As Far As Delicatessens Go… – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps!  It’s Friday Fictioneer’s time and Rochelle not only hosts, she even supplies this week’s wonderful art/inspiration.  After reading her story, I felt the need to add my two cents’ worth 😉  In all fairness, I’ve not been to Katz’s – yet.  So, this is all in jest, of course.  Maybe.  If you’ve a more original idea for a story, by all means, please click on the frog below and add your 100-word story link.

PEPE Jimmy John's Part 1 by DestinyWrites on DeviantArt

click to play

As Far As Delicatessens Go…

This week Rochelle went on and on about Katz’s Deli.  Course, ‘Muricans know nothing ’bout smoked meat.  They are all about the pastrami – which ain’t a bad thing, just not the same thing.  Not trying to shit-disturb over here y’understand, just trying to enlighten.

Lemme tell you, if ever she manages to get her butt up to Montreal, Imma take ‘er to Schwartz’s Deli so’s she can see the difference betwixt smoked meat and pastrami.  Like night and day, I tell ya.

Next thing you know, Rochelle’s gonna try to tell me that New York bagels are better than Montreal’s!

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In the spirit of sharing, here’s a little video and link for ya about Schwartz’s.

Tunnel Gift

I haven’t written anything since the FF two Wednesdays ago.  I dunno what’s up… I was looking at my blog and found that I had twenty-one (yes, 21!) drafts!  Seriously?  I do this to myself like all. the. time.  I start something, get side-tracked, go back, don’t feel it, put it aside and next thing I know the story is too old.  I decided I’d do a clean-up but not before getting my steps in, which, being a non-running day, can prove difficult.

For those who don’t know it, I have challenged myself to do 10,000K steps per day for a whole year.  82 days left to completion! (And I cannot wait for that day to arrive without making time go any faster, if that makes any sense whatsoever.

I finally convinced myself that I could sacrifice an hour of my time (on a beautiful day, no less) to “git ‘er done”.  I made the decision to walk towards a park that I thought was not too far. Right. Wasn’t too far by bicycle!  No matter. I wanted a new path today because no matter how much joy I find in taking the same path over and over again and discovering something new, today was not that day.

I walk past the golf course and know that soon, I will be off this loud and noisy and dirty boulevard.

I see there is graffiti in the tunnel and decide to go take a closer look-see.  This is where part of this post turned into an hommage to Resa’s Graffiti Lux Art & More blog.  What a find!  It started off with a quote that translates to mean:  “Yesterdays follow me and ressemble me less and less”.

A lovely and colourful ’50’s style scene unfolds.  The first frame feels like it doesn’t belong and was created by a totally different person.  Or actually, like a commercial before the main event.

First one side:

And, then, the other side:

Truly amazing work.  It took me three tries to film this without interruption from cyclists and golf cart drivers. It finally worked when I went backwards. Apologies for the movement. It’s hard to walk and hold a phone!

Time to keep moving as my destination was still a ways away.  I went another block or so and turned onto a street, getting away from the boulevard.  At the end of the street, I looked left and ta-dah!  I could see the park.  Two blocks away.  Finally.  I couldn’t find an entrance so I cut in, knowing I would eventually catch up with one of the many trails within.  I chose one that is used for mountain bikes in summer and snowshoes in the winter (note to self:  definitely must come back with snowshoes this winter).  I had lost interest in exploring this park more fully (Michel-Chartrand) knowing I had a good trek back. I shall definitely return but will take my car to get there and give myself that two hours completely in the park instead of wasting most of it on a sidewalk.

FYI, I totally busted my goal, getting over 13K steps.  Woot!

Walking and Walking: YUL to ATL to PHL/PHL to IAD to YUL

Inspired by David Kanigan, I thought I would write a “Walking” post. Because Lord knows I’ve walked in the past eight days! Of course, mine won’t be as sophisticated as his. I don’t have some cool reference to the latest book I’m reading, inspiring me. No, no. Mine is the Good Gawd Version.

