Friday Fictioneers: The Other Side of the Beach



friday fictioneers may 9


I have really missed Friday Fictioneers these past few months. I find that when I participate I feel motivated to be more active with my blogging. I hope you enjoy. Please share your thoughts.

The Other Side of The Beach

word count: 100

“The hotels on the west side are full,” Todd told Nancy.

Nancy swatted at a swarm of mosquitoes.

“This resort is abominable.” She wrinkled her nose and stared at the substandard surroundings. Why was she surprised? Todd has always been cheap. The mosquitoes buzzed incessantly. She assumed this would be the trip. 

Todd led her through beach detritus. Nancy’s stilettos sunk in the sand. He crouched down, assumed the position. The mosquitoes hovered.


Pledges of passion fell on oblivious ears.

Tears of disillusionment leaked. 

“…pawn shop ring…” he boasted.

Nancy welcomed the biting and suffocation of the mosquitoes.






White People Are The Worst – Hockey Edition

As I am not a hockey fan, I had no idea. And this is why I am often ashamed to be a white American.

The Belle Jar

Trigger warning for racist and violent language and images

Last night, Montreal Canadiens player P. K. Subban scored the winning goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal.

Predictably, Boston fans were outraged. In this case, though, with Subban as one of the few black players in the league, their anger took a sickeningly racist turn.

It was so bad that the n-word was briefly trending on Twitter in Boston. Seriously. Think about that for a minute. Think about how many people must have been tweeting one of the vilest, most degrading racist slurs in our language in order for it to be trending in a city the size of Boston. That is not just a few racist fans making everyone look bad – that is a whole fucking lot of people trying their hardest to make Subban (and all people of colour) aware of just how…

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Happy Blogoversary to Me


Yesterday was my 3 year anniversary of starting this blog. Yippee! Blow the horns. Toss the confetti.  With any anniversary you celebrate, right? Well, I’m sorry to disappoint but there is another big snow storm on the way to blast through Chicago. My backyard still has parts covered in snow. Lost snow shovels, buckets, sleds and other surprises have surfaced. I hope I will see my raised garden bed soon, but I don’t think that is possible until April. I spent yesterday scooping out several inches of pooled water on the walkway and chipping away at three-inch thick swaths of ice, hoping to get it all cleared out before more snow arrives.

Reflecting After Three Years

I’m not sure what I expected when I started this blog. I think it served as an outlet for my writing. While it still serves that purpose, I have connected with many people in blogland, which is a very different type of social connection. Some of my favorite blogs revolve around writing prompts/pictures (Friday Fictioneers), discussions on writing (Live to Write – Write to Live), humor (She’s a Maineaic), music (GenXatmidlife) or personal journey. Check out  the blogs I subscribe to. You might find a new one to follow.

I don’t have as many posts as some do at three years, but I haven’t always blogged consistently. I think a few of my goals for this year will be to make an attempt at

1.) writing more posts overall

2.) posting more consistently

3.) finish the drafts I start (which may help with the first two goals)

Being Freshly Pressed during my first year was a big surprise. Surprisingly a post I thought would be funny didn’t turn out that way according to the number of views, likes and lack of comments. Maybe it went out to blogland at an odd time or I didn’t tag it the best way. As they say, you live and you learn, sort of.

Receiving comments/feedback on my writing is always appreciated and I look forward to that interaction. I still find myself wondering if I need a narrower focus on my topics as I tend to write about a variety of things. Maybe something to think about this coming year. Maybe I will put out a poll to see what you (my readers) find interesting to read on my blog.

Today I will celebrate belatedly with cake and coffee. Tomorrow, in addition to shoveling snow it will be back to blogging with updates on Anna Karenina, a recipe and Friday Fictioneers. I know I still owe a post on my back hallway makeover, but it is a bit of a mess from use, so I need to tidy it before I can post any pictures. Stay tuned.

I Tried to GET S#IT DONE But Was Hijacked by Sex Crazed Dustbunnies


Leader of the Dust Bunny Colony

If you read my post the other day, you saw I was trying to get myself motivated by following a mantra for the month of March. I was off to a great start. Then yesterday I looked on my S#IT list and saw change furnace filter. It should have been a 10 minute job ( get tools, unscrew furnace cover, pull out old filter, replace with new filter, screw furnace cover back on, return tools, move on to next item on list) only that’s not what happened. When I pulled out the filter, it looked like someone had shorn their sheep and left the wool on it. But that’s not what it was. It was a colony of dust bunnies lazing about on my furnace filter. After I finished screaming and throwing it into the garbage can, I noticed something. The dust bunnies were everywhere. I went to get a rag, but when I returned, a giant dust bunny that I kid you not was bigger than a cat. It must have been given a growth hormone similar to rBHT or rBGH or ISAT or GRE or whatever the heck they give animals to make them super big. It darted behind the water heater that shares a space with the furnace and played hide and seek with me.

