33-Word Trifecta Writing Challenge: If you know what I mean

Welcome Dear Readers!  The 33-Word Trifecta writing Challenge for this weekend is to write your own spin on the following quote:

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. –Henry James –

Here’s my take:

Keep scrolling . . . .

And scrolling . . . .

Isn’t this fun? . . . 

Just a little bit farther . . . .

Ah here we are! . . . 

There are three ways to look at any situation.  There’s the first way if you know what I mean.  There’s the second way if you know what I mean, and there’s the third way if you know what I mean.

gratutitutas picture
Gratuitous Trifecta Challenge Picture

Until next time . . . I love you (If you know what I mean)

I Hate My Linda Vernon Electronic Device Team

Hello Dear Readers!

Welcome to Friday where, if you happen to be in prison, you get to make a big, fat, red X on your prison calendar over today’s date — which has got to be the funnest thing there is to do in prison, don’t you agree?

I’m in Total Wing-It Mode

I’m totally winging it today, Dear Readers.  I don’t have any plan in mind for this post.  Well, yes, I did have a plan in mind when I first sat down at the computer an hour ago.

I was going to show you a picture of my broken glasses. (I broke my glasses).  Okay, a picture of my broken glasses is not the most fascinating thing to look at, sure, even if you are in prison, but at least it was a plan.

There’s Nothing Wrong with My Computer That a Little Murdering Wouldn’t Fix

Unfortunately I couldn’t get my Linda Vernon Electronic Device Team (LVEDT) to cooperate with me.  Try as I might, I couldn’t get the picture of my broken glasses I took on my Iphone to go to my email.

Oh sure, part of my LVEDT malfunction problems could be that I’ve never taken the time to actually learn how to operate them properly.  Unless one was charitable enough to call process of elimination button pushing “operating”. (But, of course, one probably isn’t that charitable, which is probably why one is in prison right now.)

You call that an instruction?

Part of the problem is I don’t like following instruction.  Nobody ever makes instructions fun to read.  What I want to know is who is telling me the instructions and what is motivating them to do so?  Do they live alone?  Do they have a family?  Have they ever seen a UFO? What about their drinking problem?

I mean, if there was just a tad bit more drama incorporated into instructions, I can honestly say that right now I would know how to properly operate my entire Linda Vernon Electronic Device Team and would probably be having drinks with the instruction writers right now. (Unless they were in prison.)

Buttons Buttons Everywhere

My problem is that every time I need to do something of an electronic-device nature, instead of reading the instructions, I simply launch into a fit of random clicking, selecting, resetting, yelling, unplugging, replugging, swearing, repeatedly pushing the on/off button, screaming (if the window is shut) and finally, when all else fails, damning them all to hell.

Let’s take a Post Break for a second:  Wouldn’t it be cool if you could reset your Ipad by turning it upside down and shaking it like an etch-a-sketch?  Okay now back to what we/I was talking about.

Anyway, Dear Readers, I fear I am turning into The Mommy Dearest of my Linda Vernon Electronic Device Team.

Time for another break from this post:  Maybe I should beat them all with a wire hanger!

But seriously, Dear Readers,  if my electronic devices should ever figure out how to write a tell-all book about me, I am completely screwed.

In fact, I’d probably be making a great big, fat, red X on my prison calendar right now, just like you are Dear Readers!

But hey!  Have a great weekend anyway!

Until next time . . . I love you

P.S. I promise to send you a cake with a file in it just as soon as I can get my Linda Vernon Electronic Device Team to uphold their iffy “send” claim.

Dead People I Love: Getting Inspired by Ray Bradbury

Hello Dear Readers! Yesterday I was lucky enough to hang out with one of my favorite dead people, author Ray Bradbury via the magic of YouTube.  

Phone of white-haired Ray Bradbury
Wonderful Ray Bradbury

“The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.”  –Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, who recently died at the age of 91, was best known for works such as  “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “The Martian Chronicles,“ “Dandelion Wine“and “The Illustrated Man” to name just a few of the hundreds of stories he wrote.

Ray Bradbury was a man who experienced the fullness of life in the amusement park of his wild and bubbling imagination and lived to write about it.

“My stories run up and bite me on the leg.  I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite, when I finish, the idea let’s go and runs off.” – Ray Bradbury

I recently found a wonderful interview he did.  It’s from an old PBS show called Day at Night that’s been digitally remastered.  It’s a half hour long but well worth watching. His insights on life and writing are fascinating.

Ray Bradbury grew up in a family of modest means.  Suffice it to say, when he graduated from high school, he was wearing the suit of his murdered uncle who had been shot in a hold up.  The family didn’t even have enough money to repair the bullet hole.

