#FOWC — Mirth and Melancholy


Sometimes things just work out. For my One-Word Challenge today, I selected the word “melancholy.” It means “a gloomy state of mind, especially when habitual or prolonged; depression; a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.”

I know the cause of my melancholy, but I promised myself I wouldn’t mention Donald Trump today. Oh wait. I just did. Dammit.

But back to my point. Another daily one-word challenge selected the word “mirth.” Mirth means “gladness or gaiety as shown by or accompanied with laughter.”

So, the two daily word prompts today used words that essentially are the exact opposite, one meaning sad and depressed and the other meaning happiness and laughter. I believe, in the nearly two months since those of us who have stepped into the gap left by demise of the WordPress Daily Prompt, this may be a first. Coincidence or serendipity?

Hmm. I wonder if tomorrow’s words might be “coincidental” (occurring or existing at the same time) and “serendipitous” (occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way).

Written for today’s Word of the Day Challenge, “mirth,” and for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “melancholy.”

Tale Weaver/#FOWC — Steady Growth

ADAA4A2F-AB2D-4391-B96E-88C09E437738When it comes to personal finances, I am quite conservative. I don’t have a significant amount of money to fund my retirement years, but I want to do whatever I can to make sure I don’t outlive my savings. And that’s why my investment philosophy is anything but aggressive.

I don’t take chances with speculative stocks and instead, I try to focus on slow, steady growth. I know there is potentially more to be gained in the short term by taking risks (i.e., the greater the risk, the greater the reward). But as a retiree, I am not willing to bet my future on dicey stocks.

Besides, while there has been a steady run-up of the stock market that started even before Trump won the election, I’m expecting the market to stumble and fall and I don’t want to be financially devastated when it happens, as I am sure it will.

I have a good friend who thinks that, by being so conservative, I’m leaving “money on the table.” Well, maybe I am. But whenever I go to a casino, which is not very often, my rule is to never bring to the casino more than I can afford to lose. So I go, I have fun, but even when I lose to the house, which is more often than not, I’m not in so deep that I am at risk of literally losing my house.

On a slightly different note, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to fit the word “susurrus,” which is today’s Word of the Day Challenge prompt, into this post. It’s a word I’d never heard before, so I Googled it and found out that a susurrus is “a soft murmuring or rustling sound; whisper.”

So with that in mind, should you hear a susurrus from me, that might just mean that my slow and steady growth approach to investing may not be going so well.

Written for today’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, which is all about growth, and for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “steady.” Also for the Word of the Day Challenge, “susurrus.”

Coyote Ugly

Today is the final day of serving as the tour guide for our out-of-town visitors. When we headed out to Golden Gate Park to walk our dog and to show off one of the nation’s greatest city parks, they got a little freaked out when we passed this sign.15EE0CF2-5E91-47AF-B322-9DAA9A7DA5BC“There are coyotes in this park?” One of our visitors asked. “Have you ever seen one?”

“Many times,” I answered. “But they typically keep to themselves, so it’s not an issue. We just have to keep our dog on the leash so she won’t go running after them. That would not be good.”

I could tell that our guests were a little uncomfortable at the possibility of coming across wild coyotes. Every time they spotted a German Shepherd one of them would point at it and ask if it was a coyote. So I decided that perhaps it was time to take them to a “safer” tourist destination and we headed over to Alcatraz Island. FD7D8C31-2978-47C1-96BF-8F57E6C577A4I’ve yet to see a coyote at Alcatraz.

FOWC — There’s Always One

67A05420-F885-4FC6-8935-39A41FB73CC9Do you remember back in school when the teacher would do roll call every morning? As the teacher called out each student’s name, we would each raise our hand and respond with a resounding “here!”

But there would always be that one pompous kid, the one every other one of us thought was a real asshole, who would, instead of saying “here,” would call out “present!”

What a jerk. Just being different for the sake of standing out. I’ll never forget that obnoxious kid. Oh, what was his name? Let me think. Hmm.

Oh wait. Shit! It was me. Damn.

Written for today’s Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “present.”

#FOWC — I Can’t Remember

029D2ABD-EF5E-44B0-B156-AD0D71F27DF5I used to have a world-class memory. I could remember dates and events and facts and stories. Now I can’t even remember to write a post in response to my own One-Word Challenge, which for yesterday was the word “memory.”

Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. I did remember, but between watching that fiasco in Helsinki yesterday morning and then spending the day and evening giving the grand tour to out out-of-town guests, I just didn’t get around to it…until now.

But I have noticed that my memory lately ain’t what it once was. With our visitors this week, my wife has been relating stories about trips she and I have taken and things we’ve done together as a couple or as a family in the past and it’s almost as if I’m hearing about them for the very first time. I’m just smiling and nodding as she’s telling these stories, but I seem to have no personal recollections of those “fun” times.

And it not just not being unable to recall things from the distant past. My wife asked me the name of that restaurant we went to for dinner on the Saturday night before last. I was unable to remember our even going out to dinner together, much less the name of the restaurant. And that was less than two weeks ago.

Or my wife and I will be watching TV and my wife will ask me to get her a glass of water. So I’ll get up, head to the kitchen, the cat will follow me there, I’ll put some fresh food in his bowl, and head back to the living room and sit my ass back down on the couch. “Where’s my water?” my wife will ask.


This is freaking me out a little. More than a little, actually. I’ve read and heard a lot about early onset Alzheimer’s and dementia, and one of the early signs is a memory problem, particularly when it comes to remembering more recent events.

I don’t think I’m there yet, and it could be much worse. As former Vice President Dan Quayle once said in a speech in 1989 before the United Negro College Fund, “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful.”

(For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Dan Quayle’s comment was a mangling of the Fund’s slogan “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” It was Quayle’s “covfefe” moment.)

I’m still playing your guide, so I may be a little scarce again today.