Generic Photo #1.

Don't you wish you were here instead of on this blog?

Wait. We will replace these pics with something good.

These pictures are beautiful, aren't they? They mean nothing as of yet.

I have to think of something earthshattering to include right here.

Enjoy these lovely generic photos until they are replaced with something more humorous and fitting.

Something important will happen here.

These are not photos of my last family vacation.

Default slides are boring.

I think I'll replace these photos with pictures of llamas and geese. Or something.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Fantastic New Blog Template (or How I Look Like A Serious Blogger)

Please enjoy this donkey.
I chose this new template to reflect my serious stance on humor. I think it works well. It gives the illusion that I'm up to lots of things at once, and that I have many, many important things to blog about. Or perhaps you look at it and assume I have a staff of people cranking out lots of articles. None of the above is true, but there's nothing like throwing people off your small-time scent and making them think there's something going on here that is larger than all of us.

I will, however, be adding some interesting categories. I haven't entirely picked them out yet, though. So hang tight. We'll get to it, and I'm sure it will be impressive. In the meantime, enjoy the random photos and the generic text and the links that go nowhere. I'll get around to attaching them to something as soon as I can figure out how that all works. Or maybe I'll get just someone on my "staff" to get working on that. I'll ask during a "board meeting" in which I am the boss of all bosses because I provide both "bagels" and "doughnuts."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How You Should Really Be Practicing Martial Arts

Talking to Myself for Health and Profit

I've always talked to myself. It's a family trait, and I grew up thinking it was perfectly acceptable behavior. Many a day I'd find my mother chatting to the laundry, yelling at a broken door handle, or conversing with the checkbook register. My father has been known to have involved "discussions" with things like lawn mowers and car engines, and my sister -- well, she would talk from the moment her eyes opened in the morning, whether she had an audience or not.

Me? I'm not entirely sure what spurs on my conversations with myself because I'm not often aware I'm doing it until someone else points it out. A former coworker with whom I shared an office would tell me I was talking to the computer, and would I please knock it off. An old roommate used to drive me insane with her interrupting of my personal conversations by yelling from three rooms away, "What?" Once again, I'd have to explain to her that I was talking to myself, not to her. She never did get it and claimed she'd never known anyone else who talked to themselves. What a sad thing to have to admit.

I guess that's why when you have a relatively small blog with a teeny tiny following, it's good to be okay with talking to yourself already. I have to admit it feels a bit odd this time around; I've started many a blog in the last eight or ten years, but I haven't been at ground zero like this since the early days with a brand new mommy blog before the term "mommy blog" was invented, let alone before the term "mommy blog" made people cringe and make mean jokes behind your back.

I'm okay with blogging to myself. I guess it means I can screw everything up here and there's no one to see it. Like the time I wrote a mommy blog post about which disposable diaper was the better choice, somehow forgetting that it was supposed to be a natural mothering blog. Or the time I had a book review blog in which the very first book I reviewed was of the worst book I have ever read in my life, and I said so. Even though it was a tiny press and a one-time author. (I'd feel bad about that, but the writer was an open, vicious chauvinist, not to mention a crocodile poacher.) So I hope you'll bear with me, whoever you are, because I'm sure to throw something in here one day soon that's horribly embarrassing. Something that, later on, I'll delete and deny I ever wrote. But if you're here, you'll still remember it. You're welcome to it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some bills to pay and it's time I have a long chat with myself about my stamp choices. I really don't think I should be sending cute animal stamps to the bill collectors. Clearly, they don't deserve it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

There's Something Else I'd Rather Be Doing

Ever start enjoying something so much that it overtakes your time until you really don't want to be doing anything else? So you don't do anything else. But then someone comes along and says, hey, why don't you do something else? All you ever do lately is this one thing, and I'm sick of looking at you doing it. Can't you try another something? Read a book. Tap dance. Levitate. Anything but that one thing.

So you stop.

And then you're not doing that one thing, but you keep thinking about it anyway because, let's face it, you don't want to be doing all that other stuff you've been forced into doing. Which makes you squirrelly. Or maybe you develop a twitch. This is not healthy, you say to yourself. If I still got to do that other thing, I wouldn't have this embarrassing facial tick, you say to yourself. And what's up with this other person wanting me to levitate instead of doing that thing I was already perfectly happy doing, albeit way too often. It's not like it was drugs or drinking or chewing my nails. I was having fun, being productive, surrounding myself with a hobby sort of thingie. And what's more, when you have a hobby sort of thingie, sometimes you can SELL it and make a PROFIT with it. What's up, other person? I should be doing this hobby in my sleep because eventually I could become RICH and maybe even FAMOUS because isn't that what happens to people who become totally obsessed with something? They monetize it? This is America, for Pete's sake. We monetize the stuff we love to do so that we can keep on doing it, or so that we can become so successful at it that we have to hire other people to do it for us so we can administrate then whine and groan that the only reason we got into the business in the first place was so we could spend all day doing what we love to do but now we never get to do it anymore.

