blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with The Good Greatsby

Have you ever wondered who invented dessert? Or who was Brad Pitt’s body double in Thelma and Louise? Or pondered why Paul McCartney decided to abandon all sense of musical taste and write the song Wonderful Christmastime“?

Well, all these answers and more can be found by visiting the hilarious blog,
The Good Greatsby.

the-good-greatsby

If you’ve been searching for a blogger who’s always witty and entertaining, then Paul is your man. If you’ve been searching for someone to give all your extra cash to — Paul is definitely your man. (He’ll also accept gift cards but please, no personal checks.)

He’s been Freshly Pressed numerous times, he’s a WordPress Recommended Humor blogger and he’s a humor blogger for The Huffington Post.

I know. I’ll have what he’s having. My guess is that’s not really tobacco in his pipe.

67d4fbb9393c077fa9d40657ff176cafHe tackles political satire with ease, Obama Reels in Big, Bigger, Biggest Fish, explains why you should never invite him to your party, Thank You for Inviting Me to the Party. I Apologize for My Behavior at the Party, and occasionally waxes poetic while writing about his favorite celebrity obsession, Vin Diesel, When I Become Famous: The First 24 Hours, although his heart really belongs to Zooey Deschanel, Friday Love Letters.

So what makes Greatsby tick? Who is the man behind that snazzy smoking jacket? Will I be able to sufficiently poke fun at him with my crafty PowerPoint slides? Let’s find out!

FIRST

Blog Post:

Tough Childhood

Love:

I’m not definite I’ve ever been in love. I used to think I fell in love a lot but I once described love to a doctor and he said what I was experiencing was remarkably similar to the symptoms of car sickness. He suggested I stop taking first dates on high-speed drives through winding canyons, and after following his advice I never fell in love again. I also used to think women fell in love with me a lot, but it turns out they were just frightened to death at my driving, and that their trembling hands, wide eyes, pale faces and shrieks were more likely symptoms of terror and not love. Love is complicated.

Childhood Memory:

For some reason I don’t remember the exact moment of being born, but I do remember my parents arguing with the hospital staff about the bill and thinking, Uh-oh, Mom and Dad are cheap. Looks like I’ll be going to a state college.

Why, Mommy and Daddy? WHYYYYY?
Why, Mommy and Daddy? WHYYYYY?

Moment I met my significant other:

I was sitting on a bus with a bag of groceries on my lap. The bag broke and an avocado rolled down the aisle until finally resting against a woman’s black high heel. Prada. Spring collection. The woman reached down to pick up the avocado and when she turned back to look at me I found myself locking eyes with the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. I stood and slowly made my way across the bus, never breaking eye contact. I put out my hand. “I believe you have my avocado.” She smiled, raised the avocado up to her face, gave it a squeeze and said, “You’ve picked a ripe one.” As if on cue the bus jerked to the side, and in one smooth motion she fell into my arms, my lips brushed her ear, and I whispered, “I always pick the ripest produce.” She shivered. And then she shivered again. And then I realized it was actually my cell phone vibrating. Embarrassed, I turned my back as I took the call, which was my brother asking if he could set me up with his wife’s cousin. That wife’s cousin turned out to be my future wife and I first met her the following Friday after I pulled up in my car and she came out the front door of her grandparents’ house.

Possession I would take my house were on fire:

The vortex invasion pod in my basement, because the aliens were very clear that the vortex invasion pod should never catch on fire or the universe would implode. Also that it shouldn’t get wet. Also that I should stop hanging laundry on it.

Job I had:

Loose change collector. Every day, starting when I was about five, I would search under couch cushions or in the pockets of coats hanging in the closet or under the seat of my dad’s car. The pay wasn’t great, the benefits were non-existent, but the hours were flexible.

Time I got pulled over by a cop:

I’ve only been pulled over once. The police officer said I’d entered the turning lane too early, but my very reasonable explanation fell on deaf ears. I grew suspicious of his motives when he saw my driver’s license and failed to compliment my photo. And that’s when I realized what I was up against: handsomeness discrimination. Sometimes cops see a handsome man passing and think, That looks like a guy who needs to be taken down a notch. This is why I gave up driving, because I wasn’t willing to give up being handsome.

A still-handsome Greatsby's  new mode of ultra-groovy transportation.
A still-handsome Greatsby’s new mode of ultra-groovy transportation.

Thing I think God will say to me at the pearly gates:

“Don’t tell me who won the Super Bowl. I’ve got it on DVR but I’ve been absolutely swamped. Also, why is Kim Kardashian famous?”

