Boogers.

 

[NOTE: This post was a writing assignment.  But no, the criteria were not what you might think.]

= – =

Darn those black, reflective windows, anyway: you can’t see in, and so forget that people can see out.  It’s gotten so no place is safe for a little nose maintenance!

Rats:  now that co-worker won’t look me in the eye.

This begs the question: What’s the statute of limitations on “awkward”?  I mean, really: can either of us recover?  Does one of us have to quit our job?  (It’s not going to be me; I hand-picked this one, hehe.)

Nahh.  Something tells me we won’t be talking about this, years down the road.  People who do that are stupid.  Rehashing is only a good thing in illicit drug circles.

Which begs another question: What is it that compels us to keep talking about bad things that happened to us years ago?  For one thing, it’s not very creative.  (How ‘bout them apples, coming from a person writing about boogers?)

And another thing, if we’re not careful, reliving old offenses can inadvertently open old wounds.  (Speaking of nose maintenance.)  There you are, rambling along, regaling your pals about that nasty break-up in 1990, and one of them is secretly reeling because he just got jilted.  (Remember “Seinfeld”?  “It wasn’t a full-pick!”)

Frankly, I chalk it up to the fact that we thrive on drama.  We’re like lonely debutantes, replaying the same tear‑jerker movie every year, Kleenex in hand.  (Maybe I should keep some handy around those dreaded black windows!)

I guess this phenomenon of re-living bad days is all part and parcel of the learning curve.  We think that by playing the re-run, we will somehow sort out the strange.  And, yes, that does happen; things often bubble to the top.  (For that, you need 3-ply.)

Don’t Bury Me in That Dress

 

Don’t bury me in that dress.  If I never wore it when I was alive, why would I want it to be the last thing I’m seen in?  (Do you really know me at all?)

Don’t buy me trinkets.  Look around my house.  Do you see trinkets?  No.  Don’t buy them for me.  (They require dusting, and I wish I just had the three bucks.)

Don’t say, “Is there anything I can help you with?”  Every time you’ve asked that, I’ve said, “No; I’m fine.”  (I’ve never meant it, but that’s beside the point.)

Don’t plan a high-class, cosmopolitan event.  I’m a country bumpkin, in case you haven’t noticed.  (Give such extravagance to the tattooed girl on Facebook.)

Don’t comment about my hair.  I was given amazing hair that I don’t appreciate.  (If you compliment, I’ll figure you thought every other day was a wash.  [Pardon the pun.])

Don’t expect me to remember… well, pretty much anything.  I usually do remember, but don’t expect it.  (I got distracted.  What were we talking about?)

Don’t ask me how it’s going.  First of all, I don’t know what “it” is; secondly, people don’t ask wanting an answer.  (They might as well be asking, “How are your bowels on a scale of 1 to 10?”)

Don’t tell me how to take care of my [whatever].  Especially advice from on the Internet.  (I already know that if I bathe in Apple Cider Vinegar, someone will steal my kidney.)

Don’t talk about me to others.  Since I love hearing about myself, I like being present for such discussions.  (Let’s do that!)

Don’t forget about me.  For all these listed do’s and don’ts, I’m thrilled that you’re here.  (Really, I am.  Let’s remember each other, shall we?)

Don’t bury me in that dress.  ‘Just sayin.’

Shunning People

 

I don’t like shunning people.  Because…  (wait for it…)

They’re cruel.  [How’s that for a double entendre?]

Believe it or not, there are actually shunning people shunning people. (not a typo)

by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

^^^ They take bits of Scripture out of context, and form a belief system, bypassing phrases such as: 

——–nor with the leaven of malice
——–I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world
——–those who cause dissensions…contrary to the teaching

^^^ They ignorantly enforce lists of drawn-out, manmade mandates, lazily mishandling phrases like: 

——–deliver to Satan
——–clean out the old leaven
——–I came to set a man against his father
——–keep your eye on
——–turn away from
——–avoid foolish controversies
——–not even to eat with such a one
——–withdraw yourself
——–unequally yoked
——–sons of disobedience…do not be partakers with them

^^^ They also have a warped interpretation of simple vocabulary; a lack of study to know God’s meaning in context of words such as:

——–your brother
——–Gentile
——–tax collector
——–reject
——–factious man
——–named a brother
——–hate
——–disorderly
——–unclean
——–avoid

Requiring a group of far-too-trusting followers to comply with manmade laws (e.g., Don’t talk to this person; Don’t associate with these who associate with those)—especially when the Scripture has been poorly exegeted—is a deviation (the opposite direction!) from the Gospel:

^^^ But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

No, I don’t like shunning people. 

It’s…

They’re…

Evil.

I will stick to my one-minute blog.  So let’s just meditate on these:  

if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother…

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted…

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest….

 

 

No Need to Ask Why

 
No Need to ask Why…
…we find our dog on the couch and our cat on the top bunk.
…women’s purses have 12 pockets.
…vintage TV advertises funeral services.
…the deli can charge four bucks for a pound of Chicken Alfredo.
…mumps.
No Need to ask Why…
…85% of US juvenile inmates are functionally illiterate.
…some of my far-left keyboard keys have scratches.
…salespeople keep businesses alive.
…it tastes like chicken.
…those over 40 don’t sleep on the ground.
No Need to ask Why…
…birds of a feather flock together.
…dangling chads.
…rich people have yachts (and tip the locals not to spill the beans).
…inner-city sidewalks smell like dope.
…Japanese maple.
No Need to ask Why…
…there are manual transmissions.
…that girl has pink hair.
…we enjoy sulfur in the matches.  (‘Just sayin’.)
…*he* should ask her father.
…we recycle.
No Need to ask Why…
…that highway pedestrian is carrying a short case.
…God invented coffee.
…the world has melodic jazz.
…certain people write.
…certain people read.
No Need to ask Why…
…Momma wanted you to rinse your dishes.
…fly-fishing, tent-camping, Jeeps, and doggies.
…shopping, makeup, hot baths, and girl-time.
…restraining orders.  (Which leads us to [I finally have to say it]…)
…the 2nd Amendment. 
No Need to ask Why…
…we need Saturdays.
…and bacon.
…P.M.S. (Well, ‘just better not ask.)
…Hershey’s kisses.  (See P.M.S., above.)
…Thorns in the flesh.
No Need to ask Why…
…Fine print.
…Pyrex, HazMat, and Baby Wipes.  (Not necessarily in that order.)
…adoption.
…babies, puppies, and kittens are cute.
…love.

Deductions

 

I just licked and sealed the envelopes.  No, Turbo Tax, you don’t get another run at it: I’m not likely to freeze and re-lick.  Actually, I can’t complain: ‘found enough deductions to defray my self-employment tax, with enough moolah for a day at the beach.  wOOt!

Having wrapped up my return, I hate to re-open the can of worms.  But just in case, I’ll hold off on mailing until next week.  Let me know if I’m missing something:

I didn’t see a deduction for planned obsolescence.  Doesn’t Uncle Sam account for the cash we drop from the demise of Chinese pieces of junk?  We should at least get a deduction for replacements—100% American.  Or maybe they could cut us some slack for that loss leader we bought on Black Friday, drinking us dry—one ink cartridge at a time.

And what’s with this pathetic allotment for our outlay of bread for bread?  The standard deduction for a married couple is $11,900.  Washington pencil-pushers call that enough dough to stave off starvation and hypothermia?  It’s more like throwing us a bone.  What is that, NEW, new math?

I also think they should consider giving a gas break.  All three of us work, but share two cars.  Yesterday our daughter asked about gas prices when we were her age.  Since they are literally ten times the price, I think our taxable income should be reduced to one tenth.  (Okay, THAT’S just silly.  But fun to think about!)

Again, the Government does not realize the bucks it takes to live–I mean really live—e.g., cable, internet, a phone, maybe a weekly trek to the local diner—C’mon, Big Bro, how about some coin!

Oh, and those “Miscellaneous Expenses” need an overhaul:  did I miss the Coffee category?  This is an absolutely necessary expense.  And while we’re at it, I think a few clams should be designated from the War Fund as part of the peace-keeping effort:  without Fast Food, most American families would Go Postal.

Okay, okay.  This is quite a departure for me. Yeah, I suppose today’s post is ridiculous and fanciful; a futile pipe dream.   I’m tempted to “deduct” it from my inventory.  (Hehe.)

But seriously, let me know if I’m missing something.  A day at the beach doesn’t come cheap!

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

 

Writing a blog takes some guts:  we ought to have a bead on things (in some realm or another).  Even a one-minute blog like mine should have a semblance of reason.  (Frankly, the best bloggers are like Mr. Ed, who “never speaks unless he has something to say.”)

It’s equally important to acknowledge that we aren’t 100 percent right.  We wouldn’t even assert such a thing.

Nor would we bloggers say others are wrong, without giving them a forum to state their case.  Can you imagine only posting comments that agreed?  What audacity!  That would be really pompous; so weird:  “Read my blog; everybody else is wrong.”  That’s the mentality of a 3-year-old.  Ignorance and audacity make strange bedfellows.

My blog has an open comment bar. Out of 1,500 comments, I’ve only screened out 2: one was spam, and the other identified me.  And yes indeed, on occasion, commenters have graciously redirected my thinking.  I am glad for this (only GOD knows everything).

We used to watch a TV show called “The X-Files.”  No, I don’t believe in extra-terrestrials; but I did enjoy Fox and Mulder’s juxtaposed opinions.  That’s the best way to get a story IMO (if it really IS “fair and balanced”).  They always let you draw your own conclusion.  You weren’t supposed to side with Mulder (too concrete) or with Fox (too metaphysical).  The final scene faded to an evening sky with “THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.”

I like that.  Short of God’s Holy Scriptures (NOT taken out of context), everything is speculation.

Please accept this blog post as my official disclaimer; my humble admission; an official invitation to comment as you wish; toss in your conjecture; contradict.

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

Crazy Weird

“I found her diary underneath a tree…”

Happy news today!  Unbeknownst to me, my first week or so of this temp assignment was an audition.  Today my boss said, “I’ve decided to keep you.”  She then gave me her detailed assessment of my work (very positive).  She’s setting me up with email and an ID card, sent out an inter-departmental memo, and wants a temporary name placard on my desk.

After work, I came home and hunted down my memento box–in hopes of finding my old desk placard.  Nope, ‘didn’t keep it.

Thus ends today’s shop talk.

But what I did find: an old diary!  Every day, from age 16 to 20, I wrote several sentences.  Tonight we dined with our daughters and son-in-law, and we were absolutely howling!  I was such a RUBE!  I just couldn’t believe this.  It was captivating; I am sure I have not looked at this book in decades.

But, just like most teenagers, my life wasn’t all fun and games.  For tonight’s every belly laugh, a page later there was shocking drama.  (I did not know the Lord.) And, just like most pagans, my life was going from bad to worse.  This much was obvious, as there was an entry from each of the five years on each page:

MAY 8

MAY 9

1974  [Entry] 1974  [Entry]
1975  [Entry 1975  [Entry]
1976  [Entry] 1976  [Entry]
1977  [Entry] 1977  [Entry]
1978  [Entry] 1978  [Entry]

It’s interesting to me that God would ordain that I not see this book all these years.  It is only now—in His strength—that I can read these entries that are all over the map: from foolish, hormonal rants about boyfriends—to heart-wrenching episodes about my wicked stepfather.

My daughter immediately saw the blog potential.

Haha.

Stay tuned.

White Space

 

You are not alone.

I have a growing number of readers.  I attribute it to this blog being a one-minute read.  Heaven forbid I should be tl;dr (Internet slang for “too long; didn’t read”: Wiki – “a clustered composition of such utter failure to communicate that it has left the capable reader with a headache…”).

My secretarial experience has taught me the benefit of white space.  Visually and verbally we need a break from the barrage!  Go ahead: save a tree—but 4,000 words on two pages?  Are you kidding me?

Excessively long statements don’t take root; they exit the same place they entered.  Plus, they indicate the writer is talking out the nose to begin with.  This is ironic, since the longwinded are often trying to sound educated.

Oh, and another yummy from Wiki: “Needless length may be interpreted as a mark of arrogance. The message to the reader seems to be, ‘My time is more valuable than yours. I can’t be bothered to express myself clearly and concisely, so I’m shifting the burden to you to sift my words.’”

Dang straight: I’m busy too, Bub.  Give me bullet points; bite-sized pieces.  ‘Know what? The same goes for talking.  (I know, I know: that’s the pot calling the kettle black.  But I’m just sayin’.)

—-FYI, that last sentence was white space.—-

—-So was that one.—-

White space really is important in all sorts of communication.  In recent years my speech has become choppy—because people are in a hurry; no travelogue permitted: “Too much blah-blah.  …  Cut to the chase!  … Brevity is the soul of wit.”  By the time my brain bypasses the stuff I’m not supposed to articulate, I’m afraid somebody else will have the floor—so I’m suddenly P-P-Porky Pig.

So…….  [white space] I have a word to the hurried and harried, rushing us along with your golf clap:  Don’t blame me if I start stories in the middle and work my way sideways.  If brevity is the soul of wit, sometimes it’s also the soul of, “What the heck?”

I love this post: it’s all about writing, and it makes absolutely no sense.  But I’ll stop here because “Needless length may be interpreted as a mark of arrogance.”

Traveling. Broke. Ugly.

 

Computers are “special”:  on each flight, we passengers choreographed a rotation so travel companions could actually sit together.  At one point I appreciated surprise help from the guy next to me.  He said, “Take that first offer; a window seat gives you negotiating power.”

Ain’t it the truth?  These days, if you don’t want the dregs, you’d better play your cards shrewdly.   When it comes to letting the other guy go first, I’m notorious.  (It’s a mom thing.)  But with the thought of David sitting beyond reach for a bumpy 6 hours, all bets were off:  I wielded that window seat with finesse.

As I drove through town today, I got a kick out of a guy getting the most bang for his buck.  Ordinarily when I’m at a highway junction I don’t even read the text on the handheld cardboard sign.  But this one, I couldn’t miss: “Traveling.  Broke.  Ugly.”  Hahaha!  Not only were people holding ones out their windows, they were engaging him in conversations through the red light.  Maybe it was because (other than a big nose) he wasn’t ugly; possibly they wanted to know if he was really traveling.  (Even I was somewhat curious.)

As I ventured toward suburbia, I pondered that corrugated message: “Traveling.  Broke.  Ugly.”  Yup, that pretty much sums up all of us.  In the giant scheme of things, we’re all on a relatively short pilgrimage.   And most of us, despite our real estate and other trappings, are as close to a debt ceiling as the country we live in.  And finally, in all honesty, how many of us fall into the “beautiful people” category?  Yeah, face it: we are all 3-for-3—just like that smart-aleck, spare-changing on the interchange.

On the positive side, there’s hope: If we clean up good, ugly doesn’t matter; if we’re not ridiculous with our funds, we can manage; and if we repent toward God, we can be traveling in the right direction.   So…  Traveling.  Broke.  Ugly.  It’s all good.

Ten Ways to… Whatever.

 

You clicked today’s title, didn’t you, because… you had to see the list!  Yeah—lists are all the rage: “12 Simple Home Remedies” … “Eleven Ways to Avoid Housework” … “Top Ten Skateboarding Cities.”

In today’s fast-paced, tl;dr* world, our subconscious thinks bullet points are the most bang for the buck.  (My blog, in fact, has a ceiling on the word count.)  Yeah, Baby! Keep it brief; Cut to the chase; Fix me a rubber band sandwich, and make it snappy!

*Web lingo:  Too long; didn’t read

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for it.  Those lists are irresistible.  (How else could John Tesh keep us tuned in through four minutes of commercials?)

Case in point, this week I hovered over, and yes—clicked: “Ten Ways to Be Happier.”  I’m just glad I’m not a cat: curiosity would have killed me.

As usual, there were no surprises; an utter disappointment.  After only reading the first bullet, I nearly shut it down.  Consider this: If you were going to write down ten things that impact our happiness, would the first one on your list be “Make your bed”?    Srsly?*

*More Web lingo

Now, if they are suggesting you get into bed, they might have something—and bonus points if you add spouse.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about!  But Srsly: “Make your bed”?  What the heck?

The edifying use of my 3.4 minutes continued with suggestions like “Display sentimental items around your home.”  The rationale here included psycho-jargon about our cycle of enjoyment.  Mkay? What-EVERRR…

I must admit, there was one that was noteworthy: “Start a gratitude journal.”  I like that.  Let’s do it!  Even the description wasn’t half bad.  “Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude.”  For the record, that description wasn’t half good, either:  They forgot to mention the Awesome Object of our gratitude:   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (albeit giving a nod to spirituality down at Point No. 10).

So, yeah, I’ll keep clicking the links.  They’re fun.  And they’re quick reads—intended give us springboards for conversation in the coffee room—or, at the very least, fodder for a one-minute blog.