No, this is taking a wrong turn. All I wanted to say is that sometimes it's good to get all wrapped up in something until you don't want to do anything else. Isn't it? Or is this where a therapist steps in, takes my hand, and gently leads me to a couch where I start crying because someone took my blankie when I was two and now I'm trying to replace it with a hobby that no one can throw in the garbage when I'm not looking?

This is too much. I'm going to do that thing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

255 Visitors Can't Be Wrong - Or Can They?

I've had this blog for awhile now and have done virtually nothing with it. Maybe you view that as some sort of rookie mistake, but truth be told, I have other blogs. Blogs with rather large followings. Blogs I've written many posts on. So, why do I shove this one aside?

Laziness, mostly. I have to log into this one differently from the others, and I can never remember the password. I also realize that the last post I wrote was about the release of my new book, The Archibald Review, a book whose name was changed shortly after the post, but I never corrected it so I felt like there was some big weight on my shoulders every time I thought about coming here. So, there's that.

Despite these shortcomings, somehow or another over 200 people have seen fit to swing by here. While I recognize that most of you are Russian spammers, that number was enough to make me realize that I was appearing to be one of those long abandoned blogs that no one writes in. The sort that irritate you when you're hoping to use that very name for your own blog, but you can't because someone is already using it, someone who only posted three times, the last post having been written in 2003. I get it. I really do.

So to all those people who really wanted to use, I am very sorry. But I'm not giving it up because today is housecleaning day.

Housecleaning item #1: The Archibald Review is not The Archibald Review any longer. It is now This Book Is Funny (arguably a worse title than the first, but it's selling, so I'll leave well enough alone).

Housecleaning item #2: All Russian spam comments will be eradicated from the site, pronto.

Housecleaning item #3: To all of you who sit on Blogger for hours and click the "Next Blog" button just to see what will pop up, thank you for being my only legitimate visitors. It's an honor to have you come by.

Housecleaning item #4: (Three items felt more balanced, but I've got this to contend with so bear with me.) My tagline says, "Writer of humor, eater of mangoes." Thought I'd clear that up a minute. Yes, I'm a writer of humor. Yes, I do eat mangoes. But it's been so long since I could afford a mango that I'm feeling a bit guilty about keeping that in there. I'd switch it, but the color scheme is clearly mango inspired and then I'd have to alter that too, which seems like an even bigger inconvenience than rewriting the tagline.

Thanks for hanging on, you few real live visitors. I'm going to write stuff here now, so if you want to visit occasionally, that'd be great.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This Book Is Funny and Cavemen, a Blog Post Combo Extraordinaire

It is true, all the hubbub you've been hearing: I have published my first ebook, This Book Is Funny. It's a collection of humorous shorts, satire, and scripty sorts of things. As to avoid getting all advertisement-like, I'm instead sharing one of the short stories here, A Cave With a View. I hope you'll enjoy it. I hope you'll enjoy it, become a huge fan, purchase all my further works, and talk about me all the time. But I hope you won't stalk me. Please don't.

Okay, maybe a little.

A Cave With a View

“And this is the great room. As you can see, it offers plenty of living space, what with the fire pit in the middle and the ample seating area.”
John did a 360 in the middle of the room and took it all in. It was the twelfth cave he’d viewed that week, and quite frankly, he was getting tired. The agent his wife had insisted on choosing was a forceful woman who leaned toward leopard print and seemed determined to shove every dwelling they viewed down their throats, thus ridding herself of what she said were their “impossible desires, considering today’s housing market” and pocketing her tidy sum, which appeared would be at least half a mastodon.
“Yes. Yes, this is a fantastic room. But the view…” He gestured through the opening, his frustration building. The last cave she suggested faced due east, and the rising sun would surely wake the baby, whose early dawn cries might alarm the nearby animals, thereby severely limiting their breakfast options. This one faced a neighboring cave, and the inhabitants appeared messy. The front yard was littered with discarded stone tools and half a rotted short-faced bear carcass. Every now and then, he caught a whiff of their cooking. Neolithic. He hated foreign food.
“There’s nothing wrong with that view, Mr. Rockwell. It would do you a world of good to have neighbors. Just think of the hunting buddies. And they have kids! I assure you, they’re longterm renters so there’s nothing to worry about.”
“Oh, don’t be a snob. Did you check out the interior design? The last couple did a fantastic job on the paintings, don’t you think? Just look at that graceful buffalo herd. You can almost smell the barbecue.”
John did like the cave paintings. They were a bit rustic for his taste, but a vast improvement on the series of hand prints where they lived now. His wife, Lydia, considered herself an aspiring artist, but she’d been stuck in what she called her “hand print period” for over five years, and he yearned for something new. Perhaps with the walls already decorated, he could break her habit. Besides, he was tired of having to explain his wife’s blood red palms to everyone.
“Well… I don’t know. The bathroom is a bit close to the cave opening. I mean, look at that.” He waved toward the stand of brush not 50 feet from them, where a man he supposed was from the rental was squatting, his face scrunched and red. “And you know I’m not keen on a community toilet.”
“Oh, that.” The agent waved it off. “You must understand, Mr. Rockwell, the population is exploding. Why, just yesterday during our department meeting, my boss was telling us that they fully expect the world population to hit 8,500 people by the end of the year! Do you know how many caves we need to house all those people? And don’t even get me started on private bathrooms. If you want a private bathroom, an extended fire pit, quality cave paintings, and that vaulted ceiling Lydia’s dreaming about, you’re talking at least an increase in price of about….” here, she reached up and scratched her lice, “a half dozen antelope.”
“Yes, that’s right. Although there is something on the other side of the ridge within your range that has a private bath and vaulted ceilings. And it does have a southern exposure, but. …”
John’s unibrow shot up. “Well, why aren’t you showing me that?”
She shuffled her feet and hesitated. “It’s a bit of a fixer-upper, and it’s been empty awhile. The last inhabitants met, shall we say, an early demise.”
“Neighboring tribe?”
“Saber tooth.”
John cringed and felt the hair on his back stand up. “Saber tooth!”
“Yes, but that was at least seven or eight moons ago, and there haven’t been any sightings since then.”
“Still, I’d have a hard time convincing Lydia. Her mother lost her left foot to a saber tooth and we’ve been dragging her around ever since. It’s been a real inconvenience.”
“As I can well imagine.” She paused. “You’d like to see it, wouldn’t you?”
“Would you think I was crazy?”
“No, I wouldn’t. Now that I think of it, it could be just the place for your little family. There’s a sandpit out back and some great vines for swinging. And the walls are done in a lovely wild horse motif. Fire pit is large but could use a few more rocks. Let me just grab my club and we’ll walk over. We’ll be there and back before sundown.”
“Do you mind if I quick whittle a spear or something? Maybe we’ll be able to squeeze in a little dinner after.”
“Sounds good to me. I spotted a sloth out back a few days ago. I’m sure he’s still there.”
“Great. My baby loves sloth. The toes are a special treat, as he is teething.”
The agent grabbed her trendy bog lemming skin satchel bag and swung it over her shoulder. “Then let’s get going. If this location works for you, perhaps we can get in an offer and have you settled in before the holidays. Lydia tells me her whole family is coming this year!”

“She did, did she? Would the cave happen to come with a tar pit?”

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Office Party

Ho ho ho, everyone, and welcome to the fifth annual "Da Bomb" Office Christmas party. Jingle Bells! Hey, Joe, refresh my eggnog, will you, ol' buddy? This stuff makes me feel like a bull at Pamplona, and I'm seeing a red dress over there, whoa Nellie!

I want to thank you all for coming this evening; the party's been a real blast so far and -- whoops, there goes my nog! Somebody better clean that up before the Congo line gets going. Say, Joe, you better get me a fresh one, eh? Top off the ol' nog, I'm coming in for a landing.

First, let me say that as your fearless leader, your big kahuna, your head cheese, I feel a swell of pride this evening. Just look at you guys — all dressed up for the holidays like that. Wow, especially you, Candice! You're usually so shy, so reserved, so... turtlenecky. But tonight you look scrumptious! What's that you're wearing, cleavage? Beautiful. Just like a high class lady of the evening. Or a news anchor.

I — what is this? The podium? It keeps moving. Someone hold this thing down before it gets away. 

The buffet is just tremendous, and I appreciate you all bringing a dish to pass this year. That really helped stretch that Christmas party budget, which is great because we were able to afford those lovely decorations at a sizable discount. I just wish it woulda been something more Christmassy, but hey, they sure set a festive and somewhat patriotic mood, what with that firecracker of a spread. Just don't try Bob's special mock seafood salad. We think that's what gave the guys in accounting the trots, and we're very sorry about that. As a rule, don't eat anything with the word "mock" in it and you'll be fine. Just for future reference.

Okay, what've we got here? Christmas bonuses? Yes, this is usually when I pass out the bonus checks, isn't it? And — Joe, someone seems to have emptied my — thank you.

In lieu of Christmas bonuses this year, I thought we'd try something a little different. I've composed a song and I'm going to sing it to you now. I've brought along my ukulele so's I might serenade you with a lovely ditty. Ed, my ukulele, please. Where's Ed? He's not still hanging out in the supply closet with Janice, is he? If Ed's wife is still around here... oh, there you are, my dear. Maybe you can fetch me my ukulele. Just ask Ed where it is. Supply closet's the second door there on your left. Just past the drinking fountain.

Maybe someone should take that coat rack out of her hand first? Thank you. 

In the meantime, I'd like to propose a toast. A toast to all of you, my wonderful employees. As soon as Joe gets this tumbler filled. There we go. I've worked with you all these many years, and you've stuck by me and this company through thick and thin. And thinner. I'll be so very sad, indeed, when I have to spring it on you that we're going under. Oops. Did those words just fall out of my mouth? Gosh, I'm sorry, folks, and here I meant to break the news in song, all peaceful and Kumbaya-like. Probably just the 'nog talking. 

HO HO HO! Don't worry, layoffs won't begin until after the New Year, so you can just relax and enjoy the holidays. January second is a long way off yet. Hey, everybody, look on the bright side: You won't be fired till next year! So cheers! I think I’ll sit down now. Kumbayah.