Good Wine Wishes

Written by Margarita Morgan
July 25, 2014

CC quinn.anya on flckr

CC quinn.anya on flckr

Reading through stories that are set in the past, one of the things that attract my curiosity is how characters go about drinking wine as if it was water. When authors describe a variety of wines and their particularly unique attributes, it builds in my head this particularly romantic idea about the atmosphere that surrounds this drink and its embedded existence in yesteryear stories. It all sounds very appealing to me.

I grew up among people that drink wine, beer and other spirits is general, yet, somehow I never acquired the taste for them and therefore I don’t drink alcoholic beverages as a rule. Right after reading a scene in which people quench their thirst with spice wine or some other similar reference like that, my imagination invites me to take a chance once more and try to drink, this time thinking that I will enjoy the wine thoroughly as people do in the books I read.

The results vary, but the one consistent result that has not changed since I first tried to persuade myself of expanding the sophistication of my palate is that I most certainly am rudely awakened by a bitter and dry flavor that also chokes me and takes my breath away. Invariably and quite disappointingly, right after I smell the wine in my cup my nose is overwhelmed, and not to be daunted by an unsophisticated sense of smell, I push on because surely, this time, this richly looking liquid that lingers on the side of my cup has if nothing else, the consistency of an inviting flavor. Again, my taste buds swiftly reject my prize and once more, the romantic idea in my head that wine is a delicacy that comforts everything from thirst to tiredness falls to pieces and I’m left with a sense of betrayal.

I don’t particularly try to do other things I read in books, but tasting wine for some reason always calls my attention. I know there is no deception intended, I mean, just because in fantasy fiction books people fly doesn’t mean I’m going to try doing the same. However and depending on the author, when I read about people drinking wine I just want to be part of an atmosphere that appreciates a good vintage. Never the less, There is nothing better than immersing our senses in a good book and for now, that is the way in which I will enjoy a good cup of wine.

Do you have a favorite wine?

=)

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Cats and Dogs: Season 1 Episode 1

Written by Margarita Morgan
July 24, 2014

 

I can’t really say that my best friend and I have a relationship. It is more of a symbiotic relationship between a parasite and a host. We each take our turns being the host, the one that leads the day and in turn, the other sucks the joy out of it. We’ve tried to brake up our friendship, but our respective families can’t tolerate the way we are with out our other self, they call it.

Tonight we go for a movie. It’s my turn to choose and we are watching, you know what? I don’t even know what we are watching, but whatever they have at the local film festival will be great since I like to support new, independent films. Maybe I just like to torture my friend, He prefers movies with lots action and body count so he’s sure to nod off during the film tonight, and I do enjoy keeping him awake. Don’t feel bad for him, last month he took me to watch a most disturbing horror film called Insidious. He knows I hate horror movies and those are the ones he chooses. On that particular night, I put one of the headphones in my ear when he wasn’t looking and closed my eyes while I tried to concentrate on listening to my audiobook. He caught me halfway into the movie and confiscated my headphones and my phone. See? While I may be annoying, he is just ruthless.

There is some time before the movie starts and we stop for coffee and a pastry. While I pick up the coffee cups, he finds us a seat and takes our pastries to the table. I already have my little paper pouch full of salt that I take from my coat’s pocket and empty it into his coffee. Without loosing s stride and quite inconspicuously, I walk to out table. My smile must betray my expectations, but I’m sure he didn’t see me and I know he will have a drink as soon as I place the cup on his hand. As I sit down, I realize a little too late that he has an evil smile of his own and in synchronicity with the choking noises he makes as he tries not to spit out the coffee on the table, I sit down on top of my own piece of pie. All is well in the world, however, my coat is ruined for the night, but even though it’s cold, he is gentlemen enough to put his sweater around my shoulders.

When we get home, He’s wife has not yet returned from her own girl’s night out and the kids are finishing their own movie night spread out in the living room with their grandma. I head for the large bench seat at the desk and lay down all the way across because I know my dear friend needs to sit down and write, he’s a writer, you know. He pushes me over, but not too hard, though I make it seem very painful and even grandma shouts a little chiding for his roughness and I smile proud to maintain my lead in the suck-the-joy-out-of-your-best-friend day. He writes away, I doze off until mom is ready to go home. Smiling, I let out a silent but deadly fart, I won. Suddenly, I hit the floor, the monster threw me off.

=)

The Daily Prompt
On Bees and Efs
Do you — or did you ever — have a Best Friend? Do you believe in the idea of one person whose friendship matters the most? Tell us a story about your BFF (or lack thereof).

“Let it Go” Hangs on and on

Written by Margarita Morgan
July 24, 2014

Wallpaperhd.com

Wallpaperhd.com

We all have songs that remind us of specific periods and events in our lives. Twenty years from now the song that would remind me most of the summer in 2014 would be Frozen’s “Let it Go”. There is no surprise there. I suspect you’ve all heard it by now. It’s a catchy tune that seems to leak itself into every moment of the day. With a seven year old girl who knows the song by heart, there is no shortage of situations where she repeats the words “Let it Go” after someone else or she says them herself in tune with the melody every time these words come up in a conversation.

While the song has been around for a few months, it wasn’t until the end of the school year that really cemented this tune into our household. Courtesy of our end of year recital in which every kid in town united to sing “Let it Go”, out loud, with gusto and unhindered by adults, everyone in town I believe, will remember this song forever as a staple mark of this summer.

Every day, every moment, “Let it Go” just hangs on and on and on, not just in my ears when I hear it repeatedly, but in my head as well. I can feel the etching this melody has carved in my memory. It feels like a deep abyss that has been chiseled into my brain one musical note at a time and seems to find no end. While I do appreciate the raw talent and lively inclination that my daughter has towards music, I would much prefer that she would vary her repertoire. For now it seems that “let it go” will be Frozen in time to mark 2014 the year when summer lasted a lifetime.

=)

The Daily Prompt
Musical Marker
We all have songs that remind us of specific periods and events in our lives. Twenty years from now, which song will remind you of the summer of 2014?

Childhood Expectations

 

When you were a kid, what did you wish to be when you grew up? Growing up is a never ending quest. I call it a quest because it comforts me to believe that I am moving forward in this endeavor of my own free will. It makes me feel empowered to think that I have a purpose to fulfill. My expectations of what life is like a few years ahead are always viewed with great anticipation. Those expectations drive me to think that in a few years this or that will be better, great, interesting, etc. Looking back to compare how my reality now days differs from what I thought back then is always different, of course, but not necessarily better or worse, just different. For one, My ultimate desire as a grown up was to be a mom and stay home taking care of my family, but the very modern family I had expected me to have a career and also drove me to work on something before I thought about settling down. In that regard, following their advice, when I was a kid I used to wish I could be a Catholic Priest, a Fighter Pilot or a Spy.

cassockckild2I have no idea why I wanted to be a priest, I liked the way they wore their long black cassocks through the beautiful background settings of The Vatican. There was no desire to perform the duties of a Priest I just wanted to be one so I could look like one. I much preferred their long robes to that of the plain skirts and white blouses of the nuns I knew and being a girl, I didn’t think they were pretty at all, so I wanted to look distinguished instead. Obviously, in reality I couldn’t be any further from that picture in my mind as a seven year old girl. I now find it an adorable thought because back then I had no idea what I was wishing for, nor was I framed by gender expectations either.

pappyAnother one of my thoughts into the future would place me as a fighter pilot. At the time, I used to watch a television show about The Flying Tigers of WWII. One of my heroes was Pappy Boyington and I wanted to be just like him. It was thrilling to watch all the air chases and confrontations with enemy pilots. I loved best that Pappy was always brave and daring. Looking back, I think I just had one of my first crushes and that’s why I wanted to be a pilot, as far as flying, that would have been nice as well.

james-bond-007-300x350The one thing that gave me the greatest expectations for my future and the one for which I did have a thrilling sensation of reality was that I could be a spy. Along with the TV show Kung Fu, James bond became my model for my future career while I got married. I had these two great tutors training me and I remember playing spy games with my friends all afternoon till it was dark. As the years went by, this one expectation remained in the back of my head as a possibility. Little did I know that as a mother of five, I would be employing all of my clandestine skills, specially the ones from psychological operations to contain, restrain and brainwash the little ones into submission. I can say that working for my own regime is not exactly what I expected, but it became somewhat of a reality.

The years of our childhood we spend on planning our future are full of wonder and awe. Dreams we come up with back then have no boundaries for our potential. We are our best supporter and proponent of the magical and fantastic abilities we could posses. As we grow up and are influenced by what we see in our reality, those dreams tent to fade away and we grow up to be completely different creatures instead. While I ended up getting married and being a mom, I didn’t stay home with my family as I desired until recently. In the meantime I had a job that did not resemble my dreams at all, but that did provide for a path to where I am now and for that I am grateful. You can say I took the scenic route and made it a little late, but I got there.

=)

Do you have Moxi?

Another The Daily Prompt

 

 

 

 

One Personal Story at a Time

Written by Margarita Morgan
July 22, 2014

meonbus1

While in my daily life I try to minimize my time around other people, In situations when I’m cornered and strangers have some questions or just want to talk while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office, I’m not shy at all, as a matter of fact, many times I’m the one to start the conversation. For some strange and unnatural reason, as an avid and purposeful introvert, talking to strangers presents no problem at all. It could be that working as a Bus Operator for 24 years desensitized me to feeling threatened by their curiosity or eagerness to engage in conversation. It could be that I’m a closet extrovert, but whatever the reason, I like talking to strangers. There are too many interesting stories that need to be discovered, other stories want to be discovered, but the best of them all are those hidden gems that people treasure that unwittingly they share with you because of some serendipitous moment that got them to open up and tell you all about it.

That fateful day on September 11, 2001 when America experienced a most devastating tragedy, I was working and there were dozens upon dozens of people that boarded my bus throughout the morning without saying a word. Distracted by the daily routines of my job, didn’t pay attention to this phenomenon until I passed by the airport in Burbank and saw the airplanes lining up every one of its terminals. At the bus stop, when I opened the door, a man waiting for a different bus told me that all the planes were grounded because of an attack in New York. He said that the Twin towers were lost and that there was chaos everywhere. I thought looking back at my passengers, “wait, what? Sure they were quiet, but surely, If it was such a dire situation someone would have said something!” The answer was obvious. Those that knew about it were too shocked to speak of it yet and those of us who didn’t were too self absorbed to notice anything. I had to ask and little by little we all got the entire picture. Since then I make a point to speak out when I notice people acting odd and more than once I’ve been rewarded with news and or witty replies.

On another occasion, a man was trying to strike a conversation but people kept ignoring him. Finally he saw me and headed to the front of the bus where he may have noticed I could go nowhere. When he started talking I was tempted to tell hem I needed to concentrate on driving the bus, but decided against it since we were near the end of the line. Soon I found out that he was trying to mend his ways and all he needed was a little encouragement. He was a young man plagued mostly by a lack of common sense and wanted to know if it was worth trying so hard to be a good person when he thought he was so stupid. In my attempts to come up with words of encouragement, I might have mentioned that effort is always worth the results and that every time he tried, he would be stronger. I told him to expect better decisions the stronger he got and that it would take time, but to take heat that change was happening in small steps. Whatever he got out of my conversation, he got off the bus with a renewed spirit and a purpose at the very least for that day. He needed to tell his story and listening at that time was a great way for me to see into the heart of a person that almost nobody wanted to look at.

The first time that I found out what a treat it was to listen to strangers was when I was new in college and on my way home from school. I sat down on the bus next to a little old lady who immediately started asking questions about my school, my major and such. Before I could try and escape, she started talking about her life as a young student and continued to share everything about her young life when she could do anything. My bus companion never complained about the pains of age, but instead focused on all the wonderful things she experienced as a youth. By the time this little old lady left the bus, I’d had a very touching experience as she was very grateful that I had listened to her entire story with out a sign of objection. She walked away happy and cheerful and left me with a sense of loss because I got to feel comfortable with her and at the moment I felt that I was saying goodbye to my own grandmother. That was the very first time that I consciously thought I should listen to more of people’s own life stories.

I can’t tell you that it was an easy thing for me to do. I was painfully shy and starting or engaging in conversations with strangers was a daunting prospect, but this little old lady gave me an alternate approach, I could very well listen to people if they wanted to share. Since then, I’ve learned to appreciate the intrusion when people I don’t know want to converse or just ask questions. It also gives me a challenge, if there’s time, to seek out that jewel in their hearts. I love to be a repository of personal stories and no, if they are private I never share, so don’t ask. Once in a while, I recommend that you let your guard down and listen; it may reward you as it has for me plenty times.

=)

 

The Daily Prompt
Middle Seat
It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

Trademarked as a Minion

Written by Margarita Morgan
July18, 2014

Personal trademarks are something people associate with an individual and many times a person may not even be aware of what they are. In my case, it was funny to find out the things that over the years people recognized me from. When I had long hair which was most of my adult life, I mostly wrangled that, at times three feet long mane, into a huge bun at the back of my head. I knew that it was my trademark look along with my glasses, but what I found surprising was that at work, people recognized me for the amount of bags I carried with me.

As a Bus Operator with MTA in the city of Los Angeles, we are required to have with us a few items. However, our job doesn’t lend itself for regular brakes no matter how well printed they are on out time sheets. We need to carry with us not just personal items, but lunches and many times basic tools. I liked to be prepared for everything and so I carried my work bag full and packed, my lunch bag and at times my sweater, jacket and scarf that I took to work that morning when it was really cold and before the day turned hot. When people looked for me they always mention my hair, glasses and the big bags I carried for references. It was the bags on my back that brought the ‘Aaah! Yes, she went that way”.

Now days, since I retired a year ago, I couldn’t tell you what my friends would recognize me from; I’m a hermit and usually shy away from gatherings. My acquaintances here in my little town, however, would tell you that my seven year old daughter is always by my side. I mention before that she is a very social person and wants me to be involved in all kinds of activities with her. For that reason, I get to be in the spotlight frequently, but even then when I remind people of my name, I have to say I am Caillen’s mom to where they bring out the “ah! Yes” expression of recognition that lets them know who I am. It is debatable whether she is around me because she wants my company or because she is secretly training me to be her most faithful and compliant minion, but everywhere I go, she is with me and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I suppose that being recognized as someone’s minion is not so bad, after all, aren’t they so cute? In reality, I don’t know what other surprising things people may recognize me from. I’m not sure I want to know either. I’m happy to follow Caillen around and if I turn yellow, wear goggles and overalls is all fine with me, just don’t be surprised if you start to recognize my signature as “Ba Ba Ba Banana!”

=)

 

The Daily Prompt
Object Lesson
Sherlock Holmes had his pipe. Dorothy had her red shoes. Batman had his Batmobile. If we asked your friends what object they most immediately associate with you, what would they answer?

The gods of rain

Written by Margarita Morgan
July 17, 2014

Rain

When the desert is being pounded by the ravages of heat, one of the most comforting smells that advent some relief, is the aroma of unexpected rain. Let me point out that even when rain is forecasted, my little part of the world is hidden at the mouth of the canyons that connect The Antelope Valley with the Los Angeles basin area and we are inexplicably sheltered from most rain while also inexplicably get the worst of the Santa Ana winds. As far as scattered showers are concerned, most of the rain seems to go around us.

There was a particular day when our sky was clear despite of the rain clouds that loomed in our vicinity. I took my daughter to the local park where there was a cheer meeting for uniform fittings. The air was saturated with the smell of rain and we all commented on the fact that we wished it would rain here more often to relive the smoldering heat that felt unbearable. Well, the gods of rain took a moment from their busy schedule and decided that they were going to grace us with a little bit of rain, it seemed however that they threw an entire god size bucket upon us.

All at once, while more that a dozen little girls and their moms and siblings were hovering in the area where our dressing room was, otherwise commonly known as the bathroom, rain poured down in the way of buckets with drops of rain that at the beginning seemed to come from the blue sky itself. As the mothers gathered their little ones from the playground to bring them under the protection of the bathroom porch, we saw that the approaching clouds were moving rapidly overhead and the rain intensified even faster.

Picture: CC barto@flick.com

Picture: CC barto@flick.com

Not two minutes later and still many mothers struggling to wrangle the little wildlings, an onslaught of warm water pelted everyone on their way to safety. Rain continued to fall with an intensity not seen in this area since . . . ever! Everyone talked about it. It all lasted about fifteen minutes, but the lingering effects were those of a full blown storm that passes over as least a day long. What we saw on our way home were the mini lakes and rivers typical in our town which in known to get flooded during rainstorms.

That day we were left with 100+ degree temperatures and the humidity index was 98%. Apparently there is no better rainstorm than the chattering of little cheer leaders in the bathroom. We should consider that next time there is a heat wave with a high humidity index in the air. May the gods of rain keep their eyes away from this location in the future as we remain happy to get the little rain that is normally due in our area.

-)

 

The Daily Prompt
Nosey Delights
From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

 

Unintended Words

Written by Margarita Morgan
July 16, 2014

 

deviantart.com

deviantart.com

As tempting as it may seem at first, I would not take the offer to have the power of knowing what people are thinking when I’m talking to them. The measure of our personality is a combination of actions that reflect decisions we make. If we behaved impulsively, we would probably turned out be nothing more that feral creatures or at best, a version of a grown up spoiled child. In the same way, our thoughts may be random and violent at times, but as sentient creatures we are able to determine how we should respond and what things we should say instead.

While our thought may still be in conflict, we manage to do and say the appropriate thing, well, most of the time anyway. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I could hear the true feelings of someone who is making an effort to be civil and helpful when I’m having a menopausal moment, for that matter, can you imagine what it would be like if someone could hear what I’m thinking through that particular time? Goodness! I would be thrown in jail or at least in a mental institution for potentially psychopathic tendencies.

