Posted in blog challenge, humor

Prickly-Tongued Final Farewell

cat in the hatSo I guess the REAL last WordPress writing prompt is about spices and flavors and…ohmygosh…tongues. Picky tongues. What flavor could you do without?

No. Nope. Nada. Niet! Thank you though. We already wrote about flavors. And tongues…uh…mmm…no.
Instead I give you,
Slip of the tongue
Off the tongue
Hold your tongue
Bite your tongue
Tongue in cheek
Cheeky remark.
Slippery slope.
Makes me tired.
Some things are better left unsaid.

It is now June 30th and this is my last -for reals- blogaday post. Time to move on, brothers and sisters. Come by and visit sometime.

Back to work.


Posted in humor, inspirational, social commentary

To Whom it May Concern: Language Alert!

Blog Challenge /Daily Prompt. Write a “to whom it may concern” letter.

June 20, 2014

To Whom It May Concern,

Isn’t it funny that nobody uses that phrase much? Or even, who pays attention any more? I mean like…really? Have you even watched the news lately? Grammar has gone to the birds. Nobody says “whom.” Um…seriously? Where is the grammar Ann Landers when you need her?

Or, for example, witnesses tell a news reporter about a burglary: “Me and Tony were just standing there like watching and this guy just drives up in a van and um, starts taking stuff- it was like so scary.”

Another thing…the favorite new phrase everyone uses constantly is “as well.” It’s all over the place.  Now every other sentence in the news, weather reports and common conversation includes the “aw” trend.  For example, “there’s a cooling trend in the counties up north, as well.” So what’s wrong with that you ask? Nothing. My point is, why even say the phrase at all? Just say “there is a cooling trend up north.”

Here’s another: I shudder over the ridiculous word, “transparent” It rankles me silly. I just heard, “companies must be transparent.” Can anything be more ludicrous? Companies must be like Saran Wrap, or any other terms you may have learned in high school art class. What’s next? Translucent? How about opaque? It’ll be, “ Mr. Smith’s opaque answer overshadows his previous transparent statement about profit margins.”

I’m worried about our old phrases being tossed by the wayside. What happened to “get a life?” I guess everyone got over it.

Have you even noticed that NOBODY ever said “it’s huge” before the Tiger Woods scandal? Well they didn’t. You didn’t notice until I said something. Admit it. This language trends thing is huge. How cool is that?

And another thing before I get ready to close, nobody….absolutely NOBODY said “look” before President Obama started making speeches. You heard it right here, from me, little ol’ Sue Rowland pecking away at home on her PC. Check out how many people start their sentences, with “Look.” Politicians beware, you are language trendsetters. No, Anthony Weiner, we’re not talking about you. Do not say “look.” Now at least some variety is emerging with “listen.” No, Bill O’ Reilly or  Rush Limbaugh or Carl Rove, not you. Listen, just stop talking. .

A couple more:
Count how many times people say “absolutely” in one day. I mean, really, who does that?

Or how about medical terms for describing the economy? It’s time to stop the bleeding. What is up with that?

How about “a ton?” You wouldn’t pass eighth grade English, fool. Apparently, it doesn’t matter.

So, whomever ends up reading this assignment for WordPress, if you are out there, please teach more grammar and push for individuality and originality in speaking styles, as well. We should absolutely make this language awareness thing go viral and it will bring a ton of attention.

Sincerely yours,

I’m Just Getting Started in AZ

Copyright © 2014 Susan E Rowland

Posted in body image for women, inspirational, journal prompts, journaling

Bikini Bodies and My Big Ol’ Blues

Hello readers! I am so behind on WordPress assignments-and comments-so sorry! It’s great to be a part of the community. Hope you all are having a good week. I love reading all your posts.

Today’s WordPress Writing 101 assignment was to open the nearest book to page 29 and see what word jumps out.

The nearest book on the shelf as I walked into my office was a writing text recommended to me back in community college, The Fourth Genre, Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction. Page 29 is a Frank Conroy story, “Running the Table.” It’s a memoir piece on growing up in New York City and attending Stuyvesant High School. He loves the orderliness of the local pool hall because his own world is “a  tunnel of  melancholy.” But the M-word  is not the word that jumped out at me.

This is raw honesty here, folks. I turned to p. 29 and Conroy describes a cashier at the pool hall.  I know about all those types of jobs. You learn people, inside and out, doing service jobs. The sentence he used to describe the money-handler at the pool hall was: “The cashier was bald and overweight.”

It was “overweight” that jumped out at me.

I am on the chunky side. Thank you Lord, I am not bald, but I have noticed some hair thinning in the back.

Weight is the bane of American culture, and my ultra-sensitivity at sixty something is mashed every time the subject is spit out at us in the media. We are so obsessed with looks in this country. I think we are all permanently stuck in adolescence. It’s all image, looks, weight, acceptance, and….shame-based, in my opinion. Enough!

I do  try and be healthy,  but I would like to remind you, “never trust a skinny cook.” Feel me?

Coincidence on page 29? I was just writing a body image rant for my blog. I read it to my husband who said he thought it was a bit  “piercing” so I filed it. So, about the body thing: aside from a lower back problem and…knock on wood…some minor aches and pains, things are ok. My husband is a polio survivor and my granddaughter has cystic fibrosis-I’m interested in healing. I want to live a good long life. I love writing, art, peace and love. Real love. Humanitarian love. Can you dig it?

My biggest pet peeve is skinny women who write about how they have great bikini bodies and how they are cool grandmothers, never frumpy. To you all, I say, bite me. One writer had the audacity to rate another woman on a scale of 1 to 10. If I am frumpy, so be it. Rate away, b-words. I don’t use that terrible word to talk about other women, but sometimes it’s tempting. If they’re going to talk about you now, they’ll talk about you later. They will find something to pick apart about another woman like vultures on a road kill.

My response to slender tenders who need a lot of self-adoration is, well, go knock yourself out. You won’t see me in a bikini, and if I had the bathing suit body, I would not be interested in bragging about it. If it happens, you’ll be the first to know.

My point: Over 200 girls were stolen away from their schools in a foreign country. Girls are being kidnapped and sold into slavery. Boys are too. What is important is health and well-being. Ending disease and oppression. My personal weight issue is not as important as character and action.

And this all started because of page 29!

                                                     Sue dancing silly copy

                                                        Me keeping up with the moves.

Posted in disasters, journal prompts, memoir

Mistakes-Not Again!

Blog post What was a mistake you made that turned out to be a blessing? How did it change your life for the better?

Mistakes, I’ve made many, probably  invented a few. For this assignment, I’m catapulted into one of most embarrassing moments of childhood.

The girls are dressed in frilly and fluffy apparel, white socks and patent leather shoes, polished to shiny perfection. Awkward for a Saturday especially for me. We’re supposed to be riding bikes, running around the block and roller skating. Something normal. Not dancing school with Mr. Riddle’s orchestra at the Alcazar Hotel on Cedar Hill.

We arrive at the hotel in groups from car pool. I love the fancy carpets and watching  people coming and going, but there is a creep factor among the older generation. My neck feels scratchy from the dress I’m wearing. A few girls I don’t know well bump each other along as we’re herded into the elevator.  I’m nervous. The doorman closes the steely door and up we go. Suddenly the lights go out. The giggling starts, somebody elbows me hard. I start to panic, my breathing chokes. Girls scream until someone shouts “be quiet!”  For a long moment I am beset with anxiety. Then the lights are back on and the doorman makes a nonchalant comment that someone will be in trouble.

We’re ushered into the drafty dance hall with its shiny wooden floor. Metallic chairs are placed against the wall, along the sides of the great room. The cold shocks my bare legs. Girls sit on the right, boys to the left. The boys look ridiculous dressed in suits, their hair gooey with gel; they squirm uncomfortably and throw dagger looks our way.  Our parents have designs on all of us to impress the need for etiquette, to know about  proper ballroom dancing, and to prepare for future cotillions, whatever that is. My sister is nearby somewhere, but she avoids me as I’m a nuisance to the older ones.

We are learning the waltz. I love dancing but I hate these classes. There are no windows in the room. I dream of riding horses instead of rigid forced interaction with the boys, and in the company of mean girls.

Mr. Riddle announces it is girl’s choice. I go into high gear. I am not going to get stuck dancing with some yo-yo I don’t know. Panic takes over. In a hot second I see Teddy Schmidts, the kid who blushes constantly, his Nordic face flushing red in seconds. Kids tease him mercilessly in school. He has blonde eyelashes. But I know him and don’t want to be caught dead dancing with somebody unfamiliar.

So before the other girls are out of their chairs, I hurl across the shiny floor. I slip with both feet, heels suddenly off the ground, my shiny shoes up in the air as  I land on the floor with a thump.. Alone. In front of everyone. Laughter. Ears stinging.

As soon as I fall, I’m up pretending it didn’t happen. I continue the beeline towards Teddy  standing in front of him, looking at his firey blushing.  I’m burning up from the horror, still mad about the elevator, and wishing I could die right there. Surviving  the stupid dance, I vow never to return to dancing school. I long for the smell of hay and horses, my soft worn out jeans, and climbing trees.

My sister and I soon rebel against the prickly dresses, shiny  shoes, the gloves and dancing school altogether. We argue and fuss until my mother gives up on our brief stint in charm school.

Moral of the story: Dust yourself off and carry on. Be cool in social situations. Always carry a flashlight in your purse especially if you get claustrophobic in elevators. Mean girls are everywhere.

                                                                 sue not liking dancing school

Posted in humor, inspirational, journal prompts

Blog Challenge: You Win


Blog Challenge Five…or is it Four?  Write About a Loss.

How about my mind? I still have some of it, I think.

The blog challenge started Monday. Now it is almost Friday  and 100 degrees in the evening shade. It’s a TMZ teenage world…”throw shade on them.” I can’t keep up.

So, for this blog challenge thing, there was a trilogy assignment in there somewhere. I missed it because I don’t read directions. I’m one of those types who fumbles through the constructions then when it’s all in pieces I go back and recoup. If they’re in English.  And I do rely on my husband because he has a nice SLOW mind. Without him, I’m toast.

There are over 100 creative and beautiful souls in the blog challenge class, but I forgot… I don’t like challenges. I’m not sure how to navigate through it all. Everyone online now has a Phd in coding and IT. I can’t keep up no matter how many platitudes people send me or how many classes I take. I give up. You win.

And I want to add the loss of my eyesight to this assignment. How do people read all this stuff?

Can anyone tell me how to respond to over 100 people without having to hire an assistant?

One headline that flashed in my face read “Does your online presence suck?” I guess it does.

This while we are losing our elders such as Maya Angelou and the last Navajo Codetalker and Maxine Greene and people are stabbing and shooting each other  in colleges and shopping malls. You guys win. I am sure my online presence does suck and that I am not “driving traffic to my blog.”  I don’t need to herd people to my site for personal adoration.

Oooh there’s a PBS special on right now with James Taylor and Carole King. Insta-calm.

So for now, I mourn only the loss of my over-crowded head…and my simple non-IT mind.

I give you my paint. And my special LOVE ray powers.

abstract 1 like the ocean