Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Strained Limerick Pair

This week's first line for the Limerick-Off on MadKane's Humor Blog is:

"A woman whose budget was strained…"

As always, she allows for minor variations to the first line as long the end rhyme word is unchanged.

Here is my pair:

A lady had struggled and strained
to lose all the weight she had gained,
but her plan had its flaws
and included malt balls,
So what little she lost, she regained.


He preferred his potatoes well strained,
but her interest in pleasing had waned.
So he often sat down
to eat with a frown,
his displeasure barely restrained.

Because of the holidays, this week's Limerick-Off will last two weeks, so there is still plenty of time to add your own limerick to the challenge!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Maybe I Overreacted

I rarely stand up for myself or for people I know. So I surprised myself earlier this week when I couldn't resist the urge to call Social Services on behalf of a stranger for something other than a neglect or abuse call-which I would and have actually done before. This time though, I was calling about one of the volunteers they had enlisted.

Our county has a group home for children whose parents are neglectful, abusive or incarcerated. Most of the kids at the group home can't be placed with foster families either because of the nature of their situation or the lack of available foster care at any given time. When I was a teen I had to stay there for a short time, a few days or so, maybe a week, and I have visited children there as well. Volunteers are used for chauffeuring kids to appointments or meetings when the group shuttle bus isn't available. I realized that I was sitting next to one-such volunteer and her ward in an overcrowded waiting room because the woman was clueless and wouldn't stop talking about the boy's situation in public.  She kept asking him questions and while he answered politely enough, it was obvious he didn't want to talk-he kept lowering his voice and not-obviously-enough tried to change the subject.

I know he lives in the group home and how long he's been there because she called it by name and asked him how long he's been there. None of MY business, probably none of HER business, but now a dozen people know HIS business.  And she continued to ask him questions in a bubbly, out of touch tone, like she really didn't get it.  She responded to his lack of sleep with something along the lines of "Oh, that sucks. I have a baby and she keeps me up most nights, so I know exactly how you feel with not being able to sleep". Really? This continued for a few minutes before I left and I'm sure it continued after. 

I wanted to tell her off in the waiting room, to tell her that while it is great she is volunteering her time she needed to just think about what this kid's life is like and quit talking about it in front of others. But between my lack of backbone and the assumption that he probably would've felt worse if I made a scene, I left without saying a word. But even after a twenty minute drive to calm myself I couldn't shake my anger or my sorrow and ended up parked on the side of the road, Googling Social Services. After I was transferred to the "right person", I explained I wasn't trying to get anyone in trouble and that the main reason I called was to suggest more sensitivity training for volunteers.  I told her I had hoped that the only reason I realized the boy's situation was because I had personal experience at the home, so maybe I was overreacting. But she said they do a lot of promotions for the home to raise funds and recruit volunteers so any number of people are familiar with it, and the boy's situation is his own business and they need to protect the confidentiality of these kids, so she appreciated my call.

I've had time to over analyze think about the situation and my actions, and I still worry that I overreacted. But at the same time I know how much I worried about people knowing about my few days in that group home, I can only imagine two years would be worse. I hope I did the right thing.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Monday Night.


Monday night, three weeks after you arrived at the ER, you finally opened your eyes.
     One day after they decided to let you go, you looked at me.
Monday night, you moved your head and you responded to my voice.
     Your eyes welled up, but you couldn't talk, couldn't tell me what was wrong.
Monday night, I videotaped you and hoped, no, I knew this was the turning point.
     I begged you to stay with us; I promised to help you if you could just stay awake.
Monday night, I let myself believe that it wasn't over.
     I told myself this was what we had been waiting for.

Monday night, you said goodbye, but my hope blinded me and I couldn't see it.

Tuesday morning, you closed your eyes.



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Goodbye Crafty 2013.

Hello 2014.

I just deleted four drafts from blogger. Two random updates that were outdated in the wording, a post about anonymity and a list that I've now lost interest in.  I figure I can combine anything from those in this one post and move on from 2013.  

I "committed" to posting more and participating in more challenges last year and failed, completely.  I probably won't be better this year but I know better than to publicly commit again.  A lot of my valid excuses for not writing revolved around crafting.

Crafty things I did last year:

-Worked on my crazy quilt entries for the first half of the year, didn't complete the challenge but it was nice to actually spend some time working on my quilt blocks.

-Spent over a month making 50 invitations for a friend's bridal shower. This was way more stressful than it should have been. I didn't want to disappoint the bride, I wanted to impress her friends and family and I put a ton of unnecessary pressure on myself to make everything perfect. But they turned out awesome so I guess it was worth it! 








