This was Thursday: A Lifetime Ago

vote

Print advertising in Playboy Magazine, 1972.

Read your history : Find out what happened : Note the change : Recognize why we are here : Vote responsibly.

Not thrilled with a lot of things these days but have decided that this 1000th post will help keep things moving forward.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Improvise

improvise

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Someone on another social media site recently said that when they were in their teens being twenty-something meant joining the ranks of adulthood (choke) but now that they were in their 20s it was pretty much alot of flailing about looking for food. I’m not actually sure that ever changes – the arm-spinning, whirlwind chaos of being, I mean. It seems that no matter how much knowledge we amass, how much life experience, on-the-job-training, travel and leisure put it in the scrapbook, document that memory stuff we cram into our brains, we are just basically winging it.

Are we that far removed from our dawn-of-time ancestors? Not really. Some of our best solutions come when we have to think fast, on the run, now or never: not so different from figuring out which end of the mastodon is going to be the least dangerous when your spear is broken and Erg has run for the hills with a panic attack.

Life can often be one big improv scene and the things it throws at us aren’t always solved with tried and true remedies or by the book formulas. Take a chance. Play. Listen. Learn by doing something new.

The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge suspects that everyone can and does. “How do you jump to it?” – jerry-rig, duct-tape big, blurt out or ponder, ignite or ignore. Feel free to put your two cents about how you Improvise in the comments…

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. 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Comfort Food

jellomore please!

The Inscrutable Dr. Fu is taking full advantage of the freedom to experiment in my kitchen and likes to put her own twist on what she jokingly refers to as “white people” food. Who am I to complain when presented with these little treats?

This week’s culinary foray is NSFKids homemade Jello made from fresh strawberry-raspberry juice and a liberal splash of vodka topped with a lovely little strawberry mint garnish straight from the garden.

The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge just knows that there are tasty tidbits and go-to dishes that make you go aaaahhhh …

“Do you have a favourite childhood treat?”  Feel free to leave your two cents about the most delicious of your Comfort Foods in the comments…

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. 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Cities

the a and p

Sherbrooke Street: no edit, no filter, no cropping – just like real life

I can’t number the times I’ve walked this stretch, watching it change with the seasons and the years, taking on the vibrancy of the good times and the pall of the bad, rush hour busy or Sunday morning sweet and quiet. It always calls to me of my own embedded past, reminds of a very fluid present and whispers that it will still be here even if I am not.

I owed someone a photo of my city and while this one may not be the first thing a tourist would think of, it does say much for what the island has come to represent. Mark Twain, who visited in 1881seeking a copyright for his literary works, is often quoted as saying that it was the first time he was ever in “a city where you couldn’t throw a brick without breaking a church window”.

Very much a City of Spires, today despite what detractors might say, it has grown to be more representative of the multitude of languages, religions and ethnicities than ever in its colonial incarnations. The banner on the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (or the A&P as some of us nick-named it) above says it all: College, Church, School, Faith, Nursery, Friendship, Worship, Tradition. No matter who you are, you can come to Montreal and make something of yourself, find a place for your family. It won’t be easy but it will be interesting.

The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge puts forward that this is what makes it home to many, opens our eyes to the wide world, and keeps us discovering just what it is that makes us stay. Even just for a little while…

“What is your corner of the world like?”  Feel free to leave your two cents about one or many of your favourite Cities in the comments…

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. 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Intent – Week 2

 

Water, consciousness & intent

This video by Masaru Emoto, and his related research, sums up much of what we having been trying to pass along lately to anyone who will listen: that it is not so much about the small, selfish, antagonistic petty NOW of things but rather the greater implications of what we do going forward as it affects everything that surrounds us.

“Sometimes, when we cannot see the immediate results of our affirmations and or prayers, we think we have failed. But, as we learn through Masaru Emoto’s photographs, that thought of failure itself becomes represented in the physical objects that surround us. Now that we have seen this, perhaps we can begin to realize that even when immediate results are invisible to the unaided human eye, they are still there. When we love our own bodies, they respond. When we send our love to the Earth, she responds.”

We must be mindful of what we comes out of our mouths, how we act, what we do, choose our thoughts and intent so that they reflect positively and help cure all that sad and vicious violence that manifests each day, big and small, visible or hidden in so many ways. As our grannies used to say – Every little bit counts.

“What is your intent?” – take that photo, sing that song, curl up in a chair and read the day long, give a hug, a peck on the cheek, run a mile or walk all week – 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Intent

intent

Resistance is futile

A post on a social media network that I follow prompted much thought surrounding the theme of change: in the photo in question, “You’ve changed” is written out in large letters on the side of what looks like someone’s house – it almost begs for an answer. Is it an act of revenge, a statement of fact, an accusation, a bemoaning on the parting of ways and interests or just a boldly positive declaration? Makes us curious… but also brings us back to what seems to be the crux of a constant issue in our house, in our interactions with friends, family and the way we work at our art and livelihood.

Lots of people want change, seek it, try and effect it, avoid it, say they’ll make it or ignore it but it boils down even further to another recurring theme that was a topic of breakfast discussion, that of Intent. There is a huge difference in having the best (or worst) of Intentions in a wishful thinking, passively classical sense and that of the Intent of scientific definition that is active in achieving its goal. Which side of the fence you dance on can radically alter the course of future events.

Our Barbet has it all figured out. This morning his Intention was to wrangle away the bacon, it had been ever since he swallowed the last bite of his own identical-to-ours breakfast. It was a good idea that could potentially get the gears moving. At that point one of two things could have happened: he could have a drink of water and – SQUIRREL – get distracted by something else, diverting his Intention or he could act, the strength of his Intent driving him to our chair and stimulating phase one of puppy-face. Intent motivated his brain to pursue until he gained satisfaction; phase two was enacted, he stood up on his back legs with head cocked to one side, engaged in direct eye contact, a little ESP for added effect and an offered paw. We gave in, he was victorious in his Intent by getting the bacon and, this time, we both wound up happy.

Too bad people aren’t more like some of our canine companions. It’s not actually that hard and one can start with the tiniest of things and like much else in life the more one does, the easier it gets. Let’s have less promise of change, less hope that Intentions will lazily guide us to something definitive. Be effective in your Intent, dynamic in your desire, be more dog.

And just because it’s good for a laugh and has many of the same themes, have a look at this video

“What is your intent?” – take that photo, sing that song, curl up in a chair and read the day long, give a hug, a peck on the cheek, run a mile or walk all week – 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lunch – Week 2

carrot soup

half way there

There is a huge snowbank in our front yard telling us that it is soup season again. Miss Z has gone to all the trouble of googling a healthy recipe for the 5 pounds of carrots in our fridge and so we set to work this afternoon. We are not really a fan of sweet soups but a large amount of ginger, garlic and onions seemed just the ticket to take the edge off what could otherwise be cloying and unpalatable. Some simple chopping, a little simmering in the dutch oven, a whir in the blender, a toasty baguette on the side and voila… tomorrow’s midday meal.

We much prefer when someone else does the cooking. No matter how tasty the creation we have concocted, it just doesn’t seem as appetizing to us as it does to everyone else. Perhaps because we have lingered too long over it, inhaled the aromas until we no longer have the need to actually eat it. No matter, there are plenty of hungry monsters in the house to devour the potful.

“What do you do for lunch?” – brownbag or five-star, sandwich or soup, miss it completely, go with a group, left-overs or made from scratch – 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lunch

coffee

the latte that wasn’t

Our metropolis has one of the largest underground cities on the continent and is filled with, among other things, innumerable tiny restaurants from sushi joints and burger heavens to artisanal bread bars and vegan fast food. We had forgotten just how many people keep this industry alive and well until we got caught in the swell of office workers pouring out of their hives at full noon. The thought of standing too long in line for sub-par snacks didn’t appeal to Miss Z so we came up for air and headed towards a little hipster café. Situated on the main floor of a building in the old fur district on a side street blocked by construction vehicles, we walked right by it. No sign on the window, just a couple of numbers because we were supposed to know where it was.

Sitting in the back at a communal table seemed a better alternative than at a windy table for two awfully close to the front door, or so we thought. Relatively decent prices and a interesting enough menu were over-complicated by a server who, after asking us if we were familiar with the café, just had to explain what the sizes of the portions were on the “pizza” and “salad”. Uh oh. Sounds of a jack hammer started to vibrate through the wall – weren’t they unionized? 15 minutes. Full on rush hour of lunchtime. The hardhats doing the renovations next door had thankfully stopped for their mandatory break. We wondered what they had in their thermoses…  20 minutes. Good thing we didn’t have to get back to a real job where someone was actually counting the minutes we were away from our desks. 22 minutes. The girls jammed in to the right who had arrived ten minutes after us were served. Their complete meal. No sign of anyone at the open kitchen prepping our food. 25 minutes. Waiting is not our forte and we started to twitch. Just as the urge to walk out kicked in, our two lunches arrived on a single wooden cutting board with one duck and feta slice cozied up close enough to kiss Miss Z’s all-veg order. Nice. Definitely not politically correct.

It wasn’t famous as far as meals go and we said as much to the server when she asked if everything was great. No, it wasn’t. The portions of duck were microscopic and looked as though they had been stripped of the carcass of someone’s dinner from the night before. The crust literally had to be sawn through which is probably why it was served with a steak knife on the side. The salad which had definitely been batch made quite a few hours, say 24 or more, previously was predominantly beets with all of 2 walnuts, no pears, one green that looked like lawn clippings and a blob of goat cheese that had the texture of sour cream. Good thing the kombucha was bottled because the barista didn’t seem to know the difference between a bowl of latte and the double-strength cappuccino that arrived at our table.

Did we want something else? Nope. Perhaps a slice with a different meat on it? Definitely not. In the end, being ravenous and afraid to be struck by lightning for wasting food, we did eat the whole thing. The salad just sat there until we could doggie bag it. Not in any rush to get us our bill, they comped us the $5 for the duck “pizza” – wow – and hoped we would come back again for breakfast or supper when the crust was thinner. Mmmm, no, we don’t think so….

“What do you do for lunch?” – brownbag or five-star, sandwich or soup, miss it completely, go with a group, left-overs or made from scratch – 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Chores – Week 2

dog choreslooks like he’s found a project

Nature has been playing fast and loose with the thermostat recently. We’ve had bouts of intolerable cold book-ended by mini heatwaves, festive flakes followed by dreary drizzle and it all adds up to muck. The kind of gooey, clinging black gold that our dog seems to take great joy in getting up close and personal with.

Most days it’s in and out at least fifteen times for little nature jaunts that last around 5 – 10 minutes with the requisite call and return of barking to the neighbourhood pooches. Whether sitting on the deck sending esp messages to his friend to come out and play or sniffing around the bushes to check whether the children next door have lobbed another ball over the fence, there is always some indication that he is on patrol. This particular day we were otherwise occupied – so much so that we forgot where he was because it was too quiet.

Not a digger by nature, the wild variations in temperature must have brought an incredibly tantalizing smell to his attention: there he was belly to the ground in the flower bed, face buried up to the eyebrows under the stone wall. Varmint! We could hear him thinking. Critters!  We now have a small trench beside the rhododendrons, one that gets progressively deeper every time the sun comes out and things warm up enough for excavation.

He is thrilled. Us less so as it means a doggie hose-down a few times a day. This must be one of the few times we can actually say that we will be pleased when things freeze over…. “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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Culture – Week 2

brekkie

 generic airport brekkie fills a need

In another lifetime morning used to find us in some sort of airline mode. Bleary from having hot-foot it onto the red-eye or woken at some ungodly hour and barely coherent in the lounge, breakfast was never a sure thing. Now, most times, we have the luxury to pick and choose departure times and destination. Somewhat more in control of being able to plan things out in advance and convinced of the benefits of foresight, we have become keenly aware of how to eliminate those little disruptions that can have unpleasant after-effects.

Thirty years ago we could stomach cold soba while gazing at Mount Fuji from cruising altitude or dig into a dish of kippers at the Park Lane but now we can’t even do an 8AM donut in Chicago. Our kingdom for a bowl of granola….

It certainly can be said that the first (and don’t forget, kids, the most important) meal of the day depends on what one is used to and what we find palatable. Depending on the company kept and where in the world one finds oneself, it can vary wildly. From the hair of the dog that bit the night before to huevos rancheros, everything is relative: we’ll stick to what we know won’t come back to haunt us later in the day.

“What does your culture look like?” – costumes and customs, meals and milestones, a country or county, monument or monolith, a pantheon of people or singular person – 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Culture

culture

wanting to know more

All that remains of the Thanksgiving turkey is sandwich-sized morsels and once again we are left wondering about what really happened when our ancestors got off the boat to build a new city in a new land.  Church and civic records don’t give much clue and most of the tales we hear about who married who and how they dispersed are just that: small bits and pieces that have great hunks worn away like the missing pediment on the facade of an old building. For whatever reason, the bloodline has been less than forthcoming in maintaining a rich oral tradition and so we attempt renovation, to shore up the foundation and paint a fresh identity upon the past.

Sadly, we are stuck having run out of the proverbial resources and energy to keep the project solvent: We are wedged between the genealogical rock we can’t dust off enough to see the beauty of its detail and the very hard place where an upcoming generation is unconcerned, uncaring and uninterested. Unwilling to make an effort to find out what connects them to their heritage, they seem more than eager to jump ship for greener pastures. Perhaps that could be defined as a pioneering spirit but more likely it is just running away from it all.

As much as we might cringe at chest-thumping nationalism, religious zeal or an adhesion to out-dated traditions just because that is always the way it has been done, there is something to be said for wanting to include, and being included. People with strong ties that have united them as family, as members of a community, as part of something greater than self are to be admired, for it means they are looking outward when they try to establish some sense of continuity. It isn’t only about now; it is about what happened before and understanding that helps make a small mark on history for future generations to be able to hold close in times of need and reflection.

“What does your culture look like?” – costumes and customs, meals and milestones, a country or county, monument or monolith, a pantheon of people or singular person – 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Empty – Week 2

empty city

 having not played enough as children,
city officials create “recreational” installation in downtown core

All the action must have been on another street. Just a typical Saturday morning in the middle of town but there wasn’t even the blur of movement. It was as if, for just one moment, everyone had decided to sleep in, roll over, put it off, get just another five minutes before cramming in their weekend errands. That’s just the way we like it and one of the reasons we’re craving a return to the core of the city.

Someone artsy, and definitely with connections to the adjoining culture museum, thought that it would be a brilliant idea to squeeze in a little play-space between some of the office towers. Accessible to the office drones for their smoke-breaks or to unwrap some fast-food during a too short 1/2 hour lunch, it seems contrived rather than spontaneous, synthetic and linear despite the half-hearted use of organic shapes. We couldn’t find that little white plastic sheet defining the area’s use but imagine it might have said something like

“So and So’s work discards the traditional to become the site of poetic transformation. Stopping to encounter each work, the viewer is obliged to reimagine the nature of the the city and its change from a passive to an active space.”

Yep. A bit barren that particular morning, we did like the orange astroturf carpet circles….

“How does empty look to you?” – the glass half-filled, a bathtub drained, a look that’s lost or filled with pain, crumbs of cake, that last bite, big blue skies over a big blue lake – 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Empty

empty

what more could one wish for

There’s always that odd feeling when one gets into the cab after the bags are all packed and stowed, the checklists gone over for the fourth time, last minute instructions scribbled on bits of paper and left on the counter; that hollow gulping of yes, so glad to be on the way but oh no, how long is it going to take before all hell breaks loose and of course, it inevitably will.

Travelling is both pleasure and pain. Whether we are off to a vacation destination (ha ha – when was the last time anyone had a real getaway in some exotic location that didn’t involve sleeping on a relative’s fold-out) or on a job-related jaunt, just navigating through the airport can be exhausting. Electronic check-in, check-out, scan this document that body part, shoes on, shoes off, mobile devices on off in the bin in your carry-on: God forbid one has too many fillings as fluoride was unknown in your childhood because you will be promptly waved off to one side for closer examination….

We are learning, albeit late in the game, to travel light(er). With the emphasis on the er. Our carry-on departed at maximum weigh-in filled with promotional materials (the magnet give-aways going through the scanner twice but otherwise passed over) and returned home filled with dirty laundry. Alas, and much to Miss Z’s chagrin, there was no time this voyage to shop for snazzy souvenirs or even the tiniest twinkling trinket: better luck next time…

“How does empty look to you?” – the glass half-filled, a bathtub drained, a look that’s lost or filled with pain, crumbs of cake, that last bite, big blue skies over a big blue lake – 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Events – Week 2

poster pup

yes, i can sleep with one eye open

There are some things in life, that no matter how much we have dreamed and prepared for them, happen all of a sudden. We are thrown into them like it or not and no matter how long and hard we have been planning in secret, we are forced into making them become a concrete part of what we do on a daily basis.

Our so-called summer of sloth turned into over a month-long marathon session in front of the monitor because of three little words – Total Pet Expo. In the world that pays our bills, we had been working on a particular doggie project for longer than we care to remember and as much as the whole thing was well-intentioned, it never really gained any momentum until just recently. The stars aligned, everything fell into place without the usual friction (almost, if stamping one’s feet doesn’t count) and we pulled a few miracles out of places better left alone. This old dog learned a few new tricks in the process…

We won’t divulge just yet (yes, we are that superstitious) but we will say that our own mutt will be having his own 15 minutes of fame, thank you very much Andy.

“Show us your events” – big or small, happy or sad, with balloons and streamers, blaring brass bands and thronging crowds or alone on a kayak, blue skies or grey, any kind of day that it might be. 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Blooms – Week 2

 

we should all be so lucky

Just a little something short and sweet as Across the Bored’s current project is taking up way too much of what should have been fun in the sun time.  The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge would like to remind everyone to cultivate all the lovely blooms in their lives, be it love of all and any kind, the company of friends and family in the sweet slowness of summer and yes, even the magic that blossoms when we are forced to think outside of the box…

“Tell us about your blooms?” – are they flowers or fruit, a vegetable patch, clover in the field or a roof of thatch, babies and puppies, a store full of hats, a sky full of parasols or basket of cats.

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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Blooms

blooms

lucky are the bees

We swore blind that we wouldn’t do any more gardening the frosty day the realtor hammered the for-sale sign into a snowbank on our lawn. Those of you who have been following the saga of where we wind up next will know that we are none too happy going forward knowing that we have prettied up our rental landscape and won’t be able to enjoy it for too much longer. All those plants nurtured over time, the Asian lilies, the unexpected daisies, the delicate mauve blossoms on the hostas – all these we will dig up in the fall or spring before they begin to flower again in earnest and whisk off to some more deserving garden.

In the meantime, Nature is playing the temptress and flashing her charms at us from every available venue, calling out for us to weed so that passersby may also enjoy the view and asking us to prop her up with a bit of twine so she doesn’t droop in all the wrong places. Our neighbour is concerned that we are not engaging quite as enthusiastically with the small plot where the veggies usually grow and has leaned over the fence with pots of “just a little something” to plant to ensure that we have something really fresh to add to our salad a month down the line. The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge is reminded every time we put out the recycling that hollyhocks, like tomatoes, can indeed be transplanted and grow to incredible heights whether we like it or not. The rain and the sporadic sprinkler system, the bugs and the bees are all doing their part (even if we are not) to make sure we are surprised by the most magnificent – Blooms.

“Tell us about your blooms?” – are they flowers or fruit, a vegetable patch, clover in the field or a roof of thatch, babies and puppies, a store full of hats, a sky full of parasols or basket of cats.

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.

 

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: It’s up to You, again – Week 2

incomprehensibly heart-rending: to think we all made it this far

No matter what part of the calendar summer falls in, everyone looks forward to the season with some anticipation. It may be that few weeks off where one gets to do absolutely nothing or everything they’ve been procrastinating on and not able to get to during the rest of the year, a time to reconnect with friends and family or run for the hills to soak in some solitude. However we use our time, it somehow seems more precious than the hours that slip by during the industrious days of autumn, the slogging stubbornness of winter or the promise of spring.

We had plans. Right off the bat that should have been a warning and some indication based on precedent that a whole slew of other things would get in the way of anything we set out for ourselves to accomplish during this two-month supposed hiatus from the workaday. A detour here, unexpected guest there, some forced socialization (we do not especially play well with others and even less so when it is on their terms and not ours), an unexpected real-world project that, however exciting, is resulting in some unwanted indoor time when the sun is shining: it all takes us away from what we would rather be doing. Perhaps that makes it all the sweeter when we do finally return to what makes us tick, makes the possibilities tantalizing, more brightly coloured and fleshed-out (jotting down a quick note helps to avoid the “remember last week…” syndrome). Some things, like getting up in the morning, are a part of our day and even though recent posts have been, as the Professor put it, formulated on the fly they are necessary to our well-being. The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge is constantly amazed and ever so thankful that there are some constants despite it all.

Last week, we lobbed the ball back into your court, so for all the little gravatars that make us smile as we scroll – “It’s up to You, again…” Choice is a wonderful thing.

Heat    Surprise    Silly    Expectations    Lost    Abstract     Grateful     Bliss     T-shirts     Shoes    Loyalty    Painting    Cook    Wishes    Paths    Writing    Birthday    Wonder    Harvest     Size    Words     Routine    Calm    Curious    It’s up to You    Toys    Clean    Bold     Random    Heritage    Special    Happy    Gifts    Graffiti    Brilliant    Funny    Habit    Resolution    Relax    Sweet    Illumination   Decoration   Morning   Style    Home   Pressure   Temptation    Manipulation    Compromise    Procrastination

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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: It’s up to you, again…

well, that went quickly…

Hard to believe that another year has whizzed right by and we find ourselves in the middle of another summer: a summer that crawls in after a too-short spring, gains momentum and then leaps from one week to the next like some housebound feline that has found the catnip growing wild in the garden. At any moment we expect it to just roll over exhausted and suddenly it will be autumn.

We are, sadly, stuck in town for a while longer, our usual jaunt to the West Coast for some badly needed battery recharging delayed for the moment. It is the first time in over a decade that we haven’t found ourselves lazing on the beach under a broiling July sun so we have been busy pounding the pavement like a good tourist in our own city, taking photos of street art, buildings sans snow and other tourists. The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge needs to put its feet up for the afternoon so a retrospective is just the thing, scroll through the archives by clicking on this link or on one of the topics below and pick something, anything  – It’s up to You.

Heat    Surprise    Silly    Expectations    Lost    Abstract     Grateful     Bliss     T-shirts     Shoes    Loyalty    Painting    Cook    Wishes    Paths    Writing    Birthday    Wonder    Harvest     Size    Words     Routine    Calm    Curious    It’s up to You    Toys    Clean    Bold     Random    Heritage    Special    Happy    Gifts    Graffiti    Brilliant    Funny    Habit    Resolution    Relax    Sweet    Illumination   Decoration   Morning   Style    Home   Pressure   Temptation    Manipulation    Compromise    Procrastination

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.

 

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Heat – Week 2

heat

modern day hunter-gatherers stalk elusive prey

When summer hits its stride in our neighbourhood the pervasive aroma outdoors around dinnertime is one of barbecue. Not your standard throw a couple of burgers on the grill type smoke wafting over the fence but the piquancy of Italian sausage, a simmering curry, jerk pork or roasting garden vegetables, for our street is a veritable United Nations of culinary diversity. We sometimes sit on the patio and sniff deeply, trying to divine what our neighbours will be feasting on by the tantalizing odours that snake across the back yards.     Our tastebuds anticipate much but truth be told when the temperature rises higher than our age Across the Bored is much happier when someone else cooks.

We do have a very valid ulterior motive: our reasoning is that our voluntary withdrawal from estival kitchen duty forces the Ghost and Miss Z to hone some very valuable and rewarding life skills. Their palates have been curated over the years, now is the time to see whether they have the chops to create their own mouth-watering masterpieces. Marinated or mulled, mixed, chopped, sautéed or saturated, in the oven, on the stovetop or flaming barbecue this fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme would like to turn up the – Heat – and  get something wonderful cooking. Serve it and we will eat. If the weather has us all wilted, just put on some walking shoes and hunt down the nearest food truck…

Last week, Across the Bored asked “How do you see heat?” – The sun on your face, a favourite beach place, curry in a pot, flames fanning hot, a tight situation or artistic creation. 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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Heat

heat

paled by bright sun

Sultry summer has definitely softened Across the Bored’s usually manic drive to be productive. After being housebound for the infamous longest winter ever there is nothing better than parking it in a chair outside, breathing air that isn’t cold enough to freeze lungs on impact and staring at the sky. Though not the spa, it certainly does one a world of good and serves to recharge those batteries drained by keeping our motor running during the icier months. 

Our routine has been hijacked by good weather and oddly, we don’t mind. Rather we are going to take as much advantage of it as possible because this bounteous gift of Nature may quickly be followed by forty days of rain. The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge has been made lazy by the – Heat – but it is the one time of year when things can arguably be put aside for more basic pleasures. “How do you see heat?” – The sun on your face, a favourite beach place, curry in a pot, flames fanning hot, a tight situation or artistic creation..

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.

 

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Surprise – Week 2

mouthguard required

One of Across the Bored’s blogger friends made a comment regarding this week’s theme that reminded us of Elmore Leonard’s novel-turned-film “Get Shorty” starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito among a raft of other Hollywood A-listers. A crime-comedy-thriller about gangsters and decoys, death and deception, cons and canards, the story carries both its own characters and the viewer along on a joy ride that has more twists and turns than a 5 star amusement-park roller coaster.

The critical acclaim it received comes partly from the leads’ stellar performances but more importantly from the exposition of well-crafted personalities and how they manifest when thrown into sometimes wildly explosive circumstances. Every cinematic opportunity is taken to play off the unexpected against basic human nature and the plot capitalizes on this to unravel and unfold the drama to the next level. The lead-up to poor mob boss Momo’s birthday extravaganza highlights the notion that we default to that which we are accustomed to, that way of living and reacting that becomes the pattern for our existence going forward.

Life has a warped sense of humour that seems to say “let’s see what happens if…” at every turn. Like even the most well-intentioned family and acquaintances, it takes pleasure in fooling us. As our friend wryly pointed out, there is no doubt that some social situations, especially the ones that are thrust upon us, the ones for which we are totally unprepared for or seem to come out of left field, that leave us not only shocked but mortified. This fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme – Surprise – knows that when it comes to the crunch, really, anything can happen. Hold on to your hat….

Last week, Across the Bored pondered  – “How does surprise look to you?” – Awkward or elated, with a bang or for the bin, elegant or understated, sweet and delicious, with a side of sin…  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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Surprise

surprise

almost uprooted:
good thing we believe in the procrastination method of weeding…

Across the Bored can’t remember which year it was that Miss Z insisted daisies would be the perfect potted plant swaying in the breeze beside our door but we do distinctly remember pulling out the dried brown husks of their summer daintiness once upon a frosty day in late October and pitching them into the front flower bed. They had been surprisingly high maintenance despite their hardiness, much like Miss Z, requiring much hydration, daily rotation, some artful pruning and a watchful eye to make sure they didn’t go off in all directions.

