Cereal Comma

People are passionate about the serial comma one way or another. I’ve witnessed the most hyperbolic exchanges around that particular usage of the comma. I will use whatever convention the recipient has requested (APA 7th Ed, sure. AP Style, okay, let’s not). However, I refuse to call that piece of punctuation an “Oxford comma” because that’s some snobby, ethnocentric bull malarkey. I also refuse to accept the use or abstinence from the serial comma as “correct.” Like, why follow some tweed-wearing grammar dweeb? Do your own thing.

misty oblong bowl of corn flakes set on a ledge overlooking a fantasy kingdom,

This image doesn’t make any sense to me either. The artwork was created with the help of Artificial Intelligence using the phrase “cereal comma.” Create your own AI-generated artworks using NightCafe Creator.

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My Writing Job Killed My Writing Hobby

The Hubster and I had a weblog-like thing before that’s what they were called. We posted pictures and wrote captions describing our activities. He posted graphs of his weight loss versus my pregnancy gain. No one read blogs, so we sent e-newsletter-ish messages updating everyone we know that we’ve updated our webpage.

It didn’t take long for blogging platforms to become all the rage and I was on it. I even dabbled with vlogging. Turns out that takes a certain moxie I don’t have. I started this blog and dreamed of getting the call all indie bloggers hoped for at that time — the “blog for me” job offer. I got that in 2010 and my writing changed.

My life changed too. Many bloggers who didn’t go the job route but the entrepreneurial route instead, hustled up advertisers and contributors and built communities around their own interests. That’s all great and I’m so totally envious, but I didn’t think that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to keep my quiet little life with my own thoughts, my environmental micro-movement and a focus on my kiddos. I need to take inventory to see if I managed that.

My writing is geared for promotion now, not insight. My mind is on how to engage, not to create community but to improve metrics. Documenting the little experiments and quiet moments at home is all but over. I cling to shared reading (right now The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). We still do projects, sometimes. I even share through social media, though it doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as telling the story behind the moments.

I have a plan to scrape some of the better content that I’ve written for my employer and cross posting it here. It’s almost true to my voice. Maybe just that little effort will reignite the desire to make my own accounting and refocus my attention on the heart of my home and not just the functioning of it. Maybe… if I actually do it.

I want Chris Hardwick to invite Handsome Cpt. Dr. Sir Husband and me over to bowl. Chris would love us same way that if John Stamos could just meet the 6th grade me he’d fall in love like Elvis did Priscilla. In retrospect that would have been creepy, but try to tell that to the little girl who stared at his poster.

I seem to waste an equal amount of time watching Chris (we’d be on a first name basis) and his pals bowling. Jesse could be the Jon Hamm and I could be the (not) Felicia Day. We could play for our favorite charity — Sonic Happy Hour. I mean the poor kids. Of course. Poor kids. Definitely them. Though… Hubster did say he’d prefer to play for the John Stamotopoulos Foundation for Name Preservation.

My Friend Should Be the Next Top Self-help Author

In fifth grade I started hanging out with a boy-crazed, fiery and hilarious girl. By the sixth grade, I was devoted to her and moving to a new town where I wouldn’t see her devastated me. I’ve always preferred friends to environment. Nearly 30 years passed and my thoughts of spectacular friendships always included Wendy. Where did she go and what has she done? In one of those fit-for-the-silver-screen situations, it turns out Wendy attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and eventually landed in Phoenix, just an abridged book on tape round trip from where the Hubster moved us in 2000.

I made Wendy pose with me in the bathroom last time we were together. She’s a good sport like that.

I discovered Wendy’s whereabouts a couple of years ago thanks to the amazing world of social networking, so thank you Zuckerberg for that. Others may think you’re a tool for imposing annoying routine updates regarding a person’s whereabouts or parental over sharing of children’s activities or the gross abuses of our privacy. I am personally grateful that you brought Wendy back into my life. Since we reconnected, Wendy has been my date to two major events sponsored by my work, has written two guest blogs for my work and lent herself to a large event for my work. She also had her handbag stolen, but that’s neither here nor there and not related at all to my job.

The point is that I loved Wendy as a child and I find her engaging as an adult. This morning, she sent an e-mail to me. The truth of it is obvious to me and because I adore her still, I’m passing it along.

“Hi! This is a difficult email for me to write because it requires being vulnerable enough to ask you for help. I am competing in a contest for a publishing contract. I need votes. Will you please take 3 minutes to vote? Then, would you ask the three people you speak to the most to do the same? For the past five years I have asked friends, students, clients, and family to help me with projects I have been involved with for others (Nuestro Barrio, 3 Day Walk, etc). Now I am asking you to help me personally. I really appreciate this and you get a free gift when you vote as a way to say thank you! I really appreciate your time and the favor.

Vote here: NextTopAuthor.com

If you go vote for her, you will have to register. I hate that, but I understand that it reduces duplicate votes while harvesting your address. I suggest a special spam account for that. Registration is painless and you will have helped Wen toward her goal. Even if you aren’t inclined to go do that, you should at least watch the video. I love her video. I think it speaks volumes about Wendy — both the one I remember as a child and the one I now know.

And those arms!

I left this man and this landscape for a single existence in a desperate desert.

I have responsibilities here and a firm hand on the children, though those capable arms are hard to do without.

We’ll have to call him Cowboy Captain Handsome Hubster, Ph.D. from now on. I think he even looks … happy. Don’t you think?

Unfortunately, cell service stinks there, so I can’t call him at all. A tragedy, really. I suppose I’ll just meditate on this image for a while.


Okay, time to come clean about my dad. He has a 3.5 cm cancerous tumor in his lungs that has not metastasized and can be cut out fairly simply. “Simply” here is relative, of course. I can say this because it is not my lung. This begs the question: Why hasn’t the U.S. adopted the metric system? As it stands, poor little American scientists have to convert everything. It’s not like we lack the methods to standardize measurements. We don’t need to use body parts for reference, though if you’d like to, Dad’s tumor is a little larger than the length of your thumb from the tip to the first knuckle. As an American who adores my independence from the Queen, I’m not sure why we are compelled to rely on our Imperial Measurement-based system. In some cases, we aren’t.

Back to Dad. He also has a mass on his right adrenal gland. Fortunately, Dad, like the rest of us, has two of these so losing one won’t be a huge deal. Although, I do worry that lightening up his right side will make him even more left-leaning and therefore an outlaw in my state of residence (ARIZONA).

Dad’s outlook is great. For one thing, he is on day seven or so sans the evil influence of cigarettes. He attributes his success at quitting smoking to morphine. Ba-dum, CHING! The lesson here is that all you have to do to get your hands on morphine is to smoke for 42 years and get cancer. Easy peasy!

Dad will have two surgeries to remove the masses and will be in the hospital until next week or so. My brilliant brother, true to his word, is going to take care of Daddy with the help of my grandmother, who is ridiculously strong and healthy and amazing. My mother and her husband are checking in on Dad too. My grandmother’s neighbor, a doctor, is calling in appropriate professional courtesies. Dad’s friends are providing a steady stream of visitors, entertainment, and frustration. All this attention, adoration, and love coming his way annoys my dad, which I think is hysterical since he’s always the belle of the ball. YOU SHOULDN’TA GOT CANCER DAD!

This all came to pass when Dad went to the hospital to cure food poisoning after eating cereal with bad milk. GAG! When my brother and I lived at home, milk never had a chance to turn. Now that Dad is on his own, I’m sure it doesn’t occur to him that milk might be past its expiration date. Let this be a warning to you, if you don’t want tumors springing up throughout your body, be sure to check the date on your milk before consuming.

One Reason

My wonderful, spectacular, amazing 10 YO artist made a quail family for me. It’s so sweet!

Because he’s not just an artist, but a brilliant storyteller as well, he inscribed the picture with an anecdote including dialogue and a dramatic set-up.

Yes, there is one reason why he loves me. And that reason is because one day I didn’t make him go to school until he finished some portion of some video game. I’m just awesome like that.

The 7 YO also has a gift ready for me — also a school project. Aren’t mothers everywhere indebted to teachers? Since I haven’t had a chance to open the 7 YO’s gift yet, I figured I would post a photo of her holding produce from her garden, which provides yummy goodness for us and our neighbors.

I know. Her eyes are closed. It’s rare that I get a good photo of her with her eyes open. It runs in the family.

This is a typical photograph of my mother. She’s an awesome mom. I love my mom and I swear she wasn’t drinking when this photo was taken — or in the 537 other photos I have of her with her eyes closed (well, maybe she was in some of them).

Considering my son has one reason to love me and my daughter photographs like my mother and my mother is a teacher and teachers make kids give mothers Mother’s Day gifts and I have two gifts, I’m thinking I’m doing an okay job. Or else I’m confused.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fabulous mothers out there!

May the 4th

Happy Unofficial International Star Wars Day everyone. May the 4th be with you! The 4th was definitely with this crafty knitter!

Craftzine is all over the multiple ways a person could represent through crafty goodness the gravity of this date. Alternatively you can grab the kiddos to combine your love for screen time, crafts, and conflicts in space with Star Wars Stuff to Do.

I wasn’t sure if the boss lady would give me the day off to reflect on the global, nay, universal importance of the 4th, so I called in sick. My laundry definitely appreciates it.

****On Edit
* Today’s the day that begging Star Wars style just might work.

(via The Huffington Post)

* The 10 YO boy felt this post needed music. Well, here’s a wealth of SW sound from Blue Harvest, but here’s his favorite tune as of late: