Wednesday June 30th, 2010

The exercise:

Welcome to the end of June. Welcome to the end of my time in Vancouver. Your prompt today: oh dear.

Apologies for the late posting, it’s been a very long day.

Mine:


We saw a lot of deer on the way home to Osoyoos tonight. Unfortunately I had to stop keeping count at seven and a half.

I have no idea why deer feel the need to gather at the side of the highway as the day draws to a close. Nor do I understand why they think they can get across to the other side before that car that’s approaching at 110 km/h gets to them.

I’ll have to do some research. Tomorrow. Once my brain is functioning properly again.

Tuesday June 29th, 2010

The exercise:

This week's Two Haiku Tuesday comes to you courtesy of: a yellow rose.

I took this picture last night in Kat's mom's flower garden:


That is perhaps my favorite picture I've ever taken. Actually, check that. I just remembered another photo that cannot be budged from the top of the podium. I'll have to try to find that again; it was taken on a friend's film camera a long time ago.

We're back in Vancouver for tonight and tomorrow morning/afternoon in order to collect the rest of our things, clean up, and for Kat's last day of work tomorrow. This time when we leave we'll be gone for good and ready to stay in Osoyoos for the foreseeable future. Yay!

We won't have internet access at the house until July 7th, so things around here might get a bit spotty until then. I'll do my best to keep things flowing as usual.

Mine:

The first time we met
I carried a yellow rose
stolen from your yard.

*     *     *

With this rose I say
goodbye. May they multiply
in heaven's garden.

Monday June 28th, 2010

The exercise:

Today's prompt: the robin.

I will have to get some pictures up once I get hold of a decent internet connection. Until then, just imagine a little piece of paradise here on Earth and you'll have a pretty good idea of where I'm hanging out.

Mine:

I look at you.
You look at me.
I wonder
What you're thinking.
You wonder
Where the worms
Have gone and
If I'm to blame.

Sunday June 27th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: the office.

No internet at the house yet, but I'm currently borrowing a neighbour's weak wireless signal. Hopefully I can hang on long enough to post this and tomorrow's as well. Feedback on your comments for the last few days will probably have to wait though.

Mine:

Today we set up what will become my new office. It's a small room next to our bedroom that had been used for storage by Kat's parents.

There are books and magazines in here that are probably older than I am, and the wallpaper can't be much younger. There is barely enough room for our couch, stereo, and coffee table.

But at my right elbow is an open window that allows in fresh air, sunlight, and birdsong. There is a view over the orchard with the hills providing a distant backdrop.

I hear no cars. I hear no people.

I see no malls. I see no skyscrapers.

It. Is. Perfect.

Saturday June 26th, 2010

The exercise:

Your four line poem this week shall be based around the words: leaving the city behind.

On the road to Osoyoos today. If I have internet access at the house I'll be sure to update this post before the day is through.

Mine:

Dearest city: So long and farewell,
I must thank you for all the great fish;
I'll admit you've treated me just fine,
But leaving you is my only wish.

Friday June 25th, 2010

The exercise:

This week's four lines of prose shall be about: the empty house.

Don't know what the internet situation is in Osoyoos, so I'm scheduling tomorrow's post tonight. Beyond that... we shall see. Hopefully I'll have something for you for Sunday, one way or another.

Today has been a real long day.

Mine:

Okay, so it's not completely empty. But it's pretty damned close - the couch, dresser, and coffee table are in the truck downstairs, and all other major furnishings (besides the bed, which goes in the morning) have been gotten rid of already. There are a few boxes sitting around to get packed up in the morning but that's about it.

I'd end on a witty note but I'm too tired for that crap, so I'm just going to bed now that I've got my four lines done.

Thursday June 24th, 2010

The exercise:

Today we shall write about: vacations.

Packing/throwing stuff out continues on pace. The sun continues to shine. Loading up the truck tomorrow afternoon/evening and then heading to Osoyoos Saturday morning.

Two more sleeps!

Mine:

My thoughts are a little slow,
There's nowhere for me to go -
At least I don't think there is...
Let's hope there isn't a quiz!

Did you see where I put it?
You know, the thing with the bit?
Yes, of course I meant my hat!
Hey, don't look at me like that!

Alright, that's all I can take,
I just really need a break -
There's far too much frustration
On this mental vacation.

Wednesday June 23rd, 2010

The exercise:

Our prompt today shall be: explosions.

Went to see The A-Team last night - good times.

In celebration of only three days left in Vancouver, the sun has come out. Thanks sun!

Mine:

The air was much too full of sand for my liking - the damned breeze kept throwing it in my face and embedding it in my recently shampooed hair.

