Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Life as a Juror

I just heard that my blogger friend, Linda Medrano, is in the midst of jury duty.  Most people dread the prospect.  Not me. Call me crazy, but I enjoy jury duty. And not just because it gets me out of work for a few days. No, it's because jury duty allows me to live the "Law and Order" dream... all the nitty gritty details of the case are revealed to you as you ponder whether to let the guy off or fry his ass.

It was about eight years ago that I got a summons from federal court.  As an open-minded, upstanding citizen, I was snapped up right away for a drug and weapons case. The first day was taken up with jury selection.  A slew of prospective jurors was paraded through the courtroom as people gave the judge excuses as to why they couldn't stay to enjoy the festivities.  It took an entire day just to find twelve of us, along with two substitutes, who had boring enough lives that we didn't mind spending the next two weeks with other like-minded boring people.  

There's a lot of down time when you're on a jury.  Half our time was spent sitting around in the jury room, noshing on snacks and doing crossword puzzles and reading while the lawyers hashed stuff out with the judge away from our prying eyes and ears.  The hardest part was not being able to go home and gossip about all the gory details with friends and family. (We weren't sequestered, but we had to pinky swear that we wouldn't talk about the case with anyone.)

Anyway, the highlights of the case for me were seeing all the charts and graphs and 8 x 10 color glossy photographs of the crime scene with circles and arrows and all that shit. Shell casings in kitchen drawers, loaded weapons laying around on couches next to empty Doritos bags and pizza boxes, baggies of drugs thrown down heat vents, more weapons thrown up on closet shelves.  Damn, those guys know how to decorate! The most appalling thing was seeing the photos of live ammunition thrown in a baby carrier. (For me, reason enough to lock the guys up and throw away the key.) Then there was getting the play-by-play of the raid and learning about flash-bangs and battering rams and all that good stuff from the SWAT team guys.  That's when the maps and diagrams of the crime scene came into play. (Sadly, though, no appearance by Officer Obie or any of the Law and Order gang.)

Finally, after a week and a half of all this swell entertainment, we got our instructions from the judge and were locked in the jury room.  As we were deliberating, we could ask to see any of the evidence. The only restriction was that we couldn't have the guns and the ammunition at the same time.  Go figure. Nobody wanted to admit it at first, but what we really wanted to see was the crack cocaine and the cut away pop bottles that the defendants stored their merchandise in. Why?  Obviously, those of us who lead such sheltered lives were damned curious about what it looked like. I have to give credit to the drug dealers...those bottles were actually quite ingenious. And now I know what those teeny tiny baggies I occasionally see littering parks are. The things you learn!

All, in all, I found jury duty to be quite exhilarating and the judge made us feel proud that we were doing our civic duty. The government even sprang for dinner while we were deliberating. The only time I had a moment's pause was after the trial was over.  The judge came in to talk to us and answer any remaining questions we had about serving on the jury.  Then he said there was an officer available to escort us to our cars as we left.  Huh?  You mean there's danger involved?  Weren't the guys led away in handcuffs?  Turns out the family members who were wailing in court as the verdict was read were probably pissed. Now I get it... Oh, crap!

So, Linda, enjoy your time on the jury.  Hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I did.  And when I finally get to come visit, we can sit around and drink and trade stories and laugh about it together. That is, if you make it to your car safely.  Good luck with that.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

In Which I Learn The Customer is NOT Always Right

You know how every once in a while, something hits you smack in the face and knocks you for a loop?  A couple of weeks ago a friend posted this article on Facebook:  The Top 5 Reasons "The Customer is Always Right" is Wrong.  For most people, it was an "interesting article."  For me, it was an eye-opener as to why I don't make a good administrator.

I still have angst over my time as the director of a small, private school.  I had been a teacher there for over ten years and when the director left I thought I might be able to take on a new role.  I was recently divorced and ready for a change.

Big mistake!

The trouble was, I was a people pleaser.  I felt I needed to be able to please everyone, but in the end I ended up pleasing no one.  Without meaning to, my efforts to satisfy the parents, (i.e. the customers,) ended up discounting my most important resource... the wonderful teachers with whom I had always enjoyed a collegial relationship.  By trying to help resolve a few parents' unreasonable issues, I created a hostile environment for the people I should have been protecting.  No longer was the school I adored a fun and generative place for me to be.  I had gone from being a popular teacher to being "The Man". After three years of ever increasing anxiety over my inability to pull families and teachers together toward a common goal, I was a basket case.  I knew it was time for me to leave.

I've been recovering from this experience for the past five years and while I knew I had gotten past the initial heartbreak and regained most of my confidence, I was still uneasy. Then came this article, which made me slap my forehead and say, "Duh!  Of course!"  It all made sense.  As a result, I think I have finally been able to bring some closure to that episode in my life.

