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Showing posts from February, 2013

30DW2-2 - Day 28: Is That All?

Ziva and Nicky in happier times.
She stumbled out of the door into the darkness. The sun had been shining when she'd arrived, alone and sober at Cheesy Mike's Bar and Baguettery. Her friend and room mate Ziva had told her to hold on that she'd come with her. But she couldn't wait. And the next thing Ziva knew she was gone. "Damn" said Ziva, "This certainly puts a strain on our friendship. I hope it wasn't something I said. However, when Nicky said 'You better put out some hors d'oeuvres' for our little soiree this evening' I just felt she was ordering me around."

And so Nicky retreated to her favourite little haven, the CMB&B where she and Zee would often meet after work to down a few cold ones. But it wasn't long before she felt remorseful at how she had acted and began texting her pal in French. Of course, she'd had a few Molson X's by now and forgot Ziva didn't understand the language of love. After 15 minu…

30DW2-2 - Day 27: And That's Why I Got Drunk

I thought today was Day 28 of 30 Days of Writing II minus 2.

But Nicky told me we still have another day to go.

And that's why I got drunk.


Really? The saying isn't "I can drink you under the bench"?

Weave your way over to We Drink for Cheese and see what everybody else's excuse is.

30DW2-2 - Day 26: Deal With It

Okay, the younger and more with it (do they still say that?) among you may know that "deal with it" is an internet meme. Or I should say "was" an internet meme from a few years back.

The expression itself is not very polite but a curt response to someone who questions a certain activity in which he or she is being forced to participate. The expression, coupled with a gif (look it up) of dropping sunglasses (hell, I don't know why) became the most popular meme on the internet around 2010.

Now, I must have been doing my Rip Van Winkle thing because I seem to have missed this entirely. Heck, I've only just clued in to gangnam style only to learn it's been superseded by something called the Harlem Shake.


I don't know about you, but I've been doing part of that dance for years. Had three children doing it. Everything old is new again!

So what's next?

Seal With It - a meme with a black singer formerly married to Heidi Klum

Meal With It - first da…

30DW2-2 - Day 25: Fact or Fiction

Picture this.

It's October 30, 1938.

You've just finished dinner, cleared the table and helped mom do the dishes. The pots and pans are left for later because the clock in the kitchen indicates it's time for the family's favourite CBS radio program.

Dad switches the radio on, tunes in the station, and everyone sits back in anticipation of what's to come.

But as the show begins it is interrupted by a news bulletin. Are your ears playing tricks? The newscaster is trying to maintain his composure as he relays developments associated with alien spaceships hovering over the Earth. This can't be. But they're interviewing eye-witnesses. Wait, a spaceship has landed. My God a heat ray as incinerated the nearby crowd.

Fact or fiction?

Well, it really did happen. The radio broadcast, that is, not the alien invasion. It was a radio play performed by the Mercury Theatre Players, produced and narrated by Orson Welles, based on the science-fiction tale War of the Worlds…

30DW2-2 - Day 24: Confucius

Okay, I admit it. I'm not perfect. Hard to believe, I know. Many of you may have thought so. You may think I lead the perfect life, am happily married, very content with everything I have. But I must admit that there are times I need help. Some direction. Answers to the many questions I have about love, life and whether I should drop off and see Nicky next time I'm in Montreal. Sad for me to have to say all this and I hope I haven't let you down.

What's my secret? How have I been able to fool you for so long? Well, if you promise not to tell anyone, I'll let you in on a little ssomething. I am a devotee of Confucianism.

Confused? Allow me to illucidate. "Can he do that without drugs?" you may well ask. Well, we're about to find out.

