X – Xu and the Gong (NaPoWriMo #28)

Why do we have x-words, if they sound like they start with z? I’ve discovered the word formerly used to denote a Vietnamese sum of money. The xu (pronounced soo, as in moo, you, or too) is one-hundredth of a dong. Can you see where I went with this? Enjoy!

***

A Xu for You
by Bill Reynolds

I found a lucky Xu
I wanna give it to you.
Ninety-nine more, you kin get a dong.
What’s wrong? Duncha wanna a dong?

With yer dong, ya can get along.
That’s right. You can have a long dong.
A long dong with a song, all…
For a measly, simple xu.

So, wacha gunna do?
First a xu, then a dong.
With yer dong, get a gong.
Bang a gong with yer dong!

So, let’s sing the song,
Let’s bang the gong
You got a dong, so…
Let’s get it on.

***

 

 

Look both ways, then sing the song and bang the gong.
Let’s get it on, but mind the gap in yer dong when you sing the song.

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L – Limerick (NaPoWriMo #14)

A limerick consists of five lines. Lines one, two, and five have 3 beats each and rhyme. Lines three and four have 2 beats and rhyme. Referred to as light verse (or vers de société) by Lewis Turco, limericks tend to be light, humorous, and often bawdy or dirty.

 ***

The first “poem” I recall hearing was a bawdy limerick my father told me. I don’t recall my age. I heard it once and never forgot. It was a shocker, although Dad often used such language around me.

There was a young lady from Freeling
Who had a funny feeling
She laid on her back
And tickled her crack
And pissed all over the ceiling

***

I wrote this one in class about a Creative Writing teacher.

There once was a lady from North Bend
In teaching us to write, she had no end
She had a great thought
We fit and we fought
Until our writing was well penned

Well, the class thought it was funny.

 ***

Some wee dribble of self-pique from the old flapdoodle.

There was an old-fart named Bill
Who was also a bit of a pill
Until he met her
The rest is a blur
And now he conforms to her will

It’s all about me, ya know.

***

Many of us follow this lass. So, a bit of a gentile and friendly jab. Click on her name to link to her blog.

There once was a blogger named joey
And she loved to tell us her story
She speaks of the mister
Like he is her sister
Instead of her very first quarry

Do ya think I’ll hear about that one?

***

I had to take shot at someone, or male pride, in general.

There once was a man from south Brooklyn
Who thought his self too good lookin’
It happened one day
His thing wouldn’t play
Now he’s no master Al Pushkin

Dirty is funny, right?

***

Mind the gaps on top of it all
Look both ways: eye on the ball
   But watch for the fart
   That is really a shart
And you’ll have no reason to bawl

(Sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I wrote them all, except the first one, and I assume full responsibility for the content of my limericks.)

***

Snarkastic (Frat Friday)

“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Snarkastic and Proud

Snarkasm2

I like that quote by Oscar Wilde. Over the years, I’ve noticed that it gets more difficult not to cause hurt feelings with what I say. Today, if I say anything about sex (as in gender), someone’s religion or political opinions, nationality (though most of us really don’t know), hair (or lack thereof), you name it; somebody gets offended.

 

snarkasm3I do my best not to ‘unintentionally’ hurt somebody’s feelings. However, I’m unopposed to stepping on an emotional toe when I hear the call. As a senior citizen, I sometimes feel a sense of entitlement to do that, but I usually refrain. I once knew one guy who was so Cliff Clavin (from the TV show Cheers) that I started calling him Cliff. He never figured out why.

 

SnarkasmSeveral years ago, my daughter-in-law said that I was snarky. I appreciated her honesty and courage. I also liked it. She was right; I am snarky. I’m also sarcastic. In fact, being both makes me snarkastic. I enjoy humor, but sometimes I don’t get it. I really enjoy ironic, skin-ripping, hard cutting, sarcastic snarkiness. Here’s a few short lists to help understand what I’m talking about.

Movies and actors

Robert Duvall and Michael Caine in Secondhand Lions (loved it)

Duvall in Apocalypse Now (“I love the smell of napalm in the morning”)

snarkasm7Jack Nicholson in As Good as it Gets (and other movies of his)

Many children’s animated flicks (i.e., Rafiki the baboon and Timon the meerkat in Lion King)

Male Comedians (Pick virtually any)

George Carlin, Bill Murray, Ron White, David Cross, Daniel Tosh

 

This is not a guy thing. Woman are wonderful at snarkasm. Some folks may say funnier. Watching a witty lady catch some Neanderthal off-guard is a treat. Snarkasm crosses all race, creed, gender, and economic status barriers. My current favorite snarkastic ladies include the following (and so many more).

snarkasm10Female Comedians (Yes they are)

Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres, Joan Rivers (good grief, the queen), Chelsea Handler, Melissa McCarthy (brought me to tears in St. Vincent, The Heat [w/Sandra Bullock], and Identity Thief).

Writers

Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain

Cartoons/Comics

Maxine or The Boondocks

Now you know

snarkasm9Not everyone has been introduced to my brand of snarkasm. After a while, when most people get to know me, they agree that I can pull it off. Many find it humorous. In fact, that’s the point – humor. I’m not on some kind of anti-PC* crusade here.

I recall watching Archie Bunker in the 70s and laughing so hard that I was sure I was going to wet my pants. Since then, I’ve often referred my father as a mix of George Burns and Archie – all three funny, snarkasticly-gifted guys.

So HELL YEAH! I’m a proud, snarkastic old fart. Deal with it, Junior.

snarkasm6

Because I like you so much, here’s some good advice if a cop pulls you over today. Try any of these.

snarkasm15Are you Andy or Barney?

I thought you had to be in good physical condition to be a police officer.

You’re not gunna check the trunk, are you?

And then when the officer says (cuz you been tippin’ a few), “Your eyes look red. Have you been drinking?” You should respond with, “Your eyes look glazed. Have you been eating doughnuts?”

So snark-up before it’s too late. Have fun!

*politically correct

Quotes

Originally, I planned to list a few of my favorite quotes. Then, I decided to ask my wife and three adult children for theirs – from music, movies, or literature. But any quotes or sayings were fine. After they got going, it turned into quite a game for them.

YolondaYolonda, my wife of 50 years (we married at age 2), is a native Texan and has her ‘druthers.’

“Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.” ~ Song by Travis Tritt

“Goodness gracious, great balls of fire.” ~ Song by Jerry Lee Lewis

“Love will keep us alive.” ~ Song by the Eagles

“Life’s a dance you learn as you go, sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.” ~ Song by John Michael Montgomery

“I’m Texas born and Texas bred, and when I die, I’ll be Texas dead.” And, “You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl.” ~ Texas sayin’s

BillyBilly on right, (w/Phish bassist Mike Gordon), our oldest child is in his mid-40s, a very nice, loving, big-man. He’s always been an avid reader, a talented writer, a movie aficionado, and a hard-core Phish-head. Add bicyclist, father, hubby, friend, musician, and deep-thinker.

“San Francisco in the middle sixties was a special time and place to be a part of it. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run…but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of the time and the world. Whatever it meant…” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

“You’re either on the bus…or off the bus.” ~ Ken Kesey

“Dreams come true; without that possibility nature would not incite us to have them.” ~ John Updike

“We do survive every moment, after all, except the last one.” ~ John Updike

“I love you, Butternuts.” ~ From the movie Half Baked. (horse’s name was Buttercup)

“Wherever you go, there you are.” ~ Book, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Whatever you do take care of your shoes.” ~ Lyrics from Phish song, Cavern

“Set the gearshift to the high gear of your soul…you’ve got to run like an antelope out of control.” ~ Lyrics from Phish song, Run Like an Antelope

StevenSteven is our middle-child, now in his early 40s. He’s another good guy. An avid sports fanatic (Spurs and Cowboys) and mountain biker. Add hubby, step-father extraordinaire, house music DJ (Steve Balance), friend, and all-around cool-dude (maybe pragmatic and analytical). He initially said that he had no fav quotes, but when he and his sista’ got to texting, there they were.

“I am Groot.” ~ Repeated by Groot, a sentient alien character embodied in the shape of a tree and member of Marvel’s superhero team ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Due to its frequent appearance in the 2014 film adaptation of the comic book series, the quote quickly gained recognition among the fans of the film, similar to the fan art surrounding the phrase Hodor, which is the only phrase uttered by the character in HBO’s medieval fantasy TV series Game of Thrones.

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over” ~ Willie Nelson Song made more famous on Monday Night Football by Don Meredith.

“That’s what I love about these High School girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” ~ David Wooderson in Dazed and Confused. (Billy also liked this one)

“Would I ever leave this company? Look, I’m all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I’m being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly…. I’m going wherever they value loyalty the most.” ~ Dwight Schrute in TV show, The Office

“Got a joint man? …. Be a lot cooler if you did.” David Wooderson in Dazed and Confused.

I’m not superstitious, I’m only a little stitious.” ~ Michael Scott

Julie and CAOur beautiful ‘baby’ is Julie. She can recite every line from the movie Grease (oddly did not quote it), is an artist, a thirty-something, 21st Century hippie, a mom and step-mother. I think she is a wonderful writer and, like her mom, a Grammar-Nazi. She lives in the middle of nowhere with her hubby, son, occasionally a step-son, or two lovely elves, too many cats, horses, and sometimes (because he likes to chase the horses) a dog.

“Tell me about the f***ing golf shoes.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson, from movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” ~ Max Ehrmann

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” ~ Dr. Seuss

“Woman are like tea bags; we don’t know our true strength until we’re in hot water.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“So, Jesus is a superhero like Superman, or Batman, right?” ~ Julie’s 10-year-old son, CA, at age four.

 

Laughter

LI claim a few basic beliefs. I believe in love, perseverance, and personal strength through relationships. I believe in memories and in karma. I believe in music, compassion, and empathy. But mostly I believe in the power and value of laughter; the more painful and debilitating the laugh, the better. Striking sadness, awe, loss, illness, and awareness of world misery affect me too. Sign me up for the clichés of humor: to die laughing, having the last laugh, laughter is the best medicine, and a side-splitting belly laugh. If you are infected with the acute illness of laughing for no apparent reason, I want to be infected too. I love to laugh. When I hear a good joke, it’s hard for me to retell it because I laugh so hard in the process. I want to be embarrassed and need to leave because I’m overcome by laughter. I want to laugh at everything. When seeing and hearing the laughter of others, especially children, I want to laugh without knowing why.laughter 1

I’ve learned to manage some difficult or embarrassing times in my life by viewing them as though watching a TV Sitcom. Often, if what I’m dealing with was happening to George Costanza, I’d be laughing. Laughing at my circumstances was not always easy or achievable, but it helped. My favorite TV shows are Sitcoms. I look for romantic comedy in movies. I read humor. And I know that I am not alone.

My observation of life and personal experience has taught me that laughter is important. I can feel the benefit of my own laughter and I can see how it helps others. I believe laughing is physically, mentally, and spiritually beneficial. It’s healthy. My goofy, snorting laugh may trigger others to laugh or it may annoy them. Either way, I am not talking about the embarrassingly polite giggle, which is apologized for too-often. I want the Texas-sized, hee-haw that can blast a soft out both nostrils for ten feet. I want the kind where I hold one hand up in protest while the other tries to relieve the pain in my side. Laughing has turned my face shades of red and purple while tears flooded out of my eyes to cover my face. I am a true believer.

Laughter 2A question I like to ask is, “What do you want?” Answers vary, but mine is, “I want happiness.” Looking back on life, it is difficult to recall happy times with no laughter. It makes me feel good. Laughter is a natural high like no other. It’s free. We can’t over-dose. I thank all kinds of humor for making me laugh. Many things are funny, some are not. But I laugh anyway.

If you think unfiltered laughter is nonsense, I defer to Ron Dahl who said, “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men”. Or better yet, to Dr. Seuss, “I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.”

Because my clock is ticking too quickly and sometimes I take myself too seriously, I need the rush of endorphins of a full-throttle laugh as often as possible. People who laugh are happy. And happy people live longer, richer lives. So the next time there’s an opportunity to laugh, I will delight in the maximum amount.

I agree with Oscar Wilde, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

I choose to laugh while I can.

Gratitude

GMany people have found that journaling and being grateful are useful methods to feel better and to enjoy life more. Grateful people seem to be happier. I prefer to be happy, so it follows that I want to be grateful. I will not discuss journaling since I don’t, but I admit that I should. Maybe this blog is kind of like that. I don’t make gratitude lists, but I could easily. I know many happy souls that do.

Last week, I had a medical procedure. It is not new to me. I inherited what I refer to as bad plumbing from my father. He called it poor circulation. Medical folks call it arteriosclerosis. I am not grateful for it. My doctors tell me that I am just ‘one of those people.’ Anyway, I have had this before. They’ve run things up into arteries from my wrists through both arms and into my heart. Years ago, I had stents inserted into my iliac arteries through my groin to help with circulation in my legs. Last week we again had to venture in at my groin. With all of these, I was awake so I could joke with my doctor and tell him how I was doing. As he tried to find my artery and his fingers pressed into the spot between my groin and leg, I let out a moan. He asked me if that was pain, or was I ticklish. I am very ticklish and I was also very stoned thanks to the happy drugs the wonderful nurses slipped into my IV. I already had four stents. These were numbers five and six. It took about two hours and I was off to my hospital room for the night. Not my best night, as it happened.

At that point, I had one order: “Don’t move!” I had to be (lie or lay?) flat on my back until told I could move. From my chest down, I was not to move a muscle, not roll to my side, not lift my knee, not bend my leg, nothing. This is to prevent bleeding. Until blood clotting improves, the doctor left a sheath, or tube, in my artery that the nurses would remove after checking on my clotting factor. Let me help with time.

I got to the hospital about 1:00 PM and was placed on a bed until called to the OR (Cath Lab) at about 5:00 PM. It was supposed to start at 3:00, but there was an emergency. From the time I got there (5:00), I was flat on my back for the next 14 hours. After the procedure, which took two hours, at 7:00 PM, I was in my room. The nursing team transferred this old gnome’s body by sliding me on my back twice. By 11:00 PM I was in miserable pain caused by not moving – as blood just pools with gravity. But there was one more problem. They kept pumping fluids into me, which means that eventually, that bodily function had to….well, function. I had to pee.

The last time I peed from a position flat on my back I was wearing diapers, or should have been. Since pressure was going to be applied to my groin, I had to let it out. But how? I asked the nurse how and suggested rolling on my side. “No, Mr. Bill. You will need to urinate into the container while not moving.” I protested, “That’s impossible. That will never work.” She smiled at me and said, “Let’s just have positive thoughts, shall we?” And then, like I needed extra motivation, she tells me, “If you can’t go, we will just have to insert a catheter. So do your best.” Uh, oh.

Several years ago someone stuck one of those things in me. I’m sure was an old garden hose. Back then, a male nurse (jokingly) informed me that they have a lady whose husband left her for a younger woman put them in. She is angry with all men for what that guy did to her, and she exacts revenge upon those of us who are so equipped. I recalled the pain of that experience and how it was many days later, before I could pee again without pain (Stephen King, are you listening?).

thank-you-gratitudeIn less than two minutes I had filled the plastic jug to the brim without moving an inch. I handed to the nurse with a smile and asked her to keep that catheter thingy away from me. She smiled, let out a mildly sinister chuckle. Then she said, “See what positive thoughts can do.”

Finally, at about two in the morning, they managed to remove the tube from my artery with virtually no bleeding. That’s because the nurses maintained pressure on the wound for 25+ minutes. Then the clock started for a minimum of another four hours on my back.

I am grateful for all the nurses, doctors, techs, staff, cleaning crews, medical technology folks who manufacture the stents, the drugs, the plastic jugs, and all that they have done for me. I am grateful for my wife for being there and barking orders when the nurse was off dealing with other snarcastic old farts. I feel wonderful, my heart is doing great, and I am back to normal. Thank you.

 

Welcome

Welcome to my blog. Please join me on Our Rainy Journey. I hope you enjoy it. I plan to write about things on the journey of life that interest me. When I wonder if you may be interested as well, I shall blog about it.

I want to explain my choice of a name: I wanted pluviophile, but it was taken. Pluviolover was not—close enough. I am a pluviophile, which is a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. I will indeed be writing about rain and my reaction to it. I will not do that often, but if you’re curious, do look in.

Additionally, I want to write about the importance of how we feel; about happiness and laughter, the human condition, and the dark side. I want to write about love, art, pain and suffering. And I want to write about rain, walking, and doing.

I also want to write about my more current, albeit brief, experience as a writer. I believe that we are all writers, we are all in this together, and we learn from each other. Writing has been, and is, a discovery for me, inside and out.

While I consider myself to be happy, I am enigmatically intrigued by our human nature and enjoy dark poetry and exploration of the human condition, especially as it applies to the dark side of our nature.

Recently, I had the opportunity to decide where I wanted to live. I chose the Pacific Northwest, in western Washington State. I have been here about a year and I love it, so far.

I like music, rain, romance, comedy, adventure, mystery, and fantasy. Oh, and food. Second oh, and beer. I like food and beer. If there is ever a longevity study on survival rates for people who live on stout and Italian food, I plan to volunteer. Third oh, I should not forget coffee.

While politically active and opinionated, I’ll avoid talking about religion and politics. I’ve had numerous discussions and debates over the years on both topics. I can’t recall changing anyone’s mind or having my thinking altered a smidgen. I was given the gift of the opinion of others and I’ve learned from that. I appreciate the people who do write on those two topics, but I shall not contribute.

I am new to the blogosphere. I have read that posting on my blog only a time or two a week is a good start. I will do what I can. However, there is a challenge that some of my friends are tempting (daring?) me with: the A to Z Blog Challenge during the month of April. I believe I will do that. It will mean posting on my blog every day, topically assigned to a specific letter of the alphabet, in order. My theme will be all of the above. Let me see now, A is for….