Wednesday, February 28, 2007

where have all the good grants gone?

When crafting grant applications,
remember these grantwriting tips from the pros
and you too may be able to avoid
the dreaded REJECTION letter.

Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

And don't begin a sentence with a conjunction.

It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

Avoid cliches like the plague because they're old hat.

Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

Be more or less specific.

Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

Also too, never, use repetitive redundancies.

No sentence fragments.

Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.

Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.

One should NEVER generalize.

Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

Don't use no double negatives.

Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

One word sentences? Eliminate.

Analogies in grant writing are like feathers on a snake.

The passive voice is to be ignored.

Eliminate commas, that are, unnecessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

Kill all exclamation points!!!!

Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.

Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.

Quotations? Eliminate! As Waldo Emerson said,"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

If you've heart it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

Puns are for children not for groan readers.

Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

memory lane

what a trip!

Do you remember?

Unleaded gasoline

Before cable TV , VHS or DVD

Stereos and TVs were wooden furniture


16 Magazine (at a cost of 25 cents)

Mystery Date Game

Bell bottoms (the first time) tube tops, gauchos

Jordache jeans

Bonnie Bell lip balm

Love's Baby Soft

Dippity Do
"Curlers in your hair, Shame on You!"
Braiding hair for crimping
Lemon Up
Sun In

Before 911 (fire and police had phone numbers)

Manual typewriters

Hanging clothes, and more importantly, sheets outside to dry on clothespins

Banana seats

Chinese checkers

Cartoons, instead of ads, before the feature film

The first opening of Star Wars or Jaws

"Do the Hustle"

Earth Shoes

Playing front of the folks

The great Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe matches

Full-serve gas stations with attendants

Gas Station Glassware

G.I. Joe

Barbie is still around, so how about "Dawn" dolls?

American Bandstand
Soul Train
The Midnight Special

Life before FedEx or UPS

Life with only one phone for all to use

The Yugo, Pacer, El Camino, Chevelle or the '68 Mustang

Gnip Gnop

The Gong Show,
The Loveboat
Fantasy Island

The first broadcast of MTV
The only newscasts were at six and eleven

Frozen dinners packed in aluminum trays

"I'd like to buy the world a Coke..."

the Pledge of Allegiance

Muscular Dystrophy Carnival Kits


Schoolhouse Rocks

The ABC After School Special

Name That Tune

"Where's the Beef?"

Huge Headphones

The Magic Eight Ball fortune teller

Mood Rings

Eight track tapes

That Girl or the Flying Nun

Kajagoogoo, Flock of Seagulls, Bow Wow Wow

Rubik's Cube

What do you remember?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

au revoir

The other day I was blow-drying my hair and
sparks began to fly out of my Conair 1600 hairdryer.

Realizing this hairdryer is aging (it too remembers the eighties fondly)
I turned it off immediately.

I went on with the business of life.

Last night, we were sitting in the living room

B-girl doing her homework

and me watching TV, when we suddenly heard a loud noise upstairs.

B-girl was scared and thought somebody was up there.

I was quite startled myself.

I raced upstairs and there on the sink counter

was my old blowdryer which had decided to turn itself on.

It was revving like an engine and quite frankly sounded angry.

I pulled out the plug and looked into the drying spout.

The wires inside had turned flaming red.

Slowly the red circle grew smaller and turned black.

Then silence.

I said my goodbyes and lay Conair to rest.

It's time to move on now.

Time to let go.

Time to find

a younger,

smarter friend

to sooth my wild tendencies

and keep me straight.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Presidents' Day!

"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail;
without it nothing can succeed."

Abraham Lincoln

Friday, February 16, 2007

This explains a lot...

You Are 60% Paranoid Schizophrenic

It's likely that you're perfectly fine, though you have your crazy moments.You tend to be a bit paranoid, but no one's out to get you but yourself.
Are You A Paranoid Schizophrenic?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

the meth lab next door

I live in a good neighborhood. I live with my daughter in a brick townhouse that is very nice. I suppose it is time to buy a house but I am not yet inspired to do so. Anyway, we live on the end of a brick building that has four townhouses. There is one to the side and one behind us.

Occasionally I have thought I smelled tobacco smoke coming from one of the other apartments. B-girl has bad allergies so I try to keep her away from smoke of any kind. I haven't really noticed any other smells at all and my nose does have some heightened senses. On Superbowl Sunday we were preparing to go to my brother's house for his annual soiree. I had just hung up the phone from talking with my sister-in-law when suddenly I smelled the most obnoxious chemicals in the air. B-girl started to scream and ran upstairs.

I went upstairs and could not smell it up there. I opened the basement door and could not smell it coming from down there. It was very strong in the dining area which backs up to the neighbors behind me. The smell was downright obnoxious like Drano or anti-freeze cooking on the stove. I turned on the hood in the kitchen, the fan in the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms and opened the front window for a few minutes, until it cleared. I could not leave the window open because it was it was below zero that day. I checked our place over and found nothing that would cause the smell. I still sensed a whiff of the odors and decided we would have to leave for my brother's immediately, so we went off to enjoy the festivities.

When we got in the car I looked toward the unit behind me. There were all kinds of cars parked there. They must be having a wild party in the unit behind me I determined. During the short drive to my brother's I thought about this incident. What on earth could this be? The odor was not emanating from my house so it had to be coming from another unit. I immediately came to the only logical conclusion... some drug-crazed idiots live behind me and have turned their apartment into a meth lab just in time for the Superbowl. No it can't be. My neighborhood is too nice to have a meth lab. No wait a minute here, I even feel a little dizzy from all those fumes! Maybe I got a contact from those chemicals . Oh no I will be trippin' next! Got to get my precious child to my brother's house where she will be safe!

At the very least, there is something suspicious going on.

When we arrived at brother's house and I decided to leave B-girl there while I return to our place to check on things. (not wanting to neglect my Superbowl indulgences I first had to have a few chicken wings to stop the dizziness). When I came back to my place the obnoxious chemicals had subsided. I went back to my bro's to enjoy the party.

Later after we got home and were both in bed I smelled it again! I came downstairs and decided to look around. It was 11:30 p.m. I put on my coat and went outside in below zero weather to check out the townhouse behind mine... Mmn. All the cars are gone and it looks quiet, but that means nothing. Hey that's a pretty wreath on their door. What are the chances that people with a Meth Lab would hang such a beautiful wreath on their door? Wait a minute--hold everything! That wreath has a little Santa in it! Christmas decorations in February? They must be on drugs! That's it I am calling the police. I cannot live with these kind of people behind me. I am going to have obnoxious odors all the time now. I work in Spin City so I know people like the Police Chief. I haved lived here in peace for three years and I am not going to live like this!

Back into my apartment I stammered, ready to get the Cops involved this time. Pacing back and forth I was contemplating the consequences ...

I will probably know the police that come on the call.
These drug manufacturers will find out it was me.

What about my child? This could get crazy.

I decided to take one more look around my place. I went downstairs. Everything was in order. Upstairs--good too. I could only smell the fumes in the dining room which backs up to the people behind me. There is only one thing to do. I sat down at the dining room table with my head in my hands. I was frustrated and nearly in tears. I was going to make a phone call that was going to create a personal war with the neighobrs as well as cause all kinds of talk around my work. Suddenly there it was again pungent and close. Almost too close. No wait, definitely too close. I turned around and looked down. There it was. It was a cheap plug-in air ionizer that I had bought on the advice of B-girl's allergist. (Actually he told me to the the large Sharper Image one, but I did not want to dish out all that dough so I bought a cheap little plug-in model.) Apparently it burned out because I noticed the added bonus, the little night light, was out. I unplugged it and pulled it quickly to my nose.

Sweet God almighty that's it! What the heck is this thing made out of? It did not smell like something electrical was burning. It smelled like some serious mix of chemicals.

To think I almost called the police for NOTHING! Oh and I may also have banged on my back wall a few times in anger earlier. What are my good neighbors with the cute little wreath going to think of me? Maybe they think I had a Superbowl Party in here--thus all the loud sounds. Sure hope they don't report me for excessive noise! And what if THEY smelled that obnoxious odor that ACTUALLY came from my place? What on earth are they going to think of me?

I'll tell you exactly What they are going to think!

Friday, February 09, 2007

death becomes the media

Today I look upon the media in sheer disgust.

A baby lost her mother.

The mother probably died of a drug overdose.

There is a paternity suit to find out who is the true father.

And luckily for the stalker astronaut this news has become bigger than outer space.

The reason for this madness?

The child has a potential inheritance of 400 million dollars.

Fox News is on the 24-hour Anna Nicole watch.

What is there to watch? Her dead body?

The vultures and sharks in their feeding frenzies?

All the news stations are covering this story like all of America has got to know every single little development in this case. And I suppose America wants it, but do they need it?

About as much as Smith needed drugs.

Does anybody know the name of an American soldier who died in Iraq recently?

Does anybody care?

That soldier's child stands to get what?

A couple of hundred bucks?

I am sickened

by the insatiable

"celebrity news" appetite

of this culture.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


44 bottles of beer?
No but there was a time in my youth...Never mind.

44 valentines?
If you count elementary school.

44 dollars in a raise?
Not gonna' happen this year!

44 freaks in your man column?
Let me see--one, two and three.Mmmn.

44 times late for work?
Only if I blog in the morning!

44 pleas of "pick up your toys!"
A more distinct possibility.

44 attempts to write something of substance?
Closer to accurate.

44 years on this earth?
Why Yes!

Who would have thought today I would turn 44
and have a child who's only six?

Not me,

but having her

means 44 is

a lot easier to take

because there is


no time to pout

and way more than

44 blessings!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

school is closed

I should have been a teacher. Think of all the days I would have off!
(Sorry Greenpiece and Grim. I know you work hard).

They have called school off again because of extreme cold. What is that about? When I was a kid they did not shut down school for this sort of thing. These days if someone spits into the air the T-town district is closing school due to flooding.

B-girl likes the latchkey daycare but hates the other one she has to go to if school is closed. There is a boy there named Joshua who likes to shock her with nastiness, so I called on Mr & Mrs Heavensent to watch her today while I proceed to work. After I woke them up this morning I realized I probably should not have bothered these nice people but they of course said yes so B-girl will get to spend the day with her best friend but I feel like I am the BIG Imposer!

This imposing thing should not be necessary. I work in Spin City so I know the School District employees will start all the buses to keep them running (why not run them) and keep all the buildings warm so the pipes don't burst (why not let children in them to learn?).

Sure it's cold outside, but this is Michigan after all.

Open the schools already!

Monday, February 05, 2007

frigid monday

It's not a snow day

It's a frigid day.

Most of the Detroit-area schools are closed today. It is below zero out there and coping skills are at a minimum. The B-girl's school is closed. Why? I don't know! Appparently when the temperature drops below zero, all semblance of normal life comes to a screeching hault. I guess we are not used to this kind of weather in Detroit. The average high for this time of year is 34. Only the Yoopers can get along swimmingly in below-zero weather.

I will be staying home with the B-girl today to do some work at my computer. I have so much work to do that I brought some home over the weekend, but did not finish it. My office is so cold I would not be able to concentrate there anyway.

I also have to get the B-girl to a dentist because we have another tooth problem.

In addition my mother is sick and has us on standby. I might have to go over there too.

Frigid Monday? This I could do without!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The View to a Nightmare

I have some wild dreams but this one last night gets an Emmy...

I dreamed I was working at an advertising agency and Babara Walters worked there too. (Huh?)

She made some kind of mistake in a project and asked me to help her so I gladly said I would because she is famous and had ignored me until that moment.

I had to go out to a construction site of a new high rise building to get photos.

I parked my car in the mud at the construction site..

As I was taking photos I could suddenly see the new building was going to fall right where I was standing so I got back in the car and tried to move it, to no avail. I was stuck and going to die.

In a split second a man in a huge tractor pushed me and my car out of the way of the falling building. The nice construction worker took me back to work.

When I got in the the office, Babs Walters somehow managed to blame me for the toppled building (which has what to do with advertising?)

The company fired me based on Walter's account and I was jobless.

I did, however, start dating the construction worker who saved my life.

Just when this dream was turning good,

I woke up!


If dreams can be interpreted, what the heck is this one all about?

Could my looming 44th birthday have something to do with this nonsense?

Whoever thought Barbara Walters isn't scary has obviously never nightmared about her (yes I like to break style and grammar rules on my blog because I am not allowed to at work--what a rebel I am becoming in my middle age).

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Superbowl Talk ...
Detroit Wins!


are probably not aware

the temperature high here is 14,

which also happens to be the same

point spread that will bring the Colts to victory!

Last year, when we hosted the Superbowl, the

weather was much milder.

How I wish I was in Miami about now!

Friday, February 02, 2007

no shadow

Forget Punxsutawney Phil

(he gets too much hype)

This morning Staten Island Chuck announced