The adamthomasrph.com Christmas tradition

“It’s that time of year, when … .

… I post about challenged AND struggling. Christmas Carols. If this was about people that would be an everyday occurrence, of course. But I’m not. Instead, I am highlighting those treasured classics that will always be a blog tradition.

  1. Schizophrenia — Do You Hear What I Hear?
  2. Multiple Personality Disorder — We Three Kings Disoriented Are
  3. Dementia —I Think I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  4. Narcissistic — Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
  5. Manic — Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and . . .
  6. Paranoid — Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me
  7. Borderline Personality Disorder — Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire
  8. Personality Disorder — You Better Watch Out, I’m Gonna Cry, I’m Gonna Pout, Maybe I’ll Tell You Why
  9. Attention Deficit Disorder — Silent Night, Holy OOOOOOOOh look at the Froggy, can I have chocolate, why is France so far away?
  10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder — Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell …

Ho – Ho – Ho Merry Christmas!

revisiting an SNL Thanksgiving classic

Last year I decided to shake up the Thanksgiving Adele post by adding another similarly themed video.  Hello – bad idea. (pun/reference totally intended) . This year, I decided NOT to mess with tradition.  Besides, it’s really funny.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks, Adele!

the key

Quite some time ago, I was fortunate to listen to a little ditty about an actual key. Oh, Jack and Diane had nothing to do with that ditty either. Apparently, the storyteller found a random key around his house. Since he had no idea what the key unlocked, he tagged the key and placed it in a familiar location just in case he remembered After a year, he came upon the key again and realized he still had no clue of its purpose. So, he threw the key in the garbage. If he didn’t need the key in an entire year, he ain’t gonna need it in the next ten, eh?!

I was both amused and intrigued by the tale. So much so, I decided to use this concept when housekeeping. I have never been much of a pack-rack. As far as I am concerned, either recycle or just throw the damn thing away – if it doesn’t have a purpose I don’t have a reason to keep it.

Fast-forward to present day.

I recently purchased an older car. When the previous owner handed over the key to the vehicle, he said he had misplaced the spare. Since I would be the only driver, this wasn’t that big of a deal. However, every so often I would have a panic attack about either losing the key or, worse, locking it in the car. I queried the dealer about a replacement. Not to my surprise. a new key for my old car was approximately $273 plus $150 to program the key.

A bit rich for my car-ry ass.

The seller told me he would keep looking. Silly as it may sound, I believed him. In the height of a recent attack, I messaged him again. It had been a minute, so it was warranted. Much to my dismay, it remained lost. Ugh! I went back to the dealer to see what options existed. To my surprise there were a few.  And, it confused the shit out of me. The original price was for a key, the fob/remote control, engine sensor, and the programming. All this for a 2007! Ugh, Ugh!! Thankfully, all these things could be acquired separately AND much cheaper. Unfortunately, I am not a gear head. I was completely overwhelmed with his explanation. Don’t throw me any shade, okay!? For something as simple as a replacement key, it was  anything but. In his vast expertise, Mr. worker dude was done with me and my ignorance as much as I was done with him and his explanation. Ugh, Ugh Ugh!

Finally, he suggested a valet key. All that will do is open and lock the door manually which would definitely curb some panic. More importantly, I can upgrade at any time.  He would just need the car AT the dealership to program it accordingly. (insert: guttural noise of frustrated disappointment)

For now though,  I am content with my decision. I guess I will just unlock that door if and when something happens.

Then again, maybe lock not.

 

welcome Autumn

A poem written by my wonderful mother –

Welcome Autumn
The hot summer winds have whispered  goodbye.
I greet this new season with a welcoming sigh.

Orange golden hues; the rusts and the reds,
such beautiful colors leave little unsaid.

The falling leaves rustle ‘neath my feet.
A colorful quilt, covering yards and street.

These autumn months give me time to prepare,
my heart and my mind for winter’s fare.

An album by a cool pianist –

George Winston – Autumn

A promotion sponsored by plain ol’ me –

CLICK the icon to download one or all three titles for FREE this weekend Saturday September 17 and Sunday September 18, 2022!

Fall into reading!

waterlogged

I’m swimming again.

Years ago, I blogged about this activity and my history with it so I won’t reiterate that Nonsense. Besides, things have changed — especially my pool. Previously, I swam at a gym that shared their pool with the local hospital rehabilitation service. Water therapy is an amazing avenue for low-resistance training. That gym has changed hands over the last few tears. The upkeep and liability of having a public pool is a huge responsibility. Alas, the new owners decided to cement the pool and make an aerobics room.

heavy sigh AND long pause

Fortunately, I was good on my end: I had no time to swim. It sounds dumb — the actual activity takes less than 30 minutes, but the process of doing it is so much more involved. Sometimes just the thought of getting the damn trunks on and diving in the pool was reason enough to head to the gym for a workout instead. After my hip surgery, I decided to start swimming again to aide my recovery. Thankfully, that road was smooth  — my hips didn’t lie or let me down. Still, I wanted something new to spice up the workout routine. The local YMCA  pool was primarily salt water with the slightest hint of chlorine to keep up with code. Sweet!!! No more smell, no more dry skin, AND no more icky hair.

Unfortunately, it was the ‘Y” — joining came with a hefty  monthly fee and I often have to share my lane. I don’t like to share. Worse, hardly anyone knows the fucking definition of lap swimming. NOTE: the word FLOAT is nowhere to be found. Ugh! it’s so frustrating. I want to swim to decrease stress. Having some old person float or, worse,  kids playing in the deep end does NOT qualify as lap swimming. Even more worse – no one seemed to care.

Well, I do.

Believe me when I say, whomever shares a lane with me soon moves. I swim with a purpose. And I probably radiate ripples of anger that choke anyone in close proximity. Who knew my asshole aura would work even when wet?! Then again, I make a lot of … waves! Literally. I am not one who can dive in a pool and swim twenty lengths at a time without stopping. I get bored rather quickly. So, to shake up my workout I do a modified version of an Individual Medley. For those that don’t swim an IM is a combination of all four strokes: butterfly, back, breast, and free. To warm up, I do freestyle in place of fly for a few sets. Then, I am all in, baby. Let me tell you, no one messes with someone who does butterfly. It’s a statement stroke.

Please know, my intentions are pure. I want to swim simply because it’s a wonderful sport with even more wonderful cardo and physiological benefits. Furthermore, my workout remains the same regardless of how may other swimmers, or floaters, are in the pool.

Well, my Random Nonsense of a rant is over. If I continued, I would definitely become waterlogged!

Splash!

now what?!

Well, it’s official – I AM done!

With my latest project, that is. Now, the real work begins — getting the damn thing out there so it can be the New York Times Number One Best-Seller it is destined to become. So how do I do that?

Before I mosey on down that ‘broken’ road, I deserve to wallow in my accomplishment. Hell, I have completed a 417 page manuscript that is 150,800 words — I have reason to be proud. More importantly, it’s pretty darn good. It’s a character driven story so it is a bit slower-paced. From what I’ve been told, it is well-written and compelling enough to finish. Oh, that and I pen a pretty good sex scene.

Also, I feel the need to divulge some quirky, yet unexpected writing habits I never knew I had until now. Thanks to my proof-reader for pointing out such flaws. But that is his job. If he told me my draft was perfect, I would know he was lying.

