of the Prime Minister's underwear..."

"To Downing Street!"

There were only five items left on the list.  Time was of the essence.

Suddenly, the car came screeching to a halt.

"I'll be back in a minute!"

The older woman jumped out of the car and jabbed a knitting needle into the tire of a waiting vehicle.

"Silly man... leaving the car idling on the side of the road like that!"

As the car sped off once again, the man from Cambridge lamented, "Uh... I don't think that was Max's caravan."

Road trip... when combined with a scavenger hunt, you never know what might happen.

 * * * * * * * * * *

There's still time to stop over at Nicky and CheesyMike's place to see who else is participating in the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge today.  And while you're there, do you mind snatching up some Caerphilly cheese for me?  I think it's on the scavenger hunt list.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catch-Up Day (30M2DoW: Days 7-10)

The winter wonderland outside my window yesterday... note street sign knocked down by snowplow.

Please forgive me... I've been hibernating, what with the snow and all.  While I was asleep, it seems I've missed a few days of the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.  What's that?  You didn't notice?   Well, let me catch you up anyway....

Day 7: Texting

My son's been living at home since he graduated from college.  (That seems to be happening in a lot of households, lately.)  Turns out, he's a pretty good roommate, so I let him stay here at the Crap Shack while he saves up money to get his own place.  I work 8 to 5 and he works 4 to midnight, so we rarely see each other.  He usually sends me a text on his break around 9 p.m.  Just to let me know he's alive... in case I didn't already figure that out by the extra dishes left in the sink.  That's about the extent of my texting.  Enough said about texting...

Day 8:  French

I audited a French class at the University of Rochester back in the early 80's.  It was soon after I was married and my spouse also registered for the course so we could have some together time.  He went to the first couple of classes with me, then started bugging out so he could go to the library instead.  Turns out he was meeting up with a co-worker... to make out in the stacks.  Ou est mon mari?  Didn't bode well for extended marital bliss.  But because I'm a glutton for punishment, I remained married for another 23 years.  Enough said about French...

Day 9:  Fifteen Minutes

Yes, I've had my fifteen minutes of fame, as predicted by Andy Warhol.  Mine came a little late in life... actually about 3 months ago.   I almost missed it while I was taking a brief hiatus from obsessive compulsive internet immersion.  Turns out I was named by the Huffington Post as one of the top 7 women bloggers over the age of 50.  Go figure!  Enough said about fifteen minutes...

Day 10:  The Mayor

I've never met the mayor, but if I did, I'm sure he'd have a swell tie like Indigo's.

Indigo Roth ties a mean Eldredge.

So, if I ever move to England, I'm voting for Indigo for Mayor of Cambridge.  (So long as his friend, King, isn't also running... I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of King.)  Enough said about The Mayor...

Okay, I think I'm all caught up now.  Time to go back to bed.

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Now go check out the other writers who have been a bit more diligent than I have on keeping up with the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge.  When all's said and done, I'm sure they'll be having more than 15 minutes of fame as a result.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Haven (30M2DoW: Day 6)

Haven?  There is no haven from this interminable exercise in futility, also known as "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing".

My haven most days is what Vlad and I lovingly refer to as "The Crap Shack".  As of two months ago, it's actually paid for.  Yes, I am officially a home owner with no pesky mortgage.  It may be a crap shack, but it's now MY crap shack.

Even so, I do have a couple of havens to fall back on when I want a respite from the daily grind... and the endless "lake effect snow" in the winter.

Less than two months until I get to ditch this place for warmer climes.  Thank goddess for sisters who live in Florida so I don't have to!  Great in the winter, but get me back to New York for the summer. I don't like to sweat!

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Now, if you want to see what other safe havens people have found, wander on over to the Cheese Shack.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You Better Put Out (30M2DW: Day 5)

Nicky and Mike didn't exactly make it easy with these prompts for their "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" extravaganza.  You better put out a post every day, they said.  Hey... I don't put out for just anybody, you know!  But I'm feeling a little put out right about now.  Today's prompt could be what does me in.

But wait....

What with this being February and all, a certain curmudgeonly tune comes to mine.  No Valentine sappiness here folks... we got enough of that yesterday from Dufus.  But I think I will have done Dufus proud with this one.

Yeah, you better put out that big light soon, Nicky and Mike.  I can't take much more of this!

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Head on over to We Work For Cheese to see who else was put out by today's prompt.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Friendship (30M2DW: Day 4)

Anyone who knows me well knows I'm not exactly a sports aficionado.  Not surprising, given my tendency to fall down while walking... anything more strenuous is definitely out of the question.  No, to me sports are the things on Sunday television that make the regular shows run late so that it messes with my DVR.  Sports are just not on my list of the greatest things in life.

