When Plan A fails…

I'm up to letter R.

I’m up to letter R.

There are days when I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything (usually on my third hour of a Netflix binge) or that my life isn’t exactly the way I want it. It is times like these when I need to see uplifting messages. Either that or funny videos of people falling on their faces. That always makes me laugh.

I have to be reminded that life isn’t a well-planned and executed trip up an escalator. More often, it is a clumsy attempt to run (all Rocky Balboa style) up a long flight of stairs every day, with many falls, trips, and stubbing of toes. When things don’t go as planned, I remember that I have twenty-five more letters. So, I get up, scream “yo, Adrian,” and start climbing again.

The Mysterious Decision Maker

So, I’ve been told that I have a hard time making decisions. I know this about myself. It’s one of those things that I decided not to worry about a long time ago (See? I made a decision). I received a gift from one of my friends – The Mysterious Decision Maker. I’m not quite sure why it’s called “mysterious,” maybe that’s the mystery. At any rate, it is a small magnetic device that gravitates to one of the following answers: Yes, Maybe, No Way, Try again. So it’s kinda like this generation’s Magic 8 Ball.

This little scrap piece of metal is making all my decisions from now on!

This little scrap piece of metal is making all my decisions from now on!

I’ve had a little bit of fun with this, asking it questions like:
“Should I shave my head?”
“Should I eat this entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s?”
“Should I go to Italy with the sole purpose of stalking and marrying George Clooney?”

In an unbelievable defiance of probabilities, the thing gave me the answer “yes” to every question. (However, The Mysterious Decision Maker didn’t have any input on what I would do with Mr. Clooney’s current wife). I take this as a sign that I should live with the answer “yes” at the ready on my tongue. Go out and live. Enjoy life and all it has to offer. So, from now on, I will consult The Mysterious Decision Maker for all of my life choices. “Should I go take a nap?”
Why, yes.

Keep it Together, Frank!

You can't take Frank anywhere.

You can’t take Frank anywhere.

A friend sent me this meme. It’s hilarious because these two giraffes (is the plural giraffes? giraffe? giraffi?) have apparently been drinking.

I think it’s hilarious because the giraffe is named Frank. Frank, the giraffe. Like anyone would name their giraffe Frank when a name like Gerome is out there. It’s all about alliteration, people.

New Year’s Eve Deep Thoughts

Watch the cork, buddy.

Watch the cork, buddy.

My thoughts on New Year’s Eve:

If I wanted to say “excuse me” to a drunk who has no intention of getting out of my way, I would just go to Wal-mart.

I don’t know how many jobs Ryan Seacrest has, but I’m pretty sure that he caused the recession.

Champagne is better used for mimosas. Why wait until midnight when you can get drunk at breakfast? And don’t forget the vitamin C. Drink mimosas, and you won’t get scurvy.

Finding someone to kiss at midnight is like a “this is your life” fast-forward, crammed into three alcohol-inspired hours. You cannot disguise desperation in a paper party hat.

New Year’s Day hangovers are completely avoidable. For each drink that you have, eat a taco. You will throw up before the night is over, proving, once again, that tacos are nature’s healer.

Now enjoy these cats singing Auld Lang Syne:

Have a safe and happy new year!

I love waking up to magical coffee cups!

I’m glad that intelligent people create things like coffee cups that reveal images when you pour a hot beverage in them.

This is the sad "before" cup, all cold, empty and alone.

This is the sad “before” cup, all cold, empty and alone.

Morning is so much nicer when a cartoon Paul McCartney waves at me. Also, it looks like he has six fingers, so I wonder if Inigo Montoya is looking for him.

This is the "after" happy cup, filled with hot coffee and lots of sugar and French vanilla creamer. Don't judge me.

This is the “after” happy cup, filled with hot coffee and lots of sugar and French vanilla creamer. Don’t judge me.

The True Meaning of Christmas

How could this not make you happy? If it doesn't, you are made of stone.

The True Meaning of Christmas.

When I was a child, I looked forward to Christmas. The holiday was about eating lots of food, getting presents, and visiting family. There was no day, except for my birthday, that held as much magic. People seemed to be compelled by a “spirit” to put differences aside and just enjoy the season. Maybe I was just young and too naive to know better. But now, looking through the eyes of an adult, it seems that even the Christmas spirit can’t quell the negativity that’s out there. People say a lot of things that come from a place of hate and then wonder why “we’re out of control” or “people have gone crazy.” They don’t find it the least bit ironic.

I’m not going to make this a rant because we’ve all had enough of ranting. I want to try to grab hold of the magic of Christmas again. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone remembered that this holiday isn’t about which religion is the right one? It isn’t about any of the things that I hear people screaming about.

Like Linus said, it’s about peace and goodwill toward men (and women and children and animals). Not just during December, but every day. If you find that examples of goodwill are hard to find, just look to your dog. There is no better representation of the Christmas spirit than the unconditionally loving dog at your feet.

So this year, when you buy the box of forty assorted Christmas cards, go ahead and send them out, without waiting to see who is going to send you one first. Try using social media to send out positive messages. Help someone who needs it. Be kind to one another. Wag your tail and lick some faces (well, okay, maybe don’t lick faces). And, above all else, have a Merry Christmas.

I’m in love with Captain Hook

I have no idea how popular Once Upon a Time is. Since I’m completely behind and have no idea what normal people are doing – I really should get out more – I rely on Netflix to watch things that I was oblivious to my absolute and desperate need to watch at the time it was on regular television. I’m only on Season three, so all of you who are watching real time, don’t spoil it for me. It’s a fairy tale; it’s silly; it’s supposed to be for children. But I am Hooked – literally.

Even with guyliner and an 80s popped collar, he's still cooler than you.

Even with guyliner and an 80s popped collar, he’s still cooler than you.

I’m completely infatuated with Captain Killian Jones. I’ve never seen him before this show, but I’m wondering now where he’s been all my life. I realize he’s a fictional character on a television show. But it doesn’t matter. He’s basically ruined any chance that I will ever have a relationship that meets my expectations. I want every man to be the swashbuckling, devilishly handsome pirate with dreamy blue eyes. I mean, come on…how ridiculous are those eyes?

I know that Colin O’Donoghue, the actor who plays Hook, is married in real life – so he’s completely unavailable (as if that would be the only reason that he would be completely unavailable to me). But there have been a few occasions in which I wished that I was Emma Swan – I realize how pathetic it is to wish you were someone who doesn’t even exist, so don’t tell me. I already know. But look at this kiss she gets to have with Hook:


Like I said, I’m ruined for any normal man who wants to come along and be nice and take me out to dinner. Is that all you got? Couldn’t you just stab something with your sword or flick my hair away from my face with your shiny hook for a hand? Or be so cleverly arrogant and self-deprecating while you are dodging flying monkeys? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

The Holiday Blues Cure: Eggnog Pancakes

The picture is obviously the photo that came with the recipe. Do you seriously know how long it would take for me to stage a shot like that? Days…And I had to eat my pancakes before they got cold. Don’t judge me.

The picture is obviously the photo that came with the recipe. Do you seriously know how long it would take for me to stage a shot like that? Days…And I had to eat my pancakes before they got cold. Don’t judge me.

The holiday season is here, which leads some people into a downward spiral of depression and shopping-induced anxiety attacks. Just know that you are not alone. (Well, maybe you are. I have no way of knowing. It’s not like I’m stalking you). But, don’t worry because I have found the solution to all of your first world problems, and it comes in the form of cake – Pancake, to be precise. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but hear me out.

I was feeling a bit downtrodden (ye olde English for “these holidays are bumming me out, man”), so I decided that a little carbohydrate therapy was in order. I found this recipe for Eggnog Pancakes (what I have now labeled “Nutmeggy Nog Fluffy Little Pieces of Heaven”), and decided to give it a try.

First of all, the inspiration to get out of bed and cook something happens about as often as Halley’s Comet for me. I’ve been known to grab a block of cheese and go at it like a rabid wolf with my bare hands and call that breakfast. This was easy, though, and with two cups of eggnog in the recipe, it had to be worth the sacrifice. The experience was one that I cannot describe in words, so I will describe it in ingredients.

And before you ask, “Why would you bestow such a precious gift?” Well, because I’m a giver. I’m sharing this recipe with all of you, so you can experience the joy, too. Well, this was actually in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, so it’s not like I have dominion over the information. But I am saving you the trouble of typing in “eggnog pancakes recipe” into Google, and that alone is worth something. So, here it is:

Make your batter:
2 cups All-purpose flour (Don’t get that some-purpose flour. It’s a slacker.)
1 tbsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Nutmeg (I added more nutmeg because I’m a rebel.)
2 Eggs
2 cups Eggnog (You can get the spiked kind and start the day off right.)
¼ cup Oil

Just pour the batter into your pan in nice little rounds…make cartoon character faces….recreate the Sistine Chapel. It’s your world. When they’re done, drown them in some Bourbon maple syrup and melted butter. Shove these tasty goodies down your gullet and then take a nap (because seriously, that’s all you can do). These are definitely a weekend breakfast kind of thing. Don’t commit yourself to being coherent or functional after this meal.

And there you have it – the solution to all life’s problems. Hold your applause. And, don’t send me messages about how this has saved you from the brink, and that now, finally, you’ve found the meaning and joy in your life. I know this. And you’re welcome.

H.P. Lovecraft Lunatic Asylum

H.P. Lovecraft Lunatic Asylum

I am pleased to announce that a flash fiction story of mine, Lucidity, will be published in the H.P. Lovecraft Lunatic Asylum collection on Halloween. In the “spirit” of Lovecraft’s work, it’s creepy, and I’m presenting it here as a preview for your enjoyment. Happy Halloween!


By Leslie Conner

My name is Dr. Horace Watley. For now, I’m in Room 405, the one with the spider dangling from the ceiling, hovering spread-eagled like a paratrooper, above the light switch. I’ve asked for a more appropriate work space for ages, and yet, here I am still. I spend my days analyzing data, documenting countless hours of experiments. Although the research has not been recognized as such, in due time, my work will be considered the most valuable contribution to science in this century. The experiments are not without faults, however, but given the proper resources, those insufficiencies will be corrected.

I review my data every night, noting the progress that has been made, and what, if any, improvements can be applied in the future. The first study was a lesson in trial and, mostly, error. Of course, that is to be expected. The subject was locally anesthetized, which, at the time, I thought would make the collection of an accurate sample of data more probable. The blade entered the skull far left of the pre-determined entry point, and the subject, after an episode of twitching, died shortly after. For the second test, it was imperative to perform the procedure with a light general anesthetic. When the subject was unconscious, the initial entry was performed accurately. I was unable to measure the results of altering the frontal lobe, however, because the subject, possibly suffering from hemophilia, bled out before regaining consciousness.

The next test was the most promising of the lot. I hold that page of my notebook the longest, my fingers savoring the details of the nearest success story. It was all about the timing. After anesthesia was administered and the incision was made, the subject regained at least a semi-conscious state when the frontal lobe was altered. As I probed with the tip of the scalpel, gently, into gray matter, I asked the subject questions.

“Do you feel love?” The subject stared, wild-eyed at me, and gurgled something that sounded like a “yes,” all of which I had scribbled in my notebook.

“Do you love me?” I asked, as I pushed the blade in a bit further. The subject stared, cold and lifeless, making no attempt to answer the question. I pushed the blade in further, hearing a crack or a splinter from behind her glassy eyes. “No response” was the last entry.

The door opens behind me, and I put away my notes. A true scientist’s mind never truly stops, but it is time to retire for the evening. Tomorrow is yet another day. My assistant, Nancy, comes in and hands me my evening cocktail, a delightfully colored beverage in a small paper cup.

“There, you go, Horace,” the nurse says. “Drink it all up.”

“How many times have I told you, Nancy? Call me Dr. Watley.”