Selling Points [flash 123]

“This is a very special property,” Bob the broker told the prospective buyers. “You’re basically sequestered with lots of privacy. Only a tiny percentage of homes have such a large back yard.”

Henry the husband nodded enthusiastically. “I can definitely imagine taking a snooze back here by the tranquil koi pond. Why does the owner want to sell?”

Bob made a sad face. “She decided to move back to Japan. Her husband died suddenly and she wants to be with her family.”

“I love it!” Wendy the wife exclaimed. She walked around the back yard and stopped at the pond to peer into it. “Oh look, Henry. Their Halloween display must have fallen in. It’s a man with a knife in his back.”

~*~

Photo prompt and the words Japan, tranquil, and koi provided by The Haunted Wordsmith.

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Whose Lane Is It Anyway? [rant]

You may have read that the NRA recently admonished doctors to “stay in your lane” when they decided docs shouldn’t be talking about gun control. Then a whole bunch of doctors tweeted “this is my lane” regarding bullet holes in their patients. They gave a well-deserved takedown to those arrogant bullies at the NRA who believe no one has the right to disagree with them.

There was a time when I agreed with the idea that people should, in public, stick with their field of expertise. I disliked it when actors and other entertainers gave their political opinions publicly. When I watched an award show, I didn’t want to hear political diatribes. When I listened to a speech from the Prez, I didn’t want him going off the rails to rant about his pet peeves.

Topics had their places and you could call them lanes. Celeb gossip was for tabloid mags, not the nightly news. Crazy grandpas made holidays miserable for their own families only. Religious loons preached to their choirs. Now it’s all mixed together like a toxic soup. Scholarly, researched articles are accessible on the internet same as wackadoo ramblings about aliens popping out of volcanoes. So, where are the lanes?

There aren’t any. The lanes have been erased. Now anyone gets to jabber on about anything at anytime, in all our faces. It’s up to the listeners to sort out the wheat from the chaff and decide what’s good info, what should be addressed in debate, and what to switch off altogether because it’s not even worth our attention.

Unfortunately, I am finding the “real news” to be extremely tabloid-like lately, at least online (I don’t watch TV news). Suddenly Monica Lewinsky is opining about Bill again. Why? Who cares? Michelle Obama “wrote” a book and her feelings keep popping up. They aren’t news. Neither are the doings of the royals across the pond every damn day. Charles is 70! Why do I need to know that?

Talk about drifting out of your lane! I swear, half the “journalists” aren’t even on the freeway any longer. 😡

Shopping Cart Soliloquy [flash 221]

The woman adjusted her coats and walked around behind the park bench where she’d just spent the night. She yelled across the grass, “Get out! You don’t belong here!”

But the man walking his dog was too far away to hear her.

The woman didn’t like dogs. Or cats. Or little children. They were mean and stared at her. Sometimes they touched her cart. Grownups knew not to do that. She made scary faces at the kids in hopes they would quit coming near her. She didn’t need any trouble.

She rearranged the bags in her cart so they were in a pattern that pleased her. Then she began to talk, at first in a mutter and then louder:

“No one knows, but we will orchestrate the dance. We will choose our own music and it will be beautiful! There will be roses and cakes. And everything will fall down. Then they will see. We won’t be silent forever. Not when the music begins. They will be naked and they will listen to us!”

A young woman jogged past, and the older woman gripped her cart and screamed, “You will listen when the houses fall! You won’t ignore us when you’re lying in the mud with the dogs!”

But the jogger had earbuds in and missed the entire Shopping Cart Soliloquy.

~*~

Random pic of bird in HB Central Park.

Opposite Sex Day [FPQ]

Fandango asks the provocative question what we would do if we could be the opposite sex for one day.

Me, I would find it the most interesting to do exactly the same things as I normally do and see how people treat me differently, or if they do.

Forex, I often compliment the server in my favorite coffee place when she has a new manicure because she gets super pretty, elaborate ones. If I did this as a man, would she say thanks as usual, or hesitate cuz it now seems weird and/or creepy to make a comment?

People generally hold doors for me ~ would they do this if I were a man?

However, people also seem to cut me off a lot in traffic. Maybe they wouldn’t if a manly face was behind the wheel. I’d like to know!

Same with lines. The same person (man or woman) who holds the door will step in front of me in line. I bet if I were a man they wouldn’t.

These are the little things I think it’d be fun to discover.

Of course, according to a certain orange slush for brains, I would also vote twice.

Many Are Called…

A thousand and twenty-seven thanks to the lovely Blokey Guy for nominating me for a Liebster and for coming up with a set of clever questions. I am going to attempt to answer these while waiting in the jury pool at OC Superior Court. Hopefully my battery will last and I won’t get interrupted to listen to some pesky case.

RULES

Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award. ✅

Answer 8 questions that the blogger gave you. 🆗

Give 8 random thoughts about yourself. ⚠️

Nominate 8 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination. ❌

Ask your nominees 8 questions. 🌀

Questions for Me

1. Are you happy with the person:
i] You are
ii] You were
iii] You think you will become?

I’m okay with who I am now and I’m always trying to do better (by my standards). Going by the past six months, I’m encouraged with my progress, in particular exiting FB and devoting more of my free time to real writing instead of pointless jabber.

***

2. How many colours can you see in the image below, list them in detail.

stones-3565221_960_720.jpg

Zillions! Heliotrope, lavender, amber, shamrock, black, mauve, azure, turquoise, stone, violet, magenta, white, spring green, rust, burnt sienna, etc.

***

3. Is there anything within five feet of where you are currently typing that is a permanent feature and motivates you to explore your mind deeply?

No. I’m in a huge room, full of prospective jurors, and around me are chairs and tables that could easily be moved.

***

4. How many vices do you have and of them which are your worst?

This may sound conceited, but I’ve pretty much eliminated all vices from my life over the past couple years. The worst thing I do is not get enough exercise.

***

5. How curious are you to new discoveries, and first time experiences even if they are possibly dangerous or risky for you to try? As in will you try them, or make an excuse not to?

I avoid risk as much as possible, though I still have to drive a car in SoCal. I don’t need to make excuses to get out of trying dangerous things ~ I just say no.

***

6. If you answered No Way to question 5, what prevents you from doing so?

Migraines, back pain, finances.

***

7. If you answered YES Please to question 6, what motivates you to take those risks?

N/A

***

8. What type of song do you think our banjo player here is playing? Provide a link to what you think it might be as your answer to this question.

musician-349790_960_720

https://youtu.be/w_lCi8U49mY

***

My Random Thots, in which New Questions are Hiding🐍

6. I’m reading Incognito by David Eagleman and it’s fascinating. What book has fascinated you lately?

2. I may have the slightest touch of synesthesia because I perceive numbers physically, sort of as a quilt. What do you perceive differently from “normal?”

4. I used to have eidetic memory, though it was never perfect. It’s faded with age (as it’s supposed to) but occasionally happily surprises me. Do you have any tricks to help you remember things?

7. A bowl of mac & cheese costs $8.50 in the court cafeteria here, which is ridonkulous, so I bought a protein bar instead. But now I haz a craaaaving! What are you craving?

1. I gave up Facebook this year. A complete and total FEXIT (including Instagram & Messenger). What unhealthy habit have you recently dumped, or are working on giving up?

3. At the beginning of the day, a funny guy described how it would be to work on a Grand Jury and now I wanna do that for a year (or more, if allowed) when I retire. What new experience has suddenly grabbed your attention?

8. I’m happy that my daughter and her fiancé are driving down from NorCal in December and the whole little fam will be together for a few days. Do you have any special plans coming up?

5. I think Gatsby is the cutest kitty ever. Do you agree? Yes or duhhh?

Now for the tricky tagging part. Pay very close attention! Since I’m doing my civic duty and waiting in the jury pool here all day long, in honor of that, and our Constitutional Rights, every blogger reading this who has a J in any part of their real name or their bloggy name… is hereby tagged. J for Jury, hurrah!

Dreamlove

I dreamt of a strawberry sunrise,

Violets spilling from your eyes;

Your hands offered me the sun.

You loved me in my best reflection,

And I was the goddess of the dawn.

~*~

Via Helene

Random Lunch Poast

I’m doing unexpectedly great with NaNo. Somehow, doing it in (private) blog poasts is keeping me from rereading my prior days’ output and deciding it sucks too much to continue. That’s mostly been why I haven’t made the 50K at times in the past, not poor time management. I’m still on track for this year’s 50K and will soon fly over my goal of 25K. Even if I end up somewhere in between, I’ll count that as a personal win. I’m really enjoying this story!

