A Few Unrelated Things

1. I’m totally addicted to Pinterest. I love it, and I want to spend more time browsing the internet looking for things to pin, but I just don’t have that much time to waste. I think it’s probably for the best.

2. I’m in the middle of the second Bible test, and so far, I think I’m doing much better on this one. It’s essay questions, though, so that is not shocking for anyone.

3. In my slang class, I’ve been teaching them lists of words that all mean the same thing. They’re usually 10, 15 or 20 words/phrases/expressions for something. I’ve done words for “easy,” “great,” “good-bye,” “money,” “crazy,” “nothing” and “vomit.” These lists have been QUITE a hit, and they’re pretty fun for me to come up with as well. The words we use for vomit, especially, are just so descriptive. If you have an idea for a future list, please share. I’m open to suggestions, and my students will love you for it.

4. I’m going to Wilmington this weekend, and I am super-excited about it.

The end.

Hey Thursday, I like you.

It’s been a good day so far. I woke up after dreaming that I was at an art camp. I think I dreamed this because I read this last night before I went to bed. Anyhoe, I was at this art camp, and I needed supplies, and then I stumbled across a supply room that didn’t have anything I needed. So I think I gave up on art and went to the cafeteria. And I guess it was parents’ weekend at art camp or something because everybody’s families were there. And the brother of the guy in front of me was way cute and flirting with me. And as I was flirting back, my mom walked up and got in line with me. And then the cute guy asked me if I wanted to go eat candy in his truck with him, and I said, “Yes, yes I do, only I’m not so sure about the truck. But I’ll sit on a bench with you or something.”

Then I woke up and thought, I love it when cute guys find me desirable. Good dream.

Then I tried to scan some documents that prove my relationship to George Washington (yes THE George Washington) and my descent from a 12th century British king, but alas, I couldn’t get Whitney’s scanner to work, so I just read through the documents for a while, and that’s how I found out I’m related to G.W. and Ynir King of Gwentland.

Then I tweeted about it.

Then I wrote an article about two-letter Scrabble words that will probably not help me beat Whitney or my mom or the Beattys (or anyone else for that matter) at Scrabble. It’s the spatial aspect I find challenging, not the words. I can make some words. I just don’t know where to put them. You have to be good at words AND Tetris to dominate in Scrabble, and I am unfortunately only gifted in the former.

But the article is done.

So then I made some Punjab Choley and couscous for lunch and watched 30 Rock for a little while, which was, of course, wonderful. It was the one where Liz follows Floyd into the AA meeting where he spills his guts about his trust issues, and then she tells him all her weird stuff to make it up to him.

And she has some WEIRD stuff.

And while I was watching 30 Rock, a Census2010 worker came to the door to ask me some questions about the occupants of this house on April 1, which I answered not knowing that L-Josh had already mailed in their Census2010 form. So I don’t know why he had to come over here and interrupt my 30 Rock/catch me still in my jabambas at 2:30 in the p.m., but I’ve decided that if anyone catches me not yet dressed that late in the day again, I’m just going to open the door saying, “I’m a freelancer. I work from home. I have actually earned money today.”

Or I could just shower and get dressed in the morning.

Then I took a shower, and while I was in there, I had a revelation about the plot of my Neil Diamond musical, I Am…I Said. I can’t tell you about it yet because it’s still not fully formed, but I CAN say that things have been enormously simplified, and the main character and I now have a lot more in common, which is going to make it much easier to write.

And also, I’m clean.

QOTD (Question of the Day)

It’s Q&A time once again! Today’s question comes from formspring, and it’s a good one:

What’s your advice for someone who wants to start a blog but is too scared of not saying anything meaningful/too intimidated by technology/ too lazy to actually do it?

Well, this is really three questions, isn’t it? Oh what the hey, I’ll answer them all.

If you’re scared of not saying anything meaningful, I’d just like to invite you to read the past six years of Onward Hoe!, and then tell me why you think that blogging requires depth, insight and/or meaning to be worthwhile. I mean, if that’s the kind of blog you want to have, then obviously you’ll need to start digging deep into your heart/psyche for some powerful stuff. But I write about food and the gas it causes me to have, traveling and seeing water-skiing squirrels (ok I know I STILL haven’t done that), crazy dreams I have, and ridiculous things I find on the internet. Here and there, you might find something poignant or thought-provoking, but by and large, this really is not that sort of blog. And yours doesn’t have to be that sort of blog either. There are all kinds. Here are some examples:

  • Humor Blogs – I hope you’re on one right now. I never really intended it to be put into a category, but I am told it’s funny, so there you go. A few other notable humor blogs are Cake Wrecks, Jennsylvania and Stuff White People Like.
  • Parenting Blogs, which were originally called Mommy Blogs, but then daddies started writing them too, and it wasn’t PC or something to call daddies “Mommy Bloggers,” so we had to change it.
  • Hobby Blogs – Do I really need to explain this?
  • Political Blogs – These are the kinds of blogs I don’t visit.
  • Pop Culture Blogs
  • Celebrity Gossip Blogs
  • Personal Gossip Blogs
  • Travel Blogs
  • Sports Blogs
  • Religious Blogs
  • Photography Blogs
  • Blogs about blogging
  • Marketing Blogs

Oh my gosh there are a million different kinds of blogs that don’t require you to have anything meaningful to say ever! Isn’t that freeing?? And here’s another little tid-bit to free you from this fear: There are well over 100 MILLION WEBSITES on the internet, so if your blog isn’t “meaningful,” it’s likely that no one will ever notice.

Too intimidated by technology, you say? Y’all. Blogging is SUPER-easy. If you can send an email, you can post a blog. I know I use WordPress software now, but honestly, if I were just starting out again, I would use Blogger.com. That’s where I started, and it walks you through every step of setting the thing up, so you literally don’t have to know anything about web design or html code or anything. You don’t have to download anything, you don’t have to install anything, you just have to do the writing. Amazingly simple. And if you need help, you can email me.

If you’re too lazy, well that’s your own fault. I don’t know that there’s a lot I can do to help you there as I’m pretty lazy myself, but here’s my thought: If you want to do something – like REALLY want to do it – you do it. We can all agree that sloth is my deadly sin of choice, and that I have a slight fear of commitment, but I’ve been blogging regularly for six years. SIX YEARS! The trick for me has been to not think too much about my commitment to the blog, but just to write what I think is funny or interesting. And I see a lot of funny/interesting things.

If you ever have moments in your life when you think, “Oh my gosh I have to tell somebody about this,” then you can blog. Like the other day, I was getting into my car to go to work. I had just eaten dinner, and I really wanted something sweet. I wondered if I had any candy in my car, and then I opened the door and saw half a bag of lemon drops in the console. And y’all, OUT LOUD, alone in my car, in a voice like Mae West saying, “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime,” I said, with regard to lemon drops, “Ring-a-ding-ding.” And immediately, I needed to tell someone about it.

Now, that is a story best told in person so you can actually hear me say it, but that’s what I’m talking about – moments when you think, “Who can I tell about what has just happened?” I have a lot of those moments, so I am rarely hard-up for material, and that is what provides me with the motivation to make it happen (nearly) every day.

If that doesn’t help you, then once again, remind yourself that if you start a blog and then don’t keep up with it, probably not many people will notice or care. At least that takes the pressure off.

So no matter what the reason you haven’t started a blog, I just want you to know that if I can do it, you can do it. If you really want to, that is.

Everybody Loves Winning

Even if what you win is a random object from a complete stranger’s bedroom or a made-up award, it always feels good to have won something, to feel validated in some way, to feel recognized as a human being. So the other day when my friend Andrea gave me this Beautiful Blog Award, well that just made my day. Thanks, Andrea!! Right back at you!

So apparently there are rules to being a Beautiful Blog Award recipient. I’m trying to follow them. Here we go.

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award and post a link to her blog. Yes!! I’ve already done that. Here. I’ll do it again. Lil-Kid-Things.

2. Pass the award onto 7 other bloggers who I believe have a Beautiful Blog. Ok, I’m opening the envelope, and the BBA goes tooooooo…
Beautiful Frolic (aka Ma Vie and apparently now something in Norwegian) – This is Amaris. She rarely feels normal, except for when she’s reading Onward Hoe!, that is. She lives life with such reckless abandon that she sometimes doesn’t have time to shower, but really, who needs it when you’re having this much fun?
Pocket Smiles – Paige is one of the most thoughtful and hilarious women I know. I am super impressed with her ability to grow things in her yard, and she has one of the cutest kids on earth. Also, an intense love of cheese.
Thimbly Things – I don’t actually know Kristena, but I imagine her living in the cutest house ever. She has an uncanny knack for making beautiful things out of not-so-beautiful things, and if I ever meet her, we’re totally having a craft night.
Oh Beauty – Ann is a dear, sweet friend who lives entirely too far away (in London), but I hope she stays there because I love going to visit her!! I spent this past Thanksgiving with her and her husband, and they made me feel so welcome.
Soup Spoon – Ok. I don’t like oatmeal raisin cookies, but when L*Joy makes them, I will eat an entire batch. I love how she weaves life stories into her recipes…or maybe how she weaves such delicious food into her already beautiful life.
Under the Mercy – It’s DLF!!! If you don’t know who DLF is, read my FAQ page. This woman has been inviting me to Florida for basically an extended dinner party (like a weekend or week-long dinner party) FOREVER, and I cannot tell you how badly I’d like to take her up on it. The food would be amazing, yes, but just to sit and talk with her makes my heart happy. Or to pull out the sleeper sofa and watch six movies in one day, ordering delivery for every meal…not that we’ve ever done that.
SPareSTAR Photography – This is my amazingly talented sister’s photography blog. SHE REALLY OUGHT TO PUT MORE ON IT (ahem) because seriously, she’s awesome. But we’ll take what we can get, won’t we? Check her out.

3. Contact the other bloggers to let them know they were given the award. I’m on it.
4. Say 7 things about yourself. Seriously? Six years of blogging, and you want to know seven MORE things? Uhhhh.
  1. I don’t know the names of mixed drinks. If I go to a bar, I just ask the bartender to make me something girly. If they need more direction than that, I tell them I want something with fruit and vodka.
  2. I don’t often go to bars.
  3. I pretty much always wear two shirts. Usually one is a tank top, but still. I like to layer.
  4. I haven’t worn sunglasses in a long time. I know it would be better for my eyes if I did, but I can’t find any that don’t make me look like a total douche.
  5. I could never marry a man who wore glasses with transitions lenses.
  6. I never fart in front of other people. Ever.
  7. I think I would make an awesome tour guide.

Whew. Okie dokie. Congratulations, BBA recipients!! You deserve it! Now everybody get back to work.

Put Your Imagination Hat On

Y’all. I am SO excited to be hosting my first legitimate GIVEAWAY!!! You may recall that I came into possession of some rather shady and/or unattractive items back in January and hosted several contests to get rid of them. And although the boat show was super-rad (I know, I know, I still haven’t posted the squirrel video), and the winner of the Adam and Eve prize pack is now “coincidentally” pregnant (with twins!), those were still just sort of random things I’d been given and wanted to give away. BUT TODAY…
read more

Exciting News!!

Don’t ask me why, after going to bed at 2:00 a.m., I was awake at 8:30, but I was. Wide awake. I will be asleep much earlier tonight. Anyhoe, because I am an addict, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is reach for my PunkBerry to see how many people have loved and affirmed me whilst I slept. If I were basing my self-worth on this alone, I would have to conclude that I am only of value to Snapfish, Elance, Writer’s Market and the iTunes store. Thank goodness I’m smarter (and more awesome) than that.

But when I woke up this morning and checked my email, I had a lovely surprise – an email from Jason Boyett, author of the “Pocket Guide” books (Pocket Guide to the Bible, Sainthood, the Afterlife, the Apocalypse, and Adulthood) among other things. SeƱor Boyett had posted on his blog yesterday that to promote his new book, O Me of Little Faith, when it comes out in May, he’s going to get bloggers round the globe to read it, write reviews on Amazon, blog about it, facebook and twitter it, and just generally talk it up. That’s where I come in.

I emailed him, told him how awesome I was and how awesome y’all are, hinted that there might be an interpretive dance in it for him, and that I’d allude to it in my Neil Diamond musical, and he wrote me back saying he’d send me an advance copy of the book for review!!

Now. To some of you, this means that I’ve just created homework for myself, and you don’t know why a body would do such a thing. To ME, however, it means six things:

  1. A successfully published author knows who I am. This is a very big deal.
  2. I get to INTERVIEW successfully published author, thus becoming best bff’s forever.
  3. Successfully published author was neither offended nor alarmed by my interpretive dance or my Neil Diamond musical, which automatically makes him my best bff forever.
  4. I get a free book, and y’all KNOW how much I love free things.
  5. I get to work on a project! I am awesome at projects.
  6. I don’t know, but I think and hope that he knows Donald Miller and can move me one step closer to meeting/marrying him. Eh? EH?!

And the weather in Asheville was BEAUTIFUL today. A marvelous, stellar day all around.

You are what you ad?

So. A while back, like some time before I left for Italy, I signed up to advertise with Project Wonderful, and so far, I think I might be able to take one other person out for a soda with the money I’ve earned. But they’ll have to drive because I wouldn’t be able to afford the gas. Don’t get me wrong – I’m having a lot of fun with it, and the Project Wonderful people are, indeed, wonderful. It just hasn’t been all that lucrative for me. It has, however, been entertaining.

I’m not exactly sure how advertisers find me or decide that they’d like to place an ad here on Onward Hoe!, but most of them have clearly never read anything I’ve ever written. I don’t mind, though. I consider it part of the whimsy I’ve got going here. You never know what you’re going to get. I could be talking about water-skiing squirrels or ripping off Paula Abdul lyrics. I could be gushing about people I love or linking you to ridiculous internet videos. I could be advertising for funky jewelry on Etsy or for weird sci-fi gaming websites.

But tonight friends, tonight I’m advertising for the NRA and some ultra-conservative, right wing women’s group that wants lower taxes. And I’m doing it because they don’t know that I’m a quasi-vegan, who has gay friends and works very happily to improve the lives of immigrants regardless of their legal status. With their tax money. They don’t know that’s who I am, and it amuses me to no end that they are paying me (on top of what their tax dollars pay me to teach illegal immigrants English) to host their ad on my site in the middle of the night when the only people who are going to see it are the spammers in the Middle East.

Maybe I’m selling out here. I don’t know. But maybe one day, three or four years from now, when I’ve finally got enough money earned to withdraw some (there’s a $10 minimum), one of you will get to go out with me for sodas AND fries because of it. Eyes on the prize, people. You are not what you advertise. You are why you advertise. I do it for y’all. And for the future hope of deep-fried potato sticks.


Oh, friends, I am ecstatic to report to you that I’ve just taught my last night class of the semester. I don’t really believe it yet, but there it is. Tomorrow is the last night for the students, but since I’m just the Monday/Wednesday teacher, it matters not to me. And I’m going to have dinner with my students on Wednesday, but I’m looking forward to that for several reasons:

  1. I don’t have to plan anything.
  2. I can wear whatever I want.
  3. I don’t have to be on time.
  4. They are cool.
  5. We’re going to the Olive Garden.
  6. There’s no danger of me getting observed.
  7. I don’t have to worry about disturbing the class next door.

I could go on, but I shan’t. Instead, I’m just going to go to bed and dream about James Bond throwing me into a pile of hay. Rarr.

Good night.

Adding to the List

So I mentioned the other day a few things I’d like to do when I retire, namely bake, Salsa dance, kayak and ride a bike through China. Well after tonight’s excursion to the NC Museum of Art, I’ve got another activity to add to the list – senior adult chorus.

I had heard of this group (Young at Heart) a while back and had a very vague memory of it, but I don’t think I was aware that a documentary had been made about them. So when Lauren asked me earlier today if I wanted to go see it at the Art Museum’s outdoor summer film series, the conversation went like this:

Lauren: I was going to see if you might want to go to the movie at the art museum tonightme: what’s the movie?Lauren: Young At Heartme: never hoid of itLauren: it’s the one about the senior adults choirme: ohYEShow much is it?Lauren: yeah?$3me: stopI’m there

And although I had never heard of it, I knew immediately that I would love it from her very basic description. And THEN I checked it out on IMDB and was even more convinced that it would be wonderful. And friends, it is.

Here‘s just a tiny little sample of one of the most poignant moments in the film. I won’t say too much about it so as not to give anything away, but man, it’s good. The guy singing lead here was a member of the group before but had to drop out for health reasons. They brought him back just for this tour – just for this song, really. You’ll notice the sound of his oxygen machine going the whole time because he has congestive heart failure, but he still nails it.

I’m adding “join senior adult chorus” to my retirement to-do list, but really, why wait? I’ve been saying for years that I’ve really missed singing in a group ever since I gave up all my music classes my freshman year in college. And since I don’t go to a church that has a choir, I’m beginning to think it’s high time I started looking around for a new group to join.

Of course, I realize that I’ll only be here for another two months or so before heading off to Italy, and that when I come back, I don’t know where I’ll be coming back to, so now might not be the best time to start something new. But when, really, is the “right” time to do anything? If this movie taught me anything, it’s that life doesn’t wait for you to be ready to start singing (or start singing again). And also, old people who love to sing are the coolest.

Flicks. Chick Flicks.

When I lived in NY, it came out one day that I’d never seen any of The Godfather movies, so DLF and I sat down one day to try and watch them, but I don’t think we ever did get through all of them. And then today, I realized that I’ve never seen any of the James Bond movies either. It’s not that I don’t like action movies or spy movies or anything of the sort. It’s just that I grew up on a steady film diet of romantic and absurdist comedies, so things like Some Kind of Wonderful, Chances Are and Top Secret – I’ve got down cold. But I know nothing of Rocky or Rambo, I didn’t see any of the Star Wars movies until I was in college, and I’ve only seen one or two Die Hards.

I’m just a chick flick kind of gal, but I suppose that could be a nature/nurture type debate. I’m about to watch Dr. No, and I’ll let you know how I like it. If I do, I’ll only need to find bodily functions acceptable and amusing in order to be every man’s perfect girl buddy. Hmm…on second thought, maybe I’ll watch Sleepless in Seattle and paint my toenails.