20 Tips on How NOT To Create a Successful Blog!

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  1. Decide that you need a new hobby, but because you’re a raging alcoholic and also because you have terrible knee injuries, home beer-brewing or bodybuilding would be risky and painful. By default, blogging seems a sobering and safe pastime.
  2. Announce to everyone and their uncle that your exciting mystery blog (more colorful and explosive than fireworks!) will burst into the World Wide Web on July 4th, 2017.
  3. Starting July 1st, send countdown emails to everyone you know. “4 More Days Until Mystery Blog!” then “3 More Days Until Mystery Blog!” etc. until finally it’s just “1 More Day Until Mystery Blog!”
  4. Become nervous with all the pressure and expectations you’ve built up and on the day of your blog’s birth, scramble for a good domain name and any interesting content.
  5. Call your new baby simply, “My Mystery Blog!” and make your first post a list of good places to view fireworks across the country. There! That oughta hold ’em until July 5th.
  6. Realize you need someone to host your blog, but nobody has the good manners to offer. Don’t be a rude guest and blatantly ask someone to host it for you. Briefly consider hiring Hostess, but then you’d have to write about Twinkies and Cupcakes. Conclude you’ve read enough Martha Stewart magazines to be able to Self-Host.
  7. Install WordPress even though you’ve never even installed carpet, tile, or a kitchen sink before. But don’t worry about installing any of those “plugins” — after all, it’s not like you need an outlet for a toaster. And certainly skip over anything that has the word “Yoast” in it. If they can’t be bothered to correct their typo in the word “Toast,” why should you be bothered to prepare bread with jam? Just have a bagel and cream-cheese instead.
  8. Choose whatever theme you prefer. Just avoid flying toasters as that’s passé.
  9. Contemplate whether you want to allow comments or not. Go ahead and permit comments, but make sure the people who leave them must first prove they are human by solving for X if Y = Yoast. To the 10th power.
  10. Find your blogging niche, which is just another way of saying “write what you’re passion about.” It can be anything except for Passion itself. Being passionate about passion is like being curious about curiosity. You’re not Alice in Wonderland.
  11. Define your ideal reader and then promptly forget about your blogging niche. From now on, you’ll want to solely cater your writing specifically for your new Followers. Example: Your very first subscriber goes by the name of, “Eat to the Beat!” They’re probably into food, so blog about recipes. However they might also be into music so write about Billboard’s Top 40. Your next follower’s name is “MamaBelly” so be sure and make your post about getting pregnant. However “MamaBelly” could mean they want to lose weight, so cover your bases and review the 5 Best Low Carb Diets. Your third and fourth subscriber’s names are “Raindrops on Roses” and “Where the Sun Don’t Shine” so play it safe and just blog about the weather. Keep incorporating a wide variety of topics in each post until every single reader feels you’re speaking directly to them. Never write just for yourself — you’re the last person who will be reading your blog.
  12. When people begin to remark it’s impossible to predict your subject matter, remind them that’s why you are “A Mystery Blog.” Tag your stuff with words like, “Guess What Now?” and “Mishmash” and “Hodgepodge.”
  13. Figure out the best time of day to post a new blog, taking into consideration all the different time zones of your 8 followers. Evening hours work best if you want your blog to be considered a cure for insomnia.
  14. Decide you’ve lived your life a bit too safely, never running a red light or telling a single white lie. Google lots of awesome photo images for your blog posts and then cut n’ paste without paying for them or giving proper attribution. Stay up late at night flirting with disaster and tempting fate each time your blog is viewed.
  15. Hire a lawyer to plea bargain on your behalf for Copyright Infringement.
  16. Admit that this whole thing is far more work than you thought and invite a friend to co-author your blog with you. But always place your initials in parenthesis after an especially witty sentence so that readers will continue to know it’s really still YOU they’re laughing at. (LMM)
  17. Never visit other blogs. Once you begin reading their stuff, you will be distracted from writing your own. Or worse, accused of trespassing. It’s “a blog eat blog world out there” so mind your own business! If you do peruse other blogs, take care to leave zero evidence behind. Even a short “this was great!” comment can enable the blog owner to retrace the breadcrumbs back to your blog and then the jig is up. Didn’t your mother ever read Hansel and Gretel to you?
  18. Invite businesses onto your site so you can make money by keeping a percentage of what they sell. Hookers will fight over who gets to stand in front of your blog advertising “their wares.” But that happens on popular street corners as well. A good pimp will settle disputes.
  19. Don’t write articles with titles on, “How NOT to Do Something.” This will be confusing, deceiving, and contradictory. Should people do as you say but NOT as you do? No! Should they NOT do as you say and NOT do as you do? Yes!
  20. And lastly, check your statistics obsessively because they will tell the entire story of your success. If you see a lot of search terms having to do with raging alcoholics and terrible knee injuries, congratulate yourself on choosing the best hobby for you . . . BLOGGING!

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/loop/

How NOT To Plan a Summer BBQ in 15 Easy Steps (Plus Bonus Swimming Pool Etiquette! Uh, NOT!)

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Yup, Summer is Upon Us! Here’s how NOT to Plan a BBQ Get-Together!

  1. Feel guilty remembering last July when you were grilling steaks in your backyard, the newly moved-in next-door neighbor popped his fat head over the fence and yelled, “Mmm, something sure smells good!”
  2. Resolve to invite anyone who lives within “Wafting Aroma” distance.
  3. Rethink leaving notification flyers under everyone’s welcome mat on their front doorstep because that’s what pushy realtors and obnoxious cable companies do. Instead hang “Everyone is Welcome to Our Backyard Cookout” posters on group mailboxes.
  4. Hide your shock when the postman personally delivers bills/letters to your porch and then asks if it’s okay to bring his cousins and their kids?
  5. Overhear through your open window two mothers chatting on the sidewalk below, “Do you know her? I don’t either. How lame. Maybe she has no other friends.”
  6. Realize you wrote “Potluck” on the invites to promote camaraderie and teamwork, but now everyone will probably just think you’re cheap. Also since you didn’t do that organized Martha Stewart trick where you divide the alphabet into A-L = side dish/drinks and M-Z = main course/appetizer, there will now be 17 containers of Costco white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on your dessert table.
  7. Knock on individual doors because you forgot to put RSVP info in your flyer. Act surprised when the first neighbors (The Coopers?) thank you for inviting them, but then they remark they’ll only come if they’ll know someone else there. Reassure them that the O’Donnell family will definitely be attending, because you know they like them. Break a sweat running to the O’Donnell house and casually mention the Cooper family will be at your BBQ and you hope they’ll come too?
  8. Pray that the Coopers and the O’Donnells never EVER bring this topic up in conversation with one another.
  9. Go in your backyard and fret that your plants are dying, your lawn furniture is tattered, and everyone else’s property is surely a better place to hold a BBQ than yours. And what’s there to do back here after scarfing down burgers? Absolutely nothing.
  10. Re-landscape, buy patio seating, and put in an underground swimming pool with a built-in waterslide.
  11. Make the case to your husband that you need to repaint your home’s interior as neighbors need to walk thru your entire house to get to the backyard because if they go via the side gate, it stinks due to trashcans. Keep talking about Benjamin Moore “Swiss Coffee Shoreline” color palette when he interrupts and says he’ll simply relocate the garbage barrels inside your garage.
  12. Phone a marriage counselor when the divorce papers are delivered.
  13. Field phone calls from your siblings and parents who complain they were looking forward to a quiet family reunion BBQ but now you had to go and invite a bunch of strangers so now they’re not coming.
  14. Traipse around the entire neighborhood canceling your event when the local weatherman claims an unseasonable rainstorm is hitting San Diego this weekend.
  15. Ask what looks like your mailman’s grandma to please pass the butter for the corn-on-the-cob and then tell the mailman’s cousin’s children that you’d appreciate if they’d use their indoor voices while sitting at your formal dining room table.

Do’s And Don’ts To Get Along Swimmingly At a Community Pool!

