: where do ideas come from? :

April 22, 2015 § 4 Comments

No one knows. Their origins are as inscrutable as crop circles and Stonehenge.


Oh, plenty of people claim to know the secret; plenty more have a sure-fire, foolproof method for sparking brilliant new thoughts. On demand. At the snap of your fingers. Well, I’m here to tell you, ideas can’t be trained. They don’t come when they’re called; they won’t fetch or roll over, either. They’ll play dead, though. They’re doing it now. At this very moment.

I thought I had one, but when I looked closely, it wasn’t moving. No signs of life. I nudged it with my foot, I poked it with a stick, nothing, no response. Great, now what? Well, once in a while I’ll find a stray idea in the shower or under the covers, so I checked there, but nope. Not this time. The cupboards are bare.

As a last resort I looked around my brain and you know what I came up with? Dust bunnies and a pretty elaborate cobweb. I really need to use that thing more. Brains atrophy, you know, turn feeble from lack of use. So if you’ll excuse us, my brain and I are going for some exercise on this lovely spring afternoon. Maybe we’ll stumble on an idea along the way.

falling icon

A pothole is more likely, but we’ll keep a good thought.

Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: nun’s farts and spotted dick :

April 19, 2015 § 14 Comments

unsureReally? On a Sunday? Nun’s farts? I ought to be ashamed of myself, stooping to such childish behavior, but, no, I’m good. Nun’s farts (pets de nonne) and spotted dick (spotted dick) aren’t what you expect. Not even close.

They’re desserts. The fancy kind. Well, maybe not the spotted dick so much, but the nun’s farts are pastrypretty hoity-toity. Being French and all. One’s a pastry and one’s a pudding. Yes, the one’s French, but the other’s strictly English. And both are flipping hilarious. Imagine asking for one, out loud, in a restaurant. The thought reduces you to a third grader, doesn’t it? Drunk and giddy on inappropriate language.

Why is that still fun? We’re grown-ups, what’s the big thrill? We use vulgar, profane language like longshoremen, but spotted dick sends us into hysterics. Why? Well, it’s an involuntary reaction, we just dissolve in helpless mirth, giggling and hooting. There’s no explanation; we’re simply immature, that’s all. Stuck in the awkward stage — mentally.

puddingAt the mention of spotted dick, an unfortunate skin condition springs to mind with a vivid mental image. And it’s not a pudding, nor is it welcome on the dinner table. Not in polite society, anyway. Nun’s farts are plain blasphemous, flat-out wrong on so many levels. It goes against all that’s holy and sacred for a double-barreled laugh. Nuns? Flatulent? Go wash your mouth out. Fine, but shouldn’t we taste them first? They smell heavenly, mmm.

It’s not just the dessert world, either. Nature’s packed with wildly funny names. Take birds. Have you seen the American Bushtit or the Blue-Footed Booby? How about the Hairy Woodpecker? Don’t miss Clark’s Nutcracker, the Dickcissel and Woodcock. Hoohahahahahahahahahahahahahahah, stop, I can’t breathe.


I so love words.

Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: hats and the women who wear them :

April 15, 2015 § 4 Comments

You need the right type of head to wear a hat properly. Or maybe you need the right kind of attitude. Or is it the hair? Whatever the secret is, I don’t have it; I didn’t inherit the hat gene. Not everyone does, but not everyone realizes it.

Renoir girls

Yeah, so?

They look ridiculous. You’re supposed to look elegant, born to fashion. The lucky women who do have an unfair advantage over the rest of us. Hats are the greatest convenience of modern times. Having a bad hair day? Pop on a hat. Warts? A hat with a veil. Cold? A wooly cap. Sleepy? A wide, floppy brim, cocked at the right angle. There’s no limit to what a hat can hide.

Princess Diana was born to wear hats. The Queen, too. ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,’ my eye. Those dames have ladies-in-waiting, personal secretaries, palaces teeming with eager helpers, they don’t need to look good in hats, too. Women with crummy hair and no beauty skills need the hat-friendly heads. Women like me.

In the bleak depths of winter I will resort to a hat with ear flaps. Even in a size small, the thing is proportioned like an astronaut’s helmet, albeit red and fuzzy. I need the chin strap just to keep it anchored. Nothing but desperation, and a pathological fear of being cold, could coerce a hat onto my tiny head. Nothing. Other women look terrific in the same style hat, casual and fun, trendy, even. Me? No.

I only want to look good in hats. Why is that asking too damn much?

silo w:veilCopyright © 2015 Publikworks


: you’re welcome to bite me :

April 12, 2015 § 18 Comments

grilled cheese

Go ahead, feast your eyes on what is a powerfully tempting sight: the classic grilled cheese sandwich. Or plateful of sunshine, whichever. You see one of those parked in front of you and, hot damn, life is worth living, winter or summer.

The crunch, the steamy aroma, the soft, gooey cheese, greasy fingers to lick — you’re holding heaven in two hands, my friend. So why are we messing with it? Put down the ciabatta bread and the focaccia, step away from the Gorgonzola and pesto, the bacon and all the rest. Stop, okay? The grilled cheese is glorious the way it is — two slices of bread, two slices of cheese, butter, and a skillet. Simple as that.

Not everything needs to be gentrified and up scaled, you know. Some things are perfect the way they are. Natural wonders. Like you, for instance. You’re ideal, an exemplary human being. Even with your foibles and idiosyncrasies and shortcomings you’re a delight. How would you like it if you were constantly undergoing renovation and updating? You wouldn’t. You’d resent it.

Imagine how the grilled cheese feels. We need to let it be, ladies and gentlemen, just keep our hands off and accept it for what it is. A plain tasty sandwich, period. It isn’t new, it isn’t improved, but the grilled cheese is a magnificent masterpiece all the same. Exactly the way nature intended.

Sure, you, too.

satisfied guy

Happy Grilled Cheese Day, boys and girls!

Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: the culprit unmasked :

April 8, 2015 § 6 Comments

burglarAn Investigation

Something or someone has been hogging my cellular data. No sooner does the billing cycle begin than, ding, the text messages start pouring in — ‘You’ve used 75% of your 3GB; you’ve used 90% of your 3GB; we’ve added 1GB of data and charged your account.’

Oh, yeah? I want to know where you’re sending it.

Thus my investigation was launched. I had a list of likely suspects and WordPress was at the top. Google was up there with them. So I avoided both of them like a dark alley. The text messages kept on coming, though. A call to AT&T blamed my phone, ¹ which I did not fall for.  I decided to try turning off cellular data overnight, which didn’t help a whole lot. As a last resort, I turned it off altogether, except to check email or make a quick visit on the Internet.

It was a serendipitous move, turning it off.

Not only was I able to avoid a data overage, the invasive and bothersome prompts  from iTunes ² stopped. They quit demanding I sign in with my apple id. Hallelujah and yay. Angry Birds stopped freezing, as well. Who knew cellular data was such a troublemaker? I didn’t. And, there it was, my first clue. A break in the case.

Long story short, the villain turned out to be none other than Angry Birds. All those videos and commercials they make you endure? They’re brought to you by … cellular data. Duh, right? Thousands and thousands of megabytes every game, which add up to gigabytes and costly overages over time. I was paying to be bombarded with advertising.

The moral of our story here? When you turn on Angry Birds, turn off cellular data. Live happily, and frugally ever after. The end.

fingerprintcopyright © 2015 publikworks

¹ Have you ever noticed how AT&T always blames the customer or the equipment? It’s never them or their puny, inadequate network. In the old days, before smartphones, every issue was caused by water. And you. It was your fault, you got the phone the wet — somehow.

² More than twenty years with a Mac, never a problem. They’re pushing me with the iPhone, though, really pushing me with their constant,unrelenting demands for information. Back off already.

: time’s up :

April 5, 2015 § 12 Comments

Easter is upon us, a glorious and promising time of year. Decision time, too.

harold lloyd

I gave up God for Lent, remember? For forty weekdays, beginning on Ash Wednesday, I tried being a non-believer. Not an agnostic and not an atheist, but not one of the faithful, either. And, much to my surprise, there wasn’t a backlash, no reprisals — unless you consider the email about burial insurance a warning? I still have all my parts, the sun’s shining, and life stumbles on.

I expected thunderbolts, frankly. The fact there were none could be interpreted two ways, though: God wrote me off long ago or there is no God or the old dude is just biding His time. Okay, three ways. I still have no idea what to believe, however, there’s been no real progress either way.

One unexpected revelation, if you’re interested. When there’s bad stuff, car accidents and layoffs and such, that’s punishment, wrath from on high. The good stuff, the steadfast loyalty of friends and a car that runs, those things are bait. Enticements. They may be Heaven sent, but they’re loaners. I’ll pay for them, one way or another.

So I believe in God, all right; I believe He’s out to get me.

And while I can’t hide, I can make a run for it. Especially in the new White Castle sneakers from Vans and New York streetwear brand Supreme. How’s that for a segue? Jerseys, beanies, and work jackets will be part of the collection, too. Maybe I’ll go the full monty and disguise myself as a White Castle employee named Tina.

vansOr stop worrying and wish you all a delightful Easter :o)

Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: who are you going to believe? :

April 1, 2015 § 5 Comments

thinkingToday? No one. Not if you plan to retain a hint of self-respect. You’ll need to be on your toes, sharp as a tack. You’ll need a discerning eye and a big dose of skepticism, too.

It’s April Fool’s Day, my friends, pranks and humiliation await. May I offer a few words of advice? Don’t believe anything you see or hear or read. Today is all about deception and feeling foolish. With luck and a miracle, you’ll escape with minimal damage to your pride. You’d better practice being doubtful and I’ve come to help.

Below are a number of statements, some fact and some fiction. The trick is to tell one from the other. Test yourself, how good are you at spotting deceit? Submit your answers in a comment; I’ll grade them and tell you exactly how well you did. Tomorrow. Ready?


Two Choices, True or False:

[1]   It was 76ºF in Antarctica earlier this week. 

[2]   If you’re murdered in the U.S., there’s a one in two chance your killer will never be identified. So many of them hide.

[3]   I, Lisa at publikworks, accepted a position as staff writer at The Onion in Chicago.

[4]  A Cleveland woman stabbed her boyfriend (twice) for eating all the salsa. Police charged her with felonious assault. What felonious? He ate all the salsa.

[5]  Apple Computers is in secret talks to acquire Applebee’s International. They plan to introduce iPads featuring iRoma, technology that enables diners to enjoy the savory aroma of select dishes while viewing the entrée in astonishing 3D.

Good luck, kids. Now I’m off to Florida for a week of well-deserved, long overdue vacation.*

beach umbrella

Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

* Wait, you fell for that? Oy, you’re in for a long day, kiddo. I’m headed to Starbucks and a wi-fi connection.