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Category Archives: May 2011

Day #44: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop…

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The Story:

The guilt was killing her. She thought she had been careful. She thought she had gotten away with it. She shook her trembling hands and tried to breathe normally. She felt eyes watching her from every angle. Looking up though, she didn’t see any suspicious glances from the people around her. Placing her hands back on the wheel, she stared straight ahead and closed her eyes. A million different excuses flew through her head. She hadn’t seen it. She had been going too fast to stop. She was in fear for her life.  She had thought she was being followed. They all rang hollow, even to her own ears.

Opening her eyes, she looked up into her rearview mirror for maybe the twentieth time in as many minutes. “Snap out of it, Carmen,” she whispered, “no one saw you. No one knows. No one ever needs to know,” she continued.

HONK! Honk-honk!

Briefly confused, Carmen thought she had been found out- they had come for her. Then she saw that the light had changed and the vehicle behind her was simply alerting her to the fact… if not a little insistently. Breathing a sigh of relief, she lifted her foot off the break and accelerated through the intersection. Her nerves were frayed and she knew it. She was beginning to make mistakes. It was time to pull over and figure out her next move.

Looking around, Carmen saw the sign for a P.F. Chang’s and decided that it would serve her purpose as good as any place. She could pull off there and gather her wits… she had been wanting to try their calamari anyway. Ten minutes and half a cup of jasmine tea later, Carmen was still not feeling any better. What if there was evidence she didn’t know about? What if something, or someone had happened to capture the act on camera? Oh God… what if someone had seen her act and was just bidding their time, waiting for her to get comfortable and then when she had grown complacent- BAM! they came after her? Carmen took another sip of tea half-hoping the hot beverage could soothe away her anxiety.  

Asked this dignified gentleman if I should order dessert... thumbs up? Done and done.

All her life she had done what she was told, had lived by ‘the book’ so to speak. Now, after one careless mistake she felt as if her entire world was crashing down around her. How could she ever look her mother in the face after what she had done that afternoon?

Carmen suddenly realized what she had to do.

She had to turn herself in. She would face the consequences of her actions…whatever they may be. Throwing back the last of her tea, Carmen paid her bill and walked with stiff resolve towards the door.

On her drive towards the police station, Carmen decided to call her mother to say goodbye. “I don’t understand, Carmen. You are turning yourself in to the police? For what?” Carmen’s mother replied once her daughter had explained her actions from earlier that day and what she planned to do. “Mom, I already told you. I broke the law, and now I am going to turn myself in,” Carmen tried to remain calm. “Carmen, I want you to listen to me. You do not need to go to the police. What you did isn’t that big of a deal, in fact I did it just the other day on the way home from the grocery,” Carmen’s mom said nonchalantly. Carmen couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “People do it all the time,” her mom continued, “I’m not saying it’s right, but it happens. I know this is going to be hard for you to believe, but not everyone follows every rule to the letter, sweetie, especially on the road. People run red lights,” she finished.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      I ran a red light today. I didn’t mean to, I must have been daydreaming (fancy that?) or something and when I looked ahead I noticed the cars around me were slowing down and then I saw it- the stale yellow light. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stop in time, so I accelerated and prayed the intersection didn’t have one of those pesky traffic cameras to capture my misdeed. I always get a little freaked out when I accidently zoom through a light. Like the cops are just lying in wait for me to mess up so they can pull me over or that the motorist around me- the ones who stopped, are judging me and shaking their heads in disgust at my careless driving.

TWO:    Finished writing this from my local P.F. Chang’s where I met Andy for a late dinner. He was given a reprieve for the night from the movie he’s been working on and was starving. Since I already ate dinner with my mom and brother who’s in town from Cali, I really wasn’t hungry but figured I would just order some tea and finish writing tonight’s story. Yeah, some tea and…. an order of calamari… AND the flourless chocolate dome cake. Man, I have absolutely NO self-restraint. Oh well, there are worst things than death by chocolate… right?

 

Don't judge me.

Love & Squirrels.

 

 

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Day #43: Have You Seen My Pet???

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The Story:

“Ugh! What a day!” Cindy stormed in the house, slamming the door behind her.

“Don’t slam the door!” Calvin yelled from the couch, tossing Cindy a put-out look before returning to his Playstation3.

