Friday, February 24, 2012

Through the Looking Glass: Guide Dog Puppy at the Zoo

Credit: sxc.hu/aklepsteen
A Dog's Day at the Zoo 
The poem was inspired by this photo of a Guide Dog puppy in a training session at the zoo.

Puppies in training…a day at the zoo 

They have a job… to learn how to do 
Be eyes and ears - for others in need 

Of a guide dog to help - them to succeed 
Read More 



Backstory

I LOVE this photo! If I were going to write a children's book, it'd be the cover. Found the photo when I took an assignment from the Yahoo! Contributor Network Desk to write a poem based on an image. Although there's no upfront payment involved, the poem assignments are one of my favorites because they get me into more of a creative thinking (and writing) zone. 

This pic had so many ways to go for a concept to poeticize like "Let's Do Lunch...or Not" or "How Much is that Big Kitty in the Window?" or "You Ain't Nothin' but a Cheetah"or "What chyou Lookin' At?"... corny stuff like that. Ultimately went with a two-sides of the fence glass of "working critters" theme.

Some animal advocates are really against zoos, but I'm not so sure that born free and living in the rough and tough wild is all that great either. Yet I'm an advocate for saving rain forests and wildlife sanctuaries and all that stuff, but I've always liked zoos too. Although I certainly don't advocate caged living, Jack Hanna and other zoo-keeper folks seem to be effective animal welfare advocates.


So the poem explores a few thoughts about animal roles in the zoo and as human helpers. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bailout Banks Behaving Badly: Ode to My Car


First Person: I'm Pre-Approved For an Auto Loan But I'm Keeping My Old Car

sxc.hu/thoursie
I received an unsolicited credit offer to buy a car, but I'm broke, underemployed, and $42K in debt...   Read More

As much as I want and need a new car, I was amazed to receive this snail mail credit offer because of...well, being broke and all...how in the heck did I get pre-approved???

Writing the article was fun because it just seemed so absurd that a bank would do that and really -- how mean is it to offer a sparkly, brand new car to someone that can't afford it? 

Then, the more I thought about my old car (and recent repair bill that I couldn't afford either), I remembered one of my favorite karaoke songs...or I should say, karaoke performances...

A group that I used to work with were karaoke fanatics and would go to local Orlando karaoke bars once or twice a week. Now mind you I can't sing at all, but I went along a few times just because they used to rave about one lady who's lone karaoke stage song was  Adam Sandler's 'Ode to My Car'. It was said to be hilarious

Not familiar with the song, the group emailed a download to me to take a listen to Adam Sandler's original version before my karaoke bar initiation. It was hilarious, but also contains a heavy dose of the 7 dirty words...  The lady who did the 'Ode to My Car' karaoke was a fun, 60-something, almost-ready-to-retire sort and did do a ROFLMAO version.

So I had a brilliant idea to mention the song in the article, because my old car is almost as awful as Adam's tribute old car. So I went looking for a link to the song and things just got better...

Found a link on YouTube with an Adam Sandler live performance of it from an HBO special. Even better, the year of the performance was the same as the model year of my car!!!

How perfect was that! 

So, I wrote the last line of the article "I'll keep my old car...that's as old as this Adam Sandler 'Ode to My Car" video. 

But it didn't make it past the editors and was frickin deleted...sigh...  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Single on Valentines Day: Dating Without Online Singles Sites

New Year New You: Start Dating Again Without Online Singles Sites
Are you uncomfortable (re)entering the dating scene using the Singles Meet Market dating sites? I am. Effectively advertising yourself as single and available to the opposite sex doesn't require aggressive or expensive online singles marketing...READ MORE


I wrote this piece because I've been single too long and would like to meet a nice guy, start dating, fall in love, get married, and all that other romantic stuff. My friends and family are constantly encouraging me to join the online Singles sites but I'm just not comfortable with it.

So the article is about my plans to go places, meet people, and do things again. 
I'm broke and can't afford to go places and do things that cost much and I'm not really feeling like I look my best. So, I'm getting a makeover this week - courtesy of my sister-in-law.



Not an extreme makeover, just the hair. I'd show a before pic but I don't want to scare you. If I'm happy with the result, I'll post an after pic...



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Dancing With The Stars Celebrity Wish Lists

5 Single Boomer Celebrities that should be on Dancing With The Stars
"DWTS" could transform these perpetually single baby boomers personal lives for the better and why it would be fun to watch them... Read More

5 Single Music Celebrities that should be on Dancing With The Stars
Divorced or long - time single, these Pop - Rock music stars might benefit from a go on the "DWTS" dance floor. Here's why...Read More

Backstory

Rumors are that the next season's "Dancing with the Stars" cast announcement is due at the end of this month. None of my suggestions are in the buzz...sigh...

So these were my first two articles that were Featured Editor's Picks, meaning that they were selected by the Editor for prominent display on the front pages of the Yahoo! Voices sections for Entertainment, Television, and Music. How cool was that!! 

If you click the links, you'll see that there's one big pic on the top left and two smaller pics on the top right. The "5 Single Boomer Celebrities" was featured on the big top left for I don't remember how long exactly, but it was several days. Then it moved down to the "More Picks" list of featured articles lower down on the page. The editor helped bunches by adding the great dancers pic to the article! 

The "5 Single Music Celebrities" article was also featured, but not in the top section - just in the lower "More Picks" list. 

Getting an Editor's Pick spot was a big boon to both my newbie self-confidence and page views. They were assignments that I'd picked up from the Voices Assignment Desk, rather than being unsolicited submissions (although those are welcome too).

Some Assignment Desk articles receive Upfront Payment on publication (mine have been in the $5 - $10 range) and monthly Performance Page View (PPV) payments (starts at $1.50 per 1K page views and goes up).  For more info, the Yahoo! Contributor Network FAQ page is the best place to have a looksee.  

I'd had pretty sad page view counts up to this point, so I was going for popular search terms that I thought might help pick things up a bit. I'm not shy about celebrity name dropping for page views, so I gave a go and it worked pretty well! 

And - I really am a long-time fan of "Dancing with the Stars" so the words just flowed.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Madonna... Superbowl... Will She or Won't She (wear these)???

Pantyhose is Glam Again: 5 Ways I Stretch My Sheer Tights Dollar

Wearing Leggy Looks like Beyonce, Princess Kate, the Kardashians, and Madonna on a Tight(s) Budget

Pantyhose is back in style! Cheap stockings can get expensive, not to mention the upscale brands, unless I use my easy, budget-saving, extended-wear pantyhose plan.

Preventing a pantyhose run was a daily obsession of mine 20-something years ago. Maintaining a yuppie "Dress to Impress" office look required pantyhose vigilance. But I was a Pantyhose Klutz! Read More


Update: YES she did, with thigh-high boots - a most excellent choice (so great that she took my advice---eyes rolling...)!