It's not easy for me to admit openly that I was such a complete and utter failure at something.  (I don't think that's ever easy for anyone.)  But it's important for my growth to do so.  I owe a deep and sincere apology to each of the fine teachers who were a part of the school at that time.  I let you down at a time when you needed propping up and for that I am truly sorry.

Yet as painful as my administrative experience was, I wouldn't be the same person I am today without it.  Happily, I can now say that I am thriving once again in the classroom.  Not only that, since leaving my old school I have become a much better teacher.  The work I have done with active participatory learning and conflict resolution in my new classroom has clarified for me what it means to be a teacher.  I am filled with gratitude that I have been able to learn from a painful experience and that I am once again where I was always meant to be.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hint Fiction

Speeding down the hill on her bicycle, she threw up her arms and yelled, "I love life!" just as the branch fell from the tree.

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Jayne got tired of us sitting around on our butts, not writing anything, so she gave us a challenge... Hint Fiction!  Tell just a hint of a story in 25 words or less.  Check out the others who played over at injaynesworld.  

Looking Her Best: A Magpie Tale/Hint Fiction Entry

It was always important to her to look her best.  Especially this one last time.

* * * * * * * * *

So, Jayne offered us a writing challenge this past week.  Hint Fiction: a 25 word or less tale that leaves things open to interpretation.  Then today Tess put up this image as a Magpie Tales prompt.  The two go hand in hand!  Check out both their sites to see who else took up the gauntlet.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Wooters' Hooters" or "That time when my boob went to Florida without me"

I took another little detour from life recently, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine. For three weeks, no matter the weather, (and there WAS weather,) I faithfully showed up at the Lipson Cancer Center every morning at 8:15 for radiation treatment.

Let me tell you, it's all fun and games at the radiation department. You get to get tattoos, get naked, (well, partially,) and chill out to some pretty radical light shows. I was affectionately know as "Woot" by Sam, Paul & Amanda, the radiation technicians. They were quick to tell me I had "the best name, EVER!" I'm guessing it tickled their fancy to say they were treating Wooters' Hooters.

Anyway, I'd lay down on the table, put my arms above my head, and after lining things up with my new tattoos, they'd start drawing circles and X's on my boob with a sharpie to show where to shoot those ray beams. After they were done, they'd scurry out of the room and I'd lay perfectly still while the monster machine rotated around me and zapped the hell out of my boob.  

Basically easy and painless. No side effects other than a bit of fatigue, so I continued working full-time throughout the treatments.  

About a week after I "graduated" my boob began to get tender and change color, just as the doctor told me it would. Yes, my cancer boob started to look like it went to Florida without me. I slathered it with aloe vera lotion which helped a bit.  Next it got all raw and wearing a bra became impossible. Once that phase was over, I developed thick, dark, leathery skin all around the nipple and things started to itch.  Good times.

Now things are pretty much back to normal. For the time being anyway. Next up on the schedule... anti-estrogen meds for the next five years. Common side effects from those... same as menopause symptoms, particularly hot flashes. Been there, done that so I know what it feels like. It will seem like Florida in August all over again. Oh joy, oh rapture.

So look out world... my inner bitch is ready to rock and roll!

Friday, February 28, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Final Episode

T.S. Eliot was sadly mistaken.  April is not the cruelest month.

February had been brutal.  I spent the entire month trying to outrun Nicky Eff, perpetrator of the most heinous crime to hit the internet this decade.

In the end, to resist had been futile.  Nicky had me dead to rights, right there in the hydrangeas.  There was nothing for it... I had to write something for her 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge.  That was the only way to get her to leave me in peace.  (And get my clothes back.)

But wait...  from out of the shadows stepped another figure, this one in a trench coat and fedora.  Yes, it was Jack Gouda.  Ever the gentleman, he took off his trench coat and handed it to me, saying, "Here, toots, put this on. Don't embarrass yourself any further, eh?"  (I noted that he didn't think that Katherine and Reffie should be at all embarrassed.)

"Please," I said.  "Put me out of my misery!  You're the only one who can."

With that, Gouda drew his .44 Magnum from his holster and leveled it at me.

And then my brain exploded.

Out spewed every single one of the prompts Nicky had listed for the 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge.  And each one plastered itself onto the laptop Nicky was so conveniently holding.

Not only that... Henry, Max, Dufus, Maryse, Bud, Linda, Jayne, Margaret, Ramon, Reffie, Cooter and the gang, Katherine... they were all there.

Yes, Nicky finally succeeded in having her way with me and it would be a long time before I recovered from the trauma.

So take it from me, dear readers... the next time someone invites you to participate in a writing challenge, be afraid.  Be very afraid!

