Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Chores

rosie the robotStill waiting

A recent conversation with some ladies in one of our FB groups suggested that we may very well be one of the last people on the planet that actually irons. The topic, like most, came about quite haphazardly, rising out of a pleading request from the notoriously last-minute Miss Z to press a shirt as she was running late. Now if you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that we went on strike in the domestic duties department some months ago in an attempt to create awareness about basic life skills. Not to say that we have tossed the washer out with the rinse water so to speak but we have not felt the obligation to iron jammies and t-shirts that don’t belong to us quite like we used to.

We still take great pains with our own laundry because there’s not much point of putting it back in the cupboard if it looks like it has been twisted beyond recognition in the spin cycle. Hence a few episodes of Donut Wars and some ironing board aerobics. We want to be able to just reach in the drawer, pop on (insert clothing item here) and go without having any wrinkles or unseemly creases cast aspersions on our character. Other people don’t seem to have this problem. They have magic dryers that make their linens things of beauty. Or they are just too busy with other things to care whether the seams are flat or collars are rolling just so.

A few too many years in the garment industry still haunt us when we see a puckered hem or bunched lapel. We blame Rosie the Robot and a whole host of generational influences for creating unrealistic expectations and no small amount of anxiety when we don’t measure up. Our mother and grandmothers before us were quite persnickety about their domestic duties and were quite explicit in their instructions on how to press a shirt “properly” or fold a sheet so it didn’t look like you’d pulled it out of someone’s throat before smoothing it over the mattress. Apparently, it does not matter anymore but we suspect it is indicative of a larger issue where skill, pride and attention to detail are falling by the wayside in favour of quick results. And all that other stuff.

“What do you think is a chore?” – milking cows or shucking corn, stuck in traffic tooting your horn, laundry, yard work, going to school, sorting, saving, lists of rules – 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.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Doors, Door Knobs and Handles

doors

Thank you for using the artist’s entrance on the right
…’cuz your not allowed in the front door….

⎡⎤

Get a grip on the entries in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Doors, Door Knobs and Handles

The Big 5 – “Where” do you eat? – Week 2

green apples

an apple a day

It’s been years since we had to pack a lunch for ourselves or, for that matter, walk further than a hundred feet to find something to snack on midday seeing we are “lucky” enough to live and work out of the same premises. We do, however, keep an eye on what the Ghost and Miss Z throw in their backpacks to sustain themselves through their busy schedules. Their food of choice these days tends towards the portable, bite-sized, not too smelly and unobtrusive.

The rigours of back-to-back seminars means that some days our monsters have to actually eat in their classrooms. Just as walking down the street with a coffee or bottle of water in hand wasn’t a common occurrence thirty years ago, neither was noshing down on a fragrant smoked-meat in a “State of the Media” symposium. Times change. Many of the unwritten rules of public comportment that we took for granted are long gone and we either go with the flow or run the risk of becoming stale-dated like that mystery meat sandwich from the vending machine.

Meal-time, under the best of circumstances, is no small effort and the Big 5 Challenge is curious about “Where do you eat?” – in bed or on the sofa, in front of the tv or in a cafeteria, on the road or in the air, alone or in a crowd, way too fast or without a care …

We would love to know where you chow down.

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: Rant – Week 2

punk rock is a joke
it’s really just baroque

We just don’t have it in us today to go into any long tirades about this or that. The winter winds have whipped their way into our neighbourhood to let us know that it won’t be long before the ground is completely covered in the great white stuff, so we are taking today to do a little catch-up before getting the shovel out.

A little bit of creative surfing brought us to the video above and, being both a music lover and always up for a good yuk, it was deemed a perfect fit for today’s challenge.  Looks like we’ll be spending some of the upcoming duller winter days snorting and guffawing over RobPRocks Youtube playlist…

This fortnight’s topic has its silly side and like any good declaration gets its message across in a way that can’t be ignored.  “How does a rant make itself felt for you?” – loud and proud, scrawled or bawled, snide or snotty, on the wall, in the post or in the news, blogged or flogged – We would love to see your vision…

Enjoy.

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.

Travel Theme: Belonging

belonging

 If I were five
I would wonder why
someone would give up
something loved
so long
so easily
but the years
are exponential multiplied
and the answer
to questions of possession
still manages
to break my heart

Find a sense of place in the entries in Where’s my backpack?’s challenge
Travel Theme: Belonging.

The Big 5 – Where do you eat?

sushi

YUM

Now that the Ghost and Miss Z are out and about unsupervised and wander in when their days are done, the island in our kitchen has become the focal point for most food-related activities.  It sits plonked between the stove on one side of the room and the fridge on the other, a horrific example of how not to succeed in the concept of the “work triangle”. Get more than one person in the room trying to meal-prep or even just trying to grab a quick snack and the dance begins: the side-stepped, blocked path roundabout, the hot pan “watch out not to burn yourself” get that off there before we drop it tango of a too tight remodel not thought out long enough (our absolutely perfect kitchen has been in the concept stage for the last 20 years…). It looks great at first glance, it works marginally. Despite all that, we have become accustomed to such interaction. Like Pavlov’s dogs we know what to do when the timer on the microwave beeps and, depending on how many bodies are in play, we act accordingly.

Whoever did the redesign on our open-concept rental must have been contemplating a larger space. We do have a dining “area” with a table that seats eight comfortably but the chairs seem to attract stray coats and backpacks.  Whatever surface that could possibly be used for supper always seems to have an assortment of laptops, books and projects in progress strewn over it and only sees the light of day on special occasions. We hate it. It does not conform to our sense of orderliness.

The days of sitting down to a family meal every night seem long gone and the Big 5 Challenge suspects this is a trend.  Where do you eat?” – in bed or on the sofa, in front of the tv or in a cafeteria, on the road or in the air, alone or in a crowd, way too fast or without a care …

We would love to know where you chow down.

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: Rant

red graffiti tell me something new

Back in the day we spent many an hour volunteering in our local high school.  Making our presence felt through pallets of bake-sale cupcakes not being enough, we were commandeered one weekend for the thankless, long overdue work of painting smelly lockers and the girl’s washroom an uninspiring shade of institutional grey. One would have thought that giving the cubicles a good coat of something cheery might deter the resident taggers but apparently that wasn’t a consideration.

Two weeks after we had gotten the last bits of battleship acrylic out of our hair we paid a visit to that same ladies’ room and weren’t in the least surprised to find that the clean surface we had laid down was a huge success. It was now a huge canvas beckoning sharpie-wielding pre-teens, angst-ridden Sec 3s and the last no-holds barred bitching of that year’s anxious graduates. It made for interesting reading.

Some things never change. Here was the litany of awful, growing up and growing out of dramas and disturbances, the loves and hates and harangues that went with finding a place in that microcosm of society so many called the prison of high school. It had found its voice on the wall of a stall and the message was clear – all anybody wanted was to be seen and heard.

Getting older doesn’t make it any easier. In fact, as our perception of situations becomes clouded by too many variables, we tend to overthink things or completely disregard what might be staring us in the face. Communication is, at best, fraught with assumptions, alternate meanings and hidden agendas. Sometimes, no matter how plain or carefully chosen our language is, its target just does not get the point. That’s when we want to scream at the top of our lungs from the rooftops.

“How does a rant make itself felt for you?” – loud and proud, scrawled or bawled, snide or snotty, on the wall, in the post or in the news, blogged or flogged – 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.

The Big 5 – “What” do you do? – Week 2

mason jars

nuts

Sometimes we get so busy that we just don’t want to do it anymore.  There are days when we’ve beaten a concept to within an inch of its message and still can’t manage to get that resounding pop of satisfaction and those are the hours when we’d really rather be doing something else. Like rearranging closets, cleaning the garage or taking every dry good out of its awful plastic packaging and putting it into lovely, aesthetically pleasing and ecologically conscious mason jars. If we are going to waste time, it can at least be constructive.

Such manias are labour intensive for the most part. They can be the stuff of drudgery or filled with the crisp exhilaration of industriousness at its best. Our organizational skills have been honed over a lifetime; they are legend, a repository of much wisdom and have been, at every opportunity, imparted to our offspring much to their chagrin.

This fortnight the Big 5 Challenge pondered “What do you do?” – enigma or electrician, caregiver or taker, just starting out or enjoying the fruit of your labours, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief …

We would love to know what takes up most of your time.

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: Dirty – Week 2

dirty2 we all know who has been sitting in this chair…
not very inspiring

Once upon a time, when we were just two, things didn’t seem to get quite as filthy as they do now. Perhaps that is to be expected as we had much less stuff. Our wasted days were spent at work and misspent nights partying long and hard: cleaning consisted of emptying overflowing ashtrays and tossing a liquor store’s worth of drained bottles in the bin. A quick pass with the vacuum and a pillow fluff here and there and things were restored ship-shape. Rinse and repeat.

Then we were three: early to bed, early to rise non-smoking section, what exactly is that stain types where Richard Scarry replaced the Sunday New York Times. One fine day we were four: inured to the litany of laundry and Lego underfoot, a small whirlwind proved that chaos theory comes in the form of misplaced Barbie accessories and frilly barrettes.

Now that we are sometimes five and a half, the logistics of domestic maintenance requires the steely nerve of a drill sergeant and a complete corps of army engineers to effect any reasonable change. Sadly, yours truly is in command of neither but we have out of sheer stubbornness, learned how to say no so that others may learn how. 

The half in the complex equation above must be credited with a very large paw in creating a flotsam and jetsam of fur, twigs, and sticky bits that floats then clings to almost everything. We try and keep a clear line of sight above knee-level, for below there be monsters.

We cannot remember what a tidy house looks like. No matter how much we ask “What if the Queen comes to visit, what would she think?” – our pleas fall on deaf ears. Apparently no one irons anymore, nor do they dust. We suspect that they just move. “What does dirty look like to you?” – mud or mould, dingy or dim, greasy, creasy or caked on, rated X, fair or foul – 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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

descent

primed to fear
and scared
into assumptions
one man’s hell
is another’s reality

Fall into the entries of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent.

Fiction in 50: The Darker Side of…

the darker side of

It wasn’t enough that she had tried all manner of sweet: no amount of nice seemed to do the trick. Teeth clenched at every turn, the darker side of a genetic legacy ached to claw its way out. You might want to listen to that voice telling you to run…

The Bookshelf Gargoyle curates a Fiction in 50 mini-narrative challenge – this month’s prompt is The Darker Side of….! Come out of the shadows, see the light and get cracking on writing 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…

The Big 5 – What do you do?

innovation-poster atb

please make our oscar chewable

It’s not often that we mix church and state but we have, in the recent past, alluded to real-world activities that have been gobbling up our time. When we haven’t got our mitre on, the hard hat is busy protecting us; in an ideal life we would presume and postulate to our heart’s content but when the sun rises each morning we are, sadly, reminded that the rent still needs to be paid.

Alot of what we experience on a daily basis is last minute, due yesterday, just got this great idea to add to those hundred other things you’re doing right now and must be bigger, better, more exciting in full-colour, glossy bus-sized incredibilitude. As much as we love pushing the envelope and repeat (often) that work is a good thing (sorry Martha), we’d give our eye teeth for another head and an extra set of hands. With our luck, we’d always be arguing…

As an aspiring optimist, we say that when we are given yet another task to check off on an already long to-do list that it make us think outside the box but sometimes we just come up empty. Nothing but biodegradable peanuts and shredded packing tape. It can take a stressful toll in one way or another and our biggest fear is just running out of time before we can get all those ideas swirling around in our head out. Concretized for someone else to take pleasure in, be inspired by, be educated about, get a laugh from and hopefully start some sort of dialogue over. That is, perhaps, why many of us blog.

Seems like this century everyone is busier than ever and the Big 5 Challenge is awfully curious to know the reason. What do you do?” – enigma or electrician, caregiver or taker, just starting out or enjoying the fruit of your labours, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief …

We would love to know what takes up most of your time.

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: Dirty

dirty puppy2

snoofing is a full-time job

Seems like it was just a week ago that the weather was warm enough to zip around the back yard in a t-shirt yanking out by the roots those nasty burr things that get stuck in our dog’s tangled coat. Then the cool air crept in wilting what was left of the foliage, turning limp and pale what had once been crisp and green.  A few cloudy days and autumn weather finished off what was left but did prompt one brilliant purple flower to bloom two months after its due date. On a mission in the garden once again to clear what is left of our procrastination, our assistant ensures that we don’t miss a spot, probing his nose into the earth, paws flipping the weeds up with great abandon. White fur, brackish black soil: doggie heaven.

Our puppy has no reservations about lying down in the muck. He must have been a socialite in another life for he is keenly aware of its cool, soothing properties and knows that no matter how caked he gets, there is bound to be someone at the door with a soft towel to wipe his paws or – worst case scenario – a trip to the shower for a fast hose down. It’s all part of a day’s work.

“What does dirty look like to you?” – mud or mould, dingy or dim, greasy, creasy or caked on, rated X, fair or foul – 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.