Sunday, July 27, 2014

Slacking Summer Update

Thought I’d check in from Slacking Summer and see how everyone was getting along…you know just in case you noticed I hadn’t been around much.

You did notice, didn’t you?



Not even Bueller…my slacking idol?

But don’t think it’s been a total 100% Slacking Summer, non-effort.

I have put a bit of effort into a few essentials that needed doing.

I changed Summer Slacking into Slacking Summer, for one….just because I felt frisky that day.

I arranged my shoe closet in a more orderly fashion, from right to left…dirty sneakers on the left…less dirty sneakers in the middle…and only mildly marred sneakers on the right.

Wait…that would be left to right…wouldn’t it?

Damn…I’ll have to do it again.  

I arranged my blue jeans by color.

I separated my T-shirts from my Q-shirts…they never did get along.

I got rid of most of the socks and underwear that didn’t belong to me.

But like I said that was the essential stuff.

I’ve also committed myself to counting all the grains of sand on the beach, and not stopping until I do.

I’m up to 27…so I have to go back a few more times.

I’m also working on stopping a wave in mid-roll with my mind.

No luck so far, so there’s lots more work, there too.

I know….

It’s tough…but no one ever said Summer Slacking is easy…or even Slacking Summer.


Got to get back to it.

Until next time…whenever that know, because of the slacking....



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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Slacking

Summer Shadow Slacking

Summer is a time for slacking.

We’ve discussed this before…so if you’re not—slacking—shame on you.

Okay okay okay….

I know…not everyone can be a slacker…or a writer, which some say are one and the same.

But that’s just Z…and my Mom…and some if not all of my friends…okay, friend.

Summer is like a sweet desert after a heavy meal of double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and caldron bubble…of the previous less temperate seasons.

I’m not quite sure what that means, exactly, but hey…it’s the season for slacking. What do you expect?

In my mind…along with all the snakes…summer is a big heaping helping of Apple Pie, with an even larger scoop of ice cream—your choice—slowly melting down and into the sides.

The more it melts, the tastier the pie.

And that’s how we should all feel about summer as we sit back and allow ourselves to melt down and into the sides of July.

 No worries, Mon…toes in the water, a—uh, butt  in the sand….”

Because if you can’t dissolve into July…when can you?

Not January…nothing melts in January.

Certainly not February, when you can barely feel your toes, and your a—uh, butt is just plain frozen.

No…July, right into August…the melting season.

But not everyone is on board with this passive approach to summer…let alone slacking.

Some would rather take a different approach—a more aggressive one.

The idea of simply melting away, into anything makes them feel much too helpless…much too carefree, which is the key to slacking…especially, summer slacking.

They would rather absorb the summer into them, instead of them into it.

And I suppose that might work for some.

“No problems Mon, whatever tickles your ta ta’s…it’s summer. There is no right or wrong in summer, Mon.”

But it doesn’t work for me…not the summer slacker.

Because to absorb summer means to absorb all of the "requirements" of summer, as well.

“I have to go to the beach this weekend, in order to meet my 10.6 hr. tanning quota for the month.”

“I need just seven more hot dogs to beat my nitrate levels for last summer!”

“Holy Cow, it’s nearly August and I haven’t once rolled down the window and let the wind blow back my hair…not once!”

Or even worse….

“I need to book the same motel at the same vacation spot on the same beach at the same shore….”

And that’s far from summer slacking…as far as you can possibly be.

That’s summer obligation…even if it’s self-imposed.

And granted, anything...obligation or no...with summer at its head is better than anything starting or ending with winter...but wouldn’t you rather have as much of the limited time you can muster—a month, a week or even a day—facing that day with an unscheduled agenda, an obligation of only guilt free non-obligation, a free spirit and an empty mind…you know…just like a writer?

So in the summer weeks ahead, instead of making lists and scheduling events and plans for all the “fun” things you need to do this summer…take a walk down to the beach—any beach—plop your a—uh, butt on the water’s edge and let the morning tide slide over your toes.

Melt into summer, and follow the flow wherever it goes.

It's only here for a little while.

Why waste a minute of it?



