Monday, June 25, 2007


In Which We Have Failure to Launch...

I keep meaning to write a new entry, I do. It's just, well...

I don't know that I ever told you this before, but when I sit down to write a blog entry, a good 90 percent of the time, I start by writing one or two simple sentences, maybe even a small paragraph, something that sums up my most recent misadventure fairly succinctly (although sometimes it's just a weird thought bouncing around in my head that has no bearing on anything). Then I write my way away from that passage, like a swimmer paddling away from a raft in the middle of a lake.

Often, the sentences end up being the last line or two of an entry, but lots of times my starter sentences get stuck somewhere in the middle as I write above and below them, filling in the other two (or three or four) thousand words. Very rarely does my starter sentence become the actual start of a blog entry.

I tell you that so you understand what comes next. Over the past couple of weeks, I've written down several starter sentences, but they don't seem to be taking me anywhere just now. Maybe it's because I'm so up-to-my-eyeballs busy with work, or because I'm spending a lot of evenings talking to my brother and helping him manage our parents' affairs, or because when I'm not spending evenings talking to BB, I'm spending them with the Éclair, who is proving to have quite a temper (I predict she will become a world-class ball-breaker).

But tonight, when I sat down to by-God write something to let you all know that my brain still pulses (albeit barely), I opened up my last blog document, and there was a whole catalog of starter sentences. It reminded me just a little bit of the Chris Van Allsburg book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a wonderful book that invites you to make up your own stories based on the illustrations within.

So in that spirit, I offer you a few starter sentences, with an appropriate title (and even a picture or two, in some cases) to go with each one. Make of them what you will.

In Which I Have Second Thoughts...

It was only after I hung up the phone that I wondered: How smart was it that I had just scheduled my vasectomy for Friday the 13th?

In Which the Light Bulb Goes Off...

As I stared at the smoldering duck, all I could think about was the four previous nights that I'd been plugging the thing in, again and again.



"Holy shit!" I cried to Her Lovely Self. "Thank God you've been getting up and unplugging this duck. It would have burned the house down!"

Her Lovely Self stared at me quizzically. "But I've never unplugged the duck," she said.

Travels with BB (Part One)...

There was nothing for it--I stamped on the gas pedal and we shot between the two semis, clearing the narrowing gap just as the lane ended. Suddenly we were driving on the shoulder and even that was ending fast. I yanked the wheel hard, pulling us safely back on the road. Sweat was streaming down my face, my hands were welded to the steering wheel.

"Oh Jesus, pull over," BB said. "I just shit my pants. In fact, I think I shit your pants too."

In Which I Just Have to Say...

My first thought was: Do I have the most beautiful daughters or what?



My second thought was: Thank God I brought Dad's shotgun home.

I'm not saying these starter sentences won't ever become full blog posts (in fact, if you have a favorite, I'm willing to open comments for voting and see if the majority will motivate me). But for right now, it's the best I can do, except to wish you a good evening and hope that you are all well.

Tonight, for some reason, I kind of am.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

ALWAYS up for a good BB story. ALWAYS.

But always up for a good burning duck story, too.
I would relish them all, but am particularly curious about the duck light. And, good grief, did you find the ring?!
I miss you dude. Glad to see you're doing alright.

By the way, are you fucking ready for Transformers or what?!?!?!
The burning duck has my vote...

However, I'd be interested to find out how you got stuck between two semi's in the first place...
Your daughters are gorgeous, of course, but I think the burning duck has the most potential. The story about your road trip with BB sounds good as well.

BTW, if I ever do have daughters of my own, I brought home my Dad's old shotguns, also.
I'm just echoing the previous comments, but I'm torn between BB and the night light that mysteriously unplugs itself. It's good to hear from you even if it is in the form of starter sentences.
Duck, please, but then the rest.
I want to know A) whose "bright" idea was it to put such a huge a$$ bulb in the duck and B) who was unplugging it each day??????

The older daughter looks SO much like our cousin Barbara at the same age. Holy cow! Yes shotguns are good ideas. If you've seen photos of my step daughter, you'll know why we have so many guns LOL Here she is holding Mine and Bea's ribbons in 2005

Oh and I too want to know if the ring ever materialized
Art imitates life? You're life has been so chock-full of drama lately. How could you have time or energy or motivation to flesh out one sentence of it?

I'm not sure a Fri 13th "fixin" is a good idea.
Vote 1 for the duck!

You do have the most gorgeous daughters though - so beautiful.
Good to see you again. Add me to the duck story. As for the shotgun and the girls, we put Lego Boy in karate for additional backup for Mikayla. Granted, she's just bossy and independent enough that boys probably will run from her, but she's still only 5 so only time will tell.
so far i'm the only vote for the vasectomy story.

if you mean July 13, I'm of to a civil unioning that day.
Shitting of the pants always makes for great stories.

I'm with Diane, I think you are way over the allowable duck wattage.

I haven't been able to write much of anything either. I have a bunch of things cooking, just can't get to the doing.

Your girls are beautiful.
d*mn! flaming duck lights. potentially cursed boy bits. further torment, er, adventures of bb. or your lovely daughters. it's truely an embarrassment of riches.

i'm glad you're back, and i'd love to hear about all of it, but the flaming duck light - man, i gotta know.
They all sound great and as Sharfa said shitty pants stories are always great as I recall Shanes vivid retelling of a shitty pants storie. I would love to hear about the duck and the unplugging theory first and the rest at a later time. That's my 2 cents. So glad you are doing well and I send much love to you all.
I'm torn between looking at pictures of the kids and hearing about them (always makes me happy) or hearing about travelling with BB. Honestly, though, I want to hear them all. It's so good to hear from you again!
I've been reading through your archives and you tell a great story. I vote for the duck first, cause it gave me chills when I read it. And I've been wondering if you found the ring too.
Great starter sentences- Have been missing you. Enjoyed the photos too :)

The best part of this entry, and the thing I would like to hear more of, is the last sentence :-)

From the given choices, though, I vote for the vasectomy. Since I underwent the snip myself some years ago, I'd be interested in hearing another take on it.
So glad to see a post. Been worried about ya'll. Duckie, duckie, duckie!
Just glad to hear that you're feeling a little better. You can post on any topic you'd like. : )
If that is the size bulb that is *supposed* to go in that duck, then I'd like to hear the story of how you got it recalled. :)
Burning duck!
I was thinking about the vasectomy on friday 13th ... :P
Just nice to read your voice again.
The duck, the duck! Welcome back.
Oh, lordy, how to choose one of those?? I'd like to hear about the duck, and BB, and just all of it!

Don't worry about the 13th, I think of it as a lucky day. An ex of mine did NOT have his vasectomy on the 13th, and he has a lovely story about changing the tire on a 4WD pickup the next day, and the tire BOUNCING into his, well, I'll leave it at that. Just stay away from big trucks.

Great to hear from you, we've missed you.
Another vote for the mysterious burning duck light.

I just know that Mom and Dad had a hand in it, I just know it.

Glad to have you back, even if it's only for an entry here and there.
I've been checking in every few days to see if you've returned.

I vote for "Travels with BB" Although the timing might not be that great. Second vote is split between burning duck and beautiful Daughters and Granddad's handy Shotgun.

Missed you
I'm a bit partial to believing that my own daughter is the most beautiful daughter in the world, but damn, yours are a close second.

You've definately been missed. Sounds like a lot of good storytelling potential going on in your house. Not sure if that's always a good thing, what with duck nightlights who may be a closet pyromaniac...
As much as I'd like to hear about BB (as long as he doesn't care that you're telling a story in which he's prominently featured), I vote for some possible sillines with a burning duck story.

What I really hope is that you're writing this stuff because you want to and not because you feel like you have to feed an audience that you've built. Posts like this that just tell us that you're as well as can be expected are fine. I love your stories and loved thrice weekly posts. But I'll come back even if you only want to write once a month or less.

I really hope you get to schedule yourself some alone time (a day? an afternoon?) soon.
I love that you still have your sense of humor about you what with the shotgun comment and all.
Good options, all. But you can never go wrong with a flammable duck, you know.

I vote for the duck and the vasectomy. Quite a combination, there. Looks like the duck had one of his own; or maybe it was a botched decapitation. Let's hope you have better luck than the duck.

But Friday the 13th has always been the lucky day in my family.

Also very glad to read your voice again. You've been missed.
I work at a Barnes&Noble as the Children's Lead. Chris Van Allsburg is my very favorite kid's picture book writer/illustrator. And The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is my very favorite Chris Van Allsburg book. So much so that I had to buy the portfolio edition (which comes with an extra print not in the regularly bound book). I recommend that book to every teacher I come across. :) It always excites me to see that book mentioned in unexpected places!
Must feel like you're either in a war zone or the victim of a drive by with everybody shouting "Duck!" around here!
The duck! Definitely the duck. I bet Blaze has been unplugging it every evening - it's been a while since the last Incredible Adventures of Blaze story.

Although BB's comment in the semi story nearly made me choke on my breakfast. SO FUNNY.

I'm so glad you're back, MM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look at all those exclamation points. *happy sigh*
I kept thinking of you yesterday. A tree fell on our house at 230 am. A loevely 4trunked oak let one trunk go on a clear still night-everything was rotten inside the base. Where was Brownie's farmer whne i needed warning?

No one hurt excpt the tree. even the hole that birds nest in was unoccupied.
The roof edge is mangled but it didn't break through the ceiling.

I love when the somone looks at the shredded roofline and I say "see that window? I was *right under it*?"

I can't claim it went unnoticed for a week like your Kansa tornado, but it was almost an hour before we looked out side to see if the neighbors had lost power.

When we saw the mess I said "I *told*
you I heard a crash."

If only you were here to write it up for us.

And who put that bulb in the duck?
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