AutoPrompt – A Day In The Life

clock

Oh, you are in for such a treat!  First, let me finish where many of you begin.

My half(assed)-sister and I were always the night-owls of the family. Often forced during my working life to accept shift-times imposed by employers, since I retired, I find that my ‘normal’ schedule keeps me up until about 5:00 AM.  I’ve had comments from BrainRants on new posts, before I turn in.  He’s getting up today, when I’m going to bed yesterday.

I skip the morning TV shows and get up around noon/1:00 PM. Being retired doesn’t mean having nothing to do.  Normal aging of the wife, myself, and daughter LadyRyl has amassed an impressive list of doctors – GPs, specialists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, and Podiatrists that I get to drive to.

The first half-hour of each day is spent feeding and watering – the dog, four cats, plus juice and pills for the wife and me – then on to cleaning out the litter box. The excitement hangs heavy in the air.

It’s probably a good thing that I spent the second half of my work-life in a physical-labor job. Since I retired I have gained some weight, but I’m still in shape – pear-shaped.  At least my legs get a good workout each day.  I don’t need one of those stair-masters.  I probably do 30 to 40 flights of stairs a day – up, and down.

I sit in the living room, reading the day’s paper. I faintly hear the wife call me from upstairs, where a head-cold has wrestled her to the bed.  I climb the stairs, because she can’t speak loud enough to be heard.  She wants a Keurig coffee.  I return to the kitchen.  There are no K-Cups of the requested flavor.  I go downstairs to the utility room, and bring some back up to the kitchen.  I take the brewed coffee upstairs up to the bedroom, and return to the living room.  1 cup of coffee = 3 flights of stairs.

After temporarily completing my catering and hand-servant duties, I usually get to sit by the front window and read today’s Waterloo Region Record and yesterday’s Toronto Sun.  I know, another weird-osity.

It started years ago when a co-worker friend used to give me his copy of the Sun at the end of a shift. When the shifts ended at 11 PM, or 7 AM, I read it ‘the next day.’  I only read the Sun for entertainment news, and the strange filler articles, like ‘Man Bites Meteorite.’  Along the way I take time out to do the two crosswords and word jumble.

I make ‘lunch’ between 2:00 and 3:00, sometimes for both of us, usually not the same thing, and often from leftovers in the fridge. Then it’s time to do the marketing.  Since the wife doesn’t often go out, we don’t go ‘grocery shopping.’

A local supermarket offers me a 50 cent or $1 discount on copies of the Sun, depending on the day of the week. I get home delivery of the local paper, but have to go out for the Sun anyway, so I add a few items each day as needed, to keep the cupboards stocked.

Late afternoon is devoted to the few chores I do – snow shoveling, lawn mowing, dish washing, preparing for evening meal. The computer room window faces west, and the sun-glare on the screen proscribes keyboard usage for a couple of hours.  This is when I might get some reading in….until one particular cat begins head-butting, and pawing – sometimes even pulling a flannel throw off the back of the couch – until I agree to cover us both and have a nap.

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Cultured people eat dinner. We have supper – any time between 8 PM and 10:00.  The son gets up at 9:00, we exchange some lies and brags, and he leaves for work just after ten.  Now the computer goes into overdrive.

I do my last, on-line crossword, read emails, compose posts, do research, visit websites/and comment, interrupted irregularly but frequently by both two-legged, and four-legged room-mates – coffee, cookies, cat treats, catnip, water, kibble, outside several times for the dog. I read some more while he’s out.  The cats are kept safe indoors, unless you read my Almost Catastrophe post.

I often play a bit of Solitaire and Mah-Jong for pattern recognition and decision making, to keep the brain sharper than a marble. With four cats, we have two litter pans.  The wife cleans one, and I clean the other, twice a day.  I get the one in the basement.

Suddenly it’s 5:00 AM again. I haven’t accomplished anything, and it’s time for another exciting day to draw to a close.  I’ll see you again tomorrow.  Don’t call too early.  😉

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Slightly Singed Slacks

Pants on fire

LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics – about lies.  In an episode of Castle, after interviewing a suspect, Detective Kate Beckett asks Rick Castle what he thinks.  Castle responds, “He’s lying!”  Beckett replies, “Of course he’s lying!  Everybody lies, about everything, all the time!  We have to figure out what he’s lying about.”

I once worked with a young woman. When I was very interested in motorcycles, she owned and rode her own bike.  If I hung around with her, I could hang around with several of her male biking friends and score the occasional ride.

One of the first things she told me was, “I never lie. I have a poor memory, and can’t remember what I’ve lied to who about, so I always tell the truth.  It’s easier to remember.”  It took a while, but I started paying attention, and keeping track.

She had an active social life, but told me, “I’ve never slept with a married man.”  Then she took me to a Country-Western bar for lunch.  The manager was a businesswoman.  She told me that she’d had sex with the woman’s first husband.  She was not named as a respondent, because he had a number of dalliances….Then she told me that she’d slept with this woman’s second husband also.  “I couldn’t help it.  He’s just so cute.”

Riding a motorcycle is a big job!  It requires far more work and attention than auto-piloting a car.  She told me one day that, “I never ride my bike impaired, whether booze or drugs.  You could get hurt, or killed.”

On our afternoon shift, we got a half-hour for supper. One evening she realized that she had no recreational drugs to go home to – no weed, no hash oil.  She said, “Come with me at break.  We’ll ride over to my supplier and score something for me later.”

After a quick, five-minute scoot, she scored a ‘quarter of hash’. I turned to leave, but she broke it in two, and she and the dealer smoked half of it, while I tried to stay near fresh air.  (Cuz it’s only good manners to share, man)

When she was finally ready to return to work (half-baked), I held out my hand for the bike keys. “No way man!  It’s my bike, and nobody rides my bike except me!”  They say there are no Atheists in foxholes.  This Atheist prayed the whole ride back.

I usually took the bus to work, but it wasn’t far out of her way to give me a ride home. One evening, as we were leaving work, one of her active social life’s was waiting it the plant door, to take her out for ‘a couple of drinks’.  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.  She handed me the keys to the motorcycle that only she could drive, and said, “Could you leave it at my place, and walk the rest of the way home?”

She lied to herself as well as me, about never lying. It’s likely that she even believed the lie.  She lied about sleeping with married men, and probably never noticed.  She lied about always riding sober – but that ‘bad memory’ thing can come from being smoked up.  She lied about never letting anyone else pilot her bike as soon as a delivery service became socially convenient.

She was a nice enough person, if a little(?) wild, but I kept track.  She lied to everybody, about everything, even stuff she didn’t need to lie about – where she’d been, and with who, how much she drank.  She lied about a potential newspaper job, and to herself as well as others about her abilities.

Cynical much??! Even before the Castle show, I developed a finely tuned ability to tell when others are lying.  Their lips are moving.  😯

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, hubby’s new job, kids’ school grades – what do you lie about? Tell the truth now.  I’ll know.

Cognitive Dissonance II

Bible

A California lawyer has submitted a referendum proposal to outlaw homosexuality in the famously liberal western US state, on pain of execution.

“The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha,” reads the proposal, registered for comment on the attorney general’s website.

“Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us… the people of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method,” he wrote.

When I read this, I couldn’t understand why this man’s head didn’t explode, I know mine almost did. In seven words in the second line, this lawyer goes immediately from “freedom and liberty” to “commands us to suppress.” The arrogance of this religious Fundamentalist, is matched only by his ignorance.

Only the night before I read this, had I reluctantly watched with the wife, a National Geographic TV documentary about ‘homosexuality’ among animals. In a one-hour show they listed seven examples, including coyotes, dolphins and Canada geese, and mentioned that there were several more. So much for his imagined “crime against nature!”

I don’t know where you’d store an Ego large enough to make you think that you have the right to speak for God. Perhaps in the same twisted, dark corner of the brain where you believe, without proof, that homosexuality is ‘evil’, or that God deigns to command you to do His work, and suppress it.

The Bible does speak against homosexuality, but I have never heard or read of anyone who claimed that ‘God ordered’ them to do something, who could point to anywhere other than their fevered religious imagination, for validating ‘proof’ of their Crusade. These delusions can be suppressed with proper medication and therapy.

This man seems to fear death from a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah destruction. The self-believed expert on the subject even managed to misspell Gomorrah, in his application. If God didn’t take out various 17th century Italian cities, 18th century Paris, or 19th century London, He’s not going to stir himself about a bunch of fags in San Francisco.

Even were such a destruction to occur, does he not believe that the God of Love would forgive him, and the other innocent Lots, and condemn only the sinners? Does he feel that God is too stupid or venal to judge each of us individually?

Like many of his religiously judgemental confreres, his very zealotry proves that he is not actually familiar with the Bible, instead, relying on what he thinks it says, or what someone else told him that they thought it says. I can recommend several good short passages.

Love one another.
Love thy neighbor as thyself.
As ye have done unto these, the least of my brethren, ye have done unto me.
Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.
Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.

I feel sorry for depressing, narrow-minded, opinionated, supposedly-religious assholes like this….no I don’t! If they all died tomorrow, I’d stand in line to volunteer to load them into trucks with a pitchfork.

Amen means a soft, accepting ‘let it be’, not ‘use fire and sword to force your superstition on the infidels.’ We leave that to the likes of ISIS, who recently bulldozed down historic, artistic Iraqi Assyrian statuary. I feel sorry that the rest of us kind, loving people, like Job, are afflicted with them.

#497

The Games People Play

Heston

Our fellow-blogger, AFrankAngle is a teacher. His posts are well researched and clearly presented. His interests cover a wide territory, and include social and political happenings. He is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is keeping an eye on, and commenting about, the upcoming Presidential election.

The State of Ohio plays a pivotal role in such elections. It hosts the Primaries, and is a make-or-break State. I hope both you and Frank are appalled and outraged by the following little story.

The wife plays several games on a game site, as an anodyne to get her through some pain-filled days. Nothing exciting like Grand Theft Auto – just Canasta, Monopoly, Jungle Gym, Scrabble, and occasionally Crossword Cove, which I help her with. Usually she plays against the computer, because she says the other humans are too stupid and slow, and resentful when they get beat.

Apparently wasting spending time just playing games isn’t enough. The game site has recently added a chat-room-type sidebar, where you can make comments while you’re playing the games. It provides a list of conversation starters.

A couple of days ago, it listed;

What genre of Television do you prefer?
Who is your favorite Television character?
What Television episode disappointed you most with its outcome?

There were no takers for the TV genre question, I suspect because no-one knew what that big word, genre, meant.

Some woman got the TV character segment off to a bad start by listing Robert Uhrich, who was an actor, not a TV character, and who died 12 years ago. She was followed by a player who identified as a 67-year-old man from Ohio.

Perhaps led astray by the woman, he went even farther afield by declaring that his favorite TV character was Charles Heston, and the TV episode that disappointed him most was Ben-Her.

People, get out there and vote! These highly knowledgeable people vote, and if you don’t, Donald Trump will get to be president. 😳

And now back to our regularly scheduled rant about Canadian politics, so that you’ll know that there are idiots on both sides of the 49th parallel. We have a candidate for Prime Minister who first told us that, “The budget will balance itself.” He’s now switched to Care Bear policies, where he claims the budget needs to be, “Balanced from the heart outward.” Donald Trump is startin’ to look good.

#495

Flash Fiction #38

Broken window

 

 

 

 

© Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Breaking Bad

Now, we’d rehearsed for days and days,
A smash-and-grab to do.
You throw da brick,” one bloke said,
“And I’ll leave da grab to you.”

The brick went through the window,
“Now grab,” they cried, “and quick!”
It wasn’t till we’d got away,
I found I’d grabbed our brick.

I stared and stared over another big pile of writer’s block, at Rochelle’s weekly photo prompt.  Suddenly, like a brick through a plate glass window, I had a flash of inspiration.  Tripping over the mixed metaphor, I saw it was only an anemic firefly.  “I know; I’ll resuscitate Lonny Donegan’s humor!”

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

 

1096

Scottish Flag

 

 

 

In the name of Robert the Bruce, and for Scotland the Brae, I claim this territory….wait, what?  There are already people blogging here?!

Three years ago today, on November 21, 2011 – 1096 days – (I get an extra day, because 2012 was a leap year) I published my first post.  It wasn’t even as interesting as this one, and that’s saying as little as I can.

The blogosphere has become a miniature allegory for the larger social life that I left when I retired.  People come, people go, most are nice, a few are assholes, many are creative, some are inspiring, all are interesting, in many ways.

I’d like to say that I’m still taking baby steps, but in my case, they’re doddering, arthritic, old-man steps.  I’ve learned how to insert pictures, as a visual accent to my sometimes ponderous prose.  BrainRants turned me on to the 100-word Flash Fiction genre, and I’m learning how to be more concise.

While I post because I feel I have something to say, however inane or inconsequential, I do so for the feeling of connectedness.  I wish to continue, both for the connections, and the fact that, at my age, inertia keeps me doing whatever works.  It gives me something to do to help fill the many empty retirement hours, with something at least vaguely stimulating and productive.  I like to think that he was happy doing so, but my father spent his last ten years trapped in his house, staring at television.

My stat numbers are not important in themselves, but rather, they are an indication of how successful I am at communication, and my education and entertainment of my readers.

Still solidly in the middle in all categories, this is the end of my third year, where there are newbies every week, and old-timers who have been at this for ten years or more.  I’ve had over 500 followers, 16,000 views, and 5,100 comments, although I’ve realized that I can increase that last number simply by replying to every incoming submission, if only with just a smiley face.

I’ve gone from ‘worrying’, to merely wondering, where I’ll get the inspirations to continue, but, just like a hundred posts ago, I have enough drafts ‘in the can’ to reach 400 posts – something which will occur around Christmas – and beyond, and ideas slowly bubble to the surface, like methane at the La Brea Tar Pits.  I’m pretty sure I can do at least half a personal millennium.  Look out 500!  Here I come.

While I’ve been successful at egotistically making this sound like it’s all about “ME”, it isn’t.  It’s really all about you.  Whether you’re a first-time reader, or one who’s been here hundreds of time, you’ve made it a pleasurable three years, and I look forward to seeing you for lots more.   😆

Dear Abby

Dear Abby, and her twin sister Ann Landers have both retired, and later died.  Abby’s daughter, Jeanne, was (is?) carrying on the advice column her mother penned.  Other yentas, both Jewish and not, have come, and some have rapidly gone.  From one of them, I give you the following question and answer.

Dear Abby; I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual.  We are part of a church group, and I fear that, if people in that group find out, they will make fun of me for having a gay child.

He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay.  I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years.  I have a very busy work schedule.

Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay.  He won’t listen to me, so maybe he’ll listen to you.

Feeling Betrayed

 

Dear Betrayed; You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your own sexuality, to show him how easy it is.  Try it for the next year or so.

Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexual orientation is a matter of choice – to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church, and social pressure.

I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are.  The same is true for your son.  He has the right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.

When you “forget” a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person.  It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world.  How very sad for him.

Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong.  If you cannot accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.

A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is pflag.org (In Canada, see pflagcanada.ca.)  This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge.  Please research and connect with a local chapter.

***

Advice columnists have to be well-mannered and respectful.  Me??  My reply would probably started with, “Really, Bob??!  Do you think you could possibly make this any more about you?”  In this day and age, it still amazes me how powerful the religiously-driven willfully-blind syndrome can be.  Bad enough that he still thinks that being gay is a choice, and one made just to spite him and his ego, but even worse, that he thinks some advice columnist can, or will, do, what he as a parent, cannot.  There are none so blind, as those who will not see.

***

A man walks into a bookstore….

Sadly, this is not the opening line to a joke – at least not intentionally.  The “man” is the well-known, powerfully connected pastor of a large Protestant New York church.  After thundering from the pulpit about an attack on the Christian faith, he calls all his political buddies and complains to them, to the point that he is contacted by the TV show, The View, where he gets to complain an national television about how Christianity don’t get no  respect.

What was the trigger for all this, “Alas, woe is us?”  While he was in the bookstore, he saw some Bibles which were on sale.  That would seem to be a good thing for Christians….except, the shelf tag, advertising the sale, also listed them under “Fiction.”

As a minor addendum, after he finished whining to Elizabeth Hasselback, he finally admitted that it might have merely been an inattentive clerical oversight.  I think that, like above, the It’s All About Us button was pushed too soon and too hard, but, if it’s good enough for Brittany Spears and Lady Gaga, it’s good enough for the Bishop of New York.  I say, only change the tag when he can prove they’re not.

***

The pastor of a fairly large suburban Philadelphia Methodist church has been suspended for 30 days, to reflect on his actions and attitudes.  It was not said that he was suspended without pay, merely that his pastoral powers were temporarily removed.  He cannot perform weddings, or offer Holy Sacrament.

What was his crime, you ask?  He married his son, two years ago.  No, no!  Not like that!  He officiated at his son’s wedding.  I still see some confused faces, although that’s common on this site.  I’ll give you a hint.  Psst, his son is gay, and the Methodist Church don’t allow no equal rights, gay marriage ‘round here!

He was invited to a private little Star Chamber meeting by the ruling synod, who chastised him for marrying gays, in defiance of Church doctrine.  He fired back, rebuking them and the Methodist Church for not being more loving, acceptant, and inclusive.  That, at this late date, is what actually got him censured, this lack of blind faith and obedience, and of course, a tendency to think for himself.

This man has not been afflicted with the trials of Job himself, but I find it ironic, that, in a Denomination which does not believe in gays, three of the four children of this pastor, are gay.  It’s no wonder he’s fighting for their equality.

I love Jesus; it’s just many of his followers that I hate!