This Post is All About “Me”, Seriously

October 24, 2009

Just a peek at some things about me. Read em, don’t. I don’t care. But, I own these and accept them for who and what they are. So, there.

Favorite Type of Fabric:

Fleece

Least Favorite Type of Fabric:

Sandpaper, The thong concept was an abysmal failure.

Favorite Punctuation Mark:

Umlaut, followed closely by the accent mark over the e.

Least Favorite Punctuation Mark:

Semi-colon. Too much drama.

Favorite Substance:

Mercury. Liquid, yet cohesive.

Least Favorite Substance:

Jello. You can’t nail it to a table.

Favorite Chemical Equation:

C6H12O6. Sweet!

Least Favorite Chemical Equation:

CH4. Smells like farts. I’m not 13 any more.

Favorite Planet:

Saturn. It looks like it’s wearing a funny hat, or a fashionably over-sized belt.

Least Favorite Planet:

Venus. She’s very toxic to be around.

Favorite Genre:

Suspe…

Least Favorite Genre:

Historical Romance. Bloomers and corsets are not sexy.

Favorite Literary Device:

Irony

Least Favorite Literary Device:

Irony. Think about it.

Simile or Metaphor?

My brain burns white hot with this question. Like smelting steel.

Alliteration or Assonance?

Quit it with confusing conundrums. Clearly I’m dearly devoted to dual devices.

Dichotomy or Juxtaposition?

Dichotomy. I prefer safe distances.

“Six of one, half a dozen of another?”

I haven’t decided yet.

More or Less?

Both, please.


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BEST ANIMAL REVENGE STORY EVER

October 23, 2009

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/23/russia.skating.bear.death/index.html

I wonder what size ice skate the bear would need? Size 26 WWW?


Random Thoughts From the Nerd

October 22, 2009

I want to know what dogs are thinking, but not smelling. I don’t want to have to work that hard or experience that much.

Cats are impossible to read. They need an interpreter – perhaps a chinchilla?

I really don’t want to know how swine flu went from swine to human. Or for that matter, how ebola went from monkey to human. Regardless, someone was acting inappropriately in both situations.

Is it possible to freeze electricity?

There HAS to be a speed of dark. I just feel it. I’d be shocked if there weren’t.

Nothing smells better in a house than a batch of snickerdoodles fresh from the oven.

Any word that has “oodle” in it is fun to say.

The best punctuation mark in the world? The umlaut. Not just fun to use, but fun to say. Try it, you’ll agree.

Ask the Amish if they use hybrids. They’ll probably say, “Yes, I own a mule.” Great tie in with biology.

If Edgar Allan Poe were alive today, I would want to be his Facebook friend. Only.

People who think the world cares about them, but we really don’t:

  • Heidi and Spencer Pratt
  • Jon Gosselin
  • Paris Hilton
  • Tila Tequila
  • Balloon boy dad

People who will some day get their asses kicked by an assorted group of fed-up middle class and lower class folks:

  • Same folks

If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t anyone create chocolate covered potato chips? Two PMS problems solved at once.


Conversations with My Muse: Getting My Ego Crushed

October 20, 2009

Hey there! Long time, no see!

Hi….Hang on a sec...N-A-I-F– that works.

Excuse me?

What, you’ve never heard of that word?

Um, noooo…

What kind of language arts teacher are you?

Apparently, not much of one.

Now, you know that isn’t true!

Well, you’d think I’d have a pretty expansive vocabulary, being a lover of words and all…

You do claim you’re the “word nerd”.

I am very proud of that title, chickie.

I don’t doubt that. And I’m not making fun of you.

Then what’s going on here?

I’m just playing a little Scrabble on my IPhone.

IPhone? You have an IPhone now? Lemme guess — the rich oil baron from Texas?

Yes. I told you I wanted one. I’ve had this one for a month or so. Now I can have all my social networking sites in one set place. I’ll never have to carry a laptop with me again.

Well aren’t you “special”?

Provisional.

Huh?

Another word for special. Do I need to dumb this down for you?

You’re in a bit of a mood.

Ya think?

How come?

I got my ass handed to me on a platter last night.

Oh my! Where did you hear that expression?

Just a little something I overheard during the last OSU versus Purdue game.

Ah. What happened?

Well, I thought it would be nice to play a game of Scrabble with an old friend.

Who was the friend?

I call him “Billy”. He prefers “William”.

