Annual Dragon Boat Festival

“We may not be the fastest boat in the race, but we will surely be the best looking one”, said Jeff after he completed the construction of the decorative Chinese dragon head made out of fiberglass that will be mounted on the bow.  Jeff went on to say that if they could get some good rowers, that they may even have a chance of taking first prize.  Jeff purchased a tape of drummers playing the tanggu, the traditional Chinese drum from the 19th century, hoping that this beat would keep the demons away while he was building this.  He was not going to be one of the rowers, but he would be a spectator cheering for them and he planned to film the event.

Building this dragon boat involved a division of labor, as other craftsmen were responsible for making different parts.  Bill another fiberglass fabricator built the ship’s tail, which would be mounted on the stern, while Ted a carpenter worked on the body.  Every part of the boat was designed with purpose, and the keel (a large beam along the underside of a ship’s hull running from the bow to the stern) that formed the dragon’s back needed to provide strength, stability and prevent sideways drift of the boat while it is in the water, keeping the boat steady and allowing it to be steered, was probably the most essential part.  Jeff knew that his portion was merely ornamental, but the dragon boat would not be ready to race till it was installed.

They assembled all of the parts together and the dragon boat looked awesome.  Jeff’s wife Sue Ling was making rice dumplings which would be stuffed with a variety of fillings, and tightly wrapped in bamboo leaves, in a triangular shape for the event, and this was his favorite part.  Making these treats was a tradition to honor the beloved poet Qū Yuán, as they were thrown into the water to keep fish away and stop them devouring his drowned body.  Jeff enjoyed eating them with dark soy sauce and sugar and he would probably toss a few in the water for good luck.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #399 hosted by weejars aka Sarah where today she is using a photo by Sal Witchells.

Infatuation

She had thought about and imagined this moment for years, but she’d never expected… his witty response.  She had dreams about being with him every night and she figured that her subconscious was trying to tell her conscious mind that it was time for her to make her move.  She was 16 and he was 21, but she was infatuated with him, and she had to get to know him.  He smoked, so she started smoking the same brand, figuring this might help her to catch his attention.  He could get into the clubs, places where she would not be allowed for another 5 years, but she could stand outside listening to the music and hoping that she could strike up a conversation with her crush.

Her brother was a bartender at this place and that gave her a legitimate reason to be standing outside, as she could always say that she was waiting for him to come outside on his break.  Her heart was filled with passion, and she craved excitement, wanting to be swept off her feet by a strong, confident man who know how to love a woman.  He was a biker and she imagined herself riding on his bike with him enjoying the freedom to go wherever they wanted together.  She knew that she would be safe with him, as he was a manly guy that would protect her and treat her like she was his queen.  He had a full head of hair and as soon as she could afford it, she was going to but herself a black leather jacket, so she would fit in with the rest of his friends.

It just turned midnight when she saw him come out of the club alone and she knew that this was her moment, so she took out a cigarette from her pack and flashed it at him and said, “Do you have a match?”  He said, “I sure do, how about your face and my ass?”, and then he laughed.  She was devastated, but she had a comeback because she watched that movie Joe Dirt and she said, “Why don’t you stick your head up my butt and fight for air?”  Her face became all flush and she knew that she shouldn’t have said that, so she started crying and then she walked away.  The biker told her to come back, and he said that she had a beautiful face and he also liked that she had the guts to stand up to his sarcastic humor, and then he said, “Do you think that my head could actually fit up inside of your butt?”  That made her laugh and she smiled at him, but just then this hot looking blond came out of the club and hoped on the back of his Harley and said, “Take me back to your place”, and they drove off.  Disappointed she started thinking to herself that she might never be able to catch that midnight rider.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #29.

That’s Life

Sometimes you are up and at other times you are down, but as long as nobody kicks you when you are down, you can have hopes to get back up again.  If you find yourself laying flat on your face, you need to pick yourself up and get back in the race.  When you sense that the end is near and you see the final curtain coming down on your life, don’t think about your regrets, as we all have them, you should choose your hopes and dreams, instead of your fears.  As long as you can maintain hope, you will have a positive direction to keep your life moving forward.

