Stylish?

I thought I’d take another crack at WordPress Daily Prompts. They are now doing single-word daily prompts. Today’s word is “stylish.” 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/stylish/

A while back they had prompts that entailed more of a scenario — such as to write about “cats, towels, and soup” or “howl at the moon.” Now blog

I liked those because I’ve always found it to be somewhat of a challenge and inspiration to fit creativity within a set parameter and see what can come of it. 

So maybe I’m overly challenged by a one-word prompt. I guess one word is kind of specific, but it also seems so wide open too. It’s like saying, “write whatever you want, but make sure you are inspired by the word ‘stylish.'”

I almost feel like I could just open a dictionary with my eyes closed and point. So many options then. I’m one of those don’t-give-me-too-many-options people. I’ll have a harder time making up my mind.

Plus I’d probably open my dictionary to “Napierian logarithm.” Just try working that into a blog post. 

I could also go with “napoleon boots” which I saw nearby in the dictionary since I’m typing the letter N and A into a online version. (N and A seemed pretty middle-of-the-road.) Boots can be stylish, right?

Maybe my problem is that I see the word “stylish” and I think of clothes or fashion. I generally feel like I have no style as far as clothing goes. If it fits. If it isn’t inappropriate for where I’m going. If it isn’t uncomfortable. That’s my style (mixed with a few geeky T-shirts on weekends). Okay, done. 

But then my brain kicks in and says,”style doesn’t have to have anything to do with clothing.” There is writing style. Parenting style. Styles of art. Learning style. Styles of baskets. Conversation. Gah!

But the word is Stylish. Can one be a stylish writer? Maybe. There are stylish social trends and trains of thought. A stylish parent? I’m not sure that I’d want to be one of those. I just want to be good. I think.

See, can’t make up my mind. Maybe I should stick with Napoleon boots. They would have been perfect for Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19.

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NaBloPoMo Goes to 11: Cat, Soup, and Towel – Full Circle!

It’s an odd trio, and it’s come full circle. 

On this 11th day of November and of NaBloPoMo I checked out the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt and discovered that the prompt and my blog have come full circle. 
The prompt for today is: An Odd Trio

It says, Today, you can write about whatever you what — but your post must include, in whatever role you see fit, a cat, a bowl of soup, and a beach towel.”

It tasked us with this more than a year ago (has it really been that long?). On July 5, 2914 I posted:

Cat Soup and Towels, an odd trio but only for some More

Upturned Noses and Glasses and Buns

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt is Upturned Noses which asks:

Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?

I like to try a lot of different foods, so maybe I’m snobbish about that. I don’t quite understand people who refuse to try something new. “What do you mean you won’t try the eel scaloppine with fried mealworms in peanut butter sauce?”

I can probably be snobbish about tea and maybe mead and some kinds of food. Except that, really, I’ll still drink or enjoy just about any kind.

I adore good tea — perfect jasmine green infused with the scent of actual blossoms, not just added flavoring. That’s snobbery talk right there. A Greener oolong that has matured into a delicate floral or a darker robust oolong from Taiwan. Yum! New Darjeeling you think is great? I’ll try that too.

I like a good basic mead — Chaucer’s the kind we can get at our local Renaissance Festival and elsewhere is certainly enjoyable. Fox Hill Special Reserve which is made with a darker honey has a bit of bitterness and a lot of depth. Some Redstone Mountain Mead can be impressive too. It’s real mead made in small batches — some can be bitter and some wonderful. They even date the batches, so you’ll want to get more of the same date if you like a batch. That’s mead for a mead snob for sure.

Unless I’m allergic, it could poison me, or it’s a dish that exhibits unusual cruelty, I’ll usually try any kind of food. I read about a Japanese dish called Ikizukuri where live fish is sliced and served still moving. I think I’ll avoid that, thanks.

But I do love to taste a variety of new things! I love gourmet dishes that have the perfect balance of flavors, colors, and textures, but I also love hot dogs from gas stations that have been roasting on those metal rollers for hours thus reducing water content and enhancing flavors. You do not know a good hot dog if you turn your nose up at those things. So maybe that’s makes me a hot dog snob. Is it wrong to have a hot dog with my beautiful jasmine tea? Maybe. The darker oolong would probably be better with hot dogs.

Time for a One-way Street

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt is One-way Street which asks:

Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

Aren’t we already riding a giant time machine of sorts? I mean it’s fairly sequential and analog, but we are moving through time and space – sometimes faster or slower (usually inversely proportional to how much we like where we are). The only difference is that we can’t really skip over chunks of time forward or back. We’re locked into a sequence – now must happen before the future and after the past. Future and past touch at this single point.

I’d have a seriously hard time choosing which I’d want to jump to – the future or the past. Presumably which ever machine I choose means I must stay in the time period it takes me since the directions say that machine goes in only one direction. So I can’t return from wherever or whenever.

I’d not want to go far forward. I might miss my daughter growing up. I don’t want to miss any of that. Too far in the past and I risk the same.

I’d love a time machine that could skip back small amounts of time – a few minutes or hours, seconds even – avoid car accidents, evacuate dangerous areas before earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanos, attacks … Maybe jump back a couple of hours to get more cleaning or organizing done because it always takes longer than I want it to. Always!

Going forward in short spurts seems kind of pointless. What, avoid long lines at airports and amusement parks? Seems like a bit of overkill and a waste of technology.

So OK, I guess I do have my answer. I’d get the time machine that goes back in time, but only use it for super short little trips back. It’s not that I want to live in the past — but it would be nice to have a few do-overs for those times that important mess-ups happen in a matter of seconds.

Life In Transit

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt is In Transit which asks:

Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

Sometimes I feel like all of life is just one big transportation station or terminal. We’re all movin’ on through. It’s not a stationary place or at least shouldn’t be. We may have an extended layover in certain places or phases of our lives, but if you stay for too long you risk losing your connecting flight or bus or next phase of life. That’s not really traveling efficiently, right?

As we’re all on a journey of sorts together, I feel like there’s a certain amount of bonding that can happen with our fellow travelers. People give advice or I’ll offer help back. Some people are just fun to talk to. A knowing laugh from a fellow passenger can brighten a crummy day. Many keep to themselves.

There are some who are constantly too loud and don’t know when to stop. Some who put their needs in front of those of twenty or more others just because they want to make sure they’re not cheated somehow. And in the process everybody else gets cheated of a little peace. Those folks are annoying. But, really, if you don’t let them get under your skin they can be entertaining too. I think that’s the real trick. These folks are helpful to remind me how awesome some of the other people can be. There is value in that. I’d have to say that some of my most valued life lessons were from the people who hurt me or bothered me most.

You might ride a train with a woman who has 100 barrettes in her bundled mass of hair and try to figure out if that is, indeed, a large band-aid sticking out from the right side of her sculpted locks. Is it art? A knowing look and a smile from the couple two seats behind her tells you that they too wonder a few things. Then you arrive at your stop and move on.

Welcome, Stranger (In a Strange and Not So Strange Land)

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for Sunday, October 5, asks:

Think about the town where you currently live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?

Hands down the strangest thing to most people who visit where I live would be the traffic. It is almost nonstop 24-7 traffic jam here. We have lots of jams all the time. And I don’t mean the sweet kind one might put on toast. From about 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM and again from about 3:00 to 6:30 PM folks from out of town who somehow manage to be on the road then will often imagine that there’s some kind of accident up ahead, but no. That’s what it’s like five days a week and some weekends depending on where you’re driving. If there is an accident or if it’s raining or snowing or the wind is kind of strong that day then expect worse. If you’re downtown DC and there’s an event or if some official is traveling somewhere that involves driving with an entourage then you can expect gridlock. They regularly close off streets just because. And off-hours, like 10:00 PM, if road crews are out making repairs or building something new you can pretty much expect a traffic jam then too.

So, there are a lot of things some people might find strange here such as the number of people who look different — from explorative hair colors to piercings to people who dress in the same things they’d wear if they were still in their own country, there’s a lot of variety. I think people kind of expect some of that around here though. I don’t even think I’d call it strange. I enjoy the number of different nationalities — the languages spoken just about anywhere, the different ethnic restaurants we have so many of. Yum!

But jams are the thing. Too few roads and too few transportation options — you’d think we’d have tons of trains or other futuristic options, but not so much — mixed with too many people trying to get somewhere, and pretty soon it’s hard to get anywhere at all. Strange.

Bark or Howl at the Moon

Today’s Daily Prompt from the Daily Post asks:

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg
Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

I will try to rein in references to Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark at the Moon. I just saw that on Pop-Up Videos so I can’t get it out of my head when I read “Howl at the Moon.” I almost never watch Pop-up Videos — maybe once a year or less. Not sure how that even happened. I think Dave might have turned it on. A little dose of the 1980s isn’t the worse thing in the world for us. My daughter had no clue why we found it so entertaining. The comment bubbles on Pop-up asked if animals even bark at the moon at all. They concluded that wolves to not and apparently Ozzy was dressed as a wolfman or werewolf, so the video was just wrong. There you have it. Pop-up Science.

