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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What I Learned in the '00s and Why I'm Not Making Any Resolutions

Yes, I've been incognito. I haven't felt the need to rant or rave lately, and the commercial writing world was calling my name for the past few months (and how I make my moola). However, I will try to be a better Tirader in 2010 and keep up with the latest debacles.  

We're saying good-bye to the end of an era. Fare thee well, 2000s. We are headed into the super spaced-out age of 2010.

2010. I remember when I was a young girl I thought that 2010 meant we'd be living Lost In Space-style, or the Planet of the Apes would take over the Earth - you get my drift. I watched way too much 70s tv (and after-school specials).

2010 sounded weird and mystical to me. Although, I'm really disappointed that I'm not living like the Jetsons. I really liked their outfits and space helmets.

Was Facebook or tweeting or cell phones even a possibility back then? Nope, not even an inkling. I just wanted to roller skate with public school boys to Joan Jett and Devo. Hey, those public school boys knew how to rock it (to a Catholic school girl, public school boys were an anomaly). 

So what did I learn in the '00s? I learned a lot. I learned What Not to Wear. I learned that John and Kate Plus 8 means "John and Kate Equals Selling Out Your Kids to Make a Fast Buck AND Get a Divorce!"

I took huge risks and went down the rabbit hole. I said adios to the non-profit fundraising world. I pursued a life-long dream of writing and forged ahead as a copywriter with my own marketing consulting business. 

I moved and returned to my home town. I learned more about wine and drank more wine. I went on a cruise. I saw a beautiful sunset in beautiful British Columbia. I have an adorable two-year old nephew who uses big words such as "composting" (and a niece on the way!)

I ended a long-term relationship and dated sketchy Net dudes with body odor issues. I also had ex-boyfriends cyberally appear from Boyfriends Past. I got rejected by E-harmony and didn't find the love of my life. According to a Facebook quiz, I'll be engaged within the year. Facebook quizzes are like the Magic 8 ball. They are ALWAYS right! 

Then there were the celebrities...

We lost Michael Jackson this year - a tragic loss for the world.  Now we get the aftermath -  five million made-for-TV movies later about the crazy Jackson family...RIP Michael. 

I wrote plenty of blog posts this year about looney Octo-Mom. Enough said about That Which Spawns Many Children. I've covered that topic enough. 

I became a budding yogini and poured sweat, tears and aching muscles into yoga for the past ten years. I then re-discovered yin yoga this past year and have a new respect and love for all that is YOGA. I've worked with amazing clients and have developed life-long friendships. I wrote interesting articles and dived head first into the copywriting world. 

That social media phenomenon called Facebook has reconnected me with long-lost friends. I've learned about social media and online marketing, and have been bombarded with every techie trick and nuance that makes the Net go-round.

I've devoured self-help and holistic books, and listened to Sting at least a few billion times (the one true love of my life - even if he doesn't know it yet). I've dabbled with vegetarianism and Pilate over the years, and am a firm believer in Bowen therapy and holistic treatments. 

Loss, death, natural disasters, birth, war, violence, fear, politics, sex, drugs, disease, rock-n-roll, reality TV, unsteady economy, unemployment - the theme of the past years. We've sloughed off political layers, and have a new Prez who some love and who some despise. 

Possibility. We have possibility. I don't make resolutions because I feel it's a waste of time. However, I go into 2010 filled with possibility, hope and optimism. Despite my rants and raves, I'm a believer to the core. Even Octo-Mom deserves a second chance (or third or fourth). 

Sending you peaceful wishes as you enter 2010 - an era filled with more and more possibilities. 





Monday, November 23, 2009

The Little Goldfish That Could...AOL's New Branding Concept

As a marketing consultant and copywriter, I couldn't resist commenting on AOL's rebrand.

My reaction to their new brand: HUH?

I feel like I stepped back into my PR 101 class in the early 90s. You know - the 90s. It was that decade when I wore layered scrunchy socks, had permed hair and was pre-Internet.

If you missed the announcement, check out their new logos/branding.

I did not think innovative or creative (or 21st century, for that matter) when I first saw the logos.

Here's my review on the logos:

  • Does Aol. (yes, they decided to use lower case letters) realize that the goldfish dies quickly and is a fairly disposable fish? I know a few families who buried or flushed a few dozen goldfish down the toilet. Hmmm, a goldfish - not so much.
  • The crazy looking logo with the random heads looks like someone took a few hits of an illegal substance and then drew their hallucinations. Sorry, Aol, just not feeling the creative vibe. It does bring out my ADHD and makes me feel jumpy. Way to go, Aol.
  • Sign language for a logo? Hasn't that already been done? Like a few million times? It reminds me of a Benetton or Esprit ad from the "old days."
  • Blue wave thingie - looks like a tsunami and reminds me of hurricane weather (not a good image for people who live in hurricane regions)
  • Purple brainy, fleshy anemone graphic - That just looks LAME!
  • Green Etch-a-Sketch logo - Didn't color splash designs become extinct in the 80s?
What about the new brand name? Let's take a closer look.

Aol. Yup, that's it. Aol dot. It just looks weird now.

I read a few articles about their "creative" new branding, and one comment sums it up perfectly. The person commented that the new name looks very similar to "A-hole." Hmm, something to think about, Aol.

I wonder how much money AOL invested in market research. Not enough, in my opinion.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Excuse for Furlough Days in California State University System

As a former Chico State alum (who also attended Cal State Fullerton), I wasn't pleased to read an article this morning about the mandatory three day furlough that Cal State Fullerton and other state universities held recently.

What a bargain these students get for their tuition! Hike up fees but don't allow students to actually attend class. Wow, that's brilliant! These students pay for an education they don't receive. There is something seriously wrong with the state of California when they furlough our education system. What's going to happen next? They plan to furlough elementary, middle and high schools? Sorry kids, go home - you aren't allowed to learn today because we just don't have enough money for you to attend school.

I complained about fee hikes when I attended college in the early to mid-90s (and those were mere pennies compared to the outrageous fees students pay today). Not only are students ripped off with their education, but furlough days put university professors in a tough spot. I read that one professor apologized to his chemistry class about having to learn book chapters/complex chemistry formulas on their own. That's always fun.

However, once again the "power of the people" took over the Fullerton campus and their students made the best out of a bad situation. They rallied together and created protest videos in"vent tents" and held their own fun make-shift classes on campus (how to make your own record label, etc.) It was also nice to see that Fullerton allowed the students to rally on the campus grounds (even though classes were officially closed for three days).

To our fearless California leader - The Governator: pull your head out and actually DO something about our education system. What's going to happen next? Furloughs for ALL schools across the state of California? To all California university students, professors and staff - keep up the good fight! Education has never been a priority in California, but now it's loud and clear that the California state university system is on the bottom of the heap.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bullying Needs to Stop - When School Bullies Turn to Violence

I was horrified when I watched the interview with the mother whose 15-year old son was burned by a pack of bullies at his school. This week a young boy in Florida was set on fire by fellow classmates/bullies because they were mad at him for snitching on them. The pack of boys allegedly stole the victim's father's bike.

My youngest sister was bullied when she was in junior high. As a result, my mom threatened to sue the school if the kids weren't at least suspended. The parents of these kids didn't even care. It sickened me when this happened to my sister, and luckily it didn't escalate into horrifying violence such as this young boy experienced.

I hope Florida tries these boys as adults (it sounds like they are leaning towards that sentence). I also think they should put the parents of these boys on trial too. How did they raise a pack of brutal, violent criminals? It's disgusting that these boys haven't even reached 18-years old yet and they think it was "okay" to set a young boy/another human being on fire.

I won't get into the impact of media violence and video games because that's a tired issue, and has been picked apart for years. The sad part is that the mom and the school were working together to set up a meeting with how to handle these bullies. However, it came a day too late . The young boy was ambushed at his home this week and set on fire by the other boys.

Bullying has to stop in schools. There should be absolutely zero tolerance and these kids should be expelled as soon as they show violent/bullying tendencies. We've had enough heartache and bloodshed in American schools - Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc.

My heart goes out to this young boy who is fighting for his life in a Florida hospital right now (and to his family).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To the Book Burning Amazing Grace Baptist Church - You Aren't So Amazing

When I read the article about the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in North Carolina who plans to hold a book burning on Halloween night, I was disgusted. I posted the article link on my Facebook which caused quite a stir.

The ironic part about this story is that they aren't rounding up the classics like Hemingway and Melville. They plan to burn Bibles and faith-based works by the Pope and Mother Teresa. Yes, that's right - a "church" is burning Bibles and whatnot.

I was raised Catholic and even if you aren't Catholic, Mother Teresa has done amazing work in this world. I guess sacrificing your life and assisting the poor in Third World countries counts as "Satanic" work according to this particular church. To call Mother Teresa a "heretic"- that's a God-slap waiting to happen (a shout out to my friend Noel for teaching me about God-slaps).

They also plan to burn books by Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and Rick Warren who they deem as "heretics." Isn't that like turning on your own kind? Aren't Baptists Christian as well? I think that burning books of world-renowned Christian leaders/authors isn't very "Christian-like."

They also plan to burn all genres of music/CDs including "easy listening." Yeah, instrumental music has subliminal Satanic messages weaved throughout the melodies. I better send them all my instrumental jazz CDs (yes, jazz music was included in their list!)

According to this church, there is only ONE Bible (get it - only ONE) Bible that "true believers" should follow - the King James version. If you have a copy of the Living Bible, forget it - you aren't getting into the pearly gates of Heaven.

I wonder if they plan to burn the Koran and the Torah while they're at it. Perhaps the Bhagavad Gita? The Vedas, sacred scriptures of Hinduism? I'm sure Buddhist works will also be throw into their bonfire.

So Amazing Grace Church - here's my advice. I highly recommend you take the word "Grace" (and Amazing) out of your name because there isn't anything amazing or graceful about your church.

