Last Minute Lulu

Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer
What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

clubpenguin.wikia.com

clubpenguin.wikia.com

I must confess that when it comes to traveling–the act of picking up and going to a place outside or beyond one’s local milieu–I am challenged. It starts with the excitement that often accompanies the rush of newness. That lasts for about 25 seconds. This joyous moment is then followed by a long period of prep, which some may judge as procrastination (I like to think of it as actively thinking about all the to-dos before completing any of them), which culminates in a flurry of mad dashing about, dotting of Is, crossing of Ts, and tying up of loose ends. Of course there’s the ever present cliffhanger: “will I make it to the plane on time?” The answer is many times yes and sometimes no.

I have missed my flight 2x. The first time was at the peak of flu season in December. I was quite ill, was all packed, and went to the airport to catch a late night flight. The attendant couldn’t find my name. I must have spelled it ten thousand times– slow, fast, drawn out–but no luck. Then I remembered I had the confirmation. Bingo! The attendant was able to find my flight which flew as scheduled on the previous day. Yep, missed my plane by a day.  The gods must have been so filled with holiday spirit that the Southwest attendance put me on the very next plan free of charge.

The second time was not truly my fault. My husband, daughter & I sauntered into Southwest which would take us to Los Angeles to catch a connecting international flight. Again, with the confidence of the truly ignorant we stumped our flight attendant who couldn’t find our reservation in the system. I’m not sure why she thought of it, but she managed to find the perfect explanation as to why we weren’t coming up. We were in the system, our flight had been booked, but we had overlooked a tiny detail as to place. We were in Oakland, but the flight was taking off from the SF Airport! Oh, the devil is in the details.

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Ride in a Caddy with Superman

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion
This week, share your photographs that have captured motion, and tell us the stories behind the images.

Cadillac 2

My girl went old school and was picked up in a Caddy by her preschool bud (incognito as Superman). They went to another bud’s party. I’m secretly glad he chose to drive instead of fly.

I’m  so not looking forward to when P’s a teen and driving around with friends.

The People Cat

Daily Prompt: Menagerie

Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?
(Bonus points for adorable animal photos, and double bonus if they’re taken with your phone!)

Cat ala iphone

Cat a la iphone

Grayson is the youngest in our family of four.  He came to us, a spirited little thing. As a tot his favorite thing was to climb up our backs and perch on our shoulders like a bird, enjoying the view, while we carried on our chores from room to room.

From the very beginning Grayson has been Mr. Personality. While his cage buddy lounged, casually watching the humans peer in and out, Grayson was reaching out and pawing for attention. He seeks, rather than shies away from people. He is a people cat. Wherever we have lived, our neighbors have felt compelled to do things for Grayson. Our current neighbor got him a rug so he could be comfortable while sitting on our porch. When we were living in an apartment complex, one of the neighbors built him a make-shift cat shelter under the stairwell so he could be warm on cold days until we came home.

It hasn’t all been a simple life. Grayson’s first home was on an island. Because we lived in a state park, he was not allowed outdoors for fear that his instincts would kick in and compel him to chase down the birds. Indeed, this is what happened when we moved from Angel Island to Lakeshore. Very shortly after moving, we found a dead pigeon on the balcony with Grayson sitting a little ways away from it. It was the last time we left him unattended on the balcony and led to our decision to train him to go outdoors since we were away for much of the day at work or school.  Boy, was he scared. He wouldn’t even go in the hallway without quaking. Yet little by little he learned that outside wasn’t such a scary place as long as you found good spots among fragrant bushes to lounge hidden from passersby, but with a clear vantage point.

Grayson gained so much confidence that he crossed the street into the next apartment complex which had a high and open garden. When we were ready for him to come in, we would yell down 5 stories, “Graysie!!!” and he would come running up.  We eventually moved to another neighborhood that had several cats and a few racoons. The backyard had been vacant for awhile and one or two cats thought nothing of hanging out. One cat jumped the fence and walked into our house and taking a bite of the cat food before being shooed out. Grayson got into a few scuffles, but held his own. He wasn’t unscathed and one particular fight left him sick for days. The fights gave him more confidence, so much so that he started bossing us around. Now when he wants to go out or come in, he meows impatiently at the door and if he has been waiting too long to come in, grunts when we finally let him in.

Grayson is rarely naughty, but like all of us, he sometimes slips. When he does, all we have to do is to put him in the backyard. Isolation from people is torture. He’ll whine and carry on until we let him in. Grayson loves company, enjoys going on walks, and grooming (he does this on the sly) our daughter when she falls asleep on him or he falls asleep on her.

3 Songs that Wouldn’t be Caught Dead Together

Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List
Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

This isn’t dejavu. It’s another post–this time a real response to today’s prompt.

Who doesn’t love a Song List? Here are 3 songs with list-y elements in them.

I haven’t figured out how to add a video, so I’m going to provide a You Tube link  so you can hear the recording to the lyrics below: Brian McKnight, The Cure, and Ben Folds. Lists tend to have trajectories. The first stop is childhood, the second adolescence, and the last is adulthood. Enjoy!

Feature #1: Ben Fold’s “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces”

Remember that kid or kids you hated because they made school horrible and planted the childhood seeds of adult insecurity? Here’s the song, or rather an anthem for those of us who remember, still even to this day, painfully. Btw, Folds is a treat to see live. Best concert EVER, double!! He is a MANIAC on the piano.

September ’75 I was 47 inches high
Mom said by Christmas I would have
A badassmother G. I. Joe
For your little minds to blow
I still got beat up after class

Yeah, now I’m big and important
One angry dwarf and 200 solemn faces are you
If you really want to see me check your papers and the T. V.
Look who’s tellin’ who what to do
Kiss my ass
Goodbye

Don’t give me that bullshit, you know who I am
I’m your nightmare little man
Vic, you stole my lunch money, made me cry
Jane, remember second grade?
Said you couldn’t stand my face
Rather than kiss me you said you’d rather die

Now I’m big and important
One angry dwarf and 200 solemn faces are you
If you really want to see me check your papers and the T. V.
Look who’s tellin’ who what to do
Kiss my ass
Goodbye

You’ll be sorry one day
Yes you will, yes you will
You shouldn’t push me around
’cause I will, yes I will
You will be sorry when I’m big
Yes you will, yes you will
You will be sorry

Now I’m big and important
One angry dwarf and 200 solemn faces are you
If you really want to see me check your papers and the T. V.
Look who’s tellin’ who what to do
Kiss my ass
Kiss my ass
Goodbye

 Feature #2: The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love”

Upbeat song that reminds one of the vicissitudes of adolescent emotionalism. A fascinating thing about singing is that in most cases you don’t hear the accent, yet you hear Robert Smith’s sexy British accent is clear as day.  If you aren’t familiar with The Cure, check them out. They were edgy (at least in my nook in the world) back in the day.

I don’t care if Monday’s blue
Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don’t care about you
It’s Friday I’m in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Thursday doesn’t even start
It’s Friday I’m in love

Saturday wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday never hesitate…

I don’t care if Monday’s black
Tuesday, Wednesday heart attack
Thursday never looking back
It’s Friday I’m in love

Monday you can hold your head
Tuesday, Wednesday stay in bed
Or Thursday watch the walls instead
It’s Friday I’m in love

Saturday wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday never hesitate…

Dressed up to the eyes
It’s a wonderful surprise
To see your shoes and your spirits rise
Throwing out your frown
And just smiling at the sound
And as sleek as a shriek
Spinning round and round
Always take a big bite
It’s such a gorgeous sight
To see you eat in the middle of the night
You can never get enough
Enough of this stuff
It’s Friday
I’m in love

I don’t care if Monday’s blue
Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don’t care about you
It’s Friday, I’m in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Thursday doesn’t even start
It’s Friday I’m in love

Feature #3: Brian McKnight’s “Back At One”

Here’s an R&B classic. It’s one of those must have songs that make it onto the wedding reception playlist. Nothing else to say other than it’s probably the only song on this list you’d feel okay listening to with the parents/grandparents.

It’s undeniable
That we should be together
It’s unbelievable
How I used to say that I’d fall never
The basis is need to know
If you don’t know just how I feel
Then let me show you now that I’m for real
If all things in time
Time will reveal
Yeah…

Chorus:
One – you’re like a dream come true
Two – just wanna be with you
Three – Girl it’s plain to see
That you’re the only one for me
Four – repeat steps one through three
Five – make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done
Then I’ll start back at one… Yeah…

So Incredible
The way things work themselves out
And all emotional
Once you know what it’s all about, babe
And undesirable
For us to be apart
Never would of made it very far
Cause you know you got the keys to my heart

(Chorus)
One – you’re like a dream come true
Two – just wanna be with you
Three – Girl it’s plain to see
That you’re the only one for me
Four – repeat steps one through three
Five – make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done
Then I’ll start back at one…

Say farewell to the dark of night
I see the coming of the sun
I feel like a little child
Whose life has just begun
You came and breathed new life
Into this lonely heart of mine
You threw out the life line
Just in the nick of time…

(Chorus)
One – you’re like a dream come true
Two – just wanna be with you
Three – Girl it’s plain to see
That you’re the only one for me
Four – repeat steps one through three
Five – make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done
Then I’ll start back at one…

Prime Surfaces for List Writing

Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.
I love lists! But only by other people. I don’t myself bother much with lists.

A List for Your List

  • Lovely 8 1/2 x 11 college rule paper (old school, preferably in a perforated notebook)
  • Not as lovely 8 1/2 x 11 wide rule paper (also old school)
  • Toilet piece of paper (make do with what you have)
  • Blank side of used scrap paper (recycling is a good thing, Martha said)
  • Post it (where did I put that post-it???)
  • Inside of a toilet stall (questionable)
  • Public wall (graffiti or art, you decide)
  • iphone Notes (handy for on-the-go)
  • laptop Sticky Notes (possibly handy)
  • On your body (crib notes on your palm,  so high school. I’ve never done this & I’m sure you haven’t too)
  • Human brain (highly recommended, greatest invention of all time)

Found

Day 13: Serially Found
Writing Prompt: write about finding something

Found

Like so many seashells,
you came rushing onto Kayak Beach, along many waves
washing gently, then roughly. Gently, then roughly.
Alternating and aimless. Aimless and sure. Sure and
roughly remained…into our hands—

two, four, six…
to be exact—
as debris from the bay.

Like so many seashells,
you happened upon the shore of Kayak Beach, as
indiscriminate a destination as any could be, yet you
cannot stay, cannot be let…alone. You see, you are
not native nor mythical, historical nor neutral. You are not
Miwok, mermaid or link posterior to paper uncles,
brothers or sons. Your anthropology is of little use,
here. Even a throwaway coke bottle, glassily disposable
sarcophagus of a bottle, as impossibly likely as that would be,
would have been better than being the wrong sort of accidental,
discovered face down and incidentally. Touched
and turned by our hands—

two, four, six…
to be exact—
as debris from the bay.

Like so many seashells,
the shore at Kayak Beach is another fragment of your
story that is now another fragment of the stories
already here. Like them, you will be detained. You
will be quarantined, examined, and catalogued. You will
be policed, sanitized, and reported. Reported and
deported into hands that are not our hands—

two, four, six…
to be exact—
as debris from the bay.

Like so many seashells,
you came wet and slick to Kayak Beach with ten
fingers and ten toes. You were big, heavy, and male.
At least 6 feet, 2 inches. One hundred eighty-six pounds.
Four decades, plus some. With hair. A head full of
hair, nearly medium length, lustering russet
in the sun with no patch of baldness. Your eyes,
perhaps once cinnamon in shade, are now
bark.

You were perfect, though not perfect.
Your eyelashes are short, save for a sharp lash branching
like a laden limb from the left lid. And there are tanless
lines lining the sides of your face, smooth and
goateed, with demure lima bean shaped indentations
on either side of your nose. Once upon a time you may
have been unkindly called four eyes or more cruelly fag, freak,
nerd, geek. Then again, glasses may have been post-pubescently
prescribed along the years to middle age. We can tell you
took care of your teeth. Brushed and flossed regularly. But cannot
tell if you were melliflous or stunted in speech. There are no caps
and no cavities. There is, though, a chip on the front right incisor.
Could you have acquired it playing sports, getting pushed around or
in a fight, or less remarkably from ordinary clumsiness?

There are moles.
Twinned moles on the right side bone jutting from the elbow,
several across your back, one above the knee, on your clavicle, and
on your big toe, the left one. Your toenails, by the way, are craggy
and overgrown, not at all like your square, impeccable nails.

There are scars.
A toyon berry sized one snugged in the bend of the right
knee. And less oddly, another on the side of the upper left arm,
puckered into a small mound. You were immunized. We have
similar puckering in similar places.

There is a birthmark.
In the center of your chest, away from your heart, a
crescent of stars, faintly scattering away beneath the hair
just short of the right aureola. There was, is nothing
else, save that you are circumcised.

You came to us
—at the eleventh hour in the eleventh month—
without music, without claim of who you are, wished, or were set to be.
Rain was in the air and with it, the season’s cold.
You were dressed dark and fitted in medium lycra shirt and shorts.
Shoeless, soxless, muscular, and lean. Unclaimed and unfound. You are
John Doe.

We do not guess what shore you fled to flee.
And will not guess what shore you sought to seek.
Or what siren call called you down, down and
down from the Golden Gate to the scyllian waters
circling our island of 800 acres Angel land
with its own history to bear and its own ghosts to carry.
We leave be. Amongst the three of us,
among us three you are Solomon. Puente. Atlas.
A real name. Not perfect, though less perfunctory.

Like so many seashells,
sprackled along the coast of Kayak Beach, we do not covet
you. Were we not so kelped in our humanity, its salt of
sustenance and shit, we could have seen, yes we might have,
so to speak, seen yours wrangling through wave and anti-wave. We
would like you to be interned into the higher places in our hearts, but that
would be false.

