Tag Archives: New Year’s Eve

The Speakeasy #142: RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A BANG!

4957-Ralph Kramden to the moon Alice

 RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A BANG!

Somewhere along the Brown Line, an iPhone sounds, startling nearby riders.

Quack!… Quack!… Quack!… Quack!  “Hello?”

“Ethel, where the hell are you?  Our show’s about to start!”

“Well Ralph is going to have to send Alice to the moon without me, Cheryl.  I’m almost to Armitage now, I’ll see you in a bit.”

“You’re on the Ravenswood L?  Do not tell me you’ve been to Jeremy’s!”

“We can’t ring in the New Year without fireworks, Cheryl, and he has the best.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. You do remember the school playground last year, Ethel?”

“He says these are much safer ones.  Record ‘TV Land’ and we can watch when I get there.”

“If you get here, Ethel.  Remember, there is bomb sniffing dogs at Lake Transfer Station.”

“Oh shit!”

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speakeasy2Suzanne, the Editor at The Speakeasy, has issued the following instructions for this week’s Flash Fiction Contest:

“This week’ sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner, Jeremy, can be used ANYWHERE in your piece.”  “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“And the media prompt is a picture, which you will find below. As with all our media prompts, your post shouldn’t be about the picture, but you must make some sort of reference to it in your submission.”

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To read J. Milburn’s award-winning story, go to Writing To Be Noticed  jerjmy
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In the summer of 1987, I moved to Chicago.  I drove cross-country on I-80 with my daughters Krista and Ashley, and when we got to Nebraska there were huge fireworks stands.  And not just your ‘Safe and Sane’ variety… but the ‘Giant Rockets and Bombs Bursting in Air’ variety.  I bought some.  The Fourth of July was past so I saved them.  One night, I was drinking with a friend and remembered the fireworks.  We took them across the street to an elementary school and set them off in the playground.  It’s a good thing we were so drunk, or we would have been scared for sure.  It was a dazzling display and we never got caught.

HOW AMY WINEHOUSE SAVED TedBook!

I never make New Years Resolutions.  1 ~ Because if you want to do something… do it. I think resolutions are a crutch to procrastinate and make yourself feel better… and you will never keep them.  2 ~ Because I never kept them.  So this year, my New Year’s Resolution is to reopen TedBook and write something in it.  I feel better already.

My friend Margie told me, “only 8% were ever kept”.  I read that if you put it in writing, it may actually have a chance of happening.  Okay, it’s in writing now… it’s all up to me… I want to be in that 8%!   Yesterday I looked to see when the last entry in TedBook occurred… yikes!  January 2, 2011… one whole year of silence!  Another friend, Keri, reminded me of that this morning, after I mentioned I might start blogging again.

Why the silence?  No one particular reason really… I think mostly procrastination.  It’s not like I didn’t have any ideas… I had many, and wrote a lot of blogs in my mind, complete with photos.  But, I never got to the point of transferring them into my computer.  A lot of my friends asked me where TedBook was, and why they were not seeing new blogs.  I would hear… “where’s your blog”, “what happened to TedBook”, “weren’t you writing a blog”… after a while it was down to two.  O’B would bug me about it when we saw each other.  Louisa would mention it… in November, I got a note from her… “Why aren’t you writing?”  I could tell she was disappointed in me.  I thought… “I’m disappointed in me too”.  I have friends with blogs… Jane in L.A., a champion fighting Autism … Aggie in Chicago who posts a quiz everyday, except Saturday when she’s shacked up with her boyfriend.

The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was when O’B started a blog!  She had moved back to Sacramento, after an absence of some 30 years, and she and Anthony had bought a house in Southside Park.  Southside is a downtrodden mostly Latino neighborhood, that I have a feeling is becoming Yuppified (not naming any names here).  Catherine is a curious and outgoing woman, who has undertaken the chronicling of Southside.  Hence her blog

                      Southside Park: Forty-Six City Blocks of Surprise 

       Join me as I explore urban living in Sacramento’s Smallest Neighborhood.                                                                                 

Lord knows I waste enough time on facebook and playing Words with Friends (Alec Baldwin has yet to challenge me), so I really have the time… I just have to do it.  I was jealous with every new post O’B made… and she is prolific.  So, that’s what had been in the back of my mind, and I don’t mind admitting I was feeling guilty.  My own daughter, Ashley, was now more of a writer than me.  She had taken a creative writing class, and had written some impressive pieces.  I had encouraged her to start a blog… and I can’t even do my own… at least she has two teenagers to blame, or maybe just the college classes she is doing.  Sure better reasons than my slacking.  So, this was where I was at on New Year’s Eve.

I don’t drink Champagne or go to New Year’s Eve parties anymore.  The last one I went to, about 10 years ago, my date and I snuck out early and welcomed in the New Year in private… my best New Years Party ever.  This year I watched a movie, and was saying Happy New Year to my facebook friends when I saw this post.

I had been meaning to check out Amy’s latest album, ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’, and was glad for the reminder.  I’ve always liked Amy and was saddened  by her death and the loss of such a talent.  After listening to “Our Day Will Come” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, I was near tears.  Her day will never come, and there is no Tomorrow for Amy Winehouse.  It gave me pause to think… I was lucky, I had survived my drug of choice, which like her’s, was alcohol.  It’s destructive force had ruined relationships and created havoc in my life, but my biggest regret, is that I could have been and should have been a better father.  Unlike Amy, I was able to change my life for the better.  But, Amy made me face myself and make some choices that night.  One of those is to resume my blog.

                          Of course I bought the album and I reopened TedBook.

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This was an important post for me… another step in a bloggers life.  I thought I would share it with my friends at Yeah Write.

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