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Nothing much

July 29, 2021

You might not want to quote me on this, but if you want to exisccate meat you can put salt on it for a period of time.

From Dictionary.com
verb (used with object)
1. to dry or remove the moisture from, as a substance.
2. to dry up, as moisture.

Exsiccating something would be akin to dehydrating something.

Not so very long ago I bought a package of Butler Soy Curls online. I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to meat and this had great reviews, no additives and was only minimally processed. They’re little chunks of exisccated soybeans that you rehydrate and then cook. They’re advertised as having exquisite flavor but I wasn’t crazy about them. This shouldn’t sound like any kind of bad review or anything because I didn’t really season them properly. With proper seasoning I believe they’d be quite good.

Do you like dry humor? There was this one time became so dehydrated that I couldn’t remember the alphabet. I had ABCDEFG and PQRSTUVWXYZ. I was missing H to O.

For real.

#

Ragtag Daily Prompt: EXISCCATE
Word of the Day: AKIN
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: REAL

Zoo

July 28, 2021

As much as I love animals. Strike that because I just remembered squirrels.

As much as I love most animals — ok, wait, I should explain.

It’s not that I hate squirrels or don’t love them, but they’re not my favorite animal because they’re just weird. And I don’t know if mosquitos and flies are considered animals but I really don’t like them. Mosquitoes for obvious reasons and flies because they’re filthy. I guess I don’t care too much for mice and rats either even though rats are supposed to make good pets, I don’t know. And rabbits, they’re ok because they’re cute but why don’t they run away from me? I’m walking down a path and there’s a rabbit on the path. The rabbit sees something that’s 100 times his size and rather than run away he just turns and looks the other way. Hello? By the time the rabbit finally does run away I’m close enough to (assuming I was a predator animal with strong legs and an empty stomach) pounce on him and turn him into stew.

I guess I’m also not very fond of Canada geese and those wild turkeys I see everywhere.

Let’s start over. Just as soon as I remember what I wanted to say so give me a sec.

Ok.

Even though I have a fondness for a number of animals, I’m not a fan of zoos. Yeah, it’s cool to see gorillas and giraffes and monkeys and elephants (especially elephants), but I don’t like that the animals are being held in confinement and in unnatural environments. Animals don’t do well zoos, and maybe I’m projecting, but they look sad. Their eyes look sad. And something that might make us all sad is that animals in those zoo environments can develop zoochosis.

Having said all of that, I think if I lived in a city that had a zoo with a pander– ok, I need to rephrase that.

While the Minnesota zoo did have a red pander, Min, that sadly died just a few weeks ago, it’s the giant pander that I find interesting and would like to see, and I think if I lived in a city with a zoo that had a giant pander bear, or maybe a dragon, I might go and visit.

Could you imagine if I did go to a zoo and tried to free all the animals? That would be sheer pandermonium.

Written for Your Daily Word Prompt for July 28: PANDER

I just went back for a quick proofread and you know what? I think I maybe could have possibly misread the YDWP word.

