How Do You Find The Answers Inside You?

If you can eliminate the outside noise, you’ll find that the answers are inside you.  Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings

When I travel, I always make sure to read the flight magazines. Not only do I find out insanely cool facts like:

It used to take 27 hours to make an Easter Peep…When Just Born bought Rodda and automated the process, they pared it down to 6 minutes. They now produce 5 million chicks a day.

I also get writing inspiration.

The quote from the top of the post came from a short business lesson. The entire thing, including the bio was 165 words. But I thought about it the entire flight, and I’ve had that page open on my hotel desk all week long.

Here’s the opener:

“Early in my career, I believed that the stress I was feeling—and the worrying and the insomnia—was part of being successful. Yet, the minute I started making a conscious effort to let go of those things, I became more productive. Relieving the anxiety in your life is essential to being a good businessperson. If that’s gone, the mind is calm, and from a calm mind comes creativity.”

Just sub the word “writer,” “creative,” or “parent” for businessperson in that paragraph. (If you are a businessperson, substitute the word that describes your dream.)

Apparently the key to succeeding at almost any activity is to persevere and RELAX.

Stress has crazy side effects on the body, from hair loss to chronic inflammation, and you can never predict how it will manifest.

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upset
  • Cancer
  • Sleep problems

Taking 10 minutes a day for yourself, to just be in that moment inside your head, makes the world open up. Those times when I relax and linger within the kaleidoscope of color and magic of my creative mind…

Those are some freaking beautiful moments. They’re creative and exciting and strong.

Most of all, they’re worth it.

Here on this Thoughty Thursday, I’d love to discuss what you do when you’re struggling with questions that feel insurmountable. Do you take a walk, call a friend, or just sit still and search for the answers inside? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Health, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Undie Chronicles, Volume 22: Undies Unplugged

Those of you who are new to More Cowbell might have missed The Undie Chronicles. The regular posse here knows: When the Undie-verse speaks, we will always listen.

Who’d have ever thought we’d get into the TWENTIES in this series? Not me. I had no idea when this began that there were so many hilarious things to talk about under them clothes.

You have NEVER heard undies like this before, I promise you.

Julie Glover, creative writer extraordinaire has made us an Undies Jingle, titled Just Another Pair of Undies, that I guarantee to knock your pants off (if you know what I mean).

If you want to sing along, here is her magnificent video:

If you’d prefer to just hum the words (to the tune of Manic Monday by The Bangles), we’ve got those too.

Another Pair of Undies
To the tune of “Manic Monday”

Time to get ready
And I’m staring in my underwear drawer
Wishing that I’d bought a size bigger
At the lingerie store.
Briefs, bikinis, hipsters, boy shorts,
Hi-cut, and thongs.
Yeah, whatever I choose
They ain’t gonna right all the wrongs.

It’s just another pair of undies
that nobody else sees.
Certainly not fundies.
So who am I trying to please?
It’s just another pair of undies.

Too late to do laundry
and I ain’t got time to run by the store.
Yeah, I got to get going;
I can’t stall anymore.
But it takes me so long
just to figure out what I’m gonna wear.
Still, I can’t go commando
so I close my eyes and grab the first pair.

It’s just another pair of undies 
that nobody else sees.
Certainly not fundies.
Might as well wear these;
It’s just another pair of undies.

All of the nights,
Why did my hubby have to pick
tonight to get down?
When I’m wearing the panties 
that look like Granny’s
He starts out in his bedroom voice
Then yells, “Good heavens, woman,
What are those?!!”
What can I say?

It’s just another pair of undies, 
that only my hubby sees.
But no, not fundies.
Might as well wear these. 

It’s just another pair of undies.
Who am I trying to please?
They won’t end up on Jenny’s.
It’s just another pair of undies…

Her explanation when I asked her what inspired her?

JulieGlover_Cowbell pic

We have that effect on people.

I hope y’all bombard Julie in the comments with kudos on this amazing Undies Unplugged Escapade. She ROCKED it.

Do you love this song as much as I do? What other words did you think of to expand on her original? What’s your favorite Undies Song? Enquiring minds always love Monday laughter here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in More Cowbell, Undie Chronicles | Tagged , , , | 37 Comments

10 Minutes of Hilarity…Just For You

Periodically, newcomers venture here to More Cowbell, see the masthead and mistake the name of the site. This blog is named after an SNL skit where Christopher Walken and Will Farrell steal the show.

Catchy phrases like “I could’ve used a little more cowbell…” and “Really use your studio space…” vie with other gems like:

I’ve got a FEVER! And the only prescription is MORE COWBELL.

Christopher Walken utters every catchy phrase, and Will Farrell delivers the laughs. And if you get hold of the entire skit, you’ll see that Jimmy Fallon is trying not to bust a gut in the background.

If you’re still low on your Saturday Night Live quota for the day, here’s the Top 10 episodes of all time, according to

Is More Cowbell included in this list of gems? Oh yeah. Watch to find out where we rank. :-)

What is your favorite SNL episode? Is it in this montage, or is it something else entirely? Who is your favorite SNL actor of all time? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

p.s. If you’re having trouble finding something to celebrate today, I’ve got a great one for you: 10 years ago, my future husband danced up to me in a bar called Woody’s Wharfand the rest is history. [Happy Anniversary, Honey! :-) ]

Posted in More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

“Down Time Hobbies” and Other Fun Mysteries

50 Shades of Hay

Y’all didn’t hear from me for my usual Monday giggle-fest because some hideous beast sous chef slipped me gluten over the weekend. For me that equals several days of vicious migraines and spinal misalignment, so it’s been a little quiet here at the blog.

Never fear, the posse here includes the Queens and Kings of “entertaining themselves.” (I’ll even leave the “if you know what I mean” off that.)

Today, we want to hear about what y’all do with your down time. Don’t tell me you don’t have any hobbies. The peeps here are way too interesting for that. There is something you love to do, even when you only have 10-15 minutes of free time. (Oh my God, it’s tough to leave the naughty jokes out of the post!)

When you’re not working, writing, carting kids here or there, taking care of parentals, scrubbing your bathtub or paying bills…

What is your favorite thing to do?

I’ll even give you some examples to get you started. Is it:

  1. Reading trashy novels like 50 Shades of Hay above?
  2. Knitting or some other sort of crafting?
  3. Gardening?
  4. Watching TV or movies?
  5. None of the above. (I can’t wait to hear these answers.)

What is your favorite “down time hobby” and why? Feel free to get specific, such as your favorite show, book, movie, garden vegetable, etc. Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny
(who is still a bit under the weather, and ready to be entertained)

Posted in Humor, Life's Challenges | Tagged , , , | 49 Comments

Are You A “Schmuck Bait” Addict?

Oh, I have such a treat for y’all today. My perky quirky friend, Geralyn, is in the house! She’s blogging about entertainment, some wicked cool Castle episodes, and the power of a great story.

I Love Me Some Schmuck Bait
by G.V.R. Corcillo

Schmuck bait. It’s what TV writers call that technically impossible hook that will get everyone watching a certain episode.

Example: “Oh, my God! Is Fonzie gonna die?”

Of course Fonzie isn’t going to die! There would be NO MORE SHOW if that happened. But everyone watches anyway. Schmuck bait.

Gotta admit it – I love schmuck bait. I lap the stuff up just as voraciously as I dig into corned beef from a can with a key or into bologna and mayo sandwiches. I should know better than to eat such heinous stuff, but on certain days when I’m in the right mood, it’s just so damn good! Seriously, there have been times when that key broke and I went after the can with a carving knife.

I’m the same way with impossibly dramatic complications on television shows I love. I gotta have ‘em!

Yes, I cried when Olivia Walton took her first steps after being told that the polio would mean she would never walk again.

And I can’t help but get teary every time when the Brady Bunch realizes that Jan is allergic to the flea powder, and they won’t have to give away their beloved Tiger.

And yes, I was ridiculously relieved when Steven Keaton chose not to cheat on Elyse with Judith Light and destroy every family tie in sight.

I saw all those shows when I was growing up, but schmuck bait isn’t just for kids.

Just a few weeks ago, I saw what I think is the best Castle episode yet: “Under Fire.”

Ryan and Esposito are trapped in the secret basement of a building consumed by a deadly inferno just as Ryan’s wife Jenny is on the verge of having their baby. Pure schmuck bait. Ryan and Esposito are not going off the show – Castle is not about ax the two tight ends of its supporting cast.