And don't say I didn't warn you.

Never to be continued.... I hope.

* * * * * * * * *

Now, get yourself over to the Cheese Shack one last time to see who else participated in the 2nd/3rd Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing extravaganza.  (And while you're there, order up a commemorative t-shirt from P.J.!)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 27

How did you find out?

There we were, Katherine, Reffie and I, laughing hysterically in the hydrangeas.  We had no idea how we were going to get home without any clothes, not to mention the fact that we had no idea where in the hell we were.  All we did know was that we didn't much care what anyone thought of us anymore.

Maybe it was the anticipated end of this interminable writing challenge that was making us giddy. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to come up with something profound (or even stupid) to say about a prompt thought up by someone you've never even met, day after day after day after day after day?

Just as we were catching our collective breath again, there was a voice from outside the foliage.

"Looking for these?"

Our clothes were being dangled over our heads.  Worse, next to our clothes was Axe-Murderer-Fake-Barbie!

Oh, no!  It couldn't be!  And yet it was...


"How did you find out where I was this time?" I moaned.

To be continued...

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There aren't too many more chances to see who actually agreed to participate in the 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge.  Head over to We Work for Cheese before it's too late!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 22, 23, 24, 25, 26... Whatever

There we were, nearing the end of the 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge and I had yet to succumb to to Nicky's demand that I participate.  Although I was perturbed with Nicky's persistence in trying to track me down, I had to admit it had been a blast hanging out with some of the folks out there along the way.  So much drama, though...

I kept telling myself, "It's only a dream."  It wasn't possible that Nicky would continue to show up in so many places.  And yet is seemed every time I turned around, there she'd be again!

There are things you don't do... attach threatening notes to hunks of cheese, send your kid to  demolish cars and kidnap people, become a peeping Nicky, show up at a dinner party unannounced.  I mean, really... how gauche!  Then again, maybe it's just a Canadian thing.

After the "lost weekend" at the Rack 'n Roll, it was time to move on before Nicky saw Ramon's light display on social media and figured out where I was again.  So Reffie, Henry and I headed east.  (Ramon stayed behind as Ethyl hired him on as the full time lighting specialist at the Rack 'n Roll.)

We didn't stop until we hit the Outer Banks where we ran into Katherine.  We were sitting out on Corolla Beach, enjoying some beers and a few shots of tequila when I mentioned to Katherine how exhausted I was from this whole ordeal. And then she said, maybe we should go all Axe-Murderer-Fake-Barbie on Nicky's ass.  Sort of like a "Chucky" remake thing.  "Or at least steal her shoes," offered Reffie, "She can't go anywhere without her bitchin' shoes."

(If Fake Barbie can go this bad ass with nails, imagine what she could do with an axe.)
The more we drank, the better our ideas sounded.  We were walking along the beach, talking and laughing and thinking up stupid stuff to do to Nicky.  The weather had turned unseasonably warm, so we shed our shoes and sweaters.  One thing led to another and before we knew what happened, we were naked and lost.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Now that I've caught you up with what's been happening on the road, head over to We Work for Cheese to catch up with the bonafide participants of this writing extravaganza.

Monday, February 24, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 21

Yes, I made that

It turned out that we spent four days with the gang down at the Rack 'n Roll.  When I finally crawled out from under the pool table, I stumbled outside into the parking lot.  There, above the Rack 'n Roll was the most astonishing display I had ever seen.

"This is for you, Nicky!" was emblazoned in Christmas tree lights along with this image...

Ramon stepped up behind me and whispered, "Yes, I made that."

I don't think I have ever loved a man more than I did Ramon at that moment.

To be continued. . .

* * * * * * * * *

Follow the pointing finger over to We Work for Cheese to see who is all caught up with Nicky's prompts for the 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge.

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 20


When we walked into the Rack 'n Roll, the scene we saw before us was total chaos.  There was yelling, there was kissing and there was crying babies.  Some woman named Vera was caterwauling about losing an election while everyone else ignored her.

We had picked up Reffie on the way to the Rack 'n Roll and she insisted that even Evil Twin never behaved that badly.

Hard to imagine.

Another woman, name of Ethyl, was giving me the evil eye until she saw I was with Ramon. Somehow that seemed to calm her.  Funny, though, because usually Ramon has the opposite effect on women.

The only thing that was missing was a guy in a trench coat and fedora.

I walked up to the first person I saw and introduced myself.  Turned out it was Cooter, the new mayor.

"Cooter," I said, "My name's Boom Boom and this here's Reffie and this other one here's Ramon. We're on the lam from some dame named Nicky and we need to know if we can lay low here in your town for a few days."  (I made up for the lack of the guy in the fedora with my 30's pool hall lingo.) "Ramon here can pay for our keep in Christmas tree lights, if'n you've got mind to put some message in lights."

