Friday, August 29, 2014


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The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Blog Hop

Welcome to  The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, an online gathering of bloggers who love books that is hosted montlhy by The Armchair Squid. If you're interested, please sign on to the link list at the end of this post.

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us by signing up below.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Keeping It Real...Please...Don't...

Give me the head of the person who invented Poo-Dough or any Doo-Dough knock-offs. Hey, I love the ridiculous - but, really

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Life as a Video Game: The Legend of Cherdo's Cart Quest

My life could be a video game. I've never really played them much ( could let me try more than once), but I sure have had to endure discussions about them. The premise that these failed tasks, frustrating challenges and repetitive nonsense are interesting is the the very reason I think my life would make a good video game. I'm full of repetitive nonsense.

Welcome to The New Legend of Cherdo's Cart Quest... 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The 2014 Cherdo Awards

As I lay tilted and secure in the comfort of my mid-range priced leather recliner, the televised Emmy Awards seemed to be lacking some serious categories that are important to me. Who can fill that void?  The 2014 Cherdo Awards can, that's who!

Before I proceed, may I point out the fact that the Cherdo award is the only official statuette that dares to have batwing arms, back fat, and super butt. Wings were not ornamental, but necessary to realistically allow the golden lady to lift herself to one tippy toe foot.

The current Emmy statuette has an eating disorder; it's scandalous. Her wings look like rock 'em, sock 'em robot controllers...not that I'm bitter.

The Cherdos' categories may be more specific than the Emmys, but we strive to acknowledge the extraordinary.

Best Acting, Drama - I'll Die if You Don't Let Me Out Episode:
Coco the Wonder Dog (this could also count as an outstanding whirling Dervish-type dance number).

Best Acting, Drama Series - Ignoring the Dog
Every male in my living room. I love the sincere commentary: "Oh...did she want out?"

Best Supporting Actor, Animal:
Charlie (does he really have to do anything?). If that face doesn't scream "I support you," I don't know what does...and you know it's an act.

Best Acting - Comedy Series: Pretending the Dog Constantly Needs a Walk
Every little girl who visits me. The acting is very convincing. Have at it, girls; I don't care if you walk my dog a hundred times. We're good.

Best Acting - Comedy: "I Didn't Know This Needed to Go in the Dishwasher" Episode:
Gonzo the convincing. You almost believe that he didn't know where dirty dishes go OR that we put them in the dishwasher every time they are dirty. Classic.

Best Stand Up While Sitting Down:
Shady Dell Knight, host of Shady Dell Music & Memories. Persistently punny posts.

Outstanding Original Song:  
Tie: Hubzam's "Yak Smack Be-bop Boop Boo Deedle Doop" and Hubzam's "Cherdo is the Queen of America Song."  Both are enthusiastically performed each time Hubzam feels something needs to fill the dead air space. Special acknowledgement for including all the words to the song in the title.

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing: 
Whoever is in the downstairs bathroom right now...amazing...sliding the award under the door. Don't come out...really, it's fine. I wish the name "Game of Thrones" wasn't already taken.

Outstanding Achievement in Information Programming:
Hubzam - Dinner Table Lawn Mowing Review for Teens. I wish the name "True Detectives" wasn't already taken.

Best Commentator - Reality According to Juggernaut:
Juggernaut. It's a thing of beauty, really. You don't stop him because you want to see how far he will go. It's like watching a shuttle launch.

Outstanding Video Journalism:
Magoo's 3 Minute Magic Demos (they are really fascinating). Extra credit for the fact that the viewer will keep watching it over and over, all while saying, "What in the did he do that?"

Congrats, peeps and pups. Everybody, we're off to the after party! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters

Andrew Shaffer has figured out a way to make me laugh out loud at least once per chapter in his latest offering for the fearful masses. You know the laugh I'm talking about: that embarrassing, snorting, spit-your-drink laugh that is usually reserved for responding to your funniest friends' antics. Shaffer accomplished that with his book, How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters - Fight back when monsters and mother nature attack!  Fin Shepard and April Wexler, both of the film Sharknado fame, add some important contributions to the book. Most fictional characters wouldn't bother to chime in, so I'm thankful for that.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Whyday - Back to School Edition

Big week! Okay, I'm exaggerating. The week was exactly the same size as last week but the kids were back to school and I have to confess that I love school days. Once a week, I teach some classes for homeschoolers and I love it. This year, there's some free time to mingle, which is nice. Kids are hilarious in their natural habitat and this is the only time they are gathered in a convenient cluster for this flipster's viewing; the rest of the time they are scattered all over the county as homeschool parents cobble together the education that is the right fit for their needs, skills and talents. It's not an easy job, but it is worth it.

