A CERTAIN SMILE, A POKER FACE

Droll is one of those words whose most common usage belies its “official” dictionary definition. Usually, I hang with official definitions of words, but this time, I’m going with common usage.


adjective
1. curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement.
“his unique brand of droll self-mockery”
synonyms: funny, humorous, amusing, comic, comical, mirthful, hilarious; More
noun – archaic
1. a jester or entertainer; a buffoon.


When you hear someone say “How droll!”, they aren’t talking about a jester or buffoon. They are talking about a certain dry wit or clever use of words. There’s nothing buffoonish about drollery. Actually, the thing that makes it different from other kinds of “humor” is its dryness — and how often one can deliver humor with a straight face.

I should know. I live with Garry, a man who wasted his life by never playing poker. Garry can say the most outrageous stuff with a complete poker face. I’ve known him since 1963 — maybe it was 1964? Which is a pretty long time as friendships go in our lifetime. To this day, I do not know if he is joking or not. He doesn’t even get that little lip twitch to alert me to his fooling around.

I begin to respond and he puts up both his hands and says “Whoa, I was JOKING. You didn’t think I was serious … did you?”

Well, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but yet, I did. And usually the reason I’m outraged is I can’t believe he would say something like that. The answer is, he didn’t. He just assumes if anyone will get him, I will. Mostly, I do. Eighty percent, I get him. The other twenty percent? He got me.

I tell him, regularly, he missed his calling. Television? Delivering the news without laughing? That was tricky … but he could play poker with anyone and bluff them all. If only he could figure out which card is which. Because even in poker with the world’s best poker face, you need to be able to tell a club from a diamond.

EXPERIMENTAL STYLES

WordPress Photo Challenge: Experimental


This seemed like a good time to try doing a few things … differently. From inside my blue living room, a DaVinci sketch, and one slightly impressionist painting.

My blue living room – painted!
Impressionist painting
And then, Leonardo DaVinci dropped by …
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

TURNS OUT YOU DON’T ACTUALLY NEED A PRESIDENT – BY TOM CURLEY

I wrote this post months ago. It was originally called “It’s A Crazy Idea, But It Just Might Work”.  I thought it was a joke, but, it turns out it’s working! Rather better than I thought it would. And now, with Trump back in the country … 


I’m not the first person to notice or comment on this, but  60 to 70 percent of Americans have been going thru the 5 Stages Of Grief after the election of, well, you know who.

freep.com

A few are still in Stage One, Denial. A lot are still in Stage Two, Anger. Most still seem to be stuck in Stage Three, Bargaining. Particularly the press. “Pivoting” and becoming “Presidential” are daily talking points.

youtube.com
youtube.com

Many have reached Stage Four, Depression. A few have made it to Stage Five, Acceptance.  Now as any grief counselor will tell you, people go through these stages at different times and some go through some stages but not all.  For example, I’ve gone through the first four but I can’t get to the fifth. Unless disgust counts as acceptance.

handheldpyrometer.com
handheldpyrometer.com

But here’s the thing.

No matter what stage of grief you are currently in, or whether you will go through all of them or just a few …

THIS GUY IS STILL

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!!

capitolhillblue.com
capitolhillblue.com

So, what are we going to do about it?

business2community.com

We don’t have a lot of options, but one of our best options is the hope that he does nothing.

By which I mean NOTHING.

Nothing that’s Presidential, like “Running the Country” kind of stuff. Believe it or not, the government would survive if the President does nothing.  If you’ve ever worked for a large corporation you know that if the CEO goes on vacation for a month the company still runs just fine. Most times, even better.

The US government is a huge company and like any giant ship of state, it has a lot of inertia.

Our Ship of State (titanicstory.com)

Most government workers have worked there for decades. Their bosses come and go every four years, but they stay. They know what to do. George W Bush took 407 days of vacation during his two terms. That is one year, one month and 12 days of vacation for an 8-year job.  Looking back, would it have been so bad if he had taken even more time off?

crewof42.com
crewof42.com

So the problem becomes how do we prevent the new President from doing any “Running the Country” kind of stuff? In this case I don’t think it will be too hard. We, the American People need to KEEP HIM BUSY!

nytimes.com
nytimes.com

Think about it. For the first time ever, because of Twitter, a single individual can directly interact with the President of the United States and actually get his attention! He responds with amazing consistency. He must fight back over any “Mean Tweet”. “Mean Tweets” have occupied him from a few days to more than a week or so at a time.

youtube.com
youtube.com

So, we have to come up with “Mean Tweets.” Tweets that will cause him to retaliate.

Here’s an example:

@HeyLookOverHere! Hey Mister President! Why are your feet so small?! Why is nobody talking? Has the cover-up already started? SAD! #TinyPedaledPOTUS  #TeenyFeetInChief #TenLittleTinyPiggies

smosh.com
smosh.com

I checked this out on Snopes.com and it’s actually true!

There’s been  lots of talk and jokes made about the size of the New Commander In Chief’s hands.  But why has nobody noticed or mentioned his feet?  Turns out, they’re not that big! Proportional to the rest of his body, his feet are tiny!  According to the scales and tables set up by the “American Association of Podiatry Advisory and Measurements Board,” the President-elect’s feet are “… between 20 and 28 percent smaller than they should be for a person of his height.”

triloquist.net
triloquist.net

And people are starting to notice. People are saying they’ve heard that he buys shoes that are too big and stuffs them with paper ripped from the Wall Street Journal.

thefineyounggentleman.com
thefineyounggentleman.com

That should occupy him for a day or two. We have to all help by re-tweeting each week’s “Mean Tweet”. The more people that re-tweet a “Mean Tweet,” the more the President will notice. He pays close attention to this stuff!

politicususa.com
politicususa.com

It’s even better if the press picks up the “Mean Tweet”. That almost guarantees a rapid response from the Oval Office.

We all must work together! Organize! Come up with a schedule!! That’s the most important part. A schedule! We have  to keep him busy for four years.

purepursuitauto.com
purepursuitauto.com

But we’re Americans! We can do it!

We don’t have to stop at Twitter. Get him involved with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat,

isys6621.com
isys6621.com

My Space!  (OK that last one’s a joke for the old folks.)

This is how the next four years have to go.

CHIEF OF STAFF:  Sir, the Ambassador from (fill in the blank) is here.

PRESIDENT: Leave me alone! I’m trying to pick the right default Instagram filter for all my pictures!

coolmaterial.com
coolmaterial.com

It’s a crazy plan, but it just might work!! And remember, any article or email or post you receive that starts with the statement: “I checked this on Snopes.com and it’s true” … ISN’T!

I obviously made up the story about his feet. But that’s no reason not to re-tweet it. Twitter has been his secret weapon and he’s been using it well. It can also be his kryptonite.

On a separate note, I’m sort of proud that I could write this whole blog without once actually typing the name Donald Trump.

 

pinterest.com
pinterest.com

Crap.

THE WORLD OF ATTORNEY CONFERENCES – BY ELLIN CURLEY

My first husband, Larry, was a litigation lawyer in New York City. He specialized in bankruptcy law. Every year there are numerous legal conferences that provide continuing education for practicing attorneys all over the country. It’s a way to help lawyers keep up with the new developments in their fields. Attendance at a few a year is usually required by most large law firms. The firms usually paid for the airfare, accommodations and enrollment fees.

So these conferences were seen by practicing attorneys as mini vacation opportunities. They were always held in prime vacation destinations, like Scottsdale, Ar., San Francisco, CA, Park City, Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Skiing in Park City, Utah at Norton bankruptcy conference

Larry gradually started speaking on the panels of these conferences. He eventually hooked up with the Norton Bankruptcy Judges’ Conference and became a regular faculty member at their meetings. We ended up going to at least two or three a year.

These conferences were a lot of work for Larry. He had to do extensive research on the new cases in his assigned topic area. He had to put together a huge booklet of materials for all the conference attendees. But he loved it. And continued to do it for many, many years.

I almost always went along with Larry. We also often took our two kids. We developed close friendships with the Norton family who ran the conference – senior parents and two adult children, plus their spouses and kids. We also became good friends with many other lawyers who also regularly spoke on the panels. Many of us had kids of roughly the same age, so our kids also formed friendships with their conference buddies from all over the country.

One of the Norton canvas bags given out at each conference

These conferences were often the highlights of our year. We loved them! We’ve done some wonderful things on our conference circuit travels. We explored Yellowstone National Park several times and did white water rafting and horse back riding in Wyoming. We once had a special, exclusive tour of Sea World at a party there in San Diego, CA. We skied almost every year in Park City, Utah.

Horseback riding at a Norton Conference

On one skiing trip, two other conference families got stranded with us at the top of a mountain in a white out, with zero visibility. We were stuck in the lodge at the top of the mountain until the ski instructors felt they could safely guide us down the mountain.

In Scottsdale, Ar., we all took a guided tour into the desert. Part of the tour was a mini lesson in shooting. The guide set up beer cans for us to shoot and taught us how to use his gun. No one got anywhere near the cans, even the instructor. Except for me. I hit one dead on. Larry insisted that it was a fluke or beginner’s luck. So I took another shot. Another can went down! Everyone was stunned and impressed. My nine-year old son turned to his Dad and quietly told him, “Dad. You’d better not piss off Mom!”

Whitewater rafting with the kids at a bankruptcy conference. We are at the very front.

I became known for one thing on these trips. I was the only wife who got up at 6:30 AM, on vacation, to go and watch her husband’s panel presentations. I was a lawyer so I could follow the discussion to at least some extent. And I was very proud of Larry. He was an excellent speaker and teacher. I felt it was important to be there to support him and cheer him on. Larry was very proud to be the only panelist with a claque in the audience.

My kids got their faces painted at a big event at one of the conferences

I have about twenty souvenir canvas bags from the various Norton Conferences over the years. I still use them, but I really keep them as souvenirs. They remind me of all the fun times we had traveling the country in the cause of bankruptcy law education!