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Yeah, yeah... so I missed a few days!  Last thing I knew I was talking to Cooter and the next thing I knew I woke up under a pool table.  Dang!  I hate when that happens!  The next few episodes will be along shortly.  Now, get on over to the Cheese Shack to see what everyone else has been up to while I've been out of commission!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 19

Tastes like chicken

I ran out of the House of Many Dogs so quickly, I almost forgot one of the dogs.  I ran back in just long enough to thank Linda and Alex for the hospitality and to grab Henry, (along with one of the knives from the little green man.)

Ramon, (Linda's Paraguayan next door neighbor that she had been trying to set me up with,) was out washing his car and stopped me as I ran past.  He said he'd take me anywhere I wanted to go, so we hopped in his car and took off.

Ramon had just whipped up a bunch of asado with achuras, so we had something to eat along the way. I'd never had asado with achuras, but Ramon assured me it was delicious.  I asked if it tasted like chicken, but Ramon said, no, that it was made with organ meats. Organ meats?  Uh, no thank you! Ramon may be a hunk, but his idea of a hunk of meat to use for cooking was suspect.  At least it looked better than poutine.

But I digress... we still had to figure out where to go.

I had learned from Linda that, (in addition to being a hunk,) Ramon was an expert at stringing Christmas lights. Things in the Christmas light business were slow at the moment.  I think it was the time of year.  But Ramon had heard there was a place down Texas way that needed some lights strung. A place called the Rack 'n Roll.

Sounded like as good a place as any to head next.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Ramon and I may be on the road awhile, so grab some asado and head on over to We Work for Cheese to see who is participating in 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing today.

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 18


The last thing I screamed at  said to Nicky as I ran out the door of the House of Many Dogs was....

"There are no rules?"

Participate only when and if you feel like it.
We won't hate on anybody who decides not to play.
We certainly won't hunt you down and drag you back to your computer if you decide not to participate...

Sure, Nicky!  Sure you won't do those things!

Better watch out... your pants are smoking!

Lies and the Lying Liars that Tell Them
...I think Al Franken had Nicky in mind when he wrote that book.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Yeah, I'm a day late and a dollar short on this one.  So shoot me.  I'm on the run again, so while you're waiting to see where I'll surface next, stop over at We Work For Cheese to see how everyone else is faring.

Monday, February 17, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 17

I faked it

Bud had become a boon companion, but I was starting to feel like American beer and driving a big rig in the snow were not my cup of tea. So I had Bud drop Henry and I off at the nearest airport. I left the axe with Bud since TSA is not so accommodating when it comes to weapons.

Without the axe, I knew I would need a place that would be welcoming... and warm.  There was only one place that fit the bill.

The House of Many Dogs. Yes, we were off to see Zoe, Harry, Alex and Linda.  Henry and I would feel right at home there. Linda even had a good substitute for the axe.

That Linda's my kind of woman!

The only problem I could foresee was that Linda adores Nicky. I had to be careful what I said in front of her.  It was hard to keep talking about how wonderful Nicky is, (I faked it,) but I managed to steer the conversation away from such volatile subjects for the better part of the first evening.

The next day was splendid.  Linda and Alex took me all over town.  (With Zoe, Harry & Henry tagging along.)  I'd been meaning to visit for years and was so glad I finally made it to the west coast.  In fact, I almost forgot about why I was there in the first place.

Now that Linda had a fabulous new kitchen, she and Alex decided to make me a gourmet dinner at home and invite a few friends over.

We'd already been through two bottles of California wine when there was a knock on the door...

Jayne!  (of the size 4 ass)  Margaret!  (of the goats)  Oh, happy day!  Two of my other favorite bloggers!  This was going to be a fabulous night!

We'd just opened our fifth bottle of wine when there was another knock on the door.

Oh, crap!  Please tell me it wasn't true!

I was in big trouble!

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Head on over to the Cheese Shop to see who's participating in the 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge today.  And please... take Nicky with you!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 16

Shakespearean English

As I'm on the road looking for a new place to hide out from Nicky, today's installment of On the Road with 30M2DoW is being brought to you by none other than Vlad... my progeny.  Enjoy!  (I know I did.)

As we were preparing to cross the border, I began to make small talk with Bud.  “So, what brought you all the way up here?”

“Well, I’ll tell you…these Canadians…always trying to act proper…like they invented the English language or somethin’!  I tell ya!  Us Boomer folk have had an axe to grind with them ever since the war of 1812.”

He continued, “My great great great great grandfather was killed while serving in the New York Militia defending Grand Island.”

