Friday, January 30, 2009

Where's Waldo?

Look at that picture, and then marvel at the fact that this is not a scene from a movie. This is a picture from the 2008 Opera Ball in Vienna. You know, where they make sausage (insert your own 'wienie joke here)? The same place!

Who knew they were so classy over there?

Lookit all the little crowns on the ladies! They're all royalty! Isn't it amazing that a place that exports vaguely meaty tubes of sausage could support that many princesses? It might be, however, that they're not Princesses at all and are instead just Duchesses or whatever pretending to be princesses, and they're being paraded around by the betux-d gents in front of the Prince, who will pick one of them (in her ball gown/wedding dress combo outfit, how convenient!) to be his bride, thereby making her a Princess. Perhaps she'll get a fabulous NEW crown, with hundreds of glittering hotdog-shaped Swarovski crystals.

I don't know how the Prince is going to do it though, because they all kind of look the same. Same dress (basically), same hair (just about), same gloves (which is probably no surprise given that there are likely very few glovemakers left on earth and how much zing can you work into long satin gloves?), smile, and arm position! There's not a hot chick in a little red dress among them, and certainly none of them are gowned in a frocks made by birds and mice, because THAT one is pink and has bows, as we all know.

And hey, what if the unseen Prince is gay? All that pomp and circumstance wasted when all he's doing is staring at the guy with the beard wondering what he'd look like in assless leather chaps. Pretty soon he'd be bursting out in songs of his hairy-man passion, and his Dad would have to shush him, and Prince Lancelot would come bursting into the hall waving about an gigantic sword thereby lopping off the heads of anyone unfortunate enough to be in the path of certain doom, and...

Wait, that's another movie entirely, isn't it?

Anyhow. This is a rather decadent occasion for a place that's sole claim to fame is processed tubular meats, don't you think? And they even say it's an Opera ball, but I don't see any chubby ladies in bustiers in that conga line being presented to the possibly gay Prince, and certainly those fey lil' tiaras do not in any way resemble horn-bedecked helmets, so this must be a really sucky opera, is what I'm thinking.

Some people just do not get it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I have an idea.

I have a great idea, and once again it involves YOU, dear people who don't know any better than to read this blog. My idea is this:

Everybody give me 10 dollars a day just for being alive.

That's right, you heard me - ten bucks a day. It's not much. You can afford it. It's the price of a pack of diapers, or a bottle of wine, or Grandad's heart meds.

However, if you're a victim of the current credit crunch or perhaps today's the day your crotchfruit needs some buttswaddlers, today only you can purchase 2 days worth of support for the same low price of 10 dollars! Two days! Cheap at twice the price.

AND, if you commit in the next 20 minutes, I'll throw in an opportunity to buy me lunch at a yet-to-be-named date. Lunch! With me! You pay!


Sign up in the comments.


Boy, I expect THAT'LL bring them out of the woodwork like Disney lemmings to the ocean. All those rubes out there, waiting to support a well-fed arteest like myself. Why, it'll be grand, keeping those maroons on a string, waiting for the next big thing to come flowing forth from my fingertips. Oh boy - they'll just BEG to take what I write and shop it around to lit mags and underground humor sites just for the CHANCE to say they had a part of my sudden spurt from nowhere to the top of the global famestage.

Heh - and while that cash is piling up in heaps around the Tiny House, I'll be off pillaging great ideas from other people, massaging them gently into a thing of my own creation (jut enough to avoid outright plagiarization if the idea happens to be the sole and exclusive property of the originator), and chucking them over the fence to the slavishly awaiting and highly supportive public, just like Andy Warhol did.

Man, I need to go buy some cheap wigs and bad sunglasses.

This? Is going to be great.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January Wordsmith's Speed Challenge

One small thing


Down the dirt path back of the barn and over the hill, in a little glen by the side of Lick Creek was the place I spent much of the summers of my youth. Country life is a busy life in the mornings, but once the milking was done, the milk scalded and put up to cool, the butter churned, the chickens fed, the laundry hung to dry, and the breakfast dishes wiped and put away, there wasn’t much to do ‘til dinnertime, and so I’d wander down to the one cool place on all the prairie and spend long hours there in the quiet of overhanging willows.

It’s possible to have a personal relationship with nature, if you spend enough time getting to know one place, the small secret corners and wide-open obviousness. It got so I’d know how much rain we’d had the night before from the smell of the stream as it slid past. It rained every single night back then, not like nowadays when rain comes down any old time. Lots of things have changed since then.

Back then there were amazing critters you don’t see anymore. As a girl I watched megachigs and uberants digging holes the size of dinner plates into the damp streambanks, looking for food or something to fight. One summer I caught a furmoth. His silken fur shone, his gleaming eyes glittered my reflection as I stroked his head. His burly legs were elephantine, his back broad as a pig’s. His long tongue would curl out between the cage bars, touching my hands when I brought melons for dinner.

That summer I tamed him and we started flying. The first attempts were shaky and short, but soon he was carrying me over miles of fields, swooping low and brushing the tops of the corn with our feet, spraying pollen every which way. We were free as birds, or, I suppose, moths.

One latesummer day we set out to find the edge of the vast Halfdome that covered our sky and protected our world from The Nothing. Over many hours of flying, the land turned from farm to desert, then to black rock. Dreadful excitement throbbed in my head as we got close enough to touch it. The sea-deep glass was so cold it made me scream, which spooked my poor mount. His wings clattered on the Dome. There was a chinking sound, followed by the smell of stars coming through the tiny crack he’d made. My blood ran cold, icy dread swamped my bowels. A crack in the Dome! This was beyond horrific. My mind spun as I kicked the furmoth’s sides, flying home fast full of desperate fear. Once home, I told no-one of what had occurred, hoping fiercely that everything would be fine. Just one tiny crack, how bad could it be? Nothing please change because of one small crack, I prayed. Please let everything be fine.

That night, there was no rain. Nothing’s been the same since then.


For the Wordsmiths.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What it is is NOT a story

Hey y'all - fine work on yesterday's one-liner story! Woot! You took Sadie on quite the adventure, di'int you? Why, it took 30 or so comments before even a whiff of zombie bestenched the tale. That's some KIND of self-control, and you are to be congratulated.