By the way, their website is shut down (thanks for that tidbit, Laura) and it's hosted by a Fundamentalist web hosting company with "Christian links" on their site.

I leave you with a quote from Mother Teresa:

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - A Cause Close to my Heart


For those who don't know about my former career as a non-profit fundraiser (or my former life, as I like to call it), I helped plan a breast-cancer walk event for the American Society Cancer called Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this is a cause very close to my heart. I have friends and family who are survivors and also have lost loved ones and friends to breast cancer. I remember when I first started recruiting for the Strides walk and a woman told me she didn't have to think about breast cancer for a few more years. I asked her, "Do you have breasts?" She replied, "Yes." My response: "If you have breasts, then you need to be concerned about breast cancer TODAY. Women as young as 18 have been diagnosed with breast cancer." It's amazing how many people are misinformed/ignorant about public health issues, especially breast cancer. Early detection is the KEY - I cannot stress that enough. After working for ACS, I saw how early detection saved women's lives.

I encourage all women 40 plus years old to get a mammogram. For women under 40, if you have a history of breast cancer in your family please consider getting a mammogram before age 40. I also encourage all women to perform monthly self-breast exams. Also, MEN can also get breast cancer so men please beware too.

My friend Melanie (super blogger, mom and fellow writer!) is giving away pink pajamas and socks as part of a campaign to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is a free giveaway so check out her information and enter to win cute pink pjs in honor of BC Awareness Month!
http://sunshineisfree.blogspot.com/2009/10/october-is-breast-cancer-awareness.html

Please remember all the amazing breast cancer survivors and honor those this month who we have lost their fight against breast cancer. If you can donate or volunteer in the fight against breast cancer, please research before you donate or volunteer time to any charitable organizations. There are plenty of scammers out there who will use this opportunity this month to prey upon people and take advantage of people's generosity. Beware! You can pull up information on all charities online or call the charity directly and ask for their annual finanical reports.

So wear your pink ribbon, walk in the name of your loved ones and don't forget that this is a cause we need to fight year-round!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Michael Jordan...seriously?

My rant of the weekend: Michael Jordan and his public intoxication on a SF golf course (thank you to my bro for posting that tidbit on his Facebook). Wasn't it bad enough that San Francisco was ticked off at him for polluting the air by puffing on a big stogie on a SF golf course? His Royal Highness of Basketball should have been fined AND for a lot of money - he can afford it.

Now he thinks he's "too cool for school" because of all his bling and billions that he think it's cool to get hammered in public while playing golf - wow, I see he's really keeping up with his "positive" role model image for kids. Fail. He could take a few lessons from Tiger (and more than just his golf game).

Athletes (and retired athletes) with too much money - give some of your moola away to much-needed charities and stop acting like drunken, stogie-smokin' tools.

The new Nike slogan should be changed to: "I don't like Mike." Idiot.

Friday, October 9, 2009

How to Beat the Flu and Not Go Crazy

Once again, my immune system took a nose dive (echinacea, I want my money back) due to whatever microbes invaded my body this week. Flu shot? What is that?

I've been shackled to my bed this week and am not sure if it's mid-morning or mid-afternoon. My brain is still flu-foggy and have enough Emergen-C pumping through my veins to get me through next year's flu season. With the paranoia brewing over the H1N1 virus, I have some tips on how to survive the nasties- whether it's the garden variety flu or that pig one.

1. Make sure you have cable - seriously. I'm now caught up on all my bad reality tv shows like Rehab - Party at the Hard Rock Cafe. By the way, don't ever work at the Hard Rock in Vegas. The pool manager is a ludicrous tool.
2. If you don't have a laptop and you get the flu, you are screwed - buy laptop pronto.
3. Have a lot of fluffy pillows. I don't know why but soft, fluffy pillows make you feel instantly better.
4. Get a hiker's Camelback and attach it to your body - must...stay...hydrated.
5. Have someone buy you really bad celebrity gossip magazines and slide them under your door - it's the best time to catch up on Brangelina and those crazy Kardashian sisters.
6. Turn off your cell phone so people don't send you stupid text forwards - that will only make you feel worse. Who wants to see the pumpkin butt forward while you are hacking up a lung? Not pretty.
7. Eat a lot of steaming Top Ramen - it's cheap and full of starchy goodness (forget nutrients - it's all about the TR).
8. Don't watch "The Way We Were" on AMC 24,7. Once is all you need. Barbara gets annoying after awhile.
9. Watch Third Rock on Hulu - that will definitely make you feel better.
10. Don't mix TheraFlu with booze- I repeat: do not mix TheraFlu with booze. A hot toddy on its own is acceptable though. I think the pirates used to drink that...oh wait,they used to eat oranges to ward off scurvy...same difference.

And of course...get plenty of bed rest, wear a gas mask, and don't infect others with your pig flu germs.

Ok, time to eat some more Top Ramen and take a nap. ZZZZZ.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Weather Inspires My Send-A-Friend Comfort Food Program

The Fall weather is slowly nestling its way into the northern California foothills. As the cooler temps slowly thaw the damage from my fried "90s plus" noggin, I put on my slightly wilted Martha Stewart hat (and apron to match). In my usual Martha-on-crack cooking frenzy, I whipped up a tasty vegetable lasagne yesterday (in between writing assignments). As a result of my Facebook post announcing my culinary masterpiece (it was quite delicious, I might add), friends surged my Wall begging and pleading me. They wrote messages such as: Convict an anodyne with passion (oh wait, that was something I wrote for an article). They asked me to Fed Ex the veg-lasagne their way. I wish I could wrap up my culinary delights and mail them to my friends across the miles. I love to cook for friends - red wine, hearty food and lively conversation - it's the Siciliana way!

Then it hit me! I could start a new phenomenon: The "Send-A-Friend Comfort Food" Program. I really needed this brainstorm in college (the million packages of Top Ramen didn't quite make the Julia Child mark). For all my kitchen-phobic friends (aka LAZY), I would enroll them in this specialized program in which they would receive one comfort food dish every other month. For an extra fee, I would make "personal home deliveries" to those friends residing close by to me. For those wanting me to travel long distances, they would need to provide me with a lear jet and/or a rock star bus (fuel and hot male kitchen staff included).

However, I decided to implement "qualifying" rules as to who was deserving and not-so-deserving of my new calling as personal-sous-comfort-chef to The Stars (I mean, My Friends):

1. If they make ONE complaint about any meal I send, they are automatically deleted from the database and they will never make my A-List again! (EVER!)

2. All friends will be scanned and any picky-eating habits will raise red flags (a probationary period might ensue).

3. If they post any pictures of me from grade school on Facebook or other incriminating pictures, they are automatically kicked out of the program.

4. If they have picky family members and they complain, their ungrateful spouses and kids are disqualified from the program. No questions asked.

5. If they think a sandwich is a meal, well, that's a given - not gonna go there.

6. They must know the secret handshake AND they must recite how James Bond likes his martini. If they cannot abide by these above rules, then as the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld would say: NO SOUP FOR YOU!

Anyone for some homemade Mac-n-Cheese?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Starting Over - When Natural Disaster Strikes...My Hometown

For those who haven't been following the news, a big fire hit my hometown (Auburn, CA) and luckily, I am safe and sound (and so are my family and friends). This isn't a rant or rave today but a heartfelt thank you to all the brave Cal Fire crews and the fire and police departments (and EVERYONE!) who pitched in to save lives and property last Sunday afternoon.

I encourage everyone to donate (in whatever way you can) and to please remain safe. There are fires raging across California right now. I know people who had to evacuate from their home for the second time (thinking of you, Lori, and your family - stay safe!)

I've recently heard insensitive comments from non-Californians about the California fires. They have no idea what it would be like to lose their home and all the memories tied to their homes. I think this comes from a) ignorance b) fear and c) just overall insensitivity and the "Oh it can't happen to me" syndrome.

A home is more than just possessions and I think people tend to forget that. Yes, insurance money can help you rebuild but it can't replace memories where people lived for 30 years or even two years.

I also thank my fellow Auburnites who are rallying together to help those in need who lost everything. I also want to thank the news crews who risked their own safety and reported on the fires (way to go, Mike TeSelle!).

I'm very grateful and thankful that I have a roof over my head today and that I didn't have to evacuate. When natural disaster strikes this close to you, it's a huge wake-up call and reminder as to what is truly important in your life.

For those who are oblivious and in denial about the dangers of fire, it's time to wake up and smell the fire (literally!) If you live an area where wildland fire is a risk factor, you can't be complacent. There wasn't any time to prepare for this fire that swept through Auburn but it gives people in this area a HUGE reminder as to the true danger of fire.

Last year, I wrote a story for the Placer Sentinel about last year's fire season. I learned a LOT about wildland fire. I view fire in a completely different way now (and also realize the hard work and danger that goes into fighting wildland fire). The Auburn fire could have been a LOT worst and people need to recognize the quick response from all emergency services crews. Yes, homes and businesses were lost and the devastation is very sad, but many homes were saved (including some of my friend's homes). When you add wind to wildland fire, it's scary (as many of us witnessed).

Auburn had a huge wake-up call on Sunday, but the town will rebuild. I admire the strength and bravery of those who lost their homes and evacuated with only the clothes on their back. I'm not sure I could be that brave but there is one thing about Auburnites - they have a fighting spirit and they will bounce back eventually from this devastating tragedy.

For those who are absorbed in your own bubble worlds - whether you live in urban or rural environments - natural disaster can happen and could happen to you and your family. I'm not writing this to scare people into being paranoid. The elements are sometimes stronger than us humans - and we need to be prepared.