I inquired, “So what, are you going to declare a one man war on Canada or something?”

“I tried that back in 1995, but both Clinton and Pataki said I didn’t have the authority! They didn’t know what they were talkin’ about!  I was the highest ranking Law Enforcement Officer in Niagara County!  But I’ve done one better this time!—I’ve sabotaged their Shakespearean English!”

Bud was starting to come across as rather strange by now, yet I was intrigued to find out more.  “What do you mean?”

“I made it back to Toronto to settle one last score.  This time with Maple Leaf Inc., the largest publisher of Canadian materials…always spelling words all messed up…like fav-OUR, col-OUR, you hear?”

“Yes, that is the way they spell in Shakespearean English”

“Well I infiltrated their corporate building, hacked into their network and performed a spell check on every single file they had…with an American version of Microsoft Word that I was able to download onto the server!”

“That will definitely make things hard for them!”

“And without their Shakespearean English, they will be so demoralized!”

The topic quickly changed to something insignificant and I thought it to be nothing more than the crazy ramblings of a conspiracy-theorist type.  We crossed into the States without incident and before I knew it, Bud was pulling into a rest stop.

“I gotta check on my load, I’ll be right back!”

Fifteen minutes went by, so being curious to see what Bud was doing, I proceeded to the rear of the truck, where I found him rummaging through one of many boxes with maple leafs printed on the front of them.  Bud turned to me “Check this out”.  He chucked a paperback at me.  Not thinking fast enough, it bounced off me and landed on the ground, so I picked it up.

The title read “A Lot To Do About Not Very Much”.

To be continued....

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Head on over to Nicky's place to see who's actually writing their own post today and I'll catch up with you all tomorrow!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 15

My ears are ringing.

Now that I had to leave Chez Dufus, you're probably wondering where I'll go next in my quest to avoid Nicky and the 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge.  But you're going to have to wait a few days to find out as I'll be on the road.  What I can tell you is this...

I made it over the border by hitching a ride with the first vehicle that came by with a New York license plate.  It was a big rig out of Niagara Falls.  Beggars can't be choosers.  No telling where I'd end up.

As I hopped in the rig, the driver introduced himself.  "Pleased to meet you!  I'm Bud Boomer." He looked jovial enough.  Needless to say, when I told him my name, he burst out with a guffaw to rival that of Dufus. When he finally caught his breath he asked, "Where are you headed, Boom Boom?" (Convulsing into another fit of laughter.)

"Good question!," I said.  "I guess wherever the road takes me.  Preferably away from the snow." (And away from Nicky.)

"Then that's good enough for me!," said Bud, wiping the tears from his eyes. "I needed to get across the border anyway to pick up some decent beer.  All they have here is Molson and Labatt's."  *shudders*

Now, truth be told, I enjoy a good Canadian beer, but I wasn't about to get into a brawl over it and start an international incident with a compatriot.

And so we moved south.  I sat up front with Bud and Henry found a cozy spot in back. Bud was mightily impressed by the ax and was happy to let me stow it under the front seat.

12 hours and 680 miles later we were still in snow country.  How could that be?

But we picked up some American swill along the way and had a good time singing and telling jokes. By the end of the day my ears were ringing.  But by god, that Bud was an entertaining fellow!

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Since I was on the road today, I'm a little late with this latest episode of "On the Road with 30M2DoW".  Hey... don't mock me.  Can I help it if I get carsick when I try to read or write in the car? Go on over to the cheese shop and check out who actually got something written early in the day.  I've got to get some shut eye before I hit the road again bright and early in the morning.

Friday, February 14, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 14

It has to be aliens.

It was a dark and stormy night in Ottawa.  I had been incommunicado for 24 hours, but I was finally ready to make my move.

There was only one problem.  I needed a car.  Do you know how difficult it is to rent a car in Canada when you're not Canadian?  I was a stranger in a strange land.

As I sat at the counter at the rental car company, trying to explain why I needed to take a car from Canada to some unknown location, the poor woman behind the counter was bewildered.

"But, ma'am... I can't rent you a car unless you tell me where you are taking it."

Seriously?  She obviously didn't understand the gravity of my situation.  If I told her where I was taking the car, Nicky could trace my movements.  I'd be better off catching a ride with aliens for all the progress I was making.

That was it!  It had to be aliens!  Well, maybe not that kind of alien.  I just needed to find another American willing to take me over the border.

To be continued...

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Will Boom Boom find a ride?  Check in tomorrow to find out.  In the meantime, check in with Nicky over at We Work for Cheese to see who else is participating today in "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 13


I could tell there was a bad moon rising and I needed some time to figure out what I was going to do next.

It was time to go dark.
I became incommunicado.

To be continued...

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I'm not sure anybody else is talking today, but you still might want to check out what's happening at the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" challenge over at We Work for Cheese.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 12

One Bite

Dufus had been out following up a lead, temporarily trading in the fedora for a Stetson.  We weren't sure if he'd be back before I had to leave.  After all, it had been more than three days and Henry and I had just about worn out our welcome.

The question was, where to go next?  If I went home, Nicky would be sure to find me.  I had to keep moving.

I decided to put it out there to the blogosphere.  So I threw out a line to see if anyone would bite.  All I needed was one bite.

To be continued...

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Where will Boom Boom go next?  Who knows?  But while you're waiting with bated breath, check out who else is participating today in 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing at We Work for Cheese.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 11


While Dufus, Maryse and I were hanging out, quaffing a few beers at Rover's Rump, another conversation was going on about 100 miles or so to the East.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

*Nicky paces up and down the hallway, fuming*

Jepeto:  "What's wrong?"

Nicky:  "It's Boom Boom and Dufus.  They refuse to participate in the 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge this year."

Jepeto:  "So? You said there were no rules, so maybe they figured they didn't have to play."

Nicky:  "You don't get it!  It's not just that they're refusing to play along, they're being downright mean to me.  Did you see how Boom Boom tried to dismember me?  And I couldn't believe it when Dufus said I was a conniving witch!"

Jepeto:  "Well, at least they didn't call you a succubus."

Nicky:  "No, they didn't... but Ziva did.

Jepeto:  "Then why are you smiling?"

Nicky:  "She meant it in a good way.  And when Ziva started talking about how succubi wear kick-ass stiletto boots....  well...."

Jepeto:  *sigh*  "The two of you are incorrigible."

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Will Nicky get her boots?  Will Dufus and Boom Boom stop making disparaging remarks about Nicky?  Will anybody else actually come up with something for this silly prompt?  Check out who's participating in "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" over at We Work For Cheese.

Monday, February 10, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 10


Nicky was gone, but Dufus hadn't come home yet.  Sitting on the couch listening to some more Dylan, I happened to notice a weird doll propped up on the shelf.  Surely that had to have been a gift from Quirky Quirkster... that loony zombie loving blogger.

I picked it up and started giggling, thinking of all the things I could do to Nicky if we ever met.

It's so sad.  I used to be such a nice person with nary an evil thought in my head.  Nicky has a lot to answer for.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

After you've ordered up your "Dismember Me Nicky Look-alike Doll" from Think Geek, check out who else is thinking of dismembering Nicky today over at We Work For Cheese.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 9


Dufus had rushed off to who knows where.  Maryse and I figured we'd meet up with him at Rover's Rump a little later in the day.  In the meantime, we had a blast, talking about Dufus while he wasn't there and rearranging his album collection by color.  (Just to mess with him.)

It was late in the evening when we heard the garbage cans outside crashing around.  "Dufus is home!" we both said in unison, laughing and having a good time.  Perhaps it was the empty bottles on the kitchen counter that were responsible for our levity, but seriously, it had been an awesome day.

We were just about to go open the door leading out to the deck to let him in, when we noticed a pair of eyes peering in through the kitchen window.


How had she gotten Dufus's address?

There was only one thing to do.  We turned out the lights and turned up the tunes.

Go away from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I'm not the one you want, babe
I'm not the one you need
You say you're lookin' for someone
Whose vodka's never weak but always strong
To write your stupid blogs for you
Whether prompts are right or wrong
Someone to write each and every day

But it ain't me, babe
No, no, no, it ain't me, babe
It ain't me you're lookin' for

Go lightly from the ledge, babe
Go lightly on the ground
I'm not the one you want, babe
I'll only let you down
You say you're lookin' for someone
Who'll write for every stupid prompt
Someone to write your blog for you
Someone close to your evil heart
Someone who'll write for you and even more

But it still ain't me, babe
No, no, no, it sure ain't me, babe
It ain't me you're lookin' for

Go, melt back into the night
Everything inside is made of stone
There's nothing in here moving
An' anyway I'm not alone
You say you're looking for someone
Who'll pick up your vodka and all
To gather followers constantly
And to write every time you call
A lover for your life, and nothing more

But it ain't me, babe
No, no, no,it ain't me, babe
It ain't me you're lookin' for
(That would be Ziva.)  

Maryse whispered, "For once in my life, I'm actually glad Dufus has an album for every occasion."

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Now, go away from my window and go check out who else is writing about Dylan today over at We Work for Cheese.  (Just don't tell Nicky who sent you.)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 8


I slept in the next morning.  When I woke up the sun was high in the sky and there was music coming from downstairs.  At first I thought it was Dylan, but Dufus assured he we wouldn't be breaking out any Dylan until tomorrow.  He also called me a cretin that I could mistake anyone else for Dylan.  