Today I was going to turn the writing responsibilities right around (doin' a 540, as it were) and post a story I wrote for the January Wordsmiths Speed challenge (see over there to the right for a cool-ass button that will blip you through the intertubez right OVER to the site for more info) but something tells me I need to wait, re-read it, tweak it so that I'm not foreshadowing the everliving SNOT out of the twist, and then post it.

Instead then I will tell you how disappointed I am in the Universe right now. Yes, disappointed. It is, after all, THIS universe that has shrugged onto my existence not one, but TWO mealy apples in the past 2 days. TWO! Ew!

Man, I love me some good crisp juicy apples, the snappy report of that first bite as teeth pierce taut flesh, the drips of sweetness sliding over lips and down the throat, the military crunch of chewing, like a squadron of boots on cold gravel.

Did I get these things today or yesterday? No, no I did not. Today the first bite was a disappointing 'thwip' followed by a mouthful of barely-damp suede. The individual CELLS of that apple could be felt rubbing against one another, the collegial cohesiveness of a good ripe fruit displaced by disgruntled elbow-poking of bickering brothers. Bleah.

Yesterday's apple was worse, and though I soldiered on through a 'round' of bites along the fruits' presumed equator, I could not go further. They were drying out my mouth, making my teeth nervous, irritating my frontal lobes, and letting down my limbic system. Eating an apple should be sensual, robust, invigorating, but it felt like I was chewing my way through two sulky groupies of a third-rate rock band - bitterly begrudging, barely tolerable.

Well, to heck with THAT, I say! I want FIRST order rock band groupie apples from now on! No, wait! Forget the daggone groupies, I want the band THEMSELVES, all flashy and full of it, screaming choruses and soaring notes, man. I want the Steven Freaking TYLER of apples!

Just hold the hair and scarves, if you don't mind. I have enough of them for BOTH my apple and me.


Which rock star would YOUR apple be, eh?

And have a wonderful afternoon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The one in which I ask every single person who reads this post to comment.

That right friends – I’m talking about YOU. Comment, daggone it! I'm feeling lonely over here!

To get the ball rolling, I’m going to steal an idea I heard about over the weekend: A one-sentence story!

Yes, you get to be part of a writing experiment, right down there in the comment section. It will be my pleasure to start, and all y’all in your turn can write one sentence to keep the story a-going. Fun, eh?

It’s all I have time for today. I’ve spent my allotted post-writing time on Facebook, which is a shame because after looking through gobs of pictures on my HS reunion page, I realize that my perception of not being popular back then is true because I am not in a SINGLE photo posted thereon, most of which are from proms and shit which I did not attend, nor the parties that apparently were being held every weekend. Thirty years later, and I’m feeling awkward and oafish all over again. Thanks Facebook. Thanks a whole whopping LOT.

Now make me feel better and leave a comment.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Yowza, splendiferous!

A math question:

If I would take plaid over polka dots,

Paisley over floral prints,

Solids over any pattern,

And stripes over plaid,

In which column would you place Bobby?


Got out of work last night at about 7 after a 3.5-hour review meeting on just ONE of the 7 documents I’m writing up for a looming submission deadline.

One 38-page document. Three and a half hours. There are simply no words to describe just how heavy my heart is over this, except to say that I have another meeting scheduled this afternoon to talk some MORE about that item plus the other 6 we didn’t get to yesterday.

The life of a medical writer is a fat load of dookey at times. However, it beats the living snot out of the following jobs:

- Elephant house maintenance worker
- Day care provider
- Any member of the staff at Golden Corral
- Car salesman
- Telecenter rep at a collections agency
- Chicken plucker

Or just about any other job that would require me to 1) get up early, 2) punch a time clock, 3) be physically present on site 100% of the time, or 4) give up access to the internet at work.

Yeah, this writerly gig can be soul-crushing at times, but as I sit in my cushy chair with the sunshine coming in through the hole I knocked in my cube wall, I know I have it better than about 99.8% of the earth’s population.

Which brings me to something else in rather a roundabout way... It's this: A few weeks back I became a Godmother to two kids in a rather unusual manner.

Through adoption.

See, our church is getting involved in Lemonade International a organization focused on helping the families who live in one of the very worst slums in Guatemala City. There are thousands of families living in tin shacks perched on the slopes of a ravine, with no electricity or running water or many of the niceties that make life pleasant. There are thousands of children there who have no access to doctors, dentists, or schools. Lemonade International has identified just ONE neighborhood of this vast barrio, called “La Limonada” (get it? Lemonade? Cleh-vur!) as a starting point for aid. They’ve put up schools to which the kids FLOCK to learn about regular school stuff but also about life skills, living a healthy life, how to negotiate a culture of gangs and sexual predators, and what it’s like to be loved by someone. They provide many other services to assist those kids in those awful conditions as well.

To see the pictures of these kids on the website, so young and hopeful, is to fall in love with them.

Thirty bucks a month is what it takes to sponsor a child. That's it! Cheap enough, so we took 2. That’s equivalent to 2 ‘pizza nights’ a month we might not get to have, or 1 trip to the movies, or a bottle of good bourbon we don’t buy in order to sponsor 2 kids who have so very little that even a new toothbrush is a big thing. So, for Daniel (14) and Alicia (11), our little “guacamoleans,” we sacrifice something small so they can receive something big – a future.

Supporting Lemonade International isn’t specific to just our church – anyone can do it. There are lots of kids down there who still need help. Once the target market (so to speak) is fully addressed, more neighborhoods will be added to Lemonade International’s scope. One small step at a time will get them to their goal of servicing the tremendous need present in La Limonada…and you can help if you feel ready. You can pick a kid, sign up to sponsor them, and begin building a relationship with someone for whom your pocket change means the world.

Think about it, won’t you?

And have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Mind like Dopey. Also like Baby Huey. Remember him? Hardly a thought in his head...nice empty space for living on.

I need the empty head.

Tonight is a night to forget that I have responsibilities, and just go watch Looney Tunes for about three half-hours, or until my toes uncurl. We're partway there with the smell of roasting chicken and 'taters in the oven, the sound of kids playing nicely in their room, the practicing of a bass guitar in prep for gigs this weekend over in the bedroom, and the tippy-typing of fingers on a keyboard making nothing more serious from their efforts than a short post about how nice it is to tune right he fuck OUT sometimes, letting the pressure of whatever it is that bugged you during daylight hours fade to black.

Tomorrow insists on being another day. I don't know - I could take a few more 'tonights' as insurance against what I know will be my 'tomorrow.'

I'm just saying, is all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow day

There is, as I'm sure you must know by now because it's the TALK OF THE TOWN, snow in the Triangle.

Lots of snow, by which I mean to say at least 2 inches. Everybody panic! Close the worksite, cancel school, bar the doors! Then everybody head to the local hardware store, buy some overpriced plastic slide-upons, tromp to the nearest town park, and have a freakin' ball sledding, getting cold cheeks and toes and fingers, breathing the crisp wet air, knocking people over who can't seem to get out of the way at the bottom of the sled run (and why would thay? It never frigging SNOWS here so they don't know about sledding-hill etiquette), and brushing globs of crusty snow from fleece pants and hoodliners.

Ah, snow, the biannual treat.

After sledding, why not then clomp back inside, brew up some hot chocolate, take a nice warm bath, eat some steaming soup, and wait until the sledding clothes dry out enough to put them BACK on and do it all over agian?

Oh, and watch the inauguration re-runs on YouTube. Yup - gotta LOVE a snow day.


This is indeed a momentous day, not only for the snow, but for that inauguration. While the new president was not my first choice as candidate (having voted for the current Secratary of State in the primary), I have high hopes that the nouveau pragmatism of the Cabinet and other appointed leaderships will pay out in the form of sensible government, increased fiscal responsibility, movement toward lasting world peace, and a chicken in every pot.

You get the idea.

(Side note: I'm really glad that ol' "Shoot 'em in the face!" Cheney is outta there. One day I'd like to know just how much power he really had in the White House, and what post-mortem W would put on his Veep activities while in office. That man, at least to me, is wrapped in powerful shadows... )

So here were are on the day of the inauguration of the this nation's first mixed-race (at least as far as we know, though Lincoln was rather a swarthy fellow, wasn't he?) president. As long as W doesn't try to poison the rice pudding at lunch today, things should be off to a decent start.

Here's hoping.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Losing it

It's time for a burden-dumping. Please forgive me. I feel it's necessary if I'm going to make any go of dropping my extra weight. Everyone who struggles with their weight has this post in them, I think; each person who WISHES they were thinner has a reason for the wish.

My wish is selfish, shallow, horrific in its self-centeredness, but it is my driving force at this point.

The reason I want to be skinner is not that I want to be healthier. It's not to fit into clothing that is threatening to become too small for me. It's not that physical, if you can pardon the pun.

The real reason I want to lose some weight more ephemeral: it's so the first thing people use to describe me isn't "chunky." In all honesty, I don't really KNOW if people use 'chunky' to describe me, but I've seen the pictures, and I would use that term, or go so far as to say 'fat.' It's not the me I see in my mind's eye though; that woman is 20 years younger (a difficult enough blow to reconcile with what's in the mirror) and 50 pounds lighter (at least) than the me of any recent photo.

A little history: All through high school and college I weighed around 145 pounds and was a size 10/12. At my thinnest ever, I weighed 138 pounds and could squeeze into a size 8. I think it's important to note is that I am 5'10", and according to charts of frame size my wrist circumference and elbow width would put me as a 'large'). Therefore, hanging 138 pounds off a tall dense framework equated to being very thin indeed.

It was glorious. I was THIN! I was skinny as a reed, wispy and lean, I was tiny around the middle with an ass the size of two grapefruits (or perhaps nonexistent, if my brother's long-ago question of "where'd your BUTT go?" is correctly remembered). I was in CHARGE of my body with my diets and my 2-hour workouts, they made it so I could see my skeleton, made it so that my hipbones jutted out beyond my belly, that you could almost see the BACK of my clavicles.

In the pictures of me at that time, I looked spectacular, disco thin, coke addict skinny, all eyes and cheekbones and glamorous angles.

This should have made me happy, but I took only twisted pride in how I looked. The skinnyness demanded (wrongly, of course) that I compare myself with every woman around me. I could not let any ONE of them beat me at the appearance game, even my best friends who I love dearly to this day. It was a game played in a very shallow pit of dark slippery egotism. No matter what skin I put on (depending on my current boyfriend, which is also as crying shame) I had to be comparing myself with the other females of the group. Had to be 'the best,' which equated to 'having the best (idealized, and totally in my head) body.'

It was exhausting, but hey, I looked hot and could get just about any man I wanted, but please don't take my picture because I'm not skinny enough yet and there's this ounce of fat on my thighs that simply must go but they're almost to the point of not touching when I stand with my ankles together and then maybe then I'll be happy with my body, so just wait until then, OK?

Sick, yes? Spending all that time comparing myself with other people who didn't even know they were my enemy and couldn't give two figs about me anyhow because they were off having their own lives that didn't include some shallow-headed skinny bitch like me glowering in self-loathing in a dark corner of her own mind.

And yet....that body was hot. I'd like to get back to somewhere in that neighborhood, so that I can drop the 'chubby' from the adjectival roster of terminology people can use to describe me. In my head I'm not fat. The photos prove otherwise, unfortunately.

The 25 pounds I told myself I'd lose will get me noplace NEAR that skinny bitchdom of yore, but neither am I in the place mentally where I need to compare myself to other women. I'm too old, too self-aware, too lived-in for that. This then becomes is a race for myself. Can I do this thing, tip over the edge of trying to control my body again without face-planting into the chasm of self-obsession? Can I just take this one little step without having it take over my life, to prove I'm more mature than that monorail mindset girl I used to be, to do this for MYSELF, for once, to present the me I think I am to the world instead of hiding behind 50 extra pounds that I pretend don't matter?

I should damned well hope so. And when I do, I'm putting on that wedding dress again and taking some better photos. I am just shallow enough for THAT.


Hey, this could be like my personal "I have a Dream" speech. Happy birthday-ish day, MLK. The world still misses you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

December Wordsmiths

I dream of Djinnie


Isn’t it just something, the way the light sparkles through it? I remember the day Pap brought that jar home, corked tight against a cold driving rain. A sailor down the docks had given it to him for the packet of meat Pap’d just bought in exchange for Mam’s butter money, and wasn’t it fine?

