Tag Archives: 33 and 333 words

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (Hint: Johnny Depp)

Happy Fourth of July!

Trifecta challenged us to compose something between 33 & 333 words using the word and definition below. Honestly, I think I may have cheated a little since Mr. Depp did the writing for me.

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

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Dear Michele,

Yes, it’s true. Vanessa and I have split. This business of living on two continents and a private island has been difficult for years. And, quite frankly, when she caught me reading a website called “Old Dog, New Tits” … well, you can imagine the fireworks, right?

I tried explaining to her that we’re just friends. I told her we first met in 1990 and didn’t even really get to know each other until ’93. And she said, “What about Jump Street, Johnny? Or getting sucked into the bed during your Nightmare? She didn’t like THOSE, Johnny?” Of course, I shouted back that NOBODY liked those. I told her that you laugh at me every time we talk about those little blasts from the past … and that you call them my “Macchio years.” But she didn’t think it was funny.

So now, Lily, Jack and I are flying in for the 4th and we were wondering if you, Dave and the kids had any plans. Would it be alright if we tagged along? I promise to make my Tandoori Chicken. Yes, and the grilled corn, too.

Oh, and before I forget, I wanted to let you know how much I’ve been enjoying the blog. It’s such a great way to keep up with you guys. I promise I’ll get around to finally writing that guest post we talked about. And, yes, I know I just split an infinitive. That’s exactly the reason I’m afraid to write for you, you big grammar nerd. 🙂

Anyway, let’s talk soon. Let me know if you need anything else for Wednesday. The kids can’t wait to see you!


P.S. Do you think Mr. Kleinpeter would take the kids on another tour of the dairy farm while we’re in town? Lily is sooooo jealous that you have a calf named after you. And Jack’s really looking forward to milking a cow. Ask Virginia if she and her kids want to come with us again. I’ll treat for lunch after.

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1993 was a banner year for my friend, Johnny. He released two of my favorite films, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Benny & Joon, from which this tremendous selection was taken. Enjoy …


read to be read at yeahwrite.me

13 Shades of Blue (For Trifecta)

It’s Trifecta Weekly Challenge  time. As always, the assignment is to create something between 33 and 333 words using a specified word and definition.

BLUE (adjective)

3  a : low in spirits : melancholy
    b : marked by low spirits : depressing <a blue funk> <things looked blue>

I think I strayed off the beaten path this week … as in I may need to start writing with a compass, a reliable walking stick and a small bag of bread crumbs.

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13 Shades of Blue

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It’s used to describe ANGELS as they jet across the sky

Or a BAYOU in a Ronstadt song from many years gone by

A BOOK with this descriptor lists a price tag for a car

And when it’s written before GRASS, think banjo and guitar


When Geisel used it for his book, it named the second FISH

It indicates a lunch special with PLATE, but not with dish

In the 60s, Vinton sang of VELVET of this hue

And Sha-Na-Na sang of a MOON of the same color, too


It aids in our technology when paired alongside TOOTH

And when it’s seen before LAGOON, it’s Shields and all her youth

When used before LAW, it means you don’t have to work on Sunday

Fats Domino even used it when singing of his MONDAY


But Trifecta doesn’t want the color definition

I must employ a different meaning for my next submission

Sad, low, melancholy is the order of the day

So, I sat down to write about the word without delay


The truth is that I know about this word a bit too well

For sadness drifts into my life and upon it I dwell

Until I find a way of coping, something to get through,

It’s nice to know you’re all here when I’m down and feeling blue

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A Recap of WHY it’s called ODNT Around Here (for Trifecta)

Every day I welcome new readers to the ODNT community. Readers who often ask about the blog name and have no idea how it all started here back in the summer of 2011. For that reason, I decided to go in this direction when I heard this week’s Trifecta writing prompt. Write something between 33 and 333 words using the third definition (listed here) of the following word:

NEW (adjective) – having been in a relationship or condition but a short time <new to the job> <a new wife>

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A Recap of WHY it’s called ODNT Around Here

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My name is Michele but many of you know me as Old Dog, New Tits. It’s a mouthful that often gets abbreviated to ODNT. You can call me whatever you want.

Created in August 2011, my blog gets its roots in boob job research. Yes, I said boob job. I reasoned … if Julie Powell could grab our attention by channeling Julia Child for a year … boobs would make an even bigger splash. As a mother of two, I’ve got the battle scars that so many women talk about, some rather proudly. Hats off to you vanity-less ladies. Personally, I’d rather color, wax and (eventually) lift wherever needed. But it’s not an easy decision. For anyone.

That’s why I started writing about it. I figured there were probably loads of women who wanted the information but didn’t have the time, resources or unbridled insanity to do it themselves. So … naturally … I started getting topless for different doctors around town. And damn if I didn’t get a different opinion every time. It was enlightening and, despite the discovery of a breast lump along the way, we were building some real momentum.

Until they found a tumor on my chest x-ray.

A CT scan and an MRI confirmed it and it was surgically removed in December 2011. Thankfully, the pathology was benign but it was still a harrowing experience that I often look back on as though it were someone else’s story.

Now, I’m completely off track. I write about anything. And I like to think that I can make even the most mundane subject interesting. I’m probably kidding myself. Will I ever revisit the boob thing? Maybe. When the money’s there. Boobs don’t come cheap these days, my friends. Plus, I’m hoping to afford two of them.

And, as I come up on a year in August of 2012, I guess I’ll no longer be able to call myself “new to the blogging world.” Though I’d still much rather just call myself an “online writer.”

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To see a scrapbook of some of the biggest posts

of my first year, click here.


Troubled over a Troublesome Troubler (From the Smartass Collection – for Trifecta)

It’s Trifecta time.

And this week was HARD. I just couldn’t get a handle on the one-word prompt. So I tried using it every way I could. One of them just has to be right. Dear God, I think I’m starting to channel Edward Hotspur.

RULES: Entries must be between 33 & 333 words and need to include the following word using its 3rd definition (below).

1 : the quality or state of being troubled especially mentally
2 : public unrest or disturbance <;;there’s trouble brewing downtown>;;

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Troubled over a Troublesome Troubler

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“Trouble in Paradise?” he asked.

“This latest Trifecta prompt has caused me nothing but trouble. Honestly, it’s been troubling me all day,” she answered.

“What’s the trouble?”

“The word this week is ‘trouble.’ It’s a real troubler for me. And I’m having trouble trying to figure out a way to use this troublesome word.”

“Should we try a little troubleshooting?”

“I’m too troubled to take the trouble. You see, there’s trouble afoot because of the deadline approaching. Plus, I was a bit of a troublemaker yesterday.”

“Well, now you’re in double trouble. What did you do to get into this deep trouble?”

“I caused trouble by questioning the Trifecta overlords. I told them there was trouble on the home front. And that it was so much trouble that I wasn’t sure I’d be submitting this week.”

“Well, there’s definitely trouble a-brewin’ now. Why’d you have to go and get yourself in trouble?”

“I know. I should never have made trouble. That’s the trouble with this whole thing.”

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Stargazing (for Trifextra)

It’s Trifextra Weekend Challenge time. The assignment? Three truths and a lie, in 33 to 333 words.

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I’ve met Siskel & Ebert. Two thumbs up.

I’ve met Donny & Marie. Bucket list.

I’ve met Kelsey Grammar. He looked tired.

I’m fluent in Mandarin Chinese. And have been for five years.

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1998, NATPE Convention, New Orleans


1998, NATPE Convention, New Orleans


2011 La Cage Aux Folles, Longacre Theatre, New York City

Gosh. I guess I don’t have any proof of this one. (Did I make it too easy?)


For My Mother (for Trifecta)

It’s Trifecta Weekly Challenge time. Entries must be between 33 & 333 words and need to include the following word using its 3rd definition (below).

thun·der noun \ˈthən-dər\

3: bang, rumble <the thunder of big guns>

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For My Mother

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She took a moment to collect herself in the great hall amidst the deafening silence. All eyes were upon her as she straightened her spine, reached her fingers toward the keys and poised them to begin. A little more nervous than she expected to be, she was glad she had elected to go with an old friend, Chopin’s Nocturne in E-Flat Major, Opus 9, Number 2, to accompany her on this momentous occasion. She knew she would own that four minutes.

And she began to play.

It took only thirty seconds for her to lose herself completely in the piece. The repeating melody always held her … with its haunting legato articulation and its graceful and sometimes even unstructured rhythm. She knew she had to learn it the first time she heard it years ago as a child.

She was about halfway in when she heard the coughing attack coming from the third row. It nearly unnerved her but she managed to regain her focus before striking anything in error or losing her cadence. “Shut up, old man!” she wanted to scream, but she maintained her composure and moved on to the final repetition of the melody. She gathered herself, in preparation of the piece’s most elaborate tones and trills. She executed these sections flawlessly as the dynamics of the composition ascended to fortissimo and reached its peak.

She exhaled with the realization that the most complicated portion was behind her and advanced into its coda, bringing the piece back down to its almost pianissimo conclusion.

Her eyes were closed as her fingers pressed the final notes. For ten seconds, she could only hear the sound of her own breathing. Then suddenly, from the darkness surrounding her, there came a shattering thunder of applause as the audience leapt to its feet to show its demonstrative approval and appreciation for the artistry on the stage before them.

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I love you, Mom.


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).

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Over Drinks

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“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.”

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Approaching Winter (for Trifecta)

It’s time for the Trifecta Weekly Challenge. I wrote this entry on my phone during several recent moments of downtime in my life. Truthfully, I think these challenges have become my go-to free time activity … replacing reading, TV, music, Facebook and all of my other mindless occupations. (Fine. Who am I kidding? I was never really busy reading.) Now, if only I could convince myself to write in lieu of snacking.

Oh … and anyway … the word this week is observe. I was actually the Trifecta member who submitted it, dumb ass that I am. You would think I would have proposed a word for which I had already written a story. But NO. I had to come up with something new and original to challenge myself, thereby offering me (my primary concern, really) no unfair advantage over my fellow participants. So, I was accidentally ethical. Stupid … and ethical.

Seriously, you don’t know the rules by now? All entries must be between 33 and 333 words and need to include the following word using its third definition (both listed below).

ob·serve verb \əb-ˈzərv\

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Approaching Winter

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“It’s snowing again,” Martha announced to an empty room. She stared out the dusty picture window for a few minutes, watching the endless flakes fall into her overgrown garden. Sliding the tattered quilt from her legs, she braced herself on the arms of her chair to stand and reach for her cane, an old shepherd’s crook that had once belonged to her grandfather.

She steadied herself with it before traversing the excessively cluttered room. With her compromised balance, the trips to the kitchen had become incrementally hazardous. The quantity of obstacles taunting her along the way had increased ten-fold over the years.

She doddered across the stained rug, oblivious of the mess that had accumulated since her beloved Henry had passed seventeen years earlier. They were unable to have children so she seldom had visitors and the small cottage had plummeted into disrepair. The only thing preventing a rodent invasion was the daunting number of cats roaming the property, coming and going at will through a small window left ajar in their honor.

“Toby?” Martha called. “Toby, are you ready?” She looked around and finally saw an old grey tabby peeking out from behind a tall pile of newspapers beside her. “Hello, my handsome boy. And happy birthday to you.”

Toby was her oldest, as she’d adopted him shortly after Henry died. He was the only one for whom she knew a real birthday, November 7. It was the busiest day of the year in her non-traditional household. And Martha intended to observe it throughout his life as though it were a high holiday. Over the years, the other days had all lost their significance to her anyway.

He was her family now, he and all the others. They needed her for survival, or so she thought. And they were willing to sit for hours and listen to stories of her childhood, her factory job during the war, her Henry and whatever else crossed her tired and addled mind.

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Against the Grain (for Trifecta)

I’m dedicating today’s post to the Honda Corporation. Thanks to a recent recall made on my Pilot, I’m able to participate in the latest Trifecta Weekly Challenge.  Until this morning, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would be sitting this one out … until … I had to wait so long in the ‘customer lounge’ for my shuttle ride home.  So, here’s what I was doing while the lady on my left watched The Price is Right and the guy on my right read NASCAR Illustrated. You be the judge as to which one of us made the best use of his or her time.

RULES: All entries must be between 33 and 333 words and need to include the following word using its third definition (both listed below).

scan·dal noun \ˈskan-dəl\

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Against the Grain

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He checked his wrist watch and fidgeted in his chair. “We need to get started,” he thought, worriedly. “Where is she?” He scanned the crowd and, still unsatisfied, stood to get a better view of everything.

Then he saw her.

“The last one here, as always,” he smiled to himself, as he watched her walk down the long aisle to take her usual spot in the third row. His eyes stayed fixed upon her as she glided into her seat.

He couldn’t really pinpoint what first created the spark. She seemed to have a radiant glow all about her. He wondered if anyone else could feel her warmth and light. He caught himself smiling in her direction, lingering a little too long on her face, when her eyes met his directly. She returned his smile, waking him from his trance and forcing him to divert his attention to the other faces around him. He made sure to offer them the same enthusiastic demeanor so as not to arouse any suspicion.

How had he let it continue for so long? Nearly three years had passed since he’d first arrived and been introduced to her. And each week he excitedly anticipated being able to see her again, all the while trying to maintain his secret. And seeing her now, he knew that it had been far too long. Today he would make his move, no matter what the consequences, to determine if her feelings matched his own. It was a risk that could gravely injure him and would forever brand him as a scandal to his vocation. But the suspense would surely kill him sooner.

He smoothed the emerald green stole on his shoulders and approached the pulpit to greet his congregation, comforted in the fact that today’s mass would be his last.

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Burden of Proof (for Trifecta)

It’s Trifecta Weekly Challenge time and this one was especially difficult for me personally. Perhaps it’s because the prompt exposed two of my Achilles heels: brains and computers. Sad, huh? RULES: All entries must be between 33 and 333 words and need to include the following word using its third definition (both listed below).

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Burden of Proof

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“Keep digging.” Riggs pleaded.

Murtaugh could hear the desperation in his partner’s voice. It had only been six months since he lost Victoria. He was too close to these crimes. “You’re grasping at straws. Police combed the area for days. There’s nothing left.”

“How can you be sure?” Riggs protested. “We both know he killed all six of them but we’ve only got enough to get him for that last one.”

“Riggs, we don’t even have bodies, let alone evidence to link him to those women.”

Riggs kept digging. “What about the waitress?”


“The girl we questioned last month. The only one who got out alive. With the piercings … and tattoos, remember? “

“Please. I’m still having nightmares,” Murtaugh laughed.

“Yeah, she was rough … but smart.” Riggs agreed. “That’s what saved her. She paid attention to his schedule, knew when to act. She said he recorded everything on his computer … pictures, clippings, videos. Apparently, he liked showing them to his newer captures. I just wish she hadn’t waited to report him. It gave him too much time.”

“Then, tell me again. Why are we here?”

“They found the last victim here, right?

“Yes. And?” Murtaugh persisted.

“He knew it was his last kill for a while, thanks to the waitress. So, he had to dump everything .. the body, the tools and …”

“The computer,” concluded Murtaugh.

“Exactly,” said Riggs, just as his digging fingers hit the metal hard drive in the dirt. “His brain. I’ll bet everything’s on here. The girls, the methods, even the dump sites. And these barcodes will lead us right to him.”

Murtaugh interrupted. “Why wouldn’t he have destroyed it?”

“Because he’s one of them. The monsters who keep these grisly souvenirs. Usually the key evidence in their convictions. When Bundy was asked why he photographed his victims, he said, ‘when you work hard to do something right, you don’t want to forget it.'” Riggs turned to collect himself, wiping his eyes. “Let’s go nail his ass to the wall.”

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Anyone recognize my characters? Points go to the first one who leaves it in the comments.

And that Ted Bundy stuff? It was real. I did a little terrifying research by myself late last night during one of the worst thunderstorms in recent history. It’s a good thing the power didn’t go out or I’d still be holed up in the back of my closet clutching a butcher knife and a vial of holy water. (A girl’s gotta cover all her bases, from the mortal to the supernatural.) Anyway, this link was the most disturbing one I read. It’s not for the faint of heart, especially that second paragraph.