"Sit down.  You're just in time for breakfast."

Damn... what was that glop he set before me?

I thought perhaps Dufus had brought up the dregs of his last meal, but he assured me this was the finest in Canadian Cuisine.  I wasn't aware there was such a thing as Canadian Cuisine.  

Dufus enlightened me.  "It's called poutine."

Poutine Cuisine.  The name suits it.

As I ran, gagging, for the powder room, I could hear Henry lapping up the gravy off the fries and cheese curds.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Looking for some more Canadian Cuisine?  Stop over at We Work For Cheese to see who else is damning Nicky today for starting the "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" all over again.  She might even have some cheese curds left to share with you.

Friday, February 7, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 7

Hint, Hint

Maryse and I stayed up late talking that night.  She confided how worried she was about Dufus.  How he'd become secretive and uncommunicative since February 1st.  "He's even taken to wearing a trench coat and fedora," she said.  "It's like he's hiding from something."

I admitted that I, too, had become rather paranoid in the past week.  "It's just this thing with Nicky.  For some reason, she keeps wanting us to do this writing challenge.  We try to get out of doing it, but she's so freakin' persistent!"

Maryse was shocked to hear how Nicky had been tracking my movements.  Just as I was about to reveal what I'd discovered in what I now call "The Dufus Papers", there was a crashing and banging in the front entryway.

It was Dufus, looking much the worse for wear.  His eyes were bloodshot and he reeked of stale beer and whiskey.

"So she's after you too, eh?" he said when he saw me.  "How long do you plan to hide out here?"

"Dufus, don't pester her", said Maryse.  "She's had a rough day and she doesn't need you hounding her."

At which point, Dufus tripped and fell onto the couch.  Henry jumped up next to him and proceeded to lick the pretzel crumbs out of Dufus's beard.

As Dufus attempted to fend off The Infernal Spawn of Evil, he grumbled, "All I'm sayin' is fish and house guests both start to stink after three days.  Hint, hint!"

I gathered I had three days before I had to move on.

To be continued...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 6


Well, I have to say there were a few words describing Nicky on those crumpled pieces of paper that shocked even me.  I was glad Max wasn't here to read them.  

Peu désordonnée?  Nicky est une connivence sorcière.
I'll show you scatterbrained!

Beneath the writing was a rather impressive doodle with Nicky's name written in Dufus's distinctive scrawl across the bottom of the page.

And Dufus used to be such a kind, thoughtful man.  What was this scheme of Nicky's doing to us?  Then on another scrap of paper I found:

Aide-moi, Maryse, avant de faire quelque chose que je vais regretter!

I already knew Dufus relied completely on the fair Maryse for his stability, so I figured it was time to head back to Chez Dufus to see if he'd made it back home yet.  I went to pay my tab, but as I approached the bar the man in the trench coat and fedora, (without even looking at me,) said, "C'est sur moi, petite amie.  It's on me, toots."  I nodded my thanks and went back out into the night, small dog in tow.

It had been nearly two years since I'd seen Maryse, but she recognized me right away and welcomed me with open arms.  "Mais bien sûr, vous allez rester avec nous pendant quelques jours !  But of course you'll stay with us for a few days."

Finally... a friendly face and a warm place to sleep for the night.  We'd sort the rest of it out in the morning.  It had been a long day.  A very long day.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Now, stroll on over to We Work for Cheese for your evening constitutional to see who else is making disparaging remarks about Nicky and her 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge today!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 5

The Empty Bottle

We entered the roadhouse and I headed toward the head, leaving Max at the bar with the Sarsaparilla I ordered for him.  As Henry follows me everywhere, including the bathroom, there was no need for additional subterfuge.  We did the only reasonable thing.  Henry and I climbed out the window.

Circling around to the front of the building I left a note for Max on the window of the cheese wagon, thanking him for his hospitality.  In other circumstances, it would have been a pleasure traveling with Max, but we had promises to keep.  (Yes, and miles to go before we could sleep.)  

We found our way out to Highway 50 and began thumbing our way west toward Ottawa.  I figured we could bunk with Dufus for a day or two before heading south again.  We caught a ride right away, which is surprising for a woman with a dog in one arm and an axe in the other.

It was pretty late when I knocked on the door of Chez Dufus.  Nobody answered.  There was a note stuck on the door, though.

"Maryse... gone down to the On The House pub.  Back soon."

Happily, the On The House is only a short walk from Dufus's house and Henry and I had not yet taken our evening constitutional.

