Archive

Archive for the ‘Daily Prompt’ Category

A Different Person

May 5, 2013 7 comments

Daily Prompt: It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World – How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?

First off, let’s rephrase the first question.

“Do you communicate at all in person?”

No. No I don’t.

Well, OK, obviously that’s not strictly true. I couldn’t function in today’s rough-and-tumble world without saying a word. I communicate fine at work, but I’ve known many of those people for years. I’ve worked there for nine and a half years and I’ve never had a day off sick – that’s entirely irrelevant, but I’m very proud of the fact :-).

Put me in a social situation and… nothing. If I know the people, I generally try to ignore them, close my body language and let other people talk. Then I get upset when they ignore me back. Go figure. I’m my own worst enemy.

Drali Ninja

I sneak unseen into a room of “new” people.

If it’s a group of “new” people, I ninja my way in at the back of the room and “people watch” – I won’t say anything, other than answer questions, until I’ve “sized them up” a bit.

And small talk – what’s up with that?

“Goodness, it’s raining again.” Yes, I can see that.

“How about the game last night! Eh?” What? What game? Are they talking about football? I just don’t know.

“How are you today?” You don’t really want to know, do you? Maybe I’ll take you by surprise and bang on about all my troubles.

Text-wise, I write texts in complete sentences (usually) with proper punctuation intact. “Text-speak”? Have you ever tried actually texting “c u l8r” on a phone with auto-correct and suggestion lists? Can’t be done.

Online (e.g. in a blog) I find it easier to “speak”. I can express myself more readily. I can think before typing. I have time to find the words. I can proof-read to ensure I haven’t said anything nasty. I don’t have to actually interact with people in real-time. (Don’t get me started on using the phone :-(.)

As for communicating emotion, there’s probably more emotion in my posts than there is in real life. And that’s not a lot. Hey, I’m a bloke. I’m emotionally crippled by design. I’ll just hold it all in, thanks.

Photo credit – Katsushika Hokusai, derivative work: AMorozov, Wikimedia Commons licence

A Fluffy House

May 3, 2013 7 comments

Daily Prompt: Mad Libs – Turn to your co-workers, kids, Facebook friends, family — anyone who’s accessible — and ask them to suggest an article, an adjective, and a noun. There’s your post title! Now write.

I wasn’t at work yesterday so I sent my friend three separate texts and he sent back “fluffy”, “a” and “house”. Hmm.

The Parable of A Fluffy House

Samuel took one last look in the mirror. Hair – check. Tie – correctly fastened. Shirt – immaculately pressed. Everything in order.

Samuel was a vain man. Arrogant and conceited, he was always perfectly dressed, spending upwards of an hour checking his appearance before leaving the house. A man of indeterminate age, opinions ranged from mid-thirties to early fifties.

An architect by trade, he had created a house designed to set him apart from the rest. Boasting twelve bedrooms, three bathrooms and a kitchen a chef would be proud of, it nestled against a hillside two miles outside of town.

All of this was nothing compared to the house’s crowning glory. Samuel smiled as he stroked the outside of the house. Soft, fluffy.

He had looked at other houses. The houses belonging to lesser people – people who were not him. They looked so bland. Concrete, brick, wood. This would not do. Samuel had covered the outside of his house, his masterpiece, with the softest and most luxuriant of fabrics.

People came from miles around to see his house. His house!  They would take pictures (for a reasonable price, of course). They would spend time touching the fabric, running their fingers through the soft, deep fibres covering the walls (discounts available for parties over five persons).

Samuel was the envy of all. He basked in the adoration of the admiring crowds. He had reached his pinnacle!

Then the rains came. At first only a few solitary drops, then a heavy deluge. It rained day after day. The fabric covering Samuel’s house grew wetter and wetter, heavier and heavier.

The walls creaked. The timbers shook.

Three days after the rains began, Samuel’s house, his creation, the ultimate extension of his towering ego, slowly, almost gently, collapsed in upon itself under its own weight, until it was nothing more than a mound of wood and extremely expensive, extremely wet fabric.

People still came from miles around, not to admire but to laugh at Samuel’s house. At his foolishness.

And the moral of this story?

“Practicality before pride”

or

The carpets go on the inside, dumb ass!”

Aaargh, I can’t look!

April 28, 2013 7 comments

Daily Prompt: Cringe-Worthy – Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?

First of all – three posts in one day from me? Blimey. A one-off I feel. This topic speaks to me however. So, on with the prompt.