-Designed subway art canvases for a wedding gift and for my sister. They ended up being 24x30"; I didn't take a picture of Gina's after I finished, I was so excited that I took it straight over to her house and then she promised to take pictures of it on the wall but she keeps forgetting too.  Designing these took way longer than I expected-only worked on them in the evenings after work so it took me almost two weeks.  Once the printed canvas arrived from Spoonflower I just wrapped it around an artist canvas and stapled it in place. 




-Made a dozen "Thank You" cards as an additional wedding gift for my friend.
-Made random cards and stamped jewelry gifts for friends throughout the year.
-Made a dozen "Hello" cards for a random stranger in an online holiday gift exchange. 
-Made and mailed out two dozen Christmas cards. I waited until the weekend before Christmas so this was a touch stressful.
-Made another dozen Christmas cards for Gina to mail out. I'm pretty sure she let the kids play with them instead. Oh well.

Non-crafty things that kept me from writing last year:
-Played crappy Facebook/phone games.
-Read a few books, not as many as I wanted to. Seems I always challenge myself to 36 on Goodreads then I only get in 18.

My last two updates:

Gina is almost finished with her clinical trial. She can't really discuss it with anyone so I can't really go into details but everyone is optimistic. She is in the beginning stages of being in remission and is doing maintenance chemo and the doctors are monitoring her remaining spots in her lungs. I still have some posts on her and cancer and everything but like always, those will be written "later".

My littles are getting too big, too fast. We baked cookies together for the first time. It was so much fun that I'm thinking of making it a monthly ritual and not just a Christmas one.


My vague goals for the year:
Craft more.
Write more.
Play more.
Read more.
Love more.

Hope everyone is having a great New Year!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Trifextra 91: My Beast

This weekend's Trifextra Challenge is inspired by The Tummy Beast by Roald Dahl, and the challenge is to write about a beast living in an unusual place.  Last weekend's Trifextra was supposed to be about a fear, and while I didn't enter last week, my entry this week fits both, as it isn't entirely fiction.


*
It's not real. It's not real.
"Prove it. Just look."
She almost gives in, but she knows.
Hiding in that darkened mirror, the beast patiently waits for her to meet his shadowed gaze.
*


My beast lives in the mirror.

I prefer not to voice my worst fears, I'm just superstitious enough not to say the words out loud, but I'll admit to one of my biggest fears, which is also my most irrational one. You see, I'm not scared of the dark, I sleep best when the room is pitch black, but I'm freakin' scared to look into a mirror if the room is not well-lit. And I know it's the stupidest thing in the world and I know there is nothing in there, but the tiniest part of me will not tempt fate and look into a mirror if it's dark-ish. Because, well, what if?

*

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've entered a challenge on the first day it's been available! This gives you lots of time to check out the rest of the entrants and maybe take a shot at the challenge yourself!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Redscale: An Experiment in Film Photography

I rarely shoot with my 35mm SLR anymore because the cost of developing is crazy*. Every couple of years, though, I can't resist the urge to take a roll or two of shots before going back to digital.  This past summer was one of those times, but I was pretty busy and never got the chance to pull out my camera, so instead I haunted Lomography, a website dedicated to film photography and daydreamed about my own dusty camera.  Last week we ended up taking a trip to the coast, and just a day or two before leaving I found a tutorial for making your own "redscale' film on their website, and decided I'd try it out.

Here's the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse taken with my digital camera:


And here's the same shot with my 35mm using the redscale technique:


Pretty cool, right? Unfortunately, things weren't as easy for me as they were for the guy who wrote the tutorial.  First, I'm not overly competent or patient with pliers. Second, my camera didn't seem to care for my loading the film in upside-down. Neither of which were major deterrents. The third little glitch, though, almost ruined my whole experiment: the film I used ended up tearing out of the canister after my last shot, so I couldn't wind the film back up. I had to take the whole camera into Costco and have them remove the film in their darkroom bag! Luckily, they had no problem doing so and I ended up with a full roll of pictures including a few interesting images.

I'll post a few more redscale pictures along with a few of the digital pictures later on. I have ~1000 digital images to sort through from our trip, plus another roll of 35mm that I used normally, so it might be a week or two before I post them.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


*I almost forgot! The drugstores around here charge $13-$15 for developing, a set of prints & a disc; I just found out that Costco charges $8 for the same three services! If you don't get the discs it's only $3.99, or $5.99 if you want duplicates! I won't be able to blame my lack of 35mm photographs on the cost of developing anymore...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Trifextra 74: Silence is deafening.

The current weekend challenge at Trifecta Writing Challenge is to mirror this quote in our response:
Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.
--Henry James
My response is a little cliched, in fact all the ideas I kicked around seemed to be. Even so, I kinda like it:

There are three things I find ironic about silence. 
     The first: silence is deafening. 
          The second: silence is deafening. 
               And the third: silence is deafening.

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday afternoon!