Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2019

Archive for the month “April, 2016”

Fiction Saturday – Untitled Story – Part Ten

noir officeUntitled Story – Part Ten

I was getting ready to take an overdue rent check down to the building office when my phone rang. That hasn’t happened much in the last few months. I figured it was either some clown from India telling me that my computer was infected or Ginger calling from her limo to demand an apology. Either way I was in no mood.

“Hello. This call may be monitored by a trained monkey for – “

“Save it, Hon. I’ve got something to share with you that, I hope, is going to have us packing for our cruise.”

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Talkin’ Trash

OUTSIDE OUR APARTMENT THE WIND IS HOWLING. It is a north wind coming across the open sea from the polar regions. It may be late April, but it feels like February. I’m glad I brought along my heavy jacket.1

The clouds in the sky, according to my wife, the lovely and cinematically referential, Dawn, resemble the clouds used by space aliens to conceal the Mother Ship from prying human eyes. She’s right.

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Throwback Thursday from April 28, 2015

Throwback Thursday1You Are Not Pizza

Pizza you are not

I WENT TO SEE MY NUTRITIONIST yesterday morning. His task is to help me to change my eating habits, thereby losing weight, thereby lowering my blood pressure, thereby continuing to be alive.

So far so good.

According to him I have lost four pounds since my last visit – and I did so without amputating any body parts or pretending I was a prisoner in a Northern Ireland jail. I have tried to alter my food choices – that means cutting back on pizza and eating more fruits and veggies.

I can do that.

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Mutton, Mutton, Who’s Got The Mutton?

sheep-o

SHEEP. I DON’T THINK THEY LIKE ME

I can’t swear to it, but just across the road from where we are staying, near Westport in county Mayo, there are lots of sheep and they are looking at me funny.

When we first pulled up to the house there must have been about 100 quiet and docile sheep grazing away and ignoring everything else – UNTIL.

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Cruisin’ For A Fair Irish Bruisin’

3ONE PROBLEM THAT I HAVE, among the multitude I must admit, is one that can be both embarrassing, along with the potential for getting my head kicked in.

I have the habit, unconscious though it may be, of slipping into whatever accent I hear around me. It’s a sort of a Zelig thing (Old Woody Allen movie, look it up). If I am conversing with someone from Louisiana it will take me just a few minutes before I find myself starting to talk like someone straight out of the bayou.

If I was on the other end of that conversation I would think that this fool (me) was either making fun of me or just plain nuts. I am not trying to make fun of anyone and, well – let’s not go there, OK?

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Feed Me. I Don’t Care What

4AFTER A FULL DAY of visiting historic Neolithic sites and the 13th century ruins of a Cistercian Abbey we were tired, a bit overwhelmed, and hungry.

The entire trip back to our “Base Camp” in Belturbet was consumed with trying to decide what to eat for dinner. We were exhausted, so preparing a meal for ourselves was quickly ruled out. We needed someone else to do the work and set the food in front of us.

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Part Nine – Untitled Story

elevator 2I dropped Doris at her place after breakfast and I checked in at my office. When I got onto the elevator I thought I could smell something familiar – a perfume. When I turned down the hallway Ginger Cream was standing by my door checking her makeup in a small compact.

“It’s about time you got here.”

“Did we have an appointment?” I unlocked the door. As she pushed past me into the office my nose confirmed the aroma from the elevator. Ginger left a trail wherever she went.

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Throwback Thursday from April 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday 3

Smile! Click.

Pluto Charon NASA

I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING.

“What the heck is that?”

I grant you that it looks like a photo of some lint that I took with my phone while it was in my pocket. It isn’t. I’ve taken pictures of my lint and it looks better than this.

Courtesy of NASA – This is the first color photograph ever taken of Pluto (you know, that place that used to be a planet) and its moon, Charon. If this a “color” photo I must assume that the colors are black and white.

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Grocery Shopping Can Be Fun

supervaluYOU CAN EVEN SURPRISE ME once in a while – and that’s not easy anymore. After being so long on this planet one sees most things and the variations on those things that crop up along the way.

While I make no claims to any superpowers. I barely have any skills at all other than an active imagination and decent powers of observation. I do notice things.

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I’m Just Guessing Here

Saint ArbucksI LOVE GOING INTO ST. ARBUCKS. It is a veritable showcase for displaying the skills of the Marketing and Advertising people who are sitting in Seattle drinking way too much coffee and not getting enough Vitamin D.

There is no way I can verify this, but – I suspect that the corporate Marketing and Ad folks working at the Espresso Vatican are all in their 20s with MFA degrees from East Coast schools. Moving to Seattle was the first time that they have not had their parent’s home listed as their legal address.

While still on campus they attended a “Job Fair” where the Head Hunters from the Puget Sound passed out coupons and seriously flirted with anyone who could correctly spell “Frappuccino.”

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Part Eight – Untitled Story

Supper club“I’m impressed.”

“Well, you should be, Doris. It took a little arm twisting to get these reservations on such short notice.”

“What did you do? If it was illegal, don’t tell me. I do work for the court system, remember?”

“How could I forget? And it wasn’t anything illegal. I just led the owner to, possibly; maybe, think that I know more about the restaurant’s bookkeeping practices than I really do. I flash my badge; shake my head and go, ‘Tsk, tsk, tsk,’ – and poof! – table for two.”

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I Thought It Was Springtime.

1April 7, 2016

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE – and it’s cold inside for that matter.

We have arrived in Ireland in the midst of one seriously nasty cold snap. I’m not up on my Metric/Celsius scale of measurements, but I remember enough to know that 0 degrees Celsius equals 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which in my world equals freezing. I do not like freezing. I am not a quart of ice cream. I am not a package of pork chops. I am not an animal, I am a man!

Sorry, I got carried away there. That last bit is from an old movie, “The Elephant Man.”

What I’m trying to say is that it was cold. And rainy. Why do I act surprised? It’s Ireland and I’m a Yankee Flatlander used to central heating.

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Throwback Thursday from – April, 14 2015

Throwback Thursday 2

A Love That Dare Not Speak – Period

Alpaca

ONE OF THE MAJOR BENEFITS of being married is that you don’t have to be dating. That particular nightmare is over and done with.

We’ve all been through the perils of dating: Dating someone who turned out to be seriously crazy; Dating someone whose idea of a good time involved pain, minor wounds and a tetanus shot (maybe that was just me.); Dating someone who was either too young or too old for you. You should never date someone who doesn’t know any of the same songs you do.

And finally: You should never date outside of your own species. I’m as open minded as the next guy, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

Let me explain.

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I Have No Need To Move

Beach-deckI KNOW THAT SPRING OFFICIALLY BEGAN a few weeks ago and I was truly grateful. Spring means that better weather is coming – unless you live in Denver or someplace like that. If you live there then Spring means that winter continues, pedal to the metal until mid-summer. That alone has kept me a “Flatlander” or close to it.

But now, it is definitely Spring, which in my book means that warm weather is on the way. However – I feel that I must define “warm weather.”

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Carrying On About Carry-On

7WHEN THEY SAY “CARRY-ON” LUGGAGE I don’t think that they mean luggage that has so much stuff in it that the Airline Cabin Crew, other passengers, Customs people, car rental people, and me start to carry on about it.

I must admit that my carry-on is just that, but in the same way that a 30 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer on wheels can be considered “portable.”

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Fiction Saturday – Untitled Story – Part Seven

Fiction Saturday – Untitseven 1led Story – Part Seven

 

Walker Valley Road was a narrow strip of blacktop that rolled through the woodsy county line outside of town. It was underdeveloped, under serviced by the County and the State, and underpoliced. It was the part of the County where the aging periphery of society could safely grow a little Mary Jane and where, if the neighbors weren’t family, you didn’t ask questions.

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A Five Hour Time Change

1

Dingle

BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS my wife, the lovely and trans-atlantically adept, Dawn, and I will be in Ireland. If we aren’t in Ireland we will be in the Twilight Zone sitting next to William Shatner.

 After a short hop from Indianapolis to Chicago we took the tall hop nonstop to Dublin. We’ve been in this airport before and I think it’s one of the better airports I’ve seen. Yes, it’s busy and crowded, but it works and you can get in and out with a minimum of hassle.

We will be in Ireland for the next seven weeks.

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Throwback Thursday – From April 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday1

I Love Scientific Research

Chocolate temple

I DID A LITTLE READING this week about a research project conducted at both Columbia and New York Universities about the healthful benefits of Chocolate.

Ooh, it’s a good thing.

According to the research – Chocolate contains a chemical compound called “Flavanois” and that a large dose is better than exercise.

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All I Need Is Another 105 Years.

1I’VE WRITTEN ALL SORTS OF CRAP. In fact, most of what I have written is crap. And that covers a lot of years.

My earliest recollection of writing anything outside of school assignments was at about the age of nine or ten. Since then I have written a lot of fiction, a ton of nonfiction, a textbook and website training materials, theater performance pieces for myself and other actors, jokes for comedians, and I even wrote business letters for a coffeehouse owner whose command of English was spotty at best. The one thing that keeps me at it is that, over time, I’ve gotten better at it.

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Start Every Day Like This

1In the midst of the chaos and insanity I see around me on a daily basis, this morning I saw two things that filled my morning with beauty and comfort.

As I drove toward St. Arbucks this morning in the blue light of dawn I could see, dominating the western sky, a Full Moon. There were just a few high and wispy clouds leaving the Full Moon to light up the sky unfettered.

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