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I know I’m always talking about all the great bloggers I know.  I’m going to do it again.  I have no remorse, because this is too good not to share.  I know an incredible artist . . . Bob T. Panda.  No lie.  I know a panda. 

Please don’t even act like you are surprised.  Who else do you think I hang out with?  Okay . . . besides a Vampire King (no explanation required), Birdie (who tried to poison her entire family), Lorre (crazy chick in danger of being incarcerated for the things she does with Barbie dolls), John (the only guy I know that would invite Sarah Palin and Charlie Sheen over for KFC on New Year’s Eve) and you, of course. 

Really, pandas are amazing people and everyone should know one or two or a whole kindergarten of them.  Well, friend Panda is having a contest over at The Panda Chronicles.  This is truly a must not miss event.  You can get your own personal Babette Panda and a rundown on the instructions here.

Seriously, those of you that visit here are some of the most creative people I’ve had the pleasure to meet.  I can’t wait to see what you will do with this one.  It should be quite the event.  I’d love to see what you all can come up with.

I’ve be back tomorrow or the next day with a regular post.  Really.

I’m of two minds when it comes to these blog awards.  First, I’m always honored to have my writing recognized in any way, shape or form.  This one is especially surprising because I don’t really know the blogger bestowing it.  Thank you, Angel Land Canada, I am most grateful. You can be sure I have already been checking out your site.  Second, I believe it is a great way to find new and interesting blogs to read.  That’s the angel sitting on my right shoulder.   The devil on my left is whispering, “Run away.  You remember what happened last time.”  To fill you in, last time I got a blog award it was a precursor to going into blog hiding for almost two years.  Well, let’s give this another go.

I am passing this award on to 15 blogs I personally follow:

Now I’m supposed to reveal seven things about myself. 

  1. I’m a Wikipedia junkie  . . . I will search anything and I do it all the time.
  2. I have a lhasa apso named Rocky that talks . . . he also happy dances with me when no one is around.
  3. I’m a failed computer graphic artist . . . I never could color inside the lines or release artist license.
  4. I met my best friend through this blog . . . we’ve been friends almost four years now.
  5. I’m a natural blonde . . . the carpet matches the drapes . . . TMI?
  6. I won’t eat any meat still on the bone . . . it’s too much like eating an animal . . . I know . . . meat = animal, but if I don’t see the bones I can handle it.
  7. I was Chinese in a past life . . . I know this because I could eat Chinese every day, three meals a day.

So, there it is.  The important thing is for you to check out the blogs I’ve linked here.  They are awesome.

Mum was only going to be living with me for six weeks, maybe two months.  That was nine, long months ago.  I love my Mum.  She is sweet and well-intentioned.  She is much sweeter than I am.  I would do anything for her.  I am now, however, on the verge of losing my mind.  Patience . . . I’m not sure when that deserted me but I think it was somewhere between the Chubby Checker debate and the blog debacle.  Maybe I’m just crazy.  That is Mum’s opinion anyway.  It is an art form . . . caring for your parent . . . a highly underrated art form.

Remember the Twist . . . the song and dance that became a worldwide phenomenon in 1960 when Cubby Checker’s cover of the song hit the Billboard Hot 100.  That’s how it happened in my reality.  Mum, she remembers doing the twist at her high school dances.  The only problem is that she graduated from high school in 1954.  “No, Mum, you couldn’t have.  The song wasn’t out yet.”  “I did too.  You can’t remember that, you weren’t even born.”  “Look Mum.  See Wikipedia says . . .” “Wiki-whatever-ia wasn’t there either.” “Okay, Mum.  You did the Twist in high school.”  Divergent time streams, that’s all I can come up with.

I know each generation has their own particular style and I’m no fashionista, but come on.  “Mum, that shirt doesn’t go with those pants.”  “They’re the same color.” “But the shirt is plaid and the pants are striped.  Besides those pants are too big.”  “I like these pants.”  “Mum, they are falling off!”  “I thought that was the style now days.”  “For teenage, rapper dudes, Mum, not women in their 70’s.” “Are you saying I’m too old to be trendy?”   “Fine, let’s just go to the store.”  I try hard not to notice the stares from people thinking I’m some kind of elder abuse offender.

We also speak different languages.  “I forgot my water in the bedroom” means “Please get my water from the bedroom.”  “I need to do laundry today” means “Please do my laundry today.”  I have learned to focus on keywords like a computer search engine . . . water bedroom . . . laundry today . . . then I’m able to extrapolate the most likely meaning.  It works most of the time.  Just like a search engine, sometimes I need more information.  “What are you doing?”  Now, that can mean “I’m bored” or “I’m hungry” or “I don’t feel well” or any number of other things.  What I finally figured out is she doesn’t want to know what I’m doing and more input is needed for proper translation.

I made the mistake of actually telling her what I was doing recently and that lead to the blog incident.  Now I know Mum thinks my writing is a huge waste of time.  This is nothing new.  It started when I was in grade school.  Back then it was . . . “What are you doing?”  “Writing a story.”  “Is it homework?” “No.”  “Is your homework done?” “Yes.” “Then go outside and play.”  I fully accepted long ago that she thinks anything is a better use of my talents than writing.  I don’t know why I thought the current event would be any different.

I was merrily doing my happy dance around the house earlier this month in celebration of a huge blog accomplishment.  I had written a post about a local celebrity . . . Phoenix Jones, the real life superhero.  Anyway, he and his wife saw it, liked it and posted a link on his Facebook page.  I mean how cool is that?  They liked it enough to share it with his fans at a time when the media spotlight had focused on him like a laser beam.  It was as good as being “Freshly Pressed.”  More people than I ever dreamed were reading my blog!

Enter Mum.  “What are you doing?”  In my excitement I forgot the training of a lifetime and told her about my blog (first time in four years).  “Can I read it?”  I should have known this was a trap, but I walked right into it.  “You wrote this?”  “I did.”  “I don’t get it.  Aren’t you supposed to be looking for work?” “Yes, Mum.  I’m doing that right now.”  Yeah, my feelings were hurt, but hey, what did I expect?  I know she loves me and wants what is best for me.  She’s 100% right.  What I need more than anything is a job.  The bottom line is that Mum and I are very different people.   It doesn’t diminish our love and caring for one another.  Mum’s from Venus and I’m from Alpha Centauri.

It’s almost over.  I should be sleeping in my own bed very soon.  My aching back!  The peddler of futon sleep preeminence swore the mattress he sold me – memory foam and all – was as good as any I have ever slept on.  May he writhe in a lumpy, back-breaking innerspring purgatory to atone for his transgressions against the spines of trusting customers like moi’.  In other words, he lied or mislead at the very least.  Curse him.  I just had to get that out of my system.  Anyway, Mum will be returning to her home in the next couple of weeks.  It’s a good thing for both of us.

I’ve been cruisin’ WordPress Boulevard on my beater HP . . . the one with a cigarette burn between the 6 and 9 on the numeric pad; enough crumbs in the keyboard to feed a family of four for a week; peeling “Designed for Life” and “Time to Play” stickers; ever expanding dark spot on the display; and DVD tray that flops open at will.  Yes . . .

This is my laptop.
There are many others like it, but this one is mine.
My laptop is my best friend.
It is my life.

You cannot imagine how long I’ve been trying to work that into a post.  With that done, I can get back to what I was saying.  I saw a lot of amazing stuff as I meandered up and down Blog Street.  Some of it blew my socks off.  Some of it perplexed me.  Some of it frightened me.  Some of it turned me green with envy.  I was enlightened, entertained, educated, enthused and encouraged by what I found.  But one site stood out from the crowd and I just can’t stop thinking about it.  I can’t find it again either, so I will simple have to recount the story of my amazing discovery.

Now, I understand there are blogs out there raising money for some very noble and deserving causes.  I always figured that was why WordPress provided a means to accept donations through PayPal.  It never occurred to me that anyone would actual use the tool in quite the way this blogger did.  Believe me, I scoured the site for any hint of a charitable connection.  This whiz kid must have thought they had been “Freshly Pressed” based on the hit count I generated in their stats.  I left no post unread, no page unscanned, no link unclicked.  I was meticulous in my examination. 

There was but one conclusion I could make.  This yahoo wanted my money for no reason other than the magnificence of their blog.  I know we all think our little piece of blogostate has value beyond measure.  Many of us would love nothing more than to win the blog lottery and get published, even – dare I say it – paid for our brilliance.  We rejoice when someone appreciates our work enough to leave a comment.  We celebrate when the number of visitors increases.  We do little happy dances in our PJs when we triumphantly reach each new milestone.  Well, I do anyway. 

I have not before seen or heard of anybody with the audacity to solicit funds based strictly on the breathtaking splendor of their electronic wonderfulness.  I don’t know if this WordPress wunderkind is a genius or a moron.  Has anyone, prior to myself that is, ever clinked on that Donate/Paypal icon?  I did have to chuckle as little blogger buddy had been thoughtful enough to fill in the “purpose” portion of the screen with their blog’s moniker.  I wonder if you can take a tax deduction for such a donation?

Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Still . . . simpleton or brainiac?  Perhaps there’s money to be made.  Would my legion(sic) of followers pay for the awesomeness of my blog?  You did read the part about the decrepitude of my laptop, right?

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