Sunday, 30 December 2012

Then this...A Repost from Multiply

...and in the same vein.  Written last year, in response to a writing prompt from the United Friends Challenge group of which I was a part.  Enjoy!


I sat before the computer, reading the few words of the challenge, and wrote the first thing that came to mind.:

"He wants me to write what?  A story about snow removal?  What, like how the plow guy charges me $70 bucks every time he has to plow my driveway, and he's some middle-aged geezer not worth looking at twice?  (Do you know how much money that is, in a hard winter with a lot of snowfall?  For a plain guy?  Sheesh!)  Or maybe I should talk about how we don't get our driveway plowed till other more important -- and wealthy -- people do, such as the neighbors next door, whom we've seen drive up their driveway less than five times in the seven years we've been here?  Or maybe he wants a story about the fact that snow removal on our one-lane dirt road doesn't happen till it happens on every other road in the neighborhood.

Now don't get me wrong!  I'm not mad or anything!  Personally, the longer the plow guy takes to clean my driveway, the happier I am!  After all, if I can't drive down it, I can't go to work, and these days, NOT going to work is a very, VERY big deal with me!  It's the highlight of my week!  Mini vacation, here I come!  And the longer he takes to plow it, the longer my winter wonderland can remain intact, pristine...and I can enjoy the sight of the delicate hoof prints made by the deer.

Now, snow plowing is an art, I'll have you know.  There's a symmetry to the plowing, and whenever I watch them drop the shovel and push the snow ahead into a bank, it soothes something inside me, like real art does, like music does.  It's like sweeping, or mopping, which have the same effect on me.  I feel a sense of utter satisfaction, that something is being cleaned, cleared, renewed.  Watching the plow ply the snow is cathartic -- don't ask me why, just accept it!

Okay, okay, I know this isn't a story yet.  Don't be so bloody impatient!  I'm getting to that part!"

I needed to get that moan out of my system, before I started again, on a fresh sheet of paper, so to speak...

"The snow had finally stopped falling, and the silence was as clean and crisp as the air.  It was a thing of beauty, which, as someone said, is a joy forever.  Even after the snow melts in April, that moment will remain embedded in the part of my soul that captures and enshrines the peaceful times.  Anyway, I was sitting at the desk in the office, writing and looking out the window at the landscape.  I was feeling inspired -- the lovers were in front of the fire getting it on, so to speak, or off, depending on your perspective, and the storm was raging outside, to match the one raging inside.  Things were getting hot and heavy on the screen, when the snow plow turned up the driveway.

For some reason, that broke my concentration.  My man was poised in mid caress, unable to move lower to capture the lips of his lover, whose arms hadn't quite managed to pull him down to her, and there they stayed as I watched the plow do its thing.  First, it cleared a path at the end of the driveway, and then it swept up, pushing the snow before it.  Great white, fluffy mounds of feathery ice, piling up on one side, as he had the plow turned to the left.  I watched in a kind of dazed way as he backed down the driveway, and plunged forward again, plow turned to the right.  The hillocks of snow deepened and heightened on either side of a sloping upward path.

I looked down.  My lovers were still suspended in mid embrace, the juices flowing, as much as the adrenalin, not to mention the testosterone and progesterone, and the pheromones were saturating the scene.  And still...nothing.  I couldn't find the words to help them finish what they had begun.  The inanity of watching the plow clear a path for our car to drive up and down, the speciousness of the idea that watching the snow was helping me write, the helplessness of losing the words that would complete the moment -- sort of like losing the erection before the climax -- all weighed heavily on me.

The plow was now at the top of my driveway, as my couple should have been at the top of their game, if you get my drift.  The truck moved backwards and forwards, pushing the snow into little hills around the edges of the driveway, avoiding the garage door, which meant we'd have to shovel the snow away from it when he was done.  The whole activity began to take on the aspect of an altered sexual act, with the snow and plow as the lovers, engaged in a dance of perverted desire.

And even then, deviant as the thought was, nothing spilled over onto the screen where my lovers languished.  The plow guy knocked, was paid, and departed...and I'm sure you can imagine what I thought about HIS role.  Yeah, you guessed it...he's the pimp!  Talk about a sick and twisted mind!

Talk about a wet blanket! My lovers are still stuck in amorous limbo...all because of snow removal. 

First This..."Let it snow!"

(Yesterday ...)

Thick...the snow is coming down in thick drifts.  Fast, flakes chasing each other in swirling, slanted, straight-down showers.  So thick, so fast, the driveway disappears beneath the silent white blanket.

The deluge is quiet.  Not a sound disturbs the eerie stillness...

...except for the washing machine that groans and whines its way, remarking the silent snow; and the  television that squabbles elsewhere to highlight the falling snow; and a knock upon the door that heralds the driving snow.

I sit and watch the quiet storm, the large, fat flakes wrapped around the ordinary snow that builds, winter weather piling up outside my window.

The oil truck can't get up the driveway to deliver the oil to keep me warm as I watch the falling snow...and the tank is empty.

Let it snow!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Naughty Joke...and Very British

This joke is labeled "controversial" in deference to any Christians who may read it and be offended at the thought not only that Adam and Eve were sexual beings, but that Eve enjoyed and (God forbid!) may even have been turned on by the sight of an erect penis on her man!  Please enjoy responsibly!  {#angelgirl.gif}   {#giggle.gif}
vicar of dibley
I was just watching "The Vicar of Dibley". At the end of the show, Geraldine, the vicar (Dawn French), tells a joke which Alice, her assistant, never gets. Here was tonight's joke.
Three nuns die and go to heaven. At the gate, St. Peter meets them and informs them that they have to answer some questions correctly in order to be allowed to enter. He asks the first nun what was the name of the first woman, and she says, "Eve", and he lets her in. The second one he asks where Eve lived and she said "The Garden of Eden", and he lets HER in. The third one was the Mother Superior, and he told her that her question would have to be more challenging than the other two. He asks her what Eve said when she first saw Adam, and she said, "Oh, that's a hard one!" To which St. Peter replied, "That's right! Well done!" and let her in.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Shame on you!

