Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Sometimes You Just Wanna Tell People STFU


"You're certainly not very loquacious, are you?" said Fred.

"Lowwhatchis?" responded Ed.

(Notice the alliteration there? Alliterwhatshun? Never mind.)

"You know. You're not very loquacious, not very talkative."

"Huh?"

"You don't say much, you're not chatty or communicative."

"Oh, I see. You think I'm not very voluble, expansive or garrulous. Well, let me tell you I can be gossipy, have the gift of the gab or be overly gassy. I used to be a real motormouth, talk, talk, talk. My mother always told me I must have been inoculated with a gramophone needle. I was so windy people thought a tornado touched down every time I opened my mouth. Talk about being multiloquent, prolix or verbose - that described me to a tee" said Ed, a tad offended.

"Well Fred" said Ed, "but you're so subdued, restrained, quiet and untalkative. What the heck happened?

Ed shared a conspiratorial wink with Fred, and whispered "I got tired of people telling me to shut up."

"Now, shut up."

The guys and gals over at Studio30+ are talking up a storm this week with their prompt of loquacious/talkative. Enough said.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Size Doesn't Matter


Jane first met Jeffrey at Starbucks. She bumped into him, literally, in the queue. I like that word queue. Hard to spell though. Anyway, Jane bumped into Jeffrey from behind and when he turned around it was like the Friendly Giant was towering over her. That's a Canadian reference. If you're not Canadian, think Jolly Green Giant or the Hulk, but lose the green reference, because Jeffrey wasn't green. But he was friendly and jolly and as they sat together out of necessity at the one remaining table in the store, Jane had to laugh behind her hand because it looked like poor Jeffrey was sitting at one of those tiny school desks of Kindergarten kids.

So they got to talking over their latte grandes, because that's what they call them at that snooty Starbucks, otherwise known as medium coffees with a bit of whipped milk and they discovered they had a lot in common. They both loved the same kind of music, had similar interests in movies and enjoyed the same detective novels by authors like Van De Wetering,  Lehane, Connelly, Louise Penny ,  Crais and many many more. So many more they both decided to have another medium coff...er...Latte Grande.

They exchanged numbers and promised to call. He called first and Jane was thrilled. Jeffrey asked if maybe she'd like to have dinner. She agreed and they met at one of the nicer restaurants in town. A lovely meal and a good bottle of Clos des Pares helped ease them both as they continued their discussion about music, books and cinema. She told him she was single. He told her he was divorced, no kids.

One thing led to another and he took her home to his condo. She was impressed by his decor. He told her he shopped very carefully because, given his size he wanted to be comfortable. The kitchen table and chairs were tall, the sofa was extra large and as she would find out later his bed was gigantic.

After several hours of amazing lovemaking Jane quietly got up to go to the washroom and when she came back she yelled "Holy cow, Jeffrey,  I almost fell into your toilet. I know you're large and all but that commode is, um, er, commodious!"

Roomy/commodious is the prompt from the folks at Studio30+ this week. Of course I chose commodious.


Monday, 4 May 2015

Bibliofile - April


Well it was another fairly eclectic month on the reading front in April. Several novels from several of my favourite writers. A couple of music industry books. A behind the scenes movie-making book and a dud. That's right, a dud.

I'd read Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice in March and although it was a bit of a tough read it had it's moments so I thought I'd give his Gravity's Rainbow a go. Mistake. This was the most complicated and difficult novel I've ever undertaken. I lasted about 150 pages and then threw in the towel...and the book.

The latest Archer and Lehane efforts were excellent but then I buy nearly everything these two put out.

There were two highlights of the month. The first was As You Wish, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Princess Bride written by "Wesley" Cary Elwes. If you liked the movie then I find it inconceivable that you won't like this book.

I picked up Bill Buford's autobiography and was pleasantly surprised by the former drummer for Yes, Genesis and King Crimson's erudite and knowledgeable tale. Not only is he an accomplished musician and music historian as it were but the man is extremely well-read. This book was a real pleasure to read. Not your typical, or stereotypical rock and roll tale.

The other music book does it's best to prove the Beatles Revolver album was far more influential and timeless that Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The author makes some excellent points and it was an enjoyable read.

Here's the full list for April, seven books bringing my year's total to 24.

Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon **
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins ****
Mightier Than The Sword - The Clifton Chronicles Book 5 - Jeffrey Archer ****
World Gone By - Dennis Lehane ****
As You Wish - Inconceivable Tales from
The Making of The Princess Bride - Cary Elwes ****
Revolver - How The Beatles Reimagined Rock 'n'Roll - Robert Rodriguez ****
Bill Buford: The Autobiography - Bill Buford *****

I caught up with several TV series this month including the Borgias, wonderfully acted by Jeremy Irons, the wonderfully quirky Twin Peaks and the fabulous and thought-provoking Angels in America starring Al Pacino, Emma Thompson and Meryl Streep.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Timmy And His Teachable Moment


It was hard. Timmy's Dad always told him "Don't sweat the small stuff". And he didn't. Because none of it was small stuff to Timmy.

