Quirky, Humorous, Irreverent Writings and Musings

About Liza Blue

I am a physician who knows how to do an autopsy. Only girl among 5 brothers. I hit a big forehand, but backhand is oddly feeble, athletic but lack the discipline to be an athlete. Birder. Mother. Wife. Reader. Bell-ringer. Writer. Word Enthusiast.

Latest Blog Post

Cracking the Code of Success: Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers in Action by @LizaBlueWriter #outliers #success #books

Cracking the Code of Success: Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers in Action

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers The author Malcolm Gladwell defines an outlier as “something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body.” See my previous post on Gladwell’s tipping point here.  In his bestselling book of essays on the topic, he focuses on the secrets of success for outliers. Based on…

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Humor essays about 10minutes in length on a wide variety of topics, i.e. memoir, contemporary culture, parenting, our natural world.

Word Games

Doggerel's Delight

This word game was invented by my mother Fan Brown, who sent her poems to game magazines and exulted the $25 she occasionally got in the mail. My mother-in-law, who fashioned herself as an arbiter of elevated artistic taste, sniffed at my mother's efforts and pronounced her poems as "doggerel." Well of course they're doggerel, but damn fine doggerel tailored to the word enthusiast.

Idiom's Delight

Idiom's abound in the English language ,ranging from the ever popular "raining cats and dogs" to my personal favorite "when the shit hits the fan." The historical origin of each idiom can be traced, often to the Bible or Shakespeare. Others can be traced to more recent events - "drink the KoolAid," describing blind obedience, or "Land it in the Hudson," a business term describing salvaging a doomed project. Some project strong visuals. (Just dwell for a moment on shit hitting a fan.)


Ten years ago this blog site started as short memoir pieces from my magical '60s and '70s childhood, helmed by my witty and irreverent mother. Nuggets of memory would burble up unexpectedly. I would wonder why they emerged so clearly at that moment and then why my child's brain decided to store them in the vast and dusty warehouse of my mind. It was as if I implicitly knew that this incident was something important to be considered some 50 years later with the benefit of age and experience. I turned these incidents over and over in my mind adding more context and meaning. Why did my father stand on the lawn and gaze at the Good Humor man making home deliveries to the neighbor? Why did my mother insist that I know the arcane rules of baseball, including the infield fly rule? These ruminations coalesced into essays. My blog site was born.

The careful thought given to my memories sharpened my powers of observation. Soon the essays morphed into curiosity-driven pieces about anything, really, that caught my imagination. Commentary about popular culture, nature, our language and the oddities of everyday life expanded my repetroire. All the posts are short (1200 words) and take about 10 minutes to read. This format reflects two strategic considerations. First I usually run out of things to say at 1200 words. Secondly this length is the attention span of someone reading off a phone or a tablet, creating an ideal distraction for those moments of forced idleness that punctuate our lives. Air travel is one common example.

In all essays I have tried to duplicate my mother's humor and irreverence. Thank you Fan Brown (1927-2007).