This season you may be visiting a group swimming pool, so here’s my official list of Do’s and Don’ts, which you are encouraged to take with a grain of salt. (Or if your pool isn’t a saltwater based system– a capful of chlorine.)

  • DO arrive at the community pool with proper identification and whatever keycard you need to get through the gate. DON’T shout out to nearby sunbathers on lounge chairs from behind the bars, “Listen! I really do live here. I can prove it. Maybe you know my neighbors, The Coopers or The Odonnells? You can call them to verify my residency. Ready? 760 – 944 …” And DON’T rattle off a list of neighborhood trivia (like previous fires, burglaries, times car alarms go off in the morning, or who the mailman is sleeping with) as further evidence. If you’re desperate (and you really do reside in the development) DO make your best puppy dog expression at the individuals sitting under the umbrellas nearest the fence and offer to share your oatmeal cookies or fudge brownies with them if they let you in.
  • DON’T bring oatmeal cookies or fudge brownies to a pool! It will exacerbate the current ant problem. But DO bring “Ants on a Log” (the old peanut-butter on celery sticks with raisins to get kids to eat healthy) because the ants will view this snack as a prophetic bad omen and march off the premises.
  • If it’s forbidden to play “Marco Polo” (and it should be!) DON’T tell your children it’s okay to start shouting “Parco Molo!” at the top of their lungs instead. Just DON’T. Also while swimming, DO offer friendly salutations to people you recognize strolling by, but if they casually inquire, “So how’s the water today?” DON’T automatically answer with that tired cliché, “Like a bathtub!” There are many other ways to describe a warm pool so DO be creative. DO say, “Like a beach in Hawaii” or “like toasty hot cocoa.” DON’T say, “Like about 85 kids recently peed in it.”
  • Remember license plate holders that proudly declared, “My other car is a Porsche?” DO post a sign on your chest claiming, “My other bathing suit is a string bikini!” DON’T recline on your back overtly reading scandalous books with inappropriate covers for others to gawk at. But DO make phony dustjackets that say, “Dog-Paddling for Dummies” or “10 Wholesome Short Stories to Read at Public Swimming Pools” to slip over your provocative novels, because you shouldn’t have to miss all those juicy chapters!
  • DO use the outdoor shower that’s usually provided before you jump in the pool because that’s its primary purpose, to clean off your yuckiness. DON’T assume the shower was built for your personal grooming habits after your swim, which means DON’T bring a deep-conditioner, a razor, a loofah brush, an acne facial mask, a fogless mirror, and a luxurious bathmat. DO bring a rubber-ducky cuz that’s just plain cute.
  • And finally, DO let that family (with the really sad eyes and a bag full of oatmeal cookies and fudge brownies) with no key or ID into the community pool, because it’s probably my six kids and me. And I swear (on my other bikini) that we really do live here!

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Yes, You CAN Interview Yourself . . . And You Definitely Should!

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Welcome to today’s much anticipated (at least by the interviewer herself) Q & A session with the renown “Little Miss Menopause.” The questions will be asked by Stephanie D. Lewis, (SDL) essentially the exact same person as Little Miss Menopause (LMM) although if you believe in different personas, then this is a totally legit interview! So here we go . . .

SDL: Welcome Little Miss Menopause! It’s so nice to have you here. And you needn’t waste readers’ time by responding, “thank you for having me!” so let’s just get into our first question, shall we? How did you come to call yourself Little Miss Menopause?”

LMM: Well before I was a blogger, I wrote for an organization called, “Wine, Women & Hormones” and they paid me to make hot flashes, muffintops, and memory loss funny. I thought mid-life symptoms were the extent of my humor so I started this blog titled, “Once Upon Your Prime” and then I further boxed myself in by naming myself after the female change of life.

SDL: Way to go. I suppose it’s lucky you weren’t writing for a company about puberty or you might have been called, “Little Miss Menstruation!”

LMM:  Ha. I’ll be the funny one. Okay, we’ll split the one-liners equally. Next question?

SDL: How long have you been writing for?

LMM: I had a feeling you’d ask me that. I kept a diary from about 7th grade on. It was Snoopy brand (fittingly!) and had a lock with this silver minuscule key, but I always assumed that because I peeked inside everyone else’s diary, mine was also being heavily perused — so I’d purposely weave in these really entertaining fictional anecdotes. It turns out my family respected my rights and nobody ever violated my privacy.

SDL And so you you started intentionally leaving it unlocked, right? To tempt people. When that didn’t work, you actually left a post-it note with, “Please read!” on top, right? But still nobody picked it up.

LMM: Yes, yes! How did you know all that?

SDL: Because you’re boring, predictable, and also I was kinda there. So let’s see, next question . . . how did you manage to break into writing for The Huffington Post?

LMM: That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone to a BLogHer writer’s conference in 2014 where Ms. Huffington was the keynote speaker.

SDL: Cornered her with the ole boring diary, did you?

LMM: No, I pretended I was already a Huff Post columnist but that I’d recently been unfairly let go. I pleaded for another chance and promised I’d be funnier. So I got myself rehired when I was never really hired in the first place!

SDL: And if you were never hired, you could never be fired either. You steal a lot of stuff from Seinfeld’s character Kramer, doncha?

LMM: Speak for yourself. So what made you decide to interview me? Or shall we just drop this whole reporter pretense and ask, what made you decide to interview yourself, Stephanie?

SDL: The idea came to me last week that everyone deserves the chance (even if they’re not famous) to have stimulating questions thrown at them. I waited around to see if anyone would ask me anything, but only my kids approached me with a certain amount of curiosity. They asked me what was for dinner? I finally decided there was nothing wrong with doing this myself. It’s part of my personal Self-Care which I just wrote about in the entry below this one. (Small plug!) Now mind you, I didn’t have to disclose that this was a self-interview because nobody would have figured it out, but I pride myself on being brutally honest.

LMM: Yes, I’m sure Arianna Huffington would concur. So might this interview thing also be in honor of finally hitting a certain number of followers that has been your long time goal? And if so, what’s that number?

SDL:  I’m not going to disclose how many followers I have, are you crazy? Some people would think it’s too high or too low. Just like my weight, I wouldn’t tell you that either.

LMM:  I already know what you weigh, fool. Remember? I am you. You are me. Ohh yeah, that’s right . . .  we use one of those scales that doesn’t show our weight, it only specifies if we’ve gained or lost. Which is like a doctor not telling you what your diagnosis is, only if you’re getting better or worse. Don’t you think? Of what use is that?

SDL: I’m kinda getting sick of you. And somehow you’ve turned this whole thing around so now you’re the one interviewing me. Let’s just cut to the chase and issue our challenge already.

LMM: Alrighty. If you’re reading this and you’re feeling brave (and quirky!) try interviewing yourself on your own blog. C’mon! What have you got to lose? It’s fun and everyone should do it. Just like masturbation.

SDL: OMG. I am so relieved that my persona said that last line, and not me! How totally embarrassing. Anyhow, if you take me (us!) up on this self-interview challenge, feel free to come back and post a link in the comments section. Thank you! And thank you for your time Little Miss Menopause.

LMM:  No, I’m thanking YOU!

SDL: Nope, thank YOU!  Now sign off.

LMM: No, you sign off. I want the last word.

SDL: Unbelievable. Seriously?? Goodbye.

LMM:  Aha … Gotcha!

SDL: Could you be a more Immature persona??

Various microphones aligned at press conference isolated over a

 

 

 

 

 

How Dare You Do Self-Care!

 

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The 70’s and 80’s commercial slogan, “Calgon take me away!” has nothing on today’s overused buzzword we know simply as, “Self-Care.” In fact my six children do a fake vomiting impression whenever they hear those two little words, probably because they got so sick of its predecessor — that classic analogy meant to justify my taking a break that went like this, “Mommy has to put her own oxygen mask on first before she can help you put on yours.” So now they officially refuse to travel on an airplane with me. (By the way, these same kids also signed a petition to prevent my talking about myself in the 3rd person, but that’s another blog entirely!)