The long nap

July 28, 2021

For Girlie on the Edge‘s Six Sentence Stories for July 25, 2021.
PROMPT WORD: DISTRACTION

~~~~~~~~

Betty turned off the television, turned to Harold and smiled.

A fan of General Hospital since its premiere in 1963, Betty may have missed Doctor Hardy and Nurse Audrey, but outside of her daughter Patty’s appendectomy in 1966, and the day of her own hip surgery in 2001, she never missed an episode of the daily drama.

Harold, on the other hand, had only begun watching the show with her after his retirement from the post office five years ago; and having no real interest in the lives of Port Charles’ residents, he was often openly critical of Betty’s devotion to the show and wasn’t overly shy about sharing his opinions, because for him the show was, as he was always fond of saying – today and everyday – something to do between taking a walk and taking a nap.

Betty pressed the button to raise the lift chair, stood cautiously and stepped over to Harold who had been sitting in his matching lift chair wide-eyed and unblinking since the first commercial break.

Against the complaints of her right hip, she bent over, and with the speed, precision, and skill of Dr. Alan Quartermaine, General Hospital’s only real Chief of Staff in her mind, yanked the size 9 metal knitting needle from Harold’s left ear.

“I love you, dear, but I’ve told you I don’t know how many times that I wouldn’t tolerate another distraction from you during my show.”

Poem me

July 27, 2021

I like poetry. I can tell you that if it’s a limerick I’m sold immediately and haikus fascinate me, and I like both prose and confessional poetry. After that it’s anyone guess; if I read something that makes me feel something and think something then I tend to like it.

After Doctor Seuss, I think my greatest exposure to poetry was (nearly) every morning with Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. He didn’t always read poems I liked, but he read enough of them I did like to keep me interested and to start me looking for others. And for saving the ones I liked. Thankfully The Writer’s Almanac is back and available on his website now. For what it’s worth, I didn’t like today’s poem (Sea Fever by John Masefield).

I know there are a lot of different poetic forms, but I can’t say that I really understand some of them. And I’m not really sure what “makes” a poem.

There are two things I think I know for certain about poetry and they are:
1. I know for certain if I like something after I’ve read it (but I might not know why)
2. I know writing a poem is not simple

Last week I was online trying to learn how to write poetry and I found a site that had some prompts. I like prompts so I thought I had struck gold, but I’m not so sure. The first prompt was to write a ballad with the ABABBCBC rhyming scheme and to follow this prompt:

(Your Name)
Who… (A)
Loves… (B)
Whose heart… (A)
And whose skin crawls when… (B)
I cheer for/when… (B)
And cry for/when… (C)
There is nothing I want more… (B)
But… (C)
(Your Name)

I came up with what you see below. And my apologies to anyone named Barry or Grace, or anyone who owns a 1970 Dodge Challenger.

Barry
Who owns a bowling alley
Loves Grace
Whose heart is as dry as Death Valley
And whose skin crawls when she sees Barry’s face
I cheer for the human race
And cry when the race is lost
There is nothing I want more than to drive a 1970 Dodge Challenger in an auto race
But I choke on the exhaust
Barry

My takeway: it takes more than rhymes.

Feel free to share a favorite poet or poem in the comments if you’re so inclined?

Do you know what horse Edgar Allan Poe rode? A Poe-ny.

Wanna ride?

July 25, 2021

I thought this week’s Song Lyric Sunday would be simple: share a song about a car. There was Springsteen and Prince and Springsteen again. And again. And again. Chuck Berry, The Beatles. I thought about The Doobie Brothers. And then I thought about the Doobie Brothers again. I think I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t sung a song about a car and I’m not a singer. I thought about Molly Hatchet, about Deep Purple, and I thought about (and this is a really good song) Greg Brown and Tom Waits

I thought about others…

I briefly thought about a Greyhound bus and The Grateful Dead covering Chuck Berry’s The Promised Land

Thankfully I didn’t think about trains or I’d never get anywhere!

Or semi-trucks.

And then I thought, why am I thinking about cars when Jim’s prompt clearly says that Our theme this week is Automobile, Car, Jalopy, Vehicle and that’s when I thought about a motorcycle – because that’s a vehicle, right? – and this wonderful ballad from Richard Thompson from his Rumor and Sigh album, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.

Wikipedia tells us Richard Thompson is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist and a lot of other interesting information. I can tell you that he’s a great singer, a great songwriter and is one of the best guitar players on the planet. And he’s funny.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this “simple boy meets girl story” which is “complicated somewhat by the presence of a motorcycle”. If you like story songs, I think you’ll like it. If you watch the video I hope you like it more than the guitar player in the khaki pants on the far right.

Says Red Molly, to James, “Well that’s a fine motorbike.
A girl could feel special on any such like.”
Says James, to Red Molly, “My hat’s off to you, it’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952.

And I’ve seen you on the corners and cafes, it seems.
Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme.”
And he pulled her on behind, and down to Boxhill they’d ride.

Says James, to Red Molly, “Here’s a ring for your right hand.
But I’ll tell you in earnest I’m a dangerous man;
For I’ve fought with the law since I was seventeen.
I’ve robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine.

I thought this week’s Song Lyric Sunday would be simple: share a song about a car. There was Springsteen and Prince and Springsteen again. And again. And again. Dylan, The Beatles. I think I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t sung a song about a car and I’m not a singer. I thought The Doobie Brothers, Deep Purple, The Doobie Brothers again, or Greg Brown, or Tom Waits…

I thought about others…

And then I thought, why am I thinking about cars when Jim’s prompt clearly says that Our theme this week is Automobile, Car, Jalopy, Vehicle and that’s when I thought about a motorcycle – because that’s a vehicle, right? – and this wonderful ballad from Richard Thompson from his Rumor and Sigh album, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.

Wikipedia tells us Richard Thompson is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist and a lot of other interesting information. I can tell you that he’s a great singer, a great songwriter and is one of the best guitar players on the planet. And he’s funny.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this “simple boy meets girl story” which is “complicated somewhat by the presence of a motorcycle”. If you like story songs, I think you’ll like it.

Says Red Molly, to James, “Well that’s a fine motorbike.
A girl could feel special on any such like.”
Says James, to Red Molly, “My hat’s off to you, it’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952.

And I’ve seen you on the corners and cafes, it seems.
Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme.”
And he pulled her on behind, and down to Boxhill they’d ride.

Says James, to Red Molly, “Here’s a ring for your right hand.
But I’ll tell you in earnest I’m a dangerous man;
For I’ve fought with the law since I was seventeen.
I’ve robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine.

And now I’m twenty-one years, I might make twenty-two.
And I don’t mind dyin’ but for the love of you.
But if fate should break my stride, then I’ll give you my Vincent, to ride.”

“Come down Red Molly,” called Sargent McQuade.
“For they’ve taken young James Aidee for armed robbery.
Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside.
Oh, come down, Red Molly, to his dying bedside.”

When she came to the hospital, there wasn’t much left.
He was runnin’ out of road. He was runnin’ out of breath.
But he smiled, to see her cry and said, “I’ll give you my Vincent to ride.”

Said James, “In my opinion, there’s nothing in this world
beats a ’52 Vincent and a Redheaded girl.
Now Triumphs and Nortons and Greevses won’t do, they don’t have a Soul like a Vincent ’52.”

And he reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys.
He said, “I’ve got no further use…for these. I see Angels on Ariels in leather and chrome,
Swoopin’ down from Heaven to carry me home.”

And he gave her one last kiss and died. And he gave her his Vincent to ride.

Rain

July 23, 2021

Between wildfires and drought, other than we need it badly, I don’t have much to say about today’s RDP prompt, RAIN. But I do have a lot of songs I like with the word “Rain” in the title. Here are some of them:

Purple Rain
Early Morning Rain
Box of Rain
Let it Rain
Who’ll Stop the Rain
Laughter in the Rain
Singin’ in the Rain
Fire and Rain

I guess I just realized that there are a lot of songs with the word “Rain” in the title. And now that I’m thinking about the word “Rainy”, there are more:

Rainy Days and Mondays
Rainy Day People
Rainy Day Woman (Waylon, not Dylan)
Here Comes that Rainy Day Feeling Again

Enough of this. I wonder if I like songs about rain because I’m a water sign? Or maybe I’m Only Happy When it Rains? Nah, that’s Garbage.

Rain
Charles Bukowski

a symphony orchestra.
there is a thunderstorm,
they are playing a Wagner overture
and the people leave their seats under the trees
and run inside to the pavilion
the women giggling, the men pretending calm,
wet cigarettes being thrown away,
Wagner plays on, and then they are all under the
pavilion. the birds even come in from the trees
and enter the pavilion and then it is the Hungarian
Rhapsody #2 by Lizst, and it still rains, but look,
one man sits alone in the rain
listening. the audience notices him. they turn
and look. the orchestra goes about its
business. the man sits in the night in the rain,
listening. there is something wrong with him,
isn’t there?
he came to hear the
music.

So many rain songs, which one do I like the best right this minute to share? I like Springsteen and I like Prince and I like Purple Rain so when 1 + 1 +1 = 4 that’s what you go with.

In an afternoon

July 23, 2021

You sit on the bench facing the lake; the one on the concrete slab off the main path in the shade. Your eyes follow the breeze-blown straight line ripples, sun-sparkled, moving toward the lonely shore.

Occasionally a fish, or maybe a turtle pops to the surface creating quick concentric circles that blend with the straight waves.

Eventually the circles fade and the ripples return and the flow is restored.

The breeze sings through the leaves of the quaking aspen and gophers and squirrels skitter about staying busy.

Two swans drifting far off on the other side of the lake remind you what life is about.

Word of the Day challenge: SKITTER

We were still less-than-good

July 22, 2021

I played Little League baseball from ages 10 to 12. Like Major League Baseball, there was a minor league and a major league. I think they have actual age limits on the two leagues now, but when I played (which on some days feels like shortly after the game was invented in the late 1800’s) I remember there were young kids my age who were very good and who played on a major league team.

I was not one of those kids.

I was barely one of the kids who played on the minor league team.

For the most part (and to make myself feel better) the entire team was barely able to play on the minor league team. I don’t mean to paint a Bad News Bears picture, we weren’t comical or goofy or anything like that, we just weren’t very good.

The standout memory for me is a coach we had when I was 12. He was the dad of someone I’ve long forgotten and he was nothing like Walter Matthau. He thought we were better than we were, or that we could be better than we were or some such nonsense. At practices he would have us run the bases. He would have us shag fly balls . He would have us run laps around the outfield. He was a tyrant. (Tyrant is my old guy word, I have no idea if my young kid brain knew or registered that word or not). Despite the practices, we were still less-than-good players.

Considering my Little League experience it’s a wonder why I like baseball so much today.

For Ragtag Daily Prompt: SHAG

Go for a walk?

July 21, 2021

We all know that walking is good exercise, but there’s walking and then there’s walking. While I do the first because I sort of have to because I feel guilty if I don’t, it’s the second one I enjoy more and look forward to doing.

The second one, the walking, is walking in nature, and for me there’s not much that’s more enjoyable. I enjoy the peace and tranquility when walking among the trees and the rocks and the animals. I leave the music at home so the only distraction is whatever happens naturally. Sun, heat, clouds, cold, even rain, it doesn’t matter because as distractions go, they’re all quite minor.

Sometimes I’m focused on just strolling and taking photos, and other times I’m focused on walking nowhere but in a circle, and sometimes I’m focused on taking slow, mindful steps as described by Thich Nhat Hanh:

“We become aware of the contact between our feet and the ground. And we begin harmonise our steps with our breathing. We may take two or three steps as we breathe in, and then three or four steps as we breathe out. It will depend on your lungs and the natural rhythm of your steps.

As we continue walking, synchronising our breathing and our steps, we become aware of our whole body walking. We can relax any tension in our shoulders or arms, and feel what a miracle it is to be walking on Earth. We can open our ears to the sounds around us, and lift up our eyes to enjoy the trees, or the horizon, or the people around us. Aware of our five senses, we know we have arrived in the present moment. Every step can be nourishing and every step can be healing.

Walking in meditation means to walk in such a way that we know we are walking. We walk leisurely, enjoying every step. We become aware of the contact of our feet with the ground, and the flow of our breathing. We set ourselves free from our thinking—our regrets about the past, our fears and anxieties about the future, or our preoccupations in the present. We become 100% present with every step.” – The Art of Mindful Living

I confess I’m not very good at the whole mindful walking thing, but that’s ok.

Sometimes I stop and sit on a bench (assuming it’s not covered in moss or spider webs). Whatever I do I always notice the smells and the sounds and the colors and the shadows.

After a time at any of these, my racing and spinning thoughts eventually slow and coalesce into a warm, soft feeling of calm. Of positivity and invigoration. When that happens it’s nice. The feelings may not always last a long time, but they’re nice. And who knows, one day they might?

For RDP: COALESCE

My personal ad

July 20, 2021

Everyone nowadays seems to be turning to online personal ad sites to meet someone. You probably know someone, or have seen a commercial, so you know what I’m talking about. I thought maybe it’s time I took the plunge so I wrote an ad and thought I’d share my first draft here for feedback.

Hi. I’m a good person and I don’t want to break the law. If you’d like to break away and break bread with me that’d be cool. We can go to that restaurant near where they’re getting ready to break ground for something or other. I’d suggest we eat somewhere where the food isn’t too bizarre because I wouldn’t want either of us to break into a cold sweat – or worse, break out in tears – over what to order. Heaven forbid either of us should be so nervous that we break out in a rash.

I should probably break the news to you at this point that my hope is that you’re a good conversationalist because I’m not and you’ll probably need to break the silence at some point. Or points. And if you don’t like that then it’d be ok for you to make a clean break.

And I have good manners, so you don’t have to worry about my having to break wind at any time.

If things work out then who knows, we might end up “Reelin’ and Rockin’ until the break of dawn”

(Ragtag Daily Prompt: BREAK)

Reelin’ and Rockin’ with the GOAT. All righty?

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