Sunday, May 31, 2015

Celebrating Anniversaries

R.a.n.t. of week 05/31/15
One of the things I don't do frequently, now that I'm divorced, is celebrate anniversaries."Well, duh!" I hear you say. "Obviously you don't celebrate your anniversary any more". But what you may forget, there are other anniversaries which can be celebrated. For example, sending an anniversary gift to a sibling on their anniversary. Or possibly your parents, or children. Ahh, those are the anniversaries I must be talking about then, right?

Wrong. You were correct the first time. I was talking about my anniversary. Or to be more precise, the anniversary I celebrate for my writing.

July is fast approaching and I have always considered it my anniversary month for writing. Back in 1984, (please don't decipher how long ago that was), I began writing in a personal journal. I've been writing ever since. But for years, I've failed to make note of it. I want to get back into recognizing that. Since it's an anniversary for my writing, I want to celebrate with writing.

Two years ago, I asked friends to send in a short one paragraph rant based on a few simple selections. Oddly, I forgot to do that last year. (See how this ties in with the first sentence of the r.a.n.t.)? So as not to forget this year, I'm putting word out. I'm looking for guest bloggers for a special one year anniversary r.a.n.t. I'd like to put together. The first anniversary r.a.n.t. can be found HERE and will give you an idea of what I'm looking for.

Requirements - Essentially, I'm looking for a short one paragraph, family friendly rant based on one of the following categories (or something similar).

Business: Is there a corporation that drives you bananas for some reason?
Boots Pharmacy? McDonald's? Ikea? BBC? CBS? Something else? What upsets you about it?
Closed - Already Claimed

Film and/or Television: Do you have a favourite film or television show that for some reason still annoys you?

Food: Is there a product in the store you find ridiculous? Do you have an odd food allergy? Do you hate when people eat crispy food around you with an open mouth?

Games: Board games, card games, party games, video games. Which do you enjoy? What do you dislike about them? 

Hobbies: What's your favourite hobby? Cross-Stitch? Writing? Gardening? Restoring classic cars? What is the most difficult thing about your hobby?

Music: No matter what music we listen to, there is always one genre that doesn't agree with us. What is yours and why? Have you ever purchased a CD you thought you were going to enjoy, and hated it?
Closed - Already claimed

Sports: What Do you find an American football rule complicated to follow? Do you hate when people call football, soccer? Are you disgruntled there are not enough pub dart leagues? Are there too many baseball games played in the course of the season? Too few? Should cricket be more well-known in America?

Travel: Are there too many tourists in London? Do long layovers in airports enrage you? Is it annoying that travel to Antarctica isn't easier or cheaper?

World News: What are the royal family up to and should we care? Should Paris remove the locks of love from Pont des Arts? Is shaming smokers on the internet a step to far in Beijing? Is the Isle of Man TT too dangerous for spectators?
Closed - Already Claimed

Above are a few sample topics and questions to rant about. If you are willing to participate, please let me know in the comments with a subject and question you'd like to tackle. A short paragraph only should be presented. Paragraphs should be fluff, light-hearted or humorous if at all possible. Contributors receive recognition and a link to their blog. Unless of course they wish to remain unanimous for whatever reason. Anniversary rant will be published the first week of July.

Deadline for submission is 26 July. The article will be posted the last Sunday (or Monday) of July.
For further information, you can email my gmail account at: jeffreysg
Or contact me at my Facebook Page HERE

Monday, May 25, 2015


R.a.n.t. for week of 05/24/15
Every year I have the same desire. Or to be more precise, every month or so I have the same desire. The desire to take off and go somewhere. Having lived in the same city for over forty years, there is precious little for me to discover.

But it's not only discovering something new, it's seeing something new. Finding a new favourite place to visit. Meeting new people, doing something (anything) new. It's why I love to travel to foreign countries so much. The second you step into a new country, you are immediately immersed in new sights, sounds, smells and experiences. It can be quite exhilarating.

Also I don't always have to visit a country I've never been to. Returning to England or Ireland every few years is always a new experience. Having been to London on two separate occasions, I recall how each visit was entirely different. So again, the same feeling is returning. The feeling to fly away. Where will I go? When will I go? Time can only tell. But I hope it's soon. My lust for wandering is growing increasingly with each passing day.

Questions for discussion:
How often do you go no holiday?
How often would you travel if you could?
Where's the most interesting place you've been?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pizza Crazy

Doe Do likes pizza
very much.
If you see her pie,
then do not touch.

Pile it high with
extra cheese.
Set the oven
to 350 degrees.

I see her pace
and check the time.
If you steal,
it is a crime.

From the oven
it is drawn.
When Doe Do eats,
it's already gone.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Where Is Everybody In France

R.a.n.t. for week 05/17/15
Now that the April A-Z blogging challenge has come to a successful conclusion, I've suddenly found other duties I need to catch up on. This, coupled with the fact I've had a house guest the past week, I have found little time to work on writing. Fortunately, Muriel, a blogger at French Yummy Mummy has agreed to guest this week. If you enjoy her article, make sure you stop by her own blog and say hi. Take it away Muriel.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Everybody knows that we French take a whole month off in August. But what you probably don’t know is that it is simply impossible to do any sort of business in France in May. Take my word for it: don’t even try. Why? Because we have at least four Bank holidays and, in my home country, Bank holidays don’t necessarily fall on a Monday. It can be any day.
If you don’t believe it, here is a quick recap of all the days off in France this month:
– 1st of May (A Friday this year)
– 8th of May (A Friday this year)
– 14th of May (A Thursday. This means that most French will ‘make the bridge’ and take Friday off as well. Don’t even try to call anyone in France today).
– 25th of May (A Monday this time)

This basically means that 5 days are off, and I have to do the same amount of work when all of France seems to be enjoying the sun somewhere nice (while it is grey or pouring in London, if you must know). My French friends and family don’t understand what the fuss is all about. They feel that they are entitled to the additional time. This Gallic sense of entitlement is driving me mad.

In fact, I must admit that I am fuming. Because of the various days off, bridges, and so on, and so forth, half of my clients (I have a small business in France) simply forgot to pay their invoices. Now that I am British too, I believe that there is such a thing as too much vacation. The excuses I got were simply priceless. Here are a few:

”But it’s a Bank holiday”
Maybe. But you see, my own bank didn’t forget me. How do I repay the loan if I am not paid?

“But my bank is closed today..”
Haven’t you heard of automatic transfer services?

”But I promise you, I am not a thief!”
Well why don’t you just pay then?

”Sorry, we went to Italy for a break”
Lucky you.

”Because of the Bank holidays we don’t know when we will be able to pay you.”
Right. I am losing fast my sense of humour here. Notice served.

It felt a bit like talking to a wall. They didn’t understand where I was coming from. I am feeling very British right now. So British that I am seriously considering selling the whole thing and investing somewhere else. I can’t put up with such attitudes any more. And life is too short, right? I told you, I am angry.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Muriel (pronounced MuriEL, not
MEWriel). is a French native
currently residing in London. She
is a recent collumnist for a popular
relationship website and maintians
her own personal blog:
French Yummy Mummy

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Catching Zzzz's

R.a.n.t. for week of 05/10/15
I've been doing a lot of volunteer work on the weekends lately. I say a lot, it's more like seven hours. For three and a half hours on Saturday morning and three and a half hours on Sunday morning I've been volunteering my time at the recent renovation project for security. The trick is, the hours I signed up for are 3:00am till 6:30am. This means, my entire sleeping schedule is out of whack.

I'm a person who normally doesn't sleep much, and not at all during the day. I have tried several times after my shift to get a few extra hours of shut-eye but it doesn't work.Why do I volunteer at such an odd time? Mostly because others won't do it and I don't mind the quiet time. (Like I don't get enough living alone). A few remedies I've tried is getting to bed earlier, or taking some form of sleep aid. The results are not the best and whatever I do, I still feel tired the rest of the weekend. I suppose I could let them find someone else for that time slot for a week or two, but nah. Not me. I like to help out where I can. And it's sort of challenging, and I love challenges. Besides, I think I'm finally starting to catch up on my....... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Questions for discussion:
Are you a light sleeper?
Can you fall asleep at the drop of a hat?
What's the longest you've ever stayed up?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Reflections from A to Z

R.a.n.t. for week of 05/03/15
Now that April has passed, I can go back to my regular schedule of away on a weekly basis. It also means I will begin working on my short story collection again. Does that mean more work for me or less? Your guess is as good as mine. But it is good to reflect on the previous month, so I'll incorporate that as my r.a.n.t. for the week because working on this project has given me plenty to complain about. Well, not really, it's actually given me more to appreciate. With a few small complains.

First the appreciation. April was a great month because I had many visitors. I love writing, but I love writing more when it's appreciated. In April I also received the highest amount of traffic ever (if you discount the two months I was being spammed). Also, instead of receiving a stray comment from time to time, I received daily comments. For a writer such as myself, it means a lot. It felt like my writing was finally being appreciated. On top of all that, I discovered many great blogs and bloggers. The various topics amazed me. Anything from Cornwall to Outer-space were discussed. Tales of the Twilight Zone or a brave lizard were related. Writers gave helpful writing tips, or discussed motorcycle trips. Some wonderful information about Florida was presented and some not so wonderful disasters were described. Musical info and movies to watch. Yes, I think there was a fantastic assortment of things to read about this month. I enjoyed it, did you?

As for things to r.a.n.t. about, I will always find something. It's what I do. There were so many participants, I was not able to find time to visit everyone. I really would have liked to do that, and if I had the time, I would. Some of the blog postings were quite long, but I can't really point the finger at anyone because there would be three more pointing back at me. I tend to go on, if you couldn't tell from this post. Finding the blogs of others who visited me was sometimes nerve racking when they used Google+ to comment, but never posted links to their blog in Google+. It baffled me. Also, I found myself visiting more blogs where the blogger replied to comments or visited my blog. There where a few I visited and I didn't feel welcome so I didn't go back again.

But this was my first year. I learned a few things. I learned I was probably at fault for using Google+ to post comments. I would always forget to check boxes giving me the option to sign comments using my name and blogger page. I also discovered I didn't visit many people at first, even when they left comments. I shall endeavour to do better next year. What next year? Yes, I shall be back. I did it this year, and I can do it again next year. Maybe utilizing a few of my blogs. So, in closing, I had lots of fun. So glad for the people I met and I hope we continue to be blogging pals.

Now for a few honourable mentions.
Chrys Fey - I actually found her blog before the whole April challenge started. To be honest, if it were not for her banners posting the challenge, I would never have know about it or participated. Additionally, she stopped by every single day, left comments and replied to all the comments I left on hers. And I have a bad habit of leaving long comments, so props to her for putting up with all my nonsense and Titanic chatter. (Well, at least we didn't die on the Titanic).

Spacerguy - Besides being a Star Trek guy with a great blog, once he found my blog, he stayed through till the letter Z. And that's a challenge, I know. I posted some out of control posts. But that's me. He saw through my spoof posting. In case anyone else missed it, Spatula City is not a real store. It was a humorous parody and the tags listed that. Again, thanks for visiting!

Alex J. Cavanaugh - I guess we all know who this guy is. I was honoured he came, he read, he commented right up till the final letter. How does he do it? His postings each day were such fun. How was he able to find such diversity for each letter every day? I'm just amazed.

Additional visitors stopping by were Roy, Lisa, Jennifer, Tammy, Hilary, Arlee, Bish, Liesel, Stephanie, Kim, Mary,, Stephen, Bob and Hannah. They all stopped by frequently and left comments. I appreciated every single one. I truly wish I had time to go on about how much I loved visiting their blogs.

28 other bloggers also stopped in to say hi as well. In total, 45 people visited and were kind enough to leave a comment. I tried to return to every blog, but as I said above, I think I fell short. I shall rectify that in the next few weeks. A total of 173 comments were left during the month. I know some bloggers receive that in a single day, but coming from my world where receiving five comments a month was about it, it was a big deal.

In closing. I had a lot of fun this month. I found other bloggers I can connect with and believe I found a few more people I can rant away too. I'll see you next year. Or, the next time I stop over to your blog for a visit.