While I Have Your Attention, Overlords….

So earlier this morning, I was working on a new financial breakdown for the blog. It was very exciting, as I’m sure you can imagine.

I’m pretty bad at marketing my own blog, compared to other people. Most of that is a time issue. I work full time and I do all of the social media for my day job, so when I get home, marketing my own stuff falls pretty far down on my list of to-dos after taking care of the dogs, attempting to cook dinner, doing laundry, and spending time with The Mr.

But now that I’m making a little bit of money via patreon, I’ve been thinking about making a bigger investment in this good ol’ bloggy thing that I do.

I was discussing it with The Mr this morning:

Me: So I was thinking that 10% of everything I earn will continue to go toward a charity of the Awkward Ambassador’s choosing and 10% would go towards advertising, like boosting posts on Facebook or whatnot, and then the rest of the money will go towards covering the other expenses like the domain fee and the web hosting fee and all that.

The Mr: That makes sense.

Overall, a pretty standard, boring, run of the mill conversation.

Until I looked down at my phone five minutes later and saw this email:

So… it’s official. My new iPhone is listening to everything and Facebook is on the other end of the line, which is disturbing, but also I’m pretty sure there is nothing I can do about it, so I’m thinking that maybe I should just take advantage of this opportunity, right? I mean, why not turn a weird thing into a great thing?

So, Facebook, while you’re listening…

  • If you know me so well, why are you always showing me weird pictures of myself right off the bat from like seven years ago? I don’t need to see that awkward time in my life. It’s a rude awakening in the morning. I don’t need to be confronted with the fashion of the early 2000s.
  • Please create a no baby filter so that I can eliminate the endless stream of babies in my feed. Except my sister’s  baby. He’s great.
  • If you’re going to show me everyone’s political posts, please attach a picture or video of a cute puppy to make up for it.
  • In fact, please attach more pictures or videos of cute puppies to most things that you do. It would greatly improve the user experience.
  • If you run out of puppy pictures, pictures of otters will suffice.
  • Every time someone writes a mean comment, can you just reword to say “I love you and you look nice today?” I feel like that would solve a lot of problems. Until people find out about it… then they might start getting offended by compliments and things will get all sorts of screwy.
  • Maybe stop eavesdropping on my conversations? It’s making you seem a little… desperate? No… evil? No… creepy? Yeah. Creepy.

In other fun news with social media… This Sunday is the last #SundaySupdates episode of the year and it’s public for all, BUT — we’re switching things up and doing it on Instagram Live instead of YouTube! Sunday at 8pm join me on Instagram Live and watch me cook something Christmasy and answer your fun questions! If you need quick and cheap gift ideas, I’ll help you with ideas! If you just want to say hi, I’ll say hi back! The important thing is that you show up, because the party is so much more fun when your guests actually arrive! See you then!


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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Congratulations: You Make Me Sick.

Something strange is happening to me…

I woke up this morning with a knot in my stomach. A metaphorical one, obviously. I didn’t swallow one the of the dog’s rope toys or anything, don’t worry. It was more a general feeling of dread, doom, and overall anxiety.

And I didn’t know why.

Normally when I wake up like this it’s one of four reasons:

  1. I’ve done something terrible to someone, i.e. I ate all of The Mr’s cookies or I forgot a birthday or  I remembered a birthday and then got that person a flock of opossums and I am only just now realizing how bad of an idea that was because my mother hates rodents.
  2. Someone has done something terrible to me, i.e. Someone stole all of my opossums.
  3. Something terrible has happened in general: Hello, 2017.
  4. My psychic powers have finally kicked in and something terrible is about to happen. This one is weirdly exciting and terrifying all at once.

But nothing out of the ordinary had happened this morning. (Except maybe option 4?) I don’t even have a flock of opossums, so theoretically, they were all accounted for. The Mr was fine. I was fine. Everyone I knew was fine.

And that’s when it dawned on me: I hadn’t written in two weeks. Barely a word. I haven’t even journaled.

I’ve never been one of those people who needs to write in order to live fully or whatever. At least, I didn’t think I was, but maybe I am. All that I know is that I’m in a writing rut lately. Maybe it’s because it’s the height of the holiday shopping season and I work retail as my full-time day job and I’m coming home exhausted.