It’s suddenly turned cooler however, which means my apartment is freezing. I had planned to exercise to a video every day during November, as part of my yay-me plan, but I have not exercised at all. Being cold makes me tired and listless–like a snake, I have more energy when it’s hot. Luckily, my typing fingers still work.

I’ve finally become besties with my Mac, and I’m keeping mostly to my vow of using it for work, serious writing, longer emails, and record keeping, rather than cluttering it up with social media. I don’t blog publicly or tweet from there, or even read the news. I do want to download my music from the Lenovo backup drive though and I hope it won’t be a hassle. I miss my tunes. I know they’re all on CDs, but it’s not the same as just being able to play one without getting up.

It’s disturbing how we’re such slaves to tech. Just when I thought I was finally free of being dependent on anyone too. But if I can’t find my phone within 5 seconds of waking up in the morning… total panic. Oh, I left it charging across the room. Whew!

Light My Fire [CFFC]

This week’s fun challenge from Cee is all about light. 😎


Painting lighthouses with the fam.


Chanukah lights.


Early morning light.

Comedy Is Hard

It’s easy to be funny on the fly ~ most of us have come up with a zinger or three and cracked up our friends. I do it pretty often, but a lot of my jokes fail, especially in text. Imagine being funny for 5 minutes straight or 10 or 30… think that’s easy? No, it’s not.

Beware of the man who insists he’s funny all the time and humor is easy for him. They are manipulative and scary. There’s a reason why so many people are terrified of clowns ~ I’m not, but I get it. When you don’t laugh at the clown, he gets angry, very angry. It’s never his failure to be funny; it’s always you not getting it.

I love parody, but it has to be good. Crappy parody makes me cringe. I’ll give you an example. I think Alec Baldwin’s parodies of Trump on SNL are crappy. They’re simply imitating Trump’s stupidity, not adding any dimension to it. When someone came out portraying Bannon as Darth Vader? That was great parody! Larry David’s parody of Bernie Sanders had me on the floor. So effing funny.

One of my favorite parodies of all time is the film Analyze This! It gently mocks the entire mob movie genre, starring Robert DeNiro as a caricature of all the mob guys he’s ever played. I love it so much. Billy Crystal is wonderful as the straight-man psychiatrist.

I love language-centered humor and wordplays. I find a lot of country music has super funny lyrics, which is why I roll my eyes at peeps who dismiss it outright. Have you ever heard “She’s Got a Way with Words” by Blake Shelton? Omg hilarious!

The best kind of humor imo is the kind that’s intertwined with the story, not the focus of it, but inevitable, despite drama and trauma, because ~ let’s face it ~ you have to laugh at the absurdity of life lest you go completely bonkers.

Or you can do both. Some people are better at multitasking than otters.

Sunday Song Lyrics: Soul

For this week’s prompt, I debated between Jewel’s “Save Your Soul” and Train’s “Soul Sister.” It was a tough choice because I love both songs so very much, but ultimately I went with Train. I chose their album Save Me, San Francisco to listen to in my car, full blast up and back to Berkeley on repeat in late 2012 to visit my daughters. It was a mixed year for me personally with big ups and downs, but that trip filled me with joy. My girls were doing so great, successful and happy, and all the songs on that album were super inspirational to me. I left at 4AM to beat the traffic on the first part of the journey back to SoCal, cruising out on the 580 in the perfect darkness, all alone on the road, just me and the music.

Everything is different now. My car broke down on a subsequent visit north when it was about 150 degrees on the Fourth of July and now I only fly up there. I really don’t even enjoy driving at all these days, though I still love Train. Only one daughter lives near SF now; the other lives in LA. I no longer have wild ups and downs, just steady blahs, which is better.

Hey, hey, hey
Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brain
I knew I wouldn’t forget you, and so I let you go and blow my mind
Your sweet moonbeam, the smell of you in every single dream, I dream
I knew when we collided, you’re the one I have decided who’s one of my kind
Hey soul sister, ain’t that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain’t fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, I don’t want to miss a single thing you do, tonight […]

Written by Amund Bjorklund / Espen Lind / Pat Monahan; 2009