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The Final Four

April 5, 2019

I couldn’t care less that the Final Four is in town. Not that I have anything against college basketball, it’s just that outside of baseball, I’m not much of a sports guy.

Aside from it being too crowded, which I don’t like, what I like about the Final Four being in town is some of the people who are here for the festivities. When I go downtown every day it’s because I have to go downtown and as a result I’m rushing to make lights, and I’m angry at the traffic, and when I walk outside to where I’m going I’m walking fast and generally with my head down, and when I’m walking in the skyways it’s pretty much the same only my head isn’t down. My behavior is the complete opposite of being mindful.

The out-of-towners are different. They’re relaxed. They stroll. They notice the buildings. They look around themselves. They look into shop windows. They pay attention to what they’re seeing. They’re absorbed in being in downtown Minneapolis and they’re embracing everything the city – or at least the part of it they’re in – has to offer. The very definition of Mindfulness.

In my defense I’m going to work and they’re on vacation but who’s keeping score.

So thank you Final Four visitors for reminding me to not take every workday, both the stressful ones and the mundane ones, for granted. And for reminding me just how special going – and being – downtown every day can be. I hope whichever team you’re pulling for wins.

“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

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It’s Elemental

April 4, 2019

Sometimes, no matter how much you like writing prompts and how often they trigger a story idea, you have a day where they just don’t work and you’re stuck and idea-less.

When I saw that prompt word – AIR – that’s what happened to me: idea-less. All the writing I may have done in the past week or month is meaningless because in my mind, swirling around in the miasma of stinky perfectionism, I feel like I’ve taking a gigantic step backward and that I’m back at air one and that creatively, I’m hanging out there and coasting along on a wing and a air. That’s where I’m at today and I’ll tell ‘ya, it’s left me feeling as mad as a March air.

In situations like this I think it’s best to simply take a break from the whole affair, stand up, stretch and go outside for some fresh air.

For the picture prompt the one titled, “Frigid”, which you can see at The Haunted Wordsmith blog by clicking here, well, I had a good story idea for that that included snow and ice and winter and cold and all that mean and nasty stuff, along with a couple of zombies who were impervious to the cold, but after looking at all that picture with all that snow and ice the idea slipped my mind. I guess the lesson here is that when you’re in one of these moods there’s just snow way out.

Oh, what did the lovelorn snow say to the avid skier? I’ve fallen for you.

And what did the avid skier reply back to the snow? I’ve missed you snow much.

Me & Jen

April 4, 2019

I’m a pretty private person so I don’t talk much about myself, but I felt it was important for me to say something about this publicly before the news outlets pick it up and it goes viral on social media.

Some of you who have been following me for a while know that Jennifer Aniston and I have been in a fantasy relationship for quite a few years. I’ve blogged about our fantasy relationship before, and before, and before, and before. Lately though, things between us haven’t felt the same. She’s been more distant than has been normal for her and there have been too many days where she’s still in bed at ten when she’s her work had begun work at eight, and for me, I feel more and more like I’m stuck in second gear. Having said that, I’m announcing that after seven years I’ve ended our fantasy relationship.

No, I won’t answer any questions about the burned breakfast.

I’ve always been there for her. I was there after her break-up with Brad Pitt and I was there when the rain started to pour, and I was there for her after her separation from that Justin Theroueauuaeaouxx guy, but I can’t keep it up, I can’t keep “being there” any longer. I have to take care of myself now.

I wish Ms. Aniston all the best in her future endeavors. Maybe if she had chosen me instead of that Justin Theroueauuaeaouxx guy she wouldn’t have had to endure countless years being the subject of gossip and rumors and innuendo in the tabloids (because, let’s face it, I’m kind of boring) and she would be comfortable and happy sitting on a couch (in pajamas or lingerie, whichever she preferred) next to me eating popcorn.

And for the record, I’d like to say that I am not one of Jennifer Aniston’s mystery suitors.

So ends the Jennifer Aniston chapter of my life. No one told me life was going to be this way and this wasn’t an easy decision but I believe it to be the best decision for both of us.

C’est la vie.

“La vie.”

