## And Now, Without Further Ado, And With a Bunch Of Hard Math...

The poll is closed, ballots counted and recounted, hanging chads and all, contested, counted again and then recounted and the winner is...

You know who the winner is. After all, you have been following this race, obsessively compulsively checking and rechecking on the quarter hour.... Oh wait. That's me that's been doing that. I get us confused.

Here is what you have been waiting an excruciatingly long week for! The results of the "Should Sondra Stinglash be Married?" poll! The envelope, please....

• 44% of readers are ready to Marry Sondra Stinglash off to the first biped that ambles along. Seriously, see that guy over there? Yeah him. He'll due.
• 44% of readers wouldn't be able to bear it if Sondra Stinglash were unavailable. Their lives would lose all meaning and they would stop leaving the house.
• 66% of readers would like some rigatoni for dinner please, and hurry it up damnit.

Interesting results don't you agree? Interesting, but not easy to understand. Therefore, what follows is my mathematical analysis of the poll-

Adding the percentages together, we see that 144% of my readers voted in the poll. 18 people voted so that means that 18 = 144%. So, 36 steps later, using high level math that I won't show here because it is over your head, (see picture) we get this equation:

1800 = 144x

For those of you that are lost, let me explain- We use x to denote an unknown number that we are solving for. Good? OK. Let's go on.

To solve for x we must perform the same operation on each side of the equation. For instance, if you performed an appendectomy on the 1800, you must also perform one on the 144x. This is very logical because if you took the appendix out on one side of the equation and not on the other side they wouldn't be equal anymore.

Not that there is anything wrong with people who are lacking an appendix. They are fine people, but they are mathematically different and must be represented as follows:

person without an appendix < person with an intact appendix

OK. I won't bore you with the specific computations, but 22 steps later we get x= 12.5. We will have to subtract 2, however, because I voted twice. So now we are left with 10.5.

Then, dividing by 7, which is how many days the poll lasted, we get 1.5.

And there you have it.

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.

## While You are Waiting, Eager With Anticipation, On the Edge of Your Seat, Not Able to Sleep, And All That S*#t

It might be hard to know what to do with yourself while you are waiting for the results of my attention seeking self indulgent blog poll the much anticipated "Should Sondra Stinglash Be Married" poll. I know that I can hardly concentrate on writing an improved ending to Hamlet brushing up on my astrophysics, And we still have FOUR days left to vote. FOUR days. For all you mathematically inclined people out there, that is the square root of 37 16!

I wish to apologize for your lack of sleep for the last few days, but I assure you that staying up all night will not make the voting results come in any faster. It should be of some comfort however, that you are not the only one with sleep problems. Note the case studies from the Groat Center for Sleep Disorders.

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it. The video, as brilliant as it is, is not mine, however.

## You Be The Decider

Sondra Stinglash is not my real name. My real name, as you already know, is nanodance, given to me by parents who were too poor to afford capital letters or a proper last name but at the same time, incredibly forward thinking enough to give me a name that would work nicely as a username on the internet, years before the computer was even invented.

Nanodance (I can afford capital letters these days, but barely) has a wonderful boyfriend who has made it entirely unnecessary for her to date herself as was her habit before he came along. I had assumed that Sondra Stinglash, like Nanodance, was not married, but lately I have been wondering if Sondra Stinglash should, in fact, be married. Here are the pros and cons, as I see it.

Pros: If Sondra Stinglash were married, she could write stories about Mr. Stinglash, who she would affectionately refer to as "Mr. Stinglash." She could write about Mr. Stinglash's toaster collection and how he stays out in the garage every night working on his life size model of a really, really small train set. She could start her posts with the folksy, "Me and Mr. Stinglash...." This could be very endearing.

Cons: Most of the people who follow Callithump Thunderblog do so because they are smitten with Sondra Stinglash's charm and fetching good looks. These followers make a habit of commenting that Sondra Stinglash looks like a sexy librarian, a sexy lunch lady or a sexy 3rd grade teacher. (The sexy part, while not stated explicitly, is implied.)

And who can blame them?

These followers, numbering in the hundreds, all following privately so as not to cause any domestic arguments, most likely would not want to hear all about Mr. Stinglash.

So what do you think, dear reader? Should Sondra Stinglash be married or not? You be the decider. You will find the official voting poll conveniently located right on this very blog! Look to the right and up. (Unless you ARE the computer, and in that case you would look to the left.)

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.

## On the Dark Side of the Seemingly Innocuous Facebook Quiz

If you are anything like me, you love those Facebook quiz-notes. You know that ones that ask random questions or invite you to write random things about yourself and post them in a note and tag all your friends? These are such a very great thing.

I am not talking about quiz applications, like "What primary color are you?" (I got red!) or "What kind of STD are you?" (I got gonorrhea!) or "What kind of bowel movement are you?" (I got diarrhea! No, wait. I got Someone's Been Eating Corn!) Those quizzes are totally fine. No problem with those. It is not as if someone has designed them in order to steal your personal information and SPAM all your friends. (What are you talking about? I didn't send a note to all my friends telling them I had a secret crush on them!?!?)

In case you are unfamiliar with the quiz-notes I am referring to, here are some example questions:

1. Do you like to drink coffee in the morning?

2. What color shirt do you have on?

3. What do you like to do for fun?

You copy your friend's post, delete their answers, and re-post with your own answers. Then you tag your friends so that they can join in on the fun.

Through this process you find out so many interesting details about your friends- things that you had no way of knowing before. And, through sharing simple facts about each others' lives, we find out how similar we really are, making our petty differences seem insignificant, for after all, we are all human beings with the same hopes and dreams and vulnerabilities.

Who knew that Claire, my old co-worker at the insurance office, likes to drink coffee in the morning? I like to drink coffee in the morning! What are the chances of that? I feel so very connected to her. We are like kindred coffee drinking spirits.

And Maxine, my old college roommate, revealed in a quiz, that she was wearing a green shirt. When I read that, I immediately looked down to see what color shirt I had on. And what do you know? I was wearing a blue shirt! She had a green shirt on and I had a blue shirt on! What are the chances of that? Green and blue are almost exactly the same color! I felt so connected to her. It is a deeply human experience to feel the tapestry of life that connects us all.

And Stephanie, the woman I used to take that kick boxing class with- turns out that she likes to give hand jays to businessmen behind the A & P. How is that for a coincidence! I like to give hand jays to businessmen behind the A & P!!! What a small world this is! I haven't seen Stephanie in two years, but now I feel so connected to her!

But for all the good that those Facebook quizzes do, for all the peace that they spread, making you feel at one with everyone; there is a darker side.

Be wary of the following quiz called "25 Totally and Completely Random Questions About Me." If you get tagged, best to ignore it.

1. Do you like to drink coffee in the morning?

2. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite?

3. Do you own a gun?

4. Have you ever smoked cigarettes?

6. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?

7. Do you have a dog at your house?

8. When is your next doctor's appointment?

9. Do you have an alarm system at your house?

10. Can you do push ups?

11. What's your most valuable piece of jewelry?

12. Where do you keep that piece of jewelry?

13. Favorite hobby?

14. Do you have A.D.D.?

15. Middle name?

16. Social Security number?

17. Name 2 or 3 drinks you regularly drink.

18. Are you a sound sleeper?

19. When would you say your house is most likely to be vacant?

20. Favorite celebrity?

21. When you are locked out of your house, how do you normally break in?

22. Favorite breakfast cereal?

23. How many flat screen TVs do you have in your house?

24. Favorite vacation spot?

25. Dates of next vacation?

Also, be wary of the following notes that are going around Facebook right now- "1,730 Random Facts About My Childhood," "67 Things I Have Stolen From Work," and "Ten Things That Would Totally Freak Out My Family If They Knew."

P.S. Since I don't like abbreviations, I prefer to call the site by its proper name, "Book of the Face." Feel free to follow suit.

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.

## Five Fascinating Facts

Now that I have attracted such a large following, (Double digits like my new fun-sized monthly salary!!!) my fans stalkers readers have become relentless in their demands for personal information about me. The questions never stop. "Sondra Stinglash," they cry, "You are such an enigma! Tell us something, anything at all, that will help us to understand both your complexity and genius!" It is a strange thing to have them all yelling in unison like that- kind of surreal, but I understand that it comes with the territory, so I tolerate it.

And I will oblige. Here are 5 fascinating facts about me that will help uncover the secrets of Sondra Stinglash and as an added bonus will also serve as a useful guide when you are agonizing over what to buy for me.

1. I once spent 4 hours drawing my hand, as an exercise from the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I had been so focused and had worked for so long that I had not noticed that my family had gone to bed. There I was, in a quiet house, sitting in a dark room under my lamp, all alone. Gazing upon the drawing, I couldn't believe how well I had done, for someone who had never been able to draw before. The book was right. Drawing was all about seeing, not about technique. I had captured every fold, every crease, every line. And then I noticed it.

2. Pretty much every gift I have gotten over the last year, I excitedly decide is an i-phone. It doesn't matter what size the package is. If it is a big package, I form a picture in my mind of opening one box that contains a smaller box which contains a smaller box until I get to the box with the i-phone. If it is a really small package, I imagine that it is one of those inflatable expandable i-phones that no has heard of yet because it is so very new. I get very excited, giddy almost, and kind of blown away that someone would give me such an extravagant gift. And I say, "You shouldn't have!" Then I open it and it is not an i-phone.

This keeps happening.

3. I have a policy against abbreviations. One should say a word in its entirety rather than using its vulgar abbreviation. That is why I say "gasoline," "gymnasium," and "cellular telephone," just to cite a few examples. These are good words and they should be used. I encourage you to join me in this campaign that I call, "Take Back the Syllables."

Don't mind me. I don't need any help here.

I can fight this fight all by myself.

You go on and do whatever it is you are doing.

I am sure that it is really important.

4. I invented the sea urchin.

5. I am subject to fits of this disease, which I combat by dressing up my old writing, directing readers to read my old stuff, or by creating lame excuses for posts that are really just random lists of weird crap crapola I thought up quickly and passed off as a bonafide post.

But because you are really special to me and you read this entire post and I like you a lot and I am pretty sure that you bought me an i-phone, I will give you some inside information. The reason the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain story is funny is because I am actually in possession of five fingers on each of my hands, not six.

I will wait while you laugh.

Did I mention that you are very special to me? And I have a birthday coming up?

WOW! You knitted me an i-phone? You shouldn't have!

I really liked you before, but I totally have a crush on you now.

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend, although I don't really know why you would want to. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it. (Again. Not sure why you would claim responsibility for this one.)

## Just For the Record

For the record, we here at Callithump Thunderblog wish to make it perfectly clear that Sondra Stinglash takes no responsibility for any of the following. To repeat, these things are in no way shape or form, her fault.

1. Modular Homes

2. Suburban Sprawl

3. World War II

4. This guy-

5. "Baby on Board" window stickers.

6. Crocs

7. This particular indignity:

8. The empty milk container in your refigerator

9. This music video-

10. Golf

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.

## SAME GREAT STORY, BRAND NEW PACKAGING!

Callithump Thunderblog is proud to launch a new, bold, contemporary look for its popular story. But don't let the new packaging fool you. This is the same great story you have grown to know and love. Says Sondra Stinglash, of Callithump Thunderblog, "It was imperative that we develop a fresh look for the story that would stand out and attract new readers, while still delivering the quality that our loyal followers have grown so fond of." Critics of this bold move charge that Stinglash is just dressing up the same old story that she has been telling for 20 years because she is out of new material and because she would rather spend her time organizing her award winning paper napkin collection. Says rival blogger, Cat Lady, "I can't believe it! It's the same exact story she told before...Hey! Those napkins are kind of pretty..."

The paper napkin collection.

Warning- This story is not PETA approved. However, Callithump Thunderblog can assure you, dear reader, that noes were harmed in the making or recording of this story.

And now, for our feature presentation:

Drumroll...

When I was thirteen years old, and throughout my teen years, I was more than occasionally employed as a baby sitter. Unbelievable as it was, responsible parents left their beloved children with me, in my care, for periods of time long enough to allow them to dine at restaurants and see entire feature length movies. This was obviously before nanny cams. I was trusted to perform duties like bathing children, feeding them and tucking them in for the night. I did all of this for a mere dollar an hour plus benefits. This doesn't sound like much, but those benefits were spectacular. After the children were safely snug in their beds, I got to help myself to potato chips of all flavors, ice cream and cookies. I was free to watch TV, and, if I was at the right house, I could carefully and breathlessly thumb through their copy of The Joy of Sex, which was right there on their living room bookshelf for god's sake, right there in plain view. "What kind of people are these?" The best part, however, is that I got the telephone all to myself with no parents listening and I got to stay up late without getting in trouble. It was also an ego trip to be looked up to, literally, as a big kid, a teenager, by the little kids I was in charge of. Baby sitting was so many things. It was a chance to make some money, to be thought of as a responsible young adult; it was also a fun excuse to dip back into the recent past that I had somewhat reluctantly left behind. At home I was too old to color, play Hungry Hippos and Barbie dolls, but when I was baby sitting these activities were part of my repertoire of professional skills. And then, of course, there were the after bedtime hours that provided a hedonistic oasis of junk food, pop culture and sexual education.

Joy of Sex book. Go ahead and gawk, I'll wait....

Six year old Daniel was fun to babysit for because he had a basement playroom full of toys, where we would spend most of our time together. On one particular day, however, he bypassed his toys in order to excitedly show me the hamster he had gotten only the day before. Walter was a pudgy tan and white ball of requisite rodent cuteness. Ah yes, a hamster. I was a pro at hamsters, having gone through many at this point, each coming to his own tragic end, each named Cinnamon, followed by a corresponding Roman numeral. I was eager to share with Daniel the joys of hamster ownership, especially my copyrighted trick, Hamster Trampoline. The way that Hamster Trampoline works is that you put the hamster on the front of your nightgown which you have pulled taught in front of you and you proceed to bounce the hamster up and down while gleefully exclaiming, "Wheeeee!" Since I was not wearing a nightgown at the time, I was forced to improvise. I put Walter on my outstretched t-shirt, and vaulted him up in the air. I was pleased to note that the t-shirt provided a more than adequate bounce.

Daniel watched, delighted. Up and down. Up and down. Hamster Trampoline is not something that six year olds tire of quickly, nor thirteen year olds, at least not this one. It is really a sight to see that hamster flip and turn in the air. After showing Daniel how it was done and going through safety rules, (Hamster trampoline does not equal hamster catapult.), it was Daniel's turn to try it out. Daniel took to Hamster Trampoline quite eagerly, bouncing Walter up and down gaily, both of us firm in our belief that Hamster Trampoline was a win-win situation for all: thrilling for the bouncer and bouncee alike. Up and down. Up and down.

A minute into it and Daniel's shrieks of glee were replaced by shrieks of surprise. "He's having babies!" he cried excitedly. "He's having babies!" I took in the situation. Walter was bouncing up and down. Daniel was shrieking. Coming out of Walter's body was a little bald, blind, pink creature. In addition to the one sticking out of Walter, there was another one rolling around on Daniel's t-shirt. Up and down. Up and down. It took me a moment to process this scene. Up and Down. Up and Down. Two little pink, bald, blind creatures on the t-shirt. One more wiggling creature sticking out of Walter. Daniel shrieking, "He's having babies!" He was right. We were witnessing the miracle of birth right before our eyes. I joined him in his excitement. "He's having babies!" I exclaimed. We both shouted, "He's having babies!!!" "He is having babies!!!!"

Then we paused, looked at the three squiggly bodies on the t-shirt and the one wriggling out of Walter, looked at each other and in a sudden moment of recognition, we said in unison, "SHE'S having babies!"

I thought of that hamster years later after I delivered my son. All us moms have our labor stories to tell. Mine was the most intensely painful experience I could ever imagine. I was in labor for 24 hours. Four hours of pushing and still I ended up having a C-Section. When we moms get together and exchange labor stories, I get a lot of sympathy for my tale. Then, I guiltily remember Walter, and I imagine her little voice interjecting, "Oh come on. You think that was bad? Let me tell you about when I had my first five kids...."

(Post Script- As writers do, I took liberties when retelling this tale, for dramatic effect. To be completely accurate, there was no sudden realization that Walter was a girl hamster. We just sat there dumbly in silence. I, at 13, soon after recognized that Daniel had pegged the sex incorrectly, but who knows when Daniel figured that one out. One would have to think that he has it straight by now.)

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.

## Death By Chocolate

Last night we got a hankering for ice cream, so I went out and bought some. After looking the ice cream freezers up and down, reading ingredients etc, I finally settled on Perry's Death by Chocolate. It sounded delicious- chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered almonds, chocolate truffles and fudge chips.

After I dished it out and my son, Ellington, and his friend, Amos, were happily scarfing down their portions, it hit me. I was feeding them a product that was advertising itself as fatal. DEATH BY CHOCOLATE!!!
D E A T H ! ! ! Suddenly I felt panicky. There they were, happily and rapidly shoveling spoonfuls of frozen death dessert into their mouths!!! It wasn't even like you had to read the fine print. It wasn't a little disclaimer that anyone could overlook. "Warning: ingesting this delicious chocolaty dessert product may result in serious injury, or death." No. This wasn't that. This was DEATH BY CHOCOLATE. Big print. Really big.

If deadly ice cream had a innocuous monicker, such as DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE EAT IT UP REAL FAST ICE CREAM and a disclaimer on the back, I believe, disclaimer or no, that the company would be remiss. And, enraged over the pointless and tragic death of my son, I would sue the pants off them. But, in this case, the company couldn't have been more upfront about the fatal properties of their product. DEATH BY CHOCOLATE. It was advertised blatantly. And as I watched Ellington and Amos licking their lips, I pictured myself in a court of law, not suing the Perry's Ice Cream people, but defending myself in front of a jury of my peers. I, my head hanging in shame, crying and explaining the tragic events of that night. My hankering for ice cream. My excitement over the promise of chocolate. How I first dished out two bowls for my son and his friend. And how, before I had even taken a bite of my own ice cream, the two teenage boys had keeled over right in front of me.

Witnesses, mainly employees of the supermarket, would one by one take the stand and say things like, "I can't believe she even bought that stuff. What kind of person would buy a product with that name? And for her own child?" As the jury glares at me and shakes their heads, I take the stand. The prosecutor glowers, "And what was the NAME of the ice cream you fed them?"

"Death By Chocolate," I feebly answer.

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the court. I rest my case."

What was I thinking?

As luck would have it, the ice cream didn't kill us and it was really, really delicious.

But just to be safe, I am taking back the jar of "Death by Mayonnaise" that I just purchased.

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.