Posts Tagged ‘XUP’

There are two people in our family who are just so funny that you love to be around them and often the comment is heard, “if we could get Sharon and Carol together one day, we would die from laughter.” 

Sharon lives in Indiana and Carol in Wisconsin, so it has not happened yet, but Sharon has begun blogging.  She was shamed into it really by a couple of bloggers, okay, me  and her friend.  She tried her hand, Just who are you people? « Braindebris’s Weblog, and was (as we suspected) hysterical.  She is one of ‘those’ people, who if she wrote regularly enough would be publishing a book.  She is that funny, just check out the The Immortal Rabbit « Braindebris’s Weblog if you want to split a gut.

She took a long break from blogging, much to our disgust, and is back now on a weekly blog schedule.  You would think she has a life or something!  She also mentioned it takes a good hour to put a blog post together.  Who knew!   

So, this morning, I checked how her weekend was and she brought up the often mysterious workings of the blogosphere and the people who take the time to read your blog but rarely write comments. 

My readership is not huge, it has dropped since I have gotten less regular in posting. However, in the beginning, when my readership would hit 1,000 for the month, I never had commenters, other than one.  There were 999 people out there lurking.   XUP always comments, all the way from Canada.  Aren’t you ashamed fellow Americans?  I have to get comments from Canada.  Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom often commented, but I have been really remiss commenting on their blog lately.  Don’t you love that name though!

 I have also been blogging a bit less lately myself, as I work on my eternal update to my website.  I feel like one of those people on the commercial, staring wide eyes, pupils dilated from staring at the screen, mind numb … anyway, you get the not pretty picture.  I only have one section left to go on the website and am soooo look forward to it being done.

This morning, here is a copy my monthly stats.  Notice the slow decline.

So, I checked Search terms. 

“no blood for oil Viggo” – as in Viggo Mortensen, no surprise there. Half of my readership is searching for “Viggo” –  Talk about stalkers! 

“Worms …” – EUWWW! especially when in the house. 

“actor with low ears” –  Okay, is this person casting a movie?  I have written about actors, and I have written a post due to the lovely commercial based on the old song “do your ears hang low. ” But, I have NEVER written about an actor with low ears.  I am not even sure why you would want to find an actor with low ears.


In an effort to raise my stats, I realize that I have three sure winners:

  • Viggo Mortensen
  • photography
  • Movie reviews

Okay, Viggo Mortensen is hot and I do understand the fascination.  He keeps his private life mysterious and he’s hot and he likes dark chocolate and he’s hot.  What more could you want?  The only thing is, I do not actually know Mr. Mortensen (I love his name by the way— Viggo Mortensen—-it’s lyrical.  This is coming from someone named VanVleck.  Not so lyrical.

So, I shall now vow to make more of an effort to review movies about Viggo Mortensen and you, my kind readers (numbers 13 to 30 and occasionally 1,000) shall occasionally drop me a line to let me know what you like, or do not like, on my blog.

Oh, and I will try not to be a stalker myself.

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My Master’s Daughter, yes XUP this is MY daughter, not some Master of Tai Kwan Do’s daughter, or Master Chef’s daughter.  She is “MY” oldest daughter and she graduated with a straight A average for her Masters degree in education, so she is “my master’s daughter” and she is back to contributing to the blogosphere.

She is my favorite blog.  Sorry,  XUP but she is my daughter and  she is also the funniest person on this earth, and we are talking a lot of very funny people:

Like Crazy Aunt Purl

and Cake Wrecks

and even Blog | Anthony Bourdain

But, this girl was born seeing the world through funny eyes and her blog is the best ever; daughter or no daughter.  I mean, how many people can find a ton of laughs in cleaning a rabbit cage.  Braindebris’s Weblog.  And, I am talking tears running down my cheeks, laughing so hard I cannot talk now at the picture she has painted of her misadventures cleaning the rabbit cage.  You just gotta read it.

I would also like to point out that the other day I admitted to her:

Under the pressure to be witty and informing on Twitter, I am now cannibalizing your BrainDebris blog and stealing lines.  Oh, the humiliation.
And, now, she begins writing again, after a long absence.  Coincidence?  I think not!!!
HMMM!  There’s this little message at the bottom of her blog in size 3 font.  What does it say????
This blog is property of Braindebris@wordpress.com so back away from that copy/paste bucko and think for yourself!
The little smart aleck!  Guess I’m on my own with Twitter.

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 XUP’s post *XUP* brought up another side of the large family debate.  To recap, there was dad, mom, brother(10 years older) and me in our house.  Quiet does not even begin to describe our house.  If television had never been invented, we could have lived in a morgue.

