Q is for Quizentential

img_1223“Quizentential”? I bet you’re wondering if that’s a typo? You’re probably thinking that it’s not even a word.

You’re right. “Quizentential” is not an actual word. What it is, though, is one of my most mortifying moments. Let me explain.

In 1995 I moved to New Hampshire for a job as the director of operations for an up and coming software and services company. My wife, who was still in Pennsylvania with our kids, came up on my second weekend there to look at houses for us to buy and we spent most of the weekend driving around southern New Hampshire looking at houses for sale.

This was back in the dark ages before there were GPS devices and Google Maps on iPhones to direct you from point A to point B. So we had to rely on folding paper maps and the local folk for directions.

On our second day of house hunting, we stopped by for coffees this quaint little place in some quaint little town. After we finished our coffee, I went up to the proprietor of the coffee shop to ask for directions to the next house we were going to see. I unfolded the map and gave him the address and asked him the best way to get there.

He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Ayuh, you can’t get theah from heah.” After we left the coffee shop my wife and I were cracking up over what to us was seemed like the quintessential New England response to our question.

Anyway, I had regularly scheduled meetings with my team leaders every Monday morning at 8:30. On the Monday morning after our house hunting weekend, one of my team leaders asked me, in front of all eight of those assembled for my meeting, how our house hunting weekend went.

I said that we’d seen a bunch of houses, but we’d probably have to keep looking. And that was when I said, “We had the funniest and most quizentential New England experience.”

As soon as I heard the words come out of my mouth I knew I had mispronounced “quintessential.” Everyone in the conference room silently stared at me.

2C121E0B-A27A-4225-8016-C13F2DB0DE20I was truly mortified. I figured I could either pretend I hadn’t mispronounced quintessential and continue as if nothing had happened, or I could, knowing that everyone had heard me say “quizentential, admit my mistake and move on.

I decided on the latter. But if there was a hole I could have just fallen into, I would have chosen to do that.

Genie Out of the Bottle


“You and your fellow Trump voters really let the genie out of the bottle, didn’t you?” Tom said to his coworker, Jeff.

“Thank you,” Jeff responded. “We did, didn’t we?”

“I didn’t mean that as a compliment, Jeff,” Tom said.

“Well that’s how I took it,” Jeff said. “Trump is like a genie who is doing all kinds of magical things for our country.”

Tom shook his head. “You realize that if you say that the genie is out of the bottle or that someone has let the genie out of the bottle, you mean that something has happened which has made a great and permanent change in people’s lives — especially a bad change.”

I don’t agree that he’s caused bad changes to happen,” Jeff said.

“You’ve been conned, Jeff,” Tom said. “And one day you’ll see that the genie you and your fellow Trump supporters let out of the bottle with your votes is going to bite you — and this country — in your asses.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “genie.”

#100WW — Birthday Dinner

“How did you know how much I love king crab legs?” Craig asked.

“I asked your mother. She told me,” Darlene said. “That’s why I made reservations for this place. After all, it’s your birthday and I wanted to take you someplace I knew you’d enjoy.”

“You asked my mother?” Craid asked, sounding a bit surprised.

“Yes, I asked her if she could give me some suggestions,” Darlene said, a bit defensively. “I wanted to make tonight special for you.”

Craig took a sip from his cocktail and stood up. “You really fucked this up, Darlene,” he said and left.

(100 words)

Written for today’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt from Bikurgurl.

P is for Pessimistic

I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Fandango’s post for yesterday’s A to Z Challenge say that he was optimistic?” You’d be correct. I did say that. But as my blogging buddy, Jim Adams pointed out in a comment on that post, he sees me as being an “optimistic cynic” because, he says, I “tell it like it is.” So that’s what I’m going to do right now.

Unfortunately, when it comes to America’s standing in the world and to its future, my optimism, since Trump became president, has turned to skepticism, if not outright pessimism.

Between the Mueller Russia probe, the Stormy Daniels affair, and the FBI raids on Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen’s office, home, and hotel, Trump is in panic mode. And like a cornered rat, he’s on the attack.

His Republican butt-lickers in Congress are doing everything they can to set up Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein to be fired and to set the stage for stopping Robert Mueller’s investigation. Trump’s lawyers are fighting to suppress the evidence seized by the FBI in the Cohen raids.

And I’m worried that Trump and the Republicans are going to get away with this and that the Mueller investigation will be stymied and the damaging evidence against Trump will be squelched.

If that happens, friends, I see storm clouds forming on America’s horizon. And it won’t be pretty.

So yeah, I’m feeling a little pessimistic right now.

One-Liner Wednesday — The Early Bird

577723F2-FCA1-4FA1-9E7B-0D2E0CA0A726“Morning comes whether you set the alarm or not.”

Ursula K. Le Guin, American novelist.

Now that I’m retired and don’t have anywhere in particular to be first thing in the morning, I rarely set my alarm.

And yet, I usually wake up every morning between 6 and 6:30 regardless of what time I go to sleep. And that kinda pisses me off. Because I’d love to be able to sleep later.

So Ursula is right. My mornings still arrive — way too early, I might add — even though I don’t set my alarm.

Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.