Wednesday, September 28, 2016

World Class Juggler - Twenty years ago

My Type A personality is creeping out. This October has a lot to offer to me. Whether I can fully do it all is another question. I've been reading ghost stories and a tale of witches to prepare me for it all.

Last Saturday, I was sitting in a church activity center and opened my computer to continue reading about ghost hunting. The writer has a ring that was supposed to be haunted by a vampire. I wondered, what could happen in a church with that sort of information. Being a Baptist, I was taught God was stronger but not mess around with the Boogey Man, just let him be. And here I was reading about him in a church hall.

It made me think of a fellow teacher. She managed an In school suspension classroom. The students did their work. I picked up the romance she was reading and read the most lurid sex romp. Looking at the class, I slowly lowered the book to the desk.

I sat in on two speakers at the Chattahoochee Writers Group in Columbus. The first one was a screenwriter named Ty Manns. He was really good. I have a problem with organization and clarity with my writing and he gave some clear guidelines. If only, I could do what he does.

The second speaker was clearly leading a fan club meeting. The speaker is a well known sci-fi novelist from the area. Hanging on every word were his fans. To me, it was a long hour of redundant talk about his work and other sci fi writers. I read a lot of Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and all of Frank Herbert's books in my twenties and enjoyed them. But I was unfamiliar with the writers and this man's work. I sat crammed in the front row corner. There was no way I could have slipped out politely.

Whether I like it or not, I always learn from what does not go as planned. If I ever speak to a public group, I will never assume they have the same familiarity with a finite set of information. If they don't, they can't relate. Putting it into practice is harder than saying it.

I also reached the point where I need to follow the drummer in front of me. I am constantly trying to learn about the craft of writing. The biggest problem is that each person has their own group of books of fabulous writers to explore. So now I will read what I have and just write what I have started. There are just too many directions. I am picking one. Do all roads lead to Rome?

I guess this is where my organizational problem originates. Just picking one item and ignoring the others is very difficult. Add to that all the balls I am juggling. As you get older you start dropping a few balls. Add to that the new balls people are tossing you. It all goes back to priorities.

So my priorities are going to be aligned once again. But this month I got it all written down. I will do what I got to do first. Then I will exercise. Then I will do any of the extra if I have time. I remember when the only thing I had to do was the extra. I went to school or work. But hey, second shift I was good to go. I could even forego third shift and show up for work or school.

Those were the days my friend. I hope they are still yours. Meanwhile, I got to find that ball I just dropped.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

You're Invited

It pays to be attractive. I have been twittering on twitter. It has an analytics page. I love numbers.

Meanwhile, I discovered my attitude about not tweeting unless I have something to say can be misconstrued as creepy on twitter. I have a fuzzy profile picture that I use.

I waste some time everyday checking out my new followers. When I see a gal with big boobs or buttocks, porn is somewhere. There are also some profiles with predictable comments. Apparently the world needs to be told the birds and the bees. Not that I click these folks. I report them as spam whether they tweet or not. I assume "come to my snapchat profile" is spam.

Every once in awhile, a woman has a glamour shot but is that is just her profile picture, no porn. I'm always fascinated when someone with a foreign language in a script unlike the English language follows me. I don't follow them back. They may understand English. I don't understand them. We English speakers are certainly lucky that our language is so widespread.

Am I going to get anywhere with this. I so hope so.

Anyhow, I started posting pictures. I did not have anything relevant to say. I think all the encouragers in the world are available on twitter. To think I bought a book of Bartlett's quotations. One day I snapped a picture of Duke and Louise smiling in the car. Louise was a little uncomfortable and only posed well with her face beside mine. Otherwise it was cut that out and drive.

Anyway, here are their pictures. Everyone is clicking for little BoDuke. No one is clicking for Louise. She really is much prettier than that toothsome picture.


My mom wanted to go back to the driver's license office and get her picture retaken. It was really bad. I told her I think that is how they train them to take pictures. Fortunately Louise could care less about her twitter picture. She just wants to get in the car.

Meanwhile, I have volunteered for a job I am immensely unqualified for. I am coordinating the newsletter for a writer's group. Yes, you have guessed correctly, no one wanted to do it and I said I could help out. So I am opining, "how to be a good writer" and I am far from arrival myself.

To get people to open the mail chimp newsletter, I used a jazzy title and it worked. The title was You're Invited to a Party, a Twitter Party that is. I may have used the word your instead of you're. I deleted my copy. 

So Thursday night between 7 and 9 PM, September 22nd, the Southeastern Writer's Group will have a twitter party. The questions are what are the best and/or worst vacation, meal and/or place you've lived. Use the hashtag #SWA.

I borrowed the idea of the question from Betty at Benches with a View. Thanks Betty, it is nice to know a trendsetter.

I'm inviting everyone to come. It may just be me. I've deleted Candy Crush so unless there is a good television show on, it could be a long two hours. I guess I could write my next blog post. I threw a twitter party and no one came. I ate all the party treats anyway.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Next week, I'll go to Paradise or a Play. It all depends.

We have finished a quick tour of hell. It involves walking in circles in a massive grocery store searching for my mother. You have to follow that motorized scooter or it disappears. Mom and I have a joke that we have papers that disappear into thin air.

I have a feeling my mother may be part Harry Potter and disappears in the grocery store. Last week it was an old man with two bottles of wine that I kept seeing. This time it was another woman older than myself. She really was not dressed as well as my mom. But finally I saw mom beside the organic food milk case carefully looking over discounted yogurt. I felt like saying, "Since when do you eat yogurt?".

But I kept my mouth shut. No matter how old you are and how old your mom is,


In about an hour I will unload the cabinets and reload them with canned vegetables. It is the only way to slow my mom from stocking up. I get her to straw boss my putting the cans back in.

The dirty thirties is never far from my mom's memories. She can remember the past in striking details.

I am currently packing up perfectly good clothes while they are perfectly good to give to the thrift shop that operates at the workshop my brother attends. I'll gift them with some canned food.

How did I get so many clothes?

1. I retired. You just don't wear clothes like you did when working. I have three pairs of jeans I alternate. One is very important. It is tight at the waist and reminds me to cut back on my eating. I let a professional outfit go every month or so.

2. Apparently, the fear of going without is a hereditary trait. It didn't show up on my sister's DNA test of our ancestry but it is there.

3. Also hereditary is the ability to find a good deal. I have two sisters. One can spend money faster than me and the other can find a good deal faster. You stop at a yard sale. The first one will get in the car with a piece of junk and the other one will have found a gold chain for a dime. I'm not exaggerating. I of course get in the car with another book or two or ten.

4. I like to dress well. I just don't understand why I forget a pair of pants have a rip in them until someone taps me on the shoulder to tell me.

5. At one time I worked so much, I really did not know I had amassed a monopoly on black and navy pants at below wholesale prices. Let's not talk about shoes. I am taking a few of them to the thrift shop.

Anyway, the only way to get my mother to slow down stocking the canned food is to let her help me reorganize the cabinet. I would call that hell too. But mama did not raise a fool. The fact that our cupboards are full is something I feel blessed to have on Earth. The real reason I get my mother to tell me how I should put it back in the cabinet is that I did not inherit the organization gene.

Now purgatory is lunchroom duty in a middle school. Whatever you do, never agree to play music. The kids only talk louder than the music. Believe me.

This is where I learned that time slowed and there was a different vibration in the air before a child threw a carrot.

I exaggerate.

But did you know there are kids who will throw small pieces of candy instead of eating them. They are usually male. Although I did keep a girl after school for throwing peas at the table.

One of the reasons I used to decide to teach at an alternative school was no lunch duty. And the fact that the children were really pretty good children. They just had tough lives. This time I'm not exaggerating.

This is before. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Just a little troll watching

Every cloud has a silver lining or There is no use crying over spilled milk. These two quotes are my response to the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" we all face. There is a lot of wisdom in Shakespeare.

I searched for the origins of the first two phrases. John Milton's Comus: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634 was probably the first reference in literature of the silver lining of clouds.

I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

I did a cursory search for "crying over spilt milk" and came up with blithering. Blithering in the sense that the answers were obviously made up. One attributed the phrase to spilt milk being a favorite food of the fairies. So although you spilt the milk, you pleased the fairies.

Knowing how precious food was so long ago, I imagine everyone missed a goodly portion of their food that day when the milk was spilt. What comes to mind are my great-grandfather getting upset that my mother threw her piece of cornbread in the fire to watch it burn or my grandfather's declaration that his favorite pieces of chicken were the neck, back and gizzard. And of course, the more chicken feet a girl eats, the prettier she will be.

An infamous clickfarm (I had to click about four times to get the lousy origin they offered) wrote that somebody was probably crying over spilled milk and the others told them not to cry. Gee, what research.

But there is so much unrehearsed research on the internet. I keep a list of troll comments to use in my writing. I'm not in the habit of saying something hateful. It has been a long time since I was 14 years old arguing with my older brother. I will confess. I was hateful. But that is another post.

Some trolls write great zingers. So many don't understand the internet is forever. I take screenshots just to save a few nasty beauts. A high school chum who is a bona fide genius and programmer states anyone can make a quick copy of any screenshot. So good luck using it as proof.

I have heard of the power of trolls. Trolls are not always that frustrated male living in their parent's basement. It is not unusual for them to be women, nurses, doctors, teachers, mechanics. They come from all walks of life. For many it is obviously an anger outlet. For others, it is idleness and something to do. I'm sure future research will reveal several threads of psychology that motivate trolling. Immaturity comes to mind.

When there were anonymous comments and everything was new; I was as guilty as everyone else making comments. Then when a girl name Justine was pilloried with mass indignation; a book was written, articles were written about the tendency of social media attacking people without the facts. It is that fairplay thing. Does the crime fit the punishment?

There is that acknowledgement that they were so stupid not thinking about how what they said could be taken or interpreted. There is that greater humility in knowing I have done some pretty dumb things intentionally and accidentally.

So I matured. As so many others did. My big beef with folks arguing over the internet is calling someone a Nazi, Fascist, Hitler or Commie. I've read about Godwin's Law which is an excellent summation of using those epithets.

I do not think Donald Trump would be a good President.

I do not think Donald Trump deserves to be called a Fascist. He is not. He is a salesman selling himself to an electorate that will turn out and vote. The fact that the tax cut he is proposing only benefits the more affluent passes over their head. Because, heck don't we all aspire to that in the United States. Isn't that why the lottery is so popular. If you don't earn it and you aren't going to inherit it, you might win that great windfall.

Godwin also brings up a point that calling someone a Nazi because you disagree does not acknowledge the enormity of the crime against humanity Hitler's Third Reich committed.

Anonymity allows trolls to flourish. Some are just as obnoxious with their names in print. When trolls commit actions that can put an individual in harm's way or incredible bullying, there should be real world consequences like monetary fines. The KKK was broken financially. I have heard of it's resurgence which is unfortunate.

Sitting in the car putting on lipstick, It's Wednesday and I should create a post for my blog. A little whimsy got pretty serious quick, eh.

I took this on an Alaskan cruise.


 Zephyr is a soft, peaceful breeze. And I thought it had to be an imaginary animal. For many of you, we will not meet again until the next A...