But my love life’s not D.O.A. While you might be thinking that this hasn’t been my day, my week, my month or even my year, I’m not one to wallow and I’m not one to pass up a good idiom so I’ve taken the bull by the horns and I’m jumping in with both feet and I’m making my move, I’m taking the plunge, I’m choosing my fate and I’ve begun fantasy seeing Jennifer Garner. I think Jennifer Garner is going to be a much better Jennifer and between the Capital One and Neutrogena commercials I think we’ll be seeing a lot of each other.

Casawhat?

April 3, 2019

Genre Writing Challenge April 3 at The Haunted Wordsmith

Today’s genre and image:
Romantic Thriller: a thriller in which the protagonists are romantically involved.

art-2760959_1280[1]

Casawhat?

Jerry grabbed her, pulled her close. He looked in her eye like she’d never been looked at before and may never be looked at again.

“Listen, Ilsa, we both know you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”

Karen folded the dish towel and set it down on the kitchen counter. “Jerry, stop it.”

“But, Ilsa-”

“And stop calling me Ilsa!”

“Alright. If that’s what you want. But will you call me Rick?”

“Jerry?”

“Will you?” he said behind what he hoped was his charming grin.

Jerry?”

“That’s a no?”

“That’s a no, sweetheart.”

Jerry broke the hug and stepped back. He sat down. “I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean so what if once in a while we pretend we’re in Casablanca. It doesn’t hurt anyone.”

“By “we” you mean you?”

“Yeah, maybe, but you like the movie though. You didn’t argue when I said it was the greatest love story ever made. “Better than “The Notebook” you said.” ”

Almost just as good as “The Notebook” is what I recall saying.”

“That’s just about the same thing. I mean come on, it’s got it all. It’s a wartime romance, a thriller, political intrigue, love – unrequired love.”

“Unrequited.”

“Whatever, it’s there, it’s all there, and I don’t see what the big deal is.” Jerry stood up and walked into the den. He threw himself down on the couch, threw his arm over his eyes and forehead. He was ready for a sulk. He felt Karen sit down on the couch, felt her hand on his arm.

“But what about us?” Karen said. “I said I would never leave you.”

Jerry moved his arm, opened his eyes and looked up at Karen. Took hold of her hand. “And you never will.”

“But?”

“But I’ve got a job to do, too. And what I’ve got to do you can’t be any part of. Ilsa…”

“Yes, Richard?”

Jerry smiled. “I’m not good at being noble and it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.”

“You know what I don’t understand right now, baby?”

“What’s that?”

“I don’t understand why I’m so crazy in love with you, you weird fool.”

Jerry pulled her down closer. “Here’s looking at you, kid,” he said right before he kissed her.

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(With many thanks to Messrs. Julius Epstein, Philip Epstein and Howard Koch)

Springtime Haiku

April 2, 2019

This is for the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. This week’s topic is “Springtime Haiku“.

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04/02/19

Springtime is here and flow,
ers will soon be blooming – brrr –
winter’s on the way.

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This Afternoon

April 1, 2019

Elemental Challenge April 1

This is a new requested challenge. For this challenge, we will explore one of the four elements: air, earth, water, fire.

This week’s focus is AIR.

Simply use the word and/or image provided and be inspired by the natural element. As usual, anything goes! Just have fun.

Today’s word and image:

sweet

japanese-cherry-trees-324175_1920
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

The Afternoon

I never thought anything like that could happen and I especially didn’t think about it ever happening to me. But it did, it happened this afternoon and it was all my fault.

The old lady who lives at the end of the block, we call her the Old Lady. We don’t know anything about her and our parents don’t talk to any of us about her. She’s just a weird old lady and all the kids know that, but apparently, I was the only one who wasn’t afraid of her because when she told us to stop walking across her lawn, “or else”, everyone else stopped and I didn’t. I thought the Old Lady was harmless, a kook, and cutting across her lawn was fun because I liked hearing the other kids standing across the street go ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ when they watched me cross her lawn so I kept doing it. And because I thought she was harmless I didn’t hesitate to go to her door when she called to me this afternoon.

“You still walk across my lawn after I told you to stop?”

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“No, you’re not. Anyone can see that. Do you like to tease old ladies, young man?”

“No, ma’am.”

“So, you can be polite when you want. Do you disobey your parents like you disobey others?”

“No, ma’am. “I don’t disobey my—”

“Don’t lie to me.”

“I… I guess maybe I do.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know, just because, I guess.”

“Just because?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Just because, he says. You hear that,” she said to no one. “Bow your head, Thomas.”

