Category Archives: Arbitrary Thoughts

Wordless Wednesday 7.9.14


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July 9, 2014 · 6:00 am

A Word Game

Words, words, words, words, words, words,

more words, words, words,

her words,

my words.

She fed me my words on a platter then dropped it.

The platter cracked and my words spilled on the floor.

~©K.J. Scrim 2014

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Dust Bunnies, Writing

Send it Snail Mail

Not too long ago I celebrated a birthday. Before you ask, I’m not saying how old I turned, but suffice it to say that I remember watching the Vietnam War on television and seeing Father Knows Best in black and white. I also remember the day when birthday cards would come through the mail and each one was a gift in of itself.

Whenever I got a card or letter in the mail I would get a charge of excitement. The return address was the first thing to check and then see the postmark and stamp. Anything from overseas was the best (my brother served in Korea and he sent me several letters from there), but mail from anywhere was plain grand. After learning the distance the letter or card had come I would turn it over to carefully open the envelope.  I never ripped into a letter, and I would either get a knife to cut a neat slice across the top, or very carefully lift the paper along the glued edge.

Anticipation was the best part to opening a card or letter that came in the mail, actually it was the best part about going to the mailbox everyday. As I celebrated another step toward being ancient I made my daily trip to the mailbox and was pleased that I actually got two (count them, one, two) cards in the mail. There was a time that ten was more the normal, but now it is two. I did receive several e-cards, along with a slew of Facebook one liners, “Happy Birthday.”

On the one hand I was thrilled that anyone remembered my birthday at all (usually everyone forgets). I had a wonderful time going to lunch with friends and my family took me to dinner as well. On the other hand, it bothered me that I only received two cards in the mail. I miss the old days. I miss that anticipation. I miss going to mailbox everyday. Don’t you? When was the last time you received a nice letter from your Aunt who lives in New Jersey? Did you get very many cards in the mail for your birthday this year? Wouldn’t it be nice to get one?

I work for a greeting card company and I hear a lot of stories from customers who’s day was brightened just by receiving a real card made out of paper tucked in an envelope and sealed with a kiss. These are the things that make our world a better place and I, for one, will be sending more cards out this year. Let’s spread some cheer around and send a card, a note, a letter. Better yet, maybe some sand from the beach you live on, or a pressed flower from your garden. Be creative. Just send it snail mail and make someone smile.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Dust Bunnies, Family, Holidays, Letters, Writing

Give It Back

I recently took a writing class (yes, I do claim to be a writer and sometimes I actually write good stuff), and during the class the facilitator asked for volunteers. I am usually the first one to send my hand to the sky like a blazing rocket and this day was no different. I answered the question with my usual blondness (no, I’m not blond and I do know that blondness does not define smartness) and was so off track that a search plane was sent out to find my brain.

After I crawled back under my rock and let the rest of the class go on without me, I was pleasantly surprised that our lovely facilitator was giving 7 books to the 7 participants and would these be passed to the rightful winners. Mine never came. WHAT? I was pointed to as person #5 and should have received a book.

OK, so my answer to the question really sucked, but I did stick my neck out, and I did suffer the consequences of being squashed under a rock, so after all that, I really would have enjoyed the last pick of all the books that went around. You know the book…the one that is really stupid that no one wants because it was written in 1972 and is about the soft puffy cotton balls of ancient Egypt. Hey, I don’t care. I deserve the worst book in the pile for the worst contribution of the class.

I at least deserved a book. Alas, that would not come to pass. I, once again, stuck my neck out (I do love to get my head lobbed off) and asked if the books had made it around yet. After all, there could have been a single book lost between people in a state of panic. It could be just laying there wondering if it would be claimed by some sorry soul or find itself in the pile for the closest donation center. The attendees all looked about, milled about, or studied their books, not admitting to having a book they didn’t deserve.

There is one person out there, and you know who you are, that has my book. I was looking forward to reading about the cotton balls of Egypt, and may have found my life complete by it, but it just wasn’t meant to be so. I will remain diligent knowing one day, sometime in the future, you, the stealer of my book, will peacefully move on and that book will find its way into my library where it will rest peacefully between “Blonds are for Better or Worse” and “Thieves Suck”.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts

The Cup

The cup sat on the empty table

Air spilling over the edge.

Four legs reached down that held the plain above,

I breathed in the emptiness and fell through the floor.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts

A Puzzle

It is funny how some people fit into life just perfectly from the day they are born until they are taken away in a fine pine box. They are like puzzle pieces that have the perfect shape, and colors that fit just where they are supposed to.  They are able to see themselves and their lives stretch out before them and with so many possibilities they find their place in the puzzle early on.

There was a man I once knew who attended college to learn an entirely new language then spent his life creating things from this language. It is fascinating to see how a series of odd numbers, letters, and symbols could be strung together and, once completed, could come to life and help a scientist solve a theory, or a student to write a term paper. He continued to expand his knowledge through books, seminars, and real time learning. He problem solved his way through his career and, in the end, found himself at the pinnacle. He was no longer the student of this language, but the master and teacher of it.

On the other hand, I never quite fit anywhere and found myself wandering through my life flitting from place to place and job to job. I did the obligatory fast food gigs and waitress jobs that are needed to be able to say on an application, “Hey, I really do have experience and I’m actually good at any task that is given to me. Please hire me.” Money was not an issue for me and found that the less money I earned the easier it was to find a job.

From one little job to another I learned many, many things, but never really mastered any one of them. I rebuilt car engines, repaired jet planes, and built mouse traps. I completed four years of college and spent twelve years in the photography industry (which, as it turned out, to be my longest stretch in any one career). I designed jewelry, sold skin care treatments, and made the best chocolate candies your mouth could ever experience. I wrote stories, painted landscapes, and sculpted minor monsters that never terrorized any hamlet or town.

I spent a lifetime doing all of these things and find myself here in this small town doing yet another minor task in a world that is filled with so many major possibilities. I long to turn the clock back so I might find that one thing that I could do for all my days. To fit just right in a jigsaw puzzle. There are those pieces that, with just an arm and a leg, hold two large parts of the puzzle together, or the one that fills part of the edge holding the rest in place. A jigsaw puzzle is what I am a part of and I know that in the end, I will be the final piece of the puzzle. The one piece that has been tested and tried in every place of the puzzle, never quite fitting anywhere, never quite the right shape or color. And, when that last piece is found, and it is held carefully at just the right position, and slid down with a final gentle tap, the puzzle will be complete. All of the pieces would have found their place and with that final piece I will finally find my place. Then, and only then, will I die.

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Filed under Aging, Arbitrary Thoughts, Dreaming

Gold for the Mutts

The Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia are now closed and what an amazing time it was for all the athletes, coaches, and every country that came together in peace and intense competition. Gold medals, along with silver and bronze, were given to the top athletes in the world at the twenty third Olympic Games. Like any event of this magnitude there are spectacular achievements right along with devastating failures with everything in between. These games also brought to light a failure that so many people seemed to think was unique to Sochi and to Russia whereas it is something that is just as much a problem in our own country.

It has been well documented by the media that the Russian government has rounded up, and killed, thousands of stray dogs in and around Sochi. If you do a Google search “stray dogs in Sochi” you will find over five hundred thousand results most of which refer to the practice of rounding the animals up and destroying them, or stories about the kind souls who are rescuing them. It is not clear if the animals have been shot or poisoned nor is it clear what has been done with the carcasses, but what is certain is a resounding outrage from animal lovers all over the world. These are the ones who are taking the matter into their own hands and smuggling the animals out of the area, or, in the case of  billionaire Oleg Deripaska who has opened a shelter to hold some of the animals awaiting a home.

In the United States, newspapers and online media have reported widely on this issue bringing new light to a long practice of euthanizing the world’s unwanted, abandoned animals. The Humane Society of the United States takes in about 6-8 million dogs and cats each year and of these  about 2.7 million are euthanized. The staggering number of animals is a result of nature’s demand to reproduce and human nature to save them. Spaying and neutering our pets is a first line defense to reduce the number of animals that find themselves under death’s needle.

Silver medalist Gus Kenworthy, and others, brought a great deal of attention to the plight of the animals in Sochi and, in turn, brought much needed light to the situation here in the US. The American Humane Association established “Bring Home the Mutts with Medals!” to not only raise awareness to American animals , but to also raise funds for those pups left in Sochi.

American Humane Association is working with several philanthropists to arrange boots on the ground as soon as possible to help with transport back to the United States. Won’t you help by becoming a travel companion to one of these dogs and supporting our effort?

But you don’t have to be a gold-medal winner or have a rink-side seat in Sochi to be a hero and finish first in the eyes of a helpless creature…. there are plenty of adorable, adoptable animals in the shelters right in your hometown waiting to be rescued by someone with a heart of gold.

Remember, you can’t spell “gold” without the letters d-o-g!”

Green is the new gold for all of these cuddly creatures and by making donations, adopting your own furry friend, or volunteering you too can be a part of a golden opportunity to eradicate this harsh, but necessary practice. The world comes together at the Olympic Games to honor their top athletes and now that the flame has been extinguished we each must continue to hold a bright light over all the four legged creatures that need a home each and every day.

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Filed under Animals, Arbitrary Thoughts

End Program

It glows oh so bright.
It burrows deeper, deeper.
I need to see, need to scream.
Little blue screen, blue screen.
Keep digging, keep digging.
It knows oh it knows.
It snakes in deeper, deeper.
Perversion in this version.
It is time.
Release it now.
Let them twist, oh they’ll twist.
Upgrade, upgrade, CRASH!
Systems down.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, poetry


Thank goodness the holidays are over! I have a true LOVE/HATE relationship with the holidays, especially Christmas. This year was worse than ever and by December 15th I was ready to rip all the decorations from the tree and call it a year.  Now that 2014 is here I feel that the worst is over, yet the next holiday is looming just over the horizon. I told my family that I am thinking of traveling over Christmas next year. I would love to visit a place that celebrates with less commercialism.  I wonder what  New Zealand is like for Christmas?

I quit watching television for the past two months.  Ten minutes of commercial time to sell me on the wonders of owning a push-up bra for the holidays. Really? It wouldn’t be Christmas without the perfect cup of espresso brewed in the amazing “espresso brewer that you gotta have!”  at the very reasonable cost of $299.95 and all the while the sleigh bells ring in the background. Don’t forget the thousand ways to show Santa coming down the chimney bringing every gift you had on your list, especially the shaver that will bring flocks of  women who fall over themselves to touch your face (and no, the girls are not included with the shaver).

The crowning glory of the buying madness? Black Friday. It has become a black day indeed. One dead and numerous injuries just to get the latest and greatest version of a tablet. I have boycotted Black Friday since it’s inception. The mob madness is what the retailers depend on to push those sales to the “break even point”. The cost of doing business. BAH HUMBUG!

For the 2014 Christmas season you might find me in New Zealand on the beach enjoying a Kiwi or two.  There won’t be a tree put up and the outdoor lights will stay in the basement. My neighbors may think me a Scrooge.  The millions of dollars spent during Christmas gift giving season will be a little less in 2014.  My money will be going to the economy of New Zealand.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Holidays

From Kurt Vonnegut

“Go into the arts.

I’m not kidding.

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.

Sing in the shower.

Dance to the radio.

Tell stories.

Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.

Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward.

You will have created something.”

~~Thanks to Delve Writing for initially sharing this on F.B. and inspiring me to re-share with you here.~~

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Art, poetry, Quotes, Writing