Monday, April 25, 2016

Prince's obituary. . .

I'm reading a Rolling Stone obituary of Prince. It's called Prince, the Secret Philanthropist: 'His Cause was  Humanity.'
photo courtesy of Kevin Mazur

I'm so impressed by his originality and incisiveness and quiet philanthropy. The story is really moving me. And I'm an obituist--yes, that's a real term for people who write obituaries, and I put the "bitch" in obituist—so you'd think I' be totally jaded. 
"He had a level of pure genius that he expressed through music, and people think, 'Therefore he's a musical genius,'" Jones says. "No, he was a genius who expressed his genius through music, because he could express his genius through anything he wanted to."
By the way, in case you're wondering what my favorite Prince songs are today, I'll tell you: "The Beautiful Ones," "I Could Never Take the Place Of Your Man" and "When You Were Mine." Tomorrow, my list is sure to include "Little Red Corvette." 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Song of the Day: 'White Shadows" by Coldplay

I have not traditionally been a Coldplay fan and, for whatever reason, have kept the band at a distance. But today I listened to the song "White Shadows" for the first time—not to be confused with the '70s show "The White Shadow"—and I have determined it's a beautiful tapestry of a song.

It's elegant and, dare I say, approaches U2 in drama and majesty. I learn something every day.

                                                                                 >> next song

On parenting. . .

Any comedy I've ever seen that showed bewildered parents trying to take care of one or more whirlwind of a child. . .however exaggerated it seems. . .has been spot on about the difficulty of parenting.

I just bathed Savannah, 2, brushed her curly hair, made a ponytale, dressed her in a Hello Kitty denim dress and then watched as she tore it off her body like the Hulk. I then dressed her in a sweater and leggings and shoes. To say she made a fuss is an understatement. I believe at one point, I uttered, "The power of Christ compels you."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Etsy Shopping Find of the Day. . . The human Ken doll.

The title is a bit misleading. You're probably thinking I'm talking about this horrifying-looking dude.
Who, though I'm not one to judge,  I think may have had a bit too much work done. It looks like self-loathing to me.

But that's neither here nor there. I'm talking about boyfriends and husbands (or masculine girlfriends.) You all know how fun it is to dress them up.

 Sometimes, I'll find an item that I really want Brian to wear. Most often he hates it.

Today, I found some beautiful green-and-ethnic fabric shoes.

They're ike Don Johnson in Romancing the Stone, only a vibe that's hipster rather than disco. They're Mr. Darcy at a reggae concert. 

In short, they are Ethnic Indian Aguayo (Bolivian Peruvian Fabric) Sneakers Shoes—yes, that's one long name—from the from AndeanShop on

I love them. And, as it turns out, Brian likes them too. So they are on my wish-list. They are $34.90 and are 12 percent off for a "spring sale."

Our neighbors with the death metal band are performing tonight and in good form. I used to call them Titüba after the African slave who told witch stories to the girls in Salem who made all the accusations during the Salem Witch Trials. I just thought it was a freaky name. 
Then I found out their name is Cast Your Anchor. 
But tonight, they are so very angry-sounding I have two more names I might suggest to them. The first is Last Nërve. Their first album will be called Working It. 
My other name for them is Feeling Cross, but the "o" actually has a cross in it. They started early tonight. They may be playing late, because you could power a cruise ship with that angst.

Etsy Shopping Find of the Day, plus a bit about Lorde. . .

You know, it's true what Lorde says. We may never be royals, but you can call me Queen Bee. Particularly with this compelling bar of Queen Bee Soap from the SkyRainSoap shop.

You can get it with or without the gold mica dusting on the bee or in clear glycerine. What's not to like about it? It's elegant. It's $5. It's got natural ingredients and real with honey and, I kid you not, you can pick from 17 different varieties of honey. A variety of scents are also included to complement the honey smell, including Eucalyptus, heather, huckleberry, buckwheat, orange blossom and citrus.

It's also available with Marigold petals if you want (so decadent. What is this? Ancient Rome?) I'm so in!

One more thing.

How is it that a teenage girl like Lorde is such a cool songwriter? In my day, teenage songstresses like Debbie Gibson and Tiffany were cute and all, but they didn't have much to say. Lorde has imagery for days.