“You will not believe the day I’ve had,” Cindy continued, pausing only long enough to kick off her heels and throw her purse on the kitchen table. “First, on my run this morning, I step in a heaping pile of dog doodie, and as if isn’t enough, some jerk on a bike forces me off of the sidewalk. Oh, I was so mad. I mean, come on! The bike lane is right there, lady! Uggghhh… Then at work, one of my coworkers ate my lunch out of the fridge. Who does that? I mean it had ‘CINDY’ clearly written—“

“Well, it can’t be worse than my day,” Calvin interrupted. “During my commute I was stuck behind some Sunday driver who drove the entire way with his blinker on. Then, I go to get some coffee out of the break room and some jackweed drank all but the last few drops and didn’t bother to make another pot. I mean, who does that???” Calvin tossed his hands up.

“God, I hate it when you interrupt me. I can’t even finish a sentence before you’re butting in and redirecting the attention back to you… can I finish talking now?” Cindy pursed her lips in frustration. “So, as I was saying, after someone ate my lunch I had to go out to grab something and while I’m waiting for my order someone’s car alarm goes off. This thing must have been wailing for like 15 minutes before the clueless owner finally hears it and shuts it off. So I get back to the office and start to chat with Debbie, only she must have forgotten her MiracleEar or something because I had to repeat everything I said, which you know is one of my biggest— Cal! You know how much it bothers me when you play that stupid game while I’m trying to talk to you,” Cindy tapped her foot in anger.

“Well, do you know how much it bothers me when you yammer on and on and on like that?” Calvin retorted snippily.

“Oh, you want to play it like that, do ya? Fine. Let’s talk about how you never seem to be able to put the seat down. Or maybe how you failed to turn off the sprinklers in the yard today despite the fact it’s been raining constantly for the past two days!” Cindy was beginning to raise her voice in frustration.

“Two can play this game, missy,” Calvin put his controller down and turning to face Cindy, “What about your inability to change the toilet paper roll, huh? Or how you just throw your crap down wherever you are, I mean there are piles of your stuff all over the house!”

“You mumble when you talk!” Cindy yelled.

“You squeeze the toothpaste from the middle… everyone knows you’re supposed to squeeze it from the bottom!” Calvin yelled back.

“…everyone knows you’re supposed to squeeze it from the bottom,” Cindy mimicked in a nasally voice.

“Cut it out, you know how much I hate that,” Calvin growled.

“Almost as much as I hate when you try to be all macho,” Cindy sneered.

“I swear to God, Cindy… if you don’t—“ Calvin was abruptly interrupted by the doorbell.

Giving each other dirty looks, Cindy and Calvin walked to the door and opened it to find a flyer rubber-banded to their doorknob. “Uck… can we go one day without one of these damn flyers showing up on our door?!?!,” Calvin yelled before slamming the door closed.

“What is it? Let me see,” Cindy looked over Calvin’s shoulder as he unfolded the blue and white flyer which read:

 

 

Cindy and Calvin exchanged a sheepish grin and looked at the flyer again. Hugging Cindy, Calvin said, “Well that explains it. Looks like our neighbor has let his pet Peeves run amuck in the neighborhood again… damn thing.”

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      After making a comment on Facebook today about how seeing sprinklers running in the rain is a super pet peeve of mine, I seemed to have opened the floodgates to a few of my other pet peeves. While my ultimate pet peeve was a no show (that would be repeating myself… if you didn’t hear me the first time you might as well forget it) a few of my others decided to drop in including:

  1. On my walk today I was forced off the sidewalk because some dingbat on a bike needs to pass. Um… it’s called a bike lane people, it’s literally two feet to your left… use it. Also, this is a sideWALK, dang it… not a sideRIDEMYBIKEANDFORCEPEDESTRIANSINTOTHEGRASS.
  2. Having to pretend not to see the creepy motorist in the lane next to me who maintains the same speed as me so he can make the googly-eyes in an attempt to get my attention. Dude, soooo not interested. Move it along.

OK, so that was pretty much it, but it was enough to get me thinking about some of the other common pet peeves people have, including some things I’m guilty of (ahem… never replacing the toilet paper roll. Yeah, I just sit the new roll on top of the naked one… I’ll change it when I’m ready, gosh!!!). I thought it would be fun to make it about an actual pet named Peeves who got out and as a result, everyone in the surrounding area is subjected to their most hated pet peeves. Good times.

Love & Squirrels.