My heart goes out to my fellow Auburnites, the families of the firefighters who lost their lives last week in the So. Calif. fires, and my friends who face more evacuations down in the southern half of the state.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Ultimate Top Five List and Other Ramblings

Yes, I'm still around Cyber Land (after battling a bout of the summer flu-junk). I'm breaking all the blogging rules by not posting on a regular basis. I was always a cyber outlaw (in the writing sense, of course). I think my brain is now stuffed to the gills with my "commercial" writing that I'm making up every excuse not to contribute to my own bloggy world.

I'm a known Facebooker who likes to dabble with the quizzes and the Top Five Lists. I went on a Top Five Listing spree tonight thanks to my friend, The Italian Stallion. He cannot be properly named due to his celebrity status. I blame him for my Listing spree tonight.

I found the best addition to my Top Five List tonight for my "Dream Home" list - What do you want in your dream home? I don't know who creates the "answers" but I don't think you can beat "BBQ Smoke On a Hot Man." (Yes, I wanted to add a hot man to my dream home - hey, I'm single and am taking applications!) If a girl's going to dream, she's going to dream big and that big dream is called a grillin' man (a grillin' shirtless man with a beer in hand - as the image portrayed Mr. BBQ Babe).

Ok, before my male fans (do I have any? Hmmmm I wonder) complain I'm a sexist and am ogling Facebook solely for the beefcake, I actually have a point I'm trying to make.

If you're going to waste time when you could actually be productive, I highly suggest you check out the Top Five Lists. You know who you are so don't deny it. We all love Facebook and know we waste too much time on it (usually between the hours of 10:35 pm and 12:25 am)

Some of my personal favorites include:
  • Top Favorite Beers (Goooo Sierra Nevada - whoo hooo!)
  • Top Five Sushi Rolls (Yours truly created this one)
  • Top Five Movies You've Watched Over and Over That You Can Recite the Lines Along with the Movie (OF course, GREASE!)
  • Top Worst Jobs (the Italian Stallion named dog poop handler as one of the worst because the whiff of any kind of poop, whether infant or dog, "makes him hurl" - his quote, not mine)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Being Present in Your Moments

When I was a little girl, I thought 30 was really old. I turned 37 last week and I had a bit of an early mid-life crisis. No, I didn't start dating a 25 year-old boy toy nor did I buy a Mustang. Instead, I decided to get over my pity party and embrace the abundance and goodness in my life. Instead of moping and eating a pound of chocolate, I went to an amazing woman's spiritual group about re-claiming your feminine power and energy. I had a major breakthrough during the evening and realized, after looking around the room at women who had come a long way in their life, that 37 wasn't a bad number (plus, the sangria I drank on my birthday also helped ring in my 37 years!)

I also went on an amazing hike yesterday which was led by an incredible geologist who was passionate about geology and rocks. I felt like I was in a walking geology class and he volunteered his time to share his love of geology with us.

After these experiences last week, I realize how lucky I am to hike and participate in LIFE! I'm breathing clean air and have the physical capability to walk and hike in the most beautiful area of northern California (the foothills of the Sierra Nevada).

I realized how very lucky I am to have special friends and family in my life and even the DMV screw-up this morning didn't squelch my new lease on life at age 37. I am grateful for the abundance in my life and realize living in the present moment is where I need to be. So if that means I'm 37 and have a few more wrinkles and gravity is hitting certain parts of my body, so be it. Letting go of one's ego is actually a good thing and it's all about releasing the negative blahs and embracing the positive in one's life.

If there is one thing that yoga has taught and continues to teach me: listen to yourself. Whether it's your body or mind, just be present and embrace who you are in this moment.

Ok, Yoga Teachers, I am listening - I'm okay with my present moment.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

American Idol Results - AI's Best Season Yet?

Today I spent time with friends discussing the American Idol results, and whether Adam or Kris should have won (for those who didn't catch AI, Kris won). I thought Adam was way too theatrically trained and America wasn't looking for another Clay Aiken (no offense, Clay but you are Broadway through and through, and so is Adam). Kris had that boy next door from Arkansas look and just has that pop star look (and he's very humble). He was in complete shock that he won.

This year they gave funny American Idol awards for some past contestants from this season, so I thought I'd piggyback on their idea and give my own awards (from this year and past Idol seasons).

1. Most Likely to Star in a Spanish Novella - Tatiana (that chick was so over the top melodramatic and needs to put her hysterical crying to good use - it's called Spanish soap operas!)

2. Hotties From Past Seasons But Who Still Rock My World: Chris Daughtry and David Cook

3. Someone Who Won't Be Winning Any Spelling Bees in the Near Future: Kelly Pickler

4. New Rap Sensation who will star in Bobby Brown's next video: Anoop

5. The Idol Contestant From This Season Who I'd Like To Kick it With: Danny

6. The Most Has-Been "What is he doing now?" Idol from Past Seasons: Ruben

7. Most Likely to Work at a Car Wash: Bikini Girl

8. Worst Actress Award: Fantasia Barino (Just say no to bad Lifetime TV Movies!)

9. Most Likely to Be Ryan Seacrest's Personal Assistant: The Crazy Campy Singer Dude

10. Most Likely to Succeed in the Rock Star World: Alison and Adam

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bad Customer Service - What Gives?

I know times are tough, but what's going on with customer service these days? I won't be returning to the Long's Drugstore here in my town as a result of the crappy customer service I received today. The worst part of the experience is that when I complained to the assistant manager he was totally indifferent and the look on his face pretty much read: "I really don't care."

So is this the new strategy businesses are using to retain customers? The "I really don't give a sh**" strategy? Hmmm, you would think they would step up their customer service so they don't LOSE business.

So what happened? I was waiting in line to be helped and three people who were buying lotto tickets were helped before me. I also noticed that a couple left because they were pissed off because there was no one to help them in the photo department. Also, the lady in front of me was also pissed off because they wouldn't honor her wine club gift card; I heard the entire story and I would have been ticked off as well.

Smaller companies like Long's cannot afford to lose customers, so what gives with the crappy customer service and the old adage: "The customer comes first?" A new Walgreen's just opened and take one guess where I'll be shopping the next time. Sorry Long's - you lost this long time customer and probably a few more as a result of your horrible customer service today. Buh-bye.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Octomom, One Time Stripper, Strikes Again

Sorry for my absence. I've been down for the count with a flu virus (no, not of the swine variety). As I lay dousing myself with cold water and drinking gallons of green tea during my flu epidemic, I perused the celebrity rags just to see what dear ole Octomom was up to these days.

Everyone knows how much I LOVE that crazy lady. For those who haven't been keeping up, Gloria Allred is taking her to court in June. Is this a shocker? I think not. I called that a few months ago. She also has numerous complaints against her with CPS--once again, not a shocker. It's unfortunate that her kids are getting dragged through the proverbial publicity mud. It was also brought out that her autistic son was reported at school last week with a black eye - very sad.

Even more frightening...Octomom wants to trademark "Octomom" in her very own line of diapers and a TV show. Yeah, I want to slap some nappies on a baby's butt with OCTOMOM staring back at me. I'm thinking the Germans might be the only one who'll watch her TV show (kind of like how David Hasselhoff became a singing sensation in Deutschland).

Here's another fun fact: Octomom was also a "one time" stripper. How does that work? I'm assuming she shook her money maker pre-14 babies?

"Creepy clone: The story of Octomom Nadya Suleman just keeps getting worse. The mother of 14 has admitted to being a stripper, "It's true that I was a topless dancer, but that's all. I went to a gentleman's club and performed as a topless dancer. But I only did it one night." But In Touch Weekly reports Suleman used the alias Angelina when she was a dancer for more than a year in her early 20s. Suleman has denied having an obsession with Angelina Jolie, but the similarities tell a different story. All she needs now is her very own Brad Pitt."

The worst story I read concerning Octomom was a Texas company that wants to make an I-phone game where you press on Octomom's tummy and she pops out multiple babies. My flu-ish stomach is turning somersaults at the mere thought.

So I'm thinking Nadya Suleman is all about her babies. She doesn't want to profit in the least from her celebrity status. Nope, not at all. She did turn down a porn film deal so I guess that's something.



Friday, April 24, 2009

Everything I Know I Learned from Reality TV Shows

What's the point? Does washed-up Bret Michaels from Poison really need to have three seasons of scantily clad bleached blonde, vacuous, air brained Barbies parading around his rock star Love Bus? Poor Bret. He's really going through a mid-life crisis - between his bald noggin, his 80s eyeliner and his blonde extensions. He's lookin' for love in ALL the wrong places.

So after Bret's soul searching hunt for the bimbo of his dreams, he picks a Penthouse centerfold who is supposedly the "love" of his life. Yeah, I'm thinking he didn't fall in love with her brain.

There's the clueless Kardashians, The Cougar, those shallow Housewives of Orange County and New York. Take your pick. If you like train wrecks, then get ready for a huge crash.

I've learned a lot from these reality TV shows:

1. You really shouldn't mix booze because it makes you go mental. (The Rock of Love girls were a bunch of raging drunks).

2. The most IMPORTANT thing anyone could contribute to the world is to sit around talking about people behind their back, wearing a lot of clownish make-up, always have a scary expression on your Botox'd forehead, go out to lunch all the time, don't ever attend any cultural or significant political events, and ALWAYS look hung over or be seen with a strong cocktail in hand (and treat your husband/boyfriend like crap while drinking that cocktail), and spend obcene amounts of money on ugly jewelry, and ALWAYS act shallow (Thank you, housewives from Orange County or high-pitched annoying Manhattan socialites). Yes, these women are breeders(poor little rich kids).

3. It's cool to be shallow, mean and petty. (See above - Rock of Love trollops and the Stepford OC Housewives)

4. Don't ever say anything intelligent.

5. Always act klassy with a "K" (These chicks have zero class. They need Sharon Osbourne's Charm School).

6. If you don't have a pound of make-up glued on your face, then you are so last year.

7. You can't buy a clue or logic with money (hellooooo!)

8. If you haven't been divorced at least twice, then you can't live in Orange County.

9. Less is more (like don't EVER open your mouth!)

10. These people portrayed on reality TV shows are the absolute worst role models for the youth of America. I would be mortified if any of these women were my mom. Disgusting.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why You Should Wash Your Veggies - The UK Sprayer

The U.S. had the Unabomber and Dahmer. The UK now has the "Crazy Lunatic" limelight. My friend Dennis sent me this email forward today. What??? How does one person just decide they are going to make a mixture out of their feces and spray down grocery stores and children's books.

If you're an unemployed chemist in the UK, I guess this is what happens. Not only is this story repulsive and stomach-turning, it makes me wonder what causes a person to flip out and concoct such a mixture? What prompted this disgusting and foul (literally) crime? Was it the voices in his head? Did unemployment drive him to insanity? Does he hate children's literature that much? Is he trying to kill off the human race with his fecal matter? I found it amusing that he plead not guilty and the judge found him to be a public safety risk - hmmm, you think so?

You be the judge.

Man jailed for spraying urine, feces on food in UK

By RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer Raphael G. Satter, Associated Press Writer
LONDON – An unemployed chemist was jailed Tuesday for spraying a mix of urine and feces on food, wine and children's books in several British stores. Sahnoun Daifallah was sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of four counts of contaminating goods.
The 42-year-old Algerian carried a mix of his waste in a container of weed killer concealed in a laptop bag, a court found. Using the nozzle, which poked out of the bag, Daifallah was able to spray large areas, leaving a powerful stench and causing tens of thousands of pounds (dollars) worth of damage.

Daifallah's first target was The Air Balloon pub and restaurant near Cheltenham in western England, which he visited around lunchtime on May 14. Kate Rochead, on duty that day, told The Associated Press she didn't know exactly what area he sprayed.

"All we know was that it was a horrendous smell that was left behind," she said.
Daifallah next visited a bookstore in neighboring Cirencester, dousing hundreds of books — most of them in the children's section.

Two days later he struck in the nearby suburban area of Quedgeley, where a customer spotted him squirting the frozen french fries at a supermarket. Daifallah then drove four miles (six kilometers) to another supermarket, where an employee in the wine section noticed him acting suspiciously and reported an overpowering stench. Both supermarkets were closed for two days for cleaning. Shoppers reported suffering from rashes and nausea.

Local police said the products weren't handled by customers, but Morrisons, one of the supermarkets targeted, said a small number of goods were returned as a precaution. Tesco, the other supermarket hit by Daifallah, declined comment.

Police were able to identify Daifallah using security camera footage. When they raided his home, they found a stockpile of the substance and plans to spread it. Plastic bags containing excrement were marked with the names of cities on them.

Daifallah represented himself at Bristol Crown Court, where he pleaded not guilty.
Judge Carol Hagen said Britain's security agencies had labeled him a high risk to public safety. Authorities have already begun deportation proceedings.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Writers Who Write for a Living - Workin' Hard for Our Money

I thought I'd end the week with a tongue-in-cheek, Letterman-esque list of why professional writers aren't taken seriously by non-writing lay people. The next time you tell a writer that what they do isn't "real work," think again. "I'm tired of people telling me my writing isn't a real job" has been a common theme lately on my freelance writing web sites. Copywriters, editors and all those who pen for a living work their fingers to the bone (I think I'm starting to wear down the pads of my fingertips from excessive typing).

Please note my "abnormally sarcastic" (thank you, Facebook Quiz #1001) tone to my list. For the record, there are many fabulous non-writing lay people out there who wholeheartedly support my writing endeavors.

However, my Top Ten List is dedicated to the lame brains of the clueless world who ask me: "Do you do something with books?" (I'm a copywriter NOT a copyrighter):

1. Non-writing people experience constant grammar and vocabulary envy. They are clueless when it comes to ledes, hooks, angles, syntax, connective verbs and "its and it's." They swim in a sea of email signatures that end with "Your welcome" and "Sincerly."

2. Lay people are jealous because writers are usually more in tune to the world, trends and news. As a result, writers ignite stimulating conversations at parties about serial killers and Ponzi schemes. Thus, non-writing people are asked never to return to said parties because they are dull and lifeless.

3. They were once told by their first grade teacher that their haiku wasn't written in proper stanza format. As a result, they lash out against all writers of the world with their angst-ridden, snide remarks: "Ohhhh, so you'reeee a writer? Yeah, right."

4. Their romance/horror/sci fi/kinda non-fiction novel was rejected 999 times by the same publisher. They don't quite understand the concept that romance/horror/sci fi/kinda non-fiction aren't genres that mesh well.

5. An ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/partner was a writer who devoured their savings trying to write the great American novel. Bad, bad flashbacks.

6. They eat the same food three times a day, wear a toupee and tune their radio to the easy listening station.

7. They think Wuthering Heights is the name of a new subdivision in their neighborhood.

8. They speak in text - Ru goin 2 skool 2 day?

9. They think Eat, Shoots & Leaves is Martha Stewart's latest television show.

10. They just can't hook up with chicks or dudes. Writers have game.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Ode to Yoga - A Good Rant

Aw yoga, how I've missed you so! Even though my joints hurt and my back is creaking, I've been away from you far too long.

I've been a student of yoga on and off for 10 years. I've sung yoga's praises to anyone who'll listen, wrote articles about yoga, interviewed well-known yoga experts across the country and overall, just really love yoga. Yes, I'm one of THOSE yoga freaks but freaky in a good kind of karmic, bendy way.

I've always been lucky - I've had amazing teachers over the years (thanks Robert!) and learned a lot about yoga and also learned how to quiet my mind and meditate, which takes a lot for me since I have a manic mind.

Yoga has also taught me about how to simplify my life and that sometimes even the most crazy schedules and work stressors can be put on hold for an hour out of the day. I don't think I would have survived my insane non-profit jobs without yoga as part of my life.

I've recently returned to yoga and stumbled upon a great teacher here in Auburn. I've been searching for a good yoga teacher. Searching is an appropriate word because finding a yoga teacher is like finding those comfy pair of shoes that just fit. There needs to be that certain vibe and fit, and if I'm not feeling it then my yogi-ness won't be happening.

I've practiced all styles ranging from ashtanga (powerful yoga) to lovely hatha (lots of breathwork). This is my first experience with Yin yoga and it's a beautiful style (and one I'm learning more about as I continue with the class).

This poem was read to us in class and wanted to share an excerpt. It's fitting for my new yoga path - well, I'm continuing the yogic journey but with a new focus.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"

Exactly. Who are you not to be?

"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. We are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

So take a few minutes out of your day - even if yoga isn't your thing. Just take a few minutes to breathe and remember we're all in it together - this crazy little thing called Life.

Namaste.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Real Reason I Hang Out At a Local Coffeehouse - Unabomber Stories

My alma mater is Chico State (yes, THAT party school in northern California). I'm always drawn to fun, cozy coffeehouses and used to spend hours studying at a cute French cafe/coffeehouse in Chico (before Starbucks took over the world). My minor at Chico was American Studies and I wrote a research paper for a folklore class about America's coffee culture. I interviewed students who hung out at local coffeehouses in Chico. That's how I caught the coffeehouse bug and it's stayed with me ever since.

I hang out a cool coffeehouse called Courthouse Coffee in Old Town Auburn (there's your plug, Linda). I actually network and find a lot of business contacts here as a result of typing away/working on my laptop. Yesterday I realized why I really love the local coffeehouse culture. I always hear the most interesting stories and meet fascinating people. I guess that's the wannabe journalist in me. I love the inside scoop.

The best story I heard yesterday involved Ted Kaczynski- yes, THAT Kaczynski (Mr. Unabomber himself). According to this gentleman, Mr. Kaczynski was the worst mathematics professor at UC Davis and over 100 people dropped his class (hmmm, why isn't that shocking?) He also got into a heated argument with Mr. Kaczynski about his crappy teaching skills. This man could have been on Unabomber's "hit list," and I found the story both fascinating and scary. Everyone made jokes that he was lucky he didn't "receive a package in the mail" at a later date from good ole Ted.

That was one of the best/fascinating stories I've heard at the coffeehouse in a long time. I've started ignoring the people that want to tell me why they left their husband or why their boyfriend is a jerk (thanks but I already have enough baggage in my own life). I'd much rather hear about people pissing off the Unabmber.

If you ever want to hear colorful stories, hang out at a local coffeehouse.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Social Networkers Beware: Think Before You Tweet

Today I read a disturbing "tweet" from a man who was offered a job by Cisco and proceeded to badmouth his "potential" employer via Twitter. Unfortunately, because of this man's stupid mistake Cisco big whigs found his "tweet" on Twitter and responded to his negative comment about Cisco. Hmm, that man no longer has a job offer from Cisco. Talk about shooting yourself in the social networking foot. Especially in this crazy, turbulent economy, that was not a bright move on this guy's part. I guess he didn't want the job that much. However, some lucky AND grateful person now has that job.

A public relations professional from Ketchum PR made a rude comment about his clients' (FedEx) home city, Memphis, before he gave a presentation to 150 FedEx employees. That "tweet" caused bad repercussions and made its way to the head honchos at FedEx. This guy forgot the basics of PR 101 - "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." What an idiot.

Learn a lesson from these gentlemen who lacked very poor judgement with their lack of social networking "net"etiquette. People post some "interesting" pictures and comments on Facebook and Myspace. You really need to use common sense. Don't be like doofus Twitter-er who lost a potential job as a result of his negative comments.

Lesson of the day: "Think before you tweet." You never know who's reading your comments.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why Doesn't the World Pay Attention to Our Teenagers?

