Gather Round

Prompt: Google it


Oh dear Wednesday,

When you look out a window and see the tops of trees and think only about trees for a moment, it’s hard to be upset with what’s going on in the world. The problem is that we can’t look at trees forever, all the time, and are instead bombarded with news of great injustice, which we attempt to mitigate in our small ways or big ways, but which stress us so much that we need the visions of trees to calm us down again.

Balance, that’s what life is about. So sure, I can hug and scratch Rosie the therapy dog for half and hour, and feel like Anne of Green Gables. Afterward, when I turn on my device or switch on the news I am faced with IT again. For the moment, IT is personified into the image of one person, who is ignorance, malice, greed, and egoism with two arms and two legs, fake hair, and a fake tan.

Please go and gaze at treetops if you can’t take either IT anymore, or criticism of IT’s personification. I won’t rant, or swear, or write graffiti, or stick pins in anything. I’ll just submit for your enjoyment/ dismay/ venting a few of my favourite cartoons and one angry quotation. Warning: Serious cussing ahead.

cartoon distraction

cartoon don jr fredo

cartoon gather round

Donald Trump is also a coward. For all of his tough talk and bluster, the president of the United States is a punk ass bitch. And this has also been apparent for as long as we’ve known who he is. He slipped out of draft duty because of… bone spurs. Bone spurs don’t even get you on the NFL injury report, but he used it to stay the fuck away from actually having to fight. We know his history of bullying and insulting women. And, since he’s been in office, we’ve seen him cower to Kim Jong Un and literally get Deeboed by Vladimir Putin — two men who, for all of their faults, would definitely whoop Trump’s ass.
We’ve had racist presidents before. We’ve had malignant misogynists in office before. But never has our president been such a fucking wimp.

—Damon Young, Just Remember That Your Punk-Ass President Would Never, Ever, Ever Call LeBron James Dumb to His Face, in The Root, published August 4, 2018.


Sincere wishes for peace and love from someone who is actually quite calm and gentle,

~~FP

As Seen on TV

Prompt: Television


Hello Wednesday,

Has television become the focus of our lives? It occupies a prominent, if not the most prominent, position in our homes, we stare at it for many hours a day, use it as a source for news, gossip, education, and entertainment both inspiring and trivial, and we are likely to lose our minds if the cable goes out and we are stuck in a room with a silent yawning black hole instead of the thing that we build routines around.

When I got my first apartment my roomie and I were on a tight budget so thought we’d forego the television set— and yes, this was partly a social experiment on our part. How did we spend our evenings? I remember filling many diary volumes, working on crafty projects, going out a lot, reading, studying (when not in school I was generally taking night courses), and having friends visit. I also remember going into work every day and not participating in the ubiquitous “Did you see…?” recap about the previous night’s TV events. Most importantly, I remember not missing it! The apartment, humble as it was, was always a serene and calming refuge and not a distracting noise box. When my roommate moved on to another city, my new housemate got us a tiny old black and white TV, and thus ended the experiment.

As I examine my TV habits I can’t help but notice how remarkably distractible I am even when I am watching a program I deliberately scheduled, by my iPad mostly, catching up on mail and messages, news, following links and so on, but I also fidget, talk on the phone, do my nails, wander around, doodle, fold laundry, browse magazines, make tea, add ice to my wine, make lists. I honestly don’t know if television shows are less fascinating or whether my ability to focus on anything has eroded into near non-existence. I suspect the latter. How about you?

Related to my television pondering and today’s prompt, may I now present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon tv book

cartoon as seen on tv book

cartoon cat tv


Love, peace and serene refuge,

~~FP 

Honor System

Prompt: Honor


Hello Wednesday,

It was my parents’ wedding anniversary yesterday. Were they still alive, it would have been their… 700th or so, which is not diamond or paper anniversary but I believe is celebrated by presenting one another with life-viable planets. I mean, it has to be extra-special to stay wed for so long, right?

So they would each have had possession of a planet that could conceivably be a location for, say, space vacations, providing there was a water slide or similar amenity. Either one could also act as a back-up planet for this one, for a reasonable fee. If only all anniversary symbols were so practical.

They would get to name their planets. My mother would probably call hers “Sophie” while my dad would likely go for “Omphaloskepsis” or other cool-sounding, obscure word, since he liked puzzles and dictionaries. He liked dictionaries he could hold in his hand, not Google search screens. At my parents’ home there was a shelf under the living room window stocked with several dictionaries, a three-volume encyclopedia, almanac, Book of World Records, Thesaurus, atlas, and a French-English dictionary (we’re Canadian, what can I say). These books were called Argument Stoppers.

My mother liked words too but preferred the meditative arts to crossword puzzles: she embroidered, knit, crocheted, quilted, baked, canned.. and basically excelled at all the lost arts. Planet Sophie would look nice and have great food.

If my parents were here with me now, in my humble living room, my mother would be doing handwork by the fire and my dad would be working on a cryptic crossword, surrounded by Argument Stoppers, occasionally challenging me with a clue. My mother would also be doling out advice— strangely enough, advice I likely asked for. She was good at advice.

I would be here at my laptop, missing them terribly.

Well now, in honour of honour, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons that honour the prompt’s American spelling, “honor”?

cartoon tsa honor

cartoon trump honor

cartoon alleged killer whale


Peace and love,

~~FP

No Place for Secrets [Repost]

Prompt: Fright

sun_prominence

“There is no place for secrets here.”

That’s what he used to say, almost every prayer session, sometimes softly like a nurturing father, sometimes with spittle at the corner of his mouth, furious and shouting. It got so that the phrase had no meaning at all.

We weren’t sure what secrets were anymore. He mostly told us what to think about, and there seemed to be eyes upon us all the time; if not him, or some of the others, then our own eyes, upon ourselves.

He told us to think about what life means, and what it would mean without him to guide us. What if we were abandoned by him, and left to fend for ourselves up there? We trembled when we thought about it. He said we would be eaten alive up there, and we realized he meant it figuratively, but it seemed terrifying all the same.

When we looked in the mirror we saw faces without sunshine, from without or from within.

“There is no place for secrets here.” We were to confess our wayward thoughts to him. Shine the light of day on those thoughts and make them scurry like cockroaches back into the darkness. We didn’t know what the light of day looked like or felt like. We had forgotten. We confessed that wayward thought to him and he grew angry. “Up there, you would be lost. What good is the light if you souls are lost? Think about that.”

And we did. We thought about life, about life without him, about how we would be eaten alive up there, about soulless lives, about how there is no place for secrets.

So, we rolled him into a blanket, and shoved him out the door. He was right, the light was frightening. It hurt our eyes. We closed and sealed the door, and he began pounding on it. He was shouting something too, but his voice was muffled and we couldn’t make out the words.

We didn’t have to hold secret our thought, not any more. It was finally out. And he was right. The world is a better place without secrets.


Original Prompt: Secret, March 1, 2016

Pill Popping

Prompt: Addiction


Hello Wednesday,

nano banner 2019

What? No. No! Noooooooo!

I won’t say the following: “What happened to the year?” “WTF?” “I have no clue what to write.” “Should I do this again?” But I promise you, I am thinking those things.

What I will say out loud is that I am ever and always surprised at my reaction to Nanowrimo: my supreme dread and my subsequent commitment to it.

National Novel Writing Month is an annual event wherein new, middling, experienced, or even non- writers decide to participate in a 30 day challenge: to write a 50,000 word novel. The only rule is that you don’t start putting pen to paper until 12:01 am November 1 and succeed if you have at least 50k words by midnight November 30. What you write and how you write and whether you prepare your plot and scenes or write by the seat of your pants is all up to you.

If you choose to jump in, you would go to the website, sign up, and share your progress, chat (if you want to) with other participants via the many forums, and either miss the bus or celebrate your victory, often with Winners’ Offers more substantial than the certificate of success (which I always download and wave around like a fool).

Truth be told, I really would love to give the whole thing a pass this year, but it seems my family and friends are addicted to my annual participation. Any day now I will be getting queries and pep talks. Sigh.

Speaking of addiction, which is today’s prompt, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon popped pills

cartoon staff picks

cartoon addicted rats


Love, peace, and pushy friends,

~~FP

Ned helped out

Prompt: Celebrate


Well, Wednesday, summer was certainly in a hurry to rush off, and so here I sit in front of a charming gas fireplace while it drizzles and blows outside.

The theme today is “celebrate” and there is much to make merry about today (and perhaps every day, if we devoted a little thought to it). How are we merry? Let us count the ways:

  1. My goddaughter gave birth to her third son, and I suspect they will end up with seven children as they keep trying for a girl. In any case, they are a fine, funny family at any size, and the new arrival is greeted with joy by all except the 3-year old who is peeved because they didn’t give the baby the name he wanted: Macaroni and Cheese.
  2. Fall wardrobes of soft fleece and plush wools, and that feeling of smugness and invincibility you get when you wrap up to go out and face the elements. It may be brisk and windy but you are toasty warm in your jacket and fuzzy gloves.
  3. The quickie kitchen book I am writing is ticking along, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated. That’s because I had another creative project to finish first. Creative projects rule!
  4. I still live by the lake. It helps to be happy to look out your window—even if it is a view of the laundromat across the street, since laundromats are good and and give us clean, warm clothes.
  5. Trump may finally be impeached. It might be too early to celebrate, since the man has escaped consequences for countless earlier sorry misdeeds, but what the hell. Bring on the confetti.
  6. Scones. Scones should be celebrated year round. Think of hot buttered scones with tea on a chill autumn morning.
  7. I had a really, very, too much fun dream the other night, which I am so sorry I can’t relate because it is of an adult nature, but trust me, it was a good one.
  8. Tomatillos.

And now, as an anticlimax, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons related to the prompt, “celebrate”?

cartoon birthday party clown

cartoon leave party

cartoon ned helped


Peace and love,

~~FP

Quick Nap

Prompt: Comfort


Hello Wednesday!

As summer turns to autumn we all put on a cheerful front and declare our love of brown leaves and claim to adore the crisp cold air. At the same time we are chilled and miserable and damp as we put on scratchy socks for the first time since summer and fold up our patio furniture, relegating it to dark corners of the garage.

It’s a comfort issue. Warm breezes are more comfortable than chill ones, bare toes prefer to wiggle freely, an ice-cold drink on a hot day is only marginally rivalled by a hot drink on a bone-chilling near-winter day.

Wait. Those hot steamy mugs sipped while gathered round a fire are almost the definition of comfort. Perhaps we need the un-comfort to truly revel in comfort. Yin and yang, and all that.

In any case, I don’t feel ready for hot chocolate just yet. I would still refer a frosted glass of rosé enjoyed while basking in the illusion of endless summer. For now, anyway.

On the subject of comfort, I’ve been busy writing/compiling an ebook to publish on Kindle, a definite step out of my comfort zone since while publishing is a glorious goal, self-doubt and and impostor-syndrome follow me around too. So I am going to get this book written (it’s a fun guide to setting up a kitchen and pantry for newbies) and out there just to shatter the mystique of publishing. If you like, I’ll announce its launch here when it is on it’s first free Amazon promo.

In the meantime, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, very loosely related to today’s prompt, “comfort”?

 

cartoon cat schedule

 

cartoon old cat

 

cartoon crocs


Peace and comfort,

~~FP