Monthly Archives: February 2018

Dim, response

via Daily Prompt: Dim

Sum

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Window stickers

What ever possessed people to put window stickers on their cars?  Why do they think I want to know how many kids and dogs and cats they have?  Why do they think I care that their t-rex ate someone’s stick family?  What is so interesting about their family full of zombies?  Why would anyone dedicate their cars to their dead relatives?  Pick-up truck with flowery window  In memoriam:  Bob 1985-2007.  What was special about Bob?  Was he hit by a truck?  Was this his truck?  How do you trade in a truck with your memorial on it?  It would be like selling the granite stone from the cemetery wouldn’t it?

It’s the same about bumper stickers.  Yes, some are funny to read…but if you’re reading the bumper sticker, you’re not watching the road are you.  The annoying thing about some of the bumper stickers is that they were never meant to be read going 60 mph on the interstate!  They’ve got cute logos and attractive colors and nice fonts, but you can’t read them because the writing is too small!  If you want to read bumper stickers, you have to go to the mall parking lot.  Sounds like too much trouble for me.  And just because you believe in a cause, putting that on your bumper will not convince me to change my stance.  It is nice that your child got honored as a student…do those come with dates?  What if he flunks out next semester; do you have to scrape the thing off?  Would it be false advertising if you left it on?  What if your honor roll Kindergartner graduated from High School last year?  That makes me think you have 2 choices:  Cover that one up with something inane like Obama/Biden for 2004, or good lord!  Get another car!  How many miles you have on that thing?!  The problem becomes how does the dealership scrape off your bumper sticker?  Do you get to keep the ones they can get off to transfer to your new car?

Sooooo, no.  I am not interested in intimate details of your family, your religion, your politics, your favorite music or your favorite pet.  If you’re a veteran, thank you, but unless you have PTSD and Road Rage and access to an AR15, I don’t need to know that.  I can understand the honor student bumper stickers because those are for your kid to read and believe that you might care.  I don’t.  Also knock off the snarky “My poodle is smarter than your honor student” bumper stickers unless of course your dog is driving…then I’d be impressed.   Do that on Facebook or put a bunch of signs in your yard.

I’m all in favor of USEFUL information on your car.  “DWI traffic stops 10, convictions 3” would be good to know.  “I never signal lane changes” might help me avoid running into you.  You know those signs on Krispy Kreme stores that light up when the donuts are hot?  There should be a yellow flashing light when you’re texting or on the phone.  Maybe some annoying habits I should be aware of would be good.  “I always take the exit 3 ramp at 9:02 by cutting over 4 lanes at 60 mph.”  “I cannot drive in snow.”  Good to know!  How about new drivers…”I didn’t know it had a clutch when I bought it.”  Reckless endangerment?  How about “Wreckless endangerment?”  “Mario Andretti pees himself when he rides with me to work.”  People with bad attitudes–“I only use 1 finger to wave with.”  “BEWARE!  BOSTON TRANSPLANT! Doesn’t drive like us.”  Very useful!  “This sticker is holding my bumper on.”  OK!

DON’T USE YOUR CAR AS A BILL BOARD.  Don’t use it as a message board.  Don’t use it as a moving Facebook page.  I support Privacy.  It’s none of my business.  It’s a car–a means of transportation between point A and point B.  It’s nothing more than that.

CW challenge: They all died, I survived

They knew

They all knew

The Parents

The Teachers

The counselors

They knew

We weren’t crying

for help

We didn’t want

help

We held life and death in

the palms of our hands

We weren’t weak

We were determined

Hold hands, 3 of us

1…2…3 JUMP

cold icy water

my foot hurts–no my ankle

why do I feel pain?

Struggle to surface

Why struggle?

Current moves me

Pain

Inhale water

But I can’t

Blow out all air

but I can’t

Rock in my side

Branch on my arm

Roll to back

Cough…cry

Strong hands pull me out

I failed

They didn’t

Alone

 

 

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

 

Descent

I heard an interesting piece on Exploring Music tonight.  The composer was writing this in the 1980’s and so many of his friends had died from Aids.  So he wanted to commemorate them in song and wrote a special symphony for the Chicago Symphony.

The music inspired me.  It describes his friend as he goes slowly insane due to his disease.

It’s simple

It’s just perception

You get it don’t you?

