Disappointment

Prompt: Disappointing

trump van

Hello Wednesday,

Disappointment. Wouldn’t you love to go back to the days when disappointment was a terrible, even heartbreaking feeling, instead of living at a time when rage, frustration, cynicism, and fear are the dominant emotions? I should be disappointed in myself for writing such a depressing sentence, but no, I’m angry and frustrated. Grrr on me.

But look at that Trump campaign van pictured above. Full of rage and stupidity, with “Make Liberals Cry” the policy statement. I suspect the van was so embarrassed it blew out its own tire. Which disappointed the team inside, who no doubt had lots of creative and colourful ways to demonstrate their ability to make liberals cry. I’m kind of disappointed that I don’t get to hear their exact message. I need a laugh today.

Why? I guess we all need a laugh. We all need to flip this dark coin over and relish the light side again: love, hope, respect, humour, and energy. Let’s yank ourselves out of this black and white movie and shift into technicolor. Let’s listen to birdsong, breathe fresh air deeply, feel the potent silence of a dark night, rejoice in small pleasures so we have all the practice we need to rejoice in the big ones. The big pleasures, the changes, are coming, I promise.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons relating to today’s theme?

cartoon pitcher disappoints

cartoon big apple

cartoon fallen


Love and hope,

~~FP

Good Bones

Prompt: Place


Hello Wednesday,

Have you ever counted the number of places you’ve lived in? I wonder what the average is? I mean houses, in whatever location: would the average be about four? six?

I know I’ve lived in 12 different abodes, including this one, in five cities and one tiny town. I’ve packed more boxes than I can count. Gone house hunting so often that now that I am relatively settled I am a Househunters (TV show) addict, particularly Househunters International. I know it’s completely fake, rigged, and laughably predictable, but it’s still fun to mock the unbelievable clueless house hunters, their sleazy realtors, and the appallingly inappropriate homes.

Househunters is a TV show gasping for a drinking game. So gather your loved ones of drinking age around you, set out the wine and beer, and take a swig anytime one of the following happens on Househunters:

  • One wants city, one wants country.
  • One wants modern, one wants traditional.
  • One is adamant about the budget, one who doesn’t care a whit.
  • The music for International is hopelessly clichéd (Oompah soundtrack in Germany, for example).
  • In any large city where the couple are shocked their $600 rental budget isn’t enough.
  • Someone crawls into the bathtub.
  • Someone enters the shower and comments on the height of the shower head.
  • Someone criticizes a light fixture in a million dollar home.
  • Someone expresses shock that: the toilet is in a separate room from the bathtub.
  • Someone expresses shock that the clothes washer is in the kitchen.
  • The couple is adamant about an outdoor area for their dog but settle on an apartment.
  • A parent frets that a child will fall off a railed landing or balcony.
  • A “joke” is made about a closet being large enough for the woman only.
  • A “joke” is made about the closet only large enough for the woman’s shoes.
  • Someone blathers on about “natural light” when they mean “this room has windows”.
  • That frequent Paris realtor talks about “good bones”.
  • The buyers complain the oven is too small for a Thanksgiving turkey.
  • Someone says “I can see us drinking coffee/sipping wine on this balcony”.
  • Someone bemoans lack of privacy instead of remembering curtains can be closed,.
  • They insist on a heart-of-the-city apartment then complain about the noise.
  • They insist on extra bedrooms for “visitors” who many come once a year for a week.
  • They faint from horror at the sight of a popcorn ceiling.
  • The shots of the previous location is all snow and ice if the couple is from Canada.
  • The realtor tells us that the housing market has has a recent uptick and finding a place will be “challenging”.
  • The realtor shows them a pile of rubble and asks them to see the potential.
  • The realtor shows a couple with four children a two-bedroom home.
  • The after picture looks exactly like the before picture except for a new cushion,
  • They pick the worst option by far.

I’m sure there are many more. I’ll make a game, print sheets, and send them out to other fans. Contact me!

Meanwhile may I present a few of my favourite cartoons also related to today’s prompt, “place”?

cartoon socialist wasteland

cartoon oz or kansas

cartoon great screen japan


Stay safe!

~~FP

 

They Know Me

Prompt: Purpose


Dear Wednesday,

There are some things that should not be controversial.

Don’t wash whites with colours. Don’t leave a dog in a hot car. Clean water is a right. Wear a mask when you cannot keep a safe distance during a deadly pandemic.

Yet for certain segments of the population, especially in a once-great nation, a basic safety precaution recommended in certain circumstances by every reputable doctor and expert has become a political issue, a freedom football.

The virus is spread in the air, via droplets in our breath. Many people who have the virus are asymptomatic. So to protect others, a non-medical mask is sometimes necessary. It’s part of living and surviving in a community.

So when people of astonishing ignorance and gullibility shout (don’t shout, it spreads germs) that wearing a mask is a freedom issue, then the rest of the world, the sane ones, react with incredulity, revulsion, and anger. Does astonishing selfishness and shortsightedness always accompany ignorance and gullibility? It’s as if they think that they are the only ones tired of this pandemic; of not being able to see loved ones, having our movements limited, losing jobs and livelihoods, feeling exhausted and lonely.

I mean we have other issues to concern ourselves with. Bigoted, racist heads of state, lawmakers, and peacekeepers. Karens and Donalds and Vladimirs. But masks? Little bits of paper or cloth that we wear over our mouth and nose to protect the most vulnerable in our society—temporarily, until this crisis is over? Should not be given a second thought. Not controversial.

We know people of astonishing ignorance have existed among us, and should not be surprised, in this climate of ignorant populism, that they feel confident enough to shout out their nonsenses. But I am surprised. And angry, that they truly can’t seem to comprehend that their “freedom” does not include the right to endanger other lives.

Related to none of the above is the following small collection of some of my favourite cartoons. Enjoy!

cartoon hows the squid

cartoon what I saw

cartoon they know me


Peace and love,

~~FP

Astonish Me

Prompt: Flick


She entered the darkened room silently, the glow of her cigarette acting as the dimmest of lamps, and saw the silhouette of a large cat crouched in front of a window draped with a thin lace curtain. She could smell embers from a now-dead dead fireplace. 

She sensed the movement to her right before she saw it, and spun on her heel, kicking hard in a fluid, violent movement — it was Nick, one moment licking his lips in triumph at tracking her down again, now reeling backward, turning, and hitting his head on the brick mantle. The cat was quick to pounce, bloodthirsty, to lick the crimson liquid pouring from his forehead like thick cream into a bowl. She could suddenly hear the tick of a clock and smell the burnt waxiness of the extinguished wick of a candle and felt a prick of fear scud along her spine.

She flicked the ash of her cigarette as the cat leapt back onto the windowsill. She felt sick, knowing Nick would survive to tell Vic about the trick she’d played, He’d once called her a hick, a foolhardy chick— now he lay ominously still at her feet. She had no choice: She pulled the Colt from her belt and heard the click as the gun was cocked. 

The cat, in silhouette, silent and angry, flicked its tail in the moonlight. 


Now that I have fulfilled my writing prompt responsibilities, in this case trying to incorporate as many ‘flick’ rhymes as I could into a rather thin story—which was the only idea that came to mind with this word prompt— may I now present a few of my favourite cartoons relating to the hero of our story, the cat, and her favourite prey?

cartoon cat editor

cartoon church mice

cartoon Astonish me


Peace and love,

~~FP

Endangered Species

bumblebee bat2

Please please may I have my own bumblebee bat?
Who would perch like an angel on the rim of my hat,
And flutter and fly and scare my dog, Nat,
That I’d cuddle and spoil and pet like a cat,
And save from his vanishing Thai habitat,
Cause endangered he’d love my cramped little flat,
Where I’d feed him cold mozzies and warm butterfat,
…or should I just get a turtle and leave it at that?

Bumblebee Bat

Not Guilty

Prompt: Humans

cartoon wagging

Hello Wednesday, a little late.

To be honest, I completely forgot about my Wednesday post, since I had a very unharmonious day with our new puppy, Holly, who picked February 26 to be the worst puppy she could be, and I have the damaged clothes and broken skin and frazzled nerves to prove it. In addition, she forgot everything she ever learned about housetraining. It is a day that will live in infamy. Next February 26 I will book myself into a spa with a sensory deprivation tank and try to forget. It will be an annual event, and wine will be involved.

On Thursday, Holly was gentle as a lamb. We took her out to socialize and she met lots of other dogs and people and did very well. I talked to a professional trainer who assured me that housetraining and biting regression are common and that, after all, puppy is still just a baby at 12 weeks. Puppies are like human babies, she added, and get hyper and bratty when they are tired. She then taught puppy, in less than a minute, to come to her hand. We learned how to stop her jumping up on others, if not on us, from a woman in the parking lot. Holly and I had cuddles in the car on the way out and on the way back.

A few minutes ago, she ravaged my back and legs, unprovoked, with her needle teeth and razor claws, while pulling on my jeans and top and possibly ripping them. I haven’t looked. I can only think of spa day, 2021.

The prompt today is “human” and I keep reminding myself that I am an adult human, the most advanced species on earth, and Holly is a little baby dog who has never seen a toothbrush and who was literally bred over the millennia to be my best friend. I just checked on her and she is crashed out in the front hallway, snoring. I simply adore her when she is asleep.

Relating to today’s prompt and just a little to today’s tribulations, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon you have humans

cartoon steps

cartoon not guilty


Peace, love, and cuddles,

~~FP

SOS

You probably have a list of films that you’ve always meant to see but have somehow slipped by; for me those have included Julia and Julia (about an amateur cook/blogger and chef Julia Child), The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (about memories? I still haven’t seen it) and until recently, Mamma Mia (a musical featuring ABBA songs). Well, the latter film is off my list of Mean To See and onto a new one: Worst Movies I’ve Ever Suffered Through.

MERYL STREEP MM

Mamma Mia is appallingly over-acted, ineptly sung, gaudy (and not in a good way), hideously costumed, nonsensically written, and is almost enough to put an unsuspecting person off the catchy, joyful sing-along tunes of the Swedish pop group, ABBA, forever.

I should have know better when the opening scene was a jaw-dropper (and not in a good way): three 30-something twenty-year olds screeching out a melody I can only assume once made sense while dancing (allegedly) in the Greek countryside. Why Greek? Good question.

The mystifying setting and the stupefying use of Greek people and culture as a backdrop to the nonsense should have at least provided some distraction from the stupidity of the plot, but no, it was just another cringeworthy element of a movie that was so full of cringe that I was almost a crumpled ball of skin by its end.

Sure, Meryl Streep soldiers her way through, flinging her arms about during musical numbers in a touching display of misplaced trust in the director, who surely drugged all the actors. Directing the group dance scenes must have involved mass hypnosis. “Make it big! Make it CAMPY!” Cringe.

The less said about Pierce Brosnan’s acting and “singing”, the better. And I should be clear: this is not a production that joins the ranks of movies so bad they are good. This one is just bad.

mamma mia awful

Here’s an image I can’t unsee: once-distinguished actors Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgård.

To be fair, there was one highlight. Despite a winter cold that causes me to croak so alarmingly that it frightens the new puppy, I did start to sing along to the song “Super Trouper”, which awakened said puppy. She leapt to her feet and ran to me, sat and stared as if she’d never been so enchanted. “Super trouper lights are gonna find me, Shining like the sun!” I croaked loudly to my enraptured Holly pup. She crawled into my lap and we had a moment.

Super trouper beams are gonna blind me

But I won’t feel blue
Like I always do
Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you!

ABBA, why didn’t you sue?

Agony Ant: Completely Normal Dude [Repost]

Prompt: Grammar

raccoon-plush-toytabby-cat-plush

Dear Agony Ant,

I am an 18-year old man currently living in a winter hunting cabin in the woods, almost a mile from the city limits. Fortunately, I have Internet reception, which has allowed me to complete my high school education via online courses, where I did particularly well in chemistry, grammar, and gymnastics (though the latter grades were mostly honour system).

I hunt, fish, and visit the Safeway to meet nutritional needs. I have several different indoor, hunting, foraging, and public clothing sets, so I am presentable when picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, for example, as well as properly attired for hunting rabbits. The cabin has a generator but no heat, but I find the wood burning stove adequate for my warmth needs.

My companion in the cabin is my large tabby cat, named Ferdinand. He is a competent mouser and watch-cat (alerted me to a blockage in the chimney one night, which saved us both), and is also quite affectionate. There is also a particularly friendly and persistent raccoon, who visits daily, and recently had a litter of babies, who now also visit. Unfortunately, the cat and the raccoon have not become friends, and in fact are quite hostile towards one another.

But, that is not the problem for which I am asking advice, Ms Ant. It’s my high school graduation ceremony and subsequent prom. Since I live alone (Ferdinand notwithstanding), I have very few acquaintances of either gender, yet I long to escort a date to the celebratory dance and whatever festivities might follow (specifically, sexual contact and loss of virginity).

The correspondence school is sponsoring a modest gathering in a city 55 miles from here, in the grand ballroom of the Best Western Motel there, and they need confirmation from me about my attendance and food allergy information, as well as how many rooms I will be booking for the evening.

So my questions are: a) Where does one find a non-psychotic date who is willing to attend a correspondence school prom and who is also not averse to having sex with me, a stranger, afterwards; and b) is there an outlet that will exchange a carefully fitted and stylish suit rental for dried huckleberries and 20 lbs of assorted cured squirrels, pigeon, and blue snake (which tastes a lot like chicken)?

Yours truly,
Completely Normal Dude


Dear Completely Normal Dude,

Yes, you are normal, despite the surface aberrations of living like a hermit and serving tea to raccoons. You are a horny elderly teenager who desperately wants to get laid, and even went so far as to study online so you would have justification for this compulsion, since you are so socially inexperienced that you equate prom attendance with loss of virginity.

If you are financially able (maybe shoot a few more squirrels), I suggest hiring a pretty youngish woman from a reputable escort agency to dress appropriately as your date, play the role, and initiate you into the wonders of fornication after a few grinds on the dance floor. This is a win-win-win situation: A win for you, getting your cherry picked by an expert; for your date, who will make quite a lot of cash for an easy, though time-consuming, assignment (don’t forget she will likely not want to spend the night with you at the Best Western Motel, so you will need to provide transportation at the end of your liaison); and a win for the unsuspecting young woman, identity unknown, whom you were prepared to inflict your illusory impulses upon.

As for the suit, have you considered shop-lifting? Many big box stores, which some say harm local economies, now sell jackets and pants which would suffice. Keep the berries and snake bacon for yourself, since you never know what might happen.

And may I commend you on your exquisite grammar.

Peace and love,
agony ant


Dear Agony Ant,

How did you know about the tea?

Completely Normal Dude


Dear CND,

It is my job to read between the lines. Do not become too attached to the raccoons, and not just because it could alienate and cause a breach of trust with Ferdinand. I see heartbreak ahead if you fail to realize that raccoons are wild, free spirits who will also overturn your garbage can.

Peace and Love,
agony ant


  • Original Prompt: Hideout .February 21, 2017.

Hurray for Science [Repost]

New Prompt: Hope — with a poem

Epitome database


This illustration of Epitome, a database of “structurally inferred antigenic epitopes in proteins, i.e., known antigenic residues and the antibodies that interact with them, including a detailed description of residues involved in the interaction and their sequence/structure environments”, is for me the epitome of specialized science: opaque, brilliant, obscure, necessary, esoteric, and curious. Scientists from all over the world contributed (and still do?) to this epitome.

This is not a criticism or a joke. How I would love to have a Masters in Bioinformatics with Systems Biology, for example, instead of being a good speller and able to do some crosswords in pen, can draw a little, and studied geophysics once, among other random topics that interested me at the time, logic be damned. My life is a failure, as far as specialized science goes.

I know enough to know that I hardly know anything at all. And I know that because I don’t understand this science, or parts of it might be unpleasant or scary, doesn’t mean I can dismiss it. I believe in believing the experts. (Hear that, climate-change deniers?)

 

Epitopes

Schematic representation of two antibodies interacting with linear and conformational epitopes.

Converted to a poem by me:

a.

Linear epitopes
are short and continuous
like dachshunds.
After denaturation
the linear epitopes may still
be able to
bind
the antibody.
I have hope.


b.

Conformational epitopes
are domains
of proteins
composed of specific regions of
protein chains.
Never alone.
After denaturation
the discontinuous epitope
can no longer
bind
the antibody.
Love conquers all.

 


Little Things

Prompt: Words


Dear Wednesday,

Have you ever had a dream that made perfect sense until you woke up and tried to journal it or share it with someone? There are definitely times when we simply don’t have the words to communicate what we want to express. I have dreams about elaborate games, say, or surprising ideas that simply don’t translate into verbal language. I can’t act them out either, write music to articulate them, draw diagrams or images to reveal them, or even begin to explain the premise of the game (is it even a game?) or idea.

Often these dreams involve numbers, which simultaneously frustrate and illuminate the … game or idea, which leads me to believe that mathematics is more than numbers, but might just possibly represent universal truths that go beyond scribbles on a page or blackboard. Don’t ask me how I know this; I don’t have the words to explain it.

Onward to a few of my favourite cartoons related to this topic of “words”:

cartoon charades

cartoon little words

cartoon my first boat


Love and peace,

~~FP