Friday, July 29, 2005

#8 Coffee is the Best Medicine...July 29, 2005
...The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop
(You may start reading at any point in the story.
It isn't that complicated!)

"My ties are my friends," Alfred retorted.

"It's true!" Brenda said. "He has names for them all."


"Yes," Alfred said. "This one here is Tucker and this one is..."

"SHUT UP!" I snapped. "Oh! I'm sorry, Alfred. I didn't mean to be short with you." I wiped a bead of sweat from my brow. Who were these people in this crazy coffee shop?

"It's okay. Most folks talk to me that way," he replied.

"Alfred, you don't really want to change your style, do you?"


Okay, so I contemplated, Alfred was happy with his existing "look,"  such as it was, except he wanted a hair piece. So we'll let him have it. It's no skin off of my, head, I figured.

"Okay, Alfred! We'll go shopping!" I announced.

"YAY, a bus ride!" Alfred yelled.

"Bus ride?" I asked.

"He loves the bus. We usually go places by bus just to make Alfred happy," Brenda whispered in my ear. 

"Oh, okay! Bus ride!" I mimicked Alfred with a little squeal for good effect. Oh my gosh! What was I doing?

"I'm coming, too!" Butch, the big guy at the counter, stated. He lifted his huge lumbering body off the counter stool and ambled over next to me.

Rose, the waitress, was next. "EVERYBODY OUT! I'm closing to go shopping." Her booming voice propelled  patrons out the door, against their wills--I think, as she hung up her apron.

"Looks like we're ready to go," Brenda said, smiling at me.

To be Continued

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

 Interesting News Item....

Art Lover May have Drunk Sculpture

An art exhibit with a plastic bottle full of water from the Antarctic 
to comment on the dangers of global warming, 
and a patron thirsty in the intense heat--voila! 
A recipe for disaster!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Winter Story. This is a short workshop assignment that would be a nice read for anyone who is sweltering today in the hot weather! For you...served up on ice!

Winter Story

Icicles hung low, testing the strength of pine tree limbs in the yard as he walked to the street. Going slowly, he tested each step on the packed snow, now solid and slick after being frozen, rained upon, and frozen again. Pulling up his coat collar, the man regretted the vanity that kept him from wearing a hat. Zero degrees Fahrenheit was a temperature to be reckoned with.

His nose felt hard inside, as his wild imagination wondered if the membranes were freezing. The skin on his face stung as a wicked wind blasted from the north, turning his delicate white complexion a troublesome red. A breeze cut through the thin wool coat and sent shivers up his spine. His feet, ever-moving, deadened despite his best efforts. The ice underfoot radiated such cold it reached all the way up his legs. His ears felt like chunks of ice on each side of his head, while the tips of his fingers lost their feeling. 

All around, everything was encased in ice, frozen silvery in a quick freeze after the pelting rain. Windows became  thickened with frozen lacy patterns reminiscent of Jack Frost, pretty in a way, but deadly in their implications. One could only hope the people inside had found enough warmth.

His body begged for heat. Numbness crept in from all four extremities. Would he soon be like one of those silvery icicles, straight and stiff and purely for decoration?

But the man had to get where he was going. There was no turning back. The building finally came into view. Warm yellow lights glowed from the windows, and people rushed toward the entrance. Yes, he had made it to work. The good doctor had arrived to save more lives and heal the sick. No wonder his own discomfort mattered little.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Coffee is the Best Medicine...July 25, 2005
...The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop...

(You may start reading at any point in the story.
It isn't that complicated!)

Alfred? A hair piece? I studied the poor fellow, and sure enough, once I took my eyes off his paisley bow tie, his most remarkable aspect was a shiny dome head, surrounded by curly brown hair, but only on the sides. Yes, our friend Albert would benefit from a hair piece. 

Well, not in the way that most men would, where they slip it on and immediately become younger, more handsome versions of themselves. No, perhaps the best Alfred could hope for would be that it offers a handy distraction from his bow tie. Unfortunately, it would not detract from his hook nose or skinny linear mouth. I sighed. It seemed hopeless.

