Zero for Zooz

Late night, Duke Street
the wet cobblestones shine and sparkle, bubble and squeak; and the dense fog rolls in
the clock tower chimes twelve
And it’s Zero for Zooz
Westminster.

Late night, Duke Street
the gauzy moon bleeds and drips, gaslights burn
and gossamer sheets of a hazy white sift through
the inimical clouds of night
the clock tower chimes three
And it’s Zero for Zooz
Westminster . . .

Sunrise, Duke Street
a languid sun cracks itself open and splashes some invisible and distant horizon with
salmon pinks, royal purples and bright orange crush
the clouds of night rest just beneath the hush of dawn
and the clock tower chimes in crystal silence
And it’s Zero for Zooz
and Westminster waits . . .

~m

When God Winks

I am currently reading two books: “Book of Shadows” by James Reese and “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” by Alice Munro.
I always have several in the backpack.
The count was three as of earlier this evening before I finished
When God Winks” by SQuire Rushnell, a belated birthday gift from my sister
(actually, wicked belated :mrgreen: ).
WGW is a book that explores the deeper meaning of coincidence in our lives.

God Wink
; a personal signal or message, directly from a higher power, usually, but not always, in the form of a coincidence

My sister bought it for me simply because she and I are intensely familiar with God Winks.
There’s this.
Or this.
Or this.

The book goes on to explain that these instances of coincidence (or serendipity, if you like that better) are signposts from the heavens that we’re on the right track; cosmic signals that we are not alone.
I’ve had many “winks” in my lifetime.

A few years after I began writing, I entered a contest at Writer’s Digest.
Ten people could win $100 in WD writing books and a year’s subscription to Writer’s Market, a WD site that helps find a home for that oh, so lonely priceless manuscript.

Months passed and I forgot all about the contest BUT I was still writing.
I remember sitting at the computer one day and staring at the damned blinking cursor thinking, “What the hell am I doing? I can’t write. This is stupid.”
Feeling disgusted and totally unoriginal, I closed Word and checked my email.
Spam.
Spam.
Spam.
Word of the Day.
Spam.
Writer’s Digest.
Writer’s Digest?
Hmmm.
I opened the email and started yelling.
I won.
Ask my wife. I NEVER WIN ANYTHING. Truth.
A wink to be sure.
And hey, I’m still writing, right?
Now I pass the pen to you guys. I love coincidence and I love winks.
Tell me about one.
Come on, now. You have at least one if you really think about it.
I know for a fact that Kelly and Maureen have had a few.
Hell, Annie, too.
How about it guys?
One wink for the gipper? (I’m trying to say that with an Aussie accent)
~m

Ps. Sis, the book was bloody brilliant. I could have written it myself . . .

Financial Aid?

college.gif

The average cost per school year at a private college is a whopping $45,000.
Owwwwww . . .
Talk about a comic strip rooted in reality.
My thanks to Grimm for the wonderful previous post.
My hope is that you’ll drop by and say ‘hi’ every now and then.
Thanks for all the great comments as well.
I still find myself laughing when I think of the term
“mattress monkey” . . .

~m

Grimm’s Emergency Medical Kit

I’ve decided to turn the Smoke and Mirrors reins over to a recently discovered blogger named Grimm. I found Grimm’s blog at Blogexplosion and really liked what I saw, a Godwink to be sure.
Read this post and you’ll know what I mean.
He’s honest, funny and intelligent but not a Patriots fan.
Can’t win ‘em all, right?
I asked him to write a post for me months ago (he thought I was kidding).
When he realized I wasn’t he leaned into the strike zone and took one for the team.
Personally, I think he hit this one out of the park.
Without further ado, I hand it over to the ever imaginative and talented Grimm.
(aka, “The Doctor of Love”)
Thanks, buddy. Good stuff.
~m

The Emergency Medical Kit

The Emergency Medical Kit was a Christmas present for my wife years ago when our little girl was just a newborn. Money was very scarce and everything we had went to making our daughters first Christmas something memorable, so an expensive present was out of the question – but I still wanted her to have something special to know how much I cared.

While sitting around wondering what the hell I was going to do, I became fixated on my wife’s prenatal vitamins. From there I wondered what kind of vitamins I could give her that would be fun and interesting. Thankfully, the vitamins became candy, and the vitamin bottle became a set of children’s plastic cups with a straw opening on the lid.

I made the medicines out of discussions we have had over the course of our marriage about what we liked most about each other and things we would like to do together. The names were the fun part, as I was able to call on my Sniglets expertise to try and create something that my warped sense of humor thought was funny.

After making the cups of candy “official” by placing the label on each of them, I decorated a shoe box into a poor mans First Aid Kid and wrapped the whole thing up in wrapping paper. It took awhile for the wife to realize just what the gift was or meant, but needless to say, the woman started popping “pills” and I became a pretty busy man for the next week or two.

1. ARGUCESE 30mg

Take 1 tablet to end argument. Best used with a kiss and a hug.

This was a popular one with the wife for the simple reason that I could not have the last word. No matter how right I thought I was (which wasn’t very often), all she would have to do is whip out one of these to end the discussion. I used Starburst here as they are big enough to use up quickly if you have an argumentative other half.

2. FUZZITIN 75mg

Take 1 tablet to get that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from a big hug.

Simple yet effective, there just are not a lot of things in this world that can do so much like a big hug. These can be taken at any time and continuously to get the desired effect. If the hugger is good at this task, these could lead to further medication, such as BISCRUBIDOL. I used Gummy Bears for this and seemed to constantly have my arms around the wife. This is not a bad thing.

3. FULMONTISOL 2500mg

Take 1 tablet to receive a complete strip tease show performed by your man.

Taken directly from the movie “The Full Monty”, this may very well be the performance of your life. The only requirements for this medication are that she must provide the background music for your performance and there is to be no video equipment allowed. I personally tried to cram one of those giant Chewy Sweet Tarts into that little cup – I considered that my cyanide pill.

4. SWETLUVODIN 750mg

Take 1 tablet for an evening of passionate lovemaking with your mattress monkey.

A powerful drug, this bad boy usually is taken as a result of other medication like BISCRUBIDOL, RUBADINE, and if you really good, FUZZITIN. I loaded up on these, packing it full of the smallest “candy” I could find – in this case, Tic-Tacs. Hey, you didn’t think I got that nickname “mattress monkey” for my smell did you?

5. RUBADUBIUM 100mg

Take 1 tablet to receive a prepared candlelight bubble bath complete with manservant.

Want to earn some serious brownie points? Let her pop one of these puppies into her mouth and then show her your sensual side. Also works well with fluffy towels and a bottle of bubbly. A word of caution, DO NOT use those imitation electric candles around the bathtub or the both of you will need much more serious medication. To show my more animalistic side, I used Runts here to get her prepared for her bath. Continue reading

Klaus Nomi (gotta love the bowtie)

I checked my “search stats” today and one caught my eye:

‘beer or smoke – which one is worse for you’

Hmmm . . .
I’d have to say neither.
What’s way worse is too much Klaus Nomi . . .
Too much Nomi will eventually fry your brain.
It’s Charlie Chaplin meets Gary Numan
And then some . . .
Yoiks. (or Yolks)
Happy Easter, folks.
No happy and snappy eggs for you. Sorry.
Hopefully, I’ll see you all back here next week.

peace, out . . .

~m

5 Miles to Vandmere

I’m sitting cross-legged on a mysterious and deserted beach with nothing but the sound of the incoming tide.
The ocean is dark, brooding and occasionally offers up a glimpse of a dying whitecap. There’s a slight breeze but for the life of me I can’t tell if it’s warm or cool, it just is.
The full moon is partially blocked by the numerous passing clouds but there are intermittent flashes of light, possible thunderstorms that illuminate the wide expanse of beach before me.
I can almost see the curvature of the earth near the horizon.
The sky begins changing day to night, night to day and the passage of 24 hours is not unlike the second hand of some diabolical and uncontrollable timepiece.

The wind begins to scream and I realize that I’m slowly beginning to disappear, grain of sand by grain of sand. I am but a slight aberration in the ground below me.
The image of a weather-beaten sphinx flitters around my dreaming subconscious mind.
It’s then that I see the shadow of a street sign of sorts in the water, roughly 10 feet from the shore. I squint hard trying to see it during the brief intervals of light.

It says “5 miles to Vandmere”, a place I’ve never heard of before.

According to Google, it doesn’t exist; and by the end of my strangely epic dream,
nor do I.
Maybe it’s a place I’m just not supposed to find.
I’m open to any interpretations.
One freaky ass dream, folks.
Should you see any signs for “Vandmere” email me a picture and send directions.
Maybe I should check it out . . .

~m

Iced Calligraphy

Tomorrow morning I’m going to pick up a gift; a wonderful gift.
A while back I wrote something called “the Frozen Man” and I had no idea it would evoke the kind of response that it did.
I received numerous emails regarding its origin and inspiration and to be honest, it took me by surprise.
I’m not used to that kind of attention.
One email was from my dear friend Yvonne.
She is an incredibly creative spirit and does some incredible calligraphy and she asked if she could create a piece of art using “the Frozen Man” as the centerpiece.
I was thrilled and gave her my blessing knowing my words were in very capable hands.
When I checked my Gmail this morning I opened an email from her saying the piece was done. How cool is that?
To say I’m moved is a severe understatement.
Seeing an artistic impression of my work in this light has touched my very soul.
I called Yvonne after seeing it and told her I thought it was beautiful.
Being the humble soul that she is, she thanked me and said I was far too kind and that I was making much more out of it than I needed to.
I had to disagree. In a major way.
Check out the actual piece below.
If only my father could appreciate it.
Yvonne, a sincere thank you from my heart to yours . . .

~m

*ps – Yvonne does calligraphy professionally.
I already know of one other piece of writing that I’d love to see done.
Maybe you have something as well.
Visit www.yvonneelizabeth.com for more info
or email handlettering@yahoo.com

One Happy Mick

Our sense of smell is acute and amazingly discerning allowing us to associate aromas and smells with our seemingly unlimited banks of memory.
How about the smell of a box of crayons?
Yeah, that’s a good one.
How many wonderful memories can you come up with there?
I thought so.

I think the holidays tend to elicit the strongest evoking power for obvious reasons.

  • Christmas = peppermint, balsam, sweet baked goods and . . .
  • Thanksgiving = roasted turkey, cranberries, cinnamon,
    clove and . . .
  • Easter = floral scent (Easter lily), marshmallow peeps (yes, they have a scent), hard-boiled eggs (alright, not so good)
  • Saint Patrick’s Day = corned beef and cabbage

When my mother was alive and well no Paddy’s Day went by without her making the Irish dish.
I’ve missed riding out to the house knowing full well my mother would have a pot full of it on the stove and delight in stuffing me silly.
Her corned beef would be cooking all day long and truth be told it must have taken weeks to get the cabbage stink out of the place.
It’s remembering days like those when I really start to miss her.

I worked the entire weekend and had no time to stink the fill the house up with those sacred aromas (you’re welcome, sweet Irish daughters ‘o mine).
It looked like I might go without this year and I must say it thoroughly depressed me.
Murphy + Saint Patrick’s Day = Irish Turkey and a freshly poured Guinness Stout
There’s a restaurant in Boston called Jacob Wirth’s and it’s said to be one of the oldest in the city. Someone mentioned that they may possibly be serving the traditional dish. (Check their link and read the menu. Yeah, huh?)
I called and sure enough, it was on the menu.
Knowing how popular this restaurant is, I had my doubts as to whether I’d actually get a seat.
I opened the old creaky doors and spied an open spot at the bar and immediately sat down.
Perfect, I thought. (And ironically it was right in front of that beautiful Guinness spigot)
The bartender promptly brought me a menu which I politely pushed away, “No need for that; Corned Beef and Cabbage, please.”
I asked for a large ice water but changed my mind when I saw him pour a Guinness with a 2″ frothy head.
He served me my dear Stout and I raised it slightly to the heavens and toasted my Madre for the many years of awesome corned beef and cabbage dinners.

My meal came minutes later and I dug in.

If you’re wondering how my lunch was, it wasn’t like my mother’s but the last place I wanted to go was back to work.
I wanted to stay at Wirth’s forever.

As they say, all good things must come to an end.

I left Jake’s with a stomach full of Irish Turkey and one heavenly Guinness under my belt.
And I was one happy Mick . . .

~m