Posted in Books & Stories, Family, Flashback And Memoir

Kids

 

Margaret-Anne spotted a bullet on the ground next to her grandfather’s shed. She picked it up, her little brother saw and came running. “Can we hit the back?” She thought about it. Being the older sister she was wiser. “It’ll explode. Dad might hear. He’ll take it.” She held it eye level. They talked about laying it on its side and hitting the back so it would shoot forward. Dad wouldn’t see that. He’d be proud they were so smart. “It won’t if we hit it with a rock” Geoff pleaded figuring the rock would smash it if it didn’t work. Simple enough. “Ok. Find a rock, let’s see if we can make it shoot” but dad who’d been standing on the other side of the shed overheard everything and walked around to them.

He took it out of her hand holding it for both of them to see. “If you succeed you could blow up your finger” he explained and then continued with how bullets are made, the physics behind why it’d explode that way, how they work best with guns unless there’s a problem causing them to backfire, the details of guns backfiring, so…  it’s best left in the hands of grownups. Satisfied with his lesson and knowing he’d impressed them he placed the bullet back into her hand, turned to walk to the house trusting them with it oblivious to the fact he’d lost both of them after 15 seconds of his lecture, which for kids is a pretty good attention span. He’d also fueled Margaret-Anne’s interest. She couldn’t wait for him to stop talking. Giddy because he hadn’t taken it away making it better than Christmas, she turned to her brother who’d almost fallen asleep standing there.

“Find a rock.”

As they turned focusing on the ground for the best rock, Margaret-Anne’s heart sinking a little because there weren’t that many rocks around the shed but didn’t want to let her brother down so she was thinking where else they could look, neither one noticed flabbergasted dad had spun around and was hastening in their direction.

 

Posted in Books & Stories, Fiction & Poetry, Flashback And Memoir

Friendly Ghosts

“I wanted to give him vitamins

Yes I did

Don’t let me forget”

She sat staring at the salt lamp glow

For no apparent reason

No

She sat staring at the salt lamp glow

Was it because of Jimmy Stewart in that movie

He quoted Neruda throughout

“I had a book of his works”

She’d thought as she watched wishing it were still around

Or had recollection of what had happened to it

Did she leave it behind somewhere

“What am I watching

The lamp doesn’t move

Though improving quality of air”

She sat with that sleepy stare

And nothing has to rhyme either

Still she sat

“I want to give him vitamins, get up”

As she fixed her typos from two hands of thumbs

“May be a sign, no, it is a sign

Stop

Make a breakfast smoothie too”

That was it

She got up

 

Posted in Books & Stories, Classroom Notes, Flashback And Memoir, Thought Food

AN ELEVATOR IN ISTANBUL

I lived in Istanbul for almost two years as a Teacher of English as a foreign language – what follows are notes from a journal I kept during my time there:

First Impressions / Year One:

At The Language Academy Ranch:

It’s interesting being judged by students who don’t speak the language I’m teaching, and who wouldn’t know whether or not I’m a good teacher who’s fluent in my language or not, if their lives depended on it. Many times their epiphanies of learning were simply answers copied from the answer key and when that answer is no longer in reach there is withdrawal with big smiles and “I don’t understand”. How can that be when you just said you did?

Students in general, but especially beginners, should not be given answer keys; it’s just bad business. This school uses the availability of answer keys with the text as a marketing ploy. That’s a wrong approach. It makes being stuck in the back with a double-edge sword as encouragement to walk the plank preferable. Pick a killer whale with its mouth already open.

 

 

A universal aside: Toilet paper as tissue, the wrong end but suit yourself. There’s always tissue as toilet paper but in that case you’re doing your backside a favor or is it considered prestigious because the tissues cost more?

 

 

A Relaxing Cup Of Joe:

It just doesn’t feel right. There’s music on the balcony at Starbucks but the traffic is so loud I can’t hear. At least they are consistent with their coffee, something that Dunkin’ Donuts fails at here. I’ve never tasted anything so bad.

 

 

Sublime Thought: Existentialist and mystical fast food lunches leave one as empty as the places of origin. It’s right to dump on the bad and jeans aren’t too tight but I’d rather live than contemplate what is existence.

The sun almost shone bright today. It did happen.

 

 

Observations and Tastes: Olive oil is good, chocolate – eh, dried fruits and nuts abundant. Hamburgers are lamb Joe’s (as opposed to sloppy) and lamb’s throats are slit in the streets in celebration of the slaughter; the streets can be rather messy. Cheeses are the bomb; what a wondrous variety. Yogurt is outstanding. My son has friends in Italy who ask him to bring them yogurt when he comes to visit and Italy is the place to go for great food.

 

The Police Here Carry Automatic Weaponry: I am not particularly inspired by the police station. It went very smoothly with someone who speaks Turkish.

As I Venture Out On My Own: A ride on the Bosphorus and did I almost get picked up? It’s hard to tell in Turkish. He asked if I was Italian, I think, or was it Anatolian, Cappadocian, that’s the other place. He said, “English, no Turkish” when he saw my book and I said “yeah, Italian-American”. I don’t speak Italian. He wanted to go to the shady part of the boat but I was there for the sun. Then he made sign language for ‘give me your phone number”. I said, “What for? You can’t speak English.” I’d rather get a tan if I can.

The guy at Starbucks who wants to practice his English wanted to take me to the Islands on a tour so he could talk. “Can I have your phone number?” Well, no actually and after he brought me my white chocolate mocha latte. Now I’ll probably never get good service. Meanwhile: the crew back at Starbucks in Bakırköy were stumped when I asked them to ice my macchiato. I deprived them of talking about me in front of me in a foreign language I didn’t speak yet by walking away in a samba after telling them to forget it. Now whom is he going to roll his eyes about? I sure don’t know.

 

Afterthought: Did the young guy want to stab me and take my wallet on the shady side of the boat, which takes away from cool shade and throws a diabolical light on it? Now I have to wonder: Do they ask for your phone number when they want to stab you in Turkey?

 

 

Someone spoke English to me tonight. Nice neighbors.

 

 

Grandma as the con in her pretty purple print dress, I just don’t need that many tissues, but when I see her I’ll buy them. She’s one of the people that lends that special character to the town.

 

 

A Mayor’s Wife Who Sends A Car: My private S. takes her test so I’ll write I guess. It’s not the same as Starbucks but those guys aggravated me anyway. I’ll get back there sooner or later. I wonder if should check schedules to avoid people of course. I want to meet up with you – not. S. does so well with understanding innuendo lately although she can’t get it out of her mouth sometimes. We’ll keep working on that.

 

Practicing English: My beginner class decided to take me out to dinner. We went to this place by the shore and I was impressed by how noisy it was. They weren’t the least bit disturbed by it, in fact to them, it was as if there weren’t noise at all. I got a phone call and had difficulty hearing my son who wanted to ensure I was ok. The PKK, an in-house terrorist group, had blown up a few shops in the square near to where he lives, and he was concerned the students had taken me to one of the local restaurants. I assured him we were a safe distance away. The next day I took a walk through the square. The PKK wanted to make a statement only so there wasn’t as much damage as could have been, but there was just enough.

 

 

Don’t Mention It: My roommate who deserves no mention has stooped to new lows. Peeping through bedroom keyholes wasn’t enough, now it’s the bathroom and wiping his backside with the toilet brush. All I can come up with is what a tool (a word that wasn’t popular then when I was writing this but it is now). Major L for LOSER, give me an L, give me an O, give me an SER – what’s that spell? Believe it or not, the name of someone that contains only 3 letters. (And as I sit here reading this over remembering that guy, I can’t remember his name, which stood for something beautiful like sea or dolphin, but he wasn’t.)

After reflecting, thinking, and giving up, his name came to me as I was waking from sleep this morning, Ido, which in Istanbul is the name of the sea bus company that uses the image of a dolphin as its logo: Istanbul Deniz Otobüsleri.

 

I feel happy today, an epiphany, breakthrough, coming together or am I dying of a rare fatal disease? Some days nothing’s good enough. Anyway, my student will have a good holiday because he scored high and the others will do well. I can feel it.

 

Stay tuned if you care to. I’m just getting started.

 

Here’s an addendum: In a word, Rakı (spelled with the “funny” i, the one that’s not dotted, so it has an “ih” sound.)

Rakı is a traditional liquor, similar to Ouzo or Sambuca, that can be drunk two ways: one straight up of course and the other diluted with water. When water is added it turns the liquid a cloudy white and is referred to as “bulls milk”. I tried it both ways and prefer it straight. The one quality, I noticed, about Rakı that stands out is similar to how alcohols relax the body, this one dulls the mind. I’ve described it to my students as ‘it makes you stupid’. (I’d never drink Rakı on a school night, let me tell you.) They’ve laughed out loud at that knowing too well its effects. I also have a cool person, unusual woman reputation because I drink it straight, (I think the water spoils the taste) which makes me… I don’t know… like I’m tough because I can handle it. Really, I’m just trying to blend and pay my respects to the culture.

One evening a bunch of us were out, or it was the night I turned everyone on to an international food fest at the house (see what I mean) and the Rakı was flowing. I didn’t have to teach the next day – good thing – anyway, I tried to put a wash on and couldn’t get the machine to start. I checked the outlet, reset the dials, made sure the door was shut and was completely baffled. I ran across the street to the school (convenient right) and grabbed the guy in the office for assistance. He looked at the machine, reached out, pushed the machine door, it clicked closed and the wash cycle started. We looked at each other and I said, “no more Rakı”. He thought that was the greatest; needless to say everyone knew about it and my cool reputation got even cooler, but I might find another way to blend and stay alert.

 

Copyright © 2013 Margaret Prezioso-Frye

ISBN:9781301466320

 

 

Posted in Books & Stories, Flashback And Memoir, Motivational, Thought Food

Propaganda And Peace Treaties

Did the AC kick on? Is that me? Gee, I hope not, I’ve the door open and the fan on to let fresh air in to clear my head, unstuff my nose from artificial cool, so I get up and wander through listening. It’s everyone else outside as all units kicked in but mine. Good. Let’s see how far into the morning I can go before the door must be closed and the AC gets to play. For now birds chirp loud and clear, land on the wood rail looking for stale bread… word got around I leave stuff out from time to time. You just never know when.

And so the morning begins, the sky brightens a bit, cool breeze on my legs and an espresso before it’s too hot out to drink it. Of course, nothing wrong with it iced.

That reminds me…

Iced coffee might seem simple, even as a request in a café but not everywhere. I was teaching in Istanbul and of course frequented the local Starbucks, a prestigious place for coffee according to many Turks. One day I ordered an iced espresso, an item not on the list of coffees served. To my surprise I totally confused the two baristas behind the counter. It was easier for them to think I was a buffoon who didn’t know her coffee than for them to add ice to my espresso. My best charades getting us nowhere I wasn’t much better toward them totally aghast they couldn’t fulfill my simple request. I got it hot and we parted making cranky faces at each other. The next time I went the lightbulb was on. I ordered espresso, then asked for a cup of ice. Easy. They were wondering what I was doing but I had made two understandable requests exclusive of each other. First I added sugar to the hot beverage then took the espresso and poured it over the ice. I raised my cup and smiled big, they looked with delighted surprise at the cup, then each other laughing. They told their manager about it. After that it was put on the menu: Iced Coffee.

We were temporarily lost in translation, no more than that resulting in a chip being made in the language barrier, a hand extended toward getting along. Good business I think.

IMG_2947

 

Posted in birthdays, Books & Stories, business, Flashback And Memoir, Improv

Well, Well, Well… July 2017

Sun, quiet, changed the calendars to the new month while it was still dark, think I’ll make the rounds and see what the new picture is on each. From here I see a new recipe with what resembles biscuits on the kitchen wall, and a ship at sea in the living room … the other two should have a forest scene and an island beach.

BRB…

Well, the biscuits are crab cakes, the ship is on the way to Galápagos, the scene is in a meadow this time with brilliant yellow birds alighting on wild flowers and the beach is Saint-Tropez… was it Coppertone that boasted the Saint-Tropez tan? Could’ve sworn the jingle rhymed with Saint-Tropez … yup, Bain de Soleil. Google is so damned convenient.

 

She looks a little pale to me. Do they make that stuff anymore… Wow, 1983… I’d graduated from high school 11 years ago already. How’s that for vernacular? I was 28.

28…

My son was 5, my daughter not a thought yet. With what I know now, she was impatiently waiting…

 

 

 

Posted in Books & Stories, Flashback And Memoir, Thought Food

Saying Good Morning While Going Sub-Atomic At March’s End 2017 Or Saying Good Morning And Philosophy As The Devil, Date Remains

 

Can I have both within logical parameters?

 

A new year with resolution and purpose, I think it still is. Haven’t lost determination and what I’d like to accomplish. That being said,

 

Did you know way back when I was an undergraduate I’d embarked on writing a dictionary beginning with O probably because for some strange reason I was thinking of an old porn movie or that wasn’t it at all. It would never have, actually will never get published not because I need a publisher but with those few words I began with I realized as I keep/kept (this is why I’ve always preferred the Perfect Tense in Latin – it is past but represents an action that’s still alive unlike simple past that cuts everything off as a door nailed shut) defining things I’ll never get finished. There’s always something to define, always the next thought. Then it’s not in alphabetical order. So after defining things to infinity which means I’ll be defining in the next life when this one’s through and, when it’s put in alphabetical order it won’t follow my thought and purpose for why I’m defining these things and I’ll be creating chaos with unconnected words with no purpose for meaning the greater good having been lost.

 

Let me show you.

 

 

A Dictionary Beginning With O

 

Orgy – functionalistic state of multiple realizabilities

 

Functionalistic – having a purpose physical/mental, mind/mental, physical/mind, mental/mind, physical/physical, mental/mental, mind/mind, unless serving a purpose: ibid and resulting in purpose

 

State – condition individual and collective, an entity comprised of people inhabiting a specific physical area in nature as in a geologic location, and entity comprised of people of similar mind, an entity comprised of people of similar physical condition, a condition comprised of people who are joined in similar mind, a condition of people disjoined in dissimilar mind resulting in chaos

 

Realizabilities – inherent natures of people to translate perception to the objective, natural analysis of form (real: genuine/true, eyes: instruments of perception, able: possibility)

 

Multiple – more than one representation, image, intuition, action (imago, imitatio, admonere) similar to:

Juxtaposition – an alignment (just suppose) using a:

Quantified Variable – the nature of substantial flexibility, of being, versatile integration

 

Integration – a condition of integrity

 

 

You get the picture. I could go on and on. With each word of each definition I keep defining, as more cultures add to language meaning changes, definition is added, as a writer job security never ends, and as a student of philosophy I always have something to talk about.

 

 

 

Posted in Flashback And Memoir, new year, Non-Fiction And Poetry

What Inspires

 

 

Inspirationless not

At peace is what it is

And I understand why

When dirges stop

It’s necessary to have a clothing line

 

Or something else to fall back on

 

But I’m not that kind of famous

So what will I do?

Guess I’ll keep writing

Through hell, high water

Peace on earth

 

For what it’s worth

 

The dryer just stopped

Those clothes I’ll get

Espresso by my side

Grandson in view

Sun shining through though rain was predicted

 

What do they know?

As they say

I’m not worried

Did I tell you I finally ended the dragon game?

What a bust

 

Guess it wasn’t prepared for the level I’d gained

Or winning all leagues

What can I say?

There’s none like me

Really for that matter like you

 

Lazy Saturday

Can’t go wrong

Hey think I still have cartoons

On a VHS tape

Means I still have a player

 

Saturday can’t get better

 

 

Posted in Books & Stories, Flashback And Memoir, Flashes

It Wasn’t THAT Long Ago

 

1976 meant the bicentennial and marriage. We drove to Disney World without a second thought – nor preparation for that matter – and parked at the Contemporary Resort. In we strolled. “Do you have a reservation?” “No.” “OK, we have a room…” Yes, we were able to get a room, paid $50, left our suitcases in elegance and caught the monorail to a world of wonder. At night there were spectacular fireworks to celebrate becoming… well, other stuff too.

 

I don’t think you can just pull in to Disney World nowadays and find a room without a reservation… for only 50 bucks.

 

 

 

100wcgu-7

 

 

http://juliasplace.org.uk/100wcgu/what-do-you-remember-about-1976/

 

 

Prompt: “…looking back, I remember…”

 

What do you remember about 1976?

 

100wcgu #186 (100 Word Challenge For GrownUps)

 

 

Posted in Flashback And Memoir, REsponses To

Geniune

Defining Genuine

 

Relaxing, finally, at a genuine bakery with a New York staple – the buttered roll. What took her so long to find this place especially after all the times she’d walk by it over the past two years like she did yesterday no less! (Ok, a string of thoughts in the present, sitting here now.) It said bakery in the name. Thank goodness the light finally clicked on. “All those days pining for something that no other café offered, yet all the while this one did. All their sweet junk, gooey iced scones – blasphemy!” Of course the cappuccino was American size, a small soup bowl that beats a large coffee mug any day, too much milk, but it was good enough not to need sugar sprinkled over the top. “I do like the sugar…” Working her way through froth what Ruth could taste of the coffee wasn’t so bad. It sure wasn’t New York but it’d do.

 

“Take small things when they come around. The time! Better stop writing, got to get to work.”

 

She put the iPad away.