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April 30, 2020

Zero Times

Roberta R @ Offbeat YA suggested 'Zeroed' and many other words but 'Zeroed' made me thought of this idea. Thanks Roberta.

For this post, just answer a simple question: What is something you have done zero times? Or put it another way, what is something you have never done before?

An example answer from me: Drive a car. I've never done it and I probably never will. I don't really have many experiences with cars other than being almost run over several times trying to cross the streets. I don't like the idea of using a machine that is bigger than me and I'm pretty sure I would be too distracted by what would be passing by to concentrate on driving. It's probably best I don't drive.

Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 29, 2020

Yellow

Here some beautiful paintings of women in yellow.

image from here
01 | The Rose by Frédéric Soulacroix


image from here
02 | Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1770


image from here
03 | Bad Tidings by Jean-Baptist-Marie Pierre, 1740


Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 28, 2020

X = Ten

Here are ten of my favorite childrens books.

Matilda by Roald Dahl with illustrations by Quentin Blake
01 | Matilda by Roald Dahl with illustrations by Quentin Blake > link
Favorite quote: “So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”


The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
02 | The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett > link
Favorite quote: “Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.”


The Story Girl/The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery
03 | The Story Girl/The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery > link 1, link 2
Favorite quote: “And as it was, as I remember it, a most exquisite night — a white poem, a frosty, starry lyric of light. It was one of those nights on which one might fall asleep and dream happy dreams of gardens of mirth and song, feeling all the while through one's sleep the soft splendour and radiance of the white moon-world outside, as one hears soft, far-away music sounding through the thoughts and words that are born of it.” —The Golden Road


The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel by Natasha Lowe
04 | The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel by Natasha Lowe > link
Favorite quote:  “...don't you get the shivers just looking at all that space, wondering what's up there? I want to invent a broomstick to fly to the moon.”


Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
05 | Black Beauty by Anna Sewell > link
Favorite quote:  “I am never afraid of what I know.”


The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier, illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer
06 | The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier, illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer > link
My favorites princesses are: Princesses Flip and Flop - They live in a palace made for two and wake up to the sound of silver-tipped hooves clattering as their carriage comes to fetcth them each morning.
Princess Paige - She divides her days into chapters and dreams up titles for each one.


Foxheart by Claire Legrand
07 | Foxheart by Claire Legrand > link
Favorite quote: “Throwing and smashing things was much preferred to snotty crying.”


The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
08 | The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave > link
Favorite quote: “The night was hauntingly clear. The stars revealed their places in constellations and the moon's pull felt physical on my short hair. Something was happening to the very air we walked through. It was tense, alive and threatening, the island in the grip of forces shifting imperceptibly beneath my feet.”


Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
09 | Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine > link
Favorite quote: “I trust you to find the good in me, but the bad I must be sure you don't overlook.”


Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
10 | Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver > link
Favorite quote: “The Other Side was a busy place — as busy, if not busier, than the Living Side. They ran parallel, the two words, like two mirrors sitting face-to-face, but normally Po was only dimly aware of the Living Side. It was a swirl of colors to the ghost's left; a sudden explosion of sounds to its right; a dim impression of warmth and movement.”

Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 27, 2020

Watch-A-Lot-of-TV Marathon

If you like crime and mystery, I recommend these shows and have a Watch-A-Lot-of TV marathon.

image from here
01 | Forever
> link
I don't care much for the ultra violence, it's the characters and their interactions with each other that I find endearing and entertaining.
Favorite quote: "But I assure you, I look the same everyday. Although, that still might be like crap."
— Pilot

02 | Inspector Lewis > link
I like watching the two leads bantering which somewhat balances out the sometimes dark crimes they have to solve.
Favorite quote: Lewis: "I'm always happy. My face is misleading."
Ramblin' Boy, Season 6

03 | Elementary > link
I like the way they modernize Sherlock Holmes and Watson isn't bad but really, it's the actors that make this work.
Favorite quote: "The world is balance on the knife edge of destruction every single day. Accept that and you can get on with things."
The Red Team, Season 1
04 | Perception > link
It's a show about the mind/brain and how it functions or mis-functions and it's a crime and mystery which is surprisingly good combination.
Favorite quote: "Which comes first yesterday or tomorrow? All we know is that what we think of as past, present and future is nothing more than a story stitched together in our basal ganglia. Our entire concept of time is an artificial construct."
86'd, Season 1

05 | Rosemary and Thyme > link
Two gardeners solving murder mysteries while gardening. I really like the friendship between the two leads and they are charming and fun.
Favorite quote: Rosemary Boxer: What are you going to do if you get murdered?
Laura Thyme: Lie down and wait for help.

The Gooseberry Bush, Season 3

06 | Raines > link
A very short series but really good. Not your typical crime solving show. I think Jeff Goldblum did a good job and the stories are heartful and we get some humor which I always like in crime dramas.
Favorite quote: "You're not crazy. You just have an active imagination."
Pilot

07 | Vera > link
I like the quietness of the settings and small humor now and then but it's the character Vera that's worth watching even if she is a of a bit gumpy detective but I like her.
Favorite quote: "Wouldn't be a proper wake without an arrest or two."
Blood and Bone, Season 8


Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 25, 2020

Very lazy post where I just list things I found

found in the sky: a mermaid's tail
When I say lazy, I just meant I couldn't find a V word to use other than 'very.' I don't have a great memory so it took a whole day just to think of four items. 

01 | Found at a park: a 2 inch crystal globe (or glass, can't decide which) that had the world map on it, I think it is part of another piece that might be one of those tourist souvenirs but I didn't check, I just think it's pretty like a really large marble

02 | Found in a shoe store: a pair of bright, yellow shoes, they were like sunshine, brought them home but they were too large and I couldn't wear them

03 | Found in a bathroom in college: a pair of black-handle scissors with no brand name on it but it had been a great scissor until one of the handle broke, still haven't find a good replacement

04 | Found (well, heard) on the street: "This is life. Live it!" I had this written down and was going to use it in a post somehow so here it is

Have you found anything worth keeping or remembering?


Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 24, 2020

Umbrella

Just two artworks that has umbrellas in them. I have a few other pieces with umbrellas but I thought I share my favorites, well, they're all favorite. These two are companion pieces. (Click on image for a larger view.)
Maroon without you 1

Maroon without you 2


Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 23, 2020

Tell A Truth or Tell A Lie

For this post, I thought we play a little game. In the comments, tell one truth or tell one lie on whatever you like, it doesn't even have to be related to you. Then we will all guess whether it is true or not.

For example: "I have twelve toes." Is this a truth or a lie? Of course it's a lie or else I really do have twelve toes.

Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 22, 2020

Fiction: Sea Watchers

Sea Watchers, Edward Hopper

Read the other parts here and here, although it's not necessary.

Fiction: Sea Watchers

They drifted here by the sea after a while. It was a sudden decision. They both wanted to get away from the city. A long vacation, they thought. No crowd, no traffic, no need to shout when they speak to one another. This had been the perfect place.

It seemed a lifetime ago that she had caught up with him on his way out for another shift at the automat. That day, she waited outside the restaurant for five hours but she did not minded it. When he came out and saw her, he was not surprised, only delighted. From that day on, they had always been together.

A sail boat glides by. They watch in amusement. How slow it moves, almost as if it is taking its time. They have not bothered to change out of their swim gears though neither one have any desire to go swimming. It have been their daily habit to get ready for a swim but they rarely go.

When the sun goes down, they would talk for hours until one of them declares bed time. Here in the daylight, they have no need to speak. Silence have always been their shared joy. The sound of the surf and their calm breathing are all they need. There are no knots to untangle, no sorrows to weight them down. The sea gives them peace. If they could, they would erase all their past days and here by the sea, it almost feels as if they did.

A gentle breeze slips by. He turns to face her. She turns at the same moment. Her lips evens into a slight smile. He grins with his eyes dancing. Why have they took so long to come here? This is where they should always be. Together by the sea.

Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 21, 2020

Fiction: Restaurant

New York Restaurant, Edward Hopper

Read the other part here, although it's not necessary.

Fiction: Restaurant

Among the sounds of silverware clanking, his voice glides along as his dark eyes watch her. The smooth skin, the long nose, the vivid eyes almost jumping out with excitement - it all belongs to her today. Why being here in the noise and semi-chaotic space makes her happy, she does not know for certain but his smile is enough for her.

She had left the automat. That place had been her sanctuary, her paradise even when she had to share it with strangers. But she had to move on.

Here in this new place, still among strangers but no longer alone, she recalls how he came to her table and they started talking. Before they parted ways, he suggested dining here. A strange panic had seized her but then when he smiled, she knew it would be alright.

In the bright daylight, he takes a sip of his coffee and turns toward a new topic: vacation. Would she like to go on one with him?

She hesitates. In this light, anything is possible. She have known him for half a month but the thought of spending a week with him without any interruptions, makes her nerves tingle. What if she cannot be at ease with him the whole time? What if she have a sudden urge to run away?

He leans back in his chair and smiles. Then he suggests they can stay home and take a vacation around town and visit all the tourist attractions. Still, her heart beats in an uncertain speed. She smiles and picks up her cup to take a sip of coffee but it is empty. She looks for a waiter. So many people and so many voices. She waves at a tall man carrying a coffee pot.

The tall man comes over and pours black coffee into her cup. The hot steam rise up around her. She looks up into his face. It is the dishwasher from the automat. This must be his second job. There are heavy lines beneath his eyes but they seem to smile at her. After her cup is filled, he nods and walks away.

She turns back and he is still talking. Sitting there as if he have always been there but she wishes he would stop talking. He appears all too cheerful and carefree. There is no sorrow in the smoothness of his face. No traces of unhappiness anywhere around his eyes or mouth. Why is he such a happy person?

She veers her head slightly but the dishwasher is not around. She blows into her cup. Steam rises to hide the bits of his face. He straightens his tie and smoothes out his shirt. Would she like to take a walk in the park? She smiles and shakes her head. She must go. There is something she have to do. He nods and smiles as if understanding.

Already on her feet, she buttons her coat and says her farewell. He merely nods. Midway to the door, she pauses and turns around to take a look. He is talking to a waitress. She laughs and he gives her a wide grin. They seem to be at ease with each other. Good, she will not have to worry about him. He have been pleasant but her mind have been elsewhere all evening. The dishwasher. She remembers someone had called him Edward. Her lips involuntarily turns up. She will wait for him.

Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 20, 2020

Quick Quiz

Quick Quiz
Just a quick quiz that may or may not drive you nuts. You must answer each question in six seconds or less or else you turn into an ice cream cone. Just kidding. Maybe.

01 | How many fingers are on your left hand?

02 | Do you eat pies with a fork or a spoon?

03 | What do you do when your computer suddenly shuts down?

04 | Have you met an alien today?

05 | How many C's in Charles Dickens?

06 | Do you know a 5 letter word staring with Q?

07 | Quick, is there a kitten near you?



Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 18, 2020

Piggy

I was looking ideas and found this unfinished piece and worked on it, couldn't finish but I thought I share it anyway. The name on the dish is 'Sweet Pea.' (click on image for closeup)

closeup

Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 17, 2020

Oprah Wisdom

"Seek to be whole, not perfect." ― Oprah Winfrey
I think Oprah Winfrey is a pretty wise woman so I'm sharing some of her wisdom.

01 | "Seek to be whole, not perfect."

02 | "I don't believe in failure. It's not failure if you enjoyed the process."

03 | “If you are still breathing, you have a second chance.”

04 | “When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”

05 | “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”

06 | "Whatever you fear most has no power — it is your fear that has the power."

07 | “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

Source: link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4

Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 16, 2020

Naked Pictures of Animals

So here's some (almost) naked pictures of animals and some little notes I wrote for them.

01 |
"That's it, just lift your legs up. A bit higher. That's it! Just remember, you're not a dog, you're a man."
image source


02 |
I hope this one is faster than the cow.
image source


03 |
"Hello? 911? Someone's been stealing my newspaper and I'm not too happy about it. Oh yes, I know exactly who's the culprit. And he dared to tell me to stop jumping on the furniture!"
image source

04 |
image source


05 | 
I've always known I've a hidden talent but this ain't it.
image source


Check out the A-Z challenge over here.

April 15, 2020

Fiction: The Magician


Fiction: The Magician

Sometimes all Lottie Windmaster needs and hopes to need, is some sunlight, a few flighty delights, seven months of vacation in a remote island listening to the sound of the wind and having no fear of dying with every breath she takes.

From the slightly raised platform, Lottie smiles at the half deaf and fully medicated old folks who probably have no clue what she is doing. One little movement from her and it would set them laughing. That or perhaps their medicine is working faster than usual.

Once upon a time, Lottie was a magician's assistant until he decided to retire by dropping dead on stage. She had nowhere to go and the thought of retiring sounded like a prison so she decided to start her own show. Here at the Retired But Not Dead Old Folks Home (not the real name) is where she started and where she met her assistant, Gus. He was a janitor then, a man half her age and one that wasn't embarrassed to work for an old woman. By then, she was fifty-four but she was still very much alive and that was what she said to those who argued she was too old to start again. No one expected her to succeed, not even the daughter of the magician. In these ten years, she have proved them wrong. At least, she have enjoyed herself.

The laugher turns ghostlike as most of the folks fall into a stupor. She snaps the two halved boxes together and Gus comes out of the combined box as a whole person. A few people that are still awake, applauds. She takes a bow along with Gus. He gives her a small grin and steps back to stand behind her.

Scents of cigars drift toward her. The old gentleman seated in front is holding a cigar in one hand and a look of dazed boredom on his face. Perhaps she can turn him into a toad. For the past hour, he has been tapping the tip of his cigar against the glass ashtray, sucked on the cigar for a bit and blew smoke in her direction as if giving her a present. She turns her face away and breathes out. Putting on a smile to hide her vexation, she continues and pulls a rabbit out of a hat.