And the insects! God, they were everywhere - ants exploring the picnic basket, flies and bees crisscrossing overhead like fighter jets at an air show, and mosquitoes treating me like I was a gourmet buffet table. And the seagulls, ugh. I know they're technically not insects, but they sure as hell act like them!

I took a tentative nibble on a cracker with a bit of mystery cheese on it and, unsurprisingly, found the cracker too salty and the cheese tasteless. What a bloody gong show.

Jonathon returned to our picnic blanket carrying a bottle of cheap wine and two wine glasses that he'd probably bought at a thrift store. In the poorest section of town.

His goofy smile died on his lips as he looked into my eyes and saw the explosion waiting to happen.

Tuesday June 22nd, 2010

The exercise:

This week's Two Haiku Tuesday is brought to you by: the mechanic.

Brought the car in for a complimentary oil change (we got a coupon when we bought the car) and to get the brakes checked this morning. It didn't cost nearly as much as we were expecting to get the brakes working smoothly again (it was just an adjustment, rather than requiring new parts) so that was a pleasant surprise.

Holy crap, we're moving in four days!

Mine:

He's under the hood,
muttering dark threats about
how much this will cost.

*     *     *

Red flames on the sides
and monster truck wheels? I just
came for an oil change!

Monday June 21st, 2010

The exercise:

I can't be bothered to think up a proper prompt, so today we're returning to the fan favorite Random CD Prompt. Click on the label below for previous examples, but the basic idea is to steal the first line of a random song and use it as the first line for your poem or prose.

Got a bit of packing done today, along with some chucking of stuff that we won't need at the new place. Moving day is Saturday, so it's nice to have a bit of time to get through everything. I'll probably do some more tonight.

Mine:

Bad Kids by Black Lips

Bad kids, all my friends are bad kids -
Does that make me a bad kid too?
I mean, I know I ain't too good,
But I ain't near as bad as Drew.
I heard, I heard he's been to jail,
And that he's shot a man or two.

Well yeah, I got myself a gun -
In this city there ain't no choice.
That is, if you want off these streets,
Or to get inside a Rolls Royce.
So yeah, I must be a bad kid,
But these bullets give me a voice.

Sunday June 20th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: cheap.

Happy Father's Day!

Kat and I had our Goodbye Vancouver party this afternoon/evening at Spanish Bank and it was a great time. I may have had a little too much to drink. But that didn't stop this great picture of us being taken:


To say that I am pleased that I don't have to go to work tomorrow would be an understatement of the most serious degree.

Mine:

"I am not, nor have I ever been, a cheap drunk!" Jason proclaimed at the top of his lungs, waving his empty shot glass around like an orchestra conductor with a baton.

"Is that right?" I asked with as open an expression as I could muster. I did my best not to think about the fact that he was only on his second drink of the evening.

"That is absolutely, astoundingly, exactly correct!" he replied with a solemn nod. "I am simply an efficient drunk."

"That's a very good point," I said, holding out a hand in his direction. "Now let me help you get down from that table and out of that tutu before the librarian gets back from the bathroom."

Saturday June 19th, 2010

The exercise:

Saturday is the day for four line poems. Let us wax poetic about: sinking.

Mine:

Just a normal day,
No big deal, no sweat;
I guess it's safe to say
This hasn't sunk in yet.

Friday June 18th, 2010

The exercise:

Your four lines of prose this fine Friday, this fine, sunny Friday, this fine, sunny, last day I'll ever work in a cubicle Friday, shall be inspired by the word: farewell.

And... I'm not sure what to say about this other than it somehow managed to make a great day even better. Welcome to anyone arriving here through there, please make yourself at home, and I hope you stay awhile and share your writing with us.

Mine:

This week has absolutely flown past - it's like I've been standing on a highway median and the days were cars doing twice the speed limit.

It's certainly a glorious, triumphant sensation to be done this stage of my life and be preparing for the next. But it was also a little sad having to say farewell to a great group of people - I think it's safe to say that these are the best terms I've left my employer on in my life.

But at the end of the day... it feels so damned good to be free and heading for the farm.

Thursday June 17th, 2010

The exercise:

Today we shall write about: the campaign.

One day of work to go!

Mine:

The men moved between snow-crusted pines, as silently as their weary feet could manage, their rifles at the ready. With the moon fast approaching full they had been expecting a rare night of rest, but a thick cloud cover had brought with it the concealment they required and so they continued to march. There was no choice – their hunters would be moving as well; stopping while the Americans closed in would be suicide.

