I Love My Shirt

I ripped my way through this yellow paper background, because I feel like singing.  It is hard to express the joy that I feel in my heart without singing and today I want to tell you all about my new shirt.  You probably think that I am a nerd because my dad cut my hair using a bowl to make it look even, but this re-born bowl cut has a fresh punk feel to it that’s perfect for showing off your modern, masculine style.  That old fashioned rule of never buttoning up the top button on your shirt unless you’re wearing a tie no longer applies as when I do things, they become cool and trendy.  Perhaps you are thinking that my arms are way to long for my shirt sleeves, but in my opinion, the vast majority of men are wearing dress shirts that are one to two sizes too large.  I have these awesome wrist tattoos and with this sleeve length, everyone can check them out all the time.

I think that these wide vertical stripes really make a statement about who I am, because they’re quite elegant.  Fashion gurus used to say that an outfit with vertical stripes appears to elongate your figure by drawing the eye up and down, thus making you appear thinner, but scientists have concluded that this is simply not true and they actually make you look fatter.  I am not trying to hide a big belly behind this yellow paper background, and I am actually wearing my skinny jeans, although you can’t see them.  I like to take my inspiration from the warm end of the spectrum, so I often dress with fiery reds, oranges, rusty tones, creams, camel, and all things that are earth tones.  My pencil mustache completes my look, as what would Clark Gable be without his mustache.

Do you have a shirt that you really love,
One that you feel so groovy in ?
You don’t even mind if it starts to fade,
That only makes it nicer still.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
Do you have some jeans that you really love,
Ones that you feel so groovy in ?
You don’t even mind if they start to fray
That only makes them nicer still.
I love my jeans, I love my jeans,
My jeans are so comfortably lovely.
I love my jeans, I love my jeans,
My jeans are so comfortably lovely.
When they are taken to the cleaners,
I can’t wait to get them home again.
Yes, I take ‘em to the cleaners
And there they wash them in a stream,
Scrub a rub dub dub
And there they wash them in a stream –
Know what I mean.
Do you have some shoes that you really love,
Ones that you feel so flash in ?
You don’t even mind if they start to get some holes in
That only makes them nicer still.
I love my shoes, I love my shoes,
My shoes are so comfortably lovely.
I love my jeans, I love my jeans,
My jeans are so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
In fact I love my wardrobe.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.
I love my shirt, I love my shirt,
My shirt is so comfortably lovely.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #213, where today she has given us the photo prompt above.

Batman Is Coming

The 1966 Batman television series featured an instantly recognizable theme song, outrageous death traps, ingenious gadgets, an army of dastardly villains and femme fatales, and a pop-culture phenomenon unmatched for generations, but before the show was aired, it was hyped up with obscure TV commercials that simply declared “Batman is coming.”  This was something new and nobody knew what to expect, however these adds did tantalize viewers to tune in, and this show became the biggest hit for ABC in the network’s twenty-some year history and “Bat-mania” became a raging national phenomenon in the summer of 1966.  The acting was terrible and the jokes were worse, but the thing that turned me off the most was the cartoon onomatopoeia that appeared in every fight scene, as that made the show look totally fake.  Just because this show was new, that didn’t make it welcome.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #212, where today she has given us the following phrase to consider, “It’s new … does it mean it’s welcome?”

Extreme Weather Events

It should no longer be called climate change, as our climate has already changed.  It is estimated that, globally between September 2020 and February 2021, 12.5 million people were displaced by adverse impacts of climate change.  Weather is a connected system, but the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil will not set off a tornado in Texas, so instead you should think about a myriad of instruments playing different parts in a symphony orchestra.  Critics of climate change will say it’s part of a natural cycle and weird weather has been happening for many centuries or eons.  Others attribute the increase in weird weather to the presence of social media and the fact that virtually everyone owns a miniature camera that fits in their pocket.  Some of these disbelievers say that climate change is good for us, as it helps us to adapt, and others feel that it is already too late, and nothing can be done because it can’t be fixed.

A deadly late-season tornado outbreak produced catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities across portions of the Southern United States and Ohio Valley from the evening of December 10 to the early morning of December 11, 2021.  This devastating outbreak of severe weather included more than 30 tornado reports across six states stretching across the Mississippi Valley, Southeast and Midwest, and it was considered to be an extremely rare event this late into the year.  As many as 70 people are believed to have been killed in western Kentucky, and the death toll could exceed 100.  On December 15th, a widespread, damaging, unusual storm spawned a derecho (long-lived, straight-line wind storms associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms known as a mesoscale convective system) including many tornadoes from Arizona through the plains of the Midwest.

Even if you feel that the weather isn’t getting weirder, strange events are definitely becoming more common.  There is no denying that every year, heat waves are breaking new records, we are experiencing record droughts, causing massive wildfires.  We are also encountering record rainfalls, record snowfalls, and record-breaking hurricanes.  If you are worried about climate change, you need to understand Meteorological terms like the Arctic polar vortex, which is a large area of low pressure and cold air that forms a band of strong westerly winds in the stratosphere between about 10 and 30 miles above the North Pole every winter.  When the polar vortex expands, cold air is sent southward and the United States gets hit with outbreaks of cold temperatures.  You should also be concerned with the atmospheric river, which is a waterway in the sky that transports large volumes of water vapor into a region, and these end up causing columns of vapor which move with the weather, and they carry an amount of water vapor that is roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River.  When the atmospheric rivers make landfall, they often release this water vapor in the form of rain or snow.

The heat dome was the big story of the summer and that is created when an area of high pressure stays over the same area for days or even weeks, trapping very warm air underneath, rather like a lid on a pot.  The jet stream is a core of strong winds high above the Earth’s surface that helps to develop and steer areas of low pressure around.  A weather bomb occurs when there’s a sudden drop in pressure in a 24-hour period.  They are also called bomb cyclones or bombogenesis.  These storms intensify very rapidly and tend to deliver severe rain and ferocious winds that knock out electrical power.  The sudden drop in pressure that occurs in these storms is compared to a bomb going off.

Ice acts like a protective cover over the Earth and our oceans, because when the Sun shines on these bright white spots excess heat is reflected back into space thus keeping our planet cooler.  Glaciers around the world can range from ice that is several hundred to several thousand years old and provide a scientific record of how climate has changed over time.  Today, about 10% of land area on Earth is covered with glacial ice. Almost 90% is in Antarctica, while the remaining 10% is in the Greenland ice cap.  Rapid glacial melt in Antarctica and Greenland also influences ocean currents, as massive amounts of very cold glacial-melt water entering warmer ocean waters is slowing ocean currents.  As ice on land melts, sea levels will continue to rise.

If all the ice covering Antarctica, Greenland, and that contained in mountain glaciers around the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 67.5 meters (221.5 feet).  The ocean would cover all the coastal cities and land area would shrink significantly.  Florida is in the crosshairs of climate change, because of rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea level rise in Florida, than any other state by far.  Florida’s high point is 345 feet above sea level, the lowest of all fifty states, thus it will never go completely underwater, even if all the ice sheets and glaciers on the planet melt.

Given the urgency of the climate crisis and for the reasons outlined above, with me being an architect, I will be building a treehouse and I will plan the construction around this tree in my backyard.  I need to be sure to protect the roots around the tree that I want to preserve.  I will design my house around the terrain, making sure that it accommodates all the limbs that are bursting forth and ensuring that it is lifted up, so as not to alter the lay of the land.  I will certainly be in touch with nature having a tree growing through my house.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #212, where today she has given us several pictures of trees growing inside of a house, without cutting a single branch.

I Wish I Was Santa

Any guy who has the address of every naughty girl in town, doesn’t really need anything more, but Santa does deserve some type of present, although I have no idea what he wants.  I guess he wants all the boys and girls to be good, so he can give out more toys, which will keep the elves busy.  When the elves get time off, they are always thinking up new ways to get into mischief, which causes all types of trouble for Santa.  Santa is always happy when Mrs. Claus is baking cookies, as that gives him time to visit some of those really naughty girls.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #211, where today she would like to know, “What would Santa want for Christmas in 2021?”

Tunnel Of Love

On entering a tunnel….. my head was flooded with all of these sexy thoughts about being able to grope her and maybe get some sloppy tongue-kisses, while we were alone in the dark.  I wondered if we would be able to do some dry-humping on slow-moving indoor boat ride.  I had never been on a romantic boat ride before, but I knew that the darkness would provide enough intimacy for us in this place where any public display of affection would be frowned upon.  I met her on Facebook where we were immediately drawn to each other and we arranged to meet at the State Fair, in front of the booth where she was showing her prize pig.  She had a 280-pound hog named Elmer who she put a lot of work into to get him entered for the Best in Show competition.

Her name was Alicia and she had to go down to the barn twice a day, morning and night, to feed and walk her pig for 30 minutes to an hour, and then clean its pen, and of course she had to bathe Elmer weekly and oil him daily.  Elmer took second best in the contest, and I went up to Alicia and told her that it was pretty amazing what she accomplished and then I hugged her.  I met her parents and then she told them that we were going to explore some of the other events at the fair.  She told me to wait outside of this trailer, so she could change into something more presentable.  She came out wearing a tube top, a short skirt and stiletto heels completed her outfit.  I put my arms around her to save her from falling, as we headed for the Tunnel of Love.

We were both double vaccinated and neither of us had done any making out since the pandemic started, so we were more that eager to experience something that was purely physical.  With each of us being teenagers, this tunnel sounded heavenly for us to explore a pure, honest form of connection that we both felt.  We didn’t have years of baggage to cloud our feelings and neither of us feared getting hurt by the other.  We didn’t think that this would develop into a long-distance relationship, but we had today, and we were going to take advantage of that.  When we arrived at the Tunnel of Love, the ride conductor told us that there would be a 20-minute wait, because he was going on his break, but if we stayed on the line, we would be next.  Alicia smiled at me like the Cheshire Cat and said, “I wonder what we could do to fill the time”.  I grabbed her hand and took her over to this nearby bench and I said, “I am sure we can come up with something”.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #210, where today she gives us the theme of “On entering a tunnel…..”.

What Happened to Reality

I am trying to ignore augmented reality and the metaverse, because I am perfectly happy living my life inside of a bubble.  Those that live in an augmented world, integrate virtual elements into real-world environments and this will only work if the user is able to see the real world as it is right now.  AR manipulates the real-world space that the user sees, altering their perception of reality.  The person living in an augmented reality might be watching a live recording of the real world with virtual elements imposed on top of it.  They may also be walking down the street and it becomes a wild amalgamation of the physical and the virtual worlds, merged so convincingly that the boundaries will disappear in their minds.  These surroundings will become filled with persons, places, objects, and activities that don’t actually exist, and yet they will seem deeply authentic to us.  I am totally happy being inside of my bubble, as living inside of an augmented world would probably drive me completely insane.

The countless layers of technology that exist between each of us and our daily lives, moderating our access to news and information, mediating our relationships with friends and family, filtering our impressions of products and services, and even influencing our acceptance of basic facts, is easier to deal with inside of my bubble.  The abuse of media technologies has made everyone vulnerable to distortions and misinformation, and with all of the fake news that is going around these days, it is possible that reality as we know it, could end up disappearing forever.  The metaverse is a relatively new idea, being a hypothesized “imaginary place” immersive and embodied iteration of the internet, that is supposedly going to be the next big thing that’s going to revolutionize our online lives.  Mark Zuckerberg says that we will be able to do almost anything you can imagine, like get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create, as well as entirely new categories that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today, but I am happy being inside of my own bubble and I don’t want to have to purchase any virtual and augmented reality headsets to get through my day.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #207, where today she gives us three prompts to choose from, so we can either write a story from inside a bubble or Augmented reality, or Metaverse.

Blackbird Fly into The Light

Light my fire, so I can be blinded by the light.  Without darkness, there is no light.  They say that Mohamed Ali was so fast that he could turn out the light and be under the covers before it became dark.  Breathe deep the gathering gloom and watch the light fade from every room.  Dark star crashes, pouring its light into ashes.  Good golly Miss Molly is rocking at the house of blue light.  You give me fever causing my eyes to light up when you call my name.  You are such a pretty little thing let me light the candle.  Jack Straw was a half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light, when I decided to shine my light through the cool Colorado rain.  Once in a while you get shown the light and this may be why George Harrison focused on the Inner Light.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #206, where today she gives us the word prompt of light.

Won’t Eat Anything with a Face

This is not a vegan thing, as my wife eats meat, but if something has been given a name, or it has a face on it, she will refuse to eat it.  I have known this about her for years, but I painted the eggs for my art class and I thought that they turned out really cute.  I didn’t have a problem eating a dozen hard boiled eggs, even though my doctor had me taking medication to lower my cholesterol.  I could make egg salad sandwiches and maybe even some deviled eggs and once they were taken out of their shells, who would even know that they had faces painted on them, but she was adamant about this.  The first year after we were married, I told her that I was going to name our Thanksgiving turkey Jake this year and she told me that if it had a name, she would cook it, but I shouldn’t expect her to eat any of it.  She was fine with me naming the turkey every year, as long as I didn’t tell her the name.  I felt like she was missing out on all the fun, but she was a damn good cook, so I always kept the name to myself.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #203, where today she gives us a dozen eggs with faces on them.

Juju Hand

Painting my hand with multiple colors serves to infuse it with magical powers, which is neither a good nor a bad thing, although once it is painted, it may be used for constructive purposes as well as for any nefarious deeds.  I had juju eyeballs before John Lennon sang about them and they were not hypnotic or mesmerizing, as this happened when I was completely smashed from drinking kamikazes and I am not doing that again any time soon.  The term juju evokes an image of African voodoo with half-naked native black men sporting bones through their noses, dancing around a large open fire, with a group of missionaries being boiled up in a large cauldron.  Juju was a pejorative term, signifying that there was no rhyme or reason to what might be selected for this religious devotion and some people feel this term was derived from the French word for toy (joujou).

Juju got a bad wrap and it was usually associated with death, but there is also a thing called good juju and that would come from a good or white witch and this might be used to bless a marriage with a pregnancy.  The painted hand was the mark of an escaped slave who would no longer be owned by a master, so the juju hand was a good juju and it would bring positive energy and warmth to anyone who it touched.  This juju hand was known for training a zebra to ride a bike that pulled an elephant around in a wagon that would play a piano and everyone enjoyed seeing that.

Yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
Oooowwww! We got it now!

I’ve got an alligator claw and some booby dust
So you better do what you know you must
I got a lock of your hair and a bullfrog’s eye
And if you break my heart you better say “Goodbye”

I got a yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
This yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand sure is grand
Makes your eyes turn red and your tongue turn green
It’s the strongest mess that you’ve ever seen

Mojo hand used to be real strong
It kept you straight when you did me wrong
As time went by you just got so mean
But the yoka mata huba bakwa is the thing

I’ve got a yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
This yoka mata huba bakwa sure is grand
Makes your eyes look red and your tongue turn green
The yoka mata huba bakwa makes you scream:
Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Oooowwww!
Huba bakwa Huba bakwa

Mojo hand used to be real strong
It kept you straight when you did me wrong
As time went by you just got so mean
But the yoka mata huba bakwa is the thing

I’ve got a yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
This yoka mata huba bakwa sure is grand
Makes your eyes look red and your tongue turn green
Its the strongest mess that you’ve ever seen

Oooowwww!

Yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
Yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #200, where today she gives us a very colorful image and asks us to be creative and go berserk with it.

Perplexing Dilemma

She said, “You came back.”  I responded, “But we are meeting for the first time.”  I felt like I knew her and there was this unusual connection between us that I sensed, but I didn’t know her at all and I couldn’t tell her from Eve.  Maybe she confused me with some other Tom, Dick, or Harry, or perhaps it was the clothes that I was wearing, but I was no Georgy Girl and none of the girls were passing me by.  If we never met, then where could I have come back from?  I could have dropped that Arnold Schwarzenegger line from the Expendables and said, “I’m back!”, but not everyone knows that movie.

I figured she was one of the girls that I contacted from that dating site.  She was pretty, but I didn’t remember arranging to meet anyone.  I had a doctor’s appointment and I just stopped in this coffee shop in case the doctor wanted a urine sample from me, and I needed to have a full bladder.  My urologist was going to try to convince me to get a Cystoscopy to get a better look at my prostate, but there was no way I was going to let her insert a camera there.  I got my coffee and the girl patted the seat next to her and said, “Take a load off, relax and we can get to know each other.”  I asked her how we knew each other and she said that she was the nurse that worked for my urologist, so she felt that we already had an intimate connection from my last examination which she witnessed.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #199, where today she gives us a piece of dialog to expand on.