It all started at swimming lessons when he was eight. His trunks slipped off in the pool. He was mortified when everyone laughed at him. But it wasn't just bad enough being a victim of ridicule when the incident occurred. It would chase him down the rest of his life because in that one quick moment he had earned the nickname PeeWee.

About a year later, swimming lessons behind him for good, the baseball coach inquired why everyone called him PeeWee. PeeWee, er, Timmy was mortified as his team mates sniggered and cruelly whispered in a singalong voice "PeeWee, PeeWee, how can you pee with something so wee?".

And so it went as he grew older. Girls he dated would always ask "So, why does everyone call you PeeWee?" Needless to say Timmy's relationships never lasted very long, though longer than, well, you know.

Being such a focus of derision for his teenage life took it's toll on Timmy. He began hating those people who called him that diminutive nickname, especially those who laughed. He began to plot his revenge.

He surreptitiously began to collect his materials and soon quietly went to work. He worked deep into the night. He constructed a large basket, large enough to stand in. And he attached to it a large balloon, the largest balloon you've ever seen.

The day dawned and Timmy set off from a field on the outskirts of town. As he flew over the school he let go his secret weapon - a huge cache of urine he'd collected from a herd of cows. The urine splattered all over the school's roof and grounds, soaking any students in the now wet and foul smelling school yard.

"Call me PeeWee will they?" Timmy laughed maniacally to himself - as he was the only one in the balloon's basket. "After today they'll call me Big Pee" he laughed to himself.

Now Timmy was just a few fries short of a poutine and never foresaw that forever more he'd be ridiculed as "that fucking idiot".

The prompt from the folks at Studio30+ is derision/ridicule this week. At the risk of being the object of ridicule I offer up this post.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

One Is The Loneliest


Harold lived alone. He rarely went out, having everything from his groceries to his prescriptions delivered to him. He liked to think of himself as mysterious but his high-rise neighbours were more apt to think of him as a recluse.

Since his wife died a couple of years back, Harold gradually discovered the days grew longer without her, not to mention the nights. Coupled with taking his retirement several years ago, he was beginning to feel old. Hell, even his name bespoke another age. Harold? Really?

The sole thing he took great pleasure in was slowly perusing the daily newspaper. None of those tablet thingies, where you need an engineering degree to operate, for him. And, of course, it too was delivered. He particularly enjoyed the crossword puzzles.

The feelings of advanced age seemed to take hold first thing in the morning when he painfully swept his legs out of bed, placed his feet unsteadily onto the floor and achingly bent to rummage in his bedside table drawer for his various little plastic bottles of medication. His prescriptions came in arcane containers with those child-proof lids. He thought the drug companies really got their money's worth because he, and he imagined many others of his age, couldn't open them either without considerable difficulty.

Then as he frustratingly watched the television morning news program which ran through stories so quickly as to espouse any actual details he'd realize the volume was pushed to the maximum. "Damn" he'd say to no one in particular "I forgot to put my hearing aids in again, shit."

That was something else he found after living alone for several years: his vocabulary had gone where no man had gone before. Well, sure, maybe many others did talk that way but he never had. Until now. "Ha, man of mystery" he thought to himself, "with a fucking mouth like a cement mixer operator." Not that he had anything against cement mixer operators. He just figured many of them probably talked like that.

Such frustrations marked each day and he often found himself so wound up he'd have shortness of breath. It was during one such harrowing experience that he began to chuckle as he gasped for breath.  "Here I am living alone" he thought, " no friends or family. Should I actually die from one of these wheezing fits, I can just see the inscription on my headstone: 'He died a mysterious death'."

"How apropos" he thought. "In death as in life."

This week's prompt from the creative folks at Studio30+ is arcane/mysterious. This week I was a real keener and used both words.


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sharon In The Shadows


She slipped her key into the lock and quietly stepped inside. Near darkness. But she liked the dark; found it comforting. She turned on the ceiling light over her writing desk, dropped her keys into the tiny ceramic bowl and powered up her computer.

She'd managed to pass another day of her life as she liked, in the shadows. Sharon was a shy woman, 26, single and a bit of a recluse. She never spoke to her office colleagues unless spoken to and only then used such an economy of words that she would curtly reply to any inquiry and be gone like a puff of smoke down the corridor evading any form of socialization. She never heard the insults behind her back. The ones about being shy as a mouse and likely never amounting to much.

But at her computer she could talk. She wrote reams and reams of words. Sentences, paragraphs and pages rolled on and on across her screen. No one was aware of her activity, but then she had no friends that she might share it with. Kind of sad really.

Then one day she was checking her mail when she came across an unexpected letter from Columbia University. It had been weeks ago she had submitted her novel and at first her hands shook so much with the letter she could not open it. Several minutes passed and as she calmed down she was able to peel it open.

She could barely believe her eyes over the content and she started to tear up. She wiped away her tears and unbelievingly read through misty eyes:

Sharon Carver is this year's recipient of  the Pulitzer Prize for Literature with her book: 
I Am Reticent - A Memoir.

Sharon's shyness was soon a thing of the past.

Shy was the prompt from the folks at Studio30+ this week. This week's tale is pun free.


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