All posts by Rebecca Fegan

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/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 addition 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.

All that glitters is not Gold

“During a lunar eclipse, you find a glowing rock in your backyard.”
– a prompt for this week’s CW piece.
[Source: @DailyPrompt]

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/65044839/posts/2164311026

I love eclipses:  solar, lunar, doesn’t mattter.

This one was lunar and not all that spectacular

I watched from my back yard.

It didn’t show up until the moon turned red.

There was a slight glow from the wood pile.

It was near the shed.

It was a cold light, sparkly. Purples, Greens and pinks.

The colors swirled and danced.

I touched it with a stick.

Suddenly the colors shot up the stick, up my arm to my face!

I’m in a dark place.  There’s popcorn.

This could be a really long movie.

I need more popcorn.

Silly Rant

Yes, I have been watching too much Monty Python.  I do have a rant, but it’s such a silly thing.  I keep expecting the British police to enter and tell me to stop.

I had a limited time to eat yesterday.  I went to my Bible Study, then to the gym and then home to work on some editing.  One hour later, I left to teach.  It is a 30-40 minute commute, and I taught one piano lesson for an hour and one voice lesson for about thirty minutes.  I had a choir rehearsal in that part of the town, and as it was now 6:30 and choir started at 7:15, I thought I’d stop and get some dinner since choir would last until about 8:30 with another 30-minute commute home.  I went to Dairy Queen.  Big mistake.

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and fries.  It arrived fairly quickly, and I took my first bite.  A big blob of catsup leaked out of the back of the sandwich and landed squarely on my sweater.  I put down the sandwich and wiped as much as I could.  Picking up the sandwich for my second bite, a big glob of lettuce and mayonnaise fell out on my plate.  That was annoying.  I now had a sandwich, fries, and a mini-salad, and no fork.  I ate a fry and took a drink. This was a mistake because it allowed my bun to soak up more gooeyness.

I took my third bite, and all the bacon and pickle came out a and hung from my mouth as if I were eating Klingon Gagh.  (You’ll have to look that up.)  Putting down the sandwich to catch all that food hanging out, the bun stuck to my hand (because all the goo also leaked onto my hands) and now I had the hamburger, salad, and dressing on my plate all over my fries, and the bun stuck to my hand, and still no fork.  My plate looked like it had been attacked by a toddler who likes to mash up his food.

By the time I work up enough courage to take another bite, the bun has disintegrated into a wet, sloppy mess.  Attempting to put the sandwich together again is a futile exercise.  Now I have goo on my hands, catsup on my sweater, sandwich drippings on my pants and coat.  I pick up another fry and discover that my hands are slippery and, loaded with catsup, the fry tumbles from my hands and lands on my shoe.  I have used up 4 napkins at this point.

Of course, a side effect of goo is that should it remain on your hands more than 7 seconds, it becomes stickier.  When attempting to wipe your hands on the napkins, it shreds them and glues them inexorably to every surface–hands, face, table, coat, pants, and shoe.  I look like a cheap version of the mummy.   Now I must head to practice.

Dairy Queen:

1. You can make your buns out of sterner stuff

2. You can toast them

3. You can use lettuce that isn’t shredded, fewer toppings, and crisp bacon

Until that happens, I’m eating at Arby’s.

Toxic

I’ve had it.  I’m tired of hearing people criticizing Gillette.  The dent made in the bottom line of all those people who will not buy Gillette razors is minuscule.  They complain about the message:  Toxic masculinity.  Can we agree that people fighting at Iwo Jima and Iraq and Viet Nam were not examples of toxic masculinity?  Can we agree that men that like to hunt and target shoot are not examples of toxic masculinity?  Can we agree that you don’t have to be male to be toxic?  Most of the people I see getting all up in arms about the ad are posting memes that have NOTHING to do with toxicity!

Remember that song, “Bad Boys?”  Bad bad bad bad boys, make me feel so good.  Boys will be boys.  There’s something dangerous about a guy that doesn’t follow the mores of the culture.  In the song, the girl is attracted to this.  How long do you think she’d be attracted if he decided to rape her?  How long would she go along with his rule breaking when he started cheating on her?  If he’s a jerk in one situation, could he be a jerk in others?  OF COURSE!  What is toxic?  We’ve determined that gentlemen don’t rape, they don’t beat up women, they play by the Marquess of Queensbury rules… (thank you Wikipedia)

  1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a 24-foot ring, or as near that size as practicable.
  2. No wrestling or hugging allowed.
  3. The rounds to be of three minutes’ duration, and one minute’s time between rounds.
  4. If either man falls through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, 10 seconds to be allowed him to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner, and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the 10 seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.
  5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.
  6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.
  7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest; so that the match must be won and lost, unless the backers of both men agree to draw the stakes.
  8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.
  9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee’s satisfaction.
  10. A man on one knee is considered down and if struck is entitled to the stakes.
  11. That no shoes or boots with spikes or sprigs (wire nails) be allowed.[6]
  12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by revised London Prize Ring Rules.

These made sure the fighting was a sport, and not a murder with spectators.  King Arthur came up with the rules of Chivalry according to legend.  How to treat people with respect was of great import!  But if you consider this, remember that there would not have had to have been rules written down if people were currently behaving that way.  If people are already stopping at the corner, you don’t need a stop sign.  Why do you suppose they had to have the 10 commandments written in STONE?  Because someone with a stylus and ink could have added and changed those rules?  Most certainly.

Boys WILL be boys.  They fight, they wrestle, they like to join gangs to give them a feeling of belonging and power.  They like to exercise that power over weaker opponents–male or female.  They have to be TAUGHT to be men.  Men treat others with respect.  Men help people in trouble.  Men will do what is needed to support and protect their families.  Men have to teach boys not to bully.  Men have to teach boys to think with their heads when dealing with women.  That was one of the goals for Boy Scouts:  teaching boys how to be men.

Girls will be girls.  Wait.  What?  Girls are never toxic.  *stands on sarcasm button*  They fight with words, and they can also get physical.  They can be just as mean as boys.  They can manipulate girls and boys and adults, and that gives these girls a feeling of power.  Some manipulate with the choice of clothing they wear; some by the connections they have with groups, and some by sheer physical prowess.  They need to be taught by women how to treat others, how to help, how not to bully.

Do you suppose that if men didn’t react to women dressing provocatively they’d start dressing differently?  Do you think that if no one reacted to gossip on FaceBook or Instagram or in study hall, they might not gossip?  Women dress for everyone but themselves.  They spend 2 hours on their hair, make-up, and clothes to go to Walmart for birthday cards?  What sense does that make?

I once went with some Girl Scouts on a backpacking trip.  My troop of girls packed their backpacks with clothes, tools, camping dishes and stuff.  When we got to the site, we had our tents up and everything set up in a matter of minutes.  In visiting the girls from the other troops, we saw curling irons and make-up.  There were no mirrors at the site, and no electricity.  In fact, there was a two-holer for the toilet, no shower, no bathtub, no sink.  There weren’t any other groups on this trip.  Who were they dressing up for?  City folk.

So if girls dress for everyone else, why do they dress the way they dress and then walk past a construction site and are offended by what the guys say?  Isn’t that precisely why they dressed that way?  Now if the guys are toxic, they’d catcall a grandmother in a sweat suit.  In fact there was a rape case in the UK where the prosecutor didn’t pick up on that aspect.  The defense counselor claimed that the girl wanted to have sex because she was wearing a thong.  If it were true that the girl only wore the thong because she wanted sex, how would the RAPIST know what she was wearing for underwear?  So the prosecutor and the defendant both displayed toxic masculinity.  What if the grandmother in the sweat suit was wearing a thong?

I think that instead of worrying about being politically correct, people should think about having good manners!  A gentleman doesn’t make cat calls.  A lady doesn’t engage in gossip for the sole purpose of destroying a rival.  Parents watching kids fight break them up and show them how to arm wrestle.  They don’t sit on the sidelines with their grills and say “Boys will be boys will be boys…” over and over.  I do not know a single man that would do that!

So there are 2 motivations for someone to be a jerk.  The first is to gain power in their circle of friends or tribe.  The second is…because they can.  They have power and they choose to use and abuse that power because it feels good and no one will call them on the carpet for that behavior.  Gillette just called them on the carpet.  What surprises me is the vehemence that is being unloaded on Gillette.  The arguments make no sense and a great many times are like that riddle.  (as seen on the Tick, an old TV series)

Q: If you’re driving down the ocean in your jet ski, and the wheel falls off, does it still take the same amount of pancakes to cover a doghouse?
A: Purple because ice cream has no bones.

We must end toxic masculinity, and toxic femininity.  You can’t take my guns.  See?  The 2 sentences have nothing to do with each other.  Neither does the picture of the veterans from some war with a slogan that indicates that their toxic masculinity is why we don’t speak German or Japanese.  Also makes no sense.

Toxic masculinity is when they use their guns to take over a bar and steal all the booze. Toxic masculinity is when, after the armed forces take the village, they rape all the women and kill the men and boys.  So all males are NOT toxic, and neither are all females.  It doesn’t have to be a rape culture or a toxic patriarchy.  We actually can control that.  STOP BEING JERKS.

 

Here comes the Sun…Snow

“Here Comes The Sun Snow”

Here comes the snow, (do n do do) Here comes the snow
And I say it’s all right (shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, then a snowman!)
Little darling, it’s been a long dry lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the snow, (do n do do) Here comes the snow
And I say it’s all right (shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, then snow fort!)
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the snow, (do n do do) here comes the snow
And I say it’s all right (shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, snowball fights!)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes (They said it!  Schools are now closing)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes (They’re planning! Trucks are out sanding)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes (Forecasters!  Using statistics)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes  (They promised!  6 to 8 inches)
Snow, snow, snow, here it comes  (Where is it?  One or two flakes now?) 

Little darling, I see the brown grass is emerging
Little darling, it seems the sled is still unused.

Here comes the snow, (checking radar) here comes the snow?
And they lie, it’s all clear (waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting, anxiously)
Here comes the snow, (satellite view) here comes the snow? And they lie, It’s all rain, (drizzle and drizzle and drizzle and drizzle, then it freezes)

No snowflakes, (scraping and cursing and slipping and falling, maybe next week…)
(Checking the forecast for 10 days out, maybe Thursday…)
apologies to Lennon and McCartney and all the school kids and teachers.