#280 – Keep a List of Words You Like…

…for their sound, for their meaning, or just for their goofy spelling.  Pick on of those words and use it in a paragraph.

Is there a better word that best sums up confuse as befuddle?  It’s just a fun little word that rolls of the tongue that really captures the essence of not knowing what the heck is going on.  I’m befuddled that befuddle isn’t used more often.  I’m guilty of that myself, but it’s something I’m going to try and rectify by using befuddle more often to describe when confused.  I know some people prefer confuzzled, but that’s really a bastardized version of confused.  Not me though.  Befuddled for life.

Behind the Random: There is only one word that stands out among the rest that I enjoy saying.  The closest one is boggle, which still means the same thing but doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as befuddled does.  I actually got the idea from a stand-up comedian who points out what a fun word befuddle is.  I was hooked since.

#226 – Write from the Point of View…

…of a literary character who changed your life.

The alarm clock blared loudly but only for a second before a furry orange fist shot out from under the blue blanket and smashed it with a single blow.  Garfield stayed hidden in his cat bed for a moment, only his eyes peeking out.  “Why do I even have an alarm clock?” He wondered to himself, “What do I have to do this morning that’s so important?”  His stomach answered him, gurgling loudly.  “Oh right.  That.”

“First things first though.  Need to get my daily exercise in.” Garfield thought as he crawled out of bed and hopped up on a nearby counter.  “Oh Odie!” He called out in a sing-song voice.

From across the house came an excited yipping sound and Odie came barreling out of the living room.  With surprising ease for a dog, he managed to jump up onto the counter next to Garfield.  The orange cat put an arm around Odie in a friendly manner and asked, “Have you seen the new ball John got you?”

Odie thought about then shook his head.  Of course he hadn’t since there was no new ball, but he didn’t know that.  “Why, it’s right over there.” Garfield said, pointing over the edge of the counter.  Curious, Odie walked to the end and looked around, letting out a confused arf.  Suddenly, Garfield delivered a big boot to Odie’s behind, sending him over the side.  As the dog fell to the floor, Garfield cupped a hand over his ear to catch the resulting thump.  “I love the sound of a dog being put in his place in the morning.”

His exercise done, Garfield hopped off the counter.  The sound of his weight hitting the ground echoed through the house as the floor sagged under the sudden weight.  Garfield shrugged, “We should really get these floors checked.  They’re starting to warp a little.”

Trotting into the kitchen, Garfield found John sitting at the kitchen table eating his breakfast.  Shockingly, Garfield’s food dish sat empty.  Annoyed, Garfield marched over to John and tugged on his pajama pants to get his attention.  “Morning Garfield.  You’re up early.” John said cheerfully.

“Feed me.” Garfield demanded.

“How’d you sleep?” John was clearly not getting the clue.

“Feed me.”

“What’s the plan today?”

At this point, John needed a reminder on how things worked around here.  Garfield let out a powerful kick, sending John falling to the floor.  As he went down, he knocked his plate of eggs and bacon down with him.  As John laid there, stunned, Garfield gathered up the food and gave him a light slap on the cheek.  “Pleasure doing business, John.  Same time tomorrow?”

As he walked back into the living room, Garfield suddenly had a brilliant notion.  “I should make a comic strip out of my life!  I’m always doing something funny.  I could make a fortune.” Then the moment passed and he waved it off.  “Naaaah.  Nobody wants to read about a orange cat that kicks dogs.  I mean, I would but that’s not much of a market.  And besides, I can’t draw.”  He inspects his paw with a grin, “No thumbs.”

Behind the Random: I was but a wee lad when I first picked up a collection of Garfield comics.  I had just learned that all those funny little symbols made up words and was practicing on my dad’s books.  Instantly, my world was changed forever.  It was the start of my love of reading, comic books, comedy, drawing, and eventually writing.  Over the years, the humor of Garfield has waned on me, but that fat furry orange puffball still holds a place in my heart.

#633 – That Snappy Reply…

…you never had a chance to say.

So many times have I revisited a conversation and come up with sharp remarks.  Be it barbs to use in an argument or a piece of mirthful banter with friends.  I consider myself to be a pretty witty guy, though my social anxiety prevents me from speaking up most of the time.  Get me on a roll though and I can rock a table with my comments.

There’s also a flip side to this.  Sometimes, so many comments come to mind that it becomes a traffic jam of possibilities.  There’s been a few times where I’ve made a remark that was a jumble of three or more ideas, creating a completely non-nonsensical sentence, if I manage to get anything out at all.Sometimes I wish I was more like other people I know, who speak up without worry about what others will think.  Of course, some of those people don’t have the cleverness to back their mouths, making them look foolish.  I don’t mind people thinking I’m a fool, but I certainly don’t care to appear like a stupid one.So yes, there’s been plenty of occasions that I’ve mentally kicked myself in the backside after leaving a conversation and my traitorous mind throws a couple of bones to me.  Thanks a lot, pal.  Where the hell were you a few minutes ago…

Behind the Random: I remember a skit MadTV did back when MadTV was still relevant (so a really long time ago).  It was a commercial for a personal time machine that’s sole purpose was to travel back in time several minutes so you can use your witty remarks at the most opportune time.  When I saw that, I nodded and said, “Yes.  That is something that I would use.”

#358 – Write from this Quote…

…from Claude Levi-Strauss, “I am the place in which something has occurred.”

I am the place in which something has occurred.  Two souls joined together and sacrificed a piece of themselves to create a new whole.  A little bit of her and a little bit of him, I am two halves to make one.  In one instant, one act, new consciousness was created.  One that would dream, laugh, fear, and rage against the world.  He would question his place in the world, his purpose in the future.  He would marvel at the wonders of the universe.  He would know pain and joy and love and hatred.

He is that place I have become because of something that occurred all those years ago.

Behind the Random: Busy day so an early post.  Exhausted after a night of work then moving furniture then off to an Entertainment Expo.  At least I get to breath later tonight.

#458 – Write a Children’s Story Set in the Woods.

Once upon a time, Mr. Rabbit was hopping his way through the forest.  It was a bright sunny day out and Mr. Rabbit planned to enjoy as much of the sunshine as he could.  However, his big floppy ears heard something in the distance.

Hippity-hop he went as he set out to track down the far away noise.  In the end, he found Mr. Bear sitting by himself in the middle of a meadow, crying.  “Mr. Bear?  Why are you so sad?” Mr. Rabbit asked.

“I can’t find my friends.” Mr. Bear replied after honking his big furry nose.  “I don’t know where they went.”

Well, this certainly seemed like a mystery Mr. Rabbit could help with.  “Who are your friends?” He asked.

“Mr. Squirrel, Ms. Woodchuck, Mrs. Robin, and Dr. Groundhog.” Mr. Bear answered, “One minute we were all playing together and the next they were gone, leaving me here all by myself.”

“Don’t worry, Mr. Bear.” Mr. Rabbit said, “I’ll help you find them.”

Mr. Bear wiped away his tears with one massive paw, “You will?” He asked, surprised.

“Of course.” Mr. Rabbit said with a big toothy smile, “Now, did you see which way they went?  Maybe I can hear them with my big floppy ears.”

Mr. Bear pointed off towards the edge of the forest.  “I think they went that way.”

Mr. Rabbit turned and flexed his ear muscles as hard as he could, straining to hear something.  There were birds chirping and bees buzzing, but he didn’t hear any of Mr. Bear’s friends.  “Are you sure Mr. Bear?  I don’t hear anything over there.”

“Nevermind, Mr. Rabbit.  I know where they are.” Mr. Bear said.  Suddenly, before Mr. Rabbit could make even the slightest hop, Mr. Bear lunged at him with jaws wide open.  With a great big gulp, he swallowed Mr. Rabbit whole where he joined the others in Mr. Bear’s tummy.

“Thank you, Mr. Rabbit.  You were a good friend.” Mr. Bear said to himself as he sat back down.  Soon, tears welled up in his eyes and he began to cry again, echoing out into the trees.

Eventually, Ms. Beaver waddled up to him with a curious look in her eyes.  “What’s wrong, Mr. Bear?”

Behind the Random: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I should never be put in charge of telling kids stories.  I’m a big fan of Aesop’s Fables and the Brothers Grimm classic fairy tales that usually end very poorly for someone.  Sort of where my hard life lessons mentality comes from.

What’s the moral of this story?  Don’t turn your back on a frickin’ bear.

#167 – Introduce Your Long-Time Imaginary Friend

I want you to meet Bob.

Bob is a monster that changes his form everyday.  Sometimes he’s a big fire-breathing dragon and flies around in the sky, chasing pigeons.  Sometimes he’s a sasquatch and he just sits in the corner, counting his toes.  Sometimes he becomes a giant spider and hangs from the ceiling, swinging back and forth.  Each day brings a new form.

Bob is usually a pretty good monster.  He laughs at my jokes and makes silly faces when I have to be serious.  We play tag or hide-and-seek.  We have adventures exploring new far away worlds, seeing things that no one has ever seen before.  Bob listens to me when I’m having a bad day or need to get something off my chest and he never judges me or tells me that I’m wrong for thinking what I think.

He isn’t always nice though.  Sometimes, Bob gets mad at the people who hurt me.  He swells up into a monstrous form that I can’t even describe and eats their shadows, stealing away their souls forever.  All that’s left is a husk, staggering their way through the rest of their lives.  Bob scares me when he does that.

But I know Bob will never hurt me.  Because Bob is my best friend.

Behind the Random: I don’t think I had an imaginary friend when I was a kid.  I certainly had imagination, I won’t deny that.  I spent many hours at home and at school watching the strange and fantastical creatures that wandered in and out of my life.  Sometimes they would interact with each other, even fight.  I still remember watching a man made of stone fighting a huge flying snake in my grade 4 classroom, crashing through the walls and tearing apart everything.  Good times.

#105 – What Nobody Ever Said To You

“You’re good enough.”

For as long as I can remember, the people in my life have always pushed me to meet my potential.    I’m a person that needs to be pushed, I would never deny that.  Most of the progress I’ve made in life has been done by being shoved through doors of opportunity.  That isn’t a bad thing, really, but it’s always been unrelenting.  As a person prone to depressive behavior, that’s always made me feel like I’m not meeting expectations, no matter how hard I try.  That leads to feelings of inadequacy and failure, which just turns into a figurative toilet bowl of negativity.

On the flipside of things, a lot of time I’m not good enough for some people.  I’m not attractive enough.  I don’t make enough money.  I lack ambition and drive.  I can’t carry a conversation beyond a few lines.  Many people find me lacking in their first (and often second and third) impressions of me.  As one can imagine, this doesn’t help with my sense of self-worth.

I get that this sort of comes off as whining.  I should be glad that people are constantly pressuring me to become a better husband, father, friend, worker, and all around person.  Usually, I am.  I don’t really want to become sedentary in my ways and just allow life to happen around me, despite what I tell people.  Sometimes though, I just want to stop and know that what I’m doing is good enough for now.

Behind the Random: It’s been a pity party kind of day today.  Due to a lack of sleep the past few days, as well as other mitigating factors, I’ve been pretty hard on myself.  I’m actually in the process of seeking help for it, since it’s becoming more detrimental than it has in years.  Hopefully, with some time and patience and work, I can continue my evolution and actually find all that potential everyone else in my life sees.