Digest This, SoCS 1

The rules for this prompt were made for me!  It’s how I write 99% of the time – no plan, very little editing, and stop whenever you feel like it!  So here you go.


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “digest.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

My grandma, bless her heart and all the memories she left us with, was a big fan of the Readers Digest magazine.  She subscribed to it for years and years.  It was a great way for someone with a short attention span to learn a little bit about a lot of things. I liked the reader submitted “jokes” even though most of the time they weren’t even remotely funny.  When grandma was in her late eighties she was still getting renewal notices from the magazine and decided it was time to sit down and write them a letter.  She asked them if they thought a woman of her age should still be getting magazines in the mail and would renew or not renew her subscription in accordance with their opinion on the matter.

The reason we know the contents of her letter is because she gave it to mom to mail, and mom thought she’d better open it up and check what grandma was telling them, just in case.  You had to know grandma to appreciate the wisdom of this decision.

I don’t remember what happened next exactly, although I do recall thinking the readers digest people weren’t likely to agree that she was indeed too old to be giving them her money.

Is Readers Digest still around?  I could submit this for their “Life’s Life That” category of unfunny jokes.  Probably too many words though.  They were always such sticklers for brevity.

Just Jazzy 117

Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  (Leo Buscaglia)

Do some simple and random act of kindness for a complete stranger today.  Just because you can.

Do some simple and random act of kindness for a complete stranger today.
Just because you can.

The Weekend

It’s fake flower time again – this is a picture of another card I like that folds out to look 3D.  My sister sent it to me.  It has nothing really to do with anything else I’ve written here, except that now I can put this in the 365 project category and not feel guilty.  Like that ever happens.  Me feeling guilty about my categories.  They’re way beyond random most days anyway.

Since our big schedule change at work that has me working both weekend days, having a Saturday and Sunday off was just one of those rare things that won’t be happening much anymore;  so this past weekend was especially savored.  My daughter went south for two days and I got to enjoy my 11 year old granddaughter and her crazy little dog livening up my empty house.  We went camera shopping on Friday night (grandma, why does he keep showing me PINK ones?), everything else shopping on Saturday, including a couple of hours in Chapters, (did a lot of looking and picked up some great books) and then spent a lovely relaxing Sunday with me reading and Kenzie working on her novel.  This has been in the works at her home in a notebook which she brought with her so she could type it up on my computer.

She has completed a cover page and four chapters.  Printing and revising and reprinting has used up a lot of paper and a lot of ink and a LOT of brain power between her bursts of inspiration and my proof reading and spell checking.  I think she will NEVER forget the difference between your and you’re after grandma having a total freak out about it.  Grandmas should be good for something besides printer ink.

I really want to know how the story ends, but she’s the kind of writer who is keeping that a secret, so far even from herself, and just letting her characters live their lives in an old house where strange things happen.  She is very excited to write up the back cover blurb, and already wondering who she should mention on the dedication page.

Four chapters is way too thick to staple, so the pages are hole punched and tied up with yellow ribbons.  If it never gets beyond this stage, it doesn’t matter.  It’s beautiful just the way it is.  And she’s incredibly proud of it.  And I’m incredibly proud of her.

The dog is another story.  I put a blanket up on the back of the love seat because he CANNOT resist getting up there so that he can look out the window and bark hysterically at anything that moves.  Then he runs down the hallway to the back bedroom if things are moving to the left, and is away to the back door if things are moving to the right. After that he must immediately come leaping back to the window having discovered for the gazillionth time that the back door is closed and the window in the bedroom is covered by a curtain and nothing that he saw outside actually ended up in either one of these two locations where he expected to find them.  OMG, they must still be outside!    Better jump back up on the love seat to see what’s going on out there!  This continues until he drops from exhaustion.  Which is never soon enough to suit me.

I think he would make an interesting addition to her story, even though what motivates him is difficult to pinpoint.  Lack of exercise, maybe.  We should have walked him more.  Perhaps serious authors should not own crazy little dogs.

Random Word Story

I like this kind of writing challenge – picking some random words and incorporating them into a story so that they don’t stand out in any odd-ball way.  Not as easy as it sounds, especially when the words at first appear to be completely unrelated to eachother.  I’ve used the Random Word Generator on www.creativitygames.net. and here’s what it gave me.

pocket, spit, nail varnish, telephone booth, gargoyle, stepsister

So here’s what you get.

Elise tucks some stray strands of her long red hair behind her ear and drives into the bright sunshine wearing the gargantuan sunglasses her stepsister Kate says make her look like some kind of giant bug.  She will never get a sunburn anywhere between her eyebrows and her cheekbones while she’s got them on, that’s for sure.  Her sensitive pale skin needs protecting from the sun, and so do her light blue eyes.  Sun damage and squint lines are probably completely foreign concepts to cute little dark haired Kate.         

The spa she’s headed for is very classy and modern, but it’s in a horrid old gothic buildling with two hideous gargoyle things hanging over the entranceway.  She zips her car into a cramped parking space off to the left of them where they won’t be staring at her with their ugly little faces.  She whips the car door open without paying attention, grabbing her bag, switching to her other glasses, shoving the keys into her pocket, clunking the passenger side door of the vehicle beside her.  What the hell, she shrugs.  Both cars are black, who’s going to notice if they’ve exchanged a bit of paint.  If there’s a scratch, a bit of spit and polish should take care of it.  She hopes.  She also decides not to look too closely at  it, or her own car door, because in situations such as this, ignorance is bliss.

Sitting high up on a vibrating chair with her feet in a tub of hot sudsy water is also pure bliss. She holds a magazine in her lap, but her eyes are closed and her head is tilted back on the rest and her mind empties of everything but the pressing matter of nail varnish color selection.  Purple?  One of those shocking vibrant reds, or maybe something weird like electric blue, or pineapple orange?  In the end she picks a boring coral, not too ostentatious, safe and ordinary.  It goes well with her safe and ordinary life and her boring personality she supposes.  The ugly stepsister color.  Maybe next time she’ll try one of those neon burgandy plum shades and her feet will look like theyr’e bruised and bleeding.  Right.  Maybe next time the gargoyles will fly off the buiding too.  

Elise is checking her messages on the way out when she hits a brick wall and her phone bounces out of her hands.  She bends down to retrieve it and notices that the brick wall is wearing tennis shoes, and his phone has gone flying too, and of course they bump heads and stagger backwards and appologize profusely to eachother.  Elise has backed herself into a phone booth she’s never noticed before.  My God, she thinks, do people still actually use those things?  This building is from the dark ages, with it’s gloomy foyer and narrow doorway where you can collide with some stranger who has obviously just had a massage because he’s got that faint red ring around his rather handsome face and hair that’s all messed up.  He holds the door for her and they head for their cars, which are parked side by side.  His has a small silvery dented scratch on the passenger side door and it sparkles in the sunshine.  She grabs her shades and shoves them on her face.  Messes around with her handbag and her keys and waits for him to leave first so that he won’t see her license plate number and report her for willful parking lot damage.  Never mind foyer head bonking.  

She is being paranoid and pathetic and Kate will laugh her ass off when she tells her about it.  And she’ll roll her eyes at the coral, no doubt about that.  Elise smiles to herself and starts her car.  The twin gargoyles stare distainfully into space as she drives away.

B is for Bottom

How beautifully random is this?  At the word BOTTOM is where I flipped open my dictionary this morning.  It was at the top of the page, and not the bottom, but I guess you can’t have everything.  And it’s also a bit random that my alphabet posts so far are – Z, A, and Y, so the next letter in that series must be B, going backwards and forwards at the same time.  This illustrates why I do so well on those IQ test questions where they want you to pick the next number or letter to fit some kind of bizarre pattern.  So B is also for bizarre and it’s very bizarre spelling.  As far as I know I have never actually put my random-pattern investigatory skills to any practical use.

Bottom is such a versatile word.  I’m going to make up a whole bunch of sentences to show you why, and hope some of them can be used to confuse the hell out of non-English speaking people.  With this language, it doesn’t take a lot of research to be able to do that.

1.  If you jump into a lake and dive to the bottom, you might be able to observe the bottom feeders there.

2.  It says ‘made in china’ on the bottom of my tea cup.

3.  The bottom half of the bookshelf supports the top.

4.  If you sit on your bottom in the same position for a very long period of time it could go numb.

5.  I found my long lost broken doll at the bottom of the trunk.

6.  Let’s get to the bottom of this.

7.  What’s the bottom line?

8.  He started out in this law firm at the bottom and worked his way up.

9.  I see you are wearing your pyjama bottom and nothing else.

10.  It’s very exciting when the score is tied and the bottom of the batting order comes up to bat in the bottom of the ninth.

11.  We used an all terain vehicle to traverse the bottom lands.

12.  I’m sorry I’m so tired, I’ve just bottomed out all of a sudden.  I don’t know how your supply of energy can be so bottomless.

13.  You can bet your bottom dollar, I love you from the bottom of my heart.

14.  The bottom of the bed is also the foot of the bed and should not be confused with the underside.

15.  When he had sunk so low and had nothing left and was living on the street,  he realized he had finally hit rock bottom.

16.  They decided to bottom the sub at the bottom of the sea.

17.  She has skin as soft as a baby’s bottom.

18.  The bottom of a house (basement or cellar) and the bottom of a ship (cargo space) both hold a lot of stuff.

19.  Let’s bottom this beer and order another round.

20.  Bottoms up!

This is the bottom of this particular blog.  I suspect a lot of people are very happy to have finally reached it.  On that sign way back up at the top, the bottom washing is in reference to boats.  In case you were thinking it might be something else entirely.

Time Saving Tips

I don’t save time, I spend it. Frivolously. I take time and I wallow in it. As if I had all the time in the world.

There are brief episodes in my day when I’m wildly efficient. I can get a patient pre-screened and prepped to see the doctor with all the relevant information on his file and in the computer, because the doctor is on a schedule, and booked appointments should be seen on time. I see contact lens patients myself in a timely fashion. I arrive at work when I’m supposed to, and I leave work when my shift is over. I’m good at paperwork and keeping things organized and finishing things up, because that’s what I get paid to do.

Other than that, I’m flexible as all get out. I’ve never wished for more hours in a day and I don’t really understand the mad rush people invent for themselves in the interests of getting a ridiculous number of tasks accomplished, and then beating themselves up and driving everyone around them insane when there are things to do left over at the end of an exhausting day. Slow down. Calm down. Gear down. Figure out what really matters.

My time-saving tips, for whatever they’re worth:

1. Make a list. Things that need to be taken care of, picked up, dealt with, looked into.

2. Decide which things on the list, if not accomplished today, will cause the world to blow up and life as you know it to end. Hi-lite those items.

3. Realize you’ve misplaced your damned hi-liter and while you’re looking for it, accept the fact that your list has also mysteriously gone missing.

4. Convince yourself that if whatever you were planning on getting done was that important it would be impossible for you to forget it, and rely on your brain and your memory to get you through the day.

5. As list items randomly pop into your head at the end of the day when it’s too late to start anything, jot them down.

6. Repeat from step 2.

And life goes on. Tomorrow is another day with just as many glorious hours in it. Do what makes you happy and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Nothing else is all that important.

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