Writing Prompt: Jamaican Me Crazy

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I’ve had a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-n-n-n-g day.

I didn’t really sleep well last night, not quite sure why, it just wasn’t happening and I woke up super early after I finally did pass out around 3am.

Given that Boston is in the grips or some sort of snowmaggedon or snowpocalypse or whatever the kids on Twitter are calling it, I was expected to go into work early to ensure we’d have the libraries open and ready and rarin’ to go in lieu of other staff members who wouldn’t be motivated able to make it in to work.

I did so and was at work prior to 7am.

The problem is, the snow never really got as bad as it was supposed to and this essentially just mean that I’d come into work much, much earlier than I had to and prepared two libraries for opening when the regular opening staff had no problem making it in.

Awesome. Simply, awesome.

The worst part? Well, I was slated to work until 8pm tonight, because Wednesdays are my late night—remember that stalkers—but luckily, my lovely co-worker Roshni bailed me out and offered to take my late shift.

As such, I made it out of there by 6:30—I’m a busy man, y’all—instead of 8pm and was able to substitute an 11 ½ hour day in lieu of a 13 hour day!

w00t

Anyway, all of that long-winded rambling was to say…it’s a writing prompt kinda day. As always, this one comes courtesy of the peeps at Plinky.com.

Write a haiku about something that drives you nuts.

As a consummate overachiever, I decided to write not one, not two, but seven…count’em seven…haikus about things that drive me crazy!

You can thank me later.

you are not my boss
stop micromanaging me
you annoying bitch

the twins are awesome
i don’t want to work anymore
the twins are awesome

i hate skateboarders
seriously they suck balls
big ole donkey balls

use your damn blinker
it is on your car for a
fucking reason, dick

chicken mcnuggets
taste like poop and shame, so why
can i not quit them

megan fox is hot
i cannot deny that fact
yet still she bores me

hummus is a very
cruel joke you play on someone
who wants some chip dip

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Writing Prompt: Let’s Get Physical, Physical…

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It’s a Monday—which means it’s my Sunday—so I figure I’ll ease into the week with a writing prompt from the fine folks over at Plinky.com.

What does your fitness routine consist of?

My physical routine is generally quite boring and uneventful.

During the spring/summer/fall months I generally do nothing but play softball.

Last summer/fall, I was playing softball anywhere from two to four times a week. This had a pretty good impact on my endurance and overall physical well-being.

You might not think much of slow-pitch softball—and let’s be honest, you probably shouldn’t—but if you’re playing enough and you’re anything like me (read: hypercompetitive and a centerfielder) you’re likely to spend A LOT of time running.

I can honestly say that by the time my softball seasons finally wrapped up in mid-to-late October, I was in some of the best shape I’ve been in since high school.

Remember, high school? Remember when you had Phys. Ed. like three days a week and you couldn’t be a fatty unless you really worked at it (or had a glandular problem)?

Yeah…those were the days.

In high school, I looked like an anorexic 11-year-old cheerleader, but danged if I wasn’t in some solid shape. As I got older, I spent less and less time playing sports and found myself falling into considerably worse shape.

That’s why I decided that I needed to pay outlandish amounts of money for a gym membership. This was a HUGE waste of money when I lived in Southie, but now that I live a few blocks from the gym, it’s not so bad.

In fact, this is how I spend my winters attempting to stay “in shape.”

Basically, what I do is meander into the gym 3-4 times a week and sorta stare at all the equipment.

I move some things around until the bang and clank and I assume that means I’m working out. I run on the indoor track until my knees feel like they’re going to explode and then I go sit in a sauna and read the sports section of the paper for half an hour.

That’s pretty much the extent of what I’ve got for a physical fitness routine: softball in the spring/summer/fall and ill-fated attempts at gym-rattedness in the winter.

If you’ve got a better game-plan, lemme hear it in the comments…

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: Bad for Business

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It’s been a few days since I posted here at PTQ and that figures to be the norm whilst I work on fazing myself out of the regular writing crew here.

I did, however, figure that I should post a little something and thus I’ve gone with a writing prompt from the fine folks at Plinky.com.

Have you ever thought about starting your own business?

I thought for a brief period of time that I could somehow start my own website and offer fantasy baseball consulting.

Logic eventually set in and I remembered that there are roughly 30,000 websites out there that offer fantasy baseball advice, tips, tricks and strategies for absolutely no cost whatsoever.

Needless to say, it wasn’t going to be the bountiful business venture I’d once dreamed. It turns out that people have absolutely zero incentive to pay some random dude with questionable facial hair for baseball advice when they can get the same basic advice—or at least just advice—for free elsewhere.

It’s the old “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” thing and let’s be honest, it makes perfect sense. I mean seriously, I’m a pretty competitive fantasy baseballerizer and I’d never pay some schmuck for fantasy baseball advice because I know that I know more than 90% of the peeps out there.

I assume any fantasy baseballer worth their salt feels the same way. That having been said, to think it’s worth not only asking for but paying for someone else’s advice is straight up poppycock.

So yeah, my fantasy baseball consulting business hasn’t really gotten off the ground floor and doesn’t really figure to anytime in the near future.

I guess I’ll have to go back to my other game plan of releasing a line of zombie apocalypse preparation-themed workout DVDs.

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.

Writing Prompt: Mix It Up

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I realize I haven’t exactly committed to posting everyday here at PTQ as a I work on phasing out and (hopefully) bringing in some new writers in need of a kick-start, but I just felt like I should at least make a post-a-day for my first week back in the swing of things.

With that in mind, I’m going to an old standby here today, a writing prompt from the fine folks at Plinky.com.

Name three songs you’d put on a road trip mix tape.

In an effort to make this as realistic as possible, I’ve only included songs that were actually featured on mix tapes and burnt CDs back when I was regularly driving. It doesn’t seem fair to toss in a bunch of Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood or Glee songs, because I’ve never really road tripped to ‘em.

As such, here are three songs that were constantly on repeat back in my driving days:

Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey

Since high school, “Don’t Stop Believin'” has served as the unofficial anthem or soundtrack to the lives of me and my best friends. We used to listen to this song while cruising around our dinky hometown and talking about the future and it’s served us all well as a reminder to keep believin’ there’s more out there for us, no matter how bad things can get some times. Also, Steve Motherf’n Perry!

Hanging By a Moment” by Lifehouse

Back in high school when I used to burn a new CD nearly every two or three days (remember CDs?) this song always seemed to find its way into the mix. I’ve always liked this song and I find it always pumps me up, no matter what kind of day I’m having. My friends and I started playing a guessing game with my mixed CDs to see what song would be next—my CDs tended to vary widely in genre—and this song was generally the safest bet of the bunch.

Why Part 2” by Collective Soul

This song rules. Period. Every time this song comes on in the car, I find my right foot getting a lot heavier and–even though I drive an automatic–an overwhelming urge to shift gears and slalom through traffic takes over. As such, it pretty much HAD to make the cut.

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.

 

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