Trying new things

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Doesn’t always work out for the best. It’s a built-in risk, though, isn’t it? That everything new you try might not come out the way you hoped or expected.

I’ve had a little touch of the food poisoning this week.

In the spirit of trying new things, I ventured into a Cuban restaurant not too far from me, one I’d never tried before. I haven’t had much Cuban food, so it was doubly new. There wasn’t anyone else there when we walked in, but as soon as we crossed the threshold, it was too late.

We couldn’t just walk out again. Maybe I was the only one thinking about it, anyway, given it wasn’t something I could say, not in front of the owner.

The food tasted good, and it seemed like a success. Until about 2 am, that is.

And I’ve been off ever since. It’s not the worst case I’ve had; not by a long shot, but here I am in the aftermath of a risk that didn’t pan out. Does it mean I’ll never go to a new restaurant again? Well, that’s unlikely.

Does it mean I won’t eat anywhere where there isn’t another person?

That’s much more likely.

When we accept risk, we rarely think of the possible consequences as a tangible, likely thing. But reality is that not everything pans out; sometimes you get some bad chicken.

But that’s life. You pick yourself up eventually, you exist on bland foods for as long as that takes, and you gear yourself up to try something new.

Just maybe not the chicken.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

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Here we are

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All these years after Columbine and the only thing that’s changed is the weapons are more deadly.

For the children at the EIGHTEEN school shootings already in 2018, and the ones yet to come as nothing is ever done, you deserve so much better than the fear of dying behind your school desks.

And remember this, cuddlers of guns, deniers of their destruction: Russia funneled huge amounts of money through the NRA. Why would it do that?

Why would the NRA agree to do that?

And why did Trump receive $30.3 MILLION from the NRA?

Call your members of Congress. Demand action on guns.

Or just wait for the next group of children to die, terrified. Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long.

 

 

Aunty Ida has the answers

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She can’t cure everything.

It’s possible she can’t cure anything.

But she does have a way with brains.

So about that robot butler…

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Well, humanity was nice while it lasted, and I’m not just talking the constant pesky threat of nuclear annihilation at the whim of a temperamental man-child on a pouty afternoon. We’ve got other things to worry about, which is unfortunate, because the Warehouse of Worries is bursting at the seams and boasts a six-hour wait list.

If you didn’t see the Hound from Fahrenheit 451 open a door for his hound buddy yesterday, here it is:

Built by Boston Dynamics, a technology company where no one seems to have read to the end of a single work of science fiction, this kinda looks like the beginning of the end. But in the words of infomercials, wait, that’s not all.

Nope.

There are also apparently ginormous mutant pigs roaming Hong Kong. Wild boars, if you want to be exact, and though we already knew Orwell’s 1984 was unfurling before our eyes, we never really expected Animal Farm. Or, perhaps more terrifyingly, the world of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam series.

Nightmare fuel for days. Now might be a great time to remind our porcine overlords that I don’t eat pork because pigs are very smart, and as for our future robotic ones, I say, nice robot. Who’s a good boy? Niiiiiiiiiiiceeeeeeeeee robot….

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Rice salad and other random thoughts

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Ever have a phrase just pop into your head, and then you wonder if it’s a thing? In my case this morning, it’s “rice salad.” And luckily, in the age of Google, it takes only seconds to discover if it does exist. I assume it does. And involves copious amounts of mayo.

Well, I was right about the existence, not about the mayo. Here’s one from Epicurious. Don’t think I’d enjoy it, and not sure why it’s called a “salad,” but that’s another Google search.

Hang on. I don’t think I started the coffee maker. Nope, indeed I did not.

Often, when I wonder about things like rice salad, I find myself sliding down an unexpected spiral of trivia. Like why it’s called a salad. I just have to know.

Turns out “salad” finds its root in “sal” or salt, so it’s in reference to the dressing. That actually makes sense. Now normally I’d be about five articles in by now, and somewhere else entirely but hey, we were right in the middle of a conversation and that’s just rude.

Wait. Coffee’s ready. Mmm, that’s better.

Never resist the urge to answer a question, or to find out if something does exist. These little bits get tucked away, deep into the reserves of your brain, popping out exactly when they’re needed.

Even if you’re not likely to actually make a rice salad. Which I am not.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Writing tips gleaned from icy truck crashes

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Well, the promised snow arrived and we are in a definite winter wonderland here in Chicago. The most notable part: the quiet. It also brings to mind my current new TV obsession, “Highway thru Hell.”

Its jaunty title isn’t the best part, believe it or not. It’s a show about a recovery tow team in the mountains of British Columbia, and it’s the best lesson of what not to do on icy roads. Because apparently trucks flip over.

A lot.

Biggest lesson? Slow down. Most of the accidents are speed-related. Slow down.

We rush so many things in life. We rush to get through things, to get to the end of things, and with that hurry, we make mistakes. We make decisions we probably shouldn’t have made. And those decisions can change everything.

That’s true of writing. We focus on our volume, on word count, on how far we can get and how quickly; I’m guilty of this practice too. You know my favorite writing tool is the timer.

Word count is such a nice metric to follow, you can graph it easily and watch your progress, but that can lull us into the belief that the goal is the finish line, not the story itself.

Watch for ice in the road. Watch for warning signs.

And slow down.

Speed isn’t everything.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Shifting winds

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On a recent break in our usual weather, I grabbed my camera and headed outside. People were smiling and chatty, which always seems to happen when, for a brief moment, Chicago isn’t hostile and frozen and whipping you with a wind that makes you wonder if summer is nothing but a myth.

When you live in an environment where weather really dictates what you can and can’t do, sometimes you forget there is an outside.

It’s nice.

But now we’re bracing for more snow. You know what I call that.

Writing weather. So I guess there really is a season for everything.

But that seems far off. Right now I have sunshine over, hmm, kind of threatening flat gray clouds. Don’t think that sunshine will hold.

But that’s just fine. Winter will be winter, because that’s what it does. But you never know when we’ll catch a little break.

Now it’s off to make tea. I sense a change in the direction of the wind.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.