DISCLAIMER :  If you are a staunch supporter of the NRA, and believe Wayne LaPierre is right in his recent comments, please give this blog a pass.  You won't like what I have to say here!
As a teacher, I have never found myself agreeing with Michael Bloomberg on anything before, and this agreement today is not about education, about which he knows nothing.  It is about the NRA's response to the massacre of children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut two Fridays ago.  Mr. Bloomberg said their response is "a shameful evasion of the crisis".  And for once, he's absolutely right!  Whatever the CEO of the right-to-bear-arms organization says, he is dead wrong when he argues that "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

The only thing that will finally stop a bad guy from brandishing and using guns is the inability to obtain said guns to begin with.  But that little truth, which is not lost on the NRA, must be vigorously ignored and denied by them, because it affects the bottom line of their gun-lobbying friends, the gun manufacturers who stand to gain from the sale of such weapons.  The right to make money off the backs of victims such as the twenty-six people who died on December 14 must not be denied to these heartless, money-grubbing jerks who see financial opportunity in places the rest of us see only heartbreak and suffering.

Shame on you, Mr. LaPierre!  The grieving families in Newtown are not a political football.  They are not a financial opportunity.  They are wounded human beings who deserve much more than your cold, glib platitudes and heartless "solutions"!  They deserve a respect it is obvious you and those of your ilk cannot find it in your hearts to give to those who have suffered and still suffer to preserve your right to bear arms!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

And now, for something totally different...

...a pause for station identification.

In the wake of the December 14 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, I find myself curiously empty of words. I started a poem, but it was trite and contrived, and felt wrong. Nothing can make this right. Nothing can speak to the unutterable agonies of those families, of that community.

I can only say to those who are left behind to mourn, and wonder, and question, and rage, whether they be related by blood or by a common humanity:

I am a parent.  My heart is broken for you!
I am a teacher.  My heart is bleeding with yours!
I am a human being.  My heart is burdened for you!

...and may all those who perished, both the innocent and the guilty, finally rest in peace!

Reposted with permission: "A PC Blog" (ROTFLOL)

Politically Correct Holiday Wishes (with warrantee)

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

May you have a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2013, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped to make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, political belief, sexual preferences, or gender identity of the wishee.

(By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for themselves, herself, himself, itself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Nicest People...Every Day of the Year!

Was watching a review of Andy Williams's Christmas shows, and this one came on!  I had never heard it before tonight, but it certainly seems like a sentiment I can agree with wholeheartedly!  Enjoy!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Time to "festivize" my page!

I know...many of you are anti-Christmas, don't believe in any baby born over two thousand years ago to save Mankind from its sins, don't cotton to the commercializing of a supposed religious holiday, are disgusted by the abject capitalist greed of the whore-mongers (Good word, isn't it? *chuckles*) who would sell their souls and yours for a buck, hate that the downtrodden and despairing are forgotten at this time of year, abhor the terrible toll on human life, in the form of suicides and attempted suicides, as well as countless other crimes against humanity that seem to swell in number at this time of year! (Talk about a LONG sentence!)

Let me be among the first to say that I am all too sadly aware of every argument against Christmas that anyone can put forward.  Let me also say that I am deeply wounded by the tragedy that overtakes so many lives during this season of the year.  Nothing seems to work to ease the hurting and the sorrow that are highlighted most at this time of "peace on Earth, and goodwill to men".

But honestly, I don't give a rat's...farthing for what you believe, or what you think about Christmas, or about those of us, like me, who enjoy this time of the year.  And honestly, I'm not about to explain or excuse my enthusiasm for this season.  If you hate Christmas, tough ti...tomatoes!  Go suck an egg somewhere else!  This page is the spirit of Christmas!

For those of you who embrace the spirit of the season, who enjoy the idea that a time when men can live in peace, and entertain goodwill toward each other is possible, who live in the hope that THIS Christmas, maybe one less person will commit suicide in a fit of despair,  and maybe one more person will receive the gift of a place to call home, or someone to care for them, welcome to Christmas!  

For me, Christmas is more than a day.  It's more than a remembrance of a prophesied birth.  It's more than a celebration of the joy of giving from a heart of love.  For me, Christmas is music, it is laughter, it is joy, it is goodwill, it is is love.  Whether I receive a gift or not is not an issue with me.  I can buy the things I need, and even the things I don't need.  And I can give to those who have a need -- whether the gift of my smile, or of money to meet the most basic of their needs.  It is what I do during this season to make another person feel blessed to be here that counts.  

Which means, you realize, that Christmas is more than an December celebration with tinsel and colored lights and carols in the snow.  Christmas is coats in a snowy February, umbrellas in April, trips to the community pool with the kids in the heat of summer.  Christmas is a year-round celebration -- we just officialize it in December.'s to Christmas!  I'm going to change my background image now, and keep it that way till January 5th, 2013 -- the twelfth day of Christmas.  And to all you naysayers I say, "Bah!  Humbug to you, too!"

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Toward A More Perfect Union

You want to know what the problem is in these here United States of America?  It's pretty simple...and pretty complicated.  These here United States are not "united".  Sure, you have one President, one House of Representatives and one Senate, each composed of men and women from all fifty states.  Sure, you have one Constitution, with its multiple Amendments.  Sure, you have one flag, and one national anthem.  Sure, you have one military organization.  Sure, you have one currency.  Did I miss anything?  Oh yeah...  Sure, you have one national sport, with the Yankees still at the top of the heap of teams, even in their losing years.

