Thursday September 29th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the nut.

Work was a little hectic first thing this morning at Public Works. Had a voicemail waiting for me, three or four relatively urgent emails in my inbox, and I needed to get the coffee going for the crew (they arrive for a 15 minute break at 10 and it's nice to have their coffee ready for them when they get there).

Got through that, had a few other things to deal with, then headed for Town Hall. Where I had zero phone calls and no one walk in needing anything.

So, the opposite of yesterday, basically.

I was realizing last week that I hadn't shared any pictures from the bakery. Now that things have slowed down a bit, I actually had time to pull out my phone to take this:

Going left to right, we've got butter tarts, chocolate croissants, regular croissants, cinnamon buns, and focaccia. Oh, and on the shelves in the background there are preserves, oils, and bags of coffee. Just out of sight are the shelves holding the loaves of bread.

It is amazing I haven't put on fifty pounds since I started working there. I suppose never having time to stop moving while I'm there helps with that.


"Looks like you're missing a nut, sir."

"Or is it a bolt, brother?"

"Beats me. I can never keep those two straight."

"Well, he's definitely missing one of the two, wouldn't you say, brother?"

"Oh yes. Clearly you're missing a nut, sir."

"Or a bolt."

"Yes, or a bolt."

"Whichever the round one is, sir."

"That's a nut? Really? Are you sure about that?"

"I mean, with all due respect, sir... you're not a mechanic, after all."

"Quite right. Not like me and my brother here."

"Well, if you say so. A nut it is. I guess."

"Either way! Rest assured, sir, we'll have your truck back on the road in no time!"

"Though I'm pretty damned sure it's a bolt tha-"

"Let it go, dear brother. Let it go."

Wednesday September 28th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the complaint.

Work went by pretty quickly this morning. Had a side project to keep me busy, which was good since the phones were very quiet. Then I went over to Town Hall to cover a lunch break and things got a little more interesting.

Had several phone calls, one of which was a guy complaining about an invoice he'd received from the town. I guess he'd been given a couple warnings for an 'unsightly premise' and didn't do anything about it in time and then was surprised by the rather large bill.

So that was fun.

And then a lady came in to complain about a neighbour's tree. Thankfully I didn't have to deal with her, but I did have the best seat in the house for her conversation with another person who works at Town Hall. After she was told there wasn't really anything the town could do about it, she declared that she wasn't going to pay her taxes next year and stormed out.

Good times.

Also: not a very good solution to the problem. If she doesn't pay her taxes for three years the town can sell her property in order to collect their money. I can't imagine it will come to that but... you know, maybe not the best idea to go down that road.

Back at it tomorrow!


He files his complaints,
Year after year,
Then drowns his sorrows,
Beer after beer.

They'll all be ignored;
They just don't care
About his concerns -
They're standard fare.

But it's the barkeep
Who knows (and sadly so)
When it's time to pay up,
And when it's time to go.

Tuesday September 27th, 2016

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the sweatshop.

My training shift at Public Works went pretty well this morning. I think I'm setup to take care of the rest of the week now... but I guess the coming days will let me know for sure, one way or the other.

Definitely a different atmosphere than the other town locations I've worked in. It's kinda like being in the office of a garage. Not sure I could do it full time, but covering for part of a week is certainly doable.


Wall to wall treadmills,
an obese man on each one;
we make all the sweat

*     *     *

She works from dawn to
dusk, earning what I could make
in seven minutes

Monday September 26th, 2016

The exercise:

Our writing today shall revolve around this question: are you listening?

I don't think I could ever coach toddler soccer classes. I learned that today, if nothing else.

The community center called the other night to let me know that they didn't have enough kids signed up to make two separate classes, so they were combining the two into one. This was disappointing news, as Max and I quite liked having a smaller class (there were six total in his class last week).

But they were all together this week. Which, for the record, is a much better option that just cancelling them both. But it was more like twelve kids. And I'd say about a third of them were borderline incapable of listening to what the coach was telling them.

Yes, I know they're toddlers. But... goodness me. Plus: they really feed off each other, so when one or two start acting out at least three more follow their lead.


Pure chaos.

Anyway. Max still managed to have fun.

I needed a coffee afterward.


I will transform these kids. My years of experience and knowledge will spread over and enshroud them like a warm blanket on a winter's day. My techniques and skill will be bestowed upon them. They just need to be willing to put in the work.


My awards await me. Coach of the Year? That was mine before I got out of bed this morning. I'm gunning for Coach of the Century. Greatest Coach Ever is not beyond my grasp. I just have to get them to listen to me and to do as I say. The rest will follow as it should.

"Coach? Emily asked for a bathroom break twenty minutes ago."

They should count themselves lucky. There are toddlers out there who would kill to be in this class, learning at my feet. Most of them are in jail though. Sadly.

"Hey! Would someone tell the janitor to get in here with a mop?!"

I should demand a raise. Clearly, I deserve one.

Sunday September 25th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that is: isolated.

Spent as much of today as possible off my feet. It was good.

Forgot to mention that we got the car back yesterday. Kat had to pick it up after the garage had closed, so I'll have to stop by tomorrow to find out how much it cost us. Just happy to have it back right now.


Towering trees protect me in every direction for miles. Beyond them? A thousand foot cliff to the north. A deadly, wind ravaged mountain to the south. Waves thundering upon beaches to the east and west.

This place is not easy to reach.

I like it that way.

Visitors do not seek me out. No one will ever stumble upon me by accident. No questions to answer, no battles to wage. No radio or TV or internet. No intrusions.

I am alone with the elements out here.

As it was intended from the very beginning.

It is the natural way.

At least, that's what I keep telling myself...

I'm certain that my captors would see things somewhat differently.

Saturday September 24th, 2016

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the weekend.

Busier day today, as I expected Saturday to be. Ended up with only four loaves of bread, a couple epis, and five ciabatta buns. The shop closed at 3 (instead of 4 like the last three days) and I managed to get out of there by 3:40 without having to rush too much.

Very much looking forward to having the next two days off, to spend time with my family and to maybe hopefully possibly rest.


It comes with promises
Of rest, of freedom, of fun;
Quickly, let's do it all
Before the weekend's done...

Friday September 23rd, 2016

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the injury.

It's been a rough week for my left hand. On Sunday (or maybe Monday?) I was cooking a chicken curry in coconut milk, so I had opened up a can of coconut milk and left it sitting on the counter with the lid pointed straight up. 

Smart, I know.

Shortly afterward, I went to grab something behind it and cut my left thumb and left ring finger on the lid.

That hurt quite a bit. I've had band-aids on both of them since.

This afternoon at the bakery I was mopping up in the back and had fallen behind schedule a little bit, so I was rushing. And being careless again, obviously. There's a long baker's bench, under which they keep four big bins of flour. I have to roll them out in order to sweep and mop under there, but this time I managed to squish my left thumb between the bin and the bottom of the table.

That also hurt quite a bit. As I sit here now, some seven hours later, my thumb is still throbbing. And there's a nice black spot under my thumbnail where the blood dried up.

So my goal for tomorrow's shift is to escape it uninjured.

Or, at the very least, to escape without injuring my left hand any further.


"Ma, I think I'm dying!"

"It's just a tiny little cut, dear - I'm sure you'll be fine."

"Ma, I'm bleeding out here!"

"Oh, just stick a band-aid on it and get back to cleaning your room."