Month: November 2008 Page 2 of 5

Happy birthday to me! Congratulations to…


Sorry, Albert, no Snuffles. :(

Everyone else — friends and strangers alike — thank you so much for coming to my site and participating in my little birthday game! I had a ton of fun reading your answers and putting them into my mad libs. Yes, I wrote it, so this should be interesting. I’ve filled in Mary’s answers below, but feel free to substitute your own and/or make up new ones.

Once upon a time in a (1) tree far far away, there lived a young woman with big (2) clouds. But when this (3) pretty girl graduated from school, the pressures of money and people’s (4) puppies led her to put her dreams on hold and seek employment. She went to work for an (5) email who she knew was weird from the start, but she ignored her instincts, telling herself that she shouldn’t be so quick to (6) read. Unfortunately, her instincts were right, and the guy turned out to be even more of a (7) mug than she imagined! After one (8) nanosecond she could take no more. She quit and moved into a humble (9) schoolhouse with her (10) second cousin-in-law twice removed. There she began to launch her career as a (11) baker.

Ten years later, she was a superstar in her field. She was even awarded the (12) Pulitzer Prize! That night in her acceptance speech, she said, “I’d like to thank my mom, my dad, (13) Jesus H. Christ, and surprisingly enough, my old boss. If he hadn’t blown up at me for (14) answering the phone, I wouldn’t be here today. Thank you!”

Of course, a few journalists found out who this old boss was and he became an overnight sensation. All the hate (15) kitties he received really made him think, and soon he turned over a (16) fluffy leaf. He hired a new, friendly manager for his company and devoted all his time to the Save the (17) Notebooks Foundation. He even sent the young woman a (18) leaf to thank her for (19) walking his eyes.

From then on, they all lived (20) politely ever after.

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Mad Libs Contest Giveaway Thingie

Update: Hey, folks, anyone can enter! You don’t have to be a regular reader. I was looking forward to all the random answers from all the random people. Consider it a birthday present!

Entries will close sometime tomorrow afternoon so keep those comments coming!

Alright, folks, today is the day! In honor of my birthday and inspired by the generosity of Twenty Four at Heart and Pseudonymous High School Teacher, I am giving away a $20 Visa gift card and a book of Mad Libs.

(Unless Albert wins, in which case he wants Snuffles. Even though he already has two…)

What do you have to do to win? Just leave a comment to this entry, filling out the word list below. One comment will be selected at random and announced tomorrow as the winner. One entry per person, please.

If you have any questions, email me (khoffman at Otherwise, GO!

1. noun
2. plural noun
3. adjective
4. plural noun
5. noun
6. verb
7. noun
8. unit of time
9. type of building/place
10. familial relation (e.g. wife, cousin, uncle-in-law)
11. profession
12. award (real or made-up)
13. religious figure or deity
14. job-related task
15. noun
16. adjective
17. plural noun
18. noun
19. verb
20. adverb

Thanks for playing!

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Immune system? Not so much

As a quick follow-up to yesterday, I wanted to post something written by a friend and former resident of mine. She’s very talented. I do believe that someday soon we’ll be seeing her name on book covers.

From “On dropping out — and growing up” by Sarah Mogin:

In high school, your stars will shine for pretty much anything. You hold an excess of passion, throwing it this way and that as you test different options.

I think becoming an adult means learning to focus that passion, finding those one or two things that give life to your stars.

Fortunately I found my passion, and hopefully all of you have (or will) too. I’m still working on the focus part, though. On making those stars really shine…

# # #

In other news: Today I am wearing a fleece and a scarf INSIDE my house. I will be having chicken noodle soup for lunch. And my poor dog keeps putting his head on my lap and giving me sad eyes because he can’t understand why we didn’t have our usual playtime outside in the 30-degree weather.

Well, pup, it’s because I’m sick. How you like them sad eyes?

I think this wouldn’t bother me so much if (a) I hadn’t been sick just three weeks ago, and (b) it wasn’t my birthday on Friday.

My symptoms are a sore throat and a runny nose, and this morning I was so light-headed I thought I was going to pass out at my desk. I took a nap instead. Riley cuddled with me, which I think means he forgives me for not playing today.

Anyway, I’m wondering what y’all, great Internet that I love, would recommend to make me feel better. Any good home remedies out there? What do you do to pass the time and help you forget you’re sick?

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Quick administrative note

Just a note for anyone who currently subscribes to or would like to, the feed has moved:’s new and improved feed

Mmm, yummy!

Please update and/or add to your reader.

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Questions brought on by Crazyhorse

From “John McEnroe Visits Seven Months” by Sean Aden Lovelace, winner of the Crazyhorse fiction prize:

He says, “John, you make me ill, physically ill. Listen: every person has one thing they’re placed on this earth to do, born to do. Think Mozart, think Pistol Pete. Most people — I bet ninety-nine percent — never find their one thing. Not ever. They live miserable lives, half-lost, feeling like something’s not right. We’re one of the lucky, John. Born in the right place, right situation. Fate is smiling and you’re just going to shit on it. Throw it away! So, I ask you again — what-the-hell-are-you-doing?”

I hang up the phone.

From “Reasons for Concern Regarding My Girlfriend of Five Days, Monica Garza” by John Tait, also in Crazyhorse:

Feelings I Must Fight in the Wake of My Split (?) from Monica Garza

A dread that, by losing Monica, I’ve lost my one late opportunity to become a person who continues to grow and change along with a growing and changing world rather than shutting myself fearfully away with the rest of the people like me. A naive optimism, fueled by well-intentioned movies and TV shows, that we Americans can overcome all barriers between us and embrace each other based on our shared humanity. A recognition that even though the above is a crock, it shouldn’t be. The worry that I am more concerned with what others think of me than with my own happiness, a fact that makes me wish I was miles from every other human being—maybe on some unpopulated island or at least archipelago, though when I imagine myself in that desolate place it seems only natural to add a companion, leading to fantasies (about M. G.) that are both pleasant and troubling.

I think the second one may be set in Houston? Anyway. Both pieces are more experimental than what I usually write, and I enjoyed them immensely (the second one slightly more so).

As always, reading these stories made me think. What was I put on this Earth to do? (Write!) What-the-hell-am-I-doing? (Procrastinating…) What feelings must I fight? (Impatience. Fear of failure. The munchies.)

What about you?

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