Monday, March 26, 2007

America's Favorite Pasttime

Connection by =nemisis11 on deviantART

It's almost upon us again. The hot dogs, the cold beers, the jeers and cheers of fans... yeah, summer's greatest sport is about to begin... baseball.

I've been to a few major league games. I've been to many minor league games. I used to date a pitcher for the high school team back in that day.... I'd rather be at a game in person, preferably right behind the catcher, than watching it on TV, and I just don't care about scores, stats, rankings, pennants and all that jazz. Sorry, all you baseball fanatics. I'll settle for being the ambivalent fan, thank you.

Ever since the baseball strike in the 90's and the NHL strike in... '05 I believe it was... I'm ambivalent about pro sports as a whole. I still love my NFL, but not as much as I used to, I sadly admit. While I hate the idea of a glass ceiling in any industry, I also think that pro players are well payed for their contributions to society.

Photo appears courtesy of Jon, an avid baseball fan.

Friday, March 23, 2007


yes, the quality is lower than most pictures shown here. there's a good reason for that. it's a metaphor for how I feel.

*photo appears courtesy of me. I took it, I edited it, I over-edited it on purpose, and I still think it's a cool concept work repeating. Mostly because I wanna make another mess.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


She didn't think herself beautiful. She was tall and lanky and thin and had always succeeded as a wallflower.

Passing a couple on the street, she overheard the man say "you have wonderful child-bearing hips my love" with his hand appreciatively on the woman's hip. She didn't know exactly what that meant, but she knew she didn't have child-bearing hips. She didn't suppose she ever would.

Her mother always said "one day you'll bloom into a lovely woman" but she didn't believe her mother.

Catching her reflection in the windows of a coffee shop, she reluctanctly admitted she looked wilted. To her surprise, she also caught a man smiling at her. Quickly she turned and returned the gaze, and slowly a smile crept over her face. He nodded and walked on by, but her heart lifted and her shoulders straightened a bit and she smiled at the next person who met her gaze. Maybe she would bloom into something beautiful after all.

*photo appears courtest of kimbly

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

empty seat

Bench in color by ~mightystag on deviantART

When they were young they met in the park and had lunch sitting on the same bench every day, watching the children and dogs play, feeding bread crumbs to the geese by the pond.

When they married and had children of their own, they came to the park and chased their kids and dogs until tired the collapsed on the bench for a rest.

When he retired they walked hand in hand in the park and ate lunch on the bench, feeding bread crumbs to the geese.

When she passed he came to the park at sat on the bench day after day, looking lost and ignoring the geese altogether.

He told me, sitting on a bench outside the hospital, how much he loved benches and parks, as I fed crackers to pigeons. He told me how much they loved each other, and how happy he was she wasn't around to see him go through chemo. How strong in spirit he was, if not in body.

After my shift tonight I planned on hurrying home, cutting through the cold as quickly as possible, but the bench was warmly lit in yellow light, and it was empty. I had nothing better to do than sit for a while and reflect.

*photo appears courtesy of mightystag.

Monday, March 19, 2007

les nuages by =nerdynotdirty on deviantART

She waits for absolution.

She loved with her whole heart and gave her entire self -- body and soul -- to a man that forgot her name when he woke.

He touched her with such assuredness, kissed her with such fire, that she forgot herself in his intentions. They planned a life together, for a while, unaware that time ticked on and life was not controllable by design. They didn't -- nor could they -- plan on the car that hit him one night, flipping his body into the air and depositing it carelessly behind it. He entered a coma instantly and remained there for weeks.

Breathing was controlled by machines. Eating was performed by machines. Brain function was monitored by machines. There was no machine to download his memories back into his consciousness. He just didn't remember her. He didn't remember anything.

She is assured that there is a chance it will all come flooding back one day.

Until then, until it happens or until she gives up hope... she is waiting for absolution.

*photo appears courtesy of Rockie LaDell Nolan

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

reflection by ~indygirl on deviantART

The sun looks at her reflection in the water far more than I do. I'm not a big fan of mirrors. One, they reflect flaws. Two, they reflect my flaws when they pick up my image.

Reflections do make for serene shots though, don't they?

*photo appears courtesy of Gracie Rae

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

two cents worth a fortune

Lindy got a phone call from her husband's ex-wife. The ex talked to her boys -- the ones she left when they were 18 mo's and 3 respectively -- and told them she wanted to come see them next week. It was the youngest boy's birthday; she always called around birthdays and Christmas.

Lindy finally lost it. "I'm sick of you being a mom on birthdays and at Christmas. Either be a mom, or don't, but quit tearing up your kids with your half-assed attempts at giving a damn."

Good for Lindy. Lindy wipes their noses, checks their homework, cooks for them, cleans up after them, and gives hugs every day. The ex is hundreds of miles away, calls three times a year, and sends the boys on emotional roller coasters.

Who's the mom here? The biological egg donor, who decided one day that she didn't want to be a mother and wife anymore and walked out on her family, or the step-mom who married into the boys' lives and welcomed them into her heart? Who had the right to be irate?

Yeah, I thought that Lindy had the right to be irate too. The ex didn't think so, as she went off on a verbal tirade. Imagine that, she didn't even get it that her selfishness is harming her boys, not supporting them. Imagine that....

Monday, March 12, 2007


pines by =Miladydaisy on deviantART

Spring is trying valiantly to blossom out from under wintery skies. It's a bit easier in Georgia than it is in, say, Minnesota. When I saw phlox in full color, I realized that there were no crocuses to break through frozen ground. But then, there's no frozen ground, either.

Azalea's are dotting their green bushes with spots of pink, red, white, and it signals that the Masters' Tournament is just around the corner in Augusta. In short, if you feel the need to visit the Augusta area, avoid the dates of the Masters' Tournament. Unless you want to spend $250 a night for a room that usually costs $32.99. No, I'm not kidding.

But I digress. This is about spring, and the inevitable pollen layer that will cover my car within the next two weeks, no matter how much I wash it. Last year it was daily, to keep it from being a horrible yellow reminiscent of a baby's diaper.

With the new (and improved!.. bah) Daylight Savings, I can enjoy the balmy temperatures even longer in the day than before, therefore giving me more reason to rake my yard... and more time to procrastinate the chore.

Likewise, I can avoid mowing (but not for much longer), sweeping pine needles off my roof, and weeding the flower beds. Ah, spring! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to find a kleenex and some benadryl.

Friday, March 09, 2007

china garden

china garden by =cappaholic on deviantART

Beautiful, isn't it? This amazing IR (infrared) photo was taken by the talented Doug C. Lowe. He admitted to me that it is neither a garden in China, nor an oriental garden at all. Ah, artistic license....

The colors are so soothing and inviting that I just want to grab my love's hand and walk with him there, across that bridge, stand under that dead tree, and absorb the beauty around me. Of course, since this photo was taken in IR, it wouldn't look like this should I find the place, but as a dreamscape it is the stuff of fancy.

Going into this weekend, I wanted something beautiful and relaxing to end my week with. I have had some great rants, and a couple of them even showed up in blogs in the last few days. Ready to relax and exhale a long breath, I intend to make myself a nice cup of hot tea and melt into stillness for the next couple of days. This chicken is going quit running around and sew its head back on. Enjoy the weekend ya'll....

*Photo appears courtesy of Doug C. Lowe

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Day at the beach 8 by =nemisis11 on deviantART

I don't have bikini-clad surfers around here to take photos of, so I'm borrowing the use of this photo from Jon, graciously of course.

Seems that stores are gearing up for summer much quicker than I am. Seems that again, another swimsuit season has begun where I don't shop near the aisles in Wal-mart where bathing suits are displayed. This is true of Target, J C Penney, Dillard's... you get the picture.

It's not because I hate my body and can't stand the thought of donning a bathing suit. True enough, I never like shopping for one, and only do it under duress because the seat of my former suit is threadbare or some similar disparity, but the real reason I hate swimsuit shopping lies in economics.