My Hopes
I hope to have more patients with other bloggers, as sometimes I tend to cringe at the things they write.  Just because I am almost perfect, that doesn’t mean that others are going to be like me.  I tend to have my own taste in music and since I run a popular music challenge, I am exposed to many different songs that I would not normally listen to.  I have to take this whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger attitude, because I feel the need to listen to every song that is contributed to my challenge and by getting out of my comfort zone doing this, maybe I will be exposed to some new stuff that I actually like.

My Regrets
I regret that I have made too many posts already and forgotten most of the stuff that I have written about.  I really need to get better organized, but I regret that I don’t have the time to do that.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #26 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us to write about our blogging hopes and regrets for this new year.

Brutally Honest

Fill in: ‘If I were really completely honest, I would say that …’ This is a question for ‘radical honesty’. What are the things you wouldn’t normally say? Things you would otherwise actually hide?  What’s on your mind? What would you really like to be able to say?
This past weekend, I did terrible on my football picks, and I was actually hoping that Tom Brady would break his leg during the game.  Seriously, I don’t want to see anyone get hurt playing football and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, but I was hoping that Brady would get sacked, fumble the ball, or throw some interceptions.  He is on Tampa Bay now and I should be rooting for him as Tampa is the most local team for me, but I built up this hatred for him after he disposed of his phone during deflategate to avoid prosecution.  This allegation happened when he was the New England Patriots quarterback and he ordered the deliberate deflation of footballs to make it easier for his receivers to catch the ball, which was cheating, and he got away with it and I could never cheer for him.

The latest thing that pissed me off about him is his latest commercial, as now he is hawking cryptocurrencies.  This is shameful, as this guy has made enough money and bitcoins allow criminals to make even more cyber-attacks, but why should he care, as he has always been all about himself.

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Have you ever broken anything? What about rules?
Everyone breaks things and some rules are made to be broken.  I have never broken any bones and I doubt that I ever broke anyone’s heart.  I have broken the law and I spent a night in jail, but I never went to prison.  I went to a barbecue party at my friend’s house, and I broke 4 of his lawn chairs, which in my opinion were kind of flimsy and they collapsed because they were not able to support my weight.

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Are you also afraid of spiders? What is your biggest fear, other than spiders?  (if you’re not afraid of spiders, use your biggest phobia instead).
I don’t know anyone who is fond of spiders, except for Spiderman or the Black Widow, however my biggest fear is probably heights.  I don’t like looking out of the window when I am on a plane and anything that is over 30 feet high scares me. 

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Do you think time goes faster as you get older?
I know that time slows down as you travel fast enough to approach the speed of light, because momentum bends the fabric of spacetime causing time to pass slower.  I realize that people may not perceive time passing at the same rate that a clock measures it, and this could relate to that old saying of a watched pot never boiling.  There is a
hypothesis which states that as we grow older, the rate at which we process visual information slows down, and this is what makes time seem to speed up, due to the size and complexity of the networks of neurons in our brains.  Thus, as we get older, our brains are filled up with more information, which makes the electrical signals traverse greater distances and signal processing takes more time and this leads to us thinking that time passing more rapidly.

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GRATITUDE SECTION (as always, optional)
Please share something that really inspired you from this last week or month.
Everywhere I go, things are closing down due to the shortage of workers.  Places are changing their hours, closing their doors and some are only taking drive through customers because they can’t find workers to stay open.  This has inspired me to quit two voluntary positions that I have, one as a blogger of a bi-weekly post I write and the other being the editor of a local newsletter.  Both of these positions take up too much of my time, so I will be leaving as the host of the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music prompt and Friday will be my last post.  I hope that someone else wants to take over this challenge, as I would love to continue to write in it, but with hosting Thursday Inspiration and Song Lyric Sunday, I have decided that this is too much for me.  I went to my neighborhood meeting today and I let them know that this will be the last newsletter that I will be writing for them.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Morning Stroll