About her first plane ride, she says she will "see the veins of my city like they do in space." In Royals, she said "I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies." Don't get me started on the lyrics in "Team": "Now bring my boys in/Their skin in craters like the moon/The moon we love like a brother, while he glows through the room."

Plus, she's already learned truism like the fact that sometimes pretty girls just don't know the things us regular folk know. She also knows how to pronounce the word reveled, as in the way, when she was younger—what, 5?—she "reveled without a care."

And then there's her sound: everything's dusted with jaded cocaine fairy-dust like Lorde—already tired of being told to throw her hands up in the air—has been on the scene for years instead of just recently doing high school homework and binge-watching episodes of Spongebob.

It's like Shawn Binder said on a Thought Catalogue blog, marveling over Lorde's 2013 debut: "When I was sixteen, I was still trying to figure out that you shouldn't wear socks with sandals."

Who is Lorde, really?!

Song of the Day: "Rude" by Magic!

Okay, so here's the thing. I like to think of myself as having edgy, discerning taste. Like I have delved pretty deep into Bauhaus' catalogue.

And then a song comes along that is so cute, it gets to my cotton-candy-colored pop-loving heart. What can I say, "Rude" by the Canadian reggae fusion band Magic! just gives me a happy feeling. How can a lady resist a man on bended knee?

It's a great poolside summer jam.

          << previous song 
                                                                                >> next song

Missing Prince. . .

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Song of the Day: Andrew Bird and The Rolling Stones

My Song of the Day is actually two songs of the day, both country rock classics that speak of horses. For your listening pleasure, I will begin with "Three White Horses" by Andrew Bird, which is wonderful and atmospheric.

And then there is what I consider the most romantic song by the Rolling Stones, "Wild Horses." In fact, as my significant other and I begin considering getting hitched (it might be time, given we have a 7-year-old and 2-year-old), I'm thinking it might rather lovely to have our first dance to the song.

Epigram of the Day: "Register this" by Sarah Torribio

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Epigram of the Day: Lewis Carroll on writing

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.

—Lewis Carroll

< < Previous Epigram
>>next epigram

And also this amazing techno remix of Disney's original
Alice in Wonderland by Pogo, because it is so very cool.

Etsy Shopping Find of the Day. . . .

Call me a hippy. Call me a tree-hugger. But I absolutely love, covet and hope to buy these beautiful green moss earrings from the Ural Nature shop on

These clear resin globes contain real moss, giving you that just-set-off-on-a-quest-with-a-bunch-of-dwarves-a-wizard-and-a-hobit-but-still-elegant feeling. Which is important to me. They cost $45.

Song of the Day: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division

My song of the day is "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division because it is strange and dark and beautiful and always sounds like something completely new when you hear it.

 < < previous song  
                                                                           > > next song

Monday, April 18, 2016

Song of the Day: "Born to Die" and "House" by Patrick Wolf

Patrick Wolf has a fabulous, almost troubadour-like rendition of Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die." 

And then, if you want a somewhat upbeat chaser, you will enjoy Patrick Wolf's "House." I absolutely love the video, the way his home is gradually taken over by nature. Pretty stuff.

 < < previous song  
                                                                          > >next song

Song of the Day: "Youth" by Daughter

If you're feeling introspective and open to music that is pretty and wistful, you will like the band Daughter, an indie outfit from England.

 Wikipedia tells me that the band was formed in 2010 and the lead singer is named Elena Tonra. I've long enjoyed a song by them called "Youth." I love the words, ". . .setting fire to our insides for fun."

                                                                         > > next song

Sunday, April 17, 2016

You don't live in Pomona. Pomona lives in you. . .

A tone-deaf mariachi has been wailing into a sound system on a neighboring property for the past two hours. Brian said the guy sounds like he just broke up with his girlfriend. He suggested I yell, "!Cállate, boracho!" But that doesn't seem neighborly. Besides, haven't we all been there—literally or metaphorically—at one time, drunk, grieving and drowning our sorrows via traditional ballads of love and loss? ‪#‎PomonaProblems‬

Click-baiting hurts everyone. . .