I wouldn’t want to hear the thoughts on someone that is trying to be nice to me when my actions have landed me in a mortifying situation. It would be devastating if the little voices in my head, that are already berating me for my stupidity, would be validated by other people’s thoughts despite of how comforting their words may sound. Yesterday for example, I insulted a wonderful new friend I made here at wordpress. I acted impulsively trying to answer a comment on the run and didn’t even realize who I was talking to. While the response I got was kind and civil, I would not wan to hear the thoughts of condemnation that I dutifully deserve for being so insensitive. While it may be true that saying the wrong thing is a recurring thing for me, in no way I meant to offend my new friend or seem like a total jerk for promoting another one of my posts while totally ignoring who I was talking to.

Call me old fashion, but another thing that would make me decline the offer would be that, in my opinion, people’s thoughts should be private. I would consider reading their thought a total breach of trust. Also, can you imagine keeping a secret like that that all to yourself forever? Of course you would have to keep it a secret. The moment people find out about your new ability your list of friends would clear in a second, particularly that first individual you told the secret to.

On a lighter note, it would be fun to catch cheaters and thieves. I would want to know the truth about those high profile court cases that were a circus on the media in recent years. It would certainly be helpful to determine who is a terrorist or who plans to go on a shooting rampage, but if I can’t turn off the ability to read minds when I’m with friends and loved ones, I don’t think I would take the offer at all.

Unless I had a job such as in law enforcement, where there is a clear and beneficial advantage for the benefit of others, I would not want to know what people think. It feels comfortable to take people on their word and not second guess what they mean. If you have to wonder about honesty with the people that surround you, you’re probably among the wrong crowd. For me, if someone makes an effort to speak their mind in a decent manner, it deserves attention and regardless of what they think, I appreciate their words.

=)

The Daily Prompt:
Full Disclosure
A mad scientist friend offers you a chip that would allow you to know what the people you’re talking to are thinking. The catch: you can’t turn it off. Do you accept the chip?

 

New Cast Member

TheBourneSupremacy1

When watching a TV show or a movie, have you ever wondered how things might have changed if you had been there? There are three fictional roles I would take if given the chance to either participate or simply observe. First of all and purely for purposes of observing, I would be Jason Bourne’s companion on The Bourne Supremacy. It remains one of my favorite movies, but the director’s choice to film action scenes with a movie camera meant that every time the camera started to go epileptic I had to close my eyes to avoid vertigo myself. It was a shame to loose sight of some of the most amazing fight scenes and car chases, but if I was allowed to be there, I would have no more complains.

Next, I would be the new member of Stargate SG-1. In this case, I would love to engage in adventures throughout the universe in the company of every member of the cast. I know despite the dangers, I would be safe because after all, don’t they always save the day?

TorchwoodYearbook

My third choice of adventure would be as part of Torchwood’s team. I would love to work with Captain Jack Harness and Gwen. I wish all the other original cast members were still around, but I’m up for saving the day with a new team none the less.

=)

 

Daily Prompt:

Fictional Intruder
Go down the rabbit hole with Alice; play quidditch with Harry Potter; float down the river with Huck Finn… If you could choose three fictional events or adventures to experience yourself, what would they be?

One More Reason Why Books Are Great

Written by Margarita Morgan
July 14, 2014

 

When it comes to going or doing something in order to put off work, nothing comes closer than grabbing a good book and sitting down to forget about the rest of the world. Not only do books have the greatest stories that transport you into fascinating places, but they also embrace you in a tale that becomes as much part of your world as it is the character’s own. The added bonus to this destination when trying to procrastinate is that many times books are informative as well bringing your excuse of reading a book to the level of a well thought out “reason” to righteously justify why you leave some chores unattended.

The main purpose for reading a book is of course, to experience many lives and their unique stories, or to be inspired by heartwarming accounts of inspirational tales. However, technology has also made it possible for books to be accessible in many different formats. For that reason, Books as a tool for procrastination can be available at the touch of a button in your computer making it seem like you are working on a project when in fact you are catching up with your reading.

Who doesn’t appreciate it when others are trying to educate themselves? For that reason, informative books are a perfect cover if and when you need a “reason” for postponing something else that you are told needs to be done. Informative is not necessarily boring. There are great autobiographies out there that are as good as any great fantasy or sci-fi best seller. If you prefer pictures, informative books about nature, historical landmarks or travel destinations are sure to fill in your sense of awe with stunning images.

While some people make of procrastination an art, I think that what makes the art is the form you use to procrastinate. Books in that sense, out rank by far other activities, mostly because you could very well disguise reading in some circumstances as part of your work, others as an important chore that needs to be done. Even if you just want to sit somewhere and think, I suggest you pick up a book and pretend to read, that alone will make you look very intellectual.
=)

 

Daily Prompt:
Now? Later!
We all procrastinate. Website, magazine, knitting project, TV show, something else — what’s your favorite procrastination destination?