A to Z Challenge – M

april-challenge

IN THE MOOD

I’m in the mood to write about things that relate to

letter-m

I may be in the mood, but I’m mired in uncertainty.  I’m like a method actor. What is my motivation?  I should play some inspirational music.  What shall I play?

one-half

Jethro Tull can be quite minstrel.  AC/DC is mayhem and chaos.  I know; I’ll put on some Moody Blues.  They bring back some nice memories.  Their tunes are just a creative metaphor.

one-half

I think I’m often influenced by the moon.  I know I’ve been called a lunatic more than once.  I’m in a miasma of misgivings here.  This will be the least meaty of my A to Z compositions.  (I desperately hope.)

one-half-decimal

If you’ve been muddling along, trying to figure the meaning of the images I’ve inserted, it’s easy. M is the 13th of the 26 letters.  The end of this post is the middle.  Ain’t that marvelous?  See you next month.  😀

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Apocalyptica Now!

Apocoliptica 08-2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Friday, about 5 PM, I got a hurried phone request from my daughter. She and the grandson, and his fiancée, had been out, doing family stuff.  While on their way home on a bus, the fiancée had received a phone call from her mother.  A rock (?) group they all like, was making a live appearance nearby, and tickets were still available.  Would I drive them 15 miles, and return later to pick them up? Sure!

In case you haven’t guessed from the title, the group they wanted to see was Apocalyptica. For the sake of other fogeys like me, this is a quartet from Finland who render a lot of other groups’ work, including thrash and trash, death metal bands, into a more classical, three cellos and drums.  Since the fiancée is studying cello, they all were interested.

Ah, if only I was smart enough to run a smart phone. Others stood in line for hours to get tickets.  The grandson whipped out the Apple of his eye, and had tickets waiting at the box office when they arrived 15 minutes before the doors opened.

With her crutch, the daughter was allowed to sit right in front of the stage, while the youngsters weren’t that far back. The venue is an ex-movie house, holding perhaps 300 people.  The grandson wore one of the Jethro Tull concert shirts I gave him, but they both later changed for Apocalyptica tees – only $30/ea.  The wily fiancée scored not only a program signed by all four performers, but got a hug from her favorite Finnish cellist, and a photo of it.

More used to the industrial/commercial areas around the outside of the town, I haven’t been downtown for years. Smart grandson and his Smartphone come complete with maps and GPS, although, one, just-after-the nick-of time instruction, from the back seat had me going past and coming back at the venue from the other side.

Since they didn’t know how long the concert would last, I drove back home for my usual late supper. The grandson had given me $30 for my time, and gasoline.  It was well he had.  The son, who usually gasses the car up, was just finishing three weeks of vacation, and no-one had been watching the tank level.  Just as I let them out, a chime sounded, and the Fill-Me light on the dash lit up.

Canada produces more petroleum than the US. One might think that domestic gas prices would be low.  Stations in Kitchener were hovering around $1.34/liter ($5.55/US gal), as we left.  I found a Shell station at the edge of Guelph, selling for $1.22/liter ($5.07/US gal).  Still outrageous, but a $3 saving on the $30.

The opening act, which they thought was almost as good as the stars, played for an hour and a half, half an hour to dismantle the stage and reassemble it for Apocalyptica, and they played for over an hour and a half.  Throw in some schmoozing time, and the daughter called me at 12:18 AM, to be picked up.  She told me that they had hobbled up the main street, and were resting in peace, in front of a funeral home, at the intersection of XXXX Street.

Being in a different county, the City of Guelph is not laid out as strangely as Kitchener/Waterloo, still….. The referred “intersection” would seem to indicate two streets, meeting at 90 degrees.  The highway, which becomes the main street, runs due north and south.  Two blocks from city center, the four-lane street continues in a straight line – but takes a new name.  The old-named street veers off to the left at a 45 degree angle.

Since I’d missed a turn coming in, I’d also missed this peculiarity. I thought I’d reached the right spot, but, even with my driving glasses on, I didn’t spot my passengers in the dark, so I jagged to the left.  A block down, I had spotted a big old brick century-house with a large sign out front, which I thought might be the funeral home. When I pulled in, the sign told me that the place was an artisan restaurant and craft brewery.

I pulled back out, and continued down to the street behind the theater. I went into a parking lot, and turned around to go back, when I discovered two things.  First, I was now going the wrong way on a one-way street, (Who cares?  I’m the only car in sight.), secondly, the grandson, gasping for breath, and tapping on the roof of the car.

The ladies were indeed, waiting patiently(?), back at the funny intersection. The two handicapped women were a bit achy, and everyone was tired.  The grandson is used to rising at 4:45 AM, for his welding apprenticeship.  This was a BIG day for him, but a good time had been had by all.

I have published some tales of remembrance of the things I’ve been able to do over the years.  I am so happy to have been able to provide the kids the chance to make some of their own memories.    😆

Time Flies

Happy Blogiversary!

Has it really been a year since I started this silliness?  And you guys keep coming around to read it, even without a Community Service order!  You all deserve a big pat on the back.  Please take one each out of petty cash.  Just watch where you put your hands.

A whole year??!  Time flies when you’re making fun.  With BrainRants makin’ it look easy, and a daughter who pushed her creaky old father down the slippery slope, I thought I’d have a go at it.  The first thing I learned was that it wasn’t anywhere near as easy as Rants, and some of you others make it look.

Like so many other avocations, I find myself safely in the middle.  The authors, socio-political commentators and humorists among you show me levels to aspire to, though likely never achieve.  I keep up with the other raconteurs, constantly trying to throw in a small ration of humor, even among my rants, as well as interesting and educational, social and geographical trivia.

Never saddled with a need to publish, I started slowly, gradually increasing the pace until I was putting out a post every two days.  I cut that back to every three days when panic ensued about where new topics would come from.  Since I’m writing this before my actual blogiversary, I won’t know the exact count, but it should run about 125 posts in the last year.

Perhaps I’ve been fortunate, but I’ve only encountered a couple of blog sites that I would describe as terrible, one that was an admitted psychotherapy project for a young, female, drug-using runaway.  Another was about the adventures of a young woman trying to find Mr. Right, and too often getting Mr. Right Now.  It began to read like the script from year 18 of a TV soap opera, desperate for followers.  I finally had to give it up when the contradictions and fantastic co-incidences became too much to believe.

I’ve found sites with posts about Popsicle stick carving and salt shaker filling.  Though I see no followers, likes, or comments, there must be at least a few people who stop by to read.  I like to hold my head and my hubris high, and assure myself that, at least I’m not that boring.

Some bloggers post every day, a few, more than once a day, even if it’s just pictures of clouds and a few words.  I still haven’t learned how to insert pictures or videos.  My forte is the (electronically) printed word.  I try to make my posts about something, even when it’s not something important.  It just takes me a couple of days to find each new subject and put together a cohesive story about it.

I try to hold my posts to a maximum of a thousand words.  Even with an interesting post, attention spans and patience start to wear off quickly, much farther than that.  I’ve revisited some of my early posts, and found rookie mistakes, huge paragraphs, half a page long.  It’s a wonder that I managed to garner any followers at all.  I’ve learned tighter, more concise presentation

I liken myself to one of my favorite pop bands, Jethro Tull, the British band with the American name.  Like almost every other English group of the time, they thought they were a “Blues” band.  Their first couple of albums were lame, experienced out of context, and yet they’ve hung in for over thirty years.  They’ve travelled, had fun, made some decent money, and still have long-time fans.  If only I do a quarter as well.

My posts are all free, and I try to ensure that you get full value for what you pay.  What you have paid is, attention….and friendship, and comments and following, and guidance, and encouragement, and compliments, and inclusion.  As I’ve been told, and responded to, the measure of the worth of me and my site, is not in the great numbers of people who only comment, “Nice post.”, but the numbers of great people who have made me one of them, and made the last year a real hoot.  I thank you all – again!

When I published my 100th post, my insecurity had me worrying about where to find grist to mill out a few more.  More and more I feel I’m mostly past that.  I now have about fifteen unpublished drafts ahead, and new thoughts pop up from time to time.  Some of them may seem chronologically misplaced, like when I post about a late September trip in late November, but you guys seem patient with the old fogy.

I count myself extremely fortunate to have found such a circle of great thoughts, in great blogs, by great writers.  I am not what I was a year ago.  I am much improved, and I hope to use your support and guidance to further improve me in the next year.  I hope that my meager offerings have improved my readers’ lives in some small way, and plan to try to increase the dividends.

Excelsior!!