Friday, November 30, 2018

JulieR, Days 28 / 29 / 30 -- Walter, the time traveling cat

(This is completely unedited! There might be big typos but I want to post this today, and I have plans tonight.) I am going to post the whole thing, even though it is three days worth of entries, 1092 words. The formatting might go weird when I post it. (It did once before, when I left spaces between paragraphs, as I have with this one.) If there are big gaps, keep scrolling down until you get to "THE END." (If you want the whole story, that is . . . )
Sometimes when I want to get an idea for what to write about, I stick words into the "search" option in my e-mail account, and see what pops up. (This feature pulls up e-mails I've sent, e-mails I've received, and even draft e-mails; and I use my draft e-mail folder for a variety of purposes, so there are a lot of draft e-mails. Currently, 5,286.) 

Tonight I decided to do a search to see if I might have any e-mails in there, which contain the words "toothbrush", "cat", and "cheese." I was not disappointed! Thirteen e-mails popped up, which contain the words toothbrush, cat, and cheese. (Try this on your own sent/draft/received e-mails! You might be surprised!) 

Some of these, of course, might be related. (I haven't looked at them yet.) I am darn curious, though, to see in context the toothbrush, cat, and cheese might be related. 

The oldest two seem to be related; I can tell by the title that both are lists of things to bring along, when going on a trip in our van. (I can see bringing toothbrushes on a trip. The cheese makes sense, too. But what about the cat? We don't have a cat, and even if we did, it wouldn't make sense to bring one on a trip.) I'll take a look now, and see what's up with the cat. 

The thing that seems most obvious is that I used these words while making a list of items I wanted to travel with, while going for a trip in our van. (They are in a document called "Van Travel List.") I tried with two computers, to open that old file; (neither worked!) I am sure it is possible to figure out a way to open it, but . . . (because it doesn't seem to be working out for me, right now), I am just going to spend a little bit of time imagining what it would be like, to take a trip. (In a van.) With a cat. And a toothbrush. (And some cheese.) (I'm not sure how this is going to turn out.) All I know is that I am hoping to write at least 700 total (including what I have already written), about what it would be like to take a trip with a cat and a toothbrush and some cheese. (1,050 words would be even better. I'm working with a deadline here, and if I can stretch this piece to 1,050 words, I will have been granted SUCCESS!) So far I am only at 421 words. (That's a little disappointing; I thought it would be more. But I am going to keep on trekking.)

First of all, I have no idea what kind of cheese. Because I am writing this, I guess I get to choose the cheese. Because this is imaginary, I don't have to be impacted by real-word constraints. (In other words, I can feel perfectly at ease, choose a cheese I would not be able to eat in real life.) In other words, I am going to bring (on this imaginary trip, in my van), PARMESAN and FONTINA. (I haven't had those two, for ages.) I am going to make a delightful alfredo sauce. (I will also need cream cheese. As far as I know, there is no limit on the number of kinds of cheese I can bring on this trip. So we're good.) (572 words. We're getting there.) I will bring some peppers, (red bell peppers), sweet onions, and some sort of noodles, (I haven't decided which kind yet . . . I just had to decide on the cheese, I don't want to do too many decisions here; maybe some nice fettucine would be good, though.) Or those noodles that are called "orecchiette" -- (doesn't that mean "little ears" -- ?) (I think they look more like little spaceships, though.) YES. That is the kind of noodles, (pasta), I want to bring, to go with my alfredo sauce (made with parmesan, fontina, and cream cheese). Now, about that cat . . . 

It's been a long time since I've had a cat. It's been a long time since I've even thought about having a cat. (So it seems strange that I'll be bringing one on this trip, but I'll roll with it.) I guess it's an orange cat, a fluffy orange cat named . . . Walter. (I picked that name because I noticed it in my phone today. I was looking at a list of items my daughter and her friend used, to make a swimming pool in our yard, last summer. On the list was "Walter" . . . but I am pretty sure that was supposed to say "water.") For some reason (794 words, by the way), my phone did that funny autocorrect. (It seemed really odd to me, that the phone would choose "Walter" over water, because I don't think I have ever written the word "Walter" in my phone.) In fact, I don't think I have ever known anyone named Walter. (Sidenote: if your name is Walter, and you are reading this story or listening to this story, and I know you, then . . . YES -- I do know a Walter! I am adding that correction, just in case.) And now I have a cat named Walter . . . 

A cat named Walter, sleeping in my van, (cats often sleep, so it seems appropriate to say that Walter is sleeping), on this imaginary trip I am describing. With cheese. And . . . 

A toothbrush? (Well, that's a pretty normal thing to bring on a trip. I mean, I want clean teeth, right?) But maybe this is not an ordinary toothbrush. 

This is a magic toothbrush.
(963 words! I am very close!) 
What kind of magic does this toothbrush do?
(Hmmmmm . . . )
This is an imaginary trip, (so I can make the toothbrush do any kind of magic I want the toothbrush to do), and I want . . . 

