Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Monday, August 29, 2011


What happens when you let the Captain loose on the Ermas blog? Join us at An Army of Ermas for a great, big earth-shattering KA-BOOM!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Yoga Bare

Don't look now, but the Captain's at it again. Check out my post at An Army of Ermas for a guy's version of what should be a peaceful combination of exercise and meditation. Take a peek and see what all the excitement's about. If you dare.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Battle Hymn of the Ermas

An Army of Ermas: Making you spew coffee on your monitor since 2009 2010 what seems like a long time ago. The Ermas salute Stacey Graham, Friend, Founder, and Fearsome Leader.

The Battle Hymn of the Ermas

(Who let the doggerel out?!)

(With customary solemnity by the Captain & Mrs. Captain Mullis)

The call went forth from mountain-top
To take the mighty pen
And wield against the sadditudes
To make them laugh again

The answer came from far and wide
Across this terra firma
"We come! We come! With flashing gags!
The Army of the Erma!"

And so they came, from every land
The innocent and racy,
To answer Zombie Nature's call
Obeying General Stacey

With limericks and doggerel,
With punchlines and with giggles.
In bold italic Arial
And small handwritten squiggles.

She sent them out against the Dour
To fill the world with laughter
And out they went good willingly
Although they didn't hafter.

With jokes and japes and cheesy puns
Hilarity ensued
While much of it was family-style
Some was blushed with lewd.

So every year on August ninth
Our wine in sippy cup
We raise a toast to General Stace
And put our bottoms up!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Better than American Idol and you learn Geography Too!

Why, yes, contrary to the propaganda spread by my offspring, I do have friends! Talented ones! Humongous thanks to Lisa Allen, who has taken time away from training for the Scottish games to entertain you while I’m away. What? Not training for the Scottish games? Would you believe the Olympic Games?

Would you believe a lightning round of World of Warcraft when she’s supposed to be making dinner?

Please welcome Lisa, who is patient enough to put up with my ramblings AND the Captain’s AND David’s and still manages to have a life.

When I was a horse-crazy little girl, I would always get excited when the month of May rolled around, because that was Kentucky Derby month. Now that I'm older and more sophisicated, a two-minute horse race just doesn't do it for me (no matter how pretty the horses or hats). I want something with even more color, outlandish garb, and excitement - I want Eurovision!

What is Eurovision, you say? My half-Irish husband introduced me to this continental wonder, which began as a Cold War propaganda tool. Imagine an American Idol with countries instead of hopeful wannabes, with wildly varying original songs performed over a weekend instead of a season, and rules of judging which change from year to year.

The idea is that all the countries of Europe (which they have a very broad definition of what constitutes Europe) send their best singer(s) and songs to compete on a spectacular technological marvel of a stage in whatever country won the contest the year before. The clothes would make Bob Mackie salivate, the Bjork swan outfit from the Oscars look positively pedestrian, and gays swoon across the world. The songs and singers themselves run the gamut from Eurotechno, to power ballads, to ethnic folk with rap on the side - you name it, they've got it.

The BEST way to watch Eurovision is to watch via the BBC. They usually have a snarky, funny host to put things in perspective. Think someone on the level of a British Johnny Carson, liberally apply lots of liquor. Terry Wogan had been doing hosting duties too long, as you could tell as the show went on.

The first year yours truly saw it (2008), the contest was in Belgrade, Serbia. The show always opens with the previous year's winning entry - in this case a plus-size Maria Serifovic dressed in male attire with a drop-dead voice and song, which brings up another nifty thing about Eurovision. Your weight, your age, your hair abundance, and your sexual orientation - they don't care about it! Can you sing? Do you have a good act? You're in! (OK, there might be some discussion about the “can you sing part”, meaning you may be subject to some unique song stylings and the occasional turkey. No, seriously, we mean a guy in a turkey suit.)

2008 saw a 75-year-old crotchey old man scratching a Victrola, a devil and an angel battling in
song, a Spanish Weird Al Yankovic, a Greek Britney Spears, what looked like Lucy and Desi singing by a clothsline with knitting bride backup singers, and best of all, a gaggle of Lativan pirates with rubber swords who were having more fun than it should be legal, especially as no intoxicants were invloved (on stage at least, can’t vouch for the audience).

Silly, you say? Yes, but darned if those songs don't just stick in your head, like a cheery brain slug. The Lativan pirate song, Wolves of the Sea received an enthusiatic thumbs up from the 12 and under crowd, and also every pub in England and Ireland. And while a slightly sappy Russian ballad called Believe won that year, which song do you think I most find myself humming?

(Historical aside, there is an irony to Russia winning, as until the early 80‘s a person in the USSR, and many other Eastern Block countries could go to jail just for watching Eurovision.)

Next time, I'll talk about how Eurovision does and does NOT wow some people.

Lisa Allen