Month: August 2014

Head Turners

Head Turners 

We often hear strange snippets of conversation as we walk through public spaces. When was the last time you overheard something so interesting, ridiculous, or disturbing you really wanted to know what it was all about?


All I can say to this prompt is that I agree with Serendipity with the post The Devil made me do it.


August Blues – Half Remembered Half Forgotten

August Blues – Half Remembered Half Forgotten


As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school? Now that you’re older, how has your attitude toward the end of the summer evolved?

As a child I always disliked school.

I disliked the routines

I disliked the rigidity

I disliked the patter

I disliked the uniforms

I disliked the focus on the norm. Anything that fell outside the middle of the bell curve was seen as a hassle.

I disliked nearly all of it. I would have thrived on home schooling. Being a quiet child singles you out. I mainly kept to myself. Schooling was not a joyous occasion. We have summer coming up. During the school years it was overly hot. I was always wistful and dreamy, trying to sit near the window, looking out, daydreaming of another life, half remembered, another time, half forgotten.

school desks


Image Wikimedia Commons public domain

Discussion Enders – Rosie’s Revenge

Discussion Enders – Rosie’s Revenge

My landlady was telling the story of a special chicken dish she was preparing. I am a lacto-vegetarian, so I quipped: “How could you?” She told how she had ordered a special farm chicken, whose name was Rosie. Rosie arrived alive. A dilemma ensued. Nonetheless Rosie was slaughtered. After loving preparation, when it came to eating the poor bird, she was apparently so tough that she was inedible. My response was: “that was Rosie’s revenge!” She and everyone laughed.

Discussion Enders – “Are you the illegitimate one?”

Discussion Enders – Are you the Illegitimate One?

We’ve all had exchanges where we came up with the perfect reply — ten minutes too late. Write down one of those, but this time, make sure to sign off with your grand slam (unused) zinger.

Sorry no zinger.

A cousin I had never met before asked me: “Are you the illegitimate one?” All I could do was laugh and said nothing spectacular just: “No my Mom and Dad were married.” “Oh”, she said, “I thought you were illegitimate, because no one spoke about you, you were like a secret.”

What can I say?

That’s just how it is.

Or like when I met my absent and unsupportive father’s fiance, at the funeral of his brother. “Oh she said, who are you?” “I am P’s daughter.” She was so shocked she literally staggered back. He had never mentioned me to her. She is such a warm and just lovely person, I felt sad for her. She was very kind to me when she realised that I was telling the truth and not just some person trying to cause trouble, which is what she thought at first. I wondered how she must have felt, to not even have been told about me, only to find out at a funeral when I was introduced as C, not even: “This is my daughter C…”

That’s just how it is.

You, Robot – The Drudgery

You, Robot – The Drudgery 

Congrats — you’ve been handed a robot whose sole job is to relieve you of one chore, job, or responsibility you particularly hate. What is it?

It would have to be the drudgery of sweeping and mopping the floors. I have birds indoors who scatter seeds all over the place. To have this task taken care of, without the presence of a person, would be bliss. I don’t like the noise of a vacuum, so quiet sweeping would be a must!

Opening Lines – Skinny Love

Opening Lines – Skinny Love

What’s the first line of the last song you listened to (on the radio, on your music player, or anywhere else)? Use it as the first sentence of your post.

“Come on skinny love, just last the year
Pour a little salt, we were never here…”

Skinny Love by Bon Iver

“come on skinny love, just last the year

Pour a little salt, we were never here…”

Unlucky love, insincere

Withered and broke, nothing there

Gimme that salt, I don’t care.


Lyrics here at Lyrics.wikia 

Pick Your Potion – Gotta be Coffee – My Ambrosia

Pick Your Potion – Gotta be Coffee – My Ambrosia

Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?

(Thanks, Bea Patricia, for inspiring this prompt!)

In an article called: Why Does Coffee Make us Feel so good, on Psycholgoy Today the allure of coffee is explained so beautifully by Gary Wenk. He explains that scientists have discovered that coffee causes the release of dopamine, which causes pleasant and euphoric feelings. He also mentions that some research has pointed to coffee having addictive properties.

Personally, I am a grumpy morning person without my coffee. Woe is me if I run out of milk and don’t feel like going to the local garage store late at night. The following morning I really suffer.

There’s a funny article over on Cracked Magazine that talks about 7 Scientific Ways that Coffee Gives you Superpowers.

“If coffee can help Navy goddamn SEALs stay awake for 72 hours of torture, that morning coffee better not just wake you up — you’d better karate chop through your desk and do a day’s work before lunch. Standing. Violently.”

So that explains why I am grumpy, I don’t have my wonderwoman dose, so I feel too normal and average and all too human.

And don’t get me started on the aroma. I am so mad about it I could be a street kid sniffing glue from a plastic bag. In Thailand all book stores had coffee shops. The blend of books and coffee was so perfect, one forgot the heat, the traffic snarls outside and drifted into a kind of genteel universe of all GOOD THINGS. Coffee and books. Why did it take South Africa so long to cotton on? Of course there are also the smells of the baked goods. Some say that houses sell better, if they have the smell of freshly baked bread. So of course it makes sense if books sell better when you smell the coffee and the muffins. Given this knowledge it is amazing that a search of Wikimedia Commons does not bring up one image of coffee drinkers in book stores. I did however find an image of a cafe in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. They clearly have the right idea, what a beautiful spot. If I were there I would think I had died and gone to some heavenly realm, just look at the skylights.



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Where the Spirit Meets the Bone: A Memoir by Lucinda Williams


Lucinda Williams, with Benjamin Hedin  | Radio Silence | March 2014 | 11 minutes (2,690 words)

Radio SilenceFor this week’s Longreads Member Pick, we are thrilled to share a first-time-ever memoir by the great Lucinda Williams from Radio Silence, a San Francisco-based magazine of literature and rock & roll. Subscribe, and download the free iOS app.

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Work? Optional! – Writing and Trauma Work – Out of the Rain and the Dark and into the Song

singing and triumph


Work? Optional! – Writing and Trauma Work – Out of the Rain and the Dark and into the Song


If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Yes, I would work. I would spend my time writing both non-fiction and fiction, especially short stories.

I would also establish a Trauma Practice and work with those who have experienced life traumas of various kinds. Cape Town, South Africa has the highest levels of trauma experiences of various kinds, including PTSD, in the country. I would like to be able to travel to areas that have experienced trauma or disaster and give assistance there. I would use coaching and Logotherapeutic techniques. I would focus on finding meaning and meaning making. Mindfulness and meditation would also be included.

Stress reduction techniques would marry very well with the above.

I see this as my future work.  Out of the rain and the dark and into the song.

Images from Imagicity

A Journey to the Dalai Lama by Dipika Mukherjee

Lovely: “So I am starting to tell this story. We all have the same destination in the end, no matter what lives we live. McLeodganj, in just 11 days, taught me the truism of the old cliché – it is the journey that makes ALL the difference.”

Chicago Literati

A Journey to the Dalai Lama

Tiny grass, your steps are small, but you possess the earth under your tread.

Stray Birds, Rabindranath Tagore

It was January 2013 and I was going to meet the Dalai Lama. His Holiness lives in exile in India, in McLeodganj, a city in the clouds where the buddhist chants are as clear as the calls of the Himalayan Bulbul. It is a retreat in the perfect sense, and I was writing my third novel.

But I could only reach McLeodganj if the Easy Cab driver would let me get off his taxi.

The taxi driver and I had stopped at a highway in the Majnu Ka Tilla area of Delhi. I had a booking on an overnight Volvo bus to Mcleodganj; access to the Dalai Lama is not easy and the overnight bus service is still the shortest route.

But there was a big…

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Tunnel Vision – The Oracle Lake of Tibet

Tunnel Vision – The Oracle Lake of Tibet

You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?

I would be transported to the most sacred lake in Tibet.


“Lhamo La-tso or Lhamo Latso (Tibetan: ལྷ་མོའི་བླ་མཚོ།, Wylie: Lha mo bla mtsho) is a small oval oracle lake is where senior Tibetan monks of the Gelug sect go for visions to assist in the discovery of reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas. Other pilgrims also come to seek visions. It is considered to be the most sacred lake in Tibet.[1] Coordinates: 29°31′N 92°44′E

It is also known as “The Life-Spirit-Lake of the Goddess”, the goddess being Palden Lhamo, the principal Protectress of Tibet.[2] Other names include: Tso Lhamo (mTsho Lha mo), Chokhorgyelgi Namtso (Chos ‘khor rgyal gyi gnam mtsho) and Makzorma (dmag zor ma) and, on old maps, as Cholamo.[3]”

I would like to simply sit there. To be still and remain as long as possible. To be in the place of the lake would make me most sincerely happy. To see an image of the lake see Tibet Tour Trekking here.

References from Wikipedia:

  1. “Lhamo Latso Lake”
  2. Jump up^ Dowman, Keith. (1988). The Power-Places of Central Tibet: The Pilgrim’s Guide, pp. 255, 259. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London. ISBN 0-7102-1370-0 (pbk).
  3. Jump up^ Dowman, Keith. (1988). The Power-Places of Central Tibet: The Pilgrim’s Guide, p. 303. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London. ISBN 0-7102-1370-0 (pbk).

Image from Wikimedia Commons Copyright expired in the public domain.

Uncanned Laughter – Freudian Slips

Uncanned Laughter – Freudian Slips

A misused word, a misremembered song lyric, a cream pie that just happened to be there: tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

Who Me?

Who Me?

When are we most likely to make a freudian slip?

According to an article on Psychology Today these are the times:

“Two conditions increase the risk of making a so-called Freudian slip, Wegner says. One is the thought that you’d rather suppress. The other is a stressor, a distraction, time pressure, or a competing mental agenda. If you want to avoid saying anything to your friend about her astonishing weight gain, don’t talk to her while you’re eating an ice cream cone and muscling your car down a crowded street. Otherwise, you may blurt out: “I’ll help you get back on your fat—I mean, feet!” The mental burden occupies the conscious mind, leaving the unconscious unchecked, free to release the inappropriate thought. Sure, slips happen under stress-free conditions, but less frequently.”

Meet the A-list Offenders

I have been laid up with intentional flu.Samuel Goldwyn

This makes me so sore it gets my dandruff up.Samuel Goldwyn

This president is going to lead us out of this recovery.Dan Quayle

Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.George W. Bush

The police aren’t here to create disorder, they’re here to preserve disorder.Mayor Richard Daley

Republicans understand the importance of bondage between mother and child.Dan Quayle.

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Image from Free Digital Photos