Is Double Linking the Same as Double Dipping?


Linking two prompts with one post.

Five Sentence Fiction: Forgotten

Silly Sunday

My apologies to Rhonda. Today, I have a linking problem.


Jake picking up a scent of God knows what.


Following the Scent of Keys

Where did I leave my keys? Did I lose them down the FedEx chute while dropping off the package? No, I drove home, stuffed them in my pocket and then left them in a burglarproof place. After pinpointing their location in my head, I lost it when my dog ambushed me at the fridge. If only he could pick up the scent of nickel, plated brass instead of another dog’s ass.


Lillie McFerrin Writes


I’m participating in Lillie McFerrin’s weekly Five Sentence Fiction prompt — Forgotten.

I hope I’m not breaking blogging protocol by double linking.

I’m also linking to Silly Sunday since this piece is rather — .  Silly Sunday is hosted by Rhonda of Laugh-Quotes.


The Next Big Thing – Hint – It Has Nothing to Do with Porn!


The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I’m thrilled to be participating in a blog hop called, “The Next Big Thing.” I was tagged by humor writer June O’Hara @ The Neurosis Files and asked to answer ten questions about my most recent writing project.

Here are my responses:

Ms. Salkin —

Please call me Lauren.

Lauren, where did the idea for your book or project come from?

I had written a short piece about being unemployed and realized that I had a longer story to tell. Rather than torture my husband, I struck the computer keys.

Pile of Jobs Sent

A pile of cover letters and help wanted ads

What is the working title of your book?

I’d rather keep that between the title and me.

What genre does it fall under?

It’s a tongue-in-cheek memoir — a tricky balance between sitcom levity and raw honesty— during a time I stared at the bottom of a metaphorical birdcage, while hanging upside down from the perch.

If applicable, who would you choose to play the characters in a movie?

Tina Fey or Amy Poehler if Amy (we’re on a first-name basis) wouldn’t mind dyeing her hair brown for the part, or I could dye my hair blonde. I’m flexible.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your manuscript or project?

How I survived unemployment and the voices of mass destruction in my head.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I hope to be represented by an agent. If any agents are interested, I’d be happy to rearrange my schedule so we can meet.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Six months. The revision has taken over a year. I hope to complete the manuscript in the next week or two.

What other book would you compare this story to within the genre?

Marrying George Clooney because it involves a midlife crisis and crisis of mind, like mine.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was pissed off and needed an outlet for my rage. I felt it was healthier than stalking an ex employer and threatening him.

What else about the book or story might pique the reader’s interest?

If you’ve ever been underemployed, unemployed or happily employed, you’ll be able to relate to my book. I write about the, often, bizarre world of interoffice politics, the difficulty in parsing the truth during an interview and the frustration of dealing with incompetent maniacal bosses.

In the precarious new world disorder, many of us have been fearful of losing our jobs, our homes, our minds. I lost two out of three. Thankfully, my husband and I were always able to pay the mortgage because we ate lots of Macaroni and Cheese.

With that, we end the interview. Ms. Salkin, thank you for your time.

You’re welcome. It’s Lauren!

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Blog Armageddon

I Got Hacked – Excuse My Appearance

I’m having technical difficulty and am working on the problem.

Not me personally because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

Some pages on my blog may look odd or unappealing.

More odd or unappealing than usual.

Please be more patient than I am.

I’m at Defcon 4!

In addition to dealing with Blog Armageddon (which is way above my pay grade), my dog is scratching at the door because I locked him out. He didn’t get the memo that this is a no barking zone.

At the foot of the memo, in 5-point type, I’ve included a disclaimer about suffering from cognitive dissonance due to acute malnutrition.

I don’t know if I’ll ever eat again.

Perhaps my husband will spoon-feed me Jell-O.

Oh, that’s the dog and I’m hallucinating.

None of this is real.

In an hour or two, my post and I will likely not be here.

Both will have exploded.

You might even see a white screen.

It happened last week.

No need for a med adjustment or to fine-tune your display.

It’s just my effing blog!

The Onion Book of Known Knowledge [Hardcover] – You Can Kill Flies with It!

A Definitive Encyclopedia Of Existing Information

Just as the onion is a staple in the kitchen…

English: onion

English: onion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Onion is a staple in satire…

“Since its founding by a Prussian tuber farmer in 1756, The Onion has expanded into an omnipotent news empire, with a Peabody Award-winning 24-hour cable news network…”

Rightfully, skewering empty-headed cretins with its tuber farmer wit.


The Onion Book of Known Knowledge is the perfect Christmas gift for acerbic two-legged carnivores or dullards who enjoy celebrating a holiday that masochists adore.

According to highbrow Onion sources, Christmas is…

“…the absolute worst occasion for a dad to flatly inform his loved ones that he hasn’t been happy for years and that Stephanie makes him feel alive…”


Hardbound and ingestible, if you’re a silverfish or booklouse, The Onion Book of Known Knowledge is a literary smorgasburg of tart factual tidbits. 250 pages of alphabetically listed encyclopedic snark, with charts, maps and illustrations, a worthy collection of information for the weird history buff or just the weird.

The Onion Book of Known Knowledge is a book coffee tables lust after and love to lay beneath – kinky inanimate coffee table sex – a great conversation starter for the strange uncle that lives under a bridge.

“What’s that book on that there coffee table?”

“Well, Uncle Hobgoblin, that there is the latest book by those wacko commie nuts at the Onion and possibly the last book ever written.”

“Did you say nuts? I’d love some.”

“Someone please toss Uncle Hobgoblin into the recyclable bin for curbside pick up.”

Once he has been carted away, your other quasi-normal guests, whether literate or not, can flip through the book that has lots of words and pretty pictures.

“Compiled and Organized According to the Higher Principles of Intellectual Commerce and Coercion. For the Betterment of Mankind and the Zweibel Family, Specifically –”


You’ll have to buy it to find out. It costs $17. Don’t be a cheapskate. No one likes a cheapskate. Just forgo paying one-month’s rent. They can’t kick you out. Not right away.

Where can I buy this awesome book?

Here! Or, here! Just screwing with you. Either link will leave you short $17 bucks.

But who cares? It’s the holidays and there are soup kitchens. So, you won’t starve.

Besides, you can always flambé Uncle Hobgoblin.

Disclaimer: I received a comp copy of the book to write the review.


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Can three clueless morons live together without screwing things up?

 Watch the comedy web series Gentlemen’s Dwelling to find out.


“The Champagne Of Web-Series”

Starring Ben Leasure, Joe Lankheet, and Zach Stasz

Directed By Giles Sherwood. Written By Joe Lankheet


Follow the misadventures of three clueless morons, Donald, Louie, and Crantz, as they try to make sense out of . . . anything.

Lacking good judgment and unable to grasp the meaning of the word simple, the three intellectually challenged roommates have a knack for creating chaos out of every situation.

In the first episode, New Roommate, instead of loaning brother, Donald, $35 to help him pay his portion of the rent, Louie comes up with the brilliant idea, “Let’s get a roommate!“ So, they invite their weird neighbor Crantz to move in with them.

I’m not a fan of bathroom humor but thought the episode was funny, though some of the flashbacks could have been shortened or eliminated, which was the case in the second episode, Sherry Baby – I thought was funnier than the first and didn’t have any flashbacks or bathroom humor.

I recommend that you check out all six episodes of Gentlemen’s Dwelling. The writing is strong and the scenes shot with excellent production value and direction. The actors have great chemistry, as well as great comedic sense. I can see this series continuing a very long time. It’s fun and like creeper weed, gets stronger as it percolates in your brain.

Here’s what others are saying:

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen the first three episodes of Gentlemen’s Dwelling, now’s your chance at

Short episodes with maximum yuks, just the way you like ’em.

*Sigh* They just keep getting better and better. Love you guys!!



Gentlemen’s Dwelling Trailer

Weekly 7 min. episodes posted at 12 a.m on Wednesdays.

Nest shows: October 17th & 24th, the last show of the first season.

Watch the first six episodes free at with one quick commercial beforehand.

More episodes airing in November. The second season debuts summer 2013.

If you like tee-shirts, you’ll love Gentlemen’s Dwelling tee-shirts.

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Die Babylon Bitch! Search Your Soul, Not My Computer

For weeks, possibly months – perchance a millennium – I tried to purge the search engine scourge, Babylon, from my Firefox browser.

The scourge appeared one day whilst I opened a tab. Instead of seeing my beloved Google home page, I saw that blight Babylon, not the ancient city, which would have been awesome.

I stared at the strange search urchin on my screen and said, “Bloody hell, what are you? I command you in the name of the Lord to depart the toolbar.”

It didn’t.  It continued bullying Firefox into submission and took over Tab Town.

I searched for answers.  The They-Sayers said:

  • Clear the cache
  • Clear history
  • Check your addons

I did everything they said, but they were wrong.

And the unwelcome search squatter continued its incursion while I continued to seek counsel from other web tech scholars.

They said:

  • Block Babylon under Firefox Options

Nary, this was naught the right answer. Alas, Babylon remained and stalked me like a malware hooligan in the night.

One day after an exhaustive search around the globe, I found the One with answers – Dedicated 2-viruses, a site that cleared my computer and my head of infected Babylon residue. And poof, as suddenly as Babylon appeared, it was gone.


Has your toolbar been hijacked by Babylon?

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Pingback backlash

I’m not a web-tech nerd. Web-tech words, symbols and directions deep fry my brain.

Still, many of us learn web tech stuff simply through osmosis. And learn it I did, this past Monday when I added my blog to Google Analytics.

That took about an hour.

After I added Think Spin to Google Analytics, submitted a site map, using a WordPress plug-in, and then verified I was the site owner, Google performed an integrity check of my blog, which didn’t go well.

Google found several issues, became apoplectic and then was quite rude. It said, “Hey stupid, you have 10,000 problems that must be fixed!”

So, I did what Google told me since it’s usually right about most things.

Though there was that time I ended up on a remote dirt road when using Google maps.

To appease the Google, I dashed over to my dashboard and enacted a plug-in called Wordfence Security, not to be confused with Homeland Security and the color-coded warning system. My warning appeared in the red-letter phrase, “File bad!” or something.

Wordfence informed me that my site had been infiltrated by an evil spam pingback — not a hairy-nosed wombat or pig in the blanket.

But like a hairy-nosed wombat and pig in the blanket, the pingback was bad. So, bad that Google’s web bots couldn’t crawl my site.

Ew! I hate creepy crawly things on my arm or my blog.

Then, Wordfence ordered me to delete the pingback file.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Why should I trust you?” — since we just had met.

I needed confirmation from another source.

After spending the afternoon searching the vast cyber library of “too much information,” I gave up and did what I should have done hours earlier, called BlueHost, my web hosting company.

During a two-minute conversation, BlueHost guy concurred with Wordfence plug-in.

“Delete it!” he said. “We did a back up this morning should anything go wrong.”

“What could go wrong?” Stupid question.

So, I deleted the evil spam pingback, at which time, Wordfence and Google probably popped open a bottle of champagne and celebrated the neophyte’s success in the complex universe of techno nerd babble.

Oh, and I didn’t get any writing done until now.

What did I learn from this? You may ask. Don’t ever bring back a pingback once it’s fallen in the spam.

Got blog troubles?


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Dentist Dementia

It’s eight o’clock in the morning.The caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

“Bite down hard,” the dentist says, referring to the temporary crown he just stuck in my mouth.


“Only one more minute.”

A minute of silence, I hope, but no.

“I recently read a great book called …”


Why didn’t I take Jim’s advice and bring the iPod. He takes his isolation seriously in the chair. He also wears sunglasses. I should have listened to him. The sunglasses would have blocked the bits of glue and tooth that struck me in the eye like shrapnel.

The monologue continued.

“It’s historical fiction. I love historical fiction.”

I love peace and quiet.

“It takes place in the middle east.”

I hear it’s lovely this time of year in the PLO district.

“It’s a fascinating book about…”

I’m pretty sure a minute has passed though I did lose track of time when I nodded off, possibly from inhaling dental glue. I had a lovely dream about lying on a beach by the Sea of Galilee.

“Almost done.”

With the faux crown or your fucking story?

“Read the book in two days…”

I pray it doesn’t take him that long to talk about it. I have to go to work tomorrow. What if he plans to keep me here as a captive audience? What if I never leave the chair? I can’t even call 911 with my limited vocabulary.

911. What’s your emergency?


“I love all the James Michener books. Did you read…”

I had planned to until now.

“I just don’t know how much of the book is true.”

Dude, it’s historical fiction. It doesn’t have to be true.

He checks his watch. “I think it’s done.”

The tooth or monologue?

He sticks his hairy knuckles in my mouth to tinker with the temporary crown. It passes the wiggle test.

“You’re good to go.”

I bolt from the chair, jump into my car and back into a stone wall. Noooooo! I inspect the bumper that now sports a lovely stone dent etching. Can my day get any worse?

I arrive home and sit down at the computer to work on my book. An hour later, I sense an unidentified moving object in my mouth. I remove it.

“Nooooooo!” I stare at the temporary crown sitting in my hand when it should be sitting in my mouth.

I call the dentist. He’s out to lunch, literally and figuratively. I leave a message. Thirty minutes later, his assistant calls me back.

“Can you come over here now?”

So, I go over there now.

It’s two o’clock and I’m back in the chair, teeth clenched on my very temporary crown.

“I recently read a great book called…”

He starts telling me about the same damn book from the morning.


The dude’s got dentist dementia from sniffing too much dental redo glue.

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