Thursday, December 23, 2010


Just like many other writers & bloggers...
I too will be taking some time off for the holidays.
But not before I give you a nugget from my noggin.

Writing without knowing craft & technique...
Is like cutting your own hair...
Only you think it looks good...
Everyone else can see it lacks style

Wishing you a Merry Christmas…
Happy New Year too…
I’ve just one wish for you next year…
That all your dreams come true.
Be safe…
Be joyous…
Be writing.
Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I hate to be such a whiner
But when something traumatic happens
Guess it's all I can think or write about.
“Mom, the baby’s ears are full of puss. It’s a bad infection.”
“What did the doctor say to do?”
“Put saline drops up his nose.”
“That’s it?”
“He might have to put tubes in his ears.”
Three days later
Ringtone Ringtone
“WAAaaaaaa. WAAaaaaaa!”
“Are you OK?”
“No! My ears are infected. I swear! There’s bubbling,
groaning and squeaky noises inside of them.”
“Did you try saline?”
“And movement. It’s like there are aliens in them.”
"Mom, put some saline in your nose.”
“Saline my butt! I need a triple shot of tequila to kill the pain!
I now have a new respect for babies and toddlers…
Who always seem to have infected ears…
And have no way of telling their parents…
Other than tugging their earlobes and crying…
Just how much pain they’re in.
I just saw my grandson on Sunday…
And puss be damned…
The kid was running, jumping, and laughing.
I don’t know how he did it…
Because I’ve never felt such pain in my life…
(well, birthing a baby is)
I didn’t go to the doctor for antibiotics…
One, because I don’t have one right now
(my GP left his practice and I haven’t found a new one)
Two, I like the body’s immune system to do it’s job
Three, I could barely take myself to the bathroom…
Let alone get in a car and drive.
But I did put 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear…
Plus warm saline solution (in the ear)…
Took massive vitamin C…
Maitake mushroom…
Aleve to dry up…
And hunkered down on the couch.
Drinking tea with lemon.
The only good thing is
I watched Holiday Inn…
With Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire
That I've never seen before.
My ears this morning?
Praise the Lord the pain is gone…
But I can hardly hear a thing…
And that’s OK…
I can handle that.
Anyone know of other remedies for ears?
Just in case the infection reoccurs.

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, December 20, 2010


So today’s post isn’t all holiday festive…
It's about life…
And its decline.
I’ve been visiting someone near to me…
Who’s in a nursing home.
It’s a sobering place for sure…
And as I walk out of there everyday…
I get a better perspective on life because…
OK, I haven’t found an agent yet…
Let alone be published…
I can still walk!
Trust me…
Never mind worrying about losing your mind when you get older…
Worry about losing your ability to walk…
Not only so you can escape from nursing homes…
Because trust me…
If you still have your mind, you’ll want to…
But more important…
You need to walk to take your own rear end to the bathroom
Because not being able to walk is the criteria…
For who gets escorted to the bathroom…
And who gets stuck wearing adult diapers.
I’m not making fun of residents in a nursing home…
All I’m saying is…
Never stop exercising!
As I’m sitting and writing now
I'm doing butt squinches.
And if you sit on yours
As much as I do mine
You should be too.

Always, Em-Musing
P.S. So, this is the post I was too afraid to post
        last Friday. Distasteful or no biggie? 

Friday, December 17, 2010


I just got censored!
I wrote something this morning
Was just about ready to "publish post"
Kept re-reading it until I
Got scared
That what I wrote
Would be criticized
Found distasteful
Laughed at
And I would become the pariah of bloggers.
I'm finding this behavior of mine weird.
I usually don't care what others think about me
Or my writing.
And what I wrote wasn't even about about religion or politics
I'm going to have to think about this new behavior of mine.
Has this ever happened to you?
Have you ever been afraid to write/blog
What you're really thinking?

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It’s almost 2011…
So will someone please tell me why…
After 27 years…
Microsoft WORD is still a dinosaur?
I was at my daughter’s last night…
I had picked  my grandson up from school…
Then went to her house and made dinner.
(Mexican chicken lime soup w/fried tortillas & taquitos)
My daughter is an environmental scientist…
(yes, mom’s allowed to brag)
She had been at an out-of-town meeting with an angry client…
Regarding a project her company was working on.
The biggest complaint from the client?
Formatting errors on the report due to…
Here it comes
You ain’t gonna believe it…
“Really?” I asked her. “Formatting errors?”
“Yeah. When we cut and pasted info from a previous report–”
“Wait,” I said, “let me guess. The formatting, fonts and paragraph settings
kept defaulting to the document you cut from.”
“It was mess, she said. “Problem was, we had only a few hours to
generate this report, and no one could proof read it.”
Though I’m not an environmental scientist by any stretch of the imagination…
(however I do try to be “green” as often as possible)
Seems WORD and proof-reading
Have brought my writing world…
And my daughter’s science world…
That much closer.
The whole world needs a proof-reader
And I could do without WORD’s idiosyncrasies.
How about you?
Have WORD, have problems?

Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I don’t know if you think like me…

But if you do…
You’re always looking for clues…
To see if you’re getting Alzheimer’s.
So when I saw this ad header…
On my AOL home page:
Worried It’s Alzheimer’s?
Eight Symptoms to Watch For: Confusion Over Words
I just had to check out the symptoms.
Now I’m not making fun of Alzheimer’s mind you…
I’m just saying, hmm?
Below is one of the symptoms: note: I’ve included writing
 1)    Does the person have difficulty finding the “right” word
       when speaking? (writing)
       Of course, it’s normal to occasionally blank on a word, especially
       words not often used. But it’s considered a red flag for Alzheimer’s
       if this happens with growing frequency and if the needed words are
       simple or commonplace ones.  By
Finding the right word is something I always obsess over.
Or should I say:

See what I mean?
I’ve used the Word thesaurus function so much…
That the link is worn thin.
I've got OTD - Obsessive Thesaurus Disorder
Please! Is there a support group for this?
If so, where do I sign up?

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Guess it’s no wonder…
Considering my upcoming trip to New York
And all the holiday parties I’ll be attending…
That new lyrics to “New York, New York
Popped into my head.
Please, feel free to sing along.

Start spreading the cheese
It’s that time of year
But I want no part of it
Blue cheese, blue cheese

These holiday feasts, all include these
The dips ‘n balls ‘n canapés of
Blue cheese, blue cheese 

I wanna go to a party, just once in my life
And find no Roquefort or Stilton, and no rind of brie 

These stinky old cheeses
Have the same mold
That grows in basements and caves
At least that’s what I’m told 

I don’t care if you slice it up or melt it down
I still won’t eat—blue cheese, blue cheese

So? Are you a lover of the mold?

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, December 13, 2010

THE "END." . . . OR IS IT?

“Open” quotation marks.
There’s never an issue with them…
No one challenges it…
Probably because there’s no option where to put it.
But an “end” quotation mark…
Now that’s a different issue.
Of course if you are using quotation marks…
To indicate dialog in a sentence…
You end the sentence with either  .” or ?” or !”
But what if you are not using dialog…
And the last word of your sentence…
You want to be in quotes”…
You want to be in quotes…”
Doesn’t it look odd to put the ellipse inside the quotation marks?
And why you may ask, am I even asking?
Because in my newly revised query letter…
The opening “hook” sentence…
Ends with a word in quotes for emphasis, but it's not dialog.
Let’s say the word is end”.
Let’s say the word is end.”
My inclination is to put the period outside the "end" quote
Because the word is not dialog.
So, of course checked The Elements of Style
Didn't find an answer there, so I Googled it…
And found there's a choice
Depending on where you live.
Here in the States, the punctuation is inside the "end" quote
While over in Britain…
It’s preferred the way I prefer…
Keeping the quotation marks…
Right next to the word if the word is not dialog, no matter what.
So, big deal, and who cares, you might say. 
Well, if I punctuate my way…
It’s going to look like I’ve made a mistake in the first line…
And the agent will either thing that I’m sloppy and didn’t proofread or…
I’m an idiot!
And I can’t very well put a disclaimer saying,
Oh, by the way, don’t mind my punctuation, 
I’m using British grammar rules.
How do you think I should punctuate
The first line in my query?
1)   end.”   -  The American way?
2)   end”.    -  The British way?

