Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Daily Plate of Crazy

We live in a crazy world.  The demands of daily life can become too much to handle, at times.  Meeting the needs of family and home, managing an increased work load, and doing more for less in less time.  So, what do you do?  Fight? Deal with it and become more time efficient.  Accept it as a challenge and become turbo-charged with energy to handle it. Flight?  Just ignore it and pretend it will go away, which it won’t do.  Go run and hide.  Flee the scene.  So, if you don’t fight, you don’t flee, and the pressure is on, what else is there to do?  Go Bonkers.  Yes, go crazy.  That way you won’t have to accept responsibility for anything in your life.  We all get served a daily plate of crazy every once in awhile.  There are better ways to handle it.  There are options.  Thus the creation of a new game show,   “A Daily Plate of Crazy.”

Studio C at Television Central.  Commotion is stirring, the chatter of the audience, movement of cameras and crew on the set, contestants are set in place and the host is checked for appearance and is instructed by the director to follow his cues and to speak from the script as it rolls through the teleprompter.  One last sound check.  Director turns to producer with thumbs up.  Ten seconds to live, five, three, one.  Live.  The set becomes flooded with light.  The music begins with a lively dixieland sound of brass and clarinet, along with a rousing rendition in song of “Happy Days Are Here Again,” sung as “Crazy Days Are Here Again.”

The studio audience joins in song with clapping and shouts of “crazy” and “bonkers.”  Then continue with “fight, flight, go bonkers!” “Fight, flight, go bonkers!”  Enters onto stage, our most bonkerous host, Crazy McSane.  Short and rotund, his face covered with a wash of white paint with large arched brows.  His lips are large and red.  An accentuated red bulbous nose.  Two bolts of hair each side his head.  He’s dressed in red checkered baggy pants with a purple jacket adorned with shimmering orange sequined petals. A glittering silver bow tie around his neck.  Yes, Crazy is a clown.  He knows a lot about life and has been served many daily plates of crazy.  Crazy knows crazy and handles it well.  Ready to play?  No?  Well, then sit back, relax and enjoy the show.  Maybe you’ll be the next contestant on “A Daily Plate of Crazy.”

Crazy McSane walks out to the audience waves and takes bows, he walks back to the set and greets his contestants with a hand shake.  Balloons drop and confetti falls, the show is on and now it’s time to play the game.  Crazy steps up to his podium and speaks out with joy to the studio audience and directly into the camera to viewers at home. “Welcome, interrupted by applause, welcome to the debut of ‘A Daily Plate of Crazy.’  It is such an honor, and I am thrilled to be a part of something that I hold so dear to my heart.  This show is about me. It’s about you.  We all have challenges we face every day in our lives. Some are simple and easy to handle, but others, not so easy. ‘A Daily Plate of Crazy,’ is a game about fight or flight.  This is a simple game.  Three choices for each challenge.  Fight, flight, or go bonkers.  I added bonkers for comic relief and to give us an out just in case we feel that we are unable to handle the challenge.  And that’s okay.  We’re here to learn.  Not in competition, but to help and support one another.  So that’s the basics of the game.  We’ll start right after this break. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.”

“Welcome back to ‘A Daily Plate of Crazy.’  Now, let’s meet our contestants.  Number one, your name, I see, is Zeenee.  Tell us about yourself.” “Yes, I’m Zeenee.  I’m from Barbados. I’m here to learn bravery.” “Number two, about you, sir.” “I’m John Rosenthal. Retired! Well, from the metal works business.  Ornamental iron was my specialty.  New Orleans is my home.  My wife sent me here.  She said I needed to be here.” “Okay, number two, you can learn to be brave, too.” “And number three, tell us about yourself, young lad.” “My name is Randy Lee.  I’ve been wanting to get on a game show for a long time.  Some of these big time shows you have to audition, I never got the chance.  Too many others smarter than me, I guess.  But, I’m here now.” “Well, it’s about time, Randy Lee.  You already have something that many people lack, you have persistence.  You’ve heard the expression, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’  I can tell, already, that you have fight and certainly not flight.  Welcome all and good luck to each of you.  Almost forgot, yes this is a game and you do play to win.  We play to learn, but you do win a prize.  Each of you have already won a tin of cookies and can win an additional tin for each challenge you are able to handle.  Right after this short break, we will begin to play ‘A Daily Plate of Crazy.'”

“Okay, folks, this is the moment.  Contestants, there are three rounds of play.  Each round has one plate of crazy.  Each plate has one challenge.  Each player has three choices to the challenge.  Fight, accept the challenge and play.  Flight, refuse the challenge and not play. Lastly, may choose to go bonkers.  The purpose of this game is to try to fight and handle the challenge.  Try to avoid going bonkers for this removes you from the round of play.  If the pressure becomes too much, then press the bonkers button.  In front of each of you are three colored buttons.  Green for fight.  Yellow for flight.  Red for bonkers.  Also, each of you have a mouse to use as a pointer to make a selection to answer the challenge question. Let’s go through a trial play.  Number one, let’s give it a try, okay?  This will certainly be your time to be brave. You will do well.  Okay, in front of you, Zeenee, you see a blue plate marked ‘plate of crazy.’  I will ask you, do you want to be served?  You must say, yes, I want to be served.  Then I will open the plate and it will reveal the challenge.  Then you will make your choice to fight, flight, or go bonkers.  Got it?” “I got it,” said Zeenee.

“Let’s play ‘A Daily Plate of Crazy.’  Number one, do you want to be served?” “Yes, I want to be served.” “The plate is now opened.  Read your challenge, you have ten seconds to respond.”  Which must you do now?  Change the baby’s diaper.  Wipe up spilled milk.  Take the dog for a walk.  You have five seconds, make a choice.  Zeenee pressed green button to fight and to accept the challenge. “Now, use your pointer to select what you think you must do now.”  Zeenee points and clicks on change the baby’s diaper.  Smiley face appears. “You are correct.  You just handled a daily plate of crazy.  Congratulations,” said Crazy with a smile as he hands Zeenee another tin of cookies.

“Way down yonder in New Orleens…ready to play ‘A Daily Plate of Crazy?'” “I think I am crazy.  Oh, I mean, I think I am ready, Crazy.” “Don’t worry about it , metal man.  Let’s do a trial play.” “Number two, do you want to be served?” “Yes, I want to be served.” “The plate is now opened.  Read your challenge, you have ten seconds to respond.”  You’re late for work.  It will take you thirty minutes to get there.  The client will be there in forty five minutes.  This will be a big sale for you.  You can’t find your reading glasses. What must you do?  Look for them.  Go directly to work.  Walk the dog.  You have fifteen minutes to spare.  You have five seconds, make a choice.  John pressed the green button to fight and to accept the challenge. “Now, use your pointer to select what you must do.”  John quickly clicks on go directly to work.  Smiley face appears. “You are correct, iron man.  You just handled a daily plate of crazy,” said Crazy with a smile and with an iron grip of a hand shake and John gets another tin of cookies.

“One last trial and that’ll be you, Randy Lee.  Ready to play ‘A Daily Plate of Crazy?”         “You bet I am, Mr. Crazy.” “Number three, do you want to be served?” “Yes, I want to be served.” “The plate is now opened.  Read your challenge, you have ten seconds to respond.”  There has been a change in the school bus schedule for the new year.  Due to a reduction in personnel, one bus driver must handle two routes.  A pick up at seven a.m. to arrive at school at eight a.m.  A second pick up at eight thirty a.m. with arrival at school at nine a.m.   Mom is not able to pick you up after school today.  Your first class starts at nine a.m. today, what do you do?  Have Mom drop me off at school.  Take the second bus to school.  Walk the dog.  You have five seconds, make a choice.  Randy Lee slams the green button to fight and to accept the challenge.  “Now, use your pointer to select what you must do.”  Randy Lee thinking to himself, Maybe Mom could drop me off and I’ll ride the bus home.  I’m not going to walk the dog.  I much rather ride the bus than walk two miles to school.  My first class is science and I can’t wait to discover new things.  Randy Lee points, then clicks take the second bus to school.  Smiley face appears. “Randy Lee, you are correct, you made the right choice.  Congratulations,” said Mr. Crazy as Randy Lee reaches for his tin of cookies.

“I want to say thanks and congratulations to each of our players.  All three chose to fight and to accept the challenge of a daily plate of crazy.  And none of them have gone bonkers!   I would also like to thank everyone involved in the production of this new game show.  A lot of thought, time and energy were spent on it’s development from an idea into a game format that is easy to follow and enjoyable to play.  Studio audience, you are the greatest. And viewers at home, thank you for watching and hope to seen you soon on the next ‘A Daily Plate of Crazy.’  Til then, bonkers!”

Nickel & Dime

A Nickel and a Dime.

I found a nickel on the ground.  Tarnished and covered with dirt and grime.                                 I know not where it came, but it was found by me.  Finders, keepers.

A little blonde haired, blue eyed girl approaches a wrinkle-faced man. “Mister, did you   find my nickel?  It was there, over there.  I need it back for me to keep.  Finders, keepers.”

“Little girl, here’s your nickel, but you can’t keep it.  You must pass it on.                                    It’s meant to travel.  Leave it somewhere for someone else to find.”

“But, it’s my nickel. I do not want to give it away.  It goes with two others and that makes three.  Fifteen cents.  I need one dime more, then I will  spend it for an ice cream cone.”  The wrinkle-faced man said, “So, it’s for an ice cream cone.  What’s your flavor?”  “Fudge Ripple.  A ribbon of chocolate all throughout.  Just what a little girl needs.”

Wrinkle-faced man says, “Little girl, ribbons of chocolate for you to eat? I thought ribbons were for little girl curls.  Once nickels are spent, you have no more.”  “Okay with me.  It’s just what I wanted.  The delight of chocolate within my soul.  Mmm, the taste of it all.  Now, give me a dime for ribbons of swirl.”

The wrinkle-faced man said, “Again, little girl, it’s not for you to keep.  You must pass it along for someone else to keep.”  “Someone else to keep and not me?”  “Yes, that’s where it must go.  It’s not meant for you to keep.”  “That’s not fair, I won’t let it go.  It’s mine.  Finders, keepers.”

“You may not know this, little blue eyed girl, but it has been said, once you find a nickel and pass it on , another may come your way.  Maybe two.”  The little girl said, “Really?              I need a dime then.  That will make it two nickels plus three nickels, enough for my ice cream cone.”

“Well, here’s a dime.  I found it, too.  But you can’t keep it.  It always travels with the nickel.”  Little girl said, “But it can’t go, I need it for me.  I want it now, please.”

The wrinkle-faced man said, “It seems hard for you to let things go.  You want  to hold on to the nickel and dime as if your life depended on them.”  “Please, no, I can’t let it go.  What will I do without my nickel and dime?”  “Well, what can you do without the nickel and the dime?”  “Nothing at all.  No ice cream cone, for sure.”

The smiling wrinkle-faced man said, “You know, an ice cream cone can come to you.”     “Really, how?”  “All you need do is ask for it.  No nickel or dime needed.”  The little blonde haired, blue eyed girl smiles and says, “May I have my ice cream cone, please.”    The wrinkle-faced man said, “Yes, here it is for you.  Double scooped with swirls and ribbons of chocolate just as you like.  Enjoy your ice cream cone, just for the asking.”

Moral of story:  sometimes you have to ask for what you need.  No need to hang on to a nickel and a dime.  All you need do is ask.  Now, how about an ice cream cone?


Savor the Flavor

Pause for a moment and just enjoy. Savor the moment.  Savor the flavor of life.  Enjoy the flavor of something as much as you can by eating or drinking it slowly.  I sipped my coffee, savoring every mouthful.  Tasted so good.

Jason in his tee, shorts and slippers eases back in his chair to enjoy the moment of a new day. “I enjoy my time on the deck savoring the sunrise.  The birds begin to chirp.  I hear them, do you hear?  There’s a lark that sings every morning for me. The sparrows  jump from limb to limb, then they perch on the fence to begin a new day, you see them?  A blue jay, with feathers of blue and white, just dropped down to the ground.  He is already attacking the cat.  He does this every day.  A mockingbird is rustling through the leaves and brush on the ground, do you see it?  Take a look, John.  Here’s my binoculars.  Look up there.  A bluebird, another one, sings a song to me.  I’m a bird watcher.  This is my morning delight.”

John replied, “I hear them.  I see them.  Never noticed before.  I’m out the door in a rush. Never take the time to slow down.  Marie is good to me, but she gets in the way.  I don’t have time for her.  She wants me to embrace her for a moment.  I’ve done it.  She gets so emotional.  I don’t have time for her nonsense.”

Jason thinking to himself,  He’s married to his work.  That’s all he does, work.  I’m sure she has thought about…well I won’t say it.  A woman needs tender loving care.  

“Well, I’ve got to go, Jase.  The bird show was interesting.  You’re retired.  The way things are going, I’ll never retire.  I hope you and Edith have time to savor the moment,” said John with a wink as he left out the door.

“Here darling, fresh cinnamon twirls right out of the oven.  Iced and buttered just for my man.  Enjoy, savor the flavor,” said Edith. “Maybe later to have and to hold?” said Jason. “Maybe later,” said Edith with a smile.

Rap, rap, rap. “Well, what a surprise.  How are you today, Marie?” “I just made this peppered omelet,  It’s still hot.  Would you like it?  It was for John.  As you know, he’s always in a hurry going somewhere, but really nowhere with us.  No appreciation whatsoever.  He doesn’t savor the moment,” said Marie.

“Have a seat, my friend.  You and I can enjoy the omelet.  I’ll cut it in half.  Coffee?  It’s hazelnut.  Love the taste.  I savor every sip.  Here you go, dear.  And fresh fruit, chilled from the fridge.  Apples and oranges.  Like? “Indeed, I do.” “How about one of each? Have your pick.  Fresh from the market,” said Edith holding the bowl for Marie to choose.

“Let’s see, a Washington State, and a sunshine orange from the groves of Florida.  Nothing like them,” said Marie. “Yes, indeed.  Only the best for you.  You said Washington, then you’ll have Washington.  Florida citrus is the best.  Have a little sunshine.”  Edith thinking to herself,  Actually, these are from Pennsylvania and California.  Amish country and Pleasant Valley Ranch.  Both organic.  The very best.  Glad I noticed and removed the small oval labels.  One with Amish on the apple, and the orange labeled California.  She won’t know the difference.  But she will taste the difference.    

“Marie, just thinking, there is a solution.  It worked with Jason after he retired.  He was so grumpy and restless.  All of a sudden he was doing nothing, where he was doing something. He worked all the time, just like John.  But I found a way to soften him up.  See on this sheet, chocolate chips.  One hard, the other soft.  How did I turn a hard cookie into a soft cookie?  It has to do with the ingredients.  For a hard cookie, add extra flour.  It stiffens the dough.  A double dose of brown sugar will make a soft and chewy cookie.  It depends on which you prefer.”

“Hmm, you think I can make John into a soft cookie?” “Yes you can. Add extra sugar and he will melt in your hand. Here’a what you do, simply pamper him. If he comes home stressed, draw a pleasant warm shower for him.  Give him time and let him savor his shower.  When he steps out, be there for him. Have a soft towel for him.  Next ingredient, pat him dry.  We may be moving a little fast with this recipe.  Just hand him the towel. Later, you can pat him dry.  Savor the moment with him.  He will begin to like it.”

“Edie, you are so inventive.  Thank you for the recipe.” “You will notice the difference in him and he will feel the difference.  Give him time to soften up.  Don’t want to rush, let him enjoy the moment with himself.  We all need that time.  That’s what I did and Jason is a new man.  One last thing that is universal about men, feed them well.  The way to their hearts is how much sugar you add to the dough.  Sweeten him up for a flavor to savor.     He will savor the flavor with you.”