It's just so damned expensive to buy a scrap of lycra-spandex/latex that covers less than most underwear. I could hunt, kill, and field-skin a deer for less. Well, I personally couldn't, because I don't know how to skin anything except an orange, but it's the point here people....

Even the ugly suits are expensive. It's just plain ridiculous how much they can price the stuff and get away with it... especially and almost exclusively pertaining to female suits. Don't believe me? Go see how many $96 suits you can find in the men's section and then go see how many suits you can find under $60 in the women's section of a "fine department store." Really, with supply and demand all over the place, how did we become so complacent as shoppers to support the prices?

If you're an economics major, professor, or businessman, please don't answer that question. It was rhetorical anyway.

As for bikini-clad surfers, I suggest you visit Jon in Hawai'i. He knows where they all hang out.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I wonder what the marshmallow in the middle did to be in the center of an angry mob of marshmallows.

And the two all curled up together, one laying on his or her side... are they just around to see some gratuitous violence, or did they orchestrate the whole thing?

Maybe the surrounded marshmallow tried to rape the other one's girlfriend. Maybe he just called her a slut.

Or maybe the marshmallow in the center wears glasses, is smarter than the others, has argyle hair, drives an Edsel, prefers peppermint to chocolate, is poor, likes sunsets and puppies.... the list could go on forever.

The point, should I choose to make one, is that everyday people get surrounded at the exact same moment they're being ostracized. At work, it could be the girl who had a brilliant idea that the boss is afraid might be good enough to jeopardize his job security. At school it could be the guy that broke the curve and screwed up three jocks' grades enough to keep the team from winning the big game. At church, it can often be the girl who's prude by Baptist standards and prays for your soul every night. On the streets it can be over anything, at anytime, and can last for a moment or the rest of your life... even it your life lasts only another moment.

Thing is, people like to point out the differences in others and then surround themselves with supporters who believe the same thing. We used to call it "ganging up on someone" back when gangs didn't really exist. Now we call the ACLU and start a civil suit and try to get another law passed protecting the right of argyle-haired people from discrimination against those that find argyle hair tacky. And similar-minded stuff.

In the name of freedom of speech we are pushing for freedom from speech.

In the name of freedom of religion we are pushing for freedom from religion.

In the name of freedom of civil liberties we are eroding the civil liberties we have left until there will be none.

In the name of the individual, we are eradicating the majority, the masses, the community, until each individual will soon have the right to be free of interaction with any other individual under penalty of fine or imprisonment or a name on a list somewhere.

In the name of time, I will not start stating my evidence, because not one person, myself included, has the inclination to look it all up or read it all if I compile it for you.

To test my theory/opinion, watch the news for a week. Check in on CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, whatever you wish, and see what ridiculous news makes headlines from the 6-year old boy that got suspended for kissing a little girl on the cheek at school (sexual harassment... do you think he's on a sex offender's list because of it?) to law suits for coffee being served hot, burgers being served with calories in them, and the list just goes on and on.

If you agree with me, come on, let's form a mob and surround those that disagree with us and stare at them real hard and make them uncomfortable. If you disagree with me, you have the right to leave me alone. (this paragraph is supposed to be taken tongue-in-cheek, for those readers needing clarification or a sense of humor)*.

Remind me about how the school made my daughter and her boyfriend break up, and I'll explain why this tirade came to be.

*It has come to my attention through other communication means besides this here blog that not all my readers are native English speakers, and sometimes don't get my meaning. It has also come to my attention that other readers just don't get my sense of humor. I have scientists locked away in a dark basement somewhere in North Dakota working round the clock to produce a pill that I will make available for purchase that produces a sense of humor. Patent pending, awaiting FDA approval. (again, tongue-in-cheek... I can't afford to employ scientists.)

** photo appears courtesy of Cat

Monday, March 05, 2007

conceptual becomes norm

Who has blue and purple flowers anyway?

Me. This flower arrangement was carefully created by my mother some twenty years ago, and costing roughly $75 in silk flowers alone at the time. I thought it was lovely, but I thought she was nuts.

Really. Blue magnolias and dark purple roses? What is this, some weird conceptual or abstract flower arrangement?

