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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."












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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

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The PR Game: Michael Phelps, A-Rod and Octu-Mom

Last night I presented a seminar about cost-effective promotional tools to small business owners. After my talk, we had a "round table" discussion about the media and we talked about Michael Phelps. The general consensus was that we appreciated his honesty. I had pointed out to the business owners that they need to be honest, especially if they were ever to face a "PR crisis." Not that they would be caught smoking out (or I hope not), but I felt Phelps' admission made him look human and give him a break, he's still a kid. I appreciate the fact that the companies who endorsed him gave him a second chance. He did exactly what he should have done and didn't hide behind lame excuses like a lot of these young athletes and stars do - he told the truth. I give him props for that. At least, he didn't knock himself up with sperm and have 14 kids. There are worse things.

Speaking of athletes, there's good ole A-Rod and the big media sensation surrounding his use of performance enhancing drugs. Good to know that he was hopped up on PEDs for the past three years; however, why are people shocked? This has been done before and it's not anything new in the media. The general public still acts "shocked" that a professional athlete would dare use PEDs. I don't agree that he should have used PEDs but when it comes to the PR game, we've seen this story played out before in the media.

Then there is my favorite media sensation: Octu-Mom. Actually, she is my least favorite of the publicity sensations out there right now. This woman knows exactly what she's doing and I think she's watched one too many episodes of Jon & Kate Plus Eight.

I've read articles begging the general public to give her a break. Why should we give this publicity hound a break? She's out to make a quick buck and people know it. It's old news that she has already hired two publicists (not one, but two publicists). I question the ethics of her publicists. I wouldn't take on her PR if she was the last client on this planet.

These PR hounds want to jump on the bandwagon due to the pretty penny they will receive as a result of her "celebrity" status. Greed, greed and more greed. This woman repulses me and her publicists repulse me even more. However, that's the name of the PR game.

Octu-Mom is jumping on the "Angelina Jolie" band wagon and is delusional to think she can take on star persona. Check out her collagen-injected lips - does that look familiar?

The PR game is cyclical and the media is always going to have a wannabe idiot who thinks they are the next star sensation (and there will always be an an athlete doing something illegal--that's a given).

The media has blamed the "economy" as to why the public is bashing Octu-Mom. I don't know who that journalist is but he's an idiot. The public is bashing this woman because she brought eight more babies into this world when she already has six kids. I feel sorry for those tiny eight babies who are still in the hospital struggling to survive (not to mention the taxpayers who are paying the bills). This woman is jobless, would have been homeless if her parents hadn't helped her, and owes $60,000 in student loans. If this woman couldn't afford to sustain herself and give the six kids she already has the basic necessities, then common sense would dictate that she shouldn't mosey on down to the sperm bank for more kiddos.

In Octu-Mom's case, "be careful what you wish for" because when it comes to the limelight, get ready for the punches because not all publicity is good publicity. It's a game and sometimes you're going to get your ass kicked.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spam, Spam - Go Away, Please Come Back Another Day

Today's rant centers around spammers. It's been dissected by fellow friends (well, one friend in particular who likes to concoct 10 page "male enhancement" spam analyses) that these spam messages are run through a translation program. If that's the case, then they need some serious help editing these poorly translated spam e-mails. As a marketing girl, I also suggest that they target their audience better. The last time I checked I didn't have erectile dysfunction.

I think there could be an entire niche market on spam. I don't want the job but there might be a grammarian or marketing expert who would like to tackle the spam world.

Have you noticed that spam messages just don't make sense? My favorite spams are the "adult" related e-mails (which are bounced right into my spam box). I must admit that some of these messages are quite amusing. As a marketing girl, I like how the marketing message becomes lost and it turns into this guessing game of sorts - Name the Message Behind the Message Behind the Actual Spam. What exactly was Mr. Spammer's targeted message? Is he/she trying to make you feel inadequate in bed? Will you become so insecure that you will click on their ad and stock up on a year's worth of herbal supplements that leave you with a bad case of gas?

Are spammers returning to subliminal messaging with euphemistic sayings such as "Point thy rod to Heaven?" Perhaps they are trying out some snappy Biblical references. Oh Spam Spam, wherefore art thou Spam...you have been lost in doublespeak.

For the spammers out there, if you really want to target your audience I highly suggest you learn how to spell and edit your translated spams. In the meantime, you will remain where you belong - in my "please delete in the next 10 days" spam box.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Coffee and Writers - Please Make a Java Donation, Coffeehouse Peeps

Here's my proposal to the coffeehouse owners of the world. I think all writers should get one free cup of coffee a day. There's an unwritten rule amongst freelance writers that we are the world's biggest java junkies. I know some of you are reading this and thinking, "But Therese-a-saurus, I am not a writer and I have a coffee addiction." This is true, but as writers we should be able to get something for free and since coffee is pretty much injected into our veins intravenously on an hourly basis, I urge coffeehouse owners to give us at least one cup of coffee a day for free.

Think about it, my fellow writers. It would be great promotions for the said coffeehouse AND they are doing a great service to the community by keeping us writers well-caffeinated during our crazy deadlines.

I strongly urge coffeehouse owners to unite and take a stand in this java crusade. Please support us hopped-up java junkies by donating one free measly cup of coffee to us. If you can't donate on a daily basis, once a week would help our cause.