I'm very vapid, and so celebrity click-baiting ALWAYS works on me. This time, the headline read, "20 celebrities with severe illnesses." So I'm into it. Get a sense of shared humanity and also add more information to bolster the frightening number of parasocial relationships I have. 
If you've studied communication theory, you may know that a parasocial relationship is when a person feels like they know someone famous. For some troubled young maidens, Kim Kardashian feels like a big sister. I am looking forward to the time—and I know it will come—that I have tea with Angela Jolie and commiserate about the stresses of parenthood, of creative work and of being preternaturally beautiful. 
Anyhow, so I clicked on the link and the first thing I learned is that Andrew Phelps' "severe illness" is ADHD. Got it myself a bit, and I know it can hinder someone considerably, but a severe illness? Ultimately, it helped the guy swim faster. His academic challenges were likely transmogrified into kinesthetic victories. 
And so I just couldn't get past slide 1. I'd been used. I was poised to learn that Jennifer Lawrence had narcolepsy or Tom Cruise had St. Vitus' Dance. ADHD, indeed. 
And another thing. Wait, what was I doing?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Meme of the Day. . .

I love this image of Bernie in the Barbie font. I can't hide anything from you, dear reader. I'm not a super-delegate but a super-supporter of Bernie Sanders.

And this font captures the playful optimism he brings out in me. I have a hashtag I've invented, and it's gotten zero traction. Ask me about my #BernieJourney

Happily skipping away from the establishment. . .

Epigram of the Day: "Bedrock Bottom" by Sarah Torribio

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Epigram of the Day: "Roadtrip, New Mexico" by Sarah Torribio

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Meme of the Day. . .

As a parent who was an '80s kid, I'm super-aware of how demanding kids shows are nowadays. You used to just veg out and watch some antics. Now, a kid is supposed to help their favorite character save the world. That's a lot of pressure!

A conversation overheard in my mind. . .

"Don't worry about me. I'm just averaging one mid-life crisis a week. Which means that by the time I'm 50, I'll be ahead of the game."

< < previous conversation

Friday, April 15, 2016

Songs of the Day. . .

I'm a freelance writer who has an ongoing freelance job as an entertainment writer at a Reno area newspaper along with my day job at a local newspaper.

How I got the gig is a story unto itself. It involves an ex-boyfriend and Adam Ant and I'll tell it to you sometime.

It's all a great deal of work, but I need the extra money. I also love the challenge.

Most often, I do profiles on individual artists, generally based on a phone interview. Today, however, I am doing an overview of a general festival that includes '90s hit-makers the Gin Blossoms and Everclear. I had no idea that the Gin Blossoms' lead guitarist and songwriter, the guy who wrote "Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You" had a tragically short life.

He killed himself at age 32 after being fired from the band for alcohol-fueled behavior that was said to be erratic and difficult. He died in December of 1993, bitter, sad and drunk, just as his songs were becoming hits.

I didn't mean to bring you down. It's just that that's how this writing thing is. You learn something new every day.

The other event headliner is the band Everclear, so here I am reading up on the group and listening to tunes like "Father of Mine," that I haven't partied with in near 20 years. It's a catchy group as well, and I'm surprised by how many words I know to their most popular songs.

 All this diving into '90s alternative reminds me that there is no time machine like a song.

An ex-boyfriend had a weakness for the Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy." Another guy I had a crush on, years ago, purchased an Everclear album, the one featuring "Father of Mine," and tried to sell it to me because it turned out not to be his bag.

If you are around my age, 41 if you must ask, you will likely be similarly transported by a sample of today's listening fare.

 Here are my—yes, it's plural this time—songs of the day.

 < < Previous song > > Next Song

Meme of the Day. . .

Came across this today and somehow it spoke to me. . .

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Song of the Day. . .

I think some people aren't aware of how insanely cool Sinead O'Connor and her music was when she first emerged on the scene.

This song "Just Like You Said It Would Be" off her The Lion and the Cobra album is my favorite, although "Mandinka" is a pretty close second. I love the Irish feel, the hurdy-gurdy music, the lyrics, her voice, all of it. I've spent some happy times covering this song, which I learned via the awesome power of online tablature.

Blog Post of the Day. . .

* Warning. Please don't click on the following link and ready my Blog Post of the Day if you are troubled by profanity. 

Also, please don't click on the link if you don't have any kids and thusly have never had to endure the abomination that is the Canadian cartoon "Calliou." You won't be able to properly grok the rage. 

My significant other, Brian, and I have often questioned why the 4-year-old cartoon character, who shows up on the kids TV channel Sprout, is so follicular-ly challenged.

