#FridayThoughts: The tea I never made.

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First this week’s #TVWatch, “Worth a laugh!” And now Friday.

I’m tired today, and I should have fortified my writing with a cup of tea. Instead, here I am, the sky heavy and gray, as though the weight of the potential snow is bringing it all the closer to earth.

I suppose it can be pretty cozy if you look at it the right way.

But really all I can think about is how the dishwasher needs emptying and other small nagging things like that. And that tea I never made.

Though.

I could go put on the kettle.

I’m going to go put on the kettle.

The kettle is on.

It’s felt like a bit of a long week but I couldn’t even tell you why. I’m still slogging through the yoga challenge, and though identifying the reason it was difficult for me definitely helped, and I’m better able now to just be in it, I’m still not enjoying it, per se.

Maybe enjoyment isn’t everything. Maybe enjoyment should be everything.

I don’t know, I’m fresh out of answers this week, which is convenient, because I’m fresh out of blog post too.

Have a wonderful Friday and an amazing weekend.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: End of the week.

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First this week’s #TVWatch, “Murder around the world.” And now Friday.

It’s been raining a lot this week, which feels odd for January, but it’s really not the first time we’ve had warmer temperatures this time of year. Still you have to wonder which changes are permanent.

Maybe it’s the swings, like Mother Nature’s very mood is going from one extreme to the other. Who can blame her, after all we’ve done.

This week feels like one with a lot of trying, but not as many results. I suppose that’s going to happen on the way to getting things done, one way or another, and I’m not as frustrated as I could be. I count that as win.

As for the yoga challenge, it’s going. I can’t say I’m enjoying it, really, but I think that’s about my fighting myself to be present. It’s not an easy task for me at the monent.

I’ll try to finish it, just taking each day as it comes. There aren’t that many practices left at this point anyway.

So that’s it for me for this week. I hope you have a wonderful Friday and a lovely weekend.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: A dash.

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First, #TVWatch, “Free Fitness Edition?!??!” And now Friday.

It’s gray today, and I think it may rain. Or snow. Not sure how cold it is. Hmm. 30. Definitely cold enough to snow, though I’m not seeing any in the forecast.

For some reason, this week felt very long. It wasn’t just my scare on Wednesday either (it’s in the Wednesday post) but the entire week. Maybe it’s me.

Maybe it’s the weather.

But I’m hoping to get some good rest this weekend. Along with new adventures with my Cricut. I made a decal to put on my headphones case, the case was so slippery and difficult to open, and it really did the trick. Plus now it’s pretty. Bonus.

I’m going to end up with decals on EVERYTHING.

I just know it.

Aside from that, not much to report on this end of the week, this Friday the 13th, apparently. It felt like I got a lot done, but in the scheme of things now, in retrospect, I’m less sure.

Hmm.

Anyway, that’s it for me this week, have an amazing Friday and a spectacular weekend.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: A sprinkling.

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So first, #TVWatch, “Korean sampler with one of my faves!” And now on to Friday.

Yet another gray day, and I think it’s supposed to snow. Or it did snow, but only a very little, I’m not entirely sure.

Which is ironic given one of the shows in this week’s TV Watch is about weather. But I guess that’s how it goes.

We’ve reached the end of the very first week of 2023, and I am not sure what terms the year and I are on yet. I guess I’ll see as it progresses, I don’t want to try to look to far into the future. The future can be a very scary place.

But regardless, the calendar marches on, day by day, stalwart.

We’ve been watching the ridiculousness of Republicans hemming and hawing and not electing a Speaker of the House, and part of me wonders if this is all pure ego or if they’re up to something.

Are they organized enough to be up to something?

Who knows.

Meanwhile the country must stand by as they waste our time and lower the standards of our Congress. Oh joy.

Anyway that’s enough of that, and now I wish you a happy Friday and a wonderful, wonderful weekend.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: #HappyNewYear! Once again, “In with the Old”

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It’s that time again, which I’m really struggling to believe. It’s been a rough year for me and so many other people, but on we bravely go into the next one, with the eternal hope that it holds wonderful, happy, good, healthy things. Thank you for spending your time with me this year.

It’s funny, once again the numbers in the story don’t match, but hey, it’s fiction, right?

And, in what is now firmly a tradition, here is a short story from my collection, Better Living Through Gravy and Other Oddities:

In with the Old

“It’s nothing personal,” she said as kindly as she could muster, “it’s just time.”

“But I’m not nearly as used up as they said I would be,” the other one said, “not nearly at all. I’m not wrinkly, or old – I’m kind of in prime time.” She gave herself an once-over, careful not to break her bond with the contraption behind her.

“Unfortunately, we really need the machine.” She sighed and tapped her pen on her clipboard. “We only have a few more hours.”

“We?” said the woman in the machine. “We only have a few more hours? You’re going to install that thing,” she gestured with her head toward the giggling baby making faces at the man in the white coat at the other end of the room, “and go on with your routine. You think don’t have it down by now? Daily dial turnings, just one click. Then you, with that pretend-serious look, yanking that lever. You think I didn’t notice you enjoy those lever pulls? Well I did. And you do.”

“Now come on, Wanda, there’s no need to be this way. You can go out with dignity.” She shot a look across the room to her coworker. He was too enthralled with the baby to get her message for a little help.

“What am I supposed to do now? I was huge, I was everything.”

“You’re sounding like a bad movie.”

“They don’t tell you what you’re supposed to do when it’s over.” She relaxed her grip on the copper handles inside her chamber, her visible gears going slightly slack down her arm toward her shoulder, the teeth just a bit looser. The worker took that as a good sign. She quickly tamped down her encouragement, in case Wanda saw.

“There are always retrospectives,” the woman said. “You know, ‘Best ofs.’ And there’s still plenty to do in the first few months, while people are getting adjusted. You know, rent checks, 18-month calendars, that kind of thing.”

“And then what?” said Wanda. “Then what happens? Where do I go? What do I do?”

“I’m so glad you asked,” the woman said, finally able to return to her script. “You see, we have this lovely facility, all of you go there, you know, when you’re finished. Here,” she slid a glossy folded paper from beneath the clip of her board and held it toward Wanda. “There’s even a brochure.”

The pictures were bright and multicolored, with others sitting and laughing, eating, strolling by the water, the patina of their clockwork innards glinting warmly in the setting sun. It didn’t look too bad. She nearly let go of the handle to take the brochure, to open it, to see what kind of crafts there were, as promised on the cover, when she remembered.

“No,” she said.

“Wanda,” said the woman, her tone sharpening, gaining hardness around the edges, “I’m afraid you haven’t got a choice. It’s time.”

She shook her head as much as the chamber allowed, which wasn’t much. “I’m not going.”

“But what are we supposed to do with him?” She pointed her pen at the baby, who turned, stared at them and burst into a full beam, his tiny gears engaging as he reached his arms toward Wanda. “It’s his turn now. Don’t you want to give him his turn?”

Wanda closed her eyes. It wasn’t fair, she thought. It went by so quickly, her lifetime of usefulness, her purpose, and now she was supposed to retire off with the rest of them, with some anonymous body of water and a dining hall and crafts. Though crafts are nice. But still, this was her machine, it was hers.

The worker had moved away, but she could hear her talking softly, her sentences interspersed with the cluck of her two-way handheld.

“No, no, I’m telling you it didn’t work.” Something unintelligible garbled through from the other side. “No. Clamped on, completely. Like a vice.” Again, soft electronic murmuring. “It’s like Oh-Three all over again.” More garble. “What? She can’t hear me. I’m away from the chamber.” Indistinct chatter. “Fine, fine, Trinity. Like Trinity all over again.” She waited for the response. “That would probably be best.” After a long interlude of murmur, the handheld fell silent.

“Umm, Wanda?” said the worker several minutes later, the ice in her voice retreating. “I’d like you to meet someone.”

“Not interested,” she said, her eyes still closed. She knew the truth, the worker had practically said so herself, with the conversation she thought Wanda couldn’t hear. She was only a number to those people. Oh-Three indeed. “What do you call me when you’re out of the lab?” she said, her eyes still completely shut. “When you’re talking to your buddy over there at lunch or wherever it is you go?”

“Wanda,” the woman said, her discomfort obvious even to Wanda and her closed eyes.

“What do you call me? One-One?”

“Wanda, really, there’s someone here you should meet-“

“Or Eleven? Do you call me Eleven? A number to you, that’s what I am after all this time.”

“I thought she couldn’t hear,” she said to someone, though Wanda wasn’t going to bother to open her eyes to see who it was. “I swear, I wouldn’t have used the technical–“

“Technical?” said another voice, a new voice, a male voice. “Technical? Really? Is that how you’re describing it?”

“Well-“

“Her name is Wanda, you know,” he said, his tone both relaxed and oddly engaging despite the rebuke. Wanda couldn’t help herself, she opened her eyes a crack.

“I’m Oden,” he said with a half-smile. “I’d shake your hand, but I understand your position. Obviously,” he said. His gears were slightly rainbowed with a healthy dose of age. Wanda thought they made him look distinguished.

“Oden,” she said. “So I?”

“Replaced me, yes.” He took a step toward the chamber, careful to keep a distance. “Flip of the switch and it was me in there. And you over there,” he said, and smiled at the baby, a real smile, not a put-on one.

“What did you do?”

“I went,” he said. “It was time. It’s how it works, you know.”

“I know,” she said, looking at her feet, so comfortable in the only spot they’d ever known. She glanced up and met his gaze. “I know,” she said again.

“The place really looks like the brochure,” he said, offering her his hand to help her to step out. She considered it, but didn’t lessen her grip on the handle.

“What about the crafts?”

He took the hand he’d been holding out and dug into his pocket, his gears gliding smoothly along. He pulled out a wallet. “I made this,” he said. “Stitched it myself.” She took in the uneven stitches and frowned. “I’m not a very good crafter,” he added quickly, “but they are fun to try.”

“Hmm,” said Wanda. She glanced at the worker who looked at the clock on the wall and back at Wanda, her face full of cautious hope. Oden set out his hand again.

“The sunsets are every bit as pretty,” he said, “and the best part is there are no more dials, no more levers. No more chamber.”

“But I like the chamber,” she said, scooting back to be further back within it.

“You like the chamber,” he said, “because all you know is the chamber. Take a leap.”

“No, no,” said the worker, “that’s him.” She pointed at the baby.

“You understand you’re not helping the situation?” Oden asked her.

“I do, yes, realize that now.”

“So what do you say, Wanda?”

She gave her chamber and the lab a final look over. She could probably make a better wallet. She could certainly make a better wallet. Maybe they’ll have pottery. Slowly, she released first her right hand and then her left, and placed it in Oden’s outstretched palm. The machine beeped behind her while the worker anxiously watched the clock, the man with the baby leaning, ready to place him.

She stepped out of the machine.

The woman grasped a crank on the side of the box and turned it furiously so that the chamber got smaller and smaller and the arms shorter and shorter. The man, watching the clock rather than her or the baby, placed the baby where she had been moments before but where she would never fit now. The baby giggled.

Without looking back, Wanda took Oden’s arm, and together, they headed toward the door. They reached it and disappeared into the flash of sudden white light.

The worker leaned against the machine, her hands shaking. “Happy New Year, everyone,” she said weakly.


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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: Many different thoughts.

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First, #TVWatch, “Wednesday for Friday.” And now Friday for Friday.

It’s snowing, actual real snow, the kind that is piling up on the ground. So far it doesn’t look deep but I’m not sure how long it will continue.

This morning I discovered I had no voice. I’ve had a headache on and off, which isn’t unusual for me, and I’ve been kind of tired and draggy, but otherwise I haven’t really had any symptoms. So who knows.

There are many, many bugs going around.

Apparently one of them found me. Fun times. Who knows, maybe my voice will just recover and I’ll be fine. That happens, right?

Sure.

So yesterday twitter purged a whole bunch of journalists from the platform. The total demise doesn’t seem that far off.

It’s hard to believe that a whole vehicle democracy could be destroyed in weeks for a heap of money, but that’s the world we live in now. It should have been regulated like a utility.

Perhaps that’s the future of social media.

But I’m on Post, which is my likely new home when Twitter goes. I haven’t left it, but I’m not sure it will still be there to use.

And on that note, I will wish you a great Friday and a wonderful weekend. That’s it for the week.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: Wintry

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First, #TVWatch! This week, “What’s wrong with happy?”

And now on to Friday. The image for the TV watch was generated using craiyon.com, the fully free mini version of DALL-E, that AI drawing software. I think I’m having too much fun with the whole AI drawing thing.

