Scientists and Hollywood can agree on one thing: It’s only a matter of time before the Earth is destroyed. Most likely by an asteroid. Possibly as early as this evening. That’s because scientists at the PanSTARRS observatory in Hawaii tell us astroid TB145 will have a near-miss with the Earth tonight around 5:45 p.m. (PST).
The discovery of this asteroid was made from the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System on Oct. 10.
That’s Oct. 10 of THIS MONTH, people!
Thanks for the heads-up, scientists! That’s plenty of time to prepare for the destruction of civilization by organizing survival kits, loading the car and then driving it off the nearest cliff. Scientists assure us that, although “relatively close” to Earth, TB145 is no real threat. Keep in mind these are the same scientists who, using the most sophisticated surveylance system on the planet, overlooked something roughly the size of the Titanic rolling through our solar system. (More at LAP)
Parents used to be satisfied with sonogram images of their child developing in the womb, even though, for all we knew, we were actually watching video footage of a school of mackerel on a depth finder.
“And if you look closely, you can see your baby … right … about … whoops! It’s gone. Something must’ve scared it.”
The doctor would then print copies of these images, which we carried in our wallets to share with family, friends, and anyone unfortunate enough to make brief eye contact. At the end of nine months, the only real expectation any of us had for our child was that they come out headfirst. Laughably, we actually felt it was enough for them to grow from a microscopic egg into a full-fledged human child within nine months.
Nine years ago tonight, I had my first date. I was 40. It’s not that I hadn’t been on other dates in my life. It’s just that, from the very first moment we took each other’s hands, none of the others seemed to matter anymore.
Because nothing compared to this one.
The best one.
The last one I’ll ever want.
Both of us were recently divorced after long, unhappy marriages. We both had two children at home. And both of us had joined a dating website a month earlier within a few days of each other. Fate, it seemed, had already set things into motion. Nine years and one pair of wedding rings later, I’m still thanking fate each and every day…
Oct. 28, 2006:
My search for a red rose after making the hour-long drive to Salem for our first date had put me behind. Coupled with the fact that I hadn’t been on a real date in nearly 20 years, had lost 23 pounds since my divorce several months earlier, and was driving a Plymouth Voyager mini-van, I technically had four strikes against me already. Plus, after several weeks of chatting together on Match.com and long evening phone calls, she had finally posted her profile picture. When I saw it, I realized I wasn’t only in danger of striking out before our date even started:
For some of you, Halloween is an exciting time that allows you to bond with your child by making their Halloween-costume dream come true.
For the rest of us, it was a time when we crossed our fingers and prayed that our child’s “Halloween costume dream” was hanging on a rack somewhere at Walmart. Because if it wasn’t, we’d have to make something, and therefore put our child’s emotional health at risk by creating a costume that could potentially scar them for life.
After more than 30 years, I still remember my mother carefully wrapping me in layer after layer of tissue in order to turn me into a frightening replica of The Mummy — and how it took less than five minutes for a light drizzle to turn me into the considerably LESS frightening Soggy Toilet Paper Man. Things weren’t much better the following year, when I dressed-up as a pirate and missed-out on all of the good candy after spending 45 minutes with my plastic hook stuck in the car door. By the time I hit the streets all that was left were Sweet Tarts and half-opened rolls of breath mints. Continue reading Scariest part of Halloween? Finding costumes that don’t emotionally scar your kids
It’s been more than five hours since the little graphic to the left appeared on my Facebook page after the final votes and judges’ scores were tabbulatabulei added up for this week’s round of Performance of the Year competition at The Public Blogger.
Why the delay?
I’d like to say it was because, after several margaritas and a donkey ride (at least I think it was a donkey) in Tijuana, Mexico, (at least I think it was a Tijuana) in celebration, I passed out in wheel barrow and was being carried back through customs when I was detained for slurring and yelling “Mi esssss Numero UNO, senior Policia!” over an over until I lost my enchiladas on the shoes of a border patrol agent.
I’d like to say that, but the reason for the delay is much less colorful and, admittedly, a lot less forgivable:
I got sidetracked with work on an early deadline after posting the results on my *sigh* Facebook page.
With less than two hours remaining before voting closes in the third round of the Performance of the Year competition at The Public Blogger, I thought I’d share an update on where I am in the rankings — and thank you for keeping me in the top three against some stiff competition. I suppose it’s too late to add a stanza to my poem that reads:
Judges are wonderful,
judges carry our hopes,
if they score me well,
I promise to loosen their ropes.
The judges’ scoring, which accounts for 30% of our total score, hasn’t been included yet. That means, depending on how they score my poem (and judging by their initial scoring, it won’t be much), I could drop me a little further depending on how many more votes roll in before the 10 a.m. deadline.
Either way, I still feel fairly confident I’ll make it through this round somewhere IN THE TOP 7! I say that with ALL-CAPS and an EXCLAMATION point to sound CONFIDENT! Even though, as I write this, I am in a fetal position under my desk…
For those of you following my pursuit of Performance of the Year, voting for round three has opened! This week, each of us has been asked to submit something out of our genre and comfort zone. I chose poetry, which is well beyond my comfort zone and borders on The Twilight Zone. Especially since I was not allowed to use any humor in writing an introstpective piece called “At The River’s Edge.”
My goal was to create something visual, relatable and rhythmic that was perfectly measured — 5-word stanzas, 5 stanzas, all adding up to an equal number (including the title and byline) which is 100. I also wanted it to be a journey, to a place and back again, finishing where it started but with a new perspective — like T.S. Elliot’s famous quote about exploring, and returning the beginning only to rediscover it.
The result of my poetic endeavor, as well as the other seven talented nominees’submmissions, are on this week’s episode of “A Star Is Born.” Last week, in addition to having the honor of becoming a finalist in this talented group of artists, I also remained in the No. 1 spot for the second straight week. Thank You ALL so much for that. This week, in addition to public voting, the competition will also include three judges whose decision also weighs in on who stays and who goes — so your votes are especially important now.
You can cast your vote between now and 10 a.m. tomorrow morning (Oct. 26). Final results — and the next nominee to be eliminated — will be revealed at noon.
Below you’ll find the link for voting. It will take you to my Facebook page first. Please “Like” the FB link (accounts for 25% of our score) and then follow it to The Public Blogger to vote (70% of our score). As I mentioned last week, even if you don’t vote for me, please DO vote. It’s a terrific group of folks who have become my friends.
And they’ll still be my friends even if I get voted out. Assuming they’ll answer my calls.
Again, my sincere and appreciative THANK YOU to all of you for helping get this far.
Now please… Vote HERE (Look for this image on my FB page)
For tonight’s third round of Performance of the Year competition at The Public Blogger, each of us remaining eight nominees has been asked to submit a piece in a genre outside of our comfort zone; but something we’d like to become better at. As I learned while wearing a red thong, me doing anything in a genre involving being nearly naked simply makes everyone ELSE uncomfortable. So artisticly expressive nude selfies were definitely out.
At a young age, I was inspired by the amazing imagery of T.S. Elliot. For this reason, I chose poetry. I wasn’t allowed to include humor in it, which meant I had to dig deeply. My first few attempts weren’t that great.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Poetry is hard
See what I mean?
At any rate, I submitted my five-stanza poetry piece called “At The River’s Edge” and it will premier tonight at 7 p.m., along with the other talented nominees’ new works in areas outside of their normal genre of creativity. There will be sculpture, videos, music, paintings and song lyrics.
Incidentally, no one chose “humor writing,” by the way.
It started with an instant message from a blogger friend about another blogger who is trying to escape an abusive relationship. Her options? Stay where she is in the eye of the hurricane or take to the streets in hopes of finding somewhere to weather the storm.
Fortunately for this young woman, one of her friends is Not a PunkRocker. And by that I don’t mean all her other friends are punkrockers and she’s lucky that one of them isn’t. Because we all know too many punkrockers spoil the broth. Or how many punkrockers it takes to screw in a lightbulb.
A few months ago, I went from wearing nothing but red thong while climbing around the sand dunes, to being a first responder at a multi-car accident with a car fire — all in a span of about 15 minutes. It’s a long story that, if you aren’t squeamish (and by that, I mean about the image of me in a red thong), you can read it here. Long story short, the experience was a reminder of how unpredictable life can be, and how, in an instant, circumstances can change from ridiculous to surreal. And I’m not just talking about being at a Justin Bieber concert. After five years as a volunteer firefighter, I’ve had plenty of tapouts change family dinners to warmed-up leftovers, or the first long kiss of a romantic evening into a goodbye hug and a porch light waiting for me when I get home. They are reminders that life isn’t really day-by-day as much as we’d like to think — but is truly lived minute-by-minute.