I loved going to my sister’s house (she lived with my grandmother and my aunt) for holidays.  On Christmas, Mom always worried that we had to leave our toys, but I think that set up for me that holidays were about family.  They were not about money spent on gifts, or the size of the turkey.  They were about sharing.

I loved picking out which gift/s I was going to take and show my sister.  She is ten years older than I am.  I loved opening the car door and waving to my aunt, with her movie camera going.  I loved going into the house and having all the aunts hug and give me a sloppy kiss and then into the kitchen where grandma , who would play the piano on rare occasions, would sneak me bits of my favorite food (generally desert).  I only have two cousins on that side of the family.  They are both male and both older, so there was not a lot of interaction going on.

In the summer, we would have a rare treat of a small Dairy Queen cone, on the way home.  Every season had it’s own special treat and memories.

I only remember one or two family gatherings with my mother’s side of the family.  I was very close to one cousin, out of eighteen, and being a loner do not really remember doing much there. 

That side of the family has some wonderful people and then some truly unbalanced ones who insisted on starting a fight every gathering.  I am sure that put a damper on the whole “get together” thing. 

The fun parts though were when my uncle played fiddle.  I loved his scratchy cigarette voice and also the humor of one of my aunts.  The really sweet, large family aunt made the best apple desert in jelly roll pans and I would go, fights or no fights, purely for her cooking.  Gosh, we have a theme going here; my need for desert.  But, that is for another post. 

I am a loner, but I would not give up the large family gatherings, fights and all, for anything.  It was the exclamation point on a long quiet sentence.

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I was watching “Must Have Dog” and thinking about how neat the protagonists’ large family was.  Ah, blog idea, I thought and began this post, then let it sit and stew for a few days and sure enough, *XUP*, blogs about having a large family.  Great minds or what?

There is a huge difference in people who grow up in a large family as opposed to those of us who are/or are like, only children.  My sister grew up in our grandmother’s home.  This was approximately an hour and a half drive, one way.  Oh, and she is ten years older than I am.   My brother, who was six years older than me and who was my protector/advisor and chess/cribbage partner, died in 1990.  I miss him still. 

While my brother and I were close, there was still that six-year’s difference in our age.  My friends had crushes on him and he helped me out with ‘boyfriend’ issues.  We did not hang out together though.  Vacations hardly count.  Even there, the contact consisted mostly of rolling our eyes at each other while our parents loudly debated whether it was day or night.

Despite these debates, which only occurred anytime our parents were both in the same county, our house was exceedingly quiet.  At times, it was deathly quiet.  Those were the times when dad was not home and the TV was off. 

Unlike people who grow up in big families with: houses full of noise, loud discussions at the dinner table, and lots of games, I like my quiet.  I am used to quiet and it is precious to me.

The three boys, who live with us now, spent many years in a large family.  There were ten children in the family when the last two came to live with us. It almost seems as if being alone is a frightening thing to them, to be avoided at all costs.

I, on the other hand, can sit and stare at patterns in the carpet and be entertained.  Of course, I see things in the patterns that other people do not see.  I am happy to travel alone.  I am fine with eating alone.  Can go to a movie alone and enjoy it.  Quiet is a good thing to me.  I value quiet.  Not so much, people from big families.

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Xup had a great blog on First Impressions, First Impressions « XUP, and mentioned first impressions in choosing hair dressers.

Since, I have an eternal problem with hairdressers, I figure maybe this is my problem.  First, and I do not want to appear bigoted about heavy people, as I have been one of those half my life, I will say that when I have picked a beautician who is in her forties, overweight and graduated from beauty school within th elast two years, it is NOT a good decision.  Of couse the beautician who is 40, has cut hair for years and has died blond spiked hair wasn’t such a good idea either. 

She was local and I was delighted; for two years she gave me the best cut I ever had, then one day, I got home and realized she had only cut half my head.  Literally, she cut the right side of my hair and not the left.  I went back three months later and she did it again, so that was that.

I now have a nice young girl at WalMart, who cuts my hair.  Good ones never last long there but I can hope.  She wasn’t there the last time I went in and I took the 40 year old overweight newbie and yup!  Bad haircut.  I had to come home and do some snipping myself.

And, that is never a good thing.

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XUP had a blog on ideas for blogging. A wee bit of cheating there, but something I have needed as my brain has just been too tired to think of something lately.

But, it was her blog link list that reminded me of an idea I had, and had not worked on, and that is: my blogger name.

Xup has a long list of bloggers, from Canada and from the US and some of the names are so cool.

A sibilant intake of breath – Okay, where is my dictionary
Diary of a Turtlehead – You want to click on this to see just what a turtlehead is.
Fabric of her reality – I could always use a day in someone else’s reality.
Knitting is my boyfriend – I certainly understand that.
Mean old mommy – and what mother has not heard that
Minty fresh – I expect to see pictures of green hills.  Unfortunately, it is a black background with grey print and too hard to read for my eyes.
Tales from a grouch – Gosh, my father incarnate
Trashy’s world reminds me of the time my neice was complaining because she was getting sexual email. I asked her what her screen name was and she said, “Big Jugs.” I rest my case
Deep Friar – somehow a painful thought

And at the bottom of her list is probably my favorite, “Uncouth Heathen.”

And, somewhere in the middle of this all is me: SaVanVleck. Now, could you get any more creative? I mean, I am an artist, so I should have thought up some cool name, myself. Here’s a few I thought of today:

Daughter of a grouch – too close to Tales from a grouch
You laugh too much – a statement grouch made to his wife and granddaughter once.  That is my father, grouch and not Tales from a grouch.

A painter of people

Unable to format my blogs (it is double spacing here for no reason at all)

Okay, see therein is my problem, I am horrible at naming things. 

P.S. I am not linking each of these blogs, so anyone who wishes to find a new and exciting blog to read, go to XUP, she has the links.

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It would always be nice to get the full story before you write a story.  Perhaps I need to start treating this blog as I did my school newspaper days.  The full stories are usually so much more interesting. 


This is in answer to XUP on a blog I wrote a couple of days ago  We have an exciting future ahead of us! « Savanvleck’s Weblog about my great grandfather bringing home railroad dishes that were dumped out at the end of the line.  I have now received an answer from mom Padairvanvleck’s Weblog, so here is the full story, or as full as we know.


My great grandfather was a nighttime switchman.  He did not enter the dining cars or any train cars.  He stayed outside. 


Apparently there was no union for, probably any of them, but the waiters did not get paid overtime.  So, if they stayed to do any dishes, after their run, it was on their own time and we all know how tired you can be after standing and walking and working in a train for “x” number of hours; and they weren’t going to “give” the railroad company their time.  So, they would pick up the table cloths, with dishes in them and dump them, food and all.


 Mom also states about the dish pile,  “I suppose rats ate any food,   But Mom did like the heavy dishes, because we didn’t break them so easily, when doing dishes. …goodness, he had a lot of faults, but I doubt stealing was one of them.  I’ve just never considered his story anything but the truth. I think if anything, he would say they gave him the dishes because they didn’t want to wash them before they went home. If the railroad found themselves short of dishes at any point. they could blame it on travelers , as I’m sure some were broken that way…


“Since it was the last run of the day,  and at no time did Grandpa claim it was a huge amount on a run, perhaps only one table was still to be emptied. We will never know. I do know that if Grandpa DID steal them, he would think it a great joke after we moved to the hill, because that’s when he retired.”


I could tell you a lot of other Great Grandfather stories:

·        He liked to throw roaches on the wood stove because no one else liked the smell.

·        When a window was broken and there was no money for glass, he liked to tack the spare linoleum with the pattern out because it mortified my mother when she got off the school bus.  This lead to a great story of one of her grandmother’s standing staring out the “lineoleum covered dark underside” window one night for some time and then stating,  “It’s the darkest night I’ve ever seen.”

·        He had a naked chicken (no feathers) for a pet


The stories go on but I’m waiting for the book to come out.  Mom is writing her life story  and it should be a doozy.


P.S.  Mom send me another email this morning.  Here’s the final installment of this story:


“Did I tell you that Grandpa wasn’t the only one that brought home those dishes. It was common knowledge, and he didn’t always get first pick. Sometimes he only brought one item home. He had to be on duty, to catch the dishes thrown away , and if he was down the line when the waiters cleared the last tables, the throw-a-ways were picked up by others.  They may even have eaten left over sandwiches. or doughnuts.  With food being so scarce,  I’ll bet they didn’t mind a half eaten sandwich.”

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XUP Bedtime Stories for the Stout-Hearted « XUP tells the best stories.  I have heard of Rasputin before but this is a great retelling. 

What this has to do with today’s post, you ask?  I am not sure, but I will try to find a way to bring it in.  I just read XUP’s post and had to pass it on.

I am sitting here thinking about fish and guests.  You know that saying about a fish and guests after three days.  I have a guest who is going on fifteen days now.   Today, I sit and think of ways to get her to leave.  Perhaps just, “EMT said you were leaving today, don’t forget the children’s toys.”

Yes, she has children, at her mother’s home and she has gone there and gotten all  three of them once, so I had a Saturday of children and then one of them once, so I babysat for that one.  I’m thinking she is just too comfortable here and it’s time to stop feeding her.

EMT has stated that she is not the person he thought she was.  I pointed out that living with someone can sometimes show that up, and that no one said she would be living here.  He had said, and I quote, “you’ll be seeing a lot of X .”  And that is not X as in XUP.  Her I could put up with for fourteen days.  She, I told you I could find a way. 

Anyway, this girl has got to go.  Fifteen straight days is WAY MORE than a lot of someone.  And, with her, I think three days might be more than enough.

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I am the outcast in a family of game players.


Every Christmas, we travel to Masters Daughter’s house and the male members of the family spend five straight days playing games.  The younger ones extend the days into night by gaming with Play Stations and X Boxes, while the older ones keep it to a loud daytime activity of board games and card games.


Why is it that people have to rehash each and every hand after they play a game of cards?  These are the same children who cannot be bothered to do homework because, after all, they have passed the test and they have listened in class, so why go over it one more time? They would rather lower their grade, than turn in their homework.  But, they think nothing of spending fifteen minutes talking about who had which card, endlessly, all the while dealing out the next hand.


This year it was decided that the Clue game isn’t large enough so Gaffer is on a mission to extend the game to make it larger.  I’m with XUP,Patience Is My Middle Name « XUP and I’m sorry (well, not really) to link to her so often, but geez, how can you resist a line like this:




“Or wanting to pull your own internal organs through your own throat rather than play a board game.”




Confession time:  I do concede to play Dominoes and Cribbage.   My brother, David and I played Cribbage and Chess by the campfire and it is all good memories to me.  I’m so rusty on Chess that I would need a new teacher but I whomped Gaffer at Cribbage the other day and Army Boy and I are trying to figure out how to play Cribbage between Indiana and Kuwait. 


As far as dominoes:  It is a quick game.  Nobody rehashes what numbers they had for fifteen minutes and the dominoes themselves are very tactile.

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XUP you are my soul and my inspiration.   There, that is your song fix for the day.

She is hysterical though.  She is doing posts on people of age groups.  I have just begun to read them.  I have to ration myself daily on my blog reading or I would never get anything else done; like my own blog, my Advanced Middle Grade Novel that is getting near enough to completion, it is exciting to me again.  In other words, I’m over the hump, oh, there is also dishes, the grocery list and, hummm, perhaps I should get dressed this morning.

Not that I am sitting in my altogether.  THAT would scar people.  Although, I have lost five pounds now (notice how slickly I threw that in???)

Anyway, Xup posted The 6 Most Annoying Things About Old People « XUP.  And, apparently, Xup was behind mom and I the last time we shopped.  I have to wonder, like every time I take her shopping actually (and I am talking about mom here and not XUP; no way am I driving to Canada to take XUP shopping.  I don’t even have a passport). 

So, I take mom shopping.  I have gotten smart enough now, to NOT do my own shopping at the same time.  I usually have a few items to get that are non-food, and then I go check on mom, who is by now, in the vegetable department, even though she started tooling down the aisle in her electric buggy, for the cooler.

“What do you need Mom?  Can I help you?”  I say, looking down in her cart to see eggs.

“I need milk.  It has to be lactaid–and don’t get that 1% stuff, I want whole milk.” 

“Okay, anything else?”

At which point she tears off the top section of her list, which is food that is all in that cooler section and hands it to me, apologizing for her handwriting, and then, as I walk away she adds, “I need vitamins too.”  Which would be fine if we were in Kroger’s but we are in WalMart and the vitamins are on the other side of the store.  ALLL the way on the other side of the store.

I come back with that lot of food and she is now almost back to the cooler section and tells me she now needs mushrooms; which is where we started.

We finally get to the checkout desk and she is tying her bags shut so that we can “tell them apart.”  Never mind that she did this when she lived with us, in the same house.  Never mind that I have a Chrysler Voyager and I put my stuff in the back and her stuff in the seat area behind the front seats. 

She is also telling the girl not to pack so much in a bag because they will be too heavy for her to carry.  Never mind that she hasn’t taken her own groceries up to her apartment more than twice in three years; at least that I have taken her to the store.  I actually empty her bags out onto the counter for her.  But, I appreciate them not being too heavy.

If she has only bought a small item at the store, yes  XUP, she must pick through her coin purse for exact change, all the while apologizing to the clerk for her hand writing even though she isn’t writing anything.  She does this too for her debit card. 

And, just why is it that she enters a door and stops; right there, in the door.  Or waits for the elevator by standing in front of it?  Or waiting for me to open a door by standing in front of it?  The story that sticks out in my mind is coming out of the post office with two large boxes in hand and it is pouring rain and the car door is locked and she sits there watching me trying not to drop the boxes as I fumble for my keys, in the rain, with two boxes in hand and never thinks to pop the locks with the button.  But, dad always did that stuff.  Some day she may end up trapped in a car because she has no idea how to unlock the door.

But, I love her stories, even when I hear them three times a day.  Like you, I know I am looking at my future.

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