Follow Me…..I Have Punch!

Some years back, I received a call from my friends sister, stating that she (my friend) had been arrested for embezzlement. “You‘re kidding me”, was all that I could say, repeating it several times over. I knew of the pranks that she could pull, and, thought for sure, that there was no way in hell that this was true. She had to be pulling my leg.

While I didn’t get to see my friend often, we had been close for over about 17yrs, and by all accounts, we were (and still are) sisters. I knew this girl very well, and she would NEVER steal, no matter the circumstances that life dealt her. Somehow, before we hung up the phone, she all but convinced me, that this was not a prank, and I just wanted answers.

In the days to follow, I would come to learn that she had started seeing a guy, who apparently had a penchant for crack. But, I was still unable to put 2 & 2 together, to determine what made her do it, the crack, or the stealing. As it would turn out, that strong willed, and stubborn friend of mine wasn’t the leader that I had always thought her to be. Unfortunately for her (and, her victim), she was wasn’t a shepherd, but merely a sheep, a follower.

I should’ve seen the signs, when barely 5yrs before, this nice southern girl, who shuttered at the idea of getting dirty, decided that she was gonna take up taxidermy. Why taxidermy you ask? Well, her “fiance” at the time was a deer hunting enthusiast, and, while he’d prepare the meat for future meals, she had become determined to add the head to the trophies he already had hanging in his mobile home. What? Her, of all people, was spending hour upon hour with a tiny pair of cuticle scissors, removing any (and all) fat from the inside of the hide to prepare it for mounting? Disgusting!

While her fiancé was a nice guy, I wasn’t a big fan of her engagement to him. I knew that she could do better. Especially when she informed me that it was gonna be a redneck wedding, right down to the pink camouflage gown. What? This relationship should’ve been my first clue!

Now, fast-forward to her crack days. This girl was not naive to the ways of the world, and, had in fact (to her dismay) been exposed to people/friends who had fallen prey to the addictions of crack before, and had always been able to turn away herself. So, why would she not now? What made this guy soooo special, that she would forsake her better judgment? And, how far into it do you need to be, to actually steal from someone? I needed some answers!

After months of anguish and kicking myself for not seeing the signs earlier, I came to the determination that my friend, was a follower. A chameleon, that would adapt to any environment that she found herself in.

All of the uncharacteristic things that she had done over the years, that I had called into question, I now had an answer for. With her mounting insecurity, she was looking for acceptance from those around her, and, I unfortunately, was not around her as often as I should’ve been. As a friend, or, a sister. I still kick myself for that.

While my friend has now, after much introspection and clarity, turned her life around (and done her “time”), I sit wondering.

Why do people with a strong moral backbone, and sense of “self”, lower their standards, and reduce themselves, to fit-in with those of lesser moral fiber? Why would they not attempt, instead, to lift those others, out of whatever pit they’ve fallen into? Do we have to “know where they’re coming from” to get through to them? Is it really necessary to have “gone through it myself”, to show them that things can get better? Do we need to submerge ourselves in darkness, before we can truly see that there’s light at the end of the tunnel? I think not!! Support comes in many forms, and, “I told you so“, isn‘t one of them.

Why support the recovery, when we should be supporting the person before the addiction? Why do we find it so hard to support the dreams and aspirations of others? Why are we so bound and determined to ride other peoples coat tails, instead of creating something wonderful for ourselves?

They say, that if you’re going to put your money into the stock market, that you should buy stock in a product that you use. After all, when you purchase stock in a product, you wouldn’t be so foolish as to purchase a competing product on the shelf, would you? So, I would urge you to put stock in those around you that better your lives, and, not in those that don’t.

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5 Reasons I’m moving to the beach…..

So, I’ve weighed out a list of pro’s vs con’s on why I’m moving to the beach, and, while there are still a few cons, I told myself that if I could come up with 5 good reasons to go…..then gosh darn it, I’m going!  Well, after lots of mulling over, and plenty of sleepless nights, I’ve come up with 5 of ’em.  WooWoo!! 

So long city life, you’re not gonna catch me up in your rush hour meltdown anymore!  I’m no longer gonna have to deal with fertilizing those brown patches of grass in the winter!!  You won’t see me luggin’ that big-ass garbage can up & down my driveway again!!  I’m going to the coast where my kids have all moved, to live out my days with them & the Grandkids!!  Why, I told my Bossman today, that he can “Take This Job & Shove It”!!

Ya know why?  ‘Cause I got 5 GOOD reasons to move to the beach!!

#1)  Why not?

#2)  Why not?

#C)  Why not?

#4)  Why not?

Holy crap!  I thought I had 5, what happened to #5?  DAMN!!  Guess I need to start unpacking……and, beg fer my job back!

Good-bye sand between my toes. Good-bye fresh air & warm ocean breeze. Good-bye bikini line. Good-bye Yacht Club. Good-bye easy life. Sniff, sniff…. Good-bye retirement. See ya at Christmas kids, hug the baby for me.

Copywrite Infringement?……Yes, please.

So, ya wanna use my shit?

Sure, here’re my house keys, just don’t rifle through my underwear drawer, Pervo.

Here’re my car keys, just bring it back with a full tank of gas, and don’t touch the change in the console there, Sticky Fingers.

Ya want my credit card? You got it, but you’ll have to pay the bill before you get any credit there, Money Bags.

Ya need some heels to fancy up that nightwalker outfit you’re so famous for? No problemo, just don’t scuff up the leather when you take that spill off your chair, Cheap Date.

Ya need to borrow some jeans? No issues, unless you pop the button off of them, Muffin Top.

Ya need to get laid? Hold on right there, what’s wrong with her husband, why ya need mine? Actually, come to think of it, take the Bastard! No, stop….don’t run away, I said you could keep him, Brokeback.

Ya wanna borrow a book? Sure thing, just don’t dog-ear the pages, Destructo.

What? You say you wanna take my writings for your own, without my consent? Uh, and continue to spread my mediocrity throughout the entire (literary) world, I think not! Hey, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about using other people’s prose & quips, but that’s only ’cause they’re better than mine, I’m not Holier than Thou, you can just call me Humble.

Weekly Writing Challenge – Going Gonzo

My pace is steady, as I manipulate my bike through the bustling crowd darting past me from all directions. The honking horns, and endless chatter on cell phones, is drowned out by my earbuds blairing Gonzo, and the world disappears around me. Careful to avoid stepping on cracks, and rolling my tires over the toes of unsuspecting Rainbow wearers, I keep my head down, and continue on my way. Reaching the corner first, I find myself in the enviable position of head of the pack. It always sucks to be stuck at the back, with those in front of you dictating your pace, or worse, giving you the evil eye for accidentally hitting the heal of their shoe with my front tire, as they take a step forward. Ah, but life is good today. As my tunes fade to a close, and the world comes back to life around me, our light turns green, and the crowd pushes forward.

As I narrow my distance to the far curb, the chatter in my ears is replaced with screams of terror and screeching tires, and the world around me disappearing yet again. No sooner had the screaming in my head stopped, it started again. But this time it sounded different, more familiar, and it took only a second to realize that it was coming from me. As I start to fade out, I’m immediately jolted back by the excruciating pain in my right side, the taste of iron in my mouth, and the soft tickle of warm fingers running down the side of my face to the nape of my neck.

The screaming turned to yelling. As I hear people in the crowd calling out “Stand back, don’t touch him”, “Stop him, stop him….don’t let him leave!!!” and a woman frantically dialing 911. “We need an ambulance! A guy with a bike has been hit by a car that ran a red light, and he’s been impaled by his handle bars, there’s blood everywhere. Yes….yes….no….I told you that I don’t know, but I think he’s dying!! We’re at the corner of 14th & Oak. Hurry, please hurry, we need an ambulance!” All around me are cries of anguish, and whispers of prayers from strangers.

In the background, I can hear the wailing of sirens approaching from the distance, gradually intensifying, as does the pain. As one car approaches, I can see the flicker of blue lights through my closed eyes and the siren abruptly stops. The slamming of the car door tells me that someone official has come to my aid.

“Don’t move son, help is on the way”. At that moment, I knew that I couldn’t have moved lest strings were tied to my wrists & ankles, and someone else was controlling them. I’m sure that the officers simple statement should’ve brought me some kind of comfort, but, oddly enough, I was already comfortable. While I knew of the scene that played out around me, that the pain was still there, somewhere, I was actually at peace. And, while staring at the blue flashing hue through my closed eyelids, I watched as the color slowly faded to white…….. It was in that moment that I realized, that while life was good, death was even sweeter.

“I’ve missed you Son!”

“I’ve missed you too, Mom!”

Poetic Fantasy…..What?

So, this little piece was something that I wrote in about an hour, after a discussion with my 23yo son, who happens to read/write fantasy novels.  Basically, in a nutshell, I was challenged to “attempt” to write Fantasy, and this (“poem”, as he called it) was the result.  Apparently, it’s “discovery writing”, given I had/have no storyline……Huh, who knew?  The names are dumb, but hey, I had to come up with something on the fly.  Feel free to offer feedback, so that I either have something to throw in his face, or, know if crow is gonna be on the menu.   

 

PROLOGUE

The darkness flickered of orange and red, as flames danced around the bodies of the departed. Souls lost in battle of a fierce nature, stretched towards the sky, masked by plumes of smoke, while the air was heavy with the mourning or those few that remained. All seemed lost in the aftermath, but, their day of reckoning would come, and, it would come hard, and swift. For no brother shall be lost forever, who’s death is avenged by another, for that is our creed, and what will be the undoing of the damned. The men of my charge that lost both life, and limb, shall strengthen the will of the few that remained, and victory shall be ours, lest we lay with the lost for eternity.
 
CHAPTER 1 

The skies light fell slowly as preparations were made for battle. A battle that would come before the dawn of a new light, and one that we would take to them. As children gathered the horses, and wives readied our gear, we amassed our weapons, and sharpened our swords. The fires burned hot of metal, and the sound of iron on iron was heard above all else, as spear tips and axe heads were forged, each one made for any foe willing to oppose us in battle. The men moved as if one. One man, one village, one right, one family. For the truth was known by all, that if some were not lost, all would be. So we will fight with strength as one, and give offerings of sacrifice to the Gods of Sortia, for our return.
 
Our men were not gathered to fight for a kingdom of riches, but, rather a village of farmers, gatherers, and hunters. Men willing to die for the right of their wives and children, to remain free of the rule of Cynth, that would just as soon see them dead where they stand.
 
Our numbers while few, totaled 146 brave men. All husbands, fathers, brothers, and marksmen, rife with determination, at all cost. We would fight to our deaths, as our forefathers before us, if necessary. Leaving but 22 men behind, to stand alone, and protect what is ours, should we fail in our mission.
 
The army of Cynth, while numerous, where once as we are. Rich with family and crop, they were brothers, fathers, husbands, and slaves only to the land in which they provided for their families. They were under no rule of king, nor sword. They cared not for riches, nor robes, but only for their family, their village, and their honor. They could not know that now, their sacrifice in life would come at a much greater cost, than had their death come young, at the hand of those they now obey. With their villages pillaged and burned, and the bodies of their wives and daughters pierced with flaming arrows, they retreated into their sorrow, and joined that which they despised, for only to save their sons. These men we do not hate, but pity, for their loss in this lifetime has been great. But, for the same purpose that they have chosen to follow the ruler to which we despise, we will strike them down, instantly. For we shall not show allegiance for our son’s sake, but shall show courage and honor for our wives and daughters. For our sons, like their fathers, are warriors, and our name is known. The loss that we’ve felt in this war however, is already great. Though we have not yet met these men in combat, we have once called them Brother. Now, we shall all stare into the eyes of another, until for one, the light fades, and the soul departs. For, this battle shall not cease, until shackles have bound our hands, or, the land has consumed our bodies. As brother to brother, we shall all live together, or we shall all die together. To the end.

Is it bad to be Vanilla?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably at my blog, and if you’re at my blog, you’ve probably noticed that besides the lack of content (I’m a newby), I also lack any sort of a theme.  Given, I have a theme, I think it’s mandatory just for starting a blog, but I haven’t filled it with loads of other visuals (i.e., pictures, likes, etc), and I wonder if it’s all really necessary.  If my intention isn’t to promote my writing, and attract an audience, but to merely have a place to put pen to paper (so to speak), and jot down those random thoughts that spring to mind, is it wrong to be just plain ol’ Vanilla?  Does it detract from my writing, really? 

Is my ability to “pen” actually enhanced by the fluff of a picture filled Home page?  Does inspiration actually strike more frequently to those that are “showier”, and more Neopolitan?

Is it bad form to just add sprinkles of wit, humor, or insightful introspection?  What if it oozes with ribbons of sweetness, would it then be ok?  Can’t I throw in a little nuttyness, to get you to better appreciate my rocky road?  Does it need to be fruit-filled to be appealing to all appetites?  Do I require a dose of liqueur to get your attention, and keep you coming back for more?  

Is my voice stifled without a banner, or “followers”?  I think not!  Well, at least I hope not, but only time will tell. 

My Grandma used to ask me as a child (because I never shut up), if I “actually had something to say, or, was just talking to hear the sound of my own voice?”  Well, I’m still talking, whether anyone is listening or not.  So, I guess that answers that.

My Grandpa, on the other hand, when he heard me speaking to seemingly no one, would just tell me, “that I needed to talk to someone with more sense”.  I’m still not sure what he meant by that, but come to think of it…….my lips are moving as I type.  Huh…… 

My days of screwin’ the pooch are over!

So, as it would seem, I’ve done gone and screwed the proverbial pooch, again. Ugh…..Ahhhhhhh!!!!! I’ve told myself time and time again, never to let this happen! No good thing could possibly come if it!! It’s been years since it happened last, but, I remember it like it was yesterday. Oh, the humiliation……. After the accident, I didn’t drive for almost four months, and when I finally got back behind the wheel, I swore to myself that I would never, ever, allow that series of events to repeat itself!! Especially when it could’ve been soooo easily avoidable.

How the hell could I let this happen? I’m always prepared. I’ve been shopping for years, seemingly weekly, so that my greatest fear would never again be realized. I’m never without those staples needed, just to make sure that there was no way in hell……What the fuck!! Why, oh WHY, did I put this off? I knew that the time was drawing near. What exactly did I do yesterday that was so important? And, what do I do now??

Well, apparently as history has just repeated itself, I’m just gonna have to put on my big girl panties, and face the heaping pile that today, is my life. What a load of…..Ahhhhhh!!

Why didn’t I listen to my Mother? Why!?!? WHY??

Ok, stop! Compose yourself, and think….Think damn it! Ok, I’ve got two options: #1) I drive to work, for which I’m already prepared (big girl panties and all!), or, B) I walk, cause there’s no way in hell I’m risking another accident that leaves me laying in the street, being cared for by medical professionals, with a dirty thong!!

Now, let’s think about this, I can drive (and avoid the 28deg high for the day) if I can deal with the Granny panny hemi bulge under my expensively stylish pencil mini? Oh, hell to the no! Granny panny, panny line under my sleek pin-striped slacks? WTF!! Granny panny roll-up under my pantyhose, with anything? Am I really so desperate, that I would be willing to resort to any of these “options”?

Oooooohhhh!!! Screw it!!  I’ll carry the fucking detergent home on my back if I have to, but, I’ll tell you what, there’s no way in hell I’m driving!

 

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Hopelessly gridlocked

Have you ever wanted to save the world, but lacked the motivation to get off the couch? Write a book, but the story never comes? Or hell, just read a book, but stopped yourself because you consider it unproductive? Have you ever had such a huge mess to clean up, that you don’t know where to start, and before you know it you’re back on the couch, overwhelmed by it all? Have you mastered the gameshow schedules, but, still don’t know any of the answers? Watched 100’s of hours of cooking shows, but, still rely on your microwave for your 3 meals a day? Does your existence rely on reading about other peoples lives, and living vicariously through them? Is your sex virtual, and your girl/boyfriend made-up? Are you attempting a new “fad” diet, because for some reason, all of the old diets (that you’ve never tried) will no longer allow you to shed those unsightly pounds? Are you a giver, or a taker? A leader, or a follower? A singer, or a songwriter? Do you get off on life, or would you rather just get off completely? Do you give in to knee-jerk reactions, fits of laughter, and spontaneous purchases? Do you take offense too easily, even when the joke is just too damned funny not to laugh at? Do you play card & board games, or are you a video game junkie? Romance, comedy, drama, horror, action, fantasy, long and drawn out? No, I’m not wondering what kinds of movies you prefer, I’m wondering just how you’d describe your life. Boring, uneventful, ho-hum.

Do you even know who you are anymore? Does a stranger stare back at you from the bathroom window, or, stretch your clothes at the seams, while you’re wearing them? And, is that same stranger avoiding your phone calls? Huh……

Well, as it would turn out, life is not as complicated as most people believe. Just give into it!! If you can’t control it, then let it roll off your back, but if you can, then don’t let it bring you down.

It doesn’t matter the hand that was dealt to you, it only matters how you play your cards. If you’ve ever played Spades, then you know what I mean. You can have an extremely shitty hand, and know that there’s no way that you could possibly win, but, you can always turn it around and go “Nil”. And, if you play your crappy cards correctly, you can still win with the worst possible hand.

It’s all in your attitude. Doing the dishes only sucks if you stand in front of the sink bitching about it. When you do that, it seems more like an eternity than the 10mins out of your day that it actually took you. After all, what other productive activity would you be doing in those 10mins? And, making yet another attempt to “level up” on your video game is not considered productive!! I’ll tell ya what, even if you lack the motivation to get dressed and visit the great out of doors (if not your friends & family), at least do this, OPEN the freakin’ windows! You’ll be amazed how much that one little thing does to breathe some new life into you! Hell, and maybe if you’re feeling bold, you could even turn on some of your favorite oldies. Then God forbid, the spirit might even move ya to take out the garbage.