I was afraid, but I was also afraid of what would happen if I didn’t do something. I returned with a spray bottle of cleaner and started spritzing it into every corner, hoping I could mat them down and then wipe them up. But it was like a B level Zombie movie. I looked around and all was fine. Then after I captured a dust bunny and looked again, I noticed them everywhere. I worked up a sweat trying to combat these fluffy nuisances. I felt like I was on a new television show like The Amazing Race, but instead of racing around the world, I am frantically racing around my house trying to stop dust bunnies from multiplying and impersonating my children. There is no prize because everyone knows you can never fully eradicate these critters. I found them nesting behind the warm refrigerator coils in the kitchen, making wild dust bunny love. They were also shagging behind the house plants like the apocalypse was going to happen in less than 24 hours. WARNING: the following image might be disturbing.

Two dust bunnies engaging in sexual relations.

Two dust bunnies engaging in sexual relations.

While searching through my house I saw something disturbing. I never gave it any thought until that moment. I stood in the hallway staring up at what I believed to be the dust bunny portal to my house. A strange, circular vent with spirals that looked like no other vents we had in the house. There are always dust bunnies loitering underneath it. I think they wait there for their orders on where to deploy or which room to go to for doing it dust bunny style.

I’ve often wondered how they get upstairs, but I think I’ve figured it out. They hitch a ride on your sock or pants or soft slipper. Then when they arrive upstairs, they hop off, have a quickie, roll around on the big blue wool rug before snowboarding like Shawn White down the stairs, catching an edge, doing some flips before landing in some place hidden. How do I know this? I find bluish tinted dust bunnies on the first floor. It’s the only logical explanation of course.

After 3 hours of playing hide and seek with these despicable dust bunnies I had to stop. I think I eradicated about 95% of them. I hopped into the shower, knowing some of the babies were probably stuck to my hair or inside my ear. I also blew my nose. And before you think I’m going to drop some big TMI on you, keep reading. It was a good thing I did, because the tissue contained teeny tiny dust bunny eggs. Do you realize what this means? That I was a step away from incubating a new breed of dust bunny in my very own nose, not to mention probably landing a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for starting a dust bunny colony there. Please people, remember to clean your nose after hunting dust bunnies. As someone famous said a long time ago, “One small step for man kind.” or something like that.

I know some of you are probably thinking, Why don’t you just use a Swiffer when you dust? These are an ingenious idea to ward off dust bunnies. Someone made a bunch of money from that product as we have turned into a nation of cleaning freaks because the commercials tell us to. I used to buy them but went through them faster than a gallon of milk when our condo was on the market and I was trying to keep the house Pottery Barn perfect. If I kept cleaning with them now I would have no money left over to buy real groceries. So now I use old kitchen towels. The problem with these is the amount of residue left over from the  dust bunnies. I have to hold the towel at arm’s length from me before I spend 3 minutes rinsing the towel clean. Seriously there has to be a way to

a.) get rid of these once and for all because my friends and neighbors will never see me again if this keeps up or

b.) find a way to make use of the dust bunnies since they have no natural predators, unless you count the occasional puppy or toddler who has to put everything in their mouth.

So, as a concerned and weary citizen, I have started a list. I know I already have a long list of items on my GET S#IT DONE list, but this is serious folks.

Uses for Dust Bunnies:

  • Have everyone collect them and send them to the Argon National Laboratory in the near west suburbs of Chicago. I know those physicists and engineers could figure out a way to combine them with some super secret gas or chemical and launch them into the atmosphere to get rid of the Polar Vortex for good. Their mission statement says they try to address the societal needs of our nation. This would be perfect.
  • Use the dust bunnies to fill comforters. Yes, I know some people are allergic to dust, but these would be for everyone else to have an affordable way to keep warm during the continued long, cold winter caused by the polar vortex that all the United States is experiencing except for southern California and parts of Texas. You will be pleasantly surprised  when your comforter gets bigger and plumper by the week as those dust bunnies go to town increasing their population.
  • Possible pothole filler ingredient. Back to Argon they go. The citizens of  Chicago would be so grateful if a pothole that was just filled lasted longer than 12 hours.
  • A new secret weapon the military can use when they are fighting off terrorists or invading some foreign country. Just the threat of launching dust bunnies might cause the women of the country to order a cease-fire peace agreement. Dust bunnies have not been introduced to countries outside the U.S. They have the potential to wreak havoc in homes all over the world.
  • Phone operators for companies who don’t want to deal with customer complaints. I’m pretty sure large dust bunnies could pass for small people given the right disguise. I’m also sure they are capable of making some sound, although I don’t think I have heard them. Customers would get so flustered when the dust bunnies remained silent or garbled something unintelligible (kind of like when you are on a customer service call and the agent is most definitely working in another country.) This would cause customers to hang up, never to call again and waste their time. Hey, I think this might be the government’s solution to issues with Obama care. You can thank me later.
Dust bunny working as a telephone operator.

Dust bunny working as a telephone operator.

Well, I’m back to working on my list and trying to fill my head with other things that have nothing to do with dust bunnies. But I’m sure they’ll return sooner than I want them to. Be careful. This could happen to you, especially when you are trying to get S#IT DONE..


March Mantra


Forget about March Madness which will soon be upon us. I need a mantra for the month. I am drowning in projects I started last year, last month and last week. I racked my brain for a catchy phrase to motivate myself to be productive. Then I spotted this mug at a friend’s house over the weekend. Not one to be über American and insist on constantly reinventing the wheel I stopped thinking. This was perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. It is succinct and to the point – everything I strive to be but sadly am not. Unfortunately I did not steal the mug from my friend’s house. Now I need to creatively write my mantra and put it in a prominent place so it will serve its purpose.

Do you have a mantra that helps you be productive?

Fat Tuesday


Good afternoon awesome readers. Are you ready to write? There are some great prompts to choose from today:


Here are the rules:


1. Write 100 – 200 words (more or less) about the prompt provided. For example: If you chose National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day your story doesn’t have to be about the day itself but about a peanut butter lover. (It doesn’t have to be a complete story. It could be a scene, song lyrics or a poem)

2. Tag your post with National Weird Day Writing Prompts and link your post back to my blog so others can participate.

3. Share your writing in the comments section via a link back to your blog.

4. Read and comment on other posts.

5. Be creative and have fun.

My story is below.


Alina felt homesick in her new community. “Why don’t you throw a party?” her mother suggested when she and Alina were talking on the phone last week. She hand wrote cards to a few new acquaintances, inviting them to a Fat Tuesday party.

Alina should have had second thoughts when the local bakery said they did not make paczki’s. Instead she busied herself by washing her bone china and ironing hand embroidered tablecloths.

Alina tried to draw attention from the tan-colored walls and stained ceiling in the community center  with vases of fresh flowers. As the guests arrived,  Alina  greeted them with her usual high-pitched squeals and long hugs. Mrs. Katonah tried to dodge her embrace.

Alina arranged the food on the side table and pushed back her long brown hair while anxiously removing lids and tin foil. The bowl Mrs. Katonah brought had suspicious looking contents. Alina shoved it toward the back. The women lined up and filled their plates.

“Mrs. Katonah,” Alina asked. “What did you bring?”

“Just what you asked. Fat on Tuesday.”

The room grew quiet while Alina, face red with embarrassment wondered how to respond.

National Weird Day Writing Prompts – I Want You to Be Happy


Welcome to National  Weird Day Writing Prompts. Today you have 3 choices for prompts.

March 3 is …

I Want You To Be Happy Day

Peach Blossom Day

National Anthem Day

Here are the rules:

1. Write 100 – 200 words (more or less) about the prompt provided. For example: If you chose National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day your story doesn’t have to be about the day itself but about a peanut butter lover. (It doesn’t have to be a complete story. It could be a scene, song lyrics or a poem)

2. Tag your post with National Weird Day Writing Prompts.

3. Share your writing in the comments section via a link back to your blog.

4. Read and comment on other posts.

5. Be creative and have fun.

My story is below.

I Want You to Be Happy, Dammit

Todd came from an intact family who showed the women in their family how much they cared by purchasing appropriate gifts on Hallmark holidays. This had always delighted everyone from the giver to the recipient as well as the onlookers. Females flocked to Todd like fruit flies to rotten bananas all throughout high school and college. Todd chose Mena because she was exotic looking and he envisioned their future children. Mena majored in political science and wanted to apply to pre-law so she could address human rights issues.

Todd lavished her with flowers. Mena, who spent all of her free time studying for the GRE, moved the flowers from her desk to the kitchen as they were a distraction. Todd surprised her with chocolates which she could not eat because they gave her headaches. He bought her a tennis bracelet. Mena was allergic to the nickel in it.

One day Todd said, “I just want you to be happy, dammit!” as he threw all of his gifts toward her. Mena had just collected the mail and was in the middle of reading a letter that had arrived on thick, vellum paper. “I am,” she said, her beautiful smile filling her face. “I was just accepted to Columbia Law School.”