Monday, September 15, 2014

Short Stories & Such: Retirement Party Food Fight

Retirement Party Food Fight

“Congratulations!”
Everyone cheered as I stepped into the staff lounge. All kinds of faces stared at me. Their little twinkling eyes and recently whitened teeth suffocated me.  My only salvation was the ridiculously huge banner’s reminder that it had been 40 years of the same job. God only knew I was ready to retire.
My coworkers, on the other hand, must have been glad to take some time off from their duties and throw this party’ cake and ice cream… the whole bit.
“Speech! Speech! Speech!”
Of course it was going to come to this. I might as well join the festivities and take this opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing commemoration of the end of the line. I wasn’t going down alone, though.
“I’d like to thank each and every one of you for this joyous occasion. You don’t know how much it means to me to know there are people who will miss me.”
“Ahh, chucks!”
“Keep going Alexis!”
“Nevertheless, I want to repay you by telling a story. Please, bear with me.”
I looked around the room and I spotted him. How fitting it all seemed. The gray streaks of hair on the side of his temples circled toward the back like a skunk’s tail.
“There was a time that I believed everybody’s business was their own, until Facebook showed up and taught me otherwise.”
The mass laughed and clanged their glasses of ginger ale and soda.
“Learning to Google and all that has brought to my attention certain events I would rather forget… events where a certain individual posted photos of himself spanking a life size gorilla doll wearing the mask and underwear I designed for the advertisement shot a week later.”
Suddenly, the room fell quiet and all eyes met mine. It was not easy standing in front of everyone who confided in me for the past years, but this dark secret must be told.
“That individual is Mr. Ryan, our boss.”
They all turned to witness the reddening cheeks of Mr. Ryan.
“He ruined the chance for me to sell the contract and step up the ladder.”
Some shook their heads and skewed their faces in disgust. They understood.
Mr. Ryan backed away from the center and picked a sandwich from the snack table. He threw it in my direction. I ducked, but it hit the person in front of me. She turned and threw something back, then, everyone started a massive food fight. I hunkered in a corner while glasses were tossed high in the air. Only the sound of sirens echoing in the distance broke it up.
They found Mr. Ryan covered in lettuce, cream, and other pastries. If only my coworkers knew the truth. Mr. Ryan was not the sort of man to offend anybody, but it gave me great satisfaction to see he get his “just desserts” for making me retire before my prime. 




You can read the original version on Writer’s Digest for the February 28, 2012 Writing Prompt at http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts/retirement-party-food-fight

Monday, September 8, 2014

Books I’m Reading 10


Unforgettable by Loretta Elsworth is a novel about a teenage boy named Baxter Green who has a photographic memory and who remembers everything. Due to his gift, the mother’s boyfriend takes advantage of Baxter’s abilities and steals money from a bank. The Greens move to a new location where the man can’t find them, but that is where things get interesting...
 
Cy in Chains by David L. Dudley is a novel that takes place after the Civil War and is about an African American named Cy Williams who is wrongly accused of a crime and sent to live and work in a labor camp.

Real talk for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith. Veteran teacher, Esquith, writes about the hard core truth about teaching and provides advice to become the best model students would ever have. He includes tips for trying something new every year, teaching students self-control, learning from mistakes, remaining calm, and finding your voice as a teacher. He also delves into the education system being flawed and that teachers have been portrayed as ‘bad’ before society by the media when it shouldn’t be. He even explains why he doesn’t believe everyone is equal and how we should think everyone deserves to be treated equally. Overall, great book!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Updates

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

If you haven’t browsed through the site, check it out. About every month I include a short story, poetry, pet news, and such for reading.

Hope you’re having a good Labor Day Weekend!

 
Note: Speaking of poetry, My poem "Only Live in Americas" is posted on the San Gabriel Valley Poetry website at http://sgvp.blogspot.com

Monday, August 25, 2014

Writing Endeavors 7: Updates

So what’s been going on with my writing?

A lot =)

I’m reading lots of fiction and writing books.

I’ve completed my first revision to my thriller about a woman locating her kidnapped children. I’m thinking of doing a second revision to the father and son drama I completed previously.

And I’m putting together a collection of Spanish and English poetry for a manuscript.

Yep, I think I got my hands full.

Sometimes I ask myself how I do it, but I’m finding out that the more I get into a routine, the better off I am at staying focused and writing. I just hope it continues…

That adage: “Just do it” really holds a lot of weight.

I know what you’re going to say: when will my book come out?

I wish I had a definite answer to that. I’m enjoying the revision part of my writing. I also have a goal to get the novel the best I can make it. Maybe I’m aiming too high, but “patience is a virtue!”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Death as Metaphor 12: Dreams and the Grave

Poetry can help individuals sort through their traumas and losses. It can help share and express their deepest thoughts.

Feelings of loss may be represented with symbols of ash or dust in a dream. When one loses an important person through death, they must deal with the departure. Dreams help create metaphorical symbols to explain the pain. Sometimes, dreams that revolve around death may be about the dreamer’s own mortality, at other times, the dreams are not about death but about the future, life changes, fear of the inevitable circumstances such as retirement or divorce.

W.S. Merwin wrote in his poem, “Some Last Questions” (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/19077) that ash and body parts represent how we put them to good use in life and our eventual death. Violence in dreams may end in death and can symbolize the person’s inner turmoil between good and evil, a failure or judgment of character, including guilt.

Symbols for death vary and may be used to associate the coming of death, going back to death, rebirth, an accidental death, the afterlife, and may even mean life.

The personal grave is another symbol for death and dying. The grave or tombstone in a cemetery is the symbolic representation of the deceased and helps transform our attitude toward death. It leads to a connection between present and future unknown. For example, the person visiting the grave site of the deceased recalls certain events and characteristics of the dead. Graves and things associated with cemeteries are used as metaphors to symbolize different forms of loss and pain. Through memories, one connects the past with the present and learns to make meaning from the future without the presence of the dead.

 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quote 9

He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.
-         Samuel Johnson

The first time I read this quote, I had to stop and reread it again. It got me thinking about the people I know who leave a dozen things to do in one day.

Then, I started thinking about why was that a bad thing. I know people who procrastinate and end up doing a good job.

Then again, I don’t think Mr. Johnson was talking about little projects. He might have had the idea of being kind and respectful with others. If so, we should try to understand each other a little more rather than fight.

If not, we might just end up not doing anything when something catastrophic happens. Our sympathy and aid goes a long way. I guess that’s why it’s been said: ‘a little goes a long way.’

 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pet News 9: Finding the Right Trainer

Finding a trainer for your puppy is like finding a veterinarian that matches your personality as well as your pet. Of course, there are things you can look for such as credentials, years of training, customer reviews, what type of training techniques are used, and if they had experience with your pet’s breed.

The trainer should be using positive training. They should not hit or force a dog to do anything. A happy dog is a good dog.

Also, the pet guardian should be present during the classes to learn how to handle their pet and the commands. I mean, if you didn’t take your puppy to training, wouldn’t you be doing the same at home?

Remember, your dog might make mistakes, but that’s okay. Just like we learn from our mistakes, so will your dog. Good luck!
 

Here are a few websites to get started (but don’t limit your search to these):





check PetSmart and Petco stores