You guys DO understand that we’re reading other people’s PERSONAL and REAL emails here, right?

Remember my plan to rid the world of misdirected emails? Every time I get something good sent to me by mistake, I’m sharing it. Right here. In a segment called Check Your Email, Dude (CYED).

* * * * *

You are now reading Episode #4 of the Jud & Bill series entitled Brotherly Love, chronicling the mundanely interesting goings-on in the daily lives of two brothers across the country from one another. For the last episode, click here.

[ Brotherly Love - Ep. 4]

7/22/11, 1:39am


As far as my newest hobby of trying to brew my own brew (I think that is a pun), I did think about the pool, but decided against it. My main concern was what to do with my 1991 water that I have spent countless money on to keep clean for 21 years now. Under NYS motor vehicle law, it is now considered classic water, and I only have another 79 years to go before I can declare it antique water. You need to keep on looking for where they are growing the Mary Jane. I know it is out there. Remember brand names like Califorina Gold. Talk soon.


Will Jud realize that he in fact did not make a pun at all?  Why in the shit has he been saving water for 21 years? Where did he attend school and not learn to spell California???

Stay tuned for more adventures of Jud & Bill in our next episode of Check Your Email, Dude.


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{April 29, 2012}   My Apologies to Drew Carey

Is it weird to base a whole blog post on someone else’s YouTube videos? Whatever. There are no rules here. So, put your feet on the table, ruin your dinner with Doritos and go blow your nose on the good towels. This post just had to be written.

I recently became reacquainted with a couple of videos that make me nearly pee my pants every time I watch them. My husband travels a lot for work (more on that another time) and one of the many cities he’s had the good fortune to visit is beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. During one of his visits there, he and I first discovered these mock tourism videos made by a couple of brilliant dudes who I can only assume hail from Cleveland. Otherwise, it’s totally offensive.

The first video is funny … but the second one had me inhaling my Diet Coke. Which really burns, by the way. And yet I still associate these viewing experiences with positivity.  That’s how funny they are.

I don’t know these guys personally but I really, really hope they’ll do a promotional spot for ODNT one day … or maybe even my daughter’s wedding video!

Sorry, Cleveland. These dudes started it. Enjoy …

*     *     *     *     *

The first one …

… and its sequel. The line about the VCR kills me. (The link for this one keeps weirding out on me. Just click it … now … for 49 seconds of gut-busting merriment.)



{April 28, 2012}   Inside Joke (for Trifextra)

It’s the weekend … which means it’s my “Trifextra ME time.” (Oh, that’s just so sad.) Anyway, if you didn’t see my last post, I’ll explain that the assignment this time is to create a scene involving three people and write it from the point of view of each of these characters, using 33 words for each of them.

This post is aptly-named as it’s available to everyone but directed to my Trifecta circle. The three vignettes that follow are intended to illustrate the individual reactions of three specific Trifecta writers when they read this weekend’s assignment.

Trifecta friends, can you guess who I’m channeling here? Rest-of-world, sorry. Feel free to eavesdrop.

* * * * * * * * * *

Inside Joke

* * * * * * * * * *

What??? I barely have time to write 33 words on the weekend, let alone 99. Sorry, kids. Mommy can’t take you to the park today. Chris, can you? I’m going to DM ODNT.

Wow. Three stories. There’s got to be a song in that. Wait … I know. I mean … it’s a goofy 80s song but it’s perfect. Better look up the lyrics. ODNT probably knows them.

The same story from three viewpoints? Three people? I guess I could do Three Amigos since it’s my namesake. Sort of. Gah! My BRAAAAAIN hurts. I’m going to go tease ODNT about cheese.

* * * * * * * * * *


It’s Trifextra time. What’s the assignment, you ask? Participants were asked to create a scene involving three people and write it from the point of view of each of these characters, using 33 words for each of them.

I opted to go with non-fiction for this entry. My scene could represent any night in our household when my son has a basketball game. I’ll let you figure out whose perspective is represented in each vignette.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Pre-Game Show

* * * * * * * * * *

Put more arc on the ball. Use the backboard. Hold the ball up here so no one can steal it. Keep it high so you can put it back up for your rebound.

I washed your shirt. It’s in the dryer. Get your shoes and tell your sister we’re about to leave. Whoever has to pee should go now. Do you want red Gatorade or purple?

I know! Daaaad! Okay. You say that every time. Thanks. I’ll get it. They’re already on. MOM WANTS YOU! I already went. SHE SAID TO PEE! Do we have yellow? That’s my favorite.

* * * * * * * * * *


Nope. That’s NOT my boy. But he looks appropriately irritated, doesn’t he?


Remember that new writing challenge I tried out last week at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog? I forgot to mention it’s called 100 Word Song. Each week, a song is selected and entrants must offer 100 words (exactly) “interpreting” the song. Entries can be any form – poetry, limericks, signs, cartoons, essays, fictions, real life scenarios, etc.

This week, I got to pick the song. Seriously, it’s like getting to be the line leader in your kindergarten class. It’s a big deal around here. I went with Waiting on a Friend by the Rolling Stones. I’ve always liked it and it seemed like an interesting one to illustrate through words. Here goes (hopefully not) nothing …

* * * * * * * * * *

Waiting on a Friend

* * * * * * * * * *

“Where IS he?” she panicked, trying futilely to calculate the elapsed minutes since his last call. Her body was slowing down dramatically.  Her plan was simple. Timing was crucial. She’d take the pills when he was an hour away. He’d arrive, find her and instantly recognize his mutual feelings.

She lay on the bed, trying to read the clock. 11:14. Or 11:41? The numbers blurred.  The phone rang across the room. She heard his voice on the machine. Something about a fender bender. Running late.

Her lids closed and she drifted off, her languishing hand dropping the empty bottle to the floor.

* * * * * * * * * *


{April 26, 2012}   Over Drinks (for Trifecta)

The Thursday evening deadline is looming so I had decided to pass on the Trifecta Weekly Challenge. But then I got an idea. And I just had to flesh it out. I didn’t even have my laptop handy so I wrote the whole thing on my phone and crossed my fingers on the word count. And it turned out I was pretty close. So, after a little editing this afternoon, I’m now posting my submission.

Entries must be between 33 & 333 words and need to include the following word using its third definition (both listed below).

confidence (noun)3 a: a relation of trust or intimacy <took his friend into hisconfidence>
b : reliance on another’s discretion <their story was told in strictest confidence>
c : support especially in a legislative body <vote ofconfidence>

* * * * * * * * * *

Over Drinks

* * * * * * * * * *

“Did you tell Joel?”

“Did I tell Joel?”

“Yes. … Did you?”

“You told me in confidence. Why the hell would I tell him?”

“I don’t know. Because he’s your boyfriend.”

“Please. He’s been in my life for two months. You’ve been around two decades.”

“I’m sorry. I’m still so freaked out about this whole thing.”

“Well, of course you are. But the good news is … it’s over.”

“Yeah, I guess. But …”

“But what? Jenny, you just got your life back. What’s the problem?”

“What’s the problem?!!? … Beth, I paid to have a man killed. You don’t consider that to be a little bit of a problem.”

“Don’t be sarcastic.”

“What if the guy talks? He said he wouldn’t … but how can I be sure?”

“Geez, Jenny. He’s a hired gun. Killing people and keeping secrets. That’s his entire job description.”

“It’s just that …”


“I didn’t pay him the full amount.”

“What? Why?”

“Well, I was going to, but then Ben said he’d do it for half … because …”

“Ben??? Wait, is that his name? Jenny, you’re not supposed to …”

“I KNOW! It wasn’t supposed to happen. We met in that stupid Greek restaurant to make a plan, but we just kept getting off the subject.”

“Off the subject … of killing James? You kept getting off the subject of killing James with the …”

“With the hit man. Yes. … Damn it, Beth. I know how crazy it sounds. THAT’S why I’m so worried.”

“Why? What’s happening with you and the Exterminator?”

“Oh, it’s over.”

“Well, YEAH. … But why?”

“Beth, do you really think I could be with someone who kills for a living?”

“I don’t know. You stayed with someone who beat the crap out of you and tried to kill YOU for two years.”


“Jenny, we’ve just got to find ‘Ben’ and give him the rest of his money. Or we’ll need to find a guy to take care of him.”

“God, Beth. I’m so sorry I pulled you into this shit.”

* * * * * * * * * *




My friend, Mel, at AccordingToMags is getting back at me for making her publish a post with the word penis in it. Now …. before you get all excited … hers is a very innocent story. When she initially told me about it, she had no intention of putting it in her blog …. until I pushed. And pushed. And then had a snack and went to check the mail. And then pushed a little more. Anyway, her post is a hysterical little account of taking her young kids to see a movie. Click here to read it.

