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Model Trains, Drugs and Thanks for Michael Carnell

In the ever-transmogrifying world of social media, it takes a village to spread the word about anything. My blog lives because of its readers, and I appreciate every one of you. But, for the remainder of this week, I am going to thank some special people: my advocates. These people go beyond reading my blog and telling me how much they enjoy it. They share it with their friends and spread the word about it whenever and wherever they can. That I never asked any of them to be my advocate is even more humbling.

Michael Carnell asked me to bring him several things from my recent trip to England: magazines on model trains and model cars, another magazine on the MG and loads of Panadol, a pain killer that is only available by expensive prescription in America because it contains codeine. I sussed out the drugs without incident, but the journals proved to be another matter. Carnell, I am sorry to report that I never found the one on the MG.

Once ensconced on the train, I pulled out the magazines and thumbed through them. I almost had to pop several of the Panadol because 1. I did not understand what in the world could be satisfying about building silos for model train tracks out of plastic cylinders and miniature copper tube; and 2. it is clear that I have spent my entire life investing in the wrong things. How, HOW can a stupid model car from the 1960’s sell for thousands and thousands of pounds???

Still, caring about our friends means trying to understand what they like. Carnell took an interest in my writing a long time ago. It amazes me to go back to the early days of this blog and find his faithful, and often hilarious, commentary. He listens to me complain and kvetch and have attacks of insecurity about this whole writing thing more than just about anyone save MTM. Sometimes, he even says the hard things no one else will say.

Several months ago, he became a full-fledged advocate for my writing when he took it upon himself to get my Facebook Author page over 1,000 likes. It’s a process that is maddening and stacked to be hard. When he was done, my page had almost 200 new likers, the biggest jump from a single effort.

Writing is hard. It’s lonely. When trying to make the transition to being published or getting paid, it is vicious, demoralizing and demeaning. Over the past few months, I have fallen into the trap of wringing my hands and despairing over what I don’t have instead of counting my blessings.

Carnell is a selfless advocate. A few magazines I don’t really understand and some drugs aren’t enough to thank him for all the support to keep me writing. I hope this Fascinating Aida video I discovered while in the UK will add a bit of raunchy color and bawdiness to make you stop squirming while I say thank you, Carnell.

52 Comments Post a comment
  1. is it really true that the blond in the vid is actually the Cyber Ninja himself dragging his way thru Bonnie ol’ England??

    Here he is in another of his now famous roles.

    November 30, 2011
    • mtm #

      Lou, you need to remember that I have administrator privleges on this site, and can send you to the Spam pile if you keep misbehaving.

      The only thing dragged through England was Andra’s suitcase, which is usually easy if you know how lightly she packs…the gifts she brings, however: ten pounds of grits to England, ten pounds of pornographic photos of models on the way back.

      November 30, 2011
      • Don’t worry, Lou is just jealous of my good looks and talent.

        And you know you looked at those magazine. Imagine having control not only of the architecture, but the roads and railways and the entire city!

        November 30, 2011
      • Oh my, good sir, thou doest wound me deeply. Tis a case of mistaken identity as you are the Shadow Ninja and the dastardly Brit Carnell is the Cyber Ninja.

        Don’t you think he’s just marvelous in his vid??

        November 30, 2011
      • I don’t even know what to say to this string……..

        November 30, 2011
      • Michael Carnell #

        Not sure marvelous is the word! I want to be that guy in the park chasing his dog Fenton who is in pursuit of the dear. “Fenton! Fenton! Jesus Christ, Fenton!!”

        November 30, 2011
      • That was very funny, wasn’t it?

        November 30, 2011
  2. I am humbled and honored. I am not however a drug addict or cross-dresser! Well, at least I am not a cross-dresser. So there Lou! As we all know, I can barely dress myself in one gender much less deal with a second one.

    But come on Andra, tell the truth. Didn’t you find all those miniature cars and toys fascinating? Don’t you now have the itch to build small cities and populate them with all modes of transportation – or do you leave that to MTM?

    And is it my fault that boy toys are worth more than girl toys? I am not the one who makes the rules, although I am in full support of them. We men just need to keep women our of our collections, and sheds.

    And finally, whew, I am more than proud to be a firm supporter of you, your writing, and all of your endeavors. I consider it a privilege to know both you and MTM, and to call you friends. And more so, I never ceased to be amazed by the talent and abilities of you both.

    November 30, 2011
    • Did I imply that you are mad or angry while you dress? Oh my, I guess I did, I’m truly sorry for any mis-impressions, HAH!!

      Happy in the spotlight day, Sir Carnell.

      November 30, 2011
      • Neither mad nor angry while I dress. Normally I am fully asleep. Which I still maintain is the reason my socks don’t match. Ok, on occasion my shoes don’t match either..

        And thank you King Lou. I am honored to be on the same blog electrons as you. Sharing the same IP stream sort-to-speak.

        November 30, 2011
      • MTM builds the model cities and makes them “art” in our house. We came home yesterday to find two “trees” fallen off the “art” of Marion Square.

        November 30, 2011
      • Michael Carnell #

        Oh no! An earthquake! I still think MTM needs a full train layout.

        November 30, 2011
      • STOP planting these ideas in his head, Carnell.

        November 30, 2011
  3. Leigh Anne Wills #

    The Carnell/Mello blogs within the blog are so enjoyable. Its like a treat within a treat. Thanks guys!

    November 30, 2011
    • It’s hard to find anything to add to their carryings-on. :)

      November 30, 2011
  4. Friends don’t let friends (add choice of activities here) alone. . .

    Carnell sounds exactly like the best kind of friend; one who offers just what’s needed at any given juncture — a smile, an atta-girl, a view you may not have considered. If I were fortunate enough to go to London, I’d bring him model magazines and drugs based on principle alone. :)

    November 30, 2011
    • Wow, I am blushing. Must go do something evil to make up for all this good will….

      November 30, 2011
    • I always enjoy these Carnell errands, Karen. Last year, he had me bringing back more magazines from England, though I selected the wrong news agents and saw more than my lifetime share of things I NEVER wanted to see.

      November 30, 2011
  5. What a wonderful tribute to Carnell. I had now idea that he was a drug addict. Now, now, Carnell, don’t demur, I know there is help out there for you. ;-)

    Actually, I know Carnell to be a fine guy, father of a fine family and a truly kind soul. (Now pay up Carnell–I’ve said the flattering things.)

    BTW–that video is awesome!

    November 30, 2011
    • I’m not paying! You forgot the stuff about handsome, witty, and an awesome web developer and tech consultant.

      November 30, 2011
      • Dang, I did forget that. Yes, you are truly handsome, witty, urbane (I added that.) and a good dresser (at least you get your clothes on prior to appearing in public.)

        And yes, you can rival God, herself, when it comes to tech stuff. Notice I said stuff, ’cause I really don’t know what you geeks do by yourselves in those crammed, dark rooms with all those computers…

        November 30, 2011
      • Drug addict. Hee-hee.

        November 30, 2011
  6. Argggh! I’ve gottttoooo find my headphones so I can hear that. Anything that transcribes ‘fecking’ is probably hilarious. Also, YAY for advocates!

    November 30, 2011
    • Jessie, it is quite a funny video and worth finding the headphones for viewing. :)

      November 30, 2011
  7. I’m feeling the love. Thank you. Put another smile on my face. I must say that I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments and can tell by the kidding that there is mutual admiration all the way around. You are blessed, but more importantly (in my opinion) is that you know you’re blessed and you do not take it for granted. It’s been a pleasure “meeting” all of your friends here on your blog through their comments.

    November 30, 2011
    • We all hope to meet you someday, Lori. That would be awesome.

      November 30, 2011
  8. Nancy #

    Thank you for being such a wonderful friend to my husband, Andra. I know how amazing he can be and of course how utterly frustrating he can be.

    I am also very proud that he admitted that on the way to my parents for Thanksgiving dinner he left the house with two different shoes on. We were all in the car waiting and he walks out and opens the car door to get in, then he turns around and walks back into the house. Wasn’t until he got back to the car that he admitted the shoe problem. They were both brown and both deck shoes. I think there is a trend, maybe he needs to buy more than just brown deck shoes.

    November 30, 2011
    • Michael Carnell #

      Ouch! I can’t believe she outed me on the shoes. Hey, at least I realized.

      If only they made geranimals for adults. Most of my clothes look the same so that I don’t have to worry about mix and match.

      November 30, 2011
    • MTM did the same thing a while back. He wore one navy sock and one black sock. With black pants, the navy one completely glared from underneath his hem. Probably my fault for sorting the laundry incorrectly.

      November 30, 2011
  9. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    Sometime when I’m in Charleston, I’ll have to meet Carnell. What a nice tribute to your friend.
    This is a huge non sequitur but, I thought of you when I saw this post today on FB. The story will intrigue you if you haven’t already heard about this.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/11/29/142910393/the-library-phantom-returns?sc=fb&cc=fp

    November 30, 2011
    • Let me know the next time you’ll be here, Jill, and we will plan to have lunch or coffee or something.

      Following the NPR link now………

      November 30, 2011
    • That is a very cool story, marvelous little handicrafts. Would be fun to see her repeat this in 10 years or so with a whole new plot line.

      November 30, 2011
      • Fascinating. I agree. I hope she hasn’t stopped for good.

        December 1, 2011
  10. A fabulous tribute to an equally fabulous friend. Every writer should have a Carnell, for we’re so often unsure of ourselves and need the staunch support. The video clip was fecking hilarious! :D

    November 30, 2011
    • I’m going to do several more of these this week, because I have several of these folks in my life. I am grateful for them without bounds.

      That video made me soil myself. Glad it gave you a good laugh. :)

      November 30, 2011
  11. I do find myself reading Carnell’s comments each time I visit your blog. He has humor and heart.

    November 30, 2011
    • No I don’t! That is a foul rumor that people keep trying to spread. I have no heart and I am always grumpy. Harrumph!

      November 30, 2011
      • Ha. I knew you would say that. The grumpy exterior is part of the charm.

        December 1, 2011
    • And now, drugs and addictive magazines. :) You’re right, though. He has both of those. We’re all lucky to know him.

      November 30, 2011
  12. > caring about our friends means trying to understand what they like
    Well put, and so true.

    December 1, 2011
  13. That song is genius :)

    December 1, 2011
    • I’d love to have the opportunity to see Fascinating Aida sometime.

      December 1, 2011
  14. Having read all these glowing testimonials, I cannot possibly write anything nice about Carnell, or a) he will be insufferably smug for the rest of the day, and b) my computer may spontaneously combust.
    (Maybe, if you can imagine whispering, very very fast speech:
    Yes-you-are-right-Carnell-is-a-very-very-good-friend-indeed.)
    Did I say something? No, you must be imagining things… ;)

    December 1, 2011
    • Amanda’s gonna get a hug for that. You know she is! Ha!

      December 1, 2011
      • See?! Now he’s threatening me!!

        December 1, 2011
      • I don’t believe he’ll go through with a hug, Amanda. Every time anyone says the H-word to him, he gets all ick about it.

        December 1, 2011
    • You have the good fortune to put up with him more than most of us. That you can still whisper that very fast speaks volumes, Amanda. :)

      December 1, 2011
      • I am a pure joy and delight to be around! Both Nancy and Amanda should be able to testify to that. And you too Andra. Ooops, well I guess you kind of did in this post, for which I am deeply honored. And humbled.

        December 1, 2011
  15. I have never received drugs as a souvenir from someone else’s travels. I’ve added it to my bucket list. :lol:

    December 1, 2011
    • Nancy, I laughed out loud when he had that on his list.

      December 1, 2011

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