Writing Prompt: Laying Down the Law

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Plinky asks: “If you could enact one new law, what would it be?”

In the spirit of the season, I’m going to say I would make it illegal to drive around with snow left on top of your car. I’ve seen far, far too many lazy people tearing down the road with snow and ice flying off their car roofs, and even though I don’t drive, it still pisses me off.

I get especially disheartened at the state of humanity when I see tiny cars with the snow still piled on top. Really, people? Can’t be arsed to pull out that snow brush and do a little stretching? It’s not that hard, is it?

I feel like SUV and truck drivers think they have an excuse, since the roofs of their cars are tall enough to make snow clearing impossible to a normal-sized human. To them, I point to the gentleman in the picture above. This man knows how it is. If you own a big car, you should also own a big brush. Or a broom. Your propensity for large vehicles does not excuse you of the responsibility!

I suppose I get so riled up about this because it’s a safety issue, and lazy people are putting the lives of fellow drivers in danger. When I experienced my first snowfall as a licensed driver, I couldn’t be arsed to reach across my car roof to get all the snow off. Then my mum explained about how ice can launch off cars and into the windshields of vehicles behind them, cracking the glass on one end of the damage spectrum, and causing a multi-car pile-up on the other. That’s all it took; my car was brushed meticulously clean each storm after that.

If a 16-year-old can understand the concept, I think it’s only fair to expect adults to get it too. Which is why I would enact a law imposing a strict fine on anyone driving with a dangerously snowy car. After some research, I found that New Hampshire already has this law; drivers get fined between $250 and $500 for the first offense, then up to $1,000 for the second. My fine would be the average cost of a windshield replacement plus the average ER and hospital costs – sans insurance – for car accident victims… some Googling of these costs brings my estimated fine amount to $4000 on the low end.

Would the threat of this fine be enough to motivate people to get off their butts and spend 5-10 minutes clearing their cars off for the good of society? My tiny faith in humanity says probably not, but then again, you know what they say about assuming things…

Writing Prompt: Stage Presence

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Plinky asks, “Have you ever been on stage?”

Why yes, Plinky, I have indeed been on stage once or twice, despite my penchant for shyness around lots of people. Let me share some of the best moments:

1) My first time going onstage not to receive a Books & Beyond award in elementary school (I read a lot) was at the illustrious Mechanics Hall in downtown Worcester, MA. I went on countless field trips here as a kid, and one time got picked to hop up onstage to take part in a random performance. I forget if it was 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade… I’m leaning toward 5th… but the show centered on this guy who sang songs about the environment and diversity, etc. I got to hold up the “L” sign in his aptly titled song “Ecology” while some of my classmates were quickly taught ridiculously complicated clapping routines to accompany the song. It was weird.

2) In 8th grade, I was part of the not-so-illustrious “Chorus 2” in my middle school’s production of Leader of the Pack. Chorus 2 was where the musical director stuck all the kids who couldn’t sing or act, since no one was allowed to be cut from the cast in middle school. I got to wear 1960s-era clothes, plus more makeup than I’ve ever worn any other time in my life, and sing and dance to hits such as “Be My Baby,” “Do Wah Diddy,” and “Chapel of Love.” I also got pretty good at dancing the Hanky Panky, but sadly all those moves have escaped from my memory.

3) During a random fit of inspiration to participate in as many diverse things as possible during my sophomore year of college (the year in which I played indoor soccer for the first time, wrote sporadically for the school paper, and several other things), I tried out for a small production of the third act of Our Town, and landed the role of dead Mrs. Gibbs. (With my track record of being pegged as a bad actor – see above – I was pretty pumped that I was actually given a significant speaking role). It was a pretty fun experience, and also occurred right before my hatred for all-things theatre developed fully, so I’m glad I was able to sneak it in there.

There you have it, Plinky… evidence of my brief history as a thespian. They say nature abhors a vacuum; well, DGobs abhors actors, actresses, musicals, and most-things theatrical, so I’m pretty sure these were my last moments onstage as an actress. Do with those memories what you will.

Boots!

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I’m super giddy (and therefore super lame) because I just bought myself a totally kick-ass pair of winter boots. In fact, these are the first winter boots I ever bought for myself, so it’s a pretty exciting evening, let me tell you.

I always rocked the boots during my childhood… I was even one of the few kids who was allowed to play in the snow during recess because my mum packed me off to school with boots, and other kids wore sneakers because they wanted to be cool. Well who was the cool one after all?! The girl climbing snow mountains with a handful of other people, or all the losers standing on the cement and looking sad? Haha, I say. Haha!

Even in high school I always had some boots handy. Something changed when I went to college though. Maybe it’s because my campus was so uber-tiny that I wasn’t outside in the snow for more than 45 seconds at a time, so I just always wore sneakers. I upgraded to some vaguely boot-like Skechers that I still rock to this day, but unfortunately they have no traction whatsoever and are low-top, so they’re not the best for traversing icy roads or climbing through snow drifts.

In recent years, I’ve taken to wearing my Docs (with Yak Trax when it’s wicked icy), but they also don’t have much traction and aren’t much warmer than wearing a pair of Chucks. Actually, Chucks might be warmer.

Anyway. All this rambling to say that today I finally bit the bullet and splurged on a new pair of fancy-shmancy boots. (Thanks to my grandpa, Bop, for the Christmas money that went directly to purchasing these bad boys!) Now watch… as soon as I get these boots in the mail it won’t snow for the rest of the winter here. Oh well, from what I hear these puppies will last me a long time. **NERD**

A New Year

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I haven’t forgotten about PTQ, I swear! The holidays distracted me, and then I went on a furloughcation for a while and didn’t want to be connected to the interwebs at all (other than checking Tottenham’s scores and table rankings). So… yeah. I’m going to try to be better from now own.

That said, I’m going to plead my way out of writing a real post today because I just posted one at my other blog, and I don’t think my brain can handle two substantial posts in one day at this point. Besides, I have Pillars of the Earth to go lose myself in. So here are links to my last two posts at A Fool Notion:

DGobs’s 2010 in Review

DGobs Revisits Goals Set in 2010

Writing Prompt: Three Countries I’d Like to Visit

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If I had the time and the money, I’d totally try to visit every country in the world. But to keep this post non-epic, and to answer the prompt, here are three countries I’d like to visit (in no particular order):

1. Holland. I think Holland would be a pretty spectacular place to visit for all kinds of reasons. My grandma’s family emigrated from there, so the ancestral significance is cool, and I also have family still living there and it would be pretty awesome to hang out with them. Plus the place looks pretty gorgeous in pictures, Amsel Light ads make Amsterdam look wicked fun (or, you know, one “dam good” city), my inner history nerd would be pleased about spending time in such a history-rich country, and plus, Rafael van der Vaart is from there. Nuff said.

2. Wales. I’ve been to Scotland, lived in England for a while, and been (very briefly) in Ireland. The only countries left in my tour of the British Isles are Wales and Northern Ireland. Though I’d love to see Northern Ireland, the country makes me a little nervous and I’d feel a whole lot safer visiting Wales at this point. Plus Wales has the magical “booktown” of Hay-on-Wye, the lovely Snowdonia, and Gareth Bale. I can live with the leeks if I can have the other things.

3. Denmark. There’s kind of a European theme to this list, yeah? Ever since I read a series of historical YA novels set in Denmark, I’ve wanted to visit. Copenhagen sounds pretty cool. A friend of mine studied there for a year and I followed along with his adventures via is blog, and Denmark just seemed like a really awesome place to be.

 

This Feels Cliche, But…

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…it doesn’t feel like Christmas is only 4 days away.

I feel like every year since I was, oh, 12? 13? Christmas stopped feeling like “Christmas.” I always just assumed this was a natural part of getting older. But even though Christmas wasn’t quite as magical as it was when I was a kid, I could still kind of feel Christmas coming. Especially while I was still in school… teachers, even in high school, never seemed to care about school stuff as winter break rolled around, and there’d be snacks and movies and presents among friends. And in college, the holidays would be ushered in by the glorious feeling of finishing finals and then heading home for a while.

For the four years after I finished college, I still could feel that holiday excitement approaching, since I was working at a university library. It was always awesome seeing the students leave (woo hoo!) and getting to have the library almost empty except for the “outside users” who would come in just to sit on the computers all day. And there would be a holiday party with silly gifts and good food and, if we were lucky, champagne. The holiday break was never very long, but it was still preceded by that almost-Christmas excitement.

This year, however, is the first year since 1989 that I haven’t either been in school or working with students right before the holidays. Instead, I’ve been working in my little cube under the stairs, only interacting with students when they walk by outside my window and stare in at me like I’m in a zoo. And other than getting a box of holiday cookies from my boss and seeing one of my co-workers rock a totally awesome necklace of tiny Christmas lights, there’s been no holiday build up. So it’s blowing my mind that Christmas is at the end of this week.

Maybe that mind-blowing is why this post feels so disjointed and weird… or maybe all the Mannheim Steamroller I’ve been listening to this afternoon has addled my brain. Either way, I think it’s time to stop now.

Writing Prompt: The Most Evil Thing I’d Do… bwa ha ha!

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Because I’m still unable to come up with ideas for posts on my own, this time I’ll borrow a page from Lindsey’s book and answer the Plinky prompt: If there were no consequences, what is the most evil thing you’d do?

What’s the most evil thing I’d do if there were no consequences? Easy. I’d burn down Emirates Stadium.

The Emirates, for the uninitiated among you, is the new football (soccer) stadium in which the scum play. The scum being Arsenal, aka “The Arse.” As I am a Spurs fan, I hate the scum and their fans, called “Gooners.” Gooners also hate me (or, they would if they knew I’m a supporter of the Yids), as well as my beloved lads in white and blue.

Basically, as the old song goes: If I had the wings of a sparrow, and if I had the arse of a crow, I’d fly over Arsenal tomorrow and sh*t on the bastards below. (Fun fact: I usually substitute the words “poo” and “wankers” in the last line, since somehow I’m usually singing that song in front of my Mum and don’t want to offend).

Anyway, that’s what I’d do. I’d wait until a time when no one was in the stadium, because I’m not so evil that I want to murder people, and I’d burn that sucka down. Then I’d spit on the ashes. And you know what? I’d also burn down whatever parts of Highbury, the scum’s old ground, is left standing. Just because.

Hell, while I’m at it, I’d burn down Yankee Stadium as well. Because I’m a good New Englander.

But before I do all that, first I’d sneak into my upstairs neighbor’s apartment and steal all her shoes. I would then throw these shoes into one of the massive bonfires I start. I’d also tamper with their pipes so that Stompy and Mr. Stompy would no longer be able to hog all the hot water in the house. But I would not steal any of her packages from the mail because that is unneighborly behavior and I will not stoop to her level. I will not!!

But mostly, I’d burn down the Emirates. And it would be awesome.

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