[O.C.T.O.B.E.R. V-18] Two diamonds (Freewrite)

Frequently, we say words without meaning,  just to fill space. I am certainly guilty of this, whether the words be excess qualifiers (such as ‘very,’ ‘really,’ etc.), meaningless fillers (um, uh, and similar things) and muttering to myself or others. And I see this as a method of waiting in conversation. Here comes a stream of consciousness about waiting.

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[M.A.P.L.E. IV-9] Flood!

This is a Freewrite with the prompt word “flood.” I know I can start with a few relevant examples.

On Wednesday, severe weather hit Nebraska hard. Although  I was not there, I certainly saw the aftermath of it on TV, Facebook, and other venues. I tried to call Mom and Dad on Wednesday night after getting back from the basketball banquet, and they luckily picked up in one piece.  They were hanging out in our basement, and had no flooding.  But the rain caused major reductions in visibility!

It reminds me, thinking of reduced visibility, once when I was riding my bike home from an SPG Improv workshop. There was a torrent of rain that I waited out in the lobby of Seabury, and finally it stopped raining, so I thought I had a chance to get home (about a 4-minute bike ride).

But a minute after I left, the torrential rain continued. It stung my eyes (despite my eyeglasses), and I had a REALLY hard time seeing. I should have stopped and waited out the weather (while getting soaked!), but I obstinately continued back to the apartment. The good news: I got home safely, and all of my possessions were in one piece.

Speaking of biking at Northwestern, the road to Lakeside Field (Lincoln Avenue) has been under destruction/construction these last few weeks. With this situation, there is a one-lane road with a stoplight taking the place of a STOP/SLOW flag-man. Thankfully, I never had to wait there, since I ould use the sidewalk and bypass this region. (Not to mention also: it would be illegal to ride in this area… the signs near it specifically say “no bikes or pedestrians.”)

This one-lane road also reminds me of road trips that we took in 1993-6, when we lived in Fort Dodge.  One trip that took us to Nebraska was dark and stormy, but we traveled during the day. I can’t remember the exact year, but the salient part of the trip was along U.S. Highway 30.  Just like the previous paragraph, there was a stretch of the highway that was a one-lane road due to construction.  There was either a flagman or a temporary stoplight.

Well, either on this trip or a previous one, the bad weather that I mentioned cuased some road flooding, and there was definitely flooding in the roadside ditches.  Because this was on Highway 30 near Denison, Iowa, we (i.e., my siblings and I) nicknamed the place Deniflood.

Deniflood? That was the second time that we nicknamed the town something other than its actual name. (In retrospect, there’s something that is cool about “Deniflood…” try calling it “Deniwood” and notice a feature of the town, in the picture below:

Courtesy Best Western Iowa.

But, no. Near the intersection of Highway 30 and 71 (I think), my family always noticed something that smelled really weird: a combination of cow doo-doo and factory smells. As a result of this, my siblings and I started calling the place “Denistink.” The last time that my parents and I drove through the area in 2009, I didn’t notice any horrible smells.

Oh, and about horrible smells, that reminds me of the song “Interstate 80 Iowa.” I’ll post it at the end of the post after the clock hits zero: I’ve only got 90 seconds left!

Floods: I think I’ve mentioned in a previous post about the flood on my sixth birthday. I’d still like to go canoeing, even though I did it in a proper sense in 2008. Come to think of it, that week seemed a week of “history repeating itself” in some strange way… much like how I interpreted my eleventh-grade year. That may be a new blog post later… and that’s TIME!!

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Today is the ninth day of the fourth round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes one week and two days.

היום חמישה ושלושים יום–שהם חמישה שבועות לעומר

Countdown to “D-Day”: 23 days.

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Call the parents! (Freewrite)

This is a freeewrite based on a part of the B107.3 morning show tht I heard a few weeks ago.

While I was listening, an interesting survey from the March of Dimes came on. I was unable to find the actual survey, but essentially it asked people about their relationships with their parents, as well as communication thereof. One of the interesting things that it found was that the offspring are more likely to call their moms than their dads, and that the calls with the fathers tend to be much shorter.

I am definitely in that camp as well, as I usually call Mom for my “daily updates” and just to catch up with her. Most of my calls to Dad are for medical complaints or procedural questions, but not really much about chatting. I feel that I might be a different parent when I become one at some point (far?) down the road. … I might be a Dad who loves to talk in a Mom-style with his kids.  Time will tell!

Speaking of “Mom,” “Dad,” and phones, another thing that I have noticed about that, which is a little off-topic from the March of Dimes survey, interests me, follows. (Sorry about that horridly awkward sentence, but remember that I am just writing with essentially free association!) In my cell phone, all of my contacts are full name (i.e., first and last name). This includes Mom and Dad: their full names are the contact information rather than “Mom” and “Dad.” I wonder how many people register their parents’ names like this in their phone memory?

Well, I suppose that there can be reasons to use anything else. I don’t know, but then again, I suppose that when I had my first phone, I used the construct <NAME> cell instead of <FIRST> <LAST>. Of course, now that the phones can  register the type of number that is associated with the number itself, there’s no need to have “cell” appended. How many people acgtually have land lines anymore? My parents still have one at home, and their office obviously does too.

I also wonder: do Best Friends Forever or boyfriend/girlfriend duos register their other sides as something other than their first name and last name in the phone memory? That would be interesting. I have not used an “endearing name” to any of my friends, other than just their first names. I suppose that endearing names could come at a later time.

Wow, how close I still am to the original prompt, yet at the same time how far I have drifted.  The original prompt remains important to me, as I still want to keep in touch with Mom and Dad, to let them know how I am doing. I don’t mind them helicoptering in a small sense. This year, that has been especially true since I have needed support in trying to get myself started on the job search and the track to graduation. I have found that there are times in which I am not a self-starter, because finding the right questions to ask, or even mustering up the courage to ask, is not innate in my personality. I’m too passive!

Yet, at the same time, I can be aggressive once I either have a road map or when I am in Desperation Mode. But I really have to be in a pinch before I start becoming a self-starter most of the time. This is something that I need to figure out how to get around, because in the real world, I must make my own energy.

Shifting back to the orignal prompt, I’d like to discuss  phone calling in general. It’s funny how everyone seems to prefer text and Emoji conversations rather than talking on the phone or in person. I feel that is  quite sad and an indictment on modern culture. True human contact is more easily replicated with voice calls on the phone, but nothing can really replace face-to-face contact. But, when distance separates family members, the phone is the next best thing. As I have mentioned, I am very regular about calling Mom, and quasi-regular about calling Dad. But I am guilty: I rarely call my siblings, and really SHOULD call them more often. But it can be so hard to change a routine.  Yet, if I want to make it important, I will, and for that reason, I should try to  vow to call them more frequently.

We’ll see how well that goes, as the best-laid plans can often fall flat on their faces.

About a minute to go, and what else should I mention? Ah, yes. Calling the parents was salient to Mom today, as my grandfather celebrated his birthday today, with his favorite meal: mini-hamburgers at Mom and Dad’s house. I wish I ccould have been there, but being there on a weekday, when I live a megameter away, is not  exactly practicable. A phone call had to suffice, and …

TIME!

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היום חמישה ועשרים יום–שהם שלושה שבועות וארבעה ימים לעומר

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Dump! (Freewrite)

The word “dump” is a funny word for me, and despite being four letters, it has no negative connotation in terms of being a curse word. However, it has several meanings for me, and I also wanted to dump some other random thoughts that have been coming out of my head lately. Afterall, I have chosen to make this a Freewrite. (Thus, remember to accept any spelling and spacing errors,  as I will not be using the BACKSPACE key this time!

The word “dump” means to discard, throw away, or get rid of, in various manners. One of my favorite uses of the word is referring to the recycling area. In Lincoln, my family would often take our recyclables to the site at 70/A Street and try to do them in a fast rate. After timing it once, we tried to teat that time and get rewwarded with ice cream. But, the ice cream promise never materialized–go figure!

In addition to being called “the dump”, we furthered this theme by singing “To the dump” in the style of William Tell Overture on our way there. Because who doesn’t have fun adding words to wordless melodies?

Another version of the word “dump” thatt I have seen was at WNUR’s OACR. That is, the studio (the on-air control room, to be precise). On the big transmission machine, there is a yellow button that says “DUMP,” which can be used to delete something that was just said (after ll, there IS a delay between when a person speaks and when it is broadcast on the radio.) I think that the most frequent use of the DUMP button is when a Four-Letter Word is unleashed… in unscripted programming.

It could also be used to mask coughing, but I think that coughing is more of a natural pause than worrying about @*$&%! (Oh, and thinking about that brings up another thing in my mind: a few weeks ago, I was bowling  with a friend, and on the kepboard, one of the buttons was “?!$@” which is  probably intended to be a catch-all special character key. But I joked that it was the button thatsomeone preses after throwing a gutter ball.

While I am rambling and unloading these thoughts  from my mind, I noticed that in this previous paragraph, my typing 2was not particulalry coherent, nor  it it clear that I am very cautious when  typing. Pleas let me know in the comments if I should rethink the iddea  of not using the BACKSPACE key. It probably doesn’t help that my keyboard tends to be a little bick finicky anyway. But this  is the idea of contet  clues!

Another iea which has been on my head lately, and I wanted to get out. This idea may appear in a post on its own in thenear future, but for now I am just dumping it here. When you are stopped ata red light, do you ever look left and right to see the satus of the crosswalk light, and or gain anticipation when the light in the other direction turns yellow?

Another use of the word “dump” that I like, based on the definition of “discard” that I used earlier, is  in bridge. When you can’t follow to the led suit, you may either discard a card of another suit, or if you have any trumps in your hand, you may play a turmp (also called ruffing.) If both hands on a side are out o the led suit, and both also have a trump card in hand, one hand gets to dscard a loser, and the other hand gets to ruff. This is officially called “ruff and discard,” but in the bridge vernacular, it is alsocalled “ruff-and-sluff.” However, I sort of like the rhyme of “Trump-And-Dump” instead.

I am  aware that there is another use for “dump” that has to do with natural processses, but because that is beyond the scope of what I am comfortable discussing, I will just dump that idea and move on to whatever else is swimming around in my head. after all (looks at watch), I still have only 140 seconds left to write.

140 seconds, eh? There will probabbly be more than a character per seocnd, so that the end of this post will fail to fit on Twitter. BUt, there will be the summary of this post. What else should  I write about before time runs out? I don’t know, and I am surprised that this rambling is just going on. When you are just using word association,  it can be nothingness, and trun into  streams of consciousness. At leats I am not William Faulkner, with his novel that “vanquished” me.

Whoops there goes the closet door which always becomes unhinged in my apartment. My time is almost up, and then I have to go  downstairs and fold  laundry, before a tirpleheader of League, Aspie Dinner, and Bridge Club. Sunday is a Funday like…

TIME!

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היום שמונה ימים–שהם שבוע אחד ויום אחד לעומר

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