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light and sound

The siren reaches my ears in a crescendo of wails,
Long before the light splashes against the walls in red and blue pales,
Another possible early morning jolt from sleep,
Through the darkness to check on my wife and child I creep,
Then kiss them gently on their foreheads,
Mother and son curled up together and tucked into the bed,
Into the pre-dawn I slip away,
Without disturbing their slumber, I head out to start my day.

An occasional hint of color bounces off the homes and store fronts,
I’m thankful we’re receding from the brunt,
The high-pitch scream and blinding glare of the passing responder,
On their speedy quest they never wander,
Off to help those in need, those who morning’s luck did lack,
The light and sound fade into the black,
I step into my truck and selfishly hope my journey won’t be delayed,
Pre-coffee, my nerves are already frayed.

Catching hold, I set simple thoughts aside,
I smile in the knowledge that my loved ones are still safely inside,
My heart goes to those who needed aid,
I hope the bus to their sides and the services are quickly conveyed,
I fire the ignition and flick on the lights,
They barely cut through the strangling grip of night’s might,
Again selfishly, to me my thoughts return,
To be back inside, cuddled in bed with my family, I urgently yearn.

Ambulance lights flashing in the darkness

the alarm

The day was dreary, gloomy and overcast,
The darkness pulled my thoughts to the past,
Where life’s joys and triumphs had happened all too fast,
And my memories were faded, because nothing ever lasts.

…..

The alarm clock droned in my ear.

Sometimes it was piercing, sometimes I couldn’t hear it at all, and sometimes I was in a dreamy state where I knew it was going off and I should turn it off but it was mellow, muted, and so I felt no great sense of urgency to deal with it.  It was one of those mornings.

Still it droned on.

I cracked open my eyes, a sliver, to see how much light was pouring through the gaps in the blinds and was pleasantly surprised that I could open them without daylight frying my retinas and the sharp pain that always accompanied that.  Sadly, that wasn’t really a good thing as it meant the morning was once again overcast.

I hadn’t seen the sun in several days and it was starting to effect me.  I didn’t have seasonal affective disorder, but I had found that the longer I went without seeing the sun the lousier I felt, the more despondent I became.  The harder it was to talk myself out of bed and head to the job I dreaded.

The alarm continued to beep away.  I was aware of it but still felt no urge to silence it.

I turned my head away from the blinds and opened my eyes fully to stare up at the ceiling.  I knew I needed to get up and get started with my day, it was going to be another busy one, but I didn’t yet have enough control over my body to make it do my bidding.  My mind knew what it should do, my body had the capacity to follow those instructions, but they weren’t yet communicating as they normally would.

The overhead ceiling fan stood motionless.  The May grey and June gloom hadn’t given way to the hot summer nights and the fan hadn’t yet been called into action.  The room around me lightened as the sun, though its influence was filtered by the clouds and marine layer, rose higher into the sky.  Time was ticking away faster than I was aware of.

The alarm droned on.

My thoughts, as my mind and body continued to wake up and try to interact properly, fled to the past, when I wouldn’t have had to worry about getting up at a certain time, when I didn’t have a job, and responsibilities, and the pressure of having people depend on me.  I often fantasized about the freedom of youth.  I glorified it.  I romanticized it.  I held it in high regard as the penultimate experience of my life: my days were filled with only the activities I wanted them to be filled with.

Games, shenanigans, adventures all ruled the day.  I had the time and energy to explore when and where I wanted.  I could sleep away the mornings and the afternoons if I felt like it.  I could stay awake long into the night and watch the movies I wasn’t supposed to… or, that I learned later, weren’t all that great anyway and shouldn’t have wasted my time with.  But, that was the point – I had the ability to waste time without repercussions.  Isn’t that one of the often neglected but finest definitions of freedom?

But those days were only the penultimate experience of life.  Fully awake, fully in control again, I smiled.  Sure, I had to get up and go to a job I didn’t enjoy.  Sure, I had responsibilities and pressure and stress and hours of my life I wasn’t the “owner” of anymore.  Sure, I rarely found time do to the things that used to define who I was.

Having those responsibilities, though, afforded me the opportunities to grow into the man I became, to marry the wonderful woman who agreed to share her life with me, to adopt the two cats who always make me smile, and to have the family I had always wanted and constantly brought me unparalleled joy.

I turned the alarm off and got out of bed.

The alarm meant that I had to return to being a responsible adult, but there was also a silver lining to it.  It meant that the sooner I could get my work for the day done, the sooner I could be home again and spend time with my loved ones.

…..

The day was overcast, gloomy and dreary,
But the darkness was there to help me see,
Life always happens exactly as it is meant to be,
And the joys of today shine through it all brilliantly.