It all started with a decision to go hang out with my fella… Justin opened up the border to the Yanks and I just had to wait until Joe did the same for us. But he didn’t. Damn him! So, arrangements were made to fly – destination Philadelphia followed by a short drive to Delaware, just for the hell of it.

I did the necessaries, i.e. get a proper Covid test (the US, while not open to us Canucks, are less demanding of which test was needed). Found me a drive-through and was planning on getting tested on the Saturday, August 21, on my way up to Yvon’s funeral. It only takes 15 minutes to get the results. However, I decided to follow my sister Tracy’s suggestion that I not wait till the last minute. So I went on Thursday after work, enduring traffic to and fro. But all good. Negatory, so I was set.

Why, pray tell, do we have to present ourselves at the airport three hours prior to boarding when there is no one officially working until 5:30? My flight was at 7:30… There was one woman who was asked to come in early so she dealt with as many as she could, including me, before the rest arrived… And then? Great, she checked us in but the security isn’t open until 6:30? What in the eff?

There is a screen between the cow chute and the agents…

Sunday morning, I was on my flight to, get this, ATLANTA, as a layover to Philadelphia. Nuts, I tells ya. Nuts. I have gone to Florida, to the Dominican Republic and my layover was IN Philadelphia. Now that it was my destination? No, no. we can’t have us no direct flight. Let’s send you for a ride!

Blue skies over fluffy white clouds – gonna be a great week!

I won’t complain too hardily as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a beautiful place. I mean, if you are to have a four-hour layover, this is a grand place to have it. I’d get my 10K steps easy-peasy! I arrived in Concourse A and walked around there, not quite knowing how to get to the other concourses. So I took the train to T and walked all the way back to E. And back. Wow.

Concourse T to A contains a series of Zimbabwean sculptures, each one so beautiful. I took ’em all but won’t torment you here!

Concourse A to B has a rain forest theme, including the sounds of tree frogs and other beasties. So cool.

Between Concourses B and C, you find a serious history lesson. Along the walls the images take you from 11,000 BC to today.

There was nothing special after that that. Was more straightforward.

My flight was on time and it was off to Delaware for a week of reconnection, rest and relaxation.

Fast-forward to Wednesday. I had a Covid Test to take. This time the PCR one. Thanks to my co-worker, I knew that Vybe Urgent Care took appointments and gave results in two hours. Woot! (Booked it on Monday,) Off we went, I took the test and then we walked around South Philly for a few hours. Picked up the results. All good. I was negative.

Friday afternoon, I receive an email from Air Canada telling me my flight next day’s was cancelled. For weather. What? What weather? There was nothing in Philadelphia. Nothing in Toronto (my connecting airport) and nothing in Montreal. What in the blessed eff? Sonova…. They give me my new flight for SUNDAY at 8:30, with a connection in Dulles, Washington. An eight-and-a-half hour layover. Oh. Em. Gee… No matter how much I searched, unless I was Croesus, which I am not, there was no way I could change this. Double Damn. Thankfully, we were able to stay at our joint for another night.

Saturday morning I wake up with a start. Aaaarrrggghhh! My Covid test is now no longer valid! I call Vybe and am told that “sorry, we cannot fit you in”. I call elsewhere and hit a wall. I call back the first Vybe – which is the closest in Ridley and basically beg. Successfully. We have to leave immediately, so off we go.

As expected, it took less than five minutes. So I treated us to breakfast in a diner (meh) and we then walked around until the paperwork was ready. Yay. Negative again (like… of COURSE).

It was great to have an extra day of vacation but the running around necessary? Not so much. Plus, now I had to leave at 8:30 instead of 10:15 yet another early start!

So. Here I am. In Dulles. It ain’t no Atlanta, is all I’m saying. But now I have to distract myself for eight-and-a-half hours. After a lickety-split flight from PHL to ATL (arrived early, of course). I thought I’d be seeing this spaceship (please, take me away!) over and over again but no. I found other places to get my steps! Not too exciting.