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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pre-Vacation Day...The Worst of all Days - Summer Archive of Retort 7/29/11

Z and I will soon be off on our annual trip to the Jersey while we're busy making lists to decide what other lists to make, I thought I would share something from a few years ago that pretty much explains what I'm talking about...which, while I think about it, might actually be a first....

From 7/29/11:

"Pre-Vacation Day...The Worst of all Days"  (Click Click)


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Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Sunday Archive of Retort - 7/20/11

Trashing the Past

Sometimes when you open the attic door, you begin a journey into the past...

To keep or not to keep?

That is the question....

Along it wrong to have beer with your bagel?

From 7/20/11 (and yeah, I know...some of you read the "Redux" version last year, too)

Trashing the Past  - (click click)


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Minding My Bee’s and Cues

I have an understanding with bees.

I don’t bother them and they don’t bother me.


So if a bee buzzes my head while I’m sitting on the back porch, sipping coffee, typing out some nonsense or another, you can pretty well rest assured that I won’t start whirling my arms around like an out of control windmill, making sounds that resemble a person who has just discovered his in-laws are, in fact, a nest of blood sucking vampires…even though he might have suspected for some time.
Just sayin….

No, the bees just flitter by…zip here, zip there…and sometimes take a gander at my Choc full O’ Nuts before zipping off on their merry bee way.

I mean unless they see what I’m working on and then, well, you know…everybody’s got an opinion.

Bees…you’re writing about us today?”

“Well, yeah…you know, whatever pops into my head on any given day.”

“And we popped into your head, today…interesting.”

“Well, you kind of buzzed by my head, and that’s what gave me the idea…more or less?

“More or less?”

“Uhm…yeah…more or less.”

Again, like I said, I don’t have a problem with bees...for the most part...but now there were about four of them hovering around my face, gawking at  my laptop, and, to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what the reaction was gonna be, because, you know…everyone thinks it’s funny until it’s about them.

“So, what exactly are you saying about us...I hope it’s not that whole cross pollination thing again?”

What…no…not at all…that’s none of my business.  I mean who am I to judge, who or what or even how you choose to pollinate.”

“You’re darn right, that’s none of your business…you don’t see any of us going around making comments about—“

“Okay, okay, okay...I get it…nothing personal…relax.”

The lead bee, the chatty one, had now positioned himself directly on top of my display and was staring me down, eye to eye…or eye to eye to eye to eye …or whatever all those things they have on their heads are. And if I didn’t know better, I would have thought he was crossing his legs…all six of them.

“So…what are you writing about then?”

“Nothing really, just how I don’t find you guys threatening at all, like most people do.”

“Yeahhh…ain’t that the truth….”

I don’t know why, but for some reason the bee suddenly started sounding and taking on the characteristics of Bugs Bunny, rather than a bee…but I assumed that was just me, being me.

“You know you sound a lot like—“

“Yeah yeah yeah…I get that a lot…got a carrot, Doc?”

“Really…you eat—

“Please…I’m just messing wit ya! See, that’s another thing…nobody ever thinks of  bees as having any sense of humor.”

“Well, that might be because of that whole stinging thing…”

“Another unfair misconception!  How many times you ever been stung by a bee...a bee…not a wasp or a yellow jacket or a hornet, those hoodlums…but a bee…an innocent little bumble bee?

“Uhm…can’t say that I have…not really”

“No…of course not…because you don’t get all bent out of shape every time we zip through on our way to a little rose buffet.”

The idea of lunch seemed to get the bee excited. His wings began to flap a bit…and I admit, I wasn’t really sure how to take that since it’s very hard to interpret social cues with bees…but again, that could just be me.

“Well, that’s true, you guys don’t really bother me since I’ve never been stung…except by that baby wasp, that time.”

With that, the bee, lifted his little thorax up off the screen and hovered right up to my nose. “Hoodlums…like I said…giving us all a bad rep.”

“I suppose…but are you telling me you guys never get the old stingers in gear?”

And no sooner were the words out of my mouth that I regretted them.  But the bee didn’t flinch, or show any signs of offense.  In fact, it just seemed to make him a bit sad.
Still, again, who knows what a bee is thinking?

“I’m not saying, never. I can’t say never.  Sure, sometimes some hysterical ninny, will see us hovering about, innocently, checking out today’s soup selection, and they suddenly start flailing and wailing, screaming something about poison bees or some other such nonsense.  Then they start swatting at us with magazines, napkins, whatever’s handy and one of us will have to go in and put an end to it…which never ends well...for either the ninny or the Bee.”

“Wow…I guess I never thought of it that way before…wow.”

“No…nobody ever does…they can’t see past the stingers…and to them, one stinger is the same as another.”

“And they’re not…are they?” I said, trying to show a little support.

“Nah…they pretty much are …and if you mess with us, you’re going to find out just how much alike they really are!”

I sensed a little tension as the bee spun around and pointed his little stinger directly at my nose, so I thought I’d better try to diffuse it a bit.

‘Well, people do appreciate the whole honey thing.”


“And you are on a lot of cereal boxes…even lovable on TV and movies.”

“I guess….”

“And everyone‘s concerned that you’re hives are diminishing, again…and nobody want’s that!”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…but that’s all talk because everyone thinks that’s gonna mess with their dinner or something…believe me, if they could find a work around, they would care less about us.”

“That’s not true… they’ve made documentaries about it, and the President has even financed a study to find out why you’re fading away.”

The bee seemed to take this information to heart, and settled back down onto the keyboard.

“Really…you wouldn’t kid a kidder would ya…even if he is is a bee, would ya?”

“Hey do I look stupid, to you….?”


This time I picked up my napkin and waved it directly at him.

“Okay, okay, okay, I’m just messing wit ya again. So I guess we both have a lot to learn when it comes to co-existence, don’t we.”

“Kind of like marriage,” I said, and we both had a big laugh.

Well, I did, I’m not sure what you’d call what he was doing.

Again…hard to read social cues off an insect.

And with that, the bee and his bee pals, swooped away, off to pollinate another day.

A lesson we should all take to heart…with one eye open, looking out for the swatter….


Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Sunday Archive of Retort - 7/2/12

Jaunting in July

Well, another 4th of July is in the books, as soggy as it was around these parts—hopefully not yours—and we finally got see our fireworks on the 5th since they were cancelled on the 4th when the rain doused the only match they had to light them…apparently. 
Which we all took in stride…well, maybe not all…but most.

But once desert was served, everyone was happy again.

So now we set sail into July, the fullest of summer months, when things really start to percolate.

It’s that time of year when families load up the car and head off to all kinds of exotic locations to rest and unwind. Places like Albany, NY, where my family spent many a Wednesday afternoon sitting by the pool at the Thruway Motel.


Hey, Disney World was just a gleam in Walt’s eye back then. You take what you can get….

From 7/2/12:

Jaunting in July   (click click)


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Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July “Collection” of Retorts

I’m not sure if two qualifies as a “collection”, but in this case, it’s all I have.

The 4th of July is one of my favorite, if not favorite of American holiday’s…one, because who doesn’t like independence…and two…who doesn’t like hot dogs…and three…who doesn’t like fireworks, especially on the 4th of July….?

And to all my British friends, across the sea, or wherever you may be…it’s not that we’re gloating about that whole 1776 thing….but yeah…maybe we are…A LOT!

I mean why else the fireworks?

So deal with it….or you know, I mean…bygones….

And you still have the Beatles…although most of them did move here too, at one point or another….


Anyway, since the 4th is one of my favorite days of the year, I like to look back and reminisce about the past, especially since reminiscing about the future is odd, at best, and tends to encourage those funny looks people give me sometimes…okay, most times.

And since I have a couple of what I think are pretty interesting Independence Day look back pieces from the past…plus I’ve been too busy screwing around the last couple of weeks to write a new one for today…I thought I’d share the “vintage” ones with you.

The first, some of you who’ve been hanging around for a while may have seen…or maybe even seen twice…so don’t give away the ending—but yeah…we win!

And for all the new eyes, who’ve come late to the FLR party—which is actually kind of rude, by the way…more bygones—I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them…you know, in the past…because I definitely did not write them in the future and come back in time to post them…then…and then again, later…and again now.

Because that would be weird…and we try to avoid that…as much as we can…sometimes…as much we do talking in the third person…especially since the third person likes to talk for themselves….

You know?

Nah…don’t’ even try…. 

Just enjoy the stories, and enjoy your 4th of July…..


From: 7/4/11

A Hometown 4th of July  (Click Click)


From 7/4/12

Firing Up for the Fourth of July (Click Click)


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Waaaaay Too Many Choices

There are waaaaay too many choices these days.

Way too many….

Unless you choose to believe otherwise….

I can’t just have a phone that rings, anymore.

You know Riiiiiiiiiiing….

Simple clean; nothing fancy.


No…now I have to choose, what ring my phone makes, or even if it a rings at all.

Of course, I can also choose to have it vibrate instead of ring…which is weird…but kind of nice, especially when it’s in my pocket.


I mean once I choose my phone, of course.

And there are a lot to choose from.

In fact, I can’t just get a “phone”..nuh uh…not any more.

Now I have to get a “device”.

It’s more than a phone…it’s a “device”.

A phone “device”, an internet “device”, a digital imaging “device”, an mp3 “device”…even a “device” that will help me choose other “devices”.

That is unless I want to hold onto the device I already have and instead just choose some aps, for that device, to make it more…you know, applicable.

And once I have my device, either new or renewed, I can choose something to order for lunch through my device’s web browser…once I choose which one to use; IE, Chrome, Firefox…etc. etc….

And then I have to choose which search engine to use with that browser.

I mean before I can even think about what type of food I want for lunch.

Because there seems to be a lot more food choices out there today, as well.

I can’t just order Ham and Cheese anymore.

No, now I have to choose from Virginia Ham, Black Forrest Ham, Prosciutto or even The French ham known as Bayonne and the German Westphalian ham…and if I’m really feeling adventurous…Gabagoul.


Of course I could just go with Peanut butter and Jelly…but then do I choose, creamy or chunk…Grape or Strawberry…plum, raspberry blackberry boysenberry…or how about Guava, mango…and don’t forget pineapple.

How does one decide?

Or worse, how does two decide?

And don’t even think about three deciding….

Not gonna happen…not today….

Maybe on Wednesday…but not today.

I suppose I could and should just get a salad for lunch.

But again, what kind…with what kind of lettuce…or dressing…on the side or not?

And once I’ve chosen all of that, I can listen to some music…rock, pop, jazz or standards…either on one of my devices…or maybe on the radio…either over the air, or satellite…on one specialty channel or another.

Usually another….

Or I suppose I can just watch a movie…or maybe a TV show…or maybe just a webisode of something…action, adventure, rom-com or just plain com. 

Or I can just go shopping…either on-line or in person, in a real store.

Or I can do both, shop in person and then come home and look for the best prices on-line…on one site or another

Of course, if I shop in person that means leaving the house, which means, either driving, which means wasting money on gas and parking…or taking public transportation, which means choosing between a bus, the train or maybe even a cab. 

Which then blows all my gas and parking savings anyway.

Maybe I’ll just stay in and talk to a friend…using one or more of my devices.

 But should I just call, by mobile of landline? Skype or Face Time?

Or make it simple and just text… or is Facebook messenger better?

Should I call a guy friend or a gal friend?

A guy friend will probably just tell me about his new boat and ask if I had heard he just finished climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.

A gal friend will probably just tell me about her new crockpot and ask if I had heard she just finished divorcing her husband…maybe because, and maybe not, because of the new crockpot.

Or I could have it  reversed...I don’t know…became I usually don’t listen to anyone I talk to on the phone, anyway…unless they’re talking about me.

In the end, I guess, I’ll just decide to sit here and write something pointless and inane...both of which pretty much mean the same thing.

I just couldn’t choose which one to use.

And then I’ll have to choose which font to use…not that it matters.

No one wastes time choosing a font.

A font’s a font.

Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, Courier, Trebuchet, Georgia.

Just letters on a page…you’d have to be out of your mind to get all twisted in a knot over fonts.

I mean, Times New Roman, is kind of basic…and Verdana is kind of clean. Helvetica is always nice…and Arial is so bland.  Trebuchet is just weird, plus hard to pronounce. Courier’s a classic but so out of date…and Georgia just reminds me of that disturbing trip to Florida when I was in High School.

Okay…I’ll just stick with Arial…I think…maybe…I don’t know…it’s so hard to choose….

Way too many choices….for everything….

But, if I haven’t chosen to mention it before…. thanks for choosing to read this…I appreciate it….


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