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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Fog

Tips for Driving in Fog:

If you’re driving and suddenly you notice that you’re in fog, don’t panic. Slow down a little. Turn on your fog lights if you have them and do NOT turn on your high beams. Try to stay just close enough to the car in front of you to see their tail lights.

The most important thing here is not to panic. If you slow down too much or stop your car, you can cause a very dangerous condition for other drivers. Try to gauge the speed of other drivers around you and watch the tail lights in front of you. The safest speed is the speed that most of the other drivers are driving.

If you have fog lights, turn these on. In really heavy fog, it may also be a good idea to turn your regular headlights off. Try both ways to see which one is easier to see with. Don’t ever use your highbeams (brights) in the fog. They will make it much more difficult to see anything.

– Written by Mr. T on July 13, 2011

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Magic

It was a magic forest, and it was practically in their backyard. 3 houses over and 2 houses back to be exact. Some old lady lived at that house, but no one knew her and of course, Lucky and his dog, Notso, weren’t ever allowed to go there. If Lucky’s mom knew he was there right now, he would definitely suffer at the hand of the wooden spoon. He wasn’t thinking about that though. He wasn’t thinking about the crazy old lady either. Her name was Ezra. Ezra Eggman. And that’s all anyone knew about her. Well, that and the fact that she was old…and crazy…. And that she had a magic (well, forbidden, anyway) forest in her backyard. Lucky and Notso were concentrated on one thing and one thing only. The Supersonic Halo 5000. The frisbee-like disc that he got for Christmas only two months earlier. They were throwing it around the day before and landed it right into the forest.

Now, Lucky wasn’t allowed anywhere near old crazy Ezra’s house. He definitely wasn’t allowed to play frisbee in the yard next door. This is why he couldn’t tell his mom the reason for his mission today! The only one who knew where Lucky was, was his dog Notso, and he made Notso promise not to tell anyone.

Okay, Notso, we have to go into the forest just for a minute and you can’t tell anyone, okay?

Rrrrufff! Slurrrp!

Shhh, I really mean it. Don’t tell Jimmy or Sam or Alex…and definitely not Mom…we’ll be grounded forever if she finds out. Now, I need you to be on the lookout for old lady Ezra. You wait near the edge of the forest and let me know if she comes outside, okay? Notso, are you with me?

Rrrruff! Slurrrp!

Hey, cut it out! This is a serious mission and we can’t get caught. Alright, here we go….

– Written by Mister T on July 26, 2011

A Clock

It always feels like time is running out. Running where? I can’t say. There is the work clock, the life clock, the weekend clock, the evening clock, the alarm clock that wakes me on the mornings when I’m not already out of bed thinking about the clocks. The big hand ticking slowly, but quickly, from one minute to the next on each of them.

And I’m clinging to the clocks. I’m clinging to the evening clock and the weekend clock and the life clock, and I’m trying to pull the time backward. I want to stop the clocks – freeze them so I can catch up. Dreams and goals are heavy loads to carry – and the bags of “to do’s” and chores don’t help either. How do I slow the clocks and stay alive?

I find myself at 12 and then 1 and 2, and before I know it, I’m at 9 – traveling ’round and ’round the clock’s face. Time is moving forward, but I’m stuck on the clocks. Jumping from one to the next and trying to keep up.

If I could have my way, I’d dump the alarm clock and the work clock and the evening clock and the weekend clock. I’d keep the life clock and I’d do everything I’d always dreamed of because I wouldn’t have all those other clocks to worry about. Every day would be focused on life and the joys it holds when it’s not competing with other times. On my life clock, I’d write a book at 1, catch a movie at 4, take a vacation to Europe at 8 – or maybe 6. The second would move with the beat of my heart, and the long hand wouldn’t feel so fast.

I’d paint my clock with a rainbow of colors. I’d liven it with music and art. I’d dab some adventures around the edges and plate it with love. I’d draw a smile on the face – a big smile with a hearty laugh. I’d dance and run around my clock. I’d give myself more time to be inspired. I’d have more time to live.

That’s the clock I want and need, the clock that allows me to live and breathe. The clock less concerned with the quantity of time that’s left to get something done and more focused on the quality of the seconds happening now. After all, what’s the point of all these clocks if the time you have never feels like your own and it never seems like enough?

– Written by Miss A on July 26, 2011

Slime

Why is it that people tend to not like slime? Anything slimy just sounds bad. Slimy people are bad. A slimy piece of food doesn’t sound very appetizing. I wouldn’t want to drink slimy coffee. If I carpet was slimy, I’d think it was practically an emergency to get it cleaned. If I had to guess, I’d say this is because when organic things rot, they tend to become slimy. This slime is (I think) the result of bacteria breaking down the organic compounds. Similar to how people don’t like the smell of certain things, they don’t like the textures of certain things either. This is to protect us from the bacteria. The really interesting thing about it to me is that it goes much further than the simple anxiety based reaction when people start using the word slime to describe certain unattractive qualities in some other people.

– Written by Mister T on July 18. 2011

Orange

Orange. Makes me stop. Sometimes cringe. Or laugh. Either way, it grabs my attention. Orange is ostentatious. A show off. Always claiming center stage. Definitely NOT a wallflower. Orange wants to be seen and heard. Orange screams. Rarely whispers unless it’s paled and wan. But as soon as orange is well again, it’s raging with life, bouncing off the walls, sticking out its tongue and exclaiming, “BLAH!” That’s orange for you. Splashing neon brightness all over the place. Orange turns my skin a dingy shade of green. Can’t wear orange. Want to hug orange when it opens its arms wide and begs to be embraced in a warm hug. Orange warms, heats, engulfs in flames. Orange is on fire. Up in flames. Orange shades the yellow sun as it dips into the western sky on a romantic summer night. Orange is the awesome leather sofa in my friends’ place. Smooth and rich, inviting. Excited to say hello, sit down, bask in my vibrant color. Orange wants to be noticed. Asks you to use caution around pot holes and construction. Because orange cares. Orange wants you to be safe. Protected. Visible to hunters in deer season. Oh, orange, you have a special place in my conflicted heart and soul. Orange you glad you aren’t pink? Yeah, pink will never hold a special place in any corner of my heart.

– Written by Miss A on July 24, 2011

Opal

The round stone rested like a drop of water on the smooth velvet fabric spread atop the glass case. The convex surface gleamed. As I moved my head an inch to the left or right, I watched as the colors transformed – shimmery greens darkening to cobalt blues, orange streaks fading to vibrant yellows. But the fiery reds warming the jewel with their flames didn’t waver. They stretched their tips through the cool azure waters, their flames popping golden sparks into the chartreuse and royal seas swirling the outer layer of stone.

Smack dab in the center pumped the ruby heart, adorned with its finest golden strands. From there, life pulsated the passionate fire and blood. Despite the heat emanating within the rounded jewel, yearning to break free from the glassy surface, the stone was cool to touch. Polished and smooth.

As I marveled at its contradictions, I thought of the miner, imagining his reaction when he discovered the precious, perfect piece, breaking it from the rocky capsule where it had been contained in the earth for hundreds of years. How startled he must have been to hold this peacock of the earth in his rough, dirt-covered hands, turning it this way and that to glimpse the small world bursting inside. Was there a gasp that parted his lips? A moment of revelation? Appreciation?

This stone deserved its own display – to be featured for the world to see and admire. Instead, it would eventually be plated in gold, silver, or platinum and strung around some withered, wrinkled neck for two hours on special occasions – dinner parties, afternoon teas, or anniversaries – and then sealed away in combination safes or vaulted security boxes. Hidden. Undeservedly so.

How sad to be a special object of beauty and resigned to that life – a mere accessory when the outfit was just right for it. To hold a tertiary place when it deserved the prime role.

The opal flickered in the light, oblivious to its small part in our world.

– Written by Miss A on July 17, 2011

Leprechaun

The little man in a green velvet suit nodded and smiled as he greeted me, “Top o’ the mornin’ to ye!’

And I couldn’t help myself – I stopped in my tracks and stared at the little man no bigger than my hand skipping merrily down the lane. I rubbed my eyes. Certainly it couldn’t be.

Oh, but it was. It was a leprechaun whistling and carrying on, singing “Top o’ the mornin’ to ye!” as he tipped his little green hat like a dandy and skipped down the lane where I stood, my jaw dropped to the dusty, gravel floor.

What was a leprechaun doing in these parts? I wondered aloud, scratching my head. Why would that little fella be skipping down that lane so happy?

My eyes wandered to the sky, scoping the clear blue ceiling for an answer to my questions. Surely God would know why a leprechaun was moving through these parts of the world. And then He showed me. The heavy clouds in the distance, pregnant with buckets of rain edging their way over a flat emerald field, looking all shiny and clean from the fresh morning dew. From one of those clouds, a long spectrum grew – painted some beautiful colors – deep pinks, bright orange and yellow, greens, and deep royal blues.

That’s a rainbow! I thought to myself. But no, not just one – there were two!

The rainbows! No wonder that leprechaun looked so merry. He was after two pots of gold! But surely he couldn’t claim both, and so I tore after him on my bare soles, running faster and faster to catch up with the dandy leprechaun in the little green suit and hat.

I spotted him ducking under the wooden fence and running toward the far edge of the field – where sure enough those double rainbows were leaning and stretching their arms to the earth. I’ve got to hurry, I thought in a panic. Here’s my one chance to be rich, and I’m about to lose it real quick. So I ran harder, pumping my legs as those rainbows kept reaching and reaching and that leprechaun was skipping and singing…and just as those bars of all the world’s colors neared the emerald earth where we play, I caught up to that little bugger!

Caught off guard, the leprechaun shrieked, and then his face grew a deep scowl.

“Who do ye think ye are coming after me rainbows?” he asked. “Are ye tryin’ to see me two pots o’ gold?”

“I figured two was too much for a wee man like yourself,” I replied. “And thought maybe you’d like to share?”

But at the moment I said it, I looked up and saw those double rainbows start to recede – as big, round raindrops plopped on my head and shoulders and the leprechaun shouted with greed, “Now ye gone and done it – ruined me chances of gettin’ the gold!”

So feeling bad, I lifted him on my shoulder and offered to buy him a pint – and off to the pub he rode.

– Written by Miss A on July 18, 2011