Stare Down at the No Pay Corral

Is it me, or can even the most mundane of tasks can seem like a wild west adventure? Or perhaps I should be wearing a 12-gallon hat instead of a 10-gallon one to let my brain breathe a little better? Well, pardners, saddle on up. The adventure is about to begin.

(Insert the theme song from “The Good, Bad and The Ugly” here)

It was a steamy summer day. The sun was hovering high above the desolate street like an oven broiler poised to braise some poor unknown steak. Silence pervaded the air. Only the creaking from the gently swaying nearby “For Sale” sign could be heard.

The time was nearing for our mighty hero to mosey his way down the cobbled path to meet his long time rival. Our hero grabbed a cold bottle of water and strapped on his Nike sandals—the ones with the gel-cushioned soles—and ventured out into the wild west of his driveway. As he stepped outside, tumbleweed blew across his path.  (I just threw that in there for some dramatic effect). He looked up and there he saw his long time rival’s ominous shadow stretching across the end of the driveway.  This formidable opponent was none other than “Crooked Mailbox”—the roughest, toughest, single-posted and one-flagged synthetic plastic mail depository in this neck of woods.

The bells from the old church tower (well, not really a church tower, but the digital
calculator watch strapped to our hero’s wrist) beeped their way from 1 up to
11.  And, on the 12th beep, our hero took a deep breath, reached out his arm, grabbed the handle of our villain’s door, and opened it up. That is when it began—the daily staring contest. The contest where our hero gazes into the cavern of Crooked Mailbox’s mouth for what seems like an eternity in hopes that there will be more than mere bills awaiting inside. Could this be the day our hero looks inside and sees a payday?

Our hero’s eyes focused in on the villain as dust blew across the narrow street. The whinny of a Ford Pinto’s horn was heard in the distance. The staring continued for what seemed like an eternity (but was really only a minute or two because the microwave inside signaled that the popcorn was done).

Well, on this sweltering day, the staring revealed nothing inside but an evil emptiness. Our hero slowly backed away from Crooked Mailbox, grumbled under his breath some words of utter discontent, and moseyed on back down the cobblestone driveway to where his hearty meal of microwave popcorn awaited him inside.

Well, “Pilgrims,” until the next showdown…

 

Life…..saddle on up and enjoy it!

08.16.2011

Pirates of the Irene-abbean

fa·ther·hood

[fah-th er-hoo d]

noun

1. the state of being a father.

2. fathers collectively.

3. the qualities or spirit of a father.

 Being a father of a five-year-old boy is undoubtedly the most amazing experience.  Being able to see the world through the eyes of a child is really quite enlightening.  We all tend to get bogged down and see the world through our own narrow focused mindset. If we can just put a different spin on our perspective, the world before us can unfold in beautifully different ways.

One of the “lessons” that I have been trying to teach my son is that we can have fun no matter where we are and no matter what we are doing. This lesson is often brought up while waiting in lines at the supermarket.  Well, over this past storm-filled weekend my son reminded me of this lesson.

Let me start off by saying that I am most thankful that we fared well through the storm.  We encountered a relatively brief power outage of 13 hours.  It was during this 13 hours of “roughing it” that I started to get caught up in the “how are we going to survive without power” mode. Just as I was preplanning the fate of the recently stocked freezer, I looked outside and saw my son playing on the deck. The winds had died down by then.  He was picking up sticks dropped by the angry winds of Irene.

This is when the bleak world of selfishness and reliability on electricity faded away and I was transformed into a most magical world — a world full of adventure on the high seas.  The deck morphed into the bow of a pirate ship overlooking the Irene-abbean sea (which, in reality was our now overflowing lake).  The sticks that he was picking up were now pirate swords.  We had become swashbuckling pirates having sword fights and searching for our own buried treasure. In  a matter of mere minutes, the gloom and doom world of Irene’s wake became our own Pirates of the Irene-abbean adventure.  And, the lesson that I have been trying to teach my son of having fun in any situation had paid off.  We spent the rest of the day sailing the high seas and pirating away!

Life…… Hook it!  As in Captain Hook…  (phew, glad I clarified that.)

P.S…. I would like to give a shout-out to all those involved in assisting, helping, repairing, rescuing, cleaning, etc…after the storm.

 

08.2011

The Wrath of Grain

Warning: Don’t take this story with a grain of rice!

Home: The final frontier (at the end of the work day)
These are the voyages of the Homeship, Eatmorefries
Its who-knows-how-many-year mission
To enjoy strange new foods
To seek out new games and new crayons
To boldly go where no spork has gone before

Captain’s log.  Stardate 090811.  This is Captain J.J. Quirk of the Homeship Eatmorefries. Our mission to successfully indulge in a stir-fried dinner with steamed rice at Space Station Dinner Table has been completed, but not without some difficulty.

Our sticky situation started upon the clearing of the dinner table. On my trek to the kitchen sink, I stepped on something gummy. I lifted my foot to discover that a piece of runaway rice was stuck to the bottom. I proceeded to remove the mushy grain and toss it into the trash can. It didn’t phase me at this point that this would only be the short of the long of it.

As I got to the sink to unload my dish, I looked down at my hand—and there it was again! That blasted piece of rice never made it into the garbage. It was now sticking to my hand. I flung the grainy critter into the sink. Or so I thought. The white beast was now ‘klinging on’ to my pants. Now I was stunned. I was having a mind-meld down.

During this entire episode, I was observed by my away team. The youngest crew member—our Rockin’ Out Officer had been trying to suggest a solution to this debacle. I then decided to listen to the advice once give to me by Dr. Spock (no, not Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame, but Dr. Spock of child care fame).  This advice was that wise words are often spoken by our children. So, to my chagrin, I turned to my youngest crew member and asked him for his advice.  He spoke only two words to me.  “Paper Towel.” He picked up a paper towel and wiped the sticky alien creature off of my pants and discarded it into the trash can.  Mission accomplished!

This is a lesson that will forever be ingrained into my head.

Steam me up, Uncle Benny.

Life… “live long and prosper.”

(my thanks to Gene Roddenberry for his world of Star Trek and its inspiration.)

09.2011

Indi-dairy Bones and the Temple of Yo

Oh!  What is more magnificent than the fall season?  The leaves changing color. The.…We interrupt this blog about fabulous fall foliage to bring you another episode of ….. Indi-dairy Bones and Lego Kid……..

We last left our explorers making a heart-pounding escape from Coffee Chasm and continuing their  trek towards the Dairy Deluge.  With his faithful 41” tall exploring companion, Lego Kid, riding in the creaky-wheeled shopping cart (which by the way needs a major front end alignment), Indi pushed down the brim of his construction paper fedora and made his move onto the shopper laden aisle  ahead.  Weaving!  Dodging! Hanging tight turns on two wheels! Oh, the treacherous journey of getting through the quagmire of cart traffic!  Lego Kid enjoyed the ride as he was hanging 10 inside the plastic box accompanied by a quick tune of “Surfing Safari” hummed by yours truly (oops.  I mean Indi).

After furiously fleeing through the frozen tundra of  Freezer land, there in the distance beneath a flickering neon light, was the treasure they had been seeking.  The pro-biotic treasure they first learned about from the ragged edge flyer they had received in the mail the week before. The flyer with cryptic discounted language and free turkey announcements. The flyer that took two weeks to decipher (allowing one week of being misplaced and another week of finding the ancient coupon code book).

Armed with the flyer, their “bring me back and don’t use plastic bags” shopping satchel, and a Cool Whip, (Come on.  You know I had to work a whip in here somewhere and it would have been too obvious if I applied the ‘whip’ directly to the yogurt commentary) our heroes had arrived to the Temple of Yogurt.  Talk about the “Paradox of Choice” (which, by the way, is a good read written by Barry Schwartz)!   Carefully constructed containers of yogurt from every culture, country and flavor where stacked from floor to ceiling in their refrigerated recluse.  I’m not pudding this mildly.  Indi-dairy held up the flyer and said to Lego Kid, “Yo. Play. Help me match the picture on the flyer with the yogurt treasure we are seeking!”   Lego Kid scoured the stack and pointed right smack dab in the middle of the pile.  “There”, he said.   “Nice job, kid.”

Now, for the moment of truth. Indi took a deep breath and gathered his wits. “Time to get my Dan on!” he muttered.  Mustering up all his courage, Indi reached into the pile and gingerly plucked the blueberry treasure.  He stood back and smirked that victorious smirk that only he can smirk.

As Indi turned around to give a high five to Lego Kid, he saw Lego Kid reaching beyond the barrier of the plastic box and grabbing a Batman Ball from its cage causing an avalanche of plastic balls (make up your own joke here).

“Chiobani!”, Indi shouted as he threw the treasure into the satchel, picked up Lego Kid, and fled across the stony field to Checkout Island.

To be continued……… check out future blog posts for more adventures of Indi-dairy Bones and Lego Kid.

Life…….. live it by the spoonful!

10.28.2011

Enter The Cupboard

I bet you are wondering where I have been? Why have I not posted a blog in two months?  What’s with berry spots stained on my arms? Well, my friends, even if you haven’t the slightest desire to read on, I am going to dish my latest scoop on Life to you. Grab your favorite cereal bowl and prepare to………. Enter the Cupboard.

Late night munchies, we all have them, right? You know, that craving that creeps up on you just before you settle down under the covers. That panging inside of you that just wants to shout out “feed me,” like everybody’s favorite man-eating plant, Audrey. (Hum a bar of the “Little Shop of Horrors” theme here. Go, ahead. You know you want to. Nobody reading this blog will hear you, unless they are reading the blog there with you at the same time. But then again, you both would be humming it at the same time, cancelling out each other’s humming so that nobody would hear any humming. So, in that case, why even bother humming the song in the first place?) Wow! That was quite a tangent! Back to our story.

After several minutes of deep meditation, I decided to give into the temptation and indulge in a late night cereal snack. Donning my favorite tiger embroidered martial arts robe (because we all know that I like to wear a martial arts robe at bedtime) I stealthily headed into the dark kitchen. I went to the fridge and took out some milk. (Yes, the same fridge that was cleaned in the last blog entry. If you didn’t read that one, then I invite you now to go and enjoy it after you finish this story. It really doesn’t matter what order you read them in. I am just happy that you are reading them at all.)  As I took the milk out, I thought I heard a crunching noise behind me. I thought to myself, “Self, you are just being flakey. It’s nothing.”

I proceeded to get a bowl from my Quaker style cabinet. Again. I heard something.  This time it sounded like somebody throwing pebbles at the cupboard above my oven. I know, fruity, right? “Man!  My brain must be total mush tonight.” Then, just as I grabbed a spoon, not only did I hear a “Snap!” but also a “Crackle” and a “Pop!”  These sounds scared the Life out of me. They were coming from the same cupboard. Dare I enter the cupboard ? (yes!  I worked the title in! Two scoops for me!)

After chewing  on the issue for a spilled second, I raised my spoon towards the cupboard and said, “Do you feel lucky, junk?”  All was silent. I swiftly opened the cupboard door. Out leapt Captain Crunch, like a ninja pirate from some ninja pirate movie. The box top was open. The only surprise inside for me was the attack of the crunchberries from inside. Crunchberries went flying everywhere! Some landed on me and left their staining blueness on my arms. Captain Crunch was followed by Mister Salty and then Aunt Jemima. The last item to jump out of the cupboard was a box of Wheaties. I opened up my mouth, and caught some of the Wheaties. It was a good thing that I ate my Wheaties because it gave me the energy I needed to clean up the mess on the floor.

Next time, make no ifs, brans, or buts about it, I’m sticking to oatmeal—which is located in the tin on the counter.

Moral of the story……  He who packs entire food supply into one cupboard is cereal-ously asking for some nasty Trix to be played on him.

Until next time……….. Cheerio.

02.29.12

King of Pop Tarts

For your amusement, the following is a re-post from my early day of blogging…when I actually highlighted the puns out of desperation so they would not be missed.  Egads….. lol.

 

Warning….The following blog entry was concocted as a desperate attempt to keep my brain awake while driving home this evening from a long road trip and may not make any sense whatsoever.  Read and digest at your own risk!

Life is sprinkled with serendipitous moments. These unexpected
instances of the perfect timing of random elements can be quite amazing. They are like the frosting on the cake of life. We just need to be aware and live in the moment to experience them. For example, one such instance of serendipity graced itself in my life today.

I was driving home today from a long road trip. Ok, no big deal there. But, wait, keep reading. We were listening to the radio and “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson comes on. So, I look in the rear view mirror at my son who is eating a Pop-tart.  Blueberry flavor, if you are wondering. And, no, Pop-tarts are not the best snack for eating in the car unless you love using your Dyson cordless vacuum. But, that is a blog for another day.

So, if you are still reading this either you are either 1) Really intrigued.  2) Really bored. Or  3)  Being punished for being a smooth criminal.  Hear me out. This is going to be a real thriller.

Here’s the spark of ingenuity that was laid out before me in black or white.  The “King of Pop” is playing on the radio while my son is eating a Pop-tart. That’s the
moment of beauty. The moment of unpredictability. The  a-ha moment of, “why not combine the King of Pop with Pop-Tarts and come up with the title for a blog called “The King of Pop-Tarts.” (insert big smile here).

I may not have been able to heal the world with this blog entry.  And I certainly hope you didn’t think it was really bad and made you scream.   It’s my goal to wanna be startin’ somethin’ with you.  Start a daily awareness to make you see that wonderful coincidences surround us every day—and they may even have a purpose.

Well, that wraps up this entry.  I’m sure you want me to beat it and get out of here. So, I’m off now to see if I can find any classic Billie Jean King tennis matches to watch. OOOh, wait!….Billie…Jean…King…of Pop-Tarts……………..  nah.  Never mind. Now, I’m pushing it.

Life……live it to the fullest.

Musings/Tales of Fodder-hood

 

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. – Dr. Seuss

This is where I am most fortunate enough to be able to share my musings and other stories.  Feel free to dogear this section…no…not by bending the corner of your screen….but, by subscribing to my blog over there on the right.  This way, you will be notified when I add more enjoyment to my blog.   Enjoy!

Comet – Not the Other Reindeer (A Punny Tale of Christmas Joy)

Grab a hot cup of cocoa, and sit back and enjoy this chilly pre-Chrismas tale………

photo courtesy of @istockphoto/janka3147

photo courtesy of @istockphoto/janka3147

Comet – Not the Other Reindeer (A Tale of Christmas Joy)

T ‘was two nights before Christmas and I got this sudden itch. To go and clean out my science experiment of a fridge.

I dashed across the freshly mopped floor and slid my way over to the white-colored door.

Into the door my head did crash. The door flew open and from inside a light did flash.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a spoiled carton of milk and a not-so-ripe pear.

And something red and green that was just so smelly. I’m thinking it a jar of really old jelly.

On the walls objects were splattered. Based on a taste test, it ended up being cookie dough batter.

This was a job that required the proper gear. Listen up, for soon about it you will hear.

I armed myself with a clothespin for my nose. A pair of tongs for extricating. And even a garden hose.

Over my shoulder was strewn a black plastic sack -the kind known as a “hefty cinch”. The kind that would be proudly toted by our mean friend, Mr. Grinch.

I braved my way being really tough. Removed the mess and sprayed in some stuff.

“What sort of stuff did you use for your task?” I know this is a question that you are wanting to ask.

On went some Comet, Windex, and Softscrub. And other lemony-scented cleaning products that I just love.

They all seemed to do the cleaning trick. It really was a Christmas miracle. It was simply “Fantastik”

Happy Holidays!!!!!