Ray-Bradbury-
Bradbury with his three daughters and his wife, Maggie

“Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.”–Ray Bradbury

By age eleven, Bradbury was filled to the brim with stories, fairy tales, myths and the words of Edgar Allan Poe and Edgar Rice Burroughs.  It was like these stories seeped into his subconscious and became a part of his DNA. Interestingly enough, he never considered himself a science fiction writer but a writer of fairy tales and modern myths about technology.

Love and the Feeling of Language

Ray Bradbury kept a sign over his typewriter that said “Don’t Think.”  Because he thought that you must never think at the typewriter, you must feel.  “At the typewriter, you should be living, not thinking.  What you try to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — and the only way to do this is to be very emotional and react and get it out of yourself.”

In addition to being a creative genius, Ray Bradbury seemed like a thoroughly nice guy.
In addition to being a creative genius, Ray Bradbury seemed like a thoroughly nice guy.

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” –Ray Bradbury

“I believe the universe created us — we are an audience for miracles. ” –Ray Bradbury

On Character

Ray Bradbury thought the typewriter should be a Ojai board that your hands move on to reveal things about yourself you didn’t  know. For instance, Montag, in Fahrenheit 451 was Ray Bradbury discovering himself. “There are sides to ourselves that are destructive — so you bring them out in the open and find ways of making them creative.”

 Many of his books were made into movies. One of my favorites is The Illustrated man.  Here’s a clip:

And finally I’ll leave you with this wonderful quote:

“From now on I hope always to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in future, I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” — Ray Bradbury

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Until next time  . . . I love you

Friday Fictioneers: Mr. Sims and the Maple Bar of Death

Aaaaand it’s fake Friday again!  One tiny problem I have with the calendar is that it’s so repetitive and predictable.  That’s why I like  Friday Fictioneers — a 100-word, picture-prompt writing challenge over at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, Addicted to Purple — because it starts on Wednesdays.  And I think you’d agree that nothing spices up the week like having Friday on Wednesday!  Anyway, here’s this week’s picture prompt by way of Scott Vanatter: (copyright – Indira)

Friday Fictioneers 100 word story

Mr. Sims and the Maple Bar of Death

“No, Mr. Sims, you misunderstood my instructions.”

“But you asked me if I wanted to do a donut, so I spun out.”

“No, I asked if you wanted the rest of my donut.”

“So I flunked my driver’s test?”

“That will depend on your three-point turn.”

“I can do that with my eyes closed!”

“Careful Mr. Sims! That’s a sheer drop off . . . LOOK OUT!”

“What happened?”

“You’ve plunged us off the cliff, Mr. Sims.”

“So I flunked my driver’s test?”

“Yes.”

“Okay . . . but one last question.”

“Yes?”

“You gonna eat the rest of that maple bar?”

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Until next time . . . I love you

Fun with Dad Memories: Seven Pounds of Junk Fish

When I woke up this morning, my brain, Peanuts, had been dreaming about fishing with my dad. My dad loved going fishing and this post is about some of those happy memories.

Father/Toddler Hunting Trips

Fishing is one of the main things I can remember doing with my dad, besides going on Pheasant hunting trips with him when I was really little. On these hunting trips, he would balance his loaded gun on the front seat of our Pontiac at the ready, and I would stand on the front seat next to his loaded gun.

Of course, this was way before seat belts and car seats.  Little kids simply stood on the front seat of the car or sat in the back seat when they got too tall.  In this case, because it was just my dad and me, I got to stand in the coveted spot on the front seat right next to the loaded gun.

I remember my dad having a can of Olympia beer between his legs and every once in a while, he’d slow down the car to shoot at a Pheasant through his open window (that’s where the hunting part came in) and then he’d take a sip of  his Olympia beer. (Probably in consolation for having missed it by a mile.)

If my dad would have had a Baby on Board sign in the back window in those days, it would have said:

baby on board

Fishing with Father


Anyway, when my dad would take my two brothers and I  fishing, he would make each of us a fishing pole. He’d cut a long branch from a tree and tie fishing line, a sinker and a hook to the end of it.

Then we’d pull out a poor, defenseless,  angle worm from our coffee can filled with them — digging up worms being one of our many personal pursuits at the time — and affix the poor dear to the hook. (The whole thing just seems downright cruel thinking about it now.) Then we’d stick our lines into Coppei Creek and sometimes we’d even catch a fish!

Giving Suckers More Than an Even Break

The ones my brothers and I  always caught were called suckers, and we had to throw them back because they weren’t good to eat.  But for some reason, the ones my dad always caught were called trout; those we’d eat.

My dad taught us how to clean fish when we were pretty little.  We’d cut into them and peel out their innards and launch the whole mess downstream. Thinking back on it now, it’s a wonder we didn’t get typhoid from eating the fish we caught in Coppei Creek.

Before Bruce Willis

One summer, we went on a vacation to Coeur d’Alene lake. Back then, it was just one of many Podunk lakes within driving distance of our town — way before Bruce Willis and his trendy ilk/elk moved there.

On that vacation, I caught a seven-pound “junk” fish.  Boy was it ugly!  It looked just like the fish pictured below that was recently caught alive, a lovely little fish thought to have been extinct for 65 million years.

"And here we thought he had been dead for 65 million years!  Oops!  Our bad!
Poor thing would have been better off extinct!

We were all afraid of the junk fish I caught.   I made my brother, Peter, take the hook out of its mouth.  And I remember Peter told me, “If you’re old enough to fish, you’re old enough to take the hook out of its mouth.”  And I thought, “Gee he’s right.”  He was nine and I was six, but I never forgot this sage piece of brotherly advice.

Boy Those Flowers Smell Healthy

The proprietor of the resort took the seven-pound junk fish off our hands and put it in the flower bed in front of his store to fertilize his flowers.  He didn’t bury it, so it laid there decomposing for the rest of our vacation.

Everyday we’d walk by it on our way to the lake.  It was kind of sad really. The more it stunk the more we realized our vacation was coming to an end.

That’s all the time we have for  fun with dad memories, Dear Readers, but I hope you’ll check back in for more Fun with Dad (and maybe even Fun with Mom) memories which I’ll write about as soon as my brain, Peanuts, remember some! 

Until next time . . . I love you

33-Word Trifecta Challenge: The Gingerbread Man and the Lucky Charm

Hello Dear Readers!  Today the 33-word Trifecta Writing Challenge is to write something prompted by the phrase:  third time’s the charm.

The Gingerbread Man and the Lucky Charm

“Hey! Magically delicious dude!”

“I’m a lucky charm, not a box of cereal.”

“Better blow out them candles!”

“Shut-up!”

“Star-light, Star-bright, first—AWKKKKKK!”

“Third time! The charm’s going to have to kill you.”

Gingerbread man murdered
“Stupid pathetic Gingerbread Man.”

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Until next time . . . I love you

In Praise of Dwell Magazine

Dwell Magazine satire, Linda Vernon Humor

Dear Dwell Magazine Editorial Staff,

Over the past couple of years, my wife, Victoria Splendoria, and myself, P. Donald Xavier, have become avid Dwell Magazine readers.   Not only do we totally approve of  the urban-contemporaneity; but also, we just go gaga over the pictures.

I have attached a  photograph of Victoria Splendoria, and myself, P. Donald Xavier, and our adorable baby, Tylenol Cold and Sinus®, relaxing in our Dwell Magazine inspired contemporary home environment.

family living minimalistically
“Honey where’s that can of Cream of Mushroom soup?”
“I threw it away!”
“But why?”
 Because we’re minimalists, Victoria Splendoria, minimalists! That can of soup was cluttering up the cupboards!”
“But I’m hungry! And so is Tylenol Cold and Sinus® !”
“Oh for goshsakes!   Quit your bellyaching and come and  enjoy the minimalism with me and little Tylenol Cold and Sinus®!

Victoria Splendoria and myself, P. Donald Xavier, just love to sit outside the printing press where Dwell magazine is published every month so that we can be the first ones to get our copy hot off the presses! And we just can’t wait to return to our minimal living room to curl up and enjoy each and every issue with our imaginary espresso.

Victoria Splendoria and myself, P. Donald Xarvier often fight over who gets the cement slab and who gets the wire stool to sit on while we take turns thumbing through the minimalism.
Victoria Splendoria and myself, P. Donald Xarvier, often fight over who gets the cement slab and who gets the wire stool, while we take turns thumbing through Dwell Magazine. It’s so funny!  You should see us.  Sometimes we even laugh, not out loud, of course, but in our minds!

We’ve recently re-designed our bathroom more in keeping with the  minimalistic lifestyle as dictated within the pages of Dwell Magazine.  I think you’ll love what we’ve done.  Here’s a picture:

Linda Vernon Humor satire dwell magazine
“Honey, where are the towels?”
“I threw them away!”
“But why?”
“Because they were taking up too much space.”
“Honey?”
“What?”
“Where’s the toilet.”
“I threw it away.”
“Why?”
“It was cluttering up the bathroom and ruining the minimalism.  Just go to the gas station.”

Anyway, Victoria Splendoria, and myself, P. Donald Xaxier and our adorable baby, Tylenol Cold and Sinus®, would like to thank, you, the editors of Dwell Magazine, from the bottom our hearts for teaching us that throwing away everything we own, sitting on hard surfaces and staring into space is the secret to making it feel as though maybe we are living a long and happy life!

Ambitiously, resourcefully and counter-conventional-edgily yours,

P. Donald Xavier, Victoria Splendoria and adorable Tylenol Cold and Sinus®

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Until next time  . . . I love you