Barbara Double D [dating story]

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I met a man named Ozzy. We’re calling him this because he’s originally from Australia, or so he said. You never know with guys from dating sites, since they tend to lie about everything. He lived in NorCal and was working here, in SoCal, and was (allegedly) separated from his wife. I didn’t care at the time that he wasn’t divorced yet because I wasn’t either. He was very sympathetic regarding the recent death of my mom, which drew me to him.

For our first meeting/date, he took me to a very nice Japanese restarant, where we had a long, leisurely sushi and sake lunch. (Back then, I loved sushi and also drank alcohol.) It sure beat the boring Starbucks meets favored by the majority of men on dating sites. We kissed afterward and it was very fireworky. He also enjoyed writing and sent me a sexy story starring us and included a special pasta dish similar to spaghetti carbonara but named for me.

Ozzy and I began dating/sleeping together. He was fun and cute and had a nice place provided by his employer (I had a child at home and didn’t bring dates over). We had agreed at the start to be monogamous and deactivate our dating profiles, but for whatever reason I didn’t trust him. And I wasn’t even that cynical yet, but I simply didn’t.

So, I reurned to the same site where we met, but instead of reactivating my profile to spy on Ozzy (which he would see and then deny doing anything, except accuse me of still being active too… stalemate), I created a new, spoof profile. I named her BarbaraDD and stole a photo of a blurry blonde off the web. I made her profile very different from mine: outgoing saleswoman with implants, loves to travel, likes watching football, wants to keep things casual. I made deliberate spelling errors, though that was difficult. Barbara viewed Ozzy’s profile and said “hey how are u” ~ something I’d never do in a million years. Of course he responded because he hadn’t deactivated.

Naturally, Barbara also received 90 kajillion messages from other men, pretty much every man on the site. She ignored all of them and focused only on chatting with Ozzy. She said outrageous things, like she wanted to come to him right after she had unprotected sex with another man, and he said that would be great. Ughhh. Then he sent Barbara the sexy story, changing the names, including the recipe to Pasta Barbara.

I was so mad! Obviously Ozzy sent that stupid story to all his women.

Barbara told him the story was incredible and made her want to meet him right away, but she’d lost her phone. Could he just meet her tonight at this bar in Newport Beach at 8:00? Of course he agreed.

At 8:00, BarbaraDD deleted her account. I blocked Ozzy and never spoke to him again. Dunno if he figured it out.

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Not Superstitious… Much

I don’t have the “normal” superstitions; in fact, I love black cats in particular. They’re so gorgeous! Well, all kittehs are adorable imo. I don’t fear walking under ladders, stepping on cracks, or the number thirteen. All my life, if someone told me a thing was “bad luck” I’d scoff at it.

However, I do have my own ideas about… shall we say “positive and negative energy.” I’ve noticed that if I use certain words or types of speech, unpleasantness tends to result soon afterward even though the result seems unconnected from my words. No, I’m not going to poast them here or tell you what they are! They exist. That is all. And I avoid them.

Since that is not logical, it qualifies as a superstition, I suppose.

There are certain numbers I associate with positivity, so I try to keep aligned with them when I can. But no numbers are bad.

I enjoy keeping things in my personal space organized in certain ways. Sometimes it’s at right angles, but not always. One of the key factors is that my space looks uncluttered and I can quickly find my things. But this isn’t a hard and fast rule because I do have some spots that may appear “cluttered,” yet to me they are arranged pleasantly. Forex, I’ve been keeping more greeting cards on bookshelves. I don’t know why ~ maybe it’s because people have been giving me really pretty ones the last several years. Also, one of my daughters has hand-drawn some.

I’m a big proponent of tossing stuff in the trash, except for the few things I want to hang onto forever. Why? Idk. Maybe I suspect they’re good luck charms.

Mom’s Flowered Suitcase [flash]

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I stood alone at the empty carousel. It had finished spinning out the bags from my flight and mine wasn’t among them. I glanced at the people around me–they were busily texting and briskly wheeling their suitcases outdoors toward ground transportation.

“What did it look like?” The friendly customer service rep was trying to help me find my lost bag as I waited in her office.