I walk from one end to the other and back. I see there is a Bar Symon and I think, that will be a great supper. It’s in Gate B and I still don’t know where I am leaving from. By 10:30 my 4 a.m. bagel is no longer sustaining me so I decide to have a Five Guys burger – a small one. Thank goodness!

Walk some more and wish and wish I could find some place to lie down. All the damn benches have armrests! What is it with this well-maintained airport already? I could like on a wooden bench like some rubby (homeless Canadian drunk) – right the middle of the hallway…. or maybe this cushy one, also set up in full view. I keep walking and find this overpass between Gates A1-A5 and A6-A-whatever)… Dang. That would have worked

Too late. I sit down in my empty gate A5 and start to write this post. I realise, as I am looking for deets, that I cannot find my blue travel wallet. What the? Wait. Oh man. I think, when I took my laptop out of my bag at security in Philly, it fell out. Never saw it. It contained all my paper proof of vaccination, tests, etc. Thank God I had it all digitally but I knew it would make my life easier to have the paperwork. Could this day get any worse?

Why yes. Yes, it could! By 4:30 they call us to verify our vaccine situation and test and all that schmegegge and tell us… hey… by the way, let’s delay your flight by an hour! Sallamabeetz…

Papers verified, I look around. I am NOT taking the chance to walk over to Michael Symon’s joint and find a nearby pub called Firkin and Fox. Imma have me a Yuengling! And a “turkey” (pressed meat) avocado club sandwich. Was edible and quenched my thirst. All for the measly sum of $30. Gotta love airports, eh?

Return to my bench to finish my post and accidentally flush it. Had to start the whole damn thing over (I think this version is better, though still way too long!)

Oh… that a boarding call? Not quite yet as, well, there is something they need to look at…

Weekend Writing Prompt #221 – Thwart

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  I so wanted to use the more obscure definition of thwart but was thwarted by my lack of ability to find a way suitable to say what I wanted to say… another day, perhaps.

wk 221 thwart

Not to be Thwarted by Gadgets

 

A challenge issued from me to me for the year

(started on January 3rd, so’s not to hex myself)

Ten thousand steps per day

Totally doable

Marvellously on track more than seven months in.

My Fitbit however, decided to thwart me and falter before the end

What to do?

Get a different brand – counts steps, not movements

Keeps me on the honest path

 

Started at the same time… hmmm.. Koretrak 237 steps behind Fitbit. The gap grew exponentially as the day went on! No free steps given here.

Uprooted – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means, right?  Well, most times it means I Friday Fictioneer.  And this time, just before I have to hit the door for work!  Woot!  Thank you to Rochelle for hosting week after week, and this week, thank you to Brenda Cox for the loan of her interesting image!  Click on the frogs below to play by adding the link to your own 100-word story!

©Brenda Cox

613 Frog On Log Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Click to play!

 

I don’t understand how things like this go down.  Everything is perfect and then… uprooted  In the blink of an eye.  Why do I put up with it?  Every move means starting over, rebuilding in an unknown environment.  I have to relearn where to go and how to go about getting it.  The kids are amazing, though. So far, they seem to thrive on each new change. For them, it’s a new world to explore with new friends to make.  How did I manage to raise such open and enthusiastic children when I, myself am tormented each and every time?

Weekend Writing Prompt #207 – Wayward

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  As always, Sammi’s challenge sends me in all sorts of directions!

wk 207 wayward

“Beep-beep-beep HAH!” Time to run.  One, two three, I count my steps for the next one-and-a-half minutes, serving the dual purpose of gauging my progress and shutting up my brain. Two hundred fifty…

“Beep-beeep-beep GONG!” Time to walk.  Like a wayward wind swirling, my thoughts take off. You’ve made a mistake. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re being taken advantage of. You can do better. What’s wrong with you? You should–

“Beep-beep-beep HAH!” One, two, three…

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #195 – Gargantuan

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. I’m totally cheating by using quotes!  Thank you to Sammi for hosting! For the full Louis CK quote, just click on the – I wasn’t going to totally cheat.  The full quote is, after all, 80 words long 😉

Mark Twain said:

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

Okay then.  It was not very difficult; it was awesome and amazingly challenging…

Hmmm, not quite.  To quote Louis CK,

“As humans, we waste the shit out of our words. It’s sad. We use words like ‘awesome’ and ‘wonderful’ like they’re candy. It was awesome? Really? It inspired you to awe? It was wonderful? Are you serious?

How about this?  It was a gargantuan task to climb Mount Washington.

Last Days of January

Bitter cold

does not keep me in

though no sun

shines, at first

and grey takes over the blue

I’ll find photo ops

 

Reflections

I’ll find for Merril

fungi for

Crispina

winter scenes for Rochelle, to

bring to life with paint

Time to go

The sun’s going down

Mitts not needed

Now back on

Legs now heavy, must go. What

will tomorrow bring?

A new day

I’m off to explore

Steps to get

sights to see

No expectations, just joy

at being outside

 

Snowshoes, skis

lots of families

fat wheel bikes

sharing space

no lack of activities

smiles are not lacking

Golden Hour

gives a special glow

a signal

that next comes

a chance to transform the skies

with sunset’s paintbrush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Did I Become a Prompt Queen?

I went to a French high school.  We didn’t do things like the Prom Queen and King. Come to think of it, I wonder if any of the English schools in Quebec did?  Maybe it’s just an American thing. I honestly don’t know and frankly, don’t feel like looking it up because, in the grand scheme of things, it means diddly-squat.  Prompt Queen? Now that’s a different story.

Somehow any writing I have done in the past few years has been a good ninety-to-ninety-five percent prompt-related.  How did this happen? Is this a bad thing or a good thing?  Or a nothing to even waste my energies on?  I know I am far from alone.  Many bloggers only write prompt-induced posts. And that is a fine thing.  It has helped me work on my writing chops, I think.  Plus, when it comes to creativity, I need a nudge.

I take a pause in writing to think about this, and what my point shall be while I make myself a coffee,

Random shot of coffee

then get side-tracked by catching up on my daily blog reading, check my emails, and I land on my horoscope.  Coz yeah, I receive it daily, even though I don’t buy what they’re selling.  However, it is ironic that today’s says this:

07.30.2020

You may find yourself asking some major life questions today, Aries. Thoughtful Mercury finds itself opposed to grandiose Jupiter, asking you to ask whether you have all of the tools you need for the career you wish to create for yourself. You may find yourself revisiting educational or travel plans today. A positive sense of optimism permeates the day, lending support and strength to your questioning.

Okay, so why I write what I write is not a “major life question” but it is one of the questions I’ve been posing myself lately, and the only one I shall tackle at this time because it does affect how I spend some of my time.  Time that suddenly became plentiful, yet ill-used.  Since March, our lives, the world over, have been turned upside-down, sideways and inside out in a manner none of could ever have imagined.  Now that we are almost half a year into this (Seriously?!?!) we still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  How are we spending this time?  Everyone has seen some kind of change in their schedule.  Some barely had a break as they went from working in an office to working from home (and are working up to 20% more than before), some went from working days to working overnight, many of us lost our jobs, some were/are on hold, waiting, convinced they will be able to return to their former jobs at some time (though less and less a probability) and some, like me, have managed to find new jobs.  A first, it seemed this no working thing would be the perfect time to tackle projects! Um. No. I couldn’t justify it as projects require money which is no longer coming in, or at least, not with the same flow.  Many took up baking and cooking and gardening.  And reading. And writing.

Because flowers are pretty even when they are straggly

Many bloggers went to town. Suddenly the once, twice or thrice-weekly bloggers became daily bloggers. The multi-posters wrote even more.  My inbox overflowed.  (I hate using the Reader though I swear I am contemplating moving to it so that my overwhelm doesn’t send me to the looney-bin.)

