My week in haiku and other assorted nonsense – 10 Sep 2012

(Source: Microsoft Clip art)

This weeks bit of news to begin with:

  1. I’m struggling for time at the moment whilst the new routine kicks in. This might mean restricted posts over the next couple of weeks. Or it might not. We shall see later this week.

So, this Mondays “review of the week” prompts are:

  • Drive to work (Haiku) – The legendary Orange County freeways during rush hours. Not pleasant, but I’m going to have to get used to it for a while. Double the journey time or more. Great.
  • LFC Manager (Haiku) – Got to fit LFC in there somewhere right? New manager took time to sit with some writers from fan groups, fan sites and similar for some talk on him running LFC. It turned out to be a detailed interview where he explained many ideas. The recording is online to listen to (about 45 mins).
  • Inspiration (Tanka) – I seemed short of inspiration for a third prompt this week. Then I thought about the poem I did in 15 minutes which I posted on saturday. Then I realised that I have been gathering good ideas for a short story collection. Inspiration is always there, sometimes I just need to look under something to find it. So naturally this third prompt…

So here we go:

To know irony

travel the OC freeways

ask what is freeway?

Enough said there.

Ask Brendan Rogers

The man in whom we do trust

explain point of view

Here is hoping he gets the time, and it works.

It does not exist

yet it exists everywhere

take a look around

think about that which you see

there for you to create with

and it usually is. Pick up something near you and borrow some words….

This section is going to sometimes be “Bonus Haiku” (see last mondays post) i.e. A bit ruder or more adult haiku, OR a rant about something. This week it is a mini rant:

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This week I l want to know why there are not enough hours in the day? Why do I have to work, spend too long in a car, then have little time to read, write, spend time with my wife and son? – Because that’s how life is, thats why. I need to manage my time better. Switch and make use of a technologies. Work out a better routine. So erm, why are there not more hours in the day? Oh…

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What I learned this weekend

  • This week I listened to one interesting interview with LFC manager Brendan Rogers and watched perhaps even a better one with former Liverpool player Craig Johnstone on LFC tv. The latter deserving of a post of its own on the subject of passion.
  • Certain Orange County freeways prove the irony of the “free” part and cannot be trusted.
  • I need to get up in the morning “that bit earlier”.

Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: finial.

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My week in haiku and other assorted nonsense – 03 Sep 2012

“Erm…. have you seen the tree….”

Two bits of news to begin with:

  1. Contrary to what I said last week, I have updated the Monday post a little. Now instead of focusing on the weekend I shall use the prior week as a focus. It allows me more time to write these ahead of monday, but also a chance to better extend my prompts. “Bonus Haiku” (see below) will be a regular feature but not every week, sometimes being replaced by a rant, or mini review. Although I call the post Haiku, it may be a mix of Haiku (5/7/5 syllable lines) and Tanka (5/7/5/7/7 syllable lines).
  2. I have a new paying gig, starting tuesday mostly for standard day hours. I’m not sure yet if it will affect the blog, it might not, but it will impact the times I respond to comments, or read / comment on other blogs. We shall see how it goes.

So, this Mondays “review of the week” prompts are:

  • Tree fall (Haiku) – Thursday morning we looked out of our kitchen window to find a large tree branch had come down blocking in our older car. Thankfully it didn’t cause it any damage other than a minor dent you can barely see. Luckily no-one was walking under it when it happened (it is near a public path). As it was a city owned tree, they had to sort it out, and sort it out quickly they did. By 9.30 am, you would never have known anything had happened. The best bit was when the police CSI turned up to take pictures incase we wanted to make a claim for damage from the city.
  • LFC transfers (Haiku) – What is happening with Liverpool transfer club. Good new manager. Positive and entertaining style of play. Many senior players from the squad trimmed. Some good signings. More players around the squad trimmed, no real replacements = A decent core of the squad, but a little thin, and not enough cover up front. The result of last summer’s wasteful spending? A good chance for some of our youth to break in?
  • Mitt Romney (Tanka) – Crikey this guy seems an utter twonk. There is something about him that doesn’t ring true. A fair part of his campaign seems to be lying about the facts over the last four years, yet somehow people seem to be trusting the guy. I just don’t get it. Obama hasn’t been brilliant, but a fair amount of that is out of his control, and many of his policies are working including job creation. They are just working slowly. Many people do not seem to realise that the American economy is now somewhat tied to the rest of the world, which isn’t doing too great either in a lot of places. Surely more people with healthcare in the “caring American society” is a good thing right? Also I hope this story that “Mitt’s family baptised his wife’s atheist father after his death” isn’t true. When they cannot even respect the wishes of a close family member. What chance do the rest of us have if he gets in?

