What’s happening in Outlandia?

•September 8, 2016 • 23 Comments

 

In this reporter's opinion, it was totally unprofessional of Beyonce to lip-sync, or even hint at the possibility of lip-syncing our National Anthem on such an important occasion. It really leaves her exposed to all kinds of criticism and jeopardizes her future as a role model for successful influential women. Shame on you, Beyonce. Back to you, Harry.

My motto: if it’s already news, I’m breaking it. News, that is. Breaking the news. Not anything else. Why the heck aren’t you focusing? Focusing on me? My news breaking assets? Sheesh! I knew I shouldn’t have worn Grandma’s brooch.

It’s time again for more wack-a-doodle news from your ace cub second-hand reporter.

My other motto:

My other motto: Never drink and read. At least not this blog. Keyboards, like you, hate humidity.

Okay, so here is the latest crop of Portlandia-ish news items I thought you might find Outlandia-ish.

 

"911, what's your emergency?" "Donut worry. I'm a police officer. I was latte for work and my caramel swirled to avoid all the holes around here. Batter send in back up, though."

“911, what’s your emergency?” “Donut worry. I’m a police officer. I was latte for work and my caramel swirled to avoid all the holes around here. Batter send in back up, though.”

 

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Impressive. I wouldn’t try that hard to get back to my family.

 

I can see why they might be cracking down on drivers around here.

I can see why they might want to crack down on drivers. Out here in the Wild West, people are taking the notion of freedom a bit too far.

 

Just in case plain old Twinkies weren't risky enough for you, and you had one too many deep-fried sticks of butter, you're in luck! Or maybe your cardiologist is in luck.

Just in case plain old Twinkies weren’t risky enough for you, and you had one too many deep-fried sticks of butter, you’re in luck! Or maybe your cardiologist is in luck.

 

As every good 4-H-er knows, you have to appreciate where things come from. So it's perfectly natural to have these beauties (the plants,not the wigged out judges) at the state fair.

As every good 4-H-er knows, you have to appreciate where things come from. So it’s perfectly natural to have these beauties (the plants,not the wigged out judges) at the state fair.

 

I'm guessing these plants didn't quite make it to the state fair. I've seen some odd things in port-a-potties in my day, but nothing like this.

I’m guessing these plants didn’t quite make it to the state fair. I’ve seen some odd things in port-a-potties in my day, but nothing like this to tickle my fanny.

 

And you thought these critters were scary. Ha! Tweetie Bird is laughing his tail feathers off at Mr. Chirpindrool.

And you thought these critters were scary. Ha! Tweetie Bird is laughing his tail feathers off at Mr. Chirp N. Drool.

 

I live among some very passionate Trumpeteers. I just didn't know that they were trying to influence the election from the grave.

I live among some very passionate Trumpeteers. I just didn’t know that they were trying to influence the election from the grave. In case you can’t read the highlighted portions, this man enjoys his Harley motorcycle and taking  his daughter on dates. In lieu of flowers, he asks people not to vote for Hilary Clinton in November.

 

Depending on the outcome of the election, this scientific news may be great or may be disappointing. Your call.

Depending on the outcome of the November election, this scientific news may be wonderful or may be disappointing. Your call.

I hope you enjoyed another installment of Outlandia News brought to you by your only favorite dizzy blonde reporter-ish.

All right, already. I made a mistake. I should have said 'abroad." What's the big deal anyway?

All right, already. What’s the big deal anyway? I have an eye for breaking news that’s clearly broken. I’m a woman whose time and cable channel have yet to come.

Editor’s Note: The story I ran in the last edition about the Poop App was, unfortunately, a hoax. A cruel, cruel, hoax. No Pooper-Uber, People. You have to self-scoop…for now.

 

Eeewww. Picking up poopies should really be handled by trained professionals.

Eeewww. Picking up poopies should really be handled by trained professionals.

Until the next time, stay safe and send any strange news my way. I’ll know what to do with it!

 

The Big Butinski

•August 23, 2016 • 43 Comments

This is my 600th post. I should be celebrating with a vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free cake, but that would be sheer lunacy.

I should be celebrating with them while eating a vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free cake. (Booze makes all cakes taste divine.)

Well, Jeah. The scoop is that Lorna has posted 600 honklarious posts and she continues to remain anonymous in the world of fame and fortune. She's a post-911 hyper-surveillance anomaly. No film at 11—why bother?

Well, jeah. The scoop is that Lorna has posted 600 honklarious posts, and she continues to remain anonymous in the world of fame and fortune. She’s a post-911 hyper-surveillance anomaly. No film at 11—why bother?

I could joke about my prolific obscurity all day, but I have more pressing issues to contend with.

The Big Butinski has been on my mind ever since I had a recent conversation with my mother.

What the heck am I talking about?

I know you’re asking because:

  • I’m psychic.
  • I reread this, and even I got confused.
Oh no, is she messing with our minds again? Golly, and right after Valentine's Day when all that candy is making me jumpy...

Oh no, is she messing with our minds again? Golly, and during all this crazy weather when the forecast is making me jumpy…

The Big Butinski isn’t an incredibly pushy person; it’s a pathetically small, ubiquitous word (most commonly used as a conjunction) with the power to ruin marriages, collapse financial deals, and wreak havoc with one’s diet plans. It’s the word I cleverly highlighted in orange. It’s the word, “but.”

Here’s what you should know before you hear the conversation with my mom.

  • I’m a middle child (one knocking on the door of 60 years old); this scar is going to the crematorium with me.
  • I live 2,500 miles from her. She says she misses me.
  • Unlike my younger sister (the baby) who rarely calls her, I call Mom at least once a week. She says she appreciates the call.
  • I haven’t seen Mom in over a year.
  • She’s 83, lives alone, and has her “routines.”

Okay. I called her. and here is how the conversation went (sort of):

Me: One ringie dingie. Two ringie dingies. Three ringie dingies.

Mom: (With the hesitation of someone reluctantly opening the door to encyclopedia/vacuum/computer virus salesperson) Hell…o?

Me: Hi, Mom! It’s me! How are things?

Mom: Oh. Lorna. Hi. Good. I guess.

Me: What’s the matter, Mom? Is everything all right?

Mom: Yes. Fine. I’d love to talk, but I’m in the middle of doing dishes. Can you call me back?

Me: (Pausing…making “Oh no, she just didn’t” face…recovering*) Sure. Sorry. I’ll call in an hour or so. Love you!

Mom: Make it an hour and a half, okay? Love you, too. Click.

*This is not the first time the dishes have won out over me when I’ve called her. Also, the last time I flew home, I had to wait a whole day to see my mom because she was taking a bath and had a salad to make for a family get-together my sister had planned. As I said, she has her routines.

I wasn’t upset. Indeed, I chuckled.

Go ahead. Let it out. It feels great. (It's the same advice if you're crying, but I hope you're laughing!)

Laughing. Crying. It’s a fine line. You’ll understand if you’re a middle child. Or anyone who has been shunned.

Then I got to thinking: “I’d love to talk, but…” If she really meant what she said before the “but,” everything after the “but” would never have come out of her mouth. This suggested an informal linguistic rule—another cultural verbal “tic”—that now sticks in my lexiconic craw:

Beware of the Big Butinski: it negates everything in the sentence before it appears. It’s the truth after the nice little lie.

Some examples may help:

  • I love the way you experiment with new ingredients, but I sure miss the way Mom made meatloaf with, you know, meat.
  • You should wear your hair any way you want, but I really like your hair long.
  • It’s your business, and the decision is yours, but if I were you, I’d fire your children who are clearly taking advantage of you.
  • Dogs are great, but I’m more of a cat person.
  • I don’t have any regrets about how I’ve raised my children, but I would do a few things differently if I could.
  • I’m on a strict 1,000 calorie a day diet plan, but it’s _________(fill in the excuse), and I’ll get on track tomorrow.
  • I love my job, but I can’t wait to retire.
  • I’ll eat anything, but I can’t stand that tofu stuff!
  • You’re a really good driver, but could you slow down just a little?
  • I’d love to follow your blog, but I’m crazy busy.