At least once a day I zone out. My wife thinks it's when she's talking to me but not true. I meditate. Yep. I sit cross-legged on the floor and am transported to another place for an hour. It'd be about half t…

30DW2-2 - Day 23: Absurd

On the highest branch of a barren tree, high upon a rock-strewn mountain I sat taking in the view below. I had retreated to my perilous perch after having waged a weary battle with the inhabitants of the village below. Many of their bodies now lay strewn throughout the muddy streets where, not more than twenty minutes ago their blood curdling screams filled the air in an attempt to first frighten, then, slay me. But their efforts were all for naught. And now their bodies and abodes lay smouldering, smoke wafting gently in the soft blowing breeze.

I don't know for certain what possessed them to turn as they did upon me. I was only seeking sustenance after my long and laborious flight from a similar village many miles away. And in that village, as with countless cities and towns before it, their townspeople turned in tyrannous fashion against me.

It wasn't always like this. Many moons ago the humans that walked upon the earth worshiped me, my large leathery body, my wondrous an…

30DW2-2 - Day 22: Compulsively

I feel sorry for people who act compulsively. For some it's minor actions that often result in humorous situations. But in other cases it's an uncontrollable disorder.

Have you ever seen that reality show Hoarders? Oh my God those people have problems. The subjects of this show have bought and collected so many things there's hardly room for them to live in their houses. Not only is a disposal expert and crew engaged to clean up the house but a psychiatrist is brought in to help the hoarder and their family through the exercise of getting rid of these articles. In many cases, the local government has condemned the house and refuses to lift the ordinance until the house is cleaned up.

And although these folks live in filth and squalor and have collected so much they can't even find their own bed in their house most of these people go through severe mental aguish in deciding what to part with.

I don't watch this show on a regular basis, not compulsively, but when I …

30DW2-2 - Day 21: Last Train

We'd had a long day of sightseeing and as the daylight was quickly fading so were we. Our feet were sore. Bob and I decided on resting our dogs at a nearby pub and a couple of Guinness sounded good right about now.

It had been some day. We learned for instance that contrary to that childhood song London Bridge was not falling down.

And we were quite disappointed to learn that the crown jewels were just that, literally. I mean we'd read about Prince Charles' propensity for extra curricular, ahem, activities in the past and we kinda wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

We took a ride on the London Eye but were disappointed when there wasn't an optometrist to be seen. Boy did we make a spectacle of ourselves.

And we were quite amazed when we saw the Beefeaters at the tower of London. Not so much by their colourful uniforms but because they weren't eating beef. We thought we might be able to wrangle a free meal but no such luck.

We visited the British Parliament…

30DW2-2 - Day 20: The Other Shoe

It's been several years since I've bought new shoes. The last shoes I bought were a pair of golf shoes,  actually. I don't work anymore so I don't need dress shoes. The ones I have - a pair in black and a pair in brown - are gathering dust in the bottom of my closet.

I bought a pair of Champion running shoes in Panama several years back - really cheap - to add to my growing collection.

But I confess, when the nice weather's here I wear sandals when I'm going out and around the yard a pair of flip flops.

I have a pair of crocs, but Mrs D won't let me wear them. She hates them. But they're so comfortable even if they aren't fashionable. Sometimes I'll slip them on while she's at work and then take them off before she gets home. And she's none the wiser. Although, from time to time I do feel a little guilty having cheated on her.


I find my feet really haven't grown in the last 10 to 15 years so if my footwear is still presentable why s…

30DW2-2 - Day 19: Little Things

Little Things
Is it grandiose gestures Flowers store bought? No it's the little things They mean a lot
Is it magnanimous efforts Battles well fought? No it's the tiny actions Often done without thought
Is it expensive presents At the store that I got? No it's something effortless A thing not sought
Oh I think I'm getting it It's what most appeals It's little things Things that are real
I think you understand It kind of fits like a glove It's the little things you do That say "It's you I love"
Well why didn't you say so My love, my honey Before I went out And spent all this money!


Head on over to We Pray To Little Cheeses and check out Nicky's little things. By that I mean the other folks participating in this challenge. Honestly, what did you think I meant?

30DW2-2 - Day 18: Home At Last

For this one I'm digging into the old archives. Hey, first time during the challenge I've done this. The story just seemed to fit. I first wrote and published this in January 2011. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the misfortunes of others...namely me.


Welcome to the U.S. Eh?
To Serve And Delay
Why me? Why do these things always happen to me. Canada/U.S. relations hit a new low last night when I touched down in Miami en route to Orlando from Panama. I know our dollar's worth more than the American currency in the current economic smack down but, hey, do you have to take it out on me?

So let me back up a bit. We left the condo in Bijoa Tuesday morning at 11:15, well in time for the two and-a-half hour drive to the airport. We made good time, traffic was good, we didn't get lost. We were humming our way through downtown Panama when from behind us we hear sirens. So we move over to the right lane. All of a sudden three police motorcycles whip by us in the left then one, whish, …

30DW2-2 - Day 17: Whatever, Dude

It was sure to be an arduous task. The light in the laundry room had burned out and if he didn't change it soon he'd be recycling his underwear: front to back, back to front, inside out, repeat. He wasn't looking forward to that.

He shuffled across the living room floor with the aid of his cane and then gingerly lifted one foot, then the next, then the cane, step-by-step down the stairs to the basement. With advancing age he didn't move as quickly or as confidently as he once did. Nor did his mind work quite the way it used to. Entering the laundry room and lifting his eyes to the dead bulb in the ceiling, he realized he couldn't reach it and would need the step ladder.

But the step ladder was in the garage, hung high on a nail on the wall. He'd about need a step ladder to get at the step ladder.

So his tired legs and feet climbed the stairs and shuffled to the kitchen where the phone was. He'd call his grandson and see if he were able to come over and hel…

30DW2-2 - Day 16: Music

It was comedian/musician Martin Mull who said:

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."
But, what the heck, I'm going to give it a go.

Music is such a huge part of my life. I don't play an instrument. I just love to listen. It's been a big part of my life since I was a kid in the 50s, starting with Elvis Presley. But I remember as a grade schooler, walking home with my pals mimicking Gene Chandler singing that doo-wop classic Duke of Earl...


Then it was on to the hot-rodding and surfing songs of the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, the Rip-Chords and the like. And then, as a teenager, the British invasion of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Animals, the Kinks, the Troggs, the Zombies, the Dave Clark Five and others took over.

And that was it. I was hooked. In my mid-to-late teens I sang in several rock bands. We never went anywhere other than friends' basement parties but we had a lot of fun.

Since then I've colle…

30DW2-2 - Day 15: Or Else

Well we've passed the half-way mark in Nicky and Mike's 30 Days of Writing II Minus 2. Now that's such a mouthful I've taken to calling this month of torture 30DW2-2. Sorta sounds like a motor oil, I know. Kinda like better living through higher viscosity.

Anyway, on to today's prompt...or else. Ha, ha. See what I just did there. Or else Nicky'll come after me waving her fresh baguettes (is that a euphemism?) and tossing a couple of wheels of Oka cheese.

Now here's a little tale that rings true. We have a phantom doorbell. A few years back I bought one of those battery-powered doorbells to replace one that didn't work. You know, one that works on some kind of radio frequency. It was great. Put a little battery in the button and a couple of big ones in the bell and...voila...we had a working doorbell.

Well until something weird happened. Mrs D and I would be watching TV in the evening and the doorbell would ring. But when one of us would get up to answer…

30DW2-2 - Day 14: Where Can I Get A Good Blintz?

Gary had planned out his day carefully. After all this was going to be a very special day - a once in a lifetime occasion. After weeks of thought and planning he had worked things out better than a proctologist with a big stick. And after all was said and done he'd be the luckiest guy in the world.

He had taken the afternoon off from work, having succeeded in getting Bob to take his shift at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. He never could figure that name out. Who were the five guys? He didn't think he was one of them. In his store there were seven guys and four girls. Why didn't they call his store Seven Guys and Four Girls Burgers and... Ah. He just figured out why that wouldn't work.

