Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Something New

At times I long for something new.
As a vagabond I'd love to dabble,
with exotic lands to wander through.

That's why I often seek to travel.
Visit wondrous shores so very far.
Stroll barefoot on North Sea gravel.

Or one day soon see Myanmar,
the stunning Padauk golden flower,
shop for spice in a Yangon bazaar.

Experience rain of a tropical shower,
photograph a troop of kangaroo,
see the view from Skytree Tower.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Never Seen It, Never Done It, Never Bought the T-Shirt

R.a.n.t. of week 02/22/15
I talked a few weeks ago about being put in a box. I dislike being put in a box because I'm more than what I appear and have many interests. Certainly more than some of my family and friends seem to know. I recall one friend finding it odd I was in love with demolition derbies because I've never appeared to be an auto lover. A few times this has even happened to me and various members of my family. Do people naturally assume someone is uninterested because they never discuss it? The point is, I can have an interest even if I don't mention it. There can be various reasons for this, but the main reason is I never find an opening to discuss the particular subject. And even if I have an interest, I may not go when there is an event focusing on the subject. I find myself missing out on these events because I'm a person who does not like doing things alone. Yes, this surprises some people because I've travelled to Europe alone. But Europe is an exception rather than the rule. And when I hear people talking of their favourite restaurants they are surprised when I say I've never been there. It doesn't mean I don't have an interest in the restaurant, I just don't like going to restaurants alone. Same as with going to, say, an auto show. Though I'm sure I'd enjoy going, invariably I find going alone is never as much fun as when going with someone. The second time I went to Europe, I went with a friend. Some of my favourite times are reliving the experiences with him. I have no one I can be nostalgic with regarding my first trip. Because I went alone. Perhaps next time I talk with my friend about our trip, I'll bring up a few things I did on my trip and pass it off as something we both did. I'll just blame his memory when he doesn't recall going to the top of the Eiffel Tower with me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


When I use the word 'about',
I get enraged and want to shout.
Or when describing, I say 'very',
but it's a word I long to bury.
Certain words I use 'a lot',
but usually best if they're forgot.
My brain will often sneak in 'that'.
Taunting me, it's such a brat.
And umpteen times I see 'just',
another word I do not trust.
This problem I have always 'had',
but correcting makes my readers glad.
Yes, now you know what I 'think',
laziness makes my writing stink.
I edit tedious words like 'really',
And let creativity flow more freely.
Clarifying what I 'began',
Editing is a constant plan.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

R.A.N.T. About A Lot of Very Bad Words That I Kind Of Just Really Hate When Editing

R.a.n.t. of week 02/15/15
Almost 30 years ago I wrote a short story series. The story consisted of two parts of four stories each. Recently, I've been thinking of the story and reread it. I was horrified when I realized how much editing work needs to be done. The writing was far from concise and even simple sentences were horrific run-ons. So this week, I've compiled a top 10 list of words I keep an eye on when doing my editing work. Do you find yourself overusing any of these words? Are there different words on your editing list?

Problem: This is a word I frequently over use resulting in sloppy, lazy writing.
Example 1 - Erick said, "What are you talking about? That never happened."
Example 2 - "I thought about how excited you were to get that assignment." Vicki replied.

Solution: Perhaps they can be written this way.
Example 1 - Erick says, "I don't understand. When did that happen?"
Example 2 - "I suddenly realized how excited you were to get the assignment," Vicki replied.

This is a very bad word that is very much over used. I hate it very much. Very sloppy and unimaginative.
Example 1 - "It's just another computer." Kenny replies not very impressed.
Example 2 - "She wasn't very happy when I originally told her I wanted to join the newspaper team."

Deleting the word forces a more creative way of expressing my thoughts.
Example 1 - "It's another computer," Kenny says unimpressed.
Example 2 - "She wasn't enthusiastic when I told her I was joining the newspaper.

What does a lot mean? (Also notice it's two words). Is a lot of pennies in a dollar the same amount as a person who eats a lot of hamburgers during the week?
Example 1 - Mrs. Wright seems to appreciate this attitude a lot better.
Example 2 - "I suppose you and Jenni will be spending a lot of time together."

Explain what 'a lot' really means or simply delete it.
Example 1 - Mrs. Wright appreciated Erick's sudden change of attitude.
Example 2 - "I suppose this means you and Jenni will be spending a couple hours together every week?"

Another word adding nothing to the sentence. It cheapens whatever you are discussing.
Example 1 - "Andrea is the only one that seems to have a problem with me."
Example 2 - "What was it that broke the camels back?"

The sentence can be rewritten to sound better and with more meaning.
Example 1 - "Only Andrea has a problem with me."
Example 2 - "What finally broke the camels back?"

If something just happens, it happens right then and there. But do you need to say something just happened if you are already describing it's happening?
Example 1 - "I'm just glad I finally ended it."
Example 2 - "I think I've just lost my appetite."

Deleting 'just' makes the sentence flow better.
Example 1 - "I'm glad I finally ended it."
Example 2 - "That's disgusting! Now I've lost my appetite."

Would you want someone to kind of give an explanation to you? It's a fuzzy statement, what does it mean exactly?
Example 1 - "I thought maybe she'd give me some kind of indication."
Example 2 - "It really is a must for anyone wanting to get into any kind of entertainment field."

Flesh out what 'kind of' actually means or just get rid of it.
Example 1 - "I hoped she'd tell me whether you aced the test or failed."
Example 2 - "It's a must for anyone looking to become a professional comedian."
Example 3 - Blog Header: 10 WORDS I REALLY HATE WHEN EDITING

Like 'very', I really really hate this word. Using really is lazy writing.
Example 1 - "We really need to talk."
Example 2 - "I used to go out with her and we really don't get along any more."

Be more creative with your descriptions.
Example 1 - "You better sit down. We have to talk and you are not going to like it."
Example 2 - "We use to go out and saying we don't get along is an understatement."
Example 3 - Blog Header: 10 WORDS I HATE WHEN EDITING

I begin to cringe every time I see myself using this. Wait no, I don't begin to do it, then stop. I actually do it. This word should never be used if it describes something still happening.
Example 1 - People began to gather around to watch the demonstration.
Example 2 - She began to develop strong feelings for him the past few weeks.
Example 3 - Kenny began pointing at Erick and laughing hysterically.

Normally a person doesn't begin something, then suddenly stop. When they do something, they do it.
Example 1 - People gathered to watch the demonstration.
Example 2 - During the past few weeks Vicki developed stronger feelings for him.
Example 3 - Kenny pointed at Erick, laughing hysterically.

If a person is telling you about something, do they also have to tell you they are thinking about it?
Example 1 - "Why do you think she blames you?"
Example 2 - "I think Jenni will be able to help you."
Example 3 - "Do you think I care any more?"

Sometimes it's better to do something instead of thinking about it. Also, asking what a person thinks is redundant. When they reply, you'll know what they think.
Example 1 - "Why does she still blame you?"
Example 2 - "I'm assigning Jenni to help you."
Example 3 - "I give up. I don't care any more.

This word implies you no longer have whatever you are referring to. I have a problem using it when I shouldn't.
Example 1 - "I thought we had an honest relationship."
Example 2 - Erick did comply despite all the nonsense she had put him through.
Example 3 - Erick begins to tell Vicki what had just happened to him.

Rewrite so the sentence doesn't imply the situation no longer exists.
Example 1 - "Don't we have an honest relationship?"
Example 2 - Erick complied despite the nonsense she puts him through.
Example 3 - Erick starts explaining to Vicki what happened earlier but suddenly stops, not wanting to bring up Jenni again.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


for a love unknown.

are you there?

left alone.

who will care?


Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Missing Piece

R.a.n.t. of week 02/08/15
Years ago, (should I admit it was about 40?) I recall thoroughly enjoying a book called the Missing Piece. It was an interesting tale of a 'Pac-Man' looking creature who never felt complete because he was missing a piece. So off he went, in search of what he was missing. But when he found his missing piece, he discovered he didn't really need it and was better off without it. He was fine just the way he was. Sometimes I feel, not like the creature in search of the missing piece, but the actual missing piece. Let's look at the book from his perspective. Here he was, broken off and alone. Then suddenly found he was where he fitted in perfectly. But then, he is abandoned as not being needed. More often than not, I feel like the missing piece others have cast off as not being needing. This can occur in any situation. When this happens at work, you are redundant and let go. But that's another problem and fortunately I have not had to deal with that. However, when you feel like the missing piece when among your friends or family it can be traumatic. How do you deal with that? Mind you, I don't always feel that way, but there are many times in certain situations when I feel I am redundant to my friends or family. When they seem to get along fine without me or I'm not needed. Sometimes I feel I'm the only one who tries to maintain whatever the relationship is. No one likes to feel they are not needed, or unimportant. Sometimes you just want to feel needed, wanted or special to someone. True, at times it all works out in the end, but not always. And the times when it's not working out can really hurt. Then suddenly you realize you are the one missing a piece.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chicago Parking

I am sane,
I'll park my car.
And never leave the door ajar.

On the street,
I see a spot.
Sign says parking allowed is not.

Circle then,
around I go.
Hope to park before the show.

Once again,
I turn around.
Profanities now, my only sound.

Concerts done,
still I drive.
This is circle fifty-five.

I like eggs,
the number plaid.
I think I've gone a little mad.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Free Parking

R.a.n.t. of week 02/01/15
I've had many problems when it comes to parking. Before the apartment I live at now, I had to park on the city street. This meant going to the Police Department and acquiring a parking permit. Just something else to add to the list of things you need to make sure you pay for when having a car (maintenance, gas, license place renewal, etc. etc.)

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about street parking now. Currently, my rent includes a free parking spot. And before you ask, yes, I do check under the free parking spot continually for money but I never find any. I guess that is not a 'house rule' my landlords play with. Anyone else play with that 'house rule' when playing Monopoly? Believe it or not, some people actually don't. But I digress. Another r.a.n.t. for another time perhaps? Certainly so!

Seriously though, I do have a free parking spot, so that's awesome. But there are other times when parking is not free or easy for me. I'm not really going to complain about paying to park, not so much anyway. I see many benefits of insuring a person is not going to be parked in the same place forever, just because it's free. For example, parking down-town of any major city. It's next to impossible finding a place to park when it's all paid parking. Can you imagine if it were free? Depending on how much it costs, I'd highly recommend parking structures. It's quick and easy, and who wants to spend an hour driving around looking for a parking spot? Who would do that though? {Sheepishly I raise my hand.} I did that this weekend when I visited Chicago. I can't even imagine trying to park in New York. In Chicago, forget parking on any side streets, they are all permit parking only. And, of course, tow away zones. So that's good, if you live there.

Trying to find a parking spot is bad enough when it's ideal driving conditions. Flash forward to the next day when Milwaukee is hit with a huge snow storm. Parking anywhere in the city is ridiculous. Streets aren't plowed so if you are parking on the street, you are parking in the street. And then risk getting your car hit buy other careless drivers, which is almost a certainty. Some people just shouldn't be driving. I know, that used to be me. I.... Wait, let me check something before I continue.... Okay, I was right, statue of limitations has expired, I can talk about this openly. Yes, I used to 'hit' cars all the time when I first learned to drive. Okay, 'tap' is more realistic. Bad depth perception and just learning to parallel park without hitting another car is next to impossible. Almost as impossible as a game of Monopoly starting without fights breaking out over who gets the car or the horse.