 

Day #42: Oh, My Aching Head!

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The Story:

It wakes you in the gray hours of the morning. You try to sleep through it; futilely you cling to a few more minutes of peace. Dragging your eyes open even a fraction sends you plummeting back down into your pillow. Its’ origin is unknown but its’ very presences reeks of misery and suffering to come. Ignoring it only seems to agitate it more. So you beckon your muscles out of their dormancy and lift your body from your bed. Slowly, carefully, you creep into the bathroom adjacent your room, every step sending shock waves off the walls of your skull. Your movement agitates it and you pray that this will only be a temporary phenomenon. Cradling your head in your hands, you wait for the running water from the sink to warm so its heat can provide some small solace- however temporary. It has now worked its way from around the base of your skull and into your cheekbones before it continues its destructive path, finally it  grips your eye sockets with a vise-like hold. The water helps some and you think that you can make it… you can survive this.

Wincing at your reflection in the poorly-lit mirror you barely recognize your sallow-skinned and puffy-eyed likeness. Like some pitiable doppelganger, it has drained the color from your cheeks; your eyes are weighted down, unable to open to their full capacity. You wish for sleep but know it cannot grant you any reprieve from what has hold of you… and so you carry on. Hoping a remedy passed down from your mother will vanquish it, you close your eyes and feel your way into the main quarters of the house. Relying on textures and objects you skim with your fingertips, you search out the remedy until, in the darkness of pre-morning, you detect a small package that holds what you seek. Careful to avoid any sudden movements, for you have found that angers it, you ingest the remedy and say a silent prayer.

Hours pass with no relief. The remedy has failed. It has grown comfortable now, as it slowly seeps into your brain, clogging even the simplest of your thoughts with its sludge-like presence. Weakened and desperate, you begin to look for anything to dull the edge of it. Finding nothing, you eventually accept your fate- you accept that you have no control and you begin to wish for unspeakable things- things you know you would never do. Time marches on and you can feel its beat across the bridge of your nose and in your aching mandible.

Beginning to believe relief will never come; you make one last request out of sheer desperation. Your request is heard, and what’s more, is answered.

It liberates you in trickles, not all at once but like condensation evaporating in the afternoon sun. You feel your faculties return, slow but eager to please. You breathe deeply and become acutely aware that it is now almost indistinguishable. You may not be 100%, it will take a day of rest and times’ slow restorative hand for that, but you begin to remember things, how to smile, the ability to nod, the taste of a ripe cantaloupe. It is gone now, for how long you dare not think, but for now… you are safe.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      I suffer from headaches. Ever since I was a wee child I would be gripped by these monster headaches that never seemed to go away. I can honestly say that there are more days than not where I suffer from some varying level of ‘the headache’. I’ve come to deal with this less than appealing reality, and for the most part I am pretty functional despite this malady. However, there are those days, like today, that before I even wake up a whopper of a headache comes a knockin’ and makes my life miserable. I try to suffer through, hoping the pain will just be temporary. Today I knew that without some sort of medicinal intervention I would be in for a world of hurt. Recently, I’ve begun to wonder if my symptoms (the everlasting cold, headaches, fatigue) were a result of adult-onset allergies. So I popped some 12-hour allergy pill my mom/pusher gave me in hopes it would knock out this terrible headache. It didn’t. And guess who thought she had her bottle of Advil in her purse but who actually forgot it in her other purse? Yep, that would be me. So with nothing to alleviate my poor head, I started freaking out… it was getting worse. I literally wanted to die (ok, not really). Finally, I wandered to my boss’ office (the effort of even this simple task was daunting) and begged for anything he might have in the form of painkillers. Thank God he had something, so after swallowing two Aleve I began to return to my usual, if not somewhat exhausted, self.

this should do the trick...

TWO:    Not having much of an appetite (mind-numbing pain will do that to ya) I managed to finally force down some cantaloupe for lunch today as the Aleve started to work its magic. I think it was delicious but honestly my brain cells were more concerned with throwing a teeny celebration in my head as the last of my headache dissolved (I imagine a bunch of little brain cells dancing around and singing al a munchkin style, Ding dong the witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch. Ding Dong the Wicked Witch is dead! Wake up- sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed, wake up the Wicked Witch is dead…).

 

…she’s gone where the goblins go, Below- below- below. Yo-ho…

(Sorry, but I have the song stuck in my head…)

Love & Squirrels.

