How To Win Over and Influence Your Owner. A Guest Post by Seamus.


Person has the treats. Did you know this? I learned it when Person bought me.  I thought they appeared on my scratcher after I finished my nap under the bed.  One day I got behind the refrigerator and got stuck (must lose weight) and she sat on the floor looking at me for an hour and she had treats in her hand!  I wouldn’t dare eat them from her hand because then she would know I knew they came from her, plus I was wedged in there pretty tight.  Some guy with a furry face had to move the refrigerator before I could get out but after that when I found treats on my scratcher, I knew they came from her.

This complicates things. I thought there was a treat fairy but it’s Person.  I’m not sure I like her, really.  How do I get more treats from Person?

After thinking about this for a few years, I have devised a plan to get more treats. You can use this too with great success.

  1. Wind your body around her legs. You don’t have to get close or actually touch her, because horrors! But, if you kind of twist your way in a figure eight near her, she will see this as a sign of affection and give more treats!
  2. Groom her. This usually involves stuffing your face into her hair but horrors! It is so close! You can trick her by separating with your claw two or three hairs from the wad on the pillow and then lick those with great fervor. She will see this as a sign of affection and give more treats!
  3. Greet her at the door when she comes in from Outside. Meow firmly. Do not back down. When she makes noise at you with her mouth, this is a sign that she hears you and is going to give treats! In case she forgets, run from the door to the scratcher and meow firmly the whole way. She sees this as affection and gives more treats! Note: sometimes the couch gets in the way. Pay attention to it! It hurts your head when you hit it and makes you forget to meow.
  4. When she wakes up in the morning is the best time to remind her you have had no treats in a really long time. Also when she goes to the bathroom. Also when she comes in from Outside. Also when she climbs into the bed. By the way, did you know that on the bed is better than under the bed? It’s so nice up there and I don’t get stuck!
  5. The last trick is the hardest one. Use it as a last resort when she’s being very stingy with the treats. Climb onto the bed when she is there. Sit next to her and stare. You would think that she would see that as affection and give more treats! It doesn’t work but it’s a good start. What you have to do next is reach out with your paw and tap her arm. Murphy does it all the time and she whaps him on the head a lot when he does it which he says is affection, but lame. No treats there. Anyway, after she whaps your head a lot, crawl in between her body and her arm and purr. She sees this as affection and gives more treats!! BE VERY CAREFUL! You can be lulled into a false sense of security while lying there and go to sleep. Do not put your head down under any circumstances or you will wake yourself up by snoring too loud after a long time of sleeping. Humiliating. I was drooling. Horrors!

This will work for you. Try these plans.  The end.



Editor’s Note: These do not work.  Seamus gets no more treats now than he ever did although it is pretty cute to watch him try so hard for them.  Also, he likes me!  He really likes me!

Jimmie Brags, Part Three: The Inside The Actor’s Studio Edition

I don’t know if you recall, but I was nominated for a blog award due in large part to my fine writing skills, yo, and I’ve handled that nomination with a certain amount of grace and gratitude. You will ignore the times I have brayed like a donkey about it. Anyway, the award has three facets, two of which were addressed here and here, and today I am addressing the third one.

For the final hurrah, I am to nominate 11 other blogs for this award and ask 11 questions of those writers. I thought about that for a while and decided, like everything else in my life, that I was going to handle this a little differently.

I’ve stolen 10 of my 11 questions from James Lipton of “Inside the Actors Studio” fame, who stole them from Bernard Pivot, the host of a French show call “Bouillon de Culture.” I then added one question of my own and asked the most actor-type person I know to answer them because nobody wants to look at a bunch of unanswered questions.

Ashley, of Dammit Todd and Ashley, once briefly appeared on an episode of “Nashville,” and today will serve as our guest. I, Jimmie Lipton, will be hosting. Please imagine us sitting in arm chairs on a stage, Ashley looking calm and casual as she talks about her work while the students cheer, and me gently asking questions with a Just-For-Men-colored goatee and a slight comb over.

Ashley, what is your favorite word?

Love. Yep, I’m a total sap.

What is your least favorite word?

I’ll keep this appropriate. Moist.

(Jimmie Lipton’s note: Solidarity, baby!)

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Walking on my Greenway.

(Jimmie Lipton’s note: Eerie, isn’t it? It’s like we are twins . . . )

What turns you off?

When I’m too busy.

What is your favorite curse word?


What sound or noise do you love?

Rain. And owls.

What sound or noise do you hate?

When someone is eating or chewing out loud.

(Jimmie Lipton’s note: Oh, hurk, yes, this!)

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I’d like to be a legal mediator.

What profession would you not like to do?

Storm chaser or maybe washing windows of skyscrapers.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Heaven does exist, and I’d like God to say something along the lines of . . . . “Come here my daughter.”

Finally, Ashley, tell us the nicest thing Dammit Todd ever did for you.

One of the most thoughtful things Todd has done for me was celebrating Easter with me. Why was that so thoughtful? Well it was thoughtful because he went out of his comfort zone and spent the day doing things he wouldn’t have on his own, but did because he knew it meant a lot to me. He went with me to my grandparents’ church and then to their house with more of my relatives he hadn’t met before. It’s not always easy to get Todd to mingle around a group of strangers ;), but he was very thoughtful that day.

Ashley.  Gorgeous, ain't she?

Ashley. Gorgeous, ain’t she?

And now for the 11 other blogs. These are people I think you should read, in no certain order. Some of them don’t fit the criteria for the nomination because they are too famous. Doesn’t matter, you should still read them because there is a reason they are famous.

Is That A Hair In My Biscuit – My sister, the creative one

JDaveRhea – My brother, the creative one, who probably has more credentials to do this than any of the rest of us

The Adventures, Musings and Rants of Nurse Bananahammock – Nurse Bananahammock who plays a nurse in real life

Run♥Yoga♥Love – You guys, this is Freddie! I don’t run and I don’t yoga but she writes so well I can’t help but read it

Bye Bye, Pie – This woman is hilarious and has the fortitude to do this every day

Posie Gets Cozy – This is probably the most peaceful thing you’ll see in your whole life

Ashley Quite Frankly – I have no idea how I even found this one but I like her

I Wanna Be A Writer – we have the same hometown, so every now and again, I know someone she talks about

Skinnytaste – where I get a ton of my recipes

Miss Doxie – she has not blogged in years but read the archives. You’ll pee on yourself.

Looks like that’s only ten but its not like you can take my award away because I’m short one.

Oh, wait, I forgot this blogger. ELEVEN, bitches!

Brittany, Herself – this girl will push your boundaries, and you’ll by turns be squeamish and awed

Bloggers, please accept this Liebster Award nomination and participate if you like. Feel free to steal my stolen questions and answer them on your own blog. Make sure you tag “Liebster Award” to get the views from everyone else participating.

Thanks, everyone, for playing along with me. This was fun!


In Which I Write A Guest Post For Someone Else

A couple of weeks ago, I told you that I would link to a blog post I wrote for Martie, my sister. I didn’t do that because she didn’t post my blog right away, and then when she did, I had written up a bunch of stuff for you about my cruise. I’m not done talking about that yet – everybody knows that there is food galore on one of those ships and I MUST tell you about it – but in the interim, I thought you’d like to read about makeup. Boys, I know you cannot wait.

Anywho, below is the link to Martie’s blog but my writing. And while you are checking that out, Martie has an Etsy shop with some super nice stuff so check that out as well.

Martie’s Blog

Martie’s Shop

I’ll write at you again soon. SPOILER ALERT: I talk about chocolate!

Drama: Daisy’s Car – A Guest Post Of Sorts

The day I took my vehicle in to the shop to begin its lengthy and expensive repair process, Daisy sent me this email about her own car experience she had that very morning.

Daisy:  My brakes are making a bad grinding noise in either the front driver or passenger side.  Sounds like metal to metal grinding in the front.

Mechanic:  We checked your brakes and they look good.

Daisy:  What?  How is that possible?  I know the sound of metal grinding on metal.

Mechanic:  Miss Daisy, your brakes are still good.

Daisy:  Put new brakes on my car.

4 hours later

Mechanic:  Miss Daisy, we put new back brakes on your car and your car is ready.

Daisy:  Back brakes?  What about front brakes?  Do you remember me telling you this morning my front brakes were grinding?

