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Monthly Archives: April 2012

What A Year…

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What I Did Today- One Year of My Life

Upon meeting my goal and blogging everyday for the 365 days during my 30th year of life I am… a bit tongue-tied as I look back and let out a low whistle. All I can think is, “I did that.” Going from not writing at all in years, to writing an original work of fiction based on one or two things that occurred during my day was not easy. Some days it was not fun (ok, more than ‘some’). But now that it’s done, I feel kinda weird… like I forgot to turn in my homework last night, or something.

So what did I learn?

  1. Blogging is rewarding, time-consuming and definitely worth the work
  2. Interesting things happen to all of us EVERY DAY. If you pay attention, you’ll be amazed.
  3. Family members, friends and strangers learned WAY more about me than I probably intended… oh well.
  4. I can accomplish great things… even when other people tell me I’m crazy. Even when I know that I am…
  5. I love to write.
  6. Some of the best ideas come out of nowhere at 11pm and many times, write themselves.
  7. If I’ve hit a wall and can’t think of a thing to write, taking a long, hot shower is like a miracle elixir for writer’s block. Works almost every time.
  8. WordPress is more than a platform it’s a community, an inspiration, and a creative motivator and I’m so glad I decided to call it my blogging home.

So what’s next?

I’ve thought a lot about this… and I’ve come up with a few things for ‘The Future’. First priority… lots of naps on the couch, catching up on some movies I’ve missed out on and totally being the laziest person ever.

Secondly, while I won’t be blogging everyday, I do still intend on posting from time to time. These posts could be anything from a crafting project, a recipe I’ve tried or some more of my writings. We shall see…

Next ‘big plan’ is I’ll be creating a second blog, in addition to my Guess What I Did Today?blog, I will be launching, Pale On Purpose (P.O.P.) a humorous narrative focusing on those of us who can’t seem to tan, are borderline-transparent and… prefer it that way. It’s not a slam on all of you loverly tanned beauties, it’s more of us pale people are pretty okay too. So stay tuned for that…

He is like a god to us 'pale-o's'

I’ve also recently been accepted into a graduate certificate program for Professional Writing. So yeah… I’ll still be writing, but now will get credit for it! The goal is, hopefully, to land a part-time instructor position teaching composition, writing, english etc. So here goes nothing!!!

This was either a really good idea.... or the worst ever.

I definitely want to go back through this blog, update pictures, proofread the stories and do some general housekeeping stuff. I would like to extract a few of my stories and characters and somehow create one work of fiction that will connect them in a seamless way.. combining their worlds. I also plan on potentially publishing my stories, either a la carte, as they are or beefed up a bit, and also putting them all into a memoire of sorts and trying to get that published, if just for myself.

This is where you come in, dear reader…

In the coming weeks, I think I’ll be reposting some of my favorite stories and I want your input. Do you like them, would you like see more development on any of them, do the have legs to stand on as a short story or character for a novel? You know that type of stuff… Comments, story ideas, thoughts, constructive criticism… it’s all welcome (please be gentle, ha ha!)

Love & Squirrels.

Thanks for reading! ~ Sam

Day #365: The Last Story

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The Story:

All Rachel wanted was a quick commute home and maybe a bubblebath. She knew she’d get neither and sighed audibly, causing the two men seated in front of her to throw snooty looks over their shoulders before returning their attention to the presentor on stage. “I’m not even supposed to be here,” she thought sulkily to herself before trying to concetrate on what the presenter was saying. But here she sat, three hours after her work day was supposed to have ended she had convinced herself to stay out of professional obligation, that and there had been no oportune time to slip out.

Allen waited for Rachel as long as he could. Finally looking at his watch and knowing he should have left at least five minutes ago, he cursed the Burger King toilet and his shallow jean’s pocket for their concerted sabatoge of his only method of contacting her. His cellphone may as well be a fishtank accessory now for all the good it did him after taking its recent suicide dive into the murky toilet water of the fast food eatery. It was no use- he had to leave. He only prayed she would see his note before she saw… them.

By the time Rachel arrived home, the house was dark and she was hungry. Those were really the only two sensations that registered after her marathon 13-hour day. Not worrying with the lights, Rachel kicked off her heels and hobbled across their tiny loft to the fridge. Peering inside and seeing nothing she wanted, Rachel settled on a bowl of cereal and after pouring a good amount into a bowl and adding some milk, she took her dinner to the couch where she collapsed unceremoniously. Staring straight ahead and not even really tasting the spoonfuls of vanilla almond granola, she wondered briefly, where Allen was. The thought only half formed, however, before Rachel gave up sustenance for sleep and curled up on the couch. She was fast asleep before the remaining cereal had time to go soggy.

Since leaving the house two hours ago, Allen couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that he had forgotten something. Hoping it was a residual feeling of being without his cellphone, he tried to rationalize the feeling away, but with little success. Later, as he passed a woman at the end of her break packing up her lunch bag, a wave of sickening foreboding washed over him as he saw her press the lid of her Tupperware securely in place. He had forgotten to seal one of the containers. Without thinking, Allen took off towards his car- he had to make it home before Rachel. God, he hoped he wasn’t too late.

Still asleep where she had collapsed on the couch, Rachel subconsciously brushed at something tickling her face. Suddenly, the darkness disappeared as seemingly every light in the house was simultaneously turned on, causing Rachel to wake with a start. Seeing that it was just Allen, Rachel went from groggily confused to seriously peeved and was just about to tell him off for waking her up when she noticed the expression on his face. It was as if he had seen a ghost.

Allen’s worst nightmare was staring back at him. He would have sworn it was a dream or some ridiculous scene from a cheesy horror flick if it hadn’t been his own girlfriend curiously returning his stare, not knowing apparently, the terror she was about to experience despite his best efforts to prevent it.

“Babe, don’t be scared, but I have to tell you something. I needed to bring two of the animals home from the rehab clinic to stay here overnight. One of their containers was not properly secured and…now, don’t make any sudden moments and stay as still as you can, because there is a trantula on your head,” Allen tried to move towards her slowly but quick enough he could hopefully remove the aracnid before Rachel reacted and threw the thing across the room as he fully expected her to do. He could tell by her lack of reaction that she was having trouble processing what he had just told her, and might even be contemplating the chance that he was playing some elaborate prank on her. He wished he was.

Rachel wondered if her boyfriend was losing his mind or just his sense of humor. Telling her there was a giant spider on her head? Man, he needed some new material or some sleep, either way, Rachel wasn’t buying his act. Then, she felt something move in her hair.

She had felt it move, Allen could tell by the dramatic shift in her expression. He knew he would only have a split second before she reached for the uninvited headwear and flung it as far away from her as possible. Just as he was sure he’d be spending the next half hour scraping trantula-sized splatter off of the wall, something unexpected happened. Rachel smiled. Then, with all the grace of a ballerina, she slowly arched her arm up and over her head and slowly lowered it before gingerly plucking the spider from her head.

Honey, you missed a leg.

Rachel was getting a kick out of the stunned look Allen couldn’t seem to recover from, thanks to her little stunt with the spider. Not wanting to continue his misery any longer, she shrugged her shoulders causally and said, “I got your note about bringing home these guys. You know, you really should be more careful securing their containers. When my dad brought me home my first trantula- his name was Percy by the way, the same thing happened to me and Percy almost met his maker when my mom accidently swept him into the dustbin while she was cleaning. Don’t you just love spiders?”

Mary Jane knows what I'm talkin about... Spidey love Fo-eva!

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      Today was a loooong day. Thirteen hour work day, to be exact. Tonight, from 6 to 9pm, our graduating physical therapy students presented their capstone projects and although I had every intention of ducking out early… the opportunity never presented itself. That’s ok, I was glad to lend my support to these guys after all their hardwork… I may just need a few naps tomorrow.

TWO:    There are not one, but two ginormous tarantulas sitting on my dining room table as we speak (or as I type… whatever, you get the idea). While seeing them here is no surprise, Andy was kind enough to give my plenty of warning, actually seeing them here, knowing that we are sharing the same air is wigging me out just a smidgeon. I, unlike Rachel from the story, am not exactly a huge fan of these critters and the notion that we will be spending the night (actually two nights) under the same roof is giving me the heebie jeebies.

***THIS IS IT! My last story! Can you believe it’s been a whole year????  I set a goal to write one work of fiction based on something that happened to me that day and by golly! I did it! What a rollercoaster this blogging journey has been. There’s so much I want to say, so I’ve decided to add two more posts, one tomorrow on the lessons I’ve learned thanks to this experience and one on my actual birthday (which is Friday… that whole leap year thing kinda screwed up my days!) about what my future plans are, with the blog and beyond. So stay tuned…

Love & Squirrels.

Day #364: That’s News?

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The Story:

“Ok class, Ms. Johnson is sick so I will be your substitute today. My name is Mr. Caan, and I’ve been a substitute in this district since returning from the war, so don’t try any funny business and we’ll get along just fine. Now, I see from Ms. Johnson’s note here that today is the first day of your individual presentations of a current news story. Let’s see… students are to present a news event of their own choosing to the class starting with the headline and highlighting the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the story. Well, that sounds pretty straight forward to me, let’s get started,” Mr. Caan scratched at the stubble under his chin absently and threw a grizzled stare at the class of 22 eighth graders.

You damn kids.

“We’ll start with you, girly in the purple sweater hoodie thing. Come up here to the front of the class, be sure to tell me your name so I can mark it and then Ms. Johnson has allotted you each five minutes to present your article. Well come on, girly. I’m not getting any younger,” Mr. Caan leaned back in Ms. Johnson’s worn chair and waited for the skinny girl in the front row to come to the front of the classroom and begin her presentation (and so he could begin his nap).

“Uh… hi, I’m Jodie Picante,” Mr. Caan scribbled something on a legal pad and motioned for Jodie to continue. “…and my news article headline is Japanese island man lives as naked hermit,” Jodie bit her lip and tried not to laugh as she saw Mr. Caan almost fall out of his chair as she read the last bit of her headline.

“Young lady, this is not funny! Now read your real headline and let’s get on with it,” Mr. Caan huffed as he climbed back into the chair.

“But Mr. Caan, that is my real headline, see?” Jodie held up a printout from a Yahoo! News story, complete with a picture of what appeared to be a very naked 76-year-old Japanese man.

Tea anyone?

“What the…” Mr. Caan mumbled as he adjusted his glasses and peered at the page she held up. “Humph…” was all he managed to get out as he waved for Jodie to continue. The girl went through the rest of the story and took her seat once she was done. “Next up, you there, with that ridiculous haircut… your turn,” Mr. Caan was wondering why he kept coming out of retirement for this garbage.

A tall gangly kid with bangs sweeping over approximately 2/3 of his face came to the front and began, “Hi, ya’ll know me as Freddy Deacon and my article is titled, Georgia Kindergartner handcuffed by police after throwing tantrum,” Freddy began with no indication this was anything but a serious news report.

“Hold on just a second there, sonny. There is no way that can be an actual headline from a legitimate news agency. Is this some kind of hoax, a prank you kids play on substitutes? Well, I’ll tell you I won’t have it, I won’t!” Mr. Caan was out of his seat and pacing next to the desk.

“Mr. Caan, this is a real headline, I swear!” Freddy said as he approached the agitated substitute and showed him the article from the Associated Press. Taking a closer look, Mr. Caan saw that is was in fact what Freddy claimed and allowed the Bieber-wannabe to continue.

“Ok, thank you… that was very enlightening Mr. Deacon. Next, let’s have you there in the back. Yes, you… come on, wake up and come to the front if you think you can manage,” Mr. Caan was going to need the five o’clock drink much earlier today at this rate.

“Yeah, so my article is-“ the sleepy kid from the back began.

“Excuse me son, please state your name for the role before you go on,” Mr. Caan interrupted.

“Oh yeah, sorry… whatever. My name is Jonah Hill and my article’s headline is, Newt nipped by zoo penguin, gets Band-Aid,” Johan was about to continued when Mr. Caan once again interrupted him.

Apparently, animals just hate this guy.

Mr. Caan was pacing once again and working up quite the sweat, “What is going on, here? Has the world turned on its end! I’m not going to even ask if that’s an actual headline, since from what I’ve heard today just about anything passes as news these days! Is this really the state of things? Has this great nation really fallen so low? I mean next you’re going to tell me that Kim Kardashian idiot is running for mayor!”

“Hey! No fair! That was my article!” a blonde girl with braces yelled from the second row before slouching down in her desk with a dramatic pout.

Wide-eyed and perhaps on the verge of a complete collapse, Mr. Caan simply stared at the back wall for a few minutes before slowly lowering his head. “I’d like everyone to please place their heads on their desk and not speak until the end of the period,” the tone of his voice left no room for debate and the kids all slowly lowered their heads without protest.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      So many ridiculous news stories… so little time. Today was simply chalked full of some of the weirdest ‘news’ stories I remember coming across in a very long time and I just had to catalog a few of them. All of the headlines above are pulled right out of today’s news, mostly from Yahoo! News (which explains a lot). One more reason to NOT stay current… with current events.

And THIS is reason enough to want to bury your head in the sand indefinitely...

 

Love & Squirrels.

Day #363: Daydreamin’

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The Story:

“Hey… hey, psst! Hey, you better wake up!”

Jeremy climbed towards consciousness at the prompting of a strange voice coming from nearby. Not really awake, he tried to shake the cobwebs from his head but his eyes remained bleary with sleep.  He could swear he had awoken in what appeared to be a large auditorium. Suddenly, Jeremy realized he had absolutely no sense of where he was, a blip of panic raced across his brain and he immediately began to try and make heads or tails of his location… and who it was that woke him. Turning to his left, he immediately felt calmer.

“Missy, thank God. I was freaking out for a minute there. I thought I was in some auditorium or something, it was super weird. I guess I was dreaming because I kept hearing a teacher ask questions and students mumbling answers, I think about health care or something crazy like that… what is it?” As the sleep was falling away from his fogged brain, Jeremy realized Missy, his college girlfriend was staring at him in unmasked anger.

“Jeremy, what the hell? What are you doing here?” Missy hissed, trying to keep her voice down while glancing around nervously. “Why are you in my Healthcare Finance class?!?”she continued, slouching down in her seat as some of the students around her began to turn to see what the commotion was.

Jeremy frowned in confusion and then looked around. He was, in fact, sitting in a large auditorium surrounded by about 100 students- the instructor reviewing slides on the overhead and thankfully, his back was to the class. He remembered why he was here. He had planned on surprising Missy with two tickets to a concert for her birthday and so he waited for her here, where he knew her class was going to be. Arriving a little early, he sat down in one of the seats by the door to wait and must have nodded off, only waking when Missy had spotted him- a good thirty minutes into the lecture. Quietly explaining himself, he smiled his best “I tried my best!” smile and hoped he’d be forgiven. His intentions were good, after all.

Missy, apparently in a forgiving mood, relaxed a bit and turning back to the front of the room whispered, “You might as well stay, if he catches you trying to leave,” she nodded towards the instructor, “he will totally call you out”.

“Really? Crap… I don’t know anything about healthcare, if I stay he’s going to call on me for something, I know it,” Jeremy replied looking nervous and trying to disappear in his seat.

“You’re so paranoid, he’s not going to even know you’re here,” Missy whispered before they both heard a loud voice from the front and saw the entire class turn and face them.

“I’m so very sorry to interrupt what must be an important conversation,” the instructor said to Missy and Jeremy as the rest of the class laughed humorlessly. “Since you seem to have such a strong opinion you just couldn’t keep it to yourself, please… share with the class. What do you believe are the strengths of consumer driven healthcare, Mister… mister…”

“Thompson, sir… Jeremy,” Jeremy replied with a strangled tone. He threw a pleading glance at Missy who just sat there, wide eyed and helpless. Turning a lovely shade of crimson, Jeremy cleared his voice and just as he was about to reply… he woke up.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      Have you ever had a dream that was so realistic you actually dreamt while you were in it? Had one of those last night… that’s pretty much all I remember now, unfortunately.

TWO:    Today I sat in on a healthcare debate being held as part of a course for some of our students. I found it extremely interesting as the topic was about consumer driven healthcare plans, something I actually just switched to recently. I made mention of this to the instructor during a break and of course… she wanted me to speak about my experience. Groan. There I was, barely able to understand the difference between an HSA and an HRA and she wanted me to talk about healthcare to a bunch of soon-to-be doctors. Well, despite my face turning the lovely shade of a baboon’s butt, I think I spoke relatively intelligently and even had a few students come thank me for providing insight and asked me questions about my decision.

Actually, I think my face was a little redder.

Love  & Squirrels.

 

Day #362: I’d Rather…

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The Story:

I’d rather look at ugly faces…

Change my name or talk about cereal.

I’d rather drive across town to deliver pants

Or prick my finger with tiny needles over and over.

 

That's one ugly face...

I’d rather stare at a “Hang in there, baby” poster with a tiny kitten in a tree…

Stitch giant letters on a rebel flag.

I’d rather go nowhere on a bike

Or endure a mess of dog farts.

Anything, yes- just about anything

Would be absolutely preferable…

100% better and genuinely superior

Than writing tonight.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been sewing a giant rebel flag all day or if I’m just experiencing writers’ block, but I couldn’t think of one damn thing I wanted to write about tonight. Perhaps the end of this writing journey is so near I can taste it and I have a blogger’s version of ‘senioritis’. Whatever the reason, I’m just not ‘in it’ tonight and have found every excuse and reason to procrastinate- I’ve looked up ‘ugly faces’, searched for the original ‘hang in there, baby’ poster, chatted about cereal for dinner and been almost blown off the couch by some stinky dog farts thanks to my snoozing doxie, Joey.  Let’s hope for some inspiration to strike tomorrow!

Love & Squirrels.

Day #361: Oh, You Work In Movies?

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The Story:

How you know your boyfriend works in movies:

  1. There’s a box of live maggots snuggled up in your fridge.
  2. You’ve built a barn.
  3. You could probably whip up a fake license plate in about 30 minutes.
  4. You know at least five different ways to create green slime. Tempico anyone?
  5. Half of your house goes missing for weeks at a time, only to reappear as the backdrop for some make out scene in a zombie movie a year later.
  6. You’ve decorated a complete stranger’s living room.
  7. A rebel flag the size of your kitchen… is in your kitchen.

    To be fair, that is a 'mini' dachshund...

  8. Runs to Office Max are a weekly, if not daily occurrence.
  9. Finding a hospital bed at a garage sale for $40 is like striking gold and winning the lotto all rolled into one.
  10. Anytime you’re forced to buy something weird or embarrassing, you can say ‘it’s for a movie’ and the cashier thinks you’re super cool. “Yeah, these fifteen boxes of condoms and grape jelly aren’t for me… it’s for a movie”.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      Yep, it’s that time again… movie making time. I swear, I end up doing the most random stuff and go to the most bizarre places anytime Andy begins working on a new movie. So far this one has been no different and… I love it. So, gotta cut this short, time to sew a giant skull on that rebel flag I mentioned.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #360: The Girls

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The Story:

They cannot be contained.

They will not be ignored.

Don’t try to cover them up

Or tuck them away.

They will find a way out.

They are professional escape artists.

Straps cannot bind them,

Nor can poorly constructed support.

They will pop them off like rubber bands.

They will force themselves upon the world.

So forget masking tape,

Might as well throw out the stapler.

They are here.

They WILL be noticed.

Crap... now they have a knife!

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      So… yeah, I have a bit of a tumultuous relationship…with my boobs. The ‘girls’ are kind of a force to be reckoned with and to be honest, I’m never quite sure how to ‘deal’ with them. If I had my way, I’d be an unassuming ‘B’ cup, or something similarly manageable. However the powers that be saw fit to ‘bless’ me with a sizable rack at the tender age of 13 (I can still remember the day some boy in my 7th grade art class was so kind as to give them their first moniker… that I will not be disclosing here). I know, I know, “woe is me, I have large breasts, boo hoo..” but having gazongas is not all it’s cracked up to be, believe me. Take today, for instance. Taking advantage of casual Friday at work, this morning I decided to throw on a cute tank top and jeans with a sensible cardigan over top. The tank was one of those with the adjustable straps, and I guess the girls weren’t too happy about the situation so they decided to pop off one of my straps. Great, it’s 1pm and I have to waltz around for the rest of the day with a strap missing. Not having a safety pin handy, I did the next best thing… I stapled the strap back to the shirt. Good as new.

I totally need to invest in this stuff...

Love  Squirrels.