LAST

Blog Post: When I Was a Kid, Things Were Tough

Thing I cooked:

Pad Thai. I make this pretty regularly and it’s usually good, but I tried something new and the result was too spicy. As we sat down for dinner and our eyes watered and throats burned, I told my sons if they learn one lesson from this meal it’s that you should never, ever try anything new in life. Find a bunch of comfortable behaviors, ideas, and habits at a young age and spend the rest of your life angrily refusing to see life from any other perspective.

Movie I saw:

Doctor Zhivago—the 2002 British edition with Keira Knightley. You should see this. But not with anyone who hates Keira Knightley. Why do so many women dislike Keira Knightley?

(editor's note: I think it's her hat. No...on second thought, it's everything else about her.)
(editor’s note: I think it’s her hat. No…on second thought, it’s everything else about her.)

Song I listened to:

We Are the People by Empire of the Sun. I’ve heard this song hundreds of times just this year. You could walk up to me at any moment and ask what was the last song I listened to and there’s a good chance the last song was We Are the People.

Book I read:

Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

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Reality TV show I watched:

We don’t get American TV here in China so I don’t have regular access to reality shows. But a friend’s laptop was stolen from his apartment and he asked me to translate as he spoke to the security guards, and when we viewed the CCTV footage of the previous 24 hours and all the comings and goings of his apartment complex, and watched most of it in fast forward, it was the most compelling reality show I’d ever seen. Seriously. I’d watch that show again.

Person I kissed:

This answer has changed so many times in the last couple weeks. I kept putting off finishing this interview until the last person I kissed was really impressive. Unfortunately the only celebrity I met in the past few weeks was Joe Montana, and although he was definitely giving me signals, the timing never felt quite right.

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Time I cried:

At the end of Doctor Zhivago—the 2002 British edition with Keira Knightley. If you didn’t cry, what’s wrong with you?

Time I laughed hysterically:

Yesterday. I was doing a voice recording for a hospitality training manual. The script made multiple references to “duties” and “the duties of a duty manager” and that “the duty manager has to be attentive to his employees’ duties.” I know it’s juvenile but I giggled like a schoolgirl. I never giggle. I hate to even write the word giggle. But I giggled every single time.

Time I told a little white lie:

Once I gave away the children’s puppy. I was taking him for a walk and a man stopped his bike and said, “I like your puppy.” And I said, “Take him. He’s yours,” and placed Mr. Lunch in the bike basket. When I returned home I told my sons that Mr. Lunch was on vacation. Almost nine years later and they still look out the window and ask when Mr. Lunch will be back from vacation. Hilarious.

Time I swore like a sailor:

A couple days ago when I argued with my cell phone provider. International coverage in my plan had somehow expired without my knowledge and I was charged about $200 for 3 calls to the US at a rate of about $1.75 a minute. The conversation was in Chinese but the swear words were in English. (Note: Initially I misread the question as “Time I swore at a sailor”. That would be a great question. A lot of my favorite comedy ideas come from misreading things.)

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Good deed I did:

I flirt with a lot of married women right in front of their husbands. This might not seem like charity in the biblical sense, but when your husband sees me write my number on your hand, his jealousy is going to make him treat you right for at least two weeks. You’re welcome. (And don’t worry, I didn’t write my real number. It’s the number of a marriage counselor. I get a small referral commission.)

Indulgence:

I bought myself really expensive skinny jeans, so skinny they couldn’t even be seen with the naked eye.

******

Thanks for playing along, Greatsby! The 50 cent coupon for a single serving size of Totino’s Party Pizza is in the mail. (unless it gets “lost” on the way to China)

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blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with Nicole from The Middlest Sister

b6ce6ec415c4f664861108fb04fa3366It’s November! This means I get the honor of spotlighting Nicole — a warm, witty blogger and inventor of ridiculously clever comic strips she painstakingly crafts using mere scrap paper and scissors.

Perhaps you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t visited her popular blog, The Middlest Sister, where she details what it was like to grow up with four sisters. Not only has it been Freshly Pressed numerous times, but it holds a coveted top spot on the Recommended Blog list as one of the WordPress Staff Picks. And with good reason. She. Is. Amazing.

Now time for the interview!  After you’re done, be sure to drop by her blog. You’ll be so glad you did.

The Middlest Sistercropped-halloweenheader1

First

First Blog Post  

My first blog post, “The Refrigerator” is one of my favorite “Chrissy” memories. I came home from school one day and saw all these good report cards on the fridge for the rest of the sisters, awards and ribbons… and then there was this note for Chrissy:

The Refrigerator

First Kiss firstkiss It was awful. I was in second grade on an overcrowded bus. The kiss was stolen, and I was so angry about it for years and years afterwards because I had wanted my first kiss to be “special.” I decided it didn’t count, but then my next first kiss was also awful and unspecial. And the one after that. AND the one after that. If none of the firsts were going to be special, might as well count the real first one!

First Thing I Think God Will Say To Me at the Pearly Gates

I don’t know the exact circumstances that will lead to it, of course, but I really feel like it’s going to be something a little condescending and petty. godsaid LAST

Last Blog Post

The Hands-Down Tree [editor’s note: very cool-n-creepy story, the lightning panel she created is fantastic]

Last Thing I cooked lastfood My favorite, a peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwich! That counts as cooking right?

Last Book I Read maddaddam   Last Person I kissed personkissed

My beardy, mysterious husband (I have never seen his face)

Time I Swore Like a Sailor

sworeIt’s a hazard of having a house-rabbit. I like to say that “Faye” is short for “Faaaaaavorite pet!” but sometimes, it really, really isn’t.

*****

Thanks so much for playing along, Nicole (I think fuzzy bunny Faye is my new fave…) and for being my November Blogger of the Month!

blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with Steve from The Brown Road Chronicles

How often do you come across a blogger who not only is a fantastic storyteller but sings and plays a mean guitar?

farmerSteve’s blog, Brown Road Chronicles, is about country living, old houses, dirt roads, raising kids and a couple lively goats named Holly and Ella.

I adore his writing style, which was highlighted on Freshly Pressed with the fantastic post, Old Barn Coat.  He also writes funny children’s poems, song lyrics and occasionally rants about WordPress and BOOBs. And he recently created a super hot all-male blogger calendar you must check out. It’s all good clean fun.

Before you enjoy his interview, take a listen to one of his songs, Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Bloggers — the man needs a recording contract!

Now let’s delve into what makes him tick. Please, give a warm welcome to

cropped-brheader2

Steve from The Brown Road Chronicles

FIRST:

Blog Post:

Diary of a Flat Tire: How I got to Keep my Man Card for Another Day

This was a funny story that happened to me back in September 2009. I didn’t have a blog at the time but I wanted to remember the situation so I wrote it down. It eventually became the first post on my blog. I didn’t write again until almost a year later in August of 2010, when Brown Road Chronicles was really born and my normal, stable life pretty much ended.

Kiss:

My dog Tiger used to kiss me a lot. Ohhhh… wait… you mean, like a real kiss? I believe it was my high school girlfriend, I don’t remember anything before that unless I’ve just forgotten. I’ve only had two really serious women in my life, my high school girlfriend and my awesome wife Kim who I met in college. Well… there was this totally smokin’ hot girl in like first grade, named Brandy, that I used to really like. But I don’t think I ever got to kiss her. She probably didn’t even know who I was. She’s probably a stripper now.

Love:

Brandy from first grade who’s probably a stripper now. Seriously though, who really knows what love is? Insert Foreigner voice: “I wanna know what love is… I want you to show me!” I honestly believe there is only one person for each of us. I’ve found mine.

Slide1

Childhood Memory:

I remember fighting my way out of my Mom’s vagina through all this blood and gore, thinking “oh my god, what the fuck is going on here?!?” Then this guy all dressed in white grabs me and wipes me off and I’m like “dudes, what the hell just happened? I think I need a beer!”

Slide1

Moment I met my significant other:

Kim and I met at a Toga Party at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. It was very romantic and sophisticated and Greek.

Slide1

You can read about it here:
How I Met Your Mother

Possession I would take if my house were on fire:

Seriously, if your house is on fire are you going to stand there for even a few seconds and think about what the hell to take out of there? Dude, get out of the house! Everyone always says they would grab photos. Honestly though, I would have one thing on my mind, getting my family first, then pets if possible, to a safe place. I probably wouldn’t even think about what else to grab.

Job I had:

Other than mowing my neighbor’s lawn, the first real job I had was working for a guy that owned a landscaping business and operated out of my neighborhood where I grew up on Long Island. We cut grass and did landscaping for commercial and residential accounts. I started working for him after my senior year of high school, then during the summers while in college. It was very hard work, but was a good gig. He often paid us in cash, we got sweet tans and could let our hair grow long and we could swear and naively believe that all the chicks thought we were the hottest, shirtless guys in the world, even though we had long hair and smelled like gasoline and rotten grass. Sometimes I miss those days!

Time I got pulled over by a cop:

When we first moved to Michigan, when I was about 24, I got pulled over on the college campus I was working nearby going about 40 in a 25. I’m thinking, “Seriously, don’t you have anything better to do, like arrest some drunken college students that are lighting their couch on fire?” She gave me a ticket for 10 over. I ended up getting to know her pretty well over the years and always wondered if she remembered writing that ticket.

Thing I think God will say to me at the pearly gates:

I don’t believe in God and all that afterlife stuff. Sorry, I guess you’d call me an Atheist, even though that term has wrongly become synonymous with “Evil, Satan Worshipping, Goat Sacrificing Heathen”. But really, if you don’t believe in God you certainly don’t believe in Satan and y’all know I’d never sacrifice one of my goats!

I believe when I die I will either become ashes or be put into a hole in the ground. That’s all folks! Although these days, cremation seems to be the trending way to dispose of oneself, I think I want a gravestone, so that little kids can do crayon rubbings on it and wonder what was so special about the “Author of The Brown Road Chronicles.”

Slide1

LAST:

Blog Post:

Well chances are it will be my Song “The Grass is Always Greener” because I haven’t written anything in weeks. But really how the hell should I know? You see, Darla made me send her these answers in advance… something about “needing time to do a whole bunch of PowerPoint slides where I poke fun at you” and “if you don’t get your answers to me in a timely fashion I am going to send Kathy Bates to break your legs.”

Slide1

Thing I cooked:

Chicken on the grill. So, here’s a question… when you go out to your grill and pick up that brush scraper tool that we all have and start scraping and brushing all that old crap of the grates of the grill… do you ever think that’s what a Dental Hygienist feels like? Sometimes I stare down at the grill and scold and denigrate it for not flossing enough.

Movie I saw:

I don’t really remember but there were a lot of XXX’s and Oh, Oh, Oh’s in it. Must have had something to do with football.

Song I listened to:

Probably a Jackson Browne song, he’s my favorite artist. Even though I enjoy his quieter, more reflective songs, lately I have been listening to “Boulevard” a lot. I’m in sales, so I’m in my car a lot. When I find myself getting sleepy while driving, I’ll put that song on at full volume so the speakers shake. One of the greatest (yet most under-recognized) guitar riffs to begin a rock song!

Slide1

Book I read:

Oh shit, now I have to admit how infrequently I actually read books. The last book I read was The Hunger Games, which honestly was a pretty good book. My family told me I needed to read it before the film came out. So I voraciously devoured it like an Honors English Student cramming down some “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “Catcher in the Rye” for a mid-term. Not that I’m comparing it to those books, to all you literary snobs that were thinking of reprimanding me in the comments. I think the last book I read before Hunger Games was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear.”

Reality TV show I watched:

I don’t really watch TV much. Is The Voice considered a reality TV show. Yes? Then I guess that’s my answer. I like The Voice because the talent is really good, but definitely not because I have a total man-crush on Adam Levine with his dreamy fitted t-shirts and beard stubble.

Slide1

Person I kissed:

Myself, as I was taking “selfies” to post on Instagram. Just kidding I don’t really have an Instagram.

Time I cried:

Probably at the last movie I saw, or the last song I heard, or the last magazine article I read, or the last TV show I watched or the last time I cooked a hot dog in the microwave and it exploded or… Seriously, I cry all the time. I’m not sure when my Testosterone levels starting losing the battle to my Estrogen levels. I used to be pretty good at holding it in, but then somewhere around the time I had kids, something changed and now it doesn’t take much to get me going. In fact, I’m crying right now writing these answers.

Time I laughed hysterically:

Answering these questions…

Time I told a little white lie:

Answering these questions…

Time I did something really scary:

Sitting in the passenger seat of a car with my 15-year-old daughter driving?!?

Honestly though, I can’t really pinpoint anything really scary that I’ve done. I’m not much of a risk taker in that there’s no freakin’ way I’ll ever jump out of an airplane or anything like that. I’ve learned to tolerate some amusement park rides, but really don’t get that thrill high that so many people get. Starting a new self-employment career a couple of years ago and taking somewhere in the neighborhood of a 95% pay cut was pretty scary. In fact, it’s still pretty scary. In fact, I’m thinking about putting a donation link on my website.

Time I swore like a sailor:

I prefer to think that I swear like a trucker, but whatever…

I wrote a funny post a long time ago (pre-Freshly-Pressed fame) about not getting Freshly Pressed because of having some swear words in my posts. Here it is:
Getting Fu…Fu…Freshly Pressed

Embarrassing moment:

A few years back at a New Year’s party there was a little bit of drinking going on and then a bunch of shots of Crown Royal, then me and this other dude at the party started mooning people and these days it’s like “what the hell, you can’t even pull your pants down at a party anymore without everyone taking pictures.” Then I got sick in my wife’s van on the ride home with my son in the back seat taking notes. Not my finest moment!

Good deed I did:

I know, I know… you’ve read this whole thing and you’re like “wow, this guy is a total asshole, there’s no way he’s out there doing good deeds.” But honestly, it’s all just a ruse. You see, I’m actually a really compassionate guy. I’m a Boy Scout leader and I volunteer occasionally at my kid’s schools, when my wife signs me up and forces me to. I’m actually relatively well-respected in my community. So, if any of you let any of this shit get out, I’ll have Darla send Kathy Bates to your place to break your legs. ‘Cause Darla and I are tight. [editor’s note: true dat]

Indulgence:

Wine! Welcome to my wine cellar. Here’s the Red box, there’s the White box. Mix them together for pink. Plastic cups are in the pantry.

Thank you all for reading. Please visit me at Brown Road Chronicles. It’s a lot of fun there!

****************************

Up next November’s blogger of the month: Nicole from The Middlest Sister.

blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with Charles from Mostly Bright Ideas

cg-on-2011-02-21 (2)I first met Charles online years ago when he left a thoughtful comment on my blog about our mutual disdain for texting. I thought, who is this guy? He immediately struck me as sincere, intelligent and funny. Sure enough, so was his blog,
Mostly Bright Ideas.

Whether he’s pondering the current lack of face-to-face social interaction or detailing what it was like to grow up in 1960s Bronx when kick-the-can and bubblegum cards were the norm, his brilliant writing never fails to spark feelings of pure nostalgia and wonderment.  After reading his posts, I always come away feeling like I had learned a thing or two.  I’d even venture to say all of his ideas are bright.

Continue reading “Firsts and Lasts with Charles from Mostly Bright Ideas”

blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with Angie from Childhood Relived

One fine day a couple years ago, I stumbled upon a humor blog that was hipper than Mrs. Brady’s polyester pant suit, cooler than Shrinky Dinks, and funnier than the fact there was a character on the sitcom Growing Pains named Boner.

angie banner

Angie, the self-described ‘bratass’ from the blog, Childhood Relived, put a humorous spin on 1970s and ’80s pop culture using her own special blend of Pop Rocks and Riunite on Ice.

Her brilliant writing never failed to make me laugh. Plus rumor has it she was once cast as an original member of the beloved Keaton family.

Sha la la la, indeed.
Sha la la la, indeed.

And I’m almost certain she had a bit part on Saved by the Bell: Screech’s Puberty Years

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Then something big happened. After being Freshly Pressed numerous times and ruling the WordPress Recommended Humor Blog page for months — she had to go and get pregnant.

Continue reading “Firsts and Lasts with Angie from Childhood Relived”

blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with Pegoleg

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Sometimes you meet someone on WordPress and things immediately connect in a mystical way. You simply ‘get’ that person in ways you can’t quite explain and a strong friendship is formed.

Peg from the spectacularly entertaining blog, Peg-o-leg’s Ramblings, is one of those people I am blessed to have met in my bloggy world.

What was it about her? Maybe it was her gravatar that screamed: Yeah, so what? I’m whimsical and cool, and I like to chill on playground equipment — deal with it.

Or perhaps it was when we first traded barbs in our many epic captioning battles over at
The Good Greatsby’s contests (which he has since sadly retired and I still haven’t forgiven him yet).

But mainly, it’s her personality that shines through her stellar writing: she’s warm, welcoming, witty and I’m big time jealous of her in ways I won’t go into here.  And she’s the Queen of Microsoft’s Paint program. Check out this Pegcasso masterpiece:
Climbing the WordPress Reader.

She’s also a WordPress Recommended Humor Blogger, and has been Freshly Pressed so many fricking times (5 or 6, I lost count),  she had to go and create her own Freshly Pegged award–no doubt the highest blogging honor.

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Now that my gushing’s out of the way, (I love you, Peg!) let’s dig deep into her personal life for our own shallow entertainment! Yeah! I’m sure she won’t mind.

Please, give a warm welcome to my June Blogger of the Month:

Peg-o-leg!

Continue reading “Firsts and Lasts with Pegoleg”

blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with Go Jules Go

Today I woke up and realized, holy guacamole, it’s May? But I still haven’t cleaned up all the confetti and empty gin bottles from New Year’s Day! Someone really ought to do something about this relentless passage of time because it’s getting to be a huge buzzkill.

But then I realized something else…

It’s Blogger of the Month time again!

So I can introduce you all to:

Jules from the beloved and most mustachiest blog:

cropped-gojulesgo-banner-001
Go Jules Go

Her blog has chipmunks, Uncle Jesse, giveaways, dreams of polygamy and epic vlogs. She’s been Freshly Pressed numerous times and is a WordPress Featured Humor Blogger. Plus she’s warm, witty, and probably the sweetest blogger I’ve ever met (we’ve had many marathon phone convos, so you can trust me on that one).

So put on your mustache glasses, raise a glass of pink champagne and indulge in another juicy Firsts and Lasts Interview with Jules!

FIRST:

Don't you carve your dog playing Uno on a pumpkin for Halloween?
Didn’t you carve your dog playing Uno on a pumpkin for Halloween?

Blog Post: Have Mercy, a post about my Australian Labradoodle, Uncle Jesse, in whom I have a mild interest.

Kiss: Evan. I was 7, and we hid under a table in a YMCA playroom, while our moms Jazzercized their troubles away. We held our breath and pushed our mouths together for as long as we could stand to. His lips were like sandpaper.

Pretty sure Evan’s gay now. Surprisingly, I’m not.

Can you blame me?
Oh, Doogie. You make suspension of disbelief look so cute.

Love: Doogie Howser. I’ve always liked gay smart guys.

Psst: FINE. You can read about my real first love here.

Childhood Memory: I was 2, and at my grandparents’ house. I was left upstairs in a crib with pastel-colored bars. I was very upset and felt abadoned. Everyone else was downstairs.

Sure. Just leave me here. I'll be fine.
Sure. Leave me here. I’ll be just fine.

The only reason I remember something from that age is because I saw a picture of the crib years later, and the memory came flooding back.

I’ve done my best to wipe out my abandonment issues memory since then. Cheers!

Moment I met my significant other: Which one? Heh.

Behind every great blogger, there's a chili-head.
Behind every great blogger, there’s a chile-head.

I actually first laid eyes on Husband #1, Peppermeister, when I was 18, in an Intro to Radio class that I dropped shortly thereafter. A year and a half later, we worked together at a school for kids with autism – I recognized him right away.

It took another year and a half, and precisely 5 gin and tonics, for me to molest him make a move.

Possession I would take with me if my house were on fire: Anything Uncle Jesse asks for. Also Uncle Jesse.

In all seriousness, my first thought always goes to “photo albums.”

Time I was pulled over by a cop: Are you mocking me, Darla? [Editor’s note: Never.] You know I just got pulled over recently because my headlights were out…both…of them. The first time (out of 3 times, for those of you keeping score) was shortly after I got my license, and was sitting in a busy intersection, waiting to make a left turn. I had to wait until the light was nearly red before the oncoming traffic stopped and I could make my left – a common occurence, at least here in New Jersey.

My sister may look nice, but she's a real bitch.
My sister may look nice, but she’s a real bitch.

A cop -in an unmarked car and business suit, I might add- pulled me over for that! Bullcrap! I was in tears; didn’t get a ticket (1 ticket out of 3 times being pulled over, thankyouverymuch), but my sister saw me and mocked me mercilessly.

Job I had: Informally: Babysitting. My neighbors trusted me with 3 girls under the age of 5, including an infant, when I was 11. Because that’s how I roll.

You say "You dressed like Amelia Bedelia for a book signing" like it's a bad thing...
You say “You dressed like Amelia Bedelia for a book signing” like it’s a bad thing…

Formally: An indepedent bookstore, when I was 16. It was awesome. I got to open the store by myself and everything. Never got to read on the job, though, which is what everyone thought.

Thing I think God will say to me at the pearly gates: “Are you sure you wouldn’t feel more comfortable downstairs?”

LAST:

Blog Post: A Birthday Serenade.

Chyeah. I know.
Chyeah. I know.

Meal I cooked: Spicy turkey bacon meatloaf.

Movie I saw: Zero Dark Thirty. FINALLY. I guess it was okay. (I’m kidding. It was very good. Did they really waterboard that actor? They must have. I’m kind of obsessed with how actors get booked for torture scenes now.)

Song I listened to: “Too Close” by Alex Clare. Peppermeister and I recorded a cover for my blog, which is totally a piece of cake and not at all scary and I really recommend it. Maybe next I’ll try Whitney Houston or opera.

Reality TV show I watched: The Voice. Two words: Adam. Levine.

Yes.
Yes.

Time I cried: Yesterday. I realized I was 31. 

Time I laughed hysterically: Today. My friends know how to make some funny-ass memes.

Time I told a little white lie: This morning, to myself in the mirror: “No one’s going to be looking at you from the back.”

Time I did something really scary: April was riddled with scary things and the doing of said things. I was in the midst of an intense job interview process, working on the aforementioned song to post on my blog, flying to Texas (Texas!) for a wedding, and more (oh my!)!

Unbelievable things always happen at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Unbelievable things happen to me at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Click for more evidence.

Time I swore like a sailor: Every time I talk to my girlfriends on Facebook. It’s like a f*cking disease.

Good deed I did: I let two nuns give me their coupons at Bed, Bath & Beyond the other day. It made them really happy. Amen.

Indulgence: RIGHT NOW, reading comments about how much you loved this interview.

blogger of the month

First and Last With…The Byronic Man

Welcome again to a new feature where I showcase one blogger for the entire month! This is why I call it ‘Blogger of the Month’. Crazy, huh?

But first I beg them to fill out a juicy “Firsts and Lasts” questionnaire. Y’know…so I can slyly poke fun at them before I put them up on a pedestal. It helps me cope with the jealousy.

Today is my favorite day of the year. Not only is it April Fool’s Day, but it’s also the Official Byronic Man Day! Yes, I’ve made it a day. Hell, why not an entire month?

a75d3669c381eeb7159e50e9f1d599b7His blog, The Byronic Man, is witty, charming, intelligent, funny…it has kick-ass stick figure cartoons, some patient bears, an occasional baby-giggle video, caption contests, Sexy Stalin bracelets. He’s been Freshly Pressed thrice He’s a WordPress Recommended Humor Blogger.  He’s a new father to one adorable baby girl. And he can really rock a red dress.  I’m giddy with excitement to post his photo in my sidebar for the next thirty days.

Please give a warm welcome to…

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FIRST…

Blog post: I wrote a blog previously called The Once Wide World that never really found its footing, despite a couple posts that I’m proud of and bear a certain “Byronic Man-esque” quality. The first post here – “Come On In And Have A Seat. Thanks For Being Here. Everyone Comfortable? Excellent.” – for Byronic Man, though, I wrote with the idea that no one outside my immediate family would ever see it. At least until I was hugely successful and people were combing my archives to be completists. It currently has 1 “like.” [editor’s note: Now it has two]

Kiss: A couple of grade-school proto-kisses. First kiss-kiss type-kiss was junior high, during a high-school football game. It was… not well executed. More like trying to attach two hoses together with the un-complementary ends than a romantic moment.

Love: Refuse to answer on the grounds that it has forced “Puppy Love” to go through my head.

Childhood memory: Lots of fleeting images. A dim stairwell. The old woman next door who would give me Hostess cakes. The first coherent one, though, is first grade. It was dark and cloudy, and we thought the teacher had kept us until nighttime. I was furious that they hadn’t taught us to tell time, enabling them to hijack us into conforming to their schedule.

Moment I met my significant other: I was talking to a former teacher in her office before coming to be a guest speaker in her class. SHE was in the office next door. There was a mirror across the hall enabling us to see each other. I thought we were making flirty eye-contact. She thought she was staring at me without realizing that if she could see me in the mirror, then I could see her.

Time I did something really scary: I genuinely can’t think of the first thing. Weird. I can think of a lot of things that I should have been scared to do, if I hadn’t been so naïve; and things I was scared of for no reason… I remember zip-lining across a river when I was 10. That was scary. And I remember going to a new school when I was 9, and my mom saying I didn’t have to stay if I didn’t like it, so halfway through the day I decided to leave. The principal stopped me to ask where I was going, and I explained, and then he kindly encouraged me to give until the end of the day and then decide.

Thing I think God will say to me at the pearly gates: “You said you wanted to have a word with me?”

38 is my limit.  Got to watch the figure.
38 is my limit. Got to watch the figure.

Time I felt ‘grown-up’: The first time I said, “No thanks; I don’t think I’ll have another marshmallow.”

Time I made someone really laugh:
This one should really be a golden moment, shouldn’t it? Like the moment happens and I look off in to the middle distance seeing my life’s dreams before me? But I have no idea. I remember doing puppet theater when I was a kid, and having a villain puppet who was really over-the-top in his sneering, looming, maniacal-laughing villainy, and he was a big hit, and I thought, “Hm. This is okay.”

Time I realized I was hooked on blogging: As soon as I saw I could put something out there and that it could connect with someone.

Job I had: Dishwasher at an Italian restaurant. The first night the guy who was supposed to show me how to close got drunk and said, “Just, you know, clean up” and waved in the general area of the kitchen. Then he left.

LAST…

Blog Post:Please Hire Me To Be A Twisty Human Car Model;” the latest in my “Please Hire Me” series.

Thing I cooked: Peruvian fish tacos

Movie I saw: It’s been a while since I’ve been to the movie theater; probably Cloud Atlas. At home? We just watched The Five-Year Engagement. Underrated.

Book I read: Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago. Portuguese novel about death taking a year off. Difficult to read, stylistically, but sharply clever and contemplative.

Reality TV show I watched: Walking Dead. Oh, it’s a reality show! Don’t believe the cover-up!

Song I listened to:Province” by TV On The Radio. One of my favorites, and then I just found out David Bowie sings backing vocals. I had to listen again. Brilliant song. Brilliant band. Add David Bowie? Come on. That’s almost too much.

Person I kissed: My daughter.

Eh?  Eh?  Anyone?
Eh? Eh? Anyone?

Time I cried: That time the truck full of people littered by the side of the road and kept driving.

Time I laughed hysterically: When my wife mis-heard the name of a doughnut place here in town as “Glazed & Abused” instead of “Glazed & Amused” and we contemplated a doughnut shop that gives you the bearclaw then punches you in the face.

Time I cursed like a sailor: Had to change out the dryer hose with wall-fixtures the previous owner got “creative” with.

Embarrassing moment: This morning. In the middle of a conversation about struggles a friend is going through (with the friend), my subconscious decided that was a good time to blurt out my great, existential crisis of the moment. I then had to spend 10 minutes trying to redirect and swearing that I really didn’t want to hijack the conversation to me.

Good deed I did: Offered to help someone move a bunch of stuff, then they didn’t need me to. Don’t you love that?

Indulgence: A burger and a beer for lunch, followed by a nap. The nap, in particular. [editor’s note: Always nap when the baby naps. Always nap when the baby’s not napping. Always nap.]

blogger of the month

First and Last…with Elyse from FiftyFourandAHalf

Welcome to a new feature where I showcase a blogger every month!
It’s super cool and totally unoriginal!

Plus, Elyse really is the cat’s meow–you’ll love her, her writing and her blog.

So go on over and be sure to check out her two, yes, TWO Freshly Pressed posts, both with the words “Hey Doc” in the title.

Oh and she has two Academy awards! Well, she had them in her possession for at least a full minute or two. And in my book, that counts.

BLOGGER OF THE MONTH: MARCH 2013

Elyse

Name: Elyse

Blog: FiftyFourandAHalf

FIRST…

Blog Post:   Hello WorldInterestingly, it was about how they were going to change Medicare eligibility for folks over 55 – I was 6 months away and it seemed horribly unfair.  That was close to two years ago and I was 54-1/2.  Today I read that they’re talking about changing it for folks over 59.  I am 56.  Shit.

Kiss:  Ricky after our first date to see The Sword and the Stone.
Free_wallpaper_The_Sword_In_The_Stone
Ricky and I were 7 – he was the brother of my sister Beth’s date.  His brother made him kiss me goodnight.  We were both mortified.

Love:  Eddie in 9th/10th grade.  He had Type I diabetes (the only fight we had was when he wouldn’t eat the birthday cake I’d made for him.  I was a dope and didn’t understand).  I just Googled him.  Sadly he died in 2006 from complications of his diabetes.  I only just found out.

Childhood Memory:  I can clearly recall standing in my crib, not feeling very well.  My sisters in their beds across the room weren’t feeling very well either.  My mother was leaning over me, changing my sheets and said “Leasie, you can’t throw up again.  This is the last clean crib sheet.”  Guess what happened next!

gnome_throwing_up_rainbows_by_sublit-d5bt6g9

Moment I met my significant other:  I wrote about meeting my husband in this post:  A Love (?) Story

Time I did something really scary:  I grew up next to the New York-New Haven Railroad.  My brother and I used to wait for a train to round the bend about ½ mile away.  Then we’d pull down our pants and hop across the tracks with our pants between our ankles and our knees.  Thinking of it makes me shudder.

Time I felt ‘grown-up’:  The first time I bought my own socks.  Sometime around 1976, although I didn’t note the date.  I should have.  Nobody should have to spend their hard-earned money on socks.

ugly socks

Job I had:

Lobbyist responsible for getting Congress to designate 1985 as “The Oil Heat Centennial.”  I wish I were making that up.

Thing I think God will say to me at the pearly gates: “Elyse, you won’t need any more stinkin’ poop jokes up here.”

LAST…

Blog Post: A post for the THIS One Should Have Been Freshly Pressed series over at
Peg-o-leg’s Ramblings blog: Corrective Packaging

Thing I cooked:  Eggs over easy

Movie I saw:  Lincoln  (I don’t get out much)

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Book I read:  Ripple by Bloggin’ Buddy E.L. Farris of Running from Hell with El.  It is fantastic.

Music I listened to:  Linda Ronstadt’s “Don’t Cry Now” on the radio just as I got to work.

Reality TV show I watched:  I don’t.  Ever.  I do read the “recraps” from Speaker7, though.  I don’t understand the popularity of reality TV shows.  I don’t understand why anyone would want to participate in one.  I don’t understand what the world is coming to that this a major form of “entertainment.”  Any one of us bloggers could come up with a creative idea for a TV show.  Shoot me before you force me to watch a reality show, please.

Slide1

Person I kissed:  Cooper, my dog, this morning on my way out the door.  Dogs are people too.  And yes, my husband knows.

Time I cried:  Wait you want the dark stuff, too?  Just now, when I read that my very first real boyfriend (9th/10th grade) had died in 2006.

Time I laughed hysterically:  When I saw the pictures on your “Very Bad Profile Pics” post.  You are hilarious! [editor’s note: I really didn’t write this answer and no money changed hands, I swear.]

Embarrassing moment:  Isn’t that what my blog is all about? [editor’s note: Why yes, it is.]

Good deed I did:  Not running over that bicyclist last night who cut in front of me in traffic while dressed completely in black with no light and no reflective thingys on his bike.  Really, I should have gunned it.

Indulgence:  Milk Chocolate.  Not the dark crap that is supposedly healthy.

wonka