Call Me…on the Line


Anyone else out there resent their cell phone?

I’ve had a serious hate/HATE relationship with phones since…well…forever.  I was never one of those teens who could spend the entire evening on the phone with this girlfriend or that one, talking about boys or what TV show was currently playing or boys or that horrible little slut in chemistry class or boys or the existential reality of the multiverse overlapping our own reality or boys or clothes or…did I mention boys at all?

I’ve always been one of them people who, when they NEED socialization, prefer to have such interaction with the other person in person.  This ‘having a piece of plastic crammed in your face’ has always struck me as irritating – and the whole phone conversation process as intrusive.  If I want to have a conversation with someone, I’m gonna go seek them out and get the eye contact, body language, facial contortion and empathetic parts of the interaction experience – rather than just settle for a slightly distorted electronic version of that voice, without any of the other, non-verbal cues.

Having a piece of electronic equipment stand in for a person you want to have a meaningful interactive relationship with is just NOT spot on.

Dare I say…vibrator?

I’m going on record here…for the upteenth time – I.  HATE.  THE.  PHONE.

And it’s not my specific make/model – its the entire concept of phones as conversation pieces.  The phone is annoying when I’m in a good mood, because when the damn thing rings, it pulls me away from whatever I was engrossed in and demands I focus all my attention on it and the verbal-only, half-conversation which ensues.

But when I’m in a bad mood to begin with?  When the demon-tech sings its siren song, I’d rather swallow broken glass, shit it out the other end immediately, and take the conversation time to bleed out from both ends.  It’d be less painful then trying to limp through a conversation without radiating my frustrations over the airwaves.


At least at work, I can keep it professional.  Keep it short and to the point.  And let voicemail take the call when I’m deep into some project that I can’t be pulled away from.


At home?  Whole ‘nother story.  If I don’t answer the damn thing – I get increasingly frantic messages at 5 minute intervals.  I risk a serious shit-show every time I take a 20 minute shower.



In the 80’s – when I first moved out into the wild world on my own – my Dad installed a phone in my apartment and footed the bill.  He thought it was important to have me ‘connected’ to the rest of the world.  If I’d had to pay for the line, I’d have gone without.




In the 90’s – I paid for my own phone line.  Kids and family were factors, but still…when I left the house to go do something, I was unreachable, and the family in particular/society in general were all fine with that.  Everyone was happy to leave a message on the answering machine, or just wait until later in the evening to try to call again.

(for the record, here…in the 90’s, you had to leave me a message – I screened calls through the answering machine even when I was home)


nokia-3310In the 00’s – cell phones were dropping price points to become an average-Joe Consumer affordable thing.  After listening to a friend of mine bitching up a blue streak because her husband got pissy if she didn’t answer hers – I swore I’d never own one.  I liked my autonomy too much.



And today?  Yes – I carry around the damnable little tracking device…society and convenience have made the little demonic rectangles useful.  And, with apologies to my earlier selves, I’ve upgraded the hate/HATE relationship with phones to a grudging acceptance/HATE relationship.   The device does have a few positives.  A camera, accessibility to the ‘net, and the portability of the phone number.

I tolerate the thing as long as I don’t have to use it for meaningful interaction with another human being…


Rant warning!

I miss being invisible and untraceable in the wild world.  I miss stopping for a late lunch after shopping – knowing that nobody can demand a slice of that time, and that they accept my boundaries.

I can’t go to the greenspace to sit on the dock by the water without that shrill ringtone scaring the shit outta the local wildlife JUST as they were getting acclimatized to my presence…

Nor can I find a real secluded spot to sit in the sunshine and meditate…

At the laundry, I can’t ignore the world whilst in it, with my nose buried in my kindle…

Finally – at home, I can’t work on an intricate chainmaille piece without having to stop the creative flow just to listen to political drivel, yet another history lesson, or constant bitching about how stupid all the other drivers on the road are.



Guess I need to have a little chat, no?





Browsing the Web for Things…

While seeking out new and exciting things people have done with little rings of metal, I happened across the following sculpture:



Binder clips – turned into something extremely artistic.  I MUST try this soon!

As the mathematician – Zachary Able – had the kindness to create a tutorial on his blog – Three-Cornered Things –  I’m gonna give it a shot.  SOON.




Flash Fiction-Pyromaniac


I’m back to digging through some of the older Flash Fiction pieces again.  This week, I’ve been reminiscing over fire.

As it’s been cold up here in Frosty Wisconsin, is there any wonder why my thoughts were turning to extreme heat sources?

The flash piece below was my offering for Flash! Friday’s 2014 anniversary celebration…and was the 2nd piece I officially submitted to their weekly frenzy.  I have to admit – I was shocked senseless when my entry was chosen as one of the 12 semi-finalists.  Now, I don’t have access to the original photograph, but it was stunning.  A small building (think: cabin in the deep woods) fully engulfed in flame in the dead of night.   I do remember they had a strict word count on this one (150 words on the nose…no more, no less) and the usual 24 hour time period to submit.

I can’t believe I never slipped this up on the T&T – it’s one of my favorite pieces of flash.

And, accompanying the piece is not my usual flash banner – the image is one I got a mind-shot of when someone on Google+ shared a picture of a close up of the front grille of a pot-bellied stove.  I just had to create something in ‘Shop to bring that vision to life.  One of my first attempts at actual drawing in ‘shop.  I think it turned out well 🙂



150 words


Orange against black. Subtle licks of cerulean, scarlet, saffron and emerald flare into being to vanish in an instant without a trace. Elongated fingers of incandescence stretch into the void to momentarily paint their essence onto the obsidian night sky.

It is alive with movement – sliding, shifting, waving, weaving – its hypnotic, primal dance both beautiful and terrible as it crafts a timeless, mesmerizing, elemental ballet of destruction.

The voice of combustion, a low, throaty growling howl of clean air transformed to sweltering luminescence, whispering secret desires into the ears of those who worship it.

They listen, comprehending the flare’s song in that most primitive portion of the brain. They stare, glassy-eyed and slack-jawed, into the complex twisting leap and swirl of the living flame. They are powerless to resist the compelling demands of spark, ember, pyre.

Some men just need to watch the world burn.



First…I’d like to personally thank each and every unique visitor to the T&T – these poor scribblings from this humble scribe are a sloppy attempt at a clumsy gift for such lofty and Auguste Personages.


I couldn’t resist borrowing (and MASSIVELY paraphrasing) those words from Taita, slave to the Lady Lostris, from the book River God by Wilbur Smith.  If you want a tale of Ancient Egypt, SET in Ancient Egypt, that really comes alive in your head – go dig this one out.

And the sentiment is genuine – if I didn’t have regular readers on this, my tiny slice of the blogosphere – I’d probably have abandoned it by now…

I’d like to think my personal blend of sarcastic whit & photography, wrapped up with a chainmaille bow & served with a slice of keto-cake is at least a “smidge” entertaining…

And…because you guys come and read and like my stuff, I get to return the favor – checking out your blogs and your words and your brand of entertainment…so thanks for writing, as well as reading…your work is appreciated!

Reading & writing – like 2 peas in a pod…


Unintentional Funnies attracted some unusual attention, in the form of several very Christian Bloggers.  As I visited their sites, I was flooded with a deluge of scripture and pondering of the faith.  I’ve no reason why this particular post drew in those who find comfort writing about God, as there wasn’t anything even remotely faith-like in it…

NOT that I’m complaining – everyone is welcome here at the T&T to read, share, comment, or even condemn if I’m WAAAAAAAAAAAY off base.  I try to avoid subjects that have measures of conflict built in rather like the way certain subjects were forbidden at the dinner table when I was a child.

Typed my Mom’s voice:  ‘Two things never discussed in polite company:  Religion & Politics.’

So you’ll never see the T&T fall into the political or theological pathways.  There are other, more hardened writers out there, to handle both these spectrums.

I’ll just keep observing my little bit of world, and share those with you…

You’re welcome!





On Unintentional Funnies




We humans are communicative creatures… we LOVE to share words and concepts.  In our ancient past, these words and concepts were shared verbally, through stories and music, by tribal elders or mystical-persons, or, in the case of music, through the musicians and performers.  And everyone learned by having these traditions passed down verbally.

A little later, and the first writings appeared – pictorial at first, then cuneiform, hieroglyphic, hierarchic and other forms blending easy to reproduce abstract line-forms and pictorial representations,  and finally arriving at standardized alphabetical characters through a series of subtle metamorphosis.

I find it amazing that our languages are just as alive as us humans who created them.  They evolve right alongside us…  And, even if we’ve not added a single new letter to our alphabet for generations, we’ve added a multitude of new words, shortcuts, and pictograms as we continually explore communications.

Look at what the electronic revolution has done for us.  Instead of writing out “You made me chuckle at that one…” now, a simple LOL or picture of a laughing ball crystallize the message in a minimum number of characters.

I see this as both good, and bad.  As a writer – I see it as a dreadful shame that our beautiful language is being pared away bit by bit.  That new minds aren’t being afforded the opportunity to explore the diversity of adverbs and adjectives, piecing together old words in new ways to bring another’s imagination to full-color life from black & white print.

But I also see the efficiency of shortcuts and pictorial representations coming back to our communication attempts…and I love the artistic creativeness of some of our emojis..


Sometimes, our shortening of words or imposed limits on characters within an electronic ‘field’ have unintended, and hilarious, consequences.

This morning, as I checked my email – I received a notification that Maggie at The Zombies Ate My Brains had posted a new blog entry.  Here’s what I saw:




Hope they used the underwires to clean their teeth…














The Return of The Dude!


A bit ago, I posted one of my Etsy listings for The Dude Chainmaille pattern I created – selling ready-made-dudes, customized colors, and I even included a tutorial for any of the other chainmaille addicts out there if they wanted to make one of their own.

All I asked for was recognition as the designer of the pattern.

I did a search on Etsy last night – and I found my Dude being sold by another vendor.




What an awesome feeling – that something I pulled from the creative soup inside my skull was considered good enough for another creative person to duplicate 😀

Warm fuzzies and happy tinglys – CHECK.

The Long, Dark Teatime

January in Wisconsin certainly qualifies…

Tempest teacup crop


We’ve certainly got dark down.  With our position on this tilted globe, our average sunlight in January is 9 hours.  This means I leave for work JUUUUUUST as the sun is breaking the horizon, and leave work as it’s brushing the hills to the west. All my free-time during the work week is spent in twilight and night.


We’ve got cold.  I got a warning last night from my computer that I ‘aught to bundle up this morning, because the morning temp was supposed to be hovering right around a single degree above zero.  When the average temps are afraid of double-digits, every single minute outdoors feels like 10.  That’s long…


And I’ve got tea.  Granted, I like the iced stuff with a hint of lemon, but I will occasionally brew up a hot cup.  The most wonderful thing in the world is a hot coffee mug encircled by hands that have just spent a 1:10 ratio of time in single-digit weather.


Once I get to this point in the year, I’m past the ‘I wanna hibernate’ phase, because the rest of the world is gone to sleep without me.  It’s quiet, because most of the energy in these parts is deep and slumbering beneath the blanket of snow…dreaming of sunshine and warmth and the promise of spring.

Look at me…all waxing poetic & stuff…


Winter, this year, certainly feels like the Long, Dark, Tea-time of the soul (with a subtle nod to Douglas Adams, of course…)

So far this year – I’ve been very contemplative.  Maybe it’s because, once again, I’m within the sphere of influence of the Fox River and the power-nexus which found me the last time I lived in Downtown Waukesha.

Maybe it’s because I’m adding yet another + to the growing string of ’em marching endlessly behind the 29 fiction I keep running regarding my physical age on this ball of dirt.

Maybe it’s because I (and the rest of the country) are holding their collective breaths – waiting to see what direction the inbound Creamsicle Administration (Orange in the White House) is going to spin our little Democratic Republic.


I think I’m extra-contemplative this year because I’ve spent waaaaay too much time on this whirly bird chainmaille pattern.

A whirly group shot

To me – whirlys are a very soothing pattern.  The placement of each ring makes sense.  The form is balanced and ‘right.’   The marble within the cage is secure yet mobile.

And I can add a rainbow of colors with different colored glass.  As I’ve got a new shipment of various marbles winging it’s way to my doorstep right now – I should have plenty of whirlys to go around by spring.

If you want a little whirly of your very own to assist in contemplating the existence of tea and cold Wisconsin winters – you can get one here.

Stay warm, everyone!