SoCS: Sticky Post

Every week, novelist Linda G. Hill hosts the prompt for her Stream of Consciousness Saturday. I have participated in this for many years and am addicted. Right now my main blog is closed,* but I started having withdrawal symptoms from not sitting down Saturday morning, blurry-eyed and typing, while slurping coffee.

*No, I’m not sure when I might reopen my main blog, https://wtfaioa.wordpress.com/.

I have also imported all of the old SoCS posts from WTFAIOA.

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SoCS hairy — 12.15.18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “hairy.” Use it any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use it to mean more than one thing. Enjoy!

I’ve been listening to some Neil Gaiman short stories and have been infused in the playful, convoluted, whaaaaat? language that is his. That’s really neither here nor there, but simply is, and since this is stream of consciousness writing, who am I to say? Well, I guess I would be the one to say since this is my consciousness, but then we have to beg the question as to whether it is only my consciousness or a universal consciousness, in which case… but I digress. Wait, can you really digress in a stream of consciousness flow?

Being a terrible speller, my mind changed hairy into harried, which changes pretty much everything. This is the time of year for harried people, and one old fat guy in a red suit with his white, hairy chin. Not the fat guy with the hairs of his chinny chin chin, because that’s someone else altogether. One of the blessings of not having any social circles is that I’m the least harried person around right now. There is no shopping, no endless lists, no introvert hell of social gatherings too numerous to mention. And, I can still have cookies. Win-win.

But we’re here for hairy, which sounds like we’re here for some guy named Harry, Harold if we’re being formal, which we’re not. Now my brain wants to sing Hark, The Herald Angels Sing, which when I was a kid I thought was Hark, the hairy angels sing. I like my version better. If you do the Google, you’ll find I was far from being alone in that misheard lyric.

We’re in the dead cold of December, which is the traditional, festive time of women wearing leggings with dresses in order to not have to shave hairy legs. Fun fact, male or female, as you age the hair on your legs goes away. I never had really hairy legs, so this isn’t a huge deal for me, but it is still nice not to have to shave my legs. However, since getting older cannot just have one good thing without taking away four other good things, what you lose on your legs you gain on your upper lip and chinny chin chin. I’d rather shave my legs than pluck those damn surprise hairs. Men get the surprise hairs in the ears, nose and eyebrows, all of which are more ew than the upper lip things. A small bit of justice.

I forget wtf I’m on about now, so I’ll just wander off, looking for a Christmas cookie and humming incorrect lyrics to traditional songs. Maybe watch some Harry Potter on Amazon…

 

 

SoCS musical — 12.8.18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “musical.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

I grew up with the firm knowledge that I’m not musical. More accurately, I grew up being told I wasn’t musically inclined. As a child I believed it. As an adult I believed it. I think I’m still an adult (though fighting that stigma), and I’m rethinking that label of not musical.

I’ve always had a deep voice, even as a child. I learned the term contralto which means person who stands in the back row and mouths the words because we don’t know how to make you blend in. Or, in my mother’s tongue, person who can’t carry a tune in a bucket. We didn’t have formal music classes or choir. No one taught us about range, key, harmony. Kids were supposed to sound like ethereal crickets not frogs. I’d try to make the sounds everyone else did, which, yeah, didn’t work out so well. Mouthing the words it was.

That lesson learned, we moved on to musical instruments. My mother played the piano well; she may even have earned a music scholarship to Indiana University. I was never clear on that. My older sister, Deb, learned piano quite easily from her. Next it was my turn for mom to school. Mom wasn’t the most patient type (severe understatement). After a lot of yelling and much slapping of errant little fingers the piano was dropped (luckily not on me), and I was blessedly left alone. I had learned how to read music, though, and enjoyed going down into the basement, alone, and plunking out tunes on my own. I moved through Teaching Little Fingers to Play to things like Bach and later to pop music. I wasn’t good, but it was fun.

I could draw. That was my place. I had no musical ability. That was the lore.

We didn’t have a lot of music in the house. My parents had some albums, like Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’s Whipped Cream which my dad probably got for the risque cover. Deb had The Beatles and the wonderful Tapestry by Carole King. I would go to Deb’s  room when she wasn’t there and sing along with Carole while watching myself in the full-length mirror holding the hairbrush microphone.

A few years ago I asked someone who has quite a bit of choral experience to give me some basic help, but he didn’t want to play. It isn’t something for which I want to pay an actual coach. I did learn, from an ex with amazing musical talent, that I have an excellent ear and a very good sense of rhythm. I never knew. That’s one of the rare beneficial takeaways I got from him.

I love to sing. I just do it alone. Softly. I never belt with full diaphragmatic breathing. That’s scary. I’m singing now, to You’ve Got a Friend. I’ve dropped the register. When I Feel the Earth Move starts playing on YouTube I’ll play the air keyboard on my desk, chair dance and sing. Typing is done.* I just lose control down to my very soul…

*I did just that and then Stevie Nicks and Landslide came on, and…yeah. My range. This is going to be a singing day. Amy Winehouse next. Thank you, Linda.

 

SoCS ma — 12.1.18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ma.” Use it as a word or find a word with “ma” in it. Bonus points if you start your post with that word. Enjoy!

Imagine mallards!

Imagine was my first thought after reading today’s prompt. That was followed by the name of the band Imagine Dragons and the requisite chair dancing maniacal mambo to their new song “Machine.” Mallards ambled into my brain after reading a short story by Neil Gaiman, the plot of which was something about gambling ducks. It was really a wtf kind of story, as his work often is. It also left me grinning, as his work often does. Speaking of wtf, why is his name pronounced Gay-man instead of Guy-man? Brits…

Another dilemma is that right after I thought of imagine the next word (after dragons) was… enema. Whhhhhyyyy? I will write about ducks and dragons but will leave the enemas alone. Well, except to mention having had a ghee enema once, just to leave you wondering.  :::hands out mental eye bleach for that image:::

I’m not really having to struggle to imagine dragons these days, singing or otherwise, as my copious amount of free time has me leaning toward the fantasy realms. Magic spells in games, magical creatures in print and inworld in Second Life. Pix or it didn’t happen:

Dragon's view Savor Serenity_001

Many, many ma words to mull over and manipulate. I think my job is done here with this small sample. Off to fry some goblins to oblivion with ma* staff.

*I’m sorry. That one was really gratuitous.

SoCS digest — 11.24.18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “digest.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

This prompt prompted another Internet search as my stream of consciousness sometimes does. My first thought upon reading the prompt was Reader’s Digest. Then, whatever happened to Reader’s Digest? Is it still around? Hey, what about their condensed books that were so popular when I was growing up? Then I was wondering why, at Thanksgiving time, when eating and digesting is such a big part of it, did I think of digest publications (no answer to that was ever discovered), which lead me to wonder why was it the Reader’s Digest? What is a digest anyway? Yup, all of this before digesting coffee.

I’ve corrected the coffee issue and am currently slurping a cup of nice, dark roast Sumatra. This is important.

Reader’s Digest, that publication that used to be in every doctor’s waiting room, is still around and thriving. Guess I’m out of the loop. My first stop was Wikipedia, of course. According to them:

Reader’s Digest is an American general-interest family magazine, published ten times a year. … The magazine was founded in 1922 … For many years, Reader’s Digest was the best-selling consumer magazine in the United States; it lost the distinction in 2009 to Better Homes and Gardens. According to Mediamark Research (2006), Reader’s Digest reaches more readers with household incomes of $100,000+ than FortuneThe Wall Street JournalBusiness Week, and Inc. combined.[2] Global editions of Reader’s Digest reach an additional 40 million people in more than 70 countries, via 49 editions in 21 languages. The periodical has a global circulation of 10.5 million, making it the largest paid circulation magazine in the world. It is also published in Braille, digital, audio, and in a large type called Reader’s Digest Large Print.

Huh. I feel kind of badly for not knowing that.

Their condensed books, however, are defunct. The last of the anthologies was printed in 1997. According to web surfing, despite the huge popularity of the books in their day, their resale value today is nil and if you’re interested in getting some try places like Goodwill.

A digest is what? Once again to the Batmobile Wikipedia, which edifies that:

Digest size is a magazine size, smaller than a conventional or “journal size” magazine but larger than a standard paperback book, approximately 14 cm × 21 cm (5 12 by 8 14 inches), but can also be 13.65 cm × 21.27 cm (5 38 by 8 38 inches) and 14 cm × 19 cm (5 12 by 7 12 inches).[1] These sizes have evolved from the printing press operation end. Some printing presses refer to digest-size as a “catalog size”. The digest format was considered to be a convenient size for readers to tote around or to leave on the coffee table within easy reach.

This gave me a brief, tangential thought of how much I dislike RollingStone’s new oversized, fancy format. They recently switched to this production; I think they did it to create collectors. I just find the huge size and stiff pages to be extremely difficult to read. And no, it doesn’t induce me to keep the back issues. I did stop in briefly to their website to see if there was some information on the formatting change, but I got sidetracked into reading “Are Sex-Doll Brothels the Wave of the Future?”  That was so much more fun to read than the headlines on the Washington Post.

ANYway, back to the surfing topic of digest. How is it that there’s a digest for publications and a digest for food, and are they related? A favorite blog, Grammarphobia, has one of their great, in-depth* postings on just this etymological  question. The short answer, from them is:

You’ll be surprised to hear this, but the two senses showed up in English about the same time, and the Latin source for both referred to the digesting of information, not food.

I highly suggest their full explanation.

And that, folks, is that. On to another bucket of coffee.

*In-depth or in depth? I hate hyphenation! In the case above, it was used as an adjective so it is hyphenated.  An in-depth analysis of the problem. The problem was analysed in depth.  Oy. Eff me. Yes, I had to google this.

 

SoCS roll/role 11.17.18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “roll/role.” Use one, use both, it’s entirely up to you. Enjoy!

One fun thing about moving homes all of the time is getting to know an area better than you would if you were just doing a short visit. This includes learning about and trying regional foods. I don’t get out and about as much as I used to, so there are plenty of New England things I’m yet to discover, but one I’ve found and love is Portuguese rolls.

If you’re from around this area, you might shorten that to a Port, as in, “I’ll have a bacon, egg and cheese on a Port.” If you’re from around here you’ll look at someone funny when they ask, “What’s a Portuguese roll?”

They are shaped like an English muffin, maybe slightly larger in diameter. They are made of flour and are great for breakfast sandwiches. That’s where English and Ports diverge.

Ports don’t have the cornmeal dusting on the outside. They have a fluffier texture, without all the nooks and crannies (thanks, Thomas’ for giving us that ubiquitous description). They are sweet, but not overly so, and often have a hint of lemon. Ports are good toasted or not, buttered or not. They are terrific for sandwiches or eating as a dinner roll.

I like to bake bread and so went to the old stand by, King Arthur Flour’s recipe site, and tried their Portuguese roll recipe. It is excellent. I used the lemon zest, and so the older the rolls got the more lemony they got, which isn’t a bad thing.

I normally don’t take pictures of my food, but my old, nearly defunct smart phone worked well enough to take a picture of the batch. Yum and yum.

portuguese buns 10212018

 

SoCS — mean(s) 11.10.18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mean(s).” Use it with or without the “s,” any way you’d like. Have fun!

And meantime, right here in human time,
My heart could break for a one-legged seagull
And still afford nothing to you. (That’s bad luck.)

Man, that’s a good lyric.

The song started playing as I sat down to write SoCS. It’s also one of my on-again/off-again earworms. Bad Luck by Neko Case. Meanwhile, the chore for today is to figure out how to live within my meager means. I got another bit of bad news of bad luck early this morning, which brings to mind a much older song lyric.

I feel like I’m cheating with these short-short posts, but that’s where my consciousness is streaming to, so, I guess it’s my means to the end of the post.  :::slurps coffee and hums along with Neko:::

Apropos of nothing, just to fill up space, a quick watercolor sketch I did in October of one of the pumpkin people who pop up along roadsides here in the fall. It’s a thing.
moment sketch 102018 smaller

SoCS — point 11.4.18

I’m writing on Sunday, for no good reason, but I’ll blame Daylight Savings Time, which is an abomination.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “point.” Open a book on your lap, close your eyes, and put your finger on the page. Whatever you land on, whether it be a word, a phrase, or a sentence, write about it. Enjoy!

I didn’t have a book nearby, most of my books are in storage (long story — pun!), and I didn’t feel like opening Kindle on my screen. I do, however, have several booklets nearby and thought those could be amusing because they are for an old computer game. Years ago, I was given a complete set of The Elder Scrolls IV, Oblivion. It was old when I received it, as it came out in 2006. For whatever reason I never played it. For several reasons now was a good time to start. The booklet is all about orcs and elves and swords and potions, so I thought that would be a light-hearted topic.

Wrong.

My blind pointing landed me on “Quests and Quest Targets.” Yeesh. That’s a little too spot on right now. I interviewed for a terrific job on Friday. I’ve had other interviews for horrendous jobs. Or I’ve interviewed for decent jobs and have not been selected. Things are going to be dire without a job, and dire very soon. I’m afraid I’m going to be offered an horrendous job, and I have learned that “any job is better than no job” isn’t true, or at least it isn’t so cut and dried. So, yeah, The Quest of the Enchanted Job to Save the Princess is spot on right now; and it is too depressing to talk about more than I just did.

Pushing my brain along, the word quest always brings to mind the monomythic work of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey. I always confuse that with the major arcana of tarot’s Fool’s journey, but luckily that confusion isn’t that far off. They are both stories of archetypal struggles, both set large on a collective scale, and both set intimately on the personal level. From the introduction of Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

We set forth from childhood into the wonders of adulthood. Some wonders are more wonderful than others. We meet challenges. We win, we lose. We just might come through it with new insight into who we really are. The pieces of the Journey are there, but I find that they don’t follow a neat pattern in life. My tarot deck got shuffled, as it were. I’m constantly amazed that at sixty (god that is so hard to say) I’m doing things generally associated with people in their twenties. That isn’t all bad, but I’m learning my true self sucks at adulting.

I’m rather tired of tilting my sword at great beasts and am looking forward to returning home to some of that boon stuff.

Meanwhile, I have to say that I’m also quite enjoying Oblivion. (That’s an interesting sentence, which in rereading it makes me sad that I don’t live in Canada where pot is legal.)

SoCS bone 10.27.18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “bone.” Use it any way you like. Have fun!

I currently have a lot of time on my hands and not a lot of energy, which is kind of perfect for watching streaming videos. I don’t usually do reviews, but when I read the prompt bone, the first thing I thought of was the pretzel and white chocolate femur bone cookie made by the hostess of The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell on Netflix.

cookie bone2

Apparently Christine has quite the following on social media, like her Instagram. I didn’t know that, and so the Netflix show was my first introduction to her art (there’s no doubt, it is art). If you have ever watched Martha Stewart deadpan her way through a set of perfectly iced cookies and thought to yourself, “I can do that!” and then tried and ended up with results rather less than, then just be aware that the I-can-do-that! thought will never enter your brain while watching Christine. Not ever. Your jaw will drop as she hauls out the potter’s tools, the micro brushes, the tiny frosting bags, and the food coloring airbrush.

Her creations are amazing, and worth the look.

That’s what fast-forward controls are for. I couldn’t figure out what the audience for this show was supposed to be. Christine is perfectly fine as the deadpanning, normal-girl Marilyn Munster hostess. Her co-stars are horror-type Muppet-ish things, that aren’t cute and aren’t funny and aren’t scary. There are attempts at humor, which fall flat. The humor is too adult for children, as there is a horny, shedding, reanimated-corpse of a raccoon that is constantly making off-color remarks — which sounds funnier than it is. I guess there’s a story line, but I couldn’t find it. It fails as a cooking show because, even if you delude yourself into thinking you could replicate anything, there are no recipes; it is just a lot of cuts pieced together as she slogs through the process of creating something magnificent, like her four-foot tall haunted cake house. I can’t get over the three-dimensional eyes in the upper windows, well, the whole thing, really.

cake house

Since we’re all clearly epicureans watching these things, I recommend Baked Cheetos for your viewing snacks, or this close to Halloween, try a combo of candy corn and salted peanuts. A moist towelette is needed to keep the Cheeto-orange off of your controller, for when you speed up and pause through the stream.

If you want a creepy limited series to watch, try The Haunting of Hill House which was really good except for the trite, sappy ending. Next up on my list is The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which has been getting consistently good reviews. Apparently they had one guy at Netflix naming the shows, and he’s fond of the format: The Blank of Proper Noun.

SoCS (sorta) can 10.20.18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “can.” Use it any way you like. Bonus points if you start and/or finish your post with it. Enjoy!

Something tells me I won’t be alone in this theme:

Yes, you can have cannabis legally in Canada now!

canadianpotflag
Planning my next visit to Ottawa now… Don’t these folks look happy? Canadians even more laid back and pleasant? coooooool

This may be my shortest entry for SoCS ever. Also, a day early. Usually if I’m off a day it is to post on Sunday. But this post just leapt off the brain and into the computer as soon as I read the prompt. I know some people are offended by the pot leaf flag. No disrespect is intended. Some of my best friends are Canadian (wink). 🙂