Thursday, January 21, 2010

Writer's Challenge A Go Go

It's that time of the week - time for Mama Kat's Writer's Challenge. So here are this weeks topics:
1.) I recently read all about the importance of us bloggers developing an “Elevator Pitch” via one of my new favorite blogs. According Wikipedia and Elevator Pitch is “an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds or 100-150 words).” Create one short (a sentence long) and one longer (100 – 150 words) Elevator Pitch describing what your blog is about.
(inspired by Darren from Problogger)

2.) The strangest dream ever…
(inspired by Amo from Where A Woman Shakes Her Tablecloth.)

3.) Write a list of 10 things that can be done to stave off boredom.
(inspired by Lourie from CA Girl).

4.) “How many homes have you had? Write a journal entry about ALL the places you’ve called ‘home’ in your life.”
(inspired by

5.) “Why wouldn’t they just start over? Write a story where a character refuses to go back to square one.”
(inpired by

Given that I am running a bit short of time, I am going to only do #s 1, 2, 3, and 4. You'll have to visit Mama Kat to see about those who tackled #5.

#1 - First the short version:
The random ramblings of an over-observant obsessive.
Then the longer version:
My day to day rants, raves, observations, and punish humor. Originally started to get my writing muscles back in tone, but now continuing because it is fun. One of the few blogs with absolutely no commercial interest. No solicited reviews, giveaways, ads, or pushes to go see the ring of connected commercialism that is much of blogging.

#2 -  I already brushed on this topic in this post. The full version runs thus.
I had a very vivid dream. As I was strolling down the path, I was accosted by a group of pygmies chanting and dancing. Since they spoke no English and I spoke no Pygmy, communication was difficult. Eventually it became somewhat clear that the pygmies had formed a company to commercialize and market their rib sauce that had been passed down from elder to younger since the dawn of time. Their claim was that it was the world's best rib sauce. Suddenly I was buried under a mass of pygmies who were all chanting

Bar Be Que
Bar Be Que
We Eat You!

And then I woke up.

#3 - Some quick time wasters:
  • Read Google's News Headlines
  • Conduct random web searches
  • Add up the numbers of your social security number, your date of birth, and your telephone number to see if the total is divisible by eleven
  • Chew the end of a ballpoint pen
  • Practice levitating 
  • Write your obituary 
  • Visit  
  • Visit
  • Send and read twits via Twitter
  • Write on your blog

#4 - I have lived in 13 places since birth. It starts with the little house on the left side in this aerial picture:

I spent from age 0 to ~3 living there.

Next we moved into town to a house that I remember primarily because it had wagon wheels painted green and white for a fence. The wheels were taller than I was and fascinated me greatly.  We were there a year or so. (The house still stands today, but the wagon wheels disappeared sometime in the 80's)

From there we moved to a small stucco house with a large picture window on the edge of dry land field. I talked about this house here. It was in an unincorporated oil field exploration community of maybe 30 houses and not much else.

Then we moved to a town of about 350 in Nebraska. That was where I attended kindergarten through third grade. I remember that house because it has a big back yard and grape vines. Perfect for my brother and I and the neighborhood kids to play army and cowboys and indians. One of the adjacent houses was built underground since the area got hit with tornadoes year after year and they got tired of rebuilding. I suffered my first crush on an older woman when the neighbor's daughter gave me an old pair of her roller skates.

We moved back here to this town in time for me to start fourth grade. It is the house that mom still lives in today. What I remember from the early years is that the house had been built in the first quarter of the century by a local craftsman who used no milled lumber. Every piece of the frame was hand adzed to size and shape and no two were the same. So when we remodeled it was an interesting type of do-it-your-self project. It was also full of mysterious things like a family bible from the old country in German, etc. Fortunately the next door neighbor knew a bit about the history and the family who had lived there.

Then I went away to college and lived in a dorm and then a frat house. On the way from college to graduate school, L and I got married and arrived in California to find no housing available for us due to a snafu. We eventually found an apartment in a complex after spending some time on a fellow grad students spare bunk bed set. The complex stands out for being painted in brown, brown, and more brown as was typical in California at the time. After a couple of years we rented a nice little duplex that had a private patio and a fireplace. It sat less than half a block from the green belt through the town and was a gorgeous place.

After graduate school, we moved to the suburbs of Chicago and a ground floor apartment in Naperville. It was all white and had shag carpeting. We lived there for three years and experienced some real firsts there. The first time we had a car stolen, the first time with -50F temperatures causing ice to form on the inside walls even with the heat on, and the first time living near an abusive couple. Needless to say, we were ready to move on from the Chicago area.

Then it was off to Manhattan Beach, CA. We rented a house for the first year and it was a typical beach community bungalow, with a full size swimming pool in the back yard. It had roses in the front yard and a huge hedge along one side of the lot. It also had termites.

The next year, L and I bought our first place - a unit in a triplex in Redondo Beach - just up the road a ways. Our unit was gray stucco and 3 stories tall with an underground garage. It was during our years there that we found out we were going to have the Son.

Finally, we moved back here where we have lived for the last 20+ years. The Son was born and grew up here. You can see what the interior of the house looks like here. It is a big ranch style house with a brick exterior and attached garage. It was built in the 60's and the only other owner is the the doctor that is my eye specialist. I went to school with some of his kids, including a younger one named Dan, so you might say it has come full circle.


  1. Hahaha that is an awesome dream! I wrote on #2 and it involved a pygmy marmoset.

  2. Wow, that is some dream! Wow! Stopping by from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop!

  3. Scary, but I remember your pygmy dream as you were on the menu.

    Love the time wasters. I'm particularly found of "Add up the numbers of your social security number, your date of birth, and your telephone number to see if the total is divisible by eleven" but am thinking if you stopped chewing pens you might not have had the pygmy dream.

  4. I love your mission statement. Though I am not new to blogging, I am new to the "mommy bloggers" and Why do they give away so much stuff? And you have to do like, 50 things to "enter" to win? It's like self-hosted spam.

    I am a Marketing Professional, and I appreciate your clean design, and good writing skills.

  5. I love the dream, that is too funny! Glad you 'escaped' from that one. Your elevator pitch is great too. (Almost makes me feel bad that I am one of those who hosts giveaways and is trying to create a market for my product) Excellent list of things to do, that's the post I did, only a little more in depth since it's the only prompt I chose. I am amazed when I meet or talk to people that can actually list and remember all the places they've lived. I don't even want to try, I can barely remember all the schools I went to! Thanks for sharing!

  6. That dream was something! I wonder what it means...

    And I like your boredom busters. I think anyone with a blog is never bored ... there is always someting to write about, comments to leave and so forth.

  7. Great pitch, love the simplicity of your blog and the boredom killer is amazing, will have to give that social security number a try LOL :)

  8. Your dream cracked me up! And I will hav to try some of your boredom busters, especially adding up my fact, I think I am bored right now..

  9. :D you just couldn't resist reminding me of those pygmies could you Dan? LOL

  10. That is seriously the weirdest dream in the world : ) Or at least that I have read all day!

    I am glad you have a pitch ready. Do you use it ever? : )

    I have to go. I see a ball point pen beckoning!

  11. I have actually written my obituary before, and now i'm trying to live up to it...

  12. Interesting how your eye doctor was the previous owner of your current domain. I'm so cool...see how I used that big fancy, schmancy word "domain"? Yup, I'm awesome.

    Am I a part of that blog community you speak of? My brain was so wrapped up in trying to correctly use the word "domain" that I couldn't understand what you were saying. :D


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