Actually yeah, that’s probably it. I’m tired and it’s the holidays and I spend a lot of time telling people what to buy for distant relatives they barely know and trying to explain that books are not for boys or girls because they are not operated by our genitals and if that’s how you’re reading then you’re doing it wrong, but you’re also really talented and I have A LOT of questions.

Either way, this isn’t really a real blog post and I don’t know where this is going, but I’m tired and I miss you, dear readers, so I just wanted to say hello and that I’m here and apparently not writing to you all makes my stomach turn.

I hope you’re flattered.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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Maybe it’s not me, after all… maybe it’s just my face!

The Mr and I spent Thanksgiving weekend at my brother’s place and for some reason, we got to talking about our family’s faces. Like we all do.

Me: Sister 1 has that perfect mom glare, though… it’s terrifying.

Brother: Yeah, but Sister 2 has the definition of a Resting Bitch Face.

Me: That is so true.

Brother: You, on the other hand, have Resting I’m-a-Freaking-Psycho Face. 

And while I’d never heard it put that way before, I knew right away that, well… he’s not wrong. In fact, he’s spot on. As always.

I’ve been told that I look frightening when I’m crocheting, which is the thing I find most relaxing. When I write: same thing. The Mr has stopped asking if I’m okay, but the children at church regard me with intrigued caution.

Wait… is this why I’m not allowed to use the sharp knives in the kitchen? Is this why everyone thinks I’m crazy? Is it just my face that has been leading to some strange self-fulfilling prophecy?! COULD I HAVE BEEN NORMAL IF MY FACE WAS DIFFERENT THIS WHOLE TIME?

And to think that people say looks don’t matter…

P.S. I realize that this theory makes it sound like I think that Sister 2 is a bitch. She is not. She’s actually the kindest person on earth. It’s infuriating. This, of course, totally blows my theory to smithereens… but what do I care? I’M CRAZY.


Time for some business:

 

via GIPHY

An essay I wrote was published on The Feminine Collective this week, and I’m stupidly proud of it. You can go read it here and then share it with all of your friends because not only do you maybe like what I do, but more people need to know about this amazing online magazine.

If you’ve already read it, thank you so much! I’ve been getting so many wonderful messages and you all just make my hearts sing.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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Oh, you know, just a normal day in my pants. OH WAIT NO.

Okay, so I know this isn’t a normal blog post day for me, but OH MY GOD YOU GUYS SOME CRAZINESS JUST ENSUED AND I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.

Okay, so I was sitting with The Mr and we were having our morning coffee. I had already showered and gotten dressed and while I started telling him a story, I felt something weird in my pants – like a bite – so I instinctively reached down my pants to feel what was going on only to find that it was nothing.

The Mr: What are you doing??

Me: What?

The Mr: You just started telling me a story and then shoved your hand down your pants!

Me: Oh! Right. I thought I got bit by something, but it was probably just a phantom bite. Anyway… this article I read…

So then fast-forward a few minutes. The Mr is on the phone with his sister and I suddenly feel the weird crawly bitey feeling again on my leg, so I stand up and start taking off my pants only to find nothing – NO WAIT NOT NOTHING A FREAKING SPIDER WAS CRAWLING AROUND IN MY PANTS.

I screamed.

The Mr laughed.

I grabbed the little bastard and ran, pants around my knees, to the bathroom to flush the jerk down the toilet EXCEPT HE SOMEHOW ATTACHED SOME INVISIBLE WEB STRAND TO MY SHIRT ALL OF A SUDDEN AND HE WOULDN’T FALL. And then I started to panic because spider webs are really strong and what if he pulled me in with him and gave me a swirly like the evil bully this spider obviously was?!

That didn’t happen, thank God, and eventually, I won and that guy got flushed.

And now I can still feel crawly things all over my legs and I have to go to work where it is socially unacceptable to stick my hand down my pants on a whim so basically, I’ll be anxiously sweating for the rest of my day.

Then again, maybe this is how I become a superhero.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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I feel like we’re doing the whole “romantic sunset” thing wrong.

A conversation I had with The Mr in the car yesterday: 

Me: Oooo… pretty sunset. It’s so weird to think that it’s all just pollution.

The Mr: What are you talking about?

Me: The sunset. The only reason it’s all colorful and pretty is because of pollution.

The Mr: No it isn’t! It’s just the angle of the sun causing all of those colors.

Me: Yeah. The angle of the sun reflecting light through all of the poison in our atmosphere. Did you really not know this? You love science! And the environment!

The Mr: Are you serious? This whole time I’ve been admiring sunsets and they’re really just all made up of poison?

Me: Yes!

The Mr: Well… that’s terrible! Now I can’t enjoy a sunset anymore!

Me: Why not? It’s still pretty! Think of it this way: there’s an upside to everything. Even pollution.

The Mr: No. No! That’s like saying “Hey, come look at this gorgeous painting, isn’t it amazing?” and then finding out that all the paint is just blood splatters from a gruesome murder.

Me: Well… when you put it that way.

We drove in silence for a minute.

Me: You know, the color of the sky kind of looks like a big wash of blood now that you’re saying it. Huh. I still think it’s pretty.

The Mr: You’ve ruined everything for me now.

Later on, The Mr did some research and it turns out that I’m not totally right about this fun fact, but I’m also not totally wrong either? I don’t know, he started talking all sciencey to me and I zoned out a bit if I’m being honest.

Just goes to show that you can’t trust everyone you meet who says they know science.


 

Last night’s #SundaySupdates episode was live to all! You can watch it right here and then go sign up to be an Awkward Ambassador to tune in every week!


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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Not a real post, but a great reminder!

Hi friends!

This isn’t a real blog post, but it’s just a friendly reminder that the public #SundaySupdates episode for the month is tonight at 8pmEST on the youtube channel! Come and watch me try to cook while also trying to answer your questions – all live! Who knows how many body parts I’ll still have by the end!

I do this show every Sunday for the patreon supporters, but the last Sunday of every month, it’s open to all! If you’re interested in joining in the fun every week, head on over to the patreon page to become an Awkward Ambassador today!

It’s a really good time 🙂

 

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Seven things I’m thankful for (and NONE OF THEM ARE BRENDA)

I live in America and this Thursday we’re celebrating Thanksgiving. While I’m definitely not a huge fan of the history of this holiday, I am a fan of food and the general idea that we should set aside some time to acknowledge the things we are grateful for. So, I decided to make a list. Because I’M RELEVANT.

    1. Books. Where would I be without books?! seriously. I read them. I make a living talking about them. I write them. If books were to suddenly stop existing, my life as I know it would literally be over. I love books so much that my house might as well be built out of them. I came home today and The Mr was all “Is that more books in your hands?” when he saw the armful I was carrying. I just smiled and didn’t mention the fact that I had twice that in my backpack. (Shhh… he’ll never know!) And what’s not to love? They’re nice to hold, they teach me things, they’re basically time machines to other dimensions (TAKE THAT, SCIENCE) and they make great kindling when necessary! JUST KIDDING DON’T WORRY I WOULD NEVER BURN A BOOK, GOSH. (Okay, maybe we shouldn’t be so extreme to go so far as to say never. I mean, if a man was holding my family hostage and told me that they were all going to die unless I set a book on fire, I’d probably do it. Unless he was just threatening my sister, Brenda*. She’s the worst.)
    2. Comedy. Thank God for it, am I right? I feel like we could always use a laugh, but these days it feels way more than necessary. The world seems to be on fire everywhere we turn, but comedians are making me laugh in spite of and sometimes about it all.
    3. Macaroni and Cheese. Do I really need to explain myself here?
    4. Tacos. See #3.
    5. Dogs. Specifically mine. They are the best, even when they’re vomiting in the middle of the night and shedding everywhere. I love them. They make me feel less like a weirdo because when I talk to them they look at me and say “Cool. HEY LOOK AT THIS BONE I FOUND IN MY TOY BASKET.” Their support is unwavering.
    6. Grammarly. I write a lot and I often make mistakes – even when I know the proper use of “there,” “their,” and they’re. For example, when writing #5, I definitely typed “they’re support is unwavering” BECAUSE I AM A FLAWED HUMAN, but Grammarly was all “Hey girl, you did a dumb thing, but don’t worry. I got you.”
    7. You. Awwww. I know. So cute. But really, you are amazing. And I love you. The fact that you are just sitting around reading the weird stuff that comes out of my brain makes me love you. Many virtual hugs from me to you, dear reader, because every time I get a like or a comment from you I remember that I am not alone and that someone out there enjoys my thoughts and that is a really nice, warm, and fuzzy feeling. Like a peach. You are peachy. And thank you for being you 🙂

So what about you? What are you thankful for right now? Tell me in the comments below.

*Fun fact! I don’t actually have a sister named Brenda. BECAUSE SHE IS DEAD TO ME.


Side note: Thank you all for your crazy awesome tips about how to shop more ethically and be a better person in the world on my last post! I AM FALLING SO FAR DOWN THIS RABBIT HOLE YOU HAVE NO IDEA.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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I’ll probably only be happy if I’m naked and living in the forest at this point: A rant.

I’ve been trying to shop more ethically lately and to also stop wasting as much because the world is on fire and I can feel better about myself and my choices when I see that my face wash is “cruelty free” (which means that it doesn’t test on animals, not that it doesn’t perpetuate the idea that if I don’t wash my face every goshdarn second of every goshdarn day, I might break out with a pimple OR GOD FORBID HAVE A WRINKLE) or that my clothing is made by single mothers in some far off country who are now empowered by their jobs (or so I’m told) and when whatever it is that I’m buying is also ALL ORGANIC then I am A FLIPPIN’ HERO SHOPPER.

via GIPHY

Of course, it’s hard when you’re on a budget, so I end up doing a lot of this type of shopping at Walmart, which sort of neutralizes the mission a bit maybe? It’s the lesser of two evils (lookin’ at you, Amazon) in my mind. I mean, I support local and independent businesses in my community as much as possible, but this girl’s got rent to pay.

Which is why I found myself rapidly pacing the beauty aisle at Walmart, furiously googling on my phone to find the most ethical beauty brands for sale that weren’t owned by companies that are pure evil, and I quickly started to have the same levels of anxiety that I have at grocery stores. In fact, the anxiety got so bad that I started to have to pee really bad, but I didn’t want to go to the bathroom at Walmart because it’s Walmart, so instead I just danced around a bunch in the beauty aisle and waited for the moment to pass while I held my phone in one hand and four different facial cleansers in the other.  ALL I WANT IS A CLEAN FACE AND A CLEAN CONSCIENCE. WHY IS THAT SO HARD?

Finally, I settled on one that had bees on it and prepared to leave when I remembered that I needed yarn for a new crocheting project, so we headed over to the craft section, where I entered yet another dilemma because while I found the perfect looking and feeling yarn for less than three dollars a skein, I was confronted by all of the following thoughts:

-IS IT ORGANIC?

-IS IT ETHICALLY SOURCED?

-HOW WERE THE SHEEP RAISED WHO MADE THIS YARN?

-WHO IS EMPLOYED BY THIS COMPANY?

-IS IT MADE IN AMERICA? DO I CARE IF IT’S MADE IN AMERICA? WHY DOES THAT MATTER?

And all of this is good, but also exhausting because at the end of it all I end up feeling like nothing that I can buy is ever going to be good enough. In fact, it’s gotten to such extremes that I’m starting to maybe go overboard?  For example, this conversation that I had last night with The Mr:

Me: So. I had an idea.

The Mr: …uh oh.

Me: No, it’s a good one!

The Mr: …okay.

Me: So you know how the dog chewed a hole in this piece of clothing? *holds up clothing*

The Mr: …yeah…

Me: WELL — one might think that this piece of clothing is now ruined and should just be thrown away, but WHY ADD TO THE LANDFILLS when I also have EXHIBIT B!

I held up a pair of cotton leggings whose elastic had busted that were also in a to-be-tossed-or-donated pile.

The Mr: 

Me: I’m going to cut up the leggings and patch up the hole that the dog made!

The Mr: …those fabrics don’t match.

Me: I CAN’T BE SO VAIN. THE PLANET IS AT STAKE HERE.

 

via GIPHY


Side note: while I was writing this, I found this episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast and it was ALL THE RELATABLE

 


What about you? Do you try and shop ethically? How do you manage it?


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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It’s official: I’m becoming my father.

My parents are lively and active people. The word ‘retirement’ is akin to the most offensive of curse words in their eyes, I think. Over drinks when my dad was in town, he said: “I hate that word.” And I swear he was this close to spitting on the ground to show his disdain.

All I know is that my parents never stop working, never stop moving, and never stop partying. My dad is in his seventies and he still travels for work all the time – not because he has to, but because he wants to.

And my mom is basically Wonder Woman. She’s a very successful real estate agent, she teaches six jazzercise classes a week (the majority of them at 5:45 in the GD morning!), she has two horses that she trains and takes care of almost every day, and she cooks dinner every freaking night.

 

via GIPHY

And yet, I manage to be surprised if they don’t answer the phone when I call.

Me: I think my parents find me dull.

The Mr: Why?

Me: Neither one of them is answering their phone! Do I call too often? Are they sick of me? You know, most parents would love it if their kid just called to say hi as often as I do, but they’re totally ghosting me! Do they think I’m boring?

The Mr: Maybe they do.

Me: …thanks, babe.

And then later that night, my dad called me. HE CALLED ME.

Me, too excitedly: Hi, Dad!

Dad: Hey, how are you?

Me: Great! How are you?

Dad: Well, I’m okay. Your mom is in Chicago visiting your sister and the new baby, so I’m just sitting in the parking lot of <LOCAL RESTAURANT>, trying to decide whether or not to go in and get dinner… there are a lot of cars here, so I don’t know… or maybe I should call Nick and see if he wants to meet…. I don’t know, we’ve been hanging out a lot this week since both of our wives are out of town… maybe he’s sick of me.

The Mr: Did you see that apple just fall from that tree?

But maybe this is a good thing… because maybe it means that I’m also going to be a superhero who travels the world!

Or maybe this means my future just involves a closet full of leotards.

 

via GIPHY


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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Ten minutes.

I’m actually writing this on Thursday, but it’s being published on Friday so let’s just all pretend that when I say “today,” I mean “Friday” because that reality is easier for all of us to accept. Or maybe it’s just me that cares.

Either way, I’m using today to be lazily productive. Most of my writing days fall into this category because I never really get dressed or shower, but I do get things done, and today is a writing day, as most “todays” are, but especially so right now because it’s NaNoWriMo and like the fool that I am, I decided to participate again. I’m very behind on my wordcount, but I’m perservering because that’s what the point is (for me at least), to perservere even when I know that getting to the 50k by the end of this month is possibly not going to happen, but instead I have to believe that it definitely will happen because I have to believe that future me is going to muster the motivation to put the words down even though current me is struggling.

The way that I manage it is ten minutes at a time. I sit down and I set a timer on my phone for ten minutes. Then I hit play on my laptop so that loud music is blasting and I start typing and I don’t let myself stop typing until that timer goes off. As soon as that little annoying sound starts playing, I stop typing – even in the middle of a sentence -, I hit pause on the music, and I go do some other task on my to-do list (i.e. putting in another load of laundry, working on a patreon reward, taking the dogs for a walk, or arguing with the ghost in my bathroom). As soon as that task on my list is done, I do another ten minutes, and then repeat until I have finished my to-do list. I’ve found that it takes me ten minutes to get about 350 words out of my brain, which means that I only need to do six writing sessions to surpass my daily goal. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

This method is by no means an original or universal one, but it’s the one that works for me. I’m not a person who can sit down at my laptop and write from dawn until dusk. I get distracted or discouraged when I start to run out of steam and then depression and self-loathing sets in, and frankly, those are demons that I’d like to not wrestle with if I can help it (The ghost in the bathroom isn’t so bad, even if its sense of humor can be gross), and I’m thinking that maybe the reason this works is that those demons need just more than ten minutes of travel time to make it to the front of my brain, but if I don’t give them more than ten minutes, they miss the train and they have to wait for another one, and then I just end up never letting them catch the train and they’re stuck on a platform deep in the recesses of my mind for most of the day. I’d feel bad for them if they weren’t such jerks when they came around.

Anyway, I’m not sure if any of you are slogging through something this month, whether it’s a wordcount or some other daunting task, but if you are, I hope you have something like my ten-minute system to make it less scary. If you do, leave a comment down below and tell me what it is, because it took me a while to find mine and maybe someone else reading this is in need of one.

 

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