Category Archives: Posts that will get me hate mail

I’m just not going to talk anymore.

Victor and I are currently arguing about a large number of words which I apparently mispronounce, but I suspect that if those words are mispronounced it comes from the fact that I read much more than I speak, so (in my head) lots of words sound different. Victor says he agrees, if “different” means “wrong”.

For instance, I pronounce the word “homemade” as “wholemade” whenever I’m referring to something lovely that’s made from scratch, and Victor can’t stop correcting me.   But I think it makes sense because even though the word is spelled the same, there is a big difference between “wholemade” and “homemade” because (to me) “wholemade” implies that it’s wholesome and hand-made with love, but “homemade” is more like stuff you make at home but that you wouldn’t sell at a Farmer’s Market.  It’s the difference between wholemade bread and homemade bombs.

Example:  Most meth is homemade, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good.  It’s only wholemade if it’s wholesome.  That’s how words work.  Victor says “That’s how society breaks down” and I was like, “I agree.  Meth is a real problem” but then he explained that he was referring to me using the word “wholemade”, which I think is a pretty good indicator that Victor really needs to reexamine his priorities.

Also, spellcheck is weighing in by trying to change “wholemade” into “whore-made” and I don’t even know where to start with that because it’s so baffling.  I was like, “What the shit, spellcheck?” and I showed it to Victor and he said, “WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

I have a feeling I’m not winning this argument, but it’s become a weird tradition to do polls on Sunday, so here you go:

 

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And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid

 


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Chasing the Donkey, a travel blog that focuses on traveling Croatia like a local.  It’s written by SJ Begonja, an Australian expat who lives in a small Croatian village after she and her Croatian husband and son packed up their lives to go and rebuild the old house they inherited.   And now I want to go to Croatia.  Thanks a lot, SJ.

Worst named fireworks ever.

I don’t know how other States do fireworks but in Texas it’s all-or-nothing.  Literally.  Either it’s illegal to shoot off fireworks because of drought, or it’s allowed and everyone goes insane and shoots off shitloads of pyrotechnics while young children run through the yard stomping out small fires.  It usually involves booze, neighborhood idiots firing guns into the air, and the police.  Most of us leave the actual firework-handling to that weird uncle who once blew off a finger because we suspect he has a greater appreciation for the danger and also because he has less fingers to lose now.

This morning we went to our neighborhood fireworks warehouse to stock up.  This is the conversation we had with one of the firework clerks while Hailey was off choosing sparklers…

me:  These are the most insane firework names ever.  I like that they called this one “Scarface”.  Truth in advertising, you know?

scarface

Victor:  Do you have any Tinnitus M-80’s?

Clerk:  I’ve never heard of that.

Victor:  Do you have one called “The Burn Victim“?

Clerk:  I don’t think so.

Victor:  How about “Child Maimer“?

Clerk: I’d have to check in the back.  I’m not really familiar with any of those.

me:  Do you have any “Golden Showers” available?

Clerk:  We did have those!  But they aren’t making them this year.

me:  Wow.  Who would have thought Golden Showers would ever go out of style?  How about…um…”Hair-Fire Inferno“?

Clerk:  You mean the Flash-Fire Hair Braid?  For kids?

me:  Sure.  (cough)  For kids.

Clerk:  They sell those next to the cashier.

Victor:  And it looks like you’re all out of “Plumber’s Crackle”?

plumbers crackle

Clerk:  Yeah.  I don’t know why it’s so popular.  It’s not really that exciting.

me:  You said it, brother.  But you have a lot of “Juicy” fireworks left.  I don’t think I want my fireworks to be “juicy”.

Clerk:  It’s a weird name but a pretty good display.  We recommend pairing it with another firework in front.

me:   Ah.  Like a Juicy Plumber’s Crackle?  That makes sense.

Victor:  And your “Happiness Explosion”…  Does that come with a “full-release”?

IMG_4159

Clerk:  Well, if any of your fireworks don’t fully go off you can bring them back for an exchange.  If you want something awesome I recommend “The Saturday Night Special”.

IMG_4152

me:  And according to the box I assume it’s a bunch of loaded guns you heat up until they explode.  WHAT COULD BE SAFER? Add it to the pile.  And this “Ministry of Magic” set…does one of the fireworks turn into a skull and then all the Death Eaters show up at your barbecue?

Clerk:  No, but that would be cool.  I’d recommend some “Tomahawks” but I think we’re out.

me:  “Tomahawks.”  Seems a bit racially insensitive, doesn’t it?

Victor:  Look underneath.

big shot cracker

me:  Well, at least they’re keeping it fair.

PS.  As we were checking out we found what we assume was the “flash-fire hair braid…for kids”.   We were a little disappointed.  And relieved.

IMG_4162

Happy 4th of July, y’all.  Please keep your guns in your safes, your drunk drivers off the road, and your blown-off fingers on ice.

UPDATED: A small gif of the fireworks we set off tonight.  No one lost any fingers but there were the usual amount of minor burns and I think we managed to blow up half of the moon.

This one caused minor burns & @Maile_wilson's clothe... on Twitpic

Worth it.

This is why I’m almost never asked to write for the news.

So HLN asked me if I’d write a piece for them about having sex after babies, but I pointed out that I think sex after having a baby isn’t all that different from sex after any other desperately demanding job that causes complete exhaustion and irritability. An overworked, kid-free friend of mine told me that her husband recently tried to seduce her by saying, “We’re not stopping until the sheets are soaked.” And then she was like, “Well then I guess we’re both gonna have to pee in the bed because I’m stopping in about 10 minutes. Some of us have shit to do, Kevin. And also, no one wants their sheets ‘soaked’ in body fluids because first of all, ew, and secondly, that just sounds dangerous. Dehydration is a silent killer.   Also, we don’t even have the waterproof mattress cover on because it’s in the wash and someone didn’t put it in the dryer. Did you mean to say that we wouldn’t stop until the sheets are “vaguely damp”? Because that would be preferable. No one wants to sleep on a soggy mattress, Kevin. That’s how people get cholera.”

And that’s why sex after having a baby is very similar to sex after starting an exhausting but wonderful full-time job that never ends, which is sort of what motherhood really is if we’re being honest. But then I said that I really didn’t want to write about sex anyway because I’m a fucking lady and HLN read my theory about how cholera is spread and then agreed that I should just avoid that topic.  Then they suggested I write about “Pintrest Moms” instead and so I did.

And shockingly, they just published it.  

It’s possible it might offend people more than the sex thing.  Hard to tell with people.

The King is Coming. But maybe not the one you think.

I got an email from someone who wanted me to come to “a very important social media conference” and at the end he wrote “THE KING IS COMING!”  Then I wrote back, “Elvis is coming?” and he was like “I’m sorry.  Who?”   And I explained that he’d said that the king was coming to the event and that I happened to have it on good authority that Elvis had been dead for quite some time, and then he explained that “THE KING IS COMING!” obviously referred to the true king, Jesus Christ.  So then I was like “Jesus is coming to your social media conference?  How did you swing that?” and then he explained that “THE KING IS COMING!” is just his auto-signature and didn’t refer to the conference at all, and I told him that it was very nice auto-signature but that some people might suspect that he was advertising Jesus and/or Elvis as being attendees and that he might want to reword it so he didn’t get sued.  I also asked him why some people referred to Jesus as The King, because it seems like his Dad would be The King since he’s the main dude in charge, so technically wouldn’t Jesus be a Prince?  Except that “Prince Jesus” doesn’t really have a nice ring to it, and it sounds like something Disney would try to make into a musical.   But then he never responded.

And this is probably why I so seldom get invited to events.

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And in other news, it’s time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid

 

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Melany, a tell-it-like-it-is, hold-nothing-back blogger, and Beverly Hills queen of snark.  She believes that snarky is witty, but younger and better looking, and her blog, Melanysguydlines.com is full of hilarious TRUE STORIES about being young, single, and navigating this crazy world with a huge dose of humor.  She says what most are thinking but do not say themselves.  Think Chelsea Handler with a splash of Perez Hilton.  You can check her out here.

Oh, hell yes.

This video:

This gives me back my faith in social media.

A giant salute to any of you who have ever quit a job that focuses on pageviews and ad dollars over quality.  Another salute to those of you who sometimes spend days in silence rather than adding something blah just for hits.  Sometimes it’s okay to just shut up and listen.  Sometimes it’s okay to just use your voice to promote other people’s awesomeness.  I’m a writer, but I’m also an enormous reader too.  Thank you for respecting the latter in the decisions you make about what you put out into the world.