So here we go:

Oh branch looking low

Oh do show us how you grow

Crash down next to car

Unexpected, but thankfully I didn’t need it (the car) that morning.

LFC transfers

Fail to give ideal cover

Too big risks for team?

Something doesn’t seem entirely right there, although. there are many positives.

Wife tell them I’m good

Parents, show what I have learned

I be President?

Listen! Me best at business

Mom give me sick note if fail

Look at Mitt, and imagine him with his finger on the button. Yes that button….

This section is going to sometimes be “Bonus Haiku” (see last mondays post) i.e. A bit ruder or more adult haiku, OR a rant about something. This week it is a rant:

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This week I was unfortunate enough (again) to see some of the TLC show “Four Weddings”. The brief is four annoying (by being a part of the show), women who are getting married, invite the other three to their wedding, to give marks on various aspects of it. At the end the scores are totted up and the winning couple win a big honeymoon trip. This show bothers me for the following reasons:

  • That people would stoop that low to get some extra cash for the wedding.
  • That they would be comfortable having tv cameras there.
  • That you would want three bints blabbing on about various aspects of your wedding.
  • That the most expensive weddings tend to do better where as the lower cost weddings tend to “look cheap” in places. So there is accounting for taste huh?
  • That allowing someone to grade your wedding is surely pointless anyway. Weddings are supposed to be an individual thing based on the bride and grooms taste, and how much money they are willing to spend on it. To put it a different way, some people might prefer a better honeymoon.
  • That someone thought that this wasa good idea for a show.
  • That someone watches it (regularly – neat caveat huh?).

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What I learned this weekend

  • LFC got into the Europa League proper, lost against Arsenal after playing fairly well, and made a hash of the transfer window. They are down to a good but pretty thin squad and are really short on strikers.
  • If a tree looks to be hanging a bit low, it might not be because it has grown a lot, and might be because it is making other moves.
  • CSI turn up for a tree down, ha, ha.
  • Disney’s California land or whatever it is called (the other side of Disney land), isn’t the best for tots, although my son sure did love running around in the water, in the “Bugs life” section.
  • The new “Cars” ride also looks cool from the scaletrix style track to the Grand Canyon lookalike style peaks with subtle but clever perspective effects.
  • I have a potentially good short story project with some really good short story ideas in it.

Have a nice “Labor day” (if in the US), and a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: Quatrain.

Monday Haiku (Tanka) and what I learned this weekend – 27 Aug 2012

Example Scrivener, fiction format starting page, on that there Mac (PC version is available – just not in my house).

Welcome, this week I will start with a small note for regular readers. I think the slightly more adult, “Bonus Haiku” might be a fortnightly affair from now on (as it has been recently), or I may change my mind again next week, we shall see. This week it is replaced by a short video link (more on that in a moment). This week “regular” Haiku is also taking a break to be replaced by the longer Tanka, the japanese poetic form. As this is my first attempt, you will be no doubt pleased to read that it is not much longer following a 5/7/5/7/7 syllable to line progression. Tanka is less about nature like traditional Haiku, something I flout with regular Haiku anyway, and allows for simile, and metaphor should you wish to incorporate them,

So, this weeks weekend relevant prompts for Monday Haiku Tanka are:

  • Scrivener – I love the writing software Scrivener. Seriously, if you enjoy writing, this is the best thing there is. You will never want to use Word again. It has a generous trial period so you can try it out and see. I’ve used it since version 2 appeared on the Mac (at the time a serious upgrade to version 1). Every now and then it is nice to read some tutorials, or features on how other writers use it. There are plenty of web pages, or youtube videos, free to browse or watch. A good example is below, where bonus Haiku normally resides. Or alternatively there is a useful ebook by the author David Hewson.
  • The Slide – My young son was not the fastest to get walking unaided (a trend on his mothers side of the family). For the last couple of months we’ve been taking him to “Gymboree” (the play school, not the store) which includes a weekly class where tots do little learning games together, mixed with playing on the various arrangements of padded climbing “things” and slides. Naturally with a bit of encouragement, his confidence and ability to climb, slide, and generally get stuck on things, has improved. When I took him to our local park this weekend, he made a beeline for the steps, and had a lot of fun climbing and sliding. Not a new thing for tots I know, but a new thing for him and me.
  • Disappointment– I won’t go into details here but something I had been waiting for got put back a little while this weekend. I don’t get annoyed very often, but this did annoy me.

So here we go:

How do I tell Word

that I love words but not you

that I love a new

master, writing studio

Scrivener, I do compose

Ok, that one is a bit retrospective as I have been using it for a while, but you take my point (hopefully).

Grey, August morning

Standing, wistful, yearning for

the boy who would play

learn to climb, to use my slide

Happiness, that one moment

The slide was alone, and waiting for us, this past saturday morning.

I missed the phone call

but I got all the details

what could I question?

when all I could ask was why

and feel like sinking below

So maybe it wasn’t that bad, and no big deal, but anyway….

No bonus Haiku this week, enjoy this short Scrivener lesson instead:

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What I learned this weekend

  • LFC managed a draw against Premier League champions Man City. It was a shame really as LFC played well, and scored two decent goals. Unfortunately they made two silly mistakes which cost goals on a game they should have won. The overall play was a good sign for things to come.
  • In August, in Southern California, the clouded over mornings are the ones to take the boy to the park.
  • M83’s “Midnight City, seemed to be stuck in my head.
  • My wife and I life playing Lego Batman 2 on the PS3.

Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: Woebegone.

Monday Haiku and what I learned this weekend – 20 Aug 2012

You Louis, will appear in Monday Haiku….

Thank you to those who responded / commented on the weekend post, “The blog post trail aka the other map of blog” thus far. I will get back to that one as I think it is worth doing. In the meantime, this weeks weekend relevant prompts for Monday Haiku are:

  1. Louis CK – If you have never seen the FX show Louie, then you ought to. It is odd, often vulgar, often brilliant, always entertaining. It is one of the best and most inventive comedies on tv. Louie CK writes it all, his character is a version of himself, full of self loathing. Sometimes the guest stars play themselves, sometimes not. He even found something good for Robin Williams (who I am not a big fan of in comedy). The first two seasons are on Netflix streaming. What does it have to do with the weekend? Well I watched last thursdays episode then.
  2. Twitter – Great for little posts and links, if you follow the right people. One thing I like is I can watch LFC, and get the line-up just prior to kick-off, plus other “thoughts and opinions” as the games are going on. Which I did this weekend.
  3. Breaking Bad– AMC’s top “tension” drama. Still good, and racing towards the end (the rest of this season and eight episodes to end it next year). All previous seasons are on netflix streaming. New episodes currently on sunday evenings.

So here we go:

Full of self loathing

scrape humour down to the bone

Louis CK wins

Seriously, I don’t know where he gets his ideas from, or even gets aways with them but…

The word is somewhere

somewhere in the twitter nest

some delight does lurk

Got to love (and tut tut at) Twitter.

Walter White, teacher

to controlless meth dealer

meet a grisly end?

Breaking Bad might be the best drama show on TV right now.

Bounce! Bonus Haiku returns with a hop, skip, and a tale about… Well you will see. I’m pretty sure this is about as far away from the olympics as you can get, hence why I didn’t post it last week. Usual blurb follows in the next sentence. Jump between the lines for bonus fun, or over to give it a miss:

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What defines a man?

How to demonstrate his strength?

It between his legs?

part 2:

Yes between his legs

for man with hundred pound balls

lots of bulk to scratch

And here he is:

Yes that is an upside down tracksuit top he is wearing. Shouldn’t laugh…

So I apologize for this shameful joke:

Yo, check that guy out

wears a tracksuit upside down

he’s got some balls man

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When I saw the above guy on TV there was a mix of feeling bad and laughter. Sorry but balls of this size is amusing and I’m not entirely sure how he let it get that bad. If mine started to incvrease in size, I would have got them “examined” pretty sharp-ish:

What I learned this weekend

  • LFC chose to open the season with “One of those days”. After dominating most of the first half, they went in a goal down, to a fine goal. So far no complaints. Then they conceded a weak penalty which the opposition missed, but did result in our defender getting a straight red card. Then a few minutes later conceded another penalty by a fluke accident, which the opposition did score. Then a player we brought on, left the game 10 minutes later with an injury. Then chasing the game with 10 Vs 11, they conceded a third goal. Game over. Not the best way to start, but early days on a slightly different playing philosophy and a long way to go. Up next, last seasons Premier league champions, Manchester City.
  • I wish Scrivener was on ipad
  • I wish I had an iPad. Perhaps soon eh?
  • An animated series (I won’t mention which one), which I used to watch as a child, is as old as my wife. She kindly pointed out I was older.
  • The most odd search term that got to my blog in the last week was “Firestar’s vagina”. Interesting…

Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: ideogram.

Monday Haiku and what I learned this weekend – 13 Aug 2012

Mo Farah takes the 5,000 meters Gold

This weeks weekend relevant prompts for Monday Haiku are:

  1. My Wife’s “Award winning” Mac & Cheese – Around new years eve, my wife’s sister invited some friends round, and part of it involved a “cook off” for Mac and cheese. You bring your own, everyone tries everyone elses and chooses a favourite. The votes are counted. My wife’s, who I don’t think will mind me telling you, she is not much the cook, won, beating her sister, who is more the cook. The joke is now that we refer to it as the “award winning Mac and Cheese”. It made an appearance this weekend at a family BBQ.
  2. US women winning “Soccer” Gold – I have no qualms what so ever about either the mens or the womens teams being good at “soccer”. It would be good for both to be competitive teams and join in with what the rest of the world is playing. So congratulations to the women.
  3. The Graveyard book – I just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” recommended by blog friend Dying Note. It was a good recommendation, the book is fabulous.

So here we go:

Slide out burnt chicken

award winning mac and cheese

a piquant pasta?

Well as good as Mac and Cheese can be anyway.

Women Soccer Gold

Other teams playing football

That is why they won

Soccer won on this occasion. Truth be told, they deserved it.

Nobody Owens

to grow up in the graveyard

learn a way of life

Book much recommended.

Bonus Haiku is again having a week off. I did write something for this, but “What I learned this weekend” is also having a rest this week for some final olympic thoughts. The bonus haiku just didn’t fit in with this, so I shall use it next week. So as it is the conclusion of the Olympics, and I am a Brit, albeit living in California, I feel I should comment on some of the things I liked, or didn’t:

What I liked / Highlights

  • The opening ceremony – Oh cynical me thought it would be rubbish. It wasn’t, it was brilliant and made me proud.
  • The Brit medal haul – Better than ever, in lots of different sports, although cycling events seem to be a big one. The day the Brits took all three Golds on the track and field events ( and some away from it) was another proud moment.
  • The BMX racing. I thought this would be daft. It was, but it was great entertainment, especially in one race when someone wiped out and took almost all of the rest of the field with him. One guy was left to complete the race on his own! Sadly that wasn’t a medal race, just a qualifier.
  • Some individual sport winners or winning moments I liked:
    • Mo Farah winning the 10,000 meters might have been my favourite moment of the lot. I didn’t know much about him, but he had me leaping up and down by the finish. And then again with the 5,000 meters for a second Gold. The last mile was run in sub four minute mile time, which is incredible.
    • Jessica Ennis winning the Heptahlon in dominant fashion. Jessica is the world’s best female heptathlete, and she proved it.
    • The American womens gymnastic team , the way it came together for them to take Gold (in the way it mostly didn’t when they were competing individually).
    • The American womans 4 X 100 world record. Again an event where it just all clicked into place and was pretty amazing to watch.
    • Much like David Rudisha winning the Gold and destroying the 800 Meter record. The Brits like middle distance running (probably because of the Seb Coe, Steve Ovett dominance and rivalry from the early eighties).
    • Usain Bolt winning the 100 and 200 “dash” and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce winning the 100 in the womens.
    • The men’s 4 X 100 world record by the Jamaican team, with Bolt running the final leg. The American team had an incredible run, but the Jamaicans are just that bit better.
    • Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian. Even if you don’t like him, you have to appreciate what he has achieved.
  • NBC coverage – although there are some negatives to this, (see below). The commentary was mostly of a good standard, explaining little things such as where points are scored in various events, and what causes deductions.
  • The Closing Ceremony. Not as good as the opening ceremony, and there was some music I was not keen on, but generally, I thought it a little cheesy, but enjoyable.

What I didn’t like / Lowlights

  • The NBC coverage. What is with all the water polo (surely one of the most dull sports ever) and volleyball coverage? Why was the “Track and Field” not live on the West coast, and mostly only on the evening highlights show? NBC could argue that you can watch whatever you want via their App and online service. Well yes, but with two negative points. 1) I had to get either my laptop or phone, the latter hardly ideal. 2) The bloody web feed kept getting stuck or via the web browser would not work at all.
  • NBC not showing the tribute to the London bombings during the opening ceremony, and instead showing some boring Ryan Seacrest interview. Did they not understand the significance? London won the right to host these Olympics, then the next day the bombings happened, so the two events were hand in hand – Shame on you NBC. I didn’t even know this part had been missed until I read about it the next day on blogs.
  • The daft American descriptions. The 100 meter “dash”, or “sprint” as it is known most everywhere else. The “stick” in the relay, aka the “baton”. And the most stupid, the way that NBC converted field measurements to feet and inches, when it was clear onscreen that it was being measured in meters and centimetres. What century are we living in here?
  • The Closing Ceremony – Who is Jessie J, and why did she have so much time?

Not a lot of negatives for the Olympics. I enjoyed it for the most part. Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: Prestidigitation.

Monday Haiku and what I learned this weekend – 06 Aug 2012

Jessica Ennis celebrating a dominant Gold medal performance in the Heptathlon.

This weeks weekend relevant prompts for Monday Haiku are:

  1. Olympic Medals – Pah, you American and Chinese, fighting for the top of the medal table. That is nothing. Monday Haiku wants a country with a rubbish infrastructure on many sports, to do well. Who might that be? Well team Great Britain of course. Having won no Golds prior to wednesday, team GB went on a surge, winning cycling events, rowing, the mens tennis, and even an athletic event or two (three out of three on saturday). Get in. What’s that got to do with the weekend? Everything Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford and Jessica Ennis, on the track, just some examples. They all made us proud.
  2. TV Vegetable – Cannot say I did a lot outside this weekend. Sat by the google box and watched Olympics, and UFC on Fox. Oh no hang on, I did go out saturday night, but this is my Haiku and I’m going to conveniently forget that point.
  3. Babies R us – Um yes, see above. We also made a quick trip to Babies R us. You know the one, plenty of babies and childrens clobber, toys and what not. Often seems ever so slightly dirty, and picked over. Often doesn’t have the one thing you are looking for. We hadn’t been in there for a few months. I was surprised how much our son could point out and name.

So here we go:

Olympic medals

Athletic dreams do come true

Proud to be a Brit

Yes I know, same last line for two weeks running. The Brits seem to be doing a good job running the olympics and a decent shot competing in it.

Bum cheeks on the couch

to enjoy the summer air?

TV Vegetable

Hey I live in Southern California, I don’t need it to be summer to go outside. Or stay inside.

To Babies R us

grubby gifts of plastic gold

buy a little truck

Well it is not so bad…

Bam! Bonus Haiku returns with a naughty wink, and an old tale.  Definitely not olympic related this part, so be warned. Jump between the lines for bonus fun or over to give it a miss:

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Take a trip of dread

gynaecology visit

stuck in waiting room

part 2:

Respond, don’t worry,

there’ll be an opening soon

nothing more to add 

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Things I learned this weekend:

  • The Brits can not only do a fabulous Olympic opening ceremony but we can compete in some events too. I was almost leaping out of my seat when Mo Farah won the 10,000 meters and it was impressive for his training partner (Team USA) to get the silver just behind him. The first Gold ever for Britain in this event, and only the third medal in the last 100 years for the US in this event.
  • Demonstrating how useless GB can be, saturday with six Gold medals was our best haul in one day since 1908.
  • Free Vodka and Cranberry juice can a drunk Elliot make.
  • Some Olympic sports just seem to be slightly odd to me. Which job in the poll below do you think is the worst / oddest?

Lexicon word of the day: Translucent.

Monday Haiku and what I learned this weekend – 30 July 2012

Boo ya, the Brits get it right for once and make this blogger proud.

This weeks weekend relevant prompts for Monday Haiku are:

  1. Olympic Opening ceremony – Presumably you are aware by now that the Olympics have started, that they are taking place in Britain (mostly London), and that there was a fabulous opening ceremony (more on that below). You are? Well there is the prompt then.
  2. Family Reunion part 2 – This weekend we headed up north, not far from Santa Barbara, to Lake Cachuma for a family reunion on my wife’s father’s side of the family. More on that below.
  3. Infant cold – I had the symptoms of a brief cold, Thursday, Friday, but it didn’t turn into anything much for me and went away. Unfortunately my son got it and now has a cold and cough. Hopefully it won’t turn to Bronchitis again.

So here we go:

Open Ceremony

A great tour of British past

Proud to be a Brit

Which I was, more on that below.

To Lake Cachuma

the family delight awaits

warm, loving, party

Which it was, more on, oh you know…

Stuffy little boy

daddy gave the gift of cold

you give gift of snot

Bonus Haiku is having the week off as I have neither the time nor inspiration. Sorry my time is asleep. No, my brain is asleep, too much travelling, well not too much, but also not much sleep with the toddler cold mentioned above. Snoooooooze – Oh I noticed after typing this, that Carrie Rubin (often a source for the bonus haiku) is having some blog time off. This is not related to that. Jump between the lines or over:

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“I politely suggest you move on to the next section”

 

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Things I learned this weekend:

  • The Brits can do a fabulous opening ceremony to the olympics. I was somewhat cynical going in, but I thought a tremendous job was done. Highlights for me were the forging of the rings, the slightly cheesy boy meets girl, but fun music and image montage, and the rising of the olympic flames. I actually felt proud to be British, was doesn’t happen too often.
  • The Olympics is still fab for a bunch of sports I would not normally watch. Why give a s**t? Well for the majority of the sports it is the biggest prize to compete for, therefore the highest pressure situation, usually with the very best individuals or teams from the sport competing. World records might be broken, dreams will be achieved or shattered. What is not to like about that?
  • The family reunion was nice. I’m never sure what to expect of these things, but it was good to see everyone. Everyone was nice, the weather was not too hot, there was some decent bbq. For our small corner there was five generations including my son. Him, his mother, one of his grandmas, his great grandma, and his great, great, grandma. You don’t get that very often.
  • Having a towel, and a son facing away from me, is useful when he sick up. Sorry Mrs Brainsplats, that ones on you. Literally.
  • Given the major sporting tournament mentioned above, I have a relevant poll. Please vote, then enjoy the rest of your week.

Lexicon word of the day: Indenture.