Success Starts with You!

Last week, I had the honor to be invited to speak at the “Focus on Women — Solutions to Success” event at the Days Inn in Hobart.

You get it.

You get it.

I’m not sure why I was asked. I’m not a woman, and honestly, not terribly successful. I mean, I do all right. I still can’t figure out why they wanted me. But who cares. Right?

Did you know that according to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking? Number two is death. I’m not sure what number three is. I’m just guessing here, but it could be firecrackers or raw chicken.

I’ve never been afraid of public speaking engagements. Frankly, I can’t understand those who are. Just mosey up to the podium, say what you want, and then sit down, finish your Trout Almondine (probably cold by now), collect your check, and split. EASY!

Now I realize that everyone can’t be like me, at home in every social situation. SO, I’ve compiled a list of SOCKY’S SIX* SIMPLE SUPERB SPEAKING SUGGESTIONS™. *really 4

With these simple rules, you can easily become the life of any boring meeting, symposium, workshop, luncheon, banquet, dinner meeting, sales presentation, bachelor/bachelorette party, powwow, breakfast, retreat, convention, colloquium, appointment, argument, chat, colloquy, confabulation, conferring, congress, interchange, interview, consultation, conversation, convocation, deliberation, discussion, forum, sit-in, gabfest, huddle, meeting, palaver, plenary, round robin, round table, OR seminar.

Suggestion #1: Thou Shalt Not Be Boring. Do yourself a favor: DON’T start off with Hi, Hello, Good Morning, Good Afternoon, or any other generally accepted greeting. All the audience members have already greeted you (mentally / in their heads) — don’t waste time! Oh, and don’t tell them what you’re going to talk about. Keep it a mystery — like foggy old England! Think of your audience as Sherlock Holmes, and you can be Dr. Welby (or whatever his enemy’s name was!!)

"How far did you get in school, Homes?" "Elementary, my dear Watson."

“What the heck is he talking about?”
“Not sure. It certainly is a stumper.”

Imagine the audience’s joy when they FINALLY crack the case of “The Cliffhanger at the Meeting!” Oh, and flail your arms a lot. Research has shown that audiences really go for that.

I can watch this guy for hours!

Suggestion #2: Practice, Practice, Practice. I know what you’re probably saying: “Socky, Sweetie. Practice is for suckers!“ Well, you’re probably right. The rule of thumb that most professional speakers follow is if you’re not willing to practice, make sure you get paid up front.

Suggestion #3: Get the Audience on Your Side! The French have an old saying: Personne n’aime un perdant, tout le monde aime une victime. Loosely translated it means: No one likes a loser, everyone likes a victim. Consider showing up to the gig (professional speak for your speaking engagement) with one of those whiplash collar things, or your arm in a fake cast and sling. You’d be surprised the magic that leftover Halloween makeup or some carefully placed ketchup can do! If their attention is drawn to your injury, they won’t have time to worry about your hastily prepared speech.

Here’s a pic of my friend, Ken, delivering a commencement address at beauty school or something. I’m sure he told me where it was taken, but he has an accent that’s hard to understand sometimes.

You just can’t stop staring at the phoney cast. RIGHT? That’s the point!

I should probably warn you though. Don’t try this trick that Tom tried. He actually had the nerve to pull up to speaking engagement for a Lion’s Club mixer in Elgin in an ambulance and actually had the “paramedics” he hired wheel him up to the lectern. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS!



Suggestion #4: If a meal is served after your WONDERFUL speech, make sure you fill up on the bread or dinner rolls that they put on the table. Oh, and the salad, too. Then take a small bite from the entrée, and have the rest wrapped to go. The same with dessert. Think of it as a free meal for the next day. Because that’s exactly what it would be.

If the meal is served during the speech, bring the basket of bread up to the podium with you —fill up there — and as soon as you get the attention of the waitress, make an announcement to have her wrap your food to go, and leave it with your check. (Assuming you haven’t been paid up front.)

Fit for a King!

Fit for a King!

Oh, and try to lay off the booze.

I hope that one or more of these suggestions help you become a better speaker. If one of these suggestions resonated with you, tell me which one in the comments below. I look forward to reading them as well as other speaking success suggestions you may have!

Your comments are welcome.

It it’s Friday, it HAS to be Ellen and Donald! Come on!!!!

Get Ready for Honesty.

During the recent Spring break, my sister Joanna and her husband Terry (don’t ask!) asked me to watch my nieces while they went on a cruise for 10 days. It was a good cruise, not one of those that ran aground, or where the toilets backed up into the midnight buffet.

Anyway, I REALLY love my nieces. Becca and Danielle.

Becca, Danielle, and Adolf.

Becca, Danielle, and Adolf (a nice dog who lives upstairs).