"Alfred, hon! Why don't you try a change of wardrobe first. You know, a different style?" I studied his baggy pants and shoddy tan blazer with a discerning eye.

"You don't like my style?" he asked, fingering his bow tie, which I noted, was purple paisley. "Is it the color of my tie, because I have others!" 

With a flourish, he opened his blazer wide to reveal an array of bow ties clipped inside. Every print you could imagine--polka dots, zigzags, stripes, flowers, kites --I never saw such a collection in a variety of colors so gaudy I feared they would make my eyes sore.  Red, blue, purple, orange...Oh, I felt sick. "Are they all  yours?" I asked. Honestly, I didn't know what else to say.

"Yes, I like to change during the day. I like to wear the red pepper one when I have chili for lunch, and I switch to the green apple  for dessert if it's pie; but on rainy days I wear the blue polka dots--they cheer me up. In the winter, I'm fond of heavier colors, like this dark gray....

"Shut up, Alfred!" I interrupted him. "Give me those ties! It's for your own good!" 


"Give me those ties! You have an unhealthy affection for them."

To be Continued

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I just learned a new poetic form which I love! The syllable counts offer an interesting rhythm. Here is a "ninesquare" about my dog.

Acts Sweetly

Black and white, small dog, big heart to love.
Loyalty, simpleness, respectful.
So loving, true friendship, my buddy.

She runs to me with glee on her face.
Lovingly, unabashed, playfully.
Tail wagging, paws thumping, eyes sparkling.

There for me, me for her, both for us.
Thoroughly, totally, forever.
So furry, acts sweetly, my doggy.

 Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

News Links of Interest

Watch out Southern USA!

The Big Secret

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Man Serves Unusual Sentence....

A man who neglected, treated cruelly, and strangled his dog received an unusual conviction--To wear a sign and stand in the middle of a busy intersection. The sign read: 

I Plead Guilty ... Animal Cruelty is a Crime ... My Dog's Name WAS Salt and Pepper.

He was to stand there all day, but when the Judge stopped by and noted the amount of abuse (Hurrah for dog-lovers!) from passing motorists, she permitted him to quit early. 

Some might consider this an easy sentence; some might say a cruel sentence. Personally, I think it was an effective sentence. There is nothing like the power of extreme public ridicule to make a fella think again next time he is tempted. Remember standing in the corner at school, all red-faced and humiliated.  Could you ever forget the dunce cap? I don't remember, of course, because I'm a goody-goody. But you remember, don't you? ;-) Darned effective, wasn't it?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Robot Jockeys and Child Abuse......

I read an article about United Arab Emirates where they are planning to use robot jockeys for camel races. They used to use real boys (under 18 years old), but that has recently become outlawed. The story states "many children, mainly from poor Asian countries, had been abducted or sold by their families and that the boys were kept in prison-like conditions and underfed to keep them light so the camels run faster."

May I state here Thank Gawd children jockeys have been outlawed! I have to wonder about a culture that would use children, some of them even stolen, is such an abhorrent manner. Really, the treatment of women and children in the Middle East frightens me. I can't help saying so!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Coffee is the Best Medicine...
The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop...
July 21, 2005

Who were these people? I've never known a bunch like this. How could I make them understand the importance of what I saw in the restroom--a note written by someone stating, "I think someone is trying to kill me." I decided to try again.

"Rose, look! There's a note in there that has me troubled. It is something you should know about."

"Are you talking about that note I left there, about someone trying to kill me?" Brenda asked.

I couldn't believe my ears. "You mean you wrote that note!"

"Oh, sure! She wrote it five years ago," Rose stated. "Don't worry about it!" She turned to go back to work as though the issue was finished.

"I put it there five years ago. Actually, at the time I had first met Alfred, and I thought he wanted to do me in. It turned out I got the wrong impression of him. He's just weird, that's all." Brenda explained, shrugging her shoulders.

Boy, she got that right. One look at Alfred with his geeky neck and bow tie confirmed it. Who could understand him? "Okay, but why is the note still in there?" I asked.

"Rose never cleans very well in that restroom," Brenda stated in hushed tones.


"Forget about it!" Brenda continued. "We've got other things to worry Alfred wanting to buy a hair piece." Brenda nodded in that fellow's direction. He returned her gaze with a goofy smile that curved up on each end to practically reach his ears.

Why did I ever come to this coffee shop? 

"Okay," Brenda said. " Let's go shopping!"

To be Continued

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Let's relax and enjoy two poems I've written about summertime!
Copyright 2005 JO Janoski



Giggling days soar
Flying high in grandeur
Lazy happy days of freedom's



Warm rays
Lazy curtain
Wrapping 'round summertime
Relaxing waves emanating
White light.


Next time, I will post another installment of Coffee.
BTW, you can start reading it at any point in the story.
It isn't that complicated!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Coffee is the Best Medicine...
The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop...
July 16, 2005

Me, pretty? I wondered if the guy was nuts. I'm 56 years old and hardly a beauty queen.

"Are you talking to me?" I asked.

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Sorry, fella! But I'm a married woman." 

Rose leaned over and whispered in my ear. "It doesn't matter to him." She pursed her lips and made a funny face to indicate the fellow was, well, a little strange.

"I still think you're pretty." It was him again.

Anxious to change the subject and to possibly escape from Alfred, I directed my next remark to Rose. "Could I show you something in the restroom?" I asked.

"Sure can!" Alfred responded.

"I wasn't talking to you, Alfred!"

"She wasn't talking to you, Alfred!" Brenda had come over and now repeated my comment. Her wide smile indicated she relished delivering the news.

I broke in. "If you'll excuse Rose and me, WE'RE going to the restroom so I can show her something."

"That doesn't sound very good," Butch, the big guy, said.

"No, we're not going for anything...distasteful," I hissed. "I just want to show Rose something I don't understand.

They all stared at me in silence.

"I mean I want to show her something I found in there."

"I'm not sure I want to go with you," Rose said.

I wasn't making much progress...

To be Continued

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Just goes to show,  you can't get good help anymore...
It seems an unreliable grocery store clerk inadvertently sold 14 copies of the new Harry Potter book before her mistake was caught. The book is not to be released until 12:01 a.m. July 16. A Justice then ordered those customers not to talk about the book, copy it, sell it or even read it before it is officially released at 12:01 a.m. July 16 (I'm not certain if they were allowed to actually look at it or not.) -- or the Justice suggested, better yet, send the book back to the publisher and they will return it after the release date, signed and with a gift pack. 

*   *   *
Bovine Wedding Anyone?
farmer in Thailand had a fine brahman cow and he found her the perfect mate--They made such an exquisite couple he had a wedding for them, complete with 2,000 human guests,  a banquet, silk clothes for the cattle, complete with a ceremony and a dowry. Did I mention other beasts were invited as well? How cool is that?

This gives me a lot of great ideas concerning my dog...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Short Story...
Copyright JO Janoski

Winterburn Street had its repository for vile creatures of the night, make that ghosts, to be exact.. On the flat part of the road, nestled above one hill and just before another giant slope--on that flat in-between area, a dull gray mansion stood, far back from the road surrounded by rough grass and hidden by the wide branches of nearby trees. The house terrified me. When walking down Winterburn alone, I always crossed to the other side rather than go too close. 

It had to be the loveliest street in Greenfield. Well, to my youthful mind it was. Elegant maples lined the sidewalks from the bottom all the way to the top of the sloping, rollicking road. In the fall, I  loved to walk to school, stomping on yellow dried leaves, feeling them crunch under my feet in a satisfying crackle. Autumn and walking along Winterburn Street always brought out curious energies in me.

A feeling of heightened excitement overtook me every October. Perhaps it was generated by the deep blue skies or the red, yellow, and orange leaves all around. I don't know, maybe it was the cooler, crisper air. In any event, October was a time of deep awareness, the kind of luminous perceptions that shot out in sparks--indicating that any moment things could blast out of control. Maybe it was the Halloween thing, when every child's knees knocked in fear of goblins and ghosts coming at the end of the month.

You see, this mansion housed the ghosts of two sisters who had died years ago but still haunted their old home. For as long as I could remember, tales of the evil sisters were told and retold every year at Halloween. Nope, I wasn't going anywhere near that place. The ladies were known to step outside in daylight even, carrying hatchets, ready to make mincemeat out of intruders on their property; which I, incidentally, never intended to be.

You can imagine my trepidation when my brother challenged me to do exactly that one October afternoon. We were walking home and he paused by the wrought iron gate surrounding the grounds.

"Let's cut through here today," he stated.

"Are you kidding?" I asked.

"No. It will save us some time. I want to get home. I have a lot of homework."

He was right, you know. It would save time. The other side of the grounds edged Minnesota St. which met with the alley behind our house. It was a wonderful shortcut, but one I had always avoided. But today, Mom would be angry if I didn't arrive home with my brother, as directed. What was I going to do? 

"Aren't you afraid of the ghosts?" I asked.

"Nah. There's no ghosts there!"

"Yes, there are. Everybody says so." I felt myself growing cold in fear. Things weren't going my way.

"Well, I'm taking this shortcut. You can do whatever you want." With that remark, he pushed open the gate and slipped through. I watched him starting up the walk. He would have to pass by the house to get to the other side where the grounds met Minnesota St. 

I scanned the area taking it all in at once.  If I didn't leave soon, I'd never catch up. My brother was getting farther and farther away. My teeth chattered as I slipped through the gate; I turned toward the mansion and started in that direction.

As the house loomed closer, I cringed at the gray stone walls and spooky, skinny windows. Its black, sloping roof looked like something out of a story book, a scary story book. My brother had gone a distance, and I needed to catch him if I didn't want to make the trip alone. Taking larger and larger steps, soon I broke into a full gallop. What a sight I must have been!

Running, I raced toward him...and the house. A movement at the door! It opened revealing blackness inside. A pale, wrinkled face appeared.  One of the sisters!

"Get off my property!" she screamed. Her dark eyes, glaring with menace, met mine; I cringed at their power.

I flew to the safety of  Minnesota St, propelled by my pounding heart, passing my brother with ease.  I should mention I never took that short cut again, and I was never able to outrun him again either.

A year ago, I returned to Winterburn St. after many years. Alas, the city has cut down all the trees that lined the road; and the mansion--torn down and now an apartment building sits on the property, which now opens up with a proper road to meet Minnesota St. It is all quite civilized, but I'll always wonder what happened to those ghostly wicked sisters.

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

Monday, July 11, 2005

Coffee is the Best Medicine...
The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop...
July 11, 2005

A roar across the room cut our conversation short as all heads turned toward the commotion. I spied a skinny, tall fellow rubbing his hand across his bruised red cheek. Standing nearby, a woman glared at him. They were a study in contrasts--he being tall and sloppy with baggy brown pants and a dingy, white shirt. A plaid clip-on bow tie finished the ensemble. The lady, on the other hand, stood all of five feet tall, and every inch of her clothing was pressed, pleated, bleached a sparkling white where appropriate, and perfectly tailored. Her neat short blond hair must have gotten mussed when she whacked the fellow with a slap on the cheek.

"Oh! Alfred is up to his flirting again," Rose murmured.

"When is he gonna learn to leave Brenda alone?" the big guy added.

"Butch, he'll never learn! He's, you know, Alfred!"

I looked at my muscular friend with a smile. So the big fellow's name was Butch. That sounded right. "What's up with those two?" I asked Rose, nodding toward Alfred and Brenda.

"Oh, honey! You don't want to know," she replied. 

I wondered what Rose meant by that, turning to look at the feuding couple only to find Alfred missing, that is until I noticed him standing next to me.

"Gee, you're pretty," he said.

To be Continued

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A Tragedy.......

I'm certain you will never hear of a tragedy like this again. It is unique and remarkable. The good part is the billowy softness saved many of them.

450 Turkish Sheep Leap to Their Deaths

Friday, July 08, 2005

Coffee is the Best Medicine...
The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop...
July 8, 2005

His bluntness pained me like a sock in the face; but I'm Irish, and let's face it, we Irish know how to charm people. 

