February Word Challenge, Day 14

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are kennel, denim, genius, creeper, pocket.

Chosen word for free association: creeper
unsavory dude, mechanic’s dolly

Exercise:
To Harold, “Creeper” was never an insult. It was just a nickname he got because he spent so much time under cars on his mechanic’s dolly. He even made a trucker hat that said “CREEPER” across the top. He never understood what all the chuckles were about; he just thought he made people happy whenever he came around.

When the authorities showed up at his garage to charge him with harassment, it was a complete surprise.

February Word Challenge, Day 10

There will be no February 10 entry for the February Word Challenge, because that’s the day Ed Bryant died.

There are no words.

February Word Challenge, Day 9

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are berry, mellon, whiteboard, oyster, spirit. (Interesting spelling of “mellon”; I’m sure it’s a mistake on the part of the programmer for the random word generator, rather than a reference to Andrew Mellon.)

Chosen word for free association: whiteboard
(Sorry, showing the free association would ruin the joke. 😉 )

Exercise:
Martin grew up in a typical Americana suburb, with one and a half siblings and most of a dog. His mother was a teacher, so when school was out, Martin would wait around in his mom’s classroom until she was done grading and preparing lessons for the next day, then ride home with her. She always had a sandwich waiting for him, usually bologna and mayo on crustless Rainbo bread. When he was done with his homework, he would often doodle on the dry erase boards that lined the classroom walls.

It was definitely a whiteboard and mayonnaise upbringing.

Resolute 2017

Resolute 2017
(for myself and the world in general)

Less anger
More agreement

Less bitching
More bonding

Less conflict
More cooperation

Less drinking
More dancing

Less excess
More economy

Less fighting
More fixing

Less griping
More giving

Less hate
More Haight

Less introversion
More inclusion

Less judging
More jokes

Less kicking
More kissing

Less loneliness
More love

Less madness
More music

Less negativity
More nature

Less oppression
More openness

Less politics
More poetry

Less quarrelling
More quality

Less racism
More respect

Less sexism
More sex

Less television
More time

Less ugliness
More understanding

Less violence
More victories

Less weed
More words

Less xenophobia
More xiexie

Less yammering
More yoga

Less zealousy
More zebras

— Stace Johnson, 2016

Good Riddance, 2012

Every year is a mixture of good and bad, but I’ll be particularly glad to see 2012 pass into history.

The year wasn’t all bad; we did manage to move into a house that we love, even if the circumstances forcing the move were stressful.  I started working on material for a new band with my pal Hal, and I feel like I’m growing as a musician because of it.  Most importantly, Lannette’s ovarian cancer scare at the beginning of the year turned out to be just a scare, not the real thing.

However, the year has been overshadowed by the death of my mom in March.  When family members die, I tend to grieve very slowly and it usually doesn’t hit me hard until long after they have passed.  When my brother died on January 1, 1996, I didn’t really deal with it until well into 1997, when I was able to write this poem to say goodbye to him and deal with my own guilt about pulling the plug.

When my last grandparent died (I was 12), it wasn’t until months later that I was flooded with grief and loss while sitting on the couch, watching TV.  I just suddenly started crying, scaring my parents.

I have no idea when that cathartic moment will happen in regard to my mom’s death.  I certainly miss her, and I wish she wasn’t gone, but I haven’t broken down yet.  I wish it would happen, though, because waiting for the shoe to drop is stressful, and I suspect that my state of semi-grief has affected my relationships with family, friends, and coworkers over the last few months.  My anxiety has been elevated all year, and I’m convinced that’s partially due to not having dealt with her passing yet.

Here’s hoping 2013 is a happy year for everyone, myself included.