They’re good girls. You know the type – always smiling. Which is surprising, because of the way my sister and her lazy no-good husband are “raising” them. I’ll save that for another blog.

The girls and I agreed on mostly everything.

They like the same kind of foods (fruit roll-ups, duh!),

and TV shows (Judge Judy, natch!).tv9n-1-web

But when it comes to music . . . OH BROTHER! We couldn’t disagree more!!!

The girls LOVE this group called One Direction, a bunch of prepubescent British teenagers who jump around the stage like gorillas flinging their musical feces. It was a British Invasion to my ears!

They're no Dave Clark Five. Trust me!

They’re no Dave Clark Five. Trust me!

Now, I know what you’re gonna say. “Socky! Get with it!” or “Socky, sweetheart, you’re so square!” NO! You’re wrong! I happen to be extrememly “with-it” and I have my finger on the pulse of what America should like BEST!

So. The Internet has this video of a song by One Direction called “That’s What Makes You Beautiful.” In the video, these five guys are frolicking on the beach (yes — like gorillas!) and they’re singing to these two girls and they’re telling them that they don’t know that they’re beautiful — and THAT’S EXACTLY what makes them beautiful. Not having a sense of self awareness is what gives them that “special” appeal. Go figure.

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.

After being subjected to the video literally 4000 times (perhaps a slight exaggeration), I couldn’t stand the incessant frolicking for ANOTHER SECOND!

“SORRY GIRLS! I’M OUTTA HERE! Let me know when the pizza guy gets here!” With that I retired to the sanctuary of the “den” and that’s when I got another BRILLIANT IDEA! A really excellent parlor game! I would call it a board game, but there really isn’t a board.


Here’s how the game works:

Player One (who at this point in their life is desperate to settle down, after a failed first marriage, and scores of bad dates, and nights alone in front of an old TV with basic cable and store brand ice cream) watches the One Direction video below. When he/she sees the letter A appear on the screen, they pick a personality trait from column A and sing the word into the song. When the letter B appears on the screen, they pick a trait from column B and sing that word into the song.

It’s easy!

Player Two does the same. Play continues until each player can find the two traits the other player will settle for. The combinations are endless. I think. I really haven’t done the math. Let’s leave that to the experts!


Here’s the video: 

And here’s the list:

Pick one from each column!

Pick one from each column!

I think it would be a blast to play at a cocktail party, or a VFW picnic, or even a family get together!

Try it out, and leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!  Oh. And please remember. I’m always on the lookout for investors!


Your comments are welcome.

It it’s Friday, it HAS to be the Banana Trick!

If it’s Friday, it HAS to be Vomitting Sea Lion!

It it’s Friday, it HAS to be Exploding Peeps.

Let’s Get Serious for a Moment.

Those of you who are regular visitors to my blog know that I like to steer clear of controversial topics. You will probably never find anything to gripe about here. You will almost never find mentions of:


Affirmative action

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Capital punishment

Cherokee Americans

Chinese spies

Polish people (anti-Polish sentiment)

Political correctness


Universal Health Care proposals in the USA

Coal Mining

Global warming and global cooling theories

Hydrogen bomb and atomic bomb testing effects


Jury duty

Bilingualism in Canada

Creole languages


Prohibition in the US 1919-33

Puerto Rico — annexation of the island by the U.S.

Quebec separatism

Roswell UFO incident

S. Detroit

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)


Hitler — in regards to his biography, political career, and personal issues (i.e., possible homosexuality or mental illness disorder)

Human rights in Cuba

Israel-Palestine conflict and all related issues


New Jersey-style politics

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals


U.S. Latinos or Hispanics

Falun Gong

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Ruth Westheimer

Judas Iscariot

New Kadampa Tradition

Assisted suicide


Family planning

Human cloning

Lactose intolerance as a genetic inherited trait


Organ donor and transplants


Paternity testing

Pharmaceutical industry in the USA

Pluto (demoted as a planet)

Adultery (consensual sex outside of wedlock)



Smooth jazz

Beavis and Butthead


Dave Chappelle

Dick Cheney, U.S. Vice President and CEO of Halliburton

Teófilo Vargas SeÍn

Kanye West

Why make enemies? Truthfully, I don’t even know what half these things are. The things that I do know of, I would just as soon steer clear of. I wasn’t quite sure of what Kegels were. For some reason, I had them confused with Kugel. TOTALLY DIFFERENT!



ECHH!!! RIGHT?! Why the hell anyone would want to discuss a Kegel outside the ladies’ room is beyond me. But here we are discussing it in broad daylight. Quite evolved!

We can all agree (especially after that last clip) to leave the touchy subjects to the professionals. HEY! You (me) can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. That always struck me as being sort of a ridiculous saying. I mean who is looking to catch flies? RIGHT?

I have a much better use for all of that honey and vinegar you have around the house.

A little something I like to call “Socky’s Date Night Dynamite Chicken.” This is a very special recipe that I use when I want to “entertain” any “lady callers” that might visit my place for a little dinner and “dessert” (if you get my meaning). It’s sort of a misleading recipe, as it DOES NOT CONTAIN DYNAMITE — but it does contain honey and vinegar. The “dynamite” will come after the meal. Get it?

You might remember this guy.


Anyhow, here’s the recipe. You can copy it onto a piece of paper, or an index card — or even print it from your computer. I’m not sure how you would do that though. A “print” button maybe?


1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

1 (2-3 lb.) Chicken fryer, cut up (make sure all the feathers and the head are off)

3 Cloves garlic, minced (don’t skip this — just get some breath mints while you’re at the store!)

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Medium onion, chopped (see breath mint note above)

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 c. Water or low sodium chicken broth

1 c. Ketchup

1/4 c. Lemon juice

3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. Vinegar

1-1/2 tsp. Prepared Dijon mustard

1/2 c. Chopped celery

Salt, to taste

Dash of hot pepper sauce (or more if you really want things to “heat up,” Swinger!)

Heat the olive oil, butter and onion in a large, heavy skillet pan. Add the chicken and brown on both sides.

Remove from skillet and place in a buttered casserole dish. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour over chicken and cover.

Bake in 350°F oven for 1 hour.

Makes 4 servings (you can save the extra servings for the next visitor — if this one turns out to be a dud)

This recipe was always a winner with my old girlfriend named Geraldine. She was a beautiful actress and a sassy entertainer who was very popular on TV back in the 1970s.

She used to appear regularly on a show called “The Flip Wilson Show.”  Here’s a clip of her yucking it up with boxer Muhammad Ali.

Oddly enough, she never appeared with Flip himself. It always struck me as odd, but every time I brought it up, Geraldine changed the subject and drank more Mateus. We both did. It was the 70s.

Anyway, I haven’t seen her since 1974 — but I still think about her whenever I make this recipe.

She would say, “Socky, this chicken looks great!” I would always reply, “What you see is what you get!” That would get us giggling until dawn.

If you see her, please have her contact me. I miss her, and I’m sure she still has my poncho.

If it’s Friday, it HAS to be Sneezing Grandma!

Knock-Knock. Who’s there? Disappointment.

OK, so I’m not a big sports fan. I have no problem with kicking back and enjoying a baseball game, or catching a Sunday football game on the tube. I may not know all the intricacies of the game, or every little rule, but I can certainly get into the excitement of competition. I’m putting this info out there to try to explain what happened yesterday.

Last night, my neighbor Carlos and I went to see a professional basketball came at the Colson Center. Carlos got a great deal on tickets through this broker he knows (don’t ask — I didn’t!) for courtside seats to see the legendary Harlem Globetrotters! I KNOW! I’ve been a big Globetrotters fan for years! Sadly though, I’d never seen them play in an actual basketball game. The Globetrotters I know were Saturday morning TV cartoon entertainers. Truth be told, I always thought they were just cartoon people with a strange affinity for flashy basketball outfits and solving mysteries with talking dogs.

Boy! Was I in for the shock of a lifetime! Turns out the Globetrotters are living, breathing people! I KNOW!! That’s the good news. The bad news is that living, breathing people are never nearly as exciting as cartoon people. I’m sure that you know a lot of people who can benefit from slurping up a can of spinach and then using their freakishly huge forearms to punch out a bloated bully  to win the emaciated heart of Shelly Duvall, who, after only one date, reveals that she is unable to bear children due to some strange iron deficiency and is NOT related to Robert Duvall as you had hoped.

An iron deficiency can be caused from too much spinach.  It's true! Look it up!

An iron deficiency can be caused from consuming too much spinach. It’s true! Look it up!

Who amongst us has not dreamed of shouting “Yabba Dabba Doo” at the drive-in burger joint after placing an order for the extra-large bronotosauru  ribs, even though that same meal tipped over our car the last 400 or so times we ordered it. Who hasn’t been truly, deeply moved upon realizing that Casper the Friendly Ghost was really just poor, dead Richie Rich.

Kinda sad when you think about it.

Kinda sad when you think about it.

Yes, life CAN be disappointing sometimes. The Globetrotters disappointed as well. During one of their tricks (the one with the ladder and the bucket of feathers), one of the basketballs got loose and hit poor Carlos directly in the rib cage busting two or three of his ribs, and bruising something internal. I spilled my $15 popcorn. Yabba Dabba Doo.

I wanted to be in this picture, but the nurse refused to work the camera!

I wanted to be in this picture, but the nurse refused to work the camera!

Your comments are welcome.

If it’s Friday it HAS to be an Epic Bowling Fail!