No words were exchanged in the whitened darkness - the crunching of their boots against the packed snow beneath their feet was more noise than any of them cared to be making. No sign of pursuit had been spotted for over a week but not a nerve was less frayed for it. They knew too well the price to be paid for lowering their guard. If they had not grown too complacent in the town they had been charged with occupying they might still have had a roof over their heads and a fire to warm themselves by.

Their numbers had been more than halved since they had been deployed into the countryside and they were on the retreat. But there were no thoughts of surrender. No consideration of putting down their guns. Until the order came from the F├╝hrer, they would continue to fight.

The commanding officer, a young Untersturmf├╝hrer who had the misfortune of being the highest ranking survivor, brought his troops to a halt at the edge of a clearing. It was a lonely, exposed three hundred feet to the tree line on the opposite side. They had precious little time to waste on delay and the young man felt the pressure of his men’s nervous backward glances as he studied the terrain.

After only a few seconds of contemplation he signalled for the soldiers to move to the right and they began to follow the edge of the clearing, hoping to find a way north that offered more cover, or at least less time in the open.

On the far side of the clearing the Americans continued to wait for their prey to step into their trap. Another two days would pass before they accepted their targets had slipped past them. Wearily they decamped and returned to their chase, each of them privately hoping this drawn out conflict would be brought to a halt before any more shots were fired.

Wednesday June 16th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: the heist.

Two more days of work to go! And I'm getting taken out for lunch both days!

Life is good.

Mine:

Get out of bed, boys,
We’re gonna have some fun.
Grab your coats, boys,
And don’t forget your guns.

The night is young, lads,
But we’re all getting old.
Father Time is cruel, lads,
So let’s do something bold.

The casinos, boys,
Their cash is within our reach.
Beds made of money, boys,
And lifetimes on a beach.

Duck and cover, lads,
The bullets are flying.
It’s all gone wrong, lads,
There’s just no denying.

Time to retreat, boys,
Let us escape these gents.
We need a new plan, boys,
To fund retirement.

Tuesday June 15th, 2010

The exercise:

Two Haiku Tuesday brings to you this week: the mountain.

And yet another picture! This one taken on the road back to Vancouver:


Mine:

Your weather worn gaze
watches the world rush on by.
You must think us mad.

*     *     *

I stand on this peak
a conqueror... could you tell
me how to get down?

Monday June 14th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today is: down by the river.

I'll even accompany it with another picture I took this weekend:


I was rather embarrassed to realize today that I'd used Friday's prompt of 'back in the saddle' as a prompt before. Re-using prompts I don't mind doing - it's just when I do it without realizing it that it bugs me :P

I suppose with over two years worth of prompts it was bound to happen eventually.

Mine:

We sat in the damp grass on the riverbank, our legs dangling over water turned white and frothy by rocks we could not see, our bare feet coated with a fine mist. A lackadaisical breeze set the leaves on both sides of the river to twitching and alleviated the heat from an early afternoon sun that seemed to be closer to Earth than usual that day. Birds communicating in their secret languages was the only noise that reached us that did not come from the water below.

I wanted to apologize for forgetting the fishing rods in the garage. I hadn’t noticed their absence from the pile of tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks in the trunk. My father had never left them behind when we went camping. We would go every summer weekend that he could sneak out of the office early on the Friday, which happened surprisingly regularly for a man in a position of such great responsibility. Mom would always pretend to disapprove of his lack of dedication to his job, but dad knew she was privately thrilled at his commitment to spending quality time with their son.

But I did not live up to my father’s gold standard – the rods were collecting dust back home, tucked away beside my work bench, while I sat with my son empty handed by the river.

I took a deep breath as I struggled to phrase my apology in such a way that my deep regret would be properly conveyed. Taking in the clean, green-scented air, I turned to him as my lips began to part but no words managed to escape me.

My son was sitting there, a peaceful smile decorating his face, his body emanating contented relaxation, as he gazed at the water rushing by. He noticed me staring and flashed me a pleased grin before returning to his study of the river.

And that was when I realized there was nothing to make amends for.

Sunday June 13th, 2010

The exercise:

I'm back, full of sunshine and fresh air and wide open spaces.

Today our assignment is to provide a caption or two or three for this picture I took this weekend:


This fine fellow was hanging around in a pasture about a two minute walk away from where the ceremony was held.

Mine:

"What did you just say about my mother?"

*     *     *

"Put the camera down and nobody gets hurt."

*     *     *

"Welcome to my pasture - have you tried the grass?"

Saturday June 12th, 2010

The exercise:

The four line poem topic this week: the barn.

I've been told that I'm attending a barn wedding today. I shall return with pictures of said barn and share them with you.

Mine:

It smells like hay and horse
And something worse (of course);
But if I close my eyes...
I can still hear your lies.

Friday June 11th, 2010

The exercise:

Our four lines of prose this week shall be based around: back in the saddle.

On the road to Kamloops today, see you fine folk when we return.

Mine:

It had been years since he had rode that trail. He had told everyone he had retired, settled down with his new bride, found peace.

But that peace had been shattered in the night by a hail of bullets and now he was back on his horse, tracking down the men responsible.
 
And when he found them – and there could be no doubt that he would – they would pay for their transgression with their lives.

Thursday June 10th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today is: the assistant.

Kat and I are headed to Kamloops this weekend for one of her cousin's wedding. I'll be leaving straight from work, so I'm scheduling the next two days tonight and I'll be back on Sunday. With pictures this time, I swear!

...

Okay, now that I've put my camera in the most obvious place possible, let's get to writing, shall we?

Mine:

He answers all my calls,
Runs errands at the mall,
Willingly takes the fall
He really does it all!

He always makes me laugh
And helps my kids with math;
When Im on the war path
I still get my sponge bath!

Now, with all of that having been said,
I wish he’d stay out of my wife’s bed.

Wednesday June 9th, 2010

The exercise:

Daily Writing Practice was born on June 9th, 2008. Today we gather to celebrate his/her/its second birthday.

I've got a lot going on right now, so there will be no year in review style post this time around. I decided to go with something new today, something I've wanted to try for a while but just haven't managed to do yet.

So, with the idea of this blog continuing on and on, today we are going to do a continuation of a continuation.

Read this post first, as well as the two comments that continued the story, then read mine today and we'll go from there. Each contributor adds on to the story from where the last left off. Enjoy, and thanks for dropping by. It really does mean a heck of a lot to me.

Mine:

I swore then, long and loud, my voice oscillating between shrieking fear and moaning resignation. Tommy was beside me on his hands and knees, completely silent. His eyes were locked on his brother’s decomposing corpse and it took a Herculean effort to stop my gaze from following his.

“What are we going to do?” I asked when I finally regained some self-control. “I don’t want to die here!”

Tommy said nothing as he slowly rose to his feet and went to stand between his brother and the pile of treasure. Not capable of thinking of a better option, I decided to check out the glittering heap. Maybe there would be clues as to why we were trapped there, or even a reason why Tommy’s brother had died attempting to take it.

It was like something out of a Hollywood movie – silver coins, golden sceptres, daggers with gems set in their hilts, the whole deal. I picked up a wicked looking dagger and tested its point against a finger. I yanked it away immediately, a small blossom of blood blooming where the two had met.

“This could come in handy,” I muttered as I carefully slid it between my belt and jeans. Behind me I could hear Tommy mumbling to his brother and I did my best not to listen as I returned to my inspection.

That’s when I spotted it.

It was a book. A simple, brown, leather bound book, no bigger than my hand. Sticking out from the far side of the pile, it was as though the rest of the treasure had rejected its paltry presence and was pushing it away.

I reached for it with trembling fingers and plucked it from the mound. After another look around the room, taking great pains not to look at the dead body behind me, I slowly pulled on the cover to reveal the words that waited within.

Tuesday June 8th, 2010

The exercise:

It appears to be Two Haiku Tuesday again. Let us write about: falling.

It also appears that tomorrow marks two years in the life of Daily Writing Practice (I only noticed last night, to be honest). To celebrate the occasion I think I shall do... something that I've never done before!!!

Dun dun dun!

Tune in tomorrow to see what all the nonsense is about.

Mine:

Flying like a bird?
No, I'd say it's more like you're
Falling like a rock.

*     *     *

When the ground gives way
beneath my feet you catch me,
without fail. Thank you.

Monday June 7th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt: fragile.

Picked up the new Jack Johnson CD yesterday and I'm diggin' it, as expected. I also found a best of Frank Sinatra CD that was on sale and couldn't resist picking it up. That man can croon.

Mine:

There’s a sign on your heart,
But the writing’s not clear;
I won’t let that stop me,
I’ve got nothing to fear.

* * *

So I worked late again,
Why is that a big deal?
What happened to your trust,
When’d it have its last meal?

Quit your preachin’ woman,
I will drink all I please!
This whiskey keeps me warm
While you make our bed freeze.

Your tears keep talking,
I ain’t listening no more;
Yeah you heard me sweetheart,
Your act’s making me bored.

* * *

Empty house, empty bed,
Regret is in the air;
I guess that the sign said:
Fragile – Handle With Care.

Sunday June 6th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: the ball game.

Yesterday was most excellent times. But I'm rather tired today so I'm going to cheat a little bit.

