The Big 5 – “When” is the last time you really laughed? – Week 2

07-The-Far-Side-Best-Comic-Strips-1

so accurate in so many ways

Humour is an intensely personal affair and we are lucky when others share and indulge it.  So needless to say we were heartbroken when Gary Larson decided to retire in 1995 – who would provide our daily dose, make us snort, who would be there with that little snippet of truth that summed up exactly how we felt? It was as if a long relationship was suddenly being ended by one of us saying that they “needed a little space”. Understandable perhaps but nonetheless traumatic…

In our local bookshop there was a massive compilation of the cartoonist’s work available at a horrific price; at that time, the needs of our then-quite-small children outweighed any amusingly adult indulgences and so it sat on their shelf collecting dust.  How we coveted that heavy tome and wondered what witty gems it hid within. Many years later, we found a copy online at less than a quarter of the list price - how could we resist?

It is an edition, like a select few others, that we go back to over and over again. There are cartoons that have become reference points, some of their phrases appropriated into private jokes and used to encapsulate a whole world of situational descriptors and the wonder of it all is that they are still as fresh as the day they were penned. So, yes Gary, we can appreciate how emotionally exhausting it must have been to be “on” all the time, and will respect your wishes not to redistribute your work, but want to let you know that even after all these years we are still amused and delighted. The Big 5 Challenge takes our guffaws where we can get ‘em and this fortnight wonders…

When is the last time you really laughed?” – over coffee and the comics, at the movies, with a friend, in the car or under the stars, at silly signs or awkward times…

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Grateful – Week 2

watches for grateful

it’s all relative

Thanks goodness there is finally a reprieve from the longest winter ever with the delivery of the first thunder and lightening storm of the season. We usually moan about heavy rain and how it adds that extra bit of fun to the logistics of getting out and about but April showers are actually a blessing in disguise for city dwellers. One day of unseasonably warm weather reduced the last of the nasty frozen black detritus on our front lawn to a mix of gravel and unmentionables, relieving us of the temptation to go at it with a pick-axe and revealed in the flower beds where our procrastinating green thumb had turned brown late last fall. Most unkempt and while there is not much to be done about that but get out the shears and gardening gloves and hack down the offending mess, it remains a blatant reminder that we will be spending some time en plein air and off the keyboard. Then the rains came…

Mother Nature must feel much the way we do – that everything is looking a bit sad and worn around the corners, dusty, fingerprint-tagged, dog-nose snuffly window smeared and in need of a good scrub. The outdoor inundations wash away the mess of the passing seasons on a grand scale, too bad it’s not as easy in our little nest. The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme this fortnight, therefore, is - Grateful - for the excuse to stay indoors and pass a few hours putting things in order.

Last week we asked “Are you grateful”? – For socialized medicine, healing rotator cuffs, a like on your post or tribulations tough, family, friends, the children next door, muddy paws of loved dogs that muck up the floor …

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

tagged “N”

tagged n night

N is for Night
dark Nadir of day
where Naked Naifs
fawn upon
Nail-biting Nihilists
and
Noxious Name-droppers
court Nimble Ninjas
while Narcissists
dance Narcotic
Noctambules
No rest
for Naughty Narcoleptics
the Nauseous
and the Nonconformist
the Noble Navel-gazing
mix Nonsensical
their
Nitty gritty Narrative
throw words like Nasturtiums
at Nomads Nodding
off in corners
Noggins askance
such
is Nefarious Nature’s
Nearsighted embrace
a Necessary Neighbour
Nonplussed Negotiatrix
No matter

  Navigate through the entries in Frizztext’s A-Z Challenge: tagged “N”.

Travel Theme: Misty & Tagged “M”

tgged m misty

M is for Memory
a soft Mist that caresses
Mutters sweet nothings
in our ears
Makes Music of the days
or chills Mind
numbs the Mutiny
of Marauding thought
rolls over the Minefield
of the past
until its Metamorphosis
into Myth

Let your vision be clouded by the entries of Where’s my backpack?’s Travel Theme: Misty
& Flickr Comments Tagged “M”

The Big 5 – When is the last time you really laughed?

laugh

what goes on when no one is looking

Across the Bored can always rely on smelly dog to remind us what’s really important. He has it all worked out: a daily constitutional, good food, a few minutes of exercise and a bit of a snoop to see what’s going on in the neighbourhood, a nice lie down and then do it all over again. As much as he can be a pain in the posterior at 6 AM on a Sunday morning, he has an impeccable sense of comic timing.

Our particular pooch has been endowed with catlike tendencies that leave us wondering sometimes. He’ll do a pilates stretch then come up and rub himself round our legs, let himself be held in the most odd positions or be scritched against the grain. He’s not stiff like the foxhound next door but sort of rubbery in a twisty turny way that defies a doggy spine.  Every once in a while, we’ll lie down to stretch out a bit and just as we close our eyes to contemplate…. WHOMP…. fur and wet nose and kisses around the face, snurfles in the ears, paws holding us down and we just can’t help but laugh. The more we laugh and turn to hide the more he persists because he knows we need it.

Everyone needs a minion to help them let go of all the seriousness that weighs us down so this fortnight’s Big 5 Challenge asks:

When is the last time you really laughed?” – over coffee and the comics, at the movies, with a friend, in the car or under the stars, at silly signs or awkward times…

We would love to know when the giggles and guffaws last hit.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary such as the above on one of the five Ws (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN or WHY and sometimes HOW) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a reply in the comment box, in a new post with a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Challenge yourself to dig deep for an answer.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

SO – Create your Big 5 Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “The Big 5 Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Big 5” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on The Big 5 Challenge page.
  5. Remember to Follow to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Grateful

 

 

NEM Painterly 17Could be Worse.

2 Saturdays ago, Across the Bored was feeling very sorry for herself indeed having endured the emergency room and an unnecessarily long wait for a taxi to get ourselves back to the safety of bed and an icepack. We mustn’t have looked in too much distress though for the driver, when he finally arrived and was asked to hurry (because we were “in pain”) remarked “Did you have a stroke?”

Our first thought was “Do we look that old?” and the second was yes, it is true, it could have been worse. He was, of course, trying to lighten the mood and focus my attention on other matters for what, really, could ruin a perfectly good weekend morning for him than having some awful woman moaning or worse, throwing up, in the back of his cab…

We get used to being healthy. Or in pain. And it’s only when we’re not that we realize how much we should count our blessings. We were lucky enough to be able to take a week off from our usual pursuits without much ado. As much as that in itself was a little bit of system shock it brought home the happy thought that there are people out there thinking of us, and more importantly, willing to wait for our return.

In the hours spent offline alot happened no doubt. One hand thumb scrolling is a perilous pastime at best and we didn’t get around to visiting as much or as often as we would have liked to. We did get our work featured in the galleries above though (insert bloated ego here) which does give us the added incentive to keep on keeping on. Like this fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge, we are truly - Grateful - that we are appreciated and that all our work in whatever form it takes is having an impact on those who view it. All we can do is say thanks….

“Are you grateful” – For socialized medicine, healing rotator cuffs, a like on your post or tribulations tough, family, friends, the children next door, muddy paws of loved dogs that muck up the floor …

We would love to see your vision.

 

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

 

tagged “L”

tagged l love

L is for Love
Lessons we’ve Learned
Lithe as a Lily
taken or spurned
Laboured over
Light-headed
serious or silly
Longed for or dreaded
chased willy nilly
Love is our master
Love is a slave
Love is a sweet maid
Love is a knave

Let yourself be Lured into the entries in Frizztext’s A-Z Challenge: tagged “L”.

The Big 5 – “How” do you relax? – Week 2

Call the Midwife … 'We don't go out on bikes.'fits and starts between bites of toast

We are not big television watchers. Not having 536 cable channels might have something to do with it but we compensate our viewing pleasure in other ways and our recent thrill (after marathoning Downton Abbey) is Call the Midwife. Being a dedicated multitasker, the small screen usually finds us doing something else at the same time but the late Jennifer Worth’s memoirs fleshed out with the BBC’s knack for colour continuity and period detail have proven that there are some things worth putting down your knitting for. This runaway hit about “women’s issues” and the field of midwifery pre-contraception in London’s East End in the 1950s has proven compelling – the characters are affable, the scenes range from the bittersweetly comic to the tragic and the plotlines broach all manner of “tough” subject without a moment’s hesitation. It is, as some have said, “magnificently subversive drama” that plays out with all the unexpectedness of life itself. We are fully engaged and the better for it.

It’s not hard to see ourselves reflected in the bits of dialogue between the nursing Nuns of Nonnatus House. Much like 90 year old Sister Monica Joan’s dismissal of the Dewey Decimal system as “altogether too earthbound” in favour of an arrangement more distinctly eclectic, we too have been known to shuffle tomes and “put Plato here, next to Freud, so they can be companions in their ignorance…” Well aware of the oddly calming effect of placing books where we think they should be, rather than where most libraries would have them, we pull and replace, urging the Noir Style to rub shoulders with Strange Days, Dangerous Nights and squeeze the Explorers next to a mint Maharaja just for good measure. This methodology works as well for us as it did for the aged sister stacking volumes on a makeshift bookshelf until someone jams an action-thriller into 1001 Kitchen Organizers and we are forced to do triage once again.

After all that, the Big 5 Challenge is ready to put its feet up, watch another episode and ask this fortnight…

How do you relax?” – with a good book or crashed on the couch, watching a mindless movie or birds in the park, fixing the old or creating the new, hiking up that mountain, running a mile, window-watching or sight-seeing… We would love to know how you recharge and restore.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Bliss – Week 2

happiness is

it used to be just that simple

When we were very young, Charles Schulz was very much the epitome of truth-sayer: he had grasped all the important bits of being six, summed them up in very few words and then illustrated the profound with the relatable. In our mind, he knew very well what he was talking about because he had given Linus glasses (we shared his pain) and had concluded that there was not much that was better than ice cream. The Peanuts Gang had its trials and tribulations but on the whole they lived in a universe where having 18 different colours in a box of crayolas was very close to being in heaven.

Today Across the Bored wonders whether our capacity to be content has become tainted; not the “that’s nice, we’re feeling pleased, so happy to see you” range of emotion but rather that all-encompassing warm and fuzzy, push all other thought out of our heads feeling that happens less often as time goes by. Over-satiated by information and input, overwhelmed by emotion, experience and the seemingly endless drama of living life often at full-tilt for too long, simple joys appear to be hard won. Is it that we are too full of too much or is it just a 21st century version of the grass being infinitely greener on a larger monitor?  Some of us have to work longer at it than others, some make a life’s work of making others happy, there are a few who seem to float smiling along in their own rapturous bubble, lucky them. Perhaps we are looking too hard or in the wrong place and, like they say of love, should stop looking for it altogether and let it come to us unbidden. The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme this fortnight suggests that - Bliss - is much like treasure, find it where you may.

“Describe your own form of bliss” – In a box or under the sun, in a soft smile or sweet song, in a bath full of bubbles or a night on the town…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

tagged “K”

tagged k

Krispin crossed the Kalahari
searching for a drink
a dream of gin and ginger
was all that he could think
up and down the dunes he roamed
luscious lips were left behind
one last Kiss was not enough
nor embrace the fleeting Kind
 here he was King of nothing
hot Kepi on his head
memories of moonbeams sweet
were better left for dead
like sandy grains in worn out boots
blistering hours did multiply
nights cold as Kiev he huddled
under the star-strewn sky
no chance for a small cuppa
indeed where was the Kettle
mistress Karma’s cruel joke
fine way to test his mettle
for silk Kimono and Kaftan cool
he longed to drop his Khakis
a dusty heap next to the door
picked up by well-loved lackeys
clear visions of a nice Kabob
set on a proper plate
Kaffir limes and Kiwis cold
his palate could not wait
miserable fortune set in motion
by a nasty camel’s Kick
this unexpected walkabout
was nothing but
a desert trick

K

 Keep it going with the entries in Frizztext’s A-Z Challenge: tagged “K”.

Fiction in 50: One tiny, Beautiful Thing

alien jar

But I don’t want to put it back – I found it and it’s mine and there is nothing you can do about it – Flibbert has one and it’s really no trouble at all – you just have to water it once  a week: pleeeease – I promise I’ll take care of it…

The Bookshelf Gargoyle curates a Fiction in 50 mini-narrative challenge – this month’s theme is One tiny, Beautiful Thing! Get out your loupe, mend that magnifying glass and focus on a piece of short, short fiction: send it in and then go have a peek at the other entries – GargoyleBruce writes wonderful reviews on all sorts of kid lit (big and small) with a cheeky tone guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Wander through the stacks, you are sure to find something you’ll like.

Click on the icon in the sidebar for previous entries…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

reflections

hard surfaces worn in service
are not always apparent from a distance
DENTS revealing upon close inspection
that some links are stronger than others
when in their bright reflection
we find the past forged

See the connection in the entries of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections.

The Big 5 – How do you relax?

relax

a whole lot smaller than we remember

Sometimes we have to force ourselves to get off the treadmill of work, commitment and daily life and just do the un-ordinary.  Various sets of constraints found Across the Bored et al pretty much stranded and snowed under at the old homestead this last March break and by Day 3 in-house projects had us all chomping at the bit of boredom. Where hadn’t we been recently that would entertain us, provide a decent photo-op without freezing off fingertips and was accessible by public transportation?

Memories of by-gone field trips with pre-school age darlings prompted a visit to the local Biodome and with that said we should, in some respects, have known better. By the look of the six other cool and casual over 20-somethings not towing small people along after them, the thought that every other adult with charges under the age of twelve might be at our destination had never occurred to us. Traffic flowed surprisingly smoothly through the exhibits and it wasn’t the crowd that proved disconcerting in the end. It was the awful fact that most of the children were holding smartphones or pads and looking at those rather than the flora and fauna on display right in front of them. It was the terrible but true saying “Why live life when you can document it?” playing out at our feet and further proof that many have forgotten how to just enjoy the moment for what it’s worth without the intervention of a gadget. We lingered, wandered slowly and wide-eyed through subterranean bat-caves and icy tundra, managing to regain the wonder, although the depressed penguins left a sad note on a pleasant few hours. It didn’t turn out to be quite the photographic expedition anticipated but no matter, for our altogether restful little outing did result in this fortnight’s Big 5 Challenge:

How do you relax?” – with a good book or crashed on the couch, watching a mindless movie or birds in the park, fixing the old or creating the new, hiking up that mountain, running a mile, window-watching or sight-seeing…

We would love to know how you recharge and restore.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary such as the above on one of the five Ws (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN or WHY and sometimes HOW) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a reply in the comment box, in a new post with a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Challenge yourself to dig deep for an answer.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

SO – Create your Big 5 Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “The Big 5 Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Big 5” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on The Big 5 Challenge page.
  5. Remember to Follow to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Bliss

bliss

Bite me

There comes a time when one has to start regulating diets, actually climbing on that exercise bike instead of using it as a clothes hanger and get down to some serious lifestyle adjustment to ensure a healthy segue into the next stage of existence. Across the Bored has been a very, very good girl for a few seasons and is starting to enjoy the rewards of the aforesaid but every once in a while… 

It was exactly one of those days where just a bite of heaven was needed to tide things over when the idea sprang to mind that it had been a very long time indeed since we had had any kind of indulgence. Little prodding was needed to get Miss Z to explore a newish patisserie and with the only proviso that she come home with something nice, the mission was set.  A long half-hour later, the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge opened a red ribbon-tied, nondescript white box and discovered - Bliss - pure, unadulterated, non-processed just like the old days, ready to be devoured puff pastry delight. Truly a gastronomic manifestation of the divine, we both feel much better now.

“Describe your own form of bliss” – In a box or under the sun, in a soft smile or sweet song, in a bath full of bubbles or a night on the town…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

 

tagged “J”

tagged j jar

Jack and Jill,
are hipsters still
drink mason Jars of water
Jack Jives by night
his band’s delight
Jill dreams of being a potter

Jack’s day Job sucks
roundabout he mucks
writing Jingles down on paper
Jumbled days slide by
with lone Jailbird sigh
yet still he is a Japer

Jill dreads the morn
John Barleycorn
Jack’s friends are Just so Jerky
in skinny Jeans faded
vintage closet raided
they ate all her tofurky

Jack pops Jam cakes
Jill lovingly bakes
vegan to keep her figure
an idea Jolts bright
Joyful time is right
the market even bigger

Jack and Jill
quite fit the bill
Jolly in a big Joint venture
now Judge and Jury
in capitalist fury
they’ve secured a
fair-trade debenture

Jump right into the entries in Frizztext’s A-Z Challenge: tagged “J”.