Category Archives: Posts that will get me hate mail

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.

It’s (not) Flag Day.

When I was a kid I was assigned “Flag-Duty”, which basically meant that me and a classmate were responsible for raising and lowering the flag at our elementary school.  We were taught the special way to fold it and everything was fine, until one day the wind caught it when we were folding it and a corner of the flag touched the ground and my co-flag-folder lost. her. shit.  Then she confessed to the principal and he got pissy and said that now we’d have to destroy it because it had “touched the ground and been soiled”…which sort of seems like an over-reaction and I was like “Yeah, but it touched AMERICAN soil, so why would that dirty it?  It literally just touched AMERICA. How is that bad?” And then said he was going to have to burn the flag and I was like “You’re going to burn the flag?  Is that even legal?” and he was all “It’s illegal not to, and since you were so careless now we have to buy a new flag.”  But then the next day he gave us the “new” flag and it totally had the same tiny hole in the corner as the last one and it was really obvious that it was the exact same flag, so basically he just made me feel bad for grass existing while he lied about his flag-burning exploits.

I was reminded of all of this because I just saw a painting of Betsy Ross showing George Washington her flag, and she and all of her little child laborers are like “Look at this bad-ass flag we made.  The only thing that would make this better is if we had glitter, except that glitter hasn’t been invented yet.”

Via The Library of Congress, who might be fine with me not crediting them on this one, now that I think about it.

But George Washington is just ignoring all their hard work and he’s glaring at the corner of the flag touching the floor, like “OMG, I can’t trust you bitches for anything” and his compatriots are all “Bitches never have respect for anything.  And, by the way, you’re totally poking your sword into Betsy’s rug.”  And then Washington would be like “WHAT?  I NEVER” and then they’d explain that they meant it literally and not in some weird sexually metaphoric way.  And also, why did the painter purposely paint trash on the ground of her house?  And is that a turtle on a cushion using a cane to turn the pages of a book?  What am I even looking at?

PS. I actually wrote this on Flag Day, but I didn’t publish it then because it seemed like it would be disrespectful.  I mean, not as disrespectful as impaling other people’s rugs while criticizing the work of illegal child-laborers, but close.

Two uncomfortable truths: New Merida looks a little whorey. Fewer people care about this than you would think.

Ugh. 

I sort of already hate myself from weighing in on this but people keep asking me to tweet about it and forward their petitions, and I really thought it would quiet down by now but it hasn’t, so I’m going to give my big, fat, stupid, irrelevant and probably wrong opinion on the changes Disney made from the original I-might-trust-her-to-babysit-my-kid-when-she’s-a-little-older Merida to get-the-fuck-away-from-my-husband Merida.

There are all sorts of calls to action to get Disney to admit that the new Merida looks a bit skanky and they’ve met with some success and that’s awesome.  Go team.  I hope you succeed.  But (in my opinion – stop yelling at me) the majority of people do not give a shit.  Mostly because we’re busy personally teaching our kids what strong women look like instead of letting Disney do it for us.  And in a way, Disney did us a favor here.  Did you have a talk with your kid about the new Merida? Because if you didn’t you missed a good opportunity to see where your kid stands on this, and to talk to them about over-sexualization.

I showed the new Merida to my eight-year-old and she assumed that it was Merida’s evil twin.  Which actually would make an awesome story, and personally I plan to tell stray children I see buying backpacks with the new Merida on them that the original Merida was eaten by the new Evil Merida because she was so hungry.  And they will probably believe it because seriously, look at her waist…the girl needs a damn sandwich.

Anyway, my incredibly dumb and probably ill-informed point is that it’s really uncomfortable to see a strong, child-like character get tarted up and flash bedroom eyes at you, but it’s equally sucky to rely on a giant corporation to teach your kids what strong women look like.  Strong women look like Amelia Earhart, Rosie the Riveter, Asmaa Mahfouz, or Elizabeth Smart. Or Wonder Woman, or Sally Ride or Sojourner Truth, or Amy Poehler, or Ada Lovelace, or Anne Frank.  Or your grandmother.

Or you.

I support and admire the men and women who speak out in the cause of feminism, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there are so many amazing women who may never end up on a lunch box (Wonder Woman and Word Girl excluded) but who can make a great difference in the life and perceptions of our sons and daughters.

Okay.  Your turn.  Who’s your favorite female hero?

PS.  There aren’t any right or wrong answers here.  It’s totally okay to like pretty dresses and sexy princesses.  It’s totally okay not to.  No judgment.  Probably.

We're all going to Hell, but at least we'll be together.

This weekend I went to this flea market and I bought a cloak that I thought would be perfect for role-playing Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones.  Then I found a tag sewn inside and realized that it probably belonged to the Pope.  I can only assume that he decided he needed to unload some of his vestments to pay for retirement.  Regardless, I think this means that I’m the new Pope.  Or that I’m running for Pope.  Something like that.

There are stains all around the hip line, which I hope is wine. Probably it was just sprinkler water and the Pope was like “Ah well, it’s only water” and then Jesus turned it into wine and the Pope was like “JESUS. THAT STOPPED BEING FUNNY THE 100th TIME YOU DID IT” and Jesus was like “Just wait.  It’ll come back around again.”

Technically it looks like a RenFest costume…until you turn around:

Yes, it's a cross, but in my defense I thought it was a giant "t" for "The Game of Thrones." Or "Mr. T." One of those.

Regardless, I think that I’m now the official Pope until the new one gets elected and I’m pretty sure that I get paid in hats, which is great because I totally have a face for hats.  Plus (unlike the last Pope) I won’t just join twitter and immediately get distracted and stop working, because I’m already good at not working but still pretending to work.  Also, I’d get to ride in the Pope-mobile, which is like a convertible that has a see-through top so your hair doesn’t get fucked up and you still get a tan.  Which is pretty smart and probably my favorite thing the Pope has ever invented.  Plus, if I run for Pope lots of religious people will be praying a ton.  Mostly about me not needing to be elected Pope.  And possibly some just praying for my soul.  So I just raised prayer rates and I DON’T EVEN HAVE A HAT YET.  That’s how awesome I am at being Pope.  I’m not even trying and already Jesus is probably super inundated with work.  Which he loves.   Because he’s not on twitter.

PS.  I need some slogans for my posters.  Because I’m pretty sure you run for Pope the same way you run for student council and that’s what I would have done if I wasn’t so high shy.  I’m thinking something like “Jenny for Pope.  She’s got issues but the last Pope was in the Hitler Youth so maybe stop judging her, asshole.”  Or something with ninjas.  People love ninjas.

Xanax makes me a better mom. Because it's Xanax. Now fuck off.

As of this afternoon, 67 people have sent me this article: “Xanax Helps Me to be a Better Mom.  Half of them are pissed off at the article and want me to rant about it, and the other half are sending it to me because they want me to consider switching to the non-drug alternative mentioned in the article, which is apparently five minutes in the laundry room using the delicates setting on the dryer.  That’s not a masturbation joke, y’all.  That’s apparently what some people do instead of Xanax.  AND THAT’S FINE.

If you’re sad, do something to make yourself happy.  If you’re sick, do something to make yourself healthy.  If you have a life-threatening medical disorder then you see a doctor and sometimes you get prescribed medication to make you whole again.  Like xanax.  Or anti-depressants.  Or chemotherapy.  Whatever it takes to keep you breathing, y’all.

In short?  What-the-fuck-ever.  If spin cycles work for you then put a lock on the laundry room door and go to town.  If exercise, yoga and a sunlamp are all you need to be whole again then do that.  If you need multiple prescription drugs and behavioral therapy (and to hide under tables occasionally) then you might be me.  And that’s okay.

In fact, it’s fucking awesome.

I swear this isn’t directed at anyone. It’s totally okay to not like my cat pictures. I salute you, cat pic haters.

PS. This is not directed at anyone who doesn’t like my cat pictures.  This is America.  You are totally allowed to hate cat pictures.  And to hate cats.  And to stab them with fish forks.

PPS.  You can’t really stab them with fish forks.  That was a test to see how you’d react.  You failed.

PPPS.  My sense of humor is broken this week.  It’s okay to hate this post.  It’s not even a real post.  Also, I apologize for not writing a weekly wrap-up.  Shit’s fucked up this week.

PPPPS.  This last paragraph has nothing to do with cat pictures, but it’s a Doctor Who quote that I needed to hear again.  Maybe you do too:  “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things… The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things, and make them unimportant.”  Touché, Doctor.