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.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who's Birthday? No, It's Wendy's!

Especially for the N.C. gang. Because today is Wendy's birthday (Happy Birthday to one of our very favorite folks!) and because “that Vernon guy; he’s funny!” (Son of humorist to his mother, who is essentially liver mush in the great buffet of life.)

Did Somebody Say Shark Week?

Last summer we vacationed at a beach house with two other families. Vacation is an old English word meaning “No, you can’t bring the jellyfish home. Because he wants to stay with his Mommy jellyfish in the ocean, that's why.”

The rooms were awash with the sights and sounds of breaking waves, sparkling sunshine, and the pitter patter of assorted feet as folks stomped about searching for sandals, swimming suits, and suntan lotion. To some people any space that is filled with sibling rivalry and random whining might be unsettling. Add kids to the mix and it can be daunting.

To me it felt like home.

I come from a family with four children, which in kid math, what with adding a Little League team, several random Girl Scouts, and carrying a neighbor’s kid, equals 642 youngsters fighting over the last Kool Pop. The children in the neighborhood where I grew up traveled in hordes, like fire ants, but with Barbies and GI Joes, tunneling through various living rooms in search of something to do. I never saw a house with empty rooms until I married twenty years later. Then I went from room to room searching.

Where have all the people gone?

So Memorial Day last year saw me up to my baggy eyes and borrowed bathing suit in little people who still think the day begins while the sky is dark and who consider the fast lane in life a bicycle path. Toss in my two guys, who will remain teenagers as long as the punchline holds out, and who could sleep six days straight without draining their Black Ops health points, and you come up with a cross between Dr. Who and reality TV: Survivor: Time Warp Narcolepsy.

When it comes right down to it and the Special K Red Berries hit the bowl, the scene at the beach house could be a present day kid invasion or a scene from 40 pre-pixel years ago when I would be awake before the dew reached the saturation point and Mom gave up hoping I would ever sleep through the night. (Imagine my surprise when I discovered years later, after the first screaming bundle of No-Doze came along, that 9PM was the new midnight.)

After a few mornings when the kids rose an hour before the sun, I found I could nap with my face in a bowl of cereal that stayed crunchy even in milk, propped up on the couch watching exciting animated adventures, or reclining in a tidal pool at the shore (Wendy, that’s us!) surrounded by tiny fishes who have no appreciation for personal space.

Turns out that napping is my superpower. So I had a wonderful vacation and discovered my superhuman strength all at once. James Bond can have his fancy gadgets; I can sleep when the tide comes in and I’m up to my neck in sand dollars and seaweed. So bring on the sunrise; I'm a kid again.

Because James Bond had one thing right. You only live twice.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nailed It!

I can't take your call right now. I'm over at Stage of Life sawing and cutting and figuring out where I went wrong. Check out my handy guide to Do It Yourself home projects. But if you're squeamish, stay right here and browse through old pictures of the Captain. See there, doesn't he clean up nicely?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Facing Off

A Simple User’s Guide to Changing Your Privacy Settings on FaceBook

Step 1: Go to Account and click on Settings. This action leads to coded instructions in the form of a detailed transcript of the 1969 John Wayne movie, True Grit, written in a secret font legible only to flamboyant cuttlefish. (Luckily I am fluent in cuttlefish, having once taken a class in Oceanic Languages as an elective when demographic knitting was unavailable.)

Step 2. Click on the information you want to change.

Step 3. Click repeatedly on the same field when Facebook denies access for change.

Step 4. Place index fingers of each hand in your ears and try to make them touch.

Step 5: Put your right foot in.

Step 6: Take your right foot out.

Step 7: Put your right foot in.

Step 8. Shake it all about.

Step 6. Swear mightily and creatively in an open letter to the FaceBook founders.

Step 7. Using the big toe of your left foot, press the power button on your computer.

Step 8. Place your head on your desk and sit quietly until the teacher says you can sit up.

Following these detailed instructions will either launch a nuclear warhead or change your privacy settings. I deleted my birthday and five pages of status updates from public view, performed a magical keystroke that changed my picture to a shot of a cunning gopher lunching on a banana sandwich, and erased the child restriction settings that prevented me from viewing old Michael Jackson videos.

My homepage retaliated with an immediate status update sent to all of my relatives, the entire population of non-English speaking countries, and the Queen of England, that said, “This user is a gopher! Lock your doors! Hide your children!”

The Queen responded by immediately withdrawing as my neighbor on University Farm Zoo City Co-Ed Island, where she had previously harvested my crop of watercolor cows with impunity. All I can say is I’ve sprinkled her sugar maples for the last time.

It’s possible that I went astray in the directions. Next time perhaps I’ll put my left foot in.

And walk right out.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sloppy Seconds Saturday

Thanks to Carole at Irrational Propensity for sharing me around today on Sloppy Seconds Saturday. Join us for the fun over at Carole's where we're rediscovering that my hips don't lie. No matter how much I wish they would!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Top Tense

We're in cahoots - or careening into divorce court. Join the Captain of my Canoe at An Army of Ermas where he shows why we do everything together. . .separately.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dancing With Giants

When you're eight the whole world looks big. Sometimes if you stand on the shoulders of somebody bigger, you can see far into the future. If you only knew to look. Take a look at Sasee magazine's January issue where I'm Dancing With Giants.