So it was mid-afternoon. The sun was shining down on the roadway in front of him "like a shimmering ribbon of large moving ants," he thought to himself. Except they weren't ants, they were cars. He knew that. But he often liked to think in similes.

He checked his piece of pap…

30DW2-2 Day 13: Unintended

Lucky 13.

Still 15 days to go.

Damn it to hell I don't know if I'm going to make it.

When Nicky invited my to participate in this little exercise my answer was purely unintended.

I meant to say no.

No thank you, Nicky.

I'm burned out, Nicky.

I'm wasted.

I haven't got any ideas.

I haven't got any energy.

I'm dead.

I'm still recovering from Ziva's infernal 30 Damn Days of Photographs.

I've just had pneumonia and spent 5 days in the hospital.

Leave me alone.

But you guys know Nicky.

Just how does one say "no" to Nicky?

So I said yes.

And that was unintended.

So away we went.

Cheesy.

Hold On.

And the next thing I knew I was in the flow of things. I wrote a couple of posts several days in advance and I was off.

Keeping pace.

Coming up with posts for the prompts.

And that was unintended.

Look at me now, ma.

No hands.

Well something like that.

Who knew that I'd actually be thanking Nicky (and Mike) for getting me going again.

For making …

30DW2-2 - Day 12: The Day I Met Abraham Lincoln

Hmm. Should I stay in tonight and Watch Honey Boo Boo or go out to the theatre?

Oh, man, that alarm seems to have gone off early.

What time is it?

Oh, lord it's 7:30 already.

Well, big day today. Our American Cousin opens tonight and of all people the President will be there.

Who knew he was a such a big fan of the theatre?

Better get moving. Shower, shit and shave. Need to look my best for Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.

Ironic how the Lincolns will be attending the Ford Theatre, eh? I wonder if that young mustang, their son, will be with them?

***
Hi, Bob. How's it going in the snack bar? Did we get that order of Cheez-Whiz in for the nachos? We did? Great! I want to to be sure Abe's love of cheese is fully filled. I mean he must love cheese. Why else would he be coming to see this play?

And what about the white chocolate and black liquorice? Are we all stocked up? Yeah? That's great. We want him to know the two can live in harmony.

***
Well, half-an-hour to go until they rais…

30DW2-2 - Day 11: Road Trip

Back in the early 70s my ex-wife and I were lucky enough to score government grants to pay for our university tuition. In those days the majority of the money we received didn't have to be repaid, unlike today when the majority of the money is a loan. Of course it helped immeasurably that we knew the lady in the university awards office. Nevertheless, we came into a small windfall. Did we use it for tuition?

We bought a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle and took off to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. Now travelling from Ottawa, Ontario to Daytona Beach, Florida was a major undertaking. It was several days' drive. Did we know where we were going? Sure. South!


I think we actually took out a membership with the Canadian Automobile Association who provided us with a Trip Kit - a series of pages of maps with a magic marker highlighting our route for us. Kind of like the 70s version of GPS, if you will.

The trip was fairly uneventful. Being a couple of impoverished university types we camped o…

30DW2-2 - Day 10: The Mayor

Last year my youngest brother, Whitey (y'all remember Whitey?) asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I said "To go golfing." So, lucky me, he took me golfing on my birthday.

We're still talking about it.

You see my birthday is in late April and as it turned out, while sunny, the mercury didn't get above zero celsius.

Now I've only taken up golf in the last couple of years. I love it and I'm keen to get out on the course and swing the clubs anytime.

Whitey on the other hand has been golfing since he was a kid. He's pretty much seen it all. Except for going golfing when it's 0 degrees.

Look closely at that picture. We look a little red, don't we? It was windy too. And look at my brother  Mr. Whitey "Two Gloves". "Yeah", as he likes to say, "two gloves and three layers of clothing."

The guy's a wuss I tell ya.

This year maybe we'll wait until May or June (see what I just did there?) before we hit the links…

30DW2-2 - Day 9: 15 Minutes

"In the future everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes."
Damn you Andy Warhol. Why don't people take your "15 minutes of fame" comment seriously?