If you care about the written word and don't want to see us writers slumped across our desk in a comatose "OHMYGOD the coffee just wore off" state as we scratch our eyes out and moan melodramatically to the Java gods: "For the love of Italian roast, cof-fee...need...stat...I...will...die." Please dig down deep into your Fair-trade, organic coffee lovin' hearts (and pockets) and do your part today. Help a fellow writer with his/her caffeine addiction. You will make a lasting difference in our lives. That's all it takes - just one cup of joe a day.

On that note, I need to refill my coffee cup and head over to my second office, Courthouse Coffee. They take pity on me as I sniff the brew bar and whine pathetically. I am not allowed to hold my tongue under the bar anymore to catch the drippings of left-over coffee. They can't afford the liabiilty (I might burn my tongue and there's the possibility of neck strain). My antics might also might freak out customers. "Oh look at that pathetic girl, how sad. I bet she lost thousands with her stock portfolio today. We really should buy her a cup of coffee."

Once again, I urge coffeehouse owners to suppor this noble java cause. It just takes one cup a day...one steaming cuppa java to make us writers happy, and give us the much-needed energy to pen...perhaps the next great American novel (or perhaps a few articles).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

No, this blog isn't about dinosaurs even though I feel decrepit.

No, this blog isn't about dinosaurs. It's about a lone woman's writing crusade (please refer to earlier posts to become acquainted with Therese-A-Saurus).

Today's rant involves a certain New York madam who attempted to pass herself off as a consultant to cover up her prostitution ring. Ok, this isn't really about a writing rant per se, but it's about consulting. For those legitimate consultants out there, we all know it's a competitive world. We don't need Madams taking over our "consulting" territory (even if she wasn't really a legitimate consultant). Madam Stupid deserved to be arrested. Did she think her supposed "clients" would be able to write off THAT much computer consulting work on a daily basis?

Here's the entire story. Today's lesson: don't cover up your prostitution ring by trying to pass yourself off as a legitimate "consultant." Escort consultants don't count. I hope she enjoys her new soon-to-be home and striped wardrobe...in the slammer!


http://blondesense.blogspot.com/2009/02/bankers-used-corporate-credit-cards-to.html

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wanted: Professional Client

Here's my first tirade to get this party started: I've been searching through C-list and freelance writing sites looking for writing gigs. I couldn't believe how the ads read and these companies had no clue what kind of writers they wanted or what they wanted from writers. I decided to create my own personals ad seeking a client who actually has a clue. Here's my snarky take on a job ad for a "good" client:

Wanted: Professional client who has a clue about marketing. Savvy company who didn’t drop their brains at the front door. Well-informed, well-spoken client who understands that just a well-written press release will not make you an overnight sensation. Flexible client who is willing to learn about media relations and how they need a PR professional to help them. Smart client who understands that good copywriting on their website will bring them more revenue and business. I am seeking these clients. If you are clueless, annoying and don’t want to learn from me, then hire someone else. Please contact me only on Tuesdays at 12:05 am (after a night of karaoke marathons) or every other Friday at 6:52 am (in between my yoga and t'ai chi sessions).


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome to Therese-A-Saurus' Tirades - A Communal Vent Fest for Writers

Welcome to my communal vent fest for writers. I would like to thank my friend, Dennis, for providing the inspiration behind the name of my blog. He originally deemed me "Theresaurus" (a clever combination of my given name, Therese, and "thesaurus"). He's quite the clever one. Thus, the nickname stuck and here I am with a blog solely dedicated to rants and editorial spewings.

I created this blog as a venue for writers to vent and share their tirades about the freelance writing world (or non-freelance writing world). I invite copywriters, journalists, grammarians, fiction writers, non-fiction writers, bourgeois poets and recreational writers to join my ranting crusade. If your rant is non-writing related, I may still consider it for publication.

Whether you pen for money or fun, I welcome you to submit well-crafted rants for publication (comments will be moderated - sorry, my blog won't read like Facebook's littered wall-jackings). If you have any examples of your recreational writing (analyses of male enhancement spam advertorials, movie reviews or celebrity sitings), please feel free to submit them. If I feel you are demented enough to contribute to my blog, I will add you to my delirious ramblings.

Each month I will give an award for the "Most Righteous Rant" related to a writing-specific tirade. Alas, the award will not be money or a trip to Vegas, but it will involve a well-crafted ditty created by a celebrity guest (and I use that word "celebrity" loosely).


So who is the woman behind the writer behind the woman behind this blog? I'm a coffee-swilling, wine-guzzling, sardonical, ironical, and vocab-addicted freelance writer and marketing consultant. I come from the Land of Non-Profit Fundraising...a land far, far away that was once filled with crazy hours and little pay (somewhat like freelance writing). I have a thing for magazine boyfriends and big girl Slurpees. If you don't understand my code words, that's a good thing. It's slang I learned in the Witness Protection Program.

My writing career began at age five when I wrote a Thanksgiving play where I forced my family to recite monosyllabic "can't we just all get along?" lines.

I still wake up in cold sweats thinking about the Herman Melville classic, Moby Dick (that was a dark period in my life). I fell deeply in literary love once and his name was F. Scott Fitzgerald. I also wanted to be an actress but my hopes were shattered when I was told I would make a great soap opera actress. I cried copious tears and did what every shattered thespian does - pay someone to give me a journalism degree. I moonlight as an editorialist during my off hours and am known to incense the tempers and crush the inflated egos of male business owners. "Hell hath no fury like a Therese-A-Saurus scorned."

Alas, I will not bore you further with my ramblings. I leave you now to peruse Therese-A-Saurus' Tirades.

Verbally Yours,
Therese-A-Saurus (aka Therese )