WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?

Daily Prompt: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

- – - – -

We can’t be friends because you won’t like me. Really. Count on it.

Marilyn as photographer

Even if I like you, more than likely won’t return the feeling. I talk too much. My tongue is sharp. If you say dumb things, I will snort derisively. I will not take you seriously if you don’t know any history and don’t read books.

If you take photographs with trash cans in the background, I will not admire them, even if the subject is your most beloved grandchild. She/he would look better — guaranteed — without the trash cans. Unless you are making some kind of artistic statement about grandchildren and trash and I sincerely hope you are not.

I am not everyone’s cuppa tea. Sometimes, I’m not even my own cuppa tea. Actually, I’m not all that fond of tea, except for green tea ordered with Japanese food.

This probably makes me a bad person. Screw it.

Coffee anyone?

Other Voices:

  1. Will You be my friend? Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  2. You and I | The Colours of Life
  3. Daily Post; why can’t we be friends? | sixty, single and surviving
  4. Introversion and Friendship: Mutually Exclusive? | meanderedwanderings
  5. Why Can’t We Be Friends? | Pippakin Talks Cats, Dogs, Teeth and Claws
  6. The humor and indignation taste test: The art of friendship these days « psychologistmimi
  7. Rabbit’s Foot in Mouth | Charron’s Chatter
  8. DP – Why Can’t We Be Friends? | hometogo232
  9. Daily Prompt from WordPress: Making new friends – That’s My Answer
  10. House of Cards « Averil Dean
  11. Daily Prompt: Why Can’t We Be Friends? | Awl and Scribe
  12. Friendship | A picture is worth 1000 words
  13. Make Friends? | wisskko’s blog
  14. It’s probably me… | Hope* the happy hugger
  15. Adult Friends | Lori’s Life and Other Stuff
  16. Daily Prompt: Being Friendly! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  17. The Art and Science of Unmaking Friends
  18. No one is so rich as to throw away a friend | I Didn’t Just Wake Up This Morning with a Craving
  19. Daily Prompt: Making New Friends | A Day In The Life
  20. Daily Prompt: Why Can’t We Be Friends | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Getting There Is Not Always Enough … Marilyn Armstrong

We didn’t get to ride this one.

Yesterday, we went to Busch Gardens. We did nothing, got wet, walked too much, came back exhausted, soggy and poorer. We seem to have absolutely impeccable timing for getting places at exactly the wrong time!

We didn’t get to ride this either.

We planned carefully and sensibly. We figured that if we went late in the day, it would be cooler and probably less crowded too. Logical right? I mean, the park‘s open until 10 at night, so getting there at 3:30 should leave us more than ample time to whatever we wanted and ride whatever we wanted.

After we finally got through the long walk to the park from the very closest parking lot, we decided to take the train ride that loops around the park. It would give us something of an orientation, an overview.

After that we were nearly slavering with anticipation, we headed down the long road to Apollo’s Chariot, the first of the 6 big, bigger and biggest, baddest roller coasters we intended to ride.

We were at the front of the line on the platform, ready to board the ride. Which is when the announcement came that the ride was closing due to weather issues.

Not this one either.

Weather. Mainly, lightning. Not to mention wind and rain. So we stood around a bit, milled around in confusion, then eventually headed back the long road to the rest of the park.

With great anticipation, we waited for a weather update. We were in a code orange, which is bad, but the next announcement was “Code Red,” which was much worse and actually closed everything, except shops.

Shortly thereafter, the sky opened up and a sheet of water fell out. We stood under an awning speculating — along with everyone else — whether or not there was any chance the park would reopen.

Also, didn’t ride this one.

It did not reopen.

We hauled ass back to Guest Relations, where they were very gracious about the whole thing and seemed genuinely sorry that we come from so far away, didn’t get to do anything except eat a pretzel and get soaked. They refunded half the money because our friends had to leave today and we took rain checks and will make another stab at it tomorrow. We would have gone today, but the weather report doesn’t look promising and I couldn’t deal with the same scenario two days running.

The best experience of the day? The electric scooter that you can rent and drive around the park. I loved it! It was way zippier than I thought it would be and fun, too. Unfortunately, by the time I got it, I was already over-tired and when we finally got back to the hotel, having stopped at the grocery store in between and then cooking dinner … we had barely enough strength to climb into bed and pass out.

Today, the humidity is 99% and thunder storms are likely in the afternoon, so we  are going to go tomorrow morning when hopefully, it won’t be raining because that really IS our last chance.

Talk about disappointing! Nice that Garry and I get another shot at it, but I so wanted to go with my friend too … but … well … it didn’t happen and if there’s one thing you cannot count on, it’s usually the weather.

They’ve left now and it’s very quiet and feels kind of empty. I’m trying not to be a bit down-hearted, but it’s difficult.

Tomorrow is another day, I hope.

Status

WAKE UP SLEEPY HEAD

Today marks a week back from the hospital. I’m not sure what I expected, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it. So much didn’t go the way I expected. A friend said it was like taking your car in for an oil change only to discover you need a new tranny. I needed a new tranny, timing chain, rear axle and electrical system.

How could I have failed to notice that the central system of my body wasn’t working? How did I miss that? I was short of breath, true. I had been gradually limiting my activities. I stopped driving. I passed on activities that involved more than very minimal walking … skipping stuff that required I go up and down my own stairs. Gradually, I chipped away at life until my “outside appearances” were few and far between.

I was tired. Not sleepy-tired. Weary. I attributed each lifestyle change to something. Asthma. Bursitis in my hips, arthritis in my back. Blow-back from cancer a couple of years ago. And, of course, the all-time best bucket explanation for anything and everything — getting older.

When I was first informed that my EKG showed “issues,” though the doctors didn’t seem to feel I needed to know exactly what the issues were (did they know?) — when finally all the cards were laid out, I felt blindsided. I had been keeping track of my heart, getting an evaluation and EKG every year. Suddenly, from “no problem” to “big problem”? Heart problems don’t usually just pop up out of the blue. I still don’t know and probably never will if this was a case of misdiagnosis or some weird medical event that went unnoticed amidst the myriad other health crises which have punctuated my last decade and a bit.

Do I blame my doctors? To a degree. For failing to promptly and clearly inform me of what was happening and for giving me terrible, medically unsound advice. If I had followed it, I’d be dead.

Expect-Delays-sign

What I expected

Cardiomyectomy (shaving down the overgrown muscle in the left ventricle that was stopping the flow of blood through the aortic valve, causing the mitral valve to work double-time. There was hope the mitral valve would self-repair if the aortic valve was unblocked. Surely, at most, the mitral valve would need repair, not replacement. (Ha!)

What I got

A cardiac catheterization, a totally disgusting, intrusive horrible test that requires you be awake — the absolutely last thing you want to be. Not like you get a choice.

The next day, the aforementioned cardiomyectomy, a bypass and a mitral valve replacement made from bovine tissue (thank you Bossy, wherever you may be).

Three-for-one. Woo hoo!!

But that’s not all, no-sirree. After another few days, when my heart refused to beat on its own (stubborn to the last), it was back to surgery for a pacemaker. Now everything in my world runs on batteries, including me. Sure hope those batteries keep going and going and going.

Waking up – Let the games commence!

Round one: They tried arousing me, but I woke up fighting, struggling. Apparently tried to deck the recovery nurse. I do not remember this, but I have no reason to doubt it. Under the circumstances I’m sure I wanted to deck someone. They put me back under for another 24 hours. They were protecting me and/or the nurse.

“Tough customer,” they said.

Round two: I heard Katy, my new recovery nurse calling me.

“Marilyn, wake up. You’ve had your heart surgery.”

“NO,” I said. Liar liar pants on fire. They were saying it was Friday, but I knew it was only Thursday. What’s more, I was in the middle of a word game and the letter “U” was missing. I could not wake up until I found it.

“Marilyn, you have to wake up.”

“NO I DON’T,” I said.

“Would you like to see your husband? Your friend?”

“NO.”

“You have to wake up. It’s time to wake up.”

“NO.”

Ultimately, I realized the letter “U” was a permanent loss and they were just going to keep annoying me until I stopped saying NO. So I opened my eyes. Instantly knew why I hadn’t wanted to wake up.

Question: How much pain can you be in and still live?

Answer: A lot.

Thus I reentered the world. Screaming in anger, pain, outrage and helplessness. I’m still screaming. Silently.

MARILYN IN RECOVERY: LAZY SATURDAY

This is Marilyn’s 6th full day back home after complex heart valve surgery at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. We’re both tired. Marilyn for multiple reasons, me just for fatigue. So, this is a short update. It’s a day for watching silly movies that don’t tax our minds. So far, we’ve seen “Hot Shots! Part Deux” and “Airplane!” The stack of waiting movies includes  “Galaxy Quest,” “Crazy People,” “The Court Jester” and a deluxe set of Mel Brooks comedies.

Marilyn is moving around more on her own. Slowly but without assistance. We received a truly nice gift from an old friend. One of those elongated bathroom seat risers with removable arms. It enables Marilyn to take care of business without help. That’s a big boost for privacy and self-accomplishment. If you’ve been there, you know it’s no small thing.

No visiting nurse or physical therapist visits today. Marilyn is in one of her bright red nightgowns. I’m wearing my “Dog Father” casual bottoms and dog-eared top. The furry kids are taking their afternoon siestas. Dinner is still to be discussed. I’m hoping to keep it simple. That’s my speed.

Marilyn wants to write a blog. She tried valiantly this morning. The brain is working but not her arms or fingers. Matter of fact, Marilyn’s mind is like that of HEDley Lamaar — ‘a raging torrent of brilliant ideas’. She’ll try her next blog when more body parts are in sync.

My usual baseball passion is slightly dormant right now for obvious reasons. I didn’t read the pre-season predictions or watch the Red Sox home opener. Sheer heresy in any other year. It’s a long season. Here’s hoping the team is doing well when Marilyn and I can give them more attention.

Surely, you understand our priorities here. And don’t call me Shirley!!

 

 

MARILYN’S FRIDAY: I’M SHOCKED!

Usually I’d wait til later in the day to write an update post since Marilyn’s return home Monday from complex heart valve surgery. But some funny and encouraging things have happened this morning. I figured I’d best write as coffee is slowly clearing the cobwebs in my mind.

Where to begin? Latest news at the top, right? Okay, Marilyn is waiting for the visiting nurse to arrive for today’s session. Visit number two. We’re properly attired, Marilyn in a clean nightgown and me in my “Dogfather” lounge pants and top.

Diane, Marilyn’s nurse has just arrived. Her first visit. We’ve greeted each other. I continue writing as Diane checks and examines Marilyn

Marilyn was able to put on her nightgown WITHOUT assistance, using her arms and with minimal pain. FIRST time since she came home. Give the lady a hug, kiss and round of applause after Diane leaves.

My Claude Rains moment came a little earlier this morning. I was relaxing on the love seat, sipping coffee and waiting for my brains to show some life. Nan, our Norwich Terrier, was lying at my feet watching Marilyn. Nan is Marilyn’s dog. Her faithful companion. She follows Marilyn wherever she goes. I’m normally ignored. I used to be a household name for more than 31 years as a Boston TV news reporter. I used to be somebody.

Well, Marilyn had to answer nature’s call. She got up by herself from the love seat. Another first this week. No, don’t stop the presses. Not yet. Marilyn walked slowly away and into the bathroom. Normally, Nan would be right behind her. Marilyn’s faithful companion usually follows her Mom right into the bathroom, pushing open the door and moving right up to where business is being conducted. Frequently, Nan grunts like a pig, signaling the other dogs Mom is in the bathroom. They scamper down the hallway and gaze from the bathroom door. Nan sends out sideline reports about Marilyn’s efforts. Wide, wide world of sports!

Not today. Nan didn’t budge as Marilyn left the living room. She stayed at my feet, grunting with satisfaction. Okay, now the “Louie Renault” moment. Marilyn called from the bathroom but Nan never moved. I was shocked! Absolutely shocked!

Diane’s just wrapped up her visit with Marilyn. They’re laughing. Marilyn’s blood pressure and heart rate look pretty okay. Here’s hoping the rest of this Friday is good.

HEIGHT OF TOILET SEATS AND OTHER EPIPHANIES

I’m writing for Marilyn today. Not ghosting just writing what she’s thinking. It’ll be awhile before Marilyn can actually do what she does best. Write wonderful blogs that touch many hearts and lives.  It’s the beginning of  her third full day at home. Marilyn’s return from nearly two weeks and five heart surgeries at Beth Israel Hospital is full of surprises, revelations and epiphanies. Not the C.B. DeMille grand scale things. Just very ordinary stuff we take for granted.

Take toilet seats, for instance. When you’re taking care of business do you ever notice how high or low your throne is? Most don’t. The biggest controversy is whether the guy remembers to put the seat back down. Well, listen up, Pilgrim!! A discovery preferably forgotten came when Marilyn was home alone. Nature called and Marilyn answered.

Sitting down on her throne, unlike comedy, was easy. Getting up, like live television, was hard and full of unpleasant surprises. The seat was lower than Marilyn realized. Gravity only takes you DOWN, she now recounts with a wry smile. Arising from her throne required a monumental effort. Marilyn says it was like having no legs. She kept trying, losing track of the number of efforts. Marilyn finally rocked back and forth, maybe a little Ray Charles movement, and after many dizzying efforts, she staggered to her feet. It literally took her breath away!!

Why was Marilyn left to her own devices? Mea culpa! I’d run a few errands. Marilyn asked me to do them as quickly as possible. As usual, I listened but didn’t follow her request even if I had the best of intentions. Good intentions don’t count when a person is left unattended in fragile condition.

Then there’s coffee. Any idea what nearly two weeks of hospital coffee will do to your palate? I had a sip while visiting Marilyn and my tongue rebelled. One of the first things Marilyn noticed upon her return home was the sound and smell of coffee dripping in the morning. Her first cup of real coffee elicited sighs and smiles.

Another delight for Marilyn was a shower. A REAL shower in her own bathroom. Using her own soaps and, with a little help, washing her hair. More sighs and smiles mixed with some groans as Marilyn gently cleaned the sensitive post surgery areas of her body. Wrapped in her own comfortable robe, Marilyn felt refreshed until another surge of pain jolted her reverie. Each day is a mix of small bursts of energy and longer periods pain coping that’s part of her recovery from the heart surgery that was so much more complex than originally thought.

Finally, there’s sleeping. We have one of those super-deluxe beds that lowers and raises your head and feet. It also vibrates, helping with some aches. That’s the good part. Marilyn aches from head to toe, in varying degrees 24 hours a day, even when in bed. Getting in bed is a chore. Finding the right position is another. Placing a heating pad over her bad right shoulder (muscle torn sometime during the hospital stay) is still another job. Getting quality sleep is a dream. A major problem occurs when nature calls during the middle of the night. Marilyn needs help getting out of bed and into the bathroom. I’m her faithful companion. But, as many of you know, I’m very hard of hearing. I take my hearing aids off before going to bed. Normal procedure.

However, when Marilyn needs my help at three o’clock in the morning, she either has to yell at me or hit me. I prefer the yell. It’s very, very frustrating for Marilyn. Consequently, both of us sleep fitfully. Marilyn because of the pain which never really subsides. Me because I hope I hear the nocturnal call for assistance. This would make for a bad Lifetime movie. But we’d gladly take the money.

Yesterday, Marilyn had her first visits from a visiting nurse and a physical therapist. We have a game plan. Better times are ahead, they promise. We can hardly wait!!

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE COSTUME, ISN’T IT?

Despite my passion for masked heroes, I always preferred Superman to Batman. There were a couple of reasons. Superman was genuinely super. Invulnerable. And moreover, HE COULD FLY!

Never underestimate a guy who can fly at supersonic speeds. A boyfriend like that could prove most useful on a day-to-day basis. I mean really. Hey, Supe, can you give me a hand moving to that new apartment ?

Me Not Super

Hey, Supe … the roof leaks … could you take a look at it? And that big boulder in the backyard is ruining my plans for the new garage. You think you might relocate it for me? And if you have some extra time, maybe you could build a foundation for the garage while you are at it? It will just take a couple of minutes …

Marilyn again

So, I’m a Superman kind of gal.

Above and beyond those delightful and useful powers, I loved that no one recognizes him when he wears his glasses. As a long-time eyeglass wearer, I tried it myself.

“Garry,” I say to get his attention. I then whip my glasses off, stare meaningfully into his eyes and ask “Who am I?”

He laughs. So I do it again, but he just laughs harder. I persist and try this on friends, relatives and near total strangers, but alas, no one thinks I’m Wonderwoman or Supergirl.

Do you think I need a costume? Is my white hair too much of a give-away?

If I get myself a costume — a really good costume with a cape and everything — do you think maybe I could fly? Because that’s what it’s all about. Flying. And becoming invulnerable. That would be good too.

SUBLIME TO RIDICULOUS IN ONE EASY STEP

Daily Prompt: Linger

Right now, my entire life is one long linger. I am waiting for the other shoe, figuratively speaking, to drop. Waiting to be repaired. To be hurt, then to recover. I may not show the stress such waiting causes in any outward display (other than bad temper), but my dreams tell a story. Anxious dreams, wake-up-screaming dreams. All have one theme in common — events that are out-of-control.

Clearly, I read too much fantasy. The other night, I dreamed my real self was murdered by killing my shadow wraith which was roaming somewhere far distant from my flesh and blood self. I remember being surprised: I didn’t know you could shoot a wraith and have the attached body die. Dream and learn, eh? That isn’t Freudian — that’s literary.

75-Ghost-NK-081

Last night was more mundane, closer to home. A friend of my daughter’s who seemed to have moved in (her friends never want to go home) realized her clothing was dirty, so she decided to wash it. By hand. Then leave the piles of soggy garments all over the house.

I was in the process of trying to corral the wet laundry before it destroyed the floors … and I woke up realizing, hey, it’s laundry day again.

Laundry

Caught as I am between chapters of my life, I find myself making strange (hilarious?) discoveries. Apparently when the plastic surgeon rebuilt my breasts (implants) following the double mastectomy a couple of years back, she used muscles as part of the construction. Factory-original breasts have no muscles. There are muscles on the chest wall and off to the sides, but real breasts are not designed for men to ogle but to feed babies. Milk production. Way back in the long-lost past, I had (for a few months) “working breasts.”

That was more than 45 years ago. Last night I discovered I can make my breasts do all kinds of things. I discovered those newly arranged muscles! Together and independently, the muscles work and since I’m healed from that surgery (finally, just in time for the next one), I can control them. Cool.

Fake breasts

This was a startling discovery. I stood in front of my mirror making my breasts dance and salute for quite a while. Then I came out of the bedroom and showed Garry who laughed, but for some reason, did not think making a video to post on YouTube (it might go viral!) of my new talent was a good idea. Spoil sport.

This is what happens when you are on a long intermission between life and life. You linger.

Of course, I’d make every attempt to linger anyhow. The single thing I really don’t want to end is my life. I want to live. Life is the ultimate event and I want to keep it going.

I’m lingering with enthusiasm and verve.

More Lingering:

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  12. The Trouble with Lingering | Wise Woman in Training
  13. Daily Prompt: Linger « cognitive reflection
  14. I see stars | littlegirlstory
  15. Linger At The Beach | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  16. Lingering, all day today | sixty, single and surviving
  17. Linger | forgottenmeadows
  18. Not Wanting this Moment to End. Daily Prompt | Angela McCauley
  19. Linger | The Library Lady and Rosie Bear
  20. Daily Prompt: Linger | CHRONICLES OF AN ANGLO SWISS

PRAYING IN AN ELECTRONIC WORLD

Note: I would like to credit the originator of this Internet joke, but I have no idea from where or by whom it has come. I have tweaked it as I expect others have before me. Whoever, wherever you are, thank you!

UU church door

Bring We In The Sheaves

PASTOR: “Praise the Lord!”

CONGREGATION: “Hallelujah!”

PASTOR: “Will everyone please turn on their tablet, PC, iPad, smart phone, and Kindle Bibles to 1 Corinthians, 13:13. And please switch on your Bluetooth to download the sermon.”

(P-a-u-s-e … )

“Now, Let us pray committing this week into God’s hands. Open your Apps, BBM, Twitter and Facebook, and chat with God”

(S-i-l-e-n-c-e … )

“As we take our Sunday tithes and offerings, please have your credit and debit cards ready. You can log on to the church WiFi using the password Lord-131. The ushers will circulate mobile card swipe machines among the worshipers. Those who prefer to make electronic fund transfers are directed to computers and laptops at the rear of the church. If you want to use your iPad, please open them. Those of you who use telephone banking, you can take out your cell phones to transfer contributions to the church account.”

(The holy atmosphere of the Church becomes truly electrified as the smart phones, iPads, PCs and laptops beep and flicker.)

Closing Announcements and Final Blessing

This week’s ministry cell meetings will be held on the various Facebook group pages where the usual group chatting takes place. Please log in and don’t miss out.

Thursday’s Bible study will be held live on Skype at 19:00 GMT. Please don’t miss out.

You can follow Pastor on Twitter this week #PastorCounsel for counseling and prayer.

God bless and have a great day.

A LITTLE BIT OF SUGAR

Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me

I’m not a big sweet eater anymore. It has nothing to do with discipline or self-control. It just happened. Especially chocolate. I was a fanatic about chocolate, but these days, other flavors have more appeal.

I can’t eat a lot of sugar anyhow. My blood sugar and I made a deal. I lay off the heavy sugar fixes and it won’t make me sick. It’s pretty basic. I know if I eat more than a little of anything sugary, I will pay and I won’t like the terms. It’s enough to make me think twice.

dessert Island

I can eat a little, more in the morning. It sits better early (rather than late) in the day. I’m sure there’s a reason for that, but don’t know what it might be. In compensation, I spend an inordinate amount of time planning to bake. But I don’t. I also plan to buy sweeties but inevitably forget to put them in the cart. If I bake or buy, I eat and grow fat. Which brings me to the next issue.

I’m watching my weight. Mainly, I’m watching it rise. I know for a fact (popular diet mythology notwithstanding) plans and intentions don’t make one fat. You have to really eat the stuff. Sniffing it, being near it, looking at and longing for it — all free. Despite my best efforts, I’ve been putting on weight slowly but steadily for a few years, ever since the drugs I took following breast cancer killed my metabolism. After the surgery and the drugs, my body changed. I eat the same — same stuff, same amounts — as I did before. It kept me thin for a long time, but now, not.

96-OragnesHannaford_12

I made peace with my rounded self. I can’t eat much less. The injustice of it keeps hitting me. If I’m going to grow round anyhow, shouldn’t I get to have an orgiastic eating experience?

In lieu of other sweets, I eat fruit. With or without Splenda, depending on season and fruit. This time of year, the only good fruit we get is citrus. Grapefruit and oranges. I eat a lot of them. Fortunately, I love fruit. And vegetables.

My non-standard digestive system doesn’t like this stuff nearly as much as my mouth does, so I have to be careful. Moderation. I keep it down to two pieces of citrus and one order of veggies per day. That same picky system also doesn’t care much for carbs. It’s okay with modest quantities of rice and potatoes, is intolerant of pasta and bread. I can eat some. One slice of bread. A few forks of pasta. More gets dodgy.

Beverages? Nothing with sugar. Make me sick. Fast.

In self-defense, I’ve learned to enjoy a little bit of whatever I want. A tiny amount of jam on an English muffin. A dribble of syrup on a waffle. A half a cookie. A bite of cake. If I ate more, it wouldn’t taste better, right? And — I eat desserts ever so slowly. When everyone else has washed the dishes and gone off to watch TV or whatever, I’m still working my way through a dollop of pudding.

Our bodies are forever changing. This is Truth today, but who knows what it will be in a few weeks? Everything changes. If we aren’t dead, we are changing, metamorphosing into whatever we will be. I can handle it.

Well, I think I can. I am definitely going to try.

Pingbacks of the day:

  1. Not quite but almost “Limericky.” | thoughtsofrkh
  2. Addiction | Kate Murray
  3. Something To Remember & The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  4. Safest for Me | Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me | likereadingontrains
  5. Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me. And Salt at Another Time. | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  6. DP Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me | Sabethville
  7. Pour some sugar on me: Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  8. Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  9. Surprise pudding | Sue’s Trifles
  10. My Little Bag of Heaven! | B.Kaotic
  11. Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me, 15.03.14 | Markie’s Daily Blog
  12. Blue Magic Can | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  13. Innocence Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  14. Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me | trioldman
  15. #Making Donuts | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  16. A Greek Treat | Lifestyle | WANGSGARD
  17. Daily Prompt: Put Some Sugar On Me- Psychological Perspective of Disease | Journeyman
  18. Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me | Awl and Scribe
  19. Daily Prompt: Being Sweet! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  20. Pour Some Sugar on Me | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  21. Pour Some Sugar on Me | Knowledge Addiction
  22. De-constructed Bounty… | Steve Says…
  23. AB + CC = D | mamangerie
  24. Here is to my mom’s honey buns sugaring it up in the grand old sky! « psychologistmimi
  25. An Ode to Frozen Yogurt | Never Stationary
  26. In Good Company | 4 The Sensitive
  27. Sweet, Sweet Sugar | Step Into My Head
  28. Saltine Cracker Bark | The Pinterested Parent
  29. sweet thing yummy yummy | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
  30. Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me | My Extraordinary Everyday Life
  31. Food Food Food | Life Confusions
  32. Delivered By Ferry | Exploratorius
  33. The Sweetest Taste | Finale to an Entrance
  34. Pour Some Sugar on Me | dandelionsinwind
  35. Goodbye Sugar | Under the Monkey Tree
  36. Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar Over Me | CHRONICLES OF AN ANGLO SWISS

NEW AND HOT — DOUBLE DIP, A DAVIS WAY MYSTERY

If you missed it first time around, here she is again!

Double Dip is the second mystery starring the intrepid Davis Way, written by intrepid author, Gretchen Archer. Even better than Double Whammy, it’s fast, funny, witty and complex.

Something is rotten at the Bellissimo casino where Davis Way works high level security. Employees are double dipping all over the place, including at the slot machines. It’s slot tournament season. How better to catch a cheater at slots that be part of the action? Davis Way’s has never seen, much less played in a slot-tournament, but duty calls … this time as a competitor in the tournament. Good news? She gets to wear really great clothing and stay in the finest accommodations Bellissimo has to offer.

double dip whammy gretchen

Bad news? She working day and night until further notice. Her personal life is going down the tubes. Even on the job, she’s in the deep end of the pool … and swimming isn’t her best sport.

Of course nothing is what it appears to be. Nothing is simple or straightforward. Work is driving her crazy. Her personal life is running off the rails and working all the time is not helping.

The boss’s wife’s personal assistant is missing after bullets are fired. A mousey elderly church lady appears to be the key to a suspicious series of slot machine wins. Meanwhile, after Davis faints dead away in the arms of Bellissimo’s hugely popular emcee, he seems to be gaga over her — not exactly what Davis needs while trying to track down where that slot-playing church lady came from — and what her real motives are.  And what does the So Help Me God Pentecostal Church have to do with all of this? Everything is linked to everything else and it’s going to take all Davis’s sleuthing skills to untangle this Gordian knot.

dbl dip cover

Where’s Bradley Cole during all of this? Working late with Mary Ha-Ha, that’s where. The class action suit on which Bradley is working is as suspicious as the So Help Me God Pentecostal Church … and maybe connected. What’s worse? Davis is pretty sure her persistent upset stomach is not the flu. If only their respective jobs left them some time to talk. If only her sleaze-bag ex-ex Eddie Crawford, would stop showing up where he is so unwanted!

acknowledgement

Complicated? It is indeed. Yet the author carries it off with aplomb, style and humor.

Plots within plots, entwined with subplots and back stories. Ms. Archer juggles all the complexities while keeping track of at least a dozen characters, then ties all those dangling threads into a beautiful bow. Nothing is left hanging by accident. At the end of the book, all that remains are tidbits designed to lure you into the next adventure.

All my favorite books make me laugh. There’s nothing I value more in an author than a good sense of humor and a sharp wit. Gretchen Archer has these in abundance. I admit I got more involved in this book than usual and had a small part in an early edit of the text … which changed enormously afterwards. I’m delighted to have taken part in the project and grateful to Gretchen for giving me more credit than I deserve.

Read Double Whammy and then read Double Dip. You will be very glad you did.

LEDA AND THE SWAN – THE MUSICAL

Back in my bright college days, I was a music major. I hung out on the quad with other wannabe musicians on warm sunny days where we planned projects which would make us famous. Symphonies. Great achievements as conductors and composers though my class never produced anyone huge. Medium is as good as we got.

The Concept

My great project was going to be musical comedy based on the myth of Leda and the Swan.

In the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan, Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces — or rapes – Leda. I vote for seduction since I have a lot of trouble visualizing being rape by a swan.

Zeus or not, swans are slow and clumsy on land, unlikely to successfully attack anyone or anything. Being heavy-bodied, they have trouble getting airborne. Without hands or arms, rape seems unlikely.

Leda becomes pregnant from the experience. She bears Helen and Polydeuces, both children of Zeus. Simultaneously (and I’d like to know how she managed this), she gives birth to Castor and Clytemnestra – the offspring of her human husband Tyndareus, King of Sparta.

96-SwansPost-NK_13

Leda is able to convince her parents and husband that her extraneous pregnancy is not the result of a lover or promiscuity. “No! Honest to gods, really, no kidding, Mom, Dad, Tyndy … it was Zeus! Not some guy. He was a swan! Really.” Right.

The first … and perhaps my favorite scene … would have to be the first act closer. In this highly emotional musical extravaganza, Leda pours out her distress in a heart-rending lyric soprano rich with passion. In it, she explains that it really truly was Zeus.

I could imagine another hilarious show-stopping moment. The eggs. Her Zeus children are born as eggs. Who sat on the eggs? Did they build a nest on her throne? Did she get her ladies-in-waiting to sit on them while she did her Queen business?

Dialog Tidbit

Leda: The swan didn’t fool me. I knew it was Zeus. You all know how much I love birds and feathers, right? I mean … what girl could resist such a gorgeous bird? No kidding. I wouldn’t lie to you.

Tyndareus, King of Sparta: I want to believe you, but I’m having some problems.

Leda: Trust me, dear. It was Zeus. As a swan. You know how tricky he is.

The All-Important Dream Ballet

In a brilliantly choreographed dream sequence, Leda relives the heady romance of the seduction. Some of the technical aspects of the experience make interesting mental meanderings. How, exactly, did … well … ? It will make a heck of a scene.

How Many Curtain Calls?

I’m telling you — the audience will be on its collective feet! I can hear the applause already. I see the royalties rolling in.

Swan's Nest

I’m a bit long in the tooth now for to write a musical comedy, but I freely offer this incredible concept to anyone who wants to flush it out. It might launch more than one career.

You think?

Status

GOOGLE GOOGLED ME

happy birthday from google

The weirdest and funniest “happy birthday” of the day? I opened Google after midnight and there was a picture of a birthday cake and other goodies. So I said to myself, I wonder who else’s birthday it is?

When I hovered the cursor, it said (still does) “Happy birthday, Marilyn.” I think it must only work on my computer, but that’s the picture.

How do they do that? It’s kind of spooky, but cute! I know it’s software, but still … out of the millions of people using Google, how do they know to make that header show up on my computers?

Isn’t technology grand?

GOLDEN WHAT?

Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years

When you think about retirement and “the golden years,” you probably think it means free time. After decades of deadlines, you can do what you want, when you want. Time to travel, time to sleep, time to be with friends. 

It doesn’t usually work out that way. As a start, though I’m not sure why, the minute you retire, you’re incredibly busy. Nature abhors a vacuum and your days fill up. Life becomes unexpected.

You will wonder how you ever had time to work a full-time job.

Old Number 2 -1

IF YOU DON’T DIE YOUNG YOU WILL GET OLD

Your friends get old and some move away. With luck, you’ve got friends and family near enough to visit easily. It’s a gift. But you can’t count on having the old gang in the neighborhood.

Enter email, Skype and social networking. I don’t care who invented the Internet. I’m just glad it exists.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN? OY.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have money and time, you may not have the energy or emotional fortitude to deal with the vicissitudes of modern travel. To put it succinctly, modern travel sucks. It’s not elegant or romantic. It’s hard work for which you pay.

On local roads ...

Travel used to be fun when I was young, but it’s been less fun with each passing year. Now, air travel’s a disgrace. Airports and security turn vacations into stress tests, nightmares in which strangers paw you and security personnel dismantle your luggage. There’s no choice if you’re want to go long distances or cross oceans; you have to fly. Good luck with that.

I love flying. If I had a private jet and could skip the airport, I’d travel. Silly me. If I had that kind of money, a lot of things would be different. Like pretty much everything. Never mind. Forget I said anything.

WHERE’S THE MONEY?

Retirement means a fixed income. Your “salary” stays the same forever, while prices don’t. It takes a while to come to grips with this. After you retire, you will never get a raise. Or a Christmas bonus.

You will never have more buying power than you do today. Time erodes the value of pensions. Younger people don’t get it, but they will someday. Their time will come and they won’t like it. No one does.

On the up side, you will find stuff to do that doesn’t cost much money. Museums and other public venues have senior rates the same as kid prices. Movie theaters have cheap afternoon rates as well as special showings of classic movies. Senior discounts are a big perk.

Never forget to take your senior discount! It’s the least they can for you do after all your years of hard work.

OH MY ACHING …

Most people don’t have as many problems as I do, but everyone has some physical issues. Old bodies wear out. Things hurt. Reflexes slow down. You aren’t as strong as you were. You tire more quickly. If you fall, you don’t bounce. You go splat.

It’s normal, but aggravating. If you’re smart, you adapt. Enjoy what your body can do and don’t waste your life fighting to be what you were — while missing the fun of being what you are.

75-AutumnalFigs-HP

Buck up buckaroos. Getting older isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. Consider the alternative.

You will have fun. You will adapt, accept limitations and enjoy life differently. Keeping an open mind helps. A sense of humor helps more.

NOT WORKING IS THE POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW

The golden-est part of the golden years is not working.

Not working is absolutely, unequivocally a most excellent thing. If only they would just keep sending checks. I don’t miss working, not for a minute, but I miss getting paid.

Our skills are better than ever. Creative artists and people in any field for which mental rather than physical prowess is required, get another chance. We blog, do charity work. Write books, take pictures, sculpt, paint. Design things. Create magnificent gardens. We are treasure troves of experience and knowledge should anyone choose to ask.

Friends

I’ve had a lot of fun recently. I’ve written stuff I like, taken pictures with which I’m pleased. Spent time with friends I love. Laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed.

Now I have to go get my heart rebuilt. Drat. It’s always something.

Other entries:

  1. Social Media has changed me | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  2. Golden Years | Icezine
  3. Counting The Scars/ Weekly Writing Challenge | standinginthestorm
  4. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Golden Years | Mirth and Motivation
  5. Fearless Youth | the intrinsickness
  6. Golden Years | mnemosynesandlethe
  7. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years | MythRider
  8. i am always looking | y
  9. nobody has said if | y
  10. Age is Just a Number | Random Words
  11. The Age of a New Season | Mary J Melange
  12. Stories From My Mind
  13. It is OK, I am here | jessicadafoe
  14. We’re Still Aging! | theeyelife
  15. Age isn’t defined by a number (unless you’re a minor…). | …Properly Ridiculous…
  16. Working Girl | Never Stationary
  17. Golden Years (DPChallenge) | Between Madness & Euphoria
  18. “Unforgotten” | Cosmic Heroism
  19. And Here We Are, Stuck Moving Forward | A Cool Glass of Lemonade
  20. Age is Just a Number –  Ha! Age is a Bunch of Numbers! | Once Upon Your Prime. . .

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH ORDER PIZZA

Daily Prompt: The Heat is On

The high-tech world is fueled by pizza. If it had not already been invented, a group of developers trying to meet a deadline would have had to invent it.

I could have invented it myself. As the only non-engineer on a development team, I was supposed to know about things like food. And complete sentences. And the difference between active and passive forms. Whew. That was why they paid me the big bucks.

The world in which I worked most of my life required tons of creativity and productivity. To keep these going, three key ingredients were needed:

  • Computers
  • Coffee
  • Pizza.

We could have posted a sign outside the offices which said “We work for pizza!”

75-work-for-pizza

Because essentially — not counting salaries — that’s what kept us going. I never missed a deadline. No one else did either. When our efforts seemed in danger of flagging, copious amounts of pizza appeared in various permutation. Of course, there were plenty of computers and endless amounts of coffee too. That went without saying.

I do not believe any developer I know would work in an office where one actually pays for coffee. Blasphemy!

Question: How do you know when your development team has been working too much overtime?

Answer: When someone says “Can we have something to eat that isn’t pizza?”

No. Not really. And don’t forget to make fresh coffee.

Other Entries:

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  2. Procrastination Insults My Intelligence | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
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  4. Under Pressure | A mom’s blog
  5. pressure | yi-ching lin photography
  6. DP Daily Prompt: The Heat is On | Sabethville
  7. Cops | Views Splash!
  8. the pressure is the same | y
  9. Men | Hope* the happy hugger
  10. One Crazy Mom » The Heat Is On
  11. Student hurrying to catch the bus (Daily Prompt: “The Heat Is On, Show Us Pressure”) | Photo0pal Photography
  12. I’ll start tomorrow. | Attempted Human Relations and Self
  13. DAILY PROMPT: Pressure | cockatooscreeching
  14. Life Confusions
  15. Daily Prompt: The Heat is On – Perspective of Medical Student | Journeyman
  16. Daily Prompt: Pressure | Captured By Kylie Photography
  17. The heat is on – turned down to low! | Sue’s Trifles
  18. Pressure | The scribbles in the margin
  19. Pressure Points and Implosions | ALIEN AURA’S : IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND
  20. Daily Prompt: The Heat is On | CHRONICLES OF AN ANGLO SWISS

THE WORST DECISION

Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy

Sometimes, we act on impulse: it could be something as small as ordering that special dessert on the menu, maybe asking out that cute boy or girl, or as large quitting your job and selling everything you own to become a shepherd in New Zealand. What’s the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing you’ve ever done? If you’ve never succumbed to temptation, dream a little. If you gave yourself permission to go a little crazy, what would you do?

Between good marriages one and three, there was unspeakably awful marriage number two. To say that it seemed like a good idea at the time is not entirely true. I knew from the get-go it was a bad idea. Not only did I think it was, but everyone who knew me thought it was terrible idea, from my mother to my new friends in Israel , to my old friends back in the states. No one said “Follow your heart!” because it was clear whatever I was following, it wasn’t my heart or my brain, but some part rather lower down and significantly less rational.

So why did I marry someone so blatantly unsuitable and mismatched?

  • He spoke English. Never underestimate the power of communication when you are in a foreign land and have no one to talk to
  • I was on the rebound from a divorce
  • We were using lots of drugs
  • Sex
  • Insecurity, loneliness and being a stranger in a strange land.

All the aforementioned combined. Voila. A marriage easily entered into but not so easily escaped. I should have known when his mother took me aside and said “You know, Tony isn’t really stupid. He just seems stupid.” His mother?

He had an evil temper. He didn’t read books. He had no visible means of support. He was courting me while his first wife was dying of cancer (red light flashing, siren going off, why don’t I notice?). The levels of wrongness were too many to count.

very-very-bad-idea

So, how did it work out?

How do you think?

I went crazy and I paid. I paid big, long and hard. There are crazy risks that are fun. Go ahead and buy the lens you want. Take an extra ride on the roller coaster. Learn to sky dive.

Just make sure, before you take a mad plunge, the price you may pay for your wild decision isn’t beyond your means. If your heart and mind are screaming “NO, NO DON’T DO IT” whilst everyone in your life for whom you have an iota of respect agrees with that assessment … don’t do it. Admit you are wrong.

Because in the end, the real reason I went ahead with a marriage I knew was absolutely wrong? I was embarrassed to admit I’d made a mistake.

Ye olde sin of pride. It’ll nail your ass to the wall every time.

Other Entries:
  1. A Supposedly Fun Thing I Should Never Have Done in the First Place | AS I PLEASE
  2. Tea for two | The Bliss of Reality
  3. I Did Something Crazy | Lifestyle | WANGSGARD
  4. On being yourself | Attempted Human Relations and Self
  5. A Watermark, a Ford Falcon and a Creative Commons License walk into an alley… | Greg Urbano
  6. This Daily Prompt Is For Men Only & My Short Story For The Day | The Jittery Goat
  7. impulse | yi-ching lin photography
  8. the city is an | y
  9. Daily Prompt: Let’s go Crazy! | Raevenly Writes
  10. Unlucky | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  11. Comrades | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  12. DP Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy | Sabethville
  13. Caramel Filled Chocolates | Miss Spicy Hat N’ Sugar Socks
  14. Wild Woman: let’s go crazy! | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  15. Let’s go with this. I suck at being impulsive. | thoughtsofrkh
  16. Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy | CHRONICLES OF AN ANGLO SWISS