When I've got nothing better to do, and I hate to admit how often that is, I'll skim the entertainment sites like TMZ and Perez Hilton. I don't look at these sites for news. I look at them for a laugh.

I mean, c'mon, what the heck is so interesting about Kim Kardashian and her ass's every move. Haven't we had enough about her, her ass, her mom, her sisters, her pregnancy and her boyfiend rapper guy who said President Bush hated blacks. Really.

And the Queen of news we couldn't use has got to be Lindsey Lohan. Who can keep straight how many criminal charges she has against her, how many court dates she has, how drunk or strung out she is or how much money Charlie Sheen gave her? Really.

Chris Brown beating up Rihanna?

Chris Brown beating up Frank Ocean?

Justin Bieber, doing doobies and …

30DW2-2 - Day 8: French

In Canada, we live in a bilingual country. Our official languages are English and French. If you work for the federal government and want to get ahead, you need to be bilingual. And you're tested every 5 years to ensure you can still read, write and speak your learned language.

As an Anglophone, who only had grade-school French, I had to go through this testing. It wasn't easy. But I managed. At taxpayer's expense. You see if you didn't pass the test you had to go to French school to brush up. It usually took five or six months away from work. It was a pretty good deal. And then you'd go back to the office and speak the language most prevalent at work: English.

Anyway, I'm not here to rate the federal government's language policy. Or to comment one way or the other on the fact that people across the country I never even knew paid through their taxes to send me to language school...several times.

No, I'm here to share with you an odd little fact about m…

30DW2-2 - Day 7: Texting

As a gentleman of a certain age I pride myself with keeping up with technology. I'm downloading music from iTunes and books from iBooks. I have an iPhone, an iPad and a MacBook. I get my news from the internet, not newspapers and TV. I watch videos. I check out movie times and theatres. And I bookmark restaurants I go to so I can reserve on the internet in the future.

But one thing I don't get is texting. I mean really, as if e-mail wasn't impersonal enough. Now you can be rude and remote in real time?

I have friends who aren't even on Facebook so like I'm sure they're not into texting. They, and I, think cell phones are for talking. How prehistoric, right? And I actually still have a landline telephone at home. Imagine!

But I hate to admit I am guilty of being lazy and evasive. That's right, I'm a texter. I use my cell phone for almost everything except talking. It's got games, books, news, music, Google and, yes, a texting function.

But my textin…

30DW2-2 - Day 6: Haven

Okay, now this is gonna sound a little weird but for me my haven is the couch. Really. It's where I'm the most comfortable and where I spend a lot of my time.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that I never get up, go out or never go anywhere. I do. Sometimes. But when I do I always come back to the couch.

It's just my spot. My happy place, if you will.

I can watch TV from the couch. Listen to music. I'm surrounded by books. I'm steps from the kitchen and the bathroom.

To paraphrase Belinda Carlisle, "Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? My haven is a place on earth."

And if I go downstairs to feed the cat or pay the bills when I'm done I have my own little stairway to haven.

And at night when my dear wife comes home from work and joins me on the couch for a snuggle and a little TV I whisper in her ear, "Thank haven, for little girls."

Sometimes, parts of a DVD or TV show will make me cry. I can't help it. From t…

30DW2-2 - Day 5: You Better Put Out

Hey it wasn't me that came up with these damn prompts. So, Nicky, today's post is on your head, in a manner of speaking...
Not really Nicky and Ziva but a reasonable facsimile...in my mind.
For My Dear Friends Nicky and Ziva
You better put out You better not cry Nicky don't pout I'm telling you why Infernal Ziva is coming to town
She's not making a list She's not checking it twice Ziva knows who's naughty not nice Cheesy Nicky's losing that frown
Ziva sees her when she's sleeping She knows when she's awake She doesn't care if she's been bad or good Nicky's a sister-wife for goodness sake
Oh, I'm gonna watch that At least I'm gonna try I'll even hold the cat (huh?) And I'll tell you why The sister-wives are coming...to town The sister-wives are coming...to town 
I think you better hose me down. I get hot just thinking about it. Hop on over to Nicky's linky thingy (not a euphemism) and see if Ziva's come posted y…