I know I have a point to all this.  Oh yes. Prompts.  I don’t know how I went from Friday Fictioneers to also participating in Crimson’s Creative Challenge, Weekend Writing Prompt and an occasional dVerse.  I don’t like to post more than once per day and I’m not a daily blogger, either.  I often would find myself wanting to write about something and then thinking, oh no, it’s Wednesday, that’s when I do FF and then I can’t write it on Thursday because that’s when I do CCC and then it’s too late because that feeling has passed.  Just so you know, there is no obligation for me to write FF on Wednesdays nor CCC on Thursdays. It is all self-imposed.  The reason I do this is it gives me a chance to read everyone else’s story/poem, whatevs… because. There is the rub. I’m an excellent participant and reciprocator. But it is as time-consuming AF to read and comment on 65 other 100-word stories. And I do. Mostly. I have since cut back on those who don’t even acknowledge my comment – after a few weeks of nothing, I drop them. Got better things to do with my time. And there are those who never visit mine. (And that’s okay, too. Just don’t expect me to go to yours after a while, either.)  That’s what blogging is.

The swirls of the clouds resemble my thoughts

So what about those blogs I follow (and love) and read outside of these prompts? I feel so bad when fellow bloggers read me and I find myself three posts behind on theirs.  How much time per day is a person supposed to sit on their ass reading and commenting on blogs?  I swear I must read a novel’s worth per day.  When can I sit on my ass and read a book?  Because, frankly, after reading off the computer for 3-4 hours (if not more) I no longer feel like picking up a book.

That’s a helluva detour to my point, isn’t it?  Maybe that’s why I do these prompts. They force me to keep myself brief as none of them are longer than 150 words. 😉 They have and will continue to serve their purpose as they push my creativity to write different things.  And I think my writing has improved because of these challenges so no, I am not giving them up.  I am, however, going to cherry-pick from now on because for me it is important, when participating in a challenge, to participate.  I’m not a write-and-run kinda gal.

Back in February 2016, Eric Tonningson, Awakening to Awareness (a coach, speaker, writer, blogger I admire) commented with:  “Hey, where are those thoughtful Dale posts??? All I’m seeing in my WP Reader is Friday Fictioneer stuff. 🙂”.  I haven’t heard from him since this time, last year, but his words have been swirling in my head lately.

What would he say now?  He’d probably nod his head in agreement.

I have now seen the light.  I officially demote myself from Prompt Queen to Prompt Baroness.

Apologies. I understand if it was TL:DR

The Right Thing – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #82

Well, hell. Here I was, minding my own business, reading blog posts when I happened upon Na’ama’s take on Crispina‘s lovely image below.  I dutifully left a comment, telling her she had no business leaving us hanging with her post and that I was probably not going to play as I had no ideas. We back and forthed in comments till she retorted with:  Wanna write ‘chapter 2’ to what I’d begun…?  And well, here I am. Nothing like being coerced challenged.  While mine can stand alone, please, do me a favour and read Na’ama’s post first right here before reading mine.  Thank you Crispina for hosting this here party weekly!  No matchy-matchy this week again 😉

The Right Thing

The attorney frowned at Juliette over his reading glasses. “You’re sure you want to leave that old farmhouse to this Morris guy?

Juliette nodded weakly. “Yes, it is the least I can do. Besides, I made a promise all those years ago.”

“An old promise. Ridiculous!  Does he even remember you?”

“I might have broken his heart.  I couldn’t tell him I had this heart condition. I didn’t want him to feel obligated to stay with me.  So I let him go.”

“That was a big decision for you to make for him.”

“Yes.  It was mine to make.”

“As a result, you dealt with this alone.”

“I felt it was the right thing. Better to break it off in the beginning than for us to get in deeper and then still have to lose me.  This way he had a chance at finding happiness.”

“I hope he appreciates this.”