More often, we have bemoaned the sexless way all of the adults in the show are drawn, to the point where you can't tell Calliou's mom and dad apart. We have also been very judgmental about everyone's wardrobe, cacophonous with primary colors.

And, in an if-you-can't-beat-them-join-them sort of thing—like a Stockholm syndrome situation—I tend to imitate the cloying and somewhat croaky grandmotherly voice that serves as the narrator: "Caillou was worried that the dog might bite him."

But a new blogger who I've accepted into my life, Janelle Hanchett of the Renegade Mothering blog, brings irritation with the pint-sized animated tot to new levels. And it made me laugh!

It's called "Caillou's Plan to Ruin America."

And it will change your life.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Song of the Day: "Out of Mind" by Tove Lo

I've got two songs of the day today, right in a row, because I can. I'm feeling into emotive female singers today.

In fact, later today I'm going to be turning in a freelance story based on an interview I had with country songstress Sara Evans. No pressure, right?

So here is a great torch song, "Out of Mind,"  by Swedish singer/songwriter Tove Lo.

 < < previous song 
                                                                                      < < next song

Song of the Day.: "WILL You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" by Amy Winehouse

This is a lovely version of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" sung by Amy Winehouse. Did you know the song, first recorded by the Shirelles, was co-written by Carole King when she was only 18?

 < < previous song 
                                                                                > > next song

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Epigram of the Day: "Earthy" by Sarah Torribio

< < previous epigram
                                                                                                          >> next epigram

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Epigram of the Day: "Diagnose This" by Sarah Torribio

A novel idea. . .

I've heard they're going to have these at polling places in November.

Meme of the Day: I made my own meme!

I've been told I'm too literal.

Writing Quote of the Day

Let's just all marinate on this one. So much food for thought.

A photographer is typically capturing the world, but they how they frame things makes all the difference. The same with a writer, I reckon.

Also, every writer, metaphorically speaking, carries a different "camera."

You  might be a quick developing writer, fast working, utilitarian and a bit funky.

You might use an old Lyca camera and need to retreat to the darkroom of your mind, alone and quite and steeped in chemicals, before turning out your work.

So many possibilities!

Etsy shopping find of the day. . .

What to give the bibliophile in your life?

Start with a candle that smells like books.

Theres a shop called Luminous Candles Company on, a bustling online marketplace of handmade and vintage goods that I regularly blog about, just cause I love it—whether I'm shopping or window-shopping.

They offer for sale The Library Collection,  a set of three 4-ounce soy candles scented, respectively, like Antique Books, New Books and Ancient Scroll.

Heres how they describe each scent. Antique books is "a leathery blend with cedarwood and patchouli. New Books has "the new book, just printed magazine smell." And Ancient Scroll smells of old parchment, frankincense and myrrh combined with sandalwood and more. The cost for this  bibliocentric threesome is $24.

Okay, here are some more perfect prezies for the bookworm in your life—which may well be you.

Now let me just put this out there. My next pick is expensive. Like kind of break-the-bank expensive at $325. But it is so awesome, I have to share it.

f It comes to us from an item from the EclecticForestShop on etsy, Bookends Hands Holding Fire Flames Unique Lamp. 

The name is unwieldy. The item is very cool—very 1930s heroic—and brings to mind a million inspiring quotes about reading and knowledge helping to illuminate the mind.

The next item is funky and retro and I'd like one in every color.

Was your favorite bibliophile around in the days when you filled out a card to check out a library books? Or are they connoisseurs of all things retro?

Then these Library Card Pillows in seven colors, from overdue orange to I'd -like-to-renew-this-book salmon and from paging-through-the-naughty-parts green to "Shhhhhh!" white.

They are offered by the the dirtsastudio shop on for $30 each. Forget the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?" My question is, "What color is your pillow?"

There are many more bookish gifts I could list but just like a writer of fiction and nonfiction books must discern when a story is over, so must a blogger. And it's generally a lot quicker.

The end.

Epigram of the Day: "The Slippery Slope" by Sarah Torribio

Friday, April 8, 2016

In which I watch my first Libertarian debate. . .

I'm watching my first Libertarian presidential debate on Fox. And, for the first time, I'm thinking here is a place where Fox is not slanted--where they are giving another, very real, piece of the American political story some air. 
I'm fascinated by all of the off-the grid comments and philosophical discussion and parsing of the constitution for its meaning.
Here is my impression thus far:
Libertarian presidential candidate John McAfee, a computer programmer, is pretty much Chuck Norris.

 In the debate—when he talked about why prostitution should be legalized in order to be safe and regulated for the gals—he shared that his wife was forced into prostitution at age 20. 
She stayed there for 10 years, suffering unimaginable abuse, under the thumb of a manipulative man. John rescued her and three years ago he married her. 
I'm telling you. He's Chuck Norris.

Holy crap that's good. . .

I have realized most recently the real reason I am chubby. Too often during the week, I am prompted by food to say, "Holy crap, that's good!"

I uttered that inwardly several times at a catered fancy meal I went to last night. And I uttered it anew tonight as I tried a brand new Ben & Jerry's flavor of ice cream.

I had thought that nothing could top Stephen Colbert's "Americone Dream." And I still maintain it's made of an irresistible combination of fudge, crack and patriotism.

But then I tried Jimmy Fallon's flavor, "The Tonight Dough." If you haven't tried it yet, allow me to share the on-the-carton description: Caramel & Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Swirl and Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.

Holy crap!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Humor vid of the day: Growing Up Mexican, the Dance-Off

First of all, while this video of these two Mexican boys dancing is happy-making—I don't really think of it as humorous.

These kids are bad-ass because hey are feeling the music and going for it. They make a groove and then build on it. Check out the vid when you get a chance.

I took dancing lessons as a kid. Lots of them. But my family wasn't a dance to pop or rock or hip-hop music together kind of family.  And ballet and jazz and tap steps rarely translate well to the dance floor, no matter what Julia Styles might say.

This is just one reason I never went to a dance in high school.

But then I went to my senior prom. Finally, I was at a dance. Some music was playing that beckoned me to the dance floor. My date declined to dance, but I decided to try it anyway.

Suddenly I realized something. No one knew how to dance. Not really. Everyone seemed to have a trademark move that they had settled on, satisfied that it looked not too stupid, ws arguably cool and felt natural to their body. Then they did it over and over.

I picked my own trademark move, and I've never turned back.

Show me a dance floor and I will dance until I am positively red. This happened to me at my friend Jessica's wedding, going on two years now. The stereo was blasting tunes hand-selected and burned by the bride and groom.

The mix included that infectious remix of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness." You get more rave-dance air if you kick off your high heels on the dancefloor, I learned at that shindig.

 There were glow-sticks inside of styrofoam wands. I was somewhat inebriated. The kids were being babysat (clicks heels with joy). And I just got turnt on that dance floor.

I got turnt.

Time for a change of occupation. . .

Goodbye, cruel world.

I'm going to work at The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Etsy shopping find of the day. . .

I like a good scented candle as much as the next gal.

In fact, I feel like scent is very big for me. It's one of my love languages, if you will.

I am a bit of a hippy and so when it's some kind of commercial candle like Glade or one from the 99-cent store, I feel like I can smell the unnatural chemicals as much as I can whatever fragrance is intended to waft from the melted wax.

And there are dozens of candles on that have my number, sold in shops like Anthology Candles. All of the are made of soy, high-quality fragrance oils and essential oils. The description on the candles boasts the following "Our low-smoke, clean-burning wicks insure there's no black soot in the jar, which is reusable or recyclable.

Now thats music to my ears, but at $16 per 8-ounce candle, can they deliver the smell? If they can, they are frickin' geniuses, because the folks behind this shop have whipped up all that is nostalgic, beloved, mysterious and magic. These are not your grandmother's candles. . .

A while back, a friend of mine and I designed a perfume, based on the deliciously nostalgic midlewy scent of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. I believe we planned for it to be called "Dank."

Turns out, Anthology Candles has beat me to it, conjuring up the Happiest, if most expensive, Place on Earth with candles with scents such as. . .

Haunted Manor. They have such clever ad copy!: "Boasting the eerie fragrance of a long-abandoned ghost house full of musty carpets and dusty furnishings—complete with its own graveyard. Once you light our candle, you may never want to leave!"

To put you in mind of the Dole Pineapple Whip ice cream you can get out side of Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room, there's also a pineapple whip candle in a sunny island yellow.

There's also a "Soaring Over" candle redolent with the smell of the orange groves visited during one of the downward swoops made on Disney California Adventures aerial homage to the Golden State.