I was a little embarrassed. “It was small. And green. With um bright flowers all over it.”

She smiled. “Oh! We have it here. I’m sorry but it seems to have come apart a bit, so we kept it safe.”

“That’s the one.” There was no mistaking the unique floral case the rep brought out from the back. It had been shabby to start with, but now the handle was dangling off and one side was shredded. “It was my mother’s. I guess I’ve had a hard time letting it go.”

“I understand. I could tape it up as a temporary solution.”

As I watched, I thought of the broken vase and the lost earring and the other disappearing mementos. They would all be gone eventually, except for the ones in my heart.

~*~

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner #28 -2018 

199 Words

Regarding the Discover Option [rant]

The “Discover” new blogs button isn’t unique to the WordPress app, of course ~ we can access it from our WP browser menu as well. I’ve clicked on it a few times over the years. And every time I exit in disgust a minute later. Why? I’ll tell you why!

Those blogs featured under Discover don’t need to be discovered cuz they’re already discovered AF. They have 500-700 likes already on the poasts we’re supposed to believe are new and interesting. Hey, let’s all discover The New York Times! Whoa. Bet we never thought of reading Newsweek or CNN. Hey, how about that obscure People magazine… bet they need some readers.

Feh. I would like to discover more blogs that have small readerships (like ahem mine) in order to help them grow. Talking about fun, interesting personal blogs for the most part, not those other kind. This is a major reason why I enjoy the games and prompts ~ they help me find new blogs to follow.

Big shout-out to the bloggers who have taken the time to start and maintain the prompts: Fandango, the WOTD group, Flash Fiction, et al. I plan to participate even more in these and other prompts because (1) they’re fun, (2) it’s cool to see the creative ideas others come up with, and (3) they provide a good avenue to find new blogs.

But I won’t be clicking on WP Discover again!

Age > Abundance

Summer is the season of plenty! From all the juicy ripe fruits available at the market to the plethora of outdoor concerts, there’s abundant deliciousness and fun to be had on a daily basis.

And yet… and yet… I find myself just as tired after work when the evening is warm and lovely as when it was dark and cold. I still don’t feel like doing much except going home to my sweet kitty and reading or watching a movie on Prime.

On weekends? Well, the weather may be perfect for the beach or a BBQ, but I still have to do laundry, dust, vacuum, grocery shop, etc., just the same as I did back in January. Gatsby’s litterbox does not take a summer vacay, unfortunately.

If I were a decade or three younger and single, I’m sure I’d be enjoying this great SoCal summer abundance ~ in fact, I can vaguely remember doing just that when I first moved out here in the 1980s. But, alas, I am old. Age > abundance.

Ch-ch-changes

I just downloaded the WordPress app and so far it seems fabulous! They’ve really improved it since I tried it a zillion years ago. It takes a lot of motivation for me to deviate from my habits, so this is a big deal, blogging from an app. Truth be told, I’m a bit resistant to apps in general, misliking the idea of cluttering up my phone with icons. Why can’t I just use my browser? But this WP app is very nice. Very nice indeed. Of course, now I’ll need to d/l more apps to even out the row, but never mind that.

My motivation is partly due to the fact that blogging from a phone browser is rather clunky, and while I have a semi-solution in my old Kindle Fire, it’s still imperfect. (Hard to access media from there.) Also, I like using one device. I already have a sweet Kindle for reading and the Fire is pure backup, which I like to keep at home.

Isn’t this fascinating? I thought my fans would be enthralled with an OCD data dump.

I’m feeling good about all the things I’ve abandoned along the path toward enlightenment, or death, whichever comes first ~ husbands, real estate, dating sites, Facebook, fiction writing, and thigh highs. Thank gawd I never have to wear stupid thigh highs again! What a dumb invention.

Oh, and sushi. Blech!

MP7&8: Two for Tuesday

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No, that’s not the name of the movie! I saw two flicks last weekend and I’m gonna tell you about them in this poast. No spoilers, relax.

1. The Cakemaker. Saturday I saw this film alone because none of my friends were interested, boo hoo. Actually, I don’t mind seeing movies alone, so no biggie. This is an Israeli movie, and the credits are in Hebrew, plus some subtitles. So, if this bugs you, be aware. It also has some gay lurve scenes, not super graphic, but even so ~ this might bother some sqeamish types. Though idk why they’d be reading my blog. Anyway. I liked this movie a lot. It was a very well-crafted relationship drama, involving multiple relationships. To really grok what’s going on in the second half, it’s helpful to understand Kosher rules. You don’t have to though. Ultimately, it’s a sad movie, exploring grief and loss. Simple really, yet layered, like a cake. And there are cakes. Cookies too.

2. Three Identical Strangers. Saw this on Sunday with two friends. It’s hard to say much about this film without giving away any of the suspense, but I will say that it was extremely disturbing. My friends agree. It doesn’t seem like it would be upsetting from the brief ads, or even from the first third of the film itself, but it takes one twist and then another and another and bam! You’re left a bit shocked and definitely sad. Oh, and it’s not really a movie as much as a documentary, which I didn’t know and might not have gone if I had. Remember, I like movies to entertain me, not Wikipedia me. But I must admit I found TIS fascinating, so maybe I should be more open-minded toward docus going forward. My friends and I concur that TIS could have been cut in length ~ too much irrelevant and repetitive jabber.

Alrighty then. After these two good but downer flicks, I am ready for a fun movie! Where’s Mamma Mia playing?!

Regarding Writer’s Block

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Dusty commented about WB in my last poast. It’s true that I can’t seem to sit down and force myself to write the things I believe I “should” write, such as the next short story in my epic collection of long connected stories, or even finish one of Anna’s hot romances I’ve left in limbo. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write anything ~ in fact, I’ve been blogging a ton (have actually deleted several ridiculously verbose and pointlessly rambling poasts in the last several weeks before I hit publish), emailing a bunch, and tweeting a twitload. I have even poemed a bit. It’s just the fiction I’m not into any longer and thus have given it up.*

Fiction writing feels like regression. Maybe that’s a lazy copout, but it’s how I feel right now. Writing fiction was an escape from bad times in my life, and my life is no longer bad. I don’t need an escape into a fantasy world of make-believe characters I focus on instead of my own situation. Unlike poetry, which stimulates my love for language, wordplay, and brief, intense emotional exploration, writing fiction feels hollow and fake. (This doesn’t apply to fiction reading at all, which I still love. Or movies dur!)

Writing about real events, however ~ slightly enhanced for entertainment value ~ such as the “dating stories,” is still a lot of fun for me. I was going to write about my trip to the wilds of Los Angeles last Tuesday, the crazy Bentley who tailgated me (a freaking Bentley!), the trippy sidewalks, my adorable granddaughter (I’m a grandmother now, if you didn’t know), etc., but there wasn’t any outstandingly funny moment to regale y’all with, and I’m all about the regaling.

[Just had to delete some amusing nonsense about regal and regaling because the words aren’t related. Dictionaries are our friends! But eccentric comes from outside the circle of normal, which was the WOTD yesterday, and since I can’t sleep in this heat even with a Valium and it’s now tomorrow, that word is definitely appropriate.]

Now, at this point you may be wondering if this poast isn’t one of those ridic rambles that should go into the trash heap… no! First, this is an experiment to see if it’s easier to blog from my old Kindle, since it’s larger than my phone and has a more finger-friendly keyboard. Second, it allows open tabs to be visible at the top, like a puter, which is helpful for switching back and forth when looking stuff up while blogging. Third, it’s difficult to create links when blogging by phone (have not tried the WordPress app) ~ basically have to write them down on a piece of paper and type them in again like a cavewoman. But on my Kindle I can copy and paste like a normal person. However, there is one issue: my bitmojis! I only have access to media already uploaded to WP, no new bitmojis or photos on my phone, since this thing isn’t connected to my phone. Of course, I could save this as a draft and then reopen it on my phone, where all my pics are. But that is not exactly an efficient, streamlined operation, is it now?

