“In the velvet darkness
Of the blackest night
There’s a guiding star
No matter what or who you are” — from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The alarm would ring, waking me out of the sound sleep I clung to like a baby’s binky. Eyes shut, brain screaming, “No, no, no! I don’t want to.” Getting out of bed demands a herculean effort when you hate your job. Although I hated mine with a raging passion, I didn’t see how I could quit.
The problem was, it was a good job with a great salary and benefits. For…
Let me start by saying that none of this was my fault. I just happened to be there. But, after a lifetime of working for doomed companies, I really have to wonder. Am I some latter-day Flying Dutchman, my arrival portending doom to all who get within spitting distance?
I’ve been in the workforce a long time, but with at least a dozen former employers consigned to the landfill of broken dreams, I have to wonder. Of course, some of my old human bosses are dead, too, but, happily, not on my watch.
I don’t want to stray into listicle…
The Medium Writers Challenge won’t be pretty, but there is an alternative.
When I heard about the Medium Writers Challenge, my heart sank. I’ve been here before. Well, not here: on Vocal and with other writing contests. Pitting writers against each other for prizes is a little crazy. It’s like the Academy Awards or the Grammys, except that those “contestants” have already been paid rather well.
Some of us will ignore the Challenge entirely. The four prompts: space, death, work, and reentry, don’t grease everybody’s monkey. When I think of space, I’m reminded of an old Carol Burnett joke. …
The specter of her father’s genius dominated her life, while her mother, a genius of a different sort, was determined to eradicate any tendency she had to emulate him. But Ada Lovelace, daughter of poet Lord Byron and mathematician Anne Milbanke charted her own course between the rocky shoals of her turbulent heredity. She didn’t see poetry and mathematics as the enemies her parents were to each other but as collaborators in something new and altogether different.
Queen Victoria was a newlywed the first time an outsider penetrated palace security. Dressed as a chimney sweep, a young teenager found his way into her bedroom in 1838. His name was Edward (aka Thomas) Jones, and he was obsessed with Her Majesty. Luckily, the Queen was not in residence at the time and was spared the encounter.
It’s a rare occurrence when an actor turns down not just one but three plum roles in major motion pictures and goes on to unparalleled screen stardom, but that is exactly what María Félix, whom the New York Times called “the goddess of Spanish-language cinema,” did.
Félix passed on lead roles in Duel in the Sun, The Barefoot Contessa, and The Legend of Lylah Clare, which subsequently went to Jennifer Jones, Ava Gardner, and Kim Novak. Instead, she focused on Spanish-speaking roles, starred in 47 films, and died at 88, leaving a multi-million dollar fortune. Maria did it her way.
Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In). The word “condition” has several meanings. One of these is “an illness or health problem that lasts a long time and affects the way you live.” Do you have a condition? A lot of us do.
Conditions? I’ve got a few. Most of the conditions I have aren’t terribly serious, at least not at this point, but at one time in my life, I did have one that was. It lasted for years and dominated my life, but it shouldn’t have. It wouldn’t have if I hadn’t embraced it…
Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away and could be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. — Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website
I have a long and checkered history with composting. When I was young, my parents’ family business was a flower shop and nursery. Any leftover clippings or dead plants, along with food waste from our home, went…