There's a candle that pretty much makes our "Dank" cologne obsolete, because while it's billed as "The Black Pearl," it very well could be billed as homage to the Pirates ride at D-land. It's scents are a heady brew of "ocean mist," salt water, and "Moldy and Mildewy Wood."

Theres a candle called Confectionary that is fashioned after the sweet scents of the Main Street Confectionary, which is said to be a mixture of fluffy cotton candy and chocolate fudge. That sounds so decadent. Positively bacchanalian, from an olfactory viewpoint.

And if your sweet-tooth is still in overdrive, you can light up a Churros candle.

I kind of want them all, and while that's pretty expensive, it makes good economic sense in a day and age where a one-day adult Disneyland ticket is a hundred bucks! And you get an ascending discount the more candles you buy.

Non-Disney offerings promise to be equally exhilarating: Rome Burning, Flower Garden Festival, Baker Street Flat (imbued with the scent of Sherlock Holmes' pipe, leather-bound books and "notes of earthy wood from his violin."

So I'm itching to invest in a few of these. When I do, I will follow back with a post declaring whether these candles are as awesome as they seems. I might have to wait till next payday, though, sniff, sniff.

A conversation overheard in my mind. . .

"He has a mansion over in Norco."

My trampoline exercise kick, day 3 (or maybe 4). . .

Captain's log:

Thoughts that go through my head when I'm jumping on my trampoline.

"This is surprisingly fun."

"Holy Jesus, my shadow looks fat."

"I wonder if a neighbor can see me and has a trampoline fetish and is now planning to kill me." (Sorry, I've seen too many horror films and newscasts.)

"I wonder if I'll notice a difference in a week."

"God, I really hate [insert name of former life partner]."

And last but not least. . .

"Wow, a trampoline surface is actually perfect for stretching, yoga poses and self-massage." No, you sickos, not that kind of self-massage. Because that would just set the creepy neighbor tramp-o-phile off.

That's it for now. Oh yeah, and if you expect me to post a "before" picture, the answer is no. But you can bet my hot ass will post an after picture if this bouncing my way to fitness works.

Astrologically speaking. . .

If you are interested in hearing about your astrological sign and the zodiacal tendencies of your loved ones, you have got to check out Debra Silverman's YouTube videos.

She's an astrologer and a psychotherapist and a damn good actress as she channels the personality of each of the signs.

In the following video, she becomes a dark, mysterious, intense and slightly scary Scorpio.

Her cancer, like this loony moon child, can't seem to get comfortable.

It all rings so funny and true. And unless you're a Carl Sagan like rejector of all things "pseudoscientific," you will likely go through all 12 of her performances, laughing and nodding your head. She's got a website, too:

You might be a parent. . .

You might be a parent if find yourself uttering something like the following:

I was having a conversation with a friend, music being the subject, relatively intense. It wasn't long, though, before I had to say, "I've gotta go. I've got a puppet on my hand, and a toddler insisting I make it speak.

Fail 'till you win. . .

I think that's the underlying message of this meme citing some of the low moments in the long and checkered life of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders.

As a late bloomer, I absolutely love stories of people who didn't "make it" until years of trying. As a writer, my favorite among these is the tale of British crime novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler.

Mr. Chandler is responsible for novels starring his hard-boiled protagonist Phillip Marlowe like "The Big Sleep," which was later turned into a film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

He also co-wrote, with Billy Wilder, the script for "Double Indemnity," a 1944 film that is considered a masterpiece of noir film.

The moral of that film, starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and  Edward G. Robinson, seems to be never trust a woman who wears dark sunglasses indoors.

Chandler hit his own personal nadir, or one of them, when he was a young man. Wikipedia—a source that they say isn't to be trusted but which I consult daily—describes the time before he began trying his hand at writing:

"Having begun in 1922 as a bookkeeper and auditor, Chandler was by 1931 a highly-paid vice president of the Dabney Oil Syndicate, but his alcoholism, absenteeism, promiscuity with female employees and threatened suicides all contributed to his dismissal a year later."

I'm guessing he didn't get a good letter of recommendation from his boss the D.O.S.

But anyhow, he began scribbling stories at age 44 after getting canned. He was 51 when he published his first novel. I'm 41 and, doing the math, it all sounds so possible.

So yeah, I love hearing about people who take years to get there but have vowed to, as Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers sings in "Scar Tissue" of the Californication album, "make it to the moon if they have to crawl."

