Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Flooring and an Opportunistic Cat



Our neighbor owns his own flooring business. So my partner, out of the blue, decided to contract him to replace our aged linoleum in the foyer.


Old Floor
Weathered Wood Look
 
A Close-Up
The evening before we emptied the closet. And Jezebel made the most of it.

Peekaboo
 Which do you prefer, carpet or hard floors?  

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Things My Mother Taught Me


Somehow, I volunteered to say a few words at my mother's upcoming memorial service. It remains to be seen if I can get through the roughly minute and a half long speech, but here's what I wrote Saturday afternoon.


Things My Mother Taught Me
 
Comedian Christopher Titus once said, “Mothers give you knowledge. Fathers make you earn it.” Well, I don’t know about that because my father still offers good advice. But there are many things Mom specifically passed along, either by word or deed.

One. You’re never too old for crayons.

Two. Hats are cool no matter what anybody says.

Three. If you can’t remember your new friend’s name, ask her to spell it. Of course, that only works if it’s unusual. But to this day I remember my friend Lanita, wherever she may be.

Four. Hair accessories never go out of style.

Five. Christmas tree tinsel is a seasonal hair accessory.

And something I never thought about until a cherished friend brought it up is that Mom played music with her whole heart. She didn’t let the occasional slip up derail her joy. So don’t worry about being a perfectionist. Well, unless it’s a Buehler's Kitchen Corner pizza for the display case or a church salad luncheon sign.

Last but not least, I’d like to share my favorite scripture, which I’ll paraphrase. It sums up two of the most important things both Mom and Dad instilled, even if I’m not always a good example of them.

It’s from the book of Proverbs. ‘Two things I ask of thee, O Lord, deny them not to me before I die. Remove far from me falsehood and lying. And give me neither poverty, nor riches, lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I steal, and defy my God.’

My mother was extremely honest, and she was ever generous. Thanks, Mom.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Can You Name This Film?


Guilty Pleasures and a Geeky Moment



My modern life is a bit archaic. I don’t carry a smart phone. Our only television is an ancient, ridiculously heavy flat screen. And until we upgrade to a high definition TV, we don’t subscribe to Netflix. We still rent DVD’s out of the Redbox, in fact.

Our last two rentals were the John Wick movies. I enjoyed them. The fact Keanu Reeves isn’t a spoiled jerk of a celebrity doesn’t hurt any. Last night we watched ‘Chapter Two’.

From the start we enjoyed little inside jokes from the first film. One is brief mention of a fight scene we never see in either flick, sort of folklore among Russian mobsters. The allegation is that John Wick once killed three men in a bar using a pencil.

Well, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I turned to my partner and said, “Yeah. But was it a number two pencil?”

The immediate response (and reason I adore this person): “That’s right. Number one lead is much harder.”

We had to stop the movie. It took several minutes for me to stop laughing.

Here are some little known facts about the film if you’re interested. I sure hope future plans pan out.

Have you seen the John Wick films?

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Write, Therefore I Am



Yesterday my partner told my father in a text message that I sleep in like a teenager. Sleeping until 7:30 or even 8 am doesn’t seem that bad to me, especially compared to my late teenaged habits.

At first intending to defend myself, I decided not to waste the time. After all, I had better things to do. 

That’s when it hit me. I don’t act like a teenager. I’m acting like a writer.

Occasionally I Write Here
I spend nearly every waking moment possible at the keyboard either polishing a tale or storytelling anew. How many folks forget to eat on a semi regular basis until nauseating hunger strikes?

(Okay, I skipped many meals as a self absorbed teen, as well. But some of that was to save lunch money for buying books.)

This is Where I'm Typing This Blog Post
Anyway, I would say that easily a third of my overall sustenance is devoured out of a sandwich bag so dining doesn’t impinge upon writing time more than necessary. Just yesterday I gulped a piece of fruit out of a bag while standing in the kitchen so as not to waste precious seconds cutting my peach into a bowl. The same can be said for those microwaveable burritos that hooked me for a while.

(Who needs a fork?)

Wanted to Write Here (Lacked the Time and it was HOT)
As for those in my family who do rise at 5am (for no good reason, I might add), it’s guaranteed not a single soul stayed up the night before until two o’clock trying to get one more paragraph perfected before succumbing to exhaustion. My partner will admit to seldom spending more than five minutes reading an online article.

Of course videos are a different story. In fact I’m hearing a string of them play in the next room while I type. Meanwhile, I’ve often polished a ten thousand plus word short story in one sleepless stretch.

The View from My Dining Table/ Frequent Desk

Yeah. Don’t wake me before six am unless you’re taking me fishing. Sad to say that hasn’t happened in years. ~sigh~ Oh, well. Maybe one of these days…

What pleasant obsession is occupying your August?

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Disco Demolition



It’s obvious to the most casual acquaintance that I like music, and my tastes gravitate toward rock and roll. Heck, I was raised on it alongside a sprinkling of Dad’s preferred Johnny Cash or The Oak Ridge Boys, some of Mom’s golden oldies thrown in for good measure. Hearing The Man in Black covering a Nine Inch Nails tune still makes me delirious with joy.

Disco, on the other hand, curdles my blood. Always has. I don’t denigrate the talent of its performers, but please do not make me listen. When my favorite podcasters Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant covered the topic on Stuff You Should Know I struggled a little not to shut it off when they sampled the music. And my eyes glazed over hearing the litany of mostly unfamiliar artists’ names (not a good thing when you’re driving, I might add).

I did learn some interesting facts, of course, about the history and whatnot. For example, during that era the number of disparate artists across vastly different genres trying their hand at the campy style blew my mind.

Really, Dolly? How could you?

My favorite part was learning about the so-called death of disco in Chicago, Illinois. I was ten years old at the time and never heard a peep. You can bet I would have cheered at that tender age had I known. However, flinging vinyl at peoples’ heads and tearing up a baseball field were egregious acts.

You can watch the clip if you’re interested. It’s not terribly long and quite fascinating.


Had you heard about this raucous event in 1979? Would you have attended?

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Book Review of Black and White by Nick Wilford



Let me start by saying that my book allowance has dropped considerably in the wake of blessed early retirement. So imagine my delight when author and fellow blogger Nick Wilford offered followers an advanced read copy of his book ‘Black and White’, the first in his YA trilogy.


I first found the writer/editor and his story through the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. Every day’s entry introduced readers to either characters or aspects of the ‘Black and White’ universe. I found it all quite intriguing.

And the book itself did not disappoint. I wanted more, but that’s a good sign for a series. As a youth I would have found Nick’s world provided welcome escapism. This adult found the book’s editing impeccable, one of the finest examples I can point to these days (good promotion for his freelance editing services, if you ask me!).

Even having a good notion of the plot beforehand I found myself surprised by some of its aspects. Help and hindrance to the main characters did not always come from the expected directions. I enjoyed getting to know Wellesbury Noon and Ezmerrelda Dontible (great names, no?), too.

At $1.99 (US), ‘Black & White’ is a bargain. You can pre-order on Amazon here (for the United States) and here (in the UK). I hope you’ll give this new twist on dystopia a chance.

Be sure to check back next month for Nick Wilford’s guest post! So, what are you reading this summer?

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