Let’s be honest, a human artist could have done far better and likely executed what I had in mind, only through their talent lens which would make what I thought better. But it’s still quirky and amusing, I think.

Much like me, I think.

Anyway, it’s been snowing and raining, though I think more snow than rain. I couldn’t tell you what it’s doing now, but the ground is wet and it looks miserable.

Which is fitting.

We’re all the way at Friday again, somehow, in a year that is rapidly sliding away. I will never get used to it.

And then it will be next year.

Time’s a jerk.

Anyway that’s it for me this week, have an amazing Friday and the best weekend.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: Robot revolution.

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First, #TVWatch,”Stellar panels.” And now on to Friday.

It’s sunny and cold and I guess that’s where we’ll be for a while. It is, believe it or not, December after all.

The other day, I played around with that DALL-E system that translates words into images, and it’s the most addictive thing. I’m trying to stay within the free credit limit, but I could see spending actual money on it, the results are both incredible and often hilarious.

It’s weird though, I don’t see how it could replace a real artist, it just puts things together it thinks fit the description, but it doesn’t really know. And it shows the limits and biases of humans. Try as I might to get a pretty mermaid with light brown skin and blue eyes–specifically for a friend with light brown skin and blue eyes–it wouldn’t quite go there. The mermaid wouldn’t smile, or the skin was absolutely not the least brown, or the eyes weren’t blue.

Is it because of the reference images it uses? Because of the way it’s programmed to take in those terms?

I really don’t know.

But it’s an incredible advancement. A largely limited incredible advancement. At least for now.

Of course I could tell a human artist what I wanted and I wouldn’t have those issues. The images would likely have more depth too. The AI art doesn’t have soul but it has the imitation of soul.

If you know what I mean.

Anyway, that’s it for me this week. Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: And that’s done.

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First, #TVWatch, “End to me.” This one is full of spoilers for the final season of Dead to Me so if you haven’t watched and want to be surprised, wait until you have!

And now Friday.

Well, that’s Thanksgiving in the books. It was actually a more pleasant day than I expected, between the cooking and the Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving episode marathon I coerced my dad into watching. The food turned out well, the dessert was amazing, and we made it through.

I guess the weird part is not being entirely sure if it’s our first Thanksgiving without my mom or our second. Last year she was in the hospital, unable to speak. I think she’d been placed back on the ventilator at that point, which, in retrospect, may have been avoidable but for the rehab place.

She was still there but also not there,

This year she was not there, but also everywhere.

Weird times.

But now it’s the Friday after, and though it’s Black Friday I don’t really see the need to buy anything. Maybe there will be an ad to entice me, but the deals don’t seem very deal-y. It’s not bad to consume less.

That’s what I should have told myself yesterday before I ate myself into snake-swallowing-an-alligator territory.

Anyway, that’s it for me this week. I hope you have a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.

#FridayThoughts: Haven’t been my favorite

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It’s FRIDAY! So #TVWatch this week is Thanksgiving-themed, and I’ve ranked the Bob’s Burgers holiday eps in order of my favorites here in “Thrill the turkey.”

And now Friday.

Twitter seems to be on the thinnest of ice. I haven’t made a definitive move to another platform, I’ll hang with Twitter until there’s no Twitter, I think, but after that, I will make sure you can still find me on other platforms. And of course I’m always here.

Well not always, that just made me picture myself hanging around the blog, waiting. A funny head image.

When I started writing this morning, the sky was low with heavy, dark clouds but now that I look up from the screen, it’s pretty sunny. There are still clouds, but who knows if they are serious about it.

It’s been a very volatile week and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to calm down soon. Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed the leadership torch to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the perfect person for the job; Twitter seems to be going the way of the dodos because of one particular dodo, though who knows if it’s accidental;nand Republicans somehow solved all the problems they kept bleating about before the election because now their only issue is Hunter Biden’s laptop.

So.

And I have to say without reservation the last few years haven’t been my favorite. It’s amazing how much people you’ve never met can impact your life, both for the bad and for the good.

That’s it for me this week, I hope you have a good Friday and a great weekend. I’ll still be here Monday even if Twitter isn’t there.

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 quick and weird and FREE!
Peruse Montraps Publishing
See what I’m writing on Medium.