Disconcertingly Delightful


WordPress Michelle asks today: When was the last time you were embarrassed? How do you react to embarrassment? 

Embarrassed: uncomfortable, self-conscious, nervous, ashamed, mortified, humiliated, discomfited, ill at east, disconcerted.

If each of these words is a cousin to embarrassed, then I am in a constant state of embarrassment. I am uncomfortable in many social situations; self-conscious about whether or not I have stuff stuck in my teeth (and a myriad of other things I am too embarrassed to admit);  naturally nervous; and practice avoid ance and denial when it comes to mortification and humiliation . I am discomfited when faced with a new situation; ill at ease often; and disconcerted always.

I guess I am just one big bundle of embarrassment waiting to happen. But is that always a bad thing? I find that always being on the alert for awkward situations keeps me on my toes. I fake it in social situations fairly decently (in that I do not avoid them); I check my teeth and other things about my outward appearance so I will not offend others’ aesthetics (ha ha); and I find that nervousness has its perks as I think I worry away weight (not to my ideal weight but that is another story.) I love the word mortified, though not the state of mortification; I can find no good in humiliation though—mine or others—it is bad news all around. Discomfited is such a delicate way to be embarrassed—squirm worthy but not debilitating; ill at ease is admittedly easier to handle than easily ill; and disconcerted—well I am constantly puzzled by life, disconcertedly so.

I know that I am not really answering the question of “when was the last time I was embarrassed”? I would rather celebrate the times I was not embarrassed—the times when I successfully spoke more than one sentence without stumbling; the times when attention is placed on me and I am up to the challenge; the times when I have something stuck in my teeth and I slough it off in a que sera, sera kind of way; or pretend that a mortifying situation did not really happen at all.

I am going to stay comfortably disconcerted though, as along with its many meanings, it is also defined as confused. I think a state of confusion is like a state of wonder; a state of always being that little bit off balance; a state where magical things come to your rescue and logic plays no part.

For Whom Does The Bell Toll?

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(Photo credit: The hills are alive (back for a bit….)

Michelle asks: Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?

No, Michelle, it is not easy to ask for help when I need it. Yes, I do like to rely on myself. But how was that working for me? Not great.

I have learned to ask for help, and have been met almost exclusively with success. Life hands us some pretty tricky situations sometimes and I have found I needed (and still need) help getting through them.  My family and friends have reached out in my times of need—and without question have helped me in so many ways—emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Sometimes I have had to ask. And it was hard.

I have also found that sometimes I put something out to the blog world and receive such support – it is wonderful to have this new venue to call on. I try not to do it often, but whenever I do, I have been rewarded a hundred fold.

I once thought I was an “island” but have since come to the realization that no man or woman is an island (sorry Mr. Donne, for the bastardization of that phrase). We cannot survive happily and successfully without each other. I was interested to note that “No Man is an Island” also had wrapped within its clever words, another phrase we use often—take a look see:

        No Man is an Island ~ John Donne

No man is an island entire of itself; every man

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe

is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as

well as any manner of thy friends or of thine

own were; any man’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysica...

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysical Poets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


So do you find it hard to ask for help? And when you did—were you rewarded?


A Bat Flinger from Way Back

baseball bat

baseball bat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Always curious Michelle asks today: Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.

I am not a sports fan per se. But I understand sports fandom. At various points in my life I have followed basketball—going to high school and university games to cheer my school on, and then attending the games my eldest son was involved in. He was on basketball teams for nine years and he coached basketball camp for many a summer. The thing about basketball is I sort of understand it—unlike many other games, in particular football. I do not understand football—you get the ball, you run, and people pile on top of you. Sometimes you throw the ball. This is my full and total understanding of football.

I have attended a few hockey games and on the whole I like the game, but am not too big on the violence—and no matter what you say there is violence in hockey. And football. And to a lesser extent basketball. Not a lot of violence in baseball unless you get hit in the head with the ball or a flung bat.

Truth be told, I like badminton. And today I explained why to my husband. If you get hit with the birdie, you do not get hurt. Getting hit with a ball generally hurts, getting hit by other people generally hurts, getting hit by a bat hurts (I know this because I flung my bat at my grade six teacher when I was eleven and he had trouble not crying out in pain. I did not mean to hit him—I was just so excited that I hit the ball I randomly {and with some velocity} threw my bat and ran to first base.)

I have watched baseball and to me it is a real yawner unless your kid is playing. It is still a yawner then but at least you have a focus. When I was in grade 10 my French teacher was a real Detroit Tiger’s baseball fan, so during the playoffs we listened to baseball instead of conjugating verbs. I liked not conjugating verbs, but to this day my French is sorely lacking. It really was not the fault of this teacher though, but I need someone to blame….

Okay, what was the original question? Am I sports fan and if not, why. Sports and I have had a spotty relationship—I am not really athletically inclined, though I always fall back on the fact that I never really tried either. To be good at sports you need to be focused. You need to practice. You need to know your left foot from your right. I only own one of those criteria and I will not tell you which one.

I have been in the stands with people who are pure fans and I love their enthusiasm as long as they keep the swearing, booing, and yelling directions under wraps. I love a cheerful fan. In fact cheerful fans make me want to belong to their numbers. There is community in being a fan—and I like that aspect—just don’t thrown me a football, bounce a  basketball at me, or ask me to punt………..

Published in: on July 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm  Comments (34)  
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Are You Your Tagline?


Tagline… (Photo credit: Heartlover1717)

Michelle’s prompt: “Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?”

My answers:

My tagline would read much like the explanation of what my blog is about: funny, poignant, serious and quirky. I think these four words sum me up pretty well.

Funny can run the gamut from hilarious to facetious, from drool to waggish, and comical to amusing. These are all facets of the same word and the same person. Sometimes my humour is lame, sometimes it hits the mark. Much like me.

Poignant or tender, emotional, expressive, and heartrending are the lovely sides of this word, but it can also mean sad, heart-breaking and distressing—all of which are parts of me.

Serious. Life can be serious sometimes—sombre, staid, and quiet but also thoughtful. And serious things tend to have significance and honesty. I hope I am these last two things: significant and honest.

Quirky. Without a bit of eccentricity, unpredictability, individuality, and yes even oddness, we would be pretty darn boring. I sometimes think I am a bit boring, but I hide it behind my quirkiness.

Other tag words I would to be associated with are:  loving, kind, smart (hey, we can all dream), steadfastness, dependable, humane, gentle and generous. They may not all apply all the time, but they are my goals.

What would your taglines be?

Published in: on June 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm  Comments (43)  
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Cool is Bliss


Michelle, the prompt nazi said this today: “Language evolves. The meaning of a word can shift over time as we use it differently — think of “cool,” “heavy,” or even “literally. Today, give a word an evolutionary push: give a common word a new meaning, explain it to us, and use it in the title of your post.”

No, Michelle, I am not going to do this prompt—but your mention of the word “cool” hit a chord with me.

Cool City Limit

Cool City Limit (Photo credit: jimmywayne)

I love the word “cool”.  I use it all the time. I love that Abed on the series “Community” which my son introduced to me says: “Cool, cool, cool” in response to a variety of situations. It is such an all-encompassing comment in one word. Just think about how often it fits a situation.

According to my handy dandy Thesaurus mysteriously embedded in my laptop Windows Microsoft Word program, cool is supposed to be interchangeable with nifty, groovy, with-it, hip, trendy, and stylish. I beg to differ. Cool is so “cool” it is almost indefinable. The two words that come somewhere close are “excellent” and “okay”— words that seem to be on the opposite ends of the scale, yet in defining cool are not.

Cool expresses pleasure, approval,  and agreement, but at its height it represents: “an admired aesthetic of attitude, comportment, appearance and style” ~ Wikipedia (that source of knowledge I vowed never to use, but utilize unabashedly and surprisingly often as long as I am not doing serious research).

If I were ordered to never use the word “cool” again, I would be rendered speechless in many situations, particularly in commenting on blogs. I use the word often and with heartfelt sincerity. If I ever employ it on your blog—it is meant as a compliment of the highest form. It is my failsafe word, my word that seems to just fit, and even if I look odd uttering it—I will be using it to my dying day.


Cool emoticon

Cool emoticon (Photo credit: wstera2)

What one word do you use that gives you bliss?

Published in: on May 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm  Comments (65)  
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A Rose by any other name…..

Homefront-USB-Stick (4GB)

Homefront- (Photo credit: THQ Deutschland)

 Prompt for the day: Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you. ~ Michelle

Michelle from WordPress is certainly a curious girl. Okay Michelle, this one is for you.

1. I chose “On The Homefront and Beyond” for my blog because it is the name of the weekly column I write for my hometown newspaper.


rose (Photo credit: alice_ling)

2. To be honest, I did not choose the name totally by myself. When I started writing the newspaper column in 1998 I had a partner—she would write the column one week and I would write it the next. She chose the “On the Homefront” part which she said she stole from a friend. Since her friend lived nowhere near us and was unlikely to ever find out, we absconded with the name. I added “….and beyond” because I did not want to limit us to just topics having to do with “on the homefront”. My partner moved away and I have had the column solely to myself since 1999.

3. It has the word “home” in it, and that is one of my favourite words.

4. I am lazy and did not take the time to find another name for this blog.

5. I hope to publish a wildly popular and successful book called Tales from “On The Homefront and Beyond”. I hope to make millions. When this book is published I plan to put it on my bookshelf beside my book of poetry (which is still in my imagination) called “Poems” from a Poet of Little Merit.

6. I enjoy spellcheck continually trying to make me spell “homefront” as two words: home front.

Are you happy with the title of your blog? If you do not have a blog yet—what title would give you bliss? If you do have a blog—does the name of your blog give you bliss? (I have to stay with the program here: bliss is the topic of the year.)