A Bad Winter

What an intriguing idea.  How do you define a Bad Winter?  I think there are actually two schools of thought on this.

               and          

Bad Winter…Blizzards                                                   Bad Winter…Too HOT

High winds and snow                                                       Heat and Humidity

Power outages                                                                    Turn on Air conditioning?

Damage                                                                                Hail?

Hazardous driving conditions                                        Who dreams of a Brown Christmas?

Good Winter… Blizzards                                                Good Winter…Just Right

Smell of pumpkin bread                                                   No coats

Hot Mulled cider                                                                 Ice Cream on Pie

Quiet of snow landscape                                                    Thunderstorms and Lightning

Sledding                                                                                 Football outside, no coats

Ice Skating                                                                             Skateboarding in Park

Holiday Inn and White Christmas                                    Latest blockbuster at the theater

Which camp do you belong to?  I’m weird…I love the snow.  As long as it’s OUT THERE and I’m IN HERE.  Baking bread, pies, soups, and other wonderful warm savory foods, and experimenting with different teas and coffees.  Netflix binges.  I love watching the kids build forts and snowmen, and making hot chocolate for when they come in, red nosed and laughing.

I didn’t love it when I was hanging out a window working drive through in the fast food joints.  I’m warm, I’m a Popsicle, I’m warm, my teeth are chattering, I’m warm…I remember thinking, “OH LORD!  Please don’t let me get the ones that have to count out their change and they’re 2 pennies short and HAVE to find those 2 pennies!”  “O Please!  Don’t want to talk to me while you’re waiting for your food!  My left arm is frozen!”  I didn’t love it when I had to walk 3/4 mile to my class from the dorm with a head wind and sleet and snow pelting my forehead.  I didn’t love it when I had to drive 180 miles on the interstate at 12 mph because of bad roads and accidents.

The idea of a Brown Christmas is not appealing to me.  Spending Christmas in Florida or Hawaii just doesn’t do it for me.  I’ll take a White Christmas please.

 

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Honestly…

Honestly, Truthfully, Trustworthy

I can believe

I can disbelieve

I can act

I can choose not to act

Why must I be protected from truth?

Ignorance is Bliss

It takes my decisions

and makes them impotent.

It takes my perception

and skews it.

“You don’t need to know

“Not now, later

“To protect you

Saying this only

when I NEED to know

when I NEED to know now

when it doesn’t protect me because

I don’t know.

Facts in timely manner

Not emotions

Withhold, Lie

No preparation

No trust

Surprise, and confusion

Tell Me.  Honestly

 

I’m Fat

I was listening to a show on NPR this morning and they did an issue about obese people. Fat people haven’t always been considered gross and disgusting. Botticelli and Raphael featured full-figured women in their paintings.

   

Now, they are considered lazy, undisciplined, and weak.  Wait?  What does that have to do with weight? Do people think that fat people just don’t care about how they look?  And it is alllllll about how people look isn’t it.  Observe in the pictures that the women do not have defined abs and muscular shoulders. Normal people cannot attain that measure of fitness, but we’re shamed by the fact that we don’t.

The woman in the interview said she came out to her family and friends that she was fat. This was not news to the people she told. She didn’t do it for them, she did it for herself. She now defined herself as a fat person. How can weight define a person?  That’s ridiculous! She had some valid points though.

People view fat people in two different ways. Sloppy, lazy, undisciplined, weak fatties, and fat people trying to get thinner. They patronize the fat people trying to get thinner. They shame the fat people they perceive aren’t trying. They complain about sitting next to them on public transportation, in movie theaters, at events, because they take up soooo much space! They consider fat rolls gross. They make fun of women of significant size in leggings.

What do I mean about patronizing fat people trying to get thinner? “Oh, you just have to eat more salads!”  “You should try this exercise.” “Are you going to eat all of that?!” I have news for those well-meaning people. You couldn’t keep up with me in the gym. That’s right.  You heard me. I do 90 pounds on the crunch machine. I do 70 pounds on the lat pull machine. I do 15-20 pound biceps curls. I do 80-pound leg presses. I can go 30 min on an elliptical machine on level 6. I do 90 crunches and 45 push-ups. I live on about 1200 calories a day. I do not eat burgers and fries three times a day–more like 3 times in a month. I have pizza twice a month. So yes, some of us are really trying to lose the weight. It is NOT however because we can’t find clothes that don’t look like circus tents or Macy’s white sale bedding. It is NOT because eventually, we’ll be diabetic. It is NOT because we feel guilty that our “fat-related” illnesses are a drain on the public health system.