And maybe it was, back then. Edgy. Creative. Not the normal red or pink roses most people went for. I even remember the cashier looking as her a bit funny when the odd assortment was rung up. Then my mother turned it into magic. For twenty years ago, that's what I thought it surely must be, to be able to take purple and blue flowers and make them a centerpiece or a conversation piece.

Now my arrangement attracts hardly a second glance, let alone a compliment. Now, purple roses and blue magnolias are so everyday that it's not a striking arrangement as it once was. Now it's normal as at best and out-dated at worst.

I think the envelope pushed back.

Remembering back to when I was a child, pushing my own envelope, I found out that I had pretty ordinary limitations that were my comfort zone. I also said growing up that one day my dad would die and I'd do everything I was too afraid to try when he was around to chastise me for it.

And one day he did die. Everything changed.

I woke up without the restraints of convention tying me to a code I'm not sure I even believed in. Oddly, only my thinking changed. But that thinking spread to my desires, which is spreading to my actions.

I bought a Sony Minolta A100 camera today, and some great accessories (filters, etc) to go with it. Sure, Dad would've said put the money in savings instead, and that's what I had earmarked it for, but this was an investment in me. I've always wanted to take myself seriously as a photographer, and this is my first step towards it.

Wish me luck.

Friday, March 02, 2007

somewhere she waits

Somewhere she waits in an overstuffed chair, trying to focus on the Louis L'Amour book in her hands as her mind drifts from worry to trepidation and back again. It's been too long, she thinks to herself, since he's written home.

He left for Iraq over a year ago, and it's been a couple of months since she heard from him last. "Doesn't mean anything" she tells her well-wishing friends. "You know how it is."

And she does know how it is, because she's been briefed on "how it is."

Through her smiles, she cries unspent tears. Through her loneliness, she carries pictures and memories close to her heart.

She just knows he's coming home; she just doesn't know when.

The phone ringing breaks her reverie and she answers it with her usual lilting "hello?" Static and silence mix and she wonders if she's connected at all, when finally her prayer is answered in one word. "Mom?...."

Photo appears courtesy of suzisusana

Thursday, March 01, 2007

artistic inspiration and tornado watches

I know all my faithful readers came here today to see what visual treats and witty banter I would offer up on the buffet of blogs. I, too, expected to dazzle myself with brilliance more radiant that a flawless diamond, flawlessly cut. Imagine my disappointment when I was not inspired by any photographers that I could get spur-of-the-moment permission to display their work.

It threw my entire creative writing process into a tizzy. No photo, no inspiration. Wild, isn't it, that I'm working backwards like that?

My advice, Amando Amantes over there in my links takes you to the page of a lovely photographer, but you've got to search the page for the link to her photography. So in short, go visit her, and give her a comment about how you'd love to see her work displayed here, and then ask her to email the photo of her choice to me. :smile:

Suzi, bring my creative tizzy back under control with your artistic genius.

please. before there's a mutiny from my readers!

As for the blatant disregard for any serious writing on my part, blame the excess amount of caffeine I ingested today in my feeble attempts of warding off a migraine much like turning off the TV actually stopping the news from being reported.

On that note, I watched the news tonight long enough to find out that my part of the universe is under a tornado watch. I used to live in the Midwest, where every day from February 1st to June 15th was a tornado watch. Hell, ever heard of Stormchasers? ...That's there stomping ground. To tell me I'm under a tornado watch is like telling me that there's dirt on my pants. I'll do something about it when I have to, and otherwise, I really don't care. (I have a toddler. Caring about a little dirt went out a few years back).

What I do care about are those damed sirens they use when a tornado has been spotted. They're great for getting the word out to those that aren't glued to the local Viper 10, but after 40 minutes of listening to them scream in my ears, I don't care about the sirens, the potentially destructive tornado barreling down on me, or whether or not my home insurance is paid up just so long as I can have some quiet.

And with the news of tornado watches for my area securely in my belt, I turned off the TV for the night. I noticed some dirt on my pants, and figured it was as good a time as any to start a load of laundry.