And these kids are talented and bright (don't let my tales fool you). That's what makes the first day back so amusing to me. They are getting into the swing of things, but it is a bit...shall we say... muted. They're summer rusty and have the deer-in-the-headlights look in their eyes.

And so, kids, this Whyday is for you. Though I consider myself a connoisseur of the use of "why," I have heard some amusing questions and statements voiced in the past five days. Keep in mind, these are all homeschoolers attending a once-a-week cooperative:

  • "Why do I have to write that down? I wrote in my last class."  [Aged 7]
  • "Why didn't I do the prep work? Funny you should ask...I didn't know my mom signed me up for this class till this morning." [Aged 16]
  • "How did all these people know we were going to be here today?" [Aged 5]
  • "My backpack is full of my books. I don't think I'm going to be able to get that smart. It's too heavy." [Age 8]
  • "Someone is going to have to put my colored pencils in my backpack...I'm exhausted with book stuff...and put my papers in a folder, please. Man, I hope you're here next week?" [Age 7]
  • "I meant to ask you something, Mrs. M: do you know anyone who is dead? We got someone dead in our family this year." [Age 5]

Student:  "Will we have homework every week?"      
Me:          "Yes; homework never killed anyone, though. It will help you retain the information."
Student:  "Like what?"
Me:          "Like the stuff you learned last year, for example."
Student:  "Last year? What did we do last year?"

It's good to work together, even if you don't plan it:

Student #1:  "The ancient Sumerians believed in many gods..."
Student # 2: "...polytheists!"
Student # 1: "...whereas the early Jewish nation believed in one God..."
Student # 2: "...monotheists!"  

Noticing that I smiled when he interjected the definitions, Student #2 added, "Hey, he needed the help."

We all need the help. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where to Retire...

Confesson: I've always thought that I would like to be one of those retirees who moves to Florida for the winter. I just love the sun, the ocean, and the quart of sun screen I put on with a paint roller to maintain my day-glo complexion. The last time we were in Punta Gorda and traipsing around Sanibel Island, the thought nagged at me: I should live here. Housing seemed like it would be a no-brainer; plenty of "for sale" signs. Maybe too many...but no matter! Florida might work for me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Political Party Pooping: Congressional Term Limits, Anyone?

Congressional term limits are a hot topic lately, and I've listened to the many pros and cons on the subject. Lord knows we could use some new blood, perhaps someone who understands the role of a representative of the people (cough, cough). Right now, I'll take a new anything - new blood, new parties, new carpeting - new problems, even!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Newsday: Criminals

While sitting in my car at the stoplight, a strange feeling came over me as I looked at the sky above and realized I was surrounded by thousands of birds perched on every available telephone wire. A tornado of feathers swirled overhead. What was going on? Tippi Hedren was nowhere to be seen, nor Alfred Hitchcock...I knew it must be:  TUESDAY NEWSDAY.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Word Choice

Gonzo, my youngest son, is cut from different cloth. Everyone knows that person who is described as "just too nice," as though that is a huge hurdle we all have to deal with in life (my middle son, Magoo, was described as "too nice" or "too sweet", also). Gonzo has been described that way, too; I'd love to be surrounded by all those who are labeled "too nice". In my mind, Gonzo has achieved an elevated state of maturity. Ma and Pa can't take any credit for it. He's just wired that way; calm and even tempered.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Snack Girl to the Rescue!

Blogger Lisa Cain ("Snack Girl"), founder of, has come up with a combination of information, inspiration, and delicious options in her new book, Snack Girl to the Rescue! Easy Delicious Food for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. The cover described the book as "a real-life guide to losing weight & getting healthy with 100 recipes under 400 calories." I was anxious to read Cain's view on the diet-o-rama of weight loss and maintenance.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Are Selfies Dangerous? Let's Take a Pole

[ A tip of the hat and thank you to author Medeia Sharif for sharing this news's the stuff that fuels The Flipside. Check out her page and purchase several hundred of her excellent books. Christmas is just around the corner...]

The Washington Post reported that a Polish couple taking selfies at the Cabo Da Roca cliffs in Portugal fell to their deaths last Saturday. Something inside me wants to see those last pictures; I mean, I didn't cause their death and I certainly don't wish that on anyone, but you know the last one is a doosie. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thank You, Robin Williams

The buzz of the week was the sad news that we had lost a comedic genius, Robin Williams. Not only do I have a hard time imagining him gone, I struggle to see him as a sixty-three year old. He was on the flipside and my generation grew up with him (and I use the term "grown up" know who you are). His public persona suggested an eternal youthfulness and impossibly wit-laden life. Robin Williams didn't have an off switch, so how can it be that he is gone?

Monday, August 11, 2014

International Potluck Blogfest

International Potluck Blogfest
Do you have a favorite recipe? A dish everyone loves?
Share it with us! 

Minorities Make Up the Majority and Other Clarifying Statements in English

Soon, and very soon, I may not be able to communicate in English anymore because I don't understand its meaning. That's too bad, because my German stinks, I can only manage about twenty or thirty phrases in Japanese and Latin is a dead language (you should have seen how dead it was in the Latin class I taught...memorize the endings, people).

Sunday's newspaper included a headline that stated "minorities make up the majority." Really? Then the word to describe that first group of people would be m a j o r i t y, not minority. I get the implication, but are we so tied to pointing out the minorities that we make them hang on to that label when they become the majority? Aren't descriptive terms supposed to be used to accurately describe things? If not, what is the point? Just randomly say words.

I'm also getting tired of texted snark, though I do subscribe to some snark, in general. My complaint is the absence of subtlety. Snark is a face-to-face game; you need the face time to be sure of the meaning behind it. It's like the zinger spice of the conversation, and my preference is that we all do it and have fun with it. 

If you're trying to keep your whole texting shtick at a minimum wordwise, give a gal a break. Just saying "great" is not enough for me to figure out whether you are glad you picked up an extra day at work or whether you are ticked that you have to go in for an extra day. Hey, I don't know if you're salaried (great) or hourly (great). I don't know if "great" adequately describes your feeling about being on the job in general. Don't be stingy with the language, peeps.

We keep flipping on some words' meaning, never settling on a consensus. How was the concert? Choose "a" over "the" to proceed the word bomb and the meaning undergoes a drastic change.

Over the years, I picked up quite a few dear friends who speak English as a second language. It's confusing to them, too. If I'd have taken more notes from those discussions, this could be a book instead of a post. We've discussed it that much and they are uniformly disappointed in my explanations or lack there of.  

We could always turn back the clock and pick up some of the words that have fallen to the wayside in years gone by. Then I could just use the excuse that I'm a jargogled jollox. That sounds right.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mock Squid Soup - A Blogger's Film Society

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society.
Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to a particular movie.  
We invite others to watch the same film and post their own reviews.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pow! Celebrity Booster Shot for Orlando

I love stories that come out of nowhere and truly have a surprise twist. Technically, I guess it came out of Ibiza, Spain; but I digress. If I could just figure out what it is that makes one story more newsworthy than another in the collective consciousness of people. I'd be rich.

Example number one: Mr. Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom, English actor and middle Earth hotsy totsy and Bored of the Rings. Apparently, Mr. Bloom decided to deck one Mr. Justin Drew Bieber, Canadian singer-songwriter and cranky young turk.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Schedule Clean Up

Hump day. I hate that name.

I just realized that I can cancel the whole day. I think I'll do that. Who is with me?

This has instantly turned in to the best looking block on the calendar.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Just My Typo, Indeed!

"If you feel cold, put on a sweater,
crap yourself in a blanket, or turn up the heat."

Be honest, could you really resist a book that has that on the cover?

Compiler Drummond Moir pulled me in from the minute I picked up Just My Typo: From "Sinning with the Choir" to "The Untied States".  What started as a quick trip to the mailbox turned into a prolonged state of just-one-more-page that interfered with everything that should have come after the mailbox trip! This book is absolutely hilarious and had me laughing so hard I was wheezing, the ultimate compliment from yours truly.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blog Hop! Celebrate the Small Things

It's time for Celebrate the Small Things, hosted by Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and her co- hosts (I'm a day late, but it's the thought that counts...right?):

Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse