Category Archives: Bloggin’ Buddies

A Is For Algorithm

You will be surprised to learn that I didn’t plan on posting about this.

I figured that anybody who has ever read my blog knows precisely where I stand on this issue.  So I left it in that barren wasteland where all unused posts go — DRAFTS.

But then tonight I read a blog post that broke my heart.

Most of you know my bloggin’ buddy, TwinDaddy of Finding Twindaddy.  He has a new job doing tech-ie stuff at a school, and he wrote about ALICE at his school in a post called “A Sad State of Affairs.”

Alice?  Who’s ALICE?

Alice is an acronym that stands for:  Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.  The drills that students, teachers and administrators of our American — Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition — schools must perform periodically so that everybody is ready in the event that an active shooter comes to their school.

High School Students, Teachers and Administrators

Junior High School Students, Teachers and Administrators

Elementary School Students, Teachers and Administrators

Somehow, I don’t think this has gone down to the nursery school level.  Give it time.

Anyway, deleted what I had drafted because it was lame.  But after reading Twin Daddy’s post, I thought I’d show you the algorithm that one school in Michigan came up with.  It’s quite creative.

Because, you see,  not only do they (and folks in other states) have to worry about some nutcase coming through the door blasting, but they have to worry about other nutcases.  Yup, folks in many states need to figure out how to deal with potential crisis situations because of the folks who have been dubbed “ammosexuals.”   Ammosexuals are those particular nutcases who believe that their right to openly carry any fucking gun they please, and to waive it around, proclaiming their god-given/NRAsponsored right to bear arms, trumps your kids’ rights to, well, you know, breathe.

Because, of course, in states where it is legal to “open carry” guns, how can you tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys.”  So they had to come up with a decision tree:

Credit:  Americans for Responsible Solutions

Credit: Americans for Responsible Solutions

(Click to Enlarge)

Of course, by the time any school administrator could figure out that, well, that’s a bad guy, they’re probably dead.  Not a whole lot of help, then, is it?  Oh well, what’s a few more gun deaths in America?  It’s what we’re becoming famous for worldwide.  Once folks thought our streets were paved with gold — now they are paved with blood and bullet casings.

*      *     *

We really need to figure out, as a society, how to get a handle back on our brains, so that we can protect, at a minimum, our kids.

From my friend Father Kane at the Last of the Millenniums:  https://thelastofthemillenniums.wordpress.com/category/gun-control/

From my friend Father Kane at the Last of the Millenniums: https://thelastofthemillenniums.wordpress.com/category/gun-control/

 

ELECTIONS MATTER

Oh and as an aside, I passed through Newtown a few months ago.  I saw a pickup truck with this bumper sticker:

Assholes (Not Google Images who gave me this image)

Assholes (Not Google Images who gave me this image)

This is the ammosexuals’ response to the message that sane people in Sandy Hook put forth after the massacre:

Thanks, Google

Thanks, Google

 

And it made me realize just how important gun control laws are.  Because I wanted to shoot the asshole driving that truck.

48 Comments

Filed under 2016, Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, Farts, GOP, Gun control, Health, Health and Medicine, History, Huh?, Law, Mental Health, Peace, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Virginia, Voting, Washington, Wild Beasts, Writing, WTF?

Shades of Gray — Copycat Edition

Doobster of Mindful Digressions named me in a photography challenge.

And since I am really a rotten photographer (but I do Google Images with finesse), I figured, what the hell.

Here are the rules:

The rules are pretty simple:

  1. Post a black & white photo daily for five posts in a row.
  2. Invite someone different to participate each day.

Ummm, except for photos of my black and white dog, which I take in color but still end up being black and white due to the subject matter, I don’t really do black and white.  I don’t do much in color, either.

But here goes.

My old headder in color

My old headder in color

 

And now, if I can figure out how to do it …

Does this work?

Does this count?

 

OK.  I’ll do it right.  I think ..

I did it!  With Doobster's help.

I did it! With Doobster’s help.

 

I’m going with the color one(s), I don’t know about you!

These are pictures of the place in Maine where my family goes in the summer — and occasionally in the winter.

I’m not going to challenge anyone to do this — feel free to do it and link to Doobster.  But it is kind of neat to see my photo in black and white.

44 Comments

Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Climate Change, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Love, Maine, Word Press

This Post Is A Complete Waste of Time

Is there anything that you do that you know is a total waste of time, but you do it anyway?

Of course there is.

Mine is to take those stupid little quizzes that are all over the internet.  I have no idea why I do it.  But I always do.

In fact, just now, as I turned on my computer to do some work that didn’t get done at work yesterday, I continued to not get it done.  Because my old bloggin’ buddy, MJ Monahan, posted a piece.  I hadn’t planned on checking out any blogs, because I have work to do.  But MJ hasn’t posted in a million years or so, and he is really good.  So I figured, well, what’s the harm.  How long could it take?

MJ posted Who Am I — 12 Buzzfeed Quizzes and reported what they revealed.

So I had to take the 12 Buzzfeed quizzes.  Because I have an incredible amount of work to do and no time to waste.

And now I have to report what they revealed.  Because I have an incredible amount of work to do and no time to waste.

However, I plan to steal the entire format from MJ.  Because I have an incredible amount of work to do and no time to waste.

1. The fruit I’m most like:

I’m not entirely sure that in this day and age that this question is politically correct.  Nevertheless, I took the quiz:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/joannaborns/what-fruit-are-you#.esQO73nXO

Like MJ, I am a strawberry.

Strawberries are tiny berry bosses. When the strawberries come in, it’s serious. SERIOUS FUN. Is there anything more fun and flirty than a strawberry? Everyone loves them. But not everyone can have them, especially when they’re not in season. You’re IN DEMAND.

Strawberries are OK; I have wonderful memories of strawberry picking with Jacob when he was young and we lived near a farm.

2. What I should have been named:

Also like MJ, I like my first name, Elyse.  I didn’t as a kid, though.  I wanted to be named anything common — Mary or Marie.  Anything that folks could read, pronounce, and spell.  But I came to like it a lot, and I love the fact that I was named after one of my coolest relatives, Tante Elise.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/joannaborns/what-should-your-name-actually-be#.pn8vNJwDv

I got FLOSSIE.  FLOSSIE! WTF Buzzfeed?

You’re Flossie! Congrats — this name is amaaaazing. It was more popular at the turn of the 19th century, but you’re bringing it back!

No.  No.  A thousand times No.

3. Which season I would fall in love:

While we knew each other for years, John and I started dating in January, moved in together in April, and married in September of the following year.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/emmamariemusic/which-season-will-you-fall-in-love-11sp6#.hjNNzL2GN

For this question I got Autumn

Autumn is a time for new beginnings, and this will be the biggest one of all. You and your new boo will flirt with each other over yummy fall-themed drinks and steal each other’s sweaters and basically live the beautiful autumnal clichés of your dreams while falling slowly and sweetly in love.

Not exactly, Buzzfeed.  And Buzzfeed? It should be “IN which season would I fall in love.”  Grammar matters.

4. My most annoying office habit:

Me?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/tabathaleggett/what-is-your-office-thing#.dbd8kwNb8

I got: Asking people what they had for lunch

You like to keep tabs on your co-workers, and what better way to do so than asking each of them individually what they had for lunch? What people eat says a lot about them, and you consider yourself somewhat of a lunch detective. Keep on questioning!

Um, No, Buzzfeed.  In my tiny office, you can smell anything anyone is consuming down the hall.  So there is no need to ask.  And I have far more annoying habbits.  Trust me!

5. My personality type:

I’m a wanna-be laid back person who isn’t really as laid back as I think I am or as I want to be.  At least that’s what my husband tells me.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/danmeth/ink-blot-test#.viw5ejOv5

I got: Passionate

You are a blustery and sentimental ball of emotion. You live hard and love harder. It’s just one adventure after another and you despise those who can’t let themselves chew on the meat of existence. “LIVE, YOU BLOODLESS AUTOMATONS!” is a phrase you have said or will say in the near future.

Well, I do tend to get a bit worked up, now and then.  But only when pushed to it.  Ammirite?

6. What other people find attractive about me:

I would have guessed my sense of humor.  But I was wrong.
I got: My Independent Nature

Some people are made into leaders, but you were born one. You’re driven, ambitious, know what you want, and know how to get it. You’ve always done things on your own terms, and you’re a BO$$ in your own right.

Ummm, somewhat.  If I were more so I would be rich and famous.

7. My ACTUAL personality type:

To quote from MJ, “Because just knowing one’s personality type isn’t enough, one needs to know their ACTUAL type.”
I got: Type B

You like to play things by ear and have always been a carefree person. You’re all about achieving balance and living life to the fullest. You’re relaxed, take things as they come, and always aspire to live a life full of happiness.

I’m probably Type B unless you’re working for me on this project.  Then I come earlier in the alphabet.

8. My favorite color:

Who Am I, Favorite Color
Image stolen from MJ’s post.
Blue is in fact, my favorite color.  Sky, clothes, eyes.  Blue.
I got: Green

You are practical, down-to-earth, and like your favorite color implies, you love nature and the outdoors. You tend to wear your heart on your sleeve and connect well with people, which sometimes makes others “green” with envy.

Green’s OK.  Except that horrible lime green that is so popular now.  And I was once in a play about the 8 deadly sins and I played envy, so OK.  I’ll go along with green.

9. What’s my sixth sense:

Clearly it’s procrastination.  Because I really have a lot of work to do.
I got: Magically knowing when someone hot is near

That’s partially because you, yourself, are also hot. This hidden sense then comes from your own hotness, as well as your desire to be around other hot people.

Buzzfeed, you’re just messin with me now.

10. What color is my aura:

Chartruse.  I’m not even sure what color that is, but that would be my guess.
I got: Orange

You’re energetic, outgoing, and fun to be around. You’re a people pleaser who also enjoys being the center of attention. Still, you are highly attuned to others and sensitive to their needs. Your enthusiasm might lead you to start too much too quickly; if you can focus, you will succeed.

So I am an extroverted suckup?  Thanks Buzzfeed.  And don’t you try to suck up to me by telling me that if I don’t screw up I might succeed.

11. More right-brained or left-brained:

Sometimes I figure I am just plain hairbrained.  Or is it harebrained?  Bugs?  Bugs?  Can you answer that?
I got: Right-brained!

Well, hello there, naturally creative person! You’re super curious, and have a wicked imagination, which means you’re drawn to things like art, performance, and music. You can also be impulsive, and tend to follow your heart more than your head. People love you for your creativity and independent spirit — never lose that!

Well, I’ll go along with the right-brained much of the time.  Except when I’m not.

12. Where should my next vacation be:

064

Wonderland, Mount Dessert Island, ME. I think. It’s in that general area anyway. And it is lovely. My picture, from god knows when.

Most of our vacations involve driving up to Maine. So I was quite interested to see what this one would show.

I got: Road Trip!

You’re spontaneous, inquisitive, and all about experiencing new things. Exploring is everything to you, and you don’t need a big city to do that in. Eat at local diners, stay in tiny motels, and snap photos along the scenic routes. Small details matter to you, and getting there is half the fun. Potential trips you should take include winding your way through Italy’s Amalfi Coast, riding through Alaska’s Seward Highway, discovering Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail, or taking the 113-mile drive from from mainland Florida to Key West.

Well done, Buzzfeed.

Hope you weren’t doing anything important today …

75 Comments

Filed under Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Conspicuous consumption, Driving, Extra Cash, Humor

How I Became A Famous Humor Writer

You might as well start gagging now. Because as a fake humor expert, I am bound and determined to tell you how it is done.

(Oh no!  I already violated one of the principles of writing — “Show,” don’t “Tell!”  Rats!)

When I wrote my post Trifecta! the other day, many commenters were shocked to find out that I had studied humor writing.

I’m not quite sure how to take that.

I mean, can’t you tell that this has been a life-long pursuit of mine? That I have been through decades of intensive training and Dick Van Dyke show watching?  Doesn’t my brilliant technique shine through? You know, like shinola?

I will stop being an ass now. Although being an ass is fun – and funny (see Steve Martin, for example).  And it comes so easily to some of us …

On to the Public Service Announcement

 PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

PSA2

Surprise is an excellent humor technique. Google Image, Natch.

 

When I said that I “studied humor writing” in Trifecta, I applied the first and most important rule of humor writing:

EXAGGERATION

So yeah, I “studied” humor writing. I took a course. One course. Online.

I’d been writing professionally — as a fake medical expert — for years; but it’s very dry. I am not. (Well, sometimes.)  But I wanted to have some fun, and so I started taking writing classes.

Humor Writing I was the second of three courses I took at Gotham Writers Workshop. (The first was Creative Writing 101 and the third was a Memoir course.) You can probably tell by the fact that I took THREE courses from them that I thought they were pretty good – or that I learned enough to justify the cost. Or that the courses coincided with baseball season. Or basketball season. Perhaps Lacrosse.

The first lesson of the class was the hardest, and most fundamental:   Written stories have to be structured differently than spoken ones or they are not funny.

Our first assignment was to tell a funny story you’d told a million times. This’ll be a breeze! I thought. I chose one that I’d been telling for 30 years to tears of laughter. After three days of trying, I posted a question on the online chat room:

“Has anybody else found that they are suddenly no longer funny?”

Everybody in the class felt they were no longer funny.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to write.  My hilarious — time tested — story fell flat. Writing that story up made me realize just how different humor writing is from just plain ole writing. And it made me realize that I had a lot to learn. I still do.

Anyway, if you click on the link above, you will get the synopsis of the course. It mentions a few principles of humor writing – ones that I really do use a lot. And the course led me to start this blog – (because what the hell else would I do with the stuff I wrote there?).  I am not sure it would be appropriate to sue Gotham for that, though.

There are lots of techniques and skills that I learned. The ones I use most often are:

The Rule of Three. Things are inherently funnier in threes. The Three Stooges (who I don’t think are at all funny); the Three Little Pigs; the Three Musketeers. The course taught me to look for threes whenever I was trying to be funny. It is something I do consciously now. Because for some reason it really does work. Even when I don’t use threes, I find that looking for them focuses my thinking on the two or four or however many end up in my story.

Snowballing is another good technique. That one I’m pretty sure you can figure out for yourself. Especially after this winter.

It enabled me to find my “voice.” Showed me ways to look at stupid people and present them at their, ummm, most realistic. Dialog. Comparisons to normal life. 

Two of my early blog posts were assignments in the class. They are still some of my best.

Downsizing

Manitoba Bound

I am not promoting or being paid (alas) by Gotham. But I promised to write about my humor writing studies.  The teachers taught me a lot, but much depends on the level of participation in the class.  It was great in the first two, sadly lacking in the Memoir course.

I don’t have any pretenses to being the next Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry.  But if you want to start paying me the big bucks in exchange for some snark, feel free to contact me!

64 Comments

Filed under Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Criminal Activity, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts, Word Press, Writing

Can Ya Help a Girl Out, Here?

Do you like a cliffhanger?

A story that traps you, makes you want to know what happens next, and then doesn’t tell you?

I hate them.  I just hate them.  And when you, my bloggin’ buddy do it to me, well, I remember.

A little while ago, I read another damn cliffhanger, this time from Doobster at Mindful Digressions.  Doobster wrote half of a really great story.  A mystery.  His characters are realistic, the scene and plot work.  The dialog flows.

UNTIL IT STOPS.

I yelled at him.  But he won’t finish it for me.

Would you?

Go on over there to Doobster’s, read it, and tell me what happens.  http://mindfuldigressions.com/2015/01/31/i-seen-it-all/

Please leave the comments over there at Doobster’s — he likes his stats.  You can also leave them here if you want.  I’d turn off comments, but well, I’m not only mystery-plot challenged, I am comment-stopping challenged.  Yeah, I know.  First World Problems.

Please go and read his story and finish it for me.  I gotta know what happens.

Thanks! You’re the best.

49 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Huh?, Humor, Mysteries, Taking Care of Each Other

People My Age

It happens every year, try as I might to avoid it.  Annually.  At about the same time each year.  On the same damn day, even.

Every bloomin’ year! What’s with that?

For the last 15 years, I’ve tried to avoid it.  I just put my head down and muddled through the whole month.  Looked forward to February.

Yeah, it’s my birthday.   Ho hum.  Everybody has one.  Still, I figure I need to do something to mark it.

So to celebrate, I’m going to insert one of my very favorite birthday songs for those of us who are in their our post- years.  The perfect song for the post-teens; post-Yuppies; post-childbearing, child rearing, post-careerists; post-menopausal; for the pre- and post-retirement set.

The perfect song for the pre-dead among us.  And I do hope you, my dear bloggin’ buddy, are among us.

Ho hum.  Where’s the wine?

100 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Awards, Bat-shit crazy, Birthday, Bloggin' Buddies, Disgustology, Family, Farts, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health

Four Thousand Crazy People?

Today I reached a milestone that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

The day didn’t start out quite so warm.  In fact, just the opposite:

My picture.  Taken with MY iPhone.  Take THAT Google images!

My picture. Taken with MY iPhone. Take THAT Google images! The Potomac River, expressing my feeling that with the GOP in charge of both houses, Hell IS Freezing Over.

 

But now I have a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.  Coffee and oatmeal helped, but really it was the number that did it.

“I have 3,999 blog followers!” I told John last night, excitedly.

As in all things blog-related, he just looked back at me and politely held back the “so what” he was thinking.  (Can I see a show of hands of folks whose significant other has zero, zip, nada interest in all the wonders of blogging?)

For a non-stats watcher, well, I was watching this one.  It was kind of like New Year’s Eve, when I just have to watch the countdown.  And I have to do it aloud.

So this morning, while I was reading blogs I got my 4,000th follower!

PROOF!

PROOF!

There I was, commenting on Felix the Cat and I saw the orange star light up!  And heeeeeerrrrreeee he is — my 4,00th follower:

Snakes in the Grass

A Blog of Retirement and Related Thoughts

Stolen directly from his blog.  Yes, I am that kind of woman.

Stolen directly from his blog. Yes, I am that kind of woman.

He blogs about retirement, technology and his new life in Florida.  He’s a new blogger — I am his 33rd follower!  And that’s a nice number, too.  Go check him out.

Thank you all for reading my stupidly named blog, for commenting, for “liking” and even for arguing.  Thank you for writing the crazy, varied, dramatic, thoughtful, sarcastic, mind-blowing pieces you guys post.  Blogging is a blast, and I really treasure the very real relationships we have developed here in the tubes.

Do I hear 5,000?

 

123 Comments

Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Family, Humor, Word Press, Writing