30DW2-2 - Day 4: Friendship

To My Best Friend

She's a lover and a wife
And she's my friend for life
She makes me laugh, she makes me smile
She keeps me happy all the while

And when I'm sick she tends to me
And makes me well for all to see
And when I'm sad she cheers me up
And lets me sip from her loving cup

Sometimes I'm in a bit of a funk
And I might get a little drunk
But she just laughs and holds my hand
And reminds me that our life is grand

What have I done to deserve such love?
Was she sent to me from heaven above?
Just what the heck does she see in me?
Man, I'm as lucky as can be

I can't help but love her too
There's nothing else for me to do
Our love is genuine, our love is pure
And I know our friendship will endure.

Sigh, pass the Kleenex and after you've dried your eyes trot on over to Nicky and Mike's and follow the links to see who's doing what to whom today.


30DW2-2 - Day 3: And The Next Thing I Knew...

Dreams.

I rarely remember them.

I don't know why.

But more often than not I wake up and immediately forget what I was dreaming about. Maybe it's age. After all I forget things when I'm awake, too.

There are times, though, when the dreams are so vivid they stay with me. And after I've gotten up to go pee in the middle of the night I sometime try to restart a dream. Rarely with success though.

Some dreams are repetitive. Like the ones where I fly. It's kinda what I think an acid trip might be like. Not that I've ever had one. But I often dream about flying.

The other dream I often have has to do with an elevator. An elevator that never stops. And the elevator isn't choosy...it goes both up and down. But it never stops. Sometimes it keeps going down, picking up speed into some subterranean place this side of hell. Or it keeps going up, exploding through the roof of a building into the sky...up, up, up.

For some reason these dreams never conclude. They get me …

30DW2-2 - Day 2: Hold On

Okay, I'm really gonna show my age here but for me "Hold On" makes me think of Sam and Dave, those soulful dudes from the 60s.

Forget the Blues Brothers or any other covers. There was nothing quite like the original in 1966. I caught up with Sam and Dave in 1969, at the age of 17 when I bought their "best of" collection...


This disc had some great tracks, including: Soul Man, When Something Is Wrong With My Baby, I Thank You and, of course, Hold On, I'm Comin'.
Sam and Dave were known variously as "Double Dynamite", "The Sultans of Sweat", and the "Dynamic Duo" because of their stage performance, not unlike that of James Brown for instance.
Legend has it the inspiration for the song came when songwriter Isaac Hayes called to his partner Dave Porter - indisposed in the bathroom - who replied "Hold on man, I'm comin'". They wrote the song in 10 minutes. It became a monster R&B hit for Sam and Dave.


Head o…

30DW2-2 - Day 1: Cheesy

Welcome to day one of 30 Days of Writing II minus 2. Now of course someone that runs a blog called We Work For Cheese would of course begin our little challenge with the prompt of "cheesy". But I ask you, how cheesy is that, right?

I love cheese. Sliced cheese, gourmet cheese, cheese sticks, pepperoni and cheese pizza, cheez whiz...you name it, I'll pretty much eat it.

When I was a kid I pretty much lived on Cheez Whiz sandwiches. There was nothing quite like cold, refrigerated globs of Cheez Whiz on fresh white bread. Mmmm-mm. Or on crackers. And I'd wash it all down with a couple of glasses of chocolate milk.

Also when I was a kid one of my favourite expressions was "Who cut the cheese?" and "He who smelt it dealt it!"

I haven't eaten Cheez Whiz in years. You see I've matured, just like the cheese I now eat. I love brie, edam, swiss, cheddar and many other kinds of cheese. Stilton? Forget it. I just can't stomach the stuff. But I pre…