The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


Four S's Haiku

it's Snowing outside

i went to Steak-n-Shake, yes

i have a Sore throat

(learn more about real haiku poetry, and hokku, too, from Wikipedia)


add to kirtsy | 10:52 PM | 1 comments


My Blog is Slack Style

My blog is slack style (as my brother put it) because my life is jack busy style!

To appease my devoted readers, and as discussed in the previous post, here is one of the things I spend my time on. I'm not sure how exciting you'll find it.

And if you're in the mood for an off-the-wall story, read about the alleged panda attack on my brother.

[That link to the panda attack doesn't seem to work unless you have a My Space account. So for your convenience, I reprint the story here, verbatim. (In other words, any typos are David's, not mine!)]

I am pretty sure I have bamboo growing out back by my patio. Well I am not sure if it is, in fact it probably is not. But I will think it is for the sake of this blog and fun. If it is bamboo then before you know it I will have a huge panda problem. I can see it now...

I will be sitting outside during the night enjoying an adult beverage. I see something out of the corner of my eye. At first I think it is a cat, no too big, a midget, no it is on all four legs...A PANDA!!! WOW, a real live panda in my backyard. Oh wait. There are more. A pack of them. About 10. Hmmm...I didn't know panda traveled in packs. Oh well. They walk slowly over to the bamboo and start eating. I sit there silently watching. They stare back with large eyes as they eat. I go to reach for my drink and snap! It was not bamboo breaking, it was my arm. The alpha panda took my reaching for the drink as an act of aggression. His jaw broke my right arm bone. I am too scared to scream as they begin to circle me. I try to make for the door but a furry of paws and jaws begin to tear my flesh. I curl in a ball. Those vicious pandas know no mercy. Once the carnage is done the pandas realize what they have done. To cover up the mess they start to put bamboo over my broken bloody body. However they get hungry in this process so they start to eat the bamboo that was on top of me. The blood gave the bamboo a certain zing. They decided to start dipping their treats into my life source as if it were any ordinary sauce. What will be my rescue? What can stand up to these evil pandas and their lust for blood soaked bamboo? Technology, that is what will save me. It is a well-known fact that pandas are scared of modern devices. My cell phone rings. The ring was like a fire alarm going off. They ran as fast as rabbits. I crawled to the phone. It was Gloria. I could barley talk. I managed to say help. She said she would be right over. I lay there bleeding with bamboo sticking out of every wound. I could not move, talk, or even see...blacked out. I wake at a hospital. Sore but alive. The doctors rush over to see if I can speak on what happened. It takes a few tries and a few drinks of water but I manage to tell the story. Of course they do not believe me. Whoever heard of pandas in Tucson...So I am sure there are many flaws in this story but you just wait and see. This is a warning for anyone on my back patio at night. Pandas can attack anytime.


add to kirtsy | 11:48 AM | 0 comments


I'm doing it again...

The blogging well is running dry. It's not that I have nothing to say. (That doesn't happen often enough.) It's just that I have no time to blog. (Don't you love that 'blog' is a verb now?)

I'm supposed to be writing a press release right now. Everyone demands a piece of my writing time. Everyone, I tell you.

add to kirtsy | 3:07 PM | 2 comments


Pixburghers are Nuts

So the Steeler victory celebration parade in downtown Pittsburgh today drew a crowd of 250,00. Say it with me now: Two hundred, fifty thousand. Officials had expected 40,000. Just a small underestimation.

And in a weird news tidbit, I just read that Greg and Rebecca Sparks of The Sparks created a song about Jerome Bettis. I saw The Sparks perform while I was in college. I don't think I realized that they are local. Anyway, they sing folksy-popish Christian tunes. And now they sing the praises of football legends, apparently. Fair enough, I suppose.

Question to Jess if she's reading: Is saying "Greg and Rebecca Sparks of The Sparks" like saying "Kip Winger of Winger fame"?

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add to kirtsy | 12:12 AM | 1 comments


The Steelers Won...

...and all I can say is, "Thank Goodness!"

Two weeks ago when the Steelers won the AFC Championship James asked if I wanted to have a Superbowl party. Not being the football aficionado that everyone else in Western Pennsylvania seems to be, I asked, "When's the Superbowl?" (For what it's work, I knew it was within the next few weeks.)

James answered, "It starts tomorrow and goes for two weeks."

I laughed. Oh how naive I was.

Sometime in the middle of last week I said, "That's about it, too: It did start after the last game and last for two weeks."

So all I can say is thank goodness we finally got "one for the thumb." I briefly thought that now that we do have one for the thumb that I wouldn't have to hear it all the time. Only to realize that of course I'll still hear it all the time, perhaps even more!

I always knew that Pittsburgh is a football town. But I never understood the length and depth to which this is true. I don't think a day went by in the past two weeks in which someone didn't say to me, "Go Steelers!" Professional colleagues that I only know peripherally signed their emails and ended their phone conversations with "Go Steelers!" Even the independent, public radio station that I listen to played the occasional Steeler song.

It's madness, I tell you. Madness.

If you live here, you can only imagine what a fiasco it would have been if the Seahawks had won. The people of Seattle are not like the people of Pittsburgh. USA Today reports that an estimated 30,000 people attended the Steeler pep rally last week. The local news had reports of people being stuck on the Parkway in traffic and not making it to the rally. When you talk about fans, Pittsburghers are true fanatics. (And perhaps not all that bright. One 20-something fan at the pep rally said that nothing would keep him away. He was quoted as saying, "If it was raining and minus 5, I'd still be here. It doesn't matter." Well, technically, it would matter. I'd like to see it be 37 degrees below freezing and raining. But now I'm just being mean.)

I don't know how many people attended the Seahawk pep rally, but I heard reports of 8,000. So like I said, can you imagine the disaster if Seattle had won? A few thousand fans would be a bit sad. Pittsburghers, on the other hand, would have been absolutely devastated. There would have been rioting. Today would have been a day of mourning. If you don't live here you may think I'm kidding. Alas, it's no exaggeration.

So all I can say is, Thank Goodness.

I mean, Go Steelers!


add to kirtsy | 9:53 AM | 2 comments


Sweet, Sweet Sugar

So you want some sugar, eh? (see comment on last post) Well here you go, baby:


add to kirtsy | 9:34 AM | 1 comments