Category Archives: Humor

Not so bad after all

 

We were watching Storage Wars the other day. Lots of odd topics come up in the course of a show like that.

MOM: You just know that one smells to high heaven.

ME: Yeah, it was the last load and everything got chucked in in a hurry. And then mice got into everything.

You  know that smell, the scent of human sadness.

♠♣♥♦

There was supposed to be a graphic of a storage unit spilling out its pitiable contents and the last line was supposed to be the pithy end of this post.

The VAST majority of photos available are either rusted scrape metal and outdoor junk, or tidy units that don’t serve my purpose at all. *sigh* Maybe the human race isn’t as sad as I thought!

Here’s nice summer pic instead:

Have a good one, people!

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Ad Shadows

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me.

Shadows.  Photo: pwjamro (Creative Commons Flickr)

A polished hematite stone (Photo: Morguefile)

So wrote Robert Louis Stevenson (My Shadow), long before the information age.  He was referring to the noun: a dark shape caused by the sun or by candlelight.

To be shadowed is something different.

These days we find ourselves shadowed by on-line advertising.

For example, the other day I was telling my Ben about the magnetic stones we bought years ago at a national park gift shop.  I rescued them from his give-away box, and they have lived on my desk at school ever since–much to the delight of my students.

What is it about magnets? Students never tire of playing with them. But I could not think of the name.

Google to the rescue! Within seconds, I had my answer: hematite.

And if I want more, forget driving all the way to Crater Lake. Amazon will drop-ship a set right away.

Amazon’s “Remarketing” e-mail for Hypnotic Hematite

Of course you know what happened next. I acquired a shadow–or rather, my computer at school did. Advertising for hematite stones began to follow me.

This practice is called “remarketing.” My computer showed interest, so my computer will be shown more.  On Facebook and all around the web.

This morning, Amazon e-mails me. Just in case I wanted another look at Hypnotic Hematite.

As a consumer, I am dismayed. Can’t I just look at something without being followed?

Ah, but as an indie author? Perhaps this remarketing thing is not all bad. For what if potential readers are looking at my books?  “Want more Mr. Darcy? Click here.”

Aw, Mom, really? It’s a Bonnet Book!

Which brings me back to Ben. Poor fellow, he was so excited when Darcy By Any Other Name was released, and he was checking the listing on Amazon multiple times a day. Ah, but then remarketing caught up with him.

“Mom,” he complained, “what the heck? Ads for girly romance books are everywhere I go! Ew!”

I think his manly pride was offended.

Well then. Perhaps I should be thankful that I’m being shadowed by something harmless as hematite?

What kinds of ads have shadowed you?

Laura Hile (1)

The Plague has Moved On

or at least I hope so. We all have had the crud of various stripes and colors. My hope is that after a double dose of Nyquil tonight any lingering sludge will clear out.

vbpTo give life a lift after my near-death experience, I decided to watch Very British Problems on Netflix. Here’s a link to some of the episodes on Channel 4.

It’s clear that I could be dropped into any British city and go native without much ado.

That must be why I don’t fit.

Actually, this show just proves we are all misfits in whatever setting we may find ourselves.

A word of caution, Series 2 is a more willing discuss the occasional intimacy–which kinds of undoes some of the things said in Series 1. Series 1 is a tad vulgar in that randy Brit sort of way and pretty safe.

Pride & Precedence: Snow Woe

giovanniboldiniafternoonstroll-mm21

There is a song from your modern era called I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. Seriously? Snow has become not my dream but my nightmare.

Granted, a dusting of snow would be charming at Christmastime—if it came and then went away. This year? Snow continues to fall and pile up. It’s like one of those annoying houseguests who will not go.

Our “White Christmas” became a “White New Year’s” and then a “White Epiphany.” If we stiil have snow on the ground at Candlemas, I will lose my mind.

The vulgar expression “Cabin Fever” describes the situation at Uppercross Cottage. We are housebound because of the snow, and let me tell you, it is Too Much.

trees-15For one thing, the cottage is always, always cold. Why not burn a forest of trees for heat? What are we saving them for? I know, posterity. Bless me, since the days of our courtship I’ve been told that the Musgrove wealth is found not in monetary assets but in land. Well then, we ought to plant acres of trees so that we can cut down what we need. Trees do nothing but stand there. Why not make them useful?

And then there is the smoke: from fires, from sputtering candles, and from cigars. I am continually coughing because my husband will not take his cigars out-of-doors as he ought. My father-in-law’s pipe? Insupportable! Smoke indoors is almost bad as the smell of damp wool, which is everywhere.

popula626We have the same dismal callers again and again, and Charles will invite them to stay. And then, of course, I must feed them. The ugly caps and wrappers they wear are painful to behold, not to mention their red noses and  chapped cheeks. Our conversations center around one thrilling subject: the weather.

Our darling boys are behaving like savages. They laugh and screech, and their footfalls pound along the hallways and up and down stairs until my head aches. The nurserymaid is no help. Her solution is to put them in the bath, allowing them to shout and splash water everywhere. Charles bundles them up and takes them to visit his parents at the Great House, but that is no better. The boys run wild there, while my in-laws discuss my shortcomings as a mother.

Next winter, I shall insist that Charles to take me to Bath. My father has a very fine house there; we would be in no one’s way. In Bath, no one minds the weather. There are card parties, concerts, and interesting people. Here we have the same musicians, the same dances, and the same people.

Thanks to “Old Man Winter” every one of our neighbors has a cold and sniffs—continually.  My poor nerves are worn to a frazzle. But do our neighbors care? They smile and wave and say, “Cheerio!” as if they are happy about the snow.

I’d like to give that Jack Frost a piece of my mind. And a good swift kick in the pants, too.

Most cordially,

Mary Elliot Musgrove
Daughter of Sir Walter Elliot
Future Mistress of Uppercross

New Release!
Sir Walter Elliot’s Marrying Well for Fun & Profit is now a Kindle e-book.
More about that tomorrow.

Mary’s “portrait” is Afternoon Stroll by Giovanni Boldini

The day I wore Pajama Pants to Walmart

Thanks to Marianne Hawthorne for this fun meme

Thanks to Marianne Hawthorne for the meme. Click the image to see her Pinterest collection.

When snow and freezing rain hit the Pacific Northwest, we kind of lose our minds.

Snowpocalapse!
Hunker down!
The end is near!

Okay, so we’re not quite that bad. Thing is, we get snow every two to three years in this part of Oregon. It really throws us for a loop.

I ought to add that we do not salt our roads. That’s right; we’re the only state that doesn’t. And I recently learned that the de-icing chemicals we use are not effective when temperatures drop below 28 degrees. Brilliant.

No salt, no plow, no problem. I live on the corner.

No salt, no snow plow? No … uh … problem.

We are all kinds of crazy, yeah.

Which brings me to Walmart, early Saturday morning, just as a snowstorm hit.  The day I wore my jammie pants to go shopping. I did.

The’re black, and they used to be workout pants, but the thing is, I slept in them the night before. I threw on my long down coat (also black), a somewhat-fashionable scarf, and shoes. I was good to go.

walmart-pajamaSo now I am one of the “People of Walmart.” Even though ours is the neighborhood grocery store kind. And everyone there, though harried by the falling snow, was fully dressed. Below-freezing temperatures are helpful that way.

Darcy-By-Any-Other-Name-blogsz-2In other news, a sale and an e-book giveaway.  Tomorrow check out Anna’s review at Diary of an Eccentric and enter to win the Kindle edition of Darcy By Any Other Name. Even if you own this book, you should enter. If you win, I’ll gladly send the prize to one of your friends.

To celebrate, I’ve reduced the Kindle price by $1.00. Because ice and snow season is reading season, right? So let’s get down to business.

Laura Hile (1)

I write like …

and

I put a section of writing containing FW’s pov, and a section of Anne’s pov into the window. So, I write FW like King and Anne like Christie.

Interesting.

Try it: I Write Like

I Must Decrease

Don’t stand near me.

I may have shared my theory of weight with you before, but it’s worth resharing. Lately, I’m seeing more and more evidence of its truth.

Robin’s Theory of Weight states that the weight in the world at any given time must remain constant. When a person departs this world, enough babies are born to replace the lost weight. If one person is losing weight, those pounds are looking for a place to go. Someone must gain them. (This idea actually has some scientific merit. Since matter is neither created nor destroyed by ordinary means, that fat has to go somewhere or be converted into something else.)

Now to my point: Don’t stand near anyone who is successfully shedding pounds. The lost weight may glom onto you. (Yes, “glom” is a word, and the expression “glom onto” is well-known in the South.)

may-30-2016

May 30th, I took several embarrassingly revealing pictures of myself, and I started a nutritional program.

To date, I’ve lost 36 pounds. I’d like to lose 30 more, but then, I’d like to write a best-seller, too.

september-29

I look and feel much better. Being healthy may have to be enough.

The title of this post is a reference to John 3:30. My Theory of Weight is a joke. The verse is not.he-must-increase-1