Dear Aunt Becky,

I have a crummy blog that gets comments every now and then, which makes me more happy than you would ever imagine.  Well, the thing that bothers me is that after a few days I stop checking for new comments (I may be a bit vain but not vain enough to check every entry for the rest of my life, right?)

The thing is that I really want to know if I have any new comments because those comments mean the world to me.  Like way more than you’d ever know!

Is there something I can do on a blogger account so that I know when someone has commented on my blog?  Especially the older ones??

Trust me, my friend, I know all about how important comments are, which is why I dutifully fish through 800 pages of Russian Porn Spam to find the one single comment that my blog spam filter has accidentally marked as spam. So, comments = GOLD to a blogger. I dig this.

As I am a lowly WordPress Blogger, I did not immediately have an answer to this question for you.

But, Merry Prankster! Have no fear! I also have a BLOGGER blog set up so that I can comment on all of your “I don’t allow anonymous comment Blogger blogs.” I just had to remember how to FIND it and get in there. It’s clearly unused.

From your dashboard, go to Settings. The settings menu will offer you a variety of selections. You want “Comments.”

Now, scroll ALL THE WAY DOWN to the bottom of the screen, which I cannot actually show in an entire screen shot, because, well, I don’t know.

But at the very bottom you will see this:

In that box, you can add your email (or 10!) and it should email you, after, of course, you click, SAVE SETTINGS (something Your Aunt Becky FREQUENTLY forgets to do because she is very, very smart), whenever anyone comments. Even those lovely spammers you get.

WordPress is wonderous because the comments are such that the most recent ones–no matter on how old the post–go to the top of the comment queue on the dashboard. I heart you, WordPress. Hard.

Hope that helps, Prankster.

——————

Good Morning Lovely,

Can you recommend a blog designer?  I need a little updating…

Minnie

Well, my darling friend, I’m so glad that you asked. Because I will tell you what NOT to do, my Merry Pranksters.

Do NOT get onto Twitter and say: “I NEED A SITE DESIGNER” when you are slightly drunk because you know what? The world is a site designer. Except of course, me, who is all, “I LIKE SPARKLES! AND PINK! AND UH, MOTHERFUCKING SKULLS WITH RAZORBLADES HANGING OUT OF THEM.”

It’s very helpful when you know precisely what you want (read: not me) but not helpful when you don’t know what you want (read: me).

But the person who did my site design and tolerates my questions like: “WHY *stamp stamp stamp* can’t I make that feed-thingy work?” is Jon from Keeping You Awake. What’s shocking is that he STILL tolerates me. Actually, what’s shocking is that ANYONE tolerates me.

Alas, I digress.

I do not, however, know how much time Jon has for this stuff. So I am also shouting out the fabulous Robin from Oppositional Design, a.k.a. My Business Card Person. I’m telling you that you need to ASK someone how cool they are, because the coolness cannot be captured on film.

(seriously, it cannot)

(P.S. I still have a kajillion of them, so Imma be passing them out for-freaking-EVER)

(P.P.S. I SUCK at social networking, apparently)

(P.P.P.S. I’m going to Type A Mom. I’m going to be FLINGING the cards at people. Sorry if I hit you in the face with one).

But Robin does this stuff for a living AND puts up with me AND still takes my emails, so, Pranksters, I’m giving you two people that Your Aunt Becky can personally vouch for. Hit it up in the comments, Pranksters, because I know YOU guys must know other people who are also awesome in the graphic design world.

———————-

Dear Aunt Becky,

What to do with a mother-in-law who insists on always trying to give/serve expired food?

OMG so gross!

Oh Prankster, you asked the right person this question. Because I? Have FOOD ISSUES. I’m sure if I were a kid, they’d be all, “she has sensory issues,” but really, I’m just weird about my food (okay, I’m just weird.).

First, you’re clearly not going to change her mind by leaving pictures of E. Coli viruses out, so I wouldn’t bother. Second, I’m guessing that your husband just tolerates it because that’s his mother, right? I mean, what can he do? (no really, what can he do?) Third, I’m assuming, of course, that she is in her right mind.

My advice is to take a page from the Aunt Becky Playbook:

1) Eat before you get to her house.

2) If you’re going for any amount of time, pack food in your purse. Like non-perishable stuff, not a turkey or something because if you packed a whole turkey, now, guess what? YOU’RE THE FREAK.

3) Push the food around your plate LIKE you’re eating, but instead of actually eating, just occasionally put the empty fork in your mouth. That way you’re being polite and not a jerk, because really, hurting her feelings isn’t going to solve anything.

4) Drink lots of tap water or bottled water or whatever to make it look like you’re eating like a normal person.

5) Compliment her often. Again, you’re not doing this to be cruel, you just can’t really be rude. It helps nothing.

Also, I wish you good luck and God Speed, Prankster. I’ve SO been there. Not with the expired food or anything, just because I’m a freak.

—————–

As always, Pranksters, please fill in where I left off in the comments. And please feel free to submit your mostest burningest questions to the button-thing at the top that says, “GO ASK AUNT BECKY.”

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

34 Responses to Go Ask Aunt Becky

  • Mel says:

    Oh yes. I feel the pain of the expired/bad food receiver. My in-laws, have been stocking their basement for the apocalypse since, umm, 1971 and I have had to endure it for over a decade now.

    In fact they once gave me a jar of store bought pickles….with a best by date from 1987….in 2003. I kid you not!

    Since I birthed a few monkeys, they continue to push their wares onto my children. As to be the non-crazy one, I have gotten very good at disguising my checking of dates of goods before meals with them, to safeguard the kids well being. (And, I am not obsessive when it comes to best by dates, if it is within a reasonable time frame, I say A-OK.)

    I have been served sour milk (which they froze – claiming that made it ok?), salad dressing choices that expired in 1997, 1999 and 2004 (It was 2007), and so many more. Lucky for me I have a gut-o-steel! Unfortunately it does not end with food products. They also stockpile toiletries. Their entire bathroom closet holds a variety of products over the past 30 years!

    My husband just laughs about it. I say, if you have billions of coupons for crap you won’t use – it isn’t savings.

    Sorry this is so long, Aunt Becky! But oh the humanity!!!!!

  • I LOVE YOUR BUSINESS CARDS!!! OKAY, I love YOU TOO GAH!

  • DarkTouch says:

    If you’re finding that the built in commenting options just aren’t doing it for you, both Disqus and Intense Debate offer commenting tools that go above and beyond the basics. I first installed Disqus on my own (non-blogger) blog because I was tired of maintaining the spam filtering myself. I think I like Intense Debate better but it isn’t compatible with my blogging software. Both of these offer tools for migrating your existing comments into their systems when you install them.

  • Kyddryn says:

    Regarding food dates – if you have even a merely fair relationship with the MIL, perhaps there might be a time to mention that you have food issues (I’m not saying you do, but it couches your concerns in a way that doesn’t seem like an attack)? It always astonishes me how folks are willing to accomodate a body with phobias or sensory issues once they’re aware. Well…accomodate or try to “cure”, and one may hope for the former but must occasionally endure the latter. If she’s a reasonable person, she’ll understand that you can’t control a phobia (which is an unreasoning thing).

    If she’s not willing to bend, perhaps diplomatically offering to cook or go out to eat (if it’s not an extended stay, because folks get suspicious when you offer to make every meal for a week when you’re visiting them) to “lighten the load of our visit” would do the trick? I know that’s work or an expense for you, but you’ll have more confidence in what you’re eating, and that’s worth something, right?

    I would like to add, though, that many foods have expiration dates far earlier than their “go off” dates because we’ve beecome so law-suit happy that manufacturers aren’t going to take the slightest risk…and so we throw away things that are perfectly good because we’re conditioned to believe we must – wasteful and expensive!

    Now worries about dining at Casa de Crazy, though – while I try to keep a back-stock of canned goods on hand, I rotate by date so nothing has a chance to expire.

    I hope you find a solution…having gone the route of “I’m not eating here because I can see the giant botulism germ in the corner, and he’s winking at me” with a (now ex) mother-in-law, I can empathize with your discomfiture.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  • Shell says:

    I read this, I swear I did, but I have the attention span of a gnat and all I can say is that I’m excited that you are going to Type A! I’m a little worried I’ll be kicked out when they find out that I am the furthest thing from a Type A Mom as I can be, though.

  • I second the Intense Debate suggestion for Blogger blogs. (I installed it a few months ago and… Love.)

  • CycleNinja says:

    OK, you’ve just given me incentive to clean out my refrigerator. If you’ll excuse me…

  • Shelli says:

    Can you offer to help her clean out her cupboards/refrigerator?

    Aunt Becky stole my answer about comments.

    I don’t know any designers.

  • julia says:

    I JUST wrote a whole detailed post on how to

    1) How To “Show” Your Email Address and Have Replies to Comments You Leave On Other Blogs Emailed To You

    2)How To Get Your Comments E-Mailed To You

    If anyone is interested:

    http://lookingformypearl.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-get-replies-to-your-comments-on.html

  • I have food issues too, so you can do what I do. . .

    I offer to bring the dinner myself. Much better than thinking you’re going to barf with every bite!

  • ZippyChix4 says:

    Thanks for that great tutorial. As a new blogger, I think that I catch 99.999% of my current comments, but in the future I hope that the comments flourish and that I will need to use this tip. Stopping by from the tea party and am getting ready to go and further explore your blog. Thanks!

  • Shin Ae says:

    I don’t think I have much to add, but I am SO excited to hear of other people with food issues. I am full of the phobias. The food-borne illness-related kind. As a matter of fact, I am going to a dinner tonight with a group of ex-co-workers at someone’s home and I am so very nervous. Yes, I will eat before I go. Yes, I will compliment her. Yes, I will wait to obviously not eat until she has had a few. Also I got her a present.

  • Hockeymandad says:

    One time, at my wife’s grandmothers house, she gave us cool whip to go with our pie. After we doled out a few scoops, we found mold IN the cool whip. Who knew that stuff could form mold on the inside? I did not have any cool whip on my pie.

  • You’ve got the best answers!!!!! I can add nothing.. Except maybe throwing Melanie from mommydoodles.com into the ring for blog designers. Almost a year later and she still answers every one of my “I broke my blog again” calls for help (-;

  • blueviolet says:

    I can’t even imagine not having comments forwarded to my email. Wowza. You’re going to Type-A? Me too and this not meeting while at bloggy conferences ends with Type-A. You hear me woman, you and me’s gonna meet up!!!!

  • Pringles make for great travel-to-mother-in-law’s-house food. They fit in purse and can be snuck without that annoying chip bag clatter.

  • linlah says:

    Can you just send me your card it’ll save on any paper cut I might get.

  • I cannot help with the web design stuff, I can with the mother-in-law stuff. I have food issues at the best of times, and this is not hte best of times…

    Take the dog with you. DO NOT FEED THE DOG BEFOREHAND. Give the dog you crappy overcooked huge portion of old world mystery stew, soggy potatoes, and sugar coated carrots.

    Mission accomplished.

    Later apologize to dog.

  • ZDub says:

    My MIL is from Thailand and she doesn’t refrigerate anything. I’m not sure what’s up and I would never ask her because I’m medium afraid of her. She took us to the asian market once and asked us if we wanted a roasted duck. She bought it for us, threw it in the trunk of her Jag that was parked in the sun on a 90 degree day WHERE IT SAT FOR FIVE MORE HOURS.

    She then proceeded to serve it to us later that night for dinner and I was convinced she was trying to off me.

    I had to fake cramps to get out of eating.

    P.S. She didn’t eat any of the duck either.

    I’m on to her,

  • ewww she like roasted the duck in the trunk… on a side note, I have been trying to figure out that comment thing like fr three months, thank you god-I mean Aunt Becky!

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