I put the previously used Jenga blocks up top, meh. Other solutions were: (1) use a previous bitmoji that didn’t really go with this poast; (2) use an ugly stock WP photo of blocks; or (3) begin some complicated process of installing an app on my phone that will give my Kindle access to photos, but it is 3am and I don’t wannu.

There is a rumor going around I might be getting a Mac, which will render all this angsting obsolete, but in the meantime… the blog abides.

*One of my friends said he learned in a yoga class recently that stress damages the brain and is potentially one of the leading causes of dementia. So, this just proves I’m on the right track giving up stressful things like dating, Facebook, fiction writing, etc. If only I could give up driving, that would be AWESOME!

Oh, now I have to stick on all the tags that will allegedly attract zillions of readers to this poast. Bwahahaha!

My Independence Day

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I celebrated this July 4th by flinging off my self-imposed yoke of fiction writing tyranny. Hurrah! Instead of dumping tea into Boston Harbor, I spilled it all over my laptop and destroyed my keyboard, thereby depriving myself of the means to gaze at the screen wondering why a best-selling novel authored by me doesn’t materialize while I screw around reading the news. Tuesday I had a meltdown while visiting my daughters because I’m so frustrated and stressed over my lack of writing progress and success, so I suspect the tea spill was a subconscious rebellion.

Of course I could buy a new laptop, but I don’t want to. My hard drive is fine and safe, if anyone cares, and most of my stuff is backed up, but I can’t write fiction on my phone. I feel relieved. I spent the day watching movies and doing NOTHING. I’m tired of telling myself that the minute I get home from the office, after typing on a computer all day, I have to start working on a novel or else I’m failing at life. Most nights I don’t even write ~ I just sit there, tired and miserable, staring at the screen, until I crash into sleep.

Maybe my subconscious was also at work when I titled my last book of poetry All She Wrote. At the time, I meant it about a specific situation… or so I thought. In any case, I don’t intend to stop blogging or tweeting, or even writing the occasional pome, all of which are phone-friendly. I’m only talking about giving up the agony of fiction writing and the hopelessness of self-promo. These nowhere goals have been adding to my depression. (I probably shouldn’t use the word depression, but since I allow people with regular bad headaches to call them migraines, I figure I can haz a pass.)

These are the movies I watched yesterday:

1. Spaceballs! So freaking funny. I can’t believe I never saw it before. Loved it. Just what I needed to cheer me up. And whatever happened to Daphne Zuniga? So pretty! She was in a sweet romcom with my honey John Cusack back in the day. What was that? Be my google.

2. Winter’s Bone. Yikes, what an intense movie. I can see the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence now. She is incredible in this utterly bleak yet fantastic film.

3. The Age of Innocence. Generally I don’t like narrated movies, but there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one. What a lovely film. Everyone was superb. Daniel Day-Lewis is such a gifted actor ~ what a shame he retired.

I plan to feast madly on movies and books from now on. Other people have created delicious art and I’m simply going to nom up theirs and shoot down any idea that I need to write a novel, should such a crazy notion ever raise its nasty serpentine head again out of the tangled jungle of my mind. Begone, slithery, sanity-stealing, ego constrictor of doom.

Freedom!

MP6: On Chesil Beach

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Saw this gem yesterday with a friend and absolutely adored it! It’s the best movie I’ve seen so far on MoviePass and I was definitely jonesing for a serious drama. I loved The Seagull, also starring Saoirse Ronan, but enjoyed OCB even more. The Book Club was great fun, but it was not a serious movie. This one resonated with me. If OCB is playing anywhere near you, I highly recommend it. Don’t expect gunfights and car chases ~ this is a movie that explores the small, intricate moments that connect and break our lives.

I also watched some good previews for The King, The Cakemaker, and The Wife, which have now all moved to the top of my wanna-see list. I know I said I changed my mind about The King, but now I’ve changed it back again. Of course, I need to see Mamma Mia 2, Puzzle, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Three Identical Strangers, and A Simple FavorWhew! I hope MP stays in biz for the next couple months. It seems that if I have a little patience I can find most of the movies I want to see in Irvine.

Patience? What’s that? 😀