Sunday, August 26, 2012

Published

I was recently published in Cleaner Times Magazine. It's a pressure washing magazine, but, if you think about it...even pressure washer operators need reading material.

http://pubs.royle.com/publication/?i=122218

Page 24, by yours truly!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Parakeet: A Tragedy.

A year ago, I had a parakeet. His name was Dudley; Dudley was the best pet anyone could hope for. Short of talking, he was all I was looking for in a friend: he ate birdseed, flew around the room for my entertainment, and showed off whenever I stopped by his cage-or rather, enclosure. Then mine and Dudley's worlds were shattered, and I moved too far away to transport a bird, as they have delicate bones, need exercise, etc.
Fast-forward six months. I was all settled in and I was ready for another relationship like that. So I went down to the local PetCo and bought myself a strapping, blue and white parakeet. A boy, as (in my opinion) the adjective "strapping" suggests. I named him Quasimodo - perhaps that's when things started to go wrong. You see, things soon went awry. Not right away; we were friends for just enough time for me to get attached. He wasn't as immediately loving and lovable as Dudley had been, but I had been expecting that. I was prepared to put the effort in to make our interactions fun, relaxing, and frequent. Quasimodo was not.
I went through the routine exercises, patiently waiting for him to step onto my finger, then the next, and the next. He complied, but would go no further. He would not climb up my sleeves, or "kiss" my earrings, or strut around my shoulders. As far as my little avian companion was concerned, he was a captive.
Quasimodo's true colors began to show, and they weren't the soft azure and ivory he advertised. On the outside, he was a timid, fragile little creature. But his heart was evil.
This winged monster began to torment me. Every time I opened the door to his home, he would scurry to the far side. When I approached, he would bite my finger as hard as he could. His attacks became increasingly violent as the weeks dragged by.
Finally, I could take it no longer. I was at a loss. How could Quasimodo and Dudley be of the same species?  The only thing I could think to do was to acquire a companion for the bird, hoping she would sweeten him. I resisted this urge, because I've read pages and pages of online budgie-care advice, and all of them say that if you want a nice 'keet, don't get a second until the first is well-trained. But, alas, in a moment of weakness, I could again be found at PetCo, purchasing a yellow, blue and green female.
Long story short: the girl (named Esmeralda) did not help; on the contrary, she has never even stepped on my finger of her own free will. Quasimodo grew increasingly hostile towards yours truly, and so we are now completely acrimonious. I would set them free or something - we would all 3 be happier - but PetCo made me sign a waver stating that I would provide a good home for them, to the best of my abilities.
So I'm stuck with two really mean roommates who scream about the sun for hours after it rises every morning. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

By: Anonymous

The best thing about being away from home is the anonymity.
I am currently on vacation, and this morning I woke up late - at about 7.45, and I had to leave the house by about 8. Generally speaking, that wouldn't have been so big a deal (I once caught a bus 5 minutes after I woke up), but last night I went to bed with my hair wet. Coupled with the fact that I cut my hair about two weeks ago and now it is not heavy enough to straighten itself, I awoke with a glorious halo/bird-nest coiffure.
At first I was distressed. There was little to no time to fix my appearance, and what would I do, and now my life was ruined, and there goes any reputation I had of being put-together, and ---- then it hit me. I was in the unique but now very useful situation of having absolutely no reputation. Nobody knew who I was, and nobody ever would.
So here I am, very confident in the fact that I will never see any of these people again. Now I can walk down the streets of this town with my head held high, no longer averting my eyes for shame. I am nobody!
"Heh, heh," I say to myself.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Go Fish

There's nothing like a good game of Go Fish to get your blood pumping. What seems to be such a simple game  of matching cards is really a symphony of suspense and relief, victory and failure. There are at least seven tough decisions to make such as "Should I ask Jane for a six, or a seven?" or "Does Jane have a six, or does Jack?" There are so many things to take into consideration.
I recently played a match with two friends of mine. At first I was a little disappointed because, really, who plans their day hoping to fit in a quick round of Go Fish somewhere? But, boy, was I surprised! As soon as we started, it was as if I was in some sort of trance. I was seeing double and I wanted to see more double! The sight of only one nine in my hand was a constant thorn in my side. Who could have its match? Maybe no one had it and it would be alone forever? My palms began to sweat and my eyes darted back and forth between my opponents, trying desperately to see in their eyes the reflection of their cards.
It is my friend, Chloe's, turn. I try to block her out in order to better strategize my upcoming move. Somehow, through the walls I have put up around my ears, I hear the muffled sound of her voice, directed at the third participant, Allie. It takes a moment to sink in, but I think she says "Do you have any fours?" The wheels in my head start turning and puzzle pieces click into place: If Chloe was asking Allie for a four, Chloe herself must have one in her hand! It was so simple! Foolish Chloe had completely given herself away! I chuckle softly to myself.
Allie asks me for a King, which I happen to have. This fact extends her turn and consequently postpones mine. She then asks Chloe for a two - Go fish. Now it is my turn. I ask Allie for a three and I don't even mind that she doesn't have one. I have this game all figured out.
While Allie and Chloe go again (and the latter of the two takes my three and makes a match), I listen intently, hardly daring to breathe for fear I might mishear one of them and ruin everything. By the time it is my turn again I have two turns planned. I ask Chloe for a ten: it's a match! Oh, the elation! Never had such happiness flowed in my veins! The tens were together and I was going to win!
When I come back to myself, I ask Allie for a four, which she had picked up since Chloe last asked her. I had another wave of joy before realizing that it was still my turn and I no longer had any sure moves. I can feel my throat starting to close up and my hands are shaking and my heart is beating a million times per second. I don't do so well under pressure.
Somehow I manage to keep breathing and eventually calm myself. I open my eyes which had at some point closed of their own accord. How long have I been sitting here? An hour, a day? It's impossible to be sure. But what I do know is that it is still my turn. Ok, Liv. Just go for it. 
"Allie, do you have any nines?" A voice asks, and I acknowledge that though it sounds so foreign, it is my own. Now is the moment of truth. She shuffles her cards slightly, and looks them over. Her eyes reveal no secrets.
Her answer is non-verbal and almost in slow motion, it seems to me. One card has been selected and is headed my way, clasped between Allie's thumb and forefinger. And it is...a nine of clubs! My own nine, this one being of diamonds, almost jumps out of my hand on its own. Clearly these two cards were meant to be together. I watch the two of them reunite, and tears are streaming down my face. This is what life is all about.

In the end, I did not win. It turns out that the trick of listening to other players' questions is a well-known trick.