The Butt Sex Saga Part #1

I’ve been friends with Pashmina for, shit, what 10, maybe 12 years now, she was my coblogger for the pre-Aunt Becky days and she’s the only reason that I met The Daver. We’ve managed to stay friends for all of this time, and she wanted to show her appreciation for all that I’ve done for her (read: flaming case of The Clap) by asking me, nay, INVITING me gently to read at her wedding.

Thrilled that I didn’t have to stuff myself into a bridesmaid dress like a shimmery encased sausage, I readily agreed. I didn’t so much care WHAT I read, just that it didn’t involve dyable shoes.

Weeks before the wedding, she – like the Type-A freak-a-leak she is – called to regretfully inform me that I wouldn’t be getting a copy of my reading stuff until the night before. Because the priest was writing them.

Not being Catholic myself, this didn’t send off any warning bells like it would have with other, more normal people.

After huffing it to the rehearsal on Friday, I was shocked to learn that I would be reading the “Lord Hear Our Prayer” part of the service. When I told this to Daver, who knows the church much better than I, his jaw dropped open like a sea bass and he started laughing. When he finally stopped, after seeing the quizzical look on my face, he sputtered,

“You’re…” *snort, snort* “You’re leading THE PRAYERS!” Then he erupted into another gale of laughter as the realization seeped into my brain.

Now, I’m a fan of organized religion, despite not knowing much about it, and I love the rituals and the kneeling and the singing, but this, this was Pashmina’s way of getting back at me for making her wear a strapless dress to my wedding.

I’m probably the least qualified person on the planet to lead prayers in a Catholic wedding.

No, seriously.

The wedding, though, was lovely, and I found myself misting up when she walked down the aisle. Here was my FRIEND, the one that was busted by the Jesuits with me, and she, well, she was in the puffy white dress and aww….

And the leading of the prayers even went fine. I did not erupt into a fireball of flame and ash at the altar. I did not wear my own wedding dress, as previously threatened. I simply read the lines, prayed, and then sat back down before bounding off to drink with some old friends.

Because I dropped out of Girl Scouts after realizing that even at age 8, I had no aptitude or interest whatsoever for crafts or cooking, I am never prepared. So during the three hour break between wedding and reception, I sent The Daver off to find appropriate cards.

He did, although I don’t remember what they said, only that I wrote “Happy Birthday, Steve!” on the outside after I was chastised for not properly addressing it.

(my point was: who the hell ELSE would I be getting a card for or giving a card to AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME?)

(answer: apparently, Steve)

The reception was a total blast. We got to hang with old friends and drink, eat delicious meat twinkies (tiny, mini meat sandwiches) and watch other people get drunk. With the exception of the woman who came up to me mid-bite, while she waited in line at the buffet, and demanded to know what I was eating in a fairly unkind way, it was fucking awesome.

And that lady? Just weird.

I hadn’t spoken to Pashmina until today because I was giving her time to both consummate the marriage and enjoy her honeymoon (bitch), and I figured she was kind of people-d out.

She called me today to discuss, sandwiched in between her bragging about her tan (bitch), the card that I’d gotten her.

Specifically, the check I had written her.

My initial thought was, “SHIT, did it bounce? I had money in the account!” immediately followed by “shit! Did I make it out to the right person?”

But no. My check didn’t bounce, and I absolutely did spell her name properly (after 10 years, even my dumb ass has learned to spell some things). Let’s just say that I pulled off the ULTIMATE Feat Of Awesomeness.

See, now, when I’d written out the check, I engaged in a revolting and juvenile past time of mine. Whenever I write out a personal check to a friend, I make sure to include something special in the MEMO box.

My favorite, and easily most common is “Funky Butt-Lovin'” but that night, I’d had a migraine (same as I do now, WHEE!) and couldn’t quite remember.

So instead, I wrote in the MEMO box: “Butt Sex” figuring she’d get a chuckle out of that among the “CONGRADULATIONS (sic)” and “Wedding” (which I saw on many of my checks from my own wedding). I hadn’t thought about it since.

But no, Pashmina hadn’t forgotten it. Not at all.

Turns out that as they’d deposited their checks, Pashmina had made some sort of addition error (I will blame her English degree (s) on this one)(somewhere, she is flicking off the computer as she reads this) and the bank had An Issue.

An Issue, of course, that had to be corrected IN PERSON at the bank. So, like the adult she is, Pashmina marched into the bank to figure out what the hell was going on.

The clerk couldn’t figure it out, save that one check had not been accounted for, so he signaled his manager over. His manager, who took one look at the Problem Check and said to Pashmina, “You got a check for BUTT SEX?”

The bank stopped. The bank stopped and the bank listened and then the bank burst out laughing. Tellers doubled over in their lanes laughing, tears rolling down their faces as they had to explain and apologize to customers for their inappropriate behavior.

Like a rock in a stream, Pashmina stood there, probably cursing my mother for birthing me, and certainly cursing herself for inviting me into her dorm room to hang out. She alternated between laughing herself and trying to appear unfazed and unflappable, and the matter was, at long last, after several calls to corporate, settled.

Pashmina, payback’s a BITCH, eh?

The Butt Sex Check Saga Part B

There are always about 40 sides to every story, right? I told you my side of the butt sex story here (as well as back in September). This is Pashmina’s side.

For simplicity’s sake, I tell people that Becky is my college roommate. This is not entirely true, as she lived two doors down from me, but she might as well have lived in my room, seeing as how SHE SPENT PRACTICALLY EVERY WAKING MOMENT STEALING OUR BEER. YES YOU, BECKY.

We have been friends for 10 years. It would have been, in fact, 10 years ago this fall that I was all, “Can I smoke in here?” and Becky was all “sure!” and her roommate was all, “SMOKING IS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DIIIIIIIIIIE.” So, it’s true that I’ve known Becky a long time.

It is also true (she denies this) that when we get together, your Aunt Becky and I suffer from revertigo. This is to say that when we get together, we behave like the 19 year olds we once were, which is to say that our collective average age when we get together is about 12. Dick and fart jokes are the norm, and whenever Bones and I leave an afternoon with Becky, he lovingly tells me, “You guys are fucking ridiculous.” It’s true. I am.

It would not surprise you, then, to learn that for our wedding, Becky made a check out to us and wrote in the memo “Butt Sex.” It certainly didn’t surprise ME, and Bones and I got a good chuckle out of it when, a couple days after the wedding, we went through our gifts so that we could deposit any money before going on our honeymoon.

I slipped the check into the pile, deposited it, and Bones and I spent a week in the Caribbean. (ed note: Bitch)

When we came back, I had a letter from the bank. I opened it, and it contained three things:
1. A notice of error that said (and I quote) “Check Enclosed, Not Listed. Account Debited.”
2. A copy of the deposit slip
3. A copy of a check from your very own Aunt Becky, for Butt Sex.

Being that the whole thing was cryptic and confusing, I called the bank for an explanation. They told me I would have to go into the particular branch where we had made the deposit, since they didn’t quite understand either.

Not thinking anything of it at the time, I put “Bank” on my list of errands and headed over. Whatevs. I walked up to the teller, explained my confusion politely, and asked if he could provide me an explanation. He guessed at something. I asked a follow-up question. He called over his manager.

His manager came over to the teller window, looked at the documents and said–louder than she needed to–“OMG, who wrote you a check for butt sex?!”

The bank stopped for a split second and then erupted in peals of laughter around me. Me, I was caught between wanting to fall over laughing and being totally irritated that THE CHECK THEY PULLED OUT HAPPENED TO HAVE THE WORDS ‘BUTT SEX’ on it.

There were several other checks for identical amounts, but no, the bank and to pull THAT ONE for me. Thanks, Bank. Thanks for making me explain that my college roommate decided that this would be a hilarious thing to do.

I mean, it’s one thing when she writes me thank you notes that read “Dear Aunt P, Thank you so much for the Beer and Crack Whore money you gave Alex for his 2nd Birthday.” It’s totally another to have to take a check for Butt Sex to a business.

I explained that my college roommate had a sense of humor, in a way that implied that I didn’t while the bank continued to laugh around me.

Said the Teller, “Do you think maybe they didn’t deposit it because it said– because of the memo line?” (by now, the stern-faced, Chicago-bred security guard was smiling)

Manager, “Um, let me call corporate and ask.”

aw, fuck.

So, I took a seat and waited while the manager called the corporate headquarters and explained the situation and my confusion. Then I heard her say clearly, “Oh! Yes, it is Paisana!” She pulled the phone away from her mouth and said to me, “He remembers you!”

Oooof course he does.

A few more minutes with corporate–and several tellers who had to explain to the PEOPLE DRIVING THROUGH THE DRIVE UP WHY THEY WERE LAUGHING–later, the manager called me back over to her desk to explain to me what corporate had told her, assuring me the whole time that no, corporate had not rejected the check for Butt Sex.

She was very happy to use the words “butt sex” freely, too, and every time she said it, the security guard got a chuckle and EVERYONE IN LINE looked my direction with a “WTF?” expression.

She then explained to me that my error had been in addition (I had added the check twice) and we went through the deposit slip line by line until I was satisfied that my bad math–and not bank error–was at play. I thanked her for the explanation and she said to me, “Tell your friend she’s funny!”

She’ll appreciate that.

2 Old People Shuffle Into A Bar…

Friday’s have historically been the day of the week I looked forward to the very most.

First, it was because we could get drunk off our ass and crawl out of bed to get some McDonald’s (hangover food) at whatever o’clock, our hair all mussed from the party the night before. Then it was because it was the day that signaled Dave would be home for two! whopping! days! and I’d be able to pee alone again. Later still, it signified a date with my daughter to dinner and then Target.

Now, Friday simply signifies the end of the week.

And with my weeks ranging from fucking awful to moderately awful, I’m usually ready for bed by 8PM (which, coincidentally is the same time of day I like to call “The Ugly Cry Time.”) Nights are harder for me than days, and while I’m told this “crying” is supposed to be “helpful,” which is a statement, I think, made by people who write Soap Operas. Because crying usually nets me this: a migraine and puffy eyes. Not exactly the glamorous, slow-tears-falling-from-the-eyes couple with dramatic sighs I’ve seen in movies. This makes me wonder if movies ALWAYS tell the truth, like I’d thought they did.

(next you’ll tell me that everything you read on the Internet is not, in fact, the truth, which I know it is. I mean LOOK AT THOSE WACKY CATS! They’re TOTALLY not photoshopped).

photo-shopped-cats

Alas, I digress.

Dawn had insisted that I go with her to check out the Lucky Boys Confusion – an old school Chicago-based band – to “get me out of the house.” Which, in theory, awesome. In reality, I was all, “oh fuck me, college bars and that shit. I fucking hate that bullshit.” But I put on my brave pants and decided that I could do it – I mean, I used to LOVE bars and I love music, so really, it’s a total win….right?

Except, that by the time this particular Friday rolled around, I was ready to do one thing: go sleep off the week.

A little after 8PM, Dawn picked me up and we headed out to Elmhurst, the suburb of Chicago in which I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. As I was a commuter student – had a squalling baby Ben at home – I didn’t ever get into the nightlife around Elmhurst. “In fact,” I said to Dawn on the way in, “I bet there IS no nightlife – this is fucking ELMHURST.”

She laughed.

We drove past such places as “the train station where I’d spent hours waiting on Metra to pick my sorry ass up,” and “the place with Shitty Chinese we sometimes went to between classes.” I was about to point out “the garbage can in which – this one time – I’d thrown away a granola bar wrapper,” when she suddenly turned and pulled into a parking structure I’d never before seen, a wise move on her part because really, I’d imagine that more stories about, “that’s the spot I once parked my car,” may have made her homicidal. She’d already stopped talking to me once I suggested we start an internet petition to change the name of my alma mater from “Elmhurst College” to “Prestigious Elmhurst University,” because “it sounded fancier.”

old-people-in-bar

(I stared at that sign every day for three years! THREE YEARS!)

We roamed through the parking lot, looking for spaces as douchebags in cars with those fart-tip mufflers whipped around us. Carefully, we noted that the parking lot instructed that it was only to be used for “parking,” which ruined my plans of humping other cars.

Finally, we settled on a spot. As we emerged from the car, we saw this, which delighted me. I’m always a fan of people who also love i(can’t)Phones.

I-love-my-Iphone-old-people-bar

Just. *sniffs* beautiful.

Made even better by noting there was, in fact, a child seat in the car as well. Way to keep things classy, people.

We ambled around to the bar, both of us bemoaning that stupid parking lot sign – I mean, what if we wanted to do something like “have a dance party” in the parking lot? DON’T YOU BE TAKING AWAY MY DANCIN’ SHOES, MR. PARKING LOT PERSON.

The moment we walked in, I got carded, which made me feel marginally better since the place was teaming with people who appeared to be twelve. I instantly regretted that I hadn’t pushed Dawn to go play bingo with me at some church somewhere. I mean, I know you can play bingo online at places such as Galabingo.com (it’s fancy because it has pound signs rather than dollar signs) or whatever, but I wanted to sit with old people and scream “YOU’RE A FUCKING LYING HO, SLUT! FUCK YOU!” whenever anyone else feebly yelled “BINGO.”

We made a beeline for the loo, because we’re old and old people have to pee. It was there that I became confused:

stuck-in-the-middle-with-you

So…lemmie get this straight:

Bathrooms to the left.

Jokers to the right.

BUT WHERE WAS I?

(answer: stuck in the middle with you)

In the bathroom, I used the singularly best app I own to ensure that the toddlers in there, who were all “OMG DID YOU SEE HOW MY NAILS ARE CHIPPED?” and “OMG THIS WATER IS SOOOOOOO HOT,” would have something to talk about.

The iFart app. Which rips the very best ass ever. Like I could BE so lucky to make that noise emanate from my own buttocks. Dawn, who was next to me, began to giggle, which really IS the only response to fart-bombing a bathroom. I made sure to make some groaning noises as I fired off “The Fartinator,” and “Rambowels,” one after the other, just for added effect.

The toddlers who were whining about their nails, mercifully stopped talking and left us old people to discuss adult diapers (I REALLY want to be sponsored by an adult diaper company, Pranksters). I happened to notice that the flock of toddlers hadn’t gone too far – they were standing at the empty downstairs bar obviously waiting to see who (or what) emerged from the bathroom. Dawn pointed at me, and I just shrugged at them, yelling, “welcome to your future, ladies,” as I climbed the stairs in search of a drinky-poo.

Finally, we wrangled our way to the bar where we gave the stink eye t0 a couple of people who were all “Imma sit here,” while I was all, “THAT SEAT HAS MY NAME ON IT, FUCKER!”

We sat down and began to people-watch. We noted a few key people who were part of the Chicago music scene, which made me happy in the pants, because we Chicagoans take ALL things related to Chicago VERY seriously. After I’d slurped down half my beer, I realized that behind me, there was what appeared to be a drag queen trying to knock me off my seat. Her? back was turned and she was all, wearing a leather jacket and all the fuck over this dude. I was baffled – he was just a dude. I also couldn’t see him very well because of the ginormous woman? who was practically rubbing her? vagina on his leg.

Then she moved slightly. And I saw it was the singer from AM Taxi – another Chicago band.

So I says on The Twitter:

groupies scare me

Because I was very, very afraid that VD would spread my way.

My girl Alexis saved the day, though:

twitter-old-people-bar

She then sent me several packets of ciprofloxacin so that I, too, would be safe from the wily groupie VD. I’m going to track down the dude from AM Taxi to give him a few tabs, just because I like to look out for my people. And not with my vagina.

Dawn and I sat there for quite awhile, people-watching and bemoaning our oldness, while trying to figure out why people were running all willy-nilly around the Olympics with fire and shit. DON’T THEY KNOW THAT FIRE IS BAD? I do. You should see my finger.

About midnight, after the two of us had been yawning into our drinks for long enough, we left. The bar had become claustrophobically full of douchebags who I, naturally, photobombed.

old-douchebag-at-bar

Gee, I wonder if he’s single.

It’s Time To Play Name That Cruise!

I am, apparently, dying of what we shall call “airplane sickness” but is probably the flu. This means that I cannot effectively post anything or do anything of substance besides sit here and sweat and occasionally moan pathetically.

If this is the flu, I fully intend to sue, as I did with the Swine Flu and I expect that once again, I will win. Thank you, The People’s Court for ruling in my favorite over that fucking pig and it’s stupid virus.

But the cruise, Pranksters, well, it’s happening. I’m beyond excited that all of you are showing interest in it and Angie and I are putting together more information and we should have it all set up and neatly ready for take-off within the next couple of weeks.

We’re thinking March 2011 because March is a SHITTY ass month, but we’re not solid on dates yet.

Here’s what I CAN tell you.

You do NOT need a blog.

You do NOT need to have a POPULAR blog, if you are a blogger. Neither of us are A-listers or give a shit about that kind of thing, so don’t bother getting worried about that stuff.

You don’t even need to have an internet connection or know either of us.

You can bring your kids/spouse/family/whatever. Most ships have a daycare that you can send your crotch parasites to. Just don’t count on Your Aunt Becky to babysit. Imma be drinking heavily.

The cruise, however needs a name. So far, Angie and I have come up with: “Aunt Becky’s Family Reunion,” which is pretty awesome. But I want to see if you can do better. The “I’m On A Boat” is kinda funny, but won’t be by then. So we have to do better, y’all.

What do you think? What’s a good name? And what else do we need to do?

The Order of the Phoenix

Firstly, Pranksters, I love you. I love you so much that it makes my heart swell and my guts go gooey. You don’t know how much your comments mean to me on a day like today when it’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other. So thank you.

Deeply.

Secondly, enough of that gooey shit, it’s time for some TATTOO shots!

The Daver in his natural form. I couldn’t resist. You can’t see the Blackberry in his hand, but rest assured, it’s there. It’s ALWAYS there.

ANYWAY.

The Phoenix Tattoo, Round One.

The Phoenix Tattoo, Round 2.

Now, for the dramatic unveil…

(drum roll, please)

…..

…..

…..

(if you look closely, you can see that I do, in fact, bleed red, not green)

That is my Phoenix, Pranksters, and she is lovely. Emerging from the ashes to be reborn again. We all fall down, we all get back up again.

—————-

Now, of course, I have decided that I am going to do my entire back. With what, I do not know, so any suggestions are appreciated. Seriously, I’m all ears.

I Forget What C Was For

While I would never ask specifically to re-live college, I must admit that my sophomore year was a metric ton of fun. And, if I’m being brutally honest, a good portion of it was because your very own Aunt Becky had moved in down the hall.

This would have been apropos of nothing, except that her roommate, It Means Butterfly, was all “Ooh, sure you can smoke in here!” and then she was all “Just kidding, I hate you!” and so Becky would spend a lot of time smoking having deep and academic discussions in my dorm room while spending every waking moment stealing my beer.

As an aside, I wish I could tell you that she was exaggerating the roommate stories (she’s posted them here, here, and here), but she’s not. I would be the first one in line to call her out for such exaggerations, but not only is Becky not exaggerating, that bitch broke my bubble chair. TWICE.

It’s because of all that smoking deep and meaningful conversation that I have been asked to tell you about the time we managed to put our hands on some fake IDs and headed to the local bar had such deep and meaningful academic conversation that we stayed up all night learning.

OK, I’m not fooling anyone. I’ll drop the act.

So, as Becky mentioned (here), she met our friend J the first week or so of college and developed a small crush on him. J was an RA on another floor in our building, and through some miracle, he was the only RA with common sense and decided not to bust the freshman on his floor who was selling fake IDs. I think it had to do with the laws of supply and demand: this kid had a supply, and J had two friends who had a demand.

J hooked us up with two fake IDs. Actually, this is a misnomer: they were real, honest-to-goodness, State of Illinois IDs. It just so happened that the IDs in question were not our IDs.

All things considered, Becky’s ID wasn’t that bad. The woman in the picture resembled her in as much as her current ID resembles her (which is to say only sort of), but she was about the right height, about the right weight, and yes, the ID said that she was in her 30s (we were 19), but it wasn’t that egregious an error and really, we were only going to the local bar. If we’d had a sheet of paper that said “SRSLY, I’Z B 21!” they probably would have let us in.

My ID, on the other hand, resembled me only in the sense that the woman in the picture – a woman with an unpronounceable Greek name – had long dark hair. At the time, I also had long dark hair. The ID said that I was in my late 30s (I can pass for older), that I was 5’2″, and 120lbs. I am 5’10” in flats and I usually wear 3″ heels.

I would kill to be 120, but I haven’t seen 120 since I was in jr. high. The icing on this ID cake was that the woman in the ID had brown eyes, and my eyes are not brown. It was only because we were going to the local bar and the local liquor store that the IDs were worth anything at all.

Best of all, the IDs only cost us $20 and we didn’t have to go down to 26th and California to get them. For those of you not from Chicago: in 1999, you did not want to go down to 26th and California. Just trust me here.

And so, it was because of these totally glamorous and completely valid (ha!) IDs that Becky, J and I ended up at the local college bar every Wednesday night.

Yes, to have long, deep, and meaningful academic conversations. Certainly not to drink underage! Oh, no, not us.

In an effort to look more like our IDs, we would don our sluttiest bar outfits, our 3″ heels, and break out every stitch of makeup we owned between the two of us. Now, I never let J do my makeup, but Becky, who has issues saying ‘no’, gave in and allowed J to do her makeup.

After an hour or so of careful consideration and conjecture on which shade of eye shadow went best with Becky’s outfit, Becky would emerge from her dorm room looking, well, like a tranny who just finished Theatre Makeup School.

J, proud of himself, would ask for compliments and I would say things like “Wow! You don’t look like a hooker!” and we would walk to the local bar and get our drink on.

Our motives were clear: Becky wanted to get away from It Means Butterfly, who would never join us in any kind of adventure (she once interrupted a date I was on to see if I could fix her computer. True story.). J wanted to convince himself that he was straight by hanging out with two beautiful women. I was majoring in English Literature, which, if you don’t know, means that I am destined to develop a drinking problem.

Here’s the problem with my drinking problem: I can hold my liquor.

Here’s the problem with my drinking problem, coupled with being Italian: not only can I hold my liquor, I’m fucking good at pushing it on everyone else.

Here’s the problem with my drinking problem, plus being Italian, plus being out with Becky and J: Becky and J are lightweights.

Light. Weights. As in, “Here, sniff this! Oh, whoops, let me roll you home.”

After a round or two of drinks, when J would be asking me whether or not I had planned on attending my 8:00 Poli Sci class, I would start singing “C is for Cookie!” and convince both Becky and J to have another round with me. And not that pussy rum and coke shit, either, dude. Seriously, what is that crap? Bartender! We need dirty martinis!

The problem with my drinking problem is that I never learned and when 2:00am rolled around and I decided that there were only six hours between me and a Poli Sci class where the gross guy who sat behind me hit on me relentlessly (yay), I would round up Becky and J and tell them that it was time to stumble home.

Stumble, of course, was a relative term. I could still walk in my 3″ heels just fine. Becky and J, however, could usually no longer stand.

The three block walk back to our dorm was much like trying to herd cats. I would literally push Becky and J toward our dorm (sometimes through 2′ of snow, and yes, still in heels), and then run to get in front of them to stop them before they would walk out into a street. The two of them were ra-dick-you-lus, stumbling, tripping (but never puking), and singing “C is for Cookie!” with me at the top of their lungs.

It was obnoxious and cute in the bar when I did it. It was not so cute when the homeless guys drinking 40s took one look at us and saw that we had neon signs screaming “EASY TARGET” flashing over our heads.

(Seriously, the fact that we survived college in and of it self deserves a diploma. I digress.)

Yeah, you disagree? Well, due to the magic of You Tube, I can give you a glimpse into exactly how obnoxious we were:

Yup, that was us. Drunk, decked out for the bar, and singing Sesame Street.

Oh, yeah, why “C is for Cookie!”, you ask? Because that’s what I managed to squeak out in PoliSci.

Blogging For Dummies

Because I am a special person who is known in many circles as a giver, I am giving you all HELPFUL post for Thanksgiving! See! Because I am nice! And just maybe because I am also not really celebrating Thanksgiving today either (we’re doing it tomorrow).

I noticed that a disproportionate amount of people had taken some time out of their day searching my blog for “sweater kittens” and “white trash thanksgiving dinner,” but really what you wanted was this post. Which I am going to turn into a page. Probably this weekend because I have time AND a husband. YAY!

Emma Gracie

That picture, I’m sorry, but how could it not make you laugh? Unless you were DEAD INSIDE. She says, Happy Thanksgiving, my gnomies!

So add your comments below and I’ll add them to the Master List.

  • Most blogs have about a one year shelf life.
  • There is such a thing as over-posting, but I’m unclear as to what that is.
  • Blogging takes a ton of work. Really, it does.
  • Proof-read your posts religiously and make liberal use of spell check.
  • Omit unnecessary words.
  • No one likes a Grammar Nazi in the comments, so back off.
  • The trolls will come and they do not read most of what you say before they chew you out in the comments.
  • It’s really up to you whether or not you allow the trolls to have their say on your blog.
  • No one will read you for a couple months. It’s okay. Soldier on.
  • If you want people to read you, read other people.
  • While you’re reading other people, why not make some friends while you’re at it?
  • Use a full RSS feed in the reader because a partial feed makes a lot of people unsubscribe.
  • You may be 1000% certain that you are The New Dooce, but you’re not. Now, you might be as talented as fucking Hemingway, but you’re not going to get the same press that she did. No press = no instant popularity.
  • Find your own writing style and realize that no matter what you’re blogging about, someone else has probably already done it.
  • Try to keep your audience in mind when you’re writing because it will help you to focus your post into a more coherent whole.
  • There’s more politics than you can imagine in blogging.
  • If you want more comments then comment until your fingers bleed.
  • Get a reader and subscribe to the blogs you like. Comment the shit out of those blogs. People will (eventually) come.
  • There will be bloggers who will NEVER visit your blog no matter how many amazing and witty comments you leave. Period. Move on if it hurts your feelings.
  • Begging for comments is distasteful. If you want comments, ask for advice or opinions.
  • Nothing – not even the “official” de-lurking day – will coax 97.2% of your readers to comment.
  • Support each other as best as you can, in good times and in bad. Every comment helps.
  • Every couple of weeks, some new trend will piss off a number of (especially) mom bloggers and they will become annoyingly polarized.
  • Resist the urge to chime in about Your Take On This Trend. Seriously.
  • Every time the Today show features Dooce, there’s a bazillion start up blogs that believe (hehe) that you can $40,000 a month blogging. Maybe if you’re Dooce that’s true, but for the rest of us? Bwahahahahaha! I don’t mean to sound mean, and if you do manage this, pat yourself on your back for me but don’t get your hopes up.
  • Whenever one of those stupid blog contests gets started, everyone freaks out. It will blow over.
  • If you’re totally blocked for ideas about a post, describing the boring minutiae of your day is probably not titillating to others. Write it if you must, then delete it. Hopefully that will get your juices flowing and you can write about something more interesting. A turd of a post will always look like a turd no matter how you dress it up.
  • Talking shit about anyone–especially behind their backs on your blog that they presumably don’t read–is a bad fucking idea. Password protect those, or better yet, don’t write them at all. Although they may be satisfying, remember, those are the posts that the very same people you talk about may find. It’s a smaller Internet than you think it is and you’re not as anonymous as you think you are.
  • If you don’t want people to respond in a negative manner, then don’t let it all hang out there. Not everyone will agree with you and there are people who will happily tell all of the ways you are wrong. You don’t have to like it, but if you put it out there, you do have to deal with it.
  • There is something about being able to hide behind “anonymous” that makes people say really dick-ish things that they probably wouldn’t say to your face. It can hurt, I know this, and people will get you all wrong and it will suck, but if you don’t want to deal with it, go private or password protected.
  • Your feelings will get hurt. I promise you this.
  • Although most of your followers will wish you well, there will always, ALWAYS be a contingent that hopes that you will fail. And fail badly.
  • Sarcasm doesn’t always translate well through the written word, so be careful when you use it.
  • Music on blogs is universally hated. If you want to put it on there, it’s wise to leave the playlist on mute and allow other people to turn it on should they want.
  • The Blogger word verification system will cause you to lose comments because it’s often very hard and very confusing to use.
  • Don’t clog up your sidebar with crap. Especially blinky crap. Because it makes the page take like 40 hours to load and then people will click away because who really wants to sit there, waiting for the page to load?
  • Put your blog awards on a separate page and link to it from your sidebar.
  • A nice clean uncluttered background is preferable to something that makes it hard to focus on the content.
  • If you write long posts, use larger, not smaller, fonts.
  • Don’t steal other people’s stuff. Stealing gives you herpes.
  • Don’t put shit on the Internet you wouldn’t wear on a tee-shirt.
  • Beware of the donate button. It causes many people to be very, very mad.
  • Begging for money pisses people off.
  • Constant self-promotion can be a real turn-off.
  • Meme’s, although a nice tool to get the writing juices flowing, are usually boring to read. If you like doing ’em, then fuck it and do ’em anyway.
  • Edit your posts. Edit them religiously.
  • Paragraph breaks are a necessity. It’s really hard on the eyes to read anything not broken up by small paragraphs.
  • The background of your post needs to be something that is appealing to the eyes. Some colors (especially pink, which is a favorite color of mine) although lovely, leave the reader squinty and headachey. Check out what your finished post looks like YOURSELF and see if you can read it without adjusting your monitor.
  • A black background is very, very hard to read.
  • If all your tweets on Twitter are links to stuff that people can buy from you or ways to get a zillion followers overnight, you’ve probably pissed off a good portion of your readers.
  • There is such a thing as over-sharing.
  • Stuff on the Internet–even the stuff you erase–is never, ever, EVER gone. EVER. So make DAMN sure you want to live with whatever you say.
  • Remember that your kids may one day read whatever you’ve written, so choose what you share (especially about them) well.
  • Writer’s Block does end.
  • Don’t lie. And for God’s sake, don’t fake a dead baby. I don’t even have words to describe people who do that sort of thing.
  • Don’t idolize the success of another blogger. Also, don’t hate them for it. In blogging, you often get what you put into it. And the higher you climb, the more pressure there is.
  • Be kind to other people. You gain nothing by being cruel.
  • The success of your blog should be determined by how you feel about your blog, not the number of comments or followers, because ultimately you are blogging for you.
  • Blog for yourself, not for other people.
  • Remember, it’s all supposed to be fun. Enjoy what you write, take pride in it, and if someone else comes along and tells you that you suck, tell them that Aunt Becky told them to shove it up their puckered pooper.

Missed Connections

You: Five-foot ball of (presumably) woman with wisps of white hair on the top of your head, yet normal looking bright yellow hair to your shoulders on the sides, almost like that guy from Rocky Horror Picture show. You were as tall as you were wide wearing an indiscriminately grey sweat suit with running shoes that looked like marshmallows.

While I initially thought that there was something wrong with you (perhaps you were out on loan from one of the many area hospitals on a Day Out program or something), once you opened your mouth to berate your frail 100 year old (give or take, how could I be sure?) mother for being “a big stupid idiot,” I realized that no, you were just a huge bitch.

I mean, sure, older people can be kind of annoying (especially when they talk about their various medical maladies during dinner, or recount their last colonoscopy as you eat chocolate ice cream), but come on, the woman was clearly looking at a box of tissues. This may mean she has the sniffles, but not that she’s an idiot.

The way you dragged her up and down the aisles, making sure that you’re gigantic self blocked the entire aisle as you loudly waxed on and on about your collection of cats and their various maladies while telling her how much she sucked was pretty deplorable. I was going to say something to you, but I was afraid you would sit on me and that would be the end of Aunt Becky.

AND WHAT WOULD THE INTERNET DO IF ANOTHER MEDIOCRE BLOGGER STOPPED BLOGGING?

Anyway.

You wouldn’t know about my blog.

You were too busy making damn sure that my husband, The Daver and I would not be able to get in front of you so that we would not (I presume) beat you to the pork skins that you filled your cart with. Had you known that I do not eat pork and this would, no doubt, be a moot point, I am certain that you would still have blocked me with your blueberry shaped body.

I only came into contact with your face, which bore a striking resemblance to a melting candle, I must say, after The Daver and I thought we’d shaken you. But no, we approached the frozen food section of the store–where I was trying to buy eggs–just as you and your poor decrepit mother did. And although there was more than enough room for the lot of us, you blocked us with your cart. I noticed you’d bought only Friskies and fried pork skins.

When Dave tried to steer his cart around you (we were not gorging ourselves on all the free samples of ice cream they were shilling) so that we could get our eggs and move onto another section of the store (perhaps pesticides? That information is neither here nor there), you did a most odd thing.

Not only did you deliberately try to run into him with your cart, you then did the “talk to the hand” gesture in his face. Which, for a ball-shaped fat white lady, looked even more absurd than you can imagine it did. He narrowly escaped with only a minor scratch on his leg, but, you done fucked with my husband.

Bad idea, lady.

I waited until the right moment, as you were making a frantic beeline to the frozen pizzas and just as you thought you’d done showed me, I came up from behind and totally blocked your ass. You had to use all your muscles to stop your cart from t-boning mine.

The look on your melty face was priceless. And I just wanted to say a hearty, ‘Thank You.”

You made my year.

2009 BlogLuxe Awards

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Who’d YOU miss a connection with, Internet?

Of Party Dresses And Pinafores

When I was growing up and people other than me bought my clothes, my paternal grandmother would mark every special occasion with a new fancy party dress. Luckily for me, despite my mother’s best efforts, I remained a girly-girl and not the tomboy she wanted me to be, so the dresses were a smash hit. I remember the yards of ribbons, lace and itchy, yet beautiful netting underneath. I remember fondly the stockings and the patent leather shoes and feeling just beautiful when I wore it all.

I couldn’t wait to carry that tradition on with my own daughter.

Because I am a freak of nature, I decided to wait until my daughter was born (and therefore it was a bigger pain in the asshole to get away) to settle on her first dress, an Easter dress. Easter is one of my favorite times of year, one of the only times that Chicago-land weather stands a chance at being remotely temperate and not Ass Cold or Ass Hot.

(Why YES, those are technical terms! Didn’t you know I have a degree in meteorology? Because I totally don’t.)

But Amelia was born and she had a spot on the back of her head that reminded me every time that I saw it of a bad spot on an apple. You know, the rotted bit? Not exactly the mental picture you want when you have a new baby, trust me, I know.

And because at any given time, none of us knew what the hell was REALLY going on with her–was she going to live? Die? Turn into a Jonas Brother? NO ONE WOULD TELL US–until after her surgery, we were in a constant state of limbo. I hate to harp on this, really I do, because I know so many people who have had real problems with their offspring and while I know now that her surgery really was fake brain surgery (sort of. Kind of. It was still brain surgery) and not nearly as frightening as we’d been led to possibly perhaps maybe sort of believe, I didn’t back then.

(still waiting on that pathology report. Want that pathology report)

So the things that comforted me while she still had her rotten spot were few and far between and I spent those four weeks alternating between Freaking The Fuck Out A Lot <---> Freaking The Fuck Out A Weensy Bit Less Than A Lot. Had this brain surgery been STAT, while it would have sucked for a couple of days, it was nothing compared to sitting around and wondering and waiting and not getting any answers. Because that, my internet lovers, sucks more.

I had, in no particular order, these things to comfort me: my friends in the computer, white cupcakes, Valium, and my word search books (shut up. I am not an old woman). The most important thing, though, was imagining a life post surgery, something I didn’t really want to do often lest I jinx it and kill her by thinking positively. Yes, it was magical thinking, and no, I couldn’t stop it no matter how berserk it sounds.

But I’d imagine two things: shopping for an Easter dress and bonnet for my daughter and planning her debut party.

And yesterday, the Gods smiled upon me.

Because there is this:

And something like this:

(Not, obviously, the same cake. This was Alex’s first birthday cake which neatly shows my cake fetish. And we are rapidly approaching Alex’s second birthday. Which is going to happily coincide with Amelia’s Debut Party. April 19, party people. Save the mother-humping date!)

It’s going to be one hell of a celebration.

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Oh, and I must add, while I thank you for all of your kind comments about the picture of me in that post, that is another old picture. Because I am still about 25-30 pounds up from that and am horrified by pictures of myself, I refuse to show you what I look like today. BECAUSE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE INTERNET DIDN’T FIND ME SEXXY?