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, December 9, 2010


OK, I’m done posting about Fran Lebowitz…
But not New York…
Because—tah tah tah DAH!
I’m going
Right after Christmas for a few days
Specifically to see West Side Story on Broadway!
Way back, when it first appeared on Broadway…
I didn’t get to see it…
And for the past year, I’ve been procrastinating…
About going to see the revival.
Well the last show will be on January 2nd.
And I refuse to miss my chance.
So, now that I’ve booked my flight and hotel and got the tickets…
I’m thinking about wardrobe…
(mine, not the cast’s)
Specifically, about what coat and shoes I’ll wear.
I want to be comfortable and warm.
So, with comfy and warm in mind…
I recently, I bought a pair of black velour slacks (comfy and warm)…
That I plan on wearing to NYC—at least on the plane and walking round.
Yesterday, while at a voiceover gig…
I mentioned to the young (3 decades younger than me) female engineer…
That I’ve rediscovered the wonders of velour.
“I wouldn’t be caught dead in velour," she said.
"And especially if it has an elastic waistband.”
(mind didn’t)
“Why?” I asked. It’s so–”
“It’s not stylish. I only wear jeans.”
I didn’t comment…
After all, what was the point?
On the way home I began analyzing…
When did I give up style for comfort?
And if I was her age now, which way would I be leaning?
Probably style.
Is it yet one more sign of old age…
When you care less what others think about how you look…
And just want to go for comfy and warm?
What do you think? What would you wear?

Always, Em-Musing

P.S. I am going to wear the velour, but I’ll “style” it up.

Hmm? This was in my email just a few minutes ago from Stein Mart.The Perfect Gift: 19.96 Velour Sets 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


After researching more on Fran Lebowitz…
I’ve learned she wrote two books…
Metropolitan Life & Social Studies
(Again? Where has my head been?)
And they’re both now in a collection called:
The Fran Lebowitz  Reader
I’ve decided…
Merry Christmas early to me—from me!
I’m going to buy The Fran Lebowitz  Reader.
After even more research…
I came upon this article written by Cynthia Heimel…
That appeared in the 1981 September 14th addition of New York
Where Ms. Heimel interviewed Fran.
I think Fran’s take on writing is hysterical.
 “Writing is the diametric opposite of having fun. All of life, as far as I’m concerned, is an excuse not to write. I just write when fear overtakes me. It causes paralytic terror. It’s really scary just getting to the desk—we’re talking now five hours. My mouth gets dry, my heart beats fast. I react psychologically the same way other people react with a plane loses an engine.” She has many ways to avoid writing: talking on the phone, collecting wrapping paper, sleeping, reading every book she can get her hands on (“The English faggots were the best”), driving around in her Checker Marathon, hanging around with Paloma Picasso, and discovering suspicious lumps on her body. She is an incredible hypochondriac—the only thing she fears more than writing is going to the doctor.
The article also included photos of Fran. 
While reading the article and looking at the photos…
I began to have a strange reaction to Fran.
I was somewhat attracted to her, though not in a romantic way…
Yet there was something
I suddenly realized… 
She looks exactly like the therapist I was seeing in the ‘80’s!
(for therapy, not dating)
Oh, too weird, too weird!
I’m going to research my brain for awhile
To find out if my fascination with Fran Lebowitz
Is more about me than her.

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, December 6, 2010


Over the decades…
My demeanor has morphed…
Or perhaps I should say, my true demeanor has gone into hiding.
Years ago when I moved from New York to the Midwest…
I used to hear, “You’re so stuck up.”
Actually, I was pitifully, pitifully shy.
Then I used to hear, “You’re so sarcastic.”
Actually, I thought I was being funny.
But the truth is…
If I had said it to a New Yorker, they wouldn’t have even noticed.
So somewhere along the way…
Of trying to fit in the Midwest…
And making friends…
My persona acquiesced…
And I lost that New York edge.
Well, the other day, I found it!
I was watching HBO’s  “Public Speaking”…
A documentary about Fran Lebowitz and …
God! I love Fran’s New York edge!
Here are a few of Fran’s quotes that I particularly love.

Your life story would not make a good book. Don't even try.”

"All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal. It's horrible to feel felonious every second of the day. It's much more relaxing to actually write." 

“Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.”

“When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough.”

"Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publications." 

Uh oh?
I think she’s got me on this one.
Anyway, here’s a quote of  mine that I used to say
(only in my head for fear of insulting anyone)
“Never ask a New Yorker for their opinion…
if you can't take hearing the truth.”
So? Let me hear your thoughts
On, Fran and New Yorkers, 

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, December 3, 2010


4:45 A.M.
The day started off OK…
I blogged, social networked…
But somewhere between my coffee and my shower…
It felt like layers of different days were intruding into each other.
(Lord! Am I still dreaming?)
I took a shower, hoping the steam…
Would clear either my clogged sinuses
Or at least the images that kept flooding into my brain…
From yesterday, today and…
(I knew it! Impending insanity!)
I went downstairs, took the 2 x 4 away from bracing the door…
(Just so the EMS could get in if I was reported missing for 3 days)
And turned on TV, hoping to get a grip on reality with the news.
But when I clicked on the remote…
Last night’s channel was still on–HBO
And the documentary, "Public Speaking" about Fran Lebowitz
Was just starting (produced by Martin Scorsese).
Silly me, as I went and got a carbonated bottle of water…
(I’m prone to tachycardia and burping helps)
I was thinking that the show was about Annie Leibovitz, the photographer.
Easy mistake Annie/Franny  Leibovitz/Lebowitz)
I sat on the couch, took a swig waiting to belch…
And watched the entire documentary on Fran Lebowitz.
See how the universe works?
I NEVER take mid-morning TV breaks…
So if it wasn’t for me freaking out  thinking I was having…
A bursting aneurism, a heart attack, or going crazy…
I never would have caught this documentary of Fran Lebowitz.
I think I’m in love!
Could the woman be more funny? Sardonic? Iconic?
And lord! Where have I been all my adult life not to know—she’s a writer.
(living a Midwest life)
So now, I will of course Google everything I can about Fran…
And she may inspire my blog posts for next week too.
So hey! If you don't like the posts, don’t blame me
Blame the universe.

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, December 2, 2010


“V” – the blood the vampires drink on True Blood?
“V” – the TV show?
“V” – Magazine?
“V” – the chip?
“V” – I.P?
6:45 A M
Ring Ring
“Mom! The baby just v–”
“Shh!  Please don’t say the ‘V’ word.”
“Can you–”
“Yeah, yeah.I know the drill.”
8:30 A.M.
I ask you…
Does this look like the face a kid who just “V"d?

I think the kid is playing us.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The good news is…
I didn’t hurl yesterday.
(Yeesh! Is there any good way to describe this bodily function?)
The bad news was…
I felt like I was going to all day long…
Plus I had the chills and ached.
The good new is…
I used this quasi-sickness…
To get out of doing stuff all day long.
“Sorry, I can’t meet with you, I’ feel like I might vomi–”
“No, no! That’s OK . . . we’ll meet another time. Really!”
I also used it not to cook.
It’s amazing how creative you can be with crackers.
And actually smelling onions sautéing might have put me over the edge.
By mid-day…
Having allowed myself not to do my normal routine…
I realized—what was I? A kid?
I used to behave like this when I was ten.
“Mom, I’ve got a stomach ache. Can’t go to school today.”
It almost always worked.
So, at 3:00, I decided I should at least get some writing in for the day.
But when I sat down in front of my laptop…
Oh no! Something strange was happening!
Big white words kept scrolling on a pitch black screen.
And NOTHING I did could shut it down.
(Thank heavens I’m backed-up with Carbonite)
I anxiously called the computer geek store.
“Sounds like you have a corrupt driver.”
In a New York minute, I packed up and raced out the door.
“Look!” What’s going on?” I said to the young geek.
(I know, I know. His mamma wouldn’t like me calling him that)
He then pressed a button and my laptop instantly shut down.
“Well, I did try that,” I said emphatically. “Honestly, I did.”
He then rebooted my laptop and all drivers were working fine.
I left with laptop under my arms and my tail between my legs.
On the drive home it suddenly occurred to me…
My laptop actedjust like I did…
In “quasi” crash mode.
Hmm? Is the universe trying to make a point?
If soGOT IT!
So? Have you ever feigned being sick to get out of doing something?