I grew up in an upper-middle-class slash upper-class northern suburb of Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s. I was odd as a kid. However, I was with the same group of kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, so I avoided the mess that middle school can be for many odd kids. I wasn’t weird, I was just Jack, as far as my elementary school classmates were concerned. Then high school came along, and a huge school full of strangers, and suddenly I was weird, and wrong, in so many of my choices and the way I talked about things and…
Louise Foerster posted a nice piece of short fiction about meeting cute. Well, actually, it’s more about not meeting cute:
And then (while reading this on our backyard porch where I can watch the bird feeders) I saw a blue jay take a big piece of suet in its beak and fly to the nearby cherry tree, where another jay was sitting. Jay1 offered the suet chunk to Jay2, who accepted it. Awww, thought I, I haven’t seen this sort of courtship between blue jays!¹ How sweet!
So then Jay1 flies back to the suet, gets another chunk, returns to…
As the last chime of midnight faded away, the ghost appeared in the same spot as the night before. From where she sat, Ellie could see the flickering flames of the fireplace through the wraith’s phantasmal gown, but the phantom’s face, worn and etched with the years that had prevailed in it before her death, shown with an ethereal light that needed no additional illumination.
Which was good, because Ellie had turned off the bedroom lights just before 11:59 PM.
Meeting her gaze and peering intently, the ghost spoke with the same low-but-feminine voice that had sent shivers down Ellie’s…
My wife and I like to watch television shows most nights. Usually British mysteries, which tend to be very character-driven. Often, we will be talking to the characters on TV—”Call for backup, you idiot!” “No, stupid, she WANTS you to go in there after her!” “How can you not just walk over there and hug him? The poor guy is so miserable!”
ME: Do you ever feel sometimes, looking back on episodes in your life, like if you had been watching them on the screen you’d be shouting, “No no no, that’s a clue, don’t ignore it!” Or, “get out…
Home is where…
Home is where?
Home is mine
Home is my place
Home is my bed, my furniture, my shelves, my books
Home is my walls, my artwork, my stuff
Home is my hole I go to
Home is my safe place
“Going home for the holidays?”
stopped making sense because
I went home every day, basically…
Oh, there was my parents’ home, sure, but
not my bed
not my room
not my home
not for years, for years and years
And then my home was gone
Home is where…
Home is where she is
Home is ours
We had booked an Alaska cruise for our 20th anniversary in 2020. Then rebooked for 2021 when 2020 got cancelled. And have re-rebooked for 2022 because Canada still isn’t letting us in. So we’re watching cruise-related news.
ME: So Florida is suing the CDC to stop the rules that cruise lines have to follow before they can start taking on passengers from American ports. Or, more specifically from Florida’s point of view, Florida cruise terminals in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and other parts of the state.
DEB: That’s got to be millions of tourist dollars—
ME: Billions, it says here.
So Aimée Gramblin wrote about how she got to be back with her best friend after way too long socially-distanced:
[CAUTION: EXPLICIT HUGGING! Oh, you already clicked through? Sorry, never mind.]
Deb has been experiencing some of the same feeling since yesterday, when we got to meet her best buddy Nancy and Nancy’s husband, Alex, after a long, long time with only phone calls, plus a few masked and distant and in-the-porch-with-all-the-windows-open visits last summer.
DEB: Oh honey, thank you! Thank you so much!
ME: You’re welcome! (pause) For… what exactly? I didn’t even make dinner.
We ordered out for…
CAUTION: Explicit normal products of everyday bodily functions mentioned below. Read at own risk.
Several years ago my wife came home with a suggestion: pour dishwashing liquid down the toilet before flushing. It had been suggested by someone at work when the office toilet had backed up; she tried it (the office kitchenette area had soap) and it worked!
We’ve been doing this for years now (to the point that we have dishwashing soap under the three bathroom sinks on a permanent basis as well as under the kitchen sink) and I have saved untold hours of effort in plunging…
Aditi Balaji published a piece that cast a critical eye on surprise marriage proposals:
Aditi made many very good points (I agreed with them, in other words). For one thing, people entering into marriage should have discussed it before they start picking out engagement rings. (Including things like: do we pick out an engagement ring? Or use the money for a down payment on a home?) Aditi and her partner decided on things like no engagement rings, what kind of place they’d move into, and how they’d merge their finances (they even did spreadsheets¹).
I’ve been married twice, but neither…
Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.