One more thought in what is becoming a stream-of-consciousness  blog post. Going back to Colonel Sanders. Not only has he provided countless Americans with instant fried gratification. He has become a Santa-like figure in Japan.

Yes, Chinese people have a tradition of getting a big bucket of KFC every Christmas. It all stems from a very successful holiday ad campaign, back in 1974, that urged consumers to indulge in "Kurisumasu ni wa kentakki!" or "Kentucky for Christmas."

I'd call becoming a holiday tradition for 127.3 million people winning. Particularly when you factor in the fact that only one percent of Japanese people are Christian.

So let's all collectively fail until we win.

In the meantime, enjoy this photo gallery of Christmas joy, KFC-style.

Dring! Dring! Message from the universe. . .

I just came across this meme online that spoke to me. I'm ready to go from striving to thriving, and from broken to jokin'. Who's with me?

Epigram of the Day: Dorothy Parker on the dangers of the martini

This one's by Dorothy Parker. I love her irreverence.

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.” 

Dorothy Parker was a woman ahead of her time. She was a pro-sex feminist and a writer who, through sheer intelligence and hard work, held her own in the male-dominated literary world of her day. 

If you like Dorothy Parker, I suggest that you watch Jennifer Jason Leigh's performance in "Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle." Her acting is wonderful.

If you want to read more of Dorothy's inspired quips, has gathered together "25 of Dorothy Parker's Best Quotes."

As an on-the-job writer, I often think of this gem she uttered on the process: "I hate writing. I love having written."

She's got my number, alright.

If she's got your number—if you'd give near anything to be a fly on the wall during those raucous, boozy Algonquin Round Table gatherings, you can join the Dorothy Parker Society. Membership is more impressive than having a MENSA card.

Etsy shopping find of the day. . .

I love this Rustic Wooden Cupcake Stand from Eliza Lenore Designs on

I feel like it would be perfect for mushroom cupcakes. In fact, I googled mushroom cupcakes and found this Pinterest posting that included mushroom cupcakes on a very similar stand.

Dear Lord. . .

This is the best thing to ever happen.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Putting the tramp in trampoline. . .

We set up a trampoline for the kids this weekend, and guess what? I've already jumped on it two days in a row.

I don't mean I gave it a little bounce to try it out. I've done a full-on trampoline workout.

I plan to do it every day for the next few weeks and see how it works out for me. In short, I'm on an exercise kick.

I sense that if I add some music to the equation, it'll be an even more joyous occupation.

Perhaps I'll even jump along with Paul Simon's "Graceland," where he says at one point, "There's a girl in New York city who calls herself a human trampoline."

I don't like to run. Everything on my body bounces and jounces and I feel hot and angry at gravity.
Not on a trampoline, however. Its buoyancy seems to say, at every turn, "Let me help you with that."

And it's fun.

I have many self-diagnoses, having concluded that, among other afflictions, I'm an INFJ, an HSP and an empath. Another is that I am, emotionally speaking, perennially 12 years old. And so, if I'm going to trick myself into exercising, the activity at hand has to be a blast, a gas, a game.

In this case, the name of the game is to jump my way to some bodily tone-age (not tonnage) and, dare I say, the greater secretion and absorbance of serotonin.

It isn't easy.

My job—writing, on my ass, at a computer keyboard—is beyond sedentary. And one of the trending topics I keep seeing on the Internet is that "Sitting is the new smoking." No really, though. People don't glare at you and judge you if you sit.

But now that I have a trampoline in my backyard, I really have no excuse not to give myself a lift every day. It just takes a minute.

Because spring is here. I haven't yet dared to don a bathing suit, but I expect it will go like this at best. . .

And like this at worst. . .

I know. It's neither feminist or nice to give yourself a hard time for having the bod you have. And I've seen the body-acceptance memes that seek to fight the patriarchy.

I get it and I like it.

But it's hard to get a grip sometimes on the fat-shamer inside of me.

I know that I need to get a grip on my inner critic before I pass those dreaded body issues onto my 2-year-old daughter. The same daughter that is thus far taking after her thin 6'6" father.

So I'm going to put it all on black this time, by which I mean the wondrous surface of the trampoline. I'm going to put all my eggs in one basket by zipping up that netting and catching some air.

And if I'm good enough, I might just run away and join the circus. At least it's not a sedentary job.