Tales from the Field #2

Here’s an icebreaker I’ve been using for years – finally thought to take the picture to go with it, and found a willing victim in Boulder City yesterday.

oddshoesSomeone walks by, or walks in with a ‘boot’ on.  I’ll sneak up to them and ask “Don’t you just hate it…….when you go somewhere nice……….and when you get there, you realize………..you’re wearing odd shoes?”

This lady was with her husband, so I then asked her whether she sustained the injury because she kicked him for snoring.  She had a great come-back.  “No, but I can now!”

April one year I had that conversation then asked the lady what she’d done.  She said she’d had a new ankle the prior July, but it had broken again.  Oh, I asked – is it still under warranty?

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Paint Pink

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Last night I went to Calexico to the Paint Pink show reception.  This is a breast-cancer awareness themed show – and the requirements were anything to do with breast-cancer or anything pink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PP1The reception was quite well attended – I got there a little late so some had already left.  One thing that I did notice was that most of the work was very small!

 

PP2

It was wonderful though to see that there were quite a few sales.

 

 

 

PP3My work was definitely the largest there – and I didn’t even photo most of it. You can just see the two smallest ones on the right here.  The ones I chose to take were my most pink work, I don’t have anything specifically to do with breast cancer.

Sonnet Challenge #6.

This challenge is another one from Pia in Denmark.  “Current events with a humorous twist.”  I wrote it as things start to get a little heated in North Korea, US has closed two Russian embassies after US embassy staff was reduced in Russia, who are about to conduct battle practices, Syria has become so much of a bar fight I’ve stopped trying to follow who’s fighting whom, and Vladimir Putin and Elon Musk are both predicting world war III will be done by artificial intelligence.  Oy vey and that’s just the stuff I’m paying attention to.

The reference to grayness, by the way is for the dissolution of the tidy black and white of the chess board.  When I wrote this sonnet, I initially did this on paper.  When I went to type it up, I typoed the original ‘Boys will be boys’ and I think it’s one of life’s better typos…..

I’m hoping that the sense of humor that I’ve used doesn’t mean I need to seek political asylum on Alpha Centauri.  (Anyone have the phone # for their embassy just in case?)

Chess
The board of international politics

is getting so much grayer than before.

The pawn, castle and king – war or not war?

What difference does this make to us mere hicks?

We hate our neighbors, but we need to trade,

and then won’t trade because we don’t approve

of how they live and hate.  Our knights outmove

and bishops all expelled, and weapons made

for what? Fists are not how you make a friend!

Boys will be bots, and this is getting dumb!

Is this the “sense” we will base AI on –

the hope and fear that this whole thing will end?

The politics these days are such a mess,

I wish they’d settle it with a game of chess.

Sonnet Challenge #4.

I’m putting these up in approximately the order that they’re being typed up in.  The other week when I was typing up the sonnets I wrote while I was in Flagstaff, I discovered a couple that I’d written in Monterey in July and had never typed up.

This is another of Darrin’s suggestions.  (His topics infer that he is inspired by frustrations in life.)  “Letter to a brusque cashier at the retail store”.

The Cashier.
(read from a guy’s perspective).
The line is long, progress we make is slow,

then I catch a glimpse of the cashier’s pretty face.

If I ask to take her with me, perhaps she’ll go,

Like me, can’t wait to get out of this place.

She doesn’t make eye contact, doesn’t smile

at customers, the way she talks is flat.

The workload that she has is half a mile.

Each problem is resolved matter of fact,

each question answered blunt like they were dumb.

She’s gorgeous but her attitude’s a wreck,

stuff thrown in bags as if her heart were numb

and all she thinks of is the next paycheck.

I thank her, smile and wish her a nice day;

I turn.  She shoots a happy grin my way.

Sonnet Challenge #3

This one was from Darrin’s challenge:  “The advantages and hidden disadvantages of hot showers”.  As you can see, I’ve used poetic license in the interpretation.  Please try though, to imagine yourself in the shower, and not me.

Hot Water
I turn the motel shower faucet on –

a test!  It’s up and down, or left and right?

At last, a stream, then, leaving it to warm

for a quick shower, I tie my braids up tight.

I step in, barely warm for a quick sluice.

I’d like some heat to help tired muscles unfold.

So left a notch, soap up, sweet scented juice

but suddenly this rainfall starts to scald

my skin.  I wince and dodge and nudge it right,

but now it’s ice!  I shudder, try to turn

it back to middle, but I lose this fight,

rinse, alternating between freeze and burn.

So maybe next time I will be more bold,

Decide to simply have the shower cold.

Challenges

1302oneside_wPlease enjoy my monthly mailing for September – and don’t hesitate to respond to some of the challenges!

Tales from the field #1.

I’ve been thinking for some time that I’ll add a ‘Tales from the Field’ thread to my blog because funny stuff does happen out there.  But this weekend just gone I had quite an experience with my airbnb location, which is something I can’t contain!  One of those things that you’ll laugh at later…..or in some cases, at the time….

So having taken an inadvisable “short”cut in the high desert, I ended up arriving at the Bay Area airbnb in the dark, which made arriving particularly difficult because I couldn’t see the map sufficiently in the dark and was on the wrong street at one point, thinking that the house didn’t exist.

When I did find it, it was one of those airbnb-only houses, a monster tract home with five bedrooms, all rented out, and an unused space which would normally be the dining room part of the kitchen, with a sofabed and a couple (flimsy) room dividers. I’ve done the “corner-cupboard” kind of set-up before and the price is right.  Before I continue, I have to point out that all the others in the place (I figure there were up to 9) were nice respectful people who didn’t make a lot of noise, play loud music etc. and it was all quite clean.

However the communal area – a large living room that was set up as a work area, the dining and kitchen areas, were all laminate floors and my sofa was the only soft furnishing.  It was an echo chamber.  And open plan, so if the light was on anywhere, it lit the whole place.

So I settled in to sleep.  Or try to.  Then realizing no one was downstairs I got up and turned off the light.  The fridge was unreasonably noisy and never seemed to cycle off.

Oh and the house is right on a flight path to an airport.

Later, the nice couple in the downstairs bedroom had their friends over.  They left the light on in the communal area and I got up and turned it off.  They chatted in the downstairs bedroom.  Not loudly, just normally, and the other good part was they weren’t speaking English, so it was a little easier to try to ignore, but even with their door shut, it’s still an echo chamber.  People crept in quietly and left the light on and twice more I got up to turn it out.  At 12:30am someone got up from the chatty group and chopped fruit in the kitchen for a snack.  They finally went to bed about 2am and realizing I finally had silence, I relaxed enough to sleep.

I had to get up at 3:30am to go to the show. 🙂 What’s the emoticon for zombie, again?

Saturday night I walked out to go to a nearby restaurant, which was fine, and with 1 hours sleep in the last 40 and two glasses of wine, I slept.  The fact that the house was silent that night I guess helped.  A few people came in late, crept in, turned off the light.  Yaay, I slept like the body laid out in the corner of the morgue.

Sunday night was also pretty quiet, and the guy who was working late at the downstairs work area was kind enough to turn off the light when he went to bed shortly after I did – about 10pm.

Around midnight, a couple guys came in the kitchen to cook.  Again, they weren’t noisy, and they weren’t speaking English – an Indian language by the sound of it.  They had no idea I was there.  During the proceedings, one of them needed to cuss.  I don’t know if it was about the conversation or the cooking, but this was in English.  However beautiful other languages are, I figure you just can’t beat that good old Anglo Saxon F-bomb to put an exclamation point in the conversation.

The incongruity of the casual ‘Oh ****’ in the middle of the conversation was a surprise that changed my whole attitude to the event – I don’t know how I managed to suppress audible laughter, but a pillow was involved.

They took their delicious smelling food upstairs to eat, and now I know how the dog feels when you cook and don’t give him any.