It’s such a straight forward concept.

You just… um…yeah

You just take it, um, one step at a time

I can do this

All I need to do is…um

Do is…

Where was I?

Just access your memory

Picture what you…um…

What you want to say

I’ve done this… um…

before  and I remember…

um

The kids playing

Dog in the way

Homework

Dishes need to be…

waxed…washed

and then…

Yah…

I stare into space

I’m confused.

It’s simple…

You just…just…

OH Come ON!  Just say it!

You just…?

WHERE ARE MY WORDS?!

ok  breathe

You…just…

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

CW–closet full of rags

Shopping

I HATE shopping

Racks of clothes

All size 2

Go to my size…

Nondescript tents

Throw up my hands

Sit in car and cry

Salvation Army

Racks of clothes

Smell funny

10,000 green sweaters in my size

This one still has original tag…never worn

$6.

I have a closet full

Clothes no one wanted

Clothes of the dead.

The new clothes I bought

years ago

Worn thin

Forlorn in my closet

Gradually out grown

Too tight

Too short

Buttons gone

Seams strained

Food-stained.

My latest clothes

Not new

Fit oddly

Destined to be

dusty and

unworn

Rags in my closet.

 

Le Sigh…

I know I’m not the only one that has these episodes.  I think to myself:

I’m smart…but not as smart as I think

I’m talented…but at things that don’t matter

I care…but not about things that do matter

I am well read…on books no one else reads

I am persistent…with things that don’t last

I am patient…when I shouldn’t be

I am impatient…when I shouldn’t be

I keep getting up…when I should stay down

Why did God give me these gifts?  I only misuse them.  I have “I’ve Got it from here” syndrome.  I have such and such interest, so I will learn as much as I can about it and use it to the best of my ability.  Then a I fail–publicly, horrifically, and irreparably.

I thought I was a musician.  I did things none of my teachers thought I could do.  I really exceeded their expectations.  I was the 1st person in the history of my college to test out of both semesters of ear training.  I played a Strauss horn concerto for one of my brass class solos when everyone else played a Middle School or Grade School solo.  I played the Star Spangled Banner in 4 keys in 4 different arrangements for my piano proficiency test when the others could only play what they’d memorized.  I hid nursery rhymes in my music theory compositions.  In addition to playing every orchestral/band instrument, I also sing and have perfect pitch.  I also play recorder, guitar, and bass guitar as well as drum kit.  I also play some instruments nobody has ever heard of.  Sooo, I thought to myself, I should be a music teacher.  I got fired from every public and parochial music teaching job I had.  I got fired from the church choir jobs I had.  Nobody will play or sing the music I write.  I only teach on the individual level now.  My impact is minimal.

I thought I was a cook.  At one point, I was able to cook 6 different omelettes at once.  My crew was the fastest back line in any of the fast food joints I worked at.  It was another thing I was good at that really wasn’t important.  At one store, when I did the food inventory and actually counted the product and the waste rather than using the computer generated list and adding or subtracting 1/2 a case of this and 4 of that, the store was off by 7 cases of meat and 14 cases of fries…$7000 difference, and I was blamed for the theft.  The district manager was called to the store and he and I did the inventory together, and he believed that I had sold the food out the back door and pocketed the money.  So it didn’t matter how fast and efficient we were in the kitchen or how well the food was produced and served.

I thought I was guru on finance.  I had my series 6/63 investment license which was for mutual funds on the client level, my series 26 which was the supervisory license for investments and allowed me to actually run an office if needed, and my series 65 which made me an investment adviser representative and put me in a very small group of brokers who could work with managed accounts.  I did $600,000 worth of trades in one month.  I am also licensed in several other types of financial products and I know how to integrate all these aspects into a comprehensive financial strategy.  I can’t convince anyone that I would be a good resource for financial advice–not even all my kids.

I thought I was well educated.  I have taught and tutored College level Statistics, Economics, Calculus, English Lit and Composition, High School Physics and Chemistry, Business Law and Contracts, Spanish, Renaissance Literature, History, and Trade.  I have a degree in Music Education and one in Business Administration.  Most people’s first impression of me is that I’m not very smart.

I thought I had some Leadership Skills.  I have a certification on Leadership with John Maxwell, All rights reserved 2017
www.ChristianDelRosario.comthe most revered name in Leadership with over 100 books published.  I can’t get seminars or groups or masterminds together to study leadership.  I scheduled a leadership seminar through my church and invited members of the church boards and pastors from all over the Omaha area and not one single person signed up–not even anyone from my own church.  I write a leadership blog that after 4 years only has 14 followers.  I have a certification in business and life coaching with Christian Simpson, Entrepreneur and Coaching expert, and I have no clients.

I thought I was a writer.  I have co-authored and published 3 books and have given them to my kids and personally have not sold a single copy.

I have absolutely nothing to offer that anyone in my community, my church, or my friends and relatives wants.  So, why do I have all these “talents?”  Maybe I don’t.  Maybe I’m deluding myself.  Dear Lord.  I’m dense.  Send me a freakin’ NEON SIGN telling me what I am supposed to do or be.  I’m 63 now and have been beaten and broken 1000’s of times.  Should I stay down?  I’m tired.  I don’t want to get up again.

Things and Emotions

When you talk of things…you need to describe them in 3 dimensions, then the time setting, then the surrounding elements.

The clock on the wall was old fashioned.  It had a second hand, a minute hand and an hour hand moving slowly around the circle.  The clock was a plain white against the flowered wall paper in the kitchen.   It was about the size of a small paper plate, but the numbers were big enough to see.  You could see it from the living room, and though it was never accurate, it was getting close to dinner time. The cord snaked down the wall to the outlet which was above what should have been wainscoting, but was in fact just a different pattern of wall paper and border.  The clock was covered in dust and grease from the kitchen.  It might have had some sugar debris from all the jams and jellies cooked there.

The more words, the better the author has succeeded in putting you in the room with the object.

Now if you talk emotions, fewer words are better.  Same clock, but now we’re getting the emotional side

Tick

Tock

The second hand crawls

The minute hand feels frozen in time

Slowly and relentlessly

Tick 

Tock

He’s coming

He’ll be unhappy

I tried

The kitchen is not much different

than when he left

It’s late

He will have been drinking

Will he hit me?

Will he yell?

Will I survive?  

Tick 

Tock

(Lest you get the wrong idea, I watch too many SVU episodes.  I have known women who have been abused, and the clock is not their friend.)

See?  You don’t need to know what size it is or what color.  It represents an emotion. That’s why poetry is so difficult to write.  You have to distill the emotions and get them across to make your emotional point.  Do the emotions come first or does the object?  For me, it’s the object.  I pick one and think how I can use it to describe what my character is feeling.  Others choose an emotion and look around for something suitable to convey the feeling.  I wanted her to be experiencing dread and hopelessness.  Another would have used those emotions and then stared at something else.

They were still high

Piled up on the counter

and some stuck to each other

I work

I have to take care of kids

The drain is slow

He’ll be home soon

I can get the big things washed

The roast is nearly done

I’m scrubbing as fast

as I can but

Was that his car door?

“Kids? Get upstairs

Daddy’s home

and he smells funny…”

Code words.

See the difference?  You may get the same feeling but different imagery.

When you describe things, you allow people to relate to the objects, to recognize them as something they might have at home.  When you describe feelings, you get the words out of the way and use vague enough images to bring forth emotional responses.  Instead of picturing your clock, they picture their own or that of someone they know that is in a similar situation.  In the other case, they might picture a time when they knew they were going to miss the deadline and the consequences would be considerable.

So when you’re communicating, remember the purpose of your communication…is it to describe something physical?  or something emotional?  Then you can choose the means to most effectively describe what you’re trying to get across to your audience.

 

CW: Saltines, a horseshoe and a thumbtack…

Pregnant

Again!!!

I’m not ready

Oooo, that was bad, need saltines

My next appointment

a small card on the bulletin board

I pull the card

contemplate…crap just dropped the tack

Pick it…urp…run to bathroom

eat another saltine

take card back and tack it to bulletin board

eat another saltine

take a walk to my rose garden

enjoy breathing something

that doesn’t make me puke

5th time’s the charm…

Charm Hmmm

1st was St. Christopher medal

2nd was my old pet rock

3rd was a bunny foot

4th was early!  Shamrock at the last minute

This one kicks like a horse…

How about a horse shoe?

I don’t have a horse shoe…

How about a ballet shoe?

eat another saltine