Fifteen minutes later we entered the pub.  Looking around, the only person I saw was a guy in a trench coat and fedora sitting at the bar throwing back some Pabst beers with whiskey chasers.  I could tell Dufus had been there, though.  On a side table was an empty bottle and a bunch of crumpled up papers with "30M2DoW" scrawled across the top along with a bunch of what I figured were swear words in both English and French.

I ordered a beer and sat down to see if I could get any clues from the discarded papers.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Head on over to We Work for Cheese to check out who else is inspired by Nicky's & Mike's prompts for the 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 4

When Hell Freezes Over

Funny thing about back roads.  They always lead you in the most circuitous route to wherever you're going.  Makes you feel like hell will freeze over before you get to your destination.  In fact, we'd been on the road so long, I was beginning to think Max was taking me to Montreal instead of to the closest car rental establishment.  What was my first clue?

Well, besides the sun setting out the left window of the cheese wagon, it was also starting to get colder.  A lot colder.  And snowier.

Not to mention the fact that the road signs were in both French and English.

Damn!  I must have been asleep in the back of the van when we went through customs.

The trees began to thin and I started to notice a few ramshackle buildings where previously there had been none.  When we came to a road house that looked like it might have a clean bathroom I asked Max to pull over.  The bright sign over the door was both a welcome and, (at the same time,) a discouraging sight.

Yes, we were definitely in Quebec.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

Now, before you hit the head, head on over to We Work For Cheese to see who else is participating in today's 30M2DoW extravaganza.

Monday, February 3, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW: Episode 3

Temporary Insanity

First the mysterious cheese and sinister note at the rest area, then the Maxmobile?  I was beginning to think I was losing my mind.  Why was this happening to me?  I hoped it was only a temporary insanity.

I really hadn't planned to get caught up in Nicky's web of intrigue, but here I was, stuck in the back of a cheese wagon,  headed for who knows where. I was beginning to suspect that Nicky had somehow been responsible for the demise of Old Blue as well. Henry had started to whine, which wasn't helping my stress induced headache.

Before long we came to a fork in the road and Max looked over his shoulder to ask which way I thought we should go.

"What the hell," I thought.  "As long as we've come this far, let's go with the road less traveled."

Max smiled and replied, "I hear it makes all the difference."  He stepped on the gas and we veered off to the right.

To be continued...

* * * * * * * * *

As long as you've come along for the ride, be sure to stop by We Work For Cheese to see who else has has developed a fit of temporary insanity by participating in 30M2DoW today.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

On the Road with 30M2DoW

Episode 2: It Was No Accident

As I turned back toward the highway, Henry started to bark.  Incessantly.  I knew it had been a mistake to bring along the beast my son lovingly dubbed “The Infernal Spawn of Evil”.  But unlike cats, you can’t leave dogs home alone for long periods of time.  When he starts barking like that it’s usually a warning that something bad is about to happen.  Sure enough, shortly after the cacophony began, Old Blue began to sputter and shake.  I thought she had one more road trip left in her, but perhaps my mechanic had been right… it was time to turn her out to pasture and fork over the cash for a new means of transportation.  As I pulled Old Blue to the curb, an orange van appeared in my rear-view mirror.  I prayed the driver would take pity on us and stop so we could catch a lift to the next town.   The van began to slow, pulling off onto the side of the road. Closer and closer it came… until it bumped into Old Blue, sounding the death knell to her rusted chassis.  What the….?

It was no accident.  There in the driver seat, propped up on a bunch of old Montreal phone books, was Max.  Seriously, Nicky?  You had to send your kid to keep track of me?  

To be continued….

* * * * * * * * *

Yes, it's February, which means it's time for another round of 30M2DoW. (That's "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing" to the uninitiated).  Be sure to stop over at the We Work for Cheese to see who else Nicky and Cheesy Mike finagled into playing along.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

30M2DoW Begins

Episode 1: Gouda

It had already been a long, cold winter and it was only the end of January.  There was only one thing to do… get out of town.  I set my sights for Florida, but somehow made a wrong turn once I reached Interstate 81.  I ended up heading north instead of south.  A rookie mistake.  No problem, though.  At the first rest area I’d turn around.  Pulling off the expressway I stopped near a picnic table to walk the dog before heading for the facilities to relieve myself of the large tankard of coffee I’d been nursing since leaving Rochester.  Approaching the picnic table I was perplexed to find a round object wrapped in red wax.  What was a wheel of gouda doing there? Perhaps another traveller had left it.  Then I noticed a note was attached. 

As Henry took care of business and I thought to myself, “What the hell?  How had Nicky found me?” 

To be continued…

* * * * * * * * * *

Yes, boys and girls, it's time once again for 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing.  Nicky and Cheesy Mike over at We Work for Cheese will be keeping us on our toes as we try to meet the challenge. Head on over there and check out who else is crazy enough to buy into this nonsense!
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