Are You My Money?

no vacancy signValiant readers of this blog will recall that the Lisas plan to invade London in the fall. Plan is the key word here. Entire presidential campaigns have included less strategy, discussion and all-around quibbling than just one of the Lisas B&B decisions.

However, we have finally confirmed our choices. We know where we will be eating scones in the mornings. We know which stately homes will receive our gracious patronage. We are terribly, terribly excited. Yes, we’re absolutely thrilled to be spending our life savings to soak in Jolly Olde England. We tried to go cheap, but apparently there isn’t such a thing in all Great Britain. Except a couple of places which seemed to be part hotel, part fungus farm. And folks, we seriously considered the fungus farm. We did reserve a room in a university dorm, yes, a dorm, in London to save a few pounds.

So, in the interest of retaining a tiny fraction of our savings so we can retire homelesssomewhere other than our children’s basements, or the least rodent inhabited alley we can find, we are seeking a sponsor for the trip. Take note prospective benefactors! Our standards are “least rodent filled”. We are a bargain! Answer our desperate pleas (you can tell the desperation by the exclamation points!) and show us the money, honey.

Possible sponsors include, but are not limited to:
McVitie’s–This fine company, maker of delicious digestive biscuits, is our first choice. On a former trip to England, OneLisa became addicted to McVitie’s wholemeal digestives. They are incredibly expensive to buy in the States, so at the end of the holiday she will be throwing out all her old undies (read: they’re all old) and using the extra luggage space to take home many, many biscuit packets. She may also have a fiendish plan to dump all of Lisa2’s clothes as well–imagine her surprise and delight to find a suitcase full of biscuits when we arrive back in the States. What a good friend! They just don’t make ‘em like OneLisa anymore.

McVities! We love you! Give us cookies and dough and make us the center of an advertising campaign targeting the huge demographic that is middle-aged American women who swoon over digestive biscuits.

Top Gear–To say that the Lisas enjoy the madcap antics of Jeremy, Richard and James would be to use far too much British restraint. We adore them! We revel in them! Well, we adore James, think Richard looks quite sweet and feel that Jeremy can be annoying, but he makes up for that by living in a town named Chipping Norton. All is forgiven anyone who lives in such a melodious sounding town.

Dear Top Gear producers: our motto for the trip is “Keep Calm and Careen On”. That alone should be enough to give us a prime spot on your excellent programme. Follow our madcap antics as we careen about in a rental car, terrorizing the populace of southwestern England. If only we were celebrities, a whole week of episodes could be renamed “Driving with the Stars in a Reasonably Priced Rental Car.”

cadburyCadbury–Although not helpful for the negotiating table, it can be admitted here among friends that the Lisas would sell themselves out (in an advertising sense) for a lifetime supply of the Egg ‘n’ Spoon Chocolate Mousse candies OneLisa spotted on the Cadbury website.  Or perhaps a vacation-time supply?

British companies–our tour of England will take us through the hotspots of your fair country: Budleigh Salterton, Beer, Lostwithiel and Mere to name just a few. Get in on the ground floor of this exciting venture! Don’t let Iceland reap all the glory. We have a huge, massive, influential following. Even a guy in Canada. (Did we mention we’re giving you first shot over Iceland?) Because we actually are going there as well. But more about that icy adventure next time…

The Lisas take London …and the Brits jolly well want it back

BattleofLongislandBe afraid, People of Great Britain, be very afraid. Thelisas are coming to invade your island. Casting aside all domestic and professional cares (nothing new here), we’re crossing the pond for a girls-only holiday filled from start to finish with tea shops, stately homes and gardens. Our husbands have already run and ducked for cover, breathing sighs of relief at dodging our chintz-filled itinerary. That leaves only the population of southwestern England to worry about this adventure.

Because once outside of London, our motto will be “Keep Calm and Careen On”.top gear

Our advice? For the love of Heaven and St. George, stay off the roads of Devon and Cornwall from early to mid-September. Roundabouts, driving on the wrong side of the road, navigation…these are just a few of the many grave concerns for us. And they should be even graver to the populace we may be endangering at every charming village or green-hedged road we careen through in our sensibly priced mid-sized rental car with the steering wheel firmly affixed to the passenger side.

We will most certainly be a danger and a menace to motorists, pedestrians, animals, fences, hedges, signposts and the TARDIS, should it have the misfortune of materializing in front of us. We can promise sharp, unexpected turns and sudden stops. We brake for cream teas. We would like to believe a GPS will keep us from getting lost, but we admit with deep shame that it will not. We may forget to use it, manage to misinterpret mind-numbingly simple instructions, or simply be talking too loudly to hear them.

tea crumpetsAlas, People of Cornwall and Devon, if it were only the roads that were unsafe. Even out of the car we will disturb the rural bliss. Individually Thelisas are loud, even by American standards. Tag team us and we never–never–stop talking. If you seek sanctuary in your quaint tea room or traditional pub, you shall be horrified to hear the clash of our Midwestern accents as we cackle our way through pints of beer and pots of tea.

Shutter your windows, lock your doors. We urge you to take a leaf out of the American history book and hang a lantern in the belfry of your church when you see the whites of our headlights. Remember, it’s ‘one if by land’.

The Lisas are coming, The Lisas are coming!


How much wordplay could a wordsmith chuck if a wordsmith could chuck words?

Inappropriate Writer Brain Moments | Lydia Laceby. Thank you Lydia, Debbie & WordPress Press This for allowing us to legally borrow the brilliance of others. With appropriate credit, of course. Too funny to not share!


copyright 2010 Debbie Ridpath Ohi. URL: INKYGIRL.COM

Excuses, alibis and ice cream

The Lisas are always thinking. Maybe too much. Too much thinking, not so muchDisco Ball writing. We twist, we turn. We dodge, we duck. Avoiding writing is all very well, but if we don’t write we may have to clean the sink, or make the beds or something to justify our existence.

So, after a long fallow period filled with excuses, alibis and far too many bowls of ice cream, we blew the digital dust off of our work in progress. We’ve actually-factually been editing the book variously known as HSOTI, Thin Ice, or Reason #47 to Talk on the Phone Five Hours a Day.

Once we started, we remembered that this writing stuff is a real blast. Not wanting to leave you, our loyal, cult-like followers out of the fun, we’re sharing a snippet we just edited. Of course we’ll re-edit next week, and again a month from now, but what the hell.

“The hotel does retro and theme weekends. This month it’s ‘Disco Flashback.’”

“You don’t say?”

“They go all out,” Nils nodded as they entered the lobby pulling their bags behind them.

He couldn’t have been more right. A disco ball was suspended from an already cheesy-looking smoky glass chandelier and there were life-size cutouts of the band Abba and John Travolta in full Saturday Night Fever regalia, on either side of the check-in desk. Yes, Gina thought, I survived the disco-era, but what on earth made Nils think I enjoyed it? And then it hit her: Was this all because she told Nils her youthful fantasies about teen recording heartthrob Andy Gibb the last time they were playing a rousing game of pillow talk?

A slightly dazed Gina let herself be led to a room on the top floor of the six-story building.

“The honeymoon suite,” Nils said, scooping her into his arms and carrying her across the threshold while propping the weighted door open with his foot – no mean feat for most mortal men.

He set her down and turned back for the suitcases. While he placed the bags on the luggage rack, Gina took in the room. The focal point of the room was the giant bed covered in a black satin bedspread and a dozen throw pillows in various shades of purple. The most prominent pillow was in the shape of a giant pair of lips. To one side of the bed there was a heart-shaped hot tub. On the other side was a desk/table and two chairs. The table held a large vase filled with red roses and a bottle of champagne protruding from an ice bucket with two glasses sitting next to it.

“We can order room service, if you’re hungry,” Nils suggested.

Gina was not, but she knew her husband was probably famished. “Sure, that would be fine,” she said, plopping down on the bed. The bed plopped back. “What the…” Gina exclaimed, springing up.

“It’s a waterbed!” Nils grinned.

“Do you think it’s a 1970’s original?” Gina poked warily at the rubbery mattress, finally moving over to one of the desk/table chairs.

“How about popping the cork,” she suggested, trying to remain unfazed.

“Don’t you remember what today is?” Nils prodded, uncorking the bottle.

Gina racked her brain. Obviously she should remember the date. What was it? September fourteenth? Fifteenth? She settled on the fourteenth and still could make no connection. She closed one eye in concentration, but quickly reopened it, recalling how it gave her forehead unbalanced wrinkles.

Nils seemed to take this as some sort of epiphany. “I knew you wouldn’t forget about our second first-date.” He handed her a glass and sat down on the bed, facing her.

“We slept together on our first – second – date?” Surely she couldn’t have forgotten that much.

          Nils smiled. “I wish.”

Awkward mom moment perhaps better left untold?

This one’s for our NJ author pal, TOOL (The Other-Other Lisa).

click for video clip:  Book royalties may go toward kids’ future therapy.


The Lisas have a deep streak of prudery. This is reflected in our namby-pamby shockswearing style. We pat ourselves on the back every time we hold back a real flaming curse word, but there are repercussions. MI Lisa has teenagers who live through the daily horror of her made-up swear words. These include, but are by no leap of the imagination limited to:

  • Buns. It’s short, satisfying to say, and is quickly and easily repeated three times in quick succession. Because all swearing is more satisfying and successful if repeated three times. Preferably with the anger and/or volume increasing on every repetition. (Try it. buns, Buns, BUNS!) If MI Lisa is really agitated it can also be expanded to the inexplicable bunfaces.
  • Equally inexplicable, but oddly gratifying to say, is the similar ratfaces. Sometimes she plays it cool and just goes with the more mainstream rats, but not nearly often enough.
  • Farty fart. Newly added to the MI Lisa Swearing Lexicon, this has the lovely alliteration of the best cursing, but has been roundly, and justifiably, condemned by her children. She tries–she really tries–not to use it.
  • Forsooth. MI Lisa’s latest ‘swearword’. After reading that Henry the VI of England didn’t allow cursing at court and would only use the mild expletives of “Forsooth and forsooth!” or “St. John!” she decided to follow his example.

Next time you stub your toe, or have another driver cut you off–don’t hold back. Take a deep breath and say it out loud. FOR-sooth! You’ll feel better.

What do a cocktail shaker, Spanish naval cap, wedding dress and two alarm clocks have in common?

Bridal GownIf you said “Tom Cruise” you may be right. It really sounds like a Tom Cruise movie montage, doesn’t it? However if you guessed, “what 1Lisa bought at a garage sale this past weekend,” you would be a winner. You might also be a stalker, but we’re cool with that.

You see, 1Lisa fancies herself an American Picker. She comes from a long line of…well, let’s face it, hoarders. Seized in the grip that “somebody,” “someday” might need “something,” hoarders find it difficult to throw out anything of value. And nowadays almost anything can have value. But who would have dreamed a semi-lucrative career in the import/export business would manifest itself in the form of an empty lighter fluid can?

It all began a couple of years ago when 1Lisa’s mother encouraged her to explore the entrepreneurial side of ebay. Already deeply entrenched and skilled in the dark arts of bidding and buying, Lisa said, “no thanks, I’m good.” After a bit of cajoling, ego boosting and various other jedi mind tricks her mother picked up on a recent visit to Korea, Lisa finally consented to give selling a try. What did she have to lose, after all? And there was everything to gain: great wealth and the prospect that she would not have to help shlep all her parents crap around (again) should they move (again).

So she and her father started their vast empire with an empty lighter fluid can. It was however, not just any empty lighter fluid can. It was a vintage empty lighter fluid can. And those of you well versed in the lingo of the ‘bay know “vintage” means big $$$. Or it just means “old crap.” One man’s trash and all that. Anyway, as you can probably guess there was a huge bidding war for said vintage can and we made a million dollars and retired to Pensacola the-end. Except not really. Pensacola isn’t what it used to be and we only made ten bucks — but seriously, who would pay $10 for an empty tin can?! Somebody. Somewhere. And so the chase goes on. Unfortunately for 1Lisa’s husband the wedding dress is her size (if she loses 80 or 90 lbs and undergoes excess skin removal), so she just might have to keep it. Along with the framed photo of Secretariat, the signed Ice ashtrayCapades program and the nifty keen Las Vegas casino ashtray. I mean, you never know what Rat-Pack celebrity might have snuffed his stubs in that tray? With the magic combination of vintage and provenance, heck that thing could be worth tens of dollars. To somebody. Somewhere.

*1Lisa is not divulging her identity or location at the risk of being audited by the IRS, but suffice to say garage sales in Michigan in April are more rare than snow in Florida. 1Lisas is already hiding her vast book royalties in an offshore account, while TOL (The Other Lisa) keeps hers in her underwear drawers (plural).