Random Thursday: Holiday Notes and Some Random Flashes of Urim

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Chag urim sameach, y’all—and Merry Last Week of Frantic Shopping For That One Impossible Person You Pulled For the Family Exchange.

Have a random mixed bag o’ holiday!


Turnabout is Scientific Play . . . Or Something


Sugar Plum Jamming

Dads + Holiday Jumpers + Dubstep =
My New Favorite Christmas Commercial

The music is available for downloading, somewhere, too—check the YouTube info.


Handel with Care


Last year, our church choir attempted to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus”
at the Christmas Eve service.

We worked really hard, learned those parts—
even brought in a couple of stunt sopranos.

This Christmas Eve, we were going to give “For Unto Us a Child is Born” a try.

But then we were told that instead of singing,
the choir will be voicing the lines of the children
performing in the Christmas Pageant Sermon,
which is titled,”The Best Christmas Present Ever”.

Sunny and I are a Cabbage Patch Kid.

I can only assume that the Chapter Office of Westminster Abbey
placed a call to our church secretary,
requesting that we not set Handel spinning in his grave again this year,
as it quite disrupted the midnight services over there.

Kids singing

We’re very, very sorry.

Just out of curiosity . . . Where is Bach buried?


No, YOU light the shamash

Menorasaurus Rex.

Menorasaurus Rex

Get ’em right here.

(Thanks, Watson—I’m saving the rest for next week!)


It’s Not Just a Gig, It’s An Adventure

Seems the  Sideboys vocal ensemble
had a few “problems” with their sheet music at the 2010 U.S. Navy Band Holiday Concert.

Remember men:
The only easy harmony was the last one.


Random Thursday: Like Lambs to the Random

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

My whole attitude this week can be summed up in one word:  Baaaaaah.

So I went with it.


Hipster Sheeple or Sheepish Hipster?

Hurts so good.

Hipster Sheeple

True story:

One day, during my brief sojourn as a music major, I was studying in my dorm room to Pachelbel’s Canon—actually, I was studying the Canon itself, for Theory class.

I wasn’t wearing headphones, and the door was open.

My RA stuck her head into the room in passing and asked me why on earth I was playing the GE Soft Light commercial over and over.

When I told her the original music had been composed around 1693,
she looked at me like I’d just won the trophy for Champion Freshman Idiot and said,
“Oh, please. Lightbulbs weren’t even invented back then.”

She wasn’t wrong.  Entirely.

(Thanks, Tina—I’d forgotten!)


Rocking the Oxymoron

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Others, I give to you the song “No Stress”,
as sung by a musician named Wolf
to images from Shaun the Sheep.

Feel the awesome.

(Not that I didn’t appreciate the . . . effort . . . it must have take to create that other sheep vid you sent, me, Kev, but I like this one better)


The Bathgate Conspiracy

According to Reddit, a sheepherder in Bathgate, Scotland, (safely) had been dying his sheep in bright colors for several years in order to entertain passing motorists.

This is the pretty picture that usually accompanies this announcement.

Dyed Sheep

But if you look at the comments, a resident of Bathgate (Mayor_Goldie_Wilson) says that this isn’t quite right

The image s/he offers of the Real Bathgate Sheep™ is a bit less . . . Easter best.

Real Dyed Sheep

But dark purple sheep?  Are still totally cool, y’all.

(I can’t remember who first shared the above image on Facebook, as nearly everyone did, but thanks! )


A Small Amount of Sheep is Not Zero

And that is exactly what this video provides.

So there.

And remember, at any given time, you are never more than 12,750 km away from a sheep.

I find this oddly comforting in a really disturbing way.

Random Thursday: Random Name Dropping

 Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

When I was two or three, my family vacationed at the Trapp Family Lodge, where—according to other people’s memories—Maria Von Trapp held me on her lap and sang to me in German.

I’ll wait while you younger people look her up. . . . See?

I shall now bask in your envy for all that non-memory is worth.

Dang—that was quick.


The Price of Fame

Marco Polo Pool Player


Sir Patrick Stewart Moos — Can you?


Click the Teeter-Tottering Cows
to hear the finest assortment of
class-based cow accents ever recorded,
as expressed by a man who,
like Morgan Freeman,
can render the most ridiculous things
not only logical
but unbearably cool.

Warning: The management does not accept responsibility for ruined keyboards or stinging sinuses and suggests you put your drink several feet aside before listening.

(Thanks, indy. Damn recording never did embed . . . )


Boo Band

My next book will be titled The Best Novel Ever Written.

It’s worth a shot.


Speaking of Morgan Freeman . . .

I don’t know what he’d say,
but he’d say it exactly like Charlie Hopkins.

(thanks, Vonnie—I’ve been humming this all week)


Define “World”

These things take time...

And then find this lady a bathroom and a GPS.


Pretty Darn Close

Rob Cantor brought together a large group of talented people
to sing a song he wrote with Andrew Horowitz,
and then did a fake impression of them doing real impressions.

It’s Perfect:

A video about making this video is here.

(Thanks, liligrif!  I can’t believe they cut Chewbacca’s line, either)

Poetry Wednesday: Other People’s Opinions

National Poetry Month is coming to a close.

And as a gift to you, I’m stepping back and offering other people’s opinions on poetry.

You’re welcome.


 Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.

—Khalil Gibran

The Persian language has only one pronoun for all genders. This means that genders in Persian love poetry—and in verses meant to celebrate the adoration of the divine— are essentially fluid.  How cool is that ?


Simple Haiku Mug


I’ve had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book.

—Kenneth Rexroth

Folk Music and Bees(Me, too)

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.

—T. S. Eliot

Poet Mug

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.

—Carl Sandburg


Slam the Poet on Writing Poetry

His Prayer to Gaia blew me away.  Go watch it now.


There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.

—Robert Graves

Cow Mug

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.

—Jean Cocteau

(For more appropriate Emily, sort of, try these)

The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you – black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.

—Maya Angelou


Limericks Mug


To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.

—Robert Frost



All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

—Oscar Wilde

chickenpoetblog(For more of Doug Savage’s insanely funny poetry cartoons, try his website)


Okay, y’all . . . 

I’ve been doing Poetry Wednesdays here since April of 2011, which is roughly 167 posts.  And though it may seem like I winged most of ’em,  it  does take time to research and write these particular posts—and it seems like reader interest has been flagging over the past few months.

So, while my enjoyment of poetry of all kinds—not to mention my prurient curiosity about the people who write the stuff—hasn’t diminished at all, I’m thinking it might be best to drop the regular poetry posts and just save ’em for April or when I feel the random need to share.

If I’m wrong about the general disinterest, and you’d like me to keep going, please give me your opinion by liking or commenting on this post, or by dropping me an e-mail.

Otherwise, it’s been a terrific run and I’ve met a lot of wonderful poets and poetry lovers along the way.

Thank you all—even you Thomas Hardy fans—for letting me babble on for so long about something I truly love.

And also for all the reprehensible limericks.  You know who you are.

Drama Mama


Wondermark is created by David Malki!, Sheldon is the brainchild of Dave Kellett, xkcd is written by Randall Munroe, and Savage Chicken is drawn by Doug Savage.  Ownership of these images remains with the creators, and in some cases permission to repost is restricted—so please check before sharing!

An Illustrated Writing Process

Please note:  this post was edited, accidentally deleted,  rewritten, and republished, because I proofread everything but the title last night right before I went to bed, and, confident that I’d finally managed to get a post scheduled so I didn’t have to worry about it, didn’t worry about it until I went to post it on Facebook after lunch . . . and saw the huge typo in the title.  So that’s why you have two of ’em in your inbox or feed reader today.  

Because that’s how I roll.


Except for the laundry and Rocinante’s oil change* and running around in a panic tossing stuff into my suitcase like a madwoman, I’m almost ready for the MWW.

I rewarded myself by wandering through the archives of David Malki !’s Wondermark webcomic for an hour last night, instead of thinking up a Tuesday post and working on my new project . . .

. . . until I realized that I’d just read a random selection of strips that summed up my usual writing process, such as it is, from idea to at least the end of the first draft.

The process is mine, but the strips belong solely to the brilliant Mr. Malki !,** who probably didn’t imagine this result when he gave his fans permission to share his strips:


First, of course, there’s thinking up a decent, fairly original premise that I didn’t absorb via osmosis from spending more than half my waking life in a library selecting, reviewing, recommending, and basically breathing other people’s stories:

Original Ideas

But eventually, after enough coffee, desperation, and sleep dep, I’ll be hit upside the head with find a new idea, or at least a new way of looking at an old idea,*** that might also double as a fresh, weird, and frankly icky metaphor for the whole writing process:

Human Pearls

And then I’ll get to work, knowing it would all be so much easier if my life were completely different. Right?

Then Again

And I always think I should be writing faster and cleaner than I do, and being aware of this particular anxiety doesn’t always help, especially when other people seem to be having a much better and easier time of it without any effort at all.^ Not that I’m comparing, you understand.

Success and Luck

Of course, the support of family and friends (you know who you are) is crucial to overcoming the self-constructed obstacles between myself and the sheer genius my mother is convinced will manifest any second now.


Regardless, if I stick with it and keep chugging along, at the end of the first draft, I’ll have this beautiful, amazing creation . . . that might need a just a little more work to achieve that polished pearl that squicked you out a few strips ago.

Passion Project

And there you have it. Or I do.

Sort of.

But even if this particular four-door literary buggy (see what I did there?) never gets further than the end of my driveway, there will be others.

And someday, success:

Turtle Coasters

(again, all strips are the property of David Malki ! and borrowed with blanket permission from his website, which y’all have to check out right now, because I wasn’t just blowing smoke about his brilliance to keep his lawyer from sending me polite e-mails about taking down this post—go!)


*Livin’ dangerously, that’s me—though I may try to sneak into my usual place early tomorrow morning, because livin’ paranoid seems like the safer bet, here.

**Who does indeed put the “!” in his name. It’s not silent, in case you were wondering.

*** Or temporarily borrowing it from a more creative person just to make a point.

^Not you—you deserve your successes as quickly as you can get them. I’m talking about Them.