But you know what? It didn’t matter that I knew they would be fine.

The tension in that episode is strung more tightly than Scarlett’s corset as the NYFD realizes that the guys are in there but there is no way to get them out. Then Jenny goes into labor….

Ryan manages to rig up a phone in the fiery basement and call Beckett, who tells the guys they are stuck there and they are going to die. Then Ryan gets on the phone with Jenny.

I get shivers just thinking about it.

You see, if schmuck bait is done right, it can be friggin’ beautiful. After all, Castle makes effective use of schmuck bait all the time. Beckett is not going to die from the gunshot wound to her chest. The kidnappers are not going to kill Alexis. Castle does not actually commit a murder. Nor are he and Martha going to blow up in the bank.

But you know what? Those of us who love Castle aren’t schmucks at all – we just like to tap into all the fear, love, and desperation while getting cozy in a warm, safe environment. It’s an addiction and it’s visceral.

It’s why we read the same dog-eared book over and over or watch the same movie again and again. It’s why romance is so successful as a genre, even though we know how almost every story is going to end.

We want to take the ride that gets us there.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good story even if you already know the ending. I mean, does anyone ever dis Shakespeare because the endings of all his tragedies are so predictable? “Really, Bill? They all die again?”

Frankly, I don’t give a rip if I already know the ending. I just want the story to keep pushing my buttons.

How about you? Are you a schmuck bait addict too? What stories  push your buttons over and over (and over) again?

Jenny here… *raises hand* I am a TOTAL schmuck bait addict!

Here’s your chance to discuss your favorite shows, movies, and books to your heart’s content. Enquiring minds LOVE to share these things here at More Cowbell! ~ Jenny

*  *  *  *  *  *

Need more Geralyn in your life [of course you do!]

SLIRMedHer fantastic book, She Likes It Rough, was voted a ‘Best Indie Book of 2013!’ It was also the winner of the Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards for Best Indie Book of 2013 and Best Humor Book of 2013.

The story begins…

Six months ago I woke up rich, famous, and thin. Every woman’s dream, right?

Believe me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Not by a long shot. If it were, I wouldn’t be speed hiking up a mountain in what’s left of my Dolce and Gabbana power suit. Chasing a man I don’t know, no less.

I wish he would slow down! What was I thinking, following Jack Hawkins into the woods?

What was Lisa Flyte thinking? Outdoor extremist Jack Hawkins wants nothing to do with a discombobulated scaredy-cat like her.

But Lisa needs a backbone. When the tabloids humiliated her after that freak fast-food incident, she knew it was time to stop letting life plow right over her. And she’s sure adrenaline-junkie Jack is the one to make her tough.

So, when Lisa learns that Jack needs a clueless urbanite to test his top-secret line of beginner adventure gear, she strikes a deal with him: she’ll be his undercover test dummy if he helps her get brave during their adventures in the wild.

But can the moxie Lisa discovers in the great outdoors help her pursue a career she really wants, or stand up to her bullying family? And can it make her gutsy enough to go after Jack? He’s a man who’s not afraid of anything…except maybe of falling for Lisa.

About GVR Corcillo:

GVR Corcillo“With my Ivy League education, white-trash sensibilities, and pop culture savvy, I write humorous women’s fiction about characters who try not to trip as they valiantly march to their own bongo beat.”

Geralyn has lived in suburban Pennsylvania, New York, Washington D.C. and England. She  currently resides in North Hollywood with her television comedy writing husband, Ron, and several cute cats.  She’s done everything from co-hosting a radio show, to starring in an award-winning short film, to teaching high school in Watts and South Central Los Angeles.

Her first short story, “Jane Austen Meets the New York Giants,” in the Marlo Thomas anthology The Right Words at the Right Time: Volume 2 hit the New York Times Best Sellers List. She Likes It Rough is her debut novel.

You can find her at her website or on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted in Amazing Writers, Thoughty Thursday | Tagged , , , , | 148 Comments

World Autism Awareness — Will You Celebrate It?

Autism_Blue_PhotopinFor 25 years, autism has been part of my life.

Not just because my little brother is autistic, and not just because I used to teach autistic children back in a previous career.

Autism has been part of my life because the lessons I learned in that world matter.

Here are 5 lessons that particularly resonated:

1. “Please” and “thank you” imply that a request is optional.

One of the most difficult things for me to learn when I was going through my training was to leave what I considered good manners at the door. The autistic brain is a very concrete one which often makes manners and pronouns difficult to grasp.

This lesson has carried into my own parenting. I rarely tell my Little Bean “no” when she’s heading toward disaster — I tell her to “Stop.” It’s concrete and immediate, and so far, it works.

2. Grandmas are damn smart.

One of the first things you learn when you work with autistic individuals is the Premack Principle, or “Grandma’s Rule”. Premacking a child’s schedule means to start with an activity they are ambivalent about, followed by a disliked activity, followed by a like and so on. Premacking their child’s schedule is how the wise parent gets their kid through the day. We need to do “X” before we can go out and play. (See? Grandma.)

If you set up a storyboard about the things that will happen in an autistic person’s day with pictures, so much the better. Remember, you’re dealing with a precise individual.

3. Few autistic kids understand the concept of time.

Oh, they learn about time if you tie it to a reward – most of these kids are brilliant after all. But that intrinsic knowing that this is ten minutes and it takes that long to brush my teeth, wash my face and put on my clothes for school is almost always missing from an autistic kid.

Imagine how you’d feel if you had no idea how long you had to sit in a car or do something you hated – you get through activities you hate only because you know when they end.

4. Autism is like having all your senses hopped up on crystal meth.

Imagine the world if you sat in a restaurant with your over-sensitive senses sparking at warp speed. You’d smell the five different shampoos used by your surrounding diners, hear the clink of silverware, the air rushing through the vents, the hum of traffic outside. And have no ability whatsoever to tune all that sensory input out.

5. Positive reinforcement fixes everything.

In #4 above, I mentioned all the sensory input bombarding an autistic person in a restaurant. This can be overcome, it just takes some work. Whatever it is that’s important to you, break it down into small reinforceable steps and prepare to do each step many, many times.

Today is the 7th annual World Autism Awareness Day.

Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate this day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. How will you celebrate?

  • To tweet: Use #AKA (Autism Kindness Acts), #LIUB (Light it up Blue) or #autism
  • To share your events and photos, today and through the month of April, go to
  • If you see something lit up blue this month, share a smile and warm moment for the person who’s bringing awareness about autism to their corner of the world.

Has autism touched your life in some way? If so, did it teach you any lessons that really resonated with you? Share them down in the comments! Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

photo credit: via photopin cc

Posted in More Cowbell | 16 Comments

A Game of Balls, If You Know What I Mean…

I’m talking about balls across the blogosphere today — here at More Cowbell and over at Writers In The Storm. Of course over there, we’re being all dignified and talking about work-life balance.

Here? We’re just having our normal giggly Monday. :-)

If you’re short on time, here is a quick video of a uniquely talented man who plays piano with his balls.

However, if you have a few moments for even more fun, we’re going to play a game of our own. I promise you’ll enjoy it

Those who are new here might not remember The Pants Game. This is where y’all substituted “Pants” (or some derivative) into dialogue from your favorite movie for maximum hilarity.

Samples from that posts’ comments:

From Indiana Jones via Julie Glover:

Indiana: “Give me the pants”
Satipo: “..Throw me idol, I’ll throw you the pants!”
Indiana: [throws the idol] Give me the pants!”
Satipo: “Adiós, señor.”

From The Princess Bride via Pauline Baird Jones:

Fezzik: You never said anything about pants-ing anyone.
Vizzini: I’ve hired you to help me start a war. It’s an prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition.
Fezzik: I just don’t think it’s right, pants-ing an innocent girl.

From Lord of the Rings via Tameri Etherton:

Aragorn: If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. You have my pants…
Legolas: And you have my panties.
Gimli: And *my* axe.
Boromir: You carry the trousers of us all, little one. If this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it pantsed.

Oh mama, the posse here is good!

Today, we’re playing the same game, but with “Balls.” Give me a movie or TV title or dialogue snippet with the creative use of BALLS.

[Make me proud, people...make me proud.]

Here’s a classic “Casablanca” sample to get ball rolling (IYKWIM):

‘Excuse me, gentlemen, your business is balls. Mine is running a saloon.’
‘What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?’ ‘My health. I came for the balls.’

What is your favorite movie or TV show? And what do they have to offer up for The Balls Game? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Humor, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments