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.

Fiction in 50: A Worthy Adversary

worthy

Don’t look at me like that: it’s just so difficult to bring you home and make you stay all safe and sound. Not easy to resist temptation and go wandering off with some cheap little thing or another, I’m sure you’re aware.  Listen to me now and believe me later…

The Bookshelf Gargoyle curates a Fiction in 50 mini-narrative challenge – this month’s prompt is A Worthy Adversary! Steel yourself, stick to your guns and take matters in hand by 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…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime

nighttime

on a thursday afternoon
they would wander
white-gloved
a few soda crackers and peppermints
wrapped carefully in a handkerchief
and tucked into pocketbooks
just in case
they would say
and nod agreement
to the happy collusion
spent lingering
by the perfume counter
but Friday
would always come
striding in on too-high heels
gin and tonic fueled
waiting to be dragged
onto the dance floor
cherries in the snow
smeared
on saturday’s collar

‼︎

See what’s lurking in the entries of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

ekp tv

Where once the world had been so small
that letters wore stamps
postmarked weary
like travellers on foot
siberia to africa
in another life
another time
where once eyes wide
with all that was wonderful
in this bright new world
saw promise and hope
reflected upon the screen
now
it is all of humanity
that pours forth
ignoring and repeating
reviling and revolting
having forgotten history
and how
to just turn it off

Stay tuned to the entries in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity.

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: Events

blog birthday

they say it’s your birthday

August already? It must be, for the back-to-school flyers are arriving in multiples and the stores seem busy clearing too much summer stock to make way for the dull beiges and murky browns we are all supposed to be eager to throw on any moment. We are only half aware of the change, our concentration sadly focused almost exclusively on the seasonless virtual world of our computer screen, mindful only of the minutes that pass like seconds in the countdown to looming deadlines.

Sometimes one can work too hard, become too wrapped up in projects so that we don’t see the bigger picture clearly anymore and the details fuzz out and become lost in too much tweaking. Across the Bored was definitely suffering from a case of monitor-induced vision impairment yesterday: solution – shut it all down. Step away from the keyboard. Take a breath, indulge in a cup of coffee at a streetside table, eat Tiramisu…

Today is the 2 year anniversary of this blog – we had planned something big and shiny awhile ago but then promptly got distracted by more pressing issues only to be reminded this morning by a lovely little icon in the notifications. In a sense, we celebrated the previous afternoon playing hookie, watching the real world roll by and, as usual, gathering more material to keep on keeping on. It was, like much else for Across the Bored, a turn of – Events – that turned out to be fortuitous indeed.

This fortnight “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, 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.