Day #41: 3W’s Fatblast!

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The Story:

Wish you could spend more time outside and get a great workout at the same time? Love animals but don’t want the commitment of owning a pet? Looking to get back in shape but hate going to the gym or those boring ‘ol exercise videos?Well you’re in luck! The newest exercise craze sweeping the nation is now available in your city for just a small monthly fee! You can’t find this workout in any gym and you won’t be able to purchase it anywhere but here, so don’t touch that dial and get ready to be blown away by:

This thirty-minute workout tones all major muscle groups, incorporates cardio throughout the workout to keep your heart rate up and sharpens your reflexes all at once. What other routine does all of this AND gets you outside?

The 3W’s Fatblast is taught by highly skilled trainers assisted by their wolfdog companions and will have you howling its praises within the first week!

This exercise program includes:

  • Modified lunges as you jump from the ground to the back of a pickup truck to illustrate how a wolfdog could get into a vehicle.
  • Upper & lower arm conditioning as the result of chucking pounds upon pounds of frozen, raw chicken over 20 foot fences during feeding time.
  • Intense cardio and squats as you chase down, corral and inch closer on your haunches to the wolfdog in an attempt to approach, leash and return him to his pen.
  • Slim down those stubborn upper arms as you continuously swat the thousands of flies that will surround you as you complete your workout.
  • Work shoulders as you ‘walk’ your wolfdog around the premises…careful, they lunge!
  • And much more!

No contract, no intimidating gym membership, and only $19.95/month! Have your credit card ready and dial 800-555-WOLF to register for your personalized 3W’s Fatblast today!

*Operators are not standing by.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

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

ONE:      On our visit to the wolfdog sanctuary today, we were met with a few…issues. Our visit was primarily to spend some time with one wolfdog in particular, by the name of Zorro. After about an hour of some one-on-one time with Zorro, Andy and I were ready to take off when we heard all of the dogs (about 20) start howling and barking at some sort of commotion. Well, it seems one of the wolfdogs, Aspen, is quite the escape artist and she somehow got out of her pen. We were able to corral her and Andy jimmy-rigged the gate of her pen to temporarily prevent another escape. Thinking we were done for the day, we started walking towards the car when we heard another volunteer start yelling on the other side of the property. Turns out three other wolfdogs had also found a way out of their pen in the back. Are you familiar with the phrase, “herding cats”? Now imagine these ‘cats’ are 100+ lbs, possess some very sharp teeth and are very, very skittish and you will have somewhat of an idea of how Andy and I spent the rest of our holiday afternoon today. Finally, we were able to coax all of the wolfdogs close enough to put a leash on and lead back to their pen. On the plus, I definitely worked up a sweat which got me thinking this could be a heck of a workout. I’ll tell ya though, I don’t think I could do it every day… even if it is free.

A close up of Zorro... isn't he a beaut?

On a side note, if you are in the Orlando area and would like to learn more about the animal haven Andy and I have the pleasure of volunteering for they can be found on Facebook at In Harmony With Nature Animal Haven. It’s been so cool working with these graceful, intelligent and quirky animals and the haven is always looking for new volunteers. Of course, if  “rubbing elbows” with wolfdogs isn’t your speed, donations won’t be turned away either (but give it one visit, and I bet you’ll be hooked). 🙂

Love & Squirrels.

Day #40: What’s My Line?

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The Story:

“Line!” Geoffrey shouted across his formal dining room table. “Good morning…” a small voice from another room replied. “Good morning, son. How did you sleep?” Geoffrey said, picking up from his cue. The 67-year-old plastered a toothy smile on his face and looked over at Devin, his son. Devin let his head fall back and sighed before gathering enough composure to mumble a quick and unenthusiastic, “Fine, dad”. His father seemed contented by this so Devin grabbed a croissant from the center of the table and attempted to leave the dining room.

“Young man, I believe there is still the small matter of your grades we need to discuss. The headmaster has been in contact with me, and I must say, I am deeply disappointed by the lack of interest you seem to be showing towards your academics,” Geoffrey said before taking a small bite from a piece of dry toast. Devin pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. “This is getting ridiculous,” he thought to himself.

“Can we talk after school, dad? I don’t want to be late,” he faked a smile as he continued to back out of the dining room. “Very well, Jeremy. But…   LINE!” Geoffrey abruptly yelled. The small voice again from apparently nowhere replied, “…we will talk after school today.” Geoffrey picked up from where he left off, “we will talk after school today,” he repeated. “Sure thing, pop,” Devin shouted as the front door slammed behind him.

Cut!” the same phantom voice shouted from the other room.

Geoffrey spit out the piece of dry toast he had been gumming. “How was that, Gerald? I don’t know… I wasn’t really feeling it, you know? Can we do that one more time?” Geoffrey asked the empty dining room. A diminutive man in a fedora entered the room from behind Geoffrey and said, “No Geoffrey, I think we got it,” and he took a seat next to him. “Are you sure, Gerald? Well if you think so. Can I get a bottled water, someone?” Geoffrey twisted in his seat and looked over his shoulder. Out of nowhere, a youngish girl in a hoodie and a headset popped into the dining room and handed Geoffrey a bottle of water and quickly disappeared again. “I’d like to talk about the scene by the pool where I confront Jeremy. I’m not sure if my character would really scream and then shove his son into the pool,” Geoffrey said after taking a swig from his water.

“Hmmm… ok, Geoffrey. What did you have in mind, instead?” Gerald leaned in. “Well, of course I’m no director, and please stop me if I overstep, but I believe my character would play it a bit cooler than that. What if I say the lines in more of a detached but forceful monotone as I walk towards him. As he’s backing away from me he fails to realize how close to the edge he is and just as I deliver the line, “you aren’t my son” he takes his final step back and falls into the pool,” Geoffrey seemed very pleased with himself.

Gerald leaned back in his chair and hid a melancholy smile, “That’s great Geoffrey, really. I think that could work. Let me talk to Devin and see if he’ll be onboard, and I’ll need to check with the crew, but I believe that could really project the tone of the scene”. Geoffrey smiled and took another drink of water. “Why don’t you go back to your trailer and I’ll send Paige out for you when we’re ready for the next scene,” Gerald said as he stood from the table. “Ok Gerald, and can you see if they will start stocking Starbursts at craft services? I’ve been asking for days and still, no Starbursts,” Geoffrey stood and walked from the table and out of the dining room.

Gerald watched the man walk outside to the backyard and into the airstream parked behind a swimming pool. Once Geoffrey was out of site, Gerald pulled out his cell phone and called Devin. “Ok, you can come back, he’s in his trailer,” Gerald ended the call and then dialed Paige. Ten minutes later Devin reentered the house and found Gerald and the young girl in the hoodie, Paige, sitting at the table. “Gerry, this is getting way out of hand,” Devin said as he took a seat, “how much longer are we going to keep this up?”. “Yeah, fetching water and picking up sandwiches is getting really old,” Paige piped in. “I’m a dog walker, not a PA. I don’t know how much more of this I can deal with, man,” she said as she stuffed her hands into her hoodie’s front pocket.

“I know guys, this isn’t easy but it’s for the best. We talked about this and all agreed that this was the best way. Now, the way I see it, we keep it up for another week or so until he thinks it’s the end of shooting and then we can help him understand. At first he’ll think that it’s just the end of the production but eventually when he doesn’t get any other work, we will have to tell him,” Gerald took off his hat and wiped his forehead before replacing it once again.

 —

Geoffrey changed into his dressing robe and clicked on the 17 inch television above the wet bar in his airstream. Disney’s Pocahontas was on and soon he was singing along with Mother Willow to Colors of the Wind… completely oblivious to the conversation in his dining room… completely oblivious to the fact his reality was just a figment of his diseased brain.

Once an acclaimed actor with decades of films and Broadway productions under his belt, Geoffrey McElroy was now suffering from dementia caused by an aggressive case of Alzheimer ’s disease. For the past month he believed he was the star actor on a movie set. Rather than send him hurdling into reality, his friend and psychologist, Dr. Gerald Bethany, had convinced Geoffrey’s adult son, Devin, and his dog walker, Paige to play along with this fantasy.

…you can own the earth and still, all you’ll own is earth until…” Geoffrey sang/mumbled before quietly slipping into a peaceful sleep.  

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

I am happy to report that my computer issues have been resolved thanks again to my brilliant boyfriend who spent hours researching and battling a virus, removing my hard drive, copying all of my files and other data to his computer and reinstalling Vista onto my laptop.

