Ask Ceil – I Have an Opinion

Dear Ceil, Why do I have so many opinions, and why do I talk about them? I had no idea I cared. Signed, Soapboxing in Susquehanna Dear Soapboxing, There are several reasons why we might voice our opinions. Only a couple make any sense. 1. We need to hear ourselves talk. You’re at home on … Continue reading Ask Ceil – I Have an Opinion



“Where are we going?” Dad asked again. “We’re meeting my friend, Kathy, for lunch.” She wasn't my friend. “Oh, where’s that?” I pointed. “Right there.” “We’re having lunch?” “Yes.” “Who are we meeting?” “Kathy.” I pulled into a parking space. I didn't cry. “Ok, let’s go.” “I’ll stay here.” “No, come. We’re having lunch” “Here?” … Continue reading Lunch

Birthday Surprise

Veering from my regular commentary on the weirdness of life; here's a longer flash fiction piece for your Friday. If you are about to eat cake, I suggest you wait until you're done to read this. I've already put one person off cake with this story.  --Ceil The refrain of the birthday song was wobbly and … Continue reading Birthday Surprise

The 3 Weirdest Work Experiences I’ve Had, Part II

Thank you for waiting patiently for Part II of this article. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please feel free to transport over to the first part of this article right here.) These two very short stories are about people, and the things I learned from them. In college, I worked in customer … Continue reading The 3 Weirdest Work Experiences I’ve Had, Part II

The 3 Weirdest Work Experiences I’ve Had, Part I

Everyone has weird work experiences, and mine are some of my favorite stories to tell. If you've met me in person, there's a good chance you have heard at least one of these stories. I won't go into the old food and miscellany I've found pressed between the pages of library books, or the magical … Continue reading The 3 Weirdest Work Experiences I’ve Had, Part I

The Three Weirdest Ways I Was Ever Asked Out

There are people who stay with you through your life. Through time and tide, you always find yourself going back and drawing on their memories. Not for support. Not for insight. Not even for humor.They are people who blow quickly into your life, and breezily leave just as fast, leaving a giant "What the hell … Continue reading The Three Weirdest Ways I Was Ever Asked Out


It was June of 1998 when I moved to the small town of Latrobe, PA, population almost 9,000. I'd just bought a nice brick house with a fenced-in yard for my dog, about four minutes from my job. It had room for a vegetable garden, and I didn’t mind that it backed up to a … Continue reading Neighbors

Ask Ceil – You’ve Got Mail

Dear Ceil,Almost every day, the mail carrier brings me a pile of garbage mixed in with really, really important paperwork. Also, the important stuff looks JUST like the garbage. Also, I’m terrible at making decisions about what is garbage and what is important. Also, my mail now occupies four grocery bags. Make it stop. Overwhelmed … Continue reading Ask Ceil – You’ve Got Mail

Ask Ceil – Mustache and Beard Edition

Dear Ceil, I have a long, luxurious beard named “HR FluffNStuff”. I recently read that beards are almost past their “peak attractiveness”. Is there any way for me protect my face veil from shame? Signed, Hirsute in Hempfield Dear Hirsute, Ah, yes. The fashion peak of facial hair. The worry of the woolly woebegone. The … Continue reading Ask Ceil – Mustache and Beard Edition

Ask Ceil – E.S.P.

Dear Ceil, Can I use ESP to send my friend a message about something? I’d rather not confront her. Bashful in Basking Ridge Dear Bashful, I hail from New Jersey where confrontation is practically a team sport, so I typically endorse a more direct approach. But if you have already ruled that out, then let’s … Continue reading Ask Ceil – E.S.P.