Tag Archives: family

Flash Fiction is Back: “Victorious” (100)

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The photo inspiration for Friday Fictioneers

The photo inspiration for Friday Fictioneers

For what it was worth, she had won. As if siphoning life through competition, breathing in victory like oxygen, and being the one who stood at the regal apex were enough to justify any means. Of course, having passed the figurative tortoise, she was now standing cold on the pavement, watching her brother cross a different sort of finish line, family in tow.

The thought was commonplace; a holiday reflection prompted by a chance sighting. Laughter. What it would mean to have lost the salary and gained something else – something normal, unquantifiable.

And yet, she had no time for nonsense.

For more flashes prompted by this image, and to learn more about flash fiction, visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple and explore the Friday Fictioneers.

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(Rules for) Living Life on the Lime (337)

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A. Do not be afraid to take a break.

  1. From anything. Seriously, from running or writing or being really strict with yourself on that diet. Or whatever.
  2. For real. But don’t do anything extreme. Taking a break is good as long as it doesn’t result in extreme unhealthy life conditions.
  3. Ok, so #2 was probably obvious, but I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s bad decision-making as a result of unclear advice.

B. Working 90-100 hours per week is possible.

C. Over-attachment to one’s mobile device is unhealthy.

D. The best non-caffeinated beverage at Starbucks is the venti soy Refresh tea misto.

  1. “Refresh” is mint. Yum.
  2. Second best is in the frapuccino section. Probably green tea.

E. Running in the rain is not nearly as unpleasant as you might imagine, unless you run without key items like headbands to cover your cold ears or a water proof jacket or an episode of This American Life to listen to on your i-pod.

  1. Radio Lab is a reasonable substitute when you run out of This American Life.
  2. Headphones are also important.
  3. And a grandiose pancake breakfast afterwards.

F. If you have two-year-old twins for your niece and nephew, it may be a good idea to take them to Trader Joe’s because they have baby carts there.

  1. It may also be a good idea to pick apples with them and find them lots of books at thrift stores and it is very important that you know about bath time and bike riding.

Keep pumpkins on the mind, too.

Ars Poetica: Homecoming

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So I write madly
ushering the words out of my fingertips
no need for rain like shard of ice outside.
It’s already cold.
I’m already imagining tea
and one of the quilts my grandmother
spotted in the bins at Goodwill
promptly forgot
and spotted again.
An aged mind
not like good wine
but a constant inspiration
about the tragedy of a life long lived.

So I write
consider the consequences
of particular observations
and line break to remind myself
that I was a poet
once.

Whatever this is,
it is reentry
not a flourish.
Surely, I am pleased with myself;
homecomings are a pleasure.

The Convenient Truth (Convenient because it’s Truth)

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Twitter is awesome. (Thanks, Katay, for really introducing me to the concept).

More truth: I have a writing bug at this time of night. Despite being truth and therefore inherently convenient (for a blog post), this is simultaneously not convenient because I really like waking up early. I loved 8 am classes. It’s sickening, really, but morning is so much better than anything else. Except for night. Like around 11 or midnight. So that’s a super frustrating set of preferences to have. It’s like I need two nighttimes, and by nighttimes I mean sleeptimes. And both should begin around 1 or 2 and last until 5 or 6 (morning and afternoon, obviously).

That would work, right? I could become a super-in-tune-with-my-body-yogi-type-of-person. Maybe that’s not exactly what a yogi is. Uhh. Whatever.

Sometimes I like to do yoga in the morning, for about ten minutes. See? I’m well on my way.

Aside: Mailman, the mutinous kitten, is currently in a fight with something in the bathroom, which is awesome, because it just sounds like someone banging and crashing around and I appreciate that, while I’m alone in the house. I have a completely insane cat to protect me and surround me with noise and joy.

 

So last night, I had a bizarre sci-fi nightmare, which made me feel significantly less like a yogi. Hold on. That is very likely the question of the century. DO yogis have nightmares? It wouldn’t be very… I don’t know… calm of them. Still, this is an important question.

But my sci-fi dream involved a super psycho and malevolent woman (shocking, right? there was an evil mastermind) who would basically turning people into zombies (I’m not even into zombies — I have NEVER seen “The Walking Dead” or any of the all-the-rage vampire movies).

Cat update: Earlier today, he ran straight into the post that resides in the middle of the cabin. It was hilarious. Sometimes he climbs like a fourth of the way up it and then realizes the endeavor is useless. It’s cute. Now he is hiding behind the vacuum cleaner planning his next attack in my vicinity.

The point is that she was just injecting them with something, or forcing them to ingest something — you know, like a date rape drug — and then a little while later they would go all nutso, get crazy strong and eat the people around them. We’re talking Hulk-like, shirt-ripping strong and a ghastly amount of Beast-face transformations among my inner circle of friends. (Ok, subconscious, this is officially my message to you to get a little more creative when you have free reign).

It sounds corny here, I know, but when you’re dreaming and you’re supposed to be the hero who saves the world from all of your best friends who have been date-rape-drugged into eating your flesh, life is less than super fantastic and being cynical or critical is not exactly a cakewalk. What tv show is it where some character decides to change the usage of cakewalk? (I cannot remember proper nouns to save my life).

So I woke up and texted people who I hoped were in approximately the same time zone to reassure me that none of them were zombies and if they were, could they just get on with it, please? Because it’s five in the morning and I really need to sleep or die and that’s just the whole real deal. So follow the path to my blue elephant nightlight — yes, I sleep with a blue elephant nightlight because it’s scary having a mad cat in the house — and devour my flesh asap. K great thanks.

Mad Cat update: Mailman has become distracted by the vacuum cleaner and forgotten to attack my vicinity. Maybe he wore himself out racing around the carpet and running into walls.

I guess maybe all of this means I wasn’t meant to be a yogi after all. And that is the truth. Another truth? I would like all of you to cross your fingers for me. I’m not going to say why, but if you do it and it works, I will. Oh, mystery, what better addition to a free associative blog post?

Less Mad Cat update: He totally forgot the attack and came to purr on my lap. Ferocious. Wow.

Finally, we have come to the end of the free association. Now you know new things about me:

  1. I do ten minutes of yoga in the morning when I remember, which is usually when I’m sore.
  2. I nightmare about my friends turning into the Hulk (but weirdly, with faces sort of like the Notre Dame guy — pretty sure this is a politically incorrect detail).
  3. I sleep with a large blue elephant nightlight.
  4. I have decided that nightmare should be a verb in the way that dream is a verb.
  5. I appear to have a fairly inaccurate concept of what a yogi is.

Ta DA

Oh, and these are my favorite babies in the whole world:

 

 

14 hours of sleep later

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I am in a complete panic about getting a job. So that’s fun.

And another thing, it’s time for me to go running and my phone says it’s 93 degrees outside. WHAT?

Other than that, things are hunky dory. I need to go to the grocery store for five days worth of food, call T, and fall asleep at a reasonable hour. Yet the list of other things I need to do — substantial things — is freaking me out.

Life is frightening when you think too hard about it, but then you list the facts and things are actually ok.

Fact: My sister sent me a Starbucks card because she is awesome and she loves me.

Fact: I have options.

Fact: My parents love me enough to want me around most of the time.

Fact: Sometimes I laugh so hard that I cry.

Fact: It is possible for me to drive around Montana.

Fact: My mom left me a Blue Moon in the fridge. That was so nice.

Fact: I bought new underwear and it is fun.

Fact: Someone will probably hire me to do something in the next two months.

Fact: In fact, someone hired me to do something last week!

Fact: Sometimes I write reasonably decent poetry.

Fact: I have nearly written three whole short stories for my dissertation. Although they need editing.

Fact: Time.

Fact: My cousin is getting married! Yay!

Fact: I literally have the cutest niece and nephew in the entire world.

Fact: The graduates invited me to chaperone their senior sneakout. Translation? I’m cool!

Fact: Yep, I’m officially feeling better.

Time for that run.

The best niece and nephew

(Rules for) Living Life on the Lime (#444)

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A) Never do work in a sauna.

  1. Or too near your mother who is making phone calls.

B) Make whole wheat banana pumpkin muffins.

  1. YUM
  2. If you have honey, I bet that would be double good, but we didn’t, so I used brown sugar.

C) Email one liners. They’re funny.

D) Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen smells the best.

E) Go running with a family member.

  1. It will be good for both of you (physically, mentally, etc.).
  2. Probably she/he will say something that will surprise you.
  3. It might even make for a good story later. Like if he/she sees a stick and thinks it’s a snake and leaps into the air.

Oh a joyful world.

Family Reunion: beaches, something dangerous with frisbees and beer bottles, and Apples to Apples

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Let it be known that I have attended what I believe to be my first ever family reunion. It was exciting. Not crazy southern style with hundreds of people (thank goodness — I get overwhelmed in a room with six people…sometimes…), but family who I actually know, all of whom managed to meet up in the same place at the same time and hang out and play funny games and eat birthday cake.

