Skip to content

Mr. not-nice guy

October 16, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

October 14, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story embraces the mud. What is the mud, real or metaphor? How does it transform a character or place? What happens? Go where the prompt leads!

Mr. not-nice guy

Craig decided years ago he wouldn’t grow old gracefully.

Daily walks, the gym for cardio and weights, a low-fat diet. Pills and powders, and his treasure: testosterone. His skin care routine set him back nearly $100 a month. He had Just for Men on auto-ship.

Craig left his first wife when she gained weight, his second when she let her hair go gray. He advertised for his third to be 5-10 years younger than himself.

He had no relevant thoughts as he stood in front of the mirror and peeled off the charcoal mud mask and washed his face.

###

Windy night

October 11, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

October 7, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes whispers. It can be beautiful or creepy and any genre. Where are the whispers, who are they from, and what do they say if they say anything at all. Go where the prompt leads!

Windy night

Bux raised his head and sniffed. He jumped off the bed, let out a quiet huff and padded out of the bedroom.

Carl grabbed the remote and paused the DVR. He leaned over and whispered into Jean’s ear.

“And you tell me this because?” she said.

“Well, forewarned is forearmed, and I think it’s—”

Jean’s face wrinkled. “Oh, Carl, what is wrong with you?”

“I think it was dinner.”

“My cooking doesn’t do that to anyone!” Jean said as she pulled her pillow over her head.

Carl thought he heard a laugh but he wouldn’t bet on it.

###

Cleaning the drawer

October 10, 2021

From Sammi Cox is the Weekend Writing Prompt #230.

wk 230 brush

If you haven’t thought of it, you might want to clean your bathroom vanity drawers. It’s cathartic. I did mine about a month ago and found some interesting stuff.

I found a soft water test kit, a dried-up sample tube of Kiehl’s moisturizer, and the screw-on top of a toothpaste tube. Your guess is as good as mine as to why I saved that.

I also found a hairbrush. I haven’t used a hairbrush in a score and a quarter years.

Who says I’m not an optimist?

Can they see me?

October 5, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

September 30, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story uses the phrase, “across the water.” It can be any body of water distant or close. Who (or what) is crossing the water and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Can they see me?

Crisp October morning. Steam fog rises and swirls like smoke over the marsh. The wispy veil slowly moves across the water following the sun’s lead while a group of Canada Geese, hidden in the cattails and bulrush, honk and bark.

I see faces in the swirling steam. Faces of loved ones long gone. Can they see me?

The sun rises, the air warms; the steam fog slowly melts.

If I knew it to be true that we see those who have moved on in an afterlife, I’d close my eyes and lie down now.

I miss you that much.

Sex

October 3, 2021

This week Jim prompts us to share a song where someone is having, talking about, insinuating or hinting about sex. There are a lot of songs about sex, and I’m pretty sure that nearly every band or songwriter has one. Even the Beatles are guilty: Please, Please Me and Happiness is a Warm Gun are two examples and you can find more. The Beatles were horny!

While there are a lot of songs dancing around sex, or leaving the interpretation up to us, there are three artists who, in my mind, leave no doubt: Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass and Prince.

Of course I’m going to go with Prince because he’s Prince. Unafraid of ‘controversy‘, Prince was the boldest and most honest of all. He said what was is his mind without fear.

Here’s Sugar Walls. Prince wrote this in 1884 for Sheena Easton. The song ranks #2 on the Parents Music Resource Center’s (PMRC) “Filthy Fifteen” right underneath Prince’s Darling Nikki. The song was banned from radio play in some areas and the video was banned in others. Personally, I’m surprised that there wasn’t a filthy fifteen just for Prince. Had no one at the PMRC listened to Sister?!

My sugar walls
My sugar walls

Where I came from there’s a place called heaven
That’s the place where all the good children go
The houses are of silver, the streets are gold
But there’s more where you come from, my sugar walls

(My sugar walls) ooh (my sugar walls)

Blood races to your private spots
Lets me know there’s a fire
You can’t fight passion when passion is hot
Temperatures rise inside my sugar walls

Let me take you somewhere you’ve never been
I can show you things you’ve never seen
I can make you never want to fall in love again
Come spend the night inside my sugar walls

Take advantage, it’s alright

I feel so alive when I’m with you
Come and feel my presence, it’s raining tonight
Heaven on earth inside my sugar walls

Let me take you somewhere you’ve never been
I can show you things you’ve never seen
I can make you never want to fall in love again
Come spend the night inside my sugar walls

I can tell you want me, (my sugar walls) it’s impossible to hide
Your body’s on fire, admit it, come inside (my sugar walls)
Ah (my sugar walls) oh
Come inside (my sugar walls), my sugar walls (my sugar walls)
Come spend the night inside my sugar walls (my sugar walls)

Author’s chair

September 24, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

September 23, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about an author’s chair. It can belong to any author. Where is it located and why? Does it have special meaning? Go where the prompt leads!

Author’s chair

A lumbar support is strapped over wooden cross rails; a cushion covers an unforgiving seat.

My author’s chair hates me.

I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not too cheap to buy an author’s chair. I just don’t consider myself an author.

The chair mocks me.

I’m lying down reading and from the corner of my eye I see the chair angled toward me. “C’mon,” it taunts. “Sit.”

I blink; it appears closer. “Whatcha gotta say?”

I shake my head.

“Got a story, Mr. Writer? A rhyme?”

When it scrapes across the floor toward me, I lose my mind.

Autumn

September 17, 2021

I’m a big fan of the Winter brothers, Johnny and Edgar, and I listened to them both, Johnny probably more than Edgar, a lot when I was growing up. And then came Edgar’s They Only Come Out at Night album which I thought – and still think – is one of the best rock and roll albums ever put out.

(Sorry Rolling Stones fans)

I spent the better part of a year listening to this album weekly. And when I made mix tapes for my good old 8-track player just about everyone song on that album was included.

I loved everything about They Only Come Out at Night except for one song: Autumn. The first reason is because the first line is dumb. “Autumn, the wind blows colder than summer” Well, duh. The second reason is because it was way, way too slow. Not that slow songs are bad, but when the other nine songs on the album are as good as they are and rock as much as they rock, a person (translation: me) doesn’t have time for a song like Autumn.

But then I got older and paid closer attention to the lyrics and got past that (still) dumb first line and started to like Autum.

Here’s to autumn, a pretty cool season (pun not intended). And here’s to Autumn, a pretty cool song after all.

Thanks to eschudel at Ragtag Daily Prompt for bringing this album back to me today.

And yes, I’m listening to the album right now and I’m on Round & Round which is still one of my favorite songs of all time.

It’s what’s for dinner

September 13, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

September 9, 2021, promptIn 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about the cooking show. It can be any cooking show, real or imagined. Who is there? What happens? Make it fun or follow a disaster. Go where the prompt leads!

It’s what’s for dinner

Everyone wrote about the zombie apocalypse, but no one really believed it could happen.

Surprise!

I won’t bore you with viral genetics; I’ll just say that as SARS-CoV-2 continued to mutate over 103 years, the infected – 94% of the population – didn’t suffer the same as their ancestors, but instead became zombies.

A world of 10.8 billion zombies, all of them interested in different culinary traditions because there’re only so many ways to cook human flesh.

***

“Huuhnee, please turn on TeeVee?”

“Uhh kay, sweetie.”

If you dish not cut it, chefs. Youuu wuhl be chopped. Open baskets now.

Imagine that

September 11, 2021

Not too long ago I discovered two photo apps on the Play Store: Glitch Lab and Mirror Lab. They’re both photo-editing tools, but unlike other apps that help you enhance your photos, these two let you distort them and make some amazingly cool designs. Even using the free versions the sky’s the limit.

What’s really cool about them is you can play with anything. Take a simple piece of aluminum foil and crinkle it up and take a picture. Open it in one of the apps and you’re on your way. It doesn’t matter what your original photo is, color or black, flash on or off, you can turn them into wild abstracts, or if you’re really good, into something else altogether.

With the exception of a backgammon game that’s sort of fun (even though I’m fairly certain it cheats) and a Sudoku game that I got rid of because it punishes you by making you watch an ad when you make a wrong move so I spent more times watching ads than solving the puzzle, I’ve never been able to find a game for my phone or tablet that kept me interested, but I do enjoy these. You can use them as a time waster, or let them challenge your creativity. If you try either one of them I’d hope you’d come back here and leave me a link so I can look at what you made.

These two pictures aren’t really kaleidoscopes, but they’re kind of kaleidoscopic maybe?

Slightly off topic, but for what it’s worth, I once had a really nice telescope, but everywhere I brought it, and trust me, I brought it a lot of places, regardless of how I carried it or held it or moved it or transported it, the darn thing kept bumping into stuff. Turns out I had a collideascope.

