January 1, 2013

Tingo Tuesday: Tell Me About A Krawattenmuffel Moment

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! What do you mean: “Keep it down!”? I know everyone was getting down and getting intoxicated funky last…

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November 29, 2012

I Missed You. Did You Even See Me?

I can’t help it. I love to read personal ads. Especially the ones where people write to strangers. You know the ones?…

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November 19, 2012

People Gave Good Head(er)

Maybe I could have pimped this contest more aggressively. But honestly, I didn’t think anyone was going to design a new header…

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June 11, 2011

Saturday Summer Screwball Entry: T-Bone Goes Down To Georgia

Huzzah! The first entry in my Saturday Summer Screwball contest has arrived! This is Todd. He enjoys unicorns, shopping at The Gap, and he knows everything you ever wanted to know about The Brady Bunch….

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June 1, 2011

Lessons From School Picture Day

It’s School Picture Week on the Blogosphere. A bunch of us have coughed up some old pictures and stories to go along with them. Check out what I did to my senior picture and find out what Senior Superlative I got in high school….

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May 29, 2011

"Saturday Summer Screwball" Contest Starts Today!

To inspire my viewers to have some fun, I am kicking off a contest. Read my blog for details on how to enter. And to see this twit dance. (By the way, all my moves are circa 1985.)…

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April 11, 2011

A Literary Interview With You

Today I am interviewing you about your favorite and least favorite books of all time. …

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I’m crazy about texturizing medium, a paste used to add surface texture to a canvas. Stiffer than paint straight from a tube, I love to scoop out blobs of paste with a palette knife and mix in a few drops of paint. Once dry, texturizing paste doesn’t drip or droop. I like to create peaks and grooves with a palette knife, and you can also make press patterns into it, or use it as glue to add collage items.


Blobs of paint featuring texturizing medium.
Blobs of paint featuring texturizing medium.

I used texturizing paste is this part of my painting, Can you guess what these are?

What have you been experimenting with lately?

tweet me @rasjacobson

Cover of
Cover via AmazonIt’s Tingo Tuesday!


What do you mean: “Keep it down!”? I know everyone was getting down and getting intoxicated funky last night.

But it’s Tingo Tuesday!

Just because everyone is hungover doesn’t mean we should stop playing, does it? No way!

Plus Adam Jacot de Boinod actually emailed me to tell me that he liked Tingo Tuesdays.

I know, right? How cool is that?

In case you are new here, here’s how this works. The first Tuesday of each month, I share a word from The Meaning of Tingo & Other Extraordinary Words From Around the World by Adam Jacot de Boinod.

And today is Tuesday!

So I’m sharing a German word with you.

Have you ever known someone who absolutely hates wearing neckties? Yeah, well that person is a “Krawattenmuffel.”

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 12.04.09 PMGuess who married one? I did! I love when we are invited to go to a fancy-schmancy party and Hubby reads the invitation and groans: “Black-tie optional? Does that mean I have to wear a tie?”

I would think guys would LIKE to wear neckties. After all, they are one of the few fashion accessories that are made especially for them. The way I see it, men have neckties and jockstraps. And while I love a good garage sale, I’m not currently interested in checking out anybody’s junk.

I love that other cultures have language for the actions and concepts for which we haven’t necessarily got the right words.

So now it’s your turn!

Guys, leave me a comment about a time when you acted like a total krawattenmuffel and win a lap dance for just $25.99. And ladies, tell me about that special tie-hater in your life. Comments can be real or fictional.

If I love your comment as much as Hubby hates the floral tie I bought him back in 1993, I’ll slip a photo of you into my sidebar so folks can check you out all month!

If you are not a blogger, don’t worry. I have plans for you, too.

This month’s winner is Kristal Zacharias of Clearly Kristal. To see the comment that won her a month of linky-love, click HERE. It is a masterpiece that will make you totally hate her old elementary school nemesis, Debbie. After you leave me a comment here, be sure to check out Kristal at her place. Just click on her face in my sidebar and you will be magically transported!