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

ONE:      I’m writing to you now, from a movie set. Ok, technically its some high-rollers’ house in Clermont, but there is a movie being made as I type this which, as you may have gathered, is the inspiration for today’s story. My boyfriend has been working on this movie for the past few days and tonight he wanted me to tag along. The scene being filmed for the past day or two is a dinner party and man… is it boring. One actor cannot, for the life of him, remember his lines and everyone else is getting a little testy about it. The whole experience just strikes me as bizarre; there are all these people around doing miscellaneous jobs, grip, lighting, etc. for something so rudimentary as a small dinner party. And, in the middle of holding a somewhat normal conversation over tomato bisque every so often the air is pierced with “LINE!” before it continues as if nothing had happened. On top of that, the poor misinformed people who agreed to have a film shot in their home have had the misfortune of coming home each day to find their house torn apart, things and people are everywhere and they are basically confined to the top floor. Adding to the sense of being in an alternate reality, this house is filled to the brim with artifacts, antiques and rarities ranging from the beautiful to the bizarre (there is a stuffed hyena in the lounge). The absurdity of where I find myself at this moment was begging to be documented and so… I did (in my own little way, of course).

Please note the stuffed hyena lurking in the background.

TWO:    After several attempts to remove myself from the chaos of shooting, I finally found a quiet place to write. Setting up shop on the home’s screened-in patio where the wind blowing through the moss-covered live oaks and the waves of the lake beyond have provided the perfect soundtrack to the unfurling of tonight’s story. Until they cut and a few of the actors wandered outside for a snack (I failed to realize I’m sitting next to the craft services table … which means I’m by all the food. That need to always be in the spotlight does not stop when the director yells cut, that’s for sure. So as I’m typing away these actors all of a sudden start belting out the lines from “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas. And let’s just say they held nothing back. Singing at the top of their lungs in this spontaneous duet, they eventually begin to dance and spin each other for a full on production. Honestly, they were probably expecting me to stand up and applaud. When I failed to do so they returned inside; perhaps in search of someone who could better appreciate their ‘craft’. Wow…is all I can say.

A glimpse of the chaos... I mean the set.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #39: Napping Bylaws

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The Story:

Adopted Bylaws of Napping

It is agreed by all board members that napping is considered sacred and should be treated with the upmost respect and consideration. The following bylaws were instituted to better the overall napping experience so that the ideal nap may be experienced by any man, woman or child who adhere to them.

  1. Do not converse or attempt to speak to any person you have identified as napping. This disruption is aggravating to the napper and it should be noted that they are not really listening to you anyway but are in fact simply wishing you would shut up.
  2. While the ideal time for taking a nap has been debated at length with no obvious resolution, nappers should consider 3:00pm as a good starting point.
  3. Napping with a pet is recommended as the pets’ breathing can serve to further relax the napper. Just be sure they are not a ‘barker’.
  4. Naps should be taken in a space with little distraction and soft lighting.
  5. Soft, low volume background music is recommended to filter environment noise that could keep you from getting adequate shuteye during your chosen naptime.
  6. The TV may be left on so long as the volume is at a level where you cannot be sucked in to whatever programming should be on. Recommended shows to have on while napping include Law & Order, professional soccer, reruns of That 70’s Show or anything on PBS. A complete list of nap-appropriate programming can be found online at NappersUnite.com.
  7. Napping on weekdays vs. weekends can be slightly different, so when considering the prospect of napping, consult your calendar to ensure other events or responsibilities are not planned to better enjoy your nap.
  8. Every napper is different, but most agree that a lazy Sunday afternoon is the ideal time for a nap.
  9. Some type of blanket or covering is recommended while napping. Should it be too hot or humid to utilize a covering, the napper should remove one leg from the blanket and place it on top to maximize airflow.
  10. Avoid napping around ‘friends’ or family members if at all possible as they will most likely see your nap as nothing more than an opportunity to mess with you… beware the bowl of warm water.
  11. Sharing a nap with a loved one is acceptable, so long as there is adequate space, covering and they are also familiar with the Bylaws of Napping. No hanky panky.
  12. Always nap on planes.
  13.  Be cautious when napping outside. Various environmental factors, such as too much sun, insects, allergies, unexpected rain or little kids with water guns could make this experience regrettable.
  14. Nap in comfortable clothing or if necessary, unfasten restraining buttons to maximize comfort.
  15. According to tradition, all members should participate in all official napping holidays, including: following the Thanksgiving meal, once all the kiddies have opened their Christmas presents, the afternoon or late morning of New Year’s Day.

These bylaws were accepted after a majority vote on May 28, 2011 and are available on hand stitched blankets and pillows available for purchase at NappersUnite.com.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

Apologies again… still having laptop trouble and was only able to wrestle Andy’s away this morning.

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

ONE:            After only getting about four hours of sleep last night… I was desperate for a nap today. It being a holiday weekend and all, you would think I’d want to spend my time out-of-doors doing something fun… obviously you don’t know me very well (not to mention it’s hotter than blazes outside… this is Florida, after all). So I was all prepared to take a nap this afternoon, had my pillow, my quilt, my dog, and I had found a comfortable position on the couch. Unfortunately, my boyfriend was not ready for a nap and continued to chat away at me, his music blaring. Then, he decided to join me… on the tiny couch that is really not conducive for parallel napping. No matter, we made it work- for about ten minutes. And the Napping Bylaws were born.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #38: Bad Hair Day

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The Story:

Lona Ann jerked awake and reflexively slammed her hand on the screaming alarm clock. Starring at the ceiling for a few more minutes, Lona Ann eventually rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Letting out a small gasp as her foot hit the cold tile, Lona Ann closed her eyes and faced the mirror. Bracing herself he slowly opened one eye and then the other and sighed in relief… it was going to be a good hair day.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, all this build-up for a silly girls’ vanity? Not quite. You see, Lona Ann was not like any other girl; she was quite unique, actually.

When Lona Ann was still in her mother’s womb something happened that would change her life before it even began. Her mother, the town’s only hairdresser, came to work one morning with a nasty case of morning sickness. Munching on saltines, sucking on peppermints, sipping ginger ale, nothing seemed to help. After suffering through her first few appointments, she decided she better go home and just as she was closing up, a strange-looking woman with long, raven-black hair entered the salon. Apologetically, Lona Ann’s mother explained that she was closed but the woman would not be swayed. Finally, Lona Ann’s mother agreed to see her. Struggling through the newest onslaught of nausea, Lona Ann’s mother began to trim the split ends off of the woman’s hair. As she worked her way to the front of the woman’s head the need to vomit would not be denied and bending over she, well… you know (bleeeeck!!!). Unfortunately, in her distress, she forgot the shears she still had in the woman’s hair and when she looked up she couldn’t help but gasp in horror at the large section of hair missing from the woman’s head. The woman calmly starred at her butchered hair and then, turning slowly towards Lona Ann’s mother she uttered something indistinguishable. Pointing a crooked finger at her mother’s midsection, the woman cursed Lona Ann, promising that the child would suffer from enduring heartache and a life of constant transformation.

Each day of Lona Ann’s life started with a surprise. Thanks to the curse, Lona Ann woke up every morning with a completely different head of hair. Sometimes it was curly, sometimes it was straight as a board. One day it would be fire-engine red, the next it would be jet-black or blonde or even cotton candy pink. Many times her mane of hair was completely unmanageable, no amount of product, straightening or coaxing could tame it. On these days, Lona Ann would simply walk to her closet and pick from one of the dozens of scarfs, hats or turbans she had accumulated over the years and cram it on her head. For years, Lona Ann had yelled and cried and screamed a few curses of her own over her unfair fate. As a teenager she had even started shaving her head every morning rather than face whatever monstrosity sprouted out of her head that day. Eventually though, Lona Ann began to come to terms with her curse… most days, anyway.

Today, Lona Ann smiled at her strawberry-blonde coif and brushed her fringed bangs out of her eyes. “Not too bad,” she said into the mirror as she ran her fingers through her new shoulder-length hair. “Wish I could keep this one for more than a day,” she sighed. Continuing her morning routine, Lona Ann glanced once more into the mirror before hitting the light switch and walked to the kitchen, grabbed a banana and left for work.

Growing up with her own ‘hair issues’, Lona Ann had decided early in her life that she wanted to devote her life to helping others who suffered from hair-related problems- namely cancer patients who had lost their hair during treatment. Founding the “Center for Stress-less Tresses”, a place that men and woman suffering from all sorts of maladies could come to find their perfect head of hair, and along with it… their self-esteem. Lona Ann served as sort of a hair-advisor, helping customers select the perfect wig, picking out products and accessories they could use to style it, even providing a quick haircut if need be. All of the wigs were real human hair, and about 98% of them were donated by the founder, Lona Ann. Each night as she closed up shop, Lona Ann would shave or cut off all of that days’ hair and label it to be fashioned into a new wig or worked into a wig already in the works.

Walking into the center, shew as pleased to see that the first of their customers was already being helped by one of her employees. After a few minutes checking email, sorting through the mail and a few other administrative tasks, Lona Ann joined her employee, Joyce, and the customer to say hello and see if there was anything she could help with. “Good Morning, ma’am, I’m Lona Ann. I just wanted to introduce myself and see if there was any questions you might have,” Lona Ann smiled despite the strange sensation that she somehow knew the domineering woman in the black turban starring back at her. “Forgive me, have we met before?” Lona Ann couldn’t help but ask. “No, I don’t believe so. I’m sure I would remember you if we had, such lovely features, and your hair! It’s stunning,” the woman replied as Joyce and Lona Ann exchanged an awkward glance. “My mistake. Well, you are in good hands with Joyce, I am confident that by the time you leave us today, you will feel like your old self- or better!” Lona Ann looked the woman up and down once again before shrugging and going back to her office.

A few hours later, a light tap at her door caused Lona Ann to look up from the design she was working on to see the woman standing in her doorway. The woman had replaced her black turban with one of the most striking wigs Lona Ann had ever fashioned- long black waves of hair accented by blunt bangs in the front and a bright blue streak going down the left side of her face. It was stunning on the woman, almost as if it were made just for her. Quickly entering the office, the woman closed the door behind her and walked up to Lona Ann. “I know you,” the woman said, piercing Lona Ann with her slate-gray eyes. “When you were still in your mother’s womb, I believed that she had wronged me and I reacted shamefully. I placed a curse on her unborn daughter… you, Lona Ann.  After seeing all the good you do here, and all the people you help, including myself, I would like to thank you… I would like to remove your curse,” the woman clasped her hands in front of her and waited for Lona Ann’s response.

Flooded with emotion, Lona Ann stood silent as she processed all the information she has just been given. She thought about all the days she had screamed and cried into the mirror, wishing only to be like a normal girl with normal hair. She thought of all the times she had pleaded for the curse to be removed. subconsciously, Lona Ann touched her hair and said, “You don’t know how long I have been waiting for this day. How long I’ve been waiting for someone to remove this curse and give me a normal head of hair. But I’m afraid I must decline your kind offer. I used to think that I was cursed, but since opening the center, I started to realize, I’m actually blessed. I help people. I can provide an unending amount of hair for wigs and hairpieces that change people’s lives. It sounds silly, but if I allow you to reverse the curse, all that will end. So thank you, but I like my hair… all of it,” Lona Ann smiled.

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The Not So Fantastical Reality:

Sorry for the delay, everyone. I’ve comandeered my boyfriend’s MacBook (damn Mac people) to get this up. My laptop is, well… I’d rather not talk about it, I still get a bit emotional. I am hoping the lack of a laptop will not prevent me from keeping to my deadline, but you never know with technology. So hang in there everyone, I’ll do my darndest to keep the stories rolling out on time…

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

ONE:      Today I woke up late, as per usual, and didn’t have time to blow-dry my hair. So as a result of  utilizing the poor-man’s hairdryer (read: head out car window, al a Ace Ventura style) let’s just say I was NOT having a good hair day. I tried braiding it, putting it in a bun, keeping it down, twisting it with a bobbypin… everything I tried only succeeding in looking worse than the last. In defeat, I decided it was time for a haircut. So I called up the Aveda Institute (yeah, I’m on a budget… don’t judge me) and booked an appointment for 6pm. Battling with my hair all day and sporting about 5 different hairstyles in one day made me feel pretty insane and of course, my brain sort of took it from there. Both my heroine and yours truly ended up victorious, I’m happy to report. I love my new haircut and Lona Ann came to terms with her curse, win win.

I still have to 'train' my bangs to fall right... guess I'll be sleeping with bobbypins in my hair for the next few nights. Sexy.

TWO:     Lona Ann was my stylist today, so I thought I’d give her a shout out. She did an amazing job, especially for a student, and I hope I will see her on my next visit.

Love & Squirrels.