RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Day #316: Marchers v Leapers

The Story:

The quota had been set. Marching orders, given. For four years I had been dreading this day, but here I sat, with dozens of other cadets, waiting for the command I knew was minutes away. Most of my fellows don’t feel as I do, in fact, I don’t believe any of them share my sentiments. That’s just one of the reasons I have learned to keep these feelings to myself, the repercussions should someone find out are- well frankly, I’d rather not think about them just now.

I read about a time when things were different, many many decades ago when our kind lived in peace with theirs, when no one could even tell the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’. Most people I know believe this to be nothing more than a fairytale; the idea that we could live in harmony defied their definition of logic and sense. Imagine it, Marchers and Leapers side by side with no prejudice, no quotas, no line drawn in the sand? Even I have trouble believing a time like that ever truly existed.

But I want to.

Before my father snatched it away and had it thrown into the deepest gorge any Leaper would dare approach, I spent hours poring over that mystifying and ancient book. Its cover having long been removed, the pages were yellow and brittle. Finding it in an old burned out car, as I read the book’s title, it was as if someone had reached into my own rebellious heart and put in faded block lettering what I had struggled to ‘un-believe’ my entire life. It’s Just Another Day… by Anonymous. Even at the time of publication the savvy author undoubtedly knew the consequences of speaking such a traitorous thought, let alone putting it in circulation and in print.

Although no longer able to read from its pages, I have put to memory all of its doctrine, for it is my own as well. Central to its theme, and stated for all to read, the anonymous author claimed that February 29th was just a day like every other and those born within its twenty-four hour border should be treated no differently than the rest. It went on to say that Marchers and Leapers were of the same stock and less than two centuries ago shared tables and roadways, work spaces and classrooms, they even fell in love. All of his statements were put forth with such straightforward conviction and even supported by scientific data it was hard for me to not be unreservedly persuaded. Although, admittedly, I have a hard time believing that ‘Leap Day’ was added to compensate for the earth’s orbit being a little longer than 365 days, allowing the ‘days’ to stay synced with the season each year. A bit of a stretch, you’d have to agree.

This sounds much more believable...

Despite some obvious ‘faulty’ science, I could not ignore the ‘rightness’ of the author’s beliefs. What if we didn’t have a March 1a and a March 1b, and instead just had a February 29? What if the Leaplings, babies born on this fateful day, didn’t have to be collected and given to an approved Marcher family and instead were left to be raised by their Leaper parents? What if the Marchers stopped digging pits and blasting new gorges to fend off Leapers and in kind, Leapers stopped destroying all lace-up shoes forcing Marchers to walk about in Tevas? What if people stopped caring about who were right- Marchers and their ‘a’ ‘b’ system or Leapers who believed an extra day rightfully belonged to February?

“M. Archie! Report!”

The order had finally come and before I could tell my legs to defy the order, I stood at attention and awaited further instruction. Cursing my compliant Marcher nature, wishing for an ouch of the defiance I had seen in even the smallest of Leapers I silently followed the cadet in front of me as we began our fateful march. The deafening sound of thousands of male voices singing our people’s mantra- March on, Marchers, March on!  rattled any independent thought from my brain. As we dispersed in our collection regiments, on our ways to snatch newly born infants away from their Leaper parents, generations of strong Marcher blood pumped through my veins and before I knew it, I was singing:

March on, Marchers, March on!

March on, Marchers, March…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      It’s Leap Day! Duh…

TWO:    In wishing a coworker a ‘Happy Leap Day’ I was informed that he did not acknowledge Leap Day, and as far as he was concerned today was March 1a, 2012 (tomorrow then would be March 1b, 2012). A conversation then ensued where he, a Marcher (non-leap day believer) and me a Leaper (someone who acknowledges February 29th as a day) defended our perspectives (vehemently at times) and tried to convert the other to ‘our side’. Along the way we made up fears of Leapers being large pits and gorges, banana peels and Tevas (pronounced Teh-va), rituals of Marchers and so on. Of course this was all in jest, but it sure was fun coming up with some of the Marcher vs. Leaper shtick.

They must be Marchers...

Love & Squirrels.

Advertisements

Day #315: No Commercial Breaks

The Story:

Reason #83- My boyfriend forgets the roast in the oven and yells “it’s done!” as he removed the charred remains of our dinner.

Reason #298- Saw a bicyclist get pulled over by a cop.

Reason #71- Blew the pods from dandelion heads as we strolled by the lake.

Reason #15- My friend actually experienced the rare phenomenon of getting toilet paper caught in her underwear as she pulled them up and the tail of it streamed out behind her for several feet. She didn’t notice until class was over.

Reason #306- I’ve had to forcibly gag my dog several times to prevent him from eating a chicken bone accidently dropped after our weekly WING EXTRAVAGANZA!!!

Reason #44- I met a girlfriend for lunch and we talked for over an hour without noticing. I think I had tacos… or something.

Or maybe they were taquitos...

Reason #90- We have ‘face-offs’. A game we play from time to time where we try to make the crazier face.

Reason #23- Our days have soundtracks and sometimes a live audience.

Reason #147- Major events tend to happen in 30 minute blocks of time.

For a complete list of why I believe I may be living in sitcom, please buy my book coming soon to stores and Amazon.com entitled: “No Commercial Breaks”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Ever have those days where you think, “my everyday life is more interesting than anything some writer could think of’? Today wasn’t really one of those days for me, unfortunately. Either that or I’ve got writers block, both of which are completely likely. While I have quite a lovely day, busy at work advising students on how best to reach their dreams, a great lunch date with a friend I haven’t seen in ages and am so glad to have been able to catch up with (love ya, Heather!) and then a lovely evening stroll with the pups and Andy. Good stuff. Anywho, some of the things that transpired did remind me of things I’ve seen on a Seinfeld or F.R.I.E.N.D.S., like Andy almost burning up dinner when he forgot it was in the oven and yelling out ‘it’s done!’ as he pulled it smoking from the oven. I’m sure there’s more, but frankly I’m tired…

Love & Squirrels.

Day #314: Time Is Drifting Away…

The Story:

I don’t know how much time I have, but I know it’s not much. This reality alone is sobering, but I cannot think too much on it, for I would surely collapse into a blubbering mess. I cannot feel the effects yet, so there may still be time- time to do even a fraction of the things I’ve put off for so long, confident I would get to them some day. I’ve run out of ‘somedays’, as we all must I suppose, it’s down to hours, minutes, seconds.

My senses are on overdrive, as if they grasp their impending end and are putting forth herculean efforts to take in as much of life as they can before the darkness comes. Their sensitivity is almost painful, I wince at the fading light of the sunset and cover my ears as a dog barks down the street. Perhaps it’s better we walk around dulled to all that the world shoves into our bubbles of existence, I fear living with the heightened hearing, sight and touch I now am experiencing would have driven me to madness, or perhaps to direct my own ending prematurely.

There is so much undone, so much never started or even thought upon. I won’t bore the powers at be with pleads for more time, I know that is time wasted and with a finite amount of it I have better plans for the few hours left to me. First, to set my affairs in order, I put away my laundry; even iron a shirt or two before placing them in the closet. Dishes go in the dishwasher, which I set to ‘heated dry’ and listen as the water begins to coat the plates and silverware from the past few meals. Funny now, to think I’ll not be needing them again anytime soon.

I’m starting to feel a little tired now, but will myself to press on. There will be plenty of time for sleeping soon. I think my dog knows something is off, he keeps barking at nothing and won’t leave my side- he seems to me a pacing and whining anthropomorphism of my anxious and feverish mind. I catalog my day and beyond, all the questions unanswered, ideas unheard, time poorly spent, priorities misplaced, dreams set aside. What could I have done with that time?

Guess I’ll just have to wait to find out…until tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Change is abrewing… mostly in the weather causing some awfully fun sinus pain for yours truly. Battling a sinus headache all day is one thing, but it’s a whole other ball o’ wax when the bugger won’t heal to the powers of IB profin and continues to plague me well into the evening.  So, I did something I don’t normally like to do… I took two Tylenol PM in the hopes they will alleviate the pain in my skull and face and begin to lull me into a semi-conscious-better-get-to-bed-before-I-have-to-be-carried state. As I took the two blue and white pills, I started thinking of all the things I needed to do tonight before they ‘kicked in’ which, in my over-dramatic brain reminded me of what someone might think when receiving the ultimate bad news that their life was coming to a quick close. Morbid, maybe… but so is ironing in my book. On to house chores before I crumple into a useless heap.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #313: Now In New ‘Productive’ Scent!

The Story:

“I swear to God, Karen it’s the best damn thing I’ve ever bought. Just listen to this… listen, I brought it home and the minute I lit the thing, things just sort of… started happening. I have no idea how a little candle could do all this but I’m telling you it really happened,” Teri wrung her hands with jittery excitement and Karen could have sworn that her friend’s eyes were jittering back and forth in her sockets. Worried, Karen began to interrupt her friend but before she could, Teri had already started up again.

“So I light the candle, but I told you that already, how silly of me. As soon as it’s lit, it’s like BAM! stuff began to happen, breakfast made itself- two fried eggs, a piece of toast with butter and a cup of tea with milk and sugar. Then before I knew it, the kitchen was clean, sparkling even! Like it had never been before so I walked through the house and what do you know? The entire place was spotless! Can you imagine??? Without even lifting a finger! There’s more though, Karen, I swear I’m not making this up. The laundry was done, the grocery shopping was done and but away, I even had two knew work outfits bough and hanging in my closet!  I went to trim up Dylan’s hair, and wouldn’t you know? It was done too! The dogs were fed, the chores were done and dinner was even on the stove! All this from a $4.00 candle, can you believe it?!?” Teri was practically panting now in her excitement and Karen had gone from worried to downright alarmed as she listened to her friend’s retelling of her day.

My fingers are talking and my eyelids taste purple!

“I’m telling you Karen, you need to get down there to Big Bob’s Sell-A-Lot and scoop you up some of these candles. I’m going myself right now, as a matter of fact. I’ve got to stock up,” Teri hadn’t touched the Caesar salad she ordered for lunch at their usual bistro and now, in addition to her eyes skittering back and forth, her hands were shaking uncontrollably.

“Why don’t I take you!” Karen said jumping up. “We can go together and you can show me so I make sure to get the right ones, how does that sound?”

“Oh what fun! Great idea Kar… Kar Kar, can I call you Kar Kar? That’s fun to say, Kar Kar. Kar Kar, Kar Kar, Kar Kar…” Teri seemed to be stuck on a loop and couldn’t get off. Froth began to form in the corners of her mouth as Karen directed her to her Volvo and strapped her in the passenger seat.

By the time they arrived at the hospital, Teri had stopped saying “Kar Kar” and was now slumped in her seat, unresponsive. Luckily, they had made it in time for the skilled medical staff to revive and stabilize her. As Karen sat in the waiting area, awaiting news about her friend, a teaser for one of the local news channels came on the TV perched in the corner of the room.

Tonight at 6 o’clock, scented candles laced with dangerous hallucinogens, sold at a local retailer to dozens of customers in our community. Tune in at six to learn what the symptoms are and how the candle meant to freshen your home could actually kill you. Tonight, at six.

God... I love doing that. Ha ha...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Wouldn’t it be great if something existed for us less-than-uber-wealthy that could do all our errands and chores for us without us so much as lifting a finger? Yeah, that would be sweet. So I don’t have a magic candle, although I did purchase a pretty candle that smells of lavender blossoms today, but despite not having magic at my disposal I was able to get quite a bit accomplished today (I should say ‘we’ as Andy did more than his share as well). The house was scrubbed down, bathroom cleaned, clothes put away, breakfast made, I cut Andy’s hair (and it actually looks presentable), got a bunch of clothes at the Goodwill for a super steal, laundry’s in the dryer and dinner is digesting. All and all, a good day… no drugs needed!

Love & Squirrels.

Day #312: Unpeopled

The Story:

Looming in the distance, it wasn’t difficult to find- surrounded by a few cow pastures and plywood signs exclaiming “WILL BUILD TO SUIT!” the five-story building shot into the sky with all of the self-importance of a skyscraper despite its modest height.

The perfectly manicured streets and medians leading us to the building, after several four-way stops at empty intersections (if they could be called that) seemed eerie in their over-design, as if they were anticipating thousands of vehicles instead of just the one or two cars that used them as a turnaround point to get back on the highway. Perhaps if we prodded a few of the long horns from their lazy grazing we’d have an actual need for the bright pops of octagonal color ordering us to STOP. The signs seemed anxious to put themselves to work, so we obliged and came to full stops at each crossing- lest traffic suddenly appear and demand we share the roadway as each stop sign seeming to imply was imminent.

It felt like a soundstage for a film that came in so over-budget they had to shut it down before production was completed. All but one of the four buildings, their newness shining proudly in the afternoon sun, was incomplete, unsightly skeletal innards showing from at least one of their sides. We tried not to stare, as if embarrassed for them.

Climbing out of the car we shielded our eyes as we looked up at the beautiful building in front of us. Gleaming steel, blue-green glass gleamed prettily, a bow to the possibilities of modern architecture without appearing too ‘showy’.  The landscaping was lovely as well, native plants and flowers complimenting perfectly both their natural surroundings and the building they were designed to soften as only nature can. As we walked around the building, in honest awe of its beauty and modern facilities, something seemed ‘off’… not right. It seemed two dimensional, almost like a plaster cast of what it should be. I think we both felt it, but neither of us knew how to vocalize the ‘wrongness’ so we didn’t speak of it.

But, there was a coldness, an austerity, of that there was no doubt. Even the temperature seemed to drop several noticeable degrees in the looming shadow of the building. There were no buzzing bees, no chirping birds or skittering lizards. There were no cracks in the sidewalk, no gum stuck to the pavement, no candy wrappers or promotional flyers littering the ground or plastered to the rim of the pristine waste disposal cans that peppered the walkway at perfectly designed intervals.

There were no people.

Rushing back to our vehicle with unspoken but understood haste, we both let out our breath in what sounded like a synchronized sigh. We had both been holding it while outside the building. We found our way to the highway, and I knew we would never go back.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Somehow, in our random errand-running afternoon, Andy and I found ourselves about 30 minutes south of Orlando at the new medical city in Lake Nona, FL. Deciding to check out what the place was all about, we drove towards the ‘city’ which was primarily composed of an almost-finished Nemours Children’s Hospital, a just-about-finished VA Hospital and the newly opened UCF College of Medicine. All of the buildings were stunning and very impressive, but the whole place had a weird vibe. Maybe because of the size of everything, and because it was a Saturday so no one was really around, but man, it was kinda like a modern-day ghost town. Like a bunch of wealthy fat-cats got together to build their own city and then before they could move anybody in, the world ends… or something dramatic like that. There were some awesome longhorns relaxing in a field between the College of Medicine and a research facility which I thought added a lot to the place… so I hope the cows get to stay.

Love & Squirrels.

 

Day #311: Dental Denial

The Story:

Dennis couldn’t wait for tomorrow. For over a month now, he’d been looking forward to this day, like a kid counting down the days till Christmas; Dennis had meticulously ‘Xed’ out each day on the calendar leading up to tomorrow. And now, it was almost here. It had been too long since he remembered feeling like this, for a variety of reasons (also known as his newly divorced ex-wife) he’d gone for years without it- but that was about to change, and it was going to hurt.

It’s not that he ‘liked’ pain, exactly; I mean he wasn’t one of those sick freaks you see on the Internet asking fat women to sit on them or dudes to come over and punch them in the junk, nothing that weird. Dennis just… let’s see, what’s the right word?… he ‘appreciated’ being ‘put in his place’, shall we say. To be honest, it’s not all that uncommon, for a man with Dennis’ power and wealth to, every so often, seek out ways to feel like the rest of us do on a daily basis.

All the arrangements had been made months ago, all Dennis had to do was show up and the rest would be taken care of. Pouring three fingers of his best scotch into a cut-crystal glass, Dennis made his way to his study and leaning back in his overstuffed desk chair began to imagine all the different ways he would be made miserable tomorrow as he swirled the liquor in front of him. He’d be restrained, there was no doubt about that- that was one of his favorite parts. The lighting would be harsh, glaring. The temperature inside would be almost unbearably frigid, especially in the cotton slacks and polo shirt he planned on wearing for the occasion. Things would be shoved in his mouth, he’d be exposed repeatedly to dangerous elements, sharp menacing tools would be used to poke and prod at him in ways he could only imagine… it was almost more than one man could stand.

Something along these lines, perhaps?

Wishing he could go at this very moment he was so overcome with anticipation, Dennis settled back into his chair and tried to convince himself the anticipation was part of the experience. He’d just have to make do with his imagination until tomorrow came. “I bet I hear people screaming as they lead me down the halls,” He thought to himself with barely contained relish. “Then I’ll be put in a small little room and left to wait all alone for an indefinite amount of time. Then they’ll come in and force me to lay down. They’ll talk to each other using a language I can’t understand but its sharp and guttural sound will have my skin crawling as they are most definitely discussing my imminent torture. There will be strange machines in the room, all with the sole intent to rip me to shreds,” Dennis swallowed the last of his scotch and slammed the glass on the desk in excitement, “Hot damn! I just love going to the dentist!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Today marks a milestone in my life. Today, I went to the dentist. Yeah, yeah, I know, big whoop right? Wrong. It is indeed a ‘big whoop’. You see, I hate the dentist… no, that isn’t exactly correct. What I hate is a bit more complex- I hate disappointing people. I hate disappointing people to such an extreme that my last dental visit was over 6 years ago because they made this mistake of telling me I had the teeth of a woman 15 years my senior. This comment, along with a pretty steady barrage of being told I didn’t floss enough, I was brushing wrong or I had another cavity that needed filling, etc. traumatized me to the extent that going back in six months, a year, two years, six years seemed masochistic. I know, I have ‘issues’. Let’s not focus on the negative, shall we? Good. The point is, I went. And, surprisingly it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was rather pleasant. Everyone was extremely nice, I was allowed to wear my Ipod during the entire process (except for X-rays) and shocker, I had no cavities! Besides a minor freak out after the tech took my blood pressure and asked if I was nervous (um, yeah I was alright until you asked me that and now I’m totally freaking out because I think I’m dying since obviously my blood pressure is not normal which means my heart is going to explode at any minute…but no, I’m like, totally fine) I’m very proud of myself and how well I kept it together.

What do you mean, "Am I nervous"? Do I look nervous?!?!?

Love & Squirrels.

Day #310: Fresh Batch of Tired

The Story:

A glass o’ wine

I’m feeling fine.

 *

A mouthful of dough, marinara and cheese

One more slice? Yes please.

 *

Would we like dessert?

I guess sharing a chocolate soufflé couldn’t hurt.

 *

All caught up on girl talk

After all I ate tonight, glad I got in my afternoon walk.

 *

Snuggled up on the couch

Finally feeling like less of a grouch.

 *

A bit nervous about tomorrow, hope it goes well…

Ready for it to be over, but how it will go, I can’t really tell.

 *

To keep me from fretting and needless worry

Think I’ll go to bed now, while it’s still early.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Sorry for the riddles, but my mind is a pulsating weary grey blob at the moment, so it will just have to suffice. Met up with my friend Joanna tonight for a much needed girls’ night and glass of vino. It’s always a great time when we get together, but the moment we parted ways to go to our respective cars, as if on cue, I began to grow incredibly tired. I guess the wine combined with the long day at work, working out (and sweating to death in the 83 degree heat), a little too much pizza/chocolate souffle and an early appointment tomorrow (more on that, well… tomorrow) I’m soooo ready to hit the hay… as they say. Plus, since Andy’s computer died, he’ll be needing mine now so… until tomorrow sweet readers!

Love & Squirrels.