. . . I want my van to FLY. I also want it to be able to go from point A to point B in a matter of one second. (The toothbrush is programable. You can enter your desired destination, and press a button, and you are there. 
It's also a magic toothbrush that turns my van into a time machine. (Why not dream big?) 
Walter, the time traveling cat. 
(And we have plenty of cheese.)
(This is going to be good!)
(1092 words. I made it!) 
(Wishing everyone a Happy December!)

JVF 28-30 The Photograph [1841/1800]

My childhood sweetheart was fascinated with pinhole cameras. He would fashion one out of anything––an empty milk carton, a shoe box, even a small empty raisin container once. With the slightest of hand he would lift a flap that allowed only the smallest fraction of light to touch the delicate innards. This somehow resulted in capturing the image in the moment we were currently in. I took it all in as though it were some kind of magic.

JVF Day 26-27 The Newspaper [900/1800]

We ambled our way down the aisles of the race track like we were headed to some velvet roped-off private box seats, when really we were just heading to two adjacent metal fold-downs, the ground below them paved with sunflower seeds.

JVF Day 25: S [422/1800]

Sometimes in my recollections her eyes were brown, a crackling brown, like a pile of oak logs that had already lit, the embers already multiplying beneath it. This created the illusion of dimension, of light hidden behind darkness.

JulieR, Days 26 / 27 -- Train Travel Musings

I wrote 734 words related to the idea of traveling by train -- (something I've never done, but I like to think about someday traveling by train!) Here's an excerpt. (This entry counts for two days . . . )
I've even daydreamed about how one would cook, while on a train, if one didn't want to purchase restaurant food -- (I rarely do). A camp stove would be out of the question, (right?) -- (it would be too obvious). But what about a travel iron? A travel iron is basically a small thing that gets hot, right? So why can't that be used to cook with . . . on a train . . . (somewhat covertly, if need be). I'm thinking grilled cheese. I'm thinking quesadillas. (I confess: I've begun practicing using a hot travel iron for cooking purposes.) And I have other options. They must have boiling water, (on the train), for the people who want tea. There are instant soups. There are instant black beans. (And I've thought of endless cold fixin's which I could pack in a cooler.) 

JulieR, Days 24 / 25 -- (I'm sorry I can't show you the secret mashed potato recipe) . . .

I wrote a piece which has a recipe for mashed potatoes in it, but it's a top-secret recipe, (I don't want to put it on the internet) . . . so I'm sorry I can't tell you more. (You know that they say: "If I told you . . . ") I can tell you one of the special ingredients (in the secret mashed potatoes) . . . PAPRIKA. (I felt like I needed to at least tell you something! Even just a small hint.) Have a great day, everyone. (P.S. The mashed potato recipe is 813 words, so I'm counting this for two days here.) 

SamA: Day 30: accessibility

goal: 350
total: 596

You don’t have to like everything you do. It is when you are doing something you dislike for the majority of your day that it starts to become a problem. There is an itching and stalling that starts to take place. The second hand of the clock gets louder and louder until it is all your brain can here and your thoughts are only thoughts about how abnormally loud everything is starting to feel. You start to think about that thing that you dislike and how it is eating the majority of your day, even eating into the amount of time you are able to sleep. You think, maybe, there is some sense in relaxing in spite of it all, but it is hard to relax when the second hand is louder than you ever thought it could be. How did that happen? Is there a way to start liking what you dislike? Can you minimize the pain or talk yourself out of it? Maybe…temporarily. Torture is still torture even if you are pretending it is a temporary game. That’s what I think about as Sara drives me back to the hotel. That is what I think about as I try to breathe deep enough to start making the solid choice of returning home. Soon. That I will see my family again soon, but filling my day with something I like…more of enjoyment and less of misery is the task I am facing. It is what is keeping me in the mud frozen instead of leading myself through the doors, open. 

Christine and Sara sat in silence for the last 15 miles. Sara made a judgment that what Christine did was selfish and they both felt bad about hearing and admitting that it was true. They both turned the idea over in their heads again and again trying to question the value of being selfish. Of course there has to be a degree of greediness to take care of oneself. There has to be a degree of focusing on caring for yourself, to be able to exist in this world of excess. It couldn’t be that being selfish was all that unreasonable, every once and a while. However, there is still the obvious side of the coin that it is unreasonable to be selfish. There is still the thick black truth that walking away and not communicating is a pain and convinces that is far too acceptable and accessible in the modern age of smart phones. It is far to easy to ignore messages. It is far too easy to feel hurt by slow responses. The age of letters you just put the feelings out there and hope it reaches the right eyes someday. Now we know the message was received and ignored. Now we know were overly stimulated and don’t know how to respond to anything anymore. That straightforward reactions don’t’ feel as easy as they used to. This thinking also reminded them both that Christine still never got a replacement cell phone. Is it too late for that? Should they consider it? Maybe its best to see how much longer she can go without that type of contact. Maybe we could all try to go longer without virtual accessibility. 

Christine smiled at Sara as the car slowed back to the parking spot in front of the dragon fly room. Sara smiled back. They let their palms touch. Then their foreheads. 

I love you and you are going to be okay. 

I will see you again soon. Thank you for everything. 

Of course. Good luck!