“How’d you know my name?”

“Bow your head, child.”

I lowered my head and looked down and she placed her palm on the top of my head. I could feel the other kids staring at me and I didn’t like how that made me feel. “Ma’am—”

“Hush, boy,” she said. “And listen.”

She raised her voice and said, “Rouach, see this boy Thomas? He disobeys. Yes, that’s right, disobeys. And he’s impolite. Unrestrained. Hear me now, Rouach. Krokah odika noh, vot ve sape. See him with his head bowed before you. Broahk van delouga. Broahk van delouga. BROAHK VAN DELOUGA!

I heard a tremendous buzzing in my head that drowned out the Old Lady’s strange words and an eerie sense of weightlessness and that’s the last thing I remember until I woke up.

I don’t know how much time had passed until I opened my eyes. First one and then the other. I don’t know how long I was asleep or if you could even call what I was doing sleeping. Then I opened the third eye, Then the fourth. And the fifth. The sun was bright and warm and I felt weightless on my perch which was a splendid flowering bush. My head was lowered and my tongue was deep inside the anther of a beautiful pink flower and I was enjoying nectar that was the sweetest thing I had ever tasted. I looked around and caught the movement of others flying around me and I glanced at my own body and saw the yellow and brown color bands and the legs covered in pollen and the set of wings and I realized that the Old Lady had changed me into a bee. A honey bee.

My parents are going to be really mad at me, I thought.

I felt scared. I tested my wings and found they worked, and I left the sweet plant and flew up into the air. I was flying around in circles, panicked with thoughts of what my parents and my friends and my teachers were going to think when they found out I had been turned into a honey bee by the Old Lady. And then I started to cry when I realized that none of them will ever know because who will tell them? The Old Lady won’t and I can’t. They’ll just think I ran away and disappeared. Or they’ll think that I was kidnapped by some crazy person and I felt sad thinking how sad that thought would make my mom and dad feel. Maybe sadder than they’ve ever felt before. And then they’ll forget about me – first my teachers and then my friends and eventually, not for many sad and distressing years, my parents. I flew in tighter circles and rose higher and higher until I couldn’t see the other bees or the flowers and I yelled out to the Old Lady that I was sorry, that I was so sorry, and that I wouldn’t cut across her lawn anymore and that I would use her real name, Mrs. Bunsen, when I talked about her and not call her the Old Lady anymore and I would tell the other kids, too. I would make sure they didn’t do any of that bad stuff toward her either. I begged her to bring me back to just being a boy. I told her and I told her and I told her and I…

“Raise your head, Thomas. Open your eyes.”

“Mrs. Bunsen?” I looked at myself: I wasn’t a honey bee, I was a boy, I was me. I was me with only two eyes and no wings and not covered in pollen and I was standing in front of Mrs. Bunsen.

“Yes, Thomas. You have something to say to me.”

“No, Mrs… I mean yes. I’m sorry – really sorry – I was wrong for not listening to you and for cutting across your lawn after you asked me to stop. I did it because I wanted to show off in front of everyone and that wasn’t right. I apologize and I hope you accept my apology, ma’am.”

She nodded and smiled. “I do, Thomas. I accept your apology.”

“And I won’t do it no… anymore.”

“I believe you, child. And thank you. Now, Thomas,” she said as she opened the door and stepped to the side. “Would you like to come inside and sit in the kitchen with this old lady and share a glass of lemonade? It’s very sweet, just the way you like it.”

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On the Couch

April 1, 2019

The Carrot Ranch March 26, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence. It’s a rich word full of different meanings. Explore how it sounds or how you might play with it. Go where the prompt leads!

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On the Couch

“Did you see ‘his eminence’ on the news today telling us how good everything is?” she said.

“You’ve got M&Ms?”

“No, ‘eminence’.”

“I don’t watch the news anymore. You really got candy?”

“I’ve got M&M’s.”

“It’s all a front, you know.”

“What is?”

“Politics.”

“Let’s both have some candy.”

“The M&M’s?”

“Plain or peanut, I’ve got both.”

“Then let’s have both!”

She went to the kitchen and returned with two bags. “Guess what?”

“What?”

“Dead Reckoning is on.”

“Ooh, Lizbeth Scott.”

“You like her.”

“Not as much as I like you.”

“You’re sweet.”

“Not as sweet as those M&M’s.”

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