Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hump Day Happy New Year Haiku

We all shall admit
That the old year is over
Need desk calendar.

The new year is here
Time marches on your torso
Heads up: we're older.

Russia in crisis
Ukraine in decline, I fear
Europe next in line

Intruders visit
Just stroll into the White House
Thanks, Secret Service

Pharrell sang "Happy"
That Ebola was crappy
Bieber delinquent

Rodman's Korea
They are so glad to see ya
Stay there, idiot

Independence, Scots?
Kilt that idea quickly
Back to complaining

Terrorists out there
Your internet isn't safe
Sony can tell you

Bye, Afghanistan
Our soldiers are coming home
Silent phone? It's us

NFL, you say?
Sure it's not a baseball game?
Lots of real hitters

Ice bucket chillers
ALS is in the news
No one will stay dry

Perhaps travel or romance?
(Don't fly Asian Air)

Plans for the next year
See you on the Flipside, peeps
Wish you all the best

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas-to-New Year's Crunch Week

Holiday travel happened all over the country last weekend. Family members from all over the map are pulled by mysterious forces to their mother's (or mother-in-law's) house to celebrate. We are no different than those anonymous traveling masses; family visits are wonderful - but so is walking through your own door when you return from that little jaunt.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Very Stephen Christmas Present

"But I still want a snowman...dressed like Batman..."  Stephen T. McCarthy

"Never let it be said that I don't grant Christmas wishes."  Cherdo

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Reason for the Season

Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Have a wonderful holiday, be safe and blessed.
Love, Cherdo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Let's Make Snowcone-men

Why haven't I thought of this before? This idea was right in front of my face, yet I didn't make the connection:

  • The endless hours I spent in the snow as a child...
  • My mother telling me to "go outside and play..."
  • Countless snowmen...snowwomen...snowdogs...we built them all...
  • An insane love of snowcomes.
A drenching of fruity flavored goodness, bendy straw arms and I could have easily have had enough reason to stay outside for hours: the Snowcone-man.

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Favorite Christmas Memory Bloghop...Cherdo-ed

Janie Junebug and I (Cherdo!) would love to hear your own Christmas memories - it's not too late to sign up!  To join us, sign up below and then post your personal favorite recollection on December 22. Share the Christmas memory that has stuck with you through the years, and a little bit about what made it so special for you.

Was it happy, funny, sad, enlightening, or just plan weird?  Who am I to judge? It's your memory!

Ring the bells, write to Santa, put up the tree and wrap the presents early!  Our first bloghop won't be the same without our buddies - and we'd like you to invite as many of your own blog friends as you can! We want to blanket blogdom with holiday recollections, reflections and retrospection. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

"I Will Not Go Forth Unto Christmas Week..."

It's crunch time and I've told myself that I will not even start the week of Christmas without every, single thing on my voluminous to-do list completed...and it is so close. It's happening today.

Thank you to everyone who is participating in our Favorite Christmas Memory Bloghop on December 22. It's not too late to sign up. Look to the right...the green square...yes, that's it. Click and join us. Our only purpose is to share our favorite memories and spread some Christmas spirit among blog land. Janie Junebug and I thank you!

Happy Holidays, and see you on Monday, peeps.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Makes a Holiday Icon?

Just a quick thought today: how DO they decide what becomes a holiday icon? Is it a ballot? That's an election I want to participate in. Can I mail it in?

Some possible questions and choices:

  1. Santa:  Jolly or Vain? Smoking a pipe or curling his beard?
  2. Snowman, Pinkman or Rainman?  Frosty, Bad Business Partner or Mathematical Wapner Watcher? 
  3. Holly, Pinecones or Snowcones?
  4. Festive Elf, Troubled Troll or Frozen Fairy?
  5. Give presents to the birthday child...or have the child be the gift to everyone.
The Christmas holiday will have a few short posts as I spend a whole lot of time away from the computer screen!

But, don't forget, we want to hear your favorite Christmas memory!:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Put My Christmas Goodies in WHAT?

I'm spending the eight days before Christmas thinking about traditions and where they originated. Googling isn't enough information; it's pretty canned. Sure, it will tell you the history of St. Nick, various holiday hypotheses about the origins of the Christmas'll run into a few debates on whether or not the pagans contributed to it - does it taint the tradition? (Spoiler: No kid thinks that.) 

I ain't about that life.

The meaty bare-bones information that I seek hinges on the rationale behind the initiation of these traditions. When did they really start? What was going on in that moment?

First up: Who decided that it would be cool to get goodies stuffed in your sock? 

Let's examine that holiday favorite.

So, the general public of a bygone age becomes aware of old St. Nick. At some point, he is not just the red attired Bishop Nicholas - he is a saint and Big N has done wonderful things. All over the globe, people know his name. Towns and ports are named after him. Parents tell their children stories about him and the legend grows. 

Good news, children! St. Nicholas will be coming down the chimney tonight and he's bringing you "something" if you're good! Ah...we arrive at our historical catalyst; the great unknown. Let's speculate without facts - like the news channels. 

With wonder and amazement, anticipation and excitement at its peak, what kids said: "Hey, I've got an idea. Let's hang an item of clothing up so St. Nick will stuff it with presents."

I want to know the name of that kid, and you know it had to be a kid. Truthfully, I want to be a fly on the wall at the moment that happened, because no child's conversation is linear. Every kid in the family had to chime in and battle for air time. How did a sock win out?

You know that Rolf or Gretchen had to mention that underwear was much bigger and held more items. Gretchen might remind him of his poor bathroom hygiene and even infer that underwear could never, ever be clean enough to suffice. Of course, long underwear would just be a sign of greediness and mess with your Santa street cred. There's a possibility that the term should be "sled cred," but I don't have the research to back it up.

Jorge and Hans might have suggested tying up the sleeves of shirts, but they would have to be low hanging and a fire hazard. What do you do with the neck hole? Sew it up? Long pants would be the same hazard. 

As one of my brilliant co-workers used to say, "You don't want to wake up dead." 

They promoted her, but I'm not bitter. 

Back to our story...

Surely little Brunhilda might have thought about a bucket or a cup?  What was wrong with suggesting that their nighttime visitor put their gifts on the front porch, thus saving time and avoiding that pesky breaking and entering charge?

Lastly, did these trendsetting Teutonic kids lack parental guidance?

Well, you all know the end of this story...because we're all hanging, stockings. With ingenuity and holiday spirit, one brilliant child whose name is lost to us led the way as he (or she) nailed their stockings to the fireplace mantel that first time. Foot odor, be darned! It's Christmas! A fat man is on his way.

Then, the children must have gone to bed, blue toed and giddy. You know they didn't have a lot of clothes back then and they just gave up 50% of their foot coverings.

Meanwhile, as Rolf lay in bed - he could have kicked himself in frustration! All that talk of undergarments made him forget he had perfectly good luggage that could have been placed on the hearth and that would have held a motherload of goods.

Too late smart, Rolf. Go check your sock.


Don't forget to join the
DECEMBER 22, 2014
Your ho-ho-hosts: Cherdo and Janie Junebug
It won't be the same without you!  

Click on the graphic on the right...that's it...go ahead...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Just a 'Toon for Tuesday

Maybe you are one of those people who think you just can't mess up a snowglobe, it's everyone's perennial favorite - the king of the holiday table knickknacks.

You'd be wrong. Anything can fail. 

Although, I have to ask - with the amphora flying, Roman statue heads rolling and columns crashing, what's not to like? It's my personal favorite eruption decoration.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Christmas Crab Needs to Go!

Does anyone still say "crabby?" It seems to have fallen out of favor, but I propose that we slap a little more mileage on the term before it's fully abandoned. The crowds are becoming virtual lobster pots of crabbiness as we get closer and closer to Christmas. You may as well let it flow, folks - the arrival of Christmas has nothing to do with whether or not we're ready.

In fact, your Christmas attitude and behavior will magically become someone's Christmas memory. It's never too late to kill the crabbiness before the holiday arrives.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Have Yourself a Tarantino Christmas

Our bloghop hosts, MOCK! and The Armchair Squid, are proud to present 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.

Today, our society convenes with Pulp Fiction.


Sometimes, you just want to throw something in the hat for the folks who have already seen this hot mess, rather than explain detail after detail. 

Pulp Fiction is a collection of tales and colorful characters that all criss-cross and merge, indifferent to the chronology of the actual events portrayed. One thing that all the characters have in common is that there's no classic hero in the bunch; there's just the people who end up dead and the people who live to see another day. It's a carnival of low-lifes, and you're along for the (brief) ride.

This award winning film is not for everyone, especially if you don't like glorified self-indulgence, criminal activity portrayed as "just another day," characters who curse with every single sentence, or gratuitous gore.  

So, how can we make it more festive and "flipside-able?"

Sung to the tune of 
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas*

Have yourself a Tarantino Christmas,
Quentin's neo-noir,
Jules and Vincent eating burgers in a car.

Have yourself a foul-mouth-fiction Christmas,
Brett is going down,
Vince and Mia have a night out on the town,

Lance, please help, Mia overdosed!
Vincent's butt is toast - he fears!
Butch wants his watch, he just threw a fight
Crazy Zed's a pain in the rear.

Have yourself a zip-your-lip-Butch Christmas,
Shoot Vincent and go -
Jimmie's worried Bonnie has a fit to throw!
Jules gives Pumpkin and Honey Bunny cash to go.

[*all apologies to Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine. Parody is not for wimps.]

Want to join us? Sign up! Chime in! Get your feet wet - we'd love to have you along for the ride.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The B Tree

December snuck up on me. And yes - I realize "snuck" is not an acceptable word; I've told you I'm not a writer...right? Let me continue to make it apparent with every post. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Humpday Haikus

Chilly Tennessee
Forcing me to get a coat
I feel so betrayed

Winter wonderland
Where have you gone? Where, I cry?
Everything is wet and muddy

Friendly, welcoming blog friends
Cherdo and Janie

Join us, we exclaim!
Blog your Xmas memories
Belong to the ages!

Computer junky
Don't be selfish at Christmas
More give...less receive

But wait! Don't despair!
Others will share their thoughts, too
It is a win-win

Our Christmas Bloghop
Our gift to the Universe
Real secret Santas

Hint hint hint hint hint 
Hint hint hint hint hint hint hint
Hint hint hint hint hint 

Will they quit asking?
Gee...they are so persistent
I sign the Linky...

The haiku now ends
I won't mention it again
...unless you don't join...

 My Favorite Christmas Memory Bloghop Dec. 22


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No Snitch on My Shelf

The Elf on the Shelf is a children's book explaining the story of Santa's scout elves, who are sent to be Santa's eyes and ears in homes around the world! Hurrah, for Santa! Uh...wait a minute...the scout elf is doing what??

You heard it right. Santa's watching you, kids, and he is in league with that snitch on the shelf. As if it's not creepy enough that "he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake."

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Favorite Christmas Memory Bloghop Dec. 22

Cherdo and Janie Junebug want YOU to carve out a wee bit of time to participate in 


To join us, sign up below and then post your personal favorite recollection on December 22. We'd love to read about the Christmas memory that has stuck with you through the years, and a little bit about what made it so special for you.

Was it happy, funny, sad, enlightening, or just plan weird?  Who am I to judge? It's your memory!

Ring the bells, write to Santa, put up the tree and wrap the presents early!  Our first bloghop won't be the same without our buddies - and we'd like you to invite as many of your own blog friends as you can! We want to blanket blogdom with holiday recollections, reflections and retrospection. 

Sign up below to join us!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Daily Painting

Creative people run the gamut from the crafty hobbyist to the accomplished artists, yet they all could benefit from the simple, practical advice of a pro as explained in Carol Marine's new book, Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist. As intuitive as it seems, we all need reminded from time to time that there is no secret recipe for improvement - sometimes, you just need to dive in and stick with it. Don't be fooled by the title; there's so much more to this book then just a call to paint more often.

In 2006, Marine discovered the daily painting movement that encouraged artists to paint one small painting  daily and sell that work online. Unencumbered by perfectionism or preconceived notions about the right or wrong way to paint, frequent studio time leads to small completed works. Finishing a project can clear your mind for the next project; you get a sense of satisfaction with the daily completion - and results in hand. Marine saw her skills and enjoyment of her craft improve dramatically and I believe anyone would! It is, after all, the practice that raises a novice to a pro.  

So, what to do with all these small paintings? Put them in the hands of the public by selling them online. Marine even addresses blogging as a tool to market your art and sell those daily masterpieces. Helpful insight into the process of creating an online presence is straightforward and easy to follow with clear descriptions of the benefit of such an endeavor. 

Daily Painting contains much of the technical side of painting and drawing that you'd find in any painting book: supplies, color theory, proportions. Beginners would feel right at home following the creative process of the artist. What I really loved most, however, was the number of fine paintings used throughout to illustrate or just for the love of painting.

Carol Marine practices what she preaches with beautiful results. If you're considering purchasing some of her work - I'd start with this book.

[I received this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review, and I'm happy to oblige. I loved it, and it's MINE! All MINE!]

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Muppet Fail: Have a Hairy Joe Holiday

Once again, we address the sad saga of the Muppets that didn't make the cut, the overlooked creations that were tossed aside with no regard to how felt...felt.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Remember the Alamo...the Delicious Alamo

If you have young kids, here is a warning: there are only so many days in a child's life that can be legitimately called childhood. You'll miss those days in ways you can't even explain when they are gone. 

(Hopefully, you won't have an abundance of days where you just consider your progeny "childish." It's not the same and you don't get the same feelgood feeling. And remember, homicide is a crime - everywhere, people.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cyber Month Cynic

There's a curious similarity between Cyber Monday and plain old Tuesday. In fact, Tuesday feels so similar to Cyber Monday that I suggest we go ahead and admit that we are at the start of a full-on Cyber Month. December is all about retailers getting every last dollar we have before Christmas arrives. The push to sell, sell, sell doesn't lessen to any measurable degree and you will kick yourself when you see the same deal or better in the coming weeks. Let's expose Cyber Monday for what it always was - it's not a real part of Christmas celebrations. 

Be on the lookout; there are other ways to get your hard earned bucks, too. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Post Thanksgiving Menu

Oh, you were so looking forward to it. It was going to be something special that you shared with your family and friends. If you're really skilled at it's preparation, you'll be their host year after year - because it's important that it comes out right. You know what I'm talking about: the Thanksgiving turkey.

Now, it's Monday and that same group that cheered me on to local roasting fame is catching on to how I am trying to put turkey in every meal to get rid of the leftovers. It's been going on all weekend.