writing

Homegrown

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It’s a weird, little tale combining real estate, and stem cells.

Definitely not for everyone. But it turns out there are people out there who are as strange as I am. It’s just a matter of looking ’til you find them.

It’s also another reminder to never give up. No matter who you are or what you do, persistence pays. One of my favorite quotes from an unknown source is: “There is nothing for push and persistence like a cat’s nose.” Or in this case, a Cat’s submission process.

Flapping about in an emotive display of artistic angst can be an understandable, occasional release. It can even be fun. But when the storm has passed, pick up your flag and keep waving it.

Someone will find you.

Someone like the speculative fiction magazine, WiFiles…

http://thewifiles.com/?p=607

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Just bitchin'

Phone Politics

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It’s started.

And I’m already fed up with it.

The avalanche of political campaigning for upcoming elections is ramping up, reminding me of the retail industry’s increasingly early debut of Christmas advertising. By the time the vaunted day comes around, you’re sick of it. Excitement and anticipation have been stretched to a thin, attenuated ghost of what they might have been had the lead-in been shorter.

With Christmas, it’s usually the television ads that grate on me, but with politics you can take your choice of annoying methods intended to usher you into a candidate’s stable and force feed you their particular diet of rhetorical promises.

Your mailbox is crammed with literature. You have to wonder how much was spent to produce the reams of glossy, slick pamphlets. You have no desire to read the swelling tide of circulars. When you do, you don’t believe most of them. Or worse, they communicate nothing. They skirt the edges of making definitive statements; each line a masterpiece of crafted ambiguity.

Then there are the campaigners who loiter about in malls and parking lots. They accost you with bright, desperate smiles, hoping to persuade you that theirs is the only possible candidate-of-choice come Election Day. They want to waylay you…engage you in clumsy conversation…become your instant friend.

But worst of all are the phone calls.

The recorded messages in voices that aren’t used to public speaking. They push forward, determined to get through their script, conveying vicarious discomfort rather than cogent, informative facts.

Worse, the live caller…which is what birthed this rant of mine. Some volunteer doing the commendable job of supporting her choice for the 2016 presidential elections. But, oh…so naïve to think that it’s a good idea to phone a stranger’s home late Friday night to chirp about how women simply have to be in ‘Hilary’s camp’; that harboring ovaries in your abdomen must make you an instant supporter of a female candidate.

All she accomplished was to spur me on to do something I’ve thought about for a long time.

I started a phone log.

I will write down the names or issues pushed by every unwelcome, political intrusion into my home after hours. The one with the least strikes will probably get my vote come Election Day. Either that, or the one who slings the least mud.

I haven’t decided which.

But I’m not worried.

As with Christmas advertising that begins in September…I’ve got lots and lots of time to contemplate that, for me, voting has become an exercise in electing the least objectionable, rather than the most worthy.…

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Just bitchin'

Avian Reciprocity

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Something very strange has been going on around my home for the last few weeks.

I’ve only just begun to unravel the oddity of it. Maybe it’s not abnormal and noteworthy. Maybe others out there will have experienced the same type of phenomenon.

But I doubt it.

I call it Avian Reciprocity.

That’s right. You heard.

But I should start at the beginning and make a full confession of it.

I am one of those regrettable people who feed wildlife. I don’t lure them. I only offer sustenance if they come asking. They are the instigators. And if they didn’t accost me with such irresistible, imploring eyes, I wouldn’t cave. I don’t do it every day. Only when the animals are in need and make a point of coming to my door.

And, yeah, I’m making excuses.

Birds are different, though. Supplementing their diets is sanctioned, judging by the proliferation of paraphernalia for sale. So I put out birdfeeders and suet baskets. That’s fine for the smaller songbirds, but, being fair-minded, I can’t ignore their larger cousins.

Seagulls. Crows.

It started innocently enough. I dislike waste, so every morning I take the dried, crusted, uneaten bits of canned cat food and scrape them onto the beach outside my door. The little pile of leavings draws immediate attention from the gulls.

But now, it’s drawing their gratitude as well.

It started with a loud, alarming CRACK! as something hit the roof of my house. I went to investigate, expecting a branch or an oversized pinecone to have fallen from one of the towering evergreens that surround me. Nothing.

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The pattern continued. CRACK! Every morning, CRACK!

It wasn’t until I was cleaning out the gutters that I found them. Clams. Dead, but presumably alive when they had landed on my roof.

I became suspicious. I went undercover. Covert surveillance revealed the culprit. A seagull. Bringing me a clam for every serving of cat food left on the beach.

And now, the ante has been upped. It might be because I added a little kibble to the canned food this morning. I saw the seagull deliver payment. I can see it from where I sit typing.

There’s a large, dismembered crab claw on the doorstep.

And the birds are watching…

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cat image from redbubble.com

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poem, writing

Good Friday

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A quickie post, because it doesn’t happen all that often.  Just frequently enough to keep a writer hanging on.

But it’s one of those moments when a thousand rejections are worth it, to know there was an acceptance waiting in the wings…

Thank you, Page and Spine Literary Magazine!

http://www.pagespineficshowcase.com/poems.html

 

 

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cooking, Just bitchin'

The Bloating of America

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It’s a shameful, globally-known fact that America is increasingly obese.

Like most of us, I’m inundated with reasons and warnings spewed by the media via newscasts, public service announcements, and the odd government-sponsored commercial. The finger is pointed at all manner of modern conveniences that render tasks less physically demanding, or seduce us into hours of effortless, sluggish relaxation.

Leaf blowers, cell phones, video games, computers…all are given their share of blame.

The problem didn’t take up much of my concern until a friend told me he was trying to lose 30 pounds. The guy is over six feet tall. He carries weight well, but I applauded his goal and told him if he needed a pep talk or a walking partner or a good salad recipe, I’d be happy to help.

What did he ask for? Someone to talk to in the evenings so he wouldn’t watch TV.

I misunderstood. “You mean something to do besides sitting around? Some activity? We could go do something instead?”

“No, Cat. Someone to keep me from turning the damn thing on. It’s nothing but food all night long. All the stuff that’s death for dieters.”

I wasn’t sure I believed him.

I’m a terrible person to watch TV with. I irritate the hell out of everyone because I have a hard time staying still for a full hour. I’m up and down all the time. And I’m definitely bouncing around doing a hundred other things during commercial breaks.

So I switched it up. I let myself abandon the show and made sure I was there for the ads.

Holy cow.

My friend wasn’t kidding.

Wall to wall visual and audio enticements to eat.

And the food! The worst garbage you could stuff into yourself! I watched pizza parlors vie for who could present the most fattening, decadent, caloric version of the dish. The winner of Worst Thing You Could Eat was a deep dish, over-cheesed creation the perimeter of which was wrapped in bacon. Bacon measured in feet. And they were proud of this. It was a selling point.

Then came the burgers. Double, triple, quadruple patties of fatty meat laden with cheese and mayonnaise.

Then came the restaurant chains getting a jump on the breakfast business. Layers of waffles and pancakes mounded with butter and thick, cloying syrup. Plates piled high with eggs and towers of sausage and bacon.

Then were the buffets that set out their offerings like slop in troughs…touting ‘all you can eat’ as though the more you shovel in, the better.

And the people pictured enjoying these orgies of food are all slim, trim, toned specimens who I doubt ever set foot in the advertisers’ establishments in real life.

It went on and on.

All these images and lures shot into the viewing public’s brains where they will ferment until the compulsion to satisfy the urge placed by advertisers must be obeyed. The burger must be eaten. The pizza must be ordered.

If obesity is such a serious problem that the first lady is devoting a considerable amount of her time to fighting it, why doesn’t someone make the connection to the advertisers who seem to be in competition over who can supply the worst and the most of what your body doesn’t need?

It isn’t the inactivity of watching TV that’s the enemy. It’s the advertisers who’ve researched just when and how to hit their viewers where it’ll reap the most return.

It’s hitting below the belt. And unfortunately, for a lot of people, that belt is getting bigger and bigger and bigger…

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