So tell me about that (real or fictional) “krawattenmuffel” moment. What happened? What color was it? How bad was it?

tweet me @rasjacobson

You have until January 31, to enter a comment! The winner will be revealed on the first Tuesday in February!

I can’t help it.

I love to read personal ads.

Especially the ones where people write to strangers. You know the ones? A person has seen someone somewhere, and that person feels compelled to write about the *moment* in hopes that this person *might* see it and then recognize him or herself so they *might* hook up and live happily ever after.

First of all, I want to see one documented case – one – where this approach has ever worked.

Especially ones like these from

These crack me up.


In the name of fun, I’d like you to imagine that you are flipping through some local edgy magazine or some wonky online website when you see it.

Someone has written a personal ad.

And you know it’s about you.

Here’s how I imagine mine would go:

Last Monday. 1 pm. Seen leaving MCC campus. Woman dragging an unattractive wheelie-bag wearing a hat and a smile. You disappeared between a row of cars. I tried to come for you, but I don’t have a pass for Lot K. Can I buy you a ginger ale?

I can’t even tell you how much fun I had writing that, and it isn’t even that great!

So here is your chance!

In the comments, write a personal ad about yourself.

It can be fact or fiction or a hybrid.

Oh, and keep them under 50 words.

Personal ads ain’t cheap.

Unless you are on Craigslist.


Okay, who am I kidding? Even if they cost $750, personal ads are cheap.

But may they never disappear. Never.

tweet me @rasjacobson

Maybe I could have pimped this contest more aggressively.

But honestly, I didn’t think anyone was going to design a new header for me.

I prepared to write a conciliatory speech on Thanksgiving Day and then beg TechSupport to fill that space with his mad Photoshop skills. I knew he would demand full creative license and banish me from hovering about while he worked. We would have a power struggle but eventually come to an agreement whereby I would be allowed to check in a three times for 2.2 seconds each — just to make sure he was on the right track. And, of course, he would demand the $25 that I’d promised the winning entrant — but he would negotiate to receive his pay in  iTunes cards.

Thankfully, five people actually entered the contest to design my new header.

And herein lies the problem.

I love all of them.

Seriously. I adore them.

Do you know Steve from Brown Road Chronicles? Steve lives in Michigan where he writes about country living, old houses, dirt roads, raising kids with his hot wife and other amusing anecdotes. He also sings songs that will make you swoon. He made this:

Val Erde from Arty old Bird made two totally different headers. An artist herself, Val is incredibly generous and allows people to use work from her blog, so long as you follow the guidelines regarding attribution listed there. If you are looking for fun posts and fresh images, you will want to visit Val’s place. She made this:

And this:

Jules from Go Jules Go is my sweet chipmunk-loving pal. Even though she was busy getting interviewed by WordPress as a featured Blogger while taking night classes on web design, and living without electricity after Hurricane Sandy, she still had time to hide out in her mother’s house send me this piece of work.

Adding text so you can see the white border.

Then I received entries from two people who said they would prefer to remain anonymous. Can you imagine? No linky-love? No mention of their names on my blog? Just happy to do me a favor. I have great friends.

So I need to thank SuperCoolPerson#1 for this:

And SuperCoolPerson#2 for this:

I want my header to be something that I love and find visually appealing.

And I can’t give everyone the prize or I’ll be in the poorhouse!

I know who my winner is.

I think.

Come back and find out on Thanksgiving Day when that header will be in place.

Unless I screwed up and gave everyone the wrong dimensions. Which would suck.

Huzzah! The first entry in my “Saturday Summer Screwball” contest has arrived! This is Todd. He enjoys unicorns, shopping at The Gap, and he knows everything you ever wanted to know about The Brady Bunch. T-Bone made an awesome video of himself showing how he enjoys his summer: dressing up like Kidd Rock and lip-syncing to Southern Rock. I love the way this guy knows how to fist pump!

How fun is that? Okay, so he forgot to mention “Lessons From Teachers and Twits” in there, but what the heck!

Hopefully T-Bone’s efforts will inspire you to send in your own G-rated video in which you:

1) Show yourself doing something that you love to do to relax that is slightly screwy;

2) Be sure to mention my blog – “Lessons From Teachers and Twits” – somewhere;

3) Upload your video to YouTube;

4) Send the link to: rasjacobsonNY {at} gmail {dot} com!

At the end of the summer, readers will decide who is most deserving of winning a $10 gift card (from Ben & Jerry’s or Starbucks). The winner gets to choose that part!

Now back to Todd. Seriously, how many things are there to love in that video? Let’s see how many we can list. I’ll go first: Love that black sweatband! Yesssss!

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

A few weeks back Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom), Clay Morgan (EduClaytion) and Keenie Beanie came up with a brilliant horrifying idea. To go digging back through old school yearbooks and encourage other bloggers to post pictures of ourselves on our pages, along with a little write-up. They would call it:

I wanted to participate in Leanne’s, Clay’s and Keanie Beanie’s brain fart child, but I was saddened to realized I had actually scribbled all over my face in nearly every picture. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. This is my Senior picture.

Worst. Picture. Ever.

I was really into the Grateful Dead at the time. Please note my fancy spelling of the Dead, my little rose at the top of my picture, and my penned in peace-sign earrings.

I did find one picture in that same yearbook that stood out to me.

It was the picture taken for Senior Superlatives, a tradition at my high school. Members of the Senior class voted for their choice of male and female representatives in 12 different categories like Best Looking, Best Dressed, Most Friendly, Most Artistic, Most Athletic, Most Musical… you get the idea. (I wonder if they still do that.)

Scroll down to see what I got.

Monsieur Flirt and I were on-again, off-again friends during high school. During this picture, I think we were off. Yeah, definitely off. The week prior he had intentionally backed into my tan Plymouth Volaré as we waited at a red light. Honestly, he just lightly tapped the front bumper of my car with his rear bumper. Problem was my mother was also in the front seat of the car, and she did not think the whole “bumper cars” thing was very funny. She was pretty pissed.

She also has no recall of this incident at all.

Anyway, the day for photos came and Monsieur Flirt and I weren’t really friendly. I think he might have punched me that week. Or maybe he was mean to one of my friends. I don’t know. All I know is that the student photographer kept saying, “Get into a more flirtatious pose!” And neither one of us could muster it. I mean, we just couldn’t. Could there be stronger body language that says: I do not want to be in a picture with this person? But our relentless, young photographer was on assignment and kept making suggestions like, “Why don’t you dip her?” and “Why don’t you pretend to kiss?” Horrifying.

Finally, Monsieur Flirt and I decided to go with the back-to-back thing. Actually, I don’t think it was really a decision. As you can see from Monsieur Flirt’s face, if Photo Dude wanted a picture, that was what he was going to get.

When the yearbook came out days before graduation, I stared at that photograph for a long time. I thought about the words: Class Flirt. I did not think of myself as a person who “made advances.” I did not consider myself a vamp or a vixen or a seductress. But it made me realize that a lot of other people saw me that way. I mean, they voted for me. The idea made me squirmy.

I didn’t like it very much.

The idea stayed with me as I headed off to college. So did I completely reinvent myself? No. I am still a little coquette. I still bat my eyelashes and wear high-heeled shoes. I still chat it up with the boys. But I’m not interested in giving anyone a “come hither” look nor am I interested in stringing anyone along. That is not a sport in which I like to dabble.

These days, I’ve got Hubby. And Monkey is my photographer. He calls the shots. He holds the camera and tells me to be myself. And so I am. In pictures and in life. I still enjoy a fabulous double entendre, which is probably why I have a thing for The Bard. But there is so much more to me. There always was.

Photo taken by Monkey at age 11.

If you want to participate in School Picture Day, it’s not too late! Read the instructions here. Then post a picture, write a little somethin’-somethin’ (or just leave a caption) and go check out the school photos of some other bloggers like Clay Morgan and IronicMom and KeenieBeanie. If you posted a photo on your blog, please include a link in the comment section. I promise to visit. Even if you don’t do it today. I figure you have the rest of the week. For the purposes of my blog, it is School Picture Week! 😉

To inspire my viewers and have some fun this summer, I am kicking off a contest.

We all work hard during the week, but it is important to relax whenever we can grab a moment. Every Saturday from now until September 3, 2011, I will post – videos of YOU, my beloved readers, doing the things you love to do! G-rated things. This is a family show, people! 😉 Think ziplines, epic water fights dressed as cyborgs, alligator wrestling.

Send me the link to your You Tube video at anytime between now and September 3, 2011. Videos must be under 2 minutes and they should feature you doing something relaxing… that’s a little bit off-beat.

Between September 12-16, 2011, I will create a poll and ask people to vote for their favorite “Saturday Summer Screwball” video. If you mention this contest on your blog and link back here, you will receive an extra vote. If you Tweet an #SSS of your choice, you will also receive an extra vote. Just be sure to come back and let me know that you did!

To usher in the fall, one winner will be announced on September 21, 2011.

An uber-cool prize will be awarded.

You all know that I love to dance, so I’m kicking it off.

And, if you’ll notice, I’m kind of off-beat.

So here you are: for inspiration.

Seriously, it is a pity that you could not see my fabulous green wig in this video. I will have to spank Monkey talk to my tech guy.

Tweet this Twit @RASJacobson

Cover of "Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel B...
Cover of Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)

A couple of weeks ago, Clay at EduClaytion put together an “Interview with You” Post. Then Leanne at Ironic Mom borrowed his idea and applied it to music from the ’80s. I’m flat out borrowing (read: stealing) their idea and applying the interview concept to books.

Here’s how A Literary Memoir works. In the comments section below, please cut and paste these 9 questions, then fill in your answers. Feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you like.

But first, here is my literary memoir:

  1. First book I remember being read: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt. How I loved those soft and shiny and sandpaper pages.
  2. First book I remember reading all by myself: The Cat & The Hat by Dr. Seuss
  3. Favorite Young Adult Book: Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. In fact, everything by Judy Blume. I read them one after the other. Ate them up like caramels. They. Were. Delicious.
  4. Favorite book of all time: Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I think I refer to this book on a daily basis. Every student I have ever taught can vouch; I talk about it. A lot.
  5. Book I hated so much I could not finish Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulker. This is the only book that kicked my ass. I simply could not get through it. Don’t get me wrong: I loved As I Lay Dying and plenty of other Faulkner, too. But this one just stunk. Like a skunk. In a trunk.
  6. Book I will always keep: A Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Poor, poor Holden. Plus, I have taught from this particular copy so many times that it is all marked up inside. It has sticky notes and stars all over it; all the important stuff is underlined. Despite the fact that some of the pages keep falling out, this one will go with me wherever I go. It will be loved to death.
  7. Last Book I Read: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Holy crap. This book scared the bejesus out of me. I simply cannot say anything about it. It will ruin everything. I will, however, take a moment to thank my friend Gina for recommending it to me. She recommends the best books. Her last three recommendations have been hits. This one, however, freaked me out.
  8. Book I am reading now: The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit, Lucette Lagnado. Book club. Lots of pressure to finish.
  9. Book I plan to read next: Why do you think I’m having you do this? 😉

To play along, cut and past these questions into the comments section and fill in. Here’s a blank set of the questions:

  1. First book I remember being read:
  2. First book I remember reading alone:
  3. Favorite Young Adult book:
  4. Favorite book of all time:
  5. Book I hated and could not finish: 
  6. Book I will always keep:
  7. Last book I read:
  8. Book I am reading now:
  9. Book I plan to read next:

Have fun. Can wait to read your responses! 🙂

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