Reflections in a Mirror (While Shaving) No. 29

Editor's note: If you appreciate being able to read posts like this one, and want to ensure ANC's ability to provide more content like this, please click here to demonstrate your support and become a paid subscriber.

• Life is as good as your seat…box, bleachers… or stuck behind a column.

• Neighbor siblings Ashtin and Austin bought a pot-bellied pig that became all belly. When she walks, her belly sometimes bounces off the ground. She makes me smile.

• Stop using “actually” !!!!!!!! I’m willing to bet you a hamburger you are over-using this totally unnecessary word… I actually think that’s true. And while I’m at it, throw “totally” in there or out… geez Doug, stop it!

• Suggested dancing competitions … waltzing in Heaven… quickstep in Hell… polka in between. Polka?

• I’m not good at figuring out what I’ve done wrong … but that doesn’t mean you’re any better.

• I find my miscalculations to be those of finesse and fine-tuning, while others make mistakes that are glaring and clumsy… ok this is where I would normally stick a smiley face if I were so inclined (and knew how to do it).

• Personal trainer, healthier foods, less alcohol… if I’m going, I’m going kicking and screaming.

• Always been interested in the concept of a personal trainer. After four sessions, I’ve concluded he’s a good investment because I don’t have any friends to work out with…I don’t know which way I mean that either.

• I didn’t officially end the sentence with “with” so I think I withed by. Since nearly everyone since (at least) Winston Churchill has been doing battle with with, when does colloquial usage grant us a free language pass to play with?

• Sigh … I’d apologize for the last paragraph but not sure how (to) … 🙂 … ok that’s not a smiley face but maybe a half a_ _ _ _ smile.

• Wow … how did people ever write before the grammatical rules of construction were blown up… they weren’t? nonsensical?, no such thing? S _ _ _ !

• I was such a goody-goody in High School, I said “fudge” and the coach thought I used a four letter word. He gathered the entire team around while he lectured me on the sins of swearing… walking away three teammates and the coach quietly acknowledged they were proud of me for showing such fire and inspiration.

• Lesson learned: fudge is for weenies and four-letter words are for men! … Coach was a nice man and good coach … he told me years later he knew I had (actually) said fudge but couldn’t take the chance others may have heard me … something to do with cred in the huddle.

• I keep forgetting that laughter will help reduce the sting of almost any problem.

• As soon as I said I was working on two novels, I wasn’t. Haven’t written a word in months … nothing … “writer’s block” implies a possible temporary condition but this seems to have advanced to a more permanent state.

• Five years ago I planted a small birch grove … two parchment birches are now sturdy enough to hold a hammock… it’s a cool and shady place to hangout. Maybe I’ll be inspired to write again … maybe not.

• My goal for today… call at least one friend to catch up and share a laugh… a frown from the mirror… a goal you haven’t met far too often, buddy.

Doug Mudford’s photo illustration by Michael Burke of Redding. Click here to see more Michael Burke photos.

Doug Mudford
is a lawyer and partner at Barr & Mudford, with an emphasis on serious personal injury. He may be reached at Barr & Mudford, 1824 Court St., Redding, (530) 243-8008, or
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

13 Responses

  1. Avatar Kimberly says:

    Love your columns, Doug! I'd LOL reading it, but there are others in bed with me. (…uh, trust me that that makes sense in my world.)

  2. Avatar Eleanor says:

    Hi Doug

    A laugh is a good thing to start the day with, but some days that's just withful thinking. So thank you for that. Fudge is a silly word but 'frickin' is actually, totally annoying. Today I will call a friend to catch up with, and laugh with. If you will too. A goal is a good thing to be held accountable to. And then another day is done with! Achieve this goal today; call someone you are friends with!

    • Avatar Doug Mudford says:

      Thank you Eleanor… your comment started my day with a laugh. And I took your challenge… I phoned a friend before responding to your comment. He was shocked (and pleased) I would initiate the call to exchange a couple of laughs. I can't wait until tomorrow morning.


      • Avatar Eleanor says:

        Good for you, Doug! I did too, and felt good about it – way to keep friendships alive.

        How about today (Saturday)? Gonna make that call today?

  3. Actually, I know I use the word too often, but it just seems to apply in so many situations. I don't know what I would replace it with. :>)

  4. Barbara, you read my mind.

    Actually, I'm totally guilty of the overuse of both actually and totally.

    And Eleanor, while I don't say frickin', I have been known to say freakin' … my way of avoiding putting a quarter in the 'F' jar.

    (Doug, a delightful, insightful column, as always. Totally.)

  5. Avatar Canda says:

    Such fun. Thanks for the chuckles!

  6. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    I love reading what you have to say.

    I wonder if we don't use words such as "actually" to notify listeners that they are going to hear the truth of the matter and they should pay attention. I might throw in that word when I explain to one of my worried students why the zombie apocalypse is not going to happen. The word lends authority to whatever follows.

    Please keep writing.

  7. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Joanne… I've thought about what emphasis I'm "actually" trying to make. I agree with you, Barbara and Doni, the word at times seems appropriate but I've tended to use it so mindlessly, it has become the equivalent of the dreaded "you know" or "you know what I mean" … love the imagery of "zombie apocalypse". I watched "Night of The Living Dead" with all the lights on… do zombies even care if day or night?


  8. Avatar Canda says:

    My 3 year old grandson and I were driving past the Convention center last year on our way to Turtle Bay. Looking at the crowd on the lawn I said, "Look at all those turkeys!" Miles replied, "Actually grandma, they're geese." That really cracked me up, and actually, they WERE geese. Such a humbling experience!

  9. Avatar Adrienne Jacoby says:

    Your comment about laughter . . . I think I'll have that tatooed somewhere important . . . like the inside of my eyelids. Now, along with actually and totally, can we throw in the word 'GOT?'

  10. Avatar Aleta Carpenter says:

    … And while we're at it, how about losing "awesome" – it's somehow lost its adjectival brilliance; however, I fear this generation would actually have difficulty finding a word to replace it with 😉