For those of you who kept up with the news this past week, Germany suffered a very tragic loss that we have seen played out far too many times here in the U.S. A Stuttgart high school student pulled a Columbine-type shooting and killed and injured 15 high school students. What is going on with Germany? Haven't they learned from the United States and Columbine and Virginia Tech?

The saddest part is this 17-year old boy bragged on an online chat room that he was going to shoot his fellow classmates and "watch for him in the news." Unfortunately, no one in the chat room believed him (until they saw it on the news the next day).

What were the therapists thinking who allowed this German student not to continue his therapy? Unfortunately, the story read a lot like the Virginia Tech's shooter (suffered from depression/mental health issues and therapy was discontinued when it shouldn't have been stopped).

The saddest part is, once again, this teen boy got lost in the system and no one helped him - or didn't help him enough. There were signs a long time ago. Other kids didn't like him and he was teased - he was anti-social and mean to other kids. He obviously had mental health issues. The educators (and his parents) should have taken more proactive steps to help him.

I felt like I was reading about Columbine and Virginia Tech all over again when I read about this German student. Hasn't the world learned anything? Why aren't adults paying attention to teenagers? What makes adults become so consumed with their own lives that they just ignore the realities of the mental health issues of teens?

The scary part is that there are MORE teens out there with similar thoughts, but they haven't acted upon their thoughts (not yet anyway). Just like Columbine and Virginia Tech and now this German teen- the shooters were on the fringe of their school. They were kids who felt ignored, shunned, unloved and battled serious mental health issues. In the end, they all took their own lives at very young ages.

What drives these teen boys to such heinous crimes? Obviously, all of them suffered severe mental health issues but why weren't any of them helped? What makes us, as a world, push aside our teenagers and not care? Teens have always gotten a bad rap. I was a teenager once and I remember all the angst and confusion that went along with my teen years. Those are years I wouldn't care to repeat, but I also had support and positive role models during my teen years. I feel very grateful for those good influences during my sometimes tumultuous years.

I wrote an editorial last year in response to a local business owner who responded in his column to a concerned teen citizen who voiced his opinion about his concerns about skateboard parks and not having a place for teens to ride their skateboards. This kid was asking for a legitimate answer and directing it to a local business person. He wanted some "real" answers.

The columnist didn't take his questions seriously and he commently flippantly - he told the teen boy to "hold his breath until he was blue in the face." This a-hole jerk business owner tried to play it off that he was only joking with the teen, but I pointed out his cruel comments and told him that a local business owner that his comment was both sarcastic and heartless.

This is a good example of an adult who basically doesn't care about a teenager's opinion and also represents the world's attitude towards teenagers. The world just doesn't care. They don't care UNTIL it's too late - until Columbine...and once again, they don't notice UNTIL another teen goes into a school and shoots and kills fellow students.

Teens are the future and voice of our world. They have a lot of hope in front of them and they also have a lot of turmoil as well - adults of the world, don't take that hope away from them and give them a place in this world. Pay attention and listen to them. Even if they drive you nuts and frustrate you and want to lock them away until they are 21, don't give up on them and don't wait until it's too late.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

American Idol - My Choices for "Theme" Weeks

I must admit I've been watching American Idol since the first season many moons ago. Thank you Trista for instilling my AI addiction back in the day. I haven't been a faithful follower but I've seen enough episodes to be a seasoned Americal Idol afficionado.

Tonight I didn't really understand WHY they would take legendary Michael Jackson songs and ask them to sing old school MJ (before he became a freak of nature). I'm thinking it was a publicity stunt on MJ's part since he's making a come back with his reunion tour.

I think there are some songs that the contestants shouldn't touch and Michael Jackson is one of them. I was a fan of MJ during his "Thriller" and "Bad" days. Even though he looks like a walking wax figurine and turned out to be a super freak (and not in a good way), I'll give him props for his talent.

AI has chosen some bizarre song choices for their "theme" weeks during the past AI seasons. Kenny Rogers, Paul Anka and Dolly Parton were some of the more odd "theme" weeks. If I had my choice these are the theme weeks I'd like to see:

  • Ozzy Osbourne (They only have to scream-sing and then they can make an annoying reality TV show later on down the road.)
  • The Cure (They just have to dress in black, wear dark kohl eyeliner and sing in whining, depressing monotones.)
  • Poison (Bret Michaels needs to pimp himself more because "Rock of Love" really sucks.)
  • Frank Sinatra (Oh wait, he's dead. Although, I think Frank would really dig AI. If he was still around, I could see him swigging some bourbon, swaggering drunk around the room saying, "Baby, you're the tops. You have a great set of pipes, dollface.")
  • Vanilla Ice (Has he done anything else since his one-hit wonder album? I heard he went the Christian rock route. Who knew?)
  • Tone Loc (I'd like to see that Adam dude attempt Funky Cold Medina.)
  • B-52s (The outfits and hair alone would be entertaining. Maybe Tatiana could sing back up?)
  • Grateful Dead (Dead Heads would probably revolt and storm the theatre in protest. Poor Jerry Garcia. He wouldn't be down with AI).
I also think I'd make a really great judge...but I'll save that for another post.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Celebrate International Women's Day this Sunday

Sunday is International Women's Day (IWD). So what exactly is IWD? I've been trying to find out more information about an event that will be held here locally which will benefit Women for Women International, a non-profit organization that supports women in war-torn regions of the world in the rebuilding of their lives www.womenforwomen.org. Sounds like a good cause that will help out women who are struggling across the world.

I dug around the Internet to learn more about what other women are doing across the world to celebrate IWD. I love reading idiotic comments on forums. Here were some of the comments in response to the post about celebrating women on Sunday: "Get back in the bloody kitchen!" Others posted that women have the vote so they should just shut up and stop whining.

Why should we shut up? Why shouldn't we rally for other women who are suffering in war-torn countries? There are 60 countries celebrating IWD events across the world. Countries such as Russia and China have made IWD a national holiday. The first IWD event started in 1911 and has been going strong ever since.

Obviously, the morons who posted those comments are a) not married and/or aren't in a relationship b) pre-pubescent teens who were raised by wolves or c) clearly lacking brain cells and social graces.

After working with domestic violence victims and survivors, I have heard first hand from women about these heinous acts of abuse and violence. I heard a women tell me how her husband beat their face so badly with a frying pan and broke every bone in her face. When her kids walked into the hospital room, her face was so disfigured that they didn't even recognize her.

We've come a long way with domestic violence laws but I just have to look around Placer County to see the heinous crimes against women (like the Christy Wilson case whose body was never recovered). We have Scott Peterson serving a life sentence for murdering his wife and unborn child. What happens to these men to drive them to murder women? I don't know if I want to delve into the psyche of psychotic murderers but why is this still happening? In the United States, we pass the buck to other more barbaric countries who rape and kill women, yet crimes against women are still happening - right here in our own backyard.

If we look outside the U.S., the grotesque practice of female genital mutilation (FMG) is still practiced in Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), three million young females (ranging from the time of their birth up to 15 years old) are at risk for female genital mutilation each year in Africa. Not three hundred - three million. It's noted by WHO that FMG is clearly a worldwide violation of the human rights of girls and women and are working to stop this horrifying practice that often results in death for these young women.

So that comment "Go back to the bloody kitchen!" obviously strikes a chord with me. Yes, we got the vote and we still need to continue to vote and make our collective voices heard. I recently started a group here locally in Auburn - a group for women to make their voices heard within the local community. The group is a safe, comfortable place where women can share their dreams and passions (whether it's business or personal goals). I am working with fellow dynamic women who feel the same way- that women want and need to support each other. We need a space - a collective space in which we can create, dream, and plan without scrutiny or judgement.

I've dealt with men in business situations that pointedly told me that women didn't belong in business (and definitely not in fundraising). I've been treated like a secretary even though I was a director and my job was to lead and raise money. I felt this glass ceiling hit my head over the years. Although, women have made huge strides in business and achievements, there's more that needs to be done.

So yeah, I don't think I'll be heading back to the kitchen anytime soon and I definitely won't be shutting up anytime soon. I have too much work to do.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Giving Back Despite the Economy

Today I received a post on my Facebook from a friend who works for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It's a great campaign that allows you to shop at local stores like Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic - 5% of the proceeds goes back to the organization while shoppers enjoy a 30% discount off purchases. http://www.gapgiveandget.com/np/lls.html

As a former fundraiser, I don't envy my friends and former colleagues who are trying to raise money for non-profit organizations. I saw the writing on the wall when I left the non-profit world. However, I still think it's important to dig deep into your pockets because there are still diseases out there and causes that need to be fought. If money is an issue and you just don't have an extra $5 to spare, your time is just as valuable (even if it's an hour or one day a week). Volunteering is crucial right now because non-profits just don't have the people power to make it all happen (especially on the fundraising end).

I guess you can take the girl out of the non-profit, but you can't take the non-profit out of the girl. Homeless shelters and food banks are in desperate need of donations. Also, this is a tough time for victims of domestic violence - tough economic times can bring more strife (and anger) within households and domestic violence escalates as a result. I worked briefly for the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and I heard heartbreaking stories...they are stories you couldn't even comprehend in your worst nightmares. No person should have to deal with that kind of abuse and torment.

Along with the world, I stress about my financial situation. However, I had to stop and think about my situation and put it into perspective: there are people who have it worse than me and are desperately in need of the basic necessities: food, clothing and shelter.

Clear out your closets and make a donation to your local woman's shelter or Salvation Army. Despite the economy, we still need to give back to our local communities because there is someone else (maybe a next door neighbor) who really needs our help.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ann Coulter: America's Political Bubonic Plague

I have decided to broaden the scope of my tirades, and my rants and raves will not be writing-specific anymore. I'm sure I'll share plenty of writing peeves but I realized I have far more rants and raves that go beyond the scope of writing. I also need to practice my editorial writing skills.

If I recall correctly from my Catholic school days, the Bible is famous for referencing plagues of catastrophic proportions. As defined by Webster's Dictionary, plague means "a disastrous evil or affliction." I think referring to Ann Coulter as a "disastrous evil or affliction" is apropos in the context of American politics. When thinking of the WORST possible plague, the Bubonic plague comes to mind. I know what you're thinking: comparing Ann Coulter to the Bubonic plague is highly complimentary. I didn't want to lambast her TOO much.

Coulter has been called a "political commentator" - commentator is stretching it. I really don't hear any commentating coming out of her obnoxious mouth. I just hear drivel and erroneous facts.

I thought Coulter needed a new title (other than crazy and evil) - "America's Political Bubonic Plague." America's Political Bubonic plague is here to stay and she's bringing her Nazi-esque craziness along with her. I think she and Octu-mom should hang out together. Neither one of them has a firm grasp on reality (or facts).

In order to understand this Right Wing "this one needs a straight jacket" shock jock-ess, let's delve into her background.

I dug around and found out that Coulter grew up in a Catholic family. That should be our first clue. The biggest controversy surrounding Coulter is her date of birth. Sometimes she says she was born on December 8, 1961 (I have not done her astrological chart yet so I'm not sure what afflicted planets are messing up her mental state). She also claims that her birth year was 1963 (ok, that is REALLY going to mess up my astrological predictions for her).

I wonder if she can't make up her mind about her actual date of birth, because she's really an alien from Jupiter and isn't allowed to give away her identity (thus, she gives conflicting birth years to throw off us humans on Planet Earth). Although, I heard that the life form on other planets is very intelligent - Ann Coulter would not fall under the intellectual category.

She was born into an upper middle class Catholic conservative family - her pops is a lawyer and her mom drinks Kool-Aid. Oh wait, that was a misprint....it says she belongs to the"New Canaan Republican Town Committee" (same difference).

Coulter graduated from Cornell, has her law degree, started a conservative newspaper and trained at the National Journalism Center (although, she and I were not schooled in the same style of journalism - my journalism classes taught me about ethics; whereas, Coulter is devoid of ethics and any semblance of logical reasoning).

She is a blatant racist and thinks "Jews are people who need to be perfected." She also sides with White Supremacist groups and she calls most every male Democratic politico a homosexual. To quote a favorite saying of my cousin's, "Nice mouth, babe."

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2009/02/13/columnist-ann-coulter-defends-white-supremacist-group/

She really knows how to piss off those ladies from "The View." I'm surprised Barbara Walters didn't drop kick her. Coulter could have at least shown Walters a modicum of courtesy and respect. But why would she show respect to a well-known journalist who knows how to fact check? That would actually make Coulter somewhat human, and make Walters KNOW more than Coulter.

I love how Whoopi Goldberg ripped Coulter a new one when she blasted single mothers. She was called on the carpet by Goldberg and asked her if she was married or had kids. No and no. I guess Coulter has a lot of first-hand experience with single parenting and raising kids seeing as she doesn't have ANY kids. I was raised by a single mother and the last time I checked I wasn't incarcerated. According to Coulter, single mothers only raise deviants and criminals. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGbWSfIL1d4

By far, this is my favorite excerpt that clearly shows her idiocy. Hmmm, she did not pass Fact-Checking 101, that's for sure. I am also guessing she flunked U.S. History in high school.

"Some have disagreed with her "shoot-from-the-hip" style of commentary. They claim it makes her reckless with facts. For example, in a January 2005 interview with the CBC's the fifth estate, Coulter stated, "Canada used to be one of our most loyal friends and vice-versa. I mean Canada sent troops to Vietnam - was Vietnam less containable and more of a threat than Saddam Hussein?" She was countered by host Bob McKeown who said, "No, actually, Canada didn't send troops to Vietnam... Australia was there, not Canada." In a subsequent interview on C-SPAN, Coulter stated that while Canada did not send combat troops to Vietnam, thousands of Canadians had volunteered for the US military."

Coulter - reckless with facts? Never! I think she should be called "Coulter-pedia" because she really knows her facts. Coulter has also been accused of copyright infringement in her books due to questionable material that she passed off as her own.

Then we have America's Political Bubonic Plague going off on the 911 widows and claiming they are whiners who are sobbing their stories just to make money off their tragedy. Nice one, Witchy-Poo.

Here are some quotes that showcase (once again) her stupidity:

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am." (See above - I think she clearly proves that she's lacking grey matter.)

This quote is just downright disgusting - hello, someone forgot to take their crazy pills! Wouldn't that comment border on the verge of...oh, I don't know...perhaps insanity?

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

The last quote sums up America's Political Bubonic Plague - she clearly is delusional if she thinks Cheney is a sexy, handsome man. Also, for the men out there who lose their temper, please note that you aren't "real" men, according to "Coulter-pedia." There may be hurricanes named after women, but hey crazy lady, you are America's Political Bubonic Plague. I'd rather be called a hurriance than the bubonic plague ANY day!

"Cheney is my ideal man. Because he's solid. He's funny. He's very handsome. He was a football player. People don't think about him as the glamour type because he's a serious person, he wears glasses, he's lost his hair. But he's a very handsome man. And you cannot imagine him losing his temper, which I find extremely sexy. Men who get upset and lose their tempers and claim to be sensitive males: talk about girly boys. No, there's a reason hurricanes are named after women and homosexual men, it's one of our little methods of social control. We're supposed to fly off the handle."












"





Friday, February 27, 2009

The Worst Online Dating Story...and It Wasn't Mine

I think I need to change the scope of my blog as it's getting away from writing rants. However, this is a good story I wanted to share.

I enjoy perusing different blogs and web sites and this week I stumbled upon a site called "Don't Date Him Girl." It's both scary and intriguing. If you ever want to find out if the new guy you're dating is a lowlife scum this is the site to peruse. I've heard about this site before and from some of the posts I read from men on there, they aren't big fans of the site - hmmm, I wonder why?

I found the site quite interesting and luckily, I didn't find any men I know on there (or ex-boyfriends). One of the worst online dating stories I read was about a man who told this woman that he was going through a divorce. They met each other through an online dating site. After a long exchange with this man, she meets him for the first time at a restaurant. She had a big surprise when the man's wife and son show up at the same restaurant, and guess what? He was still married and wasn't planning to get a divorce. Do you think Liar Dude responded with a sheepish "Whoops, my bad!" or do you think he hit the emergency exit door at sprinting speed? I have a feeling this guy is divorced NOW! (and his wife slapped him with some serious alimony). I've had some pretty horrific blind dates, but this guy wins the "Mo-Fo of the Year Award."

Moral of the story: Do some investigative research on these online dudes before you meet. Here are a few sample interview questions I like to use:

"Do you have anyone by the name of "Sweetie or Honey" on speed dial on your cell phone?" (wife)

"Do you have McDonald's Happy Meal packages littering the floor of your SUV?" (kids)

You never know what's hiding behind a computer screen. Sir Walter Scott said it the best: "What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." I think Sir Walter Scott must have had first hand experience with lying to those Scottish babes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Professional Email Writing Etiquette 101

I received a professional email today by a banking professional and I cringed when I saw "by" used in the wrong context (he meant to write buy). I'm not perfect when I write emails but I definitely double-check my spelling when I send professional emails, and I wish professional business people would proof their emails. I just gave a marketing seminar a few weeks ago and stressed the importance of proofreading emails before sending to clients.

Here are just a few helpful hints:
  • Spell check/proofread your emails.
  • If you can't understand what you wrote in your email, neither will the person who is receiving your email.
  • Don't be cutesy or use "text speak" when you write professional emails (save that for personal emails).
  • Be careful of your tone used in business/professional emails - sometimes tone can get lost in translation and your words might be construed as sarcastic or angry.
  • Don't attach pictures of your dogs or kids along with professional emails (especially if you don't know the person) - this has actually happened to me before (and left me perplexed and wondering...WHY?) It's one thing if you send it to your co-worker but it's another to randomly attach pictures to someone you don't know.
Just a few peeves when it comes to professional email writing etiquette. Don't be lazy - check your emails before you press "send."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another Octu-Mom Rant: Shopping for Make Up and a Mansion

Once again this isn't a writing-related rant but another vent session about Octu-Mom. I think "delusional" should be checked off on her psych evaluation. Hmm let's see: should a mom with 14 kids shop for MAC cosmetics as opposed to buying food and clothing for her kids? Hmm that's a toss up, folks: make-up or the bare necessities like food and clothing for your children?

She's also shopping around for a supposed $4 million dollar home. For a woman who recently claimed bankruptcy and owes $100,000 plus in school loan debt, I think that's a really great idea. Once again, check off the "delusional" box on the psych evaluation, Doctors.

I'm not against women looking good or buying make-up. I'm also not against people who want to put a roof over their family's heads. However, I am against people such as Octu-Mom who don't have one lick of common sense in their pea-sized brains. It's obvious that this woman is mentally ill and clearly needs help. If people want to raise money for her, then they should throw down some money for her psychiatric care. Out-There-Mom needs a serious reality check and needs to join Planet Earth.

As I mentioned in an earlier post about Octu-Mom, her 14 children will suffer in the end. That's the tragedy about this entire debacle. I also don't blame her crazed neighbor for losing it and brandishing his shotgun at the media. I don't condone violence but I would be tired of the media circus as well.

Octu-Mom needs to think about a little saying she probably learned a long time ago: actions have consequences. She needs to start thinking about the welfare of her kids and not spend hours picking out the perfect shade of lipstick for her Botox'd lips. She needs to be held responsible for her actions and face the consequences.

She needs to realize that she has 14 mouths to feed, clothe and house. I also don't think it's the responsibility of the sperm donor to help her. A sperm donor donates sperm - end of story and end of responsibility. If he wants to get involved, then he has a few screws loose as well (or wants to jump on the celebrity bandwagon).

Instead of spending time at the MAC counter, Octu-mom needs to find a job (or better yet, she can work at Nordie's and get a discount for her cosmetics - wow, what a concept!)

I also would like to know who will pay for that $4 million home and cough up the mortgage payments. Maybe she'll ask Disneyland to loan out Tinkerbell for a spell and wave her magic fairy dust and voila, insta-house!

CPS needs to take this mess seriously and someone needs to intervene (yo, Dr. Phil, are you listening?) and get this woman into psych lock-down soon. Those poor kids. CPS, I hope you're taking notes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chain Letters, Chain Emails and Chain Facebook Notes...Break the Chain NOW!

Does anyone remember real chain letters? When people popped chain letters into snail mail and you'd have to send the physical letter to some random person you didn't know?

Then the Internet brought us those lame email forwards. Who doesn't love those annoying chain emails? If you don't send them to ten random people in the next five minutes you will a) never find the love of your life (big deal, that still isn't happening for me whether I break the chain or not) b) you will get Dengue fever or c) Mr. D. F. Williams will lose his fortune, his family and his pet elephants if you don't send $199.99 to a foreign Swiss bank account within the next 24 hours (translation: hacked Paypal account).

This leads us to Crack-book. Chain notes have infilitrated Facebook. These chain notes have even been widely publicized in the media (watch out, Brian D. the media may be knocking on your door soon for an interview - you chain writin' fool you!) I admit I filled out the 25 Things About You chain note but that was the extent of my chain note writing. Even as a Crack-book addict, I have my writing limits.

Also, what's up with this "tagging" on Facebook? Is that the grown-up, virtual version of the old school Tag game? Unless it's a reference to "tagging" as in the graffiti sense? Hmmm, I'm not qute sure.

I am always one to come up with inane (and insane) Facebook ideas so I suggest the following Facebook chain notes (Brian D., look into these coming down the Facebook pipeline!). I'd rather write and send out these chain notes instead of the boring chain notes I've seen on Crack-book lately. Let me know which one you like the best so I can write Facebook and let them know they need new chain notes!

  • 25 Reasons Why I Don't Like Certain Family Members and/or In-Laws
  • 50 Quasi-Illegal Activities I Got Away with Over the Years
  • Top 25 Friends I Really Want to Delete Off my Friends List
  • 10 Sentences That Begin with the Letter B, Rhyme with Gumption and End in a Monosyllabic Hyperbole
  • 50 Reasons Why People Don't Really Like Me
  • 10 Things I Really Just Don't Want to Know About You - EVER
  • 20 Annoying Habits of My Friends/Family that Make me Want to Poke My Eyes Out
  • 25 People on My Friends List Whom I Have No Clue Who They Are
  • 10 Great Excuses As To Why You Should Slack off Work so You Can Play on Facebook
  • 100 Reasons Why Facebook Will Eventually Break up Your Marriage and Destroy Your Relationships

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscars and Sean Penn's Acceptance Speech

I still haven't seen Milk but after Sean Penn's Acceptance speech for "Best Actor," I definitely want to see it (and have wanted to see it even before his speech). My post this morning doesn't really count as a "rant" but I'd like to commend Penn on the stand he took last night (beyond his movie role as Harvey Milk).

I really appreciated Penn's comments and his stand on California's Prop 8. There was a different vibe about the Oscars this year. Even though Penn is known for being a paparrazzi brawler (which he alluded to in his speech), I give him credit for taking on a substantial, meaningful role. With all the meaningless shallow movies that saturate Hollywood right now, it's refreshing to see a movie like Milk make such a big impact on the country.

Slumdog Millionaire definitely deserved their awards. However, Milk is a movie that represents our country at this moment. People need to watch this movie. I can't believe that people were actually picketing the Ocscars (in protest of Milk and Penn's role), but I'm not surprised either.

I watched Penn answer questions from the media and he brought up a good point when he was asked how he felt about the protesters. He commented that people are ignorant and fearful, and it needs to stop. Tolerance needs to happen, and no one (especially not the government) has the right to interfere. There's that golden rule we tend to forget: "Do unto others as you would do unto yourself." People need to really stop and think. They need to think about how their actions have consequences down the road.

They need to think about the mother who tragically lost her gay son, Bobby, in the 70s to suicide. Bobby killed himself because his mother couldn't accept him because of her religious fanaticism and ignorance (and fear). I commend his mother, Mary, for stopping her cycle of hatred and fear. As a result of her son's suicide, she joined forces with P-FLAG and has been a strong voice and advocate for gay rights. People can learn a lesson from Bobby's mother and from Sean Penn. I often wonder what these parents would do, the people who are against gay marriage/civil union, if their son or daughter came out to them? Would they disown them and would they react like Bobby's mom?

Think about the young screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, who won Best Original Screenplay last night for Milk. There were tears in his eyes as he accepted his Oscar and spoke about his struggles and how his family has always accepted him. That was a huge, shining moment for Black and a shining moment for our country.

The hatred and intolerance needs to stop. After listening to the speeches last night, I'm even more determined to continue to do my part to speak out against intolerance and hatred.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Labor Predictions: Suggested New Jobs

Today the U.S. Department of Labor reported that six million people are receiving unemployment. I have friends who have been recently laid off from their jobs. It's a sad situation but I wanted to share my predictions. I have some new jobs that I think my friends should consider seeking in the near future. I think there's going to be a need for these jobs. Trista, this blog post is for you!

Here are the new jobs that I see created in the next few months:
  • High Profile Nanny for Octu-Mom: If you have nanny experience, this woman is going to need a zillion nannies to help her. You might want to think about hiring your own publicist as well. If you don't feel bad about receiving a salary that is funded by CA taxpayers, this is the perfect job for you! I also suggest you buy a bullet proof vest and maybe hire a few bodyguards. If Octu-mom makes that Movie of the Week, make sure you get a cameo appearance!
  • Media Relations Specialists for Performance Enhancing Drug-Usin' Athletes: With the rise of athletes using PEDs, if you have a background in media relations start tapping into those athletes who lie about their PED use. Athletes have a lot of money and are always in the news. I may look into this job as a side career. Hmmmm. Although, I'm not sure I want to sell my soul to the devil.
  • Spam Analyst: Liam, thanks for the inspiration behind this new job. Based on the multitude of spam that floods emails each day, professional spam analysts will be needed to decipher these nonsensical spams (my 19 month old nephew talks better than these spam messages read). If you are a linguist or a translator, you will be much needed as a spam analyst because these spams are poorly translated (Drunk Man Woman And Be Happy - huh?)
  • Pet Au Pair: Do you speak fluent Spanish? You would make the perfect pet au pair. If you have a desire to teach an animal a foreign language and long to care for pets while they're parents are at work, this would be the perfect position for bilingual animal lovers. Their parents will be so proud that their Fifi responds to commands in Spanish. Studies show that bilingual pets who bark/meow in a foreign language are happier and more well-adjusted than English-only barking and meowing pets.
  • Freelance Mime: Mimes really need to make a come back in this world. This is the time when the world needs mime entertainment. Don't be one of those robotic dancers working the street corner. Mimes have been revered throughout the world and as a freelance mime, you can share your happy/sad expressions while wearing sexy black unitards. There are some job hazards: hurricanes, dog pee and scalding hot coffee thrown at you with jeers of "You suck, Mime Person." If you have animal balloon-making skills, you could really rack up the change on your corner.
  • American Idol Karoake Judge: As the American Idol season continues, American Idol karoake contests are taking the world by storm. Judges are in hot pursuit and if you have a mean streak like Simon then you can do the job. You don't even know how to sing or read music (or even like music, for that matter). Just be cruel and heartless and you'll be perfect.
  • Wii Personal Trainer: Have you noticed that many adults suck at playing the Wii? Wii Personal Trainers are going to be in high demand. Wii Personal Trainers can teach adults kick butt moves to beat the pants off kids who think they rule the Wii.
  • Obama's Professional Tie Knotter: Every time I see Obama make an appearance on TV, his tie looks askew. I foresee a professional tie knotter in the near future. If you can make the perfect Windsor knot or used to work at the Men's Wearhouse, this job could be the ulitmate career. Think of the perks - a studio shed at the Capitol!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

65,000 People Voiced Their Opinon and Facebook Listened - Thank you!

As a writer, I was happy to read Facebook's decision to revert back to their original Terms of Service. I joined the "Facebook Against Terms of Service Changes" group on Facebook. As a result of 65,000 people, their collective voice made a difference. It just shows what the power of many can do and I commend Facebook for taking people's opinions seriously.

I also give them props for averting a major and possibly destructive PR crisis. Good job, Facebook communications team.

Thank you for listening to us, Facebook. However, what's going to happen when Facebook does eventually takes over my life? Oh wait, it already has. I really need intervention. Although, that's a different monster altogether.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ohhhh No You Didn't Facebook - Facebook Thinks They Own You Now

Yes, it's another rant about Facebook. However, this time it's a rant on behalf of writers (and all Facebook users of the world). The word on the street is that Facebook now claims, in their newly revised Terms of Service, that they "own" any post, image, and blog you create on Facebook. Basically, Facebook owns you. They already claim your time but now they own everything about you. Sure, let's use your kid's baby photo as part of our promotions. Nope, that's not breaking any laws because guess what, it's part of their new Terms of Service changes.

As a writer, I'm laughing at these preposterous service changes. You don't own my intellectual property rights to my writing (or photos), morons. Also, the privacy settings are subjective now. That's ok we don't have any privacy in the U.S. anyway, so why should we start now?

Here is the actual verbiage:

"You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof."

Also, don't even think about terminating your account with Facebook, because this bad boy clause pretty much screws you (according to their legalese).
"The following sections will survive any termination of your use of the Facebook Service: Prohibited Conduct, User Content, Your Privacy Practices, Gift Credits, Ownership; Proprietary Rights, Licenses, Submissions, User Disputes; Complaints, Indemnity, General Disclaimers, Limitation on Liability, Termination and Changes to the Facebook Service, Arbitration, Governing Law; Venue and Jurisdiction and Other."
So let me break it down for you (I've only worked with hotel and vendor contracts so my legalese is a bit rusty): anything you post on Facebook will come back to haunt you. Let's say you cancel your account and you're walking down the street ten years later with your wife/husband, 2.5 kids and you just became a Senator. There you are: glassy-eyed with beer bong in hand with a scantily clad woman (or man) at your side. Think Animal House-esque type setting. Your old frat party photo has been plastered on a gigantic billboard and you are the newest Facebook poster child. Hey, it could happen. However, you can't sue because remember back in the day when you clicked on the Terms of Agreement? You can kiss your political career good-bye, buddy. You also can't make any money off the ad because it belongs to guess who? Yup, that's right. Facebook.

If you need a good crisis publicist, give me a call Facebook. You're shooting yourself in the foot with bad publicity. Way to go!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yeah, I'm Tired of "Those" Writers Who Always Think They HAVE to Rant About Everything...Shut Up Already!

Today's blog is brought to you as a result of a suggestion by my snarky "Welsh Corgi stage mom" friend (thanks Stacy). So yeah, what about those darn writers who always think they HAVE to rant about everything? Was that a hint that I just need to shut it and not go off on my daily tangent?

I will leave my tirades out of the equation today and turn to other writers' rants and raves. I dug around the Internet to see what other writers are complaining about these days.

I stumbled upon this bitter fellow who has a beef about characterization.

" You know what's more important than story?

Characterization.

I'd much rather read about a guy I like hanging out at Starbucks than someone doing something interesting who I don't give a sh** about."

Woah, simmer down there, Mike C. I'd hate to see you have a heart attack over characterization.

One of my favorite rants is "The Whispers and Warnings" section of one of my favorite freelance writing sites. http://writersweekly.com/whispers_and_warnings.php Ripped-off (and pissed off) writers email the site owner, Angela, about their bad experiences and she goes to town on these companies. Angela does give the company owners a chance to respond so it's not a complete rip-fest on the company/scammer. It's all done in a forum setting and quite civilized really. You can check it out on their site (and no, I'm not getting a cut from Writers Weekly--just a good site who puts writers first).

Angela is a relentless renegade (and a faithful advocate for writers) when it comes to busting scammers and loser companies who refuse to pay their writers, and won't honor contracts. I always wanted to be an investigative journalist so props go out to Angela for taking on these scoundrels. There are some tawdry, scumbag companies who try to weasel their way out of paying their writers (or copyright issues). Thanks to Angela she nails their slimy butts to the wall. Way to go, Angela!

One of my favorite sites for rants and raves is RipOffReport.com If you are mad at a company or feel you were scammed out of money, you can go there and let loose on anyone who did you wrong in the world. Although, you do have to have a legitimate claim and the comments are moderated. It's another alternative to the Better Business Bureau and you can see direct comments from other consumers. This site is for anyone (not just writers) but be careful that your "rant" doesn't backfire on you.

I'd like to share a very amusing "rant" from a writer who got caught plagiarizing (I'm sorry but Wikipedia does not count as "original" material). I was a part of this particular writing project and we were told that this person had been thrown off the project for "egregious plagiarizing." When the word "egregrious" is used by an editor, you know it's lights out for Wonder Boy. If you aren't familiar with the word "egregious", it means BAD, BAD, HORRIBLY BAD!

This doofus complained about the publishing company on RipOffReport.com and proceeded to include the email that the editor sent to him "outing" him as a plagiarizing fool. Smart move, Mr. Plagiarizer. You just showed the world what a complete moron you are AND just proved that you plagiarized your work. He was just mad because he finally got caught after ripping off other people's writing for years. No mo' writtin' for you! So kids listen up...take a lesson from this man and don't plagiarize your essays!

My friend Stacy brings up a good point. Do writers need to rant about EVERYTHING? It just makes us feel better. Us creative sorts work in mysterious ways, and we sometimes need an outlet lest our brains explode and our brain matter spatters across the Big S's wall (you know the one, that coffee chain that puts crack in their coffee so writers run foaming at the mouth for their next latte fix).

I don't need to rant about everything, but it does make life more interesting. Also, the name of my blog does have the word "tirade" in it. It would be false advertising if I didn't "rant" at least every other day on my blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How I Would Change Facebook: Let's Talk Relationship Status

As an addicted Facebooker aka Crack-booker (because once you start, you can't stop), I'd like to suggest some changes to this popular social networking site.

First, I really think the relationship status needs more options. "Single, In a Relationship, Married and It's Complicated" doesn't do it for me. "It's complicated" is too general. I suggest the following status choices: "In a long distance relationship - does incarceration count?" or perhaps "Former stalker on house arrest and legally cannot date." For us single people, even a simple "Lookin' for a good time" or "Taking applications for a sugar daddy/cougar with a wine cellar" sounds better than "single."

Now for the security issues associated with Facebook. I would like to see a feature that automatically fires off a shrill siren for us addicts every time we launch Facebook. A timer would also be nice (which would automatically kick us addicts out mid-wall jacking).

I also think that there should be an option when a former classmates tries to add you. You didn't like them years ago and you still think that person is a poser. It would be nice to have an automatic reply to go along with your Friends rejection notice: "Yes, I remember you from grade school, high school or college. I remember you were a raging (insert appropriate expletive) and treated people like crap. We were never friends back then and I see you're still as self-serving and annoying as ever...buh-bye."

For ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends who reappear, I suggest that Facebook creates this rejection option: "Thanks for dumping me for that ugly so-and-so with the tricked out Camaro back in '88. By the way, the years weren't good to you. Also, did you ever live near any biohazardous bodies of water because your kids have an off-putting green glow about them? Have a nice life!"

I also suggest that Facebook automatically bans any adults who post creepy pictures from Star Trek or Star Wars conventions. What about those profile messages? Do I want to know if someone is baking cookies and pretending to work? Whoops, I wrote that message today. I also don't think "blank" profile messages with just a name should be allowed. People, you aren't mysterious with your blank message - tell me what you're doing NOW! I also don't think people should be allowed to write about clam dip or sushi in profiles (you know who you are, bucko) - especially during the lunch and dinner hours.

I read a funny editorial today in the Los Angeles Times about the 25 Questions forward. However, this LA Times writer needs to take his high-brow "insert Ivy League college name" education and get over his bad self. He was clearly overcompensating in his article. He's probably the worst offender and used his editorial as a "cover up" for his Facebook addiction. Joshua Stein, you aren't fooling anyone so give it up - we all know you're a compulsive Crack-booker! I bet you are the worst offender of "Pokes" in Facebook's history. You are on my "Crack-book Watch Dog" list, Stein. Even Saturday Night Live jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. Last night they spoofed the 25 Questions forward in their skit, "Cougar's Corner" - hilarious.

The best quote I read on Facebook was courtesy of my friend Brian D.: "This line for rent." In this economy, I think he is smart to pimp out his blank Facebook quote box. If the head honchos from Facebook are reading this blog, please call me. We need to chat about the above suggested changes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Those Bloggin' Bloggers - All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

Do you think you're a blogger? Of course, you are. Look at me, I have a blog (a few blogs actually). Even if you can't spell or string two sentences together, you can still write a blog. It might not be well-liked or even read, but hey, all the cool kids are doing it.

I also write a wine blog which is for the somewhat-professional wine guzzler. I love drinking wine, learning about wine and I enjoy writing about wine (http://vinogirl.wordpress.com). I'm definitely not a wine connoisseur and I don't claim to be - just some fun scribblings in the name of the grape.

I perused around today for "unusual" off-the-beaten path blogs. I was curious to see what people are actually blogging about these days (other than blogs aimed at celebrity wannabe Octu-mom).

The most interesting blog I found was The Weird Crap. If you're up for non-censored fiction, anything goes on this site. I also stumbled upon another quirky blog, Dooby Brain. I expected to see illegal substances listed but instead I found a page filled with pictures of pennies. Maybe you can get those illegal substances really cheap from Dooby Brain? Hmmm.

Some of my favorite blog names include: Nerd Approved (for all those nerdy gadgets you really don't need), Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories (which actually looks like an arts and crafts blog?), and The Pink Tentacle (something with Chinese artwork but it claims to be dedicated to "weird and out of box stuff" - whatever that means?)

There's my friend David's new political satirical blog Outraged Americans of America http://www.outragedamericansofamerica.com which pokes fun at our nation's politics and offers a humorous bent on the voice of "Outraged Americans." His blog is a good read and is funny. There are some blogs who attempt political satire but usually fall short - this one doesn't.

David must be a popular name when it comes to blogging. Here is another David person (whom took pity on me and added me to his Facebook friends list). He is quite the blogging wordsmith http://www.davidaccampo.com He's known as The Eclecticist. Folks, don't let the big words scare you. He likes to use fancy-schmancy words because he has a creative writing degree and is a film god (or so he claims). For the record, he exercised his creative license in our high school yearbook. His blogs might not be altogether accurate. Seriously, he's a good writer despite past high school shenanigans. I have friends with other blogs but I'm too lazy to list them so "Davids" you get the props today for your bitchin' blogs.

Ok, my blog about blogs wasn't necessarily a rant. Although, I don't think everyone should create a blog just for the sake of creating a blog. Make it unique, bloggers. There are a lot of blogs that are just wordy vomit, and I'm tired of blogs about Brangelina's multi-ethnic baby brood and who got kicked out of High School Musical.

At least, this kid Tyson isn't deluding himself. The title of his blog is The Worst Blog Ever http://tysonhooligan.blogspot.com