We can’t say they were spectacular nor did they deliver as many blooms as we had hoped to make little rustic bouquets from and that was pretty much the end of that. Until this very late spring when we espied some new previously unidentified growth next to the rather large seeding dandelion plant and the oriental lilies pushing their way through the soil. Our first thought was to pull it all out by the roots but then we got distracted by something more pressing and walked off. A week later the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge was hauling the recycling bin out to the curb when – Surprise – the weeds had bloomed overnight into quite the pretty little floral display… 

“How does surprise look to you?” – Awkward or elated, with a bang or for the bin, elegant or understated, sweet and delicious, with a side of sin…  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.

 

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Silly – Week 2

silly old duck! where we learned to rhyme…

Once upon a time, we would sit ourselves down at 5:55 every Sunday evening in anticipation of that magical moment when the Disney theme song would come crackling out of the television set. The hour’s entertainment was always a surprise for there was no TV Guide to tell us what to expect – not every show was a thriller but those nights that were more than made up for the “educational” instalments. Our favourites, like most little kids, were the cartoons and it didn’t really matter who took centre stage for they each had a repertoire guaranteed to generate a few laughs.

Ludwig Von Drake was the odd bird in the Disney Duck family: it might have been that he was a little high-brow, had an odd accent or just wasn’t slap-stick enough for most but our pre-school mind-in-formation saw that here was a fowl who knew his way around science, classic literature and music and had evidently seen a thing or two of the world and come back to tell everyone about it.  As much as we craved to be the miniature tornadoes of trouble that were Huey, Dewey and Louie, the Professor who knew something about everything was more our type of role-model. Besides, he had a warped sense of humour and was a whiz at constructing a bad pun…

This fortnight the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge recommends that we all remember what it is like to be – Silly – lie in the grass and look at the clouds, go kick a can, eat an ice cream cone with sloppy abandon like a five-year old but let yourself do something frivolous for a change.

“What is silly?” – A cartoon character or politician’s gaff, a two year old’s antics, a joke or a laugh, a funky fad or fashion craze, an old-timer’s tale or those newfangled ways…  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.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Silly

silly

really? i’m assuming that couch is for the hordes of people waiting for a table…

It was sheer disbelief that caught us unable to capture the preceding half of the photo above. There, set up on a patch of astroturf along one of the busiest thoroughfares, was a cluster of suitably summery umbrellas with too-small tables and uncomfortable chairs underneath: even more bizarre was that there were people actually eating in this spot. The proximity of a bike lane lending a little distance to regularly passing delivery trucks (bio-diesel or not) and the strategically placed potted palms adding ambience were perhaps a factor in making this the latest fashionable lunch spot but we just didn’t (and still don’t) get it. Has the Health Inspector paid a visit to ensure those water pitchers have covers to guard against passing pigeons? Do we really need some freshly ground pepper to go with an exhaust-cured wagyu burger?  Uummm, no….  Evidently someone has convinced the administration of our uber-trendy town that everyone loves dinner and a show so what better place to be seen noshing on an overpriced Caesar salad than on the sidewalk not even arm’s length from on-coming traffic?  

We thought this was a one-off but a scant five minutes later cruising down a side street there were not one, but two, similar yet different incarnations of this culinary establishment abomination: the roadside barge reducing the normally congested one-way two-lane traffic hell down to barely one. We could have grabbed that smoked-meat to go from our seat on the bus. Restaurateurs in these parts must have all been struck with cabin fever after a too long winter and banded together one night for some hard drinking and deliberation. Let’s take it outside they said, eat on the street, a platform with some tables, an awning and we’re all set! Never mind the waiters having to dodge pedestrians rushing back to the office – it’s summer, hurry up, get outside, it may not last! What’s not to love?

The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge this fortnight would like to investigate all that is – Silly – good or bad, absurd or inane, downright funny or incredibly unbelievable. Shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for there is a whole lot going on out there that could easily fall into this category… 

“What is silly?” – A cartoon character or politician’s gaff, a two year old’s antics, a joke or a laugh, a funky fad or fashion craze, an old-timer’s tale or those newfangled ways…  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.