TTWA: Craigslist

Your partner writes a Craigslist ad to get rid of an item of yours that they totally hate.  What does it say?

This assignment required only a small amount of imagination.  I love anime.  My brother and roommate, Kevin, can appreciate my collection of comics, movies and video games, but my other interests . . . well, he pigeonholes Japan as a nation of perverts and anime as a product of that perversion.  Daring him to watch Spirited Away or Cowboy Bebop, two excellent examples of the quality of the medium, affected no change of his opinions.  Secretly, I wonder if the subtitles prove daunting to my dyslexic sibling . . . Reading in order to enjoy a movie may taint your opinion of the genre in much the same way that Jersey Shore or The Bachelor has infected my enjoyment of documentaries.  Then again the beautiful strangeness of these tales can overwhelm the more practically minded.  Kev enjoys operating heavy machinery and tilling the earth.  Case closed.

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TTWA: Horoscope

My first assignment from 712 More Things to Write About.  Technically, I set this challenge for the publishers first book 642 Things to Write About, but I accidentally grabbed the sequel from my desk while chowing down on dark chocolate-covered oreos, which I stole surreptiously from my sister’s Mother’s Day present.  Excitement, hunger and sugar rush blinded me, and I’m too stubborn and admittedly lazy to begin again.  

The book’s first suggestion:  Write yesterday’s horoscope. 

A tramautic event will interrupt your daily routine.  Although the circumstances may undermine your self-confidence, you will meet the unexpected challenges skillfully earning others’ respect and admiration in the process.  Try not to be so hard on yourself when perfection is not achieved; life will reward your efforts in time.  

So yesterday, a student of mine fell to the floor during class, overcome by a sudden seizure.  If you’ve never experienced a seizure before, I can only describe the moment as terrifying: legs and torso spasming violently against the ground; the sufferer unresponsive; a feeling of total helplessness for left to watch.  The experience left me rather pale and exhausted, despite the assurance from my boss and vice principal that I had reacted appropriately.  Television has warped all my thoughts concerning the best methods to react to emergencies.  Contacting the administration and paramedics feel inappropriate when compared with the exploits of Spider-man and Optimus Prime, but the ability walk on walls and transform into a semi would not avail those suffering from non-super-villian emergencies.  

Still, I felt like I should do more.  In daydreams, you always feel prepared for dinosaur attacks or zombie warfare, but when an honest-to-God emergency does emerge your scenarios and strategies fall short.  Thus, it felt rather good when one of my students who watched the attack congratulated me on my quick thinking and confident instruction. 

“You did good, Mr. Murph,” she said, noticing the paleness in my face as the paramedics wheeled my student from the school.  “Thank you for keeping calm for all of us.”

Calm?  My heart felt like it might break a rib in agitation.  

The student returned to school the following day as if nothing had occurred.  She waved me down and — in somewhat poor taste — laughingly explained “I just want to let you know that I’m not dead.”  Good to know.  

Things to Write About

Working among hormonal teenagers and equally hormonal parents all day, I arrive home every afternoon with only enough energy to shed shirt, tie and one shoe before collapsing on a recliner to Netflix and ponder my lot in life — Hey, it’s not a lot but it’s a life! *rimshot* Some evenings the very act of closing my eyes feels like a Herculean trial. Finding time to write is one issue, but finding topics upon which to cleverly spin epics and brushes with death appear limited while teaching at a Catholic high school — which for the sake of my life and sanity is a good thing.  Posting details about my class and chemistry lessons edges on the unethical; besides most days prove all too repetitive and boring unless you happen to relish tales of paperwork and two-hour meetings on teaching paradigms and the philosophy of grading matrixes (neither terms of which I can adequately express my loathing).  Moreover, with a new principal and administration — we receive more status updates than a thirteen-year-old’s Facebook page — I am yet uncertain which emails should be carefully scrutinized or tossed like so much spam from the latest male enhancement drug or Egyptian princesses seeking potential investors for mysterious oil reservoirs.

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