And another thank you to the people on my blog who advertise here.  I know how rare it is to be able to pay for my server costs without using an ad network.   I recognize how lucky I am that most of the advertisers I have on my blog are fellow writers or bloggers or artists or small businesses who never tell me what I can or can’t write.  I’m so lucky that I usually have waiting lists of people to get on my sidebar because people are so happy to support this blog.  I love that my readers discover new and amazing people who advertise here.  And mostly, I love that I’m part of this community.  Thank you for that.

PS.  Speaking of letting other voices be heard, have you read or heard something lately that you’d like to share?  A song, a book, a post?  If so, leave it in the comments.  It’s up to us to make sure the good rises to the top, and that doesn’t always happen without help.  Spotlight the good.  Banish the shit.  Ignore the mediocre.  This is the way we work.  This is the way we get better.  This is the way we learn.

PPS.  And by “we” I mean “me” too.  I’m still learning every day what works and what doesn’t.  I’m still learning that sometimes my silly fluff can be amazing, but it can also be utter crap.  Also, “good” doesn’t necessarily mean “happy and sweet and positive.”  Some of the best, most important and hardest things to read are critical or painful or bitter.  Sometimes that means reading hard facts about ourselves.  Sometimes that means admitting that there’s a kernel of truth there and that change is needed.  Sometimes it means learning to judge yourself in a kinder way.  Sometimes it means that there are assholes in the world who need to be punched in the junk.  But always, it is good.  Learning and listening and growing is good.

PPPS.  I’m rambling.  This is one of those posts where I look at it and wonder if it should go with the thousands of other of unfinished posts in my draft folder, but today I’m listening to the voice that says “This is good.  Not for everyone.  But maybe it will help for someone.”

I hope that someone is you.

I want to apologize to Australia in advance

A few weeks ago my friend Laura asked if I’d come with her to Australia on a sponsored trip and I said “no” because I’m the only person in the world who hates to travel, but then she told me to keep an open mind and it’s very hard to keep saying no to someone who once voluntarily chased off vultures and helped you dig up your dead dog.  Turns out that it’s a Go Mighty Life List thing and I reminded Laura that the first thing on my life list is to never write a fucking life list and then she reminded me that I was being cynical again and she pointed out that we could do anything that we wanted as long as it was on our life list.

me: Really?  Can I box a kangaroo?

Laura: Do you want to box a kangaroo?”

me: No.  But I want to know that I have the option.  Except I don’t want any kangaroos to get hurt.  So maybe…pudding wrestling with kangaroos?  Is that a thing?

Laura:  I don’t think kangaroos are naturally that fighty.

me:  No, kangaroos totally box each other in the wild.  If anything, we’re making it safer for them by putting mittens on their hands.  And they smoke cigars while they’re doing it.  I saw it on a cartoon once.

Laura:  Everything you know about Australia you learned from cartoons.  This is why you need to go.  Did you know there’s a town in Australia full of ghosts and possibly lots of serial killers?

me:  We should go there.

Laura:  Is it on your life list?

me:  Well it is now.

Laura:  And I know you hate flying, so after we get there we’ll just take a sleeper train around Australia.

me:  Like The Orient Express?  I’ve always wanted to go on the Orient Express!

Laura: Me too.

me:  Can there be a murder?  Because it’s not really the full experience if there isn’t a murder.

Laura:  Huh.

me:  Or we could create one.  I’m not picky.

Laura:  Is “Instigate a murder” on your life list?

me:  Well, not one that I’d write down.  That’s just creating evidence.

Laura:  Well, then we aren’t going to do it.

me:  Then can we leave traps all over Australia?  Like, cardboard boxes propped up by sticks with baby dolls inside of them to see if we can catch dingos?

Laura: I think if you put it on your life list and then Australia has to at least try to make that happen.  But it’s probably BYOB.  Bring Your Own Baby.

me:  I want to see The World’s Biggest Banana.

Laura:  And I want our guide to be Greg from The Wiggles.

me:  And he has to drive us around in The Big Red Car.

Laura:  Exactly.  You’re always saying that you need to force yourself to push past your phobias and to make yourself be furiously happy.  This is one of those times.

me:  Can we go hold koalas while dressed in full koala costumes?  And would you be more likely to say “yes” if I tell you I already have the costumes?

Laura:  You have two koala costumes?

me:  You need a back-up in case one’s dirty.

Laura:  Huh.

me:  I’m kidding.  But I do have one koala costume and one panda costume.  They’re both sort of bears, so that should count.

Laura:  Whatever.  I’m in.  I’m in for whatever bat-shit crazy tour you want to do.  And it will be laid-back and ridiculous and like nothing else we’ve ever done.

me:  No one is going to pay for this debacle.

Laura:  Australia is.   Get a work visa and wash your koala suit.  This shit is totally happening.

 

So…I’m apparently going to Australia this year.  I have no idea what I’ll actually be doing, but I know that it’ll probably illegal and I might get kicked out of the country.  I initially asked to ride on camels, and watch giant-cockroach races, and see where The Hobbit was filmed, and so far the only definite “no” I’ve heard was about The Hobbit, because apparently “New Zealand is not in Australia so please stop asking“, but I’ve just added “Put New Zealand inside Australia so I can see hobbits” to my life list so I think they kind of have to do it now.  It’s like I’m Alan Rickman in Die Hard and Australia is the baffled hostage negotiator.  I think I could probably ask them to bring me a dump truck filled with live slow-lorises and a semi-drugged Benedict Cumberbatch and they’d have to do it.  I am drunk with power.  And also wine slushees.

Ps.  If you want to see my list of demands some of my life-list and watch it get updated in November you can click here because that’s where I’m supposed to write about it.  Also, it’s entirely  possible that this is a trick and I will get there and will spend a week trapped at some sort of terrible time-share meeting or that this is just a sting to arrest me for unpaid parking tickets, but it’s also possible that I’ll be riding camels in Middle Earth.  It’s NewStralia, y’all.  Anything could happen.

PPS.  “NewStralia” is the name I made up for when they drop New Zealand onto Australia.  You’re welcome, Australian Tourism Board.  I’m giving you that one for free.

PPPS.  Did you know that kangaroos have 3 vaginas?  Because they totally do and that’s probably why they’re alway hitting each other.  I bet they have PMS every damn day of the week.  But on the plus side, kangaroos have plenty of places to smuggle things because they have so many holes in their bodies.  In fact, they’re so full of holes it’s sort of shocking they’re able to keep all the kangaroo from just leaking out.

PPPPS.  If you look on the right hand side here you can get details about Fill-a-Plane discounted tickets or possibly winning a trip yourself.  And why wouldn’t you want to after reading this?  I mean, honestly.

PPPPPS.  I should have a pretty picture of Australian cockroach racing here but I don’t have one (yet) and so instead I decided to use a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch.  YOU ARE WELCOME.

15 things you absolutely must know about social media or your face will melt off and get eaten by goats

Disclaimer: Every so often I have to reduce my xanax dosage so that I don’t develop a tolerance and I’m doing that right now and I’m having some withdrawal issues, so if this post seems fuzzier and more shouty than usual it’s because of the drugs.  Or the lack thereof.  

Whenever I’m on pinterest I find myself interrupted by pins that tell me about the 5 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW ABOUT BLOGGING or 18 WAYS SEO WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE and I occassionally break down and click on them and then I read a bunch of bullshit I don’t even understand.  I’ve been blogging for years and objectively speaking I’m somewhat successful at it, however the one thing I’ve learned about blogging is that there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules that help you succeed at it.  It’s mainly luck, luck, some work, more luck, a little talent and assorted bullshit.

If I was good at doing graphic shit I’d make an infographic explaining this, but I’m bad with design and I fucking hate infographics because I realize that they’re really just ads that people want you to post on your blog for free.  (Seriously.  And it’s okay to post infographics, but be aware that you’re being used as free advertising.  Which is fine…if you’re aware of it.)

Anyway, I thought that since everyone else is writing OHHOLYSHITLISTENTOMEBECAUSEIMAGODDAMGURU posts that I should probably contribute, because you aren’t a real blogger until you make a list yelling at other people.  Apparently.  So here are my 15 Things You Absolutely Must Know About Social Media or Your Face Will Melt Off and Get Eaten By Goats:

1.  Every year a ton of places come out with their “best blogs of the year” list and you have to be there.  Here’s the trick: Get on one of those lists and you will get on all of those lists.  Why?  No one knows.  But it’s very nice to be able to talk about over dinner when your grandmother asks how you “globbing” is going and asks when you plan on getting a real job.  Aside from this, those lists are very encouraging but don’t actually do much.  This year I’ve been on Time, Forbes and People and none of them have given me as much blog traffic as I’ve gotten from being on the sidebar of a blog that gets updated once a year.  True story.

2.  SEO is very important.  It stands for Screw Everyone Over.  Or something.  I don’t actually know, but apparently it’s something you should be paying people for.  Or not.  I prefer not.

3.  Your google page rank can make or break you.  Or it can mean fuck-all and no one cares.  Last time I checked mine it was a 3 and I was all, “Hey, 3 out of 5 ain’t bad” but then someone told me it went up to eleven and then I realized that I don’t really give a shit.  If you google “the bloggess” I totally come up.  I say that’s a win.

4.  Always use linkbait.  Write about totally controversial things that will get people to come scream at you.  Then you can write about how you were bullied and then more people will come and read you.  You have now created an entire audience of people who either don’t like you at all or who are just reading to mess with you.  I have no idea how this is considered a success, but to some people it must be, so fair play to them.

5.  Write vicious posts about popular bloggers and then email them to tell them what you did.  Inside the post write about how you just know that the popular blogger is going to send all of their minions to attack you for saying it.  But before you do this?  See if that blogger has ANY HISTORY AT ALL OF EVER DOING THIS because most likely the only comment is going to be from the blogger telling you that you misspelled “punctilious”.

6.  Judge everyone.  All the time.  People are looking to you to tell them what they’re doing wrong.    You obviously speak from a position of authority.  You’re a blogger.

7.  Write rules regarding etiquette of blogging.  Break all of them.  Get mad when people call you out on them.  It’s not your job to follow the rules.

8.  A lot of people refer to themselves as social media “gurus”.  The phrase is used so often that people forget the main definition refers to a Hindu spiritual guide giving personal religious instruction and not just someone who throws twitter parties for palmolive.  Take it up a notch and begin referring to yourself as the Messiah of SEO, or the High-Priestess of Google.  Don’t be afraid of offending people.  You’re a Messiah.  You’re past that.

9.  Any article containing more than six words should be made into a 15 page slideshow.  That way you can make it look like you’re getting more hits than you really are, plus it wastes everyones time and bandwidth.  Bonus points if the “next” arrow is so close to the advertising banner that people accidentally click on it over and over.

10.  Get mad about something everyone else is already mad about too.  This seems trivial but do not overestimate how many indignant people you can get to comment when you write about how awful it is when people drown kittens or punch babies, or ignore basic human rights.  Bonus points if you start out with a particularly brave statement.  Example:  “I know I’m going to get a lot of flack for this but I’m taking a public stand to say that slavery is not cool.”

11.  Only talk to important people.  If they don’t have at least 10,000 followers they are not worthy of your time.  If you accidentally freeze out someone and then later realize that they actually have tons of followers and clout just go back and explain that you didn’t realize they were important.  That always works.

12.  Beg.  Beg for shit like crazy.  Passive-agressively tweet to companies about how you want something from them but you can’t afford it.  Look as thirsty and desperate as possible.  Don’t be afraid to use “Do you know who I am?”  There’s a reason that phrase is well-known, and douchebags must be using it for a reason.

14.  Call out people on twitter or on your blog.  Have a public fight.  Sling mud everywhere.  It’s not actually good for your brand at all but it’s very entertaining for the rest of us.

15.  Write your own post about the things that you TOTALLY have to do in order to be a success even though you know that every single successful person has their own personal story and that luck and timing and support aren’t things that you can just make happen by following a set of rules. Make it seem like the people who aren’t making a living blogging totally would have been millionaires if only they’d followed your rules in spite of the fact that there are no real rules except the ones you make up as you go.

16.  There is no 16.  There’s not even a 1-15.  There are no real rules or magic potions.  Blogging success is fleeting, fickle, and largely based on luck (much like everything else in the world).  This might seem depressing, but in a way it’s rather freeing.  It allows you to write for yourself instead of just following a set of rules someone else made for you.  Find your own voice.  Find your own rules. Find a way of measuring success that’s more about freedom and fulfillment rather than page-views and analytics.  Page-views mean nothing a year later, but the words you’ve put together may stand and affect others for a lifetime.