Danger is my business and I am incapable of getting my adrenalin pumping without involving some type of physical danger.  I live for the thrill, the short-term happiness which I find in those moments only when I am able to escape the mundane world.  As you can clearly see, I am very agile and getting up here was easy for me, but it will even be easier getting back down, as I will be paragliding.  These new paraglides are easily transportable, and mine fits into my backpack, so I will be soaring with the eagles soon.  This is the best perch to jump off of and I will have a great view all the way down.  The hang gliders are close relations of paragliders, but these don’t have the rigid framework, and you need to learn how to launch, land, and control a paraglider in flight.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #117.

So Annoying

Yesterday the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning around 8 AM for my County, as there were strong thunderstorms in the area that were capable of producing a tornado, but there was no reported tornado.  The cover was blown off of my grill, but the brick that I put on top of it kept it from blowing away and there was some damage caused to the new housing development nearby.  My cousin gets these alerts on her phone which beeps every 5 minutes, till she acknowledges them and although I get a message on my phone, mine doesn’t beep.  Every freakin 5 minutes for over three hours, because my cousin slept late, I heard her phone go, “Beep, beep, beep, beep”, and I got such a terrible headache from having to listen to that.  I was busy with my Song Lyric Sunday challenge which went better than I expected, and I figured that she would eventually wake up and acknowledge it, but she must have needed her rest.  I felt like smothering her phone with a pillow or putting it in the garage to dampen the sound, but I just let it keep beeping.  I complained about it when she woke up and she got mad at me and stayed mad the whole day.

Written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

Beat It

Age caused him to lose some dexterity, and now his joints aren’t able to absorb all the shock of the heavy bashing like when he was young, but his stiff fingers still want to play, because that is what drummers do and his whole life, he has been a drummer.  His rhythm is right on the money and he still has good listening skills, so he never misses a beat.  For as long as there has been music, there have been drummers and he put in years of hard work and tireless practice to get where he is, and this persistence has gotten him to where he is today.  He worked as a session musician as part of the L.A. Wrecking Crew and he spent a short time being in the Funk Brothers, as well as the Swampers, but repetitive motions have led to bursitis flareups, so he is thinking about retiring and possibly going into production or teaching.  This will be his last show and he is going to beat the hell out of his drums tonight.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #152.

Alexa Could Be More Useful

I constantly ignore Alexa and she is basically another clock for me, as I use her to set alarms and check the weather, but I am not taking advantage of all of her abilities.  I get mad at her when she doesn’t understand me and if I had more patients, I think I would use her for more tasks.  She is a bit annoying as I typed my birthday into her when I first registered my device, but the other day when I asked her what day my birthday was, she went off on this whole spiel about what a birthday is.  I found out that I need to tell her to remember events in order for her to respond, so I would have to say, “Alexa remember that my birthday is on this date”, and then she would know it.  I read that she has more than 70,000 skills, but most of them I would never use.  I was able to get Alexa to sync with my Outlook account, so I can view my appointments, and that is very useful.  I covered her camera, because I don’t like her looking at me.

Written for Sadje’s Sunday Poser #63, where she asks, “What do you forget on a regular basis?”

Put My Guns in The Ground

‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ is a Bob Dylan song that was written for the soundtrack of the 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.  It was released as a single two months after the film’s premiere, and it became a worldwide hit, reaching #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100.  In the movie, frontier lawman Sheriff Colin Baker (played by Slim Pickens) refers to his wife (Mexican actress Katy Jurado) as “Mama”, and this is done in many cultures as a sign of love and respect for doing the difficult job of raising children.  Any couple that unites to create a family will take on new identities, and they will become completely bonded to this unit, completely focusing on their children, which is a beautiful thing.  They become mommy and daddy to each other and although today this is considered to be old fashioned, back in the day between the 1850s and 1950s, wives and husbands had twin beds, because separate beds were seen as a healthier, more modern option for couples than the double, with Victorian doctors warning that sharing a bed would allow the weaker sleeper to drain the vitality of the stronger.