Forgive us our weak regret, our limpid sorrow. We
are not angels. We are human. And selfishly alive.
Your face is a terrible photograph we are trying
to remember lightly so no shadow is left, no trace felt
in our hands having ever encountered—

two, four, six…
to be exact—

of them ever having encountered you
(as debris from the bay) at all.

Fig or Rat’s _ _ _ about Religion or Politics

Daily Prompt: Polite Company
“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

Never in a million years would I talk to strangers about religion. And yet there’s something fascinating about people who proselytize.  It must take abs of steel to drop into neighborhoods full of at best indifferent and at worst hostile unbelievers and attempt to share the word, corral and convert the unsaved to the flock. I remember doing an environmental stint going door-to-door and it was hard work invading someone’s sanctuary. Many were sympathetic, but even the sympathetic were put out to be disturbed and pulled away from whatever they were doing. I’ve been on the other side of the door, answering to the bell to one of these believers armed with their Awake pamphlet to spread the Word.

Jesus on Twitter

How do they do it? I wouldn’t trade places with any of them. But there they are, talking to strangers about religion, their beliefs knowing that 9.9999 times out of 10 they will be shut out. And yet they go to the next person. My strategy with these doorbell ringers is to listen politely,  say thank you and then toss the pamphlet as soon as the door is shut.  I’d like to be rude and slam the door. But they are so earnest that being rude seems not only inappropriate, but the kind of downright were-you-raised-in-a-barn bad manners.

Awhile ago, I was once pumping gas at 6:24 am, my last stop before work, and was approached by a woman dressed in a blue business suit with one of those pamphlets that seem to say the world is going to hell in a hand basket or ask you’ve accept Christ as your personal savior. That morning in question,  I felt like going on the offensive. I listened to what the woman said while I pumped gas and then I told her that I didn’t believe any of it. I shared my beliefs with her and instead of the conversation turning rancorous, it was one of mutual sharing. I didn’t convert her to my point of view and she certainly didn’t convert me to hers, but there was a shared respect for each other’s belief.  I don’t think you can get any better than that.

On a separate note, the other day I was watching Scandal. Oh I see your eyes rolling and if I were reading this, my eyes would roll too. But bear with me. The other day on Scandal the president & his chief of staff are pushing this supposedly seminal bill named after a fallen victim, yet most of the people pushing it hadn’t read it and the only person who actually decides to do so, the vp (if you watch Scandal, you’ll understand when I say that she was wearing the “white hat”), points out to everyone’s annoyance that it’s a bill in name only because it has been so watered down with compromises and quid pro quos that it’s simply cosmetic. I say this to say that part of my reason for staying away from politics is that it takes a lot of conscientious effort to really understand what’s going on for yourself rather than deferring to the pundits. And what really gets me is when you get a measure on the ballot that’s given to you the voter, who really has little qualifications to discern the backdoor implications, because the opposing sides couldn’t find a way to work it out. So lately I’ve found myself voting no not necessarily because these measures come with a price tag or they’re not good ideas, but because as a voter I object to being put in the position of refereeing.

All the Pretty Colors

Daily Prompt: Roy G. Biv
Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.

If I could take on another talent, it would be to paint. I admire how artists use color–ROY G. BIV (thank you WP for bringing this acronym to my attn)–to visually present the world.

The following artists–Franz Marc, the Edward Saidi Tingatinga, and Georges Seurat–all use color in very interesting ways.


FRANZ MARC

Animals in Landscape by Franz MarcWhat I love about this painting by Marc is that it is a play on camouflage and so visually mimics what animals do all the time with us humans–hide in plain sight. With Marc, the colors compete for prominence, yet each manages to cooperate just enough to present the discrete images of the animals.


EDWARD TINGATINGA SCHOOL

Tinga Tinga PaintingThe Tinga Tinga genre of painting is criticized for its stylized and idyllic representation of the African landscape. However, I love the fact that this style of painting was not founded by some high brow art school, but had a humble beginning in the person of Mr. Tingatinga who used masonite and bicycle paint to create vibrant landscapes. This style of painting isn’t tamed by color, instead it flaunts it. There is a panoply of color, but you wouldn’t know it because the harmonious compatibility is so luscious and luxurious that it taunts the beholder into forgetting that it is wildlife that is on display.


GEORGE SEURAT

George Seurat, Pointillism Painting TechniqueThen there is George Seurat, around whom the style of Pointillism, was developed. Pointillism is a tease at the expense of the human eye. It plays upon the brain’s ability to cohere, basically bully the eye into seeing what appears as hundreds of disparate dots into an image.

Little Moments

Daily Prompt: Powerful Suggestion
What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

When you’re young, you think a good life is a life of grandiose moments, worthy of the stage. But really, life is in the daily living of small moments–little treasures and small irritations. These moments build up to the more noteworthy life events.