See, but here's the trouble...there is not one rule of law in all fifty states, as some states allow murderers to be hanged, and other seemingly more humane ones only allow life in prison, for example.  There is not one system of health care, that meets the needs of all citizens equally (and apparently no effort has been, nor will be, made to provide healthcare for all according to the system espoused in allied countries like many of those in the European Union).  There is not one system of education across all fifty states.  There is not one common tax burden for all citizens, regardless of where they live.  There is not one common cost of living across all states.  And these are just a few of the examples!

Call me crazy, but if each state gets to decide on how much tax it will levy against its citizens, or what its system of education entails, or how it will provide healthcare for its poor, how can that be seen as "united"?  I'm no political pundit, or political scientist, or even politically correct, but it seems to me that unless and until these here "United" States do more than pay lip service to equality, that unity will be as much a farce as Bugs Bunny cartoons are.

Just the meanderings of a mind seeking inspiration...

Monday, 12 November 2012

In honor of those who served...


"The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war."  ~  Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Though this is a song about American soldiers, the words speak for all who serve their country in every land.  We should honor them for doing what we cannot, or will not do.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Already Home (...because I wasn't feeling very creative at the time)

I originally wrote this story in 2007, I believe, in response to a challenge by my friend Anne, Wench of Aramink.  We were to take a popular song of our choice and write the story of that song.  This was the result of that challenge.  The song is "Already Home" (hence my silly title above) by Tim McGraw, one of my favorite country singers.

Sean watched Lucy as she waddled over to the sink.  He had been waiting all week to ask her, and then the letter had come, and he knew he couldn’t … again.  It was too soon.  Baby names could wait till after …  He heard the sob, although she tried to hide it.  His heart was torn, and he couldn’t stop the impulse that had him at her back in the next instant, holding her, not doing anything else.  When she turned in his arms, he enveloped her as best he could, the baby in the way, and let her cry.  The letter fluttered to the ground, and the baby kicked.  Sean didn’t move, even when the tiny infant kicked her again, hard enough for him to feel it.
She sniffled.  “Sorry, Sean!”  She sniffled again, and he took a handkerchief from his back pocket and handed it to her.  He would have loved to do the tender thing and mop up her face, but she would have slapped him as hard as the baby had kicked her.  She took it from him, wiped her eyes and blew her nose, then tidily put it away in the pocket of her maternity slacks.  He bent to pick up the single sheet of paper, neatly typed, and handed it back to her.  Then he went back to his place at the wide old wooden kitchen table.
“I dreamed about this, you know,” she said, her back to him.  “Ian was calling to me from across the river, but I couldn’t get to him!”  Her shoulders shook, once.
Sean waited.  He knew the contents of the letter, because he had been visiting when the tall military messenger delivered it.  Ian had always been a little bit of a joker…”a one-way ticket over here” was just the kind of thing he’d say.  What a way to describe a death sentence!  His mom had quietly wiped her eyes, her heart clearly broken, but yet she worried about the fragile young woman whose hands she had held.  They had held on to each other like that, while he had finished the pie they had been making together, had tidied the kitchen, and had taken the dog for a walk.  When he came back, Lucy was upstairs, resting Mrs. Johnson had said, while she herself sat numbly in a kitchen chair, tears streaming down her cheeks.
He remembered playing war games with Ian when they were kids.  The four of them – Ian, Sean, Bobby, and Tom – ran around in their yards pretending to be marines, or Navy SEALS, or foot soldiers, bringing the war to the enemy and whipping butt.  Sean had sat next to his best friend’s mom then, as he was doing now with his wife, and held her hands, and reminisced.  It seemed to comfort her to hear someone talk about her only son with love and honor.
It had been a month since Ian’s military funeral, which had been a poignant ceremony celebrating his life.  They had laid him to rest, finally, in the old cemetery on the edge of town, as he had requested, a large headstone adorning his grave.  The words engraved on it were simple, and taken from the letter his widow now held in her hands: “I’m in a better place.  My soul is where my momma always prayed that it would go.”  His dad had read the eulogy, and sharing parts of that last letter, his voice breaking on the words “Tell dad I don’t regret that I followed in his shoes!”  The last words of the eulogy had been, again, words from his letter: “I’m already home.  I’m up here with God, and we’re watching over you!”
“The family is coming over for dinner,” Lucy said, her voice drawing him out of his reverie.  “Will you stay too, Sean?”
He nodded, suddenly unable to speak, and watched her face relax.  “Anything I can do to help?’ he asked finally.
“No, thanks!  Momma’s bringing dinner.  They just didn’t want me to be alone, and I’m not supposed to be taking long rides anymore.”  She passed a loving hand over her belly as she spoke, and sighed quietly.  “She’s tired, you know.  I’d better take a nap before they get here.  Will you stay?”
“I’ll take the dog for a walk,” he answered, and watched her turn and walk up the stairs that led to the second floor bedrooms.
He reached for the dog’s leash, which hung from a hook behind the door, and heard the clatter of sharp claws on the hardwood floors as the old German Shepherd, Razor, ambled in.
“Let’s go, boy!”  He whistled, and the dog padded over more quickly.  Sean attached the leash to his collar and led him outside.  He followed the dog’s lead, and eventually they made it to the old cemetery.  If Sean didn’t know better, he’d say the dog knew his master was buried there.  He let the animal off the leash and watched as he nosed around the graves, old and new, relieved himself against a tree, and wandered down the little slope to the pond.  He and Ian used to sneak out some nights and come for a midnight swim in “Dead Man’s Pool”, as they had called it, on many a hot summer night.  That’s where they had talked about girls…where Ian had told him he had his eye on that shy little strawberry blonde named Lucy.  Where his own heart had been broken, when Ian told him she returnedhisfeelings.
He had been the one to introduce them, those many springs ago.  Lucy had been his friend, since first grade, when Ian moved into town.  He had known for a long time that she was the girl he wanted, but she had never shown him anything but the face of a friend, and he didn’t want to lose that.  So though it hurt him every day to see his best friends as lovers, he had left rather than hurt them in return.  Now here he was back again, walking their dog, preparing to be the godfather to their child, being her rock…and loving her more than he had when they were kids.
            Lucy laughed as the little girl stumbled and fell over her feet.  Siobhan, called Shae, since so few people could say her name correctly, was almost a year old now, and learning to walk.  She tumbled around the house, squealing with delight at the world, and bringing a piercing joy to her mother’s heart.  She had baby-fine strawberry blonde curls like her mother, and the deepest sea-green eyes Lucy had ever seen.  Just like Ian’s.  Her life was a bittersweet reminder of the man Lucy had loved with all her heart.  Now he was gone, but he lived on in the bubbly little girl who had his eyes, his smile, and his ready laugh.  Ian would never be far away while Shae was there.
            The doorbell rang and Lucy went to get it, Shae rolling along behind her as fast as her unsteady little legs could carry her.  Lucy felt her skin flame to life when she opened the door and Sean stood there.  Only she knew the dreams she had been having lately about this tall drink of water on her front porch.  She could not meet his steady blue gaze, and she stepped aside hurriedly to let him in.
            “What?  No hug for me?” he asked softly, putting his arms around her.  “Well, I’ll take it, if you won’t give it!” he continued, hugging her to his chest and kissing the top of her head.  “I’ve missed you, lil Lucy!”  If he noted that she held herself stiffly, he didn’t remark on it.  “And what have we here?” he said, loosing her to pick up the tiny child at their feet.
            He swung her around, and Shae giggled with pleasure and delight.  “My, how you’ve grown!  And walking already, too!  Precocious little puddin’, aren’t ya?”  he kissed her soundly on both cheeks, and Shae pressed her soft baby lips against his mouth.
            “Dada!” she said, and laughed. 
            Both Lucy and Sean laughed, too.  The first word out of her mouth had been “Dada”, when Sean had been visiting after his last trip abroad.  Lucy felt herself relax, and scolded herself as she went around her daughter and her friend to the kitchen.  Sean loved her, and she loved him, but there was nothing romantic about it. 
            “Coffee?” she asked.  “I just put a fresh pot on.  Or would you prefer tea?”
            Sean strolled in after her, the baby still in his arms.  He looked at Lucy and smiled, a knowing smile that brought back the jitters and a flush to her cheeks.
            “Coffee’s fine, Luce!”
            She turned away to pull a mug from the cabinet above the counter, and wished the image that sat in her head would leave before she had to face him again.  The dreams had been happening on and off for a while now, and though she had steadfastly ignored them, there seemed to be nothing she could do to stop the way her heart sped up every time she saw him these days.  It would never do for him to know the effect he was having on her.  She was still a new widow, and they had been best friends forever.  It was just impossible…
            She remembered the way he used to look at her, in the early days after Ian’s death, when he thought no one was watching him.  She had been afraid then of what those looks meant, and it had been convenient and easy for her to pretend she was ignorant of any feeling between them other than the deep friendship that they shared.  Sean had been the soul of discretion, too, never saying anything to give his feelings away.  But now, looking back, she knew.  She supposed she had always known how he felt, on some level, but it had been easier to push that knowledge into the far outer reaches of her consciousness.  Until now…
            “Here you go!” she said, forcing a brightness into her voice that she was far from feeling.  She placed the big mug of coffee on the table, prepared the way he liked it, black.
            Sean put the little girl down and picked up the mug, sipping slowly.  Lucy went to go around him, and his arm stopped her short.  She had never really looked at Sean before, and the breadth of his shoulders, the strength of his muscular body, the scent that she recognized as uniquely his, surprised and delighted her, as they made her afraid.  She couldn’t let anything destroy their friendship.
            “We need to talk, Luce!” he said.  “Sit down.  Please?”
            He sat down himself, and drew her into the chair next to his at the table.  Lucy could hear the words that Ian had written to her at the end of his letter: “There is going to come a day when you move on, and that’s okay.” 
           She had a feeling that that day had come…    

Saturday, 10 November 2012

In the mood...

I am a sappy romantic!  I freely and proudly admit it!  {#cheerleader.gif}   I write sappy romances, with a hefty side of erotica.  And tonight, I'm in the mood...  Enjoy!  {#angelgirl.gif}

...where no catchy title springs to mind...

As I start this blog, it's 5:26 a.m.  The house is quiet, all the lights are off, even Choochie, my cat, is asleep downstairs in her favorite dining room chair.  Once she knows I'm awake, she'll wander back upstairs to say good morning and mark me again for the day in all the places to which she thinks she has the right.  That usually means jumping onto me as I lie in bed, and making free with my body before settling down to snooze again -- this time, on me!

Why am I up so early on a Saturday morning, you ask?  I dunno...I needed a potty break, and tissue to blow my nose, but somehow, I don't think that explains why I haven't crawled back into bed.  So I've been reading the blogs of a stranger on another of the sites where I post, and commenting on them -- he's a finny guy.  But reading his blogs made me think about blogging, about being online, about discovering oneself in the life one leads on here.

I don't suppose anyone ever thought that opening up the Internet to the joys and pains of friend-making, i.e. social networking, would have meant opening up a whole other kind of psychological therapy.  You know, the kind where you lie on a couch and bare your soul, even if you think you're hiding things, to a stranger who charges you $200 an hour for the privilege.  Only here, the cost is not measured in dollars or pounds or yen. It's measured in hours and heartbeats....and sometimes in tears.

I've done some version of this blog on Multiply before, but it fascinates me to watch how every time a new person enters my circle, my vision of this social network is changed.  I keep having little epiphanies, not only about human beings in general, but about myself in particular.  It's like Carl Jung said (this is on some of my other pages elsewhere): "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."

I have been transformed by my exchanges here, with you.  I would like to hope the same is true for you, but I'm old enough, and experienced enough in this cyber world to be very cynical about my hope actually being possible.  I can only know about me.  I can only transform myself.  The rest is out of my it should be.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 8 November 2012


I left work at 4:20 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, and got home at 12:45 a.m. this morning. The Taconic State Parkway was a right royal mess, and we barely missed getting stuck on it, because about 15 minutes after we crawled past the part where about a dozen cars had spun out, they closed the road.  You would think, in the fourth richest county in the United States, they'd have the funds to clean the roads so commuters can get home, eh?  It took us SIX hours to drive from 116th Street and FDR Drive in Manhattan where my school is to the top of Westchester County, with four of those hours being spent in Westchester! 
I was wiped out...  And no, I did NOT go to work today (though I did complete a project I had to have ready by the end of the week)!  I sent my principal an e-mail as soon as I got upstairs. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Thursday kicked off another annual writing event, the National Novel Writing Month challenge. The purpose is clear and simple - write 1,667 words (at least) every day for the month of November, and have a short novel ready for the next step at the end. The goal is 50,000 words.

This will be my fifth attempt to get something written. I want to do something new, not go with something already begun. It has always been my way to choose the more complicated route. As a student in high school and college, I always chose the hardest question to answer, the hardest topic to address in my essays. My reasoning was simple. No one else would choose that question - they were, for the most part, a lazy bunch! - so my paper would have no other to compare it to, and the grade would be more "true" for that reason. And, as a bonus, I'd learn something from the comments my teachers and professors would make.

I still "roll" like that these days. All that has changed since those years is my level of confidence in my ability to write something of substance and quality. I turned 54 on Wednesday - it would be really bad if I still wallowed in the level of poor self-esteem that I lived in during those years. I'm still not your most self-confident woman, but I'm getting there.

Wish me luck! And, if you care to, join up!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

It's my birthday and I'll _______________ if I want to!

Trouble is, I can't fill in the blank!  What do I want to do?  Well, before Sandy Frankenstorn came along and pulverized us up here in the Northeast, I would have filled it in with "call in sick".  Because that had been the plan, to call in sick today and just stay home and chill.

Seems the sick part was to come true, anyway, as I am currently a sniffling, coughing, snotty, phlegmy, achy mess who can barely speak, and whose voice sounds like someone's been over my vocal chords with sandpaper and a hacksaw.

Maybe this is what 54 feels like.  I wouldn't's my first time being this age, you know, so I have no prior experience to draw from.  All I have is anticipation...and a bug.

So, you ask, what am I going to be doing today to celebrate my natal day?  Well, let's see.  Already I'm celebrating not having to wake up at 4:30 in the morning in order to get to work on time so my asshole of a boss doesn't have THAT particular thing to hold against me in his campaign to remove me.  And of course, I'm celebrating not having to BE at work today, because when Halloween falls on a school day, we're expected to search the students as they come in, and today we would have had to go out after school to herd them off the streets, into buses and on their way home.

What else?  Well, I plan to go out a bit later, buy me some wonton soup, and maybe some chicken soup if they have any (they didn't on Saturday) from the Jamaican store -- soup seems to hit the spot better than anything else these days -- and maybe another bottle or two of perfume at the mall.  Then it'll be back home to gorge myself on action erotica and if I'm up to it, out for the birthday dinner later.  At the very least, I'm going to get some more body seems oddly STARVED for it!

So, happy birthday to me!  And to Mannu (Sonny), who shares today's birthday with me!  May you enjoy wonderful treats this Hallloween!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

"For America" (A Sample Speech)

Speech writing is hard, let me tell you!  I gave my juniors, who are studying American literature, the task of writing a speech based on the poem "Let America Be America Again" by Langston Hughes.  As usual, I promised them a sample -- it's only fair for them to see how I would do any task I ask THEM to do!  This is my effort...

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

Stirring words from Langston Hughes’s poem, “Let America Be America Again”.  It seems to be a staple of the study of American literature that we ask students to consider, among other pressing questions, what it means to be American. We press upon them the ideas of Michel Guillaume St. Jean de Crèvecoeur, in his “Letters from an American Farmer”, and have them read articles and speeches and poems and letters on the subject. They are required to try to define for themselves what it means to them, if they are American, to be so called. In very few of those discussions and excursions into nationalism and patriotism is any of them asked to consider what it means for their country to be America.  What is America?

Many answers immediately come to mind, of course. This question, closely related to the first, has given rise to many an impassioned response, and vast are the numbers of people who would weigh in on this discussion. The answer to this question can be made by those who were born here, those who came here, legally or otherwise, and those who remain outside, looking in. The answer to this question ranges from the reverent to the profane, from the serious to the silly, from the delusional to the actual. The answer to this question causes the philosopher to wax philosophical, the politician to wax political, the poet to wax poetic. The answer to this question draws anger from the enemies of the state, ridicule from the satirists of the state, passion from the lovers of the state.

So, how can we, ordinary men and women, begin to answer this question? What IS America to you? To me? Do we dwell upon the instances of grave injustice that have marred this young country’s history? Do we dwell on the instances of poignant sacrifice that have scarred this young country’s heart? Do we dwell on the instances of buoyant triumph that have raised this young country’s spirit? There cannot be one response to this question, for all the things that have gone into the forging of this nation have made it what is is, and are making it what it will become. The founding fathers of this nation had a dream, as has every generation of political men, of wealthy men, of academic men, of ordinary men since its nationhood was first declared in ink and defended in blood.

America is a dream. The pilgrims dreamed of religious freedom, and before them, the settlers in Jamestown dreamed of amassing great wealth. The immigrants who came of their own accord, did so to be free — free of the tyranny of starvation, the tyranny of poverty, the tyranny of inequality, the tyranny of hatred, the tyranny of bloodshed. The common theme is freedom. America is, to quote Langston Hughes in his poem “Let America Be America Again”, “The homeland of the free”. America is a dream.

What is the truth of America today? Is it the dream, or something less uplifting? Many who came of their own volition have found no freedom here. Those who were uprooted from their lands by the invading settlers have found no freedom here. Those who were brought here against their will have found no freedom here. Those who are hunted and deported have found no freedom here.

The dream of wealth is now enjoyed only by the few with the means and the power to pursue it. The dream of freedom is now enjoyed only by the few who can purchase the means to attain it.
The poor of every race, the immigrant, the black man and the red…all have a dream that is not being realized in America today. The poor are disenfranchised, the people of color are disowned, the immigrants are disbarred, and none is permitted to achieve his dream. America is a dream, but only for the wealthy few, the powerful few.

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

In Langston Hughes’ words, this is the rallying cry of all those who seek to have what America was meant to be.  This is the rallying cry of those who dream of what America can yet be.  Can it be done?  Is there a will to achieve it?  There are forces at work to keep America a country out of sync with itself, out of touch with its roots.  It is our job to teach the young to believe in the dream.  It is our job to teach the young to reach for the dream.  It is our job to teach the young to fight for the dream.  it is our job to teach the young to live the dream.  Hughes said it best, I think:

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again…
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

Copyright © 2012 by Karen D. Bonnick

So, what do y'all think?  Could I make a living as a speech writer? 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

On Autumn

As I was taking more Fall photographs recently, it occurred to me that it is THE most beautiful time of year, in terms of colors and smells and even the cooling temperatures. It is the year at its most mature, most fruitful, most giving.

I took the thought out of the seasons, and brought it into human life, and into mine specifically. I have begun the “Fall” of my life. In eighteen days I will be 54 years old. As I look over my life, I see the many things I have accomplished, the many lives I’ve touched the children I have borne, the years I have spent learning and becoming who I am. Much of it has been painful, or at the very least stressful. None of it has been outside of the scope of what it means to be human.

And yet here I am, golden as the leaves, wondering where next, what next, before Winter comes to strip the last juices of my youth, to leave me without sap, dried up, withered, awaiting another renewal that cannot occur for humans once we die, unless we believe in an afterlife.

It is a sobering, even a frightening, thought.

Unlike the trees, which have an instinct of their own survival for the dying of the year, human beings have no expectation of a renewal to youth and beauty, to life and health, to energy and drive, as do these simple plants. Where their renewal is a yearly expectation with the coming of spring, we have but one spring. When it is past, it can never be retrieved. We will never have another spring.

Which means, we will never have another Fall. I will never have another Fall. I need to make the most of this beauty, this final burst of joy and life before my Winter steals upon me.

I can only be who I am.  And while I am learning to be a more beautiful me, I must retain those qualities that will make my golds and reds and oranges stand out. I cannot let these last years of fullness, of lushness, of ripe sweetness be overshadowed by fear, or anger, or hatred. I MUST resist the urge to crawl back into my shell when things go wrong, or others disappoint me, or life swings back to slap me in the face. MY Fall comes only once. I MUST embrace it, and participate, and learn to enjoy it!

I can be as beautiful as the Fall…if I let my colors shine forth as brightly, as unashamedly!
Have a wonderful weekend, my friends

A Good Word

I've always loved this song, and my friend Lottie has some of Mr. Henson's words posted on her page, which sent me to find it,  And once there, I saw some more, which I have shared below.  Seems Mr. Henson was a man I could have been great friends with.

For this weekend, for today, for this about remembering these words of his?  they speak for him, and it seems, he spoke for me

"When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for [my] having been [here].  Life is meant to be fun, and joyous, and fulfilling.  May each of yours be that.  Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it." ~ Jim Henson

Saturday, 6 October 2012's infectious!

My dear friend Peter shared this with me yesterday, to help brighten my day. He manages to do that without sending me anything, but this song was a delightful addition! Thank you, sweet pea! *hugs* Enjoy, y’all, and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Odds and Ends

"Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!"  No, I'm not saying them, nor did I when the idea for this blog first came to me.  I was the recipient of an e-mail message where all that was there were these seven words.  I sent a concerned reply, and my client (I am editing work for him) proceeded to explain to me the reason for his distress.  And it occurred to me, almost as though I had heard him say them, that there were seven words.  It got me to thinking...we seem to curse in odd numbers, most particularly in ones -- "Fuck!" -- or fives -- "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!" -- or sevens, as above.

It's very rhythmic, isn't it?  And consider how that rhythm is enhanced if the curse becomes "Fuck fuck fuckity fuckity fuck fuck!"  This, admittedly is NOT an odd number of curses, but one assumes the reason such an aberration is permitted in the annals of cursing history might have to do with the addition of the "ity" to the word, enhancing its weight and beat, and making a seventh repetition unnecessary.  Looked at in this way, such cursing is practically poetry, isn't it?  

I wondered idly last night, as I pondered this blog, if cursing in sevens makes the curse the perfect curse.  After all, in some spheres, seven is the perfect number. For example, the week wouldn't be complete without Saturday, would it, if Sunday is taken as the first day of the week?  Where would I be without Saturday?  I honestly don't know.  Frankly, I think I'd be lost, for Saturday is my day to recover from 180-miles-a-day commutes to and from work on the preceding five days.  Saturday, the seventh day, seems perfect for such recovery and renewal.  

Anyway, this is my blogging offering for today.  I hope you have enjoyed this excursion into blogging mediocrity!  Until next time...

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Miss me?

I'm around, just playing elsewhere when I can find the time, and dealing with the ugliness at my job. Today's blog, however, is about my booboo.  Yeah, you heard me booboo.  Had a bit of surgery last Friday -- lady business -- and prior to my being anesthetized, the nurse tried to set me up with an IV in my arm. The first attempt bombed..."blew out" is how she described it. Here is the result:'s a bit sore, and if I bump it, it hurts...and yeah, it hurt like h-e-two sticks when it was going in AND coming out!  But I'm alive, so I'm grateful!  A bit achy, but I won't complain.  I'm to abstain from all sorts of things for the next two weeks, including lifting heavy loads.

Anyhoo, just wanted to let you know I'm bruised but alive, and to wish you all a wonderful week!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Reading for Fun and Profit ~ RIFS

I've always been a reader, gobbling up everything from cartoons to novels to text books with equal fervor.  The stages of my reading changed depending on the stages of my life, though now, in midlife, I read all the same things I used to read when I was younger, and then some.

These days, however, I'm looking to spread my reading wings to augment my income when I retire in two years.  Early retirement requires thoughtful planning, with an eye to keeping up my end of the income bargain.  And being a volunteer editor on another website where I post my writings gave me the idea that I could parlay my English teacher skills into a new line of work.

So it's decided...when I leave off reading students' work upon my retirement, I'll use those skills to help people willing to pay me to help them produce quality writing.  I can guarantee they'll be happy with the results -- the clients I already have through my volunteering gig can attest to that!  And I'll enjoy my job, too!

Reading is financially sound -- RIFS!

Monday, 20 August 2012

An Altered Fairy Tale #1

In this altered tale, Hunter Fox is the young agent who saves Red Ryder from the clutches of Wolf Lupino, who's been sentenced to 25 to life for two counts of attempted murder, assault and battery, and attempted rape. Grandma won't feature here, either - the state put her in a nursing home the minute they left the forest, and gave Red to Hunter's family as a foster child. But Red is no "child" in my tale... (Not sure I like where I left it...)


Today she turned twenty-one. It had been five years. Wolf Lupino languished in a maximum security prison, Grandma was still muddling along at the old folks' home, and Hunter... Red sighed as she raised her arms to rinse the shampoo from her hair. She had only dreamed about today for five years, because today she would get Hunter. She'd fallen for the tall, broad-shouldered protector of the weak almost from the day he saved her from Wolf. At first, she didn't hide it, but everyone laughed and found it cute that a teenager would have such a crush on a grown man. No one took her seriously.

She lathered her skin with shower gel as she thought back to the first time she knew he felt something too. It had been her eighteenth birthday party, and his mother had asked him to take her shopping for a beautiful dress for her party. She had chosen a deep emerald green gown, that floated around her and made her feel beautiful. And she had seen the spark in his eyes when she walked into the room to cheers and wolf whistles.

"What big eyes you have, Hunter!" she had said to him, laughing a little so he wouldn't get spooked and stop looking. "D'you like my dress?"

Hunter had swallowed and nodded, smiling in lieu of an answer. "Thank you! Wanna take a picture with me?"

She knew he wouldn't refuse such an innocuous request, but she managed to get him to encircle her waist and she snuggled up against him, and looked into his face with a bright smile. That was one of the best pictures from the party. She rinsed the soap from her body, and reached for a towel, wrapping herself in it as she stepped from the tub. She used the edge of the towel to wipe away the moisture from the mirror, and set about blow drying her hair.

"Red!" Hunter's voice sounded outside the bathroom door. "Hurry up! I'd like a shower before people start coming!"

"Sure thing, hon...Hunter!" She caught herself on the endearment. She hadn't been taking lessons at The Charming School, patronized by no less a personage than the Princess Snow White herself, for nothing! She had studied all the tricks for getting round obstinate men, seducing them, and then winning their affections, and she wasn't about to give away her plan before it even got off the ground.

She hurriedly finished the drying and walked into her bedroom as Hunter walked out of his.

"Sorry!" she mumbled as she hurried by him.

In her room, she dried herself, rubbed the jasmine-scented lotion that she knew Hunter loved into her skin, spritzed herself with the same scented perfume, and then set about making up her face. She knew Hunter liked her "innocent" look, so she wrapped her hair in a sleek, elegant chignon at her nape, and kept the color on her face to a minimum. Besides, the red dress she was planning to wear would more than compensate for any lack of color anywhere else. Barely there lip and cheek color, eye makeup only a little darker than her green eyes, light mascara, and her face was ready. Next came the silk stockings, held in place by lacy white garters attached to a sweetly feminine corset that pushed up her full breasts.

The dress was last. It was a long, slender sheath, falling to the tops of her feet when she put on the stiletto heels she had bought to match. It fitted her breasts like a glove, swirling around her middle before falling in soft folds down to the floor. There were no straps, but she carried herself with such panache that straps would have been superfluous.

Red looked at herself in the mirror, and whistled. "What big boobies you have!" she said in a deep voice, and chuckled, waggling her eyebrows before adding, "All the better to catch you with, my dear!"

Still chuckling, she took one last look at her reflection in the mirror, added the simple gold chain Hunter had given her when she turned eighteen, a jingle of bangles to her wrist, and she was ready to face the world, and the man she loved.

The doorbell rang as she stepped out of her room. She walked to the top of the stairs and looked down. People were beginning to arrive, and she and Hunter had decided that she would mingle with them until the hour set aside for dinner. She moved to go down the stairs when Hunter's door opened, and she stood transfixed, watching him walk toward her with a quickening heartbeat. His smile left her rooted to the spot, and when he stopped in front of her, she found she could not speak, either, but could only stare at him in his dark blue suit, his crisp white shirt and dinner jacket stretched over impossibly broad shoulders, the scent of his cologne weakening her already shaky knees.

"You look incredible, sweetheart!" he said, and bent to kiss her. Despite her surprise at the endearment, she presented her cheek, still intent on following the formula, and was therefore knocked for a loop when he turned her face back to his and dropped his lips to hers. It was a gentle kiss, and quickly over, but Red knew something had changed. Hunter had turned the tables on her, and she didn't know how to proceed. This was NOT in the manual. She blinked when he added,

"I've always loved a good hunt!"

He put his arm out for her to take, and she took it, smiling, regaining her composure. They walked down the wide staircase together, and on the last stair she said,

"What a handsome man you are, Hunter!"

He didn't miss a beat. "All the better a match for you, my dear!" he said.

Red knew, as she walked into the family's living room, that this would be the birthday where all her dreams would come true. She smiled as Hunter released her, and went to mingle with her guests.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Remember these, from Yahoo 360 days?  We and our friends exchanged loving words of support, admiration and affection with each other in a public way, so anyone who came to visit could see how closely bonded we were. Remember how we deplored the fact that Multiply didn't have such a feature? Most of us gave it up without too much of a struggle, but some of us didn't.

Laci, my Indian friend in Canada, has set up a testimonial page on her WordPress site, and so I posted the poem I wrote for her when she won it for being the 5000th visitor on my Kittigory page.  It reminded me that I had saved all my testimonials from 360, as well as the ones written for me here on Multiply on Kittigory, and I almost deleted them.  Don't worry...I've put them with the blogs I have saved from both my pages here.

Why am I telling you about them?  Well, that e-mail I received earlier has been doing a number on me.  The earlier laughter with which I had greeted it has changed...never mind to what, but I have become morose and angry and hopeless.  Reading the lovely things some of you have said about me has helped to lift my spirits immeasurably.  The weight is still there, but I am no longer rubbing my chest to dissipate the hurt and anger -- at least it's bearable now.

Thanks, guys!  I love you all!  *hugs*  

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


PLEASE NOTE:  The task is to write a one-sentence description of each picture that tells the story somehow.  The captions appear ABOVE the pictures they refer to.  I did my best - enjoy! 

"Oh damn, it's my Dad!"

"Not sure I LIKE this position, honey!"

"What?  It was an accident!"

Monday, 13 August 2012

Child's Play


"Jenny?  Is that you?  Jeez, girl, you sound terrible!"

"Thanks for waking me up to compliment me, Tansie!"

"Oh pooh, don't go all sarcastic on me, please!  And what do you mean by wake you up?  It's after noon!"

"So?  Is there some rule that says I have to get out of bed before noon?"

"Jenny," (patiently) "I know you're on leave, but this is ridiculous!  You can't spend the rest of your holiday holed up in your room!"

"Why not?  Besides, it's raining, so I can't go out."

A sigh.  "Look, Jenny, why don't I come over and we can make a gourmet meal together like old times, and after we eat, we can go for a drive.  The weatherman says the rain will stop soon."

"Thanks, Tansie, but I'm fine.  I don't feel like cooking."

"Jennifer Thomas, you 'haven't felt like' doing a whole lot of stuff since Jim passed.  It's time to let someone in to be with you and help you go through this!"

"I'm fine, Tansie!  Tell Mom I'm fine, she doesn't have to worry!"

A pause.  "You want me to tell our 86-year-old mother, whom you haven't spoken to in over a month, that you're okay?  And you expect her to believe me porque why?  Don't forget, she knows about the job you didn't get, before Jim died.  Two major losses, Jenny, one after the other.  Mom's beside herself with worry, and you want ME to tell her you're fine? Well you can forget it!  If you want Mom to know you're fine, YOU tell her yourself!"

A shrug.  "Sure, Tansie, I'll tell her soon."  Swiping at a tear.  "Thanks for calling me, anyway."

"Oh no, you're not!  You're NOT brushing me off this time!  When are you gonna call Mom?  She's home now."

"I don't know.  Maybe when I get out of bed."

"When will that be?"

"In a minute, Tansie!  If you'd get off the bloody phone I would, for goodness sake!"

Another pause.  "When was the last time you ate?"


"Jenny?  Jenny!  Don't tell me you haven't eaten!" Low cursing.  "Jesus!  I'm coming over there right now, and you're gonna eat if I have to drench you like a horse getting his meds!  You hear me?"


Sniffling, then broken singing.  "Rain, rain, go away! Come again some other day!  Maybe I'll come out to play..."

Dum-diddlyum...idiom fun!

...idiom fun!  See if you can figure out what these mean without looking them up online.  And then, if you can, share some you like from your culture.  I'd love to read them!

1.  Enough is as good as a feast.

2.  A change is as good as a rest.

3.  You can't see the wood for the trees.

4.  You're as much use as a wet fart in a thunderstorm. 

5.  Better untaught than ill taught.

6.  That's a horse of a different color.

7.  A penny saved is a penny earned.

8.  He can't cut the mustard.

9.  That was a flash in the pan.

10. We're all going to hell in a handbasket.

Idioms are more than just words, aren't they?  Reminds me of this song, which I love so much...