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It was through an email list, to which I subscribe, that I learned about ‘100 Words’. Now that sounded fascinating. Not that I am a writer - I am a speaker - but the challenge gripped me from the start. Wonder if I could? Could I make sense in 100 words? Who would read it? Could I do it every day for a full calendar month? Only one way to find out. What topics will I choose? Oh my goodness, I will run out of things to write. Best carry a notebook, write down every moment of inspiration. I’ll have a go!
The old mansion dated back to the early days of the city. Built when art and style meant everything, it was embellished with ornate cornicing, elaborate ceiling roses, lavishly carved hardwood architraving and matching skirting boards. There were huge brass knobs on heavy wooden doors, and leadlight windows to rival any church. There was evidence that electricity came much later. (The gas light fittings were still in place.) Surrounded by a wide verandah it was set in a spacious, well tended garden. Solid as a rock, it would have stood forever. But they pulled it down. Demolished it!
It is important for a woman to get her hair done. She needs this weekly therapy, not just to look good. Having her hair done DOES things to a woman. Most women I know will go without almost anything to pay the hairdresser. And it is not just the shampoo and set, or permanent wave. When a woman gets on in years her hair colour tends to fade. At this time in life the restoration of colour is paramount to her whole being.
Call it vanity if you like.
To me it is the preservation of sanity.
Two apples. Too busy. To choose.
Two days. Too eager. To fondle.
Two goats. Too heavy. To interfere.
Two jokes. Too kind. To linger.
Two mufflers. Too near. To open.
Two perferations. Too quiet. To resume.
Two sentences. Too tight. To undermine.
Two viscounts. Too worrysome. To (take an) xray.
Two yachts. Too zealous.
Two. Too. To.
Three little words, eight letters in all. Three totally different meanings. So often confused in usage.
TWO - indicates quantity.
TOO - emphasise or stress or as an alternative to ‘also’.
TO - in all other cases.
Two. Too. To.
Two. Too. To.
Two. Too. To.
The phone rings early in the morning. I stir. The phone keeps ringing. I roll out of bed and reach for the phone. “Hello?” The voice at the other end is emotional. Bit by bit the horror penetrates my consciousness. The news leaves me speechless. Slowly I lower the phone onto its cradle as I struggle to comprehend the magnitude of it all. Fifty five is too young to die. It was quick. The heart attack struck without warning before he got out of bed.
Devoted father, adored and loved by his four children. Loved and loving husband. Sadly missed.
The list of things I have forgotten, lengthens with each passing hour. It was in a hurry that I packed.The mind was blurred from that early morning phone call. The news devastated me. I had to leave as soon as I could. The journey ahead of me would take a full day. The road stretched in front of me like a ribbon draped over the country side. Concentrate!! don’t let recent events be the cause of yet another tragedy. Rest. Revive. Survive. Arrived before sundown to help comfort the bereaved. Tomorrow I will go shopping for the forgotten items.
At last a chance to sit down, take the weight off my feet. It was a long walk to the mall. I needed the exercise. I needed the time to reflect. When tragedy strikes, time out, time alone, can be healing. Alone with my thoughts. Thoughts of the deceased. Thoughts of the bereaved. Thoughts of what had been. Thoughts of what may have been. Now at the mall I need to buy those things on my list. Those things which I should not really need to buy. Those items which were left behind. Have to find the right shops here.
Lunch time. Food court bustling with people hurrying this way and that. Tables fully occupied, every seat taken. Catching up with friends; workmates. Hamburger with the lot. Potato chips. Bottle of water. Sandwiches. Soft drinks. Babies crying. Toddlers hungry. Mothers tending to the children. Special treats. Daily papers. Stockmarket reports. Briefcase with laptop. Cafe Latte. Check wrist watch. Time’s up. Back to work. Babies sleeping. Children happy. Grubby faces. Greasy hands. Mothers gather all and continue on their way. Left over food and dishes cleared off tables. Slops in pail. Dishes on trolley. Floors mopped. Chairs replaced. Ready for tomorrow.
Took some time out to visit a Toastmasters Club. It is always interesting to see how others run their clubs. Think I made quite an impression with the obligatory impromptu speech. It went very well, even if I say so myself. I make a point of visiting clubs whenever I am away from home. You can always learn from the way others do things. The clubs which I visited on my trip through the United States were so diverse, all so very different from the way we do things, whilst all achieving the same goal. (Have to write a speech!)
Today my sister has her birthday. Hope she has a nice day. She is out of town. Have a lot of things to pack away, washing to do and meals to cook. After my rushed trip of last week, I am now way behind in my work here. Must make sure though, that in all this busyness I do make time to write my 100 words. Have to call each of my children, tell them I have returned and catch up on the latest news. It is amazing how many things happen when you are away for only a week.
