Random Thursday: Literary Puns and Poetical Plums

And about 35 seconds of Up Yours, Mister in the middle, there.

You’ll know it when you get to it.

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Even More Psychosis-Inducing Than The Original

Nevermind Raven

Look at him, sitting there all Poe-faced . . .

oooooooooOOOOOooooooooo

I’m Just Saying

This is just to Say Plums

oooooooooOOOOOooooooooo

This Is For the Patron . . . 

 . . . who called the other day to inform us that taxpayer’s hard-earned money would be better spent in supplying free laptops and city-wide Wi-Fi to citizens than on libraries and the salary they pay me for sitting on my rump all day, reading trashy novels.

Good luck to you, sir.

oooooooooOOOOOooooooooo

Speaking of Passive-Aggressive . . .

WIlliam Carlos Williams Red Wheelbarrow
Could someone please explain this poem to me?

Why is the wheelbarrow so crucial?
Are the chickens significant or just co-dependent?
Is  the rain metaphor or meaningless?

WHAT?!

People have been reading and debating this poem for over fifty years just because we can’t suss out the—

Oh.

Well-played Mr. Williams.

Well played.

oooooooooOOOOOooooooooo

Still a Better Romance Than . . .

 . . . you know.

One Shade of Gray

Alternative Title:  “Consent is not a grey area.”

Pun grimly intended.

(Thanks, Helen—you rock!)

oooooooooOOOOOooooooooo

The Last Line Sells It

We can only do so much, Mr. Pip.

I kid.  Scroobius Pip is one hell of a performance poet, I just can’t share most of his stuff here until my kids are old enough to know when not to recite his lyrics in public.

(thanks, Cha-Cha!)

Be Amazing. Now.

I have an interview today.  Not for a new job, exactly, but for a position in a different department of the library.

There’s no real reason to think I’ll do badly, but I’m still stressing about it, as part of my default setting.

As I told a friend yesterday,  I can’t decide whether it’s good or bad that my old boss will be interviewing me and  whether she’ll think it’s good that I have seventeen years of professional experience under my hat or bad that I’m not young, perky, and  able to create a LibGuide without hitting the help button every three minutes.

Before I could get into the spirit of the thing and spiral into describing every single thing I’ll do to ruin my chances during the interview, she reminded me that I’d given up self-hatred for Lent.*

Damn.

Coincidentally,** Jane had a Self-Esteem assignment due yesterday.

Naturally, she ignored it until Sunday afternoon, because the last thing a twelve-year old wants to do is stand up in front of her peer group and do a five-minute presentation on why she’s an amazing human being, even if the instructions say she’s supposed to introduce a representation of herself to make it marginally less embarrassing.

Because she’s pretty sure someone (everyone) will make sure to explain in great detail why she’s wrong.

Man, we start downplaying our personal value and internalizing worthlessness early, don’t we?

I’ve internalized several decades of the stuff at this point.

Which is why I decided to prepare for my interview by doing Jane’s assignment, too, with a couple of modifications.*** Because if I’m going to sit in front of a fairly intimidating former supervisor—who knows aaaaall of my workpace quirks and foibles—and explain why I’m the best choice for this position, I’m going to need all the awesome I can feel.

And let me tell you, this exercise was extremely difficult.

I knew that I didn’t have to share any of my statements—I had a filler post all ready—and I still had problems writing things like “why I’m a good friend”.   I had a hell of a time even typing that previous sentence without cringing or adding modifiers like “sometimes”, “almost”, or “occasionally”. Or taking our the word “good” altogether.

Because, you know . . . maybe . . .  I’m not a good friend all the time. Or even most of the time. I remember one time I didn’t even—I mean, it’s not really for me to say, right?  Why are my shoulders hunched?

Holy flippin’ cow, why is it so hard to let ourselves be awesome?

Why can’t we just be awesome for a single moment without making a joke out of it, or ducking imaginary rotten tomatoes, or tossing them at ourselves to save the trolls the trouble?

We don’t even have to be awesome all the time—just for a moment.  And then maybe we could be awesome again for one more moment. And then another one.

Until we’ve built up the ability to be awesome for a whole series of moments—like self-worth Kegels or something.

You know what I mean.

Let’s all just be awesome in the moment and fill in the damn answers.

Who’s with me?

________________________

INTRODUCING THE AMAZING _______________________ . . . AN INSIDE LOOK!

You must include a physical representation of yourself: a large picture, life-sized cutout, 3D head, recreation of you, mannequin dressed and you, or anything that can be YOU!

Card with glasses

Note the Purple Glasses of Awesome.

Topics you should cover:

• My best physical feature:

My eyes.  They’re green, like my mothers’.

• My greatest athletic ability:

I can belly dance.  My Camel Walk and Shimmy are especially awesome.

• My most amazing social quality:

I can strike up conversations with almost anyone.

• “I am a genius at . . . “

Making up lyrics to other people’s songs.

• “I am a good friend because . . .”

I listen and I can keep a secret.

• one awesome thing about my family:

We sing made-up operas together in the car.

• after high school retirement, I’m going to . . .

Spend the whole summer at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario

• My proudest moment

When someone told me she’d stayed up until 4am to finish a story I’d written.

But only because I’m always proud of my kids—that’s a constant, not a moment.

• My greatest academic quality

I have no written test anxiety whatsoever.

• My favorite activity

Laughing with my kids.

• My most amazing accomplishment

I’d say “childbirth”, but I also once beat a Marine in a fencing match.

• almost nobody knows that I. . .

Used to make stuffed animals for extra cash in grad school.  Made a llama once, with eyelashes and everything.

• non-school work related activities that I love to do are . . .

Reading, cooking, eating, singing to the radio, writing, watching British game shows, blogging, napping, hanging with my kids . . .

• I’m awesome, because . . .

I’m the only one of me there will ever be.

• When I’m an adult, I’m going to have the amazing job of . . .

Writing for a living.

 ____________

There.  Whew.

Feel free to put yours in the comments, if you want.

Or not.  You don’t have to.

I already know you’re awesome.

___________

*Also dieting and abstinence.  St. Augustine would approve.

**Or not, depending on your views toward the mysterious ways the deity of your choice moves or the inevitable way the random generator of the universe sometimes throws a double.

***I changed some of the questions because I’m already doing what I’m doing after high school, and so on.  You’re supposed to supply four objects that say something about you, but I’m substituting four years worth of blog entries. And, as mentioned above, you’re supposed to use the physical representation of yourself as the awesome “person” you’re introducing.  It is easier that way . . . but maybe it shouldn’t be. So I ignored that bit, too.

Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Register)

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!

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Or if you’re a fellow Facebook addict (we can quit any time we want to, right?),
why not check out the offerings of the Snippet Sunday gang?

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This week, our wereduck hero, Tom, has a couple of questions for the werewolf that attacked him in the first chapter.

The werewolf is being held by Lowell Rhombeck, the leader of the Talbot pack, so Tom is headed over to that part of town.

VIEW_FROM_THE_NORTH_-_Kingscote,_Bellevue_Avenue_and_Bowery_Street,_Newport,_Newport_County,_RI_HABS_RI,3-NEWP,61-3.tif

Rhombeck’s place sat on a substantial acreage on the bluff on the upper west side of Talbot.  According to the plaque on the front gates, the National Register of Historical Places called it the Phelan House, though it didn’t mention that Mr. Phelan had been the leader of the Talbot pack when it first settled in the area.

It did state that in 1863, a number of Civil War soldiers did something historical on a corner of the property.  I saw a couple of monuments around the neighborhood honoring them and I knew a parade was held on Veterans’ Day, ending with a rifle salute at the City Cemetery, because the VA sent me annual notices.

Turner and I usually spent the day holed up at Grant’s place, watching a stack of the sappiest romantic comedies we could find and making Turner guess which actors weren’t human.   Kyle had a standing invitation, but she always volunteered for patrol; we all had our own ways of fighting flashbacks.

The packleader’s house wasn’t intimidating, if you liked enormous mansions that were decorated by generations of people who took their money, power, comforts, and personal interests very seriously.

It helped that the cells were in the basement.

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Rhombeck doesn’t actually live in the Kingscote Museum in Rhode Island, but it was built around the right time period and I love this image, so I transplanted it to one of the bluffs where I live, which isn’t within three hundred miles of where I’ve put Talbot City.

I defy your historical geography and substitute my own.

Random Thursday: Dimples, Flash Mobs, and Ice Lobsters

It’s random!  It’s Thursday!  It’s random Thursday!

The temperatures have been well below zero and the wind is slicing down the plains like Hel’s ice machete, which is wreaking the other kind of hell with my Internet connection.

So this is what I could compile five minutes at a time, between random bouts of cursing.

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Summer Has Mosquitos . . .

You know it’s cold when the ice lobsters come up to the house to get warm.

Ice Lobster

It’s not the crustacean that gets me, here, it’s the trap.

 oooooOOOOOooooo

It’s Street Art, Charlie Brown

A friend sent me this in response to last Thursday’s graffitipalooza:

Snoopy Shadow

It’s a great piece . . . but I want to throw a blanket over him.

(thanks, Kev!)

oooooOOOOOooooo

Code to Joy

Phones these days aren’t just smarter than I am.

They’re better singers, too.

 oooooOOOOOooooo

John Adams’ Dimpled Balls

Last week was the kids’ Academic Fair.

Sunny did a report on the second President of the United States, complete with “Bottle Buddy”:

John Adams Project

The cravat was her idea, but her father helped her with the lapels.

Her favorite fact was that he and Thomas Jefferson were “besties”.  I think that might be verbatim from her presentation.

Janie did a science project on the difference that the size and number of dimples on a golf ball can make make to the distance one can hit it.

Golf Project

Oddly enough, the hexagonal ones—which were the closest to “dimpleless” that we could get, since every store in the country who sells them has them on backorder and the manufacturer is not directly selling them at this time—did much better than expected, leading us to conclude that dimples do affect the distance one can hit a golf ball and also one’s chances of getting one’s father to spring for snacks from the bar of the indoor driving range.

Her other secondary conclusion was that pink golf balls with overlarge dimples were not only sexist in color, but a fear-based attempt on the part of the patriarchal establishment to keep women golfers from hitting the green.

Shame on you, [brand redacted].  Shame.

This year was relatively panic-free, since the school allowed most of the work to be done during class time.

But Jane still thinks she’s like to recreate this one for next year:

Science Project Project

oooooOOOOOooooo

Flashing Beethoven

On the 5th of February of this year, students of the Collegium Musicum of Heidelberg  surprised people eating lunch with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Kudos to the percussion section.  Awesome!

(I think I stole this from Dee’s Facebook page—thanks, Dee!)

Ducksign

Slow Duck

The library was closed yesterday, not because the Presidents whose Day it is cared nothing for literacy—they were a bit busy with other things—but because when City Hall is closed, so are we.

The kids were off school but in day camp and my husband had morning classes and afternoon appointments and my MIL was occupied with her own errands, so I had several hours to myself which I’d fully intended to use for writing, or maybe for thinking about writing, or maybe for intending to write but watching the eighth season to Would I Lie To You instead.

Or napping.

But just as I’d sat down and opened up my Odd Duck binder and plugged in my Odd Duck flash drive and opened up a browser window to fire up just one episode of WILTY . . . the screen informed me that I had no Internet access.

It wasn’t the computer—my desktop, tablet and phone all said our home network existed, but something wasn’t producing any of what it’s supposed to produce in order to fulfill its purpose as a source of Internet joy and pleasurably guilt-ridden procrastination.

I went downstairs and hit buttons and turned things on and off and called the provider to listen to a message saying everything was fine on their end, so whatever wasn’t happening was our fault (I’m paraphrasing).

No dice.

Reply HazyI’m one of those writers who is always asking the Universe/Powers that Be/Deity of my Choice/Random Banana Peel Generator/Available Magic Eight Balls for constant signs that I’m not fooling myself with this writing business.

Am I supposed to be a writer? Am I supposed to spend my time plugging away at this particular story? Is this really what I’m meant to be doing when there’s so much more to the world than a keyboard and the inside walls of my own imagination and the television remote has been left unguarded and there are three full cartons—not boxes, cartons—of Girl Scout cookies in the house?

Apparently, today, the sign was clear and the answer a very definite “Yes, you idiot.”Duck!2

So I sighed, sat down, and dove in headfirst.

Four hours later, I had hammered out most of the continuity wrinkles and plot changes and obvious stupidities up to roughly chapter twenty-two and added [NOTES IN BIG, BOLDED BRACKETS] about what scenes and details I’ll need to add to make things make sense, things I need to research to make sure the writers of that half-remembered episode of Law & Order hadn’t fudged their details, and a legal pad of side worries about whether or not I need to get rid of a character or maybe even a subplot.

I also had the shakes, so I stopped for lunch.

Then I dove back in for another hour or two, until I hit a strange place where parts of one chapter and parts of another seemed to mesh well, but not for the book I thought I was writing. The rest did appear to fit the book, but not necessarily with each other on a temporal level.

Or something. Not sure.  It honestly could have been me.

But I’d tipped into the Just Get It Done Now mindset, so I printed both chapters, planning to do some literal cutting and pasting, and also maybe some shredding and directed fireplay, because I was starting to develop mental blocks made of exhaustion and compressed short-term memory loss and when you reach that point, self-righteous shredding and the burning of sage seem perfectly reasonable reactions to plot confusion.

But then the WiFi returned and so did the kids.

I saw that as a sign, too, and knocked off for the day before I did any actual damage.

Probably. I hope.

I’ll have to take a look after work today.

You know, unless the WiFi is working.

House Wifi