Friday, 28 November 2014

Photo Blogging Challenge - November

P..J. over at a lil 'hoohaa has outdone himself this month with the November theme of where the streets have no name. I mean really? C'mon, I mean wherever I go all the streets have "noname". They don't call me nonamedufus for nothing. So, like, this month's challenge is a no-brainer for me. Which is probably a good thing because I'm challenged at the best of times.

So here I am (noname, remember) on a street in Old  Montreal. Look at the outline if the house on the side of that building over my shoulder. A house with no name!

Here's another street with noname in Montreal. It's actually rue St Paul Ouest, across the street from Stash Cafe which serves the best Polish food in Montreal.

This street with noname is down the street from where I live. This was the second week of November and it was so cold noname donned a toque. According to that post over my shoulder I'm under surveillance.

Now, enough selfies. Here's where noname starts to get creative. That's my left hand on the steering wheel in the car on the street in my neighbourhood with noname. I had to keep one hand on the steering wheel. The other was holding my camera phone.

And here's my favourite picture of a street with noname. See me? There I am in the rear-view mirror. Lest you think I was being unsafe, taking pictures while driving, the car was actually stopped waiting for the light to change.

This month's challenge was lots of fun for me. I can't wait for future challenges such as where the malls have noname, or where the pool halls have no name, or where the buses have noname... Well, you get the idea.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Never Had A Chance - @Studio30Plus Writing Prompt

As she lay there, still, she lifted her heavy eyelids against the morning sun shining brightly through the sheer curtains. Her blond hair, once lovely, long and plentiful, lay splashed across the pillow, not for the first time but until now they had been under far better and much more memorable  circumstances.

Her body was ravaged by cancer and pain. Over the last few months it had gotten worse, much worse. "I've had a good life" she nevertheless thought to herself, with a smile playing upon her chapped lips. "A very good life" she thought although she was only thirty-six.

And yet at such a difficult time she thought back on many positive things. A favourite song by the Beatles. A favourite book by R..J. Ellory. A favourite movie about that gardner fellow who, through a series of misunderstandings, rubbed shoulders with the elite of society.

And she thought of all the men in her life. She had never married. But she was by no means what some might call a spinster. Indeed not.

Among those that stood out were Robert who knew the way to a woman's heart and another part or two as well. And there was Jimmy, a quiet man in public but a screamer upon a mattress and she chuckled to herself at the memory. There was Bobby and Bill - at the same time. Adam, George, Joe and Pete. And there was Conrad the contortionist, passing through town with the circus, who had squeezed his way into her life.

Yes, she thought with a grin, I've certainly never been lonely and I've never been unsatisfied.

And yet she couldn't help but feel, as she neared death from that spreading cancer, that something was missing.

That's it, she cried to herself as she lay on her deathbed, thinking back on the men in her life and of that movie she liked.

"I never had a Chance!"

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Funnies

And for my American friends who give thanks a month after we Canadians did...

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dandelions - @Studio30Plus Writing Prompt

As he warmed his hands by the roaring fire following a successful hunt Thor thought about his charmed life. He and is family and friends had come a long way since their great-grandparents fled the  Garden of Eden. Loin cloths kept them modest and furs kept them warm and apples kept them healthy.

Thor's brother Bert had come up with a name for their tribe. He called them cave men because, duh, they spent a lot of time living in caves. It would be hundreds of years, nay thousands, before females would be referred to as cave women.

The tribe was indebted to his uncle George who, scraping a stick across rocky ground, had accidentally invented fire and had accidentally set their huts on fire. But that's another story. The warmth from the blaze was great but the gang was waiting to see who might come up with the first frying pan. And maybe a coffee pot. But we're getting ahead of ourselves, thought Thor. Someone had to invent bacon and coffee first.

His sister, Beautiful One, had been keeping track of the tribe's activities such as the number of kills and types of animals brought to their deaths on the cave walls for all to see. She was quite the artist and a few drawings of cats adorned her wall. She's so smart and artistic, thought Thor. While he hard so many posts of cats he nevertheless thought her efforts are the first attempts at social media. And that selfie she posted on her wall was amazing, although she came pretty close to inventing the first French postcard thought Thor.

That afternoon. Thor's cousin - everyone was Thor's cousin, you understand - Joe sat down with Thor and shared a liquid concoction he called whine, which he said he did a lot of in his efforts to make it. "How did you make it?" asked Thor, Bert, uncle George and Beautiful One at once. "It's from dandelions" said Joe. "I call it dandelion's whine."

The gang drank all the whine and were soon in their cups which was unusual because cups had not been invented yet.

All of a sudden the alarm was raised among their little community. "What's happening?" queried Thor. "Lions" said his sister. "They've surrounded us."

"Spears" cried uncle George. "We need to kill them. Winter's coming and we can use their fur for warmth and the rest of them for food."

"Exactly" said Thor. "We're so lucky to come across such dandy lions."

Little did he know it but after, fire, loin cloths, the wheel, social media and oh so close to French postcards, Thor had just invented the first pun. Dandy lions. His heart beat with pride.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

You Are In Deep Trouble - @Studio30Plus Writing Challenge

If there were a 12-Step program for Amazon he'd be the first in line. Not that he'd enrol in the program voluntarily, mind you. But his wife would be sure to sign him up.

It's amazing the number of CDs and books a person can buy in a month. It's quite possible he's broken the record. He loves to read. And while he reads he loves listening to music.

Many of the books he buys are e-books and thus largely invisible. They don't take up space on a bookshelf. They're only accessible on his iPad. And only accessible to him.

But his music on the other hand is something else. He's not a big fan of digital music so he orders very little down-loaded music on iTunes. Instead he orders actual CDs. The single discs aren't really a   problem *he says smugly*. It's the multi-disc collections that stand out like a sore thumb.

"Where did that come from" she'll inquire. "Oh, that?" he'll reply. "I thought I told you I ordered that 20 disc box set of British invasion groups of the 60s." "Um, no you didn't tell me" she replies in a frigid monotone. It's amazing how the air in a house can go from a balmy 71 degrees fahrenheit to the temperature of Superman's Arctic fortress.

So to avoid the change in temperature he laid off on his purchases. He'd stockpiled his reading and listening choices and was sure that would last him several weeks.

All was fine for awhile, relations were friendly as the temperature rose in the house. But them a momentous societal event occurred. It was of such a monumental import that he was certain beyond a doubt that something of this import would never happen again.

Taking a break from reading a book on his iPad he decided to peruse Amazon. You know, just for the heck of it. What he found almost made him drop his iPad to the floor, threatening to break it and destroy his library of iBooks and what digitized music he'd downloaded from iTunes. Okay, okay he lied about not downloading music, thus doubling his music collection.

But what he discovered moved him to flash his credit card and click free delivery. A six CD package - 139 songs - of Bob Dylan and the Band's so-called Basement Tapes from 1967. What a find.

But wait, there was more. There was a Bob Dylan book called The Lyrics:Since 1962, a 13 pound 969 page compendium of all the lyrics from every Dylan album - ever.

His mistake was he left them lying around. When she saw them she was furious. "Do you know you are in deep trouble, John?" (not his real name) she cried.

"No" he replied calmly. "But if you give me a minute I can look it up on Amazon."

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Chamber of Secrets - @Studio30Plus Writing Prompt

Charlie was despondent. For over three weeks now he'd sat at his desk staring at the blank white screen of his computer. And yet, he'd thought of everything but the task at hand. He'd filled out his grocery list. He'd planned his television programming for the month. He'd even thought about his upcoming date with Evelyn. But he'd not been able to create one sentence of his novel.

Jack, Charlie's room-mate would laugh each time he passed by in the hall. He'd laugh on his way to his bedroom. He'd laugh on his way to the kitchen. And Charlie was about ready to blow his stack.

And then, on one trip down the hall, Jack stopped in the doorway and said to Charlie "How's the great novel coming?"

"Not so well" replied Charlie, sadly.

"Maybe you need a break. You need to get outside. Hit up a bar for a drink. See a movie. Something." said Jack.

"No" said Charlie. "I have so many thoughts swirling in my head but I just can't transpose any of them to this damn keyboard."

"Well, can I tell you what you should do if you need inspiration?" inquired Jack.

"Oh, yes, please" replied Charlie.

"Well, follow me then" said Jack. And with that he led Charlie out of his study and turned right down the hall. He clicked on the light, walked to the end of the hall and pointed to the closed door.

"What?" said Charlie. "That's the bathroom."

"Indeed" intoned Jack. "It's where I do my best thinking. Haven't you ever sat on the throne for a good half hour working on a decent movement? And in that time haven't you thought of all myriad of things and how to solve them?"

"Um, no" said Charlie. "Never."

"Well, no time like the present" claimed Jack. "Welcome to what I like to think of as the chamber of secrets!"

"Ha" laughed Charlie, "I guess my creativity has been a little constipated lately."

"That's the spirit" chuckled Jack. "There's no telling what kind of crap you'll come up with!"

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