Best of Dear Abby

Just try to overlook the fact that I have been absent for shamefully too long. The worst part it is does not mean I will be a regular now, either. But whenever I see something so interesting that it has to be shared, I will be here. Imagine me as the weird, absentee uncle that still gives cool Christmas presents.

Pauline Friedman Phillips, or Dear Abby, passed away last week at the age of 94. This is aImage collection of 10 of her witticisms from the 13 compiled by The Week. I knew she was proper but had no idea she was so sharp and present.

Dear Abby: My boyfriend is going to be 20 years old next month. I’d like to give him something nice for his birthday. What do you think he’d like? —Carol
Dear Carol: Nevermind what he’d like, give him a tie.

Dear Abby: Our son married a girl when he was in the service. They were married in February and she had an 8 1/2-pound baby girl in August. She said the baby was premature. Can an 8 1/2-pound baby be this premature? —Wanting to Know
Dear Wanting: The baby was on time. The wedding was late. Forget it.

Dear Abby: Is it possible for a man to be in love with two women at the same time? —Jake
Dear Jake: Yes, and also hazardous.

Dear Abby: I’ve been going with this girl for a year. How can I get her to say yes? —Don
Dear Don: What’s the question?

Dear Abby: I’ve been going steady with this man for six years. We see each other every night. He says he loves me, and I know I love him, but he never mentions marriage. Do you think he’s going out with me just for what he can get? —Gertie
Dear Gertie: I don’t know. What’s he getting?

Dear Abby: What’s the difference between a wife and a mistress? —Bess
Dear Bess: Night and Day.

Dear Abby: About four months ago, the house across the street was sold to a “father and son” — or so we thought. We later learned it was an older man about 50 and a young fellow about 24. This was a respectable neighborhood before this “odd couple” moved in. They have all sorts of strange-looking company. Men who look like women, women who look like men, blacks, whites, Indians. Yesterday I even saw two nuns go in there!… Abby, these weirdos are wrecking our property values! How can we improve the quality of this once-respectable neighborhood? —Up In Arms
Dear UP: You could move. 

Dear Abby: I joined the Navy to see the world. I’ve seen it. Now, how do I get out?
Dear Navy: Simple. Go to your superior officer and say these 2 words: I’m Gay.

Dear Abby: I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can’t afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Have you any suggestions? —M.J.B. in Oakland, Calif.
Dear M.J.B.: Yes. Run for a public office.

Dear Abby: Are birth control pills deductible? —Bertie
Dear Bertie: Only if they don’t work.

12 useful tips for young writers

Writer Ray Bradbury shares his advice on the most important things to remember for young and new writers. The best part about his advice is that it is direct without any fluff, and most of all,  it clicks.

The 12 tips below are taken from OpenCulture.com‘s Colin Marshall. These were the notes and gist Colin got from Bradbury’s 1 hour keynote address at Point Loma Nazarene University.

  1. Don’t start out writing novels. They take too long. Begin your writing life instead by cranking out “a hell of a lot of short stories,” as many as one per week. Take a year to do it; he claims that it simply isn’t possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row. He waited until the age of 30 to write his first novel, Fahrenheit 451. “Worth waiting for, huh?”
  2. You may love ‘em, but you can’t be ‘em. Bear that in mind when you inevitably attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to imitate your favorite writers, just as he imitated H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, and L. Frank Baum.
  3. Examine “quality” short stories. He suggests Roald Dahl, Guy de Maupassant, and the lesser-known Nigel Kneale and John Collier. Anything in the New Yorker today doesn’t make his cut, since he finds that their stories have “no metaphor.”
  4. Stuff your head. To accumulate the intellectual building blocks of these metaphors, he suggests a course of bedtime reading: one short story, one poem (but Pope, Shakespeare, and Frost, not modern “crap”), and one essay. These essays should come from a diversity of fields, including archaeology, zoology, biology, philosophy, politics, and literature. “At the end of a thousand nights,” so he sums it up, “Jesus God, you’ll be full of stuff!”
  5. Get rid of friends who don’t believe in you. Do they make fun of your writerly ambitions? He suggests calling them up to “fire them” without delay.
  6. Live in the library. Don’t live in your “goddamn computers.” He may not have gone to college, but his insatiable reading habits allowed him to “graduate from the library” at age 28.
  7. Fall in love with movies. Preferably old ones.
  8. Write with joy. In his mind, “writing is not a serious business.” If a story starts to feel like work, scrap it and start one that doesn’t. “I want you to envy me my joy,” he tells his audience.
  9. Don’t plan on making money. He and his wife, who “took a vow of poverty” to marry him, hit 37 before they could afford a car (and he still never got around to picking up a license).
  10. List ten things you love, and ten things you hate. Then write about the former, and “kill” the later — also by writing about them. Do the same with your fears.
  11. Just type any old thing that comes into your head. He recommends “word association” to break down any creative blockages, since “you don’t know what’s in you until you test it.”
  12. Remember, with writing, what you’re looking for is just one person to come up and tell you, “I love you for what you do.”Or, failing that, you’re looking for someone to come up and tell you, “You’re not nuts like people say.”

1 minute photography tips

.. by none other than Steve McCurry, or the guy who took this picture

The Afghan Girl

Here are his 7 humble, experienced and usable tips on photography. Each is about a minute long. For me they essentially all talk about finding your voice, staying curious, and being human.

1. Don’t forget to say hello

 

2. Unusual vantage points

 

3. How to fit in

 

4. Follow your noooose

 

5. Honesty and Humor

 

6. Don’t think too much

 

7. Solitary endeavor

Perfect movie for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Special 4/8

There are many romantic comedies out there so I won’t talk about the ones everyone knows about. Instead here is one that might have gone unnoticed: How Do You Know.

 

As you can guess the movie is all about answering this most haunting question. Is there an Aha! moment? Is there a lauded public declaration? What are the signs? Do you feel like when you’ve had a tub of popcorn when you see her? Do you feel perennial goosebumps? Do you have to look at your watch or purse when you’re near him? Or do you just check your posterior for any pink heart-shaped arrows?

In real life there are no clear answers or sensations that tell you when he is not Mr. Right or she is The One. Who to dump is confusing too. And that’s where the movie shines from most other flicks. It’s so believable.

That’s what the director is know for too. James L. Brooks has a knack for making multi-dimension characters that are not all bad nor all good. Just like his other directorial Oscar friendly movie As Good As It Gets (which if you have not seen you definitely should).

How Do You Know received mixed reviews. I can understand that because this is not your average Ashton Kutcher-esque rom-com — this is actually about louve, which means there is humor, romance, lot of awkward moments, and the beautiful banal. You’ll laugh and have a good time!

So get snuggy under the blankets and hit play. It might help you answer the question… or leave you feeling more confused.

Man’s Guide To Love

Valentine’s Day Special, part 3/8

Today is a continuation from the earlier post about a guide to love for men but from a guy’s perspective. Each shares their single most important tip. Today’s nine videos are again diverse little opinions compiled by me after viewing over 150 such little vids. Nine might seem like much but they are tiny as all but three are less than a minute long.

Some honorable mentions would be a little way to mend after a fight, actually following up on one of the simple vows, the only two things any girl wants, from a 17 and 19 year-old, and what a mime might say about it. Yeah… I know… too many mentions.

So here we go again.

1.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/10120379]

2.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/16493020]

3.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/10399382]

4.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/35352111]

5.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/11015534]

6.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28215330]

7.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28215114]

8.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/10889347]

9.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28741561]

 

Man’s Guide To Love – Valentine’s Day Special 1/8

Today begins my first of eight posts as I celebrate my concession to the Hallmarks  and Godivas of the world. Who cares if Valentine’s Day of today remains little more than another blatant commercialization of a beautiful emotion: romance. This feeling is still intrinsically powerful and universal… no matter which corporation tags along with it. So I plan to do some digital dance each day around this lovey-dovey emotion until the 14th.

Today are 9 videos for men by men: random guys give their single most important advice on love. Nine videos might seem like a lot (or too much advice) but this is a distilled product after watching well-over 150 videos! And since none is longer than 45 seconds, you don’t have to worry. You can go to their vimeo account to browse the entire 700+ videos.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9. (This one’s a minute fifteen.)