I’m not sure which I’m more scared of – embarrassing myself or seeing others embarrassed or humiliated. I guess the majority of people are fairly averse to being embarrassed, but I’m sure there are people around who like to see others embarrassed. I can’t handle it at all. I actually feel really bad inside even when I don’t know them. Here’s a list of some programmes I refuse to watch:

  • Dancing on Ice – I’m scared someone will fall over after all their hard work
  • Strictly Come Dancing – as above
  • X-Factor – I don’t want to see someone forget their words in front of everybody
  • Masterchef – I’m worried someone will get their cooking so wrong they’ll get yelled at even after they tried so hard
  • Big Brother – nothing to do with seeing people embarrassed, I just threw it in the list because it’s crap

I can’t help thinking this is taking things too far, but that’s just the way I feel. I suppose I could see a therapist about it but I don’t think telling them “because I want to be able to watch people being humiliated and enjoy it” would go down too well.

So I’ll just continue the way I am. Not wanting so see people embarrassed isn’t such a bad thing, is it?

Still Dark

April 28, 2013 5 comments

Daily Prompt: Your Time to Shine – Early bird, or night owl?

As I start writing this, it’s… let me see… 7.28 am. On a Sunday. I’ll add that I’ve already been awake for 2 hours.

Can you guess whether I’m an “Early bird” or a “Night owl”? Currently it’s dark when I get up in the morning.

This is pretty much a combination of two things. I start work quite early so my alarm goes off at 05:50. Since this happens five times a week, the two days over the weekend aren’t enough to change this habit, alarm or no alarm. I also live alone, so there’s no real reason to stay in bed, if you know what I mean ;-).

In fact, on a weekend I often get up even earlier, keen to start my day off! Since I’m quite awake in the mornings this makes sense. I can get a lot done (i.e. watch a lot of TV, ahem). Later, I can have a nap. I’m in my forties. I’m allowed to randomly take naps. I’m practising for my retirement.

I generally wake up every 2-3 hours overnight anyway. Apparently, this is the way people used to sleep before there was a standard working day necessitating the standard 8 hour block of sleep. If I could get away with it I’d just nap when I felt like it over the entire day, but I don’t think my boss would like that.

So I rise early and go to bed (what other people would consider) early – lights out rarely later than 22:00. And that works for me.

Drali Two Point Oh

April 24, 2013 32 comments

Daily Prompt: Clone Wars – If you could clone yourself, how would you split up your responsibilities?

Faster. Stronger. Better.

Day minus 1: The lab is prepared. The growth solutions are ready. My DNA has been extracted, sequenced and enhanced. Tomorrow we begin the cloning process. Our goal? To produce Draliman 2.0. Faster. Stronger. Better.

Day 1: My DNA has been added to the solution. The solution has been solutificated and the electrodes have been electroned. Let life be created. Ha ha, ha ha ha, ha HA HA HA!

Day 5: My creation is maturing nicely. Although still only partially formed, I look forward to the day when he emerges. He will have the intelligence to complete my daily workload and the stamina to see it through. His enhanced memory will replace my calendar and my sat-nav. He will have the confidence and self-assurance to go where no Draliman has gone before!

Day 9: My excitement grows. My clone has almost reached full maturity! I will soon be able to enjoy the better things in life, while Draliman 2.0 goes about the more mundane tasks.

Day 10: My clone is ready. May my new life begin! I release him from the solution and wrap him in a towel. Wait – he is about to speak! His first words…

“Wha… wha… what’s on the telly? X-Factor! Awesome!”

Disappointment fills my bones. Another failure. But I shall not be downhearted. I shall place him with the others and start again!

Home of the failed clones

“Home of the failed clones” by DraliDoodles(TM)

(5 days pass)

Day minus 1: The lab is prepared. The growth solutions are ready…

Begone Foul Song

April 23, 2013 8 comments

Daily Prompt: Earworm – What song is stuck in your head (or on permanent rotation in your CD  or MP3 player) these days? Why does it speak to you?

I speak here of a song so foul, so insidious, that all who hear it are lost forever!

With that rather melodramatic start, I actually don’t have time to speak for long as I only get 45 minutes for lunch, but I couldn’t let this one pass me by.

I am, of course, referring to that “song” in the film Gremlins. It goes a little like this:

“na na na NA na na, na na na NA na na, na na na naaa na na na na na naaaa”.

Okay, it doesn’t go a lot like that. There aren’t any words so it’s hard to write down. I’d upload a video except I don’t have video-uploading capabilities, and there’s probably all sorts of copyright issues anyway. For those of you who have seen Gremlins, I think it forms part of the starting/closing titles, and is also “sung” by the Gremlins themselves during the film. The film was on over Christmas (as it often is) – I recorded it and watched it some time in January.

This song is so insidious, it has latched into my brain and won’t let go. This song ain’t for shifting. In fact, I believe it has actually burned new neural pathways into my grey matter – only an F-MRI scan will tell us for sure (maybe – neurologists please correct me on this – can we pull music directly from a person’s brain or is that still under development?).

I hear it in the shower, I hear it in bed, I hear it in the car. I have to turn up my stereo to drown in out.

“And next up on X Factor auditions, it’s draliman with his rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’!”

“Thanks.” (Clears throat.) “na na na NA na na no wait, can I start again, thanks.” (Clears throat.) “Somewheeeere over the raiiiinbow, na na na NA na na oh bugger, forget it.”

I’d actually almost gotten rid of it, and then this Daily Prompt came along and it all came flooding back. Thanks for that, Daily Prompt 🙂

Rain On Me

April 9, 2013 8 comments

Daily Prompt: Turn, Turn, Turn For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to?

Well, this is a tricky one. Once upon a long ago, when I was but a wee lad, we had seasons. We had a fresh spring, a hot summer (in Cornwall that’s anything above 23 degrees), a blustery autumn and a cold crisp winter.

We now have a mish-mash of seasons throughout the year. Sure, it’s generally warmest around July/August and coldest around December/January, but if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s the rain. Okay, so the last couple of weeks have been quite pleasant with lots of sun, but two degrees in April isn’t my idea of “spring”, sun or no sun. And now it’s raining again so we’re back to “the new normal”.

What happened? Why did the seasons all roll into one? I don’t know. Something to do with jet streams or El Nino or whatnot I expect.

So here’s a breakdown of seasons, along with some badly written poetry!

Spring – cool to warm, raining

Ah, spring, when all the little buds appear on the trees, grass is green, new life appears and it’s raining. I’m not a huge fan of spring. It’s neither one thing nor the other.

New life awakens
The last frost dies
Gentle promise
Of new possibilities
The world glitters
With fresh morning dew
A new beginning.

Summer – warm, occasionally approaching “hot”, raining

I had a rubbish summer holiday last year. I didn’t go anywhere. I left my flat three times in two weeks. I’ve never seen rain like it. It rained so hard my car filled with water. I’m talking an actual puddle. I had to bail it out. Rubbish.

Burning sun assaults the road
Burning off the winter’s cold
Children laughing in the street
Tarmac melts beneath their feet
People smiling everywhere
No-one seems to have a care
Then it starts raining again and it all turns to shit.
Rubbish.

Autumn – getting cooler, windy, raining

This is the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” according to Mr Keats. I have to say, this is the one season which reminds me of my childhood. Collecting leaves to bring into school to stick into my exercise book. Conker fights. The Harvest Festival. Could this be my favourite season? I don’t think so, just a season which reminds me of good times long since gone.

Trees a sea of red and gold
Gentle breeze caresses
Life slipping
Towards sleep.

Winter – cold, occasional snow, frost, raining (which subsequently freezes before raining again)

Winter’s not so bad, really. The only reason I don’t like snow is because I have to drive to work. I love the dark evenings where I can go home to a lovely warm home, close the curtains and snuggle up. And of course, winter has Christmas in it!

Flakes of perfect symmetry
Drifting, swirling
Nature’s dance.

Blanketed in white
The world sleeps
Awaiting a new day.

And there you have it. It rains a lot.

Which season do I most look forward to? I really don’t know. They all have something beautiful about them.

Now it’s time to enjoy the season of spring! Take walks, enjoy the daffodils and watch the trees burst to life. And maybe take some poetry lessons.

My Childhood Friend

April 2, 2013 15 comments

Daily Prompt: Prized Possession – Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?

As a child I had a wonderful friend. He was small, only a couple of inches high, made of wood and covered with soft brown hair. He would sit on my bedside table and I would stroke him before I went to sleep.

I called him, in my childlike way, “Cuddly Bear”.

He was an aged bear. He was my Mum’s childhood friend too. In time his fur began to grow thin and then one day a small chunk of his head fell off.

Hey, don’t laugh ;-).

I was so mad at him. I renamed him “Rough Cuddly Bear” and wouldn’t talk to him for ages. Eventually of course I forgave him.

After all, it wasn’t his fault he was falling to bits. I hope I look as good at his age. I guess if part of my head falls off it’ll be fairly fatal.

Right now he’s in a wardrobe somewhere at my parents’ house, I think. I’m all grown up now and I don’t need furry little friends, and to prove it here’s a photo I just took of my bookcase.

Draliman's bookcase

Draliman’s bookcase. I’m hard as nails, me.

Oh. Er. Um. Who put those soft toys there? They’re not mine. Is that an Ally McBeal box set? Surely there’s been some mistake.

Um.

Update 28/04/2013 – I found him! There is a picture of him here.

Letting it Happen

March 17, 2013 3 comments

Today I shall attempt the impossible! Two prompts, one post! To quote BBC’s Red Dwarf (from the episode “Holoship”):

RIMMER: I shall undertake both tasks simultaneously if it’s all the same to you.
PLATINI: Mr. Rimmer, that is impossible.
RIMMER: Nevertheless, I shall attempt it.

Prompts for the Promptless by Rarasaur: “Wu wei, or non-doing, is a Taoist practice involving letting one’s action follow the simple and spontaneous course of nature rather than interfering with the harmonious working of universal law by imposing arbitrary and artificial forms.  In other words, it is the action of non-action.”

Daily Prompt: Comfort Zone“What are you more comfortable with — routine and planning, or laissez-faire spontaneity?”

A panda, whose name may or may not be Wu Wei. We'll probably never know. (Picture JP Fischer, Wiki Creative Commons.)

A panda, whose name may or may not be Wu Wei. We’ll probably never know. (Picture JP Fischer, Wiki Creative Commons.)

So let’s just forget for a moment that “Wu Wei” is an excellent name for a panda. Let’s look at “spontaneity” first.

I’m about as spontaneous as a brick. Not one of those bricks which suddenly and without warning spontaneously decides to become part of a house. No, this brick just sits there letting life happen around it. It’s a Wu Wei brick, you might say.

Most of the time I’m a bit like the Wu Wei brick. I let things happen around me and just go with the flow. The world revolves around me and I sit happily in my little bubble.

Of course, I live in the real world. I work, I go shopping and so on. That part of my life is ruled by routine. Everything happens on a certain day at a certain time, even, to a certain extent, what I eat and when. That sounds really boring but it works for me. It keeps my anxiety level down. If I have to do something which breaks my routine, I try to forget about it until it’s time to actually do it. That way I don’t obsess about it.

Safe in my Bubble

“Safe in my Bubble”, part of the DraliDoodles(TM) collection

This sounds like I always have everything planned out. As far as my routine goes, that’s true. However, I never plan every detail of everything, because then it’s too easy for something to go wrong, and that would be “bad”. I’ve booked three days in North Wales in June, my first holiday for five years. I have a room booked and I have a route planned to get there, but once I’m there I’ll just let the mood take me. If I planned everything, I’d panic if something happened to change my plans.

So, to summarise I’m a semi-Wu Wei routine-driven partial-planner.

Wu Wei-hey!

For all you art fans out there, I’ve talked to the DraliDoodles team and they’ve given me some details! They tell me that “Safe in my Bubble” was rendered using a black ball-point ink-distribution unit on a canvas of dried compressed pulped wood. It was digitised using “a cheapo Canon scanner what we got off Amazon”.

Drali’s Weekend by Dralifunk

February 24, 2013 4 comments

Daily Prompt: B+ – Write about what you did last weekend as though you’re a music critic reviewing a new album.

Next up here on MusoViews, it’s the latest offering from up-and-coming crooners Dralifunk. Together with some inspired backing vocals from the Dralifunkettes, I’m sure you’ll agree with us that Drali’s Weekend is well worth a listen! Let’s take it track by track.

Track 1 – Goin’ Into Town sees a fairly gentle start to the album, a smooth 15 minute ride. No surprises here – just the thing when you’re on the road.

Track 2 – Haircut gives us an over-long intro as we find the establishment under-staffed, but ultimately results in a good, smooth result. An unbalanced offering with an intro lasting as long as the main part of the track.

Track 3 – Afternoon Nap slows things down with a nice hour and a half of virtual oblivion. Nothing much happening here but just the thing to relax to.

Track 4 – Pizza Baby really gets things moving with a hot and racy number, beautifully enhanced with a smattering of Tabasco. Careful with this one, it’s too hot for some!

Track 5 – Dinner with the Folks is a real delight. This one’s the money-spinner for the album, a tasty chicken delight, well-stuffed and with a side dish of leeks and bread crumbs. Smashing!

Track 6 – Final Curtain ends on another slow note as we wind gently down, though with a taste of anticipation as we contemplate the coming week.

Our verdict – quite an eclectic mish-mash of tracks, it’s nothing special but at the same time is quite relaxing. However, with a run time of 48 hours, make sure you’re sitting comfortably!

Categories: Daily Prompt