Twelve months ago, today, I was running around like a madman, doing all those last minute things one needs to organize, when leaving for an extended period. Once my case was packed and everything I could think of had been attended to, a family member took me to meet my late night flight. It would be eight hours before breakfast in Singapore. After a two hour layover it was a four hour flight to Taipei. Five days with family there and then, flying for 14 hours over water, to Los Angeles, the launching pad for my adventure of a lifetime.
As I sit here, typing my hundred words, I wonder how many others are doing the same thing. How many started July? How many have already dropped out? given up? That’s not like me. I am too stubborn to give up on anything once I have set my mind to doing it. Yet there are many who do not make a full month. Checking back over the first six months of this year, it appears that only around 50 per cent of those who start, actually complete the month. This month - July 2002 - I intend to be one of them.
Thirteenth!! We have one every single month. Some say it is their lucky day. Others fear the day for its bad luck. As for me, I am ambivalent. You see, I was born on the 13th, not just any 13th, but Friday the 13th! Not July. In those days, before ultra sound technology, my mother was not aware she was expecting twins. Hence, as the second born, I was
. This did not end my woes on that fateful day. I was not expected to live. No neo-natal care in those days! Not sure if it’s my lucky day.
Trouble with not being able to post everyday, is, you try to catch up, and get things all out of order, all messed up. It was not my sister’s birthday on the 10th... it is today! That entry should have been posted for the 14th. Oh well. Now you all know that I have entered almost two weeks worth, on a couple of days. From now on - well, when I finally catch up that is - I will stick to posting daily. I think it will be much easier... much less confusing. This is one more completed. On with the next.
The luxury (or waste of time) of watching daytime television, is something in which I have never allowed myself to indulge. Today was different. I have no idea why, but after lunch I just sat down, switched on the box, and watched. The first programme which came on was Judge Judy. First a dispute over neighbour’s dogs, followed by litigation over a childcare contract. She sure does not beat about the bush. Then came Oprah! She was discussing some novel with her book club.
Imagine if your whole world consisted of daytime Television. What sort of person would you become?
There were days when I cooked for seven - a long time ago. One by one they flew the coop, feathered their own nests. Now there is just me. It is hard cooking for one, when you are used to cooking for a tribe. Here is how I have solved the problem - well, I think I have. Cooking in large quantities, now it is not for a lot of people, now it is for a lot of meals. I cook the meal, just like I always did, divide it into individual portions, and my week’s meals are there for the taking.
He came around tonight, to fix the computer. He knows about these things. Another virus had invaded my machine. Yes, of course I have an anti virus programme running, the best in fact, updated everyday. Don’t ask me how it got through... all I know is that it DID! Last time it meant a new machine, but that was on an old machine. This time all it took was to reinstall Windows. That is not something my lack of computer knowledge could cope with. So he came around after work, and did it for me. Job done, he went home.
Still no baby. The little bugger was due a week ago. Christened Blasty till the gender is known, we are all eagerly awaiting the arrival. A new grandchild for me, niece or nephew for the parents’ siblings. This time it is a little different. The expecting parents live twelve thousand miles away - give or take a mile or two. But heck, what’s the diff, when it is on the other side of the globe. They met in Beijing, were married in the Twin Cities and live in Boston. Now I will have another reason to indulge in my passion - travelling.
My baby called in this afternoon. Just dropped by for a coffee on the way home from work. Fridays she gets off work soon after lunch. She passes my place on her way home, and sometimes stops by for a chat. We shared a vanilla slice with our drinks. I had not seen her since I had come home from the funeral. We had a lot to catch up on. She gets married towards the end of this year, and it was good to hear that her plans are coming along nicely... all on schedule. Twenty five! Always my baby.
“not really... why??”
“nothing special, I am bored”
“you poor thing, are you wanting me to
“that must be a new word”
“I am good at making up words which do not exist” (am waiting till I have 100, and will then post them, one day)
“how does one
“interesting... shall we philosophise over that??”
“we can if you wish”
“first we must establish the many meanings of
“was really a bad choice of words, made it sound like I only wanted to chat with you because I am bored”
ICQ chat buddies.
Ethan James finally made his grand entrance at 00:46 on 20th July 2002. (Have never been able to work out why they call it July 20. Well, I suppose they can do it which ever way they like. But in reality, there is only
July. [We may have had Henry VIII, but that was because there were seven before him.] There is only one July, each year, and when we get to the 20th day of the month, it is 20th day of July.) Weighing in at a whopping nine pounds nine ounces, both mother and baby are well.
Zover als ik heb gelezen, staat er niets in de maatregelen dat we hier niet in andere talen mogen schrijven. Er staat alleen maar dat als je iets schrijft, moet het geschreven worden in 100 woorden, niet meer, niet minder! En dan moet jij dat voor een hele maand volhouden. Het was in het begin niet gemakkelijk om elke dag met precies 100 woorden voor de dag te komen. Ik ben me wel nieuwsgierig of iemand eigenlijk deze posten allemaal leest. Zou toch jammer zijn, zeg, als je hier elke dag zit te schrijven, en het door niemand gelezen word.
I am sitting here, waiting for
to start, wondering what they can teach me, that I do not already know. For goodness sake, I have been driving taxis for almost two years, have lived in, and driven around this city for many decades, and am accredited with other taxi companies. What does this crowd do that is so different, that I must undertake another three hours training?
FOUR hours later, I am still wondering, but at least I have my accreditation. Personal Identification Number. Still none the wiser. At least I can go back to earning money tomorrow.
When one has so much to write that it is impossible to sort out what to choose. One just sits here, tossing them around in ones mind. Not wanting to burden any others with personal problems, they get put aside. Don’t moan and whinge on 100 words. Then there are all the problems at work today. Working with a new system, very few willing to spend time explaining where I am doing things wrong. It is dog eats dog out there. And besides all that, nothing much positive comes to mind. On the other hand I am alive and well!
Today went so much better. Think it must have been the full moon which took it out of me yesterday. And now I have received photos of the baby. Would it not be cute if I could post them here. The spitting image of his father. I know it is 30 years ago, but that is just what his daddy looked like. Guess mothers never forget those things. Those images are imprinted on the brain at first sight. Sure pray he will grow into the loving caring person his Daddy is. And maybe also an engineer, like his Dad. Maybe.
Very few cities still have trams. (USA - trolley cars.) I like trams. Some decades ago they were talking of ridding the city of trams. Said they were an impediment to the smooth flow of traffic. I am glad the opposition to that idea prevailed. Trams move so many people at one time for little road space. If one were to put the same number of people in cars, not only would they take up much more road space, but the extra pollution would be intolerable. Now the trams are being modernised. New rolling stock is being introduced. I like trams.
Elderly lady off to do her shopping, she can’t walk that far.
Couple going to the football.
Transport four tyres, from one workshop to another.
Disabled lady, going to church.
Two people travelling interstate, by train.
Gentleman going to his club.
Four young people to a friend’s house to watch the Rugby.
Visiting couple sampling our nightclubs.
Young lady meeting friends at a bar.
Two young people going home.
Father and daughter coming home from the game.
Late workers, going home at last.
Party goer, going to second party for the night - costume party!
Typical Saturday in a Taxi Cab.
aa; ab; ad; ae; ag; ah; ai; al; am; an; ar; as; at; aw; ax; ay; ba; be; bi; bo; by; de; do; ed; ef; eh; el; em; en; er; es; et; ex; fa; go; ha; he; hi; hm; ho; id; if; in; is; it; jo; ka; la; li; lo; ma; me; mi; mm; mo; mu; my; na; ne; no; nu; od; oe; of; oh; om; on; op; or; os; ow; ox; oy; pa; pe; pi; re; sh; si; so; ta; ti; to; uh; um; un; up; us; ut; we; wo; xi; xu; ya; ye; yo.
Two letter Scrabble words.
Am writing this whilst watching the German GP. Just love motor car racing. Don’t ask me why. Perhaps it is the same reason why I drive for a living. (Two days out of a car, and my feet are itchy.) The same feeling which saw me driving 25.000 miles across 38 States of the USA, over a period of 15 weeks, in 13 different cars. Others found it hard to understand how I could do all that driving on my own. And yet, I felt as free as the birds, seeing places which are not even in the guide books.
What is it that makes a person travel half way around the globe, to spend more than three months driving across another continent? For me it was my son’s wedding. If I was going to spend so much money to attend his wedding, I was going to make sure at the same time that I got to see as much as possible of the USA. And I did! By the time I went home, I was assured by many whom I met, that I had seen more- and experienced more of the USA, than most Americans will in a lifetime.
One hundred words.
A daunting challenge - tell a story in one hundred words.
See if you can’t give it a proper structure.
Mostly it must have substance, try not to blabber on about nothing.
Invent some character which will live for fifty three words.
And gripping action to hold the reader spellbound to the end, in even fewer words.
Then draw it all together into a plausible conclusion.
Now, go on, repeat that every day for a full calendar month.
That was the challenge!
You be the judge.
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