This song is splendidly simple, featuring just two short verses, and the lyrics work directly with the scene in the film where a badge and guns really are a badge and guns, but somehow this song transcends the literal meaning, as if you listen, you may be able to pick up a much deeper, profound significance.  James Coburn is playing Sheriff Pat Garrett and he meets up with Sheriff Colin Baker, to help smoke out Black Harris, one of Billy the Kid’s gang, hoping that he can provide information on Billy’s whereabouts.  Baker is a bored, regret-filled lawman who is watching everything he knew die, and he is so sick of life that he does not even exercise authority anymore, so when Pat comes calling, Baker has to ask his wife where he put his badge.  Baker is building a boat, thinking he can use it to leave this damn territory, but it’s a pathetic dingy and it will never take him anywhere.  Baker and his wife go with Garrett to arrest some of Billy’s old gang, they find Harris, and a shootout ensues.  In the gunfight, the gang members including Black Harris are killed and Baker is mortally wounded.

Baker gets shot in the stomach, and he stumbles away from the fight to that river, possibly thinking about his unfinished boat.  Baker moves slowly but steadily away giving off the impression that he is like a dying elephant that wants to be alone when he dies.  Baker’s wife finds her husband with tears in her eyes, unable to speak as he looks at her and nods slightly, while life is draining out of him.  She comforts the dying lawman as he waits to die and as this quiet moment of hurt between two people who cannot voice their goodbye takes place, his death is certain.  Baker is knocking on heaven’s door, while this song starts playing.  Bob Dylan sings vocals, and plays guitar, with Roger McGuinn also on guitar, Jim Keltner on drums, Terry Paul on bass, Carl Fortina playing harmonium and Carol Hunter, Donna Weiss and Brenda Patterson all singing backing vocals.

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme this week is Bomb, Gun, Knife, Weapon.

You Can’t Say Bomb on A Plane

You could probably get away with saying the word bomb on a plane, but you would be tempting fate and most likely risking a cavity search.  Male nurse Greg Focker in Meet The Parents played by Ben Stiller testifies that he didn’t say that he had a bomb and he wonders why it would be wrong to say the word bomb on a plane, but poorly chosen comments can lead to your arrest, even if you are joking, as this would be like saying the word fire in a movie theater, because it will surely cause panic.  Most firearms, explosives, and incendiary devices are scary and these offensive weapons are prohibited in many places. They say that you should never bring a knife to a gun fight, but when you run out of bullets, a knife can be a handy weapon.

Last week we had A Little Lamb where the theme was songs that feature lyrics of Concern, Fear, Fret, Worry suggested by Fandango of This, That and the Other.  This week the theme is songs that feature lyrics of Bomb, Gun, Knife, Weapon.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, and even better, read as many of them as you are able to as you will probably find many enjoyable songs and it is quite possibly that you will learn a thing or two.  Share your music with others and post a video, try do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the theme, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Think of these as being suggestions instead of being rules:
• Try to use the prompt words or at least conform to a general theme, as you see it.  If the song you select does not meet the criteria, then please explain why you chose this song.
• It would be good if you could post the lyrics to the song of your choice, as this is helpful for the people that want to follow along with the music.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due. It would also be a good idea to give credit to the singer and the band associated with your song.
• Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but please try not to include too many videos as that just makes it take longer to look at all of the other posts.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

This week I will be writing about the song ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ by Bob Dylan, and next week, I will be writing about the U2 song ‘Angel of Harlem’.  The upcoming prompts will be:
January 23, 2022 – Tribute songs written in memory of someone
January 30, 2022 – Songs featured in films that made the charts
February 6, 2022 – Space, Planets, Aliens suggested by Di of pensitivity101
February 13, 2022 – Can’t, Don’t, Shouldn’t, Won’t