Awkward Laughter

Because most things in life are humorous, even when they shouldn't be



Say What?: 30:30 Somethings

“Sure, I like cheeseburgers,” the random hostess replied to my mother, smiling, as my mom exited the breakfast bar. .

This might have seemed the perfect, polite response to an inquiry if my mother had actually asked about her menu-choice preferences, but that wasn’t the caseCheeseburger

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Jimmy Bryant

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What’s Your Inspiration?

What motivates anyone on a day-to-day basis is relative. From an entertaining perspective, I might say mine stems from an old-school Saturday Night Live skit – Stuart Smalley:

His comic bits poked fun at the trite advice many motivational speakers spew, but as annoying as they can be, I think there’s something to be said in finding inspiration in unexpected places. Continue reading

Paris Selfie


By Self or By Stranger: Photos While Flying Solo

Selfies, selfies, selfies (cue my best Jan Brady impression). They were everywhere I turned this past week.

They were the inspiration for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Lots of wonderful examples of artistic selfies.

They were the focus of a PicMonkey infographic based on its survey of American adults. It turns out men in my age group are the worst offenders. I can attest to that based on the abhorrent profile pics I’ve seen on eHarmony. For Pete’s sake, men, get some friends and have them take your picture!

PicMonkey Selfie Infographic
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Bridge in Paris


I Can’t Make this Stuff Up!

There’s a reason I rarely write fiction. I struggle with “keeping it real” – the advice my middle-school teacher gave me years ago.

“Your ending seems a bit far-fetched,” she wrote in the margin. “Good fiction should be grounded in reality.”

Little did she know that my story was based on real life. I’d just tweaked the names, the setting and added a detail or two.

My recent trip overseas reminded me of how life can be stranger than fiction.

Bridge in Paris Continue reading



Pardon My French, I’m Southern

A woman from the lower-eastern U.S. speaking broken French sounds about as poetic as Dr. Suess in Swahili. Those were my initial thoughts after learning that I had the chance to go to Paris for the first time.

Nonetheless, I was determined to take advantage of my work trip to the UK and to make a detour to France, the homeland of my paternal grandmother’s family. Continue reading

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Returning from a 10-day hiatus from blogging, I have to share this awkward exchange at a Parisian restaurant, speaking with a lovely couple from Mexico:

Woman: “So where are you staying in Paris?”

Me: “Right around the corner at the Hotel Cambronne.”

<<surprised look on her face>>

Me: “Why? Is that a bad thing?”

Woman: “No, it’s just that…well, that name has a different meaning in Spanish…It means a**hole.”

<<hysterical laughter by both of us>>

Me (internally): “But of course I’d be staying at the hotel of a**holes. That’s the way I roll.”

Paris Eiffel Cambronne Hotel

Photo from

A quick Google search back at my room uncovered that she was thinking of “cabrόn” not “cambronne.” (Undoubtedly, my pronunciation was off.)

If my brief research is correct, “cabrόn” means “male goat,” but according to Urban Dictionary, it’s also slang for “a**hole” and other interesting words (read if you dare).

(This Awkward Aside is brought to you via my trip to Paris and the resulting timezone, travel hangover. Enjoy!)