Mam glowered at him, the firelight casting shadows in the hollows of her cheeks. Mam wasn’t a fan of Pap’s deals, and this one was the worst. He was a dreamer, Pap was. He told Mam that this time he was sure his jar was worth every penny twice over of the meat he’d traded, and that we could eat leek and taters for a week until she made more butter to trade.

The glint in her eye was fierce indeed.

Pap was excited, and not much could contain him when he got like that. He told us the sailor said the jar held a djinn and that if we popped the cork on that jar it would shoot out jammering and granting wishes like crazy.

None of us kids were much on imagination, being that hunger will take that from a person quicker than a beating will, but something about Pap this night was infectious. Soon we were shouting out our wishes, how wouldn’t it be wonderful for Mam to have a new dress, and one for the baby too before we buried her, and how Pap could get that pipe back from the pawner. We kept the jar corked while our dreams flew, and our hopes warmed us as the fire died.

The next morning that jar was in the window, shining grand. Mam said we were not to open it, for our needs were not yet great enough for a spirit from the east. So, we used our newfound imaginations, got the baby a dress from the dollmaker’s trash, buried her ourselves in the churchyard near a spindly yew, and set about to making our wishes real on our own.

Mam and Pap and us made do for years without opening the djinn jar. Pap got a job, Mam got too old to have more babies, we bought our own cow and chickens. The need to uncork that jar just about died over time.

The night Pap was pitched over the dock by a storm wave though, was the night we finally picked the jar off the shelf. Mam twisted the cork open, we were eager to wish Pap back, but all that came out was a musty smell.

Djinns, clearly, don’t take kindly to waiting. It was gone, and so then was our Pap.

We grieved, but don’t you know those years of boostrapping had taught us that making your own dreams come true is pretty powerful stuff. We kept that jar to remind us of Pap, and kept on making the best of things.

Nowadays, that djinn jar is full of our family’s dreams. They’re what make it sparkle so.


For the Wordsmiths.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is there a point to all this? Why yes, it's called FUTILITY

Anyone else stunned by that plane crash yesterday? Amazing that everybody survived; the picture of the passengers standing on the wings of the plane as it slowly sank into the Husdon gave me chills. Can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like, waiting for the ferries to come.

Also, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be this guy. People, that there is 8 different kinds of crazy!

Oh hay - in case you were totally like hanging out here scoping out the blog for my edition of the Wordsmiths story for the December challenge, I have an announcement that may give you a few precious moments of you day back that you might have spent clicking back here over and over again like a trained monkey waiting for a banana slice: The story will be up later today. See, I decided to not hate the ‘dead baby’ story so much (which is not really what the story is about, honest), but it’s on the home computer and I’m at work, and it needs a tiny bit of editing (if by tiny you mean 'get out the hacksaw and bite the stick') before I post it here lest I die of shame at its choppiness and sophomoric style.

No, really. I might normally use this blog to post about farts and crazy people, but I’m actually at this moment concerned that my ‘real’ writing won’t hold up to scrutiny. Does that even make any sense? Hey man, I’m a Gemini, I can do stuff like that and get away with it! All y’all Pisces and whatnot can just take a step back from your sniggering at my duality, because I know you’re just white-hot jealous of my ability to be completely and totally unreliable, OCD one moment and utterly lassiez faire the next, a procrastinating perfectionist of the utmost proportion. It’s what I do, it’s who I am, it’s how I roll, all wobbly-wise like a hard-boiled egg on the Hot Wheels track of life.

You’re thinking of that now, aren’t you?

Then my work here is done. Y’all have a terrific afternoon, and check back later for Ye Olde Wordsmithss Storey, won’t you? I have GOT to get back to work.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What I like about ‘U’

The other day my good friend and all-around spectacular gal No Celery Please (what an odd name!) had this post up where she named 10 things she liked about things that start with a letter of the alphabet she was assigned by Evil Twin’s Wife (again, what’s with the funny monikers?), and then invited people to play along.

I, like the lemming I am, volunteered to do just that, not KNOWING at the time how the letters would be assigned, and just how difficult my task might be.

NCP, bless her insightful mind, knows I am a woman of small brain, and so she took mercy on me by assigning me the twelfth letter in my comment, which was ‘U’. (No, I don’t get it either, but hey, she’s some kind of mental whiz and so it’s best to NOT tempt that particular goddess, lest she unleashes a cranial smack-down on you in the comments, making you cry with frustration at your inability to craft wit, insight, and scorn in a terse bon mot like she.)

Therefore, by way of compliant compliance, we go now to the list of things I like/love/have an unholy fondness for that should be treated with medication:

1) Uvula – say it many times in a row. It’s fun! I love my uvula so much that a couple of years ago, when there was talk of having my uvula OBLITERATED SURGICALLY to perhaps cure my wee snoring/sleep apnea issue, I said OHNo (that’s short for ‘oh hell no’ BTW)! I couldn’t imagine my lil’ flappy uvula being dissected from its friend-with-benefits the soft palate and winding up as an unidentifiable glob of tissue on some hospital Chux waiting to be incinerated with the rest of the biohazardous materials. My uvula is NOT biohazardous!

2) Unguents – Mmm, magical healing salves and ointments. Sometimes including human fat. Deelish!

3) Ungulates – Mmm, tasty tasty Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, Tubulidentata, Hyracoidea, Sirenia, and Proboscidea, commonly known members of which are the horse, zebra, donkey, cattle/bison, rhinoceros, camel, hippopotamus, goat, pig, sheep, giraffe, okapi, moose, deer, tapir, antelope, and gazelle. Note: I have sampled only 5 of these, an horrific oversight on my part, I know, but the Food Lion doesn't carry much zebra anymore

4) Umlaut – crazy little double-dotted pronounciation thingie! Who doesn’t love a good umlaut?

5) Ultimatum (plural? Ultimata!) - one of the best things to come out of being a parent is the ability to issue these at frequent and random intervals. I’m partial to Bedtime! and That is IT!

6) Umbel – think Queen Anne’s lace. When I was a kid the field behind our house was thick with these, milkweed, and thistle. I’d pick bouquets of flowers, pull the downy seeds from the milkweeds pods, and admire the purple thistle-tops from afar. Even now I can smell that field on a warm summer day, hear the buzz of insects, catch the vague sound of cars on the nearby 2-lane road, and remember what it was like to have nothing better to do that sit amongst the wildflowers for hours at a time.

7) Uncle – esp my Uncle Werner when I was a kid. He was the really goofy one. I had one uncle I didn’t much care for, but by and large they were all pretty daggone cool. As of last November, they are all gone.

8) Universe – this is a gimme. Something that never ends? Something that was created in an instant and is bigger than imagination? Something that’s held together by invisible dark matter? Something that might have innumerable TWINS beyond the reach of its fringes or contained within it? Please. That shizz is right up my metaphysical alley.

9) Utopia – which, in my case, would be some hippy commune where everyone works to create a craft or foodstuff or service that would be mutually beneficial to the whole group, such that I, as their Mistress, could sit back on my throne of naked underlings and issue ultimata day in and day out.

10) Usquebaugh – look it up. Heh.

AND AS IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH! Here’s another new word that you might actually use someday in idle conversation with the neighbor while you’re having a cup of Earl Gray and lamenting about rose blight:


(NOO-ston, NYOO-)

noun: The aggregate of minute aquatic organisms that inhabit the surface of a body of water.


Y'all have a great day, and if you'd like ME to assign U a LTR for to as ANSWR those 10 KWSTNS, let me know in the CMNTS, MK?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's 930. No, there are no cookies for YOU.

Guess what I’m going to do today instead of posting any one of the 3 Wordsmiths stories I’ve written, all of which I kind of hate and so might write another one because damn, if I hate it then what will y’all think? I mean, really, one was about how Monty Hall rigged “Let’s Make a Deal,” one was about a group of virgins sacrificing dogs so their house wouldn’t be invaded by evil beings, and one was about genies and DEAD BABIES. Gah! Is there any one of those 3 that are even remotely interesting? Second problem: They took too many words to set up, so then I’m left with 150 words to actually write the story, and so there’s floundering and some pouting, perhaps some grinding of teeth because I LOVE AL THOSE WORDS and feel they must absolutely stay.

I hear you saying "editing is so cathartic"! I ask you though, how can one edit a dead baby, or she-dogs in heat who are having their life essences sucked from them, or a mathematician who has conquered the Monty Hall Problem? I say you cannot, and so I have trashed the stories (except maybe the dead baby one, because that actually TELLS A STORY instead of describing a scene, which isn’t really storytelling).

Grrrr. I have the flaccid anger of the frustrated wannabe amateur writer on me.

So, instead of posting a lame-ass story that I also happen to now hate with the fire of a thousand sunspots, I shall answer Grant’s questions, even though he didn’t submit them on the proper day, for when I am down in the dumps and feeling troubled, there’s nothing like spewing out factoids and opinions to make me feel smart and capable.

Happily, the first of Grant’s questions directly reflects my current writing situation:

What sort of situation do you think can best be described as "stabby stabby joy joy"?

FIRST ANSWER: writing a short piece of fiction that in my head sounds like a great idea but on paper stalls out like an airplane with insufficient lift (aeronautics similes, a specialty here at NAY). The stabby bit is ameliorated only by pressing the ‘delete’ button, which as you would expect happens to be the ‘joy joy’ bit.

SECOND ANSWER: When some douchenozzle on the highway thinks that every single damn lane is theirs to careen in and out of, thereby endangering everyone else on the road (the stabby bit), only to skid out at high speed on an unexpected turn, sending their airfoiled loud-mufflered piece of shit car on a flipping bouncing crash smack into a Jersey barrier, at which point their car bursts into a fireball of cinematic proportion just as the driver escapes and is forced to watch their bass-thumping go-fast mobile melt into a puddle of wasted dollars and hot remorse. Then the cops come and arrest them. Yay! Schadenfreude! Joy joy!

Also, who is the hottest Asian babe on the planet (post a pic with your answer) (google "Ebi-chan" if you get stuck)?

Ah Grant, you have such a narrow view of 'Asian.' Do you forget that India is also considered to be an Asian country? Have you not expanded your roving eye’s range to include that vast subcontinent of flash and color, hot spices and many-armed goddesses? For if you had, you may well have encountered Aishwarya Rai, possibly the most gorgeous woman on the face of this planet and perhaps several others. Look upon her, and tell me she is not bedable beyond belief:

Go on, TELL ME.

Note: At some point either she ditched the brown contacts she wore in earlier acting/modelling, or she’s started wearing these awesome green contacts that of course set her apart from the majority of the rest of the Bollywood stable of talent, but hey, either way man, I’d trade places with her in a minute for a day. I’m sure she’d enjoy being a middle-aged chubby woman with a desk job, mortgage, family, itchy dog, two warring cats, and enough home remodelling projects to make Bob Vila pop a Woodrow.

I mean, who WOULDN’T?


Y'all have a fantastic day. I'm off to do in 6 hours what I should have been doing the last week or so. Procrastination is my hot-headed beelzebuddy, ain't it a shame?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Odds! Ends! Answers!

Hay y'all - didja miss me? Didja notice I didn't post yesterday? Was anyone wondering if I'd fallen into a ditch on the way to work or was captured by a marauding band of swarthy/sexy pirates and made to do their naughty bidding or maybe was waylaid by a film director who saw me on the street and simpy HAD to have me shoot a test scene for his lastest film that stars a slightly pudgy middle-aged woman with terrific hair who enters a beauty contest for women half her age and winds up winning because her awesome talent of simultaneously picking her nose and whistling Dixie wowed the judges into complete and total adoration?


You lack imagination then. And perhaps interest in my well-being.

And yet, despite my extraordinary disappointment at not having received a barrage of entreaties as to my whereabouts, I shall maintain my general oeuvre of magnanimity and post today, answering questions from curious folk who ought to know better than to ask anything of me than to be the fanTAStic paragon of awesome that I am.

So. Exhausting.

Herewith, and closing out the category, the down n' dirty version of Tiff Q and A:

Deborah wants to know….Presuming, for the moment, that you aspire to be food and if you could only be one or the other, which?

peanut butter or jelly? Peanut butter! Crammed with fat, salt, sugar, and PROTEIN, plus it makes little kids cough and wheeze, what’s not to like? Mmm, dangerous deliciousness.

Red beans or rice? Beans. It’s a fart thing.

Steak or potatoes? I’d have to go for the steak on this one, being as how it came from a cow and cows are lovely and they get to graze a lot and nobody cares how fat they are and maybe they live someplace where children come by to feed them the luscious stalks of grass that are just out of neck’s reach beyond the fenceline. Cows are wonderful creatures and have a tremendous life until they’re crammed in a boxcar, driven thousands of miles to a filthy holding pen, are shoved down a chute where someone shoots an IRON BOLT into their heads, flays them, spills their guts onto a cement floor, and chops them up into meatybits. Not so bad! Beats being a potato, who never get children to feed them, and who miss out on the horror of the slaughterhouse floor. Such a dull life.

Renny McRennerson would like to know: Which "earworm" song tortures you the most? How do you get rid of it?If I only Had A Brain” from the Wizard of Oz. I am not even going to link to it, such is the power of its earwormyness. Of course, the ONLY way to get rid of this song, as for most other earworms, is to give it to someone else.

Like I just did to you. You’re welcome.

What song, regardless of circumstance, never fails to lift you out of a bad mood? “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from “Oklahoma.” I do not know why, perhaps it’s because I imagine Gordon MacCrae on horseback ambling through tall fields of corn on a bright summer day, all kitted out fancy in his cowboy duds with never a care in the World. He hasn’t yet fallen for what’sher’face, who is all prim and pretty and neat and just about everything I am not for which I dislike her monstrously, and more importantly he doesn’t yet know about Jud, who pretty much ruins EVERYTHING. Ah, the sweet optimism a glorious bright summer’s day can engender.

What's your secret (cheesy, awful, over the top) favorite song? Erm…lately it’s Reliant K’s “In Like a Lion.” It’s so daggone PRETTY, and it’s all poem-y, and there’s a message, and what could be better than that, except that it’s kinda smarmy maybe in between the pretty and the messagey-ness of it but I do NOT care. I like it. If not that, then I’d go to another show tune – “One” from “A Chorus Line.” I think this rates as totally over-the-top, but man, it still gives me shivers. I’m such a Broadway Baby!!

Lastly, here’s a couple from Farrago the Magnificent (as he told me to call him) - I'll ask you the same question I asked scarletvirago when she posted this open-ended meme:

Spit or Swallow
? I like swallows better. Spit just sits there, and swallows can FLY!

Read between the lines, dearies.

And a new one: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? A s many pancakes as it takes to shingle a doghouse. Duh!


Phewf. THAT'S over. All that thinking gets me tired out and vaguely faint-y, like maybe I need a drink to revive my spirits, but NOoOOOOoo, no drinks for Tiff, being as how that's part of her Shrinking Piggies weight loss plan, which you'll be able to read about here once I get it posted.

The good news is that by almost doing NOTHING to lose weight last week I dropped 2 pounds! Yay! The bad news is that other Piggies have dropped as much as 5 POUNDS in one week alone. Boo! Daggone show-offs, making me get all serious about meeting my goal and having to give up LIQUOR 4 days a week. Hrmph.


Y'all have a wonderful day. I'll just be over here massaging the cramps out of my thighs that I got as a result of walking three or so miles this morning. Stupid, stupid weight loss plan - I SHALL BEAT YOU!!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Rounding out a dozen, with more to come

I was going to post one of my two Wordsmiths stories today, but they're not done yet. I keep finding stupid little things (read: great big gaps in storyline) in each, and one of them keeps turning out all wrong, so I'm not posting them yet.

Thank goodness for YOU then, dear internetly friends, for there are yet questions to answer, your hunger for insight into Tiff to sate, my ego to stroke, oh yes. My ego likes the stroking, does yours?


Tracy Lynn saith thusly: I'm not great at this, but what is one thing that you think is totally overrated and yet everyone else loves? Whole wheat pasta. "Lost." iPhones. Most mega-blogs (though I'm loving Crazy Aunt Purl lately because she turned off her comments. I guess a few HUNDRED a day on a catblog post got to be a touch too much?). Texting. The Jonas Brothers. Morning News Shows. Cherry-flavored Hershey's Kisses. I could go on....but that would just serve to further highlight how out-of-step I am with the general populace, which you already know, so hey redundancy! Get off my lawn!

Mojo wants to know: And about that nymphomaniac question Ron asked... know any closer to home? And ibid on the rest of that line of questioning...
(And no, the crazy neighbor with the porn couch doesn't count 'cause I heard she's relocated to somewhere that's else now).

Ah, but Mojo, she has not. Saw her last night AAMOF, right across the street. She showed us her mug shot (she photographs better than she looks, the bitch), explained her entire current life circumstances, and was crawling all over some poor sweet young boy brought in from across that tracks to satiate her burnin' loins. That guy had NO CHANCE, I'm telling you! He looked like a paralyzed deer in from of a fleet of semis, his future certain to be a heady mix of fear and white-hot passion. I could give her your number if you want, but I'd suggest you purchase a couple of steel-belted condoms before considering any shenanigans. Apparently she's got her a powerful man-hunger.

Evil Twin's Wife, the charmer of the interwebz, has two questions for lil 'ol Tiff, and they are as follows:

Q: How many years have you been a Northern transplant to the South, and do you like it?

Considering that I spent the years between 11 and 29 south of the Mason-Dixon line, I really do think of myself as more a Southerner than much else. The 15 years I spent in CT were wonderful, and of course my childhood in NY was perfectly dreamlike, but they weren't the 'formative' years. Anyhow. It's been almost 4 years since I moved back south, and I love love love it. The weather is great (though I'm not all about fleas and ticks, blast their chitinous husks), the people are generally polite (I adore being called 'honey' by strangers), and the smell of pine forests in the heat of a summer afternoon is something I would have PAID for when up north.

Q. What is your dream vacation or have you already been on it?

Because I'm guessing that saying 'the rest of my life off work' won't qualify as a dream vacation (though certainly it is most dreamlike), I'd have to say that anything OVER a week in a warm place with plenty of friends, family, and booze would do it. It's been a very long time indeed since I spent more than a week away from work and other obligations; and a week ain't really cuttin' it anymore now that I'm a responsible adult and have to do things like 'plan the trip' and 'pack' and stuff. The quick weekend trip to Florida last November could have been so much more enjoyable with about 8 more days of vacation tacked on. I like lazy vacations - no running around having to sightsee or visit people or whatever, no agenda, nothing more than a comfy place to plop our stuff before heading down to some body of water or another to do....whatever we want. Yeah, that sounds niiiiiice.


There are more answers to come, but not now. Now I shall tell you that the Shrinking Piggies are HOPPING with activity. Four posts yesterday alone! Why, in those four posts I'm sure you can find something suitable for framing, or at the very least appropriate to apply to your life, should you be interested in dropping a little extra 'you' in aught nine. Plus which, there are commandments, of the type one might actually be able to follow on a daily basis. Now who wouldn't like that, I ask?


Lastly, y'all be sure to have a good day. Come back this weekend, because there might be some fictiony chit all up around in here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Answers, answers, 5 cents a dozen.

So, the questions. Many, many questions for y'all, dear commenters. So very many that they will be answered in a cuple-few posts, which is kind of nice for me because it’s insta-blogfodder, but maybe not so good for you because I know you’re hungry for information all things Tiff; however, te receipt of too much detail about me and my fabulous life might make your head go boom with jealousy and I will not be party to envy-induced unintentional suicide, so THERE. I save you from yourselves! I rule!

Right then.

Let’s begin with a few soft lobs from my buddy Kenju, who was party to the nuptual shenanigans (no, not THAT kind, Ron!) this weekend and is STILL curious as to some of the items surrounding my newly hitched state. So, lemme see if I can bat the answers out of the park (closing the loop on my first metaphor of the day, yay!); here goes:

1. How's married life now? I didn’t think getting married would change anything, but it did in that I now have to say ‘husband’ (instead of 'cootchie-snookums,' his unofficial former title), there’s this official-looking document legalizing our relationship in the eyes of our local government, and there's a ring on 'that' finger that I keep messing with. Aside from those few things, life proceeds apace, with the same enjoyment and challenges as there were a week ago, only this time with more 'lifetime commitment' sprinkled on.

2. What's next in the renovation schedule for the Tiny House? A new kitchen! Woo-hoo! This project has already been started, what with the destruction of an odd brick wall that was built over toppa the old fireplace/chimney, and the laying on of firring and drywall. Note: I am not doing this work. This is what having a pro around the house will do, you know. After the drywall is done and painted, some custom cabinetry will be installed as well as a new desk area. The drawings for this bit still need to be done, then the purchasing of the materials, then the most wonderful smell of freshly cut wood will permeate the Tiny House as the ‘office space’ is created. Mmmm, fresh paint and freshly-cut wood – nummy num num.

3. What did the Things think of the wedding? You know what? I didn’t ask them. How odd.

Of course not all questions are easy home runs like Kenju’s, because some of you are Ron.

1. Do you know any single nymphomaniacs in the Columbus area? Only Queen Isabella, and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t single.

2. What are their phone numbers? She lived in the 1400s, dude. No phones, though ardent entreaties written with quill and ink on parchment would have been appropriate.

3. What is your favorite color? Without subjecting y’all to YET ANOTHER MONTY PYTHON reference (me being generous again), I shall say blue. You would never know this if you were to visit the Tiny House, because it’s all done in shades of tan and brown and some bricky-red, and just a splash of a rather icky lime green in the bathroom (for which I did not choose the paint and, if I had, would not have chosen THAT paint for it is unmatchable by any other shade of any other color, EVER). Oh wait –I stand corrected, happy day! because the ENTIRE HOUSE on the outside is a vibrant shade of blue, and with its pale yellow trim is festive to da max. Yay blue!

Then to end this day’s installments of “Your Questions Answered Here” we arrive at dbgrin’s head-scratchers:

1. If you could be a professional athlete, what would be your sport/ position, and howcome? This one is actually rather easy – I’d be a tennis player. I’m no good at all at team sports, preferring to hog all the attention for myself, and have you seen tennis players LEGS? Gorgeous, even the men. Plus which, there’s not so much smashing into one another like in football, there’s not so much getting boxed into a corner like b-ball, there’s not so much waiting around like in baseball, and there’s no such thing as a professional swimmer, is there?

2. If you could replace any movie star in their roles, past or present, whom and whym? Ooooh, good one dude. If we’re talking about replacing any ONE actor for all their roles, I’d go with Yvonne De Carlo. Bet you weren’t expecting THAT one, eh? Take a look at her resume - a solid working actress, so fantasically stunning, who got to swan around in Lily Munster's fabulous dress? Yes, yes, and yes, please.

Daggone - this took a long time to pull together. The THINKING makes my cranium ache. Is it cocktail time yet?

More tomorrow, you can be sure, because tomorrow may indeed be the day when I choose to answer Farrago's question....

Have a lovely afternoon, my friends.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Anger, query request, fatti-mcfatfat, and lots and lots of parentheses.

Ya know what ticks me off? People who work in cubicles who have not yet learned how to MUTE THEIR PHONE when they’re on a meeting.

Damn. I can hear the meeting I’m currently on while using the headset resonating from a cube 2 doors down, and I think the inside of my brain is having rebound seizures.

Of course, this is the same guy who listens to his native land’s music at an earsplitting volume on his HEADPHONES, meaning that we can also hear his music (which is not, BTW, in our native land’s tonal system. At ALL), which is a total PITA because it’s obvious that he KNOWS how to use headphones but has not yet expanded that understanding of modern technology to stupid teleconferences.

So now, here I am, 2 cubes down, just monitoring the meeting, and being forced to monitor it TWICE, once on delay. This grates my cheese, chaps my ass, grinds my nuts (if, indeed, I had any, which I do, to the best of my knowledge, not have). And yet, do I just TELL him to mute his phone or use his headphones? No, I do not, because I like having something to bitch about. Makes me feel superior to that addled dumbass, and I do so love feeling superior.


Tracy Lynn is doing a terrific job lately of answering random questions from her commenters (note: not readers, because if you’re lurking and don’t speak up, you can’t be heard. A fine distinction, but semantically important to my way of thinking). Just the initial offering of opening the floor to questions garnered 14 comments, which I thought was a darned impressive counts, so I am following suit and throwing open the doors in the comment section to any questions y’all might have for me!

As if I haven’t talked about almost everything in my life here already, but hey…there might be something you’re curious about.


Also – Somehow, I’ve already lost 2 pounds. In 2 days. If this keeps up, I’ll be at my Shrinking Piggies total goal by the end of the month!

Yeah, I’m not believing it either. Just let me have this moment.

Between the 2 pounds and my newfound love of da Spanx, I’m feeling pretty good these days. That’s the first lil’ baby step on the path to regained skinny. Can’t wait until I 1) don’t’ need the Spanx for my clothes to fit properly, 2) lose the sweet-potato upper arms that are so garishly displayed in the ol’ wedding photos, and 3) have to buy new, smaller clothes for work n’ play. I’m sick of all my old clothes, but damn I ain’t gonna buy a whole new set in the size I am now. A nice rack of size 14s or 12s would go down so much easier….


Y’all have a wonderful day, mmkay? And don’t forget about those questions.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

There was cake n' stuff

Saturday was a pretty darned good day.

There were snacks
And flowers
And friends and family
And a minister
And a bride and groom

There was the mention of death's bony finger, words of love, an exchange of rings, and a kiss. No, TWO kisses. BONUS!

There were pictures, and smiles. There were hugs and well wishes. There were beers and chili and lasagna. There were laughs and jokes, a photo-ashtray (you had to be there), and cake with toys on top. There were lots of good times, and many wonderful memories made.

More on alla dat over here. Go read his account (including naming names and expressing gratitude), then come back and look at the pretty pictures below...

Biff, my dear dear man, thank you for being my friend, for sharing this new life, for being a beam of laughter, an exuberant partner, for saying 'yes.' I do so love you, and look forward to walking along whatever path is laid in front of us.

(OK, the West Virginia Surf Report flyer? That's a story for a whole other day...)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Click the Pig

A couple of years ago I challenged Biff Spiffy to a weight loss challenge, and thus the Shrinking Piggies were born. For 6 months of '07 I sweated in the gym 5 days a week in a determination to beat him at this thing and get comfortable in my own skin again. I lost 25 pounds. AWESOME!


The weight wouldn't stay off just by thinking about it. Eighteen months after stopping my weight loss efforts (and how foolish of me!), all those pounds save 3 have crept back on. There is a smooshy stomach hanging off the front-a me, a lardass following behind me, and an extra chin waggling' off my neck that ruined almost all the nice wedding pictures from this weekend. Funny how everyone ELSE in those photos looked just like they do in real life, and yet I do not....


And so, this is why I'm joining up with Shrinking Piggies again, starting today. There are at least 25 extra pounds weighing me down, brought about by a year of being happy, being lazy, being uninspired, and being a glutton. If I'm honest, there are 25 more to lose after that to get to a place at which I might be happy with any photos taken of me (or at least look like the person I see myself as...), but one huge chunk of blubber at a time, like the Eskimos say.

Several of you have said you'd like to join up, and so today have received a message from Biff, who is King of This Particular Episode. If others want to join up, go to the Piggies blogsite and leave a comment, and not only will you be added to the roster of super-cool people who are ready to lighten up a little, but will be given the added perq of getting to be an AUTHOR on the blog which is a pretty daggone huge carrot to dangle, don't you think?

The rules of participation are pretty simple:

1) Weigh on the same day once a week, and send that number via email to the address that will be provided to you.
2) Write out your plan to reach your goal - include eating and exercise changes
3) Post about your experience whenever you feel like it, no limit

Come on, I know we missed the "PROFIT" step, but you have to admit that losing some weight (if you need to) is profit enough. Me, I'm looking at not having to buy all new workclothes to fit my fat butt as profit enough.


It was a wonderful weekend, all around, BTW. More about that later though. Still sifting through the pictures!

Have a wonderful rest o' the day, y'all.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hey, baby New Year!

Why hello, nice to see you, baby New Year. You're looking mighty fine, with your pinkly little cheeks and your curly-head of flossy hair. You're a mighty FINE Baby New Year, yes you are. So much promise, so much potential, so much unknown. Who will you be in a year, when we boot you out the door as the decrepit OLD year, and how much living will you have done in that brief space of time?

Nobody knows, and ain't that just grand? I think so, you cute lil' muzzable wunkums.

My very own personal 2009 started with a bang, at exactly 12:27 a.m., which is when I woke up from my late-night nap on the couch. Um, yeah, it's nothing but nonstop action and wee-hours partying here at the Tiny House. Not.

Missed the ball drop, didn't test my noisemaker, totally spaced on viewing the horror that I understand is Dick Clark. What a disappointment. And THEN, I totally spaced out the ROSE PARADE yesterday, which is a long-standing addiction and therefore possibly tradition. Missed it. Completely. What the heck kind of New Year IS this, anyway? When the morning is spent cleaning and the afternoon spent running around, eating out, doing errands, and decorating a cake? It's one weird way to spend the first day of the year, that's what. All that valuable football-watching and beer-drinking time taken up with doing PRODUCTIVE things...yeesh.

All for a good reason though. You can't have out-of-town guests without a little prep work. Yes, there's another party in the works here, and THIS time we're not leaving the prep work until the Very Last Minute. The Last Two Minutes, perhaps, but that leaves one to spare, which is about 30 seconds more than I normally allow, if I can stretch the anaology to its utmost breaking point, which I think I might have just done.

Today then finds the inhabitants of the Tiny House doing exciting things like: going to Sam's Club (because it's not a holiday unless someone BUYS something), cleaning the bathroom, deconstructing the Chritsmasiness of the house (but not until my Mom gets here this afternoon. That woman loves her some Christmas trees, and so she shall see ours, THEN help take it down), and generally dusting off the powdery aftermath of the last two weeks of 2008. It's time to start all over again with a fresh New Year.

On with you then, baby 2009. Let's see what you can do.

Y'all have a good one, mmkay?