Mechanic:  Well, I was wondering about that.  I took it for a test drive and when I pulled up there was a horrible grinding noise in the front brakes.  We inspected them and there was no brake pad left, just metal rubbing metal. 

Daisy:  Uh huh, right.  We discussed that this morning.  Why did you tell me my brakes were fine and then put new back brakes on?

Mechanic:  I can’t believe I made a mistake like this.   Did you know your front brakes were bad?

Daisy:  Hello, do you suffer from Alzheimer’s?   We talked about my front brakes this morning. 

Mechanic:  Do you want me to put new brakes on the front?  It’s metal to metal.   I will find every coupon I can and give you as many discounts that I’m allowed to give.

God bless America.  Jimmie, if you had a TV you might see me on the news this evening.  Did I have dollar bills shooting out of my butt when I dropped my car off?  WTH is wrong with these people? 

Hahahahahaaaaa, I love her.

Guest Post: Seamus. Journal Entries.


I can’t wait for Person to get up.  I want the sink.  Had no idea there was water in the sink.

Seamus 2


Person is taking forever to get out of bed.  The sink!  I want the sink! Water!


I know.  I will lie in the sink.  Person will surely get up now.


The sink is my favorite place. So cozy.  I wish Person would stop grimacing in the mirror over the sink.  She’s hogging all my space.


I hear Person!  She’s going to the sink!  Must dash – she cannot think the sink is hers!


Why do I not have thumbs?!  Person is very stingy with the water in the sink.  I know.  Will smother her in her sleep but must make sure the water is on before doing so.  All the water, all the sink, all mine!


Huh.  Person misunderstood smothering and took pictures and told everyone that I was snuggling her because I was cold.  As if.


Person is not here.  Dying.  Must get water from the sink.


Genius idea!  Will cuddle with Person and meow forcefully until she turns on water in the sink.

Seamus 5


Uh oh.  Person now thinks I love her, due to cuddling.  Very, very bad.  Must ignore person.  Will do some thinking in the sink.


Ha, ha, Person left the sink on the entire time she was in the shower.  Ha, ha, she is such a moron.


Person invited someone over called Slim.  Slim uses my sink.  I hate Slim.

Nevermind.  Slim turned on the water.  I love Slim.


Person interrupted my nap in the sink.  I hate Person.

Seamus 1


Person invited someone else over called Woney!  Woney uses my sink!  I hate Woney!


Wait, I forgot.  I love Woney!  Cannot explain it but I love her.  Want to cuddle with her.  Does not compute.


Person laughed at me in the sink.  She took my picture.  Hate Person.

Seamus 3


Person laughed at me in the sink.  She took my picture.  Hate Person.

Seamus, weighing in at 14 pounds, give or take a bag of treats or two


Murphy tried to get in my sink.  I love Murphy. Hate Person.

Jimmie’s Note:  You guys! Seamus cuddled with me!  Murphy wasn’t even around and Seamus crawled up on the couch and cuddled with me!  He loves me.  I knew it.  He really, really loves me.

Seamus’s Note:  No I don’t. Hate Person.  Love sink.

Seamus 4

Guest Post: Dammit Todd, P.E. – A Rant

Proper Elevator Etiquette

If you’re trying to get on an elevator, wait until the people (all of the people) who are on said elevator get off of said elevator  Do not try and brush your way past like you are more important than God.  Do not stand idly six inches in front of the elevator doors making it difficult for me to exit, and generally making me feel the insatiable urge to punch you directly in that messed up lump you call a face.  Because even if you manage to gain access to your cherished chariot to the heavens above, you ain’t going any-f@#%*$#-where until I leave.  Consider yourself grounded.  That is all. 

Guest Post: Lucy Loo, Madre’s New Dog

Picture 001

Hello!  We just had Christmas!  Here’s what I ate:

Book (Poppa was really mad)

Ping Pong Paddle (I barfed after that)

Jimmie’s Ear (She hit me on the nose)

Martie’s Chin (She hit me on the nose)

Jimmie’s Ribbon (She was mad)

The couch (Everybody was mad)

I also ate – look, another dog!  I want that dog!  Can I have that dog? . . . .  No one ever lets me have another dog! 

I ate:

The other dog’s ear (He was mad)

My leash (Madre was mad)

Puppy food!  (Why come no one was mad?)

Also, I ran! I ran! And sniffed! And ran and played! And! – zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Picture 004

Editor’s Note:  Poppa is a patient man.  Lucy Loo was tearing through the house and made a mad leap from the floor of the living room onto the sofa, clipping Poppa in the face and knocking his glasses and hat off.  Poppa merely reached over and retrieved those items and put them back on.  Later, though, he whispered to me, “I’m tired of that damn dog.”  She’s awfully cute, but it’ll be great when she learns another speed besides “Tasmanian Devil” and “Coma”. 

Guest Post: Freddie – Breaking The Law

So, did you know that it was against the law to drive with a headlight burned out?? Me neither! I mean, what would the world be without the random game of padiddle on the road?? Apparently, the Hendersonville police department is especially keen on ticketing folks with only one headlight. I’ll start at the beginning, because this is good.

Jimmie, Roxanne and I decided that we would have a movie date the night that Magic Mike came out on video, so we waited…and waited…and waited…and finally it came out, but due to our very busy social calendars (Editor’s Note: We are very busy and important.), it took us about a month to finally set a date that would work for all three of us. It happened to be a Saturday night after Jimmie and I got together with Felix, Ian and Rickster for Mexican. We decided that Jimmie should drive since I’d had a margarita (or two), so I left my car at the Mexican joint and hopped in the Hyundai with Jimmie.

Here we are, two fabulous women (Editor’s Note: hear, hear!) rolling down Gallatin Pike and having ourselves a good old time chatting away and catching up, when Jimmie stops right in the middle of a story and says, “Oh, shoot!” You can imagine my concern when she tells me she’s worried that she’s going to get pulled over. I knew she hadn’t been drinking, but then started to worry that maybe she’d taken up some sort of illegal recreational activity that I didn’t know about and had the goods stashed in the trunk. Now, imagine my relief when she tells me that she has a headlight out. I mean, people don’t get arrested for that!

Suddenly, I see flashing lights! They’re on to us! The officer strolled up to the window and shined her incredibly bright flashlight in Jimmie’s face and says, “You know you have a headlight out?” Jimmie told her that she was just noticing that as we were driving down the road and it looked a little dark off to the right. The lovely lady police officer took Jimmie’s license and registration back to the car and wrote up a nice little warning. That’s right…only a warning. This, right here, is where the big boobs and eyelashes come in handy, guys! Oh, wait…it was a female officer…hmmm…..Anyway, as she was handing over the warning, she explained that if we got stopped again, we could simply show the warning to the officer and let them know that we had already been stopped and they would let us off the hook. File that away…

And we’re on our way again. We finally made it to Roxanne’s house and watched this movie that would have been amazing if they hadn’t messed with a plot. Whose idea was that anyway?? I mean, who takes that much hotness and adds a lame ass story line. Who cares about a story line?? I mean, why am I listening to these people talk when I could be watching Channing Tatum do the sexiest worm I’ve ever seen? Or Matthew McConaughey…oh, don’t even get me started on that man… Yummy!


The movie ended, we wiped the drool from our faces and headed back to the restaurant to pick up my car. Hold your breath!

Drive, drive, drive, flashing lights, drive, crap! Stopped again! Jimmie obediently pulled into the next entry while pulling the warning out of the filing location. There was no batting of the eyelashes, smiling or flashing of the cleavage on this one, folks. Not a word was spoken; just the flashing of the warning, and the officer smiled and acknowledged that we’d been through this once already that night, and was on his way.

Twice…twice in one night…the officers in Hendersonville must have been having a good old time playing padiddle that night, because twice in one night?? Really?? I learned so much that night about replacing your headlight when you find that it’s out. Padiddle is not just a game that school girls play. It’s also breaking the law…but the abs were so…worth…it….

And please tell me that you fixed your headlight! (Editor’s Note:  Of course I did!  I fluttered my eyelashes at the boys at Auto Zone and viola!  Headlight fixed. I’m so rad.)

Guest Post: Prom Date Will

So I’m Prom Date Will. Not really, since that name would be moronic even by modern celebrity baby names standards. Since I’ve noticed folks maintain code names in this small corner of the internet, I thought I’d maintain the status quo (on a side note, who do you suppose that “Madre” person is? The mystery!) I’ve known the regularly scheduled author of this blog since elementary school. Back then we both had different last names since our moms changed them after remarrying because that’s what moms did back before anyone really kept records. I remember this blog’s owner back before she had the faint blue dot on her cheek. 

(Editor’s Note:  Remember the story?  A girl named Beth jammed a pencil in my cheek when I was in the 7th grade?  And that pencil left a blue mark underneath my skin so I have a permanent tattoo memory of my 7th grade year? Remember that?)

A quick funny story about that blue dot: A few years back, I was being taken out to lunch by my coworkers for my birthday at my favorite burrito place. After not seeing her for about a decade or so, I thought I saw her in my favorite burrito place but wasn’t completely sure. Since tattooed guys my size make ladies nervous when running excitedly toward them, I wanted to be 100% positive I had the right girl. So I did what guys do – stare. She was visibly uncomfortable from the staring, and didn’t want to make eye contact. In hindsight, this probably didn’t help her be less nervous. Anyway, when I saw the faint blue dot, I finally came over and said hi just as she was reaching in her purse for pepper spray or a machete or a 38 special. Thankfully she recognized me after a bit of looking. We exchanged info and a hug and I managed to not get shot while getting a burrito for my birthday all thanks to that blue dot. 

(Editor’s Note:  To be fair, Prom Date Will had morphed from a gangly, skinny, lanky hottie boy into a tall, muscle-y, manly hottie man in the years between our reconnection.   I’m totally used to weirdos and men with Napoleon complexes approaching me, not normal men who have all their teeth.  It was a bit of a shock.)

So why am I guest posting while she is doing her Mojo Jojo challenge? Good question. I haven’t really written much since college and high school English. I did take things seriously in the middle of the last decade, though. I blogged professionally as a side gig for a couple months, which went fairly well. I had my own personal blog for a few years that’s been dormant (and is now not functioning) for years now. I had a couple posts go viral (including the one where I busted a Court TV marketing campaign as referenced here, which was pretty sweet.  Before that, I actually had a couple articles published nationally in a trade magazine. That’s the most impressive way I can think of to say that I guest wrote a couple articles in an insurance magazine for a guy at work. I think I have all three copies that were ever printed of that magazine. One of them donated a page so I could get it framed, and the other two are in a folder somewhere that my wife keeps trying to throw away. Where was I going with this? I hate those ‘meta’ movies about making movies. On to some actual content!

I’m a regular guy. Kind of nerdy. I write software for a living. (Editor’s Note:  I fell asleep in that last sentence.)   I like beer, football, basketball, and 30 year old trucks. I’ve been married for a couple decades now. My wife has a couple sisters both with whom she’s really close, and now I have a couple daughters. Here’s where this gets relevant – most of the people in my family on a daily basis are women. Girls. Ladies. Penis-less folks. This gives me a lot of insight to women that I didn’t have before.

First thing I noticed is that women are mean to each other, dude. I mean like, really mean. Whoever wrote that bit about women being the fairer sex didn’t spend much time around girls when there are no guys around.  Here are a few of the things I’d like to say to all the ladies if I may:

  • That neurotic feeling that you never look or feel as good as you’re supposed to? You’re doing that to yourselves! If I could wish anything upon the women of the world, it would be to have a positive self-image. Believe me, guys want you to feel good about yourselves. You know how they say the sexiest thing on a guy is confidence? That works both ways.  (Editor’s Note:  Huh.)
  • If you have a multi-page checklist of things you gotta have in a significant other, chances are you’re going to have that checklist and no significant other for a long time. Wanting a guy that’s taller than you with decent oral hygiene is one thing. Wanting a guy who’s at least six but no more than nine inches taller than you who also has movie star looks, never been married, an environmentally conscious but still semi-rugged car, a job in senior management, and does marine biology on the side yet lives in Arizona is gonna be a bit tough to find. (Editor’s Note:  As long as his name isn’t LeRoy, I’m good.  Mostly.)
  • Here in the American South, the phrase “bless your heart” might as well mean “Go to hell”. Substitute the latter for the former next time, and you’ll most likely come closer to the actual intent of what someone is saying to you.  (Editor’s Note:  So when snooty snothole at the gym the other day said “bless your heart” she didn’t mean bless my heart?)
  • Lastly, if you don’t like the way your life is, it’s up to you to change it.  (Editor’s Note:  Wise words.  I dig it.)

You guys can see why I wanted a post from Prom Date Will, right?  When he sent it, he wrote:  it isn’t great but at least it’s late.  Whatever, man.  I think it’s great. 


Guest Post: Jonquil. Oh Y’all, This One Has Pictures.

Jimmie and I met in college, and we shared a pretty unusual work-study job.  We were managers for the men’s basketball team.  (Editor’s Note: BEST. JOB. EVER.)  You know how Jimmie was all clueless about football, picking teams with cute players as criteria?  Well, we knew every cute basketball player in our division, his stats, and how he treated his manager.   (Editor’s Note:  Rawr!)  And we loved our boys, even crushing on a few here and there.   We attended practices (swept the floor), shared pre-game meals (spaghetti and green beans), traveled with the team (curfews and hotel rooms make for funny stories), maintained the bench (we can make a mean water bottle), and helped keep things organized (Coach always needed help with his keys).   

Remember how I told you I have no rear end? This here is proof. Ridiculous. Jimmie in mustard (what was I thinking?) and Jonquil in blue.

There were four of us girls—Jimmie, the Bookkeeper, the Stat, and me.  Only recently did I remember a nickname Jimmie and Bookkeeper called me:  MIT.  It stood for Mom-In-Training.  Apparently, I may have gone a little overboard in my managing.  (Editor’s Note:  A little?  Nosiree.  She LIVED for it.)  Now that I’m a mom of two, I think they were onto something.

Then:  I would find inspiring quotes to hang up at practice and make posters and signs for our team, especially for big games.  Jimmie even got me to go in the DEKE house to decorate a door once.  (Editor’s Note:  The DEKE house was G-R-O-S-S.  Gross.  The level of Jonquil’s dedication knew no bounds.) 

Now:  I am definitely a cheerleader for my family.  I will stuff notes in their backpacks, write notes on bananas in their lunches, and cheer them on in all their endeavors.

Then:  I would practically pack every guy’s bag, including being prepared for anything with the two team bags. Then I had to comb the locker room one last time to make sure nothing was left behind.  (Editor’s Note:  It wasn’t unheard of for Jonquil to help the guys with their laundry.  No way no how was I up for that.) 

Now:  I have to practically pack Esteban, Cookie and Essie (Jonquil’s adorable children), including all the other stuff we’ll need for a trip; and, I definitely make a final sweep of the house or hotel room before leaving.

Then:  I would nag people to remember this or that.  (Editor’s Note:  Oh, yes she did.)

Now:  Oh, yeah, I nag.

Then:  I would set my alarm early and I would cheerfully make sure everyone else was awake, especially on the road. (Editor’s Note:  This “cheerfully making sure everyone was awake” business included a before dawn telephone call in which Jonquil would trill merrily into the phone “Gooooood morning, have a happy!”  No.)

Now:  My good morning humor did not survive pregnancy.  I hit snooze as many times as possible and don’t want to muster more than a grunt as a morning greeting.

Then:  l learned things I never thought I’d need to know.  For instance, jock strap size is based on waist size, people. (Editor’s Note: Boys, get over yourselves.)

Now:  If Essie tells you she doesn’t want anything else to eat, the extra food you made her finish will come back to haunt you in a stomach flu nightmare.

Then and now:  Jimmie was a hoot!  (Editor’s Note:  <preen>)

When I graduated, Jimmie gave me a scrapbook of my senior year, and a basketball signed by all our boys.  I can look at that ball and recall all the highs and lows of each season, and the enormous amount of fun we had.  MIT was not such a bad nickname after all, and I am grateful for the extra training I received as a mom. 

(Editor’s Note:  She was and still is fantastic at all of that.  Centre College Men’s Basketball will never be the same.  Her family can attest to that.) 

Jonquil and Jimmie, age 12. So, so young.

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