To The Thesaurus and Straight On To Dawn, Daybreak, Morn, Sunrise, Sunup

It’s that time of year again. A manager’s most favoritest season.

That’s right, performance review time.

Oh yes. Oh yes, yes, yessity yes.

There is a bright side here. I have a fairly small team (which is usually a BAD thing given how hard we work) and a couple folks are new, so I only have to write four appraisals this year. Four is not bad, right?


Oh gad, then why can’t I bring myself to get them done? I am the very last manager under my Boss to get them done. Everyone else finished in August or early September. It’s, um, the third week of September and I have until September 30 to finish, so technically I am not late.

But EVERYONE else is done and my minions are starting to ask questions.

“Mommy? How ‘come little Johnny already got *his* performance review?”

“Bring Mommy a beer, son, and you might get a raise this year.”

Ok, I hearken back to the year where I had to write fifteen of the buggers. I think I had a fire up my tushie that year because I got them all done in record time.

These piddling little four reviews? I just can’t seem to finish.

Today I put the nose to the grindstone and knocked out two. I felt like I’d just endured a root canal with no novocaine. I needed a martini and a cigarette and I am not even done yet.

My brain hurts. And, as with every year, I have made liberal use of the the thesaurus.

There are only so many ways you can say the same thing. “You did a fine job this year. You didn’t piss me off. You also didn’t knock me out of my seat. You showed up to work most days. You didn’t make me have to have the “stinky, take a shower” talk with you. You are nice to your coworkers. You don’t eat odorous food in your cubicle. You wear shoes. Hell, I’m even kind of fond of you, but sorry kiddo, once again this year you landed on the fat part of the bell curve. Here’s your average rating and thanks for putting up with me as a manager.”

Hey, that’s pretty good. I should use that. It’s quite complimentary, really.

Meanwhile my UK Boss will look at the stats tomorrow and he’ll see I made progress but I’m not done yet. He will harass me again.

It’s a good thing he already finished my appraisal back in August, huh?

*snicker, snort*

Nooo image found on

Comic found on the Peter Anthony site.

A Blue-skying Kind of Thursday

Ok, today’s Theme Thursday word is: gourd

Seems topical, right? Seasonal? A good theme for the beginning of November.

However, I think we’re all struggling with this one. I know I sure am.

So when I’m stuck, it’s time to do a brainstorming session (what the marketing folks call blue-skying).

Here we go… This is random association. Just say the first thing that comes to mind.





Barry Gordy

Barry Gordy, Jr.’s son Rockwell.

“I always feeeeel like, somebody’s watchiiing meeeee.”


Backing vocals by Michael Jackson

That Michael Jackson doctor guy was found guilty.

That whole thing is really weird.

Ok, this is a dead end (wow oh wow….pun TOTALLY not intended).

Back up to “I always feeeeel like, somebody’s watchiiing meeeee.”


Lately I’ve been watching that TV show Pan Am

It’s a pretty good show.



When did people get so unclassy when they fly? I mean, people will roll their over heavy roller bag (that they can’t possibly lift into the overhead bin) over your foot just to grab at a tiny bag of peanuts.

It wears me out.

Ok, this is going nowhere.

Back it up to gourd.





Masssssshhhhed poooootatoes…..: droooool :

Ok. Now I’m just hungry.

And I’ve made no progress on the whole gourd issue.

So I’ll leave you with this: A website dedicated to gourds.

The World of Gourds

And now, at the end of this rambling, shambling blog post dedicated to gourds, on the day after I wrote a whole post about floors, I can only say…..

I must be totally out of my gourd.

Photo by W.P. Armstrong, Copyright 2007, and found on The World of Gourds website.

Oh, November

Masochism! It’s what’s for Thanksgiving dinner!

Yup. November means it’s National Novel Writing Month, a fun event where writers around the world challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days.

And after taking last year off, I’m back, baybee!

This will be my sixth year through the meat word grinder.

Along with blogging every weekday. And holding down a full time job. And having some semblance of a life.

Apparently I like the pain. 1667 words a day, here I come.

These Spammers Are Getting Pithy

Today, as part of my regular blog maintenance, I went into my spam catcher widget and took a look at what’s been caught.

I look it over because occasionally I’ll find a comment that shouldn’t have been marked as spam, so I like to check.

Usually it’s the normal stuff: Cheap Rolex! Pen!s enlargement! Xanex, cheap and easy!

To be expected, I suppose.

But today, I’ve noticed a bit of a change. An advancement.

Those comment spammers are getting smarter.

Here’s a sample of some of the actual comments caught in my spam queue. These completely cracked me up today. I’ve added what I’d respond if I was the sort of person who baited trolls:

“How do i delete everything on my laptop?”

Why, is the laptop stolen? Let me know when you find out.

“Why is my browser redirecting search results to fake search engines?”

: shrug : Sounds like user error to me.

“Whoever wrote this, you know how to make a good artcile.”

Why thank you! I think. Wait, what’s an artcile?

“The genius store called, they’re rnuinng out of you.”

Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE. Ok, that got my attention.

“And I thguhot I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me straight.”

Good thing you’re not the spelling one.

“Please teach the rest of these internet hloiogans how to write and research!”

If only I could, darlin’, if only I could.

“Information is power and now I’m a !@#$ing dcitator.”

And what does that make me? I’m GOD baybee!

“I came, I read this atricle, I conquered.”

YEAH you did! Raaawwr!

“Free knowledge like this doesn’t just help, it pomrtoe democracy. Thank you.”

Wait. Can you both be a dictator and promote democracy?

“This free sharing of inforamotin seems too good to be true. Like communism.”

Wait, wait, wait. Are we a dictatorship, a democracy or communists? This is getting very confusing.

“Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my questions are anserwed!”

Buddy, this is not that kind of blog. Take your wham bam somewhere else.

“Boom shkalaaka boom boom, problem solved.”

Ok, maybe this is the kind of blog that boom shaka boom booms…hard to know.

“This piece was coengt, well-written, and pithy.”

Your comment, however, was not. Besides, who uses pithy anymore? And is coengt supposed to be cogent? Inquiring minds need to know.

“Brilliance for free; your parents must be a sweetharet and a certified genius.”

Why you gotta bring my parents into this?

“You put the lime in the ccoount and drink the article up.”

Best. Comment. Ever. In the history of this blog. All other commenters, take heed. This is the apex of comment glory!

You drink this article RIGHT up! That’s right you do! Drink it in!

“Great hammer of Thor, that is powerfully helfupl!”

Glorious right boot of Wonder Woman, you’re welcome!

“I could watch Schnidelr’s List and still be happy after reading this.”

Now THAT’s a compliment! Well done, commenter.

“I hate my life but at least this makes it berablae.”

My powers are stronger than even I suspected…..

“Four score and seven minutes ago, I read a sweet article. Lol thakns”

Ok, that’s kind of charming.

“With the bases loaded you struck us out with that awnser!”

A baseball metaphor *always* works with me….

“I bow down humbly in the presence of such gearnetss”

I am a benevolent God. Mostly.

Whew! Good stuff. Made it kind of hard to delete all those spam posts. Charm and wit will always win me over. Too bad they are still trolly trolls who live under mossy internet bridges.

And that means I still did what I had to do. Bye!

Dear World –

An online idea suggester came up with the idea that I should write a letter to the world. At first I said “bah!” and clicked away to look at something mildly funny on YouTube. Or maybe I played a nonsensical flash game. Can’t remember.

Turns out this idea kind of stuck to one of the many folds of my wrinkly brain, and I’ve been thinking on it a lot lately.

Maybe it’s a good idea. Maybe it’s time we talked.

First of all, I should say, I’m a big fan of you, World. I mean…you’re so worldly. In a single moment you create life, bring death, facilitate anger, joy, sadness, depression, hunger and toothache. Inside your wide waistline, you encompass the tippy top of the Rocky Mountains, the endless blue bottom of the Mariana Trench. And cheeseburgers.

You’re a wonder. No doubt.

But it’s not just the continents and water; there are all of these people. ALL of these people. Whew. 6.7 billion of us little parasites are wandering around, riding this cosmic whirlygig hoping to have a good night’s sleep and enough money to feed our families and maybe a reason to smile once or twice day.

Lately it seems hard. Just the nature of living and standing with two feet on a planet spinning around 1,000 mph right at this very moment seems like it takes a whole lot of effort.

It feels better when it seems like we’re all in it together, but more and more I feel like we’re not all in it together. I mean, not that I’d expect we’d all get along famously and never squabble, but it seems like sometimes we’re a bit less interconnected and a bit more inconsiderate every day.

Take the news that my local area is all abuzz about: the rampant fights, brutal beatings and a shooting at a football stadium. A game! And people were shot fer crissakes! Which means people were packing heat to go to a goddamn football game to watch overly large men run around and bash into each other. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? (<-- to borrow a phrase from Penn Jillette)

My friends in the UK tell me that hooliganism is a part of their favorite sport as well, and laugh at my naïveté. I’m sure the people in Lybia would look at me like was a cross eyed dodo bird for even contemplating this. They’d probably be happy if their daily dose of violence was limited to a sports stadium.

So maybe it’s just that I’ve been spoiled. Maybe I need to toughen up? Maybe my mom is right when she says I’m too sensitive. I mean, hell, I whimper when I have blood drawn.

I just don’t like that it has to be this way. I’ve seen communities where no one locks their house or car because there’s no need. Where if someone gets hurt, it’s a reason for the community to pull together not get blown apart with finger pointing and more anger.

Perhaps I long for something that can no longer exist when 6.7 billion of us are crawling around on top of each other trying to find the best wifi signal so we can flame someone on Facebook and snipe the last bid on eBay.

Don’t know what’s got me so melancholy. I did go see “Breakfast at Tiffanys” on the big screen this weekend. Maybe seeing something set in a more refined time seems better by comparison. Then again, was it so good? Women were still disregarded and the Civil Rights movement was well underway, but by no means resolved.

That’s the thing about nostalgia. It’s rarely accurate.

So maybe 1961 wasn’t any better than 2011. Which depresses me more. 50 years later and the problems are all different and all the same. There’s more of us. We’re meaner to each other. And in some ways we’re better too.

As M. Scott Peck wrote in the first line of the book The Road Less Traveled, “Life is difficult.”

I’ve always bridled at that notion. Why? Why does life have to be difficult?

A wise mentor asked me to read that book and asked me to embrace the concept that life is difficult. It was suggested I learn to find a way to flow with it and not try so hard to swim against it. Maybe life would actually be easier if I just accepted that life is and always will be difficult.

But swim, I still do. Maybe my sense of values and honor compass has gone all screwy, like a dolphin swimming too close to a submarine. I think I’m going the right way while in reality I’m getting ever more lost.

I don’t think it’s that much to ask that we could all live a life that was peaceful and full of joy. That we didn’t all have to worry about the stock market and random acts of violence, and countries either falling or failing.

I had a boss for a brief amount of time who, when I would present her with some work related issue that was worrying me, she’d simply tell me to “rise above it,” which was never very helpful. She was a terrible boss.

But maybe there is some wisdom there.

I don’t know. Really. I just don’t know.

And sometimes that scares me.

Oh dear, my friend World, I think my letter has wandered off into the deep weeds. I hope I don’t encounter a rattle snake out here. Is that the road over there? I can’t recall. I think I have some lemonade in the Jeep. Want some?

Well, anyhow. I guess I’m grateful that you’ve given me all these years of riding on your back and you’ve given me enough matter in my brain bucket to have the luxury of thinking about such things.

There are some things I’d change if I was in charge. But mostly, I guess we do ok.

I am going to keep shaking my fists at people who steal parking spots and continue lamenting the jacked up state of healthcare. Some things are just too ingrained to pass up.

Thanks for listening. Let’s do this again soon, yeah?

Your pal,


Image from PlayPennies.