Sunday, November 28, 2010

Microfiction Monday


 Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.   Why yes, I did say a WHOLE story in 140 keystrokes.




This week's illustration

I'd rather be pulled asunder by two of these massive beasts 
than be caught dead in public with Harold 
wearing that silly leopard hat again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh Come On!

You guys didn't eat THAT much turkey!


Hope those of you braving Black Friday are staying safe.
You couldn't PAY me to go out today!

But right now, 
the floor seems just about as hazardous as a shopping mall.

Enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Odds & Ends

 Today was just one of those weird days, where turning every corner held a "What the heck?"  moment.

1.  My radio announced that North Korea now has a nuclear program equal to Iran's.   How do we know?  They told us they were going to build it.  Sig Hecker, a former Stanford professor was one of several who toured the plant, where he saw "2,000 centrifuges set up in the facility, as well as construction on a 25 megawatt light water nuclear reactor."  

"My jaw just dropped, I was stunned," Hecker said of the moment he saw the centrifuges. "To see what looked like hundreds and hundreds of centrifuges lined up... it was just stunning. In a clean, modern facility, looking down I said ‘Oh my god, they actually did what they said there were going to do.'"

Note to Government Big Wigs: Next time N. Korea talks, play like E.F. Hutton and LISTEN.  Especially after today's antics.

2.  Artist Jasper Johns, he of the abstract painting world, is set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  I knew he was a S.C. boy [can you call an 80 year old guy that?] but what I didn't know was that he graduated from the SAME High School I went too.  Granted, 11 years before I was born.  Interestingly, my parents and I graduated from that same building.  Not until Little Bro was born did he get a "new" high school. Ironically, the "gym" side of the school is where my Department's office is located. 

3.  Why is it that "problems with voting" on the t.v. show "Dancing with the Stars" got larger notice in my e-mail news updates than the fact N. Korea shot at S. Korea today?  Could it be because Sara Palin's daughter is a finalist?  Oh and Shug, just so you know, the Royal Wedding is scheduled for late April at Westminster Abbey.  I hear all the Kings & Queens get crowned there...and it's where the funeral for this poor girl's dearly departed mother-in-law was held.  Next news flash....two S. Korean Marines were killed in today's attack instigated by N. Korea.  Not clear if they announced that in advance or not.

Whatever happened to "in order of importance" with the news?

4.  Took my mother-in-law, who doesn't drive, to a dental appointment today.  Sat in the most comfortable, enveloping leather chair I've ever perched upon.  Settled back to read my book when the magazines on the table caught my eye.  Beautiful, glossy covers of lush photos, from food to flowers.  But the title made me go, "Whaaaat?"

Garden and Gun.

Really?  Is that hunting critters that eat your vegetables with a pistol?  Going on safari for moles?  A CIA style gardening plan to exterminate bugs with extreme prejudice?  I had to check it out.  The magazine was explained as "Garden and Gun, a Southern lifestyle magazine that's all about the magic of the new South - sporting culture, food, music, art, literature."  

Again.  Really?  I've lived in the South all my life and I missed this one.   I didn't even know a "new South" had been declared.  Do the publishers of "Southern Living" know about this? 

I shall now retreat ito the peace and quiet of my own home to enjoy the new heat pump we had installed today to heat our 125 year old home efficiently.  Did I mention it was 80 degrees [27C] today?

Hey Honey....how do you switch this thing over to air conditioning?

Hope your week is a good one!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday 55

It's time to play "Write a story in 55 words".  And if you do, be sure to let the G-Man know. 

And yes, I know I'm late.  But hey, it's still Friday, right?  And I'll visit you Saturday.  Right after I check up on the hubby catching a bad head cold, the dog with a NEW strain of Kennel Cough, laundry and canning homemade cranberry sauce.  It'll feel good to sit and visit for a while after that.



Great!  First it was politicians.  Then "false prophets" fleecing their sheep.  Now it's

Relatives!  

Especially ones with no patience.  No plan.  No clue.

Everywhere I go, someone has their hand out wanting easy money.

Depressing, isn't it?  What's wrong with the world?

You look twice and you can see the writing on the wall.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GO TELL HER TO HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Today is Susan's birthday!   

Please take the time to pop over 
and wish the Mama of Microfiction Monday  
(and ALL those great writing tips) a

VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

[Sorry, don't have Thom's tech skills for all the flash and dazzle stuff]

;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wrong Number

After 16 years with the same cell phone company (yeah, I know...UNHEARD of!) I hung up on them.  Permanently.  Well not so much THEM  (Oh Alltel, I miss your dependable service and even those dorky t.v. commercials) as the other idiots....um...competitors who took them over.   They have not  been pleased that I actually believed their letter which claimed, "You don't need to change a thing!  Everything will work just like it did before, only better!"  

What's the polite word for LIAR?

And they're nowhere near as impressed with my loyalty as A, whose operators use to greet me with, "Hi.  Welcome to A.  I see you've been with us for (fill in the blank) years.  How may I help you?"  Well, except the one operator who was so overcome with our loyalty that she said, "Hi.  Welcome to A.  I see you've been with us for ...holy shit!  Um.  Sorry.  I mean 12 years.  Who stays with the same cell company for 12 years?"   
  
She begged for my forgiveness and we laughed together.

Long story short, we have switched to another company, which also begins with A, because they were kinder than the representative who informed me, "Well the problem is you don't have OUR plan.  Or OUR phone."  Hostile doesn't just apply to takeovers evidently.

So here it is, three weeks later and I'm still trying to get use to our new phone numbers.  That was Hubby's idea.  He reasoned that all the customers who'd somehow gotten his cell number, ones he DIDN'T give it to,  would be weeded out by technology.  I just have to fight the momentary dyslexia when I go to dial.  Our new company tried to be "helpful", giving Hubby a number ending in "43" and me the same in "34" and the one for my Mom in "35".    

Sigh.

Until this morning, the only complaint I have is that my phone no longer rings.  It sings to me.  Sure, I can change the song, but no longer do I hear the comforting sound of a telephone ringing while the car radio is playing.

Getting in the car this morning, I turned on the cell phone, placed it in it's handy dandy dashboard holder and put the car in reverse.  Something began singing.  Since it didn't match the beat of the old Journey song playing, I finally realized it was the phone.  Incoming message.

Why can't they make a Star Trek sound for that?  Even the Red Alert tone would help.

I listened to hear, "You have two urgent voice mails."  That made me slow to a crawl as [1] Hubby was out hunting and [2] I've never had the word URGENT used by telephone voice lady before.

And then it got stranger.

As I played the first one, a woman with an accent I have yet to place began saying calmly, "Frankie, you have to call your brother.  He's gotten out of hand.  I don't know if he's on drugs or what but he's 43 years old and acting crazy. "   It went on for another minute as my mind whirled through stages of [1] Huh?  [2] Is this a joke?  [3] Is this a scam?  [4] Is this woman really in as much peril as it sounds?

The 2nd call was the same woman, sounding a little more urgent in this 15 minutes later call which had come late last night.  She admitted she didn't know if she had the correct number but kept on talking.  What completely threw me was when she said, "And then he told me..."  as she launched into a language which I am still trying to place.  The closest to anything it even registered was something island like....Samoa came to mind and I don't know why.  Every time Frankie's brother began to curse or do something bad, she'd switch languages.  It was worrying.  Confusing.  Like a bad soap opera where someone tore the last page out of the script.

Pulling over, I looked to see who the call was from.  The woman had blocked her number.  Part of me wanted to call her back, letting her know she DID have the wrong number.  Yes, she was a stranger.  But in my mind, she was a stranger who went from calm to agitated.  And in a language I couldn't place.

All day long I wondered about the woman.  Had she reached Frankie?  Had she reached him before the drug addled, out of control brother could harm her?  I know most people would've chalked it up to a wrong number and never given it another thought.  I'm not wired that way.  I've called back wrong numbers if it appeared someone could be in danger or hurt.  Which is why a family found out at the last minute their loved one was about to be stranded at the airport because they'd been leaving messages for me all day, not the woman in route.  Or the time I called a Medic at the Air Force base who'd been frantically calling a gentleman to tell him that he'd received the wrong medication and to call immediately.  Thankfully, my call not only amazed/relieved the Medic but it gave us both a laugh...in an odd way.  Seems instead of his heart medication, they'd sent an 89 year old guy out the door with...birth control pills. 

So, was the woman haunted by Frankie's brother okay?  As I pondered that for the 3rd time this morning, my cell phone rang as I was putting groceries in the car.

It was her.  And yes, she was definitely shocked to hear my southern voice. for hers had a definite New York edge.  Although, in the end, I think she was more shocked by our conversation.

As soon as she said hello, I admit it, I cut her off with, "Thank heaven you called back!  You've been dialing the wrong number and I had no way of letting you know that." 

She admitted she thought that was what had happened but just had to try one more time.   Asking about my number, I shared that it was a brand new one and that perhaps the one given to her had gotten a number or two turned around.  This made her inquire," If I may ask, what city do you live in?"  Discovering I resided in  South Carolina seemed to come as a shock.  And before I could help it, my southern gal kicked into overdrive and I added, "I'm glad you called back.  I was worried that you couldn't reach Frankie about his brother.  I was concerned you might be in trouble."

After a split second of silence she said slowly, "Really?"

"Yep," I answered quickly.  "I would've called you back if your number hadn't been blocked.  Your call worried me."

To which this stranger, who obviously had a lot on her plate with Frankie and his family, said in the most heartfelt way, "Bless you.  God bless you.  Thank you so much."

As we hung up, she was still murmuring, "Bless you.  May God bless you."

Funny thing, simple human kindness.  Makes your day seem much brighter if you take 30 seconds to care.  Yes, even about strangers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Microfiction Monday

 Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.  


THIS WEEK'S PHOTO

See a penny, pick it up.  
All the day you'll have good luck.

But Mom!
Finding a penny in brown leaves isn't a challenge.  
It's torture!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dear Gentlemen Representatives

Congratulations on your most recent victory.  Kindly savor it now because this time, we're not going to let you fall back on the previous "business as usual" policy of which you've grown so fond.  In other words, in 48 hours, the honeymoon is over.  This time I expect you to work as hard for the public well being as I do as a lowly county government employee.  If I can go the extra mile, then so can you.

For the record, I didn't vote for you.  Nothing personal.  Since you haven't been listening to me for the past few years, you probably didn't even notice.  And no, it wasn't because you're in the  "wrong" party.  I don't play the "Red team/Blue team" game. What is it with this "color" stuff anyway?  I don't care what color you are, why would you care what shade I was born?  I'm just an Independent voter who places my trust in the hands of the INDIVIDUAL whom I believe actually has the interests of We the People at heart. 

However,  I have to take some responsibility for your lack of interest in me.  You see, we elect you, we send you on your way to Washington and don't even notice you again until you're clogging our airwaves with mud laden ads.   Well, unless you go hiking and end up in another country. This time,  however, things are going to be different. 

This time, I'm going to keep you company.  Instead of letting that Capital Dome envelope you to the point you can't hear those of us back here in South Carolina, I'm going to be your lifeline.  Your woman-on-the-street updating you with the concerns and ideas of the people you represent.  ALL of them.  Even those without political connections or money.

Yes sir, I'm going to be your new pen pal.

My job will be to remind you how great our state is, and can be, when you're in our corner instead of busy verbally pounding each other under the Dome.  I will make suggestions, share concerns, and even praise you for a job well done.  In return, I respectfully request that you occasionally answer one of my missives...even a form letter is better than being ignored.  I know.  I've written you before.  Silly me, I got my feelings hurt by your cold silence, so I just sighed and walked away.  

But not this time.  

This time I hope to show you that communication is a two way street.  I know you're busy and have employees to help.  An occasional form letter is acceptable.  Say at Christmas.   But if you don't agree with me, kindly have the good southern manners to listen first before beginning your reply with 10 reasons why I am wrong...and you are right.   Our whole Delegation could learn something from the late Sen. Strom Thurmond: he admitted when he was wrong, corrected what he could and he always replied to letters.  No, we didn't always agree.  But he never talked down to me, never took on the role of lecturing, disapproving parent scolding me as if I were an unruly child simply because our opinions differed.  So if you feel the need to lecture, kindly remember I had a father.  He taught me right from wrong.  

And I learned well.  

I look forward to checking in on you from time to time, just to see how you're doing.  I hope to keep you focused on the folks back home to the point it makes you homesick just to see the postmark on my letters.  You see, the people still care about this state, no matter how bad we've had it lately.  We may not be rich or famous, but we still have our pride and spirit of goodwill.

What about you?



Love and Kisses, 

me

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Your Choice

Sure, it may not be much of a choice, [at least in my state] but we do have a little control in this country...when we remember to use it.  Perhaps today we'll teach politicians not to take us for granted.  Today, we can show them exactly WHO is the Boss.

 So today, go Vote!   
Before the turkeys try to pluck you.