My aunt put together this incredible family tree with something like nine generations on it — it was massive and mind-boggling (and I have a feeling it was a lot of work). I, of course, smart child that I am, joined my cousins looking at the tree and immediately looked at a picture of my uncle and said — “wow! that guy really looks like your dad!” to one of them. Then I paused, while they laughed, and I realized aloud, “Oh, that is your dad.” Duh.

So there were thirty of us, and we spent two and a little days together. I will list highlights for the purpose of expediting the writing process and to avoid subjecting you to endless ordinary sentences.

1. For reunion attendees, this is obvious: the family fun run! J and C were expected to make an appearance, given their newfound expertise in the half marathon arena, as was another cousin that I would call Six-Pack, but can’t because it’s actually my card-playing alter-ego. Maybe Six-Pack#2. But apparently they were out doing more exciting things. (As if that were possible). The POINT is that three super second cousins (or however that calculation works — three cousins) joined my Dad, my brother-in-law and me on what may have been a 3-mile run along the beach. This was awesome because the Oregon coast is slightly cold and it warmed me up enough that these three cousins were then able to convince the rest of us to get into the icy water and wave jump. Which was basically the most exciting thing I’ve ever done.

1. A. Pegs also ventured ankle-deep into the deep freeze to capture and appropriately ironic beach profile picture for me. My hero.

1. B. That was really long, but seriously… go wave jumping in July off the Oregon coast. You will be frozen, but not at all disappointed.

2. Rowdy rounds of Apples to Apples. Mark has some questions about my qualifications as a judge, but I will just take this opportunity to remind him that his daughter and I seemed fairly clear on the logic of judging — sometimes the most interesting card is the winner, regardless of an obvious relationship between the red and the green cards. And our agreement must make it reasonable.

3. Picking the brain of a person who holds the precise combination of degrees (JD/PhD) that I think I would like to hold. This may not be exciting for blog-readers, but it was oh-so-exciting for me. Some day I will have a profession!

4. Playing some drinking game with my cousins, including our 12-year-old cousin who was required to hold a soda can because part of the difficulty was apparently throwing the frisbee one-handed. The game, which we cunningly set up in the parking lot amongst the negligently parked cars, involved throwing a frisbee at five empty beer bottles in an attempt to knock one over. I succeeded exactly once at this. On my second try. And it may sound straightforward. But there are more rules. Like, if the frisbee touches the ground before reaching the bottles, your opponents can stomp on it and throw from the point at which they stopped it. Also, if you knock over one of your own bottles, it is knocked down and you have to take a drink — or bite of ice cream (when my Dad was playing — he likes ice cream more than beer or soda). Me and Six-Pack#2 struggled particularly at this game and occasionally hit the negligently parked cars. Which, I will just say, was funny. And if we didn’t get a lot of bottles knocked over, we did bring joy into the lives of our teammates and opponents.

4. A. I am really failing to write short highlights.

5. The twins. They’re always a highlight, I know, but they were especially funny at the reunion. DD and I did some finger painting which devolved into body paint relatively quickly, but only to the dismay of my sister — I’m the fun aunt, what can I say?? And MarMar and I discovered the thrill of the iPad train and the iPad glitter paint. Fortunately this was a less messy game. And not to leave out important tidbits: the twins turned two! With a purple cake and a blue cake. Yum yum 🙂

6. Talking to Momma L about being a working momma and an assertive woman and just generally chatting about everything from that soft porn book (what’s it called? Fifty pages of gray or something? I think that’s not quite it…) to whatever else occurred to us.

7. I managed to make scrambled eggs with spinach and cheese (for the breakfast prepared by my Dad and me) with an ice scraper. It was in the utensils drawer. And it worked really well. Then I read the inscription on the side that said “Use to Remove Ice” and I felt vaguely embarrassed.

8. My grandfather beat me at gin. Like 124 in the first hand to 0. And then I won a hand and got 4 points. This is a future highlight because I will someday improve enough to compete with his expertise and then he will be impressed. At present it’s a highlight because my grandfather really likes to win. So he laughed really hard at first. Then I think he got worried that maybe something is wrong with me. But I got a little better toward the end and he seemed less worried.

9. My brother-in-law could only come for a day, but he flew across the whole country to do it. He’s a good dad and a good husband. So that is a good last highlight.

You should all be very jealous because my family is awesome. As a side note, I would like to mention that I think I smell like patchouli and I don’t like patchouli and I don’t know how this happened.

The Twins Help YaYa Pack for the Reunion


Which is just the occasion for dancing on the bed…


And playing the guitar.