Sunday, September 9, 2012

RE: MS WRITE NOW (Humor) Nom de Automobile

Nom de Automobile

No doubt about it, the automobile industry has been hard hit what with changing times, tastes, and economic conditions.  But no one talks about the most tragic consequences they’ve suffered as a result of the reorganization of their industry and who really lost out in the aftermath.

Marketing and advertising professionals.  It is clear these folks and their departments have been abolished altogether because there appears to be no thought process whatsoever to the naming of cars.  

In fact, now they’re not even trying. 

Where in the past powerful names like the Silverado were rolled out invoking images of mystical faraway lands, tripping off the tongue smoothly, creating images linked to the American Dream, now we’ve got names that simply trip and spawn word association games.  Such is the case with the Versa which causes me to shout, “Visa!” spurring me into a consistent kneejerk reaction when one chugs on by.  (As an aside, when logging trucks steam their way down the highway next to me I am also compelled to screech, “Save the forest!”)

How about Viatra?  Does anyone else see a problem with a vehicle model that you cannot help to easily read as VIAGRA?  It just makes me wonder how the downside of that particular appellation could have not been discussed at the Suzuki plant? 

Maybe I’m missing the marketing approach that targets an audience of forty-to-fifty-something-males who might want to drive a Chevy tough truck, but feel they need the Viatra?

My car model sports the somewhat plebeian name of Civic although I affectionately call it, “the hydroplane” because of its crazy ability to four-wheel itself up onto a teaspoonful of water and surf it for miles. 

For me every bit of text I see, read, or hear in the world is ripe for a game of word association.  It’s the kind of word association that were I to be utilizing the services of a psychiatrist would, no doubt, buy her many fabulous houses in many equally fabulous countries.

But car names just beg for engagement in wordplay and this has led to the creation of my very own in-car pursuit I like to call, “Vehicular Fill in the blank.”  (I’m still working on that name because it doesn’t feel all that marketable.) I’m a woman of purpose who does a fair amount of traveling, so I’ve got the time and opportunity for this sort of thing.

Some days I have to dig deep when faced with these opportunities such as in the case of when: 

a)     I’m behind a car trying to keep myself from freaking out because the sedan passed me going like a bat out of hell, cut in front of me just as the light was turning yellow and then slammed on their brakes. 
b)     I’m behind this same automobile trying to keep myself from freaking out because I am being subjected to a bumper sticker that is so offensive it’s all I can do not to scream, “Ahhhhhhhh!  I drink coffee, a woman is responsible for your existence and I like diversity!” as I let my foot off the brake to accentuate my negative opinion of their negative opinion by bumping the aforementioned bumper sticker.

To prevent myself from reacting to scenarios such as a) and b) above I engage in the creation of tag lines such as these some of which are almost useable.  That’s how I keep my marketing chops fresh and my driving record clean:

Real Car Model Name         My Idea for Their New Tag Line
The Element                           You’ve always wanted to feel “in your element” and now you are,  wherever you are!
Viatra                                      The car with the best staying power on the market.
Versa                                      Versa-Visa – either way this is the car for you.
Paseo                                     Que Paseo?  The friendly, bilingual car.
Esteem                                   Feel good about yourself and your car.
Escort                                     We’ll go with you wherever you want to go, as many
times as you want, for one reasonable price.  No questions asked!
Charade                                 Give up the pretense in your life.
Aspire                                     For the goal-oriented driver.
Pacer                                      Take your time…you’ll get there.                            
Mentor                                   The car that helps you every mile of the way.
Mirage                                   That budget for a new car wasn’t just an illusion.
Citation                                  Our cars only go up to 65, so you’re safe.
Dart                                        The car with targeted get up and go.
Fit                                           Get fit without working out!                                               

Sunday, August 12, 2012

RE: (Humor) MS WRITE NOW -- Take the Plunge

Take the Plunge

            In pursuit of the American dream of instant gratification during which time I hit a drive-through establishment 2.4 times a week with my 2.4 children I’ve noticed some alarming trends I’d like to discuss with you.
The first trend of note is the line of questioning currently being used as I frequent these fine purveyors of fast food and beverages that dot our great American landscape, the primary offender being:  “Will you be eating that in your car?”  As opposed to what?   In someone else’s car?  In a hotel room?  In the bushes that run parallel to the drive-through lane? 
            In view of this disturbing question, I think we can all agree that we’ll need to keep an eye on the situation as it merits further scrutiny.  Not to be a killjoy or anything, but there’s more. 
Secondly, an even more disturbing occurrence is the fact that I’m being forced, repeatedly, to take the Nestea plunge, quite frankly, many, many more times than I care to.  I’ve tried to alleviate this happenstance by asking a seemingly simple question but, as you know, drive-through businesses are not known for their Dolby, high-quality sound systems, so my, “Is the iced tea brewed?” question, I am told, sounds just like, “Is there iced tea, dude?”  This is when I get a positive response, netting me a drink testing positive on the "instant" meter which in turn leads to an unhappy interlude whereupon I utter unladylike sounds like, “Urgh, blech, pooey,” as well as using ultra unladylike language. 
As I’m motoring way, sucking down a huge mouthful of what should be icy, caffeinated, teabag-utilizing liquid goodness, I’m instead chewing on chunks of powder.  I want you to know that I do understand the dichotomy that is my lack of desire for instant tea at a fast food business, but I don’t care.  I likes what I likes.
            The third trend I've witnessed as I’ve traversed this fine country of ours seeking sustenance is that when ordering a simple item such as a beverage, I am queried as to whether I would like a hamburger and fries with that.  Would I be so dense I could have forgotten I was hungry, but I remembered I was thirsty?  When is the last time you said to yourself, “I think I’ll go pick-up a diet beverage” and upon arrival at your favorite drive-up window you smell pizza and decide you’re hungry?  Oh, okay, well, you know what? I may have to give that one over.  That wasn’t the best of my examples.
The fourth development is not so much about the fast food folks, but about those who utilize these mini-roads to quickness.  (And by the way, fast food is neither.  Can I get a Gretchen Wilson-like, "He#@ yes!" on that one?)  Has anyone else noticed the alarming increase of trucks powering on down the drive-through with dogs in the back?  What’s the problem, you ask?  I’m an animal-lover and if you've read any of my columns (please, would you?!), you know that I live with several canines that make my life full with their love, antics, and cleaning/eating/bathrooming needs.  (I rarely sit down until everyone, including the spiders, fall into a coma-like sleep at night.) 
            As I see it, the problem with having your dog with you is that you are imposing a interpersonal communication upon the driver behind you.  The poor sap, in this case me, is embarking upon a solitary venture, enjoying some “me” time in their car and then there you are with your adorable critter, complete with wagging tail and pleading eyes.  (Just to be clear the critter has the wagging tail and pleading eyes.)  
This is quite a nuisance because in my case I launch my, “Oh my God, look at how cute that dog is,” sequence; waving, smiling and carrying on, as though I’m trying out to be its adoptive mother. I can’t seem to help myself.  I see that cute, furry creature and it’s all I can do to grab my hand and say, “Down!” I don’t mind telling you this has gotten me into a bit of a sticky wicket a time or two, mainly, because the owner thinks I’m telling her dog to get down and this has led to some spirited discussions in the drive-through and at the local sheriff’s office.
            So, just to recap.  Instant tea.  Bad.  What kind of animal shouldn't be in the drive-through.  Dog.    
            There’s my social commentary for the day.  Just writing about it makes me feel better.  Instantly.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

RE: MS WRITE NOW Reflects Upon New Experiences and a New Conference her

The UNConference:  UNConventional, But With UN-Deniably Positive Results
As a Marketing Coordinator by day I attempt to keep pace with the moving target that is social media and its plethora of possibilities.  As a member of the Social Media Club leadership team by day and night I assist in promoting the club’s mission to share, engage and collaborate with the community on the issues of social media and technology.” 

I also make a valiant effort not to blurt out excitedly, “Oh, I know what that is!” every time I actually know something on the topic of social media.  Who can blame any of us for expressing the giddiness that accompanies the momentary bliss that is the understanding of a new app, feature, or device? 

Recently I’ve been learning scads of new things, some of which I can even talk about in a PG-13 blog.  One of these is a concept and resultant participant-driven conference format called the Unconference.   

(Can you hear the term Unconference and not think UnCola if you’re of a certain age or big on 7UP lore?) 

The Unconference operates from an agenda that is created upon arrival by the participants, for the participants and there are UN-Rules:
1.       The people who come are the best people who could have come.
2.       Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.
3.       It starts when it starts.
4.       It's over when it's over.
5.       The Law of Two Feet ("If you are not learning or contributing to a talk or presentation or discussion it is your responsibility to find somewhere where you can contribute or learn").
Where did this un-format come from?  Like most concepts it gets a bit murky. Where or to whom you attribute the idea depends upon whether you enjoy the bounty that is Wikipedia information or if you get your facts from academics who study these types of trends.

For our purposes we’ll go with the background that credits the “Open Space Technology format/method developed by Harrison Owen developed in the mid 1980's.”

(Yes, you’re onto me; I’ve taken the Wikipedia path to knowledge.)

Usually at conferences we listen to (and do not interact with) others unless you count shared eye rolls, meaningful glances at wristwatches, and shrugs of surrender with your fellow conference attendees. 

Not so at an Unconference because it is unscripted and the partakers set the agenda connecting everyone through active participation.  In addition to this you add a short and personal action plan to the mix and you’ve got yourself a “wha la!” moment or two.

In a polar opposite twist on that pop adage “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” what occurs at an UnConference does not stay at an UnConference.  In fact, as thought-provoking discussions bud and burst forth into full bloom they are being tweeted, retweeted, and webcammed on out into the free world in real time.  Not only are the conference attendees there, but so is anyone else who wants to join the information party. 

The turn-out at the Social Media Club’s first Unconference on Friday, July 20, 2012 was stellar with over 60 people turning out from a multitude of career paths; media outlets, advertising agencies, and state agencies to name a few.

The event was held at the roomy and hospitable facility that is the College of Continuing Education at Sacramento State located in Napa Hall.  The CCE was both a generous partner and gracious host.  

Terms like “thought leadership,” “open discussion” and “hash tags” were bandied about and half sheets of paper were flying around with clever ideas scribed on them.  (Okay, they weren’t flying, but rather firmly adhered to the white board in readiness for placement in a jigsaw puzzle-like schedule that would allow for everyone’s conference topic ideas to see the light of day.)

As the day rolled out everyone was fully engaged in this rich process, the exchange of knowledge, and the ensuing interpersonal interactions.  The Unconference meetings culminated with each contributor striking a camera-ready pose, holding up a piece of paper emblazoned with what was learned about social media and what action was going to be taken next. 

What an UN-Conventionally productive way to end an UN-Convention.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

RE: MS WRITE NOW (Humor) The Board of Hosiery

The Board of Hosiery

I feel compelled to write about a crisis that has truly reached epic proportions.  While I admit this catastrophe may not exactly pose a threat to national security, I know I no longer feel secure.

What is the issue?

Hosiery.  (Please note this term encompasses all related terms of yesteryear up to and including the present time; tights, stockings, nylons, pantyhose, and leggings.)

Let me now back up and provide some specifics about a hideous trend that has merited disappointingly few public comments.

There is a packaging practice whereby hosiery is encased in a piece of sharp, inflexible, NASA-enhanced cardboard shoved into only one of the legs.

Every time I open up a new pair of tights I feel as though I’m playing a twisted game of “Operation – Accessory Style.”  I find myself holding my breath, working with marginally steady hands as I slide the trapped leg down, over and out of the board, taking special care not to cut them wide open on the incisor-sharp edges.

The end result of my sweat-inducing task that has me removing these items as carefully as I would remove a bucket of nitroglycerin from a natural gas mine usually nets me an intact product.  That’s how I know it’s going to be a good day.

These tights of which I speak often kill a “Jackson” in one fell swoop.  Hey, while I’m on the topic of money is it just me or does Alexander Hamilton look totally hot on that ten dollar bill?  Have some faith here now.  I can find my way back even though I’ve gone on a bit of a “bird walk.”  Here we go. 

So Alexander probably wore hosiery back in the day, but we’re talking about women’s tights here.   

It’s hard to believe that a simple task like this can render me stressed out before I’ve even donned my complete undergarment armor allowing me the illusion of sleekness.  This is because of the high probability that I will snag my new tights forcing me to go “Old School” with a vat of clear nail polish in order to stop the snag from graduating to full-out “run for it” status.

I don’t get it.  How hard would it be to simply, say, throw the tights into a bag and call that proper packaging?  It’s not like the cardboard serves some sort of purpose by holding a specific leg shape that we’re all going for.

Because of my tights-wearing penchant this “steady as she goes” hosiery liberation activity occurs quite frequently.  In fact, the other day I scored some super stylish fishnet numbers in a smoky blue transitional-season color.  Although I didn’t have to trade a pack of cigarettes and chocolate for them they were extremely hard to come by.

You have to know the attention to detail I employ in accessorizing.  I’ve been known to build an entire outfit around one bracelet and this particular morning it was a similar deal.  I had my outfit all worked out, complete with a whimsical cowboy vest in full possession of that subtle mid-range blue.  I was on a fashion coordination high and because of that I flew too close to the sun. 

(Are you catching a whiff of foreshadowing here?)

On my way out the door, because I was so danged pleased with myself I decided to show my husband what I had wrought in color coordination earning noteworthy status in what would no doubt go down in the annals of fashion creativity.  (This is in my own mind you understand.) 

In the process I noted another exciting development; my tights were long enough to actually be comfortable, extending above my waist.  That's when I made the rookie error of impaling my tights upon my skirt zipper as I showed him the high water level of my tights. 

I had navigated the dreaded cardboard disk of destruction only to fall prey to the evil zipper of graspitude.  I unzipped my skirt thinking I would fix the problem easily and quickly; however, each time I zrrrppped down and zrrrppped back up the blasted thing got more and more enmeshed in my tights mesh. 

At that point I was a mesh, let me tell you, because my work schedule dictated that I needed to be out the door in 10.5 seconds or I would encounter commuter gridlock in addition to skirt gridlock.

Not being overly dramatic I wailed, “Oh, my God, why do these things happen to me?” as everyone in the family attempted to help me, including the dog who jumped up to see if there was some sort of food involved.

Those pitbull teeth – and I’m talking about the zipper here – were not letting go and so it had to be done.  I needed to apply fashion triage, save the skirt, and maybe enough of my tights to wear out the door.  I scissored those bad boys out of there stat.

I learned something that day.  It’s a little something I like to call “Fashion Roshambo” whereby instead of rock, scissors, paper the game is played with zipper, scissors and cardboard.  Scissors win.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

RE: MS WRITE NOW -- Celebrating Graduation With the Poetic Tribute, "I Knew You When"

I Knew You When…

A Quasi-Poetic, Narrative of Tribute to My Beauteous Graduating Daughter

Created by:  Your Mama
Written in honor of your high school graduation – June 8, 2012

I knew you when you weren’t 18, more like zero and a half.
Measured in increments of joy and months of anticipation.

I knew you even before I met you; Kelsi beautiful and bright.
Your father uttered your name and we knew it was you.

I knew you when your biggest job was to get yourself born healthy-limbed and vigorously normal.
We examined you so closely it looked like an Area 51 alien abduction reenactment.

I knew you when a can of Diet Pepsi would determine a mighty birth story or resentment.
Your father’s break from coaching duties occurred a nanosecond before the doctor yodeled, “Let’s do this thing!” (Or something like that.)

I knew you when the whole of us only became that way because of your arrival.
Your world was Mama, Daddy, Sissy, Kitty, Krissy, and Sammy; it was enough for all of us.

I knew you when your perfect little feet were adorned with toenails the size of miniature seashells.
I carried you everywhere, unable to bear encasing those exquisite toddler toes in shoes.

I knew you when you had so many boo-boos it looked like “parental supervision” should be added to your Christmas wish list.
Kelsi the Adventurer seeking answers fearlessly incurring a few bruises along the way to finding your truth.

I knew you when your best friend tagged you as her “Comfy Companion.”
That rich, solidly-grounded relationship will forever nourish you and your Sissy.

I knew you when Olympic Gold for swimming and AllStars for basketball were in your “do it or bust” future.
Through painful discovery and gracious acceptance you learned you are so much more than the titles and judgments others bestow upon you.

I will always know you, my precious daughter, and our bond distinguishes me as a life-time achieving Mama, the only award that has ever mattered to me. 
I have reveled in the fact that I’ve had you all to myself for this first phase of your gifted life.

As you go forward into adulthood I will savor my memories of your development into this exquisite creature I see before me
Delighting in the accomplished woman you are destined to be.

Now the difference is I’ll be watching you from a bit farther away; always your safe harbor, now standing on the shore.
Forever waving my metaphorical pompoms as you take the journey to always knowing yourself.

Friday, June 1, 2012

MS WRITE-NOW is the Proud Recipient of the Illuminating Blogger Award

Greetings everyone!

I am having a fabulous day that just got a little bit fabulous-er...y...the good folks over at the Food Stories blog emailed me that I was chosen as an Illuminating blogger and I couldn't be more thrilled.  

Here is a link to their blog:

Out here in Blog Land we're never quite sure about the "who" and "what" of it, but I say anything that's a pay it forward kind of deal that doesn't sacrifice baby seals (or anything remotely like that) in the process is all right by me.

I love random acts of goodness, kindness, and awareness.  Part of this nomination is that we share one random thing about ourselves; however, in the life of a humorist that's pretty much the mission statement for this blog, wouldn't you say?

I do have something though:  Once upon a time there was a "Brat Pack" couple named Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez (who knew HE would become the lesser known of the Sheen boys?).  

In those days -- and we're talking the eighties -- power couples didn't have their names fused together (think Brangelina), but rather they were labeled by the movies/shows they starred in.  This dashing duo appeared in the edgy, cult classic, "St. Elmo's Fire."

They were madly in love and wanted to produce/star in movies together which led to Emilio writing the script for a film entitled, "Wisdom." If you're a fan of irony -- and, boy, oh, boy, am I -- this ill-fated non-star-making vehicle was a bomb of a flick with a limited release in the Sheen/Moore basement I do believe.  Ergo:  Maybe not so much wisdom in producing this one.  (I personally believe this movie led to their break-up; however, my assertion is based in everything except facts.)

What's my random thing?  I was a stand-in for Demi Moore in this movie. In fact, at the time we resembled each other so much that Emilio began walking toward me at one point, no doubt thinking I was his beloved.  (Either that or my magnetic personality was really drawing him in and he was repeating over and over, "Demi-Schmemmy, must meet new, unknown, acid-jean-wearing stand-in with awesomely permed hair.")  I don't know.  You decide.

What I do know is that he would absolutely remember this moment as I do, probably even better than me, etched as it would be in his mind.  Granted, it could be that he was thinking of asking everyone on set to make a donation, so he could finish filming the super-duper expensive crash scenes it took days to stage.  Let me have my pink-hued version:  He saw me in a Touched-by-an-Angel light and knew in an instant I was already married and he couldn't have me; his one true, love.  [Insert sigh.]

My new best friend at Food Stories has also asked us nominees to nominate five bloggers we enjoy reading for the illuminating, informative posts they share with us.  It was almost tough for me to narrow this down, but I did that too.  I may need a nap now, there has been so much going on at the "home office."

Enjoy reading these!  I know you will!

Yoga Today

This is an unbelievable gem of a find boasting over 400 on-line yoga classes that you can access from the comfort, convenience, and privacy of your own home – on your schedule!  This yogis are inspiring in both their yoga practice and as human beings.  I always feel like a better person just looking at this site let alone accessing taking the classes offered. 

Cindie Wilding, Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant

She puts it best, “Bringing Ritual and Ceremony to Every Day.”  She’s just so gosh darned positive, uplifting, and classy that her blog has become the ritual and ceremony in my day.  

Feisty Cat

Feisty and so much more!  Feisty Cat’s prose purrs along, delivering thought-provoking, amusing, well-worth-your-time content.

Studio 30 Plus

Diverse, mature (not in a bad way), and refreshingly positive, this blog creates a rich community in and of itself, but it also supplies excellent outreach as part of its mission.

Work it, Mom!

Support that begins with a “W,” that’s “Work it, Mom!”  This blog is packed with all sorts of goodies for the time-poor, idea-rich mama.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

RE: MSWRITE-NOW (One-liner Humor) The Topic? Safety

Greetings everyone!

I hope today finds you all enjoying this glorious weather for which we've waited all winter and spring.  

Over here on our home front we're in the midst of a huge outdoor beautification project that has me actually discovering fertile ground underneath blankets of vintage pine needles.  Couple that with the fact that I'm launching my zumba classes tomorrow, so I've got visions of choreography instead of sugar plums dancing in my head and you've got yourself a short and sweet MS WRITE-NOW blog entry today.

So, last week I was commuting my bad self down the hill to the big city, minding my own business when a LARGE truck hurtled into my lane, cutting me off so badly that it rendered me spitless.

I didn't even have time to engage my training horn -- meep, meep! -- to warn the big lug of the impending disaster that was two vehicles occupying the same space.

Right before he shot himself into another lane, spreading the "joy" that was his free-spirited driving method I noted his bumper sticker:



Sunday, May 13, 2012

RE: MS WRITE-NOW Waxes Philosophical on Mother's Day With Her Poem "Hen Sitting"

I don't know about all of you who write poetry, but most of my poems take me a little slice of forever before I'm satisfied with them.  

This is my one form of writing that I seem to throw and re-throw as though it's a clay pot that simply won't work itself into the shape I'm envisioning.  This means these ever-changing writings can be rendered into as many as 20 different versions of the same poem.  

What follows is a poem I wrote several years ago entitled, "Hen Sitting," but this is another version.  I'm not so sure I'm completely content with this run at it; however, truth be told, I'm not so sure I'm completely content with any writing I do, poetry or otherwise.  I just know that each piece casts my words into the amber of the moment in time and I must let them go, imperfect or not.

In honor of Mother's Day I humbly offer up, "Hen Sitting" which I wrote when waiting for one of my children to receive the results of her audition.

Hen Sitting

I wait
The Mother Hen
listening for the return  
of one from her brood

I feel
her pain
every promise of news
quickening my heart

I measure
time’s passage
through aching arms
longing to bring comfort

I know
her desire
the wanting of it so badly
the memory a brand 

I remember
when it was my turn
the memories surfacing
melding past into present

I am
The Mother Hen
ever waiting
with boundless loving care. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

RE: MS WRITE-NOW Gets on Her Poet With "Sprinkled"

Sprinkler Art

A confection of a poem, Sprinkled is one of my more playful offerings excerpted from a collection of my poems entitled, Quiet Boundaries.   


Joyous sprinkler
Whirling like a dervish
Over a grass floor
Nestled under wings of water

Tusks of green tendrils
Meet the droplets
Where the sky’s path
Draws ever closer

Playfulness paints
On a hurly-burly horizon
Fulfilling its purpose
At a horizontal slant

So ordinary an implement
Sparking wondrous contemplation
Of its patterned path
Across nature’s montage

Saturday, April 28, 2012

RE: MS WRITE-NOW (Humor) Oh, Crap(s)! A Family Vacation in Vegas

Oh, Crap(s)!

This entry was a little ditty I wrote when my youngest was still a toddler, but it remains a favorite and appears in my latest book, I'LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU...UNLESS I'M SOMEWHERE ELSE?!

           Vegas. Picture a family who doesn’t drink, smoke, or gamble spending their vacation in Las Vegas, Nevada and you’ve got a recipe for success, don’t you? Right. I don’t know why we didn’t call you and ask you before we booked it either. 

          We were trying to be independent and see where that gets us? In Las Vegas. Not that I don’t love it. It’s just not the place to go during Easter break when all of the other boys, girls and parents have decided to descend upon this desert version of Disneyland in search of that elusive thing we’ve only heard about, but never really experienced infrequently. Family fun.

           In all of our wisdom and, dare I say, packing some false courage, we decided to drive from northern California through Nevada’s fine desert region, staying in Tonopah, Nevada on the way, Tonopah being, I think, Paiute for trailers. And then “Onward, ho!” toward the Las Vegas territories.   
Due to our Las Vegas destination and presence in Nevada, that “ho” part of the statement takes on a new meaning also. As we traveled past perkily painted pink palaces like the “Bunny Ranch,” my daughter screamed out that she wanted to stop and “pet” the bunnies. You and every other cowboy within a sixty-mile radius, missy.

We just put the pedal to the medal and resolutely pressed on, providing some sort of lame excuse like, “the bunnies are sleeping,” which probably wasn‘t entirely untrue, it being before noon.

           We arrived at our hotel tired and parched, but feeling somewhat as though we were pioneers, except for this time we were pioneers in the smoking world. How strange it was to go from “God’s country” to Marlboro country. Who knew that childhood-filled memories imprinted in the mist of the secondhand smoke of my mind would swirl, yea, these many years later. 

         As I achooed my way to our room, I noted that there was a theme park located right inside our building and it dawned on me that there was another reason that this vacation was an odd choice for us. We were staying at “Circus, Circus” and I absolutely detest clowns. In fact, yes, it’s true. They sort of scare me. 

          Why had I not thought of this before I’d booked us into Clown Heaven, where not only were there pictures of clowns everywhere, but live clowns were walking all around the premises, garishly smiling or miming their way into my daily life. I resolutely resolved to be a big girl and have a good time. Next step, the hotel room.

          And that’s when things turned around. As we were led into our room I was dazzled by the fact that it was decorated with my favorite color – purple. The room was actually pretty darned large and as we made our way back downstairs we found a restaurant that provided us with the best meal we’d had in months, mainly because I do most of the cooking.

         Next stop was the pool, where there wasn’t a clown in sight, maybe because their "natural" ensemble doesn’t exactly qualify as pool attire. We frolicked, sunbathed, had iced teas served to us poolside and for the rest of the trip the fun just kept coming. 

        So what’s the moral of the story? As parents accept the fact that we have no idea what will work and what won’t, so just throw some ideas at a metaphorical wall, like so much spaghetti, and see what sticks.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

RE: MS WRITE-NOW (Humor) Too Much Saving Time

Too Much Saving Time

(FYI: It’s Daylight Saving Time (without the “s” at the end)

Because I live up in them thar northern California hills I wasn’t so sure this blessed event had occurred as of yet due to the fact that it was still snowing here two weeks ago.   

One week ago it was raining so hard that the windshield wipers for my car, which I fondly call the Hydroplane, valiantly stuttered out their end-of-season-buy-replacement-blades swan song.

Ergo, I only JUST noticed that there was more light in my dayparts.

(Does that sound naughty or is that just me?)

No matter.  I’m now reveling in the bounty that is this Congressionally-sanctioned time switching which provides me with the added bonus of several “able to do it all” hours of light in my day.

The concept of Daylight Saving Time (DST) goes so far back it was first mentioned by that perpetually productive guy, Benjamin Franklin. 

Implementation didn’t occur until World War I and during World War II DST was actually dubbed “War Time,” subsequently re-packaged as the “Daylight Saving Time Energy Act” right around the time The Watergate Hotel became known for its great acoustics.  

As a practice, DST was not known to be consistently applied.  At one point it was discovered that “…on the 35-mile stretch of…Route 2 between Moundsville, W.V., and Steubenville, Ohio, every bus driver and his passengers had to endure seven time changes.”   It took both The Uniform Time Act of 1966 and The Energy Policy Act of 2005 to create a sensible plan of uniformity. 

And you know what?  It still seems to confuse us all.  Be that as it may, I adore Daylight Saving Time.  I view it somewhat as a lovable, though absent too frequently favorite uncle.

While I delight in the fact that I never seem to have a “to do” list for long during Daylight Saving Time there is one thing about it I don’t love; resetting every clock and watch (last count 52) I own.  Fifty-two.  Fifty-two?  Is that insane or what?

It’s not that I’m someone who is completely enamored of all things time zone.  I don’t even have those fancy-schmancy clocks that provide a helpful chronometer profiling countries and states to which I’ve never traveled.

Nor do I have a cuckoo clock, grandfather clock, or a clock that shows the phases of the moon.

(In the interest of full disclosure I must tell you that, once upon a time, I did own a wristwatch which showed the phases of the moon.  I loved that thing too, not so much because I could tell folks what lunar phase we were in, but rather because I think moon images are soothing.)

So, my husband is a doer and extremely helpful. 

(Hang on for two minutes.  I’ll connect all of this up, so set your timer.)    

The other day I drove like it was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride when I was running a wee bit late for my exercise class.  I was practically standing on my accelerator, cursing the luck that would have me commuting on a day when a convoy was evidently delivering ALL of the food for northern California at the same time that I needed to be somewhere pronto.  (Harrumph!)

As I screeched up to my class I turned to throw my keys to the valet, only there wasn’t one.  Dang it!

See, this is what happens when you ingest a steady diet of smutty romance novels as a teenager, believing plots that highlight poor girls marrying rich boys.  You start believing you will marry wealth leaving a trail of valets, chefs, and trainers in your wake.

Consequently, I had to get back into my car and park the blasted thing.

As it was, I figured I was at least 15 minutes late to my class.  At this rate I would be practically starting with the cool down.

I rushed in, out of breath, clutching my half-garbed body, my heart and my checkbook.

The owner of the studio smiled at me kindly as she always does as I shakily scribbled my name onto the sign-in sheet.  Phew!  I made it. 

As I turned to launch myself into the class I espied an unfamiliar instructor.  Oh, what now?

My bewildered look must have been hysterical.  Let’s face it, when you spend an inordinate amount of time in life plying the humor trade there’s always a story behind your actions and I’m sure Mary figured this would be a doozy.

Mary’s question, “You know you’re early…really early?  Do you have some errands you can do?” was met with my look that said it all.  Whaaatttt???!!!

As I glanced at the clock I noted I was not just a skosh early, but an entire hour early.  I mumbled something about going next door to the bakery which is my version of an important errand.   

As the heady aroma of naughty, illicit, yummy baked goods hit my hypothalamus it dawned on me what had happened.     

My husband had helpfully re-set my car clock for me, so it was now reflecting the new time.  Because I had blown out of my office paying more attention to the fact that my work-out pants didn’t look so hot with my tank top, I had neglected to note timepiece synchronization.

It just goes to show you, time flies when someone else sets your clock.

Articles I read in my continuing quest to provide my readers with helpful, bite-sized knowledge morsels they can disseminate at their next barbecue.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

RE: MS-WRITE NOW (Humor) It's Taxing!


DUHN-DUHN-DUHN...It's Tax Day!

If you're like me, it's all over, but the crying...and paying!

I'm always amazed at how simple public servants like myself, who cling tenaciously to their lower middle class status, can owe on their taxes. But, hey, I still can't believe I'm not fixin' to celebrate my 30th birthday, so I've got all kinds of denial going on up in here.

In order of this auspicious occasion, I have decided to post the synopsis here for my humorous mystery entitled, K-I-L-L- TV which features a murder that takes place on -- you guessed it! -- tax day.

You can circumvent this little attention-grabber and just go directly to the newly-uploaded-for-your-reading-pleasure Chapter 1 on my website, accessing it by clicking the freshly minted "KILL-TV" tab. The WEBSITE of which I speak is:

And, hey, if you like what you read, why not order this beast? I've got one more kid child to put through college and if I have too many more tax years like this one that's looking more challenging than keeping my hindquarters above sea level with exercise.

It could be that not only will I be yodeling out to my daughter, "Junior college is an efficient use of our time and money this year," but subsequently, "There's nothing wrong with being in junior college four years and then transferring to the college of your dreams."

Ahhh, the American Dream. Not so much elusive as wily. Onward we go to that synopsis I promised.


It’s April Fifteenth. Tax Day. And while this is not, traditionally, a source of merriment for any citizen, K-I-L-L TV adds a new twist to Ben Franklin’s axiom about “death and taxes” by telling the humorously suspenseful tale of news director, Leslie Lloyd.

Fateful timing finds Leslie foraging around for a tape in the television station control room when she notices something is off besides the lights; station manager Lincoln Delaware Bradley III is dead.

Unfortunately, our alliterative heroine was known to disagree with the head honcho publicly, loudly and frequently. The fact that Leslie and Lincoln had one humdinger of an argument a mere day’s worth of hours before Lincoln’s death doesn’t escape anyone’s attention, least of all the police.

As if that isn’t enough, Leslie’s husband, that rat-bastard Bob, is leaving her, her income taxes haven’t been filed, and she’s in desperate need of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting—or ten.

An unexpected diversion in the form of a love connection with policeman, Jared Stanford, provides a welcome breather, even as a veritable Lombard Street of plot twists threaten to send her careening into a metaphorical wall representing her future.

The song title chapter headings set the tone for the intrigue as we get a closer look at Leslie’s life, friends and struggle to stay on top in the uncompromising world of broadcast journalism, as her

story plays non-stop on every station, including K-I-L-L TV.