Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow Czar

I meant to write this yesterday but I got caught up with packing for a trip, cooking and shoveling 
oh my God the shoveling. We have so much area to shovel and yet no snow blower. 
But there is no place to put one. 
If one would invent a snowblower that folded neatly to shovel size, that would do the trick.
 Sadly, nobody has gotten around to inventing it. 
Snow removal is an obsession for B.
He has a precise, sometimes, exhausting, system for how to do it, where to put it and how much should be removed, in order to minimize the development of ice.
It can be equally argued as the work of a genius or a madman.
Usually it's just around this time of year though that he throws in the shovel and says, "Fuck it." because  there is too much snow and nowhere to put it anymore.
Despite this, I still think there's no better candidate. Somebody really needs to appoint that man to be the Snow Removal Czar of  Southern New England.
Consider this my public nomination.
Here is a funny thing. 
We are in NJ on vacation. 4-6 inches are expected tomorrow.
And so it goes on and on. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Last Cookie

My friend posts a note everyday with something new that he wrote. He has invited me to do the same. I hope you like this one-it was the January prompt for my writer's group.

The Last Cookie in The Yellow Room

I am standing at the counter
in the yellow room 
that is mykitchen.
I am eating the very last cookie 
in the last box of the
Peanut Butter 
Girl Scout Cookies that come
but once a year.
I was not thinking of getting any
though this is the season for such,
when I happened upon 
the colorful boxes
and the cheerful girls 
in their beanies,
outside of the store.
I bought the cookies home 
And placed them
in a cupboard with out saying so.
Curious as to how long 
it would take 
for them to be found.
I came the very next day, 
to find the boxes 
opened, ransacked.
One lonely cookie was left
uneaten, last in line
nestled safely 
in its plastic tray.
I bit into the cookie
the salty sweet taste 
of peanut butter and chocolate.
It tasted sweeter 
because it was the last cookie,
in the last box, 
for the year.
It tasted even sweeter to me
although for everyone else,
it was the last cookie,
I knew of another box.
Tucked away
Where is it?

I’ll never tell.

(Obviously I can't show this to my family until I have gone through that last box of cookies.)

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Wager-A Short Story

A few years back, out with B and some friends, I got caught in the middle of a conversation about basketball teams.
The topic was Secular vs. Catholic school teams (for lack of a better phrase) focusing on how the Catholic teams always seem to be much better.

I mentioned that it would be pretty funny if the losing teams began to renounce God en mass, after losing to a big Catholic school team.

We went with it for a bit and it was very entertaining.

I have been fascinated with really short stories that contain larger stories, in just a few sentences or small paragraphs.

I was reminded of that conversation today while listening to the priest at church talk about the story of Job.

Here is what I came up with today-Hope it works.

I also have to credit a certain Guy Benoit for coming up with the team name and finding the idea funny-it was definitely a collaboration.

A new wager was made, straight out of the book of Job. 
Sadly, the previous winner is foiled this time when Bucci's Auto Body unanimously renounces God, in favor of his Adversary, after losing in a landslide to the St. Pius basketball team on Thursday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I have a riddle for you:

What has two thumbs and no braces?


My mouth feels naked and slippery and wonderful.

All gone!
I no longer have to worrying about the Apocalypse happening before I get my braces off.

I no longer have to decide between being some crazy metal mouthed lunatic tearing out people throats with my braces like that guy from "Moonraker" or the love slave of one of the last remaining orthodontists left in the world.

I tell you though, when they were painstakingly taking off each bracket, I listened closely.

 I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised if I heard the cloppity clop of hooves as the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse raced past the orthodontists office and through the streets of Cranston.

Of course, then everyone would have thrown down their orthodontic torture devices and run for the hills.

Leaving me screwed. With a half mouthful of braces.

But happy day, they are out! One more week and I get my second retainer and then-

come on End of Days! I'm all set! (Just kidding, really)

Even if it came tomorrow, I think having a retainer would be the least of my worries.

And nobody can blame me because it happened AFTER the braces came off, so there.

And now I'm assuming you want pictures. I have never liked pictures of my smile before braces, during braces and now after braces. I was going to show a series of pictures of me showing my teeth while bored, scared, vaguely annoyed and confused, but no. The kids will be home soon and I'd like to sit and read for a bit. And besides, the lighting in this room is all wrong and I didn't put on make up today.

So you will have to do with this:

I feel party.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Some Randomness

I don't really have a story for you today, just a list of random thoughts and things. I should be getting ready for work but I'm not.

Or perhaps I am getting ready for work right now, in the best way possible. Sure, my hair is a greasy mess and I probably smell like BO, but I'll feel really good for today because if all else falls through, I at least conquered part of a blank page today.

You would be surprised (or maybe not) at how far that will get me.

