Life goes on, brah... la la how the life goes on... When you create and mold the perfect situation and it offers itself to you, don't hesitate to be selfish and seize it for what it is. Hold it tight and cherish it as you never know when it could leave, you never know how long it will be. Every moment, no matter how short, has the opportunity to be a lasting memory. Every moment also needs to, sometimes, be let go with a realization that what you have been so strongly against, is really what you want. A bit of music weaving tonight with some Cohen & Beatles 1. "Here comes the sun" with rays to blind and 2. "Those were the reasons, that was New York," you gave up so easy, but there's 3. "Something in the way, she moves" that causes an 4. "[Who by] avalanche" so delicately balanced that a tender breath can cause it to come crashing down with such force, but 5. "He's as blind as he can be," yet has others 6. "Like a bird on a wire" staring down from above, observing and 7. "After awhile, you start to smile" for 8. "I live my life" and 9. "Shine on until tomorrow" and now it's 10. "Closing time"
The answer, complicated, the reply, complex. For anyone upset that the answers were not present in the stories, I apologize, but that was partially my point. This story began with a conversation between two dear friends and myself over a morning cup of coffee, or was it a midday ice tea, or an evening night cap? Either way, we were surrounded by what seemed to be a million kids. It was probably closer to seven kids, but the noise told otherwise, and my head went spinning. I'll try to stay fluid and on subject, no promises. Death, Birth, Dream and now, Reply. 1. It really started with a book report that was due which hadn't been started, in fact, there was questions about if the book had even been completely read. Regardless, the detailed instructions on how the report was to be written, black ink on every other line or typed double space or something with a summary about X and Y about that at least some odd pages long, to me seemed wrong. The instructions covered an entire 8x10 page, single spaced. I was curious why the book report had to be so rigid. Maybe this would ensure that all of the students papers were going to be easy to grade since they would essentially be the same. 2. My recent obsession with Gatsby (Dear red head...) took me back to high school. I'm sure I wrote a paper on Gatsby, who didn't, right? That paper is no longer in my microscopic collection of memorabilia, so I can only imagine how completely insane it may have been. Full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, I'm sure, but none the less, I wondered what I wrote. I do recall taking a few artistic licenses to the bank when turning in papers in high school, especially during the last two years, but I could probably today summarize the book in a few sentences, at least enough to get the point across, most likely not an A, though. I will not embarrass myself (any more than I already do) by trying. Yes, I read Gatsby last week (it was pretty dang good). 3. Enter a short (really short) story, a whole series of short stories (if you count 3 a series). What else would accompany a few short stories than just10things, so I asked just10things, none of which had answers that were revealed in the text. I really hope no one was banging their head on the wall and rereading a hundred times looking for some secret message, although the titles did require decoding from binary to ascii to stir the "hey-there-might-be-some-secret-message-in-here" part of your brain, there was no secret message there. 4. What I did expect, though, is that there was a realization of how many details were not there. Was this distracting as you were reading the story, or after, when you were searching for the answers? Were the questions asked relevant to the story, or could the story stand without them had they been there? Yes, this is a scaled back example, I certainly was not going to dive into writing a whole book, however if you put the exponents on, does this not apply to larger works as well? When do the details matter and when do you as the reader either fill them in, or toss them out as not important? 5. As we consume literature, that back corner of the brain goes to work painting the picture for us, which is lucky for the authors else they would be writing million page books to tell a story. Can you imagine: "Parallel with the right edge of the desk, one inch from the right edge and 2 inches from the back edge, of which the back edge was also in parallel with the desk was a telephone that was 6 inches by 12 inches and was beige in color. The telephone was 2 inches tall in the back and 1 inch tall in the front and the top sloped 13 degrees from front to back. There was a receiver and under the receiver were 12 buttons numbered 0-9 plus the # and * digits. There was a red light on the phone to indicate there was a message waiting. The button had the words "MESSAGE WAITING" under it in Helvetica 12 point font. The telephone started to emit a noise out of the speaker that was 4.5 inches in diameter and made of..." vs. "She answered the phone." Had I truly given you every detail about the phone (I would have also needed to fill you in on the desk it was sitting on, the room the desk was in, what else was in the room, etc. ), this would have taken until next year, but I think you get my point. 6. When we experience life, when do the details matter? Someone I know is a date and detail fanatic. She could recall what was for dinner weeks ago, remember dates years in the past, it is rather annoying. Then there's the opposite. I moved into my house 5 or 6 years ago, it was in the spring. I ate dinner last night, I think. I know you weren't around to witness, but just a few minutes ago, I failed to pay attention to what floor the elevator had stopped at and rode right back down to the lobby from the 5th floor. It was a great laugh for the gentleman that got in the car and asked if there was nothing better to do in this town that ride the elevator all night. Secretly, I was still working on the cricket decibel formula (only FB friends will get that one), that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. 7. A frequent phrase in software development (especially from the project manager) is "the devil is in the details." The business tells a story and the designer/architect writes it down. Soon, the developers start churning out brilliant code, only to find that the details of the specification were not told and you end up with a million line application that's 12 months behind. We all need to become better story tellers. We need to know and understand and respect where details matter and when they are unimportant. There have been just10things posts describing 30 seconds in time in 1000 words and 7 days described in 200 words, so span of time is not the answer. How do we decide when to convey the right amount of detail and what that amount of detail is? 8. Comprehension. Are there enough details for you to formulate what is happening? Or are there so many that you can't keep track of what is going on? 9. Context. It does wonders for influencing the painting of the details. Without it, words can be misinterpreted, scenarios misread, situations gone out the window. 10. Book reports, I still don't get it. I am in favor of another style paper this same child had not too long ago. I have not had the chance to read it yet, but the idea was to pick two books or movies and combine them (something like that) to tell a story. So the subject became Sesame Street meets Godfather. Way to be creative! This shows comprehension much better than some slap in the face institutionalized manual for writing a paper to show you [may] have read a book. It also allows those not included details to surface as catalyst to foster imagination, breeding a whole new story that hinges on the fact that you understood the books you've read (or movies you've watched) and weaves context in a creative manner. "Sometimes he's on for five minutes, sometimes he's on for five hours" - Pump Up the Volume Hope you've enjoyed the adventure.
Crisp cool fall air surrounded him, the sounds of kids playing filled his ears. He was 14 and the city had been his life. Jacob Friedman enjoyed playing basketball in the park, he loved street hockey in the afternoons with friends, he was happy being outdoors. This particular evening, the sky was black, the moon new and the stars bright. For Jacob, however, the stars were just a dream, in all his years, he had never seen a star, the city lights masked the heavens sparkles. He had seen pictures in school books and longed to one day get out of the city to find a meadow where he could stretch out in the tall thin grasses and gaze into the sky as the sun sank slowly out of sight. For now, he lay on the bench of his rooftop terrace, his mind wandering. 1. What was Jacob's older brothers name? 2. Was math his favorite subject in school? 3. How many blocks away was the closest grocery store? 4. What was his mothers name? 5. How many times a week did he play street hockey? 6. What did he want to be when he grew up? 7. Did his family own a car? 8. What month was he born in? 9. Did Jacob like spinach? 10. How tall was he? Fire the comprehension and context engines, we are going on a trip. Follow the adventure.
At 4:13 AM, she sat very uncomfortably in the plush tan leather recliner staring at her watch. Her husband's normal gentle stroking of her long auburn hair that normally would have soothed her was bordering on reasons to kill. Justina Claire was busy counting the minutes between contractions, the last thing she could feel at that moment was pleasant. The time was soon. At 7:44 AM, they sped away in the suburban, the suitcase, ever so carefully planned and packed, sat lonely on the rug in the middle of the living room floor. In the waiting room, her pain grew intense and her mood spun out of control, but alas the comforts of medicine promised to release her as she was admitted. She laid in bed, clenching her fists, praying this would soon be over. The time is now. His hands became numb as the grip Justina had tightened with every push. "Remember the breathing," he kept saying. At 10:01 AM, a new life. 1. What color eyes did the new baby have? 2. What time zone do Justina's parents live in? 3. What color Suburban did they drive? 4. What was in the suitcase? 5. How did Justina react when she found out the suitcase had been left behind? 6. What town did they live in? 7. How far was it to the hospital? 8. Who was the first person she called when the baby was born? 9. What did she have for dinner on Tuesday? 10. Was it a boy or a girl? Fire the comprehension and context engines, we are going on a trip. Follow the adventure.
The tattoo of a crow gracing the left side of his neck, Frank Rodgers strolled cautiously through the dark alleys of the predawn city. It was the best shortcut, the straightest line between origination and destination, and he took it in stride every morning with his man purse thrown casually over his shoulder. The dark green leather matched his sunken eyes, and as he rounded the corner it fell to the cold pavement with an empty thud. Gravity works in this town, overtime, he thought, realizing that the strap on his satchel had broke. The cold sweat of a tireless worker overtook him as he scrambled to pick up his belongings, cursing the One he believed in. Frank sunk into the spasm of death and withered away in the emptiness of concrete and glass, with no one to hear his cries, his belongings scattered on the sidewalk. 1. Did someone cut the strap? 2. What happened prior to his dreadful day? 3. What industry did Frank work in? 4. What is the meaning of the green leather man purse? 5. What was in the bag? 6. Why was Frank taking the dark alley ways to work? 7. What is the importance of the tattoo? 8. Why did he not use public transportation in the city? 9. Who did he believe in? 10. Was it raining? Fire the comprehension and context engines, we are going on a trip. Follow the adventure.
Random bits... Dysfunctional thoughts... Crazy intuition... 1. When is the appropriate moment to smile when someone is staring at you, when your eyes first lock, or should an appropriate amount of seconds elapse? 2. How is it that October it's pretty much shot already. It seems that it just started. For that matter, where has 2011 gone? January was brutally long, after that, oil up, we're going to slide right through this year. 3. I'm gearing up for colder weather, just can't seem to land projects in the south during winter 4. Getting close, just10things turns 100 posts soon, thanks for hanging around with me :) 5. This is odd, beyond odd, way beyond odd. Some people are enjoyable to watch while they eat. Of course there's the total opposite 6. Watermelon vodka and fruit punch, dangerous Jolly Rancher tasting drink 7. I have been missing Chicago a lot lately, it's been too long. See #2 - trying 8. Grasshopper 9. Don't be childish, respect what you have or watch it fade 10. No idea where throwing pictures came from, sometimes it's just random hubbub and you roll with it
On my left shoulder sits a chameleon, calm, cool, collected, basking in the sun, able to change colors and blend into the environment. On my right shoulder, a chihuahua, yap yap yap, chasing it's tail in a never ending circle, it's actually more of an oval, but that's a minor detail left for the elders. Stir the inner chihuahua and you will get your knees nipped at. You will be taken down from the bottom up; it's going to be a hard fall. 1. A fire is a fire is a fire, roll smoke 2. Lazy morning, chill and hang with my kids before the real world rears it's ugly head 3. F*** you and the horse you rode in on 4. Drown me in the sounds of children laughing, it's the best drug out there 5. If the world is your playground, you may have just lost 6. Listening to the make believe games without context, a realization of the truth from little heads 7. Squash you like a freaking tomato, screw the basil, there ain't a sauce to be made 8. As much as I cannot stand it, I love it when they say "Daddy, I need you" even though I don't know what they need from me 9. They make spray for that 10. You can shake the hand of the mango man as he greets you at the border
coconut coconut coconut
Honest to goodness announcements from my favorite airline, enjoy 1. In the event this flight should become a cruise, a life vest can be located under your seat cushion 2. Please take care when opening overhead compartments, shift happens 3. This is a completely full flight, don't hesitate to make eye contact, you may meet your next ex-husband or ex-wife 4. This flight will go above 10k feet, should we loose cabin pressure, 4 yellow oxygen masks will drop from the compartment overhead. Secure yours first, if you like the person next to you, help them out 5. There's a safety information guide in you seat back pocket that can be used as a fan because it's incredibly hot on this plane today 6. If you are connecting to another flight, check the monitors outside of the gate, if you are connecting to another airline, good luck 7. This is a short flight, we are all out of I don't knows and what do you haves, so if you are thirsty, check the menu before we show up to take your order 8. Neon lights and disco balls lead to the exits 9. There are six ways to get out of here, we know where they are, you are on your own - now you are finally paying attention 10. We will be dimming the lights shortly so your neighbor can snore, if you need additional light to see in order to smack him/her, press the button with the picture of a light bulb
We are grateful that, 40 years ago today, you were exchanging wedding vows and although we were not there, we will bet you both had crazy sparkles in your eyes and bigger than life grins on your faces. So here's to you, Mom and Dad, on your anniversary, a toast from us! (I have a few others joining me today) From your son: 1. To everything you have taught us about unconditional love 2. To always being there, for a shoulder to cry upon, for an ear to listen, for support when things seemed impossible and for sharing so many happy times 3. To being the best of friends and being silly and showing us how great life is From your daughter and her hubby: 4. To always being there as sounding boards for whatever is going on in our lives, for speaking the truth and supporting whatever we decide 5. To being the best parents, friends, in-laws and grandparents anyone could ever ask for - we can tell you anything and know you will love us no matter what. 6. To being the rays of sunshine by the abundant love and silliness we share and for tolerating Rob's nicknames for you two...the Pygmy and Norm "the stomach" From your granddaughters: 7. To Grandma, I'll always be your bug-a-boo and to Papa for playing tickle monster with me 8. To Grandma, I love falling asleep in your arms and to Papa, I love "talking" with you to make you laugh. From your grandsons: 9. To Papa, I like to go to tractor shows with you and Grandma for always checking on my dinosaur spikes 10. To Grandma, I love when you come in my room and play with only me. To Papa, I love being your helper when you come fix stuff at my house. Happy 40th anniversary! To many many more years, all our love, cheers!