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Depending on your level of dedication to/interest in all things Puddintopia (aka, stalker-like tendencies), you might have noticed something’s been missing from the usual list of topics here lately. Obviously, the subject in question hasn’t been Weather-Related Complaining, as I’ve got a veritable avalanche of bitching and moaning about the cold going back for almost a month.
In all honesty, I came this close to dropping “Whining About Winter” onto a permanent blacklist. But then, no. Because if you can’t write 900-word posts about how you have daydreams centered around setting fire to your desk furniture in the fruitless hopes the heat might draw some feeling back into your fingers, well, what’s the point in even having a blog? I might as well just get a tumblr exclusively for posting kitten pictures even though I like cats about as much as a good weekend-long bout of Montezuma’s Revenge.
Yeah, so I tentatively reserve the right to be pissy about winter still. For now.
Anyway, the point I intended to make is that I haven’t written a single “A Movie in 100 Words or Less” post in forever. And not just forever, but like, eons. Seriously, dinosaurs walked the Earth and I was a young man (according to my kids) the last time I spat out 100 words or less about a Thursday night movie. I mean, the last one was in October, for the love of all things oven fresh!
I know I should probably quit with the kvetching and the moaning and complaining about our current wintery follies. And by follies, of course, I don’t mean the ridiculous (as opposed to embarrassing and out-and-out revolting) state of the Sochi Winter Olympics. No, I’m referring to the constant reminder of how I’m not in grade school anymore, of how adult life rarely gets snow days, and that snow or no-snow, I have to get my butt out of that warm bed to report to the office on days that don’t start with “S”. Assuming, of course, I can chisel a path for my motor vehicle out of the glacier currently residing in my driveway.
All that aside, the fact is that I do, after all, live in a North American city know for having real, bona fide, occasionally-freeze-your-special-purpose-bits-into-jello-pops winter each and every freaking year. It’s not like this is a place made up by a fantasy author that only sees winter from time to time, depending on when the Gods feel compelled to teach those pesky mortals a lesson in humility. Also, scarves.
I got slammed with work today before I even walked in the door to my office. Several hours later, lunch time came and went without allow me so much as a passing moment to look up and catch my breath. I certainly didn’t have time to make a run to the grocery for those healthy lunch options I was hoping to acquire.
If you’re one of the three people that actually keeps track of the progress bar there to the right of the blog, you’re probably wondering why in the name of the unholy new maths Project Tennyson hasn’t advanced in any way, shape, or identifiable form in, like, months. Literally, I think the last time I changed it was in November. So, what gives? Did I give up on it or something? Or worse, have I packed my dreams of writing into one of those extra secure, multi-padlocked, Houdini-would-have-peed-at-the-sight-of-it* kind of old-school trunks and chucked it into the attic to rot beside that Fisher Price record player and Aunt Bethel’s gawd-awful ashtray lamps?
Well, no. I just had to set Tennyson aside for a bit. First there were the holidays. And I’d worked so hard last year, I decided I owed it to myself and the family to take a week or so and not try to kill my spirit with enough work to choke a full-sized blue ox on Christmas Eve.
I’ll tell you, at first the “not doing anything” kind of chaffed like a new pair of . I mean, for a while, I was all how do people live with this much free time? What do they do with themselves to stave off the craziness!? I need a prooooojjjjjjeeeeect!
Polar Vortex strikes!
Hmmm…Frozen film, frozen world.
This is Disney’s fault!
It’s Day 8756 of The Undying Winter that the great far-seer, GRRM, foretold. Hope has long since abandoned us. It’s plain now, as plain as the dirty re-frozen slush at the end of my driveway, that the kids will never return to school. With their educations stunted, they have taken to wearing only athletic shorts and racing through the house howling like wild dogs. The hamster has a permanent, wild-eyed look of terror now. We assume that with little else to entertain them, the pack will soon fall on the poor rodent for sport.
No adult has the will to stop them.
The Ice Queen has the world in her chill grasp, laying waste to all that is wholesome, warm, and friendly. Naught remains but bitterness, frostbite, and half-eaten Turkish delights.
Well, okay, so maybe it isnt’ that bad. I mean, the kids are still fully clothed and haven’t taken to animal behaviors. Yet. Also, we don’t own a hamster. Plus, the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a Turkish delight is a jelly doughnut, and we ate all of those.
Today was a holiday. Yes, that means the kids were off school. Again.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not holding it against Dr. King or anything. The man deserves his day. But based on the figures I scrawled together tonight while pouring myself a parfait glass full of Ole Slack-Jawed—which consequently, was the cheapest whiskey I could find at the liquor store on the way home from work—my kids been off school for something like 93% of the available weekdays since December 21st.
Between the holidays and Old Man Winter’s newfound desire to see most of the eastern and mid-western United States buried beneath a tomb of cold, powdery white flakes in 2014, the situation is becoming more and more tenuous. Tempers are running high. The kids, while normally not given to excessive bickering (that is, no more than I recall being the standard when I was a fresh-faced know-it-all) recently started sniping at each other as if Mixed Sibling Pointless Debate was a medal event in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Okay, so not really. I mean, I totally would probably rent it out if there was a good enough reason, because, hey, who’s above selling out a little bit? Not me. I’d have to start getting a couple of pretty whopping doses of self-righteousness a day, I guess, before started worrying about piddling little things like my reputation. Seriously, money buys M&Ms. An upright reputation? Not so much.
So? Selling out ain’t so bad, right? You know, within reason. Nobody wants to have to deal with erectile dysfunction ads and/or snake oil “product” to enhance one’s, um, member.
Wait? What am I talking about? Did I just….yeah, I don’t know either. Moving on…
It’s pretty well documented that I’m not a morning person. And by “not a morning person”, I mean that if I was given the choice between of getting up in the God-forsaken morning or having to fend off an attack by a large, organized pack of ravenous canines indigenous to Austrailia with nothing but a gym sock and a tree branch, I’d happily fight off the dingoes every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Occasionally though, you get a tiny little reward for doing something you hate more than that dentist with the Ken-doll hair and the sadistic grin. This morning I got mine, one of downright purtiest sunrises I think I’ve ever seen. I snapped of picture of it while I was waiting to exit the expressway which, at that particular moment this morning, was anything but express (as it typical of my morning commute. See? Mornings are just evil).
The picture, even with my new-fangled fancy camera phone, doesn’t quite do it justice, but I think this is enough to give you the general idea.
Was this sunrise beautiful? Yes, absolutely. The pinks and purples were nearly breathtaking.
But still, I think I’d have rather been in bed.
Hey, look, it’s Friday again. Let’s all raise our collective glasses full of well, whatever your particular poison of preference happens to be. Or, hell, even if it doesn’t come in a glass. But, um, let’s try to keep it to legal vices this time. I’m still waiting on a court date from that last time.
Anyway, seems like a good day to fire up the Archivemobile and take another trip down Old Blogpost Lane in search of a piece of short fiction that no one’s cracked an eyeball at in a couple of years.
Today’s installment is “The Bar Patron and the Young Lady”, which isn’t really about the bar patron at all and only half about the young lady. But, hey, it’s my short fiction and until someone decides to throw a couple of Benjamins at me for it, I’ll keep whatever title I like.