  • My daughter started calling me "Mother Thing". I don't know where or why she has come up with this, but my response now when she refers to me as such is to say, "Yes walking talking creature who came out of my vagina, what do you want." She has stopped. Also, it occurred to me last night, when G was having a bit of a freak out, if you have a death wish, try singing "Don't Cry Out Loud" by Melissa Manchester at the top of your lungs to a extremely distraught and hormonal pre-teen girl. No I didn't do it. I love life. No death wishes here.
  • My children are the type to purposefully annoy me when we are stuck in traffic and are bored. They will start to make screeching noises and ask "Are we there yet?" repeatedly. I have started what I call the "Xanadu" treatment in which I put that song on top volume and dance to it while sitting in traffic. They stopped and got the point. 
  • Audiobooks are the best thing for those times that you are stuck in traffic with them. Not so much if they have a friend in the car, but if it's just you and them, it's great. We just finished  "Anansi Boys" and have started on "Four Years, Five Seasons" by Peter S. Beagle. I have 'The Last Unicorn" and "Howl's Moving Castle" ready to go as well. My ridiculously expensive Audible subscription is finally paying off.
  • Have you ever heard of Peter S. Beagle? He is amazing. He wrote the book "The Last Unicorn" (everyone has seen the movie I'm sure). He is one of the best writers out there and you should check him out if at all possible. The guy saved my ass last week. I was sitting in front of my computer, feeling horribly uninspired. I was wasting time on the internet and remembered once reading about how he had trouble writing his own stories. I decided to see if he had anything worth reading to get me started. (Yeah I know, more excuses). Lo and behold, I found a pod cast called Writing Excuses. Lo and behold, there was a podcast with Peter S Beagle speaking about how to get into the writer's mindset. It really helped. (Here is the secret-you just sit down and do it. Ha!). The link to the podcast and the site is here.
  • The bees are fine. No honey for me from them this year. I got a tiny bit from Anne's hive. Anne is a lovely woman in Providence who hired me to take care of her beehive. So although I have no honey, through Anne's and my friends Scott and Emily's generosity of bee donations, I have 3 healthy hives with first year queens going into the winter. Keep you finger's crossed folks! I'm going to bust my ass this winter making sure the ladies make it through.
  • Last of all, my faith in humanity, always shaky best, was restored the day before yesterday as I was stopped at a stop sign, about to go down a hill. Two men were pushing a broken down minivan up the hill. It was being steered by an older woman. As I watched, a car pulled over and a third man got out and helped push it up the hill and to the side of he road. It was great to see and in the rain too. I try to hold onto those moments when I get my car keyed, or someone gets stabbed right in front of my house. I say to myself, "It's not so bad, Mr Roger's said, "Look for the helpers".
Ok off to work.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Jesus Would Have Left Me To Die

I love the Autumn portion of daylight savings.

All summer long, I have struggled to wake up before 7am so I could have my time to fart around and possibly write, before everyone else wakes up.
For some reason, I could not get out of bed before 7am, even if I went to bed at 10.

But lo and behold, I hopped right out of bed by 6:30 this morning.

Of course, I squandered the time I had and it is already a quarter past 7 and I only have about 30-40 minutes before I have to start doing things, but at the moment I consider myself to be back in training to write again.

I have barely written a blog post or a story, including any additions to my really long stories that I can't seem to finish yet. Please don't get me started on the newsletter. Joanna and I have been crazy slacking on that.

Some wonderful, little things have happened and now here I am typing at 7am. I am also in the process of creating future plans/schedules so that I can get my time in every day. I'm thinking of it a "cross-fit" for my writing muscle, which has grown very flabby.

I had a spectacular fall, in both ways.

My Fall has been a mix of extreme stress and extreme fun. I don't talk about my work here, One,  because I never want to give Human Resources a reason and Two, the nature of my work makes me want to keep it very separate from what I do outside of work.

But I will say that work had some tough moments that made me realize things..and that is all about that.

Despite work stress, I managed to do all of my favorite Fall activities so far. I picked the apples, I made the apple butter. I went to Salem with my beloved Jessica and her daughter. I somehow managed to accumulate pumpkins and the items needed to make 4 Halloween costumes just in time for the big day, as well as come up with a decent short story (well, half of one) before midnight on that day for my writer's group.

Hooray for me.

I also had a big spectacular fall last Sunday.

I was tired, it was an off day. I spent the night before having dreams of being in bed with something scary looming in the room. I kept waking myself up in dream to end the dream and tell B I had a nightmare, only I was still in the dream. I also think I did actually wake up a few times interspersed throughout, so I had terrible sleep.

I dropped the kids off at CCD. Going into the gymnasium, I stumbled over the threshold but kept my balance.

Picking the kids up an hour later,  I thought of my previous stumble and congratulated myself on being more careful as I crossed the threshold.

I tripped again, stumbled forward several feet, my torso parallel to the ground before I fell outright on my side. I want to say that I slid forward a few feet too. Even if I didn't, let's just pretend I did because it makes a better mental picture.

I got up laughing and walked over to my daughter's best friend and her mother who were laughing at me. My daughter had run off in embarrassment because she actually thought I had fallen in a room full of people on purpose. Just to embarrass her. She even punched me in the arm when she stalked back.

You have no idea how awesome it feels to know that I have gotten into her head that much. It should make the teenage years easier.

Here is the big problem I had with the whole scenario despite my laughter and the hilarity of it.

Nobody in the room even asked if I was Ok.  Nobody.

Not even the nun!

The people in the room are a bunch of Catholics. Who are in the room to set a good example for a bunch of kids that they are attempting to teach to be good Catholics.

Nobody helped, nobody even asked it I was ok.

Except for V of course. I'm telling you, that kids lives rent free with me for as long as he wants, when he grows up..

So this is a room full of people who aspire to be like Jesus Christ.

What would Jesus do?

Judging by the reaction of the people in the room, Jesus would have pretended that he didn't see me fall and would have left me to die.

Thanks Catholic people. Thanks Jesus, your folk are doing a bang up job.

I know I'm being a bit harsh, but still. I could have been really hurt. C'mon. They are supposed to be better than that. I was a little shocked.

Later in the day, I went to Salem with Jessica as I mentioned.

Here is our annual Port A John shot.

A woman fell in front of us as we walked down the sidewalk. She was laughing by the time we got there and her husband was helping her to her feet. 

I asked her if she was ok and she said she was. I told her that I fallen earlier today and nobody had asked me if I was ok. She was clearly embarrassed and it may have been better pretend not see so as to spare her the embarrassment. 

But I think that the "helping muscle" is like the "writing muscle" it needs a work out. 

It needs practice or it gets flabby. Then you do things like walk past and pretend not to see when someone falls or needs help in some way. 

The time is now 8am and there are things to do, so I have to cut this short, but as a public service announcement, if you see somebody fall today or in the near future. Just take a second and ask if they are ok. It means a lot. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Minstrel Threat Level

When I was 17 or 18, I used to play Dungeons and Dragons a few times a week with a group of friends.

No, I had my own apartment at the time, so there was no dwelling in my parent's basement. They had a dank cellar anyways.

During one of the more memorable sessions, my friend Mike had enough gold pieces to acquire a minstrel. The purchasing of said minstrel, inspired many minstrel-related jokes. My favorite being that we needed to get the minstrel a bike. It would be a choice between aluminum or iron framed one.

A light or heavy minstrel cycle-get it?

Sadly, the minstrel was killed shortly after purchase by a tribe of Xenophobic elves that our party came across.

It was fun while it lasted, Sir Minstrel.

I was reminded of this today by my choice in tights. I had put on a pair of light grey ones as opposed to my usual black tights.
I never could figure out why light colored tights paired with black boots made me slightly uncomfortable, but it hit me as I was walking into a restaurant to meet Jessica.

"Tell me honestly," I asked, standing very straight. "Do these tights make me look like a minstrel?"

To which she replied, "Well, you do look like you could use a lute."

"I knew it!"

There were several discussions revolving around how I should mince about the restaurant as I made my way to the restroom, singing a ballad and I even had Jess take a picture of me playing air lute.

After Jessica and I parted ways, as I drove along, I remembered Mike's ill fated minstrel. Inspiration hit me.

Ok, I'm going off subject just a bit, but bear with me.

I am under the influence of a special kind of muse, (perhaps it's the 13th muse) the one that governs creative ways in which to poke fun at and embarrass your offspring.

I have a talent for it. It may sound mean, but think of it. You carry them, give birth to them, you nurse them both with your own body and then with your hands when they are sick. You spend all of your hard earned cash on plastic things and an exorbitant amount of extra food.

And for what? For them to be completely and utterly embarrassed by you, just as they start to become a little bit independent.

In addition, they tend to be very vocal about how embarrassing you are.  My kids act so embarrassed if I even open my mouth near them in public, you would think that I had crapped myself, based on their reactions.

But, instead of being hurt a bit or feeling rejected, I go with it.  For the most part, I try to use my special creativity for blackmailing purposes.

I do not threaten to take away toys or privileges. I do not hit my children. I do not put them in time out or ground them.

I tell them that I will chaperone their school dance, bring their father, and slow dance with him to every love song.

I threaten to yell "I love you, be brave!" as they walk into school. (I have followed through with this one)

I threaten to fart loudly while in public with them. (Tried that one didn't work out.)

They are good kids, fairly polite, somewhat responsible and they are good students. Must be working..

This is the one though.
I'm thinking that this is one of the last Halloween's where I can enforce the rule that they have to be accompanied by a family member.
B has to stay home to hand out candy with Lyd, so there is nobody to reign me in this year.

I'm thinking that I have to go as a minstrel. Floppy hat with the feather, big puffy sleeves and the light  colored tight and big boot combo.
I'm going to attempt to get a lute, but even a cardboard one will do.

The songs and ballad's I can sing about my lovely children as we meander down the sidewalks passing every classmate and neighbor.

I could just threaten them with this. I could give them fair warning. Each broken rule, each moment of being disrespectful could be another song about the infraction for the neighborhood's enjoyment.

"Clean your room or it's gonna be another ballad while Trick or Treating!"

Or I could just surprise them on the big night.

I'm going as a minstrel, no doubt. If I have songs or whether I sing them will depend on them.

Next year I'm going as a mime.