Friday, November 30, 2012

100 Words - listening

"I want Jenny."
The woman blinked up from her monitor with a questioning look.
"You're aware she's a little older?"
Actually Jenny was around his age but this wasn't what men usually wanted there.
"Yeah, that's ok."
"Well, she'll be with you in a bit."

It had occurred to him while waiting in line to punch clock. Out of the fifteen people ahead of him, twelve were playing with their smartphone. Nobody was really listening to anyone anymore and the last thing he needed was some young hooker checking out her favorite app while he tried having a good time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

100 Words - Remains of the day

He couldn't go home now, not with a police car waiting for him there again. Jakob shivered. Darkness quickly gobbled up the remains of the day, leaving him hungry and cold. No, he couldn't go home. His parents would kill him.

"Our door is always open", the neighbor across the street had said after she found him drunk and beaten up on the side walk. She had looked at him worriedly, quite piercingly when she said that. He ignored her. There was no such thing as a trustworthy adult.

The neighbor's lights flickered on. He started walking down the hill.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Z is for Zen

In days gone by, Zen master Hui Chueh, had a disciple who called on him for instruction. The master taught her to examine the sentence: "Take no notice."

She followed his instruction strictly without backsliding. One day her house caught fire, but she said: "Take no notice." Another day, her son fell into the water and when a bystander called her, she said: "Take no notice."

She observed exactly her master's instruction by laying down all casual thoughts.

One day, while cooking, she threw into the pan full of hot oil a batter which made a noise. Upon hearing the noise, she was instantly enlightened. She threw the pan of oil on the ground, clapped her hands and laughed. Thinking she was insane, her husband scolded her and said: "Why did you do this? Are you mad?"

She replied: "Take no notice."

Then she went to the master Hui Chueh and asked him to verify her achievement. The master confirmed that she had obtained the holy fruit.


A friend who heard this story was worried. "Does this mean she just let her child drown?", she asked anxiously. It doesn't say but I don't think so. I think she went about the business of saving him without allowing the situation to get to her emotionally and mentally.

Jenny Matlock

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Reading 163

I'm still a little sad that I missed the start of NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo but I've been reading, A LOT. Here's a few books I'm currently reading now:

 Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster

I like my fiction with a fair dose of realism. Better yet, reality with a dose of fiction, but that's something few authors can pull off, mostly because they're afraid of offending someone. Jen can and it works because she makes fun of herself first and foremost. This one makes the Shopaholic Series look like a 5th grader's story, why hasn't it been filmed yet?! I'll be looking out for the rest of her books.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini 

This is a great book for those who want to know why they end up saying yes when they really want to say no. Apparently it's a common problem and not exclusively reserved to me. Who knew!

Also reading:

 A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins

It's one of these books that will never age. In the 70s, the US economy was about as bad as now. Peter, then a fresh divorced graduate, felt the country didn't have anything positive to offer anymore and that he would be better off migrating somewhere else. A janitor convinces him to check out America before he turns his back on it, which he does. The result is a very engaging, inspiring book that renews a person's love with the country and its people.