Friday, February 22, 2019

It's Just a Name

Thought for the day: What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. [William Shakespeare]

[image courtesy of morguefile]
True, a name doesn't change the intrinsic nature of anything, but it sure can change our perception of it.

I mean... I'm sure Poopada Resorts is a perfectly... lovely place. I'm sure it smells like... a rose.

You can blame a newspaper article for this post. I'll tell you about the article in a little bit, but first I'm gonna take you on a journey through my convoluted mind, because the article got me to thinking about names, in general.

Did you ever have anyone or anything named after you? When I was a teenager, my younger cousin named all of his pets after me. The best one was a baby alligator named Susie. I'm pretty sure that thing hated me, because every time I went anywhere near it, it hissed at me.


However, contrary to what you might think, the impressive T. Rex Sue was NOT named for me. This largest, most extensive and well-preserved specimen, which was found in South Dakota in 1990, currently resides in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. For sure, some of my ways are a tad outdated, I'm getting to be as old as dirt, and I like to think I'm fairly well preserved, but this huge bag o' bones is actually named after the scientist Sue Hendrickson, who discovered her.

Lots of geographical places are named after people. Countries, cities large and small, and all kinds of street names are meant to honor real people. Here in Atlanta, it seems like street names change more often than some people change their underwear. I guess our politicians want to honor the most popular or notable people of the day... and then do their best to abolish all remnants of them when they're no longer P.C. or considered worth remembering. (All on our dime, of course.)

When I saw this sign, I couldn't help but wonder... was it called the old church when it was new? Or was it named New Church Lane up until the time its roof sprung its first leak?

I could write a whole post on funny town names. (Maybe some other time...) But here in the U.S., we have places like Boring, Oregon... Accident, Maryland... and Big Arm, Montana. (I always thought of it as Big Sky country... I had no idea they had a big arm, too!)

[image: Arthur Chapman]
And then there's... Chicken, Alaska. (There's also an Unalaska, Alaska... maybe it's a little warmer there?)

And Pee Pee, Ohio. (Think they have more port-a-potties than other cities?)

[image: Daniell Walquist Lynch]

And let's not forget Hell, Michigan. I could show you a mundane road marker welcoming you to Hell, but I thought this image was funnier. But now that I know there's a town in Michigan named Hell, I finally understand that oxymoronic-sounding saying, as cold as hell. And I also know that Hell does, indeed, freeze over, and quite often.

Okay, last one. I can't write something about odd town names without mentioning the two-town duo in Pennsylvania that always cracks me up. There's good ol' Intercourse, of course. Then... about fifteen minutes away lies the town of Blue Ball. (I kid you not!) Too funny.

A rather romantic... but essentially meaningless... thing one can do is name a star after someone... even yourself. The cost can be as low as twenty bucks and as high as a hundred, and what you'll get in return is a gen-u-ine certificate, by golly, as well as a celestial map pinpointing your namesake.

Now... finally, to that article I mentioned. It was about a naming competition of sorts.


In honor of Valentine's Day, a zoo in Sydney, Australia, invited people to name one of their brown snakes, a species that happens to be one of the most venomous snakes in the world. Doesn't sound very romantic to you, you say? Well, um, it wasn't meant to be.

The zoo advertised: Is your ex a snake? If so, now is your opportunity to cement their 'snaky status'... by naming a brown snake after them at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.

To enter, participants had to provide the ex's name and the reason (s)he deserved to be called a snake, along with a dollar donation. The winner was supposed to have been named on Valentine's Day, but I haven't been able to find said winner's name. (Maybe the zoo is still trying to sort through a mountain of entries?)


A zoo in El Paso, Texas, did something similar for Valentine's Day, only they invited people to name cockroaches after their exes.

Better yet? The newly-named cockroaches were fed to meerkats and other critters during a live stream. HA!

Ahhh... romance, eh?

Okay, so today's path was a wee bit convoluted, but I hope you enjoyed it, anyway.

                                Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Down the Rabbit Hole

Thought for the dayTime's fun when you're having flies.  Kermit the Frog

TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK.           

Is it my imagination, or is that clock getting louder by the moment? And that second hand... it's moving faster, isn't it? Yes, yes, look at it! See? It's whirling like a fan! Feel the breeze?

I swear, I just sat down at my computer  a few minutes ago, and now that big fat lying clock dares to insinuate that three hours have flown past. I ask you, What nefarious plot is afoot?

Alas, and alack, it is I. I've done it to myself. (again)

I read an anonymous quote somewhere that said Writing is 2% talent, and 98% being able to resist the distraction of the Internet. Well, ain't that the truth?! At least, it is for me. (sigh) I sure didn't offer up a lick of resistance today. There are just too darned many rabbit holes calling my name.