And, in my quest to push her out of her comfort zone, I may have inadvertently mentioned that I had a similar story involving my son from 2005. He was only five, kindergarten-bound and very observant. These three qualities ensured that all of the thoughts that crossed his mind also crossed his lips. And I was usually more than happy to answer any and all of his many, many, many questions.

(Oh, God. This story is so embarrassing. Mel, I’m dying here.)

So anyway, my family was on its first trip to Disney World. It was the four of us (son, 5 and daughter, 2) as well as my parents. My kids had a blast and wanted to ride everything they could but their age differential enabled my boy to take on a lot more of the rides than his sister. And he was still too young to know to fear the scary rides.

Enter that stupid Mission: Space ride at EPCOT.


I hate you, Mission: Space.

Now, first of all, I know what you’re thinking. “Mission: Space??? Michele, are you nuts? He was only five. I can’t believe you brought him on that terrifying shock to the nervous system.” To which I can only say, yes. Well, sort of yes. Disclaimer – the tragic story involving that ride happened just six weeks after we were there. Truly, no one realized how intense this ride really was at this point. But I digress …

So, because my daughter was clearly too young for this ride, Dave opted to sit it out with her. And my parents hung back with them. My boy was all excited about the space ride so what’s a mom to do?

Right? Of course, right.

It was one of the newer rides at the park so it comes with the tedious experience of waiting in a Disney line that weaved through a maze of snotty ropes, germy handrails and darkened corridors intended to get us all in a space-y mood by the time we reached the core. After nearly an hour had passed, we got to the end of the line and waited in a small holding room with maybe 25-ish people to get into our respective “pods.” (Can’t you just feel the nerd?) And we waited and waited. And waited. Something was clearly wrong. There was a loud beep and everyone got quiet in anticipation of a voice coming over the PA to tell us what to do.

We’re all familiar with the expression “you could have heard a pin drop,” right? Well, that’s exactly how it was when my sweet little son, back then always armed with a million questions, turned to me in the deafening silence and said “Mommy” … and then he paused … ’cause clearly there was gonna be more.

I turned to my boy and said “What?” … expecting any number of predictable, mundane statements from my five-year-old.

  • “I have to go to the bathroom.”
  • “What’s taking so long?”
  • “I’m huuuuuungry.”
  • “My tummy hurts.”
  • “This shirt feels itchy.”
  • “That guy sure has a fat belly.”

Any of those (and many, many others, by the way) would have been fine. But that wasn’t the direction he was going. Cut back to me. “What?” I said innocently.

Nothing could have prepared me for this next moment as a parent.

“Why do you have so much hair on your vagina?”



No, it’s NOT me. But my friend, Fadderly, says all blog posts should include an image. And I thought this poor woman looked adequately mortified, don’t you think?

Okay. You know that special effect that they have in cartoons where the character’s eyes bulge out and you hear the old-fashioned Model T car horn blaring? Well, that was me. Me and EVERYONE ELSE in the room.

Then, at the exact moment that my body was debating its fight or flight options, a voice mercifully came over the loudspeaker to announce that the ride was experiencing some kind of technical difficulty. Or something like that. Honestly, I have no idea what it said. My vagina had just been the topic of a small focus group! I was too busy picking up the shattered pieces of my dignity from the floor and trying to keep every ounce of blood from rushing to my face.

Then, somehow, I made it worse.

I can’t explain why I felt the need to defend myself to these strangers. Fearing that everyone in the room would think me some sort of deformed, wooly mammoth (and not understand, as any human should, that ANY hair there is foreign to a child), I found myself blurting out … “It’s not that much really” … to the room and then hauling ass, my boy in tow, for the exit. I don’t think I stopped until I reached the space under my bed in the hotel room.

And, for the record, I have never told this story outside of very tight circles. Why? Because even to this day, I fear judgment. I’m a hygienic … and manicured … person. I swear!!! But a five-year-old boy, with different parts than this mama, is going to ask questions. I guess I should be counting my blessings that it wasn’t in church.

(Dear God, did I just really talk about “myself” on the internet? I think I need to go throw up.)

* * * * * * * * * *

Short attention span?

Click the image below to view this post as a picture book.


In honor of MamaKat’s weekly writing challenge, I am revisiting this old post standby friend in response to the following writing prompt:

  • 4. Look into your archives. What were you blogging about a year ago around this time? Are you still dealing with the same thing? Your thoughts?

I wrote this post one year ago yesterday at the urging of my friend Mel. And I promptly won $50 for it which led to this purchase which led to this very unconventional semimonthly writing link-up. Am I still dealing with the same thing? No, my kids and even my pets have developed far more sophisticated methods of dishonoring and humiliating me.

ODNT Trivia: Since this story was published a year ago, it has gone on to become my most viewed post of all time. That can’t just be a coincidence. …. Right?


read to be read at yeahwrite.me

You guys DO understand that we’re reading other people’s PERSONAL and REAL emails here, right?

Remember my plan to rid the world of misdirected emails? Every time I get something good sent to me by mistake, I’m sharing it. Right here. In a new segment called Check Your Email, Dude (CYED).

* * * * *

You are now reading Episode #3 of the Jud & Bill series entitled Brotherly Love, chronicling the mundanely interesting goings-on in the daily lives of two brothers across the country from one another. For the last episode, click here.

[ Brotherly Love - Ep. 3]

7/21/11, 8:51pm


From my vast experiences on both coasts, I am having a difficult time trying to decipher where they grow pot in California.  All I see is brown mountains and sand with a few cacti thrown in.  I am still waiting for rain, so I can run down to the washes (culverts) to see the water speeding by.  Everyone tells me that the areas in the desert flood because the ground is so hard and also because it rains so much that the ground cannot absorb it fast enough.  As for your beer making experiment, why don’t you use the pool as the main receptacle? Since Mrs. J doesn’t know where it is.


Will Bill determine where the Californians grow their cannibis?  Could he have a future in the geological sciences?  How the hell is Jud managing to hide something as large as a pool from Mrs. J?  Might Mrs. J be some form of livestock?

Stay tuned for more adventures of Jud & Bill in our next episode of Check Your Email, Dude.


It’s Trifextra time … and a what a distinctively different assignment we were given this weekend.  Participants were challenged to write a new version of the classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears story.  To quote the madcap rules for this round … “You can change the setting, the characters, and whatever details you wish, but the story should still be recognizable to us.  Keep the spirit of the original work, but make it your own.  And for once?  You have no word limit.”

My brain immediately got to work thinking about other famous trios who could replace the bears.

My brain: What about the Musketeers?

Me: Nah. That would involve too much period research.

My brain: The Stooges?

Me: God … No! I can’t stand those (shaking head) stooges.

My brain: Charlie’s Angels?

Me: Okay. Okay, brain. You’re getting warmer. Let’s keep thinking.

My brain: (jumping to its feet pointing one finger in the air) I’ve got it!!!

Me: Yes! You make the coffee and I’ll go get my laptop. (running off, tripping over shoe on way out of room)

My brain and I worked tirelessly for several hours in the middle of the night to come up with this entry. We bumped heads a few times (which honestly is hard for person to do with his or her own brain) but, for the most part, we got along swimmingly.  We’re a pretty good team when we actually stop talking and start listening to each other once in a while.

For the record, I find the story really sounds best when you read it aloud in a very overly-exaggerated, early Shirley Temple voice. Enjoy …

* * * * * * * * * *

Goldilocks Takes on a New Trio

* * * * * * * * * *

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Goldilocks.  One day, Goldilocks  was walking along the Santa Monica Pier when she came upon a rickety old apartment building.  There were so many doors, she didn’t know what to do. So, she walked up to one of them and was just about to knock when she heard the sounds of bickering and squabbling coming from the other side.

“Oh, no!” she thought. “This just won’t do.”

Stepping away from the troubling noises, she looked up and saw another door, marked Two-O-One, just at the top of a tall stair. It looked perfect and there were no bothersome sounds coming from behind it. So, she climbed the great staircase all the way to the top and carefully approached the door.

She knocked and, when no one answered, she decided to try the knob. To her delight, it was unlocked! She wasn’t surprised when she entered, quickly realizing that nothing inside was of any value at all.

Her stomach grumbled. She was so hungry. It had been hours since she’d eaten that Hot Dog on a Stick along the pier. So, she pushed open the swinging door to the tiny kitchen and went inside. On the table, there were three bowls.

Goldilocks was starved so she tasted the food in the first bowl. It was Cold Asparagus Soup with Poached Quail Eggs and American White Sturgeon Caviar. “This one is tooooo fancy!” she exclaimed. So, she tasted the food in the second bowl. It was Fruity Pebbles cereal with orange juice instead of milk. “This one is tooooo weird!” she recoiled. Then, she tasted the last bowl. It was chicken noodle soup.  “This one is juuuuust right,” she said happily. And she ate it all up.

After she filled her stomach and could eat no more, she decided she was feeling a little cold and she needed some warmer clothes.  So, she opened the closet door where she saw three coats hanging on the rod.

Goldilocks tried on the first coat. It was a cheesy powder blue corduroy with lapels as wide as the big, blue ocean. “This one is tooooo big!” she exclaimed. So, she tried on the second coat. It was a yellow and orange-striped wrap with long gold tassels and leather fringe hanging around the bottom. “This one is tooooo groovy!”  she said.  Then, she tried on the last coat. It was a boring but timeless black pea coat. “This one is juuuuust right,” she sighed.  But just as she tried to fasten it up, three of the cheap buttons fell off and rolled under the hideous wicker coffee table.

By this time, Goldilocks was getting very tired. She decided she wanted to take a nap so she went off to search for the perfect sleeping spot.

She lay on the first bed in the room by itself. “This  one smells like tooooo much cheap aftershave!” she wheezed.  So, she went to the next room and lay on the second bed, but it was just as bad.  “This one smells like tooooo much bleach … and peroxide!” she groaned. Then, she lay on the third bed. “This one smells like a flower shop! It’s juuuuust right.”

And Goldilocks fell fast asleep, where she remained until the three roommates came home from the Regal Beagle and walked into the kitchen.

“Someone’s been eating my Cold Asparagus Soup with Poached Quail Eggs and American White Sturgeon Caviar!” exclaimed Jack, making a pass at one of his roommates by pretending to need comforting over the lost soup. “Someone’s been eating my Fruity Pebbles and orange juice!” giggled Chrissy, who was laughing so hard that she began snorting. “Someone’s been eating my chicken noodle soup and they ate it all up!” cried Janet.

Then, they saw their coats strewn all over the cheap, Salvation Army-reject sofa with the God-awful rusty orange design.

“Someone’s been wearing my leisure jacket!” yelled Jack. “Someone’s been wearing my shawl!” whined Chrissy. “Someone’s been wearing my coat … and they’ve lost all the buttons!” cried Janet, whose mousy black curls shook with anger.

Just as they were about to call the surly landlord downstairs to complain of a break-in, they heard a strange noise coming from the back of the apartment. The three roommates ran to their bedrooms.

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed!” shouted Jack. “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed!” yammered Chrissy. “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed … and she’s still here!” exclaimed Janet.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three roommates and screamed “Help!” Jack smiled lasciviously and said, “Well, hello there, foxy mama. What’s your hurry?” Trying to appear casual, he leaned one elbow onto the dresser but somehow accidentally knocked the whole thing over and took an impressive pratfall behind the bed.

“Jack!” screamed Janet and Chrissy in perfect unison, giving Goldilocks just enough time to jump up and run out of the room.  She  dashed out of the always inexplicably open front door and flew down the stairs bumping right into Mr. & Mrs. Roper at the bottom landing.

Seeing this attractive young blonde fleeing the apartment, he grumbled something to his wife about the three roommates trying to pull something over on him again about Jack being gay.  “Oh, Stanley!” was all he got in return from his scornful, housecoat-clad spouse, who was now rolling her eyes and laughing at him as she walked back into their downstairs apartment.

And Goldilocks never returned to the home of the three roommates ever again.

* * * * * * * * * *

The inspiration for today’s post …



I’m trying out a new writing challenge hosted by a friend who maintains a residence at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog. His project is a little (read: a lot) different than the others I’ve participated in so far. Basically, a song is selected each week and entrants must offer 100 words (exactly) that are tied to the inspiration of the song. Entries can be submitted in any form – poetry, limericks, signs, cartoons, essays, fictions, real life scenarios, embarrassing stories or whatever inspires you.

This week’s song is Of Lillies and Remains by Bauhaus. If you assumed that I had never heard it before, you assumed correctly.  This unfamiliarity added to the level of difficulty for me. But I guess I shouldn’t expect them to be picking show tunes for this stuff.

So, for this first stab at it, I’m going with non-fiction. Lance, you’re more than welcome to lock the doors on me next week. My entry is nothing like the poetry and other mysterious allegory to which I think you are accustomed. “Enjoy.”

Accidentally Nostalgic

This challenge intrigues me but, after reading ALL of the other entries, I’m concerned. Concerned that maybe I don’t have the imagination exhibited by the others here. When I listen to this song, it takes me back to my very young adulthood. When I was dating the man I would one day marry. We saw a movie entitled So I Married an Axe Murderer. I still own the CD. Lots of great music in this film. And, for whatever reason, your song reminded me of the one below. Thanks for bringing back this nice little memory. (Hey, I did it.)


et cetera

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