Archive | January, 2012

5 Scary Things That Happened to Me Today and Why I May Be Having a Mid-Life Crisis

25 Jan

5. While writing something, I could not figure out how to spell silhouette. I was misspelling it so badly that spell-check couldn’t even get a grasp of what I was trying to say. Finally, urged by desperation and impatience, I just looked it up.
s-i-l-h-o-u-t-t-e. Huh. Okay.
So I continued with my work until I got flummoxed again. Jiminy Cricket is a …conscious? No, wait…consiounce?  Oh God, no. Five minutes later, I had confirmed that the word conscience has “science” in it (since when??) and established a growing fear that I had lost all my smarts. Plus, I kept thinking of this 
great (if wince-worthy) comic by For Lack of a Better Comic that depicts an English major getting his English Major Badge taken away for bad spelling. 

4. I decided to treat myself to a mug of hot chocolate, what with my spelling nerves being so frazzled. I got a mug out of the cupboard, got the milk out of the refrigerator. I poured the milk into the mug, put the mug in the microwave. I put the milk back in the cupboard….
wait a minute…

3. Tomorrow, I will be chauffeuring a friend of my grandma’s to a doctor’s appointment. (I have a feeling that this experience will require its own post. The possibilities for hilarity and insanity are endless.) Today, this lady called to confirm what time I would pick her up, then said seven terrifying words: “I have you for the day, right?” The last time this particular woman asked this, I ended up spending 4 more hours with her than I had intended, pushing a grocery cart through Starbucks like a crazy person, reading the nutritional content of every single frozen dinner in Trader Joe’s, cleaning out her fridge, and doing her laundry. 

2. I applied for yet another job that I could potentially be excited about. ‘Nuff said. 

1. During an afternoon phone call, Grandma expressed her concern about me not meeting new people, living with my parents, not finding a job–the list goes on because, apparently, my life is very concerning. Grandma concluded with: “You really need to meet more people your own age. Your life is half over.”

I’m 23. I’d just like to put that out there. I’m 23, and Grandma has me in the middle-aged category already. Gee,  I thought I’d have accomplished so much more by this point.

“You’re 93!” I shouted. “If I live to be your age, then I’m definitely not at the halfway mark!”
“What, so I rounded up.” Grandma said.  And then: “Still, I think something’s half over. Your child-bearing years. Your brunette years. Your freedom years.”

This Will Make You Chuckle

17 Jan

Baby Ninja?

Last week, in a nod of respect to my New Years resolution to write more, I started writing a short story involving giraffes. It’s probably not as interesting as it sounds; if you’re thinking, for example, that it’s a story with talking giraffes, I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you. (That does sound like a good read, though.) I was a giraffe for Halloween once, but I’m not sure I could put the right words in this particular animal’s mouth. I’m not even sure what a giraffe would sound like or who would listen–however, my guess would be the opposite of David Schwimmer, and anyone who’s smart enough.

There are actually no giraffes in the story, just a lot of conversation about them. I spent several hours, in the name of research, reading  interesting facts about the giraffe. The trouble with this was that I got sucked down an internet rabbit hole and ended up spending my writing time surfing giraffe trivia. Most major city zoos have a special page of their websites devoted to the giraffe. In case you need some interesting dinner table conversation or unique pick-up lines (hey, it’d probably work on me), I’ll be glad to help you out:

The average giraffe tongue is about 20 inches (50 centimeters) long.

Female giraffes give birth standing up and babies can walk within hours after being born.

Giraffes can go weeks without drinking. They eat moisture-rich foods such as acacia leaves and usually seek water every few days, lowering themselves in a splay-legged drinking stance that leaves them vulnerable to predators.

Giraffes sleep only about a half-hour a day, and this time is usually broken up into about six five-minute naps.

I sort of just assumed that animal information on zoo websites was guaranteed fact. Since zoos are all about education and preservation, I figured that fact-checking would be a high priority. Most of the sites I visited had the same basic giraffe content. All except one, that is.

Which brings me to the chuckle I promised you. Thanks for hanging in there.

The Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, devotes a page of its website to the Baringo Giraffe. Among the giraffe information listed is this:

Giraffes can run 35 mph and can kick with all four legs at the same time.

Go ahead. Re-read it. I’ll wait.

Okay, now picture a giraffe kicking with all four legs at the same time and don’t laugh or smile.


Did you just envision a ninja giraffe kicking out at four different enemies while screaming “HI-YA”? Did you imagine a giraffe that looked something like a bear-skin rug?

Now, I have a feeling that this tid-bit of info is a mistake–but I’ll take my amusement any way I can get it.

This chuckle was brought to you by Oh My Words! and the Dickerson Zoo. You’re welcome.

The Truth is, I Never Left You…

6 Jan

Well, okay, I did leave you.

I left you for about two months. Two months without a word. Two months without my words. I’m not sure how you survived without me and will admit that I got a warm and fuzzy and guilty feeling when a couple of folks inquired about my disappearance. (Hi Allenavw! I’m alive!)

I’ve been an irresponsible blog parent. I’ve been a grade-A procrastinator. I’ve been working on a secret project that will remain unmentionable until it isn’t. 

If you’re at all grateful for my prodigal return (fatted calf burgers anyone?), then you must be grateful for my friend Lisa and the New Year. Lisa is out of town, so I am dog sitting for her. With an empty house–apart from Ginger the sweetheart golden retriever, that is–it seemed like the perfect opportunity for some blog writing/brainstorming. Thus the where and the when blogging puzzles were solved. As for the why….

One of my New Years resolutions is to get back on the blogging horse. No more M.I.A. Oh My Words! This is actually my only resolution that made the cut. Those that have already hit some bumps in the road include:

1. I will not buy another book until I’ve read all those that are lining my shelves, piled on my floor, propping up lamps, hiding under coffee tables etc. etc. etc. 

In theory, this resolution is top notch. It’s practical, fun, and good for the soul. I’ll feel so accomplished if I can finally read the books I’ve been meaning to read. The hiccup? There is another library used book sale coming up and, if you’ll recall, the last one had me swooning from sheer joy. I can’t not go to this sale. Can’t do it. And I can’t go and not buy anything. That would be Hell, pure and simple.

So, within 24 hours of making my book buying resolution, I was forced to amend it. I will try to go easy on the book-buying, I really will–but a book nerd and bargain hunter only has so much strength. For my new goal, I will tackle my To Be Read list and occasionally post about my reading. I’m not into book reviews (more specifically, the idea of writing them gives me the heebie jeebies), so this will likely mean just quotes or random thoughts. But look at me, combining one resolution with another! I. Am. Good.

2. I will spend more time on my creative writing.

The vagueness of this resolution is a problem. “More time” is relative, since I haven’t seriously devoted myself to my writing for quite a long time. I could spend a minute writing today, and it would be more than I spent yesterday (or the day before, or the day before that). Also, this blog doesn’t count. I know, I know–but it’s still writing! It’s still engaging the right (write?) part of the brain! Let’s not forget the blogging resolution already! All good points. What would I do without you?

What I need is a writing schedule. Or a daily word count goal. Or some stick-with-it-ness. What I need is a writing resolution without a lot of wiggle room. (See “more time,” discussion, above.) What I need is a cookie.

Other resolutions I’ve bandied about: working out/exercising more diligently (cliche and vague!), being braver (just vague), and following all horoscopes and fortune cookie fortunes to adventure (call it what you will).

For now, you can rest assured that I’m back, baby! As always, thanks for reading. You can expect more words soon!

“More” being relative, of course…..