Is howling at the moon much different than barking? Does it matter what kind of animal you are? Not all animals bark or howl. Can I just meow at the moon? Maybe howling comes from deeper within than barking. Is it more guttural? Maybe it’s inspired by something more specific — a light, either inner or outer. Glow. I mean any old dog can bark at just about anything, right?

Back to Life: Return of the Blob

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for July 29, 2014, is Back to Life. It asks:

After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?

After especially long and exhausting activities, the one thing I do to feel alive again is to be a blob. Ironic that being so unhuman can make me feel human again. I wish I could say it was jogging, yoga, a long walk outside, or some other healthy thing. Exercise is a good thing, but I would say regular exercise is better to help prevent me from feeling totally drained than to help me bounce back once there.

When I need to recharge I just plain need down time. I like to stretch too, though, especially after physical challenges like a long car ride. So maybe that makes me a stretchy blob. Kind of like slime! Stretch and bend. I might even stick to something like the couch. But otherwise I do not want to do much of anything. I don’t have to be blobby for that long, but how long partly depends on how drained I am in the first place. Likewise if I have a little charge left in me, I may add a bit of reading, writing, drawing, playing a game, or watching a movie. Is there a movie called Return of the Blob? Blobby-ness helps me to return. I just have to make sure I avoid the quicksand and get moving again before long …

Adult Visions, Dirty Laundry

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for July 23 is Adult Visions.

The day’s prompt asks:

As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?

When I was about six years old I remember thinking that one day I would be eight years old. Eight seemed so old. So grown up. So far away.

I didn’t especially like the number eight at the time. I much preferred seven. Eight seemed sinister. Perhaps because it rhymes with “hate.” I’m not really sure, but that’s what my pre-eight-year-old mind thought about it.

Then one day, I turned eight years old. It was fine. I didn’t feel very old, but now all the six year olds looked really young.

Becoming an adult has been somewhat similar. I have a few aches and pains, but I don’t especially feel forty-something. I certainly don’t feel old or even that mature. I just kind of feel like me. But now when I see people who’re in their twenties they look so young. Practically babies!

Aside from not feeling especially “grown up” there are several things I didn’t expect about achieving adulthood.

One of the biggies is how busy I would be. It’s hard to manage my time and all the activities. Work. Mom stuff. Food. Cleaning. Once in a while down time is needed to reboot, but you end up having to steal it from somewhere because it doesn’t usually happen on its own.

You have to plan for your plans to change. No matter how much planning I do, events always seem to turn out different than I expected. Childbirth. Dinners. Picnics. Christmas. Travels. It’s like the line in “Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows” when Harry ask when it was that one of their plans ever worked out as they expected. (I’ll add a link to a video if I can find it.)

You still need to plan, but then you have to accept the situation when it turns out differently. That’s going to happen a lot more than you think it will when you’re younger.

The biggest thing I didn’t expect about adulthood is how much laundry there would be. It’s one of the great myths of being grown up. You think you’ll be free when you’re of age, but in reality there’s a never-ending stream of dirty clothes following you wherever you go. You’ll need to wash those.

Oh sure, you can fold the clothes and put mount laundry away. You’ll be mostly done. Maybe you can even skip a day. But unless you’re doing laundry in the buff, while your family is likewise in the buff, you will never ever be completely done with laundry. You can get the family to help, and I suppose you could hire other people. But the fact remains that you must still deal with it. Not even our cats have to deal with laundry. This is strictly a human thing.

They don’t tell you that part about growing up.

I’ll try to clue in my daughter. Perhaps her goal, as an adult, can be to someday hire somebody to do the laundry. I can help her learn how to handle the laundry situation efficiently and effectively, so that it doesn’t become a thing. I’ll plan that. We’ll go from there.

(By the way, I edited this as I thought of more things. But the laundry, it’s always a thing.)

Can’t Watch This, Under & Between My Fingers

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for July 21 is The Daily Prompt, Can’t Watch This.

When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

Short answer, Under the Dome, the miniseries based on Stephen King’s book of the same name.

I covered my eyes for several sections, at the beginning, where the dome comes down and people or animals are caught in the unfortunate position of being not quite all the way in- or outside the dome. Perhaps that’s the punishment, in King’s world of Chester’s Mill, for being a little wishy-washy about ones stance on things. Are you in or are you out?! Too bad for those in the middle.

Regardless, it was grody. I don’t like gore even in a broadcast-safe show which is probably what Under the Dome is considered. I only recently started streaming it on Amazon. I peeked from between my fingers, but I really didn’t need to do that.

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