So, it may surprise you to hear that I was one of the millions of Americans sitting before a television yesterday, watching the Super Bowl.  Yes, me.

Then, again... it's not really that surprising.  It's really all about friendship... getting together with friends you haven't seen in awhile to hang out and talk.... and quaff a few beers... and eat Cheetos... and chips... with dip.  Mmmm.... diiiiipppp!

Yes, I watched the Super Bowl.   I confess I didn't pay attention to the entire thing... it was like the lights were flickering on and off in my sports brain.  I think the purple guys won... and they did have some damned fine commercials.

* * * * *

Now, be a friend and go over to Nicky and CheesyMike's place to see who else is participating in "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" today.  That's where my other friends hang out.  I can guarantee there will be cheese and there may even be some chips & dip left... if you hurry.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

And the Next Thing I Knew... (30M2DW: Day 3)

Back in high school we used to hack around doing stupid stuff.  One of my favorite things was “The Road Rally”.  It was kind of like a scavenger hunt, except in a car.

Imagine, if you will, a hoard of sixteen-year-olds who’d just learned to drive, tooling around town at unreasonable speeds, looking for markers that would determine the next clue toward a mysterious destination, all the while trying to look for short cuts.  

It was my first year of high school and the first time a boy asked me to do something with him.  I didn’t know what a Road Rally was at the time and I’m sure my parents didn’t either or they wouldn’t have let me go.  (This was long before movies such as Cannonball Run.)  But, when I told them it was sponsored by a church youth group, they figured it was okay.  They dropped me off at the church parking lot where I met up with my “team” of two boys and two girls and the next thing I knew, we were piled into an old Chevy coupe with only a sheet of paper with cryptic instructions to guide us. 

Turn up the radios, rev the engines and we’re off!

            ~Turn north out of the church parking lot.  (Nobody told us we’d need a compass.)
            ~Turn west at the “coffee cup”.  (In other words, look for a billboard or store sign with a coffee cup and hope you remember which direction is west.)
            ~Go as far as it takes to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and turn south.  (Huh?)
            ~Turn south when you see a pond.  (I thought we WERE going south!)
            ~Turn two blocks after you get the “OK”.  (Who’s going to give us an ok?)

            ~When you get to the ninth green, turn east.  (Seriously?  Are we supposed to be driving ON a golf course?  I don’t think that’s right.)
            ~Cut through the parking lot of the heathens.  (I guess that would be the Unitarian Church… now we’re back on track!)
            ~After 3 blocks, turn West.  (Do we count that alleyway?)
            ~Stop and get and Dilly Bar.  Save the wrapper to prove you actually stopped.  (The Dairy Queen, to be sure!  Why didn’t we read that clue first and go straight to the DQ?)
            ~Turn north until you get to the big D.  (That had to be the Dahl’s grocery store sign….or was it the lingerie store with the 36-D bra in the window?   As I said, there were teenage boys involved!)
Anyway, you get the picture.  Obviously I lived to tell the tale, but soon after “Road Rallies” went out of favor.  Maybe it was all the lost hub caps and the mysterious dents put in our parents' cars.  All I know is, it was my one and only road rally. 

Good times!  Good times!  

* * * * * * * *

Now... jump in the car and trundle on over to Nicky and Mike's Cheese Shop to see who else is participating in "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" today.  Tell them Boom Boom sent you!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hold On (30 Minus 2 Days of Writing: Day 2)

Well, here we are on Day 2 of 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing and already I'm trying my best just to HOLD ON.  Pretty early in the game for that.  Who came up with these prompts, anyway?  I think Nicky and Mike must have gotten into some bad cheese while making them up.

Good thing I've got friends out there to keep me focused and on task.  After all, we're all in this together.

I promise to do better tomorrow.

Now... go and check out who else is still holding on after the first day.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Cheesy in the 1950's (30 Minus 2 Days of Writing, Day 1: Cheesy)

I'm not known to be much of a gourmand.  I'm a child of the 50's.  It was a time when things seemed pretty simple.  Especially food.

The most common lunch at our house consisted of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  The bread was fluffy white Wonder Bread, the cheese Velveeta and the soup Campbell's.  My mother was definitely not grooming her children for careers as chefs.  It was bland comfort food.  We'd eat our lunch and listen to Art Linkletter tell stories on the radio.  Simple stories, simple food, simple people.

Not much has changed over the years, although nowadays I make my grilled cheese with whole wheat bread and cheddar or swiss cheese.  I've acquired a bit more of a palate, but I still crave comfort food on a cold winter day.  I'm cheesy like that.

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Those cheese hounds, Nicky and Mike, over at We Work for Cheese came up with an idea for a series of writing prompts for February.  It's called 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing.  In a weak moment I said I'd participate... what was I thinking?  Here we go again...

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