But the thing is, I fully intended to whip out a quick blog post, (Well, as quick as I can, which ain't very...)  so I could work on my book, and now, in the snap of a finger, POOF! three hours... gone forever.

My mother used to warn me about "good intentions." She said they're the paving stones on

(Not that agreed with her, but I sure would love to hear her say it again, just one more time.)

Oh well. Since my brain is currently comprised of mush, rather than regale you with some deep philosophical post,  (HA! As if.) how about if I share some of the funny signs I've come across?

In the seventies and eighties, this sign used to be posted on the street right in front of our house. We all KNEW what it was supposed to mean, but our three kids still took a lot of ribbing over it.

Here are some other signs that cracked me up. Hope you get a kick out of them, too.

  • On a septic tank:   We're #1 in the #2 business.  
  • Over a gynecologist's office:   Dr. Jones, at your cervix.     
  • At a proctologist's door:   To expedite your visit, please back in.
  • On a plumber's truck:   We repair what your husband fixed.
  • On another plumber's truck:   Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.
  • On an electrician's truck:  Let us remove your shorts.
  • On a dry cleaner's window:   Grime doesn't pay.
  • On a maternity room door:   Push. Push. Push.
  • On a taxidermist's window:  We know our stuff.    
  • On a music shop window:   Gone Chopin. Be Bach in a minuet.
  • Outside a muffler shop:   No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.
  • In front of a funeral parlor:   Drive carefully. We'll wait.
  • At a propane filling station:   Tank heaven for little grills.  
  • In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:  Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.
  • Hotel air condition instructions, Japan:  If you want condition of warm air in your room, please control yourself.  
  • At a Hungarian zoo:  Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.
  • Men's restroom, Japan:  To stop leak, turn cock to the right.
  • Car rental brochure, Tokyo:  When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigour.
  • At a restaurant, Nairobi: Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.
  • At a hotel, Acapulco:  The manager has personally passed all the water served here.
  • Hotel room, Japan: Guests are requested not to smoke or do other disgusting behaviors in bed.
  • Surgical facility, Rome: Specialist in women and other diseases.                                                                                                                                   
                                                          OK, enough for now. I'll

So, how about you? Do you sometimes let that crafty Internet (or something else) get between you and your writing? Or you and your housework, or yardwork, whatever? (MUCH more forgivable!) Is procrastination your middle name? Oh, do tell, and if you've learned how to discipline your time spent online, how'd you do it? What's your big secret?

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Making the Most of Our Time

Thought for the day:  If my doctor told me I had only six  minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.  [Isaac Asimov]

As you can probably tell by that nifty badge on the left, it's that time again.Time for our monthly IWSG posts. As always, thanks to our fearless leader, Alex Cavanaugh, for founding this fine group, and
 thanks to all the other nurturing guys and gals who've helped turn it into the thriving community it is today. To join this super supportive group of writers and to see links to other participating blogs, please go HERE

So what do you think of the thought for the day? Does that sentiment accurately reflect your thoughts about writing? Is writing your number one top priority, such that if you knew your time was coming to an end, that's how you'd chose to spend your last moments? Is that what's required to make us... real writers? If that's the case... I don't just feel like a fraud; I am one.

No matter what we do in life, I reckon we all have our insecurities. In fact, feeling like a fraud is so common, it even has its own title: Impostor Syndrome.

If this syndrome had a motto, it'd be I have no idea what I'm doing.

If it had a mascot, it'd be a chameleon. Fake, of course.

And I suspect most writers are afflicted with this dastardly syndrome. Know what'd happen if a group of writers were on the To Tell the Truth TV show, and the host said, Will the real writer please stand up? They'd look at each other, and they might even begin to stand once or twice, but in the end, all of their derrieres would remain glued to the chair.

You write? I write, too. But does that make us real writers? Let's forget about the six minutes left to live scenario, because that's a little ridiculous. Let's make it six months. Would you spend your last six months frantically trying to finish your novel?

I wouldn't.

I'm kinda like that duck in the picture. I like hanging around with all of you cool flamingos, but just because I can stand on one leg doesn't mean I'm one of you. I feel like the nerdy kid sitting at the cool kid table in the lunch room.

But that's okay. I don't mind being a nerd. And since I haven't been told I only have six minutes or six months left to live, I intend to keep plugging away at my book.

But it isn't my top priority, and I'm okay with that.

I'd actually made some decent progress on my current novel, which takes place in Montrose School for Girls ( a reform school in Maryland) in the late fifties. THEN I got an email from a gal who spent a couple years there during that time frame. I'd emailed HER first, but it'd been so long ago, I gave up on ever getting a reply. And then BOOM! Right before Christmas, she contacted me, and said I could call her after Christmas. Since then, we've spoken several times, and she said I could call any time. She's happy to provide me information about the school and the conditions there. I mean, WOW!

So, bottom line, I've gone back to the beginning of the book to make appropriate changes to reflect this new information she's provided me. It's a little discouraging to be essentially starting all over again. Makes it feel like I'll never get done.

And maybe I won't. Maybe the joke's on me, and I really do only have six months left.

But ya know what? That's okay, too. But however long I have, I've gotta keep doing the things that make life worthwhile. That includes writing and reading... but there's so much more...

[image courtesy of morguefile]

Which brings me to this month's question:

Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have? 

You name it. Cooking's a biggie, (Good thing, too, because we like to eat.) Being creative with our meals and trying new things makes it less of a chore and more of an adventure. Art and music are important to me, too. I've tried and enjoyed all kinds of crafts, but I'll tell you a secret. For the past year or so, Smarticus and I have been shooting a lot of pool. A lot. That isn't exactly creative, but it sure is fun. And I must confess, if he asks me if I wanta shoot, I generally drop whatever else I'm doing and reach for my pool cue.

                               How about you? How do you enjoy spending your time?

                               Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Friday, February 1, 2019

And Today's Winner is... YOU!

Thought for the day:  Today I will live in the moment. Unless it's unpleasant, in which case, I will eat a cupcake.

[image courtesy of Unsplash]
 I'd say we're all winners, or at least, we all have an equal opportunity to make this a terrific... and winning... day. All we have to do is carpe the hell out of the diem. Seize the day, people!

I was at a loss as to what to write about today, so I decided to let the day itself dictate the topic.

So what's special about this day?

Well, for one thing, February first is the day Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th amendment, which ended slavery in the United States. In 1948, Truman honored the event by making today National Freedom Day as a way to recognize America as a symbol of freedom.

May freedom and justice become realities... and not just lofty ideals or symbols... both in the U.S. and in every corner of the world.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. [Martin Luther King, Jr.]

So, please... feel free to celebrate! We can't all visit the Liberty Bell to lay a wreath, but we can most certainly go to Taco Bell for lunch.

[image courtesy of Morguefile]

Know what else today is?

Hula in the Coola Day! Woo HOO!

Know how to celebrate? Go outside and do the hula, of course! Maybe you could have a luau, even. With tiki torches and ukuleles, the whole bit. (On the plus side, if there's snow on the ground in your neck of the woods, maybe the tiki torches will encourage it to melt...?)

Reminds me a little of the one and only time I ever went trick-or-treating. I was thirteen years old. My father was... let's just say he was difficult... so Halloween at our house meant locking the door, closing the drapes, and turning out the lights. Forget giving candy to any so-and-so neighborhood kids, let alone allowing this so-and-so kid to go out begging for it. But that year... my father was working the 3 to 11 shift, and my mother said I could go out with my friends. (Yes, there may possibly have been some uber dramatic begging involved.) Anyhow, I decided to go as a hula dancer. Yeah. In Maryland. In October. I made the coolest grass skirt ever out of crepe paper, and I decorated a bra top out the wazoo, and I even had a lei. I was ready, baby!

My mother said no way.

She made me wear a sweater under the decorated-out-the-wazoo bra top, dungarees under the skirt, and a big old coat over top. Let's just say I didn't do the hula... but don't let that stop YOU from doing it today!
[image courtesy of morguefile]

Let's see... what else is being celebrated today...?

Well, it's Change Your Password Day. (You can go first...) It's also G.I. Joe Day, a day to celebrate the first doll designed just for boys. Yeah, yeah, I know. NOT a doll. An action figure. (I wonder why he and Barbie never got together? Think her personality's too plastic for him?)

Today is also (ta-Da!) Decorating with Candy Day. Pretty cool, I guess, but heck, I celebrate that darned near every day. I simply love to decorate my tummy with candy...

[image courtesy of morguefile]
YUM! Today is also National Baked Alaska Day. To be perfectly honest, I've never tasted this dessert before, but the cake, ice cream and browned meringue combination sounds absolutely scrumptious. Maybe today's the day...?

Today is also National Serpent Day and Robinson Crusoe Day. (Rather fitting that the day falls on a Friday this year, dontcha think?)

It's also National Get Up Day.

Somehow, I think expectations are higher than simply crawling out of bed, but at least, I accomplished that much. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Tomorrow, I may touch my toes.

I saved the best for last.

                                                       Today is Spunky Old Broads Day!

Actually, today is the first day of a whole month's celebration of us sassy women over fifty who refuse to get old quietly, and who are hell-bent on living a regret-free life. YAY, us!!!

Today is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be, so make the most of it!

                             Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.