HAVE YOU READ THIS?

A memoir by Sister Helen Prejean

Image by issamo_15 from Pixabay

I’m not a big reader of nonfiction, but sometimes my attention is caught and a nonfiction book sneaks onto my To Read list. I became aware of Sister Helen, who’s been a nun since 1957, through hearing her interviewed on NPR. She’s a social justice activist working to abolish the death penalty. Have you heard of the award-winning 1995 movie, Dead Man Walking? It was based on her 1993 memoir, which I plan to read too — River of Fire is its prequel.

Most of what I knew about Catholicism came from comments by the four older girls living next…


Whatever I’m thinking is apt to come out of my mouth

Me waving Hi, seated on a low stone wall next to a bridge with my beloved black standard poodle while on a camping trip. Trees and a path are in the background.
Me waving Hi, seated on a low stone wall next to a bridge with my beloved black standard poodle while on a camping trip. Trees and a path are in the background.
Here I am with Bridgie on a camping trip in 2018. Photo by author.

Voracious reader, music and dog lover, wife and mother, former editor at a national healthcare consulting firm. Retired 6/3/20 after 41 years. AKA editor fairy.

First, Reading

My passion for reading comes from my mother. After learning to read at age 4, she consumed every book she could get her hands on. She encouraged me to “read whatever you want” because her parents believed kids should read only children’s books. When Mother’s younger siblings tattled — “Marj is reading something too old for her!” — they snatched it away. She was born in 1916, and I didn’t realize her policy was unusual…


Musings inspired by a fridge magnet

I’ve never been glamorous in my life but love that hair. Any resemblance to Cruella de Vil is unintentional. Photo by Josiah Lewis on Unsplash

My Anne Taintor refrigerator magnet, depicting a mature woman coiffed, made up, and dressed in 1950s fashion, serves as a daily affirmation though I have no desire to attain that level of grooming. This piece is dedicated to Quasimodo, Michael Trigg, and Nancy Peckenham — you’re inspirational, and perhaps you, too, see no good reason to “act your age.”

Hubby, who is 66, likes to listen to a radio show called The Mens Room on 99.9 KISW, The Rock. …


HYPER-LOCAL HIJINKS

In iambic pentameter blank verse

Bill’s dream bedroom — no Buy Nothing items allowed. Why did he marry a BN addict? Photo by Zane Persaud on Unsplash

My treasure could well prove to be your trash.
Like other things in life, Buy Nothing is
both curse and blessing. Caveat emptor.

Ann’s boyfriend left and took with him their bed.
So to Facebook she turns, and there she finds
Buy Nothing when she needs it most. “Flash gift!
A queen-size bed — just what I want!” Ann cries,
relieved that she’s been picked. She does not know
how she will get it home. She has no truck,
no one to help her get it in the door.

“Pick up by end-of-day.” Ann posts an “ask” in hopes Buy…


SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE

Let’s go down a musical rabbit hole of brokenness

Photo by Haley Lawrence on Unsplash

I followed a sudden urge last month to listen to Everything Is Broken on my blues playlist — all three versions, by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Sheryl Crow featuring Jason Isbell, and R.L. Burnside. It’s far from the only song I enjoy multiple versions of, though usually not just covers. Bob Dylan’s voice generally grates on my nerves, but I admire his songwriting. Of the three, Burnside’s — below — is my favorite at the moment. Love that harmonica. I’d never heard of him until finding it on Amazon Music last year.

Then I played another song with a similar…


NO BONUS HERE

Your sneaky plan worked

I’m in it for love, not money. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Dear Al Gorythm, Holder of the Purse Strings:

Was this an experiment to see who’s paying attention?

I and many others outside the lucky and talented few appreciate your recent largesse even though it doesn’t apply to us. It gave us something to aspire to and provided fodder for angrily annoyed, crankily creative, dauntlessly disappointed, and fancifully fawning stories. This one of mine is aiming at the hilariously hopeful niche.

From the trendy bunch of relieved recipients come stories of startled surprise, cheerful confusion, and giddy gratitude along with the serious ones. …


ONOMATOPOETIC HUMOR

A children’s onomato-PEE-AHHHHH song parody

This little fox is singing his heart out. Photo by Peter Lloyd on Unsplash

How many of Doc Funny’s “patients” are kids? Or kids at heart? We’ll see. Click here if you need a refresher on what “The Fox” really says or how to kinda follow the tune. Good luck with that. I had to keep playing it over and over as I wrote.

Dog goes “hmph
Cow goes “moo
Cat goes “grrr
And mouse goes “yoikes” —
That poor mouse
Dad says “sooo,
What did Timmy bring home now?
It’s a slug!”
We go “yuck”
And the duck goes “quack ack aaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

But there’s one sound That all kids know: It’s what their…


UNEARTHLY ROMANCE

I hope to have better luck in the interplanetary dating apps

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Earthmen just aren’t cutting it anymore, in so many ways: unkempt vs. vain; hypermasculine vs. wimpy; addicted to risk-taking vs. timid; unemployed vs. constantly working. While we all know a good man is hard to find and a hard man is good to find, there are outer limits — I prefer a happy medium. So here I am, on OkAlien searching for the male being of my dreams. Are you out there somewhere, my new nonhuman love? Take me away! Please?


LIMERIDICULOUS | TAKE 2

If you’re not a butthead, these are for you

This image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay is not intended as cultural appropriation by the Putzmen

Have I submitted my bass-ackwards entry in time for the tail end of this heinie hustle? If no kibosh has been put on keister humor, I look forward to joining my illustrious posterior peeps, though the idea of responding to a prompt normally stresses me out. I’ve left helpful bold hints in case you’re reading out loud and want to emphasize the right spots. I know, I know; excellent limerick writers/readers don’t need hints.

All men in the country of Putz
Are known for their ginormous butts. …


INVISIBLE TAXES

What if they concentrated on paying it forward?

Are those masks? Hats? Masks and hats have nothing to do with this story. Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

If you’ve been victimized by a hacker, I’m sorry. Don’t let my nonsense add to your woes.

It’s tax day, and I was thinking about how the IRS can both credit and debit my bank account. Imagine the harm hackers could do if they breached that database. Then I realized they, like the federal government, could use their powers for the greater good.

I’m happy to report that this is a real thing! My mad googling skillz enabled me to track down and interview several unsung hero hackers who’ve been quietly using their backdoor access to computer systems to help…

Holly J See

Voracious reader, music and dog lover, wife and mother, former editor at a national healthcare consulting firm. Retired 6/3/20 after 41 years. AKA editor fairy.

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