THIS ONE’S FOR YOU . . .

So you may have noticed I haven’t posted a post in quite a while. That’s because I decided to take some time off and concentrate on working on the plethora of writing projects languishing in my computer. As you can imagine, given I’m a self-admitted laziness aficionado, I have mostly been, well, not writing. But I have discovered (i.e. Daughter #2 told me) a great show on Netflix called Warehouse 13 and it’s morally imperative that I watch all episodes in a timely fashion. And even though my dreams of late have me hunting down artifacts with the gang, I’m not at all worried. . .

Anyway, a friend and fan recently lamented the fact that I’m not posting any posts and so as part of her “Pay it Forward” surprise, I am dedicating this to you, TERRY B! . . . I maybe should have thought this through a bit as now the pressure is on for me to write a funny, poignant, insightful post guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye and a chuckle to your lips. Here goes:

What would bring a smile to anyone’s face, especially one who loves quilts and puppies? Why, quilts with puppies! (You really can find anything on the internet.)

Really cute puppies:
pup1

Techno puppies:
pup6

Perfect puppy:
pup3

And by anything, I mean anything: (a sampling of pictures I found when Googling Anything)

Okay . . .
anything

Self promotion . . .
anything6

And in the That’s Just So Not Right Category:
anything8

And the WTF! category:
anything3

And the I Don’t Get It category:
anything10

Self explanatory:
anything9

As I was searching for Anything on the internet, it occurred to me that Anything is a word we use all the time without really thinking much about it. Someone asks, “What do you want to do tonight?” And we answer, “Anything.” (Well, probably we say, “I don’t care,” but that doesn’t fit in with my grand vision here so we’ll just put that aside.)

But do we really mean anything. . . Are we willing to go bungee jumping off the International Space Station? Or eat sauteed cockroaches in jellyfish sauce? Or run through a police station sans clothing? I’m thinking most of us would rather do just about anything else . . . okay, not anything but I’m sure you are seeing the problem.

We tell our kids they can do Anything when they grow up, like President of The United States. But come on, that’s only happened to, like, 40 some dudes and besides it pays really bad and the bosses are perpetually dissatisfied. Little Jane and Jimmy are more likely to pick astronaut, rock star or professional athlete, but again, pretty much not happening. And guess what? It doesn’t matter. Because even though 98% of us will never have fame or riches or 1 million views on YouTube for singing the Frozen theme song while riding a unicycle backwards, it’s okay because while we may not be able to do Anything we can be Anything.

We can be sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, husbands,wives, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and the person who smiles at passersby as they walk down the street. We can be kind. We can be compassionate. We can keep our mouths shut on occasion. We may not go down in the history books or get our own reality show (blessing in disguise?) but we will all be someone and who that someone turns out to be is entirely up to us. No matter how long or how short our time is, we all have an impact on someone just because we are here, being Anything.

So to my friend and fan, Terry B, here is the best way I can show you how much I am in awe of the strong, beautiful, loving, courageous Anything you are!

brownie heaven

brownie2

brownie love

P.S. I’m pretty sure there will be real brownies in your future. . .

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GIVING HAPPY THANKS . . .

So I thought it would be a great idea to write about Thanksgiving being as it’s tomorrow and hence, a timely topic. But for the last fifteen minutes, I’ve been staring at the blank screen on my computer, and tapping my fingers on the keyboard in that impatient manner, hoping an original sentiment would pop into my head. I got nothing. There are no “original” words anyone can say on this or any topic ever again. All the good stuff was said, like, a thousand years ago. On the plus side, we humans have a short memory and an even shorter attention span, so I feel confident I can recycle all the old cliches and no one will ever know.

Thanksgiving is generally accepted to be the annual celebration of the Pilgrims’ first harvest in the “New World”. The Pilgrims arrived in North America with, quite frankly, no clue about what they were getting into. Fortunately for them, the locals, known as the Wampanoags, showed these foreign folks the ropes and they didn’t starve to death. In hindsight, the Wampanoags probably wished they had minded their own business and it is important for us to remember, and be thankful for, their generosity.

In a nutshell, Thanksgiving is about gratitude. A simple concept really so here are some thoughts to ponder when giving thanks for what you have been given:

1. Turkey is good. Potatoes are good. Wine is good. Anything with pumpkin is good. Enjoy your feast! Just remember, there are people around you that don’t have this luxury so give a few dollars to the food bank and be thankful that you can.

2. When you look back on your life, you will never say, “Dang, I wish I had gone to that Thanksgiving day sale back in 2014 and got that (fill in the blank) for only $(really cheap) because even though I can’t remember what it was, I’m sure it would have changed the course of my life.”

3. Family is family. Try not to let them drive you nuts because when push comes to shove, they will lay down their lives for you.
A. Genes do not always define a family.

4. Everyone wants the same things― love and happiness. Not everyone defines these in the same way. Be thankful you live in a country where that is okay.

5. There will always be someone richer, better looking, more talented, smarter, luckier, and braver than you. But you are also richer, better looking, more talented, smarter, luckier and braver than someone. Embrace yourself and cut yourself some slack.

6. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Let me be clear, happiness is a choice. Choose. To. Be. Happy.
A. Happy people still have problems, they just don’t let them define their lives.

This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful I get to spend the day with my wonderful family. Some of them are not able to join us and I will miss them. But our hearts bind us together and even though we are apart, we are always together. I am also so thankful that I have a nice home, a great job, enough food, a car, clothes, books, and this blog. But mostly I am thankful for all the beautiful, kind, funny, and loving people in my life. I cannot imagine life without you, and I thank God every day for each and every one of you!

Oh, and brownies. . .

DELUSION, DISMAY, DISAPPOINTMENT . . .

So life is hard enough without adding undo pressure and expectations on top of all the regular pressure and expectations one has to endure in modern adult life. I’ve decided to take a radical step and refuse to succumb to the mass-marketing of yet another “essential” if one wants to be a paragon of the twenty-first century.

Oh, I’ve tried to conform to the rules of non-conformity― a confusing conundrum― which state: Embracing the unique sameness of the distinctive masses will ensure individuality in the crowd of common unconventionality. . . But this quest to be like everyone else, in a totally unique way, is a delusion of extreme proportions and I’m tired of trying to maintain the façade that I am a conventionally unconventional person. I am, in fact, so ordinary and average, I sometimes nod off in middle of my own inner musings. And I’m okay with that. I embrace my couch-potato, routine-loving, homebody-ness. I don’t need adventure. I don’t crave thrills. I don’t want to wake up in Moldavia with no recollection of how I got there.

This yearning to be extraordinary is the driving force behind the movement to not only be cool and wonderful in the present, but to outshine everyone else in a distant, most likely not happening future! Of what societal maelstrom do I speak? It is . . . the dreaded Bucket List. First, why a bucket? Buckets are not grand objects. They are used to haul manure. Second, this stuff is supposed to be private daydreams, not crusades tilting at unachievable and, often times, dangerous windmills. If we’re going to put this thing out there, let’s at least call it something more worthy and infinitely more accurate, such as: the Golden Ticket List, or the If My Boss Paid Me What I’m Worth List, or the Make Me Feel Like I’m Lazy And Unimaginative List.

Sure, I get it. We’re supposed to visualize the wild and crazy things we’d do if we had the time, the money and the cojones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having big dreams but I think this whole list thing has gotten out of hand. Climbing Mt. Everest? Going to the moon? Fast WIFI? Come on, it’s not happening. I’m not saying I don’t have a Bucket List. I’m not saying I do either. But if I did, it might look something like this:

1. Live to be 100. (Except for eating right and exercising― which is a bit dodgy already― this one is totally out of my control. And I’m not giving up brownies . . .)
2. Get some grand-kids. (Again, no control over this one. But I would settle for grand-puppies. . .)
3. Go skydiving. (Just kidding. There is no way I’m jumping out of a plane. Okay, if I make it to 100, I will . . . but not really.)
4. Win the Nobel Peace Prize. (This ain’t happening either but on the off chance it does, how cool would it be to cross a big, red line through it. . .)
5. Get out of debt. (Hahahahahahaha . . .)
6. By winning the lottery. (HAHAHAHAHAHA. . .)
7. Meet Betty Crocker and thank her for Dark Chocolate Brownies. (Since Betty Crocker is just a figment of some ad agent’s imagination, this too will never come to pass. But maybe some executive will find out what a huge fan I am and give me a lifetime supply. . .)

This last one is the only one I really care about. So if anyone out there has the ear of Ken Powell (the CEO of General Mills, duh) please put in a good word for me. Tell him I’d be ever so grateful and he would be welcome in my home at any time . . . you know, for brownies. . .

AIN’T HAPPENING . . .

So lately I’ve been trying to be more healthy-ish. You know, eat more fruits and veggies, and less brownies (we all know how well that went). But there’s this whole carbs vs. protein vs. fat vs. sugar war that quite frankly, leaves my head all kerfuffled. On top of that, there’s vegetarianism (anything with an –ism makes my hackles, hackle) vs. vegan-ism (because, apparently, vegetarianism is for weenies).

It’s time for me to do some research and by research I mean, ask the information god, Wikipedia.

Okay, forget Wikipedia. I don’t have the time or the inclination to wade through all those, you know, words. On to Plan B, the good, old-fashioned dictionary, which I happen to conveniently have on my iPhone. I also have a real, live, dictionary that is an actual book. It was published in 1978 and doesn’t even contain the word vegan which just makes me more suspicious of those rabble-rousers. Here are the results of my very, scientific investigation:

Carbohydrate: Any of various substances found in certain foods that provide your body with heat and energy and are made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. (That was helpful . . .)

Protein: Any of various, naturally occurring extremely complex substances that consist of amino-acid residues joined by peptide bonds, contain the elements carbon, blah, blah, blah. (You lost me at extremely complex . . .)

Fat: Any of various compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen that are glycerides of fatty acids, are the chief constituents of plant and animal fat, are a major class of energy-rich food, and are soluble in organic solvents but not in water. (I like the definition in my book better: The richest or finest part of anything. . .)

Sugar: Any of various water-soluble compounds that vary widely in sweetness, include the monosaccharides and oligosaccharides, and typically are optically active (WTF! . . .)

Mmm, I see a pattern emerging. I will have to do more research to discover exactly what sort of food Any of Various is. Hopefully it tastes good.

Now, which –an or –vore lifestyle shall I embrace. Here are the choices:

Vegetarian: One who believes in or practices vegetarianism― which means, the theory or practice of living on a vegetarian diet. (I guess you can believe in it or practice it . . .)

Vegan: A strict vegetarian (I guess loose vegetarians are posers.) who consumes no animal food or dairy products. Also, one who abstains from using animal products ―such as leather. (So only vinyl seats in your car . . .)

Carnivore: An animal that eats meat. (That’s pretty cut and dry. Wait, definition #2: a carnivorous plant. Yikes . . .)

Herbivore: Feeding on plants. (Short. To the point. I get it . . .)

It’s a quagmire out there. Eating greens and beans is supposedly “healthier” but I just can’t see giving up Smashburgers, like, ever. I think the only option left to me is a well-balanced compromise between all the available options that my wise, astute father so heartily embraces. So from now on, I pledge to be:

A vegetarian who only eats herbivores. . .

FAMILYNESS . . .

So a few weeks ago I got a phone call from two out of my three favorite cousins. To put this in perspective, my entire family consists of 16 people. That includes all parents, grandparents, siblings, kids, in-laws, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I don’t talk to my cousins often, much less see them, as I live in Minnesota and they live in Pennsylvania. It was great to hear their voices and I promised I’d say something funny about them in a blog post. So here’s to you, Luise and Tom, you are funny . . . really funny.

Sorry, I’m still recovering from my brownie deprivation. I’m lucky I can type let alone form a coherent thought. Sadly, I will have to eat a whole lot more brownies in order to re-saturate my system but I’m pretty sure I’m up to the task. I could wax poetic all day on the Zen of brownies but since I’m not sure what that even means, I will move on.

As I said, my family has only 16 people. If I count the relatives in Germany that I’ve never met and have no contact with, I could bump those numbers up considerably, but that feels like cheating. Some people may feel sorry for our tiny group but I think there is a lot to be said for small families. Besides not busting our bank accounts during gift giving seasons, it’s way easier keeping up with each other’s shenanigans, er, lives. Just a couple of phone calls or texts and we are all up to speed. Sure, we have flaws but small families have to forgive and forget quickly as there is no cushion to fall back on.

The downside of a small family is that unlike large families― simply because of sheer numbers― we do not have a wide selection of colorful, eccentric, and just plain wacky members. In large families, it’s pretty easy to assign labels based on behavior/life/wardrobe choices, and political/religious/astrological affiliations. My small family has had to step it up in order to ensure all positions are filled. Some of us even have to take on multiple roles to accommodate all viewpoints and opinions. This definitely makes for interesting conversations. I don’t know what large families talk about over dinner but here is a small sampling of topics that have been covered during our gatherings:

1. Physics, math, chaos theory, entropy. (Except for my dad, who is a retired physics professor, none of us have any street cred on these topics which, of course, does not in any way, shape or form prevent us from having an opinion. . .)
2. War, peace, Roosevelt (Teddy and Franklin, plus Eleanor), healthcare, death penalty, marijuana, the Constitution, aliens. (A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. . .)
3. Birth control, abortion, teen pregnancy, sex education, fetishes (try talking about that with your 80 year old mother, who, by the way, is pretty savvy. . .)
4. Childbirth, colonoscopies, illness, injuries, and one dodgy incident involving massaging a son’s butt after football practice. (TMI. . .)
5. God, religion, reincarnation, afterlife, heaven, hell, fanatics, psychics. (We actually discovered the meaning of existence but swore secrecy oaths because many heads might explode and we don’t want to clean up that mess. . .)

It doesn’t matter whether your family is big or small because we all have at least one thing in common. We all drive each other so bonkers that sometimes we want to rip out our eyeballs ―ok, maybe not that. But we also share fun, lively, thought provoking, crazy, and memorable times together. We may have no choice about which family we are born into but, thankfully, family is family and I’m pretty sure there is a cosmic law that states they have to let you in when you come knocking.

Especially if you bring brownies. . .

DESSERT DESERT . . .

So I haven’t had a brownie in two weeks. That’s right, two weeks! I hear your collective gasps. And the wheels in your brains whirring. You are wondering, with great alarm, why in the world I would torture myself in this cruel, inhumane fashion. Sadly, I have no satisfactory answer to this disturbing question.

All I can say is that a few weeks back, I decided to conduct an experiment to see how long I could survive without that fudgy, chocolate-y, slice of heaven. I’ve been sitting here now for fifteen minutes trying to remember why I thought that was a good idea but ever since I quit, I can’t concentrate. My mind wanders. People talk to me and I stare at them blankly unable to understand even the simplest phrases. I’m lightheaded, dizzy, and in a perpetual state of unease. I don’t know what I was expecting. After all, I’ve eaten brownies almost every day of my life for decades. Decades! I can no more survive without those beautiful squares of brown deliciousness than I can air.

So why even bother trying to stop what is clearly a life-affirming activity? Maybe I wanted to break free of its all encompassing grip. Maybe I wanted to assure myself that I am in control of my destiny. Maybe I’m a closet masochist. Or sadist. Or both! Maybe the abrupt end to the daily infusion of cocoa has addled my brain. Maybe it’s all a conspiracy with Betty Crocker holding the strings of reality. I know she’s controlling us like marionettes. I know she’s insidiously pumping us full of a mysterious additive found only in that red box designed to fill us with sunshine and hope!

How dare she?! Manipulating us poor dolts with promises of peace and tranquility! We humans deserve to wallow in conflict and chaos. We have the right to swim in our fetid pools of despair and desolation. She has totally crossed the line by trying to force some small measure of joy and comfort unto us by stealth and deceit. That irresistible goodness in the guise of Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix is nothing more than a ruse designed to keep us compliant so those nefarious “Thems” can take over the world!

. . . Sorry for that unpleasant rant. I’m usually not an irrational, illogical, puddle of emotional excess. I can only beg your forgiveness and try to explain my inexplicable behavior by deflecting the blame to the true cause of my fall into the abyss . . . brownie withdrawal.

I have a feeling there are many more of us brownie-holics out there trying to take back our lives. I think I’ll start a support group. We can meet at my house.

I’ll make brownies . . .

DA-DA-DAH (sound a trumpet makes) . . .

So I’m going to toot my own horn on this blog post today. I don’t have a lot of experience tooting my own horn, or anyone else’s for that matter― that sounds kinda dodgy. Maybe I should start over.

This post will be dedicated to the grand and noble enterprise of self-promotion. I am actually quite loathe to go down this path as drawing attention to myself makes my stomach churn but I will set aside my discomfort for the greater good of humanity. . . Okay, maybe not humanity, maybe just me. Plus, I have been unable to find anyone willing to self-promote me― that doesn’t sound right either. In any case, it turns out I am the best person out there to promote myself so I guess I will.

I have penned a delightful tale about a young girl’s quest to be a serious artist despite the unfortunate circumstances of her upbringing. The aforementioned unfortunate circumstances being she was raised in a happy family and no drama has marred her peaceful existence. This does not make for gut-wrenching, emotional art and she longs for drama to spice up her life. Her wish comes true but not in the way she expected, which makes for lots of fun and laughter.

The title of this tome is called Ordinary Me. Here is the blurb― which, on a side note, is a really fun word to say. Blurb, blurb, blurb. Okay, here it is for sure this time:

Dear Reader:

All I ever wanted was to suffer so I could be a great artist. My art teacher says you have to reach deep inside and paint what you feel. I, unfortunately, feel happy. That does not make for gut-wrenching, emotional art. It makes for nice, pretty, colorful art. How gross is that!

Then there was a fire at my school. Nothing too dramatic, I’m sad to say, but I was sent to stay with my grandparents for two weeks which caused me some suffering at least. You have no idea how weird old people are, especially MY grandparents.

I found out the following: my grandma knits purses; my grandpa is addicted to Mine Sweeper; I hate peeling apples; my Uncle Chip did something crazy with a spoon because he is seriously touched; being touched runs in the family. And that’s only the half of it!

I eventually found out that suffering is not all it’s cracked up to be and if you want to know more, you will just have to read the story.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Dagmar (ugh!) Johnson

If this sounds like something you’d like to spend 99¢ on (the price of the eBook) then here’s the link and happy reading.

http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Me-June-Dordal-ebook/dp/B00H8ESC2Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410310381&sr=8-2&keywords=ordinary+me

This post was brought to you by a grant from June Dordal’s Writers Are Awesome Conglomerate.
(Just kidding, this post didn’t cost me a dime which is good ‘cuz that’s about all I got in my piggy bank.)

OH NO . . .

So I killed a spider this morning. It was in the bathtub and I didn’t notice it until after I’d turned on the shower and stepped in. There it was. Big, black and hairy with freakishly long spidery legs. It was probably more horrifying than that but I didn’t have my glasses on so fortunately I didn’t get the full, terrifying effect.

Now I’ve dispatched plenty of spiders and other various and sundry bugs over the years. If possible though, I try to use the catch and release method―put a glass over said critter, slide a piece of paper under it so they can’t escape and set them free (i.e. throw them outside and spend the next few hours shivering with revulsion). Mostly I do this because I don’t want to feel, hear, or be aware of in any way the squishy, crunchy, splattery upshot of bugacide and not because of any Zen-like affinity for these creepy-crawlies.

That being said, I experienced a disturbing sense of guilt while trying to wash that spider down the drain. I kept shooting water at the darn thing but it kept circling around the drain in its desperate attempt to save itself. I think its unnaturally long legs gave it somewhat of an advantage and while the hours (okay, seconds) ticked by I got more and more uncomfortable with my attempt to murder it in what is a pretty gruesome fashion.

By now, I’d passed the point of no return but had no idea how to finish him off. I began to wonder if I was not, in fact, committing a grievous sin against one of God’s creations. I wondered if I stopped, could I still rescue him and, more to the point, did I really want to. That would entail me slogging out of the shower in my wet birthday suit to assemble the equipment necessary to execute said rescue. But then, how would I get him outside as I was sans clothing and I would have to perform a complex contortionistic act even to just wrap a towel around myself while keeping a vise-like hold on the spider-filled container. (I just realized I could have wrapped the towel around myself first but A. I didn’t think of it at the time and B. I just ruined the flow of my monologue.)

Why this sudden prick of conscience? I’ll tell you why. I’ve been reading this book about near-death experiences and one woman came back with the absolute knowledge that every single living being on the planet has a soul. Since returning from the other side, she refuses to even swat a mosquito. So this is what was swirling though my head as I attempted to slaughter that spider. Now all I can think is that I’ve earned myself some really bad karma points and am I going to have to face all the insects I’ve killed once I pass over. I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it. My more immediate concern is: Did that spider have relatives and will they be seeking vengeance? (Mmm… Do I read too many books?)

I fear this time my dilemma will not be solved by brownies.

But I’ll give it my best shot. . .

ALMOST (kinda, sorta, maybe, okay not really) FAMOUS . . .

So I Googled myself the other day. (Yeah, like you’ve never done that.) I was just curious to see if I’ve been up to anything interesting. Turns out, I’ve got a video on YouTube! Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. If I’d a known I’d have A. already written a blog post about it and B. shared it with everyone I know. Which I did right after I discovered it and it’s gotten fourteen hits so far (I don’t know a lot of people) though three or four are from me “accidentally” pushing the play button a few times so those probably shouldn’t count.

The video is a four-minute long shot of me reading an excerpt and answering questions about my short story Real Life at the book launching for the Lake Region Review #3 which was published last October. I knew they were taping it for possible use on their website but never imagined they’d actually use it. It was a bit of a shock watching myself on the computer at work home.

“Who is that person?” I said as I watched myself read like robot while gesturing like a deranged orangutan. I don’t even remember saying the words that dribbled out of my mouth and do I really laugh like that?!

When I was in 7th grade we had to write out what we wanted to be when we grew up. I hunched over my paper to ensure none of my peers could read my deepest, darkest secret. I wrote: I want to be famous. I don’t care what for; I just want everyone to know who I am. A big, red flag to any teacher who reads that now-a-days but my teacher just scratched across the page Good Luck! Looking back, I think there was a sarcastic slant to her penmanship.

As I’m now past the half-century mark, I think my chances of achieving this dubious noble goal is beyond my reach. Everyone and their mother has a video on YouTube and if one pins their hopes on getting their 15 minutes of fame this way they are about 15 minutes too late. Which in cyber-time is, like, a thousand years. Besides, fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You can’t go grocery shopping and forget about eating in a restaurant what with the autograph hounds and the paparazzi sticking their cameras up your . . . well, remember Britney Spears? Who needs that.

I guess there’s a shot I could still be a famous writer but I keep checking my stats on Amazon and let’s just say, if it wasn’t for my mom I wouldn’t have boosted my rank up to 1,000,000,000. I am still holding out hope that I’ll be caught on someone’s camera phone doing something inappropriate heroic so I’m always on the lookout for situations where I can get a little exposure be a beacon of light in this hurricane call life.

Since I’ve resigned myself to ordinary person status, I guess I can focus on my other unseemly lofty goal of being rich. Unfortunately, that would involve, like, working really hard and I don’t want to compromise my principles.

I guess I’ll just have to keep my eyes and ears open and hope the Fates throw me a bone or at least guide me down the path I’m destined to follow. . .

Hey, I just did something unfortunate with that last batch of brownies! Why is there never a schmuck with camera around when you need them. . .

REJECTED AGAIN . . .

So, I got notified today that the story I submitted to a regional publication has not been accepted for this year’s anthology. They thanked me for taking the time to send in my story, competition is always fierce, they hoped I would submit again next year, blah, blah, blah. At least they thanked me. That’s something anyway. That’s what I told myself as I vowed to never again pick up my proverbial pencil and pour my heart and soul out on these harsh, blank pages. (Well, that didn’t last long.)

I scraped my battered ego off the unforgiving floor (after succumbing to a major tantrum some minor sniffling) and managed to soothe my fragile heart by doing the only thing one can when this sort of calamity befalls one ― twist it into something our cracked souls can stomach. I spent a few moments crying and tearing at my hair in thoughtful reflection and came to the only logical conclusion possible. These people, while I’m sure they are horrible lovely, just don’t get my sense of humor. They can’t appreciate my wry wit and luminous prose because the ignorant twits poor dears are clearly addled and not functioning with all their faculties intact.

Unfortunately, this line of reasoning isn’t holding up as well as it used to as I’ve had to convince myself of its truth many, many, many, many, (Did I mention many?) times. I suppose I could consider the alternative which is: throw in the towel. But I just keep picking myself up, dusting myself off and plunging head long into another project as even trying to imagine a life without writing is like trying to imagine a life without chocolate.

If you think about, life really is just one long, continuous series of rejection. It starts in the cradle when you cry and no one comes to give you that 47th pat on the back. Then there’s being snubbed in the sandbox, not getting picked for the team and losing out on that job to the person who had, like, experience. I’m not even going to mention the rejection-rife arena of love and relationships. It’s amazing any of us have any semblance of self-worth. Oh sure, we’re told how we handle these trials strengthens us but I’ve had it with all this character building. I’m ready for some meteoric triumph!

The truth is― and there is no way to sugar-coat it― rejection sucks. But pursing your passion involves risk and I guess if you can’t stand the heat, go inside your air conditioned cave. That doesn’t help at all but I think my bruised confidence would be greatly bolstered if you good, compassionate, discerning folks reading this blog post would give me a Like. Not only would you be doing a kind deed, you would be adding points to your bank in this karmic crapshoot called life where all we can hope for is that at the end of the day, we get more thumbs up than down.

If in good conscience you cannot give me that much needed cyber hug, don’t fret. I can get my kudos elsewhere if needs must . . .

. . .That’s what brownies are for.