………………………………………………………………………

Rara has prompted me again:

for the promptless, forthepromptless, prompts for the promptless

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

“Silver Lining” is a prospect of hope or comfort in a gloomy situation.  [1870-75; from the proverb “Every cloud has a silver lining”] *

* Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Conditions in The Matticus Kingdom today: long periods of SUNSHINE

Julie Chicklitasaurus over at Julie’s Chick Lit nominated me for a Sunshine Award:

Sunshine Award

“The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!”

Thank you very much for the nomination Julie.  We here in the kingdom really enjoy knowing that we are positively and creatively inspiring others throughout the blogosphere!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

{QUESTIONS and ANSWERS}

What inspired you to start blogging?
I finally joined the blogging madness shortly after finding out I was going to be a father.  Initially the idea was to use the space as an archive for the journey towards becoming a parent and beyond, but…  well, the jester took over and now it is what it is.

How did you come up with the name to your blog?
The Matticus Kingdom – This is the name of a mix album I put together several years ago that spanned the various styles of my entire catalog of records: it started very low key with some progressive house, moved into some breakbeat, picked up the pace a bit with some trance (progressive, cyber, psy), and then finished off in a crescendo of furiously flying happy hardcore beats.  It encompassed who I was as a dj, and this blog encompasses who I am as a writer… it just makes sense.

What is your favorite blog you like to read?
What?!  What kind of question is that?  I’m not even sure I could narrow that down even if the question was more specific.  For example, even if the question was “What is your favorite blog from someone who lives in San Diego and has a son that went to the same college as you and has a husband who is a tugboat captain?” even as specific as that is, there are just too many wonderful choices to pick from.  Therefore, I’m declining to answer this question.

Tell about your dream job.
Writing novels.  Fantasy, mystery, westerns, comedies, yes, yes, yes, yes… getting paid to write the silliness that my mind comes up with.  That would be swell, thanks.  Why, can you hook that up for me?

Is your glass half empty or half full?
Half full.  However, it would be empty because I don’t leave glasses just lying around.  I’d either down what was left in it, or dump the contents down the drain and place the empty glass in the washer.  I don’t like leaving things around like that.

If you could go anywhere for a week’s vacation, where would you go?
Where I do go every summer: camping and/or backpacking in the Sierra.

What food can you absolutely not eat?
Mold.  I don’t have any food allergies, that I know of, yet.  However, I can absolutely not take mold based medicines.  Something about hallucinations and hives and just general unpleasantness.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Yes.  In copious amounts please.  *holding my hand out waiting patiently for the chocolatey goodness to be delivered*

How much time do you spend blogging?
Far too little and far too much.  I don’t get to read and comment as much on all the wonderful blogs out there as I’d like, but I also spend more time than I should scrolling through them, liking them, commenting, replying to comments, replying to replies, thinking of new posts, writing new posts, checking stats, etc…

Do you watch TV, and if so, what are some of your favorite shows?
Bones, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Simpsons…  those are the staples.  I thoroughly enjoyed Sopranos and Deadwood.  I also really enjoyed Dead Like Me.  I watch Dexter when I can but I’m a few seasons behind right now.  I will also watch Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and NCIS if they are on and there is nothing else competing with them.  CSI used to be in that rotation too, but I haven’t been catching it nearly as much as I used to.  Hmm, I think I might watch too much TV.

{NOMINATIONS}

Each of these bloggers has inspired me through their words, through their artwork, and through their creativity.  I think that fits the Sunshine Award bill perfectly:

Jonathan Hilton
Matrone Bell
The Imaginator
Steph Rogers
Jen Rosenberry
Jenn
Rutabaga
Revis Edgewater
Dave
Wiley Schmidt

Help Wanted!

The Matticus Kingdom is in dire need of assistance.

You know you want to.

We are going to be having a major construction project coming up in a few weeks that may necessitate that I, as the court jester, have my attention, abilities, focussed elsewhere. Something about 24/7 demands needing to be fulfilled…

We have lots of available positions across multiple disciplines (fiction, humor, photography) and at all levels (new hire, some experience, advanced knowledge).

If you are in the market for additional employment (of the unpaid and often unrewarding variety) please submit your resumes (guest posts) to djmatticus@yahoo.com. They will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis; but we will reach out to everyone who is interested with an interview time (feedback/posting date/etc…).

We anticipate the openings becoming available near the end of March and to continue off and on into April and possibly May.  If that timeframe works well with your schedule, we’d love to hear from you.  If that timeframe doesn’t work for you, we’d still love to hear from you because we can probably squeeze you in before then.

…..

Part of the inspiration for asking for help was two recent requests I received to guest post for other sites.  You can (and should) check them out here:
http://hayleyslilworld.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/guest-post-matticus-kingdom-takes-over-my-blog/
http://stephrogers.com/2013/02/26/he-said-what/