Mine:

I haven't attended a baseball game in quite a few years and doing so yesterday brought back one of my latent childhood dreams: professional sports photographer.


We had pretty sweet seats - row 19, almost directly behind home plate. I got quite a few pictures like this before deciding to go for a walk around the stadium to capture some different angles.


Seattle's Safeco Field is a great place to catch a game. It's open air with a retractable roof (that, thanks to the sun, remained tucked away all afternoon) and a path that leads all the way around the stadium - I took the above and the following two pictures at various points along that concourse.


Despite a few close calls, we never had a decent shot at a foul ball, which was rather disappointing.


But I imagine the game itself was far more of a letdown for fans of the home team: the Mariners lost 11 to 2.

Saturday June 5th, 2010

The exercise:

Your four line poem topic this week is, as promised: the bachelor party.

I'm Seattle bound for a baseball game and a night at the casino, due back sometime on Sunday. I'm scheduling this so I don't have to squeeze it in tomorrow morning, so I'll get to the comments on Friday when I return.

Mine:

The boys are heading out of town,
They're a bunch of day trippers;
Things won't get too out of hand though,
Cuz the bride said no strippers.

I know you saw that last line coming a mile away. And I don't caaaaaaaaaaaaaare... see you Sunday :)

Assuming they let me back in the country.

Friday June 4th, 2010

The exercise:

Your four lines of prose this week shall be about: the coast.

I was very excited to learn on the way home today that Jack Johnson has a new CD out. I shall be picking it up as soon as I'm able to. Who says advertising doesn't work?

Much more excited about the fact that I'm getting picked up at 9 tomorrow morning to begin my bachelor party adventure. I might even have trouble sleeping tonight; I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve or something.

Mine:

I now have two weeks of work left and, oh man, am I ever beginning to coast to that long awaited finish line.

Things that would normally stress me out I'm just watching fly on by like butterflies in a tropical garden. I just so don't care anymore.

I know moving is going to be a royal pain in the ass, but I think I can safely say that I've officially coasted right on into the Happy Zone.

Thursday June 3rd, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: Batman.

Inspired by the fact that I've been answering the phone for the last two days with some variation of, "Good afternoon, you've reached Batman."

Thank goodness for caller id.

Back to work and the real world tomorrow. Then it's bachelor party time!

Mine:

The Joker's on the prowl,
He's up to something fowl
With his three best henchmen,
The chain-smoking Frenchmen.

But Batman's no dummy
With a great big tummy,
He sees all that goes on
In between dusk and dawn.

So he arrives in time
To thwart the grisly crime;
Then it's back to the cave
For his five o'clock shave.

The big secret he keeps?
When the hell does he sleep.

Wednesday June 2nd, 2010

The exercise:

The prompt: in the dark.

I was going to both explain what's going on with me and do a take on the prompt, but then the explanation got huge and I decided to just leave that as my take.

Mine:

The reason I'm off work until Friday has nothing to do with recovery time or needing to rest (though I probably could use the latter). No, it's because I have to avoid bright lights for the 48 hours following the surgery.

In a nutshell, they injected the medicine into my veins and it went everywhere. They used a laser to activate it where they needed to in my eyes (to seal a leaky vessel in each one - the condition is called CSR). The problem is that the medicine is light activated, not just laser activated. So sunshine, bright lights, all that good stuff will trigger it anywhere it happens to be.

Which, as I mentioned, is all over. So if I go out during the day, or sit under a bright indoor light, I get a severe sunburn.

So I'm living in the dark for the next couple of days. Which is making me want to write a vampire story. Don't worry, I shall be strong.

I'm waiting for my body to absorb the remaining liquid and then I get to see how much my vision improves. The issue before was mainly in my right eye and almost completely unnoticeable when I had both my eyes open. However if I closed my left eye everything went blurry - I'm looking forward to that not happening anymore.

I'd like to finish off by giving a big shout out to the Canadian health system. Apparently I'm walking around with a drug in me that costs $1700 per vial, so I'm pretty pleased I didn't have to pay a cent for it.

Tuesday June 1st, 2010

The exercise:

Your Two Haiku Tuesday prompt this week: sight.

This morning I had the pleasure of getting some laser surgery done on my eyes to correct an issue I've been having for a while now. It seemed to go well and now I'm back to being stuck at home for another two days. Work must love me.

Side note: it is my intention that this is the last time the word surgery will appear in the top half of my posts. I've had enough, thank you.

Mine:

My eyes are open
and all they want to look at
is, quite simply, you.

*     *     *

Like, I dunno Jess.
A blind date? Like, how will we,
like, find each other?