Like in every aspect of the English language, there are exceptions to every rule. “Buts” don’t always negate what precede them. But, the rule holds in enough cases for you to be aware of it.

I thought that alerting you to an annoyance in our language might be fitting since my blogging career started with such a big bang 600 posts ago with a little ditty called “To be Honest With You.” It, too, dealt with a lexiconical bugaboo of mine. It was my first post, and it was Freshly Pressed. The only one that ever got that recognition.  And I was so new to blogging that I thought that WordPress was just welcoming me into the fold!

Silly me. I get easily confuzzled. Did then. Do now.

Do Big Butinskis show up in your conversations?

 

 

Exposed! The Secret Plot to Save Social Security

•August 17, 2016 • 26 Comments

I finally put it all together.

This was the final piece in of the puzzle.

This was the final piece in of the puzzle.

Just to be clear, this is not a conspiracy theory; this is a conspiracy fact.

There is a difference. Trust me. I used to know the difference. But what matters most to you: a lesson in semantics or how pathetic your future monthly checks from the government will be?

I thought so.

I thought so.

After a serious (by “serious,” I mean “considerable”) amount of research (meaning: “thinking” and “noticing” and “Googling” and “napping”), I have figured out how the government is going to save the floundering Social Security system from the onslaught of massive retiring Baby Boomers (which is to say the number of Baby Boomers retiring is massive, not that they are all massively overweight—but, hey, how many stretched out Spanks do you own?)

Consider these statements as fact (because it just makes things easier for me):

  • Those of us born between 1945 and 1964 are taking longer and longer to pee  get upright  look presentable.
  • We are sick and tired of working or just sick and tired of  _____ing (fill in the blank).
  • We actually believe that 70 is the new 50 and 60 is the new 40, which means that 40 is the new 20 (and the reason why your adult children are still sponging off of you) and 90 is the new 70 (which is just plain scary).
Sure! I may be old, but I remember cars! I'll take that there Smart Car out for a spin. Hey! Where's the back of the darned thing?

Sure! I may be old, but I remember cars! I’ll take that there Smart Car out for a spin. Hey! Where’s the back of the darned thing?

  • We absolutely, positively, unquestioningly don’t want to die or look as if we could possibly catch a deathy thing.
  • We want to maintain or improve the lifestyle we are accustomed to for the next, oh, 50 years, but haven’t saved all that much or nothing (whichever amount is greater).
  • There are 76.4 million Baby Boomers drawing on or expecting to drawn on Social Security for as long as they possibly can.
  • The current workforce (supplying Social Security with funds) is relying on Millennials, you know, many of whom are doggedly working day and night to find Pokemon monsters.
Dude, do you these phones can be used to search for, like, jobs and things? Psych! Gotcha! Now where's that Picchu?

Dude, do you these phones can be used to search for, like, jobs and things? Psych! Gotcha! Now where’s that Picchu?

Given these facts, Social Security is in danger of running out of money. Forget politicians fixing this problem. That’ll never happen.

Politicians won’t need to worry about the Social Security fund becoming insolvent. Secretly and yet in plain sight, a plan has begun to save Social Security by killing off Baby Boomers like me and, yes, YOU!

How?

Yoga. Yes, Dearie. Yoga!

Yoga. Yes, Dearie. Yoga!

There. I said it. Now you know.

How? You may be asking at the great risk of repeating yourself, and I’ll tell you.

Plain, simple yoga is dangerous enough for the average I-wish-I-was-in-better-shape-so-I’ll-try-something-involving-gentle-music-mats-and-comfortable-pants crowd.

I tried Beginner’s yoga. I’ve never been a circus performer, but I imagine their training is similar. One pose stretched my hamstring so far that the woman next to me felt it. Yoga can be relaxing. It might even be good for you, but it’s dangerous when taken too far.

So what have Yomus (Yoga Maker-Uppers) done?

Together with SAG (Some Arm of Government), Yomus have taken yoga far, wide, and to the dark side. They say these forms of yoga are to make it “more challenging” or “even more spiritual.” I’m sure they are. You will (at least I will) meet my maker if I try these. And that means one less retiree cashing her Social Security check next month.

Yeah, I'd be praying, too. Almost every time I have used an exercise band, they have broken and snapped in my face. And that's the best possible scenario here.

Yeah, I’d be praying, too.

Here is a list of the trends in yoga. These are real. Even my wonky brain couldn’t make this stuff up.

  1. Hot Yoga (Strokga)—Forget all the marketing about cleansing your pores. This is an attempt to give you a fatal heat stroke. I’m sure it’s a thing.
  2. Snoga—Yoga poses on a snowy mountainside. What could go wrong?
  3. Nude Yoga—Sure it sounds nice until you realize mostly women in their 50s are in the class. This may not kill you, but it may suck the joy from life real fast. All those mirrors. All that cellulite.
  4. Tantrum Yoga—Forget the peaceful setting. People go to this type of yoga to scream, stomp, and chest-pound. It’s like the old joke, “I went to a yoga retreat and a hockey game broke out.”
  5. Yogulp—Combining yoga evenings with beer or wine tastings. Nothing stabilizes your tree pose like being boozed up. Broken hip = death grip.
  6. Doga/Meowga/Equine Yoga—Using your pet as your yoga prop instead of an inanimate block that won’t bite, scratch, kick, or (most importantly MOVE) while you are trying to stabilize yourself during a pretzel pose.
  7. Aerial Yoga—Doing yoga while suspended in rubber contraptions which, under the right/wrong circumstances could get wrapped around your neck or other necessary parts and leave you wishing you didn’t want to be so darned serene.
  8. Aqua Yoga—Doing yoga in the water, or, in my case, underwater…for a short time…until I drown.
  9. Paddleboard Yoga (Waterboard Yoga)—Yoga in a river, lake, ocean, waterfall, whatever while balancing on a supposedly floaty board. Besides the obvious drowning possibilities, you should concern yourself with the ever-present dangers of striking your head on the board as you fall into predator-infested waters. Watch enough beach-theme scary movies. You’ll understand.
  10. Couples Yoga—Yes, let’s give two people who have been married too long another thing to criticize each other about.
Floyd's Pigeon Pose is sloppy on a good day. I try to set up my mat as far away as possible from him. Plus he can't help but fart every five minutes. I get enough of that at home.

Floyd’s Pigeon Pose is sloppy on a good day. I try to set up my mat as far away from him as possible. Plus he farts every five minutes. I get enough of that at home.

Once I put this all together in a tidy package, the conspiracy is easy to see, isn’t it? Yomus in cahoots with the government lure Baby Boomers in with promises of relaxed, fit, youthful bodies and minds, but they’re really trying to knock us off to keep Social Security solvent.

Well, do you have a better explanation for these wackadoodle kinds of yoga?

 

 

The news just keeps getting newsier

•August 2, 2016 • 40 Comments
I simply prefer to focus on other things, like nothing.

I can’t watch “real” news on cable. I simply prefer to focus on other things, like nothing.

Avoiding bad news is my hobby passion obsession life.

Bad news, which is about the only kind that’s out there, makes me sick.

Literally.

I get stressed, which makes my immune system kersplode, which results in wonky symptoms no one can diagnose but are really irritating and often itchy.

And that malady is the least of my worries.

I bet the cure is worse than the condition. Take this pill and the itching will stop. You may, however, experience constipation, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, insomnia, drowsiness, nervous leg syndrome, numbness in your extremities, dry mouth, drooling, and either an increase or decrease in your libido. But the itching will stop. Probably.

But sometimes a news story flies in my face and I just have to share it with you. I consider it my civical duty.

If information is power, then trippy-dippy-what-the-flippy news is an effective antidote for all that powerful awful information zip lining across the airwaves, scaring the gee-willickers out of you.

Don't worry, Hank. At least your funny bone is still in tact. And given what we've been seeing in the news lately, you're going to need it.

Don’t worry, Hank. At least your funny bone is still intact. And given what we’ve been seeing in the news lately, you’re going to need it.

What do you get for the prostitute who has everything…except the money you owe her?

I wonder how this guy pays his plumber? Probably with a snake.

I wonder how this guy pays his plumber? Probably with a snake.

Enough with the fear mongering! Just asking the question suggests something nefarious. I feel docu-drama in the making: The Big Short Circuit.

IMG_0835

How the AC/DC should I know? Do I seem to be the type of person who knows the back side of a socket like the back of her hand?

Remember the good old days when toddlers having tantrums, biting unsuspecting relatives and not repeating the “bad words” adult sometimes said when they were angry about being bitten during a tantrum were the big worries parents had?

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Apparently, evolution is a painfully slow process.

Sometimes the figurative and the literal are literally the same thing. I know. It’s confusing!

IMG_0860

I wonder if you are a worse driver if you have an actual monkey on your back or if you are driving while under the influence of something that alters your consciousness? Not that a monkey being all monkeyish in the back seat (versus on your back) wouldn’t alter your consciousness. Maybe monkeys shouldn’t be passengers in your car.

The Pacific Northwest is still the West. Don’t be fixin’ to break the law in these parts. You might find yourself on the business end of a…well…um…you’ll know what those rodeo calves feel like. Feel the rope burn and learn!

IMG_0921

We live in an open carry, loop and throw state.

This is one of the more heinous news stories. Brace yourselves. It’s shocking and, frankly, unthinkable. But, better latte than never…

IMG_0939

If this makes it all the way to the Su-cream Court, I wonder which of the current eight Justices will espresso the ruling verdict?

Finally, Phil will believe me when I say that I did not take his hammer and thing-a-ma-gig and forgot to put them back in their proper place.

I have new motto: When accused of any bunkie, blame it on a monkey. I know. Not very Buddhist of me, but I have a reputation to protect. And let's face it, monkeys have reputations that are in the crapbasket.

I have new motto: When accused of any bunkie, blame it on a monkey. I know. Not very Buddhist of me, but I have a reputation to protect. And let’s face it, monkeys have reputations that are in the crapbasket.

Barriers are being broken. So are windows and possibly a few front teeth.

I don't know much about America's favorite pastime or about baseball, but I bet that if I played on one of these teams, the other players wouldn't all rush to cover me if the ball came toward me (like in every game I've ever played in my life).

I don’t know much about America’s favorite pastime or about baseball, but I bet that if I played on one of these teams, the other players wouldn’t all rush to cover me if the ball came toward me (like in every game I’ve ever played in my life).

And you thought Uber was clever…

Introducing Pooper Uber! I don't think that's what these entrepreneurs in the world of doggie doodoo are calling it, but it works the same way. Uber Scoopers are piling up for test runs in San Francisco, LA, and NYC.

Introducing Pooper Uber! I don’t think that’s what these entrepreneurs in the world of doggie doodoo are calling it, but it works the same way. Uber Scoopers are piling up for test runs in San Francisco, LA, and NYC.

Why do exercise mavens want to improve yoga? Isn’t it stimulaxing, contorifying, and fartbarrassing enough?

I'm sure lots of people think that balancing on one foot while boozed up is great for your core something, but if I remember correctly, having both feet on the ground while tipsy wasn't a guarantee of staying upright. Maybe if you have enough wine, you forget about falling and get creative with the explanations about all the bruises. It's a mind/body exercise.

I’m sure lots of people think that balancing on one foot while boozed up is great for your core something, but if I remember correctly, having both feet on the ground while tipsy wasn’t a guarantee of staying upright. Maybe if you have enough wine, you forget about falling and get creative with the explanations about all the bruises. It’s a mind/body exercise.

A new recruiting tool or an elaborate escape plan gone terribly wrong?

I'm seriously rethinking my aversion to organized religion. The most exciting thing we did in my religious ed classes was learn the major and minor ways to get to hell.

I’m seriously rethinking
my aversion to organized religion. The most exciting thing we did in my religious ed class was learning the major and minor ways to get to hell.

 I’ll keep scanning the paper and let you know about what’s happening in my neck of the woods.
You do the same, ya hear?

I'm busier than I look, but keeping you entertained is a serious job and I take it , well, seriously.

I’m busier than I look, but keeping you entertained is a serious job and I take it , well, seriously.

There’s a great new editor in Cybertown, and you found her!

•July 27, 2016 • 67 Comments
Uh. What? Is something important happening here? Do I need to pay attention?

Uh. What? Is something important happening here? Do I need to pay attention?

How many times in the past hours days weeks months have you wondered why your favorite dizzy blonde wonkerific blogger hasn’t been posting as frequently as she used to?

Really? You haven’t noticed what I may or may not have or haven’t been doing or not doing? Shizzlesticks in a mudpie!

Well, wake up and smell your smoking motherboard.

It's good to have options.

It’s good to have options.

I’m here to tell you that Lorna is back in Cybertown and she’s been busy being a darned tootin’ fine editor. (By the way, I’m Lorna.)

These are my Professional Editor glasses. I will put them on for the remainder of this post. You WILL notice a difference.

These are my Professional Editor Glasses. I will put them on for the remainder of this post. You WILL notice a difference.

Don’t concern yourself that prior sentences in this post may or may not have been technically grammatically correct or that there were words the Oxford Dictionary hasn’t discovered yet.

I know the difference between how to write a silly blog post and editing a manuscript that will have all the components of a compelling, publish-ready story, complete with:

  • A coherently woven theme.
  • Plot lines that push the reader ever onward and that make sense given the theme and setting.
  • Fully-developed, interesting characters who talk and behave consistently (not necessarily predictably) throughout the book.
  • Characters who change as the story progresses.
  • Prose that is free of distracting errors of any kind, because any mistake (factual or technical) that takes the reader out of the story is never minor.

I also know how to work with authors as they face having to revise, rethink, or (good grief!) delete pieces of their soul’s work because an objective third party (me) suggests that doing so will improve their story.

How do I know?

Yes, do tell. Tell us what you know.

Yes, do tell. How do you know?

I’ve been on the receiving end of the editor’s pen (or cursor). I’ve also critiqued and edited numerous manuscripts. No one has ever told me that I was “heavy-handed” or “over-stepped.” Quite the opposite. To a person, my suggestions were welcomed and received with gratitude.

While I truly enjoy writing, I find editing an equally creative and rewarding process.

  • I get to read interesting stories.
  • I meet and befriend imaginative, wonderful people who share my love of writing, words, and all things literary.
  • Using my creative literary talents, I help others achieve their goals.
  • When a client’s book is successful, I feel a collaborative sense of accomplishment.

When I was searching this humonsterous world-wide-spider-cyberweb for my first editor, I did a seat-of-my-dumb-dumb-pants search. (Can you tell I took my Professional Editing Glasses off? My eye itched.) I could have done worse, but I could have done better. I would love for fewer authors to feel the way I did.

My way of helping to take the mystery out of what you’re getting into when you get into editing bed with me is to show you my work for FREE. Yes, that’s right. Send me the first ten (10) pages of your manuscript and I’ll edit them for FREE. I said it again! If you like my work and my style, let’s work together! If not, well, you got something for nothing–no harm, no foul.

This free offer is looking mighty good right about now!

This free offer is looking mighty good right about now!

If you are an author with a manuscript in need of editing, I’m here to help you.

The badge on my sidebar takes you to my Editorial Services Page. Or you can just click here!  

If you know of an author who is looking for an editor, please consider directing them my way. Please reblog this, Tweet this, post this on Facebook, Linkedin, and all those other social media sites (well, maybe not Tinder).

Thanks to everyone who has supported me here on WordPress over the past 5+ years!
You Peeps are the BEST!

Supportive AND adorable!

Supportive AND adorable!

 

 

 

 
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