Why do we try so hard? Because we remember how it felt to be thinner. We remember not having to have help getting out of the couch or the car. We remember not wheezing when we went up the stairs. We remember not hurting when we walked long distances. We remember being able to walk into a store and just buy something because it looked cute. We remember knees and ankles and backs that didn’t crack when we moved. We remember running to fly kites and taking hikes and climbing trees.

My Fat does not define me. (Obie is surprised–Obie is my sentient fat by the way.) My size does not determine my intelligence, my work ethic or my self-discipline. It does restrict my activities and how I feel.

I am fat. And I don’t like it. And I’m working to get rid of that fat.

Through the Keyhole CW cue

“What do you see on the other side of the door when you look through a keyhole?
 a prompt for this week’s CW piece.
[Source: @DailyPrompt]

“What do you see?!”

“It’s dark, but it kinda looks like a library. There is some light in there though.”

“There has to be more to it than that!”

“Because…”

“Because they won’t unlock it. Let me look.”

“I’m going to look under the door.”

“Never seen a keyhole like this. It’s BIG!”

“Nothing but dust bunnies down here. Ya, it’s an old house. It’s like the old movies where they carry an enormous key ring.”

“Shhhh! I just heard something inside!”

“What? There are people in there?!”

“Shhh! They’re talking.”

“What are they saying?”

“There’s music coming from behind the wall. He’s knocking on the bookcases.”

“Do you hear any music? Can you See anything?”

“Nope…wait, the light is moving around.”

“Is it a flashlight then?”

“What was that? It sounded like furniture moving. They seem to be talking.”

“More than one person?”

“Yes, a man and a woman.”

“And…?”

“It makes no sense.  ‘Put the candle beck?’

https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/cw-its-not-what-you-think/#comment-10553

But Not for Me (CW Prompt)

“Write a poem from the perspective of a pirate ship captain writing to the woman he loves.”
 a prompt for this week’s CW piece.

I hear your voice in the wind

I see your eyes in the lightning

The smell of your breath

in the scent of the exotic flowers.

I long to be with you, my love.

 

I hear my destruction in the storm

I feel death’s needles in the lightning

The smell of blood and decay

in the ships that I prey upon.

I would not wish you here, my love

 

The Sea calls to me

The treasure draws me in

The blood-lust clouds my mind.

 

My love calls to me

Your soft touch draws me in

Your kiss clears my mind.

 

On my ship, I see my own death.

In your arms, I see life. And yet…

My foolishness drags me back

into the arms of Davy Jones.

You are my Love, but your

Love is wasted.

Save your love for one who is not

Drawn to the sea.

Your love is precious–

But not for me.

https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/cw-in-the-deep-blue-sea/

There’s a hole in the bucket…

“In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water.” ~CW word prompt this week.

You remember that song

There’s a hole in the bucket

Dear Liza, Dear Liza…

It goes on for 8-12 more

verses, each one brings

a problem and a solution.

Hole? Fix.

How? Straw

Cut straw? Ax

Dull ax, sharpen…

Problem-> solution

She solves the problem

in her head.

He formulates new

problems in his.

What if…

There’s a Hole in the bucket

Dear Liza, dear Liza.

There’s a Hole in the bucket,

Dear Liza, a hole!

Hmmm.  Isn’t that

curious Henry, dear Henry,

Curious it is! So what will you do?

END OF SONG!

Off he drives to Lowes, cursing.

https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/cw-wet-monday-an-easter-tradition/

CW: word prompt–The Chisels

Look how smooth

See the colors

Close your eyes

Feel the touch

the warmth.

They are arrayed

Like Doctor’s instruments.

Gouges, Vs, grooves

Flats, bevels

Narrow and wide.

The gouge defines the shape.

The first gouge

almost painful.

The flats clear the background.

The rest enhance the curves

the details

the depth.

The lines are simple.

The hands cramp

but the work draws us.

We cannot pull away.

He will never see it.

No one will know

the blood and tear stains

covered by the

color.

I will miss him.

My friend, my brother

but not my sibling.

Goodbye.

(Inspired by Gibb’s workshop in NCIS)

https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/cw-chisel/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving stuff up for Lent

This has been the most painful, the most difficult Lenten season I can remember.  You’re asking yourself, “Did you give up chocolate?  Pizza? Pop?”  It always seems to revolve around food, doesn’t it?  One year, I gave up speeding.  I had to make extensive use of my cruise control.  I changed my behavior and haven’t gotten a speeding ticket in years! After working in fast food for 5 years (boy did that seem like ages!), I gave up cursing for Lent.  I had called it Hardee-speak.  There were lots of blanks and long pauses in my speaking pattern from self-censoring.  I sounded like a cd with skips.  But as hard as both of those actions were at the time, they’re nothing compared to this year.

Got you curious now, huh!  I gave up…

ranting at people.  I can only rant at inanimate objects. My brain is fizzling out.  I had no idea what a rampant behavior this was in my character! I live in Lake Nebraska on a little island called Omaha. I can rant at the rain, the flood, the winds, and the blizzards. Plenty to rant at right? But I cannot rant at all the people that look at these pictures and have no other adjectives other than, “It’s so sad.” Get a freakin’ thesaurus. (Notice the self-censorship?  It’s getting harder!) “You cannot make light of these tragedies you cruel, insensitive jerk!” I say to myself. “People do not understand gallows humor,” I explain to myself. Should we all tear our clothes, put ashes on our heads, and wail for the next 2 years while they fix our infrastructure? In my humble (or not so humble) opinion, Heck No!  We’re Nebraskans.  We take this in stride. We knew the job was dangerous when we took it. I understand; some are still in shock. The whole country should be in shock. Heck! (self-censoring again) We should be getting aid from Africa, India, Japan, China, Europe, Malaysia, Kuwait, Middle East…all those disasters we went in to help clean up.

*Warning!  Gallows humor follows. Move to a safe part of your brain and suspend your disbelief at the incredibly inappropriate humor.*

We should expect Russia, who has such a vested interest in this country, to be at the front of the line when it comes to aid.  We’re not talking loans here, we’re talking

  • people with shovels,
  • volunteers with buckets and mops,
  • bridge building engineers and equipment,
  • road construction crews and materials

–real help.  Yeah, I thought so. Just going to get pity parties from the rest of the people outside the MidWest. (Yay South Dakota, Texas, Kansas!) We’ll get viral views of the floods and blizzards all over Facebook with 216,042 comments all saying, “How Sad.”

We got it. We’ll handle it without fanfare, without the national news.  We’re a fly-over state, and now a fly-over lake.

I cannot rant against idiot drivers, who honk at me when I’m avoiding a pothole that would swallow a bus. I cannot rant at people who park on both sides of the street so the snowplow cannot get to our road. I cannot rant at the guy who had to go out of his way to ding my car with his pick-up truck door and hit it so hard it dented and left lovely red and white paint on my navy colored Buick. I cannot rail at the people who see pictures of our president in jeans and a t-shirt and a MAGA cap rescuing cats from a flood and not wonder how he lost 30 pounds and 40 years, gained muscular forearms and was in Iowa during the 2008 flood. (Which would have been before the MAGA hat) Then they suggest that that picture is from the current flood and think this is a believable situation. Where are his Secret Service guards? The President as the office holder cannot spend time getting into the water with the victims.  That’s not his job.  The President as a person, Mr. Trump, may own a pair of jeans, but he wears a $1000 jacket and a shirt with cufflinks with them. He may feel for the victims, but though he might send someone to help rescue cats; he wouldn’t do it himself. That’s not in his character.

I cannot rant against the President, the Congress, or the local politicians.  I cannot rant against the referees and the umpires and the Little League parents.  I cannot rant against the unethical salespeople, the telemarketers, the frauds that take advantage of people in the midst of a natural disaster.  I cannot rant against the people that robbed the flooded houses instead of cleaning them up (though that’s a rare case in Nebraska.)

I can only rant at inanimate objects. I may not make it to Easter.

 

Minnie and Me

https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/cw-minnie-and-me/

In 99 words exactly, write a story about a mouse.  CW prompt

It isn’t fair

We’re soul mates

What a voice

Such a heart

Language issue? Possibly

Where would we live?

Near the Water

Near the grain field

House? Apartment? Nest?

Does she want kids?

Do I want kids?

We could adopt?

Could we be seen

Out in Public?

What would they say?

Would it matter?

Does he care?

Does he notice?

Would she ever

Look at me

Like she looks at him?

He ignores her

I have a temper

Could she live with that?

She soothes me

He’s my friend

“Minnie, would you

Could you?”

“Oh, Donald.”

I wait

“Yes.”

 

HOW DO YOU TURN IT OFF?!!!!

I am co-writing a book:  “Spotlight on the Art of Generating Energy.”  I am also editing said book which means I have to read all the contributions.  One of the chapters is about the interplay of all the energies–intellectual, creative, and emotional.  Fascinating theories!  If any one aspect of energy takes control to the exclusion of all others, your brain may be overwhelmed, your body might be compromised, or you could spiral emotionally (either up or down by the way!)

Unfortunately, I have experienced what happens when two of the energy sources conspire against me.  Yup…  In addition to editing this book, I am running for a district office within an organization to which I belong.  I am actively marketing my skills and my qualifications and vision for the organization so I am making use of both my intellectual and creative energy sources.  You may or may not have read my stuff in either this blog or my other one.  You know how creative and intellectual I can get.  Let me put it in perspective.

I had coffee with dinner, a couple of cups, about 8:00 last night.  Then I watched NCIS, 3 episodes in a row.  I was nodding off during the last one.  I thought, “I’ll just head upstairs and check the weather and go to bed.”  3 hours later…

Creative energy Creature: “Hey!  That’s a great idea for promotion!  Let’s go to all the contests and provide a one-sheet and meet the folks at the contest so they get to know you.”

Intellectual energy Imp:  “Ya!  Did you see your competition’s flyer?  She listed her grandkids by name as part of her qualifications for the position!”

CC: “How does that help?  She procreated kids that were also able to procreate and she remembers their names…so she doesn’t have memory problems?”

II: “Our stuff is better.”

CC: “We could add all the Girl Scout information…We could name all our students…we could perform the Bach Prelude that we learned at age 9 to prove our memory capacity!”

II: “We have plenty of good stuff in our flyer.  We’re good.”

Me:  “Ok, good.  We have that settled, let’s go to sleep.”

II: “Did you hear about the guy that felt so bad about the Girl Scouts standing out in the cold selling cookies at their booth that he bought them all? $500 worth!  Then he was arrested for drug trafficking!”

CC:  “Hahaha!  It makes perfect sense!  You KNOW how addictive those cookies can be!  He was shipping the cookies back to the Cartel!”

II:  “You mean…trading one addiction for another!  Oh wait!  Maybe the cookies were how he was getting drugs into the country!  He ships them down, they alter them and ship them back!  Hey Kid!  you want some peanut butter patties?”

CC:  “Well that would explain why you can’t have just one box of Thin Mints!”

II:  “I had two boxes of Thin Mints and I’m still 50 pounds overweight.  Is that false advertising?”

Physical Energy Phiend (Fiend see?): “Shut UP!  I’m tired!  I want to sleep!”

Emotional Energy Elf: “I don’t know how I feel about that: forcibly shutting down two other energy sources to serve your needs.”

PP: “Well if you want to get UP in the morning, we have to turn them off!”

EE: “I’m still not convinced.  Some of our best ideas happen when those two pull an all-nighter.”

PP: “Do we ever remember what they did overnight?”

II and CC:  “Hey!”

EE: “Ok, I see your point.  Could you two tone it down a bit?”

II: “I will if she will.”

CC: “I can be totally silent.  How well do you sign?”

PP: “Her eyes are closed, idiot.  II can’t see a thing if her eyes are closed.”

EE: “Please try to be civil.”

PP: “I’M TIRED!  I’M TRYING TO SLEEP!”

II: whispers “Remember to get the flyers from the printer and stop by the college to get the Speaker’s and the Conference ads for tonight.”

CC: whispers “I really don’t think the Conference advert is very good–too busy and too much information.”

