Do You Suffer from Jam Side Down Syndrome?

The Scenario:    Shuffle to computer holding toast and jam.  Promptly drop toast and jam — jam side down — onto computer keyboard. 

Slather jam on second piece of toast and shuffle back to computer.  Promptly drop toast and jam — jam side down — onto computer keyboard.

Now most people would label this as the beginning of a very bad day — a Jam Side Down Day, if you will. But for me, it’s simply part of my normal, everyday, existence.

That’s because I suffer from a syndrome called  Jam-Side-Down Syndrome or JSDS.  You’ve probably never heard of it before due to the fact that I just now made it up.

Jam in happier times.

Now, even though I just this very moment made up Jam Side Down Syndrome, I’m sure there will be a pill for it coming out on the market any minute now.

Just because the pharmaceutical companies have never heard of JSDS, as yet, doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy busting their humps  developing a new, miracle drug that will lessen the incidence of dropping something jam side down — just in case.

Extremely rare photo of Jam Side Up. Experts cannot agree as to its authenticity.”

And the real kicker is that this new miracle drug will probably be no more addictive than your average heroin cigarette!

So no big whoop all the way around!  Wouldn’t you agree?

Now it seems the only thing left for me to do is think up a quiz that would indicate whether or not a person might be suffering from JSDS.  Well, that’s smple!

Do You Suffer from Jam Side Down Syndrome? The Quiz!

1) How many articles of clothing are hanging in your closet this very minute that have jam stains on them?

a) one

b) two

c) 17  perhaps?

2) How many times did you slip on some jam and fall down the stairs this morning?

a) one

b) two

c) 17 perhaps?

If a tree fell in the forest do you think it would land jam side down?

a) yes

b) no

c) 17 perhaps?

Suppose you were skydiving while eating toast and jam and your parachute failed to open. What odds would you give yourself of landing Jam Side Down?

A)  7 out of 23

B) 132 out of 6

C)  17 perhaps?

Suppose you were walking through a beautiful garden and were hit on the head by an asteroid with jam on it that was hurling to earth at a tremendous speed.  Would the undertaker have to charge extra for washing jam out of your hair?

A) yes

B) No

C) 17 perhaps?

So there you have it, Dear Reader.  If you answered yes, no, or 17 perhaps?  to any of the above questions, you are most definitely suffering from Jam Side Down Syndrome BIG TIME!

Quickly!! Put down that toast and jam and call your local pharmaceutical company immediately. . . there’s not a minute to lose . . .oh . .  and please, please try not to get jam all over the phone!

Until next time . . . I love you

 Memoirs of a Dilettante

Also today is the last day to pre-order Helena Hann Basquait’s book, Memoirs of a Dliettante so don’t forget to  pop on over to her site and click on Kickstart!  

My Five Worst Posting Fails of 2013

Welcome Dear Readers!  I have had so much fun blogging this year I can’t even tell you because I’ve already used up my entire vocabulary for the 2013.

So today we will be looking at some of the failed posts that no matter how hard me and my brain, Peanuts, tried, we just couldn’t get to work.

Failure # 1:

The Patronizing Noodle Lady

Here’s how the post started out: 

Welcome Dear Reader!  Good News!  The Patronizing Noodle Lady has decided to make a visit to the blog.

Here’s a picture of  The Patronizing Noodle Lady: 

These are Noodles!
“No!  You’re not listening. These here . . . the ones I’m touching, these long skinny things, are called noodles. And the noodles go here, where my index finger is tapping.  My index finger is the finger you would use if you wanted  to point at something. Do you know how to point at something? Or were you lying about that question on your resume?”

The Patronizing Noodle Lady, Linda Vernon Humor
Peanuts and I even drew a picture of The Patronizing Noodle Lady thinking she might become a recurring blog character.

But that’s as far as Peanuts and I got with The Patronizing Noodle Lady, and the reason is because we failed to take into account how very difficult it is to find pictures of people who are in the act of being patronizing.  So Peanuts and I abandoned The Patronizing Noodle Lady which is really what she deserves anyway, we supposed.

Failure #2

Here’s another post draft that Peanuts and I abandoned:

Welcome Dear Reader!  Good News!  Mother Goose Has Agreed to Answer Your Most Pressing Questions:  

Dear Mother Goose:

Every time I make a pie, there’s a little boy who livs do

As you can see from the work we put in, neither Peanuts nor I was really committed to “Mother Goose Answers Your Most Pressing Questions.”  I thought it would be a humor goldmine, but my brain, Peanuts, threw down the pick and shovel and  jumped into a bowl of  buttered rum, leaving me hanging. Thanks . . .hic. . . a lot Peanuts!

Failure #3

Here’s another  draft that was abandoned.  I’m blaming Peanuts entirely for this one.  It said simply:

Mrs. Ricardo, Dan Jenkins second-hand furniture man:

If you were to watch this clip, you would see that this is the episode where Lucy stares at William Holden while he trying to eat his lunch.  It’s really funny and in the end she lights her clay nose on fire. Ha! Ha!

But Dan Jenkins, the used furniture, man who buys Lucy’s furniture for $90 and then sells it back to her for $125 isn’t even in this episode!  That’s why this draft is  so very strange!  As you probably guessed, Peanuts loves ‘I Love Lucy’ and always insists we watch it instead of Meet the Press.

Failure #4

Okay, here’s a  draft that needs no explanation because no explanation exists.

Off to Battle with the CaananLittle Guy Tie

The nonsequitor of  the “Off to battle with the Caanon” broken link  paired with a picture of a baby wearing a knitted tie is just the kind of thing my brain, Peanuts, comes up with when sound asleep. I’m sure my subconscious mind got a big kick out of it though.  My subconscious laughs pretty easily and at the dumbest things.

Failure #5

Here’s an abandoned draft that shows you how temperamental  my brain, Peanuts, can be.   All it said was:

Hello Dear Readers!

And then apparently Peanuts called it a day.  Well at least Peanuts didn’t have the audacity to post it . . . like I’m doing right now . . . uh oh . . . I think I hear Peanuts laughing in the recesses of my brain — where,  for my brain, Peanuts, it’s recess 24/7/365.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, it being whatever this was.

Until next time . . . we (me and Peanuts) love you

Weird! My Back and Computer Are Both Out!

Welcome Dear Readers!  I have good news and bad news.

First the Bad News

I was flabbergasted to turn on my computer this morning and find absolutely everything on it wiped away.  All my pictures, my documents, my bookmarks –well just everything (even the restore settings).  I’d be really upset about it, but frankly. . .

The Good News

I’m kinda glad.

True Confession Time 

I am a computer slob.  Day after day, as I write my posts, I’ll scan in stuff from the thrift store, or fool around with pictures in Publisher or fiddle with Word documents only to leave everything lying around on the floor of my desktop.  When things finally get unmanageable, I shove everything in a folder and label it miscellaneous.

My Husband, 37, Isn’t Speaking to Me at the Moment

Naturally when I first turned on my computer this morning and found everything eerily “clean”  and an old computer screen greeting me that I haven’t seen since 2009, I knew something was terribly wrong.  Then I remembered 37 turned off my computer last night!  Which meant I had someone to blame!  Wonderful!

I just called 37 at the office a minute ago and the conversation when like this:

37:  Hello

Me:  Did you turn off the computer last night?

37:  Yes why?

Me:  How did you turn it off, using the mouse or using the button?  (37  knew what I was talking about because we often use cutting-edge computer terms such as this.)

37:  Using the mouse.

Me.  Everything is gone.

37:  What?

Me:  Everything is gone. (I had a lot of fun being dramatic about it, btw.)

37:  You got a virus! We’ll have to take the hard drive in! (In where he didn’t say.)

Me:  Oh no!  We’re getting a new computer!

37:  Oh no we’re not!

Me:  Oh yes we are!

37:  Oh yes we are!

Me:  Oh no we’re not!

37:  I’m hanging up now.

Me:  Oh yes you are!

Maybe I’ll try calling 37 back right now.

Only we won’t tell him that I am writing everything down he says in this post! Want to? Okay here goes:

37:  Hello (hey he’s still speaking to me!)

Me:  I want a new computer.

37:  Why are you laughing?

Me:  No reason.  Why can’t we get a new computer?

37:  There’s nothing wrong with the computer we have! We’ll just have to back everything up.

Me:  We have Carbonite and everything is backed up.  Besides there’s nothing left on the computer to back up. (I got all dramatic again, Dear Reader –just for your benefit.)

37:  You better go check.

Me:  Check what?

37:  I don’t know.  I have to work all week-end by the way.

Okay, well, that wasn’t as much fun as I thought it would be.  Anyway, let’s scan a picture now and see if the scanner still works, ready?

Let's use this one.  Let's call her Computer Virus Girl.  Let's make up a poem about her.
Hey it worked! Let’s call her Computer Virus Girl. Let’s make up a poem about her.

There once was a computer virus Lady

She’s always game to be pretty shady . . . ouch!! ow!! ouch!!

I’m sorry Dear Readers, you’ll have to excuse me but in the middle of this poem I got up to go get a banana, and I am not kidding you.  I put my back out!!  (Just as well.  The poem wasn’t going very well anyway.)

Now, I’ll have to make an appointment at urgent care!  I’d wonder if they’d mind taking a look at my computer too . . .

Anyway, wish me luck!

Until next time . . . I love you
























Screw It Monday: Pictures of Stuff on My Desk

The Bored Family

Welcome, Dear Readers.  Do you ever wake up in “one of those moods”  where the whole world is just one big ball of bleh?  

Well, this blog is officially announcing a new holiday.

National Bleh Day!  

And in honor of National Bleh Day, let’s do something bleh by taking stupid pictures of the stuff on our desks.  Here, I’ll get us started:

desk 1
Bleh doesn’t really get any more Bleh than this. The centerpiece of this picture is the spoon I ate my cereal with. I don’t know what happened to the bowl. I think I might have accidentally eaten it. How does it fee to eat a bowl?  Frankly, I don’t even remember it.
Here's the Old Fogey cereal that was in the bowl I ate.  It's got fiber and 80 calories so I ate four (4) bowls which probably means I ate the same amount of calories and sugar as two maple bars.  Why didn't I just eat Maple Bars instead?  Because today is National Bleh day.  And what better way to Bleh Out!
Here’s the Old-Fogey cereal that was in the bowl I ate. It’s got fiber and 80 calories so I ate four (4) bowls which probably means I ate the same amount of calories and sugar as two maple bars. Why didn’t I just eat two Maple Bars instead? Because today is National Bleh Day which I am beginning to hate already.
Here's a notebook I've had in my desk drawer for probably 6 years.  Just judging from this note I made myself, you can kind of see why I'm always missing appointments and why I'm not a millionaire.  I start to doodling half-way through every note rendering every note I've ever made totally useless.  Frankly that's one of the reasons I've started National Bleh Day.  So I can finally get some use out of all this pointless stuff I have/
Here’s a notebook I’ve had in my desk drawer for probably 6 years. Just judging from this note I made myself, you can kind of see why I’m always missing appointments and why I’m not a millionaire. I start  doodling half-way through every note rendering it totally useless. Frankly, that’s one of the reasons I’ve started National Bleh Day. So I can finally get some use out of all this pointless stuff I have. ( I would have turned this vertically so you could read it better, but what with it being National Bleh Day, why bother?)
How much more uninspiring can this picture get?  The answer is none more inspiring
How much more  Bleh can this picture get? The answer is none more Bleh.  I probably went to too much work for this picture as it is.   Anyway, that pen is the pen I sometimes use when I need to write something with a pen.  The nail polish I have on right now (see below).  That’s my coffee in the background (it’s cold).  And that little green block is something I bought one time.  Why?  
Okay, here's what the nail polish looks like on my fingernails.  I know they kind of look like my toes, but their not.  My toes are shorter and fatter.  I kind of like clear nail polish because when it chips off, you don't really notice.  Who do I even bother with the clear?  Well, it's the kind of thing one contemplates on National Bleh Day.
Okay, here’s what the nail polish looks like on my fingernails. I know they kind of look like my toes, but they’re not.  My toes are shorter and fatter. I kind of like clear nail polish because when it chips off, you don’t really notice.
But then you have to ask yourself, if you can’t tell if it’s chipped, it probably doesn’t show enough to even bother with.
I don’t’ know whether to put a question mark after the above sentence because I can’t tell if it’s a question or not.
See this is the kind of stuff discussed on National Bleh Day.  Aren’t you glad I started National Bleh Day? No? Me neither. (Wait . . . did  I just agree or disagree with myself?)
Oh hey!  Here's an old piece of candy I found in my desk.  It looks old.  It looks like it would taste pretty Bleh.
Oh hey! Here’s a piece of candy I found in my desk. It looks old.  It looks like it would taste pretty Bleh.  Let’s find out shall we?
Yup I was right.  It does taste Bleh.  Probably because I think it's been in my desk drawer since 2012.  Of course, that doesn't stop me from eating the whole stale piece.  Why?  Because that's what people do on National Bleh Day.
Yup I was right. It does taste pretty Bleh. Probably because I think it’s been in my desk drawer since 2009. Of course, that won’t  stop me from eating the whole stale piece. Why? Because that’s what people do on National Bleh Day.

And there you have it, Dear Reader, our very first celebration of National Bleh Day.  I hope your day will be as bland, and mediocre and uneventful  as is humanly possible on, this, our very first National Bleh Day!

Until next time . . . I love you

El Guapo Writes a Story

 Dear Readers!  Good News!  I am overwhelmed to announce that one brave blogger has stepped up to this blog’s story-writing challenge  by using not just one . . . not just two . . . but  ALL TEN WRITING PROMPTS!  which were presented here yesterday.

Who is this Death-Defying Wordsmith?  This Participle-Dangling Daredevil? This Purger of Profundity?  (Okay I’ll stop now.)  

Why it’s none other than our Beloved, El Guapo, The Friday Foolishness Frontiersman of WordPress!

The Adventures of El Guapo and His Side-kick, Abraham Lincoln

1)  Abraham Lincoln was using his axe to prune the Rhododendron. He was doing this because he was grumpy that when he was done he would need to transplant an organ at the church. Then he was grumpy for the sake of being grumpy for the number 2 (2) and no reason besides that.

While it was odd that Abe Lincoln was out doing this kind of work (especially in the 21st century, it really was his own fault. (3) He had shot the gardener, Fats, (Fats had a green thumb.) (Literally, as he was an alien.), in the Skinny part of his throat after Fats told him he could no longer wear the Hideous stove-pipe hat.

He also shot him because Fats had a Tragically awful habit of capitalizing adjectives. It was later that afternoon that Abe realized Fats may have been so skinny due to genetics, or possibly because of a tragic accident. (That was after he saw a (4) steamroller flatten a poor woman from something resembling a Sputnik to something the thickness of a harpsichord.) (The sight almost ruined his lunch. “Oy Vey” he lamented into his tibbs and pickles sandwich at his favorite sandwich shop, They Call Me Mr Tibbs.) (But his appetite came back since he was so tired. Organ transplanting really”takes it out of you”)  Editor’s note: Author has been slapped for that awful joke above.

After lunch, Abe went to see his friend (5) Hum Cwart, who he always called Kumquat. Even though Hum wasn’t green or an alien. It’s a sad fact that Hum couldn’t see Abe, or even see that Abe was mispronouncing the name. But that’s another story. The fifth, I believe. Now for those who don’t know, Abe was a statesman, known best for his dealings with the Chinese. Or at least General Tso, and his delightful companions known as (6)Wang-Lang and Lang-Wang.

He never knew their last names because they never used them. Now, as it happens, since they gave up smoking, the Ang-Angs (as Abe called them) became dress makers. They made dresses because they could test them by dancing in them to work off all the nervous energy from not smoking. They made a dress for their dear client (7) Lucy.

As a surprise, her husband Ricky picked it up, and the Ang-Angs told him that even though it was expensive, it was their best dunce dress. Ricky was so angry, and dragged Lucy into the store yelling at her for buying a stupid dress. Realizing the misunderstanding, the Ang-Angs donned the dress (together, for they were very thin), and demonstrated it was a “dance” dress, being careful this time to enunciate. Ricky was so ashamed, but Lucy said the studio audience loved it and off they went. As the Ang-Angs were reminiscing,

Abe interrupted, saying “Something smells rotten in Denmark”. Most people would say that was a euphemism, but Abe was well known for his scenting ability and the prowess of his schnoz. In fact, he had famously versed (8) “The nose knows the woes of those what owes the toes”, which was accepted as very profound by those who had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

What Abe,  in fact,  would have loved to be talking about was (9) women behind women behind woman, all oiled up. But Abe was shy and didn’t think that kind of talk was appropriate in mixed company, shaken or stirred. So with nothing left to do, (10) Abe mounted his trusty horse, Glue, and headed back to the 1850s to invent the stapler.

For their efforts, I am officially awarding El Guapo and his sidekick, Abraham Lincoln, this hastily made  much coveted trophy:

El Guapo and Abe

I think you’ll agree that nobody deserves this trophy more than El Guapo  — with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.

Until next time . . . I love you

Ten Writing Prompts for Unusual Stories

Ten  Writing Prompts for Unusual Stories


Terts Spattly, a limo washer for the Dallas Cowboys falls in love with a girl sports reporter who needs a transplant for her heart, a transplant for her liver and a transplant for her Rhododendron plant that’s been crowding out the petunias in her front yard. Choose your favorite historical figure from whom these organs will be harvested — but only after the historical figure is done transplanting the Rhododendron.


Write a story about why there is no writing prompt in this space.  Include the number 2 in your story at your own peril.


Imagine that an alien named, Fats, lives in the tree outside your bedroom window.  Every morning, after telling you what to wear and what to eat for breakfast,  Fats slaps you in the face.  One day you decide to shoot Fats in the head.  Write a courtroom drama about being sued by the Area 51.


Write a scene wherein a woman is flattened by a steamroller.  Use only  the words, “Sputnik” and “harpsichord.” (If you find this too difficult go ahead and  throw in the phrases, “Oy Vey” and “They call me Mister Tibbs!”)


Your main character, Huh McWart, sneezes and both his glass eyes pop out. Write a story about how he manages to located them after two-weeks of living off nothing but a bottle of Mazola oil and one Cheeto (abnormally large) while he systematically  searches for them by feeling every square inch of his apartment with his toes — starting in the master bedroom.


A 19th-century Chinese peasant named Wang Lung Lung Lung walks 1400 miles to ask Lang Lung-Lung to marry him. She accepts.  Write a documentary  about how Lang Lung-Lung who is now Lang Lung-Lung Lung Lung Lung and her husband Wang Lung Lung Lung  give up smoking.  Do not include the word “lung” in the story.


A woman named, Lucy,  is married to a Cuban bandleader, Ricky, who has a very bad temper.  Lucy spends too much money on a dress making her Cuban bandleader husband, Ricky, furious.  Write a humorous story about how Lucy manages to calm Ricky down just seconds before he beats her to a pulp.


Imagine you have the super power of smell.  Write a short story about who and what you would smell from the perspective of the smell itself and then never speak of it again.


Write a play about a woman who is too shy to go outside so she sits behind her computer and writes stories about another woman who is too shy to go outside  so she sits behind her computer and writes stories about  another woman who is addicted to hydrogenated palm oil glyceride.


Write a novel about a stapler.  Print it out.  Rip it into a million little pieces. Glue it back together. Write a poem about what just happened.

And there you have it Dear Readers!  Linda’s ten writing prompts for unusual stories.  Happy writing!

Until next time . . . I love you













I Twitter and I Don’t Know Why

Dear Readers, I have a confession.

I twitter and I don’t know why.  In fact, speaking as a baby boomer that’s not getting any younger at an alarming rate,  I predict that  “I twitter and I don’t know why!” will be the new aging-boomer catch phrase that officially replaces,  “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

I have a feeling it all boils down to Bob Hope

Do I have any idea why I twitter?  I have tweeted 696 times. But to what purpose? To what end?  Frankly,  I suspect since I have to ask, I’m too old to be twittering (or is it tweeting?).

I think understanding Twitter is one of those generational-gap phenomenons that were so popular in back the 60’s — where we baby boomers would roll our eyes when our parents laughed at Bob Hope wearing a Beatles wig while singing, “she loves you,  yeah yeah yeah”.  Only now instead of Bob Hope, hashish and shaggy hair we’ve got Louis CK, hash tags and Friday Follow.

Hey what’s everybody talking about?  I said what’s everybody talking about?  Hello?

Twitter, for me, is like being in a group of people where everyone is laughing and talking about something — but I’m late to the conversation and I can never quite get the gist of what they are discussing.

So I just try faking it by smiling and laughing along hoping I’ll figure it out in minute. During a lull, I might ask the person next to me what everyone is talking about, and just as they are about to fill me in, somebody says something funny and the person starts laughing again and never gets back to me.

Now Just Slow Down There A Minute Sonny . . . Granny don’t go that fast!

Take this morning for instance.  I went to my twitter account and I saw that a blogger who used to have a funny WordPress blog is now a comedian.  So I tweeted a reply congratulating him and went to click out of Twitter one second later  and saw that he had  already replied to my reply.   And he has thousands of followers!  How can he go so fast?  That’s what this old lady wants to know?  (Btw, you can follow Rob — maybe, I don’t know.)

And so I put it to you, Dear Readers.  Why do you tweet?  What is the purpose of tweeting?  I would love to know why I tweet from those of you young enough to understand why.

I thank you in advance, and, as a lovely parting gift for reading this far, I will leave you with a few of my  favorite tweets:

Rob@imaudihere 2 Nov 11

Good friends are a lot like this can of Spam in my cupboard; always there for me, and I know I can eat them in an emergency.

Will Phillips@TheThryll 30 May

Giving up on your dreams can actually be very relaxing.

Genius is 16% ‘G’ and 84% ‘enius’

These days George Lucas’s first film is just known as “Thanks! 1138”.

I’m trouble with a capital ‘T’. But only when I’m at the start of a sentence or a proper noun.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Until next time . . . I love you