Day 57: Writing a NYC Haiku

20140302-113014.jpg

Reflecting off glass,
His taxi passes by me–
My tea, I savor.

_________________________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Advertisements

Day 56: Ridin’ the Rails

20140302-113443.jpg

I’ve ridden the train before, but never in such a last-minute, devil-may-care manner.

After some serious reconfiguring of schedules which required no less than 37.5 phone calls (ok, so maybe not quite so devil-may-care. I cared a little),  I–without rhyme or reason–bought a ticket on the spot and jumped slunk onto the next train headed to New York’s Penn Station.

Look at me! Whee!!! How spontaneous! How crrrrazy!

How…cold! (At, like 10 degrees…and that’s not even the wind chill factor). 

Luckily the kids are in school all day and I can do my work from anywhere, so it’s truly not even all that irresponsible, save the $84 ticket (but it was the cheapest fare, if that makes you feel better).

I think I’ll take a little nap, probably drool all over myself and the unfortunate well-dressed, male passenger next to me (nice tie…Zegna?), and in my dreams heartily congratulate myself for having another daring experience (well, daring for me; I ain’t no Danny Boyle. Like how I can so easily work in another James Franco reference?)

____________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.  

Day 55: Sending a Stranger a Present

martin-game-of-thrones_211

I had an extra copy of The Game of Thrones book that’s been kicked around like a scrawny stray dog for probably close to a year. For a while it sat on the coffee table. I offered it to each person who crossed the threshold; this resulted in the targeted individual reacting with either, “Pfft! Already read it!” or “Pfft! You’re joking, right?”

It migrated to the kitchen, where–depending on whether we needed flour, a subway fare card, or half-eaten donut–it got punted to a shelf, counter or chair seat. At some point someone moved it to the stairs where it sat amongst a mishmash of shampoo and mouthwash samples we swiped from hotels, an incomplete travel Chess set, a single blue, gray and red argyle sock and lavender-smelling “sleep balm.”

Last night, as I stepped around it for probably the two- or three-hundredth time, I finally figured out what to do with it:  Stick it in a padded envelope and send it to a complete stranger.  Naturally.

Why not? I mean, what’s wrong with sending someone you don’t know an unexpected, unmarked package with no return address? (Yo, FBI: Calm down! It’s just a book. Really!) Besides, I’ve never sent a stranger a present before, so I get to count it as a new experience.

So I wrapped up the poor, unloved, unappreciated dog-eared book. Not one to pass up a chance for cheesy dramatic irony, I found a real place called “Oldtown” (one of the fictitious cities in the book, but this Oldtown is in Idaho) and searched a White Pages site for someone with the surname Martin.

Bingo! There were several to choose from, so I randomly selected one Mr. Martin in the age range of 30-39.

Assuming he doesn’t treat the package as HAZMAT and toss it in the trash or blow it up, perhaps when he opens it, it’ll put a smile on his face.

And me? I’ll have one less thing to trip over.

____________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.  

Day 54: Writing a Fiction Amuse-bouche

elton-john_1746150c

Elton John. Sir. Past his prime; curdled milk.  Bloated, sweaty, warbling. Has been? Never been, as far as I’m concerned.  S*Q*U*A*R*E.

Tiny Dancer is a cheese grater on my gray matter.

A friend knows this well and upon entering his apartment he rarely fails to cue Reginald Kenneth Dwight. (Yes, Sir Elton’s real name is Reggy Dwight.  Sounds like a farm league baseball player). I cross the threshold and am slammed with the particular cloying (bitter)sweetness of  Candle in the Wind.

“Really?” I give him my full-blown dagger stare.

“What’s wrong?” he asks, voice full of feigned innocence.

“What’s right?” I shoot back.  Clearing my throat, I recite with theatrical flair: “Loneliness was tough, the toughest role you ever played. Hollywood created a superstar and pain was the price you paid.”

He shrugs. “It’s poetic.” His shoulders shake with silent laughter as he scrolls through the playlist on his screen.

“It’s pathetic,” I moan, walking into the kitchen. I open the fridge, looking for anything to divert my attention. Ah, an iced coffee. As I reach in I spy some rotten peaches and can’t suppress a snort. “Did you do that on purpose?”

He does not respond. I call him a not-so-nice name. “You did that on purpose!”

“What?” He turns from his computer and looks at the bruised fruit I hold by fingertips, touching as little of it as possible.  I watch realization dawn on his face.

“Sadly, I’m not that clever.”  He grins and takes the opportunity to switch songs. He and Reggy sing:

“Rotten peaches rotting in the sun, seems I’ve seen that devil fruit since the world begun.”

I drop the peach in the trash and cradle my head in my hands. “Surely those aren’t the real lyrics,” I ask.

“Indeed they are.” His taps his desk with two fingers in time with the music.

“Ugh! Even you have to admit they’re hideous. They’re…. they’re….” I rummage in my brain for the best descriptor. “They’re…chalky, like Pepto Bismal.”

“You’re comparing song lyrics to Pepto Bismal?” He stops drumming and squints in my direction. “You have a problem, you know,” he teases. (I think.)

I roll my eyes, but a slight tug at my insides makes me wonder if he’s right. Other people seem to listen to Reggy’s quavering without wanting to bang their heads against a wall to drown out the noise.

“Maybe you should see a therapist,” he offers.  “You know, find the root of the problem.”

“The root of the problem is his repurposed music and his junior-high lyrics,” I say with conviction.

“Maybe you had a crush on someone and he jilted you to Tiny Dancer.”

“I wasn’t even born when Tiny Dancer came out.” I cross my arms.

“Ok, how about Friends Never Say Goodbye?”

“That’s my cue,” I say, grabbing my handbag and heading toward the door.

“Ok, ok!” I hear him call after me. “No more Elton! I’ll put on…. Billy Joel!”

I visibly shudder, wondering which is worse, and close the door on his laughter.  One thing is for sure: He is in no way An Innocent Man.

____________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.  

Day 53: Sharing a “Like” Letter

20140116-164949.jpg

I spent a little time cleaning out the closet today (that almost qualifies as a new experience in and of itself) and came across a box of mementoes. I completely forgot about this box, and it took some effort to lift off the lid because of the thick layers of dust weighing it down.

This is one of those times when an opportunity for a “first” presented itself. I can unequivocally say that I have never posted a love letter online.

Ok, ok….so this one can hardly be called a “love letter,” but it is at least a “like letter.” Not a very well-written one, or the least bit romantic. He does get right to the point, so I guess he gets kudos for directness. But still:

(1) He spelled my name wrong. I blocked it out to keep my anonymity, but take my word for it. He butchered it. Classy!

(2) His bubble handwriting is that of a 12-year old girl’s. All that’s missing is the heart over the “i”.

(3) He wanted to take me out that night? And it’s 4:45 when he asked? Either he assumed I never have plans or that I would drop anything I had intended to do to be in his presence. Wrong on both accounts. I mean, my plans were probably something along the lines of sorting my colors and whites, but still…

(4) Notice that it is written on a scrap of paper. Again, c*l*a*s*s*y.

In case you’re wondering, this isn’t from My Peeta. I’m sorry to say I don’t remember much about this bloke except that I referred him to my friend, who desperately wanted to ride around in his Porche.

I said to him, “Dude, take out Barbie (not her real name, though it would have been apt). She’s tall and blonde, and will look better in your car.”

He was p*ssed, but, of course, he did take her out. (Like I said: Barbie).

When I debriefed her later, she confided that his car didn’t make up for the lack of intelligent conversation.

Unlike My Peeta, I don’t think I’ll be trying to track down Chris anytime soon…

____________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 52: Pretending to Be a Newscaster

20140223-210506.jpg

We visited a museum that boasts a faux news studio. Everyone and his/her dog could pretend to be a newscaster, reading from the teleprompter and all.  Although the place was mobbed by a gaggle of 12 year olds, I–an old lady by their standards– clawed my way to my rightful place in line patiently awaited my turn; when it was time, I giddily climbed onto the tiny mock stage.

The museum attendant thrust a microphone in my hands and pointed to the “x” where I was supposed to stand. Suddenly words started flying across the teleprompter at what seemed like warp speed.

I had a promising start. Dropping my voice an octave or two, I recited in a business-like, yet sultry tone,  “Today, in the nation’s capital, there was an important vote…”

Then I caught outta the corner of my eye my kids essentially twerking (although they’ve yet to know that’s a real thing; if shaking one’s tush is the main move in the dance, my kids have been twerking since they were about two).

Witnessing their twists, turns and thrusts, I did what any professional newscaster would’ve done in that situation:  I laughed.

There was no catching up with the teleprompter after that; and of course, as children are wont to do, once they saw that their silly behavior was making me lose it, they just did it with more gusto and increased frequency.

When I stepped off the stage, my attempt was broadcasted on screens around the room for all to giggle at see.

One of the 12 year olds tapped me on the shoulder and said,”Yo, you better keep your day job.”

He’s probably right. (#)$*@)# Brat. What an observant child.

____________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 51: Dining Al Burlesque

20140221-012555.jpg

Ok, this is definitely an unexpected first: Thanks to my husband, who made the plans “for me,” tonight I experienced my first dinner-and-burlesque show.

Dancers can-canned and careened to the likes of 1970s hits like “Lady Marmalade.” They shimmied, strutted and sashayed to Big Band era songs. Pranced, pirouetted and pole-danced to…heck, I can’t even remember. Why? Basically I was too busy texting photos for the shock value of it. Two percent of the time I snapped pics; the other 98 I was staring at my phone screen sending the snapshots far and wide, waiting for the responses of disbelief to roll in.

Replies ranged from: “Figures!” to “Elementary school play?”

Not the wide-eyed, incredulous type of reaction I was going for.

The best–and, coincidentally most accurate–comeback was, “where did your husband find the coupon and how much did it save him?”

Dead. On.

Said husband confided that he’d gotten a deal on one of the coupon sites, you know, buy one, get a set of Ginzu knives free kinda thing.

It’s ok. Our knives are dull anyway, and coupon or no, cheap date or not, this is definitely one for the “new experience” list.
____________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 50: Binge-Watching Corrupted Politicians

House_of_Cards_title_card

What better way to celebrate the half-way point to my 100-day challenge by experiencing another first: binge-watching an entire season of a TV show… After all, after my taxing time on the beach in Puerto Rico, I need a rest.

I devoured the second season of Netflix’s House of Cards, the devilishly sinister Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright PennFoster romp about government and the behind-the-scenes power plays.

Although my eyes are crossing from staring at the screen for so many hours in a row, I feel a sense of accomplishment akin to what I felt when I was able to successfully pull an all-nighter during graduate school to finish a paper.

I don’t want to toss any spoilers your way, but I will say there are some things that require a complete suspension of reality.  Others had foreshadowing so obvious they might as well have smacked the viewers over the head with some 2x4s.

Also, that whole business about the you-know-what with the driver? Really?

The show also left me with a lot of burning questions, such as:

  • What was the deal with showing Feng’s, er, extracurricular activities? It didn’t seem to tie into anything else…I thought for sure he’d eventually end up with a you-know-what on his head and an “accident” that got him out of the storyline, but that’s not what happened. I guess it was just to point out what a freak he was.
  • Is you-know-who really dead, or just lying there in the woods with a nasty headache?
  • What the hell is the point of that mop-creature, Cashew? Can *I* step on it?

Anyway, now that I’ve honed my binge-watching skills, I’m prepared to do some major viewing while on the plane to Iceland. Now I just have to figure out what to watch next…

_______
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 49: Bidding Bye to Puerto Rico

20140219-155005.jpg

One last morning stroll on the beach, a short tour by our hosts of Condado, lunch and then back to reality. Condado appears to be upscale and geared largely toward the tourist trade (and let’s face it, we *are* tourists). It has beautiful beaches and we had a delicious, if painfully slow, lunch.  (When traveling to PR, if you’re from what’s known as the “Northeast Corridor,” you’ll do better if you realign expectations regarding service time.  Things roll out here at a much slower pace.)

I would love to come back to the area and spend more time, particularly checking out more residential neighborhoods and taking a day trip to El Yunque rain forest.  But for now, I’m just happy being able to say I’ve racked up a slew of new experiences.

_______
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 48: Soul-Searching in Old San Juan

20140302-113252.jpg

After zip lining (which excluded me, natch), we took to the streets of Old San Juan.

As expected, buildings painted vibrant peach, yellow, and green-blue hues stood side-by-side. Sadly, many of them donned signs like Pizza Hut and Subway, or were shuttered with for sale signs. Puerto Rico’s economy for a number of reasons is in a slump, and there is rampant evidence of it.

In other spots of the city, time seems to be standing still.  One such time-warp seems to be the El Convento Hotel, which opened it doors originally as a convent. It’s been turned into a lovely hotel and restaurant, trees sprouting through a center courtyard, portraits hanging on the walls, massive iron chandeliers.

Nuns, buried on site, are reported to “visit” guests, the swishing of the gowns awaking people in the middle of the night. Although we did a little “soul searching” as we poked around, we did not spot any ghosts.  We did spot a number of feral cats, half-hidden under cars and out of the sun, but causing us to jump more than once as they darted out into the sidewalks in front of us.

We also visited one of the two forts in the city, El Morrow. The first part of this particular fort was built in the 1500s and housed the cannon used to defend the port. The kitchen, with its massive ovens, was particularly interesting.  But nothing beat the skin-tingling breezes and beyond-description views…

20140219-152043.jpg

20140219-152023.jpg

So much history, unparalleled beauty, such friendly locals… and not nearly enough time.

_______
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 47: Racing Around Puerto Rico

20140216-183234.jpg

Today we poked around the District of Carolina a bit more, including a visit to the historic El San Juan Hotel with its over-the-top but beautiful interior.

I could imagine Frank Sinatra stepping out of the shadows at any moment, fedora cocked, crooked smile (no pun or hints at his mob ties intended, here).

After driving through other Carolina neighborhoods, we hooked up with some friends of the family at the area’s racetrack. Because they knew the owners of one of the horses, we were treated to a close-up and personal experience. This included a visit with the horse (it won, incidentally).

20140216-211757.jpg

20140216-211918.jpg

The track was named for a horse that won 56 consecutive races in the 1950s, a Guinness Book record that still stands. Puerto Rico takes playing the ponies seriously, also producing world-famous jockeys such as Angel Cordero, Jr.

Upon our hosts’ recommendation we sampled mofongo for lunch. This dish consists of fried plantains mashed with chicken broth, garlic and bacon. Chicken or steak are common additions.

20140216-211942.jpg

After a day at the races, where we collected a whopping $14 (winning? That’s new) we had some soakin’ in the pool time…

20140216-212756.jpg

…and then relaxed as the sun slipped away, talking of tomorrow’s plans for zip lining (them, not me; my spine surgeon would agree with this decision) and sight-seeing in Old San Juan.

All in all, not a bad day of experiences for said gimp and her family. Sight-seeing, hanging with locals at the races and lounging at the pool? A trifecta of fun.
_______
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 46: Swooning Over San Juan

20140215-163653.jpg

Not all of my posts are major wins and, admittedly, some of my “experiences” barely qualify as such. (Really? Sending James Franco a message and figuratively putting Seth Rogen over my knee? Wearing bright red lipstick?)

This one, however, I think truly counts. Day 1, Puerto Rico, first stop Isla Verde, which is very resort-minded and an easy introduction. Mid 80s, soft breezes, bath-water waves, luminous skies…

20140215-163618.jpg

20140215-163630.jpg

20140215-163641.jpg

20140215-163700.jpg
We toured a bit around the neighborhood of Guaynabo, west of San Juan and the site of the first European settlement in PR. Here we also consumed the equivalent of two or three sides of beef, or what felt like it.

20140215-214241.jpg

While I’d like to say after dinner there was much merriment and dance, the truth was more, head➡️pillow.

So… in sum: Still no response from James, dagnabbit….but at least I’ve racked up some respectable other experiences today. And in flip flops, nonetheless.
____________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 45: Sneaking Into a Movie

Image

Today I finally got to see American Hustle. David O. Russell’s fabulous follow-up film to Silver Linings Playbook did not disappoint. Oscar material, to be sure.

But, as you know, this isn’t a film review site, so I’ll move right on to my “new experience:”

I snuck into a second film after Hustle finished.

Yeah, you heard me! Don’t,um, call the authorities, though.

My friends in high school used to do this all the time. I, on the other hand, was the kinda kid who was afraid of my shadow, let alone breaking the rules in any major way. I figured if I got nabbed now, maybe I could borrow Uncle Leo’s method.

Ok, ok…I’m not old enough to pull it off as is, but with my untapped, exemplary acting skills and a knit shawl or two, maybe I could. After all, I *do* have the shuffle down, courtesy of my spinal cord surgery.

At this juncture, you may be on the edge of your seat wondering which movie I unlawfully saw.

Well…I, er…I…I….

I joined my kids in the Lego Movie, ok?! Yes, my theft resulted in wholesome family time! So sue me. (Actually, please don’t).

Maybe *I* oughta sue David O. Russell. After all, clearly American Hustle broke my moral compass. As a result of the movie, suddenly everything, as Irving said, no longer looked black and white; instead, all I saw was just a whole lotta gray. A whole lotta gray and money left over for another popcorn and soda.

_________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 44: Sending a Message to James Franco

Image

This is a two-fer: (1) I followed the advice of readers who commented; and (2) I sent James Franco a message with links to my website.

And guess what?

He.

Did.

Not.

Respond.

What the…???

Shocking, I know. Downright scandalous!

But..I can’t believe James would ignore me like that. It’s just not possible.

Personally, I blame Seth Rogan. We all know that he and JF are BFFs. My hunch? Seth saw my message and intercepted it. Clearly Seth-My-Laugh-Is-A-Sheep’s-Bleat-Rogen is seriously threatened by me and the immediate, intense bond James and I are destined to forge.

I forgive you, Seth. Or…I will, if you’d just pass on the message like a good boy. Don’t worry, we’ll still let you hang out with us occasionally.

Er, maybe.

_________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 43: Signing Up for an Acting Workshop

Image

I’m bitter.

You may recall how I submitted an application to be an extra.  All I got back was a bogus email that was sent to thousands of other wannabes.

Did I mention that I’m bitter?

I just don’t understand why I haven’t been discovered. I mean, isn’t there always a need for the less attractive, whiny best friend? The older, bossy, less fit sister? The schlumpy ex-wife? I could play each of those roles with my eyes closed! (But, if Cooper, Franco or Depp were involved, the *last* thing I’d want to do is keep my eyes closed, heh-heh).

I might be able to even pull off the Goth-y non-popular chum, ala Janis in Mean Girls.

mean-girls-31

The non-popular part would be easy, and with enough kohl eyeliner and my already abundant black wardrobe, I could be as Goth or “emo” as anyone.

Soooo… in light of others’ despicable failures to discover me, I decided I must more aggressively pursue my goal. To this end, I signed up for a one-day acting workshop. I figure I’ve got a cornucopia of natural talent and don’t need more than an afternoon of instruction. Really, I’m so good that I probably don’t need any lessons at all.

Not that I’ve actually ever done ANY acting; I just have a hunch. I’m good with that.

Image

I wish I could go to Mr. Franco’s new acting school, but alas… I live quite far from LaLa Land. I’ll have to settle for what’s in my own backyard. Perhaps it’ll open new doors… or, more likely, it’ll open my eyes and I’ll just learn WHY no one’s bothered to discover me.

Either way, another “first”! Check.

_________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 42: Jumping on the Travel Bandwagon, or Puerto Rico Bound

Image

Hot Warm on the heels of my Iceland-ticket-buying high, I snatched up tickets to go to Puerto Rico this weekend.  I figured it would be good for my recovery to soak in some warm, beach-y weather before heading to a place that has frozen water as its namesake. In light of my promise to try new things each day, how could I pass up an amazing last-minute travel deal that I came across? Besides, we know people there we can sponge off of visit, which makes the overall trip affordable will surely enrich our experience.

Anyway, I’m on a roll, now, baby! I’m going to Puerto Rico and Iceland, (sort of) training for a 5K (which I may not be prepared to run until 2021, if ever), learning to play some Led Zeppelin, even dabbling in a tiny bit of re-imagining my life

Heck, if I keep going at this rate, who knows what’s next? James Franco, Mr. Of Mice and Men on Broadway, asking me on a date? My husband would understand and readily agree, especially given that he’s a James Francophile, as well. In fact, the word to best describe how he’d feel would probably be: jealous.

Image

Puerto Rico and a new adventure–hopefully one that involves James fanning me with a banana leaf and peeling grapes for me life-changing, educational experiences, here I come…

_________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 41: Volunteering with Kids at a Homeless Shelter

Image

I’ve volunteered before, but not as someone who chaperoned a group of kid volunteers. Sort of meta-volunteering, for lack of a better term.

The kids had Valentine’s Day cards and gifts to present. At first, the children were shy around each other; tentative, not sure what to say or do. Then the kids from the shelter started opening their gifts.

They were books. Novels.

And the walls disintegrated before my eyes.

Voices blossomed, excited chatter about Spiderman, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Lemony Snicket filled the space. Suddenly, the kids were all speaking the same language. Behind it was a beautiful bonding over imagination, wonder, inspiration, humor and hope that transcended socioeconomic status.

People say that math is the universal language; today, the universal language was love of a good story that allows a child to experience another place, other people, and usually–at least with most children’s books–ultimately solvable problems.

_________
Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 40: Tweeting a Walking Dead Question

20140209-224606.jpg

Just watched The WalKing Dead mid-season premier. (Spoiler alert, ya big crybabies.)

Carl is cursing, Rick did his best to make us think he’d died, and Lady M. shows us a glimpse into her pre-warrior life.

Now I’m watching The Talking Dead, and for the first time ever, I am the tweeter rather than mere reader of tweets.

They are taking questions, and I’ve asked, “Comic book Rick has given up on the idea of ‘right’ a loooong time ago, but Rick on TV always tries to do what is ‘right.’ Will this be the season he finally gives it up?”

The little talk he had with his son points in this direction, especially the bit about how he was only clinging to the idea that things would be “ok” for his babies, Carl and Judith. But now that it seems Judith may be is monster meat (though I’m not convinced) and Carl is a “man,” Ricky says he can stop that silly ol’ nonsense. I’d like to see that.

Too bad they didn’t bother to answer my question on-air and instead addressed those pressing inquiries about pudding.

Still, tweeting something is a new experience…so, as Carl would say, “I won.”
________________

Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 39: Almost Having Tea with a Workman

tea

If I happen to be home while someone’s doing work on the house, I always offer him/her coffee or tea. I mean, just because the actual price of the work ends up being $1000 more than the estimate doesn’t mean that I can’t be civilized, right? Besides, no one ever takes me up on the offer. Ever.

Except for today. Today, someone took me up on my offer.

He is working on our kitchen and I popped down to make a cup of tea. Naturally, I extended an offer to Mr. Kitchen Cure.

I was getting ready to say my standard, “Well, if you change your mind, let me know,” when I realized he’d actually said, “sure.”

“Huh?” Was my response.

“No sugar or honey,” he said.

It’s not like I didn’t want him to say yes; I was just surprised he had. Like I said, in all my months years of asking the parade of construction workers, painters, handymen, electricians, floor installers, psychiatrists and the like, not one said anything that approximated a, “yes.”

Just then the phone rang. I ran to get it and got wrapped up in my call. It wasn’t until about an hour later that I realized I hadn’t given him his tea.

The one time someone says, “yes,” and I blow it.

I ran down to correct the error, but the moment had passed. He’d already cracked open his 42 oz Arizona Tea.

I had failed on so many levels.

Now I have a mission. The next person who works in this house WILL join me for a cup of tea. Perhaps now that Mr. Kitchen Cure transformed the space into a more tea-drinking-friendly state, I’ll get more takers.

________________

Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

Day 38: Writing Alternative Endings (#1)

Image

This is a follow up to my “Alternative Ending” post.
———————–
I sat on the floor across from him, the raised edges of the cold parquet floor tiles digging into the backs of my thighs. I dared not move.

Our shoulders were mirrored hunches, eyes lowered. I twisted my fingers nervously around the laces of my black Chucks. “Really, you can leave. I only have, like, 11 hours left to stay up.” I put exaggerated emphasis on the “11 hour” part.

“Please,” he replied, rolling his eyes. “You won’t make it half that long without someone around to poke and prod you.”

“Keep your pokes and prods to yourself,” I said, playfully shoving him. I picked at a small hole I discovered in his sweater.

“Come on.” He unfolded his stick-like limbs and stood. “Let’s go for a walk.”

“Are you kidding me?” I screwed up my face. “It’s 15 freaking degrees outside!”

“Exactly,” he said, holding out his hand. “Get up, you lazy ass. The cold will definitely wake us both up.”

“Seriously?” I groaned. The cold and I never got along, which, of course, is exactly why I ended up moving to balmy New England three years prior.

“Come on,” he repeated more insistently, grabbing my elbow and hauling me to my feet.

“The things I do to keep you entertained,” I muttered. But he was right. No way I’d be able to make it through all those hours without his help. My bed would beckon and in an instant I’d be on my side, drooling all over the pillows. Then I’d have to reschedule the damn test—the test I didn’t want to take in the first place.

He thrust his arms through his downy coat sleeves and watched me fumble to get on my jacket.

“You keep me pretty entertained most of the time.” Hands shoved in his faded jean pockets, he continued to watch me struggle to find the wayward armhole. I watched his shoulders shake with silent laughter.

“Nice,” I responded. He clapped when I finally succeeded.

I humphed in return. “Glad I can meet your entertainment needs.”

“Oh, trust me, you do. How many people can say they’re helping a friend stay up all night long in prep for an EEG that might verify, scientifically, that her brain is genuinely warped?”

I ignored him and pulled my wool cap with earflaps hard over my head. The truth was, I was scared that the EEG would show just that: something else wrong with my blighted body. Another anomaly. Another illness, disease, or ill-functioning body part. I felt heat prick the backs of my eyes, blinked hard, and cleared my throat.

“When I’m finished with the test, since you stayed up all night anyway, I’ll recommend that they do you right after. If either of us is warped, it’s definitely you.”

He gently pushed me toward the door. “Yeah, yeah. No need to be so competitive.”

As soon as we stepped outside, the bone-chilling wind sliced at my exposed cheeks. I made an about-face to go back in.

He barred the entire entryway with his arms. After all this time, his wingspan still surprised me.

“Don’t be such a baby. I know a cart that sells hot chocolate all night long. Let’s go.” He ushered me down the stairs.

At the bottom, I looked up at him. In a rare moment, our eyes met. I felt a stab as I recognized kindness and concern. It was too much; I had to look away. I cleared my throat again. “You know, dumb ass, you don’t have to do this,” I said in a quiet voice.

He dropped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me to him. “‘Course I do, dimwit,” he whispered. “Can you think of anyone else stupid enough to waste a perfectly good evening sleeping in a warm cozy bed just to hobble around in sub-zero weather all night long? Especially with a loser like you?”

I pushed my head into his chest and felt the danger of a tear sliding down. Yes, I was scared of what the tests would reveal…but I didn’t want to let him, or anyone else, know.

For just one moment I let myself relax in his grip, my head comfortably pillowed against him. “Well, when you put it like that…how could I possibly resist your company?”

I closed my eyes for half an instant, then was ambushed by a crushing pressure that billowed in my chest.

No! I wouldn’t let this happen. I was a land mine; I’d end up blowing apart everyone around me. Just like before. I couldn’t bear to think about the injuries I’d cause along the way…The endless revolving doors of doctors and their “talks.” The sickly, septic smell of hospital waiting rooms. The syringes, the pic lines, the medicines, the vomiting, the wheezing, the…

I stiffened and then pulled away.

“Thanks,” I said simply. “You’re a good friend.” I started walking down the street with him at my heels. Glancing back, we once again locked eyes. There was no mistaking the sadness. He shook his head.

“Shit,” he said. “I’m your best friend.” He caught up and rubbed the top of my wool hat.

I closed my eyes for half an instant, then was ambushed by a crushing pressure that billowed in my chest.

No! I wouldn’t let this happen. I was a land mine; I’d end up blowing apart everyone around me. Just like before.

I stiffened and then pulled away.

“Hey,” he said. “Calm down. Take a deep breath or something. You’re looking all weird.”

The frigid air burned my lungs. But all the same, it steadied me. I looked beyond him, to where the lights blinked across the river.

Yes, I thought. I’m a land mine. But he knows that, and still he stays. I was tired of deciding for others. Maybe it was time to let people determine for themselves whether they wanted to risk life and limb by walking in my path.

I leaned ever so slightly in his direction again. He must’ve noticed, because his arm slipped protectively back around my shoulders. I wrapped myself around him and hugged hard.

“Relax,” he said, “You’ve got your best friend here with you.” He kissed the top of my head. “Your best friend,” he paused, “…and more.”

________________

Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.