Uh oh, I don’t like where this is going…William? William who?

Shakespeare.

Holy CRAP! You sat down to play a word game with William Shakespeare?

Yea, so?

Wow. Very presumptuous of you, don’t you think?

Not getting it here.

Meds wearing off?

Little bit.

Figured. Only that you decided to play a WORD game with a WORD SMITH.

I don’t have any friends named “Smith”.

Geez, pay attention! You really need to study up on your history.

I AM history. I’m an ancient Greek —

I KNOW who you are. What I can’t figure out is why you’d want to challenge the one person in the history of mankind who was personally responsible for introducing more than one THOUSAND words into the English language AND invented the compound word.

He did all that?

Uh, no duh, muse.

Wow. I did not know that. He just seems like a great guy to be around. He “gets” me. I “get” him. No pretense, no boundaries.

Fascinating.

What’s that?

My muse had no idea about —

HEY– I told you before I don’t know everybody. I have only worked for a select few million…

Yea, but..

But what? You expect me to have this big dossier on all these famous people throughout history.

Well, ya since you’re the muse of poetry and song I would expect that to be part of your background research.

You’re wrong. I don’t have the time, energy or patience to run a background check on every one of my employers.

Maybe you should. There sure seems to be a lot of people writing stuff that is total crap.

Now with that I agree. See, isn’t it amazing how we can put our competitive differences aside and just enjoy each other’s company?

Who you calling competitive?

You — you don’t like to lose games often, do you?

Not word ones.

Thought so.

Hey, if we’re wrapping this up, then I want you to clean up your Scrabble mess before you leave.

What mess?

The tiles spilled all over the floor when I sat down on top of them.

Ouch.

Yea, and now I can’t seem to find the Q.

I’m not going there.

No, no you’re not.


Reconnecting with the Past

October 12, 2009

I dedicate this post to a friend from my past — if you’ve followed my url, you’ll know who you are.

I turned 45 last Friday, yet I don’t feel 45. Sure, I feel older — bones creak more, gravity has taken its toll, and now with “the change” coming, I find myself weeping during commercials with puppies in them. Why? I don’t know, it just seems like something I should do without feeling embarrassed by it. Getting older is like old people and farts — these things happen, sometimes when you aren’t even looking.

But, I want to specifically dedicate THIS post to my past. To a “certain person” I met years ago (almost 19 now, wow) who was no doubt one of the funniest men I have ever met. He knows who he is.

It’s weird how we’ve managed to reconnect. A few nights ago, and for reasons still unknown to me, I dreamt about him. I dreamt he was working in an on-the-road traveling comedy troupe, and I saw him one night up on stage. (If you knew the guy, you’d say “Yep, that’s where he needs to be”)  I shouted “Hey! I know that dude!” and tried to get his attention, but he just ignored me, called security and went on his merry way — by riding in the back of a truck that delivers new cars to dealerships. (Hey, it’s MY dream, I can’t explain it — these dreams just “happen”). But I woke up from that dream thinking two things: “WTF?” followed quickly by the infamous “I wonder if he’s on Facebook…?”

(Oh yea — about Facebook. I wrote about that networking site a few months ago. Well, I’m not feeling so high school “uncool” anymore over there. After whining about my lack of being included at “the cool kids table”, I got enough people to validate my existence that I don’t feel so “climb the clock tower”ish anymore. So, I’ve decided to hang around there a little while longer.)

I’m glad I did too. After this completely random, incongruent, and inexplicable dream I had, I logged onto Facebook, did a quick search and — holy highballs! He’s on there! Wow. What a moment of serendipity for me. And, he hasn’t changed a bit. At least not from what I can tell.

He and I share a tiny bit of history that still makes me laugh out loud whenever I think about it. Noooo, not THAT kind of history. Sheesh. I’ve often used this particular moment in our history as a great attention-getter in class. I start with the line: “Wanna hear about the time I smuggled something illegally into the country?” Nothing quiets a class of middle school students down faster than hearing their Cheez Whiz and Wonderbread of a teacher say the words “smuggle” and “illegally” in the same sentence. (Of COURSE we do, Mrs. B, we’d be idiots not to get the goods on our teacher to use at a later date!)

Of course the REAL story to my smuggling is way different than what transpires in the under-developed, nefarious minds of the young adolescent, but it makes for great story telling. Especially when I include what might possibly be the funniest, gut-busting line of all times ever uttered by any human: “I know this might sound gross, but how big is your anus?”

Wow. Almost 19 years later, and I’m STILL laughing about this. That’s some heavy duty comedy fire power.

Thanks, Dan, for making me laugh after all these years. I’m so glad we’ve reconnected.


Conversations with My Muse: Working with Children

August 25, 2009

Oh my gosh, is that Modern Bride magazine you’ve got there?

This? Eh, just a little something I picked up at the local quickie mart.

It’s pretty telling. Got a secret to share?

No, not really…I’m kinda bummed, actually.

What’s up?

Well, I’m just so tired.

Oh, I know how that is. I’m worn out, now that school’s back in session.

You think you have it bad? Try having my job for a day — you’d never be able to handle it!

Yes, but I teach middle school students.

Yea, so what?

So, I teach WRITING to middle school students.

Ohhhhh…

Yes, it’s tough, but I love it.

You like teaching middle schoolers?

Absolutely! It’s a great age, they’re a real hoot.

What’s so fun about hormone issues, bodily odor emissions, growth spurts, acne, sneezing into their hands and wiping it on the desks, blah, blah, blah?

Oh, I can handle all that, I’m a mom. What I love about this age is their enthusiasm — or watching their enthusiasm grow. These kids really can put the pencil to the paper, if I let them.

Wow, you’re actually getting them to enjoy school?

Of course, that’s my job. I’d be a miserable failure otherwise.

True.

You do realize, of course, that I have had  a sizable amount of help with teaching them to become better writers.

Oh? Do you work with another teacher in the same classroom?

No, silly! YOU.

Me? What’d I do?

You have no idea? Honestly?

No. Give me a clue.

Ha, ha, ha!!!

What’s so darn funny?

Notice how the tables have turned! Wasn’t it just a couple weeks ago that I was completely clueless about your job?

Yes, so?

Well, well, well, I guess my muse isn’t as insightful as I thought she was.

Ummm…

Oh my goodness! My Muse is SPEECHLESS! Mark the calendars! Alert the press!

Actually, no. I was thinking about something else.

Lemme guess: shiny objects and sporks, huh?

How’d you know?

Come on, muse! Haven’t we already covered this? You’re so easy to read, you’re transparent.

What do you mean by that?

Transparent — able to see through. I know you know this.

Sorry, but you said “sporks”. I started to hear dolphin squeaks and whistles shortly after that.

Do I need to rewind this conversation then?

Just go back to the “spork” part — I’ll catch up from there.

What is it with you and sporks?

Don’t forget shiny objects.

Of course not.


Conversations with My Muse: The Editing Process

August 21, 2009

Arrrrrrgh! I can’t do this!!!!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, girl. what is going on here?

Oh. Hey muse, didn’t notice you sitting there.

I was flying over on my way to California and heard you muttering to yourself.

California? What’s going on there?

Eh, got something brewing in Hollywood.

Going all “Hollyweird” on me now?

Not sure. They want me to help with a new reality TV show idea.

That would be?

I dunno, something about “dads” and “divorce”? No clue.

Oh my god, please say you’re not getting involved in THAT freak fest.

What’s a “freak fest”?

A place where all sorts of freaks gather. In this case, if the name “John Gosselin” comes up, I suggest you run far, far away from that scene.

Gosselin…Gosselin…where have I heard that name before?

Ed Hardy Shirts?

Oh yea. EWWWWWWWWW! Glad I stopped. Let me just twitter them and let them know I’m “previously engaged”.

Sure that won’t affect your job situation?

Naw, I’m in pretty good with lots of folks. I’m a big hit on Facebook and WordPress, and have more than 5 million followers on Twitter. I can afford to dump the Hollywood set.

Please do. They’re useless. They’ve gone to this stupid “reality” show format that is as far from “reality” as it can possibly be.

Gotcha — and it’s done. I’m all yours for the moment.

Great! I can use all the help you can give me.

What’s up? Why the angry face?

My face looks angry?

Smoldering. How come?

Well, I’m struggling with this piece I wrote.

How so?

The woman who wants to publish it had some questions she needed me to answer.

You’re getting published? Wow! How exciting is that!

I told you this two weeks ago. Way to stay on top of things, chickie.

You did? When?

Right after you met the “love of your life”. Hey, how’s that going anyways?

Well, about that…

Uh oh. Do I really want to know?

I’m not really ready to discuss it yet. Let’s just say things have been “temporarily put on hold.

Okay, I’m fine with that.

Thanks, now back to the issue that brought us here today. What’s so hard about answering these questions?

That’s the problem. The answers she wants aren’t so simple after all.

Now I’m getting annoyed.

That’s kinda funny.

Why so funny?

I probably should tell you the title of the piece that she wants to publish.

That might work. Maybe we can work from there.

“Conversations with My Muse: Inspiration and Origins”

WOW! You mean she’s publishing that conversation?

Yes, can you believe that?

Holy crap. Where is it going?

Into a national writing gallery. It will be read by adults and children.

Oh nooooo…

Yea, exactly.

We do have some rewrites to do. That is so not appropriate for the “younger” crowd.”

Well, that’s not really the problem. I was able to edit out the bad language and all that..

Well then, what’s the problem? It seems to me that all’s fine and dandy then.

It’s not that cut and dry. I am struggling with trying to explain our relationship.

Whose relationship?

Ours! Yours and mine. How we work together. How we can’t do our jobs without the other’s contribution.

Huh?

See! that is exactly what I mean. I’m just as confused about her questions as you are about my explanation.

I’m still not getting what you’re saying here. Maybe we need to start over.

That’s probably a good idea. Let me get more coffee first.

You and your coffee. Okay. Java-up. We need 100% focus here. Fortunately, I’m still on my meds.

That’s good to hear. I can’t have “inattention” added to the list of issues today. My head might explode.

Um, no.

Okay, let’s try talking through this one issue at a time. Maybe that will help.

Sure, where to start?

Let’s first start with the question she posed: “Do you think readers will make the connection with the phrase “Yank it like a monkey in a mango tree”?

YIKES, that’s a touchy issue. Especially since that is the part that talks about…well, you know.

Yes. I had to edit that whole section out. Can’t have that in a place where kids can read it.

I totally understand. Were you able to fix that?

Yes, and it seems to make sense to me, but the publisher is still confused by it. She’s concerned readers will not understand the reference.

How can we fix this?

Well, fortunately, I add another reference a little later on. In fact, I’ve even offered to include a bit of the poem I wrote based on that line you gave to me.

Hey, that’s a great idea. Just throw in two or three lines from your “Soundin’ Off Again” poem and it will make much more sense to the reader. I think it’s important that you include that.

Okay, done deal. Two to three lines from that poem, and that should clarify things.

Next?

Next comes the need to explain your job.

My job? Why must I explain my job to your readers? Isn’t it a bit obvious?

Well, not everyone knows what a “muse” is or actually does. And remember, this bit was all about the writing “process”. So, the publisher wants a better clarification of the actual writing process.

Hmph.

YES! That is exactly why I am stuck at this point.

I totally get that. You are being asked to explain something you can’t explain away that easily.

BINGO! These conversations aren’t about the mechanics of writing. They aren’t even structured, logical, sequential writing pieces.

I hear ya on that one, sister. Especially on those days where I’m off my meds. Whoo! We’ve gone off on some interesting tangents, eh? And that conversation with the sandman…Wow

Okay, okay, stay focused here. I’m almost done.

Sorry, just reminiscing about the good old days.

Good old days? Jeez, that was last month, if I remember correctly.

Well, when you’re a muse, time travels at an entirely different pace.

I guess so. But, let’s get back to this. Dr. Phil is almost on.

Sure. Our relationship. My job, your job. What about all these things?

Well, I’m trying to point out to the publisher that the “dialogue” we have between us is the actual “lesson” to be learned. In that conversation we had, the inspiration was given by you, and the origins was the line from the TV show.

Ahhh, I get it.

I know. You get me, I get you. But, how can I get readers to “get” the both of us?

Wow. That’s a really good question.

Got an answer?

Not really.

Gee, I guess I need to keep struggling with this, then, huh?

No. I’d recommend you keep everything “as is” and only focus on the mechanics: grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

Why?

Because our conversations are “ours”. They belong to us and so what if others don’t “get” them right away. As long as you and I continue to understand each other and talk these issues through, I say let the words stand as they are.

Wow, that’s pretty profound.

Yes, I guess it is.

One final comment…

What’s that?

Don’t go to Hollywood. Your talents are much better needed elsewhere. You’re too good for them.

Aw, you’re so sweet. Hugs?

Always. Later, chickie.