Tag Archives: writing prompt

Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 38


It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Held on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you two ways to play. You can either (A) set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever pops into your head OR (B) link up an old post. Mel and I are easy that way.

For this link-up, I’m choosing A, the brain drain method.


What can I write about? What … can … I … write … about? (dramatic pause) Oooh! I know. I’ll tell you about when the picture below was taken last summer. It involves my dad again. Didn’t I write about him last time? Well, he’s awesome, so there’s why.

Anyway, my family was on vacation last summer. My kids and I actually flew to New York City with my parents (Dave was working at the time) and spent a few days there.  Then, we took a train from there to Philadelphia. And when I say we almost missed that train, I mean I actually hopped over the entrance threshold as the wheels started turning. I really should have done it in slow motion. In black-and-white. I felt like an old-time movie character. But I’m losing focus here.

So, we arrived in Philadelphia, a city I hadn’t seen since I was a very young child, and took in all the usual sights. Even met up briefly with my friend, Mel, and her family who were traveling to visit other family members just north of Philly. Our nine-headed monster of a group did a lot together including the Liberty Bell, the home of Betsy Ross and so much more. When Mel and company had to move on, we finished up in Philadelphia on a bus tour that took us to several more must-see locations.

And remember, I am an idiot. So when *I* say “must-see,” I usually mean something like the diner in Seinfeld, the coffee shop in Friends or the Rocky steps. All of which I have, of course, seen. (Click here for video of that last one. Seriously, it’s like 15 seconds.) Thus, when the opportunity to see the bar behind the offbeat FX comedy series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia presented itself, I totally hopped off that bus. But my kids certainly weren’t coming with me to a neighborhood bar so my mom stayed back with them and rode on to the next stop but my dad hopped off with me.

He’s actually the one who encouraged me to throw on the red suit and take a picture behind the bar (see below). I guess I DO get it from somewhere. (Love you, too, Mom.)  …. and beep! 10 minutes done.


Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Coach Daddy


BEHIND THE KETCHUP

Click here to read how this foolishness all began.

KEEP TRACK OF OUR STUPIDITY

SPREAD THE WORD & POST OUR BUTTON … please!

olddognewtits.com

The embed code for this button is right there in my sidebar. Unfortunately, my site is a tool and won’t let me put it in this actual post. Please grab it from the sidebar. Thanks!

FINALLY … THE LINK-UP!

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We give you a picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll share this one. It was taken last summer at Paddy’s Pub, the bar that serves as the inspiration for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

All you need to do is link something up … and tell your friends. Before Ketchup makes the endangered species list!

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Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 37


It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Held on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you two ways to play. You can either (A) set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever pops into your head OR (B) link up an old post. Mel and I are easy that way.

For this link-up, I’m choosing A, the brain drain method.


Let me tell you about a special childhood memory that I associate with today. It’s March 1st and, while that’s not the actual date I’m looking for, the day is still very memorable to me. Please allow me to explain. You see, it’s Mardi Gras season here in New Orleans. And this weekend is the big one. Monster parades like Endymion, Bacchus and Orpheus will take to the streets with their electrified and in-some-cases block-long floats carrying all kinds of celebrity Grand Marshals and Krewe Captains.

Over the years, I’ve seen lots of famous faces on those floats. So many that I honestly can’t even remember all of them. My mind is flooded with images of Tom Jones, Dan Akroyd, Henry Winkler, Jackie Gleason, Drew Carey and so many others. But one in particular stands out. Maybe because it was a woman. (That’s still pretty rare for the Grand Marshals.) It was 1978. And it was for the Endymion Parade. The same parade the will roll through the streets of New Orleans tonight.

I was just a little thing which means my brother was even younger. And my mom was not feeling well that night. But Cheryl Ladd was the Grand Marshal. I’m just going to assume right now that I don’t have to explain to anyone who she is. We’ll just call her Farrah’s replacement on a little television show called Charlie’s Angels. (I’ll bet I have younger readers who are now confused and looking up the Drew Barrymore movie to see what I’m talking about.)

My dad was a huge Cheryl Ladd fan. So there was no way we were going to miss her in the parade. I can still remember him telling my mom, “So, I think I’m going to take Michele to the parade tonight, okay?” Then we loaded up the bench ladder (a Mardi Gras staple if you have kids to keep safe and you actually want to see the parade) and were on our way.

I still remember when her float passed. He was able to snag a doubloon she threw in our direction. I think it’s cute when I look back on it. I wonder if my mom does. Hmmmmm.


Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

The Graying Chronicles


BEHIND THE KETCHUP

Click here to read how this foolishness all began.

KEEP TRACK OF OUR STUPIDITY

SPREAD THE WORD & POST OUR BUTTON … please!

olddognewtits.com

The embed code for this button is right there in my sidebar. Unfortunately, my site is a tool and won’t let me put it in this actual post. Please grab it from the sidebar. Thanks!

FINALLY … THE LINK-UP!

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We give you a picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs.

All you need to do is link something up.

Oh, and tell your friends!

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#KetchupWithUs #BlogHop 36


In the interest of saving time, Mel and I are employing an old writer’s trick for our KetchupWithUs link-up parties. We set a timer for 10 minutes and start typing, literally writing about whatever pops into our heads for that time period. Then, we hit “publish.” Feel free to use the same idea for your post OR link up whatever you want. Easiest. Link-up. Ever. Aaaaaaand ….. go!

* * * * * * * *

Ten minutes. Ummmmm. What can I say in ten minutes? Especially with a self-inflicted stomach ache brought on by an overdose of Maple Nut Goodies. It’s Valentine’s Day after all. Stupid Nut Goodies. My stomach is literally killing me.

I guess it’s because I missed breakfast. Oh, and lunch. I had a meeting today (with wonderful people who are probably reading this blog post … but I mean the compliment sincerely!). So I skipped breakfast. Sadly normal. And then worked right on through lunch. By the time I walked back into my house, it was 2pm and there they were. The little bastards. Sitting right there on the table next to all the other Valentine’s loot.

Honestly, I don’t even know why I like them. I don’t like any other candy that isn’t chocolate. Not any. And yet I give these somewhat nasty, über sweet candies a hall pass. I think it’s because they remind me of being a kid. My parents sold health food back then. As a little side thing. So we never had this kind of stuff in the house. Ever. I was exposed to some of the nastiest health foods you can imagine. Soy burgers (before anybody knew what the hell soy even was) and some orange drink that tasted like a blend of chewable orange vitamins and paste. It literally formed a froth at the top. (shudder)

But … when I went to the mall, all bets were off. Especially if we went to Sears where they used to have a candy counter with a wall of glass boxes filled with all kind of candy. I only remember two kinds. The first were the red-shelled pistachios. I wanted them so badly so I could pretend the shells were my fingernails. But I HATED the nuts. So that plan never really flew with my parents.

And, of course, the Maple Nut Goodies. Jawbreaking little pieces of Heaven. My dad liked them, too. So we used to enjoy them together. He still picks them up for me from time to time. And I, now an adult with my own money and a car enabling me to buy them 24/7/365, still look at every bag as though it could be the last. And I eat them like the fat kid in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.

Augustus Gloop.

You guys didn’t think I forgot his name, did you? Seriously? You know me better than that. Well, Viva las Nut Goodies. And on with the show!


Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Shakespeare’s Mom


BEHIND THE KETCHUP

Click here to read how this foolishness all began.

KEEP TRACK OF OUR STUPIDITY

SPREAD THE WORD & POST OUR BUTTON … please!

olddognewtits.com

The embed code for this button is right there in my sidebar. Unfortunately, my site is being a tool and won’t let me put it in this actual post. Please grab it from the sidebar. Thanks!

FINALLY … THE LINK-UP!

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We give you a picture to remind you to KetchupWithUs.

All you need to do is link something up.

Oh, and tell your friends!

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Darling Dame

I’m Giving Cheese a Break and Talking About Theater Today


My friend, Kelley, called me this morning. I had just shared a link on Facebook that grabbed her and she wanted to chat about it immediately. For those who don’t already know, I’m a theater freak. To me, there’s no better day than one spent in a theater seeing a great show. While eating high-end cheese. But also being skinny. And having my feet rubbed. Sitting next to Johnny Depp. Or maybe Ellen Degeneres. It would depend on the show. But I digress.

My shared link was all about Broadway Across America, the touring company that consistently brings exceptional (some shows more than others) musical theater to my part of the world. They just announced their 2014-2015 season. And what a season it is.

As I said on my personal Facebook page, it’s the “strongest season we’ve had in a while. Almost every one is a home run. And that’s as sportsy as this theater geek is gonna get.” (So far I’ve called myself a freak and a geek in this post. Very self-deprecating but at least it’s poetic.) Let’s take a look at the season and I’ll offer you my two cents. (Because I have no friggin’ idea what’s going to happen at the Super Bowl. Seriously, who’s even playing?)

Chicago

I’ve seen this show twice on Broadway. It’s one of my all-time favorites. The first time I was lucky enough to see Bebe Neuwirth in the role of Velma and even meet her afterwards. (We took a picture but I’m going to blatantly lie and tell you I can’t find it. Because my eyes were closed. And it’s from, like, 15 years ago so it’s stored way out of reach. Plus I looked fat. Because I was standing next to freaking Bebe Neuwirth!) Each song is better than the last and the show actually made me laugh. So many shows have tired jokes in them. Oh, and I have never seen the movie so I can’t offer any comparisons.

Phantom of the Opera

I’ve seen this show a few times. This music is very pretty and sophisticated. It’s an Andrew Lloyd Webber production for Pete’s sake. But, personally, I like a little spoken dialogue in my show. Mr. Webber and I disagree on this point. Every one should see the show at least once, on Broadway if possible in a stationary production so that the iconic chandelier is at its most grand. Beyond that, I find my soundtrack to be satisfactory. Many will disagree with me here. I welcome other opinions in the comments.

Dirty Dancing

I haven’t seen this show and would normally be a little wary. I am not typically a fan of clumsy adaptations that gets their roots in mainstream cinema. Flashdance, Ghost, Legally Blonde … these don’t usually resonate with me. However, I will somewhat (bashfully admit) that this show intrigues me. Maybe it’s because it’s already filled with music and, obviously, dancing. Or maybe it’s because I was a kid when I actually saw it the first time so it holds major nostalgic moments for me. (Dear Broadway Producers, I would also like to see theatrical mountings of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, ooh, and maybe Better Off Dead. Thanks, Michele)

Annie

I’ve seen this show countless times. Heck, I think my daughter’s seen it countless times, too. And, yes, we’ll be going again. Confession. I’m pretty sure I can sing every word to every song in the score. Go ahead, judge. One day I’m going to put on a red wig and that old costume my grandmother made for me decades ago and sing my heart out on YouTube for all of you. I expect that my kids will probably be removed from my custody that same day. But I’ll just stick out my chin … and grin … and saaaaaaay …

Once

I have not seen this show. Nor have I seen the 2006 movie of the same name upon which it was based. What I know is that it received eleven Tony nominations in 2012. And then went on to win eight of them including Best Musical and Best Book. It’s a different kind of show, one in which the cast also serves as the orchestra. And a very minimalist set with a bar in the middle of the stage is used.  A bar that, for the Broadway production, actually operated as a real one serving drinks to theater patrons before the show and during intermission. I have no idea if the traveling show will be able to reproduce that charming offering but it’s pretty cool. I’m very much looking forward to this one.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I’ve seen this show a few times. It’s my exception to the Andrew-Lloyd-Webber-I-wish-there-were-dialogue rule. Joseph is a fantastic show. And I’m not just saying that because Vivien and I were lucky enough to perform in it with a great cast last summer. The show is a clever take on the ancient biblical story of Jacob and his many sons. The lyrics are smart and every song draws its roots from a different musical genre including classic county & western, calypso, jitterbug,  disco, French ballads, etc. We even caught Dave and Dean humming the music under their breaths a few times last summer. And that’s saying something.

Mamma Mia

I’ve seen this show several times, both on and off Broadway. It’s a fun show but, in my opinion, you have to like ABBA. Fortunately for me, ABBA was in frequent rotation on my Dad’s turntable back in the day. Thus, I was pretty familiar with most of the music. Of course, there is an actual storyline, too, so you could go for just that. But some of the songs are pretty shoe-horned into the plot. Which is hilarious if you actually know (and don’t hate) the music. (Confession. One day, I hope to see this show with a bunch of women and gay guy friends. That sounds like a blast!)

* * * * * * * * * *

So, I’ll be plunking down some big dollars soon to renew my season subscription. Fortunately, I’m raising a junior theater freak so maybe I can just blame it on her. “But Dave, Vivien would LOVE to see Annie” …. “Well, yes. I KNOW she’s already seen it, but THIS time I hear the dog’s actually going to go out into the audience and do tricks!”

That sounds believable, right?


This post was written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt: Who was the last person to call you? What did they want?

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elleroy was here

My Five Favorite Things (Spoiler: There IS a cheese listed here.)


Today’s post is brought to you by MamaKat: Name your five current favorite things.

This task seems easy enough. Except it says current … so I can’t pick Donny Osmond or leg warmers or anything like that. (Both still totally awesome, by the way.) And actually, since I’m limited to only five things, I think I’m going to impose a few more rules on myself.

  • I can’t list any people. People can’t be favorite things. That’s just demeaning. (Plus I might do something tragic like list Johnny Depp before my kids or something.)
  • I can only list one food. (Otherwise, duh, this list would just be five different foods.)
  • I can’t let this post sound like a sponsored advertisement by extolling the virtues of my favorite hair product or anything like that. (Yawn.)

So, with those extra rules now in place, I give you …

My five current favorite things

1. Mt. Tam Cheese

There are no words to describe the amazing delicacy that is Mt. Tam. Screw that. Here are the words: It’s made by the cheese WIZARDS at Cowgirl Creamery. It’s their signature cheese and, if you must know, also mine. (Yes, I have a signature cheese. What of it?) It’s an award-winning, decadent, buttery, triple-cream cheese that is said to have “a  mellow, earthy flavor reminiscent of white mushrooms.” I got a full wheel of it for Christmas and (truth?) I ate the entire thing by myself in two sittings. If you reach toward my plate when I’m eating it, I make no apologies for what could happen to you or your grabby, little fingers.

2. H&M Shirt … AND … 3. Skinny Mirror

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Is it confusing that I’ve combined numbers 2 and 3. What am I saying? You guys are geniuses. You’ll keep up, right?

I bought that shirt on a trip to New York at the H&M Store on 5th Avenue. I walked right past Saks, Prada, and Salvatore Ferragama and strolled my frugal ass into the H&M Store. I love that place. Because I can usually get six great things for less than three digits in under an hour. (God, I hate shopping.) It’s colorful (I’m often accused of wearing too much black), feminine (always a good thing when I want to prove I’m a girl), and goes in at exactly the right place on my waistline. And if I had to do it all over again, I would buy five of them. Seriously, it takes ten pounds off me.

And speaking of taking pounds off … I want a skinny mirror. But not just any skinny mirror. I want the one that hangs in the girls’ bathroom on the first floor of Vivien’s school building. (And now that I’m posting it here publicly, there go my chances of stealing it off the wall. Geez, I am such an IDIOT!) Over the years, I’ve taken a few friends to gaze into its fallacious … fictional … flattering reflection. And it’s never disappointed. Honestly, it’s probably best that I don’t have this magical tool all to myself. For I might spend the rest of my days staring at a distorted image of my own hips. Just call me Narcissus.

4. Modern Family

If you’ve seen the show, you can stop reading. Because you get it. Modern Family is funny. It makes me laugh. And, honestly, I don’t laugh a lot. I’m a hard person to make laugh out loud. So I love it when I find the rare show that can accomplish that. Over my lifetime, there really haven’t been very many … 30 Rock, Frasier, Friends, Newsradio, Seinfeld, Cheers, Taxi and Arrested Development. That’s about it. So thanks, Dunphys and Pritchetts. And please, keep it coming.

5. Writing Prompts That Ask for Lists

Number 5 is sort of my Being John Malkovich moment in this blog post. It’s the self-aware part where I actually list “writing lists” as an item on my 5 Favorite Things list. Does that make sense? Well, it’s true. Nothing makes for an easier entry. So thanks, MamaKat, for yet another opportunity to list out a few mundane things about myself and then have the nerve to call it “writing.”

* * * * * * * * * *

What are some of YOUR favorite things right now?

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I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop

#KetchupWithUs 34 – Belly up to the #BlogHop!


Here at #KetchupWithUs headquarters, the high-brow, test-your-limits, bare-your-soul writing prompts that you guys have come to expect from Mel and me are currently in … well … hibernation.

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Giving new meaning to Ketchup versus Catsup.

For now, we’re just running a good, old-fashioned blog hop. The overhead is much lower and it’s the only way we could secure our liquor license. So pull out something you want to share, show off or expose (geez, that sounds terrible!) and link ‘er up at the linky below. Oh, and be sure to visit some of your fellow linkers and say hi. There are scads of truly awesome people in this little community of ours.


Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Coach Daddy


BEHIND THE KETCHUP

Click here to read how this foolishness all began.

KEEP TRACK OF OUR STUPIDITY

SPREAD THE WORD & POST OUR BUTTON … please!

olddognewtits.com

The embed code for this button is right there in my sidebar. Unfortunately, my site is being a tool and won’t let me put it in this actual post. Please grab it from the sidebar. Thanks!

FINALLY … THE LINK-UP!

Our regular writing prompts are in hibernation so link up any post you want!

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That Suburban Momma

 

The Photographic Proof that I am NOT a Vampire


My writing prompt for today comes to me from MamaKat: “Find a photo of yourself taken 10 years ago and display it on your blog along with a current photo. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?”

* * * * * * * * * *

Fortunately, I organize my pictures by year. They’re in chronological order in a box in the original Walgreen’s envelopes. And I made the minimal effort to scrawl the month and year on the outside with a ballpoint pen. (Martha Stewart I am not.) So when I read this prompt, I turned to my box (or rather boxes as there are now six of them) and searched for anything marked 2004.

Truly, I had a helluva time finding any of me. My kids turned 2 and 5 that year. And they were aDORable. So I was usually behind the camera for all of the pictures. But I did manage to find a few old snapshots and (thanks to iPhones and vanity) I have plenty of current pictures. And I decided to arrange the “thens” and the “nows” into two collages. For you.

Because I know how much you like that kind of thing.

. . . . .  Then (2004) . . . . .

20140110-171638.jpg(Top Left: me, half-dressed as John Lennon, fixing Viv’s hair for Dean’s Halloween-themed birthday party; Top Right: me with Dean playing in a VERY rare white Christmas here in New Orleans; Bottom: Christmas Eve 2004)

This woman is busy. Her kids are still very young. She doesn’t have time to put on make-up and perfect her hair for pictures. Apparently, she doesn’t even always have time to look at the camera when her picture is being taken. Unless, of course, it’s Christmas Eve. She can make time for that one night of the year.

. . . . .  Now (2014)  . . . . .

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(Clockwise from bottom left: Kiss hair promotion; With kids on rickshaw pedicab in NYC; With Mel in Chicago; With Viv at Cinderella; Accidentally channeling The Bearded Iris; Vying for the attention of the entire country of Greenland)

This woman is also busy, but in a different way. Her kids are older. And much more independent and self-sufficient. Which is as awesome as it is suckish. She misses her little people so much that sometimes it is crippling. But, at the same time, she absolutely loves watching her kids develop into funny, insightful, broad-minded human beings. And she takes full credit for this development, by the way. But, geez, she’s a bit of a peacock, isn’t she? (Oh, and she’s pissed at herself that she still hasn’t finished that book. But she’s working on it. She promises.)

* * * * * * * * * *

What do you think? Have I changed a lot? Should I be calling my dermatologist for an emergency Botox appointment? Tell the truth. I can take it.

Oh, and how have YOU changed in the last ten years?

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My Top 12 Posts of 2014 – Not necessarily what I expected


Today, we’re taking a look at the top 12 most popular posts of 2013. Partly because I find it interesting. But mostly because it’s a writing prompt by my friend, MamaKat. So here they are, in no particular order, for your enjoyment.

For your convenience, there are tissues … barf bags … and rotten tomatoes located in the boxes under your seats. You be the judge.


Ten Things That Are Now 50 Years Old

The Day I Saw The Conjuring (aka The Day I Nearly Peed My Pants in Chicago)

Congratulations to My Son on His Graduation Day

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Seriously, that boy’s going to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a gold medalist AND President of the United States one day.

A Letter to Hamilton Beach … Toaster Department, Please

Happy Labor Day from ODNT

Goodbye, 3850 Red Cypress Drive. And Thank You.

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Oh, but if these walls could talk …  my brother and I would’ve gotten into WAY more trouble back in the ’80s.

The Day Things Got Hairy at Disney World

What do I have to do to get you into a pair of #MonsterInspiration headphones today?

Letter #3 to Hamilton Beach (I’m a lover, not a fighter)

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Thanks to Hamilton Beach, I am now a wanted felon in the small appliance community.

With Hamsters like Herve, Who Needs Coffee?

Make Money, Not War … with gapNsnap!

One day, somebody’s gonna find that missing body part in my hallway

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Because when you accidentally circumcise your toe, nothing goes down better than Chick-Fil-A.


Tomatoes. I KNEW it would be the tomatoes. (sigh)

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Ketchup With Us #33 #BlogHop – a NEW Format for a NEW Year!


It’s January, it’s the middle of winter and it’s c-c-c-c-c-cold! So we’re taking a tip from our animal friends and trying something new around here. Hibernation!

Ketchup With Us has never been easier. Mel and I will still co-host it on the 1st and 15th of every month but you can now link up whatever you want. Just pick one of your posts. ANY post. As long as we all get to “Ketchup” with each other, right?

Oh, and our featured writer will now be determined by the highest number of clicks. So title your posts well to draw ’em in!

Happy New Ketchup!


Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Becky


BEHIND THE KETCHUP

Click here to read how this foolishness all began. There are no rules. But we’d love it if you posted our button and followed us on Facebook (Michele /Mel), Twitter (Michele/Mel), Instagram (Michele/Mel) and Pinterest (Michele/Mel). Oh, and SPREAD THE WORD!

GRAB OUR BUTTON

olddognewtits.com


‘KETCHUP WITH US’ #33

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Since our regular writing prompts are in hibernation, link up any post you want!

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I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop
That Suburban Momma