Saturday, January 26, 2013

"A Beautiful Day"

This morning, just moments before I pulled into the
     tree-lined driveway at work,
the sounds and lyrics of U-2's, A Beautiful Day, came across the radio. 

And, as I turned the corner, I was suddenly aware . . .   

Everything, as it had been before,
     only brighter, more vibrant - more alive.      
The parking lot, unspoiled, as no industrial plows
had found their way through.

And, as I walked across the new,
     unclaimed territory in my child-like feet, 
leaving fresh footprints behind me . . .
     narrowing my eyes from the bright, sparkling white . . .
the cold air - shocking, making me take notice of my every breath . . .   

          I did, indeed, feel brighter, more vibrant - more alive. 

"It's a beautiful day.
     Don't let it get away.
  It's a beautiful day . . . "

           . . . singing in my head.   


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Boggle Not

One day, not so long ago . . .

   (or, as a friend of mine always says, "just the other day", which could mean "yesterday"
       or could mean "six moths ago")

                    I had a sick day.

I took full advantage of that sick day, nestled under my blankets, in bed
 (my dog and little heater, Charlie, curled up next to me),
          watching television.

I watched the entire first season of Downton Abbey,
     which I thoroughly enjoyed,
and am now anxiously awaiting the release of season 2 (on Netflix).

I, also, revisited an old television series from the nineties,
     that I absolutely LOVED back then,
and am enjoying just as much the second time around - Felicity.

Felicity ran for four LONG seasons (back when a season ran from September to May).
I am currently into the third season and, appropriately,
     the beginning of Felicity's junior year of college.

The show centers around a character (named Felicity Porter) who, at the last minute,
     decides to enroll at NYU (as a freshman) because of a high school crush.

Anyways . . .

      it was during season one, a few episodes in,
when Felicity, and a (very handsome) friend, Noel,  are sitting on the dorm room floor
     playing the game, Boggle.


I LOVED the game Boggle.  

I used to HAVE it.  

What HAPPENED to it? 

In my mind, I tried to search for it: 

     Was it at my parents house?  Did it come with me after I got married? 
     Did I have it after the kids were born? Did I lose it in the divorce?

In my mind, I could not find it anywhere, and I decided I absolutely MUST have it.

So, I went where any smart person would go in such a situation - Target.

I walked straight to the game aisle without stopping,
     and perused the shelves for Boggle . . . Boggle . . . Boggle . . .Boggle . . . 

THERE it is. 

Of course!  Right next to Scrabble.     

But, WAIT.  

It doesn't look the same.

The box looks too small, and written in very small print on the front of the box
     are the words "battery included".

Boggle doesn't have a battery.  

Boggle doesn't NEED a battery. 

Boggle contains 16 wooden cubes with letters on each side, a tray for the blocks to sit,
     and a large plastic lid with plenty of room for the blocks to move about, when shaken up.

Boggle ALSO contains an hourglass sand timer.

                       LOVE those things.

When the sand runs out, your time is up.


Boggle does NOT contain a BATTERY.

How did they change it, I ask in my mind (or maybe it was out loud), with suspicion.

I look at the picture on the box, and it looks completely different.
The game is smaller, and dome shaped, and flatter.
It can't possibly work the same.
But, there are no other choices.


So, after staring it down (for what seemed like an hour),
     I pulled it off the shelf and carried it with me to the check-out counter.

When the check-out clerk asked me if I had found everything okay,
     it felt like de-ja-vu.

"Speak now or forever hold your peace"! 

( Tell her!  TELL HER! )

BUT, I didn't.

I held out hope that everything would be okay.

BUT, it wasn't.

I took the Boggle home, and pulled it out of the box.
I stared at the plastic cubes.
They appeared to be trapped inside this spaceship-shaped contraption.

How do I get them out?

I did what any smart person would do, and read the directions.
The directions said to turn the lid in one direction to shake the letters up,
     then turn the lid in the other to keep the letters still,
while simultaneously starting the "timer".

So, I tried it.

I turned the lid, shook up the letters, and turned the lid again.
A green light began to flash.
Then, the light turned into a rapidly flashing yellow,
     and then, to a red light with an audible sound announcing the END of the game.

I don't like it, I thought.

I don't like anything about it.

This is a FRAUD . . . an INTRUDER . . . a FAKE! 

But, I thought, before I make up my mind, let me try it again.

So, I did.

Only, THIS time, I could not get the lid to budge.

Not to the left.  Not to the right.   NOT AT ALL.

I asked my daughter, who has smaller hands than I, to try it.


I asked my man/boyfriend, who has much larger, stronger hands than I, to try it.


The thing is busted, and I never even wrote down a word! 

So, I did what one must do in a situation like this.
I went to the computer and Googled "Original Boggle".
For about the same price that I purchased the "new" and "improved" Boggle,
     I can purchase a used original.
And, even though my 16 year old son was able to finally fix it,
     I will be returning my Boggle to Target tomorrow.

Boggle . . . HA!

They thought they could fool me.

Boggle . . .  NOT!

The REAL Boggle