II: low voice “And the wrong information…it doesn’t have start times.  We could redesign it…”

EE: low voice “But how would Colleen feel about our stepping in and fixing it?”

PP: low voice “So tomorrow, breakfast, Bible study, pick up flyers from college, go to printers and pick up personal flyers, deliver print instructions for conference flyers…100 enough?”

II: normal voice “to start with I think.  It will cost more due to having to print both sides.  And don’t forget we need to stop at Wally World to get frames.”

PP:  “Yup.  Then drive to contest…Says it’s a little over an hour’s drive, but with traffic, could be longer than that.”

II: “Take the Prairie View Road instead of the interstate, less traffic that way, and it’s prettier country.”

PP: “Contest starts at 5:30, and since it’s Area level, only 4-6 contestants in either contest.  Figure we’ll be done by 8:30 by the time we get our glad-handing and clean-up done, then an hour home.  Figure 314 Joules.”

II: “That would convert to 75 calories.”

PP: “So the minimum amount of sleep would be…”

II: “Figure about 6-7 hours.”

Me, still awake, and I check the clock.  “Guys, it’s 1:30 AM.  We get up in 5 hours.”

PP and II stare at each other.  CC jumps in to the rescue.

CC: “We can take a nap after we get home!”

EE: “Um wha?  Did somebody say something?  Weren’t you complaining about all the noise, PP?”

PP blushes.

Momentary silence.  I drift off to sleep…

II: “Did you see that snow forecast?  It just went around our city!”

CC:  “Gandalf was standing on the interstate saying, ‘You SHALL NOT PASS!'”

II: giggles “Maybe one of the wind turbines got turned on and blew it away!”

CC:  “I wonder if they’re maneuverable remotely.  Hey!  It’s Hot over there!  Aim them that way!”

II: “I heard that they tell the wind farm tourists in Texas precisely that!  *with a Texas drawl* ‘Yep, gets up to 110 we turn them puppies on and they’ll pretty much cool Austin and Fort Worth.  Dallas is a whole nuther story though.'”

PP: “HEY!!!”

EE: “What?  What’s going on?  Why is PP yelling?”

Me:  It’s 3 AM!  Go to sleep!

CC, II, PP, and EE, ashamed, do not answer.

II:  whispers, “Did you know her husband snores?”

CC, PP, EE and I shout: SHUT UP!

Husband wakes and turns on the reading lamp just as the alarm goes off.  It’s going to be a long day.

 

I figured it out!

You remember that time loop scene?  Dormamu, I’ve come to bargain.

OK, so the end game…Thanos snaps his fingers 1/2 of the living creatures in the universe die. https://wordpress.com/post/ihavebetterthingstodo.wordpress.com/2566  Remember that the last thing Dr. Strange says is that it’s the End Game?  Well, what if there isn’t an End?

So he sets a loop.  Then he goes back to the loop with Dormamu. This would be a nested loop…

Strange:  Dormamu, I’ve come to bargain

Dormamu:  What?  We already went through this!

S:  Well I have some new information

D:  So?

S:  There’s this guy who thinks he rules the Universe.  I thought YOU ran the universe…

D:  I do

S:  Well this guy, Thanos, is not the brilliant tactician that I am, so he certainly can’t stand up to you, right?

D:  Of course not

S:  So if you want to keep your reputation, take out this pretender to the throne…Thanos.

D:  You know where he is?

S:  Of course!

D:  Tell me!

S:  I’ll do better, I’ll take you!

Poof!

S:  Dormamu?  Thanos.  Thanos? Dormamu.

Strange transfers the infinity stone to Thanos, but with the loop intact and Thanos and Dormamu fight to the end of time.

Poof!  *Dr. Strange laughing like Vincent Price heard in background*

Curtain.

CW Challenge: Right Behind you

https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/cw-right-behind-you/

Right Behind you

On your 6

We got your back

Have no fear

We’ll stand behind you

You lead, we’ll follow

That’s why “Right Behind you” is scary

You can face ahead

You can fight what you see

Your back is vulnerable

What happens when your enemy

Says he’s your friend?

He’s got your back

He’s on your six

He’s right behind you.

You want who you trust

To be behind you and beside you

Betrayal is the worst cut of all.

Because

He’s right Behind you.