Wordless Wednesday: 09/08/21

September 8, 2021

Wordless Wednesday: WW is a simple blog post featuring a photo which conveys a message that speaks for itself without using words.

Hiding

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Fogetaboutit

September 7, 2021

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word is “fog“.

Fog in the morning

On a foggy night . . .

Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Warning of the day!

September 5, 2021

Just a word of caution: if you eat a lollipop too quickly then you could lollygag.

So stand up and dance

September 5, 2021

Over at Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday the theme for this week is “songs that mention the words Carnival, Festival, Gala, Jamboree, Party“. I’m not using any of the prompt words, but since it’s ok to conform to a general theme, I think this song fits because this song is about dancing and people dance at carnivals, festivals, galas, jamborees and parties.

People also dance because they’re happy and it feels good and feeling good is what this song is about.

I’m not going to post the lyrics because they’re really simple and easy to hear. This isn’t a song to sit and read, it’s one to listen to and and dance to. One to just let wash over you and make you feel good. And for me, this song never fails to clear my mind while I sign along.

If you’re like me you probably first heard this song on the radio when it was released. If you came along a little later then you may have heard it performed by one of the many artists that covered the song, like Jubel (who?), Toploader (huh?), Alyson Stoner (what?), or Liza Minelli (seriously?)

Dancing in the Moonlight was a hit for the band King Harvest in 1972, and that’s the version I fell in love with, but that version was also a cover. The song, written by Sherman Kelly in 1969, was originally recorded by his band Boffalongo in 1970.

From Wikipedia:

“On a trip to St. Croix in 1969, I was the first victim of a vicious St. Croix gang who eventually murdered 8 American tourists. At that time, I suffered multiple facial fractures and wounds and was left for dead. While I was recovering, I wrote “Dancin In The Moonlight” in which I envisioned an alternate reality, the dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life.

The version I’m sharing is the original version. Both this and the King Harvest version are pure pop rock, but this version has more of a carefree 60’s country rock/Americana sound and feel to me. It’s a little rawer and more natural.

Again, the lyrics are right there and you can’t miss them. So stand up and dance and pretend you’re at a carnival, festival, gala, jamboree, or party and let yourself get lost in the dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life.

So much to say

September 4, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

September 2, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme, “not everyone fits a prom dress.” You can take inspiration from Ellis Delaney’s song, the photo, or any spark of imagination. Who doesn’t fit and why? What is the tone? You can set the genre. Go where the prompt leads!

So much to say

The game started.

The boy was not good, but he wanted to play. Wanted to be liked.

For 20 minutes he never touched the ball. Even standing unguarded under the basket, no one passed him the ball.

When they took a break no one talked to the boy. He left and walked home.

No one called after him.

He didn’t cry.

The boy hugged his mom, lied that he had fun. No, he wasn’t hungry.

The boy walked to his room; laid down and opened a book he was reading about men and mice.

And that’s when he cried.

Campout: a mini-memoir

August 30, 2021

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

August 26, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a flight of pigs. It can be farm or fantasy-related. The idea can be a tale, poem or memory. You can use the phrase as an expression. Go where the prompt leads!

Yes, there is a beginning to this story and an ending to this story. Here is a tiny memoir in 99-words of one of the middles.

Campout: a mini-memoir

I dated a farm girl who loved camping. Me? My farm knowledge was the words to Old McDonald, and camping was a room at the Holiday Inn.

You do things when you’re in love and that’s how I found myself camping in her brother’s yard one July Saturday night. The bathroom was close, and all things considered, it wasn’t so bad.

Early Sunday morning I woke to a shove. I opened the tent flap and was face-to-face with a very large pig. The pig snorted. Molly reacted with some deep-seated farm knowledge. The pig ran.

I didn’t scream.

E-I-E-I-ohhhhhh.

Put ’em up

August 29, 2021

Over at Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday he askes us to share a song that mentions “the words Fraud, Hypocrite, Phony, Pretender, or Snob.”

I chose the song Boom Boom Mancini because, A) it’s Warren Zevon, and B) the songs stands out because it’s not really a typical Zevon song. This slow rocker is a straight biographical story and a recounting of history. No hidden meaning and no satire – and if there’s a message in these lyrics it’s the line toward the end directed toward sportswriters, Monday morning quarterbacks and boxing detractors:

“They made hypocrite judgements after the fact, but the name of the game is be hit and hit back”

Briefly: Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was a lightweight boxing champion. In 1982, at 21-years-old, he defended the title in Las Vegas against the #1 contender, Duk Koo Kim, a 27-year-old South Korean boxer. The fight lasted 14 rounds and it ended with Mancini retaining his title by TKO and Kim falling into a coma from which he would never awaken. After Kim’s death Mancini spiraled into depression. He blamed himself for the tragedy and he was frequently asked if he was the boxer who ‘killed’ Kim. Mancini was never the same boxer again. He had a few more fights, one against the fighter mentioned in the song, Bobby Chacon, but gone was the aggressiveness that had made him a champion. Eighteen months after the Kim fight Mancini lost the title. He lost the rematch and a couple of other bouts, and he eventually retired. Adding to this tragedy, Kim’s mother committed suicide four months after her son’s death, and the referee who officiated the bout took his life a few months later.

Hurry home early – hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early – hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon

From Youngstown, Ohio, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini
A lightweight contender, like father like son
He fought for the title with Frias in Vegas
And he put him away in round number one

Hurry home early – hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early – hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon

When Alexis Arguello gave Boom Boom a beating
Seven weeks later he was back in the ring
Some have the speed and the right combinations
If you can’t take the punches, it don’t mean a thing

Hurry home early – hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early – hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon

When they asked him who was responsible
For the death of Du Koo Kim
He said, “Someone should have stopped the fight
and told me it was him.”
They made hypocrite judgments after the fact
But the name of the game is be hit and hit back

Hurry home early – hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early – hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon

August 18, 2021

Sadly I haven’t had a lot of time right now to write, but there’s always time for music. Right? So when I saw the Ragtag Daily Prompt for today, TRAIN, my mind went immediately to one place.

It actually went to two places because after it went to the first place it went to the second place which was the theme from Rocky and the music when he’s training. I’m sure you know it?

In truth, my mind has now gone three places: 1) the place it immediately went; 2) the Rocky thing; 3) when can I make dinner?

It just wondered how well the trains in Spain run but I’ll save that for a different post. I don’t mean to get too far off track here, but I used to have a toy train that ran on gum. I called it a “chew chew train”.

It’s 3:57 PM here so the answer to question #3 is soon.

Anyway, “TRAIN” brought to mind a great song by a great band, Blackfoot. And forewarned is forearmed so please know that this song, “Train, Train” is a song that’s meant to be played loud so forget about the neighbors and don’t mess around; just crank the volume as high it will go and stand up and dance like Charlie Hargrett on guitar in that orange silk shirt and rock and roll.

It goes 1… 2… 1, 2, 3, FOUR!

Goin’ to Townes

August 8, 2021

This week Jim asks us to roll the dice and share a song about “Fate, Fortune, Luck“.

My first thought was to share Gordon Lightfoot’s Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald but then I thought about sharing something less popular and someone more obscure. Someone with a poetic genius that believe deserves more attention and that took me to Townes Van Zandt.

Copied and edited from Wikipedia:

John Townes Van Zandt[1] (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997) was an American singer-songwriter.[2][3] He wrote numerous songs that are widely considered masterpieces of American songwriting. His musical style has often been described as melancholy and features rich, poetic lyrics. During his early years, Van Zandt was respected for his guitar playing and fingerpicking ability.

Much of Van Zandt’s life was spent touring various dive bars,[5] often living in cheap motel rooms and backwood cabins. For much of the 1970s, he lived in a simple shack without electricity or a telephone.

His influence has been cited by countless artists across multiple genres, and his music has been recorded or performed by Bob DylanWillie NelsonLyle LovettMerle HaggardNorah JonesEmmylou HarrisCounting CrowsSteve EarleRodney CrowellRobert Earl Keen Jr., Nanci GriffithGuy ClarkWade BowenGillian WelchPat GreenColter WallJason IsbellCalvin RussellNatalie MainesJason MolinaKevin Morby, and Frank Turner.

He suffered from a series of drug addictions[6] and alcoholism,[6] and was given a psychiatric diagnosis of bipolar disorder. When he was young, the now-discredited insulin shock therapy erased much of his long-term memory.[7][8][9]

Van Zandt died on New Year’s Day 1997 from cardiac arrythmia caused by health problems stemming from years of substance abuse.[6]

There’s no question that Van Zandt’s lyrics are depressing – sometimes relentlessly so – but there’s no doubt that he was one of the greatest songwriters of our time. Maybe the best.

Of himself he said: “I don’t know why I write really depressing songs. I’m a kind of melancholy guy, I suppose. But I figure I’m about normal.”

I chose the song, Brother Flower, because it’s a somewhat positive song and because in the second verse he talks a little about where fate has led him, and because I love the the thought of nature healing all that needs to be healed.

Well, brother flower, are you listening?
Let me sing a song for you.
Brother flower, petals glistening
in the bashful morning’s dew.

Brother flower, when the sun shines
and the dew has flown away,
if you don’t mind weak and wrong rhymes,
brother flower, may I stay?

Brother flower, you ain’t lonely
for you’ve always been alone.
But I haven’t been so lucky,
I had love and now it’s gone.

I have arms to hold another,
never to hold her again.
I have life to give a lover,
you have life to give the wind.

Brother flower, when the snow flies
and you lay your beauty down,
brother flower, are you sleeping,
there upon the cold, cold ground?

Brother flower, please awaken,
show the sky your face of blue,
let me know I ain’t forsaken,
seems like all I have is you.

Well, brother flower, are you listening?
Let me sing a song for you.
Brother flower, petals glistening,
in the bashful morning’s dew.

Brother flower, when the sun shines
and the dew has flown away,
if you don’t mind weak and wrong rhymes,
brother flower, may I stay?
Brother flower, may I stay?

What’d ya say?

August 8, 2021

“See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen”
“It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not”
“‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy”
“I can see clearly now, Lorraine is gone”
“You’ve been outright offensive for so long now”
“The girl with colitis goes by”
“There’s a bathroom on the right”

“Mary’s dress waves”

I like misheard song lyrics, but not as much as mispronounced or weird words. Like “flustrated” for “frustrated”, or “bobbed wire” for “barbed wire”. Like “Feberary” and “Lieberry”, or “GIF” (with a g) for “GIF” (with a j), or “mischievious” for “mischievous”.

There was an episode of Friends where Rachel (as portrayed by the talented, and enchanting, Jennifer Aniston) was asking the group for their opinion on the appropriate amount of time one should wait before making a move on a guy who had just broken up with their girlfriend. The Friends all offered opinions and then Joey asked, “Does he like you? Because if he doesn’t like you, this is all a moo-point.”

“A moo-point?” Rachel said.

“Yeah,” Joey answered. “It’s like a cow’s opinion. It doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”

Of course, Joey should have used today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word, MOOT, but then that wouldn’t have been funny. Which I suppose would have then made this post moo. Or moot.

Not relevant to anything, but I recently went shopping for a new box spring and mootress. I didn’t realize that prices for bedding had risen so much.

~^~^~^~^~

If you’re interested, here are the correct lyrics to the eight songs referenced at the top:
“See that girl, watch that scene, digging the dancing queen”Dancing Queen, Abba
“It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not”Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi
“’Scuse me while I kiss the sky”– Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix
“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone”I Can See Clearly Now, Johnny Nash
“You’ve been out ridin’ fences for so long now”Desperado, The Eagles
“The girl with kaleidoscope eyes”Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, The Beatles
“There’s a bad moon on the right”Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Mary’s dress sways”Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen

Exercise over 50

August 7, 2021

I am by no means an exercise expert or fitness guru. I like to walk and I like to go to the gym when it’s convenient.

But I do like to follow exercise and nutrition research and trends, and not too long ago I found an exercise program for people over 50 that I really connected with. I don’t know the ages of the people who drop in to this blog, but I figure some of you must be over 50 so I thought I’d share it.

There’s no cut and dried time frame for this program. You don’t have to do something for ‘X’ number of days and then progress to the next level; you just work at your own speed and set your own tempo. Keep it simple and always stay within your comfort zone and at a level where you feel confident.

You begin by holding a 5-lb potato bag in each hand and extend your arms straight out from your sides and you simply hold them there as long as you can. Just breath normally and hold the potato bags. That’s it! Could it be any simpler? Tell me you’re not feeling stronger, healthier and more confident right now.

Do this one time every day and as each day passes, you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer than you did the time before. Just fractions of seconds at the start (remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day) but the more you work the program, the faster you’ll see those fractions of seconds become minutes.

After a couple of weeks, or whenever you feel comfortable (remember: no pressure), allow yourself to move up to 10-lb potato bags in each hand. When you’re ready then try 50-lb potato bags in each hand, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand. I’ve been working this program for about seven weeks and I’m at this level right now.

After you feel confident holding the 100-lb potato bags, then put a potato in each bag.

Please keep in touch and let me know your progress!

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional.

%d bloggers like this: