To My Dad, on Father’s Day

Thank you, Dad… …for demonstrating the importance of education, and setting a good example; …for letting me play with your monstrosity of a calculator – I would never understand the math (no doubt, to your everlasting frustration), but its resemblance to a typewriter surely had some influence on me; …for your even temper; …for taking Read More …

Iron and Rust

The four-legged cast-iron Dutch oven sat just outside the kitchen window, masquerading as a planter for wild things. Tetanus, maybe. Running a hand across its rust-roughened surface, it was hard to tell if it had sprouted tumors or succumbed to the pitting of an acid rain. I had an uneasy, love-hate relationship with cast iron Read More …

You

Hi, You. You, you guys, you all, y’all, you’ens, all y’all… yes, YOU. I don’t have to say “If you’re reading this…” because I know you are. Thank you for that. Ironically, that’s one assertion I can make with certainty. If you want to quibble with it, you’ll only prove it’s true. “You” have been Read More …

Xenodochy

The world needs more xenodochy. And more words. My husband and I agree on the first point, and argue the second when we’ve nothing else to bicker about – which is most of the time. He, a Lean Six Sigma professional, sees a plethora of synonyms as a hindrance to clear and straightforward communication. I Read More …

Women!

There’s a lot of rancor on the Internet, much of it centering around social justice, race, relations and equality between men and women, sexual identity, and religion. So when someone finds a way to express frustration and drive a serious point home with good-natured humor, it tends to bring down the defenses and get people Read More …

Under the Weather

Houston’s been a bit “under the weather” for the past week. Unless you live overseas or under a rock, you’ve probably seen just how bad things got, here, last week. A historic, “500-year flood,” the extent of which set records. Things are slowly getting back to normal – that is, the roads are passable and Read More …

Rallying the Reader Troops! Reviews, Please!

Hi! I know you love to read. I love to write. It’s a match made in heaven! But I need your help. With about a billion books on Amazon, it takes reviews to get noticed. Lots and lots of reviews. A flaming metric ton of reviews, traveling down the Information Superhighway at 110 miles per Read More …

5 Tips on How to be Funny When you’re not Funny

When it comes down to it, comedy is all about relating to one another. It’s about the human connection, however frail or thin. Where language and race diversify us, we have laughter in common. Now writing comedy is one of the hardest things someone can do, but hopefully through these 5 tips I can help Read More …

Unrealistic Expectations: Why Our Snowflakes Suffer Meltdown

One of the first articles I ran across, this morning, was from a woman bemoaning the fact that her children had picked up extravagant, over-the-top expectations for every holiday, real or imagined. This phenomenon isn’t as new as she thinks it is. I have slightly cringe-worthy memories of taking custom-made, white chocolate lollipops shaped like Read More …

Targeted Advertising: Creepy & Stalkerish, or Wow, You Get Me!?

When GMail first hit the scene and I got my coveted invitation to the beta program, part of the agreement was that Google could suck down all the text – incoming and outgoing – and analyze it for more effective target marketing. There would be ads in the sidebar and across the top, and these Read More …

That Time Arnold Palmer Saved the World from Alien Zucchini

…and Didn’t Even Realize It! I was 19. My parents left the country for ten days – and left me in charge of the house, the kitchen, and two zucchini plants. My mother’s instructions went something like this: “Don’t burn down the house, don’t fall in love while we’re gone, and check on the zucchini Read More …