"It's been a while since I've seen such a handsome gentleman as yourself," I said.

The red nose flushed to a brighter crimson. "Gee, thanks," he stuttered.

I saw my opportunity to get down to the basic problem. Tilting my head coyly I stated, "I'm new in here. The place is nice." I choked on the last remark, remembering that repulsive restroom.

"Gee, thanks," he replied. "Rose is proud of it."


"Yeah. Rose...over there!" His fat index finger pointed to a waitress a couple feet away. She was pouring coffee with one hand and picking up a used plate with the other.

"Rose owns this place," my new friend continued.

"Do you think I could meet her?" No sooner had the question left my lips than the lady herself arrived, producing a cup which she promptly filled. "Sorry to keep you waiting, Ma'am," she said.

"Rose, this lady really likes your place."

"Ah, honey! That's so sweet! Thank you." Her glittering blue eyes studied me. 

I returned her gaze, liking her plainspoken ways and happy disposition. Perhaps I could talk to Rose about the note in the restroom.

"You're welcome," I replied. "I think I'm going to like coming here." Little did I know how much so that would prove true in the weeks to come.

To be Continued

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Site that Makes Me Feel Better....

I came across a site today that makes me feel better. It's fun...don't get excited or angry now...even though I'm convinced it's true. Personally, it made me feel better to find out I'm not the only one who thinks so...It takes a minute to load -- I think because it is so busy. Here it is:  Tom Cruise is Nuts.

Monday, July 04, 2005


A Poem for Independence Day
in the USA...

To be free
To build my destiny
To work to own property.
To have my singular mind and speak about it.
To worship.
To raise children as I was
in my own unique image.
Spirit-filled existence
like walking about on clouds
challenging myself, always moving forward to sculpt time.
Life rising in a crescendo that speaks my name
and sings my song with pure gusto.
While responsibility stands by to quiet down the celebration
of my life. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Coffee is the Best Medicine...
A Serial...
The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop...

Reaching up with a shaky hand, I placed the envelope back on the towel holder and raced from the tiny restroom. I'm certain I arrived in the dining area breathless with guilt shooting from my eyes. Self-doubt haunted me. Was it right to open that envelope and read the note? 

My insecure half stepped forward from its designated dark corner and spoke. "You have a right to be aware of your surroundings. Besides, maybe the note is a cry for help from someone."

Next, my other half spoke. "Privacy is privacy. You can be certain the note was not intended for you. You shouldn't have read it. End of story." 

Well, maybe it wasn't intended for me, but the message "Help! I think someone might be trying to kill me" spoke for itself.

I took my seat at the counter while searching the room with renewed interest. I wasn't certain of the gender of the note writer, since the restroom was used by all, male and female. Could one of these diners be my person in distress? 

A lively collection of people gathered in the shop this day -- the beautiful, along with the ugly; the old next to the young; the innocent-looking...and the guilty. Could one of these people also be a potential murderer?

The sea of faces offered no clue as I found my gaze resting on the fellow next to me. I noticed his hands first. Big hands, calloused, tanned from the sun, while stirring coffee the shiny spoon looked midget in his grasp. A dingy tan sleeve led the way up his arm to a huge shoulder and finally, his weatherworn face. Lively blue eyes twinkled at me as a smirk formed a tiny curve under his red bulbous nose. When he spoke, the hefty tone of his voice did not match the clown face.

"What are you lookin' at?" he asked.

To be Continued

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski

Friday, July 01, 2005

A Restaurant Named "Toilet"?....

Yahoo posted a photo today showing people in Taiwan eating at a toilet-themed restaurant. The restaurant is called the Martun, which means "toilet" in Chinese. It does a great business. Food arrives in toilets; people sit on toilets. It's a toilet kind of place! I dunno. I think I'd lose my appetite before I even walked through the door. And what if you sit on a toilet seat and your brain switches to automatic and you start to relieve yourself out of habit there at the table? 

Should they really call the restaurant the Toilet? Couldn't they be more refined? Maybe call it the Porcelain Pantry or Tasty Flush or something? Don't even get me started on names for the various house dishes!