Your Money and Your Life

“I’ve been thinking about building a home theater in my basement,” Randy said.

“Wait,” Clark said, “I thought you said you were putting a home gym in your basement.”

“Yes,” Randy said, “I will collocate the gym and the theater down there with the gym on one side and the theater on the other.”

“Is the ceiling of your basement tall enough to accommodate a gym and a theater?” Clark asked. “I’m not that tall and last time I was down there I almost bumped my head on some of the exposed plumbing pipes.”

“I’m going to have to do some excavation to lower the floor by about a foot to create more headroom,” Randy admitted.

“Won’t that cost a shitload of money?” Clark asked.

“Yes, but at the end of the day, the allure of that finished basement with the home theater makes it worth the expense.”

“I have to tell you, Randy,” Clark said, “you’ve got a large family room with a 45-inch high def TV on your main level. It eludes me why you’d want to spend all that money on a home theater in your basement.”

“That family room setup is so primitive,” Randy said. “My home theater will have a 100-inch state-of-the-art TV, a surround sound system, and plush movie theater seating. And best of all, my wife can watch her soap operas and romantic comedies in the family room and I can watch my action, horror, and science fiction movies in the luxurious basement theater room.”

“Well, Randy,” Clark said, “it’s your money and your life.”

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (theater), My Vivid Blog (basement), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (collocate), The Daily Spur (excavation), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (allure), Your Daily Word Prompt (elude), and Word of the Day Challenge (primitive). Photo credit: @allhomeaesthetics

MLMM Photo Challenge — The Canopy

I’m not sure how long I’d been out before I regained consciousness. All I knew was that I was lying on the ground. The cold and damp ground. And my head hurt something fierce. But how did I get here? Where was I?

Still on my back I looked up. It seemed surreal to me. I was under a canopy of tall trees towering above me, but unlike any trees I’d seen before. Some still had leaves on their branches, but others were bare. The one above me seemed to be in the shape of a giant four-leaf clover, but it appeared to be transparent at the top.

I was very disoriented and frightened. I tried to sit up to gain my bearings, but I couldn’t move. I could feel panic beginning to set in. I tried to scream but no sound was coming out of my mouth. I couldn’t breathe. Then I heard this voice.

“Sam, Sam, are you okay?” I felt two hands grasping my shoulders and gently shaking me. “Honey, you’re soaking wet,” the voice said. “Did you have another one of your nightmares?”

I looked at my wife, took a deep breath, and said, “Yeah, but I’m fine.” I lied. I was anything but fine.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Tanya Grant.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #165


Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

You may have read about the tragic events this past weekend in Buffalo, New York, where a gunman shot down 10 black people at a supermarket. Before committing that heinous act, he had stated his intent was to “kill as many black people as possible.” He wrote these words in a 180-page manifesto published online before he carried out what investigators are calling a hate crime and a racist act of violent extremism.

The 18-year-old white man, who claimed to target a specific zip code in Buffalo because it “has the highest black percentage that is close enough to where I live,” repeatedly lamented about immigration, which he feared would result in “ethnic replacement,” “cultural replacement,” “racial replacement,” and ultimately, he wrote, “white genocide.”

This is the “white replacement theory” or the “Great Replacement” that has motivated similar mass killings in recent years. It is a racist conspiracy theory that holds that, through immigration, interracial marriage, integration, and violence, and at the behest of secret forces orchestrated by “global elites” (i.e., Jews), Christian whites are being disenfranchised, disempowered, and pushed out of “white nations.”

This notion, which serves as a justification for violence directed at Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, and Muslims, is being justified and promoted aggressively by the far right in the United States. At the same time, those on the right (and not just on the far right) are condemning teaching or discussing Critical Race Theory (CRT), which is an academic concept the core of which is the idea that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies. In other words, it’s the study of how American racism has shaped public policy.

On the one hand, “white replacement theory promotes violence against any group that its proponents perceive as a threat to the purity, the supremacy, and even the survival of the white race. “Critical race theory,” on the other hand, is a non-violent way of trying to understand the systemic racism that pervades society in the United States.

My provocative question this week is a bit unusual in that I’m not looking for a specific answer as much as I am your reactions to, and thoughts about, what I have written above. So…

How do you feel about what is going on in the United States in regard to racism? Do you see any way of reconciling the concepts of White Replacement Theory and Critical Race Theory?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

FOWC with Fandango — Allure


It’s May 18, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “allure.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.