Tag Archives: humor writers

Burning the Latte

"Medium" Starbucks Pumpkin Latte

“Medium” Starbucks Pumpkin Latte

After recently paying over $4 for a festive holiday latte at Starbucks, I’ve started making my own at home. Don’t get excited. I didn’t buy one of those insanely expensive new coffee/espresso/latte/single-serve machines. I use leftover coffee, a couple hits of Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup, cinnamon and fat-free creamer. It’s not bad. There’s no foofy foam on top or sprinkles, but it’ll do.

The other morning, I actually burned the latte. I was doing remote cooking in the style of  HWNLI (“He Who No Longer Inhabits” or the “new” Voldemort) and left the pot simmering away while I was distracted by the pup. My gas stove that goes from gentle simmer to fry the hell out of it in under 8 seconds made a boiling, sticky mess all over the burner. Lovely. I drank some of it anyway.

Carbo Load

What is it about this time of year, besides my rampant SAD (seasonal affective disorder – kind of depression “lite”), that makes me put every sugar-laden item in a five-mile radius in my mouth? Brownie bites are no longer satisfactory alone – they must have a scoop or TWO of peppermint ice cream on top!

This would be a good plan if I wanted to be a sumo wrestler. Reminds me of something a psychiatrist with whom I used to work (not as a patient, a colleague) said when I mentioned trying to lose weight. He said, “Maybe you should just revise your goals to become as big as possible.” I worry sometimes that he gave similar advice to his patients.


In an attempt to cool it w/ the sweets, I had a clementine orange today. OK, let’s quit pretending that fruit is just as satisfying as a hunk of chocolate. Seriously. I love apples, but this time of year, they need to be baked w/ brown sugar or dipped in something.

To Ham or Not to Ham

Not unlike the masses, I think about buying one of those spiral-sliced, glazed (see brown sugar above) hams this time of year. If I do, I then have to eat 34 ham sandwiches even after splitting leftovers w/ my mother. But it’s often worth it for the bean soup I make w/ the bone. But now these suckers are like $4.99/lb. and of course the smallest you can purchase is 73 lbs. I may have to opt for another meat du jour this year.

Okay, I just proved my own point that most blogs go on and on with the most inane drivel disguised as interesting stuff. But maybe now you too are inspired to chuck the expensive latte habit and burn your own at home?

Alter Ego

When I’m not writing this blog about trips to Trader Joe’s and wine selections, I actually write for a living. I know, I know. That’s hard to believe, but I often pay my bills w/ writing income. In the interest of cross-promoting (like cross-dressing, but w/ less flair and mascara), here’s an article I wrote that was just re-posted on the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop blog. Thanks to author Tim Bete for his assist. Check it out and then stay and read about other humor writers who don’t have side jobs…

“Ahoy Matey: Pirate Parenting Eases Stress of Moving”


We Explore Southern Writers and Krispy Kremes: Weigh In


I thought it would be fun to veer from the usual SPGL format and interview a writer pal. Amy Mullis is a published author, humor writer and food enthusiast. Amy lives in South Carolina, “in a suburb of Sugar Tit, which is possibly the best thing that could happen to a humorist.” 

Amy and I met several years ago while writing for a digital magazine and immediately bonded over our finely-tuned sense of humor, inability to pay attention in meetings and love of Krispy Kremes.

SPGL: Welcome, Amy!

AM: “First I’d like to say that I love your blog. I regularly stop by to read it, but I don’t always comment because the lists make me hungry and I wander off for a snack. Also, I’ve noticed that your lists often contain wine. Handy tip:  I save money by substituting comparable but thriftier items, such as juice from the grapes I forgot to throw out last month.  Always remember that good things can come from refrigerator harvests.”

SPGL: Thanks for the plug, A! You’re a talented and successful writer. Here’s a question about your “process” – Do you live to write or do you live to eat? (Since this is a food-focused blog, I have to ask the hard questions.)

AM: “I believe that eating and writing can coexist peacefully. I haven’t seen an essay yet that isn’t made better by a smudge of chocolate and a sprinkling of crushed pecans. And raspberry filling. And whipped cream. And… could you excuse me a second? I have to go check on something in the snack aisle.”

SPGL: I know from previous chats that you’re quite a fan of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. As a writer, do those misspellings bother you? Is glazed your favorite?

AM: “Krispy Kreme originated in my back yard. Not my actual back yard because they’d be covered in red mud, but in the “other” Carolina just over the border.  So I thought Krispy Kreme was the correct spelling until I conducted in-depth research on Google five minutes ago. But people that spell doughnuts without the “ugh”?  I have ughly thoughts about them. (See what I did there? I call that humor. My kids call that an excuse to roll their eyes like Atlantic City dice.)  Also, I’ve had a flirtation with glazed for years, but my blood runneth raspberry cream. Or kreme. Either one makes my arteries go pitter pat.”

SPGL: You live in SC. We Northerners believe that y’all (is that correct?) live on chicken-fried steak and grits. Have you ever made a sandwich replacing bread w/ chicken-fried steak?

AM: “You can’t replace bread with chicken fried steak because done correctly there is gravy on top and that would send the whole meal into the “gooshy stuff we eat over the sink” category.  (Interesting fact: There is also chicken fried chicken which is not the same as fried chicken although it’s fried. And chicken. Go figure.) However, if you’ll check with Paula Deen (referenced below and who always, I mean ALWAYS, looks like a zombie in her photographs and who is probably planning a meal around chicken fried brainz) you can make a sandwich using a sliced doughnut for bread. Add bacon and it’s nature’s perfect food. Y’all.”

SPGL: According to Southern cook Paula Deen, TV Star and High Priestess of Fat Content, recipes should always stick to a 75% fat to 25% sugar ratio. Would you weigh in on that?

AM: “Never say “weigh” to a Southerner.”

SPGL thanks Amy for taking the time to stop by, especially since she had to put down a donut to focus. Catch more of her on her blog, Mind Over Mullis and on An Army of Ermas, where she’s a regular contributor.


Dessert AGAIN? Okay, I’m In!


I recently returned from the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. It was great to experience hands-on, career-building, professional guidance combined with personal enrichment and renewal. Oh yeah, there were also lots of really good desserts.

Were you expecting more info and insight about the writing profession aspects of the workshop? Sorry, I can’t stray too far away from my blog’s “brand.” I must be true to my vast readership.

Workshop Essentials

The workshop was a 3-day event which required some thoughtful planning. I packed some big-girl professional clothes, some favorite pens, my laptop, Kindle Fire (love!) and the trip essentials.

Other important stuff:

  • Two bottles of wine – for hosting happy hour in my room or drinking alone (no comment)
  • Pretzel Crisps – the “everything” type
  • Granola bars – they always get squished in transit, but I eat them anyway
  • Bottled water – those baby bottles at the Marriott don’t cut it

I attended the Erma workshop in 2008 (it’s held every two years, but I missed 2010 when my life blew up) and remember being impressed with the presenters and the food – not necessarily in that order.

They feed you constantly throughout the three days. Not just the usual meals, but snacks between sessions with real food like fruit and cookies. Then there were the desserts…

I’m a bit of a sweet freak and I bake so I’m critical of dessert offerings. Erma came through in this area. The carrot cake was a standout. But we also got spoiled. By lunch on Day Two, my new pal Geneva and I looked at the fruit on the table and said, “What? No dessert?” Seriously, how many of you normally have dessert AT LUNCH?

Lest you think that only one of my many personalities -Foodie, was present for this event, I’ll move on.

Laughs and Great Peeps

Contrary to popular belief, not all humor writers are funny in person. I met a lot of humor-inpaired folks over the weekend. But many times, (insert cliche here) I laughed till I cried. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know there hasn’t been much in my life to laugh about recently, so it was a welcome relief.

The majority of  people at this event were stellar. The keynote speakers and presenters were some of the best I’ve seen. But I also met some wonderful peers like Barb, Sheri, Cherie and David, the funny gastroenterologist (who knew?). I’ve already re-connected with some of them via the business cards we exchanged. I have a feeling these are keepers.