  • I like and grossly overused the word countless. Who knew, right?
  • I don’t like, but definitely overused introductory adverbs like unfortunately, however, and, wait for it, moreover. Hmmm … .
  • Most writers have problems with “,” usage. I don’t, of course. However (pun totally intended), I had a huge problem with “;” . Go figure! I blame Google. During the initial writing, I would use a “, “when I thought it was necessary. Google auto corrected immediately by highlighting the text with a blue-squiggly line. When I hovered over it to see what I did wrong, I was informed that a “;” should be used instead. Rather that be reminded of my inadequacies, I just corrected my writing pattern and used the “;” going forward. I was wrong. Correction: Google was wrong, I was just gullible. In my defense, Google never made me think otherwise.
  • the proofreader did NOT understand what I was trying to do regarding a constant theme that drove the storyline. I had to keep reminding myself that he is a teacher.  I was not paying him for creative input. Maybe I should have? Yikes!
  • That said, I did get three – count them THREE – red-pen smiley faces. It still doesn’t average out. To anything. BUT, I did get three unsolicited, positive comments. YAY!

That’s about it. I know there is MORE. There was a-l-o-t of red pen. However, my novel reads so much better with the corrections. Now, I am concentrating on getting an agent or brainstorming some other non-Amazon alternatives. I so want this book in hard cover. Oh, it will make an awesome movie, too.

Until that time, I want to celebrate this victory and offer another ALL for FREE – THREE for ALL. Today, August 03 all three titles are FREE! Just click on the desired book jacket icon(s) and download.

My break is over — back to the real work. Thankfully I have super easy read as a finished project to pitch. My initial question of ‘now what’ will soon be answered.

Dad jokes – Marquee style

So, I’ve decided to shake up this whole blog format thing. Don’t worry, I ain’t goin’ postal any time soon. (pun intended) However, that bad attempt at humor is the perfect introduction to my post.

Dad jokes used as marquee maxims.

Before my latest project, I updated my site on a more regular basis and visited both of these topics separately. Marquee offerings were quite funny. Dad jokes – not so much. Still, both subjects were great blogging material. Unfortunately, sign lady either retired or just disappeared. Yikes! The local billboard has never recovered. Now, dad joke that are supposed to be humorous have replaced pearls of wisdom that were supposed to make motorists think once, if not twice.

(insert: heavy sigh)

When I decided to combine the two, the result was really cool! The jokes are still really bad.  Yet, they provide a good comedic distraction when the current gas prices induce hysteria and fits of uncontrollable rage.

How do billboards communicate?

sign language

What better way than to open this post, eh?! Admit it, there was a slight chuckle – even if it was followed by a soft grunt of disgust and justifiable eyeroll.

What kind of doctor is Dr. Pepper?

a fizzician.

This joke is so dumb, it’s funny. Moreover, it embodies the essence that is the dad joke. I smile every time I think of it.

 (side note – a good friend from college loved Dr. Pepper, went to med school, AND has four kids.)

What day of the week do chickens fear most?

fry day

This offering is just dumb. Worse, this was on the damn marquee for, like, ever. On a corner I pass every day! That is why I decided to close with it. Then again, it is Friday!

(afterthought – I  found a way to redeem myself. It’s a random maxim I remembered that is actually quite profound. Sign lady would be proud!)

Aspire to inspire before you expire!

a triFREEcta twofer

I decided to holiday up this promotion to celebrate Memorial Day. After all, it IS the unofficial start of summer. And, the infamous beach read. For the next two days, Sunday May 29 and Monday May 30, all three titles are FREE!

Just click on one, two, or all three icons and download the e-book. It really is that easy!

Think of it as a triFREEcta twofer to remember!

Happy reading!

Ode to the crockpot

So, here it is May and I am blogging about my damn crock pot. Normally, this would be a perfect post for Autumn. Considering my timing has always been a bit off, I’m right on schedule. Hell, I grill in January – why wouldn’t I use my crock pot in the summer?

the history

The slow cooker was developed from an electrical bean pot invented in the 1960s to steep dry beans. In 1971 the Crock-Pot, a slow cooker that could produce full meals in one pot, was released. Immediately, the Crock-Pot took off  –  the brand became as ubiquitous as Kleenex.* 

random tidbit of nonsense – crockpot, crock pot, and crock-pot are all acceptable 

the concept

The appliance cooks based on a combination of wattage and time. When turned on, the electrical coils heat up and transfer heat indirectly from the outer casing to the space between the base wall and the stoneware container. As the food cooks, it releases steam, which the lid traps. The condensation creates a vacuum seal between the lid and the rim of the crock, which adds moisture to the food while helping the cooking process. There are three temperature settings.

  • Low: 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  • High: 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Warm: 165 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit

the rules of thumb

  • Cut up large meats and brown them beforehand –I always cut up my meat, baby. But that browning shit just ain’t gonna happen. Defeats the whole purpose behind the concept. Just don’t cut your actual thumb!
  • Submerge your meats completely – very important
  • Use broth instead of water – good idea

the go-to’s

Chicken chili – a staple that has never failed me yet!

pulled pork  – this is a two-part recipe. I slow cook the cubed meat,  ‘pull’ it into another dish, add the sauce, and throw it in the over to finish up.

broth – beef/bone or vegetable – always delicious and super easy

side note – I have made a pot roast that was quite sexy. Unfortunately my pot is too small to accommodate a large roast. It’s a personal problem I’ve come to terms with. Actually, that’s not true. I still have issues with that – it’s a total crock!

(that was a bit dramatic, but I so wanted to use that phrase)

the never go there’s

  • lasagna – My favorite part of lasagna is the crispy brown mozzarella cheese topping.  Granted, I have never had crock pot lasagna, but I fear my favorite part would be … limp.  I’m 56 – things go flaccid unintentionally. Why would I want my lasagna to follow suit?
  • dessert – of any kind – Gross– end of story. Once again, I am all about firmness. Crock pot recipes tend to be very moist, but when a dessert is concerned I need texture, too. Lastly, I usually associate bread pudding with crock pot dessert. So NOT a bread pudding fan. Just to come full circle – Gross

And, some things I have tried and will never go ‘there’ again –

  • whole chicken – it tasted like chicken soup. I love chicken soup. But if I wanted to have it, I would’ve made soup.
  • beef stew – this is, like, the staple of slow cooking recipes. I am NOT a staple of any kind, I’ve tried two different recipes and both were a complete fail. In this case, the third time will NOT be the charm.

Well, that’s about it.  It felt really good to Ode; it’s been a minute. Moreover, this idea has been on the back burner for a while. Better yet, it’s been slow-cooked!

patience is a virtue!

*there is nothing special about this phrase. I just bold-faced because I like the word ubiquitous!

265 Linn

I have a title for my latest project – 265 Linn – I am so excited!

Actually, it wasn’t me that thought of it. I suck at titles – always have, always will. Thankfully, I have friends who don’t suck. I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people that do way more than get me through the day. They think of wonderful titles for my works of fiction.

Over my years of blogging, I have had some really good blog topics AND, yes, titles for those posts. Thinking of those ideas was easy. However, when it comes to major projects, I completely block. Could it be that I’m too close to the project and can’t detach myself? Will people buy my book with such a lame name? Maybe I really do suck?

Regardless of the reason, titles are very daunting. Hell, I can write a 416 page novel, but thinking of a singular phrase that will convey essence of what I’ve written throughs me for a damn loop.

 But none of that matters – I have one now. And, it’s a really, really good title.

I am working on the one page synopsis and a proofreader is putting the final tweaks on my grammar. Apparently, I like the work countless – who knew? And, I overuse semi-colons. Most writers have problems with commas. Me, I abuse my semi-colon privileges. Go figure?! I blame auto correct. When I was writing, that dreaded line would highlight my comma calamities. When I hovered over the error, the Microsoft powers that grammatically be told me I should use a semi-colon instead. After a few blue squiggles, I just started adding semi-colons instead. Auto-correct never corrected me. (pun intended) My proof-reader deems otherwise.

Now, that my book to do list is finally getting done, I need to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with the damn thing once its actually to  done. Yikes!

And, I thought thinking of a title was daunting.

For now, I am overcome with joy that I have a title.

Welcome to 265 Linn. The walls don’t talk, but they really do listen.

(the tagline is all mine, by the way. I think it has a nice hook.)

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