So how did the pendulum swing so far in the other direction for females? You may recall not too long ago, most mothers put everyone else first, to the point of truly neglecting themselves, making motherhood synonymous with martyrdom. Gradually women learned it was okay to sometimes say, “No!” and that was kind of a nice, happy medium. Because sometimes we still said, “Yes!”

But now it’s gotten to the point where nobody shows up to help in an emergency because we can’t cope with any crisis until we’ve practiced good self-care. Imagine a horrible earthquake occurring, but before the American Red Cross sends assistance, they must slather Neutrogena’s soothing beauty balm onto their skin!

The next time you hang up the phone or part ways with someone while casually saying, “Take care of yourself now!” be aware that you’ve just granted someone permission to go get a mani/pedi, watch a soap-opera, and eat chocolate bonbons. That’s because “Self-Care” is loosely defined to encompass anything from aromatherapy (using essential oils!) to literally running away from life.

Join me now as we listen in on a “Self-Care, Self-Help, Do-It-Yourself Support Group” in progress: (And if you think that has too many “Self” words in it, congratulations you catch on fast!)

Leader: Take out your Self-Care journals and let’s make a list of what we need to have in our Self-Care kits. And then let’s take a Selfie holding them. Selma, please read your list?

Selma: Bath Salts, Bath Bombs, Bath Oils, Bath Bubbles, Bath Gels, Bath Sponges, Bath Scrubs, Bath Soaps…oh and you should put an actual Bathtub in your kit if it can fit.

Leader: Definitely! Sonia, your list please?

Sonia: I went the Mindful route. Is that okay?

Leader: Oh goody! Mindfulness and Self-Care go together like bagel and cream cheese, which you should also have in your kit by the way. Please continue . . .

Sonia: Mindful Yoga mat, Mindful Meditation book, Mindful Crystal, Mindful Meditation CD, Mindful Sunscreen, Mindful Money, Mindful Bra, Mindful Pillow, Mindful Birth Control, Mindful Michael Kors Purse, Mindful Nutella. . .

Leader: Terrific. You’ve discovered the main secret to Self-Care — just put the word “Mindful” in front of anything you desire and it’s automatically gonna be healthy and get our approval.

Sonia: Except “Mindful Children.” Somehow it doesn’t work with kids.

Leader: Whatever. Now let’s all recite the Self-Care first commandment together. Ready? “Caring for myself is not self-indulgent, it IS self-preservation.”

Suzanne: What about, “I think, therefore I am?”

Leader: Definitely not. You’re in the wrong place. The Self-Aware Support Group meets in the room down the hall.

Stacey: How about, “You can’t love someone else until you can love yourself?”

Leader: Sorry, you also don’t belong here. You’ll find the Self-Esteem Support Group meets in this same room but on Thursdays.

Stephanie: I have a question. I keep a diary, light lots of candles, get hand massages, eat avocado toast, go cloud-watching (I once saw one shaped like Gwyneth Paltrow!) unplug my cellphone daily, and breathe deeply while smelling roses, but still I’m completely miserable. Are some people just not good at this Self-Care stuff?

Leader: Security! Come quick! Code 5, I repeat Code 5! A Self-Sabotager has snuck into Self-Care! Calgon, take her away!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Self-Care is completely responsible for society’s narcissistic behavior or that we’re all returning to the “Me” generation, but perhaps “Self-Care” could include things like volunteering at a retirement center, adopting a homeless pet, buying the guy behind you a Starbucks, and leaving a comment on my blog. 😉 Now wouldn’t those things also make YOU feel good??

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And if you’re a guy, what does “Self-Care” even mean for you? Have you been sucked onto its bandwagon too, or is this just a girl thing?

Listen up! If You Want More Readers, Just WHISPER!

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“Well shake it up baby … twist and Whisper!” Huh? Shhhhhhh, you’ve just entered The No-Shout Zone! Right HERE is an old perfume television commercial with the slogan, “If you want to capture someone’s attention, just whisper!”

And evidently our librarians knew what they were talking about, (and HOW to do their talking!) when they insisted we all speak in hushed tones — and thus eventually associate whispering with the pleasure of reading books. But did you know there’s now something called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) which is a very STRANGE phenomenon that has hundreds of women profiting from making online videos where they do nothing but seductively whisper as they role-play being flight attendants, hairdressers, party planners, eye doctors, and personal shoppers?

Now mind you, this is not supposed to elicit any kind of sexual response in us. Instead, it’s supposed to give a highly pleasant tingling or relaxing sensation like when you’d have a sleepover with a friend and the two of you would draw letters on each others backsides to guess what you were spelling. Some say it’s a “climax of the brain.” Okaaaaay….Here’s a much better explanation right HERE. But that depends on your definition of “better!” Crazy, right?

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO FINDS THIS KIND OF WHISPERING AS OBNOXIOUS AS FINGERNAILS ON A CHALKBOARD???

Forgive me for spoiling all your fun, but I can’t stand the way she forms those “wet” sounds with her mouth, her long pausing, (get on with it already!) and also the overly familiar way she behaves with her hairbrush. In general she’s bizarrely overly intimate with her listeners. My adverse reaction could possibly hearken back to grade school when Jenny Mayron would lean into my desk, cup her sweaty hand around my ear, (so the teacher couldn’t hear) and proceed to whisper some stupid secret that was completely obliterated by the disgusting feeling of her warm, moist, stale breath on my skin.

However an argument might be made that I’m just simply jealous of these Whispering Women because I cannot do what they do.  That’s right, according to my children, I lack the ability, and am utterly incapable of any discreet whispering.

In a movie theatre:

Me: (Whispering) Do you think he’s really dead? Or do you think he’s going to pop up later and attack his ex-wife? And will that be before or after he cuts off her child support?

Daughter: Do you think you could talk any louder? So next time the entire audience can hear you, and not just the six rows around us?

In a restaurant:

Me: (Whispering) Don’t look now but that kid from your football team who can’t catch a ball to save his life, just sat down three booths behind you.

Son: Oh my god, Mom. And you could be our announcer high up in the booth at our game without even using a loudspeaker!

So for the sake of getting some much needed practice with these skills, and also because I’d like to experience what it’s like to bring tingling pleasure to other people just by merely using my voice, I’ve decided that the following scenarios warrant whispering.

ROADSIDE

Me: (Whispering) Didn’t you see my brake lights? You teenagers shouldn’t even be allowed to drive. And it’s a brand new car! What are you going to do about this??!!?

Teen Driver: (On cellphone) Dad? I think I just rear-ended the Low-Talker from Seinfeld.

KARAOKE CONTEST

Me: (whispering Little Richard’s Song) 

We-eee-eeel….

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)
Don’t forget to say you will
Don’t forget to say, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah . . .
Judge: Okay that was just plain odd. But just in case — hope you recover soon from your laryngitis.
Being Proposed To
Me: (Whispering)  Yes, yes. Of course I’ll marry you. I just wanna shout it from the rooftops, “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with a wonderful guy!!”
Him: Eh?? Pardon me? Was that a yes or no?
Announcing Children’s Report Cards to Hard-of-Hearing Grandmother For Monetary Reimbursement
Me: (Whispering)  You wouldn’t believe the GPA your grandchildren all demonstrated this year in school.
Grandma: Young people today! It’s disgusting how much kissing, hugging, and slobbering over each other they do in front of others. That kind of behavior should never be rewarded! Hmmph.
Kids: Grandma! Come back. NOT PDA! OMG, Great time to perfect your whispering talents, Mom!
And lastly I’ll leave you with a party planner who makes me just want to slap her silly! Give a short listen right HERE and if you have any other reaction besides, “Speak up, Sister!” I wanna hear about it in the comments. Meanwhile, I’m giving a “Shout-out” to Marian the Librarian in Music Man and tonight I’m watching, “Old Yeller” and cranking up the volume!
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So Who Died and Left You in Charge?

in-chargeDo you sometimes wonder how certain (relatively inconsequential) things in life get decided? I mean who was the one specific individual that arrived at the ultimate conclusion? I’m not even talking about who makes all the major, significant determinations — (YOU can be in charge of making that particular list!) I just mean the odds n’ ends type of stuff that needs a final verdict. Let’s delve deeper, shall we? Because here are 12 things that nobody really knows who is in charge of!

Who’s In Charge Of . . . ?

  1. Selecting the specific kind of pornography for the men who use the “deposit” room at sperm donor or infertility clinics?
  2. Deciding that 1970’s Chia Pets (with their annoying “Ch Ch Ch Chia” commercial jingles) should now be a “health” seed that we must sprinkle on frigging EVERYTHING we eat?
  3. Figuring out the number of seconds a doctor leaves the examination room so a patient can fully disrobe and put on that silly paper gown? (As an aside: Who told doctors to rap on the door three times first, when they’re just gonna barge in on you half-naked anyhow? For once I’d like doctors to knock, then wait patiently while I yell, “Be right there. Will ya hold your horses already? I’m just taking something out of the oven!”)
  4. Singing the alphabet in a singsong voice so that the five middle letters sound like just one long one… “elemenopee?”
  5. Substituting the inane phrase “reaching out” for the old sensible word, “contacting.” When someone thanks me for “reaching out” on the phone, I wanna burst into Neil Diamond’s syrupy lyrics, “Hands, touching hands, reaching out…touching me, touching you!”
  6. Prescribing what the average “room temperature” should be in a house? Because this individual is solely responsible for a great many of the arguments I have with my ex-husband. (Identify yourself!)
  7. Firing the classic national Time Lady? C’mon you remember her? You’d call the telephone number and a familiar recorded voice reassured you it was 5:32 EXACTLY. She’d throw in the outdoor temperature as a bonus — (so my ex-husband and I could squabble over the indoor one.) And while I’m at it, who also decided who the voice of Siri should be?
  8. Determining at what age a woman should stop wearing a mini-skirt?
  9. Checking if a bride actually has something old, new, borrowed and blue?
  10. Choosing which side of the bed a husband and wife get to sleep on? And why can’t they alternate nightly?
  11. Stating that a “portion size” of Reddi Whip Cream is a mere two tablespoons? (And shouldn’t the measurement be calibrated as “squirts in the mouth?’)
  12. Deciding which foods (salmon, I’m looking at you!) get to qualify as “Good fats?” (And why can’t Reddi Whip make the cut?)CGJiWEgUYAAZJOU.png

Readers, leave me a comment about something you often ask, “Sheesh, who the heck was in charge of THAT?” (But don’t blame me — I was only in charge of six children.)

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Let’s REALLY Mix Up the Media!

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAEiAAAAJDUwZTk3MDViLTFkZGQtNDg2OC1hNWI0LTcxNDQwMzMwZjNiMw (1)In an age where amusement park rides (“Pirates of Caribbean”) and board games (“Clue”) can become movies, comic strips (Lil’ Orphan Annie) become Broadway musicals, books (“Gone Girl”) become cinema thrillers,   and novels become a controversial Netflix television series (“13 Reasons Why”) I’ve decided WHY STOP THERE?

Songs Becoming News Stories!

(Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”)

In a New York bar on a Saturday night as the regular crowd shuffled in, many patrons allegedly inundated a helpless pianist with random musical requests. Some were sad, some were sweet, and some were incomplete as people struggled with their memories, substituting “La la la, di da da La la, di da da da dum” for actual lyrics. Even the bartender, who was identified only as John (and who gave free drinks, was quick with a joke or to light up a smoke) seemed to hold the compassionate piano player accountable for his own unhappiness and the fact that he couldn’t break free from the nightclub to become a movie star. “Bill, I believe this is killing me,” he was quoted as saying. Other innocent bystanders included a real estate novelist, a waitress practicing politics, and some businessmen slowly getting stoned. One witness claimed the piano sounded like a carnival and the microphone smelled like a beer, but this could not be substantiated. In fact many customers ordered the drink special of the night, called “Loneliness” and this seemed to evoke a common sentiment that if the pianist would only sing them the right kind of song with a melody that they were in the mood for, then everyone would be feeling alright. The manager finally appeared and gave a smile, aware that it was his establishment that helped everyone forget about life for a while. It was unknown whether the Piano Man later sought therapy for the pressure he felt during this incident.

Recipes Becoming Poetry!

(Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies)

Baking time will be less than a half hour at 350 oven power

First grab 1 tsp salt, baking soda, and 2 1/4 cups flour,

Add in 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and be sure it’s 1 cup butter

You’ll be dropping by spoonfuls, no need for cookie cutter!

Don’t overbake, you want them soft and chewy to the lips,

And they won’t taste right if you don’t add chocolate chips!

Poetry Becoming Dog Tags!

If you’re reading this, it means I’m lost.

Maybe there’s a street I shouldn’t have crossed.

But the worst is over ‘cuz now I’ve been found. . .

And you’ve saved me from ending up in the pound.

So pick up the phone and give my owner a holler

And tell them you read this rhyme on my collar!”

Lyrics Becoming Essays!

(Katy Perry’s “Firework” – Graded by Little Miss Menopause)

Kati Perry “Firework”
8th Grade/Eng Comp 101/Period 4

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?(Careful beginning any persuasive essay with a question — if the answer is “No” you’ve just lost your reader.)

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin like a house of cards, (archaic phrase, nobody knows what this is except for the popular TV show.) one blow from caving in? (overly dramatic, credibility?)

Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under? Screams, but no one seems to hear a thing. (morbid tone, not in keeping with rest of your paper, Ms. Perry)

Do you know that there’s still a chance for you ’cause (you must type out ‘because’ in formal essays) there’s a spark in you. (more supporting evidence needed) You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, just own the night like the Fourth of July. (awkward sentence structure!)

‘Cause baby you’re a firework, come on show ’em what your (you’re) worth. Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” (use proper dialoguing format here.) As you shoot across the sky-y-y. (cliche) Baby you’re a firework. (cite your source) Come on let your colors burst! Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” (Choppy!) You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down.

Boom, boom, boom even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through. You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down. Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Etc, etc.

(D+ You tried Katy, and this is a much better effort than your “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” term paper, but your closing argument paragraph is redundant, nonsensical, and frankly better suited for a song lyric. I’m recommending you repeat English Comp 101.)

Movie Dialogue Becoming Resumes

Skills and Experience:

  • Phoning Home
  • Building it so they will come
  • Showing the Money
  • Looking at you, Kid
  • Rounding up the usual suspects
  • Putting my lips together and whistling
  • Seeing dead people
  • Depending on the kindness of strangers
  • Never using wire hangers. EVER!
  • Martini making, shaken not stirred
  • Making your day
  • Keeping the force with you
  • Not putting babies in corners
  • Not giving a damn, but in a very frank way

Readers, join me in the fun of mixing and matching our crazy media! Why not leave me a comment with your own creative blend?

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Ode To Control Freaks!

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You may think our logic is slightly flawed,

Certain we know best, even better than God.

Our kids wear sweaters when we’re really the ones who’re cold.

And good luck throwing us Surprise parties without us wearing a blindfold.

Need to know everything — we’re obsessed with discovering stuff.

You may admonish, “Mind your own business!” but never have to say, “Get off your duff!”

It’s not enough to just know the outer you, we want to know your internals.

That’s exactly why it’s fine for us to snoop thru your diaries and journals!

And if we’re extra polite, saying thank-you and please quite often,

We think you won’t bristle at our demands, in fact we think you’ll soften.

But look at the upside to being one of us — we’re meticulous with wars we’re waging.

We fight about marriage, work, schools, friends, and we’re totally against our own aging!

‘Micromanaging’ — such a vulgar term, we’d never EVER do it!

But alas our “helpful hint” is taken the wrong way, folks just misconstrue it.

So if we cannot manipulate our world at large, you, or even our own mate’s lives,

At least we’re gonna stay in charge of our kid’s health… with the prevention of hives!

Um, that last line was stupid, but controlling peeps are stubborn,

Even over words, language, rhymes, we must try and govern!

And there’s one more thing we’re planning to subtly orchestrate . . .

Bestowing a new name on US, one that promotes a euphoric state.

‘Cuz calling us CONTROL FREAKS is rather harsh, ugly, and bleak.

How about just saying we have special powers due to our technique?

So from now on, “Universal Supervisor” replaces “Control Freak” as our new term.

Can we all just agree on this? I really need to know you’ll confirm!

And ‘cuz we’re certain that most of you find our control issues something to condemn…

Therefore nobody who is “One of Us” will admit that this is actually them.

But I’ll raise my hand proudly (sorta!) because once you get to know me . . .  I’m really quite a gem!

Lastly before I leave you, I’m not beyond using guilt to influence and apply a little pressure,

If you don’t leave me a comment, nobody will know you exist or that you’re such a WordPress treasure!

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/control/

 

I’d Like To Dedicate This To You, and to AVOCADOS!

featuredHave you detected the newest fad in eating? The trendiest ingredient of the millennium is now getting its own dedicated restaurant. A few of them, in fact! In Brooklyn, New York, “Avocadoria” just opened on April 10th. And in Amsterdam, “The Avocado Show” has already been serving nothing but these green gems for a while now. And don’t forget Avocado Athens, in Greece.

Little Miss Menopause (of course!) felt compelled to go undercover for a review, an interview, and to get all the facts on why these Avocado Advocates were so passionate about something that when mushed up, looks like it belongs in The Exorcist.  As I deplaned in NYC, I changed into my only green shirt with this graphic I made for the front.il_570xN.1153504504_opnt

Me: Thank you for granting me an interview in between mashing, dicing, slicing, spreading, scooping, chopping, pureeing, mincing, and blending.

Owner: Don’t forget whipping.

Me: I never read Fifty Shades. So tell me WHY the avocado?

Owner: Why NOT the avocado? Avocado lives matter. And avocados have been greatly misunderstood. Not knowing if it was a vegetable or a fruit. And having it be just a $2.50 item listed on the menu under “Sides.” An avocado ain’t no side to nobody.

Me: Of course it’s not.

Owner: It’s the main course here. In fact, there’s nothing in my restaurant that isn’t made out of avocado.

Me: Is that so? Nothing? I heard you even spread it on sandwiches in place of mayo or mustard, true?

Owner: Absolutely! There’s nothing in our sandwiches except avocado.

Me: But what about the bread?? Aha . . . caught you!!

Owner: Where you been girl? Avocado loaves!

Me: That’s not a thing.

Owner: Oh it’s soooooo a thing!avo

Me: Hmm, okay well how about this? If I were to order guacamole . . .

Owner: You’d be one boring, sheltered girl.

Me: Never mind that. If I were to order guacamole, what would you serve me to dip in it? Got ya there! You’d bring me tortilla chips, wouldn’t you?? You would!

Owner: Nope. We slice avocado into little half-dollar size circles and deep fry them in . . .

Me: OLIVE oil!  Busted!

Owner: Extra Virgin Avocado oil. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

After I left the interview feeling totally beaten, I had to admit the place was packed, the ambience was green and creamy, clean and dreamy, and the chef had it so easy. Just one ingredient for their entire menu! The wheels began to turn for me . . .

I know! I’ll open a restaurant that serves only Yams. I’m tired of people mixing up yams with sweet potatoes. I’ll call it, “I Yam Nuts!” Oh wait, then I’d have to serve cashews and almonds and pistachios as well. But not peanuts. They’re a legume.

As I walked, I brainstormed more mono-food eateries. “Cafe Capers” or “Okra-Homa” or my personal favorite, “Twinkie Twinkie Little Star,” but I’d have to talk to Hostess first.

Ironically on the street with the Avocadoria restaurant were a bunch of apparel stores, but selling one specific item. The signs proudly proclaimed, “Solo Socks” and “Only Underwear” and “Just Jammies” and “Merely Madras.” This was getting really weird.

I walked into “Scarcely Skirts” and tried to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.

Me: I’d like to buy a pair of pants?

Owner: Sorry, we only carry skirts.

Me: Oh, I’m sure you must have something else besides skirts here. I know! I’d like to buy some hangers.

Owner: We don’t have any hangers.

Me: Then what’s suspending all your skirts from the clothing racks??

Owner: Get out, Little Miss Menopause. You are obviously in need of some mushrooms. Go next door and order some shroom tacos at “Fungus ForAllOfUs.”

I have a new plan. There must be some way for me to capitalize on this new segregational commerce trend. And I’ll start with “Avocadoria.” In the vacant space next door, I am going to open a restaurant called, “The Anti-Avo.” We’ll cook everything under the sun. Except for Avocados. I’ll be an Avocado Avoidant.

Customers will become so enraged by what they see the culinary world becoming, that they’ll embrace grub integration once more.  So won’t you join me in the food good fight, hop onto this grassrutabaga grassroots cruciferous crusade where all nourishment and noshes will once again coexist in peace and harmony.

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When The Sheet Hits The Fan!

oopsLast night I tossed and turned (a Caesar salad’s got nothin’ on me!) while cursing at my fitted sheet, which ironically is totally UNFIT to be slept on. This is the SIXTH set of bed linens I’ve purchased that have been pre-programmed by the manufacturer to drive me slowly mad by having a corner insidiously slip a half-inch every hour until it PING, snaps off the mattress entirely.

How do I know this? Because any manufacturer of a simple household product who thinks a huge selling point would be to put in large printed letters on a colorful sticker, right over the price tag, the message — “100% Percale! Now with 800 thread count!” is definitely out to get me. You see they know if I’m still moving forward to purchase this product (even after questioning what “Percale” might be and receiving a dire thread count warning), then I’m actually someone who is compulsive enough to recheck and confirm their number claim by totaling up the sum of threads on my fingers.

Okay, so really Mr. Inventor Guy? Seriously?? You can go on Shark Tank with your bladeless windmill, a shoelace-tying robot, plus figure out a way to grow guacamole right inside the avocado so there’s no messy mashing (Okay, I made that last one up, but wouldn’t it be cool?) yet you can’t devise a fitted sheet that stays securely on a bed mattress, without waking up the (already neurotic) occupant with a startle??

So I did what any desperate insomniac would do. I took to the internet for advice. On a website called Question.com I posted this:

Help! How can I stop the sheet from popping off my mattress? 

Within seconds an answer appeared, but in photograph form.

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Okay so that person must be a former treasure hunt, map-maker who believes “X marks the spot” is the solution to everything in life.

When I finally figured out that what I was looking at was the BOTTOM of the mattress, I explained to the helpful (NOT!) responder that mine was king-sized (and far too heavy to ever flip over!)

Immediately my grandmother (who must diligently read this obscure question/answer website in between her bridge games?) suddenly posted an image of what I can only guess are the garters she uses to hold up her stockings, except grandma has four legs now??

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After that, a bunch more “answers” came fast and furiously but not via cryptic photos. There were heated debates about my California King mattress being far too wide for just my regular King-sized sheets. It must’ve been presumed that because I live in San Diego I definitely own a California King mattress?

Next came the comics. On the internet, comedians always come out of the woodwork, (which I guess in the case of bed problems would be out of the headboard) except none were funny. Here’s an example anyhow.

“Hi! I’m Paul. I don’t have anything to say about how to fix this issue you’re having, but I misread the question as, ‘How can I stop the sh*t from pooping off my mistress?’ Haha.

Uh, Don’t quit your day OR your night job, Paul.

Next came all the “handy helpful hints” which are from women named Heloise. They fall under the general theme of using other common household objects to fix the original household object. Like this:safety pins

And you just know that once the Safety Pin Brigade begins, it can’t be long before The Duct Tape proponents come out in droves. Followed by The Velcro People.

Next I patiently wade through answers from sheer genius, analytical types . . . (but who can’t spell to save their life)

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And to this person I graciously respond, “No sheet, Sherlock?!”

There were many more answers (92 responses in total) to this age old dilemma and soon I realized that everyone had their own special way of handling the old “fitted sheet slipping off the corner” conundrum and I began to feel a certain camaraderie with all these fellow bedmates. I ended my “thank you’s” by bidding them “Sweet Dreams!” and cautioning them not to “let the bedbugs bite.” We shared pictures of our adorable children who had also been subjected to this same irritating fate.The-fitted-sheet-keeps-coming-off-the-bed-our-solutionpin1

And in this “it’s a small world” moment I was feeling that surely we must all have more in common than just our sheets coming undone from our mattresses, and so I posted a totally new and completely unrelated question.

“Help! After doing laundry, how do you neatly fold the fitted sheet and win the war in your linen closet?”

And just like that, we all intensely bonded over who had the best YouTube video showcasing a live demonstration.

It’s quite a relief knowing I will never lose another night’s sleep wondering who My People are, because I am now a confirmed member of the “Get a life” tribe.

And to all a good night!

Little Miss Menopause

April 1st! Fool ‘Em With a Song!

april-fools-dayI don’t know about you, but I get tired of people pulling dumb stunts on me (pretending apple juice is urine) or visual gags (glueing quarters to the sidewalk) on April Fool’s Day. I much prefer word games. And if they’re set to music and have a catchy beat, all the better!

That’s why every April Fool’s Day I tell the various people in my life that extremely famous songs were written with me in mind. It’s an innocent joke but you’d be amazed how many will buy it, until I can’t contain myself and burst out laughing.

Here are some tips to pull off your own, “I’m The One Neil Diamond Meant When he Crooned, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” hijinks!

  1. Tall Tale Tunes: Otherwise known as Story Songs will work really well for this particular joke. You know the kind where the lyrics teach a lesson or impart a moral? I must admit every time I heard, “Centerfold” by J. Geils Band, I really wanted to be the character in that song. The innocent girl that was “pure as snowflakes” in high school, who was “slipping notes under his desk while he was thinking about her dress!” And then years later, when he’s looking thru the pages of a girlie magazine, there’s his homeroom angel on the pages in-between . . . Whoa, Babam!!  Well – – you guessed it, I once told my ex-husband that I went to school with the lead singer of this band and bragged that “Centerfold” was written specifically about me — to assuage the mad crush he had on me, of course. To this day, my ex is terribly flattered I picked him to marry (out of what must’ve been hundreds of offers!) and he’s never once asked which magazine I posed for. (If he did, I’d tell him it was Popular Mechanics.)
  2. List of Story Songs: Here are some other suggestions of these kinds of songs you can claim are written about you: Bye Bye Miss American Pie (What? Wouldn’t it be a kick to be the person solely responsible for the day the music died?) Stairway to Heaven (All you have to be is a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold. Easy Peasy! Oh and you make him wonder…you really make Led Zeppelin wonder!) Cat’s in the Cradle (if you’re a guy, this one is perfect! Tell your wife you would have mentioned you were the son in Harry Chapin’s song a long time ago, but you thought she’d cry at your wedding when you refused to invite your dad because your smile never dimmed as you said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah. Y’know I’m gonna be like him!”
  3. Name Songs – – Man, do you have it made if there happens to already exist a song with YOUR exact name in it. In fact, women named Wendy seem to have all the luck. Tell him you actually are THE Wendy that Bruce Springsteen was Born to Run with, not to mention a personal invitation to strap your hands across his engines. Mmmm. Wendys can also claim that they’re the one referenced in Prince’s song, Kiss, or “Wendy” the song by Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame. And even Elton John with his title, “Wake Up Wendy.”  Or get fanciful and tell him you’re the Wendy from the musical, “Peter Pan.” But if you really wanna stretch it, tell him The Association wrote their song, “Windy” about you. Ready? Just google your name and see if you already have a song out there — bingo, instant April Fool’s material!
  4. Naive Targets: There are no songs with Stephanie in them, so I always choose extra gullible people for this type of musical prank. For instance my brother is the perfect kind of innocence for me to easily fool with. (When we were younger, I told him I had my own Candy store inside my bedroom wall and as proof I’d produce a Hershey bar– I also mentioned that a blue furry monster sometimes used our downstairs bathroom and the way to know when he recently peed in the toilet was the water turned the exact shade of his fur when you flushed. I always said this after our mom put those navy colored Clorox drop-in disks in our commode!) So last April 1st, I told this overtrusting brother of mine that many of the Beatles songs were indeed about me and that our parents kept changing my name thru the years to preserve my privacy. He bought that I was Sexy Sadie, Lovely Rita, Hey Jude, Long Tall Sally, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and even Michelle, Ma Belle — though he knew I wasn’t ever french. He may have been gullible, but apparently I underestimated his math skills because one day he pointed out that I was just being born in 1964, the very same year the Beatles burst onto the American Scene. Oh well.
  5. Straight Face: If anyone doubts your sincerity during this April Fool’s joke, all you need to do is perform your own personal rendition of Carly Simon’s, “I’m So Vain, I probably think this song is about me, don’t I? Don’t I?”

If you’re a female and would like other April Fool’s Day options (albeit a bit racier) just click RIGHT HERE for my last year’s post.

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Want Attention? Just Say You’re Getting Rid of Something!

IMG_3404Parker Brothers used to hold the monopoly on making a big media production over retiring an iconic object. In February they took a vote and announced which piece would leave their famous board game.  It turns out that seams aren’t the only thing ripped from archaic sewing rooms because THE THIMBLE was voted to be torn from Monopoly’s token collection when it was deemed esoteric (Personally I think the word “esoteric” should have been retired from our vocabulary long ago!) and given a big “thumbs” down. The thimble, really?? Well, I’ll be “darned.”

Oy. Do we really care about any of this??

Of course we don’t. At least not anymore. Because this earth-shattering news just paled in comparison to the latest vivid revelation . . .

Today (on National Crayon Day, doncha know?) Crayola finally disclosed (while holding us in suspense for as long as it takes to scrub Burnt Sienna off our bathroom wall after our child throws a tantrum) which classic color will be swiftly retired from their 24-pack.

Turns out DANDELION has been weeded out and put to pasture!

Well color me surprised! Can you really garner this much attention over retiring something? And now people are really getting worked up because it’s been proclaimed that the replacement crayon will be “blueish.” But that’s as descriptive as Crayola cares to get (for now!) because . . . (drum roll!) it seems that WE all get to submit an explicit suggestion for the blue crayon’s new unique name!

Frankly, I’d just be tickled pink if simple tricks like these worked in my life to garner me some respect and fanfare.

It’s worth a go . . .

ME: Hey kids, guess what? I’m retiring an object from our silverware drawer. You’ll never guess what it is, but care to try??

YOUNGEST SON: Wait, we have a silverware drawer? Where is it?? I just grab forks for my scrambled eggs straight out of the dishwasher.

OLDER SON: What?? You get served scrambled eggs! I just get a bowl of Cheerios slapped down in front of me.

DAUGHTER: And ewww, you take stuff from the dishwasher?? Those crusted, baked-on dishes have been sitting in that Maytag appliance since mom was pregnant and we threw a shower for you. And you’re 13-years-old now. Not a baby anymore.

ME:  That’s it, I knew you guys would  guess it! That’s exactly what I’m retiring from the silverware drawer — his tiny baby spoon! Shall we call Gerber? Channel 7 news? Parker Brothers? And now let’s think of a fun name to call the new utensil that will take its place! For a prize of course . . .

I watched as one-by-one they grabbed Oreos, shoved them in their mouths, and filed out of the kitchen, eying me in that way they did when I remarked that Adele’s song “Hello From The Other Side” was about a ghost in the afterlife.

However (to be fair) later on I received a cryptic text from my 15-year-old that said simply, “Spork!!!  Now what do I win?”

Ugh. Next try will be with my boyfriend…

ME: Honey, there’s something very important that I’ve used a lot, but now that I’m menopausal, I think it’s the right time to say goodbye to it.

HIM: Well it can’t be your gym shoes.

ME:  I’m retiring my diaphragm.

HIM: Interesting. Won’t you need that to breathe??

Everyone’s a comic. After I retired aspartame from my diet (and replaced it with Sucralose) and nobody seemed to notice, (or care) I took one last shot at an official announcement.

Because three times is a charm.

ME: Hey everyone, I’ve finally made a decision. I’m gonna retire something that’s long overdue to be gone. Can you guess what it is?

EVERYONE: Your so called humor blog??? “Once Upon Your Prime!” OMG! That’s fantastic news. And don’t worry, we’ll all visit it every year in the old folk’s home out in the blogosphere. Yay! So let’s have a big party! We’ll even eat your cake with Sporks! Anything you want. But we just can’t wait to celebrate bidding good riddance to that bland, bloated, blabbermouth blog of yours!!!

Great, that’s just great. But at least now I have a suggestion for the name of the new  crayon that’s replacing Dandelion. “Bland, Bloated, Blabbermouth Bloggy Blue!” What do ya say, Crayola??

A close up shot of a bunch of colorful crayons

Making Memes Magically Manifest Magnificent Masses!

 

kittens4Or in other (non-alliterative) words — yep, you can create simple memes that will drive more traffic to your blog! And you don’t need a pair of 8-week-old kittens (like I just so happen to have!) in order to do so. But having original photography on a riveting subject will definitely help you get around those pesky copyright issues.

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The ability to think up a correlating funny cliche, pun, or witty wordplay also REALLY helps boost the meme’s popularity. Plus at the end of this post I will put a link to my favorite custom meme generator that any dummy can figure out how to use, as aptly demonstrated here.

But first, the most important matter at hand….a few posts ago, I took a vote on names for two tiny litter mates that I was adopting. They’re here now and I’m introducing them officially as “Ritz & Bits!”  (Because you’ve heard of Animal Crackers, right?)

IMG_3316  IMG_3317ritz crackers

Ritz & Bits (along with eliciting lotsa joy, play, innocence, and tons of creativity in the form of great excuses for why my kids are incapable of doing litter-box chores!) have inadvertently brought more followers to my blog than anything I’ve ever written. And all because I turned their cute photos into memes AND remembered to put my blog name at the bottom before posting on Facebook or Tweeting.

Below are some more memes that I made in my sleep. Okay, that’s simply an expression to convey how easy it was because I do NOT sleep anymore. Between the insomnia, the writing deadlines, the strange prowler noises I hear, and now little alien beings that pounce on my tiniest foot movements, I get zero shut-eye.kittens7

But (above) I seem to have inherited a pair of furry house-slippers, albeit mismatched colors!

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Above they’re only six weeks old but I’m pretty sure the one on the right helped me conquer my phobia with white mice because I swore he looked just like one.

Here they’ve taken up blogging so I’ve got competition . . .

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And together we’re collaborating on a sequel for Dirty Dancing and remaking this famous scene . . . kittens10

Now below is an example of what NOT to do. As darling of a meme as this could have been, I wrecked it by trying to cram more clever into its wordage than additives in my kittens’ organic food. Instead of piquing interest and luring readers to my blog — the reaction was, “Huh? Weird much? Steer clear of anything this oddball writer posts!”cats2

On the other hand when you have show-stopping eyes, you don’t have to write anything much at all in your meme, but you can never go wrong with simplistic — as you can see below.cat6

And sometimes you’ll miss the obvious . . . cats1

Above I should have just said, “Who’s up for a quick round of CAT-TERGORIES?” But that’s the beauty of a meme, you can rework it until it finally goes viral.

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Not to imply that any of these have gone viral. But like I said, if increasing blog followers is your goal – – then definitely make some memes!  And then sell some product on your site to take advantage of the extra traffic, making it all worth your while ($$!) I’m planning to sell the little jingle bells you see my kittens wearing on their collars, only for children to wear around their necks because . . . well the need is obvious.

I also have a little (jealous) dog who’s a female and I was certain she’d be very maternal with the two new family members. So no more mention of kittens, Lola’s cute enough to have a meme of her own too, right?

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Oh well, I tried to keep the kittens out of the memes.

Now just to make it clear that this blog hasn’t been taken over by a Crazy Cat Lady, I will give you an example of making a meme that doesn’t make people murmur, “Mmmm, How sweet!” or “What deliciousness!”

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Now go meme away YOUR life and don’t forget to put your blog name on the bottom so you’ll reap the benefits.  Just click HERE to start!  Any questions?  I’ll answer you purrfectly in the comments section, without scratching your eyes out….I promise.

How to Portray a New Image (not necessarily an accurate one!) Using Social Media

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Alrighty, so interestingly enough WE (that would be you AND I) are no different than popular products that companies advertise. Why? Because we all want to be well-received by the public and we like to think of ourselves as having a solid warranty, right?

I don’t know about you, but I never looked at things quite in that light when I first attempted to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram  — so now I have to do a major “rebranding” of myself as a person.

And maybe so do you?

You know, like how McDonalds used to just make America fat, but now they look like Starbucks and serve salads! And how Target used to be just another low-brow discount store but now it carries Fiorucci, Mizrahi, Giannulli, and Fusilli. (Note: these’ll make you hungry for Italian food, but only the last one is actually pasta — the first three are high-profile designers!)

Here are some tips for using each of the popular online networks to do a major personal revamp! It is worth mentioning that you can project an entirely different image of yourself on each separate one. For instance, I can use Twitter to rebrand myself as a well-regarded author (who doesn’t look like Starbucks, or serve salads!) and then Instagram for depicting myself as an ultra-fun friend! And Facebook to get the word out that I’m the latest sex symbol to put Marilyn to shame. (Uh, that’d be Marilyn Manson!) Basically you can characterize yourself however you want, so use your imagination!

And Now Without Further Adieu . . .  (What’s adieu and why is it always escaping being held hostage?)

TWITTER: If you lose your train of thought after 140 characters like I do, then Tweets are perfect for the reinventing process! Also due to the abrupt nature of the post, you should intentionally cut yourself off mid-sentence to invoke intrigue. i.e. Here’s a recent one of mine implying I’m a sought after author — “Meeting with my agent today for a power lunch and heavy negotiations about . . . ” (Oops, ran out of characters!) Nobody needs to know it’s actually my health insurance Agent and I’m trying to get a dental plan added on!

SNAPCHAT: Also ideal since what you post vanishes after 10 seconds, which is coincidentally the maximum timespan of my memory! I like to put out a photo of me dancing on tables (with my bra on top of my head) or swinging from chandeliers (which are actually Polaroids from my college sorority days!) but by the time all my highfalutin decorator friends zoom in to scrutinize the texture of the tablecloth or the brand of the chandelier, the whole thing magically disappears! Meanwhile, the lingering effect is me as fun party girl that everyone now wants to invite to their next shindig.

FACEBOOK:  Posting extremely frequently is the key here so you’ll get comments and likes literally around-the-clock. It also helps to have every day be your birthday so you have a constant stream of well-wishers. For instance, each night at midnight I go into FB settings and modify my date of birth to the following day. Instantly, all my Facebook Friends trip over themselves to leave their best regards in the comments section, complete with custom kitten memes and colorful cakes with candle pics, etc. I use this particular “365 day a year birthday” technique because I want to create the image that I am a “Born-Again.”

INSTAGRAM: Liberally use hashtags here. Trust me, you won’t get a reputation for being a cannabis dealer but you may constantly order hash-browns at brunch restaurants. Also to stand out, whilst everyone else is posting their silly selfies, you should post shelfies because this will project an image that you are still a bookworm in a Kindle Kingdom. Celfies (photos of you munching lotsa celery) are a good way to make people believe you’re a health nut or a Vegan.

PINTEREST: I make specific boards by tagging certain “guilt-inducing” photos to give my grown kids (who’ve flown the nest without nary a backwards glance!) some subliminal suggestions. I created one with lots of crafty projects of old, skinny, wrinkled, gray-haired sock puppets on crutches. I titled it “self-portraits.” So far nobody has come home for a visit, but I remain optimistic. Another board has pictures of adorably decorated baby nurseries with sad-looking dolls in the crib. I’m hoping that will propel me into “Nanna” status before I’m too old to see or hear any grandchildren. Another album has hundreds of photos of ET phoning home. Cleverly subtle, yet maybe too subtle — so far my cell hasn’t buzzed once.

LINKEDIN: I like to use LinkedIn to represent myself as being highly qualified to do anything and everything. Did you know you can make a resume for playing with kittens? Because that’s one of my top-notch skillsets.

resume parody

TEXTING: Yes! You can even use your cellphone for revising your stale reputation. It’s all done through an act I like to call, “Mistaken Texts On Purpose!” I am sure at one time or another you’ve received an odd message and afterwards the sender immediately wrote, “Never mind that! Meant for someone else.” Meanwhile can you unsee it?? Of course not. So use this method to intentionally transfer information to someone whose opinion of you needs to be readjusted. Your ex broke up with you because you’re a loser? Send this “accidental” text to him/her. “Hey! Can you ask the bank to hold off on closing escrow on my beach home, the lottery officials said my first 80 million will transfer at the close of business hours today. Thanks.” Followed by a, “Sorry! Disregard that last text. Hope all is well!”

WORDPRESS BLOG: Use WordPress every chance you get to throw your followers off track. You want to keep writing strange, quirky, “so bad it’s definitely putrid” posts so that when you hit the New York Times with your bestselling novel, everyone will be so surprised you could knock them over with a feather. Then go on Etsy and use it to market colorful, unique feathers.

social-mdia1

Am I The Only One Having These Thoughts? (And if you are too, does that mean we BOTH need a shrink?!)

photo 2-2I can’t help it.  I go through my day, minding my own business, just trying to accomplish my life goals when these little “nonsense asides” start chatting me up. Like really – – the voices in my head won’t stop prattling on.  So I finally made a list of ’em just to purge myself from this bizarre minutia internal clutter!  (Disclaimer:  It’s also a way to blog about unrelated subjects!)

The Top Ten Unimportant But Incessant Thoughts From Little Miss Menopause

 

1.  ABOUT FOOD:  I am a careful eater and I read labels.  Why is there often a phrase listed under ingredients that states authoritatively,  “May contain…” and then goes on to list things like “paprika, lard, egg whites, yeast extracts, etc.”  What goes on here?  May Contain??  Nobody is sure??  Does a factory worker shout to the Head Cook, “Hey!  Look at that giant black spider on the wall!” And then (when his attention is diverted) stealthily pour a vial of sesame seeds and cilantro in the big vat the cook has been toiling over?  Or quickly cracks a few eggs into the mixture?  C’mon, how do they get away with this nebulous jargon?  There’s no “May”  – – you either are a virgin or you’re not.  Lecithin is either in my beef jerky or it’s not.  One piece of good news – – I’ve yet to see, “May contain giant black spiders” written on any ingredient list.photo-386

2.  ABOUT NON-FOOD:  This thought is related to #1 because I often observe this in drugstore type products like medicines and lotions.  I like to buy sunscreens that only feature two things:  Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.  Period.  (And yes, I know this causes your complexion to have a ghostly white pallor but I just smile sweetly and explain to people that I’m a Kabuki Dancer and they stop staring.) Now that’s all well and good when I buy the Neutrogena brand and it lists only those two minerals under “Active Ingredients.”  But then suddenly it contains the following things: Alcohol, Cyclomethecone, Ethylcellulose, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium PCA, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Aloe Leaf Juice, BHT, Benzophenone 3 under the heading of “Inactive Ingredients.”  What’s the deal?  Inactive?  If they’re not doing anything or performing in some way, get them the heck off my skin!  I don’t want some passive, loitering bystander named “Ascorbic Acid” just sitting around viewing everything.  My breasts are not a spectator sport.

3.  ABOUT SHIPS:  How come seeing a model ship inside of a glass wine bottle brings about mystery/intrigue but seeing a model photo-385holding a wine bottle inside of a ship is no big deal.  I really do think of these things.

photo-3844.  ABOUT SHOPPING:  When I go into a fitting room in a department store, there is often a sign proclaiming, “Dressing Room under surveillance.”  (Oh!  So my breasts ARE a spectator sport?)  How is this even legal?  I seriously hope this is just a bluff to scare would-be shoplifters and that there aren’t three men sitting on stools behind two-way mirrors, snickering while holding up signs that say “2.5” and “1.6” after I’ve tried on two different bikinis, completely oblivious that I’m competing in the Swimsuit Olympics.

5.  ABOUT KEYS:   After the above saga in the department store, I often march out in a huff.  Only to realize I’ve left my car keys inside.  The Three Judgey Men are probably now hooting and hollering, “Wait!  She has a muffin top AND she’s hair-brained too?!!”  But get this – – when I go up to Customer Service, she opens a drawer overflowing with people’s car keys and asks me to identify mine.  What the ?  How did the owners of all these car keys ever drive home?  I spy some major status symbol keychains in that drawer. Why isn’t Nordstrom’s parking lot littered with abandoned Mercedes and BMWs?

6.  ABOUT TRAVEL:   I fly on airplanes with a lot of kids.  Flight attendants urge me to put my own oxygen mask on first before I assist my children. By the time I do this and oh let’s say helped my next three munchkins seated the closest, the last three patient cherubs will have turned blue.  Well, at least they will never know I liked their siblings better.

6.   ABOUT DIVORCE:   I’ve been divorced twice.  Both times the legal procedure dragged on a long period before it was finalized.  Over the course of that time, I sometimes needed to introduce these men (that I was separated from) at various events. But there’s no name or term for this status.  You can’t say, “This is my spouse or my ex-husband” because they aren’t either of those things.   We need some new word in our vocabulary for that in-between stage – – I propose it be an acronym since those are so popular now.  How about, “I’d like you to meet my SOB”  (Soon Over Board?  Someday Outa Bounds?)   Wait, I know!  MILF is catchy these days.  MILF = Man I’d Like to Flee!

7.  ABOUT THE INTERNET:   “Poking” someone on Facebook is just an adult version of “Gotcha Last!”  Also a “Mail Daemon” sounds like a supernatural, evil deity and I get spooked when one of these shows up in my inbox.  Speaking of email – – why do so many people nowadays end theirs with “Cheers!”  I understand if they’re British, but it’s definitely infiltrated into American protocol.  Saying “Cheers” is something we do before clinking our champagne glasses.  Therefore, I am going to sign off all my emails from now on with “Bon Appetit.”  Let people wonder.  And salivate.

photo 1-38.   ABOUT WASTE:  I take a lot of walks – – many times  on “Garbage Day.”  It’s not that I plan it that way, but it happens.  And I drink a bottle of water.  When I’m finished, I toss the empty plastic bottle in a neighbor’s trash-can that’s sitting by their curb.  It never fails that I get the dirtiest looks.  Did my personal litter just taint their private, precious rubbish? Ohhh, I get it.  I’m not recycling.

9.  ABOUT TOILETS:   How come when I’ve been alone in my own home for a long period of time, I walk into the bathroom and notice that the toilet seat has been left up.  There hasn’t been anyone here other than me for days!  What’s the deal?  Did I scrub it thoroughly earlier, but I just don’t remember?  Nah – – far more likely that I have a male ghost who can’t hold it.

(Sorry, I lied.  Nine unimportant thoughts, but now a tenth Fairly Significant One.)

10.  ABOUT LAST CHANCES:   Why don’t we ever know or get some kind of advanced warning that something we routinely do will never again be done?  I never thought when I finished the last package of my favorite brand of beef jerky (yes, with the “May Contain” ingredients!) that the manufacturer would discontinue that product the very next day.  I would have savored it more.  I never realized that the last experience nursing my sixth child would be the final time and he would suddenly wean himself and graduate to solid foods.  I would have held a special little ceremony.  And I never dreamed that the thousandth time I said, “Goodbye Dad,* drive safely,” to my father would be the end of my ever uttering those words to him again.   Never take anything or anyone you care about for granted.  Always say “I love you.”

*Written in honor of my beloved Dad who passed away nine years ago on July 11th.  He was my biggest humor writing fan.

So confess — what is your oddest, most random thought??