Signs along the beaten path...

All work published here, whether my own or someone else's is subject to copyright laws and will be rabidly protected through litigation!

Do not trespass against thy neighbors (you may however stroll on the grass to feel it between your toes)!

If you have questions....ask! {there are no stupid questions}

Friday, November 7, 2008

Writers Workshop Assignment....Childhood games


She prompts me to write (and I love drawing on my life experiences to do so). Let's cut through the chase and get down to the meat of this thing!! I give you a fictionalized day in the life of Francis, Michael, Will, Andrew and Anthony.

The boys hated babysitting. It was bad enough they had to endure these brats they knew as little brothers, let alone take care of them. But what are a couple of teenage boys to do? They had explicit instructions from mom and dad to keep a close eye on their brothers, so no one would get hurt or into trouble. But as they sat around the house pondering the social scene at the youth hall, their active imaginations got the better of them.

"What if we were to isolate the brats so they can't get into trouble? asked Francis.

"I dunno, as long as they are safe and out of harms way, I guess that would be okay." replied Michael.

"Then we could go hook up with the guys, and as long as we are home before mom and dad, no one else will know." said Francis.

"I'm down with that, fo shizzle! What do you have in mind?" queried Michael.

"For starters we can put Will under the sink in the kitchen. Andrew can be locked in the footlocker, but we will have to make sure he can get air." suggested Francis.

"And we can put Anthony under the toy box, there is no way he can lift that thing." added Michael.

"Cool. You get your bicycle chain and padlock, I'll empty the toy box and footlocker." said Francis.

"How are we going to get the brats to get into these things without a fight?" asked Michael.

"The same way I get them to make me sandwiches when I am hungry, kick their asses." sneered Francis.

"Yeah, I guess. Works every time, huh? Well, let's get this ball rolling." suggested Michael.

They take a little time and effort to get their pieces in place, but all goes as expected for them. With the three younger brothers playing a really cool game of "Prisoners Of War", the older two siblings set out for their rendezvous with the other local kids at the nearby junior high school. After an unspecific amount of time has elapsed, they return home to find all the doors and windows to the house locked.

While they were away, the prisoners escape!! Anthony sits in total darkness under the wooden toy box. Will sits in the cupboard below the sink. He is peering out through the small amount of space which the doors will open under the slack of the chain and lock. He is watching Andrew, who is latched into the footlocker. Andrew is getting restless with this game and has started kicking and thrashing about.

"Hey!! You almost popped the latch on the footlocker. Kick it again and try to undo it!!" squeals Will.

Bam. Bam bam. Bam bam bam. the kicking finally works, and Andrew crawls from the footlocker. He surveys the scene in the kitchen. The older siblings have used toy wooden building blocks to wedge the toy box against the footlocker and wall. A quick kick to the blocks and Andrew is able to tilt the toy box off of Anthony, freeing him from his incarceration. The two of them turn their attention to Will.

"Oh. They have you chained and locked under there. Do you think we can pick the lock (I think it was a key lock??)? asked Andrew.

Anthony replied, "I dunno know." (he was young, very young)

"Get dad's hacksaw out of the utility room. We can cut this chain. It isn't real big." begged Will.

Andrew and Anthony head outside to get the saw. They return with the required tool, and make short work of the imprisoning item. Having freed all the prisoners, they turned toward securing the compound. They checked all the windows and locked all the doors. They even wedged the doors shut, which the others were sure to have keys for, using their ingenious little minds to get the task done. Then they ate and watched television. Will and Andrew even exacted some revenge by peeing on cherished items of their oppressors. But then, right around lunch time, the oppressors returned.

"Hey!! The door won't open." exclaimed Francis.

"That's strange. Let's try the back." added Michael.

"This one is locked, too!! Look the brats are loose. How did they get out?" cried Michael.

Time passed as the older boys tried any and every trick they could think of to get in the house. Eventually they used the lamest trick they could muster.

"Come on guys, I really need to use the bathroom. Let us in and we'll forget about this whole thing." begged Francis.

Against their better judgement, the three younger brothers relented and gave access to the older boys.

"Now you are in for it!! Who sawed my chain in half??? You are all going to get the treatment now. Get under that sink." growled Michael.

Abandoning their separate (but equal??) prison quarters, Francis and Michael relegated the three younger boys to one temporary jail cell. All three boys were placed under the kitchen sink, locked inside the cupboard, and treated to several minutes of hot water flowing through the drain pipes. After which, they were chastised for escaping in the first place, assured that they were being watched, threatened with even harsher punishment if they escaped again (or tattled to the parents) and left locked up again.

All was as the oppressors wanted it to be, until Dad came home early from work. Let the beatings commence.

This post was brought to you by the letters "F" and "U", and is dedicated to Francis and Michael (don't trust me to watch your kids!!).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday Caption Contest (on Wednesday, again)

I think I am starting to see a pattern develop here, Nevertehless, it's Tuesday again!!! Because it is my favorite day, we will run another caption contest. This will be the eighth installment of the Tuesday Caption Contest. Many are the numbers now that have been winners for the caption contests so far. As the last official winner, Quita was allowed her choice of minor prizes, and she will be getting the Walk The Line movie soundtrack CD (I love The Man In Black). She won with the entry, "STEWEY", as my new nickname (let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes!).

A quick review of the rules:

1. Entries must be posted by Saturday evening, 11:59pm.

2. Entries must be no longer than one sentence if it is a regular caption contest. If it is a mutated caption contest, then I am looking for no more than a thousand words, and poems of any form will get extra consideration.

3. I am the sole judge of who wins each week, but may give special recognition/prizes to unusual entries.

4. One entry per contest per person.

So without any further delay, the new photo is up top. Have fun and good luck.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Caption Contest Winner news and rugby zulus

The last Caption Contest went pretty well. I had a lot of responses concerning the four interesting photos I threw up for you all to use to give me a new nickname. There was a lot of speculation as to which person I was in two of the photos, and that would make a huge difference as to the nickname with which you adorned me. Having identified myself in each of the four photos, after the deadline for entry submissions, I love the responses to each of the photos. Some of the suggestions were Cuppy, Pidasstrian, Stu-Pid-Ass (twice) and Stewey.

My choice of awarding this weeks prize goes to Drama Mama for her submission of Stewey. I will therefore add Stewey to the long list of other names people have and still do call me. Drama Mama joins, Angie, Wendy, myself and Melissa in the past winners circle. I do want to give an honorable mention to Jennifer P., who coined the name Cupsy for me. Any of you that saw the third photo of me in that post can understand. As unpleasant as it may sound considering, it too would be one that I would wear with pride. I will take into account any input the past winners want to give for future selections of the top honor for any of the future Caption Contests, I know who you are so just leave any suggestions in the comments. I want to thank all who have stopped by to play or even just to give some comment love. Keep coming back and, please, spread the word; the more playing the better. And as a parting gift I give to you a picture of the rugby tradition called "zuluing"! But if Becky's Top Ten List came with a picture of all her top ten choices zuluing, you girls would probably never leave her site!! And I laugh that some of the guys are still wearing their cleats. Drama Mama please leave a list of three CDs and an address to mail one of them. You can leave it in the comments or email it to me, your choice. Look tonight for today's new Caption Contest photo!! God Bless!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Train ride tankas....

So Ce, I must bounce!
As much as I like to be
in your loving arms,
Houston calls unto me now.
I yield to my daughter's charms.

Howl through the wind swept oak tree!!
Air with direction,
carry my voice of frustration,
to Miles, my wonderful son!!

White is the color,
Like sincerity and peace.
Such is my surname.
My anger I must release.
Thank you father for my shame.

A month with my brood,
lonely Sunday when they go.
Now I'm in no mood,
I seek solace with my bro.
He can fix my attitude.

Some say God loves us.
He wants us to be happy,
and so it is thus,
rugby is my therapy.
Sevens on sand in Corpus.

Nubian princess,
known only as Divina.
An angel no less,
glides like a ballerina.
Not for me, I'm such a mess.

Young Miss Yurika,
beautiful Japanese girl
sitting next to me,
but could I speak your language
or kiss your lips so softly.

All of these were written riding on the train (duh??), but the dates vary from March of 2005 to July of 2006. They are in the tanka poetry style. Don't know what that is?? Try this site for more poetry forms. Thanks Angie for setting my spelling in the write direction!!

Dreamin' of Eden

Sitting in this train's lounge car
blurs of green and purple streaking by
sun setting slow but bright
puts a squinting in my eye
all this gorgeous Texas scenery
filled with trees and brush and green
long stretches of flat pasture land
with wild brushline in between
a head of cow here and there
a game feeder or a blind
barbed wire fences and old windmills
along dirt roads that cease to wind
through the peaceful countryside
where nature grows unkempt and randomly
where God still walks in his own garden
unspoiled by sons of Adam and Eve
there are no toll booths or HOV lanes
no IHOP, Starbucks or Wal-mart
no ATMs or gasoline stations
to help tear this Eden apart
gone are all the SUVs
the roaring of the traffic
the smog and all those damn cell phones
the ugly city scenes so graphic
all that is out here to do
are the things God meant to be
the most relaxing and invigorating
no charge, untaxed and free
like long walks down misty country lanes
or climbing old gnarly trees
or taking naps on shaded swing
cooled by a gentle breeze
snuggling up next to a friend
after supper on a summer night
listening to the forest serenade
watching dusk morph to twilight
or catching sight while stargazing
of the occasional shooting star
wishing for true love to come
and find you where you are
so pack my things and sell my house
and move me out of that city
'cause if I waste another precious year here
it would be a crime not just a pity

I wrote this on the Amtrak, between Fort Worth and Austin back in 2005. I had been taking the train back and forth trying to secure an apartment in Austin so I could live. The four hour trip was nice, especially for eighteen dollars each way. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting some travel.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Opening up.....Part 2

So, I talked a little bit about my nicknames, my inner fear of exposing my information (not myself, apparently), and my lovely sister. Now let's talk about the rest of my family in relation to those four photos I posted.

In the first photo, it was obvious which one I was, in between my sister and my mother.

In the second photo, again, it is easy to tell which one I am. The others are my son (in my lap), my daughter (beside me) and a girlfriend with her two boys. She has her own story which I may get to some day, but for now suffice it to say that her chapter is written, done, over with, finis, kaput, through. She will always have a place in my heart, but that is all she will have.

The third photo was taken after a rugby game, before I was married (I think, I'll have to confirm that later though). As incredibly embarrassing as that photo is for me to show to other people, it is dead on as to how my personality can be ultra-uninhibited. While all others are looking at the camera, I am intent can see for yourself. It is one of those things that remind me to be true to myself. I am no pervert, but I am fun loving, open-minded, adventurous, and a carefree spirit.

The last photo is the one that I want to identify for all of you. It was our family Xmas photo from 197...something, I am not sure. Just look at my mom's hair-do and that will give you an idea of how old it really is. I am one of eight sons and nine children all together (not including the few extras who moved in with us over the years). We are Irish Catholic. My siblings, by initials, in order (and location) are: HGW-IV (left back row), MEW (right back row), PFW (middle back row), DRW (right kneeling), KMW (left kneeling), KMW (middle kneeling), WHW (seated left), GEW (me, seated middle) and KAW (seated right). There is a 15 year spread amongst us. I turned forty this year and my only younger brother is thirty-seven, which would make my oldest brother fifty-two this year. We have blessed my parents with ten grandchildren. One, who I will post about later, is kind of estranged from us by our lovely court system here in America. She turns eighteen this year and is a senior in high school, so the laws which prevent my brother from contacting her are about to lapse. We will be mass communicating with her at that point. We all so miss her and want her to know she has a whole mess of aunts, uncles and cousins that are just crazy to meet her.

So now you know who I am a little bit more, and I hope you